25 Blog Improvement Tips For The New Year
Now that 2007 is behind us, I offer a quick inspirational list of things any blogger can do to “jump start” their blog in the new year.
1. Figure out what you’re really an expert in. Maybe it’s time to write about that instead of chasing what’s popular.
Blog Herald: Don’t Blog About That Which You Understand Not
2. Put your readers first. Ultimately, the point of any blog is to be read by readers, and putting content first. Sounds obvious, but with all the crazy blogging details like traffic, SEO, etc., many seem to may forget this simple concept. Do a mental reboot and look at your blog as if you were a reader who just happened upon your blog. Would you read the article you found, or click the back button, never to return?
3. Subscribe to other blogs. Find some new, unfamiliar blogs and subscribe to their feeds. One place to look is your Twitter or MyBlogLog followers (you are signed up for those services, aren’t you?)
4. Comment on other blogs. When was the last time you visited all the blogs on your blog roll and left a comment?
Lorelle: Blogging Challenge: Comment on 10 Blogs
5. Link to other blogs. The Internet is all about sharing information and links are one way to make this plain for all to see.
iBlog You Blog: The Importance Of Outgoing Links
6. Have a reader survey to find out what your readers really think about your blog. Here’s a plugin you can use:
7. Change your ads around. It’s a good idea to change placement of your ads periodically into new configurations.
Problogger: Positioning Your Adsense Ads
8. Declutter your blog. Way too many blogs with crazy widgets that are of little benefit to the average reader.
Skelliewag: 50 Tips To Unclutter Your Blog
9. Sign up at a new social networking service. Blogging is partly about networking, and also finding new content to share with your readers. There are many social networking sites that have a constant flow of user-submitted content. I’d recommend Twitter, Mixx, Digg, and Reddit.
Biziki: The Importance Of Befriending Other Bloggers
10. Hold a blog contest. Offering something up as a prize is a quick way to get user response and return a little focus on your blog. Avoid the paid for links thing (Google doesn’t like it).
Blogodise: How To Hold A Successful Blog Contest
11. Set up automated blog back ups. It’s important to keep your eye on the back end and using a periodic back up plugin is painless.
12. Update your blog’s software. WordPress recently had yet another security update.
13. Update your plugins. WordPress 2.3 now reminds you when a newer version of a plugin is available Check out the plugin page to find a link to the new version.
Shaun Low: Optimizing Your Blog By Updating Or Removing Plugins
14. Write for another blog. Many blogs put out periodic calls for guest posts. Volunteer for one to break out of the routine of writing for your own blog. You may push yourself harder when writing for someone else and get your creative juices flowing.
15. Ask people to write for your blog. You may learn something about how others see your blog by what sort of content they come up with for your niche.
Problogger: How To Maximize The Benefits Of Guest Posting
16. Take a vacation. Blogger burnout is common and is no reflection on your ability – any normal person gets exhausted when doing the same thing over and over and over and over (and over). Maybe it’s time to take a break and recharge your batteries.
Problogger: How To Take A Blog Vacation
17. Set up a blog posting schedule. Dream up a few topics you could do a series of posts on and assign a day of the week. Challenge yourself to write three posts in a day for that topic. There, you’ve taken care of three weeks.
Problogger: Plan Your Next Week’s Posting Schedule
18. Throw out your blog posting schedule. Maybe less order is what you need. Toss out the book of rules. Try posting an off the cuff rant, or post at an odd time of the day.
19. Choose (or create) a new theme. So many free themes out there, so little time. A change of scenery may provide a fresh, inspiring start.
Lorelle: Choosing A WordPress Theme
20. Write from a new perspective. Take a look at the last ten posts you wrote and list the similarities. Then set out to write a post that contains none of them.
21. Change your writing environment. Take your portable computer to the park, to the library, to a cafe. One great aspect of blogging is the ability to write and post from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Take advantage of it.
22. Stir things up. Sometimes the best way to get attention is to blatantly ask for it. Link to another blogger you disagree with and politely point out why you disagree. They can handle it.
23. Use more images. Readers like images, if only as a hook to get them interested and start reading your post. Sign up for a stock photography service and add some flair. If you’re very organized, choose one image for each of your blog subjects so you always have an image.
10e20: The Importance Of Images In Linkbait Articles
24. Get more personal. You may not need to go as far as ranting about your spouse but a little bit of heart on sleeve wearing is a good way to get some attention and maybe some pity. Everyone can relate to a writer who reveals that they are human and just like them.
25. Remind yourself that blogging is fun. Every blogger has a platform on which they can voice their opinions, put them out there, and see what the rest of the Internet thinks. It’s a new form of communication and exciting stuff. Remember that!
Jason Kaneshiro is a relative "newbie" blogger and the author of Webomatica, covering technology, movies, and music. He lives in the Bay Area and works in web / instructional design in San Francisco.
Nice round up suggestions, thanks – I liked the inclusion of links to go with them too.
I like how you say, “Have a posting schedule.” And then in the very next line you say, “Throw away your posting schedule.” (lol) It goes to show you that we, as bloggers, to quote from my favorite French House Duo DAFT PUNK, are “human after all.” And hence, operate differently in our respective crafts.
Thank you so much for your hard work in composing this article. I know it’s tough to gather all those juicy links. But I’ll have you know that your efforts have paid off. We truly appreciate all the info! I hope 2008 brings you great success (and surprises) in your blogging career.
Lucy, yep – a bit of humor there. The advice is to try something different from what you’re already doing.
Woohoo! I already do several of these things…and I’m in the process of doing others soon! Thanks for the tips…and the reassurance that I’m on the right track. :D
Cool, Jessi! And neat blog, too.
Nice list of tips … in addition I just finished up a nice post about spicing up your communication in order to improve your blog … Might be a nice addition as well …
I have used some of these tips and they worked pretty well for me. I am glad I stumbled onto this blog of yours.
I think this will be useful for me to improve my blog and also let others learn about how to improve their blog.
your tips helped me thanks for that
Thank you for the article. I will use the tips to improve my blog.
I appreciate the tips in the article. Please keep the helpful articles coming.