As the car needs a tune-up, your blog also needs one. In my case, this is the first time after almost a year, since I started to modify the design of the site. I decided to tune it up based on learnings from pro-bloggers based on Jacob Nielsen’s Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes and Darren’s problogger tips. This is for newbies and intermediate bloggers blogging for less than a year who needs a quick start-up on blog tuning their sites.
8 Essential Blog Tune-up Tips
1. Write a great “About Me” section.
2. Make your post scannable.
3. Make your links descriptive and link link link!
4. Highlight your favorite posts.
5. Use comments to increase traffic by interacting with readers and other bloggers in your area.
6. Implement blog post tactics of using photos and posting 50% original/ 50% based on other probloggers.
7. Decide if you will implement Adsense or Not.
8. Own your domain and platform.
1. Write a great “About Me” section. This is very important because blogs are conversations and you need to build credibility with your blog readers about who you are and what is your personality. I changed my photo with my recent taal volcano conquest and put in the blog-a-rama interview which really gives the essence of what my blog is about.
2. Make your post scannable. You need to realize that readers scan your post first and decide whether they want to read the entire text. Given this I decided to implement the following:
(a). Use post excerpts in the home page and not the entire text. So I implemented a continuation/ read more link on every post. This would also force you to write a great summary paragraph for what to expect in the entire post.
(b). Write a clever post title. The title should convey the summary of the post and should attract the readers to read more if they want to. I’m trying to read 100+ blogs and I just scan the headings and click the ones that is interesting for me or if it appears a couple of times in a number of blogs. This is an art and you need to spend alot of time thinking about this title. It should energize you and your readers as well.
(c). Create bulleted lists or if you can summarize the whole post into key ideas. Write your conclusions first and energize readers to read some more.
3. Make your links descriptive and link link link! This is one of the search engine optimization techniques where you should provide adequate description of the webpage/ blog post that you are linking to. Instead of saying “check out Anton’s roadwarrior gadgets here“, just say “Anton’s roadwarrior gadgets “. This outbound links are very important to the webpage that you are referring to and essential for the page rank of that site. Laws of Karma applies here: You have to give alot of outbound links before receiving alot of inbound links yourself.
4. Highlight your favorite posts. A lot of the blogs of my favorite blogs do not highlight either their favorite post or the most commented ones. If you don’t they get burried in the archives and only the search engines would be able to see them assuming you have the right key words and page ranking. Also when I visit a blog I first check out who the person is, and what are the things that he/she writes and the quality of writing based on the latest posts. So ensure that you have a Favorite posts link list, refer to your past posts via linking to them in your latest posts, or resurrect them by re-posting them again and updating them after a few months.
5. Use comments to increase traffic by interacting with readers and other bloggers in your area. One of the beauty of being a young blog is still you don’t receive alot of comments and you can entertain and talk to each and every one of your readers. It’s sad to go to the state where you have to turn off your Blog comments as Steve Pavlina did. Also, you can use comments to start a conversation with other bloggers in your area and continue discussion via email, IM or texting in the case of the Philippines. You can also use comments to start a new thread. Lastly, put the latest comments section in your side bar for other bloggers to see and if they want to participate.
6. Implement blog post tactics of using photos and posting 50% original/ 50% based on other probloggers. This is one of the tips from Arieanna to increase blog traffic which I’m trying to implement now. I’m starting to use alot more headline photos to convey the meaning of the posts in visual terms which could be more powerful that just using headlines or summary paragraph. The only downside to this is that you really need to have a DSL for your bloggers to read them efficiently and without waiting for it to show. Then again, if you don’t have DSL and still use dial-up you might not be the target audience for this blog.
7. Decide if you will implement Adsense or Not. There are alot of potential for your website to generate money for you on the side and research shows that google adsense enhances your post as long as it is relevant. One way to help you decide is check your pagerank, if your pagerank is 5 or greater and check your backlinks if it is significant already. Use technorati and Yahoo linkdomain: search to check your backlinks data and benchmark it versus other bloggers. Once you also decide to use Adsense you can send me email on how to maximize it efficiently based on Darren’s Six Figure Blogging techniques.
8. Own your domain and your platform. This is a mistake that I made and the dilemna for me is that the anton.blogs.com is owned by typepad. If I decide to go to a wordpress setup when I realized that it was a better platform vs. typepad then I’ll screw up all my pageranking built in my anton.blogs.com . I should decide if I will use anton.blogs.com forever or start my own domain already with uydiaz.com for example. For the newbies out there this is a real consideration specially if you want to be stuck with the blogspot.com address.