If it wasn’t already obvious, I’m a pretty big fan of blogging. In fact, it’s played a tremendous factor in helping me land clients and customers for my business. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my blog. For that reason, I’m always encouraging people to start a blog as part of their business strategy. However, many people just don’t know how to get started or how to improve their blog once it’s up and running. That’s what I’m going to help you with today! I’m sharing my top 10 tips to make your blog better.
10 Tips to Make Your Blog Better
If you’re wondering how to make your blog better, there are a number of things you can do that will help you see results. Each of these tips are important factors in creating and maintaining a successful blog. Check them out and start implementing them today:
1. Create an editorial calendar to plan posts in advance.
One of the simplest ways to make your blog better is to commit to a blogging schedule. And no, that doesn’t mean you need to post five days a week. You just need to find a schedule that works for your life and stick to it. If you can’t commit to five high-quality posts each week, then don’t force it. If three posts per week works for you, then choose your three posting days and start publishing.
Having an editorial calendar will help keep you on track with your blogging schedule. It encourages you to come up with blog post topics and plan out your posts in advance. This ensures you always know what you’ll be posting on any given day. There’s no more scrambling to come up with an idea and putting a post together at the last minute because you’ve already planned it out.
2. Batch write your blog posts.
Your editorial calendar will also come in handy for this next tip: batch write your blog posts. For those who aren’t familiar, batch writing involves you writing multiple blog posts in one sitting. You eliminate all of the distractions around you and quit the multi-tasking to just focus on writing. So, how will this make your blog better?
Batch writing your posts will actually make you more productive. Once you get into the writing groove from completing one post, it’s much easier to write a second and a third. That’s why it’s so effective to write multiple posts at once. In fact, don’t even stop to edit the posts as you write them. I know that’s easier said than done, but you’ll have better results when you write one post, a second post, and a third post and then go back and edit each one. Plus, it’s so much stress off your shoulders when you enter a brand new week with no posts to write. It’ll allow you to focus on other tasks you need to get done. And when you’re not rushing to write a post in order to meet a deadline, the quality will be much better.
3. Make the purpose of your site clear to visitors.
One thing that many blogs are lacking is a clear purpose. Sometimes you stumble upon a blog, see only a stream of their latest posts, and wonder what on earth the blog is actually about. What is the writer providing to her reader? What benefit will the reader get from these blog posts and the site in general? Making your purpose clear is the best way to communicate your value to first-time visitors and get them to stick around.
You can use your homepage to showcase the purpose behind your brand. Make it clear what you offer to people and tell them what you want them to do next. Are you just trying to direct people to your blog? Is your number one priority to get them on your email list? Hold their hand as you guide them to that next step with you.
4. Take full advantage of your sidebar.
While some bloggers choose to ditch their sidebar, others prefer to keep it in place. As for me, I like having my sidebar and I can’t imagine my blog without it. It’s a simple and easy way for me to guide people to my social media profiles or to other sections of my website. And that’s what your sidebar should be doing for you. It should be working for you in some way to help you achieve your goals.
Your sidebar should not be cluttered with a bunch of unnecessary content. In fact, take a look at your sidebar right now and ask yourself if each item is truly serving you in some way. If you find that it’s cluttered with junk, delete those items now. Use that valuable real estate for something else instead. Promoting your most popular blog posts or your products and services are simple ways to improve your sidebar and make your blog better.
5. Encourage sharing with social sharing buttons.
Everyone wants more social media shares on their content, right? Well, if you find you’re not getting enough, it could be that you’re not making social sharing easy for your readers. Make sure you have social sharing buttons on every single blog post. (There are plugins that do this for you, so there’s no excuse not to have them!) When readers can easily find them at the top or bottom of the post, they’re going to be more inclined to share.
You can even add “Click to Tweet” buttons to your post as another way to encourage sharing. When you make it easy for them, you’ll see social sharing increase. You can’t count on everyone being willing to copy your link and posting it into their social media scheduler of choice. Nor can you rely on them having that handy Chrome extension for Buffer!
6. Make commenting easy for readers.
It’s always nice to receive comments from your readers, isn’t it? Not only is it helpful to receive their feedback on a post, but it’s also nice to carry on a conversation with them in the comments section. Much like social media sharing, you need to make commenting easy if you want to encourage them to leave you comments.
There are a variety of commenting systems you can implement on your blog, but my favorite is Disqus. I love Disqus because it’s simple to set up, easy for your readers to use, and it has cut down on the amount of spam comments I receive. It has really come in handy! Not to mention, it also looks nice on your blog. Once you have it installed, all you need to do is take things a step further by asking questions at the end of your blog posts to provoke a response from your readers.
7. Utilize Google Analytics.
You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t bother to sign-up for Google Analytics when they start their blogs. It’s crazy to me because I rely so much on Google Analytics. You’re able to access so much information about your audience and your website all for free, so there’s no reason not to use it!
Some of the most important things to keep an eye on in your analytics include: where your traffic is coming from, what people are searching to land on your website, and what your post popular posts and pages are. This can tell you so much about the visitors to your website and you should be using that to your advantage! For example, you can find out what people are searching and what posts are most popular and use that to create even more content they’ll enjoy.
8. Listen to your audience.
If you’re hoping to turn your blog into a business, then you need to be fully aware of who your audience is. Without understanding your audience, you won’t have a clue what kind of content to create for them. You won’t know what they most need to see! To get to know your audience, you need to listen to them.
You can find out what your audience wants via social media, your blog comments, emails, and your analytics. There’s a wealth of knowledge available right at your fingertips, so there’s no excuses for not getting to know your audience. Once you know what they want and you begin to deliver that content to them, it will make your blog better.
9. Provide value with every single post.
With every blog post your write, you need to provide value to your audience. There shouldn’t be any fluff content that you’ve published just to meet a deadline or stick to your schedule. If you can’t come up with a great post, don’t publish it. There should be value in all of your posts and you should feel proud of the work you’ve created.
10. Take a break if you need it.
If you ever start to feel burnt out from blogging, it’s okay to take a break. Many people don’t realize this and they continue to push themselves to write post after post, despite their heart not being in it. The thing is, it’s not doing you any good to force yourself to write when you aren’t feeling it. It’s not doing your readers any good either because it’s likely that the content you create while in this funk isn’t any good.
If blogging has begun to feel like a chore, give yourself permission to take a break. Let your readers know that you’re taking a brief hiatus and let them know you’ll be back soon with more amazing posts. Taking that time away will allow you to reflect on your blog and figure out what’s working so you can come back and make your blog better.
Related: How to Fight Blogger Burnout
What steps have you taken to make your blog better? Share in the comments below!