July 17, 2017

7 Ways to Improve Your Blog in 5 Days (Plus Free List of Mailing List Content Ideas)

This post was first published in February 2017 and has been revamped to be as helpful and relevant as it can be! Hey, you, creative. Did you know that you can improve your blog in seven ways in just five days? These simple changes are free or low-cost and can make a big difference for your brand; should you make them, these changes could even increase blog traffic. People who visit your site will be more likely to stay and subscribe if you've demonstrated effort. People who find your socials are more likely to connect if your bios convert.




What does that mean? It means that whatever you've decided to include about yourself in those 140-150 characters is significant and enticing enough to encourage someone to follow or click the link to your site. So, ready to improve your blog in less than a week? I've got you covered.

1 | Update old graphics.

Canva was a game-changer when I decided that I needed to update old graphics. Why update? It's simple: prettier graphics usually mean more clicks, which translates into an increase in blog traffic. Let's be real: do you typically click on the pretty Pinterest image or the "eh" one? On Twitter, do you retweet Tweets with links to blog posts and a lack of visual content? Probably not.

It can be time-consuming to update tons of graphics, so:


  • Focus on your most popular posts (say, 3-4?) first. 
  • Ask yourself how you can curate an aesthetic and a visual by branding your graphics the same way. What sort of photos or colors should you be using to keep cohesion
  • If you're interested in more game-changing tools, I wrote a post on 12 of the best, free resources and apps for bloggers.

2 | Purchase your domain.

I purchased my domain from Google for just $12/year. I can't vouch for the other domain-buying services, but I can say, from experience, that it can be really easy and really inexpensive.

Why should you buy your domain name? 

  • It makes you seem more legitimate (like you take your site more seriously). 
  • It looks nicer than having that .blogspot or .wordpress subdomain.

Also, you now own your brand name, in a way, if you continue to pay for it, so you don't have to worry that someone else might snag it.


3 | Redesign.


You don't have to be a graphic designer to have an attractive blog. 


This website is proof. I have a basic working knowledge of Illustrator and InDesign, but I'm no graphics master. That said, I was thrilled to discover that redesigning can be as simple as purchasing a new Blogger template on Etsy. I got mine for $5 (yes, just $5!) and purchased a few add-ons, and I couldn't be happier with how easy it was to install, how responsive it is, and how completely "me" and "my brand" it is.

  • Teach yourself a bit of coding. 

  • Before I purchased my first Etsy template (and my second, the one that you're seeing right now), I looked up code for all kinds of things, from a drop-down menu bar to hovering Pinterest buttons to custom social share buttons.

  • Make sure your template is mobile responsive. 

  • If your site is mobile-friendly, it's super simple to navigate if someone clicks over from their phone. A good interface experience can help you to increase blog traffic.

4 | Create a mailing list and add opt-in forms to your site.

I know that creating a mailing list sounds intimidating and time-consuming, but I promise that it's really not and that you can do it in fewer than 10 minutes (you will need to register a P.O. box, though, unless you have an address that you don't mind being public knowledge). Sign up for an account with the email marketing tool of your choice (I use MailChimp), publish a few opt-in forms (I made most of mine in MailMunch), and you're good to go!

The next step would be to brainstorm content for your mailing list. Subscribe here, or use the opt-in at the bottom of this post, to get access to my list of mailing list content ideas and the rest of the downloads in my free resource library.


5 | Create a tagline.

It's so important that people know exactly what you do when they read your bio and visit your site because if they don't understand your purpose, they'll likely click out. You don't want that because social media is possibly the single most useful tool that can increase blog traffic.

Or at least that's what everyone tells me. While I liked the taglines that I've used in the past, they were a little too vague and not as effective as they could have been.

My current tagline: "I help online creative business owners and bloggers find their brand voice and write their best content."
My most recent tagline: "I help creatives find their voice so they can write authentic content."

See the difference a few words can make? My previous tagline, while descriptive to an extent, doesn't best explain exactly who I help or how I help them.

My current tagline makes clear exactly the connection between my title as writing coach, what it is that I do as a writing coach ("I help online creative business owners and bloggers find their voice..."), and what my end goal/value offer is ("...and write their best content.)

To break it down even more:
  • I help creative business owners and bloggers — "Help" is a happy verb; I'm not trying to sell something to you outright. 
  • Find their brand voice— Their author's/written voice, that is.
  • And write their best content— Here, the connection between voice and writing is made immediately. "Content" is an open term, but it's also become synonymous with many forms of writing— blog posts, copy, articles, and whatever else. "Best" ties everything together— what is the point of finding your writer's voice to produce content if that content is not uniquely "you?"


How to create the right tagline?


If someone asked you what you blog about/why you blog, what would you say? What content are you writing about and for whom are you writing? Think on that, summarize your response into a sentence or two (but two, max), and you've got yourself a tagline.

6 | Revamp your social bios.

There are tons of posts out there about how to do this, but they all boil down to this: state who you are and what you do (your tagline!), include a fun fact/something that makes you "real," provide clear direction as to how to contact you, and, lastly, add a call to action. Truthfully, I got bored with this social media bio "recipe," so I changed mine to what I wanted, but these elements are great things to include.

7 | Add a content upgrade to just one post.

Because this blog post deals with seven easy ways to improve your blog in five days, I'm only suggesting a content upgrade for one post. If you feel motivated, by all means, create more (hint: more email opt-ins).


If you liked this post, I have something insanely helpful (or at least I think so) coming up very soon, so be sure to follow along on Twitter (and subscribe if you want to be the first to get it)!

2 comments

  1. who did you buy your template from on etsy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A shop called FearneCreativeDesign!

      Delete

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