10 Steps to Improving your Blog

Do you have a blog but no one comments on your posts? Or are you seeing no increases in the number of your RSS subscribers?

There are a myriad of ways to solve each of these problems without spending a lot of money. However, you will want to invest some time to improve your existing blog and meet your blogging goals – whether it is more readers, increased search engine traffic or making more money through ad sales or promoting your business.

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Provide solid, well-researched content that people are interested in.

Content is king – is your content standing out in the crowd? Or is it the same old information or opinions as every other blogger in your niche? Step outside of the box and do the unexpected – take an opposite opinion from everyone else, find fresh information to blog about and invest time to write better quality posts.

Use varying sizes for your headers (but keep it consistent), colored text, bold text, images, backlinks, video and audio to spice up your posts.

Encourage interaction in the comments section or via email at the end of each post. Ask open ended questions. Leave your comments open for 14-21 days, to give everyone a chance to comment if they’d like.

Use heatmaps wisely.

See where people click most on your site with free heatmap software and move the content in your sidebar(s), footer and header around to make it easier to navigate or access.

Provide consistent navigation on most, if not all, pages.

Don’t fuss over your navigation content on a daily or even weekly basis. If your visitors get accustomed to certain things being in certain places, moving them could discourage your readers from using your site.

Make it easier for people to subscribe to your blog.

Add a large RSS button “above the fold” or put a “Subscribe to my site!” prompt in post footers.

Add a subscription button below the fold or in the footer, too.

Explain to your readers what is RSS and how to use RSS.

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Use ads responsibly.

Many bloggers want to make money online, but there can be too much of a good thing. Place ads at the top or bottom of posts, not both.

Definitely remove ads from the middle of posts. It cuts your content in half and can lose a reader’s interest in your writing quickly.

Displayed ads should stand out and catch the eye, but not overwhelm your content.

Check your stats weekly.

Post your best content on your busiest traffic days and times.

Don’t obsess over analytics. Instead, check your visitor counts, RSS subscribers, etc. weekly. Track your progress and monitor improvements or regression.

Be realistic about visitor counts and pageviews. If you are just starting out, you won’t have traffic and subscribers on the scale of many probloggers. It takes time to build up a brand and community.

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Edit old posts

Go over old posts and edit for grammar/style. Add fresh or new photos, backlinks and information to end of posts (in italics).

Did you recently switch to tagging your posts? Go back and add tags to old posts.

Edit titles of old posts to better fit search engine optimization┬ábut don’t edit the permalinks!

Let your readers connect to you!

Add links to your online profiles on your About page and in the sidebar or footer. Make it easy for readers to email you, interact with you via the blog or offsite via Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, etc. – some people subscribe to blogs just because of the personality they are shown, not necessarily the content of the blog.

Reply to comments as soon as possible. Let commenters know that you are listening to their comments and value their time.

Hold a contest where subscribers and readers can compete to talk with you via Skype or phone about your expert area(s).

Use an editorial calendar.

Note when your weekly features should be published and deadlines for paying for webhosting and submitting articles for other blogs you write for. Keep your editorial calendar separate from your personal and other calendars by using a separate calendar in Google Calendar, iCal or Outlook.

Update your calendar with any changes and synchronize with your analog calendar (if you have one).

Write posts in advance and schedule them in your editorial calendar. Be prepared for any emergency that may arise or schedule changes.

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Add new features, such as a redesigned logo or e-book.

Encourage RSS readers to visit your site to see the new features. Catch their eye with the improved post meta, sidebar(s), header and footer.

Invite readers to read related posts after each post to keep them on the site – and reading – longer. You can add related posts to RSS feeds, too, by using Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

Check out other blogs to see what is currently the trend. Will these new additions be of value to your visitors? If so, add a new feature and test it with your community members.

Ask your readers for feedback.

Occasionally ask your readers for feedback. Post a poll, make a post where you ask for feedback or even email a commenter and ask them what they like about your blog, where they found out about it and what could be done better. Use their feedback to improve your blog even further.

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2 Comments

  1. Great information-I’ve been working on my blog a lot lately and these tips will really come in handy.
    Can you explain more about ‘tags’ – is this the same as labels on blogger? How does one tag a post?


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