5 Ways to Improve Your Blog And Get It Ready for 2017

GET YOUR BLOG READY and improve your blog for 2017

It doesn’t matter whether you just start blogging or if your blog is as old as you are – the blogging sphere is a constantly changing realm you have to keep up to. Improving your blog is not just a convenient option – it’s a necessity. There are new rules to follow, new improvements to consider, and new strategies to try in order to improve your blog. Here are some important things to do to get your blog ready for 2017. Get the free checklist at the end of the post!

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prepare and improve your blog for 2017 (1)

 

1. Make Sure Your Website is Responsive

In Google’s term, responsiveness means your website or blog is mobile-friendly. This is already a key aspect in determining your website’s rank in mobile search result since 2015. As for now, more than 50% percent websites are already responsive. Don’t be left behind!

Checking your website’s mobile-friendliness is easy. Simply use the Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out.

What to do if my website is not responsive?
For me, the easiest way to improve your blog to be more responsive is to simply switch to a responsive theme design. If you are using WordPress, you can find plenty of responsive themes in Themeforest. Here are some of my favorites:

Look Theme
responsive wordpress design to improve your blog for 2017

 

Wonderwall Magazine

wordpress themes to improve your blog for 2017

 

Berry Responsive Theme

Berry Responsive WordPress Theme for 2017

2. Take Down Those Intrusive Pop-Ups

I get it, pop-up is a great way to turn visitors into subscribers. But let’s face it, sometimes it’s blocking the entire content without a convenient way out. This can be a bothersome experience, especially for mobile users, where the “x” button is often inaccessible and users end up leaving without getting anything. If you ever had this kind of experience, Google hear ya. They announced that websites with intrusive pop-ups will not rank as highly as they did before.

For me, the best way to still get people to subscribe is to offer freebies. People enter their email and you send them an awesome list or workbook or e-book or anything, really. It gives your posts more value, and it wouldn’t risk your website being penalized by Google for intrusive pop-ups. You can do that easily with MailChimp. I’ve been using their service since I first started blogging and I’m happy with the experience!

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3. Optimize Old Contents

Search engine still accounts for more than half of website traffic. That means getting a good ranking is a big deal, and improving your ranking is an important measure to improve your blog.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) shouldn’t be your main and only framework in creating contents, but it’s a mistake not to pay attention to it. The best practices of SEO changes over time and there are many things to consider, but for me one of the best and easy way to keep my posts SEO-friendly is using the help of Yoast SEO plugin. If you didn’t pay attention to SEO in the past, it’s not too late to start optimizing your old contents for 2017.

4. Improve Your Website Speed

In this fast-paced world, no one have the time to wait an extra second for a page to load. Kissmetrics reports that even just a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% conversions reduction. And as many as 40% people leave a website that takes more than 3 loads to load.

Check your load time using Google Page Speed Test.

What to do if my website is too slow?
One of the biggest speed killer are images. If your website loads too slowly, you can start with optimizing your images using Plugins like WP Smush or EWWW Image Optimizer.

 

*this post is linked at the Over The Moon link party

Over the Moon Link Party

5. Declutter

Minimalism gets its hip and popularity in this time of age for a reason. Life has become too overwhelming that simplicity is always appreciated more nowadays. It’s time to declutter your website. Simplify your menus and navigation. Merge your sub-menus whenever possible. You may not need different pages for sponsorship and writing service information. Evaluate your website and find submenus or even menus to merge to simplify your navigation. Contact me if you want me to do it for you!

Visual decluttering is also an important way to improve your blog. A minimalist design is kind to the eye, leave good first impression, and help readers focus more on your content. Themes and designs with lots of white space is best if you want to visually declutter your blog or website.
Editor Minimalist WordPress Theme
minimalist wordpress theme 2017 improve your blog

I know! It’s a lot, right? No worries. Download my free checklist to get your improvements in track. Enter your email and let’s grow your blog for 2017.

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9 Places on The Internet to Find Blog Post Ideas

find blog post ideas internet

So, you started a blog? Great! (You haven’t? Start here.)
Now on to the tricky part. Creating and posting contents consistently is essential to build credibility and gain presence. So how do you keep ‘em blog post ideas coming?

There are so many things you can do to generate new ideas for blog posts. But perhaps the easiest way to achieve that is by exploring the mother and sphere of the blog itself: the internet.

Here are 9 places in the internet you can scout to find blog post ideas.

finding blog ideas daytodaydo

News Outlets

This doesn’t mean you should write about big international issues like politics and such. (Although it’s fine if you want to and it fits your overall blog). But you can always learn or seek inspiration from what is happening in the world or around you. Ask yourself, how does this affect my readers? If you have a unique take on certain news, share it.

Social Media

Social media is gaining importance as a platform where people share everything. What interesting discussions happen in Facebook? Or, what’s the trending topic in Twitter today? Is there a new trend you observe on Instagram?

Other Bloggers’ Comment Section

What are the questions being asked by readers? What topics sparked discussions? Formulate new topic based from questions or discussions happening in the comment section of other bloggers from your niche.

Your Blog’s Comment Section

This goes beyond saying: always mind your comment section. Answer to questions, respond to appreciation. If your readers ask you a question and you think, “Oh I would need an entire blog post to explain this,” then, there you go! Write that blog post. You can also address a common problem your readers share about a particular topic.

Other Bloggers’ Blog Post

When you read a blog post about a particular topic and have a question in mind, investigate the answer and form a blog post about it. In other words, find out what’s missing from a blog post and elaborate it in your own.

Your Own Blog Post

I make it a habit to re-read my own blog post to find if I can update something and add new value to the post. Another thing I achieved by doing that is finding new topics I could write about. For example, this very post inspired me to write a whole new post on using analytics (coming soon!).

Google Alerts

Amid the plethora of information on the internet, often it’s hard to find just the information you need. That’s why you need to set up some Google Alerts and let it do the work. Google Alerts will send you e-mails about the keywords you specified.google alerts

Analytics

If you never pay attention to your analytics, start doing it right now! To find fresh blog post ideas, take a look at the keyword phrases that bring people to your blog or website. Create more topics based on those phrases and keep the people coming! Google Analytics is a great, free way to start.

Social Bookmarking Sites

Keep up with the latest thing people like or share in the internet with social bookmarking sites such as Reddit, Delicious, Digg, or StumbleUpon. Find the things that genuinely interest you or you think will interest your readers; don’t do it just to be interesting or hip.

 

find blog post ideas on the internet

7 Essential Things to Prepare For Your Blog Before Even Launching It

dayTODAYdo is brand new, but I’ve been obsessing (and fantasizing!) about launching a blog months before. I’ve had loads blogs than I care to remember, but they went to dust and I hadd no intention to get something out of it other than self expression.

That’s until, at one point I thought, “Hey, this is fun. If I can do this for a living, that would be great.” So I began my to think about launching a blog as a serious goal.

But because I was so worked up with my undergraduate thesis in Psychology (and that means mostly worrying and reading and thinking for pleasure instead of getting things done) and I need to make practical money for practical use, I can’t afford any idle period where I pay for hosting but can’t attend to the blog fully. I know. Even though they’re just roughly $4 a month. Besides, I’m rather a meticulous planner. I hope that makes up for being a sloppy executer, but I need to plan as much ahead before getting on board with anything.

So, while telling myself that I’m going to focus to graduate for now (yea right), I secretly planned and prepared anything I can for my blog before even launching it.

before launching a blog

I know my situation is unconventional and weird, but if you found my story relatable or even plausible for some reasons, here’s what you can start preparing months before launching your blog:

A Blog Name

prepare blog name before launching a blog

When I decided that I’m going to get serious about blogging, I started thinking about a blog name. I don’t want to waste hours staring into the my hosting order page thinking “What should be my domain name?”. And apparently it wasn’t as simple as it sounds. I scribbled down any words that I think could represent my blog, combined some of the words, see if any of it makes sense, and finally, see if I like any of it. It took me one whole page and I came up with new ideas every single day for a few weeks before deciding to dayTODAYdo. Of course you’ll have your own process. But my point is, this could take long, so start as soon as you can. You don’t need anything to start crafting for a name, so do it now. Write it in your vision board of notebook to keep you motivated.

Choosing A Platform and a Hosting Site

prepare hosting before launching a blog

Before choosing WordPress as a platform and Hostgator as hosting provider, I’ve pretty much learn as much as I can about all the options. I learned the pros and cons of using WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I read many many reviews about various hosting sites. And so far, I’m happy about my decision on both. I recommend you do your own research on this topic before launching a blog to come up with a decision that suits your need and goals.

Conceptualize/ Categorize

define categories before launching blog

What kind of stuffs are you planning to post in your blog? Are you writing stories, tips, listicles, reviews? Or all of those things?
This part is particularly hard for me because I want so many things for dayTODAYdo. I want to write tips, devotions, reviews, and I know I have to weave it together to make a comprehensive blog. I’m still working to build an intact blog with all seemingly unrelated parts but I got to start somewhere so for now I’m settling with this categorization:
day-to-day: I’m fascinated with building habits and organizing life day by day. This is where I put posts about planning and self development and devotions.
TODAY: Even though there are things you should do every day, there are things that can only happen TODAY. This is where I put my news roundup.
DO: Things that I’ve tried and recommend for readers to do. Includes reviews to the movies I watch, books I read, places I explored, and activities I enjoyed.

If you want to focus on one category, that’s great. But even if you don’t, you can still make it work with an extra thought on categorizing.

At Least 5 Blog Posts

prepare blog posts before launching blog

When I finally launch dayTODAYdo, I’ve already got more than 5 articles in my pocket, ready to publish right away. This is important because once you’ve got your first visitors, you’ll want them to explore your blog more, right? Well, then give them something to see. This way, you’ll also look more professional and credible so visitors will be much more likely to follow or subscribe compared to a new blog with only 1 or 2 posts.

Simple Business Plan

business plan to launch a blog

Yes, you can do this even before the blog arrives. Ask yourself these important questions before starting:
What are your goals?
How do you plan to monetize?
Will you be selling products or services?
Who is your ideal target audience?
What sets you apart from other similar bloggers?
Where will you market your contents once its launched?
If you can’t answer some of the questions, it’s totally fine. And even if you can, be sure to evaluate once you launched.

About Me

Every blog should have an About page to let readers or potential clients know who you are, what you do, and what makes you different. Writing about yourself and make it sound impressing while still being honest in a non-bragging way can be tricky. You may need to rewrite and revise several times before feeling satisfied about it. Thankfully, you can start doing it right now, even before you launched the blog. Even when you have, always revise and improve your about me page as needed.

Logo or Header

add logo header for blog launch

A logo or at least a crafted header will make you look professional. It will also help in branding and social media. You can hire a freelancer to craft an awesome logo or header for your blog. As for me, because I like designing (and I was on a tight blogging budget), I took matter into my own hands. I use Adobe Photoshop to create my simple header.

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