This guest post is by Jonathan Dunsky of WorldofDiets.com.
A lot of bloggers work alone. I started out the same way. I hardly talked about what I was doing and never got into details with the people closest to me.
Today, however, I feel that this approach can limit the success of your blog and that you must reach out to those closest to you to help you build your blog to its fullest potential.The people around you can help you in a variety of ways: giving you ideas for content creation, providing usability tips, design ideas, and general constructive criticism. You can use all this to make your blog more appealing, interesting, and popular.
In the two years in which I’ve been writing my health and fitness blog, I received tremendous help from the people in my life. I want to share some of those things with you to give you some ideas on how the people around you can help you become a more successful blogger.
Pushing me to make difficult changes
I have to admit that I love my blog. I’ve put a lot of work into it and I find it hard to make changes to it.
Fortunately for me, my wife, Karen, is not as sentimental and kept pushing me to invest in a better design for the site. She didn’t like the plain look of the free theme I used whereas I didn’t want to touch it.
In the end, as is usually the case in our marriage, I capitulated and bought a premium theme, tweaked it a bit to look just right, had a designer create a logo for the blog, and implemented a magazine style home page instead of a regular blog format.
The result was a decrease in bounce rate, general approval from readers, and I am even more in love with my blog today than I used to be in the past. I guess I’m just a shallow guy and looks do matter to me.
The point is that making this kind of change would have taken me a lot more time if no one was there to push me to do it.
Creating better content
There are a number people in my life that have helped me create better content.
The first is my wife, who is a physical therapist. I often consult her about correct exercise techniques and how to craft effective workouts for my readers.
The second is my friend, Dorothy, who has struggled with her weight for years. She represents the average visitor to my site—a person who wishes to lose weight in a healthy and gimmick-free way.
Just by speaking with her about the methods she tries and the process she’s going through reminds me to create content with my readers’ problems in mind.
Following trends from afar
I live in Europe so it’s harder for me to keep up with trends in the US and Canada, where most of my readers are. Fortunately for me, one of my childhood friends lives in New York and I can ask him whether a certain fitness product or diet plan is getting a lot of attention and media coverage in the US.
In this way I can create content which people are more interested in at that time.
For instance, my review of the Shake Weight might have never been written if I didn’t know how big that product was in late 2009. Up to this day, that blog post received nearly 300 comments.
My sister-in-law, Sharon, is a graphic designer so I consulted her about the color scheme and design of the blog and logo. Whenever I want to make design changes I know I can count on her professional opinion to steer me in the right direction.
How to enlist your friends and family to help you blog better
First, you have to be open about what you do and what your goals are. If you’re blogging about some shady topic and you can’t even talk about it with your friends, you will have to do things on your own.
Second, accept criticism. If people are afraid to tell you what they really think about your blog, you will miss out on crucial tips that can make it much better. From now on, any criticism should be viewed as constructive.
Third, your blog is written for people. Unless you write about internet marketing, you should seek the advice of people who are not marketers. Get the viewpoints of people who are similar to your readers.
Finally, don’t disregard anyone’s opinion. Don’t be quick to reject proposals. You don’t have to accept or implement every suggestion you get, but you should take the time to consider it.
If you have other stories about how those closest to you have helped you become a better blogger, or some tips to add, please share them in the comments below.
Jonathan Dunsky is a writer, husband, and fitness enthusiast. You can check out his fitness and nutrition tips at WorldofDiets.com.