I feel as though I am a "blog connoisseur". I love blogs, I love to read them, comment on them, meet the people who write them. But in my blog consuming quest, I've noticed a few things that some bloggers don't do that that could help them be better. And these things are soooooo stupidly easy to fix, there's no reason you bloggers who are reading this article shouldn't go do them IMMEDIATELY.
Seriously. Read this article, then GO. Get outta here. Shoo.
Here are five stupidly easy things you're not doing with your blog that you can fix immediately.
1. You're not setting your outside links to open in a new page/tab. Look, you want people to STAY on your site, right? Then why direct them completely off your page in the middle of a sentence? When you link to something on your blog, set the link to open in a new tab or page. Platforms like Squarespace and Wordpress usually have an option right there when you embed the link. If you want to do a little html, use this code (filling in your own info, of course!):
<a href=”newwindow.html” target=”_blank”>New Window</A>
Read more about html coding for a new window/tab here.
2. You're not making it as easy as possible for people to follow you. See there on the right? Those GIANT bottle cap social media icon button thingies? I've tweaked my whole page so you can see those right from the get-go. I know with a lot of browsers, you can subscribe to someone's RSS feed right from the browser bar, but why not make it as easy as possible for your readers? I might be an avid blog reader, but if I don't see an obvious way to follow you in the first few seconds on landing on your page, I probably won't go out of my way to do so. And yes...all the icons to the right there open in a new tab, so you can easily come back and keep reading after you follow. :)
Search and download hundreds of FREE social media icons here!
3. You're not making it as easy as possible for people to comment and interact with you. I switched to Disqus a few months ago, and I gotta say, while there's definitely been a bit of a learning curve, I LOVE being able to respond to each of you in real time. I also love the Disqus makes it easy for you, the reader, to log in with Twitter, Facebook, your site, etc. If your blogging platform is limited on the way you can offer comments, do a little research. Most third party apps, like Disqus, have tutorials on how to use their program with your blog.
4. You're not posting consistently. I know, I know, I'm one to talk, right? For those of you who've been around here for awhile...you know I haven't always been the most consistent of posters. BUT, I've done my best to fix that in the last few months, so that any time you or any newbs come to this site, there is always something fresh and new to read.
Posting consistently doesn't mean you have to do it everyday. In fact, Maya of Down and Nerdy Blog posts just three times a week (I love her Robot Monday feature m'self. :)). Anthony Iannarino of The Sales Blog (he wrote this kick ass article for TNR awhile back) has been posting so consistently since last November (a staggering SEVEN days a week, with not one missed day) that when he stopped to go on a trip to Tibet in August, his readers thought he was sick, dead or otherwise incapacitated. Even if you just post once a week, or twice a month, make it so we creatures of habit know what to expect.
5. You're not being YOU. When a person first starts blogging, it's sometimes hard to find his or her "voice". Who are YOU in print? What kind of words do you use in your every day language that you're excluding from your content? There's no need to copy anyone else (and when you do, I can spot your blog a mile a way). I think it's all well and good to do the same kind of segments other bloggers do (TILT, link lists, etc.) but make sure you make it YOU. You'll never be the next Dooce or the next Gala...and THAT'S AWESOME. While they are super, we don't need another Dooce and Gala...but we DEFINITELY need the next [insert your name here].
This snafu is easier to fix than you'd think: just poll your friends. Who do they say you are? What three strengths do they attribute to you? What three things do you do/say consistently that make them laugh/think? Start incorporating that into your writing...it'll make a big difference!