If you maintain a blog regularly then it is possible that you may start to feel things are starting to sag a little. It happens to us all in time. It’s important to make sure that if your blog is starting to become tired you give it a good sharp kick in the pants to get it going. Here are 20 ways in which you can give your blog the boost it may well need.
1. Blog Post Length
One of the problems I’ve noticed with many people is that every single blog post they write is about the same length. There is much evidence to suggest that blogs which include posts varying in length quite a bit do better, and it may well be that your loyal readers don’t always have time to slog through a very long post, with shorter posts sometimes getting the point across much more succinctly. If your posts are usually only quite short then perhaps you might try writing a longer post now and then. Otherwise, try sprinkling one or two short posts in occasionally.
2. Blog Theme Or Style
I’m certainly not advocating changing the look of your blog too regularly, or even too dramatically. But if your theme has been around for many months or even years you may well find that a modern, professionally designed blog theme not only smartens up the visual appearance of your blog, but also helps your blog to perform more effectively in terms of SEO.
3. Blog Categories
Hopefully you’re already using a number of categories within your blog, but take a look at these and decide whether perhaps one or more of your categories has been severely overlooked, or even whether you could add another category to your blog and start writing posts which fit into that area.
4. Ask More, Get More
It’s sometimes easy to forget that there are real people reading your blog. Rather than writing content which only serves to provide information or opinion, try to engage your readers by asking them questions, and trying to provoke discussion.
A good way of giving your blog a boost is to actually head over to other people’s blogs, and leave comments. Obviously it’s important to make sure that any comments you leave is relevant and interesting, and is not simply plugging your own blog. But by becoming an active commenter elsewhere you may find that not only will you pick up ideas for your own blog, but you may also find yourself gaining new followers.
6. Invite A Guest Blogger
Who says you should always be the person to write every post on your blog? If you know someone who writes on a similar topic to you, perhaps even someone who maintains another blog, why not invite them to write a guest blog post for you? They’ll gain a link back to their own blog, and perhaps new readers, you gain a free post that you didn’t have to write, and your readers get to enjoy a little more variety.
7. Become A Guest Blogger
If you haven’t already been invited to write a guest blog yourself then simply send off a few enquiries to people who maintain blogs which may be similar to yours.
8. Focus On Being Unique
Just because you are writing a blog which relates to, for example, search engine optimisation, it does not mean to say that your blog has to contain the same stuff that other people within the same industry are producing. Step back for a moment and try to think about what makes you unique. Possibly it may be your previous experience, your opinions, or even your specific location or type of client. Focus on being more specific to these unique characteristics rather than toeing the line in terms of the bigger issues only.
9. Be More Daring
When you write your blog posts, don’t feel that you always have to appease or appeal. Who cares if occasionally someone starts arguing with you, criticising you, or disagreeing with you? Occasionally playing devil’s advocate is an excellent way of engaging your readers in a discussion of the topic.
Whilst the majority of your blog will be text based, don’t overlook the importance of including a variety of other media as well. Embedding a video, images and even sound files such as pod casts are all excellent ways of including more variety in your blog. Just make sure that any images and videos you use are relevant, and that your use of them will not breach any licensing restrictions.
11. Plug-In And Share
There are many different plug-ins available for blogs which can really help to encourage readers to share your posts with other people. Including text based links within your post is important, but by having a plug-in which automatically adds a variety of social media sharing icons to the bottom, top or side of every post you will help to significantly increase the chance of your posts being shared through social media.
Whenever you publish a new blog post why not tweet the fact on your own Twitter account, and include a status update on your Facebook page as well. Even if you haven’t recently published a post, if you feel that recent events or a recent news story has given one of your older posts a fresh relevance, remind your followers of that post.
13. Go Beyond The Brand
It’s easy to get caught up with your own brand when maintaining your blog, but every now and then try to include the occasional review or recommendation. Your readers will appreciate the fact that you are not so uncertain of your own reputation that you can’t offer valuable and impartial advice in this way, and the people you are reviewing or recommending may well reciprocate the gesture.
14. Invite Comments
As often as possible make sure that at the end of your blog post you actively encourage your readers to comment. This might be asking them to share their thoughts or reactions, to publish their top tips or even to ask questions. Don’t be too subtle when it comes to asking people to become actively engaged with your blog.
15. Approved And Respond Quickly
There’s no point actively encouraging your readers to submit comments, thoughts and questions if you then leave it for several days before doing anything about them. Make sure that any comments submitted are approved as quickly as possible, and whilst it may not necessarily be relevant to reply individually to every single comment, do try to make sure that where appropriate and helpful you do reply.
16. RSS Feed
Make sure that if you haven’t already you have set up an RSS feed to help syndicate your blog. Having an RSS feed is extremely important, because not all of your readers will check your blog every day for new posts, and relying upon Twitter posts and Facebook announcements is not an appropriate way of prompting people to check out your blog. There are many simple ways of creating an RSS feed to your blog, and once created and set up it will continue to work for you in a very powerful way.
17. E-Mail Notification Plug-In
There are several excellent plug-ins for the most popular blog platforms which enable your readers to enter their e-mail address so that they can be notified by e-mail whenever you publish a new blog post. Don’t see this as an alternative to setting up an RSS feed, but simply as another way of prompting your casual readers to become regular subscribers.
18. Tag Your Posts
Make sure that you always add appropriate tags to each of your posts to make sure that it is as easy as possible for people to find them. Don’t misuse your tags, thinking that by adding as many as possible you will help to increase your readership. Your tags should be specific and relevant. Don’t be afraid to add new tags to old posts, or even delete tags where they are less helpful or misleading.
19. Mix Up Your Text Formatting
When creating blog posts don’t rely simply on paragraph after paragraph of text. Add variety by including things such as numbered lists, bulleted lists and tables. This helps to organise your content in a way which is both eye catching and helps communicate your points in a much more structured way.
20. What’s The Point
Before even starting to write your blog posts make sure that you can answer the simple question, what’s the point. Each of your blog posts must have a point or purpose which is relevant to your target audience. If you can’t be clear on what the point of your blog post will be, don’t write it.
If you found these 20 points interesting and useful please consider sharing this post through Twitter, Facebook or Google+. If you have any suggestions yourself of ways in which blogs can be given a bit of a kick up the backside occasionally, please do share them using the comments box below.