There's so much blogging advice on the web! If you did a search you'd be overwhelmed. Everyone's preaching how to grow your blog and get more traffic. Many of these I read, and then with eyes rolled (in my mind because I can't really roll them in person) wonder why I spent that precious time. Some others however I read, and thank the internet gods for directing me to that link - as I hurriedly run to make changes on my blog or jot down the notes for later.
For me mostly, these changes I try to implement - not because I think they were quick fixes to gaining a million readers but because for my existing readers, I'm trying to make it the most comfortable experience - and for the ones that are likely to stumble on my blog - simply hoping that they love it enough to look around and stay!
So I'm going to share with you today, some little and very quick fixes that can improve your blog. I'm hoping that after this you'd run and make the the necessary changes! Or if you're not guilty, you'll pay it forward and share it with someone you know!
Enough preamble, let's get to the juicy bits.
1. Illegible or Weird Fonts!
This is worth singling out honestly. I genuinely read a few blogs and I'm not even going to lie, I feel the strain on my eyes. I already use glasses which I hate, so any blog that insists on funny fonts - I think I'll have to get the information elsewhere.
The thing is some people want their blogs to be unique and so go with some tiny or weirdly shaped fonts. Chances are that if I leave your blog and still vividly remember how your font looked like, then it wasn't a good one. It's better to have a general font that no one remembers. Same goes for the comment boxes. I love reading other people's comments on blogs. So if you've somehow changed this that makes it illegible - your audience may lose interest. Having different font types and sizes (without coherence) is also something to be on the look out for.
And I've been guilty of this. When I started my newsletter the font was so tiny - but I didn't realise until after a while and quickly rushed to changed it to make it bigger.
Kind of related to font is the format of the post. If you're guilty of jamming up your entire post, you have to run to fix it. People have very short attention span - and many people skim posts (sadly!). So they want to see a lot of white space, subtitles and clear headings.
To be honest, the entire layout of the blog is one we should look to improve - but hey, topic for another day.
2. Pop Up (Subscription) Boxes
If you've been on my blog for a while, you may remember when I had pop-up subscription boxes. It seemed cool and lots of people had them, so I thought why not? I did a quick search and happily installed one - with bright yellow lettering that invited you to subscribe and join the cool gang.
My pop up however only popped up when you were a first time visitor or logging in with a new device. Now honestly, what are the odds that a first time visitor to your blog will join the cool gang within 30 seconds of landing on your blog. Very slim yes? So what was the point? I quickly took it down.
Now even if your pop ups come up all the time - except you've checked out the figures and people are really getting on your mailing list through that pop up, it's honestly best to take it out. It's distracting and many times the close button isn't visible. When people can't find it, they'd simple exit the blog totally.
It's okay to have an invitation to subscribe on the side bar or bottom of the blog, but I'm rather doubtful about pop ups. People subscribe when they see value (or freebies!)
3. Contact Forms
First off, there should absolutely be a way foryour audience to contact you. Your readers may simply want to send a hello or thumbs up message while other persons may be interested in collaborations or sponsorship. But, if you've only got contact forms on your blog that ask people to fill in the boxes, then that might be a problem. For several reasons.
People generally dislike contact forms. We're never really sure if the message gets sent to an actual email address or if the recipient gets it. Secondly it leaves no trail or evidence. If I'm sending a message, I want to be able to refer to it at some point. So have an actual email address in your contact details.
And while we're at that it's advisable to have something slightly professional. So firstname.lastname@example.org or might just be a turn off - particularly for more serious emails.
4. Template text
Easily overlooked. Especially when you were so excited to set up your blog and get it running. But I've begun to see it rather frequently that I was wondering if it was a new thing I wasn't aware of.
Basically when you set up a blog, the theme or layout often comes with template meaningless text to guide you in creating your own wordings. So you'll have stuff like "Loresum ipsum faftor uniet la dente etc etc". These could be in the about pages or any other page or area of the blog. But once you've edited it in a few places and your blog looks ready to go - you may have forgotten to take out the template text everywhere.
The consequence of that is that your blog looks like it's under construction - or still not ready for viewers! Or just not professional enough. So even if you're not quite sure what to replace these with, just take them off for now.
5. Inconsistent Social Media Handles
Now this one you may think isn't necessary. But the reality is that if you're trying to build a brand then for consistency sake it helps a whole lot! If you look at some of the most successful bloggers you may recognise that they have the same or very similar names across their social media handles.
So for example if they run a blog called LifeofK, they'd have @lifeofk as their Twitter & Instagram and perhaps even Facebook name. It helps people remember & follow you easily. So if you've got very different names for your blog & social media, it's worth considering how you may streamline those.
And we're done. For now anyway. There are a few others but those will take more than a minute so let's get these fixed first. Are you all spot on on these? Or guilty in any way? It'll take less than one minute to fix so you can do that, right after you leave a comment sharing your thoughts!
pS: Talking about social media, hope you're following me? I'm @KacheeTee everywhere!