Despite the rise in popularity of social media, blogging remains a big deal. Whether it's for fun or for a business, blogging is one of the best ways to increase traffic, keep people informed about the latest happenings in your world, creates more conversations and establishes you as an authority figure in your niche.
Even if you were aware of the benefits of blogging, that doesn't mean that you're doing it correctly. Which is why we've put together these ten handy and simple tips for improving your blog.
1. Have a Personality
The best way to connect with your audience is by letting them the person, or people, behind the blog. Even if you're blogging for business sake, visitors want to know that there's a human behind the words.
Some of the best ways to connect with your audience is by talking to them directly, asking them questions or sharing some personal information about yourself. And, there's nothing wrong with dropping the occasion "I' in there.
2. Set up Google Authorship
Anyone who is writing content online should set up Google Authorship. Not only does it give you deserved credit, it also catches the sight of searchers. Most importantly, however, Catalyst (a search marketing firm) found that clicks increased 150% with Google Authorship.
3. Be Social
Signing up for a Facebook doesn't count as being on social media. You need to find your audience spends the most amount of time and target that social media platform. For example, if you're a professional, than you need to share content from your blog on LinkedIn. And, also don't forget about platforms that have more specific niches, like Vine, Pinterest and Instagram. They can help improve branding and grow a community.
4. Have a Monetization Strategy/Online Payments
Whether you're promoting a freelance service or selling products, your blog should have some sort of monetization strategy or payment option in place. For example, you could set-up an affiliate program to make some money on the side. And if you're selling a product or service you have to have a payment system so that visitors make a purchase 24/7, such as PayPal.
5. Grab the Attention of Readers
How else can you expect people to not only notice, but also click on the title of a blog if it doesn't grab their attention. Having a eye-catching title that stands out is a great place to start. But keep visitors attention by intriguing and startling them.
6. Build a Network
When you build a solid network of like-minded people you're able to get published or discussed on other sites, get interviewed or even win an award. All of which are great for brand exposure and establishing trust. One way we grow our network is by reaching out and engaging with influencers.
7. Consider Keywords, But Don't Overdo It
While keywords are important, there's no need to get that deep with them. In fact, it's not going to help you rank on Google. John Mueller informed a webmaster on during a Google Webmaster Help thread that when you repeat keywords, it's making it difficult for Google to "recognize what's really unique and compelling" on that specific site.
8. Make Sure It's Mobile Friendly
Walk outside your home and you'll instantly notice how popular mobile devices are. And, this isn't a trend that's going away anytime soon. In short, if you're blog isn't compatible with smartphones or tablets, than you're losing out on some serious traffic. You can do this by making sure that your website design is responsive or that you use a WordPress plugin like WPTouch or the WordPress app.
9. Feature Guest Writers
Despite Google's Matt Cutts downing the end of guest blogging, it remains a great way for you to promote the work of established, influential bloggers who can assist in growing your community. So, why was Cutts so hard on guest blogging? He was talking about guest blogging that results in spam. To prevent this, make sure you trust or vet bloggers to make sure they are legit and right for your blog.
10. Feature Quality Content
Startup Investor Murray Newlands says that "Quality content is your moneymaker in any startup. You can follow all of the above tips and still not gain traffic or a community if you're posting low-quality content." When you create outstanding content you're establishing yourself as an authority figure. And this content that connects or engages with your audience will be shared on social media and gain quality links.