Do you backup all of your blog content on a regular basis?
How often do you check your posts for broken links? There are so many small, yet potentially significant things and changes you can make for your blog in order to improve it. Things that improve user experience for your audience (like improving/changing your design) or things that make blogging easier for you and bring you a peace of mind (like setting up regular backups or keeping track of all your creative ideas).
Let’s talk about 7 things to do for your blog, TODAY.
CHECK YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Most bloggers are very active on social media and having links to all of your accounts is a must for your blog. One of the first things I do when I come across a new blog, is to check out author’s Instagram account- it always gives me a quick idea of what kind of content I can expect. I can’t tell you how many times I clicked on that Instagram or Twitter icon/link, only to find that it’s broken or links to a wrong account. It’s a good idea to check all of your links once in a while, just to make sure they’re working. Sometimes, you might change your username/handle and forget to update it throughout your blog, sometimes an extra letter or digit might sneak in there, making the link broken. Same thing goes for your blog links you leave in comments- whenever someone new comes and visits my blog, drops a comment- I want to return the favor! BUT, if I click on your link and find that it’s not working- I can’t visit your blog.
Can your readers easily leave a comment on your posts? Make sure that the comment section is visible- you might think this is obvious, but I’ve visited blogs with design where I clearly saw a number of comments, but wasn’t able to leave one myself. Good design and a good system are very important (for instance, you will never see me leave a comment on your blog if you use Google+ I tried to love it, but, just like most of the internet, I can’t). I myself have switched to Disqus a while a go and I have to say that it was a great decision- although I was a bit hesitant at first. My concern was that it requires registration, and I know that not everyone will be up to doing that, but I think that if someone is a regular on your blog, they shouldn’t have a problem with creating an account. Many popular websites use this system now, and ever since I’ve switched, I barely get any spam, whereas before I’d get so many spam comments that I had no choice but to moderate them- which can also be pretty time-consuming. Disqus doesn’t eliminate spam altogether, but it does reduce it significantly.
Bottom line is, if you make it easier for your readers to leave a comment, they’ll be more likely to do so.
BACK UP YOUR BLOG CONTENT
I didn’t think of doing this until few months a go, when I installed a plugin that made it impossible for me to login to WordPress. First thought that crossed my mind: “shit…. I’ve been hacked“.. second thought that crossed my mind: “shit… when was the last time I backed up all my content?” Think about all those hours and work you put into your blog, all the work you do editing your images, writing your posts, replying to comments- all of it can be gone in an instant.
MAKE YOUR “ABOUT” PAGE EASY TO FIND
And if you don’t have one, make one! This is also one of the first things I check out when I visit a new blog. First time visitors will want to know what your name is, what your interests are and what you look like. What is your blog all about? Make sure that your “About” page is easy to find- this is something that a lot of new readers usually check out first- and if they get to know a little bit about you and find something they can relate to- chances are, they’ll stick around. Your name should also be clearly visible so that the connection you make with your readers feels more personal- they can leave a comment saying “loved this post, Annie!” instead of saying “loved this post, blog author!“. Yes, I know. Nobody actually does that. But you get the point.
I love getting to know the person behind the blog- it always helps me connect to them. If you want to know how to create a killer “about me” page for your blog, check out this post.
LINK TO OTHER BLOGS
Whenever it’s relevant, share the love and link to other blogs. This not only makes your blog posts more useful and informative to your audience, but it can also build relationships. Whenever I see someone link to one of my posts, I always check out their blogs, stop by and leave a comment. This is actually how I “met” quite a few of my blogging friends. Make sure to link to pages and articles that will add value to your post, though- don’t link just for the sake of it.
MAXIMIZE YOUR CONTENT
How many blog posts have you published so far? If you post several times a week, chances are that some of your posts might go unnoticed or don’t really get the attention they deserve. This is why you should maximize your content. Update old blog posts- especially the images. Re-share older content on social media, create round-ups- these things will help you maximize your content. I actually even re-published a few of my blog posts- if there are some posts that you feel particularly proud of, posts which you published when the only people reading your blog were your mom and your cat- you can give them a little face lift and re-publish them, share them on Pinterest.
If you want to further maximize your content, I also highly recommend that if you happen to feature a brand in a post, you tag them in your social shares. Brands (especially beauty brands) love sharing blog posts, reviews, images on their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which, in turn, can help earn you some links and drive more traffic to your blog.
START IMPLEMENTING A CALL TO ACTION
You want your readers to share your post on Facebook? Ask them to do so! I think that oftentimes people are more likely to share content, if asked to share it. If you want to really interact with your audience and get them to comment, ask them a question at the end of your posts, ask for their opinion, invite them to join the conversation. Create a call to action. This is something that really helped me engage with my audience- both on my blog and my social media.
I’m sure that there many more small things you can do to improve your blog today- can you guys think of any other ones? I know that keeping a small notebook with me is something that helped me quite a lot with gathering my post ideas and keeping them organized. I also have a small folder where I keep interesting magazine articles or pictures I find inspirational. Whenever I feel stuck, I always go through my little folder where I find tons of inspiration.
Make sure to take a look at the BLOGGING section, for more blog tips. Also, if you’re not already on Pinterest, you’re missing out- it’s a great place to be if you’re a blogger and want to grow your blog. You can browse through my Pinterest articles right here.
Want to know how to start a WordPress blog, from scratch? Check out my step-by-step guide right here.