21 Ways To Improve my Blog

April 29, 2015
I know that I'm preaching to the choir (err, fellow bloggers) when I say that blogging is time consuming.  There are so many more things I would like to do with my blog, but just find myself strapped for time.  These days I'm lucky to even be able to write a post a week.  While I was in between jobs last summer, I found that having the extra time to focus on blogging really made a difference.  I was able to buy my own domain name, re-brand my blog, switch to Disqus, be an active member of two blog groups, and co-host a journal swap.  

There's a lot that I could be doing for my blog that I just haven't done yet.  Have you heard of those Blogging Staycations?  Where you stay in for a few days and just get stuff in order for your blog? Yeah, about twenty different things are on my list!  If I had all the time in the world, I'm sure that I would try to check off each task, but for now I'm just content to list them out and keep them in mind for future reference.  I may never get to all of them, but here's to hoping! 


I should probably/would like to:

1) Post consistently and apply for BlogHer.  I was thinking of applying for BlogHer last summer, but then I got a teaching job, which was awesome but resulted in me not having a lot of time to work on my blog like I once did.  Yes, I would like to join BlogHer, but at this point I would just never apply because my posts are too sporadic.  Maybe when/if I'm ever able to post at least three times a week again for awhile, I will reconsider.

2) Figure out Google Analytics.  I don't really have much legitimate data about my stats since I just use what Blogger shows me.  If I used Google Analytics, I would be provided with much more detailed information about how people are getting referred to my blog.  In turn, it might affect when I decide to post or what forms of social media I use to promote a post.

3) Switch to Wordpress.  Last summer, I had a scare when my blog went down for an hour or two.  I have no idea what happened, but I chatted with other bloggers about it and they all blamed Blogger and said they never had issues like that using Wordpress.  I will say that I like that Blogger is user friendly, but on Wordpress you are able to own all the content you post which is another plus.

4) Improve the way I use social media for my blog.  I recently started following Adventurous Kate on Facebook and am impressed with the way she keeps me intrigued just though one form of social media!  She really engages her readers and doesn't only post link after link to her blog.  While I don't think my Facebook page could ever be quite as cool as Adventurous Kate's, I hope that someday it can be less lame!! My favorite form of social media is still Instagram, but it's a shame that I can't link the individual pictures to my blog post of the day.  As of now, Instagram is more of a personal account that only includes my blog url on my profile page.  I'd like to start mixing it up a bit more on Instagram and use it as a tool to promote my posts.

5) Go back through old posts and reevaluate.  Some of my first few posts on this blog were very lame.  Today I realized I still had a post up that only encouraged readers (I probably had about 2 readers back then) to use my Birchbox referral link if they chose to subscribe.  Like I said, lame!  I also need to go back someday and change all of my font sizes to large.  My earlier posts use a font size that is just slightly too small.

6) Create a watermark for my photos.  I wouldn't want someone to use my images and pretend that they are their own or to re-post my photos and do something shady to them like make a meme with my face.  That would be pretty terrible...Other than that, I don't care too much about my images getting used.  (Should I not admit that?) I would like to add a watermark to my photos to drive more traffic to my blog in case the links get broken on Pinterest, though.

7) Stop using my iPhone to take pictures and use my Panasonic Lumix instead.  I don't have an iPhone 6, and while my iPhone takes pretty decent pictures for a phone, the quality is just better when I use my camera.  Using my iPhone is just too convenient though!! I doubt I'll ever stop completely, but will try to use my Panasonic Lumix more often.

8) Make sure that all of my photos are the same size in a post.  I've been trying to do this lately, but have not always done this.  It just looks better when everything is uniform, at least I think so.

9) Use Buffer for Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.  I do not use Buffer at all right now, but it could potentially be such a useful tool when planning ahead!  Sometimes I join in on a thread in a blogging group and don't want tweet 10 things in a row but want to get the thread done.  Buffer would also be my answer to that problem.

10) Be more active in blogging groups.  Almost every blogger in the group wants to connect with other bloggers--after all, isn't that the reason why most people join a blogging group in the first place?  I've discovered some great blogs through some of the groups I'm in and know that I might also gain some new blogging buddies if I just "spoke up" more in the threads.  

11) Start a newsletter.  Realistically, I don't see this ever happening because I'd rather just take the time I would have spent working on a newsletter and post here instead.  To those who do have a newsletter, good for you for having it all together! :)  

12) Make a Pinnable image for every/most posts.  Pinterest boards should be aesthetically pleasing, so without a pinnable picture available, less people will want to pin your post for later.  I'm no graphic designer, so I could really use some work in this area and currently only use PicMonkey and Canva.

13) Add share buttons to the bottom of each post.  Yes, I have the itty-bitty ones that come automatically with Blogger, but some custom ones would be great because they would be more visible.  When bloggers make their content easy to share, I know I always end up sharing more of it!

14) Sign up for StumbleUpon.  I've been hearing more and more about StumbleUpon and what a great tool it can be to help promote your blog.  I do tend to be a bit more hesitant when signing up for social media accounts, but this is something at least worth looking into.  

15) Put social media follow buttons on the bottom of each post. With my previous blog design, I used to have this.  I think having them there is just a good reminder, and again, it makes it easier for someone who is reading your blog to follow you...because scrolling up to the top of your blog to do it is way too hard. ;)  

16) Create "continue reading" links for each post.  This way I would be able to display more posts on my page without having all that blank white space on the side bar.  

17) Display "related posts" at the bottom of each current post.  If readers find my blog because they are interested in something I wrote about Savannah, then I want other posts about Savannah to be on right there to hopefully catch their interest.

18) Print out business cards for my blog.  I am not a huge self-promoter, but it would be nice to have a few of these cards for friends and for when I go to the BlogHer conference this summer with Rachael.  The gal who did my current design actually already made business cards for me.  I just have to print them and voila!

19) Take a blogging course and/or get a blog consultation.  I love learning more about what interests me and value others' feedback.  Also, it's not like I have any real life blogging friends that live close to me that I can just meet up with and chit chat about blogging when I feel like it.  I don't think there's anything wrong with paying a little extra if you're going to be given resources and advice!

20) Start tweeting "from the archives" posts on Twitter.  I mean, just because it's not a brand new post doesn't mean it should have to go to waste, right?  

21) Sponsor other blogs.  I have sponsored other blogs in the past, but haven't done this recently due to my sporadic posting.  If I ever get back into a blogging groove, I would love to sponsor some more blogs.  It's just fun and gets my blog more exposure.

What would you like to do for your blog?  Are any of these on your list?
34 comments on "21 Ways To Improve my Blog"
  1. Thanks for tips Lisa :)

    http://golovelife.blogspot.com

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  2. You really should enable Google Analytics. It's easy and it's the first question sponsors want to know - your page views, etc. according to Google Analytics. At one time I watermarked all of my photos, then I had a plugin for that and now I don't really watermark them at all. I probably need to. :) I long for the time to go back and redo my old posts.

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  3. Great tips! I've been doing this 4 years, and can still feel lost some days :)

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  4. Ah man, there are so many of these things that I would LOVE to do. I spent a few hours the other day trying to figure out how to put a watermark on my photos, and it just ended up frustrating me. I don't under stand any of the analytics and I'm probably completely screwing up with social media. Some days it's just easier to not worry about any of it!

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  5. I agree with your whole list. But the most important thing is to just DO it! Go down your list one by one and get it done. Your blog will be better for it!

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  6. I'd love a blog staycation, but the way my life is going right now, I'm doing good to get two hours to myself, much less several days! I've slowly done most of these over the last five years of blogging--it wasn't fast, but at least they got done, right?! The one thing that I haven't done (and don't really have any plans on doing) is switching from Blogger to self-hosted Wordpress. 1) Because I'm too lazy/ cheap to pay someone to migrate 400+ posts, and 2) it's worked for me for a LONG time with no issues. Wordpress always seems like it's having issues with plug-ins and spam, where I haven't dealt with anything like that with Blogger.


    Plus, it's a common misconception that Blogger "owns" your content--yes, there's a clause in the ToA that says they can use your representation with credit back to the source, but so does FB, Twitter, etc. It's a pretty common clause, and it in no way means that they can steal your content and do with it what you want. Sorry--stepping off the soap box now. Just my inner law school kid coming out! :)

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  7. Dana Brillante-PellerApril 29, 2015 at 10:48 AM

    Sounds like you have your work cut out for you! It all takes time...I've been blogging for 6 years, and have just started to get really serious about it in the past few months. You are on the right track with your list above...take them one task at a time!

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  8. Oh man, I have a crazy to-do list for my blog. A lot of it is design-related, but finding the time can be hard. You should totally install Analytics ASAP though - any sponsor or ad network (like BlogHer) will want to see at least 30 days of stats, or in some cases 90 days (so you can make an average of the three months). And Blogger stats are way, way off anyway. I also want to go back through some old posts and fix some photos and links and stuff. There are just too many to go through, lol.

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  9. Great list that you have here. I definitely love the user friendliness of Blogger and have no plans of switching to Wordpress any time soon. All blogging platforms have their issues and Wordpress blogs have been known to be down as well. It's one of those things that happens. Good luck with making progress on your list.

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  10. Heather @ Divas Run for BlingApril 29, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    These are great tips! I am at the point that I'm considering starting a newsletter so I agree with you completely

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  11. Good list and I need to adopt some of these! Good luck!

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  12. I am with ya, I need a blog staycation to get my list done! When I do have a bit of free time I am just so tired that I don't want to tackle all those other blog projects, but I really need to get on it!

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  13. I tried awhile back following instructions from another blogger's post, but it didn't work. I think it's about time I try again.

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  14. No problem! I was just listing them out for myself, but then figured I'd share!

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  15. That's actually kind of encouraging!!

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  16. I so agree. Sometimes it's nice just to blog for the fun of it.

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  17. Well, I do have two months off in the summer, so I think I'll be working on a lot of it then. Thanks for the pep talk. :)

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  18. Yes--it is a daunting list, so I have to break it down or else I'll be way too overwhelmed.

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  19. I'm NOT good with the design aspect and I'm always scared that I'll mess something up and not know how to fix it. Thanks for the advice about Google Analytics--I'll have to make that one of my top priorities.

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  20. I'm happy to hear that, actually! I have never used Wordpress, so it's really hard to compare it to Blogger when I'm not familiar with WP at ALL.

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  21. Good luck with that! Are you going to have it come out on a monthly basis?

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  22. Hahaha...I've made the list, now hopefully I can do at least most of these things! :)

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  23. Yeah, I just like to focus on content first and always put the other stuff aside!!

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  24. Thanks for telling me that! Does Wordpress not have that clause at all? That makes me want to stay put and not switch over because so many say that Wordpress is less user friendly.


    I hear ya on being busy, that's for sure! Since I'll be off for two months in the summer, I hope to be able to conquer some of these tasks then.

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  25. It seems to be a never endless journey of improving your blog. Which is a good thing I guess! This reminded me of a few things that I had forgotten on my list! Too bad there can't be one mandated day a month where bloggers are allowed to do nothing else but work on blog stuff. Oh I wish.

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  26. No problem, Lisa! I haven't ever read the entire Wordpress.org ToA, so I'm not sure of the exact language in it, but that clause is SUPER common. If you enter a radio promotion, any contest, buy tickets to a concert, or submit anything to Google, you're agreeing to the exact same clause--but no one gets worried about that clause anywhere but with Blogger from some reason! (It's SO strange what people get stuck on!!) As long as you're not doing anything illegal or horrible (like stealing other people's content or selling drugs or something), Blogger's not going to just jerk down your site. :)


    It really comes down to whatever you like--some people like Blogger, while others prefer Wordpress. I've worked on both over the years, and I keep coming back to Blogger. The hassle of moving my blog over at this point just isn't outweighed by whatever I'd gain by going self-hosted. I'd say go with what makes you comfortable! :D

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  27. Wow these are great goals and it looks like you know what you need to do. I am always looking for ways to improve my blog as well, its great working with companies that put links to your blog on their sites or in their brochures and magazines. Having blog business cards is so handy, I get stopped by strangers all the time about my makeup and I talk to a lot of new people at events so they are very handy to have.

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  28. I need a blog staycation ASAP! If only I didn't have to work so much. Can I just blog full time? I really want to make the switch to Wordpress too. I feel like it will be so beneficial! I plan on making it soon once I can afford the hosting. I would also like to create a watermark too and actually use it consistently. I'm so lazy about it, and they always look different. I also only put my website on it, and it's so boring. I've always wanted to do a blog consultation! I don't know who I would consult with though! You have so many great goals here, and I can already see your blog just blossoming in an amazing way!

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  29. point 12- use more pinnable images - you can so just use canva or picmonkey for all of your images! Honestly, Canva is where I make 90% of my pinnable post images... I only go to photoshop as a last resort if something is frustrating me. Great list though!

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  30. Oh gosh, a mandated "catch up" day once a month would be pretty great!!

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  31. That's so cool that you get stopped on the street like that! Have any of the people you met stopped by your blog and commented?

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  32. I hear ya on wanting to just blog full-time!! If only we all could! I know Helene from Helene In Between does consultations, but I want to look into it more. I'm really hoping to knock out a few of the things on my list this summer if I can! Good luck with all of your blogging goals as well. :)

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  33. That's good to know!! I wasn't planning on paying for Photoshop, so it's nice to hear that I'm not missing out too much by not having it for the Pinnable images. :D

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