advice, writing

Building a Better Blog in 10 Steps

Every blogger want to know what they can do to improve their blog, generate more traffic, and engage readers.  While some people think that having an interactive blog with tons of followers and fans is an impossible feat, the journey towards improving your blog an actually be turned into a simple step by step process. As it turns out, the journey towards a better blog is not that complicated, but just takes time and effort to do the right way.  Writing it not for the weak, and not for the quitters, but it also doesn’t have to be reserved only for the geniuses either.

Feel like you’re ready to amp up your blogging game and generate more interest in your writing?  No matter where you’re at in your blogging experience, keep reading to find ways to improve your blog today!

1. Define Your Purpose

This can be important at any stage in your blogging journey (though, if done properly, it should begin the day you start your blog).  Blogs need to have a mission, a purpose, and a topic.  While you can write an everything blog, you still need to have a general flow to how things will work and what your goal is.  Do you want to post everyday?  Every week?  Once a month?  Also ask yourself what they goal in posting is.  Do you want to inform people (how-to articles)?  Are you trying to share your short stories and get published some day?  Create a writer’s platform?  Do you want to share your latest projects or photography?  Whatever is, make it a goal and stick with it.  I know this maybe sounds like a cheesy step and something that is unnecessary, but having a goal and a mission will not only inform your readers about you and your blog, but will also help to keep you on track as you blog.

2. Take time to set up

A lot of newbie bloggers (myself included!) want to see results right away.  Therefore, they rush in trying to customize and set up their site, and start posting content and attracting followers right away.  While staying active on your blog and making continual progress is good, taking time to make your blog look nice and to organize is also a very important first step in your journey towards progress.  I would recommend taking at least a day or two, when you first start out, to make sure your blog looks aesthetically pleasing and attractive.  Also, be sure to organize your posts in an easy-to-see fashion, and view your site as an outsider in visit site mode several times in order to make sure everything is user-friendly.  Your blog posts should be easy to like and comment on, so make sure these buttons are clear.  Also, I would suggest looking at other’s blogs while you set up so that you can gather insight as you work.  Another important factor in set up is to make sure you have vital pages such as the About Me page, the Contact Page, and a Blog page if it isn’t your homepage.

3. Bait your blog

I really enjoy using this phrase, even though it doesn’t make a ton of sense until I explain it.  Basically, the concept of baiting your blog is deciding what your blog’s purpose is, and writing a few really high quality posts about whatever that is.  For example, I decided from the very beginning that my blog was going to be dedicated to writers everywhere and that I was going to primarily post writer’s tips.  Therefore, before I had even interacted with other bloggers, I posted three posts: Writer’s Block Anyone?, Flash Fiction: A Monologue, and A Short Story, Ask My Imagination About Labor Day.  I made sure these three posts high quality, and also made sure that they fulfilled the purpose of my blog.  You should do the same, and promote your blog with your own high quality posts in order to hook your very first viewers off the bat.  Also, if you have been blogging for awhile and haven’t done this, it is never too late to!  Featuring high quality posts and baiting your blog will help to attract readers no matter how long you have been blogging.

4. Reach out

Okay, so now it’s time to find some people that want to read your posts.  In order to do this, you have to be willing to invest some time into other people’s blogs (otherwise why would they invest time into yours?  Ya know what I’m saying?)  I would start by going to your reader and searching for keywords that are similar to the purpose of your blog (another good reason to write that mission statement).  For example, if you are starting a Travel Blog, search the reader for travel and see what appears.  Once you have the search results, spend a good hour working through them.  This involves liking, commenting, and following other people’s blogs, as well as observing the things you do and don’t like about each one.  After an hour, return to your blog and see if there are even more things you could change for the better.  Then repeat this process over and over again.  Eventually the bloggers that you interact with through comments and like will check out your blog in return, and you may even get a few followers.  This is the beginning point of you as a noticed blogger, so take it all seriously, but do enjoy the excitement.

5. Address your readers

In addition to commenting and interacting on other’s blogs, you can also encourage your followers to interact on your blog by addressing them in your posts.  I like to give my followers a goal, a thank you, or a question at the end of each post so that they feel appreciated or are encouraged to share their opinion.  This not only will help your followers to know that you are genuine and that you care about them, but it will also help to receive more comments, likes, and interaction on your posts.  An important step in the blogging journey is learning that your blog is not all about you.  Making you followers feel appreciated and valuable is crucial, and you will usually get back what you give out.  Also, writing the occasional “thank you” post every now and then or dedicating an entire post to your followers and their opinions is not a bad idea either.

6. Reblog and ask for guest posts

Another way to recognize your followers or bloggers you admire is to feature reblogs and guest posts on your blog.  While scrolling through the reader, be on the lookout for posts that would connect to content on your blog.  When you find one read through it (make sure you actually read through it before reblogging it…), and if it appears to be high quality work, reblog it on your blog.  There are multiple benefits to reblogging.  While you won’t get as much credit for the post, the blogger who’s work you shared will get a notification that you shared their post, and they will typically check out your blog.  Also (and this is especially if they have a large following) many of that blogger’s faithful readers will hop over to your blog to see who reblogged the post.  This brings extra traffic to your site, and can also help bloggers to see you on a similar playing field as the person whom you relogged.  These same concepts go for guest posts, but sometimes even more so.  Guest posts are a bit more personal because you do need to ask the other blogger if they would be willing to guest post on your blog, however, they help you to interact with other bloggers within your niche, and improve your viewing audience as well.

7. Write posts that are helpful to your readers

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you HAVE to write how-to articles, but it does mean that you should consider writing a few blog posts that your followers can actually use.  While your personal life and how many cupcakes you decorated that day (no offense to cupcake decorating bloggers…you guys have serious talent and patience that I don’t) may be interesting for awhile, eventually bloggers will get tired of hearing only about you all the time and will want something that can put to good use.  Try to give advice about your blog’s topic or make a list of things your readers can do to improve themselves in that niche.  Not only will this let your readers know you care about their success, but it will also create a sort of expertise around your name and your readers will respect you more because of it.

8. Work with social proof

Here is where you need to learn to accept failure and not use it to your disadvantage.  Social proof is a concept that can either improve you blog or harm it, based on how you use it, and when you are first starting out, social proof often works against you.  For example, when people see that a large amount of people have taken a certain action, they tend to think that it is the right action and they follow in suit.  So, that is why WordPress created the ability to hide how many followers your blog has or how many shares a post gets.  I’ll be honest, for the first month of my blog, I hid my follower count because of this various reason.  It’s not necessarily that I was ashamed of it (I was just a newbie after all) but I didn’t want other people to judge how bad or good my writing was based off a number or statistic.  I think that keeping this number a secret just for awhile can boost yourself confidence, which will then translate into your posts.  And honestly, at the end of the day, who cares?  You are awesome and you don’t need a number showing to prove it.

9. Keep track of your followers

I definitely have learned the value of this tip in the last month. Just as it is important for your followers to regularly read your posts and like or comment, it is equally important for you to do the same, especially for your top followers.  If someone is consistently liking or commenting on your posts, keep a note of it and be sure to return the favor.  Make people like this a priority because they are making you a priority.  Chances are, your support of their blog is what keeps them around, and your interaction with them can also effect how many reblogs, shares, and comments they give you- all of which can lead to a bigger and better viewing audience.

10. Expand to social networks

Using social media alongside a blog can really benefit your writing and serve as an excellent source of adverting.  Make sure that if you do use social media, you announce it to your followers, and that you have a way for them to access it from your main blog page (several WordPress themes have built-in social media buttons that work really well for this!)  In addition, to expanding your blog on social media, you can also share your blog posts automatically between the two through WordPress’s auto-post tool or their linked account option.  This can also be an important factor to check out when you are deciding what social media option is best, as many social media platforms work better with WordPress than others.

 

***That’s it!  Thanks so much for reading guys! I hope you found this post helpful and encouraging, and that it can give you some advice in your blogging journey.  As always, I am going to post a few links below that can give you even more insight into building a better blog, and I really recommend that you take a look at them because I found them useful as I was building my blog as well.  Also, please share in the comments where you are at in your blogging journey, or any advice you have on building a successful blog.  I always love to hear your advice!***

 

Links:

The Definitive Guide To Growing Your Blog’s Audience 3x Faster

How to Grow Your Blog Like A Boss

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39 thoughts on “Building a Better Blog in 10 Steps”

  1. Thank you Emily for providing this information! I started my blog in July and it has been doing pretty well and I have been able to keep track of my followers. I have also done a few guest posts, which was a great experience. However, I am always looking for ways to keep my blog growing and have the ability to help as many people as possible. I have been following your blog and you always give amazing advice and I can not tell you how much I appreciate it. I hope you are having a good day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been having trouble coming up with content for my blog. I often find that topics I want to write about have already been done so well that share/reblog the post. My readers are getting good information, and I get visitors to my site, as does the writer of the post. Win.win.win!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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