Let’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.
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.
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.
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your static pages are among the most popular on your site but, since they aren’t being constantly written, they fall out of date.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.
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.
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?
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.