Every six months or so I think to myself, how can I improve my blog? After several hours of hard thinking, I end up looking back at my improvement sheet and going through the basics.
The basics like design, content and promotion. Since I’ve got a pretty tight grip on the whole blog improvement thing, I thought I’d share my little “cheat sheet”…
1. Clean up your Design
Before you do anything else, you need to clean up your blog’s design. Your blog design plays a huge role in its success. I know most people tell you your blog design doesn’t really matter, but the truth is it does. Your blog design has a strong correlation with your bounce rate…
…And if you don’t know, your bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your site without visiting more than 1 page. To me, a blog design should be simplistic. It should be designed to look attractive, but simple and easy to use. That’s the key factor, usability!
2. Reassess your Blog
Sometimes in life, you need to reflect on what you’re doing and reassess things. So… the same thing goes for your blog. More importantly, reassess your brand and the message you’re trying to get out there. Your blog should be focused on 1 main subject. Is yours going in the right direction?
3. Personalize Your Blog
No matter what kind of blog you’re running, a personal touch will improve it! If you don’t show your face, how will your readers know whose writing what they’re reading? Putting a face behind the words is crucial! To start… You should have an image or video of yourself in your blog’s heading or sidebar. It really makes a huge difference!
4. Increase Page Views Per Visit
Generally… The more page views per visit you get, the better your blog. There are a bunch of ways to increase the number of views per visit, the best strategy is to add a popular posts widget in your sidebar. By carefully displaying popular posts in your sidebar, you could potentially double your traffic… Well page views anyway. Besides that you should internally link certain words and phrases to posts/pages on your blog.
5. Update Your About Page
Your about page is where you’re allowed to talk about yourself, show off your achievements and build trust with your readers. The about page is probably the first or second most important page on your entire blog. It’s where you “lock in” visitors and turn them into loyal subscribers. I used to think it was just supposed to be about ME, but my extremely high bounce rate told me differently.
The truth is people don’t really care too much about you; but instead they care more about how you can help THEM!
That’s the key, your about page should tell a story about you. Your story should relate to your readers and tell them how you can help. You need to break down:
- A Little About You
- How You’re Qualified (You can talk about how you struggled for ages, relate to them and then explain that you now know exactly what to do)
- Why You Started The Blog
- How You Can Help Your Readers
Break down all of those things in a simple clear format. The whole thing should be one big story. One last thing; use a friendly picture or video of yourself! Your visitors need to see the face behind your writing!
6. Make Your Content Scrollable
It’s a sad fact… Hardly anyone actually reads full blog posts. People are lazy and the average Internet user’s attention span is like 4 seconds. So if your post doesn’t engage someone in 4 seconds, it’s useless. People like to scroll through blog posts, so make your content scrollable! You can make it “scrollable” by using sub headlines before paragraphs and numbered bullet points with titles.
Break your posts down into easy to read chunks of text. I like my paragraphs to be a max of 4-6 lines. Any more and people get bored. If you make your content easy to digest, fun, engaging and entertaining, your visitors will keep coming back!
7. Social Media
As you know, Social Media has exploded into the online marketing space. It’s huge now and it’s one of my top traffic sources. I receive thousands of visitors every month if not per day from sites like Facebook and YouTube. It really is vital that you’re marketing your blog on those sites, plus any others you think are important. Besides being active on social networks and promoting your blog via social media, display social buttons on your blog. You need to encourage your readers to share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and even bookmarking sites.
Every post you publish must be filed under a specific category. Most of the large blogs and websites all file their content under very strict categories. In fact, their categories are everything and control what their sites/blogs are about. To improve your blog, you should look back at your categories and decide if you need to add more. Sometimes after a few months or even a year, you realize your blog is changing direction and you need new categories.
9. Use A Variety Of Content
Stop being boring! Most blogs have the same old content. You should have a couple of different types of content you post on a regular basis. You could have a few series posts. For example, you could write a 100 post series on blogging, a 50 post series on social media and another 50 post series on email marketing. Then you could write standard posts, numbered list posts, video posts or even write long blocks of content.
10. Have One Main Goal
Every blog must have a purpose. Why exactly are you blogging? Are you trying to build an email list, trying to sell your own product’s or build some sort of opportunity? Too many bloggers blog without real intentions. Most people figure “once the traffic is going I’ll just sell advertising or something”. Your blog must have 1 main goal. Maybe it’s to build your list, launch a series of information products or build an offline business. Perhaps you’re trying to get every visitor to download your free report. Have one main goal!
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