I’m excited for you.
Because you’re two minutes away from discovering dozens of “golden nuggets” to boost your blog’s traffic, build an army of faithful followers and transform your blog into a sustainable business for years to come.
In this post you’ll discover 35 quick fixes to improve your blog. Some you’ll have done already… but chances are you haven’t done them all.
Best part? Most of these “quick fixes” can be done in under five minutes.
So let’s get started…
1. Add pagination units to your blog. As your blog grows, your older posts become nearly impossible to find. Readers are forced to click through the dreaded “Older Posts” link at the bottom of your blog.
Save them the trouble by adding pagination units to your blog. This plugin works wonders.
2. Boost your site speed. WordPress works great out the box… but it could run a lot faster. And with Google measuring site speed as a ranking factor you’ve got to get your blog blazing fast, like, yesterday. Install the W3 Total Cache Plugin and then follow these directions.
3. Get your SEO on. Like it or not, many bloggers get the lion’s share of their traffic from Google and other search engines. Don’t know much about SEO? Install the Yoast SEO Plugin and follow the directions.
4. Write delicious headlines. Your posts live and die by their headlines, so it pays to craft the best ones you can. The best headlines are newsworthy, benefit-driven and inspire curiosity. These headline templates will help you get started.
5. Strengthen your USP. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is what separates you from, well, everyone else. If you’re blog is about weight loss… what separates you from every other weight loss blog? Maybe you need to write for women interested in losing weight through veganism. Now that’s different!
6. Update your permalinks. WordPress publishes some pretty trashy URLs by default. Change your permalinks from yourblog.com/p=2521 to something useful. You can edit each permalink in WordPress in the post section (right underneath the title).
7. Take a stand. Don’t be controversial for controversy sake… but take a stand on important topics. It will create discussion and help build your audience. Just be sure you really believe what you’re writing and back it up with facts!
8. Write every day. Even for 20 minutes. Even if you don’t publish anything. The mere act of writing daily improves your writing and keeps you accountable.
9. Write concisely. Use word economy. Read Editing Hacks until you think like an editor.
10. Protect yourself. Use WP-DB-Backup plugin to automatically backup your database every day.
11. Write faster. Here’s what works for me: write for ten minutes straight, stop for two minutes, then start again. You’ll be amazed at how much content your can crank out following this method (but of course, don’t forget to edit!).
12. Choose one MDA and stick to it. Every page on your blog should have a Most Desired Action (MDA). That is, what do you want your readers to do next? Subscribe? Read another post? Whatever it is, remove everything on that page that leads elsewhere. What should that MDA be, you ask? Simple…
13. Build your email list and treat them like gold. On TravelBloggerAcademy.com my email open rate hovers between 70 – 80% (whereas some are thrilled with half that). Why? Because every email is crammed with value. Your subscribers are your partners – treat them that way. Here’s a quick fix: compile a list of killer resources and email it to them.
14. Streamline your social media. Facebook and Twitter are major time-sucks if used improperly. Use Google Reader to find interesting content, then use Buffer to schedule your Tweets and Shares throughout the day on autopilot.
15. Write a meta description for EVERY post. After downloading the Yoast SEO plugin you’ll have the option to write a custom meta description. Do so!
16. Use formatting to your advantage. Space paragraphs out (no more than four lines per paragraph) and break them up with sub-headers. Use bullets.
17. Identify your audience. Use Quantcast to understand your website’s demographic – then look at related sites to see how they match up. Always write content with your demographic in mind!
18. Respond to emails. If your subscribers email you, respond! Even if it’s a short “Thanks!” it proves you’re a real person who cares about them.
19. Pitch guest posts to top bloggers. You can see the effect of an astonishing 50 guest posts in one day in this case study. It builds your authority, provides great links and even provides some direct traffic.
20. Build partners. Know someone in your niche already? Offer to share each other’s content with your respective audiences.
21. Rewrite your About Page. Your About Page probably gets more traffic than you realize. Follow this simple formula: start by talking about what’s in it for your readers, then provide social proof (where your blog has appeared, awards, etc.) and THEN talk about yourself. Also, be sure to put an opt-in on this page!
22. Add a search bar. People like search bars – so give it to them!
23. Kill a feature. This ties in with #12. See those thing-ees in your sidebar? Chances are, there’s at least one feature no one uses. Kill it.
24. Install advanced analytics. I really like this heatmap plugin because it shows where people are clicking on my blog. An alternative is to use Crazy Egg. Find out what people want more of and give it to them.
25. Survey your audience. If you’ve got a sizable audience already, use Google Docs or Survey Monkey to ask your visitors open-ended questions. If you’re just starting out, ask people in the comments section what they’d like to see more of.
26. Provide your contact information. There’s nothing more annoying than wanting to contact a blog owner, but they don’t provide any contact info. By providing a contact form and your direct email address you’ll gain valuable user feedback and possibly some great business opportunities.
27. Pay for a professional design. OK, this isn’t quick or easy, but it’s so worthwhile I had to mention it. If you want to go pro, you’ve got to look the part… and a designer can help you make a splendid first impression.
28. Add a custom favicon. Speaking looking like a pro, you need your own personal favicon. Create your own at favicon.cc.
29. Schedule your posts ahead of time. Come hell or high-water, at least you’ve got content planned to go out.
30. Make any sponsored links “no-follow”. While I don’t think there’s anything ethically wrong here, it’s against Google’s guidelines and can kill your search traffic.
31. Split test something. Whether it’s your broadcast emails in Aweber, your opt-in forms or sales pages, just test something. Small improvements add up over time.
32. Offer to help. Shoot an email to a prominent blogger and offer to help them (by writing an eBook or offering your expertise for free). Good karma all around.
34. Use a timer. Install a timer on your browser and give yourself a set period of time to work on a task. That ticking clock will help keep you focused.
35. Recycle your emails. Gmail’s Canned Responses is the greatest thing EVER. Simply save an email you wrote, and then re-use it with the click of a button!
So there you have it: 35 quick fixes to improve your blog today.
Which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Silver Bullet from Big Stock Photo
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