Tuesday, January 19, 2016

10 Things To Do For Your Blog In The New Year

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It's the new year and we're all looking to improve where we can, our blogs are no exception.  Luckily, there are quite a few little (easy!) things that you can do today that will help enhance your blogging experience for both yourself and your readers.  I truly believe that continuous growth and progress are so important in this little hobby of ours, and these are a few of my favorite tips I've picked up over the last couple of years.  Read on, my fellow bloggers...

1. Turn Off Captcha
Captcha is the word verification that requires your readers to make sense of little squiggly numbers and letters to be able to leave you a comment.  It's such a pain and ain't nobody got time for that.  Most people turn it on because of spam comments but instead of making your readers jump through hoops, just approve your comments before publishing or switch to Disqus.

Now, you may not know you have captcha turned on (this happened to me once and I'm still sorry!) so check out this tutorial to make sure it's not/how to turn it off.

2. Make Your Email Address Visible 
Your email address should be the easiest thing to find on your blog.  Make sure a link to it is on your home page and also written out on your About Me or Contact pages.  Make it simple for readers/potential business partners to be able to contact you!

3. Set Up Google Analytics
Google Analytics will provide you with valuable information about your blog; everything from your page views, where your readers are coming from, how long they are staying on your page, your bounce rate and more.  Plus, it's 100% free so there is no reason not to have it!   

It can be a little overwhelming at first, so make sure to check out this easy tutorial/explanation for getting started on Google Analytics.

4. Create An Editorial Calendar
I LOVE working with an editorial calendar.  I do a monthly one and instead of setting my posts in stone for each day, I come up with about 10-15 ideas I would like to write about that month.  I can't tell you how much time it's saved me by avoiding that "what to write about tonight...." panic.

If you love a good print out, here is one to get you started!

5. Spruce Up Your About Me Page
This one is on my to do list :) About Me pages can be hard to write, but they're so important.  When I visit a new blog that I'm interested in, I always check out the About page and sometimes they can be a make or break deal for whether or not I end up following the blogger.  Some ideas include a list of your favorite things, Q&A, or even have someone else write a short blurb about you (and don't forget a picture of yourself).

6. Get on a Regular Posting Schedule
Now this doesn't mean post every single day, because that is hard!  But try and post on the same days so your readers know when to expect new posts.  Maybe M/W/F or one weekly post - whatever works best for you - but try not to disappear for random lengths of time as your readers may start to disappear, too.  Also try and have your posts go live at the same time.  I like to schedule mine for midnight EST.

7. Improve Your Images
Blogging is a visual game so this means that great images are essential.  It's something that I am constantly working on improving - as I'm sure most bloggers are!  Whether it's investing in a new camera or a new editing app for your phone (I've been loving PicTapGo or VSCO Cam), it's worth it.  Beautiful, crisp and clear pictures are more likely to be shared which will help grow your blog. 

Here are a couple of my favorite photography tutorials: Styling & Shooting Tips and Tricks // DSLR Tips // Editing Your Photos (Without Photoshop)

8. Set Goals
Goals are necessary as they give us something specific to work towards.  I like to set a couple each month as I find these are easier to keep me on track.  Blog specific goals can be things like an x number of page views/Instagram followers/re-pins.

9. Install A Pinterest Pin It Button
Speaking of Pinterest... make sure your images have a 'pin it' hover button!  I did a tutorial on this last year so check it out HERE.

10. Open Links In A New Tab
There are few things more annoying than clicking on a bloggers links and having their page redirect/ them not opening in a new tab.  This is also bad news for the blogger because it means that readers are leaving your page without finishing your post or exploring your blog further (reducing your bounce rate).  

Here is a visual explanation of how to set up your links to open in a new tab.

And lastly, have fun with blogging!  Now go download Google Analytics and work on that About Me page ;)
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39 comments

  1. All great tips girl! I really need to refresh my about me page! I haven't done it since i started blogging so I'm sure it could use some updating! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. Ugh Captcha, I hate that thing! Gonna look into the Pinterest button since I have most of these already done. :)!

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  3. I agree about the links opening in a new window--I hate when it redirects me to another page, just to see a photo of what someone is thinking of buying. Then I have to go back to their page, find where I was reading and get back to reading. Sometimes I do give up if there are a lot of links like that.

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  4. All awesome things! I hate when links don't open in a new tab, so i love that you put that there. I usually just leave the blog after that instead of going back. Have a great week! Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet

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  5. All really great things to keep in mind to take your blog to the next level!! Great post girl! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  6. All great tips! Especially the links opening in a new window. I hate when links don't open in a new tab.

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  7. Great tips! I love my editorial calendar, but need to work on my visuals! Happy Tuesday!

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  8. I hate the Captcha boxes!! All of these are such great tips!

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  9. Tha about me is so so on my to do list!!

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  10. Really good tips...thank you for the link to Google Analytics, I need some help understanding all that.

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  11. Captcha is the WORST! These are all great tips and I am going to be doing a lot of reading on all of these links! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. All great tips, I love the idea of an editorial calendar, it's something I've been wanting to get myself started on!

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  13. It drives me NUTS when people dont have their email on their comment reply... but I do know for some reason, Blogger just randomly turns it off sometimes. I try to notice when people that I know had an email for awhile, its suddenly changed.

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  14. NO REPLY bloggers drive me insane! Great tips! I need to work on my images

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  15. What an amazing list!! I'd always wondered how to fix the link not opening in a new window issue and I promptly took care of that after reading your #10. I need to learn how to use Google analytics, update my about me page and I love that you reminded people to make their emails VISIBLE. I'm always amazing at how hard it is to contact some bloggers. My editorial calendar really makes a big difference in the organization of my blog and I'm always working on improving my pictures. THANKS for this super helpful list!!

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  16. Looove this list girl!! Such great tips, I feel like I've been in a slump ever since the holidays so I need to start planning ahead with topic ideas and posts!

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  17. This post has me so motivated to move forward with a rebrand! It has been on my to do list for nearly a year now. I just need to dedicate time to get it done.

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  18. Great tips! I really, really need to work on creating a better editorial calendar. Putting in a little time early will help me save so much later on.

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  19. Awesome tips gurlie! And yesssss to turning off captcha... ugh so frustrating when people have that on! I really need a better about me page, and just a whole new re-design. Time to stop procrastinating :-D
    Green Fashionista

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  20. Great tips!! I really want to work on my about me page and get that updated. I just checked the Captcha and thought for sure I didn't have it - apparently I was wrong!!! So embarrassing! lol

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  21. Great tips! Some of these are on my 'to do' list for this month. Thanks! :)

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  22. All great tips - love this post today! Updating my About Me page is on my to-do list, too. :)

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  23. If someone has a captcha now I move on. It's just so time consuming! I need to update my about me page like so badly!

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  24. Great tips! I finally added an about me page after like 2+ years of "blogging" oops! lol.

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  25. These are all great tips! I'll definitely be putting some of these to use on my blog!
    Kelsey
    www.thepeacockroost.com

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  26. Great advice!! The open-in-a-new-link one is really important to me! I hate losing my spot where I'm reading when that happens!

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  27. I am going to spruce things up soon! Great list!

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  28. Thanks for sharing! I spruced up my about me section and my profile before I read this -- great to know that other have the same idea.

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  29. Great tips! The captcha thing always stresses me out-haha I'm always afraid something really bad is going to happen if I don't enter the right letter/number combo or if I fail to click the picture of a mountain.

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  30. The squiggly number killll me! I’d be lost without a calendar and I love reading about me pages – so easy to get a quick peek into the lady of the blog! Fabulous tips, lady! Just having fun with it is my favorite!

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  31. All great tips! The captcha thing is SO annoying!

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  32. Great advice. I need to get on more of a regular schedule!

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  33. Great advice! I just looked and I had captcha turned on! I had no idea... whoops! It's fixed now :) You also gave me the nudge to finally figure out why my about me section wouldn't show up on my blog. Such awesome tips!!

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  34. Love this list! I renamed my blog and hired a blog designer almost 2 years ago and STILL haven't filled in the "About Me" section, so that's high on my list. I also need to get back on a regular posting schedule!

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  35. yes to all the things! why is captcha even a thing still?! i get so sad when i can't find someone's email and they are a no reply blogger, and i totally check out people's about me as well, and you're right, it definitely can be the deciding factor on whether i stay or go lol

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  36. These are ALL great tips and I plan on implementing a lot of them. Definitely checking out that google analytics post- that thing confuses me so much!

    xo, Kristina
    Medicine & Manicures

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  37. These are great tips! I am a new blogger and am in need of advice. Blogging is definitely a labor of love! Thanks again!

    Emily
    simplyaroughdraft.blogspot.com

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  38. Captcha is the WORST. Especially now that they have those stupid little things where it's like "choose all of the images that are street signs." Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. lol

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