We’re in the thick of summer. As bloggers, do you find it hard to keep your momentum? Or maybe your just fresh out of ideas or motivation? I list 6 things you can do to help you polish up your blog over the summer and hit the ground running in September.
I’ll just jump right into it. My most clicked post is How to Share Your Blog Posts on Instagram. When I first published it, I couldn’t figure out a good image to go with the post. Believe me, I tried! Not to mention, it had my old url on it. Case in point:
It’s not the worst, but it ain’t the best. The color? Meh. The worst part? It’s got my old URL on there. I created a new image with the new branding, but it doesn’t keep people from re pinning this. It’s almost like a ball rolling down a hill, eventually it gains so much momentum that you just can’t catch it anymore. It still drives traffic though, so I’ll take it.
Go through posts that get clicks consistently and refresh the content with updated information, if applicable and create new images for them. I used Canva to create this new image. You don’t have to “republish” the post, you don’t want to lose all that SEO juice you’ve built. You can simply promote the post as new. With this post, I just shared it again to Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. It appears like a new post, because visually it looks like a new post!
Create a new landing page
What’s your bounce rate look like? Are you looking at me like I have 17 heads? Google says:
Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).
This means, if you come to my site, scroll quickly through a post and then “bounce” (as in, leave), my rate will be higher. You want to have readers stay on your site and click around for a while. This tells Google that you have quality content that readers can’t get enough of. I’ve been watching and playing around with the idea for creating a landing page and then, I just did it.
When you came to my site before, you would be greeted by the most recent blog post. You could read the latest and then “bounce” out. Certainly, I try to keep your attention by adding links (at least two), where relevant, to other content on my site, but I wanted to keep going. What do you think?
I am working on some other tweaks to the blog portion of my site that has to do with summary blocks and creating collections of content to make topics easier to find as well. Squarespace makes creating a magazine-style look incredibly easy, so I have a disabled page that I have been working on.
Take an ecourse that focuses on detoxing
Whether it’s called a cleanse or a detox, that’s what I am interested in over the summer. Taking a break from social is great, and necessary even, but how can you translate that into how you blog, and your social presence? I am in the middle of a 21 Day Brand Impressions Detox FREE ecourse by Erika Madden of Olyvia Media.
It’s a deceptively simple course delivered via email. You clean up your act online and dust off the cobwebs on areas of your presence that you’ve long since forgotten, like pop-ups! Should you keep them, or ditch them? And what about your pricing (if you run a business)? It’s not too much, but just enough to freshen your brand and keep you squeaky clean as we go into Fall when all the writing and creating gets going again!
Another course I love is the 30 Day Creative Business Cleanse by Regina. Way more intense, I did this over Lent with a friend and loved it. You receive wallpaper, daily emails and checklists. This is not for the faint hearted, but it’s totally worth it if you need a serious overhaul.
Focus on something new (and slightly difficult)
What does that mean? For me, it’s SEO and Google Analytics. Currently, I am tackling SEO and signed up for a free webinar that’s coming up on July 1st (so there’s still time to sign up). It’s free and I only hear great things about the Intro to SEO – Core Skills to Rock Your Traffic webinar. See you there?
Clean up your tags and categories
Related to the magazine style blog look I am going for (ultimately), I have to clean up the categories and tags on my posts. This is also a reason to review old content and clean up any alt image tags, remove old information and add and excerpt about the post.
Julie at Fabulous Blogging really knocks it out of the park with visuals on how best to pare down your tags and categories, so I won’t even attempt it here! While this is for WordPress, I know the same thought process applies across all platforms.
Look for opportunities to contribute and connect
I am a Community Lead for The SITS Girls. This means that I host Twitter chats for them (max 4 times a month) and contribute posts to their site. I am very active in the comments when I post for them and definitely reach out after Twitter chats are over to stay connected. I do this because I always push for a personal connection. It’s just my thing, I feel awkward not responding to comments, and have even reached out to people directly, after the comments close, to respond via email.
This has resulted in requests to contribute to blog posts, collaborate on projects and suggestions on what my next serial binge on Netflix will be. I am not even kidding.
Look for ways to contribute and expand your reach. A great place to start is Beyond Your Blog. I also recommend joining in on Twitter chats and making connections where you can. Last night, I ended the chat with this, and I meant it:
But please stick around and get to know one another. That's really how you make an impact on social media. BE YOU! #sitsblogging xo
— The SITS Girls (@SITSGirls) June 30, 2015
How do you beat the blogging summer slump? Do you take time off, work on the back end part of your site? I would love to know! And yes, cool beverages and pool time totally count!