According to the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, “the life which is unexamined is not worth living.” Similarly, a blog that isn’t thoroughly reassessed periodically can be a big waste of time. Fine-tuning your blog requires that you look at it from the critical point of view of an unbiased reader. Simply put, it’s often helpful to take a step back in order to move forward. When restructuring your blog’s strategy, keep the following points in mind.
If the average user searches for information on a particular topic and finds your site, will they be pleased with the content they encounter? You need to carefully match your blog content with the expectations of your readership. Some blogs focus on opinion pieces, whereas others tend to primarily deliver how-to articles. Whichever approach you adopt, make sure that you’re delivering a predictable experience.
You can pack the most valuable content into your blog without necessarily getting the number of page views you want if your blog resembles something from Geocities circa 1996. Invest a little time in modernizing the appearance of your blog. You don’t have to pay a web designer thousands of dollars to completely overhaul the layout. In fact, minimalist web design is very popular nowadays.
There are plenty of successful blogs online that publish only sporadically. However, they’re generally quite niche-specific and probably don’t pull in the kinds of traffic you’re looking for. To increase your readership exponentially, publish plenty of high-quality posts regularly. If you can’t spare the time to put out at least one well-researched piece per day, hire someone to do it for you or start accepting guest posts for high quality writers.
Style, Tone and Flavor
In addition to a regular publishing schedule, nearly every blog of note online boasts a distinctive writing style. Peruse the pages of successful blogs such as the The Verge and MakeUseOf, and you’ll notice that there’s a particular tone that’s found throughout the site. This doesn’t mean that there’s no room for differing opinions or post types. However, it is important to maintain a unique and consistent style that’s easily recognizable.
Is My Content Engrossing?
While some of the more popular news and views portals keep things relatively shallow and flippant, blogs with a die-hard core of loyal readers consistently publish in-depth pieces of actual substance. Such blogs have an addictive quality that pulls in readers and leaves them wanting more. Granted, this requires some careful planning and strategizing beforehand. The proper use of internal linking helps immensely.
Ease of Consumption
Though the New York Times and similar publications are no doubt well-written, their prose can at times be purposely esoteric. You don’t have to dumb things down to the lowest common denominator, but it’s sensible to put a ceiling on your usage of SAT words. In other words, making your readers reach for a dictionary every two seconds won’t do you any favors.
Improving On Your Weaknesses
As Digg has proven, it’s not wise to make sudden changes that alienate readers. Give your blog a face lift incrementally with regards to content, layout and design. Remember that successful blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. Be willing to stay the course as you overhaul your blog to ensure long-term increases in traffic, SERPs rankings and overall authority.