So you got a blog and now you want to improve it?
I’ve asked myself that same question now and again. There has been a time when my blog was just blah. There was no spark or structure to it. And my traffic showed.
I thought to myself, what do I need to do to improve my blog?
What exactly needed improving?
Upon reading some articles I found that a successful blog has certain elements in place in order to make it successful. Here are a few things a successful blog has.
*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click them and sign up I receive a small commission. This goes to supporting my family and I appreciate it.
Does my blog need improvement?
I guess the first question you should ask yourself is does my blog need improvement?
The short answer to this question is YES!
Because it is always a good idea to take a look at your blog every now and then and improve it. If you have a blog that you have had for a while, you can ask yourself some of these questions…
- Does the theme need an update?
- Is the color scheme outdated?
- Are all links functioning and working properly?
- Are you optimized to earn from affiliate links?
- Are pages that make you money easy to locate and navigate?
- Why do people want to read my blog?
- What does it give to the audience that no other blogger gives?
If you have determined that your blog looks and operates just fine then you can disregard this. As the saying goes, sometimes less is more and you don’t want to overwhelm your readers with too much on your blog. But if you are still with me and feel that your blog could use some improvement, here are some things you can do.
Add an About page
Telling your audience about who you are is probably the best improvement you can make to your blog. An About Page is important if you are a personal blogger or if you are a small business. You want to tell about who you are and/or what your business is about.
This helps bring back readers and gives readers a sense of security that there is someone live behind the blog.
It will also help you to be more genuine in your content. Talk from your real voice instead of someone fake hiding behind her blog.
If you need help, take a look at my about page.
Update Your Theme
When you are first starting your blog, you can get by with one of the generic free themes that WordPress offers. They actually have quite a selection of free themes.
Although you will quickly find that the free themes are limiting.
You will want to customize your blog to the look and feel of your personality. You may want menus on the top, middle, and sidebar. But the free theme will only give you a top menu.
Giving you the ability to customize your blog will continue to benefit you in the future, so invest in a customizable theme.
Some Tips on Your Theme
Your theme should be clean and clear, something that is pleasant to read.
Decide early on what color scheme you will use for your blog and keep it consistent throughout. Pick a color scheme for you blog and stick to it when you choose a theme, design your blog posts, and design your email opt-in form.
Choose a theme that allows you to customize what you want the look and feel of your blog to be.
ThemeForest has a large portfolio of beautiful themes for a decent cost. Most themes come with a demo so that you can structure the theme to look just like it is on the demo. They have many different categories to choose from and offer great support.
If you need help adding the theme and making it look like the demo, check out hiring a freelancer at Fiverr that can set up your blog with the demo. All then you will have to do is fill in the fields with your own information.
Another great theme shop is TemplateMonster. I recommend their Responsive Website Templates as they will look great whether on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device. They have themes for blogs as well as ecommerce sites and businesses. They are customizable and easy to work with.
My last recommendation is a site that I found while skimming through Pinterest one day. It is called Bluchic and they have beautiful feminine themes. If you are a girl blogger and want your blog to have a unique feminine appeal, I highly recommend checking their themes out.
Find something that would make you look professional, while also giving your blog life and personality. You will be able to customize your premium blog to optimize its look and feel as well as it’s marketing potential.
The theme I use on this blog is by Alienwp – Anissa I absolutely love it. And what is really great is that their support includes a signature maker for free!!
Set up an Autoresponder
An autoresponder is an email list service that will allow you to offer a subscriber box on your blog and collect and manage your email list.
GetResponse is my personal favorite to use as it has an easy to use platform. Their basic package is only $14.95/mo.
Make sure your opt-in box is in a optimum place. You can put it in an easy to see area on your blog posts and also in your side bar. Another great place to put it to make sure your offer is seen is with a bar at the top of the page. You can use the Hellobar plug-in to design a top bar opt-in.
Here is a video on how to add Hellobar to your site.
Using that service you can also create landing pages so your subscribers can sign up for a free product you offer and they can be directed to a separate page after opting in for a similar paid product.
Use landing pages to separate buyers from those that just want a free product.
Decide which Affiliates to Promote
Who do you want to promote? The easiest products to promote are the ones you currently use. If you have to make a list of pro and cons for each affiliate program to help you make the decision on which affiliates to promote on your blog.
Promote could mean anything from mention them in a blog post, link to an article written by you about them, or give their product its own page and spotlight on your blog.
Take a look at some top affiliate programs.
Affiliate programs offer you a commission for each person that goes to a site and buys a product. These commissions can range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars for some affiliate programs.
Shareasale is a great affiliate network because they have a variety of categories to choose from.
Amazon offers their program Amazon Affiliates which will give you a small percentage for promoting anything from Amazon. That is a lot of products to choose from.
Promoting your blog’s hosting company is a great way make an affiliate income. I use NameCheap because their domain name registration is just as it implies, inexpensive!! Which is awesome for my dwindling budget. But the most popular hosting company that many bloggers use is BlueHost. They offer $3.95/mo plans on hosting which makes them appealing to a large audience who are trying to stick to a strict budget.
They have the most popular hosting affiliate program too because it pays out the most money. Double win.
You can find an affiliate program for almost any niche, so figure out some of your favorite brands and products and promote them. Or try some new products and write a review about them.
Create a Free Product
Free is good…
But when it comes to resources for you blog… Free is GREAT!!
I’m going to give you free …
KNOW THE POWER OF FREE
When you give stuff away for free on your blog, you can’t help but to make friends. Free is associated with Trust which is associated with Friendship. Simple law of physics.
When you give away a free product, you acquire more trust with your audience. They are more likely to visit your site, surf through your pages, and when ready, purchase a product from you.
Return customers is you main goal in the first few months of your blog.
LEARN YOUR AUDIENCE
Finding out what your readers want to read about is your first mission. This should be something that you have a passion for learning about at least enough to research it and be able to craft a unique blog post with the information. It should also be something that your readers find interesting.
A free product could be a…
- List of Tips
- Resource page
- Personal Story
- How to guide
- Email series
Providing a free product will allow your readers to opt-in to your email list and receive further communication from you. You may be launching a product or promoting a product. After they receive your free product, the subscribers on your list become potential buyers for other offers you may have in the future.
Add a Resources Page
A resources page can be beneficial to you, not only as a reference for yourself but also monetarily (Yay!) With a resources page you are just making a list of what services you use. This would be a great time to attach your affiliate links to these resources.
The resource page, similar to the about me page, should be genuine. Promote only what you have used before and give honest feedback about why you recommend it.
If you would like to see an example, feel free to visit my Resources Page.
If you already have these elements on your blog in place, then congratulations! You are on your way to having a blog that is effective in communicating to your audience. Also you have optimized your blog to potentially make money from it.
If you would like more blog advice, check out some of my popular posts:
- How to Sell Yourself on your Blog
- Ways to Improve Your Blog (and make more money too!)
- Resources for Setting Up Your “Technicals”
Rachel Alice is an online website designer and business owner, saleswoman, and super mom. She enjoys the sunny FL sun and fun with her daughter.