Welcome to 8 weeks To #ImproveYourBlog, the first edition.
During this 8 week course, we’ll be focusing on one thing per week. Every Tuesday, they’ll be a new post for you to read, go away and do some tasks that will hopefully enable you to improve your blog.
If you want to see what’s coming up in future posts, then check out the introduction post where I go through each weeks topic.
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- Week 1: Check Yourself – an audit of your blog and social media accounts to make sure everything is up to date and ready for the new year.
- Week 2: Learning From Others – analysing other peoples blogs to see how you can improve your own.
- Week 3: Figuring Out What You Want – being clear about your blog goals and what actions you need to take to achieve them.
- Week 4: Improve Your Images – how to improve your blog images, use props, make graphics and where to grab free stock photos.
- Week 5: Improve Your Content – tips and tricks on how to improve your writing.
- Week 6: Blog Consistently – creating a schedule that works for you and sticking to it.
- Week 7: Socialise – using comments and social media to get involved in the community and grow your traffic and social proof.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Week 1: Check Yourself.
Today, we’re going to be going back to basis by making sure our blogs are ready and where we want them to be for the new year. We will do this by checking our pages are up to date, our information is correct and we’re making the most of the space we have.
Read and Update Your About Page.
It wasn’t until someone pointed out that my age was wrong on my About Page that I realised I hadn’t updated it in over a year! Not only was it displaying my age wrong, but I had changed jobs since I last updated my about page too.
So read your about section, make sure it has an updated photo, updated information and is relevant to your current lifestyle and what you’re blogging about.
Most new readers are probably going to visit your about page – so make sure you use this space well. You might want to show off some of your favourite photos, or even link to some of the posts you’re most proud of to direct new readers to your best work.
In my About Page, I link to a post where I spoke about the story behind my blog name and it’s a post that people often Tweet me about today.
Treat your About page as a cover letter for a job – you want to use it to convince people to come back again and again.
Review your Description
Similar to your About page, but not as long – your description can be equally important for keeping people on your blog.
There are many ways you can have a description:
- A tagline – a sentence usually under your blog header to describe what your blog is about.
- A description in your sidebar – this is a couple of sentences long that can be used along side a photo to let your readers know a bit more about your blog and your interests.
- An author description – not all blogs use this – but this is another chance to let your readers learn more about you and is displayed at the bottom of each post.
Whether you opt to have one, two or all three of these things is up to you – but I would recommend you have a description of yourself and your blog in your sidebar at the very least!
I always enjoy funny descriptions, so if you can be clever and witty in it, it’s always a plus!
Review your pages.
Just like your About Page – review any other pages in your sidebar or tabs, such as a blogroll, PR info or most popular posts – are they up to date? Do they reflect your current situation and can they be improved?
Is your side bar slick?
Sidebars are a great opportunity to direct your readers to social media, your favourite posts, or even other sites.
The thing is – sidebars can get messy really quickly if you keep adding stuff in without taking time to review them. Especially if you keep adding badges and social media widgets in there!
I’ve wrote a whole post on how to keep your sidebar slick, so I won’t go into too much detail on this one, just head over to the post!
Review your social media accounts.
Check in with your social media accounts to make sure they’re all consistent and up to date.
It’s best practice to have the same profile picture and header across all social media accounts but unless you review this, you might update one and forget about the others! I recently went through a theme change where my blog header changed, but took a while to update my headers on my Facebook and Twitter accounts!
The reason for doing this is to make you more recognisable. People might not remember your blog name or real name – but they’ll likely remember a picture of you or your logo if it keeps popping up!
So to quickly recap, your tasks this week are to:
- Ensure your About Page is up to date.
- Review any taglines and descriptions.
- Check in with any other pages or tabs on your blog.
- Audit your sidebar, keeping only the essential things in there.
- Review your social media accounts to make sure it’s consistent.
I hope you found the first week useful, please do come back and let me know what things you’ve learnt, what you’ve changed and link back to any blog posts so the rest of us can get involved and engaged with you.
Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Twitter using #ImproveYourBlog!
Next Tuesday we’ll be delving into the blogs of other people to see how we can grow from watching what other people are doing well.
See you then!
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