Close
Close

Ask Yourself: How Do Readers See Your Blog?

It’s time for day 17 in our 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge.

Here’s a frightening reality – within just a few seconds of arriving on the blog that you pour hours and hours of time and energy into, a new reader will make snap judgements about what your blog is about and if it is worth their time to spend time on it.

First impressions are so important in real-life interactions but online it’s even more so.

You might look at your blog hundreds of times a week and therefore might miss little things, or be so familiar with it you don’t know what it’s like from a new reader perspective.

It can be nerve-racking to hear feedback about your pride and joy, but it’s necessary to ensure you’re providing readers with a place they want to stay. And the only way you’ll know how they feel about it is to ask them.

Today’s challenge is to conduct a “first-time reader audit” on your blog and try to see it from their perspective, so you know what you can tweak to make their experience better.

In this episode tell you how best to do this, and a list of things you’ll need to complete the audit. I’ve also got a series of questions to ask yourself as you watch the reader go through your blog to gauge their reaction. There will be questions you can ask them to prompt their description of their experience and give you valuable insight into how your blog looks to the outside world.

The show notes also include some tools and services to make this easier for you – especially if you don’t have a newbie on hand!

Good luck – would love to hear how you go.

ProBlogger Podcast Avatar

Click here to listen to day 17 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast. 

Further Reading:

ProBlogger Podcast: Blog Buddies

Let’s kick off this new week of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog with a podcast about finding your tribe.

I’m an introvert, and blogging and podcasting work really well with my personality type. I enjoy interacting with others, but at a bit of a distance. But one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over 13 years in this business is that sometimes I have to push myself out of my comfort zone and be among people, because it’s then that my blogs grow best.

In my first few weeks of blogging when I had no idea what I was doing, I realised the value of having a helping hand in other bloggers. Their support is indispensable, especially when you feel as though you’re not getting anywhere, or you’re better off doing something else with your time.

In today’s episode I go through the challenges I’ve faced over the years and how the presence of other bloggers have helped me. I’ve achieved so much more as a result of collaboration and reaching out to others, so I’ve a few ideas to share about how they help and why you should find yourself a friend or two to make this online journey with.

It’s probably pretty obvious, but today’s challenge is to find a blog buddy or buddies. That might not be as easy as you think, so I’m on hand to give some advice about how you might like to go about this.

ProBlogger Podcast Avatar

Click here to listen to day 15 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast. 

 Further Reading:

31DBBB Day 14: Update a Key Page

Here we are, day 14 – two full weeks of tips to help you create the best blog possible, and plenty more to come!

Although this week we’ve covered social media, forums and groups, alerts, brainstorming, editorial calendars and even getting off your blog to find inspiration, we haven’t talked much about the static pages on your blog.

And that is what todays episode is all about!

Often these pages get left behind in the day-to-day grind of churning out fresh content. But think – how long has it been since they were updated? Are they full of old information? Do you have much of a schedule for updating them? I know that every time I check mine, there’s always something that needs changing.

In today’s show I run through a few types of pages you can make changes to and what you might need to change. There’s a lot to think about and plenty of tiny little items you should get in the habit of checking. I also touch on the need to update (and how) those posts you wrote years ago that still get high traffic – what can you do to bring them into 2015?

ProBlogger Podcast Avatar

 

Click here to listen to day two of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast. 

An Unexpected Piece of Advice that Will Help You Grow Your Blog

Today’s challenge in our 31 days to build a better blog podcast series is a bit different, and hopefully – a lot of fun. It’s to not blog at all!

Today I want you to leave your electronics behind and go to your local mall or shopping centre. Why? Because it will put you out in the real world where real experiences will help give you real content. It will also ensure you brush your hair for the day!

In this episode I’ll go into detail about what happens when I do this, and why I now recommend it to everyone. I also outline the things I’ve learned and how it’s had an impact on the way I blog now.

I also tell you how to get the most out of your visit so it doesn’t just feel like a day wasted in a consumerist vacuum.

Listen to this challenge here or find it on iTunes and Stitcher (just look for episode 13).

Enjoy!

ProBlogger Podcast Avatar

Click here to listen to day 13 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast. 

Further Reading:

31DBBB Day 12: Develop an Editorial Calendar (and How to Do So!)

So yesterday your 31DBBB Challenge was to brainstorm 10 posts for your blog (you could come up with more, but 10 was the minimum!) and today we will be building on that – developing an editorial calendar.

This is going to serve as the next week of content on your blog. Ultimately these two exercises will get you on the road to setting up a publication schedule you can carry on, specifying what kind of content you’ll publish on what days.

If you already have an editorial calendar, I recommend you use this day to review it – how has it been working? Check in your stats to see if your most popular posts are being scheduled on your biggest traffic days. How have the comments been? Have the posts been resonating with readers? Have you enjoyed writing them?

In today’s episode I outline what I think are the benefits of editorial calendars, and briefly touch on some of the tools you can use to do so – but really, what I’m ultimately encouraging is just a simple calendar you can use for the following week. I’ll take you through the steps I use to develop mine.

Feel free to share your editorial calendar in the comments On todays show notes. Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for a new topic.

ProBlogger Podcast Avatar

Click here to listen to day 12 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast. 

Further reading:

ProBlogger Podcast Day 10: How to Use Alerts

As ubiquitous as the internet is, you can’t be across all things at all times in your niche.

It’s important to have a general idea of what the trends are not only for your sake so you can stay current, but also so you can share that information with your readers (perhaps in your next link post? Or social media update?)

The easiest way you can stay abreast of what’s been going on is to set up alerts and subsriptions.

Today’s episode of the ProBlogger Podcast will take you through how you can create a steady flow of great input to fill your inspiration cup and to stay on top of current issues. We expand on the initial “set up an alert” challenge in the original 31DBBB workbook and I’ll outline the reasons I think you need to set up alerts, and how it will help you create better content for your readers.

We’ll go through both Google and Twitter alerts and some other things to consider setting up for blog posts relevant to you.

Head on over to the podcast for the links I mention to help you set up the alerts, which will be in the show notes.

Good luck!

ProBlogger Podcast Avatar

Click here to listen to day 10 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast. 

Further Reading:

31DBBB Challenge: Join a Forum or a Social Media Group and Start Participating

One of the most common questions I’m asked by bloggers is “how do I find readers?“.

I do have a pretty standard reply, although it really does depend on several factors: mainly who is their target audience, where are they mostly online, and how can you participate in those places?

One of those places could possibly be a forum or social media group (like a Facebook or LinkedIn Group), and you’re missing out on a wealth of untapped readers if you’re not in there being part of the community too.

Today’s episode of the ProBlogger Podcast and 31 Days to Build a Better Blog focuses on forums but also how they may have morphed into social network groups, and why it’s in your best interest to participate in these places where your future audience is congregating. It also features the challenge of the day to find a forum or group and get started. I’ll show you how.

Don’t forget to let me know how you’re faring on Twitter (tag @ProBlogger), or if you have any questions. Stay tuned for a brand new topic tomorrow!

ProBlogger Podcast Avatar

Click here to listen to day nine of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast. 

Further Reading:

31DBBB Podcast Challenge: Write a Link Post (And Why You Should!)

This is it! Day Seven of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog podcast series – you made it through the first week!

If you missed an episode here they are:

But back to today which is another writing challenge, which by the end of the month, should help you define what kinds of posts you like to write and what appeals to your readers.

Today’s challenge is very simple – a link post. But in this episode, I go into more detail about the types of link posts that do well (I talk about the six ways to write a link post), how to expand upon them, and of course – why I think these types of posts are important.

Things have changed since the early days when I favoured link posts, so there’s also tips to ensure your posts will be successful in today’s new online environment.

Don’t forget to share on social media how you’ve enjoyed your first week. What have been the hits and misses for you? What have you learned?

ProBlogger Podcast Avatar

Click here to listen to day seven of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast. 

Further Reading:

ProBlogger Podcast: The Benefits of Your Blog Being Mobile-Friendly

Today is Day 6 in our 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge

There’s no denying it – the time has come where you’re going to lose traffic if your blog is not optimised for mobile viewing.

Whether that dip in traffic is due to Google penalising non-mobile-friendly sites by not featuring their content in mobile search results thanks to their “Mobile Friendly Update” (otherwise known as Mobilegeddon), or because your reader isn’t having a pleasant reading experience and will click away to another blog where they do, you may never know. But the time is now to get your site mobile-friendly and capitalise on the fact that mobile traffic is outnumbering desktop traffic at breakneck speed.

Now this is one of the challenges in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast that might not be able to be completed in a day, but it’s something you can make a start with today, at least.

In this episode, I ask you to look at your blog on a mobile device from your readers’ perspective, and I give you some questions to ask yourself as you look. I also go through a few options to help you transition if you blog on WordPress, with links in the show notes to a few of my favourite sites and plugins.

If your blog is already mobile-friendly, we go through a checklist of things to do to make sure your reader is getting the best mobile experience possible. You won’t want to miss it.

ProBlogger Podcast Avatar

Click here to listen to day six of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast.

Further Reading: