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Monday, July 18, 2016

6 Quick Ways To Spruce Up Your Blog


Maybe it's time to give your blog a quick sweep through to make sure everything is still in order. So, here's your early reminder on a couple of things you should be looking out for and double checking on your own website:


Add Your Social Info

Make sure people can easily find you around the web! Your social media pages and subscribe buttons shouldn't be hard for a reader to find on your website. Don't assume everyone knows your social media handles or know how to subscribe. You have to carefully guide your readers who may be new to your site. 

My BFF and blogger buddy Brittany who is the creator of BelievablyMe recently came across a blog that she really liked and wanted to subscribe to, but she couldn't find a button! 

Not good. 

Make sure these buttons are visible at the top of your blog and it doesn't hurt to add a couple of other widgets throughout your Home page so you can keep loyal readers. Also, include some type of Follow or Subscribe button within each individual blog post so it's visible to readers. You have to put yourself out there!

I recently started using the amazing Hello Bar widget which you can find on top of my blog and the new pop up post on the side. 

Want a free month of the premium version of Hello Bar? Sign up using the link above to use my referral link!


Add In Related Posts Widget & Links To Older Blog Posts

This is perhaps one of the best widgets you can add to your blog website. The goal is to keep people on your site longer as they easily navigate through your blog to read your amazing content. One helpful tool is by adding a related posts widget at the bottom of every post so readers can view those related stories which keeps them on your website longer. 

Seriously, these related posts get me every time when I'm on someone's website. I just keep clicking away, wanting to read everything and I wind up having like 20 tabs open. This is also a smart way to drive traffic back to your old posts. 

I just installed Link Within on this blog which works good for both WordPress and Blogger and you can display 3-5 related posts:



Another trick I like doing is including a link myself where I just write a couple of RELATED or RECOMMENDED FOR YOU - type of links throughout my blog posts. 

Check out this recent example from my entertainment blog:


Just make sure to change the color of the link or underline it so readers know it's clickable and they can read more on a similar post. 


Update Broken Links & Photos

Want a fast way to check out any broken links on your site? 

Visit www.brokenlinkcheck.com

I used that and found out two of the links in my main tabs on my entertainment blog aren't working! I'm not even sure how long that has been like that, but I'm glad I checked so I can work towards updating the problem now. 

*Bonus Tip: When linking to other websites, make sure to check the option 'Open this link in a new window' so readers who click off your site still have your blog open in another separate tab so it's easier for them to go right back to your blog. 


Update Any Special Pages

Is your About page up-to-date with the latest info about you and your blog? (I haven't added an About Me page yet on this blog, but I'm working on it!) Do you have a special page that you have to constantly refresh with new content? Is your Contact Us page current with ways people can send you an email, tips, etc.?

Adding a contact form is always a plus. Most blog platforms already have a built in contact form widget that you can use or you can search the internet for a more personalized contact form. 

I chose to use Foxy Form (it's free!) for my entertainment site. See my contact form here

*Bonus Tip: Promote your contact page by sharing it on your social media sites. Encourage your followers to send in comments, news tips, suggestions, stories, etc. and share the direct link to your Twitter and Facebook for more interaction. 



Refresh Your Sidebar

Your blog sidebar should have elements to engage your reader and keep them coming back. A typical sidebar includes: a search bar, a list of recent posts / popular posts, advertisements, social media buttons, a subscribe widget, and any thing else you think may be necessary for your particular blog ... maybe a specific category list or an About Me type of blurb. Don't be afraid to promote your own products as well!

But, don't junk up your side bar because then it will be less effective in attracting readers. Get rid of anything that is not really needed and don't clog it up with so many ads. Play around with your sidebar and move widgets around from time to time.

*Bonus Tip: I suggest promoting a feature type post on your sidebar so readers can keep reading and stay on your site longer. A feature widget highlights a specific post and should be placed high up on your side bar. Blogger recently added this to their widget list and I love it! 


My recent Feature post which is the first item
displayed up top on my sidebar and encourages readers
to click on it to keep reading

Engage Readers

Respond to your comments! If readers know you actually reply, that'll make them comment more AND this may encourage others to drop a comment. Try ending your blog posts with a question or two to engage with them. Ask the readers what they think, what would they do, do they have any suggestions, etc. etc...

So, on that note ... what are some of the ways you spruce up your blog and which one(s) are you going to do? 




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5:55:00 PM / by / 6 Comments

6 comments:

  1. Definitely about to try the broken link site! I've never done that before and didn't know you could. Adding to my blog audit checklist! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Soooooo I just did it and I have a million broken links LOL, ok just 11 but 11 is a lot. Most look like links to other people's pages that I linked to when participating in challenges and had to link back to their page to be considered as entered into the challenge so not as bad, but still wow lol. A few others I can fix. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. No prob! Yeah, if it's other people's pages then no biggie. But, it's def a great tool to check every once in awhile. I had wayyy more than 11 broken links lol

      Delete
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