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When I make a blog what should I include?

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make a blogIf you are new to blogging, then you may spend the first few weeks, designing your blog, tweaking your blog and spending many hours just getting it right.

Then you see someone else’s blog and like it and want to copy the design of what they have. So you spend loads more hours designing and tweaking. Then you see another blog and off you go again.


There I said it!

A generic statement, perhaps, but the vast majority of people are not 100 happy with their blog design.

80% happy yes, but not 100%.

When you get to 80%, leave it alone. Don’t tweak it anymore. Spend your time and concentrate on creating great content.

So what do I recommend you add to your blog and blog design?

1. Get yourself a premium theme

I don’t want to keep repeating myself but if you can, invest in a premium theme like Thesis or Flexx.

See my post 11 top wordpress themes.

Getting a premium theme will save you hours.

2. Post only relevant content

First of all, you should take care to include only relevant content according to your chosen niche. This means that whatever you post on your blog should be strongly related to what the blog is all about.

If you post a health related content on your blog that is about casino gambling, it will seem more like a blog spam and people will won’t want to read further.  Of course, you want to add some personal things as well like holiday photos or videos or what you did at the weekend. But that’s only about you and people like to see some information about the blog owner.

I recently added a video which included a bit about my garden. I received some great comments and requests for more content like that.

3. Add an opt-in form

If you are selling products or services, then make sure you include opt-in form offering a free giveaway or newsletter on your blog. Put the opt-in form on your blog at a place where it is easily visible and make sure it is above the ‘fold’. I use Aweber for my opt-in process.

4. Images and Photos.

You should give at least one photo for every blog post you write, so that readers will feel more attracted to read the blog post and re-visit your site. Make sure the images that you include are high resolution ones and not those irritating blurry ones.  Use Istockphoto or Flickr for photos.

5. Advertising

If you want to advertise, don’t put hundreds of text links and banners. Keep it to a minimum. You can automatically rotate your banner by using the free plugin MaxBannerAds. See the banners on the right hand side of this blog. If you were to refresh this page, different ones would appear. That’s what the free plugin MaxBannerAds does for you.

What would you add to your blog? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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14 Responses to When I make a blog what should I include?

  1. Lee Ka Hoong November 24, 2009 at 2:13 am #

    I would like to add, I’ll insert a photo of mine in the page, just to let the readers know who is writing the blog, a short description and a link to the About page too.

    Andrew, do you have any successful story using Aweber? I’m going to sign up soon but I worry that I can’t do it well. Also, I may want to polish my current ebook before moving further too.

    .-= Lee Ka Hoong´s last blog ..Make Money Blogging Guide For Beginners =-.

    • Andrew Rondeau November 24, 2009 at 7:17 am #


      That’s a neat idea.

      Re: Aweber. I’ve been using Aweber for the past few months now and I’m impressed – I’m currently moving all my email services over to them. I’m happy to look at your book if you want some feedback.


  2. Ms. Freeman November 23, 2009 at 8:42 pm #

    I think every blog should have an About Page. Readers want to have some sort of ideas as to who is publishing the content they are reading.
    .-= Ms. Freeman´s last blog ..10 Reasons I Stop Reading Blogs =-.

    • Andrew Rondeau November 24, 2009 at 7:12 am #

      Ms Freeman

      Excellent point and Dsicalimer and Privacy pages.


      • Dennis Edell November 28, 2009 at 10:58 pm #

        And contact page
        .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Are You Thankful For Your Blogging Community? =-.

  3. chandan November 24, 2009 at 5:10 am #

    I think for making the most of your blog content is very much important. I noticed that when I made one post on new work at home opportunities then I get more traffic on my blog. So I think we should have take attention on post better than design.
    .-= chandan@work at home´s last blog ..Sponsored tweets- great work at home opportunity =-.

  4. Phaoloo November 24, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    I think a Contact page should also be included.
    It’s not exactly about blogging but we should spend time on social media a couple of month to make some good profiles, then include these profiles in contact page. People will think a good marketer also a good blogger, so they have a tendency to make friends with us on social media sites as well as subscribe to your feeds.
    .-= Phaoloo´s last blog ..How To Know Your Brand Is Stolen? Tools To Figure Out =-.

  5. Kok Siong Chen November 27, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    I do know how to find a premium theme for my cancer research blog. I just grabbed one of the suggested wordpress theme and customize myself. I spent a lot of time to customize it just because of i’m not familiar with the html and the stylesheet. Although not the best, i still satisfy with my theme now. I will continue to learn from you all and customize my theme better. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Kok Siong Chen´s last blog ..Smoking Cessation Intervention to Quit Smoking Effectively =-.

    • Andrew Rondeau November 27, 2009 at 9:25 am #

      Kok Siong

      Thanks for those kind words – hope to see you come back again soon.


  6. Dennis Edell November 28, 2009 at 11:06 pm #

    “Of course, you want to add some personal things as well like holiday photos or videos or what you did at the weekend. But that’s only about you and people like to see some information about the blog owner.”

    Be careful here folks. This may be just my opinion, but I see two circumstances where you can do this with little hassle…

    1. You’re blogging on YourRealName.com

    2. This is mainly for those not blogging under #1 – be sure you have been blogging a while and have a considerable amount of regular readers.

    If you’re in month 2 of your affiliate marketing blog and tell the story of beating your sister with the dog…that may not go over so well.
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Are You Thankful For Your Blogging Community? =-.

    • Andrew Rondeau November 29, 2009 at 6:41 am #

      I quite like to see more about the blog owner, so am in agreement with you Dennis – as long as they don’t over do it!


  7. szeny January 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Don’t forget to include the always-important SEO and marketing parts that help your Blog post spread. Not all of these items are visible to Blog readers, but they are still an important part of your post.
    .-= szeny@women only´s last blog ..What Does Breast Cancer Look Like? =-.

    • Andrew Rondeau January 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm #


      Of course your are right – it’s VERY important to use the correct SEO techniques.


  8. Gary Ashton August 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    I agree with you Andrew. It’s better to get a premium theme and then focus on your write ups. Since the panda update, Google favors site that’s frequently updated with fresh and unique content. This helps you to get more traffic to your site and expose your blog to users that might be your potential customer. Don’t spend too much time in your design and focus your attention to important things like your content.

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