I started my most successful blogging venture, ChicagoCheapAss.com in early 2015. As my impending “blogiversary” gets nearer, I’m starting to think about things I want to do to make my blog better. And since it’s almost the New Year, I came up with a useful list of New Year’s resolutions for your blog.
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13 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Blog
Resolve to be Consistent
Consistency means deciding how many times you want to post each week or month, and sticking to it, so your readers know what to expect. It may also mean staying on topic to the theme on your blog. These can help gain valuable trust in forging a connection with readers. You can make this infinitely easier when you…
Resolve to Work Ahead of Time
Resolve to Give Each Post the Attention it Deserves
This means not only doing your best writing (and editing), but also including engaging images, going back in to add formatting for easy reading, and implementing your SEO keyword as often as possible without overdoing it. From there, make sure to publish it on every active social network you use, blogging groups, your email signature… and wherever else helps you get relevant traffic.
Resolve to Make Good Connections
Do you have an active local blogger community? Chicago has an excellent one that meets up in person fairly often – The Windy City Blogging Collective. It’s helpful to have blogger friends and connections… they can give you advice when you’re stuck on a problem, oftentimes from their own experience. They’re also good motivation to be your best.
In general, always respond to someone who comments on or shares your blog posts. They’re your brand advocates that can help your message reach a larger audience.
Resolve to Guest Post
Once you’ve made some good blogging friends, or have some great blog writing examples on your own site, you should reach out to bloggers with similar audiences and offer to write a post. Positioned well, this request makes the recipient happy to have an additional promoter, not to mention a break on blog writing and content creation!
Furthermore, if you guest post with an online publication, you may have just found a new way to monetize your blog. I write paid posts for a number of local Chicago blogs.
Resolve to Fix Any Issues That Have Been Bugging You
Something not loading or displaying properly on your blog? Is there a technical issue that’s making your blog run funny? Resolve to fix it. You could pose your specific question to a blogging group you’re a part of on LinkedIn or Facebook (feel free to contact me for suggestions of what to join!), or hire a web designer to solve the problem fast if it’s over your head. I do web design for blogs if you need help!
Resolve to Grow your Email Newsletter
Your email list is the best converting marketing tool you have and the one you have the most control over. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… a followership built on a social media platform is only good as long as that platform prospers and if your account never gets shutdown. An email list is forever. A good way to grow it might include if you..
Resolve to Create a Lead Magnet
Filed under “Things to do on a rainy day” is creating a lead magnet to help convince people to sign up for your email newsletter. But that rainy day never comes, does it? Get ahead of the game this year by:
Some good lead magnet ideas include:
Resolve to Always be Authentic
…even if it means not partnering with a cool company you’re really into.
You’re only as good as your promise to your audience to always be trustworthy and honest. Also, the promise you’ve made to provide content revolving around a certain blog theme.
If you accept a brand partnership that violates these promises, you risk the valuable built-up trust of your audience.
Resolve to Use a Camera (Not an iPhone!)
If you want to create blog posts that really stand out, you’ll want to invest in a camera that’s better than your iPhone (or Android) camera. I wouldn’t call this a necessity for new bloggers, but I would for veteran bloggers trying to scale a larger audience. Visuals are incredibly important in today’s content.
Resolve to Use Your Google Analytics to Make Smart Decisions
Don’t just passively check your Google Analytics for a rise or fall in traffic – use it to make smart decisions about how to create content. See what’s really resonating with your readers, and what’s causing a drop off, and make changes as necessary.
Dig deeper to learn what promotional efforts are bringing the most traffic and which are worth your time.
Resolve to Know Your Audience and Always Keep Them in Mind
A lot of potentially great blog posts fall flat when it’s clear that the writer wrote them for their own personal benefit. Overly self-promotional posts without a nod to the reader doesn’t help anyone.
Ask yourself, “Is this worth my audience reading?” before hitting publish.
Resolve to Brainstorm at Least 3 Headlines Before Publishing
Let’s pretend that I didn’t just pick 3 as an arbitrary number. A lot of my early blog posts sucked because I was writing for the search engine without thinking enough about the reader.
For example, I review some tech toys on ChicagoCheapAss.com by partnering with Verizon. My titles would be like, “Tech Toy: A Review,” but I’ve changed my format to be more like, “Do you need a [category of tech toy, like a smartwatch]?” with individual product reviews in the body.
Sometimes, it’s just a simple change of perspective that makes posts clickable and shareable.
With this list, you’re sure to have plenty of things to focus on a year. But remember, despite the clarity of the resolution, it is easy to let it slip. Make it a goal that you intend to achieve by taking the specific steps.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution for your blog? Share in your comments to give other bloggers good ideas!