Small Tweaks – Big Results
I’m all for making small changes that lead to a big difference. With All In My Head, I constantly think of new ways I want to improve on my site. I’m always tweaking and updating it! So, I wanted to create a handy list of 10 easy ways you can improve your own blog! These are quick or simple tips that will make a huge difference to your site.
If you’re serious about blogging for business then there are a lot of things that you need to do, and things that will need tweaking. I am not saying that you have to be perfect; nobody is! Instead it’s about making your blog the best it can be, and doing positive things to grow and update it.
Let’s get started on the 10 easy things to improve your blog!
1. Clean Up Your Old Posts
I talk about in much more detail in my post dedicated to updating old content, but it’s such an important thing to do. As you grow and you write more and more posts, some of your old content will need looking at. Use your archives and check out those really old posts!
Could they be updated? Do you need to take better photos? Or are any of the posts not relevant to you and your blog anymore?
I know it might seem strange to delete old posts. But as the months have gone by, I’ve taken AIMH in a certain direction. Which means that some of my older posts no longer fit into my brand and my business. And that’s okay! Either tweak them so that they do, or get rid.
Your blog is your portfolio, and all of your posts are part of that. If people are loving your content then they might dig deep into your old work, so make sure it’s something you’re still happy for people to read!
2. Get A Custom Header
If you haven’t done this already, it’s definitely worth doing. You can either ask a professional to design one for you, or you can do it yourself. Canva is an amazing tool for creating blog graphics. I create all mine using it, and I’ve not got a single complaint about the site!
It’s great because it saves your designs, and you can edit them later. So, if you add something to your site, and then decide that it’s no good, you can go back and sort it. Without having to start over again!
My blog header only took me about ten minutes to decide upon and create. Canva makes life sooo much easier for us bloggers, and takes all the technical aspects away from design. It’s a drag and drop editor and you can make professional, stunning designs in minutes.
It’s definitely worth doing, and doesn’t take much time to get sorted. It will make your blog look much more professional, and will help you stand out! Make sure it’s in line with other elements of your branding, such as font and colours, to help people recognise you.
I love my header, and I’ve changed it a few times before finding one I’m completely happy with! That’s it now, I’m not changing it again!
3. Make A Blog Schedule
I go into more detail here about creating a blog schedule that works for you. But basically, giving yourself a plan can make all the difference in how your blog comes together. By planning in advance, you will reduce stress, give your blog a direction, and have consistency within your site.
These things make a big impact on how your blog is viewed by others and how it works. You’re much more likely to be able to run your blog as a business if you have a plan. Remember, any other business will have a plan. You need one too!
Check your schedule daily and do your best to stick to it. Make it work around other commitments you have. If you have another job IRL then obviously you will have to plan around that!
Don’t burn yourself out by planning too much. You need time to relax, spend time with your family, and do other things too!
4. Check Your Fonts
Making sure your blog is easy to read is really important. People will be put off very quickly if it’s a struggle to read your posts. Have a read of some of your posts, both on desktop and on a mobile device, and check that your font is easily readable.
It will also make your blog look more professional if you have the right fonts, so take some time to get it sorted. Make sure it matches with your branding, and aim to only use 2-3 different fonts across your entire blog. Make sure it’s clear and easy to read, and matches your style.
5. Have A White Background
I understand that this might be a personal preference thing, but I really do feel that a white background is best. It looks much more professional than having a pink or blue background, and makes your whole blog easier to read.
Using colours might be a way of expressing yourself, but I think if you want your blog to be taken seriously, then you’ll need to have a white background, at least for your posts. You don’t want it to be distracting; you want people to be focusing on your content and what you’ve got to say!
I think having a coloured background just reminds me of old websites that haven’t modernised. Like MySpace or something! There’s a reason you don’t your site to look like that – it’s not modern, or professional-looking.
6. Remove The Fluff
To make your blog run quickly, you need to remove those pesky extras that run on java script. Whilst they might add to your blog in the form of your Insta feed, in reality they’re slowing down your site.
With anything like that, you need to ask yourself one thing:
Is it adding something that will help or inform my audience?
If the answer is no, then you most likely don’t want to add it to your blog. If you’re serious about blogging for business, then you need to put your readers first. What they want and need is the most important aspect to consider when you’re adding something to your sidebar or footer.
You want to focus on the most important things in your sidebar, and not fill it up with anything that doesn’t add value to your site.
In your sidebar, I would include:
- a brief author intro
- your email sign-up box
- links to most popular posts
- social icons if they’re not elsewhere
You really only need these basic elements in your sidebar and your site will run smoothly, and won’t have unnecessary elements gunking it up!
7. Clean Up Your Nav Bar
Your nav bar is your menu. It’s the way that people will get around your site. And if it’s confusing or there aren’t clear options, then people aren’t going to click. You want your readers to be able to look for more of what they like with ease.
I’ve recently completely revamped by menu, and it’s made all the difference. I’ve reduced my blog categories into the things I want to focus on. You can also update the names of some of your pages, and make it easier for people to get to where they want to go.
Have a look at your navigation bar, and make sure you have these key places for people to click to:
- About Me page
- Contact Me page
- Your blog categories
- Any services you offer
- A search function
These are really important elements to have on your blog. Especially if you’re looking to monetize your site. Brands that want to work with you will need to be able to find out more about you, and get in touch, so make that super easy for them.
Focus on providing a clear and simple menu and reap the benefits!
8. Start Collecting Emails
Connecting with your audience is so important, and email is the best way. You’ll often hear that ‘the money is in the list’ when it comes to blogging and running your own website. It’s true – because it’s your contact method, to directly get in touch with your readers. And not only that, these readers are ones that you know like you and your content, because they signed up!
Email marketing is so effective because of that fact. But don’t just use your email newsletters to sell to your readers. Provide them with value. Give them things for FREE because you want to help them. It’s all about serving them first and foremost.
I’ve written a more in-depth post about getting your first email subscriber using Mailerlite, my favourite email service provider. There are a few things you need to take into consideration when you’re starting to collect email addresses, and this post goes into more detail about the ways to get started.
It’s something you should start sooner rather than later, because it’s never too early to start building that list!
9. Get The Yoast SEO Plugin
This plugin will literally transform your SEO! It makes it so much easier to see what is going on! In WordPress, it creates a new element to your posts at the bottom of the editing panel. One tab is your readability score, and the other is your SEO and keyword.
It makes it very simple to choose a keyword, and work out how well you’re implementing that keyword within your content. It also gives you a box so that you can write the meta description for the post. The meta description is what comes underneath your post as the preview when it’s found in search engine results.
Take your time and fine tune your meta descriptions, as these can influence whether people click on your post. Get to grips with the SEO plugin and you will be improving your posts reach and opportunities!
10. Look At Your Titles
Your links will be set up for each post, and whilst you can change them, it creates a lot of work getting the page redirected to the new URL.
However, you can change the title of your post without affecting the permalink. Go through your list of posts, and check whether you can update any of them. Can they be improved upon?
The title makes a massive difference as to whether people will actually click on your post, so make it something obvious, catchy, and useful! Make it so that people want to know more when they see your heading, but avoid being ‘click bait’. It’s not professional and it puts people off in the long-term!
I hope that this post has given you some inspiration on ways that you can improve your blog. It’s all about finding new and interesting ways to reach out to your audience, and build on your content.
There’s a constantly changing element to blogging, and as you grow and learn, your blog will grow with you! Don’t be afraid to try new things, but don’t overwhelm yourself. Choose one thing from the list and get started on that first. There’s always time!
Have a read of the 6 blogging mistakes you might be making that are hurting your business, and see what you need to do to stop them!