Welcome to 8 weeks To #ImproveYourBlog, week 3.
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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The previous weeks:
If you’ve missed the previous two weeks, check them out here:
- 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.
Let’s get onto this weeks topic, shall we. Where we’ll be figuring out what we want from our blog in order to set clear goals.
Figure Out What You Want.
Right kids, people blog for many reasons – for pleasure, for money, for community and more. There are no right or wrong reasons, and don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.
There is no shame in wanting to blog in order to earn money and make it a part time or full time job. I think too many people are ashamed to admit they want money or freebies.
There are many people out there who are very quick to say they blog because they’re passionate about what their writing about – not because of PR samples and stats.
While this is brilliant, don’t make that make you feel ashamed for wanting to earn some cash in the long run or for wanting more Instagram followers – as long as you keep your integrity, are honest to your audience and stick to the general bloggers etiquette.
While trying to figure out what you want, have a think of some of the following three things:
Are you happy with your topics?
It can be easy to fall into the trap of blogging what everyone else is blogging about – or carrying blogging about the same topic over and over again, even though you’ve lost your passion for it.
I started this blog as a fashion blog – I used to post only outfit posts. After a year, I started to feel restricted by calling myself a fashion blogger. I had a bit of a redesign and changed the types of things I was posting about.
I’m much happier now classing myself as lifestyle. Not having a clear niche isn’t always recommended, I feel like I can cover almost any topic I want so I don’t get bored or feel trapped in a box!
Though if you find yourself happy within a certain niche, then keep at it. You can blog about anything, whether it’s vegan friendly make-up, gluten free food, 50’s fashion.. just don’t be too hard on yourself if you want to post about something different for a change.
So be honest with yourself – are you happy with what you are posting about? Do you want to try something new?
Task 1: Think about a post you would like to write that is different from your normal topics.
Are you happy with your blog design?
Having a design you’re happy with is vital to staying motivated. I’ve gone through phases where I’ve hated the way my blog looks, where I’ve been embarrassed by it but not really known how to fix it.
I have a post on the evolution of my blog, which goes through how my blog has changed across the years.. it started out NOTHING the way it looks now!
As you grow, you will start to outgrow your design, every time I tweaked mine, I loved it – for a bit. Then after a while, I started wanting to change something again.
Changing how your blog looks can really inspire you and make you fall in love with your blog all over again.
After last weeks task, where you analysed other blogs – you might have picked up on some features you want to implement into your own site, have a think about things such as:
- social media buttons
- ad placements
- your colour scheme
- menu bars
- social media widgets
- post layout
This might seem complicated, but you know what? Google is SO handy for finding out how to change these things. So if there’s something you’re not happy about, Google how to make social media budgets, how to add or remove sidebars, how to inside a ‘read more’ tag.
Task 2: Make a list of things you’d like to change or amend about your blog and pick one thing to change this week.
What do you want from your blog?
The reasons for starting a blog differ from person to person – have a think about what it is you want from your blog and how you’re going to get there.
- If you want to build community, you’re going to have to be active in the blogging community.
- If you want to earn money, you’re going to need to build your traffic, social media following and think about a possible product you could offer.
- If you want to make friends, you’re going to have to find local bloggers and interact with them.
You goal could be anything, from getting a certain amount of Twitter followers, getting more traffic, writing a certain number of posts per week, learning a new skill – it’s up to you.
Task 3: Think of one thing you want to get out of your blog and set yourself a next step to achieve it.
So now you should have three things to think about:
- Task 1: A new blog topic.
- Task 2: A design improvement.
- Task 3: A blog goal.
Tips on setting your goals:
When setting yourself these goals, think of the SMART goal model. This is the idea that a goal should be:
For example, you wouldn’t get set a goal to be something like: Get more Twitter followers.
It should be something like: Reach 2000 Twitter followers by July 1st by talking to more people on Twitter and joining in two Twitter chats a week.
So this is a specific goal as it has an exact number that can be measured, it’s actionable as you’ve set yourself some things to do to reach the goal, it’s realistic as it’s a number you think you’ll be able to achieve and it’s timely as it has a deadline.
Though you can do the 3 tasks privately – I’d love to see some posts about them with your action plans with some time scales, or see how you’re going to tackle them in the comments below!