This post is an excerpt from the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook
Today your task is to update some of the key pages and posts on your blog.
What are the most important pages on your blog?
This is an interesting question to ponder for a few minutes…. in fact, why not do that before reading on.
What pages or posts on your blog do you see as most valuable?
I sat down and asked myself this question earlier in the week and identified 10 or so pages on my blogs that for one reason or another were more important than others.
The reason I did the exercise was because that day I’d had the realisation that while every page on my blog is important – there are pages on most blogs that are more powerful than others at helping you to achieve your goals as a blogger.
However it also struck me while thinking about it that some of these important pages need updates from time to time.
So today your task is to spend time identifying key posts and pages on your blog and to give them an update.
Let me explore a few of these pages and suggest some ways that they might need an update:
Let’s start with the most obvious page first….
Your front page
This a fairly obvious one – most blogs get more traffic to the front page of their blog than any other. Here at ProBlogger my front page gets a little under 20% of all traffic on the site.
It’s the page I usually promote on business cards, in my email signature, on profile pages of social media sites and the page that others mentioning my blog on their sites refer people to. It’s also a page that people landing on old posts on my blog often head to next to see what the site is about.
Update it - there are a variety of ways that one can update the front page of their blog. These range from complete makeovers through to tweaks. The makeover/overhaul end of the spectrum is a little beyond the scope of this challenge so let me suggest a few smaller ideas:
1. First Impressions – what first impression does a new reader coming to your front page get? Do they know what your blog is about immediately? Does your blog’s title tags, header, tagline etc strongly communicate what your blog is about? Are their eyes drawn to any one important element or are things cluttered?
2. Sidebar - most blogs have a sidebar on every page – but it probably gets looked at more on your front page than any other. Over time sidebars tend to become cluttered with lots of buttons and links – perhaps it is time for a spring clean with the objective of only leaving useful and important information there.
3. Headers/Logo - one way that you can give your front page (and other pages on your blog) a refresh without doing a full redesign is to develop a new logo/header for your blog. This is not something to rush but perhaps today is a day to begin thinking about a new look and brand for your blog.
4. Think about Objectives and Call to Action – one question to ask when looking at your blog’s front page is ‘what are your objectives?’ What do you want people to do when they arrive on your blog for the first time (remember your front page is a logical place for new people to be visiting)? Do you want people to subscribe to an RSS feed or newsletter, click an ad, tell a friend, drive them to your best content, buy a product, hear your story…. what do you want them to do? Once you’ve identified your objective you can then position a call to action in a prime location on your blogs front page.
The front page of your blog is very important – but there are others. Let me suggest a few:
The about page of a blog may not get as much traffic as others – but it is one of the most important ones that you can spend time developing. The reason I believe this is that it can be a very influential page.
Think about who might read an about page. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that those reading your blog’s about page are going to be people in ‘investigation mode’. My suspicion is that those clicking on ‘about’ links are going to be:
- first time readers wanting to know whether this is a site for them
- potential partners/advertisers/collaborators/journalists/PR people/other bloggers etc wanting to know if they should invest time in building a relationship with you
It stands to reason that it’s a page you’ll probably want to have spend some time on recently to keep up to date, to think about how you call people to action etc.
Probably the biggest two mistakes that you can make when it comes to an about page are:
- Not to have one
- To leave it as the ‘default’ about page
During the last week I had an email from Becki who is doing the 31DBBB challenge. She wrote:
“I read all 700+ comments to the day 2 post and searched for people who have blogs in a similar niche as me. I was hoping to get a link on their site and to cooperate in some way, and am amazed that most have no method to directly contact the author.”
Becki was actively wanting to reach out to other bloggers in her niche with the hope of working with them in mutually beneficial ways to build their blogs. But due to the fact that many bloggers didn’t have any way to be contacted they missed out on a potentially fruitful relationship.
Do you have a means of being contacted on your blog? If so – is it up to date?
High Traffic Pages
Most blogs that have been around for a while have at least a handful of posts in their archives that generate a higher number of page views than other posts. This can be the result of search engine traffic, the result of another site linking to you, a social media site making a page popular etc.
This is an important page on your blog as it is a gateway where potential new loyal readers are entering.
The problem that many blogs have is that those entering your blog in these gateways often turn right back around and leave again.
Spend some time today identifying the most visited posts on your blog using a blog stats program (Google Analytics is one that I use and recommend – but even using a blog platform like WordPress’s native stats package should reveal what pages are getting visited most).
Once you’ve identified some key pages – make sure they are up to date and as helpful to readers as possible – but also think about how you can make that post more ‘sticky’. You could do this by:
- adding some suggested further reading links at the end that point to other key posts on your blog
- adding an invitation to subscribe to your blog at the end (or even at the start of the post)
Other key pages
Many blogs have other key pages on them that often go for months and months (if not years and years) without an update. These include ‘advertise with us’ pages, ‘recommended reading’ pages, ‘subscribe’ pages etc. Almost any page linked to from your navigation menu probably fits as these will be links people looking around your blog for the first time will probably be visiting.
Enough talk – go update some pages! Once you have – share with us how this exercise went in comments below. (Update – You can also share your results and exchange feedback with others in the challenge over at the forum: Day 14 – Update a Key Post or Page on Your Blog)
This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.
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