Monday, August 25, 2014

Ways to Make Your Blog Posts Stand Out

We’re inundated with book marketing today. Everyone is shouting about books on Twitter and Facebook, so it can be hard to get a potential reader’s attention. One way to do that is through blogging, but even then, you have to make your blog posts stand out.

Special Graphics

Everyone uses the same boring graphics these days, don’t they? There are several free places to get illustrations and pictures (and it’s great to have these resources!) but a better option is to create your own graphics.

I like to use pictures from Morguefile or my own personal artwork and then use a pull quote from my article. (Here’s one example of that.)

I created a separate graphic for a post where I asked bloggers for help in promoting my book, then used that same graphic as an ad on the side to keep it highlighted. It’s colorful and draws your eye to the request.

In sharing some of my poetry, I’ve written, I’ll illustrate it with photos (like this) or use a completely new set of graphics to make it colorful and eye-catching (like this.) I like to use Canva or Picmonkey for things like this (both of these are free).

Visually Tell a Story With Pictures

For posts where you can show a visual, use pictures to help tell your story. Part of my platform building strategy has been to show people a slice of my life, so I’ll visually display the steps of a recipe I enjoyed making or craft project I created.

Author Carol Moye asked me to do a visual guest post for her blog, so I took a few pictures I'd painted and explained the process behind them. But you don't have to be artistically inclined to create a visual post.  Ann Voskamp (author of One Thousand Gifts) is great at visually telling a story. Although I’m not in love with the music that pops up automatically on her site, I do like the pictures she shares.

Know How to Format for the Web

People read differently on the Internet, so you need to change the way you write. Your writing needs to be clear, broken up into easily digestive pieces, and formatted for the screen. Specifically:

  • Use bullet points to set off important points or lists
  • Use bolded subheads to divide copy (and help with SEO)
  • Break up long paragraphs

There’s lots of argument about how long a post should be. Some places I write for require 700-1,000 words as a rule while others believe 300-500 words is optimal. My personal belief is that it takes a combination of long and short posts to keep a reader clicking through your site. The only thing that doesn’t work? Thin, short content that doesn’t hold a reader’s attention (and gets you penalized from Google.)

Use Getty Images

Getty (arguably the world’s largest source for editorial photos) is now opening up thousands of photographs for use by bloggers. This is really exciting, because you now have access to the top celebrity, news, and stock photographs around… and… you have permission to use them. There are rules, of course, so be sure to follow them. (PC World has a great write up about how to use and attribute them here.)

Use Pull Quotes

I mentioned pull quotes as part of a graphic above, but they also work simply as a text box with words. This is especially helpful if you want to highlight a specific point or make sure someone that happens to be skimming (as people do on the Internet) at least catches the overall gist of what you’re trying to say.


Cherie Burbach has written for, NBC/Universal,, and more. Visit her website,
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