Lately, Steve has tagged me to write three tips on improving one's blog. I don't want to write only a part of what I know on improving blogs, so I'll present as many as I can think of.
When it comes to improving your blog, there are numerous aspects to think about:
- what the blog is targeted at
- how good is the content
- how it is optimized
- how you present your content
- how you promote your content
Target your blog wisely
If you are only starting a blog or wondering why your blog with lots of content isnt well received, you may consider accessing your target audience.
Ideally, your blog should be in a niche, small enough to be noticeable in it, but large enough to have room to write about. If you know your industry, you may as well create a new niche, if you spot an opportunity.
The key here is to get noticed and have relative freedom to write about and to talk with other bloggers in the niche and the industry.
Create great content
Though it goes without saying, you need to create exceptional value for your visitors. It may come in shape of:
- informational resources
- news reporting and commentary with your own knowledge, expertise and point of view (popular in technology mostly, but may as well work anywhere)
- controversial subjects (especially works in politics, religion)
Improve your blog
Blogs are inherently they are pretty good optimized, compared to most websites of the 90's and the 00's. They have almost valid code (depending on template/theme), solid linking and most of all the trackback mechanism.
However, you can improve it by:
- place your post title before your blog name for post pages
- write your titles, precisely describing what the page is about (or at least making it absolutely related to the page)
- use the words your readers use (or at least know them and use synonyms they also use)
You may be wondering, "Why on earth two of the three tips about optimizing a blog is about titles?" The answer is pretty simple.
Your page title (and also what is shown as page title in the browser (the upper - mostly blue - line above your browser tabs and options) is the most important element of the page. People use it to judge what the page is about and whether they need to click to your website from other websites. The search engines use it to help the people find what they want.
Present your content well
No matter how optimized your blog is, you need to present your content well for people to read it (you can call it a 'blog conversion' - converting a visitor to a reader or a subscriber):
- format your posts well to make them readable
- link to your older posts or pages
- create pages, listing your most popular pages or pages, revolving around a common direction (it is not a category, but a direction, a section, such as "Create quality content" you can see on the left under "Important"
In essence, relatively good presentation of your writings allows visitors and readers to read more. Of course, there are other ways to "increase conversions", but they are more related to improving content quality and communicating with others.
Communicate with others
The reason blogs are so popular is that they are a form of communication. Bloggers (yes, that's you, too) can write whatever they want and share it with others.
You can also email other bloggers about the topics of interest. Build social connections, learn new things and share information. If others like your blog, they'll link to you, too.
Trackbacks - links, appearing from the pages that you link to - are another way of communicating between bloggers. Instead of spending time to write emails, letting others about your new posts, just link to other bloggers' posts and they'll notice that from the blogging software.
If anything, you can always find links to your blog through Technorati (just search for your blog URL there).
Technically, though there are ways to improve your blog, the only thing you can do is to be passionate about your topic, speak freely and communicate with those, who share your ideas.