I often get asked by bloggers how they can really take their blog to the next level. While ‘next level’ is quite subjective to each bloggers journey, it usually means “How can I get more traffic”, “How can I make more money”, “How can I get more organized”. All of these things ARE certainly important to a bloggers success and since I’ve been around the blogging block for 10 years now, I thought I would put together a list of 10 actionable ways that you can enhance your blog TODAY..like NOW…in only a matter of minutes & hours.
1. Are you still using a free WordPress or Blogger site? It’s time to upgrade!
While having a free WordPress or blogger site is a great way to get started, it also has it’s limitations in terms of taking your blog to the next level. Having a self-hosted WordPress blog tells the world that you are ready to start taking your blog serious and it gives you a lot more options in terms of monetization, plugins & design. If you are serious about making this blog a source of income and branding yourself, then you’ll want to get your own hosting account. Do yourself a favor and head over here to find a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up a domain name & hosting for your WordPress site.
2. Are you still using a FREE WordPress theme?
So maybe you’ve upgraded to a self-hosted WordPress site, but you are still using a free theme. And that’s fine, but if you are looking for something a little more custom, I highly recommend taking a look at some of the premium themes on Genesis, ThemeForest or Bluchic. There are literally hundreds of themes to choose from and you are bound to find one that suits your aesthethic and functions the way you want it to. P.S. Here are 40 Feminine & Girly WordPress themes that I personally love!
3. Not making any money?
If you have been blogging for a while, but still haven’t earned any money from your blog, it’s time to change that. A few months ago, I wrote the Ultimate Guide to Blog Monetization that I recommend checking out, but at the very least, you’ll want to sign up for Google Adsense and place a few banner ads on your blog. Then you’ll want to sign up for Social Fabric to start taking advantage of sponsored post opportunities. Lastly, install the Viglink plugin and earn passive money of any link on your blog!
4. Not being found in Google?
Ladies, it’s time to learn a little bit about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Optimizing your blog for SEO can have a huge impact in how Google serves it up in search results. There are a few things you can do right now to enhance your SEO. Download the YOAST plugin and go to town. What I mean by that, is go into your older posts and enhance the body of the text and headlines until all (or most) of the Yoast dots turn green. You’ll know what I mean when you download the plugin. Here is a great tutorial on using the Yoast plugin. Then I want you to go over to Neil Patel’s site and check out his Ultimate Guide to SEO. This is by far the most useful resource guide I’ve found!
5. Want more readers?
Is there anything worse than publishing (what you think) is a really great article…and nothing happens, it doesn’t go viral, there aren’t any comments? Well it’s time to change that! You need engaged readers. Check out this blog post about 55 ways to get traffic to your blog and start implementing them. I would recommend by starting with Facebook sharing groups & posting to your social media accounts. Oh and one more thing you can do, try guest posting on bigger blogs! Here’s a list of 55 blogs that accept guest posts!
6. Don’t have a Facebook page?
You need one. I know you might fight me on this one, but the truth is…..EVERYONE is on Facebook…including your potential new blog BFFS & readers. Here’s a tutorial on how to set up a Facebook page for your blog + a few bonus ways to get people to like it! Having a Facebook page allows your readers to get to know a different side of you. The more they feel like they know you…they more they will trust you…and in the blogging world, you need a whole lot of trust in order to get anywhere!
7. Is your Instagram account not growing?
Here’s the thing. Instagram is the place du jour for creative entrepreneurs to get noticed! (Yes, being a blogger makes you a creative entrepreneur!) You can take advantage of that by posting consistently, being active in comments & liking & also using services like Likestagram & Crowdfire to manage new follows & friends. Here’s a blog post I wrote, “How I got 1,000 New Instagram followers in 30 days”
8. Build your Email list TODAY, do not wait.
Did you know that Facebook could shut down your page at anytime? Scary right? The only way to ensure that your readers can find and follow you is for you to have their email list. You NEED an email list. With this email list you can send out automated emails with your latest blog posts, or sell to your readers if you have a product to sell. If you currently don’t have an email service provider, I recommend starting with MailChimp, it’s free for the first 2,000 subscribers. Sign up for Mail Chimp here and then find out what most pro bloggers do to build their email list.
9. Not getting any traffic from Pinterest?
Pinterest is the single biggest driver of traffic to all of my sites! So if you aren’t using it, get on it! I wrote a blog post, “7 Reasons Why No One is Pinning your Posts” this post is full of actionable tips to take your Pinterest game to the next level. Spoiler Alert: It’s ALL about Vertical Pins & Group Boards. Go into your Google Analytics and figure out what your top posts are. Then take a look at the images on those posts…Are they Pinterest friendly? Vertical? Bright? Clear? If not, then create a new graphic in Canva for that blog post. Update the graphic and re-pin it to your boards. Do this until all of your images have been upgraded. If you have many graphics to re-do, you can definitely do this over time, no need to do it all in one day!
10. Running out of fresh content for your blog?
I previously talked about how I use a content mind map to brainstorm topic ideas, but I’m going to give you another quick technique you can use to generate some popular blog topics.
- Go to Amazon and find a book in your niche. Let’s say you blog about Gluten Free Recipes. Find a Gluten Free Recipe book.
- Go down to the reviews and start reading the lowest ranking reviews (1 &2 stars)
- Within those reviews you might find comments like, “I can’t believe this cookbook didn’t have any cupcake recipes” or “I wish there was a gluten free flour conversion table in this book!” Boom! You’ve got yourself two blog ideas right there!
You see reading those comments will tell you what your target audience IS looking for. All you have to do is provide the content and voila, you are golden!
I try to make my blog posts as actionable as possible. I want to motivate you to improve your blog today. I don’t want you to get stuck in no man’s land. Do me a favor…if you implemented any of my tactics in your blog today, come back in the comments and let me know what you did! Then come back in a week or a month and let me know if it had an impact on your blog!