I am very much a perfectionist – I find it hard to ever be 100% satisfied with what I produce, so am on a journey where I’m constantly trying to find new ways to improve my blog. The other day, I viewed my blog in its non-mobile version, and it looked absolutely horrific. It was barely accessible. But actually, for a while, that was the only version of my blog readers could view on their mobiles, before I realised it was completely ridiculous to have a non-accessible blog on a mobile phone, when that is what most of us use the majority of the time these days. So, I fixed the issue – and thinking back to this gave me the idea to do a post on the few little antidotes here and there I’ve learned when it comes to improving the quality of my blog (and these are steps that are quick and easy to implement ASAP)…
1. Make sure your blog is compatible on mobiles
Starting off with a very obvious tip (given my intro) – it’s actually essential to ensure you have a functioning mobile version of your blog. If you’re on a system like Blogger, I believe this is done automatically for you, but outside of this (for example, I use WordPress), you have to take the steps to make these changes yourself. What’s the point of a separate mobile version of you blog (and is it worth the extra work of setting up)? Well, although your blog may look shiny with it’s rotating images, popups, plug-ins and the lot on a desktop, sometimes all this flashiness doesn’t translate onto a tiny mobile screen. Given that our generation is constantly on their mobiles (I actually read a large amount of blogs from my mobile) – if this can’t be done in a simple and easy way – people will most likely click out of your blog, and you will lose traffic and potential readers. There’s thousands of blogs out there – and you don’t want to give people any excuse not to delve into your content. For the WordPress users – there are several plug-ins you can use out there that are easy to download, set-up, and personalise to your style. I personally use WPtouch – I tried a few plug-ins but found this was the easiest to install and alter to my liking.
2. Ensure you have a search bar, archives and an obvious home link
When I discover a blog that I’m drawn to, I like to have a nosey around. I like to check out some archives, sometimes to delve into as much content as possible, I sometimes like to search for certain posts – for example certain reviews, certain tips posts or certain travel posts. When all of this is not easy to do, I’m always left quite baffled. I get the same feeling when a blog has no ‘home’ link (or, in the absence, the header of the blog does not link to the home page) – you’re telling me I have to click the back link to get back to your home page?!? Make things as easy as they can be for new visitors to explore your blog if they take a liking to it, it’ll make them more likely to return back to your blog if they’ve been given easy access to get themselves hooked.
3. Make your contact details easy to access
This is more for prospective brands that may want to work with you. If you are open to working with brands or PRs, you need to make it as simple as can be for them to get into contact with you. For me, I have a ‘contact’ link in my header where you can find more details about how to get in touch with me, what sorts of collaborations I accept, and also a few ‘creds’ of brands I have worked with in the past. If you make it too difficult for a brand to get in contact with you, there’s nothing stopping them from giving up as there are many other bloggers out there that they could also work with. Keep it simple, keep it easy!
4. Have sharable content which you promote regularly
Back in the day, if I uploaded a post, I’d tweet about it once and then never mention my blog again until I had another post up. I’d also use minimal hashtags. Why did I do this? Because I was too concerned about what other people would think about me. I didn’t want people to find me annoying constantly promoting my blogs, and I thought it looked tacky to use too many hashtags. Eventually, I took a closer look at some things newer bloggers were doing to grow at such a fast pace, and I realised that actually promoting their posts regularly was one of these things. I tend to post quite late at night, just because I work such long hours, then have to come home, make dinner, eat and relax for just a bit before editing and posting, so it’s really the only time I’ve got to post. When I get a post out at 12am, the chances that my readers are seeing this are quite slim (although, as you know, Bloglovin’ tells you if people have read your post, so I’m always shocked to see a few readers when I wake up the next morning). I do promote my posts at night, and depending on how late I post, they can often go completely dismissed. However, when I re-promote the next morning and/or afternoon, more people take interest and way more people read. I try to promote my blog posts or social media accounts three times a day (probably 8:30-9:00am, 12.00-12:15pm and 18:30-19:30pm), which I think stops me from being too annoying, but I’m sure still irks a few non-bloggers. I also use more hashtags these days, on twitter maybe three – five. It increases the chances that people will click and read your post – and that’s what you want! It’s a proven formula. Also ensure you make it easy for readers to share you content if they enjoy it, so that more people can discover what you’re doing. On my blog you can share on Facebook/Twitter/Google+/e-mail/Linkedin. To get this installed I use the plug-in Social Sharing Toolkit.
5. Find your own voice
A common theme of all of the bloggers that I love is that they are each unique in their own way. I love some bloggers who write really in depth think pieces and advice posts. I love some bloggers who do beauty reviews with fantastic photography (even if I don’t care for the review itself, the photography alone can draw me in). I love some bloggers who take bomb ass pictures and don’t even need to supplement their posts with a lot of words. I also love some bloggers who dedicate a lot of time to giving tips to bloggers on how to make their passion into a business. I think when you’re considering how to improve your blog – you should also think about what it is that makes you love some of the blogs you do visit as much as you do. And for me, seeing that I value uniqueness so much, I really can’t imagine ever coming up here and not being true to myself.