4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Blog
Looking for ways to improve your blog? If you've been blogging for any amount of time, you might eventually start feeling as if your blog is getting stale. Or if you're just getting started with your blog, especially if you plan to use it for small business marketing, you might be looking for ways to position your blog as professionally as possible.
Here are 4 quick and easy ways you can improve an existing blog or get a brand new blog off to the best start possible.
*** Improve Your Blog with Proper Grammar
We have a client who is extremely intelligent; in fact, she has a doctor degree. But when she submitted articles for us to post at her blog, they were .. well, let's just say they sounded like they were written by an 8-year-old. The grammar was atrocious, the sentence structure was sloppy, and the flow was confusing.
My immediate reaction was that she had run a bunch of articles through one of those software spinning services – you know, the ones that take one article and readjust the sentences and paragraphs to create a dozen new articles. The new articles always sound terrible, as if they were written by a robot. (I guess they actually are written by a robot.)
Assuming she did not have time to write her posts, we offered to take over the writing tasks for her. And after about 6 weeks of us writing her blog posts, she called me and said she finally gets it.
Turns out she HAD been the one who was writing those original posts. She kept hearing how you're supposed to "write as you speak" and "write in a natural tone" so she intentally dumbed down her writing abilities. But the side effect was that she totally dumbed down her reputation as well.
It's true that you want your blog posts to sound natural and conversational, but you also want to position yourself as the expert in your field. It's hard to be seen as the expert when you can not string together 4 grammatically correct sentences in a row.
It is possible to write in a conversational tone and still be professional. You can use grammatically correct sentences and still create a relationship with your readers. And no matter what you do, always check your spelling. Since there's no spelling in a conversation, there's never an excuse for misspelled words in your blog posts.
*** Improve Your Blog by Telling Your Readers What to Do
Many blogs have incredibly high bounce rates – that's the number of visitors who land on your website and leave after reading only one page. I believe the bounce rate is so high because bloggers do not offer a natural progress through the website.
Think about what you want your reader to do after she reads your post – and then tell her what you want her to do. Do you want her to read another article? Then offer a link to it. Do you want her to download a free report that coincides with the topic of your article? Include the subscription form at the end of the post. Do you want her to check out a product or service that you offer? Explain to her what it has to do with the information she just read, then link to it from the current post.
You've worked hard to get visitors to read your blog posts. Do not let them get away so easily.
*** Improve Your Blog with Other Types of Content
Sure, the main reason for your blog is to present your articles and writings. But today's blogging platforms are powerful – and today's readers have really short attention spans. So why not mix in some graphics and multimedia with those plain text blog posts?
I've visited lots of blogs that are just really hard to look at. They do not have any images or graphics for the readers to rest their eyes on; they do not have headlines to make the content easy to scan; they do not use bullet points or numbered lists or take advantage of white space. So the first step is, you want to make sure your text posts are easy to read.
But why not take that a step further? In addition to images and bullet points and headlines, why not mix in some audio? And video? And multimedia presentations? If you're a bit technophobic, you can start small by simply embedding a YouTube video. Then move on to creating your own audio podcasts. Then add in some of your own video. And the next thing you know, you'll be a multimedia star.
And all those web visitors with those short attention spans will be coming back for more on a regular basis.
*** Improve Your Blog by Inviting Guest Bloggers
Inevitably, there will come a day when you just can not think of anything to write about. Or maybe you've been such a successful blogger that you're now busier than ever taking care of all the new clients your blog has brought in. Or maybe your readers are getting a little tired of hearing you rehash the same old content over and over again.
Whatever the case, inviting guest bloggers to post content on your blog is a win-win-win situation. It gives your readers an absolutely fresh perspective on the topic. It allows bloggers to reach a brand new audience. And it gives you a little break from writing – or it frees up your time to guest post on someone else's blog.
Use this tactic with caution, however. Be diligent in checking out your guest bloggers ahead of time. Take a look at their writing style. Does it match what your audience has come to expect? Is it professional and are their articles well-written? Even thought your name will not be on the blog post, guest articles published on your blog are still representing your business. It's worth the little bit of extra time it takes to guarantee that your business will be showcased in the best possible light.
Attracting visitors to your blog and bringing readers back for more is an ongoing task that needs to be factored into your small business marketing plan. By following these 4 easy tips, you'll be well on your way to a successful, professional blog. And you're bound to attract a few incoming links along the way.