Friday, May 18, 2018

5 Easy Ways to Increase Your Blog’s Success

Whether you're just starting out or are a seasoned blogger, this guide contains some very helpful tips to increase your blog's chances of success.

1. Make your blog load faster.

Today, people expect a website to load in less than three seconds. People want what they want, and they want it now. Needless to say, if you have a slow-loading website, people aren't going to stick around to see what you're offering.

Your bounce rate can give you a pretty good idea if people stick around—or if they're exiting only seconds after they arrive.

Don't make your blog visitors wait.
Keep in mind, however, that slow loading pages aren't the only thing that might be affecting your bounce rate.

Check your bounce rate.

To figure out whether or not your blog is faring well, take a look at your bounce rate. The higher the bounce rate, the more people that are leaving without going further than the home page. Obviously you want people to stick around, so any bounce rate over 70 percent needs to be addressed. In many cases, a high bounce rate is linked with slow load times, poor readability, or a disorganized layout.

My bounce rate dropped significantly after I changed my blog's design.

If you're a regular follower of Freelance Lady, you're well aware that I've gone through dozens of blog designs. Nothing every worked for me. One day, after having changed my design again, I gave up and decided I was going to shell out a little cash to purchase a blog design.

I found Designer Blogs and purchased the Camilla Template for only $15. I did a little tweaking and was absolutely floored with the results. This is the current template that I'm using and it is the way I intend my blog to stay.

Within a month after changing my design, my bounce rate experienced an incredible drop. It's pretty crazy how much your blog design can affect your bounce rate and user experience. With that said, perhaps one of the best ways to increase your chances of success is to...

2. Change your blog's design.

In addition to a fast loading, clean website design, people want to be able to find what they need. If it takes a user more than 10 seconds to find something, chances are, they're going to make a hasty exit. It is incredibly important to have basic navigation links easily accessible on every page of your blog or website.

An organized blog layout can make all the difference in reader experience.

If, for any reason, you cannot place the navigation links above the fold, opt for an easy to find search bar. If possible, adding an FAQ or Help section will also give readers the opportunity to reach out if they have any questions or require additional support.

3. Post regularly.

Think about your favorite blog or website. How often do they share updates and new posts? Chances are, the answer is very often, if not multiple times per day. Regular blog posts and fresh, new content are what keep people coming back.

If you're only posting on your blog once a month, readers aren't going to stop by every week. If you want regular readers, you need regular content. That way, readers know what to expect and they know that if they visit your blog or website, they're going to find new information.

BUT—and there's always a but—your blog's content needs to be good content. Regurgitating information that can be found anywhere on the web is boring, played out, and certainly not guaranteed to bring in page views. If you're looking to really keep a reader's attention, you want to add your own twist to an otherwise mundane blog post.

Write humor posts. Create lists. Do posts featuring GIFs. Take another article and do a spin-off. Implement your personality from time to time. Include visually appealing images. Whenever you can, write long, useful blog posts with at least 1,000 words that are relevant to your niche.

Do you struggle finding time to blog?

We all have other obligations, so it's typical to fall short on time for blogging. Fortunately, you don't have to log into your blog's platform everyday to provide fresh content.

Setting aside at least one day per week for blogging can help you produce enough content for a week's period. You can schedule these posts in advance for the week so that your blog is constantly churning out fresh, new content.

Also, remember to link to other blog posts within your blog so that people stay on your site for longer. As long as the content is helpful, people will stick around!

4. Stay active on social media.

Besides engaging with your blog's readers, social media is excellent for amplifying blog posts. Again, if time is an issue, programs like HootSuite can help you schedule social media posts in advance.

Pinterest is an excellent resource for increasing blog traffic. This is especially true for posts featuring lots of aesthetically pleasing images, as well as do-it-yourself projects, recipes, and life-hacks.

Find out how to create pin-worthy images to increase the chances that someone clicks!

Social media is incredibly important to a blog's success. It adds personality to a business and gives a face to the name. It shows readers and potential customers that you can relate to them on a personal level and also allows you to get to know your audience.

5. Stay active in the blog community.

Meeting other bloggers is a fantastic way to expand your network. Having a strong community of bloggers can not only lead to potential partnerships down the road, but it can also help you grow as a blogger and as a person.

Getting involved in the blogging community is a fun way to build a sense of community and to show others that your blog does have a real person behind it. Attending blogger conventions, joining blogger networks, and even blog hopping are easy ways to get involved. If you find a blog that you like, subscribe, drop a comment, or send a kind word via email. As a blogger, you know how much it means when someone appreciates your work, so share the love!

6. Answer your emails and messages.

Your readers are the backbone of your blog. Your readers are what give your blog value! Without readers, your blog is merely a private journal for which only you get to enjoy. If you do not recognize the importance of your blog's readers, then you're almost guaranteed to struggle on your way to achieve success.

Before I started blogging, I was on the other side of the blogger/reader relationship. I learned the importance of responding to readers, especially after I was ignored by over two dozen bloggers. Of course I understand that bloggers are people with lives, but it doesn't take much time to acknowledge someone. Because of this experience, I always try to respond to my readers.

About a year or two ago, a reader messaged me and asked, "Does the Cheesy Kielbasa recipe have a printable version?" I could have simply ignored the email, writing it off as unimportant, but to me, it was important. To the reader, it was important, as she had taken time out of her day to ask.

Her inquiry also helped me improve my blog. Before her email, I didn't have printable recipes. After her email, I went to each recipe post and created a printable version.

Hey Shannon!

Thank you for being a valued reader. Readers like you are what keep my blog afloat. I appreciate you taking time out of your day to stop by my blog and contact me.

In response to your inquiry, I do not currently have printable recipes. However, I now see the importance of printable versions! As soon as I send this email, I'm going to create printable versions for all of my recipes. First, I'll add a printable version to the Cheesy Kielbasa and Potatoes so that you can get it printed off.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend!

Emily Lambert

No matter how long you've been blogging, using these tips will help you increase your blog's chances of success. Remember to be sure that you have a fast-loading, user-friendly, attractive website for best results. Secondly, always post regularly and keep your readers up to date on social media. Finally, never neglect your audience! They're who make the blog what it is and without readers, there is no success!

For more information on blogging, check out 20 ways to grow your blog!

Best of luck!

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