As Facebook and other platforms crack down on clickbait and fake news, creating valuable original content will be more important than ever. For companies of any size, a blog is one of the easiest ways to create and share that original content. The first part of the year is also a perfect opportunity to give your blog a refresh and consider new strategies to take your blog to the next level. You already know the content needs to be easy to digest, optimized for SEO include visuals – here’s three new tips to boost your blog this year.

Long form blogging

Most of us are used to drafting blogs that fit nicely in that 500 word range, and offer tips in bit-sized portions. This style is still useful, especially for content you want to share on social media. However, don’t discount the power and potential virality of a well-written long form piece. Long form content is typically 2000 words and above and offers the chance to really dive deep into a particular topic. If there is a controversial trend in your industry, or a certain aspect you’re passionate about, try drafting a long form blog on the topic. If it’s something you can write about for 2000 or more words without being redundant and still offer valuable insight throughout, the topic could be a great fit for a long form post that showcases your expertise.

Invest in design

Take a look at your blog from an outsider’s perspective. Is it user friendly? Is it aesthetically pleasing, and does the design match your brand? Does it make good use of white space, and include striking visuals? Consider whether the upgrades to your blog are something you can do yourself, or if something more in depth is needed. Setting aside a budget to have a professional designer create a refreshed blog template and visuals is a worthwhile investment. Even if you’re strapped for cash, you can use a tool like Canva to create a free template for blog graphics that you can use for each post to keep a consistent style throughout your blog.

Build community

While your blog should certainly be a place that your company, employees and executives can explore topics of interest to them, you also have to consider what your audience actually wants from your blog. Blogging provides the best ROI when the blogger isn’t just shouting into the void. Turn to your social media audiences and ask them what kind of content they want to see. Use social listening to track what your audience is talking about. Use your findings to craft topic ideas that not only fit your brand, but truly offer new insight to your audience. Encourage interaction on your blog with a comment section and ask questions of your audience when sharing posts on social media. You can also look for opportunities to get your blog posts included in industry and topic e-newsletters and include your voice in the broader discussion happening in your industry.