10 Tips to Fix Your Crappy Blog

By Blog Tips

Many excellent writers maintain horrible blogs that look like they were started yesterday with some garbage default template, with no additional pages, no contact information, and no clear theme. There’s no excuse for this, especially if these writers are wondering why they don’t make any money from their blog.

It pains me to see that they don’t invest any time learning the skills to become a true blogger. A blogger is so much more than a writer. Bloggers must not only be able to create compelling content, but they must also acquire some basic skills for blog design, social media marketing, and business management. Bloggers are entrepreneurs that must handle all these tasks and more.

Good writers may have thousands of social media followers but they’ll rarely convert to blog traffic if it is inadequate. If you’re one of these bloggers, there are a few key ways for you to spruce up your blog to appeal to more people.

These tips and tricks can’t replace being passionate about your blog, but they will give you a significant head start or face lift needed to be successful.

1. Define Your Niche and Purpose:  What is your bog about?  What is its purpose? Many bloggers throw together random thoughts about many broad topics. This is great, but new visitors should be able to determine the general theme and purpose of your blog without too much trouble.  If your theme (niche) is not obvious, make it obvious.  People want to follow good blogs about narrow topics that they're interested in.

2. Change Your Design: If you’re someone still using a default template because you’re scared to cross the murky line into blog design, I assure you it’s not difficult or scary. In fact, templates have become so easy to upload and customize that there is simply no excuse to have a bland looking blog. Even if you just put in a little time customizing your default template, your trial and error time will be well worth it. Finally, if you absolutely can’t do it yourself, it is so cheap to hire someone to do this for you. Just pick a new look that works for your topic and hire a freelancer to drop it in for you.

3. New Logo: If you haven’t created a custom logo with your tagline, then shame on you. It’s free and easy and even if you think you’re not creative, anything you create will be infinitely better than the plain logo you currently roll with. Check out these resources for where to make free logos.

4. Pages: At the very least every blog should have an “About” page that eloquently describes you (or your blog), your background, your philosophy, and your mission. You should also have a “Contact” page for readers, advertisers, and contributors to reach out to you. You may also consider page tabs that lead to blog categories that some readers may seek to browse. You may want to add a store, forum, or product page, too.

5. Metatitles: It’s amazing how many blogs don’t have a metatitle. A metatitle is the short description of your blog that appears in the browser tab when people visit your site. It also appears in all search engine listings of your blog. If you hope to ever rank well for core keywords related to your blog’s subject, you’ll have to incorporate a keyword-rich metatitle, but one that also reads like an intriguing tagline.

6. Share Buttons: Make sure that you have the best share buttons for your articles that encourage sharing. Services like ShareThis offer free tools to customize share buttons to target networking sites most appropriate for your niche.

7. More Images: Everyone loves photos. Just a few well-placed attractive photos can really improve the design, and they can help improve impulse clicking on your articles. Create a folder of images that you are free to use; your own images, Creative Commons images, and paid photos from places like iStockphotos.com. Even if your topic is not a visual theme, find as many relevant images as possible. The images can also spark article ideas that can be written around them.

8. Find Contributors: If you can't add enough content by yourself to keep your readers visiting each day, find guest writers or other bloggers that you can syndicate at your blog.  This adds content diversity to your blog and gives you one more link to share through your network or in newsletters.

9. Engage Social Media: If you want your social media followers to grow and translate into blog traffic, you must engage with your followers.  There's no way around it.  Set aside a block of time each day that will be dedicated to social media maintenance and engagement and your numbers will increase.

10. Set Goals: If you don't know what you want, you'll never get it. Set goals for your blog: number of original articles to post each week, growth of social media followers, traffic growth, profit targets, newsletter signups, keywords to optimize and comments-per article are just some of the metrics to target.

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