5 Quick Ways to Improve Your Blog

hourglass-btLet’s say that you have a few hours free and you want to dedicate it to your blog. It’s not enough time to take on a major project such as building a new theme or completely redoing your categories/tags (at least not if you have a large site), but you want to do something to make your blog better.

If you find yourself with that blessing, here are five things that you can do right now to improve your blog, all of which take less than an hour and some only take a few minutes.

Best of all, doing these things will, in most cases, have an immediate or near-immediate impact on your site. Making it more approachable with better content.

So here are some ways you can improve your site right now.

5. Tweak Your Theme

You might not have the time you need to overhaul your theme completely, but what about tweaking it a bit? Why not see if you can improve your site’s typography, thus making your text easier to read? Maybe it’s time for a better logo?

Though, in a perfect world, the look of a site would not impact the way it is read, appearance matters a great deal on the Web, especially when it affects readability. Take a few moments to look at your site, analyze what its weakest points are visually and address them.

Even if it is as simple as adding new RSS buttons, it can be a huge help.

4. Run a Site Speed Test

How fast does your site load? What’s slowing it down the most? If you don’t know, run a site speed analysis and find out. Then all you have to do is eliminate whatever is slowing you down and you should notice a drastic difference in your site’s speed ,all without moving hosts or paying more money.

If you have files that are slowing you down but can’t remove them, consider hosting them on Amazon Cloudfront or Rackspace Cloud to greatly increase their download speed cheaply. Also, be sure to optimize images as needed to keep them from dragging your site down.

3. Tweak/Add Static Pages

Though most people read blogs for the day-to-day content, most people become regular readers, at least in part, due to something available on the static pages of your site.

If you check your traffic stats, you’ll likely find that your static pages are among the most popular on your site but, since they aren’t being constantly written, they fall out of date.

Take a few moments to update or add to your static pages. Write a little bit about yourself, include a picture if you can to forge a more human connection and add pages that compliment your regular blog topics. It works great.

2. Add a Feature

Though adding features to your blogs recklessly can get you in trouble, especially with your site’s speed and appearance, if you have been wanting to add Twitter interaction or a new widget, now is a great time.

Since WordPress and other blogging platforms make it so easy to add plugins, widgets and other elements, if you want to try out a new tool or service, you can do so with relative ease and safety. However, be sure to closely monitor how it affects your site and ensure that it does more good than harm.

1. Brainstorm

Though brainstorming isn’t as immediate with its gratification, it is something you will see benefit from tomorrow and for a long time moving forward.

The problem is that, if you’ve been blogging long enough, idea generation and blog post writing are likely part of the same process. If you don’t constantly have ideas ready when you wake up in the morning, you spend time coming up with ideas that should have gone to writing and crafting the perfect post.

If you brainstorm in advance, you’ll find that your posts are much higher quality. They are better thought out, have much tighter writing and tend to wonder off course less. If you post every weekday and you take an hour now to come up with 15 good ideas, you’ll have three weeks of high-quality posts in your future.

What can improve your site more than that?

Bottom Line

When it comes to making your site better, it doesn’t take a lot of time, just a lot of heart and willingness to sacrifice a few moments to spend on things that are not directly related to blogging.

Best of all, these are just some of the things you can do to make your site better. There are plenty of other things that you can improve on the quick. You just have to beilling to look around.

About the Author

James M. Fisher - July 30, 2009

Thanks for these tips! I have bookmarked this page to refer to again. Also tweeted it.

Navin Israni - July 30, 2009

I looking to start a Bollywood Movie Review Blog (In India)..I have good critical skills and break down a movies good and bad points very well..Al though b4 starting Can u suggest me some general tips( i have never ever blogged before) and some specific tips for movie reviewing..maybe suggesting some links to such blogs might help.?

Caroline Makepeace - July 30, 2009

Great tips! Thankyou, have already put some into practice. I like the brainstorming idea!

Tim Baran - July 30, 2009

Thanks for the useful tips which you've obviously heeded – Beautiful site!

brand power - July 30, 2009

Nice tips, will surely try to put them in use.

JK - July 31, 2009

Great tips, Most bloggers should look into this

Microsoft Guy - July 31, 2009

Great tips, it really helps you change the way you view blogging.

Pradeep Singh - July 31, 2009

Wow.. good and short things to do within some spare time but really effective ones.

Shanmuharajan - August 3, 2009

How to convert my two column blog http://edotsindia.blogspot.com to a three column blog? Advice please

Props Blog Ideas - August 28, 2009

Wow, these are great tips for improving a blog. I have only been blogging for just under an month and have really been trying to polish up my site. Yesterday, I actually did totally revamped my theme and adding a lot to my about page. I even added a picture of myself; it's nice to read this page and get confirmation that I'm headed in the right direction! For editing themes, is it possible to take code from one theme and apply it to another. I just switched to a theme that doesn't offer nested comment replies and I wanted to try to edit the code to allow for that option again. Any tips?

V.C - August 29, 2009

I normally use google tool and firefox plugin to test my website load time.

I also check the speed at numion.com

I think those things are the best tools

Rashmi Mehta - August 29, 2009

Small tweaks that could be very effective and can make a big difference to your blog. thanks for sharing.

Mark McCullagh - August 29, 2009

Some great tips here Jonathan. I clicked over from Daily Blog Tips.

I like the idea of adding static pages/content. I've added a couple pages to my blog – one is kind of squeeze page and I think this is a great idea for a blog.

One thing – if you are using a static page on your blog to promote a product or build a mailing list by offering a freebie if a visitor opts in, it's a good idea to eliminate clutter and use a page that is free of sidebars (choose "no sidebars"). It'll keep the visitor focused on the action that you want him or her to perform.

Ovi - September 13, 2010

Interesting ideas. I totally agree with Rashmi that these small tweaks can be very effective and have a positive aspect on your blog. Good job!

Ovi
AbsoluteCovers.com

Shennan T. - September 21, 2010

Great ideas. Brainstorming works with anything and helps organize things as well.

HP van Duuren - December 17, 2010

Thanks for your Blog Tips, I Bookmarked your Blog.

All the Best,
To your Happy – Blogging – Inspiration,
HP

My recent post Easy Does It- and Coffee Breaks in Style!!!

Valeria - March 24, 2011

Thanks so much for the site speed tester! I've recently overhauled my blog to change the background from black to charcoal – it definitely makes a change to readability, particularly when it comes to the longer posts.

I think another good tip is to rethink the location of your widgets – I try to put calls to action and subscribe actions above the fold in pretty prominent places – putting my feedburner email subscribe widget at the top right of the page doubled my email subscriptions in a week!
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