7 Secrets You MUST Know To Give Your Blog The Edge

7 Secrets You MUST Know To Give Your Blog The Edge

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Although these tips may sound common sense to some, for others it isn’t (hence the secret)… If blog owners implemented these 7 tips, their blog would certainly have an edge over the competition – The funny thing is, so many blogs don’t!

sponsored message

Adobe Creative Cloud Discount

Here is a list of 7 things you can do to give your blog more of an edge… These are based on my observations and personal experience of dealing with blogs on a daily basis.

  • Format your text – This is my biggest tip. The amount of blogs that I see with huge chunks of text is amazing. People on the internet do not read paragraphs, they read in sentences. Try to keep your paragraphs down to 3-4 lines tops. Use headings, sub headings and bullet points.
  • Tell your reader the whole article in the first two sentences – This is another huge tip. People will decide if they want to read your article based on the opening two sentences. Ensure you make your opening paragraph a killer and of course, the headline.
  • Always use quality images in your posts. An image will invite people to read your article so ensure it is not a crappy one… make it relevant to the post. Try to use a consistent image style / size for your blog posts so people know what to expect. Separate long articles with images. I use the free stock sites sxc.hu and compfight for my images (ensure creative commons is on).
  • Put more time into your post. If you spend an hour crafting a post, why can’t you spend another 15 minutes spicing it up? Add relevant images and links throughout your post. Proof read at least 4 times.
  • Give back to your readers. Hold competitions and giveaways. Offer prizes and give link love. Don’t offer crappy prizes like ‘advertise on my site’ – give something of value and ensure that they want it. For example, my latest book giveaway. Look at the prizes you give away as investments, not costs.
  • Get onto as many blog rolls as possible – Ask blogs in your niche if you would like to do an exchange. Tell them what you have to offer and ask kindly. On that note would you like to be added to my blog roll? Use the form on that page if you would like to be considered for addition to my blog roll.
  • Do to others as you would like done to you – I like this tip because it is so true. Ensure you reply to every comment and email. Link to other sites and articles just as you would like done to you. This applies to all aspects of blogging and life in general.
  • Give more than expected – I wonder how many of you noticed that I gave you 8 tips, not 7? If you give your readers more than they expect they will always be pleased. Remember the saying “Under Promise, Over Deliver.”

I could go on forever but Daniel from Daily Blog Tips has already listed 101 more blog tips that you should implement. You may also like to read about how to boost your search engine rankings.

What else would you add?

73 thoughts on “7 Secrets You MUST Know To Give Your Blog The Edge”

  1. Really nice list!

    I especially agree with the first point. It’s annoying to read a huge page filled with text and only text.

    Been trying to follow your tips. Covered most of them in my new post 🙂

    Keep Blogging!

  2. Great, concise post… especially for those of us starting out (or getting ready to). Planning is so important in just about everything we do as designers. It’s a given and implied; this should be the starting point of all starting points. I couldn’t agree more with you on stressing proofreading. So many times I read posts and catch errors and then think how this diminishes credibility of the author and community. Giving back, giving more… going above and beyond… and blog rolls stood out the most to me as the quickest ways to improve. Thanks!

    Good luck with your give away bash! 🙂

  3. Great job Jacob. I think it’s important to break things up as you’d want your viewers attention for as long as possible without overwhelming them. Again, another great article.

  4. Excellent post. This one is definitely going places. Thanks so much for the great tips! I found them very useful as I am trying to find my space in the blogosphere myself.

    I enjoyed it most of all because you practice what you preach. Loved the image, opening paragraph, bullet points, links, extras, etc.

    Thanks again, Jacob, for a great article! Keep up the great work.

  5. Well, not sure if there is a glitch with the comments section of this article, but I’ve posted two now and haven’t seen either surface…

    Great post, Jacob. Thanks for showing us what you know and implementing it in the post itself. I loved the article header image, bullet points, links, etc.

    Thanks again.

  6. Dugg! I found a new stock photo site, and I DEFINITELY need to make my paragraphs shorter. Too much technical / academic writing is getting in the way!

  7. I have three other tips: content, content, content.
    With all the blogs around many seem to be only “variations on the same theme” so if you really want to give your blog the edge, focus on producing original, unique content, with ideas and opinions that truly belong to you.

  8. Looks like I’ve got more things to do now after reading these tips! Haha. Oh yeah, I only proof-read my stuff like 3 times before publishing it. And prolly should start giving out more link love and get a blog roll done up. 🙂

  9. I give our readers at Arbenting more than they expect…like about 8 lines per paragraph! :p lol

    seriously, nice post.

  10. Now this is a mighty fine post. I must honestly admit that they were secrets to me. I will most certainly follow them! Starting this afternoon/this weekend I’m gonna update some of my posts!

  11. Good tips Jacob, writing consistently quality posts does require all the above, although we try very hard, we struggle to tick all these boxes. Thanks for setting the bar nice and high, we will try harder.

  12. Great article, short and to the point. I would have to say that letting your readers know what the article is going to be about plays a huge role in how many people will actually read what you write. Jakob Nielsen does a great job with this on his site, when he has a “summary” section at the top. Excellent idea.

  13. Good advice! I agree with most of what you said. I think the quality images one is a good tip, but unless your a “photo” base blog, anything over a few hundred kb’s should be avoided, many of the shared hosting servers don’t appreciate too large of files 🙂

  14. Nice tips, but considering the image one… I actually found the image to this post disturbing…

    Maybe I’m strange, but seeing knives close to eyes makes me cringe.

  15. Great list and tips. I thought it was just me that didn’t like reading paragraphs online, so I have been flooding some of my paragraphs! Though I always make sure to break it up a bit with images.

    Responding to reader comments is half the fun! Though admittedly I don’t get that many…

  16. Preston,
    You’re welcome, even if it was a disturbing image but hey, it was eye catching (excusing the pun) 😛

    I also had a look in the spam comments but didn’t any of your comments however are showing here?

    Thank you for the Digg.

    Thanks for your further tips, content is always a must but I don’t believe in the saying content is king, there are so many other elements that have to work together to be successful.

    No one is perfect but proof reading is a must… even after 5-6 times you still passover mistakes. Sometimes it takes another persons perspective to pick up on it.

    Angie, Paul, Steve, Soh, Mathias, Phil
    You’re welcome!

    Haha, well hope this post will help you out!

    Had a look at your new blog post, I also use the beach theme!

    No longer secrets! Good luck with updating your posts.

    I am not a fan of automatic music playing either.

    I usually do proof reading 4-5 times however I still miss things and I agree it does diminish the credibility of the author.

    Yeah Jakob’s method also works. The first paragraph is also quite important in terms of SEO.

    George, Sean
    Like I said to Preston, it is eye catching 😉 … but yes, disturbing also.

    A starter image usually is less than 100kb so it shouldn’t be a problem.

    Thanks for the link and your tips.

    Sometimes replying to user comments gets a bit tedious especially on ones that get over 30 comments. Under that, is usually OK though.

    No worries, go for it.

  17. Good thighs! I hope, you will not be against if I translate this article into Russian language and I will lay out on the blog?

  18. Great tips, especially the one on giving back to your readers. If you’re not giving something folks want, your blog is not going to be great.

  19. Two questions for you…I though you were using retweets there for a while. Why did you take that down? Second question is about pingbacks and trackbacks. You approve of all the trackbacks but not the tweets. What about pingbacks? Should we or should we not? I hear all kinds of things, but your ranking seems to suggest approving at least trackbacks doesn’t cause damage…

  20. Douglas,
    I was using retweets but I opted for a cleaner look with the Share button which has Twitter as an option. As for the trackbacks most of them are automatic, I try not to get spam / scrapper sites into the trackbacks but it is inevitable. What do you mean about approving tweets?

  21. Hey Jacob: You aren’t supposed to ask me what I mean by by trackbacks or pingbacks 🙂 I’m not sure what the difference is. The way my WordPress is set up, I have to approve whatever you call them – pingbacks, trackbacks, tweet notifications – one at a time. Yes, a lot of them are lame scraper sites and lame spam comments. I see you have the trackbacks approved, but I don’t see any of the “this post was twitted by” I see a lot of in my comment inbox. I delete all except if a tweeter happens to be a tad famous. I deleted my Smashing Magazine one by mistake 🙁 but I’m not sure if that really matters for SEO…it probably did though.

  22. Woops…I was going to ask you about retweet as opposed to tweet. The Share This only does tweets, which in my limited grasp of tweeting at the moment, appear to be different that retweets. Or is that not the case? For instance, I read today that retweets can cause old posts to take on new life occasionally. But perhaps there is no difference between tweet and retweet and I’m thinking too hard about it…

  23. Douglas, there is no real difference between retweet or tweet.

    Tweet simply means to send a message. Retweet means the same but you are RE tweeting it, ie. someone has already tweeted it so you are passing it along. That’s my understanding anyway.

  24. PS. Re the Twitter feedback, most of them go in my spam box so I just leave them there. If you figure out if they are good or bad for SEO, please do let me know!

  25. Thanks for this post, it was really helpful in giving me things to consider for the design of my blog (still in progress). I like how you added an extra tip in there, pretty clever.

  26. You are big! Your tips are the key for the golden blog! And the greatest thing that i’ve read here is that, unique content, with our own ideas and opinions that belong to us , is the most important thing to do in blogging. I wish you big succes!

  27. You are really humble Jacob. That very clearly shows in your approach, from sharing the link love to holding contests. Everything counts!

    Thank you friend.

  28. ‘Practice what you preach’, an old adage that clearly reflects in every sentence in your post. What I truly admire is that though I’ve read loads on effective blogging, none goes close to this in terms of simple and applicable blogging suggestions. Also from your post to the comments, I know throughout my experience here that I am dealing with a human and not with a computer, the personal touch is impeccable and if this post can draw so much attention from us bloggers then well there is no better way to prove the ingenuity of the suggested tips.

  29. After completing my studies, I still felt I didnt know enough about design and then i came across your blog and it was truly inspiring and lead me to start reading other blogs and in turn have greatly increased my knowledge of design perhaps even more than i had learned at college. It also inspired me to try my hand at blogging and thanks to great articles like this, I continue to have sleepless nights haha.

    A real heartfelt thanks Jacob

  30. Thank’s for the tips. I think they are very useful for people that want to start blogging or already have their own blog.

  31. Hi Jacob,

    So correctly you said, “Do to others as you would like done to you”. No one can flourish all alone, we definitely need some companions in every field of our life. This is very much true for our blogging journey as well.

    Also all the other tips (including 8th 🙂 ) are very useful. Thanks for sharing. Take Care.

Comments are closed.