Marketing communications expert Susan Gunelius shares tips on giving your blog a boost this new year (or anytime). The complete article plus more blogging tips are available at http://weblogs.about.com.
While the beginning of a new year is a great time to give your blog a boost, the resolutions listed in this article can actually be used anytime. Whenever you feel like it’s time to take your blog to the next level by increasing traffic, creating a better reader experience, or any other improvement you want to make, take a look at this list for inspiration. These aren’t necessarily quick fixes but rather actual resolutions – changes in behavior – that can help your blog in the long term.
1. Increase posting frequency.
If you only post once a week, bump that up to 3 times. If you post everyday, try to post twice a day at least three times per week. Every additional blog post provides new content for existing readers to view and new entry points for search engines to help new visitors find your blog.
2. Respond to more comments.
Comments are what makes blogs interactive, social and different from static websites. If you only occasionally respond to comments left on your blog posts, try to respond to at least half of the comments you get. If you already respond to most of the comments left on your blog, try to respond to every comment left on your blog.
3. Clean up your blogroll.
A blogroll is a great way to connect with other bloggers, but it’s useless (and possibly annoying) to your readers if the links aren’t helpful or don’t work. Take some time to periodically test the links in your blogroll throughout the year to ensure they deliver value to your readers and actually work.
4. Clean up your sidebar.
If your sidebar is cluttered with too many ads, useless links, and images and information that isn’t useful to your readers, you need to delete the unhelpful excess. Take some time throughout the year to check the contents of your sidebar ensuring it’s fully optimized to provide value to your readers as well as the results you want.
5. Learn something new.
If you want to grow your blog’s audience, a great way to do that is to introduce something new to your blog. For example, if you haven’t learned how to create a podcast or vlog before, learn how and add it to your blog.
6. Try something new.
If you don’t have time to learn something new, you can still try something new on your blog. Blog contests, guest bloggers, polls, and blog carnivals are just a few suggestions of new things you can try on your blog at anytime. Follow the links to learn more about blog contests, guest blogging, polls, and blog carnivals.
7. Try a new promotion method.
If you want to grow your blog, then you have to take time to promote it. If you haven’t been submitting your blog to social bookmarking sites, participating in social networking, using Twitter or another microblogging tool, commenting on other blogs, or participating in forums related to your blog, then you should start!
8. Network more.
Networking is one of the keys to blog success. As you meet more bloggers, communicate with other people in the blogosphere, and become better known online, your blog will grow. Take some time to use the social networking and microblogging tools available to you to grow your blog indirectly.
9. Enhance your blog’s appearance.
The visual appearance of your blog can have a big impact on whether or not visitors stay once they find it or return later. Take some time to evaluate your blog’s appearance, and add enhancements or revisions to make your blog look better than ever.
10. Upgrade your blog’s functionality.
There are a number of ways you can upgrade your blog’s functionality. If you’re currently using Blogger.com or TypePad, you might want to consider moving to WordPress. If you’re using the free version of WordPress.com, you can switch to WordPress.org and gain a significant amount of additional functionality. If you already use WordPress.org, you can add plug-ins to give your blog a boost.