Keys to the Kingdom: Mastering Blog Usability in 3 Steps

The art of blogging has become a phenomenon, however, creating a successful blog takes planning, effort and time. Don’t stress – it’s totally doable and you’re on the right track if you’ve ended up here! So what exactly do you need for your future fabulous blog? 1. Great Content 2. Social Media Promotion and 3. Being in sync with your audience. Sound like a plan?  Good – Let’s Go!

1. Content is King: Interactive Visual and Written Content

After perfecting your design – it’s time to actually focus on the content and engaging readers.  Planning out content and having enough content in reserve is super important. Regularly releasing content is key to growing and keeping your audience. Obviously you’re content has to be interesting and engaging. One way to do this is including interactive content (such as quizzes or videos) to keep users on the page even if they don’t want to read. Another way is to pay attention to the user comments and see what’s trending with your readers. Hiring a UX expert can help you plan out your content flow and design – they can even help you pick out pre-made templates that work best for your blog’s topic.

Check out this video by Gary Vaynerchuk where he describes the power of content!

 

2. Leveraging the Power of Social Networks – Today’s Distribution Channel

Increasing subscribers to your blog will organically lead to higher exposure. But getting subscribers isn’t easy! One great way is to reach out via social media. Social media networks do a lot of the work for you because they already divide potential subscribers into targeted groups. For example, have a blog on food? You can follow famous chefs and tweet at them. Most of their followers are most likely also interested in food.

One great way to make sharing via social media easy is to have a share tool button under every post linked to your social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc). Another way to make sure that your post is covered by all your social media outlets is to set up an IFTTT. This sets up an automatic rule engine that tells your outlets, if you tweet something to automatically publish it on Facebook and Tumblr.

UX BLOG USABILITY

3. Don’t Forget the User – Gathering User Feedback

Sometimes the wisdom of the crowd is much more effective (and cheaper!) than hiring an analyst or expert to access your Weblog. By gathering user feedback, you can get a pretty clear idea about your blog’s strengths and weaknesses. You’ll probably be surprised at how much your users can contribute to brainstorming improvements for the digital and social elements of your blog.  Gather user feedback from users’ emails and posts. You can even embed a voting system that allows for easy feedback because the users just need to click. Remember if you are using this approach, asking the reader to write will most likely end up in less overall feedback. Make it easy for them by brainstorming what you think can be improved beforehand. Don’t forget to find creative ways to thank your most active bloggers. And finally, if your blog gains popularity, don’t forget to somehow reward the users who got you there!

 

And finally, once you’ve collected user feedback and know where the bottlenecks in your website are, use virtual online- guides services, such as WalkMe, to provide gently guide users through your website.

 

 

Megan Wilson
Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)walkme.com
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