Every blog is a little different. Some feature only images and others are mostly words. But there’s really a lot in common between Uncrate.com (The Best Gear for Guys) and the official Lilly blog. If you’re wondering what blogging is and why we’re so obsessed with it, read about Lorraine’s 1,911 Reasons to Visit Roundpeg.biz.

Whatever you’re blogging about, you should have sharing buttons, links to the author and date posted, and a good design that matches your main website. These web design elements are essential to running a good blog. Even if your content is awesome, a glitchy or confusing design will sour the experience for visitors.

There are three more things your main blog page should have. Featured images, blog post excerpts, and a “Related Posts” display.

Featured images are the thumbnail-like pictures that accompany each post on the blog page’s list. These are an important complement to each post’s headline. Some readers are words-people. Others are geared towards images. Like pictures in a magazine, featured images help your blog post catch those of us who respond to images.

Blog post excerpts partner with the featured image to catch those pesky words-people.  On the Internet, visitors scan for arresting images and snippets of text that might be interesting. The excerpt appears below the headline and below or to the right of a featured image. It’s usually automatically generated from the first three or four sentences of the blog post.

With a blog, it’s also your job to provide readers with their next hit of satisfying content. After someone clicks on your blog post, reads it and delightedly shares it with their friends, they start looking for the next thing to read. Make it easy by providing links to related blog posts below the body copy of each post. Visitors will spend more time on your website, reading your messages rather than skipping off somewhere else.

WordPress is a software platform we use to build websites. What’s great is that all of the essential functions for a quality blog are built-in. Even the fancy ones like featured images. I love that I can work on a creative website design with this software and know that the blog will be easy to use and completely match the rest of the website. Anything that WordPress doesn’t do, like showing “Related Posts”, can be integrated from a huge library of useful add-ons.

Your website visitors deserve a complete experience that leaves them wanting more. If your blog is missing pieces, let us know.

photo credit: gogoloopie via photo pin cc