Most of us think about our blogs constantly.
How can we make it more engaging? What do we do to get people talking about us? How do we stand out?
If you blog professionally, the questions are endless and can often drive us mad.
Should we do this? Should we do that? Oh, somebody did something and got a ton of traffic off that, maybe we need to do the same?
Sometimes, it just pays to revisit the basics. Have a long, hard look at your blog to see if the foundation is right, instead of chasing the latest social media craze.
Let’s go back to the roots today and see if we change something small on your blog that will pay off big time.
1. Rethink your tagline
Tagline is the hardest element to get right. You have to tell your audience what do you, how you are different and what is in it for them.
Not an easy feat.
However, you change your tagline as you grow to meet your needs and portray your blog brand accurately. Unlike you blog title (which is ideally your domain name as well), you can tinker with your tagline until you are truly happy with the result.
Doing this also brings a uniformity of message to your blog – an overall coherence. Publish nothing that deviates from your main message. Nothing that sticks out like a sore thumb.
The more targeted and focused your message is, the more appealing it becomes. Doesn’t make you a one trick pony – it does the opposite. When Seth Godin suggests the same, I listen.
I suggest keeping it simple. Go for clarity over creativity.
Here are some of my favourites:
- Think Traffic: Build a thriving and more profitable audience for your site
- Chris Garret: Build your business by sharing what you know
- Copyblogger: Internet marketing for smart people
- Kissmetrics: Increase your conversion and improve customer retention
2. Revamp your sidebar
First time visitors take less than a few seconds to decide if your blog is worth exploring. You have to get their attention and get it fast.
One way of doing this is to make it easy on the eyes and clutter free (design) and make it easy for your readers to find stuff that interests them (navigation). The easiest way to do this is to optimize your sidebar.
Author bio: Put up a brief author bio on the side which does the same job as your tag line, or extends it a little bit more. Say in 2-3 sentences how you can make your readers’ lives easier.
Popular posts: List your popular posts or reader favourites. Nobody goes through your archives to find your good stuff. Better to list them for easy access and set the standard for your site.
Sign up form: Most importantly, add a simple sign up form. Make sure it is above the fold so your reader doesn’t have to scroll down to locate it.
3. Make your About Me page about them
Go back and read your About Me page again. When was the last time you updated it?
Look at it from the point of view of your audience. Is it doing a good job of convincing them to stay and explore more.
Answer three questions: Who you are, what you do for your audience and why should they care. Meaning; what makes you qualified to blog about a certain topic?
In a way, your About Me page isn’t about you at all, it is about them – your audience. Think about it.
4. Make updating a regular event
Talking about how many times should you blog is like opening a can of worms. Lots of opinions and no clear answers.
Some people deviate from the norms (Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, or Glen Allsopp of Viperchill for example) and publish sporadically. They don’t have a schedule and post when they feel like it.
I don’t necessarily agree with that, they fall in the category of ‘outliers’ people who Malcolm Gladwell refers to as people who fall outside the norms, who depict peculiar characteristics. I suggest you don’t follow their lead unless you have achieved similar level of success.
Publish regularly. Be it twice a day, 3 times a week or once a fortnight, it is up to you. I recommend at least once a week for optimal results. You don’t to annoy people by bombarding them with info, but you don’t want to be forgotten either.
5. Offer a special freebie for subscribing
And last but not the least, do you offer any incentive for people to subscribe? People love freebies and there is nothing like a special report, an email or a white paper to entice them.
Don’t groan at the thought – it will not take you ages to do it. In fact, you could probably go through the archives and dig up some gold.
I am not suggesting to publish it as it is, although Write to Done’s huge ebook is nothing but a compilation of their most popular posts. You could follow suit and
repackage that content and use it wisely.
So there you have it, some ideas for you to think about. What will you tackle today?
Marya Jan is a proud content creator for Open Colleges, an education provider with awesome business and writing courses. When she is not busy blogging for them, she can be found helping small business owners revamp their blog content at Writing Happiness.