5 Days 5 Ways: Easy Actions To Improve Your Blog This Week
By: Taylor Davies

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Maybe I’m not supposed to say this, but I like the easy way. I’m all about the easy way. If it comes down to going up and over a mountain to catch the view, or cruising through the tunnel underneath – if they’re both going to lead me to the same end point on the other side, I’m apt to take that tunnel.

Now, that’s not to say I like to cut corners, leave a job incomplete or only put in minimal effort to accomplish things – I’m just saying that plenty of things are already hard enough — so why not enjoy what can be done easily!?

When it comes to blogging, I find things get easier if I break down large goals into smaller steps. A task I can finish and call “done” in a day (or an hour) makes the journey to accomplishing something larger that much more realistic.

I’d like to try a little project this week, and I think you can do it with me: Let’s do one thing each day to improve our blogs. Remember that scene in Clueless when Cher is showing Tai how they do little things each day to improve different aspects of their lives? One day it’s “Buns of Steel” and the next it’s Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. It’s like that, but with the Internet.

Monday:

 

  • Clean out your social media. Let’s kick off the week with the most tedious task, and just get it out of the way. A cluttered Twitter feed or a Facebook Timeline full of useless information can discourage engagement and cause you to miss great changes to converse and get informed. Like housekeeping, this isn’t so much fun, but it’s all about a satisfying end result. Unfollow and “unlike” brands, strangers, and random accounts that aren’t enriching your social media experience in some way.

 

Tuesday:

 

  • Send a pitch or do some “Happy New Year” outreach. Okay true, the new year started 3 weeks ago, but in my book this whole month is good-to-go for “HNY” contact. If you made some blogging resolutions, at this point you may already be letting them slip. Don’t! Today, make contact with a peer blogger, brand or PR firm you want to work with or rejuvenate your relationship with. It doesn’t have to be a long email, but it mus have a point. Suggest a coffee date; pitch a project; request a lookbook; – something! Click send, check that task off your list and feel good about it!

 

Wednesday:

 

  • Create a post using your highest-ranking search term. We talked before about how to get post ideas from Google, and “keywords” is my favorite way. I’ve found it to be a creative and challenging task to take a topic that people have already seen on my blog, and make it new, fresh and successful. SEO is no joke, and I have seen legitimate, quantifiable traffic growth by using appropriate keywords in my post titles and tags. Use Google Analytics, your Blogger “stats” dashboard or your WordPress “stats” to find your search terms. Note the bounce rate (the lower, the better) to be sure it’s relevant and not a fluke. Create the post, use the keywords somehow in your headline and watch what happens.

 

Thursday:

 

  • Experiment with page breaks. Thursdays are almost always really busy for working folks and students alike, so today’s task is one that’s less time-consuming than the others. Page breaks are a dividing topic amongst bloggers, and I think their success is largely contingent on the kind of content you’re producing. I think they work well for allowing more content on the main page, and encouraging clicks, but some visitors might be turned off by the extra effort. Blogs like Bittersweet Colours, Style Scrapbook, Honestly… WTF and The Man Repeller use page breaks for almost every single post. Try breaking up some of your new posts and employing them in a few older ones too, that are long enough. This task will involve follow-up over the next couple of weeks, but you should be able to tell by the number of pageviews if this tactic will work for your content.

 

Friday:

 

  • Update 3 little details. We all have them, but they vary from blog to blog. Think of three small things that could use a little sprucing up on your site, just in time for all that weekend traffic. Devote an hour or two to just this project. You’ll be so happy to start the week fresh on Monday with these little tweaks and adjustments out of the way. Here are some ideas to get your gears turning:
    • Add or subtract on your blogroll – who stays, who goes!?
    • Snagged this tip from Grace Atwood: make your hyperlinks a very visible color, to encourage clicks.
    • Have you purchased your own unique blog URL? Go. Do. Now.
    • Do you have a “pin it” button for your images on every post?
    • Add a widget that links to your Instagram account.

 

There you have it! Five easy ways to breath a little life into your blog, jump-start your goals and try some new improvements. Like I said, easy doesn’t mean cheating – it just means easy!

What do you do to improve your blog daily?

Comments

  1. Avatar of
    Andrew says:

    Page breaks are a really good idea for getting individual post views instead of views just for your blog overall. Making hyperlinks a visible color is also really important. If the links don’t pop off the page, people won’t see them.

    theinclub.blogspot.com

  2. Awesome tips. Sometimes making a task list for your blog can be overwhelming but if you take each day to tackle one at a time, you will find that its pretty stress-free!

  3. Avatar of Bisous Natasha

    I tend to use page breaks to engange viewers into reading more content, which can work if the blog post is interesting but otherwise, I leave the entire post “open”.

    bisousnatasha.com

  4. Karina says:

    Thanks for all the suggestions, Taylor! Even if one or another may not fit all blogs, it’s still so good to remember that you can always improve something little every day, and then after a while that can lead to big, positive results.

  5. Another little tip: Check your blog’s RSS settings! It’s an easy thing to overlook (and while you’re at it, subscribe to your own blog so you can see what your readers are getting!). Are you offering a full or partial feed to your subscribers? If it’s only partial, you could be turning people away as they have to click through to read the entire post, defeating the purpose of using an RSS reader as a time-saving tool. If you’re concerned about your feed being “stolen” add a message in its footer (there are plugins for WP users to do this) that include copyright details and links back to your blog (this is also a great place to highlight special features on your blog and even ads if you’re offering them).

    • I just started blogging and do not understand RSS feeds well at the moment. Even on my bloglovin, I wonder why only text shows and no pictures. Your comment and tip has inspired me to really look into the whole issue this weekend. Thanks !

      The Creative Bent

  6. Avatar of affordablechic

    Just started using page breaks….love them! They help with the flow and look of your blog. Thanks for posting this article, really helps.

    XoXo
    Teresa
    http://www.chicaffordable.blogspot.com

  7. Kory says:

    I love this! I’ve been improving my blog lately by working on customizing the look of my comments. I’ve also cleaned up some social media. It brings such a good feeling doing the little things.

  8. Tishiannae says:

    I think Monday is a really good suggestion! I do it almost everyday, I find myself going through my Instagram and following bloggers, makeup artists, and stylist to only find that they post 1 picture a week, WHUMP! While I love following other people, I love what everyone else loves, consistency!

    Wednesday is where I’m lacking. I will have to try keywords, well, first I have to wrap my head around the concept ;P

    Thanks again IFB! Loads of information that really helps.

    Tish
    http://www.styliquette.com

  9. Avatar of Tiffy Diamond

    Great article and really an excellent example of how to utilize your week in a productive way. I am also a believer that saying “Happy New Year” doesn’t end until Feb. 1st.

    xo
    Tiffy
    http://www.CuteLA.com

  10. Avatar of Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    I’m going to have to give all of these a try, such great simple tips and ideas!

    lauren
    http://slowburnfastburn.com

  11. Michaela says:

    This is such a great little push that many of us need! Breaking it down to a few days this week in such great little tasks makes it easier for us to see an end!

    Thank you!
    M

  12. sarah says:

    such a helpful ways
    i really want to learn more about improving my blog and i’m working on it
    i find IFB one if the most helpful websites for that purpose

  13. I will being doing Buns of Steel this Saturday in addition to the other week day tips. I mean, why stop at Friday?

    I really like the bright hyperlink idea. And yesterday, I pitched a project to an Etsy store owner (Smith & Holiday: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SmithandHoliday) to do a giveaway on her adorable (and customizable) Texas totes. We’ll be discussing it over happy hour later this week. Isn’t this what blogging is all about?!

    Cheers!

  14. Avatar of Jin Stella Kwon
    Stella Kwon says:

    I love the Friday suggestion… I know there are a few things that definitely need some sprucing up on my blog!

  15. Avatar of Maggie A
    Maggie A says:

    This was definitely very helpful. Its now Sunday night and I’m going to implement some of these for the upcoming week.

    xo
    Maggie
    Love Scrapbook

  16. I love the last one ! I just started and hence really require some little tweaks, and will do them today…. include social media in my comments and the pin it button!
    Great post…. small positive changes bring about a great big result :)
    The Creative Bent

  17. Avatar of Kajsa J. Andersen

    Buy fashion magazines! I spend hours searching for brands to blog about. I find the more time I spend on finding inspiration, the better my blog gets.
    http://kjandersen.wordpress.com/

  18. Avatar of Shira Rosenbluth

    Making the hyperlinks a brighter color is so simple but it didn’t even occur to me! Thanks for the tip!
    sequinsandpolkadots.blogspot.com

What do you think?