Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or Palentine’s Day — no matter what you celebrate, don’t forget to include your blog in the festivities. We promise that if you treat it well, it’ll take care of you in turn.
Why start a blog in the first place?
Bloggers we’ve talked to have described them as their passion. Blogging allows them to connect with people nearby or across the world who have similar interests; it’s a way of supporting their lifestyles (hello, travel bloggers!). Some folks use blogs for their side-hustles to make extra money and others depend on their blogs as a primary source of income.
Face it: You and your blog are in a relationship. Just as with any relationship, it’ll thrive with a little TLC.
Ways to Improve Your Blog
Use these 10 tips to better your blog and show that you’re ready to commit.
1- Update old blog posts, content, and links.
Many people put all their focus on “new” — new blog posts, new infographics, new videos. The thinking behind that is that new content will increase your site traffic. And to an extent, that’s true. But that doesn’t mean brand new is always better. (Tell that to your ex, amirite?) We’ll explain.
Google, the leading search engine, loves new content. However, in this case “new content” is expanded to include updated content. And older content already has other benefits like URL authority and traffic.
Bots and spiders crawl your site looking for different things. Among those things are indicators of fresh content. They’ll make note of your updates and it can lead to your content seeing a bump in SERPs.
Added bonus: People are less likely to bounce off webpages that aren’t full of outdated links and information.
2- Create a content calendar.
As mentioned previously, Google is smitten with new content. Creating a calendar helps you stay on top of future posts and plan your updates.
There are a variety of tools at your disposal for creating content calendars. A quick Internet search shows many free options, or you can use the calendar features in trusted online tools such as G Suite or Office 365 (along with a host of other familiar and user-friendly features that they offer!).
Added bonus: Using a cloud-based calendar allows you to plan with other content collaborators no matter where they’re located.
3- Verify that your blog (and website) is truly mobile responsive.
News flash: It’s 2020! If your visitors want to catch up on your blog from their mobile devices, like a phone or tablet, make sure it’s a pleasant experience for them. No one wants to drag their finger across their screen to get from one end of a sentence to another. And no one will take the time to do that either. Instead, they’ll bounce.
When designing and working on your blog, keep responsive design in mind.
WebFX defines responsive design as, “…a way to put together a website [or blog] so that it automatically scales its content and elements to match the screen size on which it is viewed.”
You don’t need to be a coding wizard to create a mobile responsive site, so relax. Any good Website Builder includes a mobile optimization feature.
Added bonus: Making sure your blog is optimized for mobile devices also improves your SEO! Mobile optimization is a contributing factor in Google’s search ranking, so don’t overlook it.
4- Check the speed of your blog.
You know what else will drive away your visitors? A super slow-loading blog. Why should they stick around when there are approximately 784028495868 bazillion other web pages in existence that they could be browsing (and that could have loaded in the same time frame)?
Let’s face it: A slow-loading blog takes all the fire and excitement out of the relationship. Use a free resource, like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, to get a better understanding of your site’s loading time.
If your loading time is abysmal, poor, or even mediocre, try doing these things:
- Optimize your images.
- Reduce the number of blog posts featured on your homepage.
- Go easy on the ads.
- Make sure you’re using the right plugins (fastest and newest versions.)
5- Audit your plugins.
Even if you get a high score on your PageSpeed Insights review, you should still take stock of all the plugins you’re using.
No relationship needs a third wheel (or multiple third wheels) dragging them down, so get rid of any plugins you no longer use or need on your blog.
We can’t stress this enough — backup your blog before making any changes to your plugins or any big changes to your blog in general! If something bad should happen (and while it’s highly unlikely, it is possible) you’ll be happy you have that backup.
6- Add an email signup form to your blog.
You’ve heard us say it before and we’re saying it again for the people in the back.
It’s high time you introduced your blog to email marketing. They make for the perfect pair.
Adding an email signup to your blog is one of the easiest ways to promote and increase repeat readership of your blog. If you’re like most of us, you probably check your email every day. Stay top of mind with your readers by meeting them where they’re likely to be, in their inbox.
7- Network with other bloggers
Starting and maintaining a blog can seem intimidating at times. It’s a relationship, remember? And all good relationships require work and effort. But here’s the thing — you’re not in it alone.
We’re betting you probably have a friend or two that you turn to for relationship or romantic advice. Well, why shouldn’t you have other bloggers you can turn to when you have questions about your blog or blogging in general? Odds are good that they’ve experienced what you’re experiencing and can help guide you through it.
And that’s not all networking with other bloggers is good for. Once you get to know other bloggers you can try:
- Guest posting on each others’ blogs.
- Boosting your backlinks
by sharing each others’ content.
- Do this as appropriate. Spamming each others’ blogs with irrelevant links looks bad to both your readers and search engines.
- Contributing to supplementary content together, like podcasts, webinars, or giveaways.
8- Get social from behind the computer screen.
It is your responsibility as a blogger to engender trust in your readers. If you want your visitors and readers to value your content and share it with others, they need to know the source behind it is trustworthy. It’s all part of something called social proof.
SproutSocial defines social proof as, “the concept that people will follow the actions of the masses. The idea is that since so many other people behave in a certain way, it must be the correct behavior.”
The thinking goes that if many people trust and share your content, then it must make sense for them (any other people) to do the same thing.
Show who you are and that you’re trustworthy by:
- Connecting with your readers in the comments.
- Creating social media groups (like Facebook groups) where your readers can connect and converse with you.
- Posting testimonials from those who’ve worked with you in the past or have tried your products.
9- Go beyond the written word on your blog.
Did you know that the word “blog” is a shortened version of web log?
Since blogs started as online journals, it makes sense that they’re heavily reliant on the written (or typed) word. That dependency on written content won’t change, but it doesn’t mean you can’t spice it things a bit.
A little variety never hurt anyone, so consider adding any of the following types of content into the mix:
- Photos or images
- Graphs or charts
- Q&A with readers or guests
Added bonus: Multimedia content increases the amount of time people spend on your site.
10- Implement Google Analytics on your blog.
Your blog can be your biggest ally in forging new connections and creating financial independence. But to get the most out of your blog it needs review, maintenance, and optimization. Luckily, Google yet again provides us with a free tool that helps you understand your blog’s performance and where it can be improved.
Have you heard of Google Analytics? It’s a great resource that helps you analyze your site. You can learn where your visitors come from, how long they’re spending on your site, where they’re bouncing, and so much more from the Google Analytics platform. These insights can then be applied in different ways so as to optimize your blog and increase the revenue you can make from it.
Neil Patel writes a great piece titled, “7 Google Analytics Reports That Show How Your Blog is Really Performing” that we really think you should check out.
Optimizing your blog doesn’t have to be difficult.
Take these tips to heart when working on your blog, but don’t feel as though you have to tackle them all in one day.
Managing your blog should be an enjoyable experience, so go ahead and plan out what improvements and optimizations you’ll start with, and set goals to accomplish them. Once those are checked off your list, move on to the next blog improvement tip and knock that one out, too.
What other blog improvement tips do you have? Let us know in the comments.