Blog tune up

Your end of year blog tune up

Nothing I like better than an investment that keeps on paying.

Like my blog.

Every day readers are clicking in, sharing articles, joining my list, and prospects are becoming clients — a nice return on my investment!

But at least once a year my blog needs a tune up.

How about you?

CHECK YOUR BLOG DASHBOARD

I’m often asked, “What should I be measuring on my blog?” Like a dashboard, it’s helpful to have some numbers to pay attention to – even better if you can quickly access those numbers.

If you’ve logged into GoogleAnalytics lately you know it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are just a few numbers you can safely start with:

Users

Users tells you how much traffic your blog is getting. Raw traffic is a good measurement of effectiveness because it tells you whether or not your blog is growing.

Bounce rate

This measures how many users left after visiting just one page on your website. The lower this number, the better, because it means people are engaging with your website content and clicking through pages.

Average session duration

This is how long the average reader stays on your site. Over one minute is a good starting goal. You can learn even more by looking at the time spent on each of your top blog posts (see finding theGolden Goose, below.)

It’s easy to have your basic dashboard sent to you on a regular basic. This is not only convenient (I get mine once a month), it’s a good reminder to check your performance (watch the video in this post to learn how to setthis up).

FINDING YOUR GOLDEN GOOSE

Imagine you have a retail store.

In your store, there are a few items that fly off the shelf. For whatever reason people love those scarves, or toys or books or whatever it is you sell. They are your golden goose (geese?)

That’s fantastic news! Now you can highlight that section of the store, add more items shoppers might want – even advertise those products to get more people into your store.

What about your blog?

Every blog has winners and losers—for whatever reason some posts simply out perform others. On my blog, I have one blog post that every month pulls in almost one half of my site traffic. And it was written 3 years ago!

Every blog has winners and losers

How to discover your golden goose.

Start with your Google Analytics. Scroll down on the left menu to “Behaviour”, click “Overview” and look at your top three blog posts. 

Everyone has a ‘golden goose’ blog post that attracts the most traffic

Now that you have some basic numbers and know what your Golden Goose blog posts are, it’s time to get to work with your annual blog tune up!

TIME TO TUNE UP YOUR POSTS

Before you start writing more blogs, tune up the ones you have. The best posts to invest in are the ones that are closely aligned to what you sell (the topic is valuable to your core market), but are underperforming. You can simply start with posts that are ranked lower than 5 on your list of top blog posts (explained above).

Before you start writing more blogs, tune up the ones you have. Click To Tweet

Here are 5 easy ways to spruce up your posts:

1. Chop up paragraphs – short paragraphs (and sentences) keep your reader moving. The goal is to get readers to move through enough of the post so they will take some action. This is a 5-minute fix – start with a quick edit.

2. Cliffhangers – now I’ll show you one sure-fire way to keep readers on your blog…

…that’s a cliffhanger – it could be a question, 3 dots, an em-dash (—) or a colon. The idea is to make the reader want to get to the punch line.

3. Ask questions – similar to the cliff hanger, you can turn many of your sentences into questions. Don’t you agree? Readers naturally want to know the answer to their questions.

4. Curious subheadings – subheadings break up the reading and can create curiosity. Play around with headings until you find ones that spark some curiosity with your readers.

5. Insert media – this is a fun way to dress up any post: add media. You can insert YouTube videos, a Gif (like the one I created for this post), images, or illustrations. I call this “eye candy” – it attracts the reader and breaks up the reading experience.

TURN READERS INTO PROSPECTS

The ultimate goal of any blog is to turn readers into prospects. They can join your mailing list, buy your book, visit your store, or contact you—but they need to take action.

Are you turning readers into prospects?

Here’s 5 easy ways to make your posts more profitable:

1. Internal links – the fastest and simplest way to get more reaction from readers is to point them to other blog posts or to your products and services. Just like in this blog posts, my links take you to more valuable content on our site (not pointing you away to other sites). This is a 5-minute fix – start with your top blog post.

2. Insert Post Ads – we love this free plug-in! Scroll up in this blog post and you can probably see an example of our banner inserted into every blog post on our site. You can invite readers to join your list, buy your ebook, visit your store, register for your event, download a guide … the are unlimited options and it’s easy to quickly change the banner that shows on every blog post.

We love the #plugin Insert PostAds - our banners show up on every post. Click To Tweet

3. Ask for comments – how simple is this? Ask your readers for comments (like in this post).

4. Ask for social shareshopefully you have installed a floating social share bar on your blog. But now you need to remind readers to use it occasionally. Hey reader!! Can you take a second and click onour share bar on the left (at the bottom of your phone). Thanks!

5. Better Click to Tweet – got a great quote you want to be shared? Install the free plug-in BetterClick to Tweet. It lets your readers do the work for you. Here’s how it looks in action:

  Click To Tweet

OUTSOURCE $12/HOUR JOBS

Finally, there is one last piece of advice you need to hear. Don’t be an idiot!

Sorry, was that too blunt?

Look, here’s the reality—you are a skilled, talented, bright (good looking) business owner doing $12/hour jobs. I know because I fall into that trap all too often.

The creative part of your blog is all about you. The rest is, well, routine. Editting (I did that on purpose), publishing, SEO, images, etc. should be outsourced to people who excel at that work.

And here’s the secret…

Start outsourcing by creating Standard Operating Procedure for publishing
 and promoting your blog

When you unload the $12/hour jobs you will free yourself up to publish more often and to do more of the $100/hour jobs you are great at. The risk is minimal and the benefits are unlimited.

Read this post all about creating Standard Operating Procedures for your blog publishing process.

There you have it – your annual blog tune up…but wait there’s more!!

The truth is that you should be doing a tune up like this at least once a month. Ideally, you have outsourced some of this work so that you are doing the strategy work and someone else is implementing your idea. Either way, a small investment to mean you attract more readers and readers take the right action on your site!

Tell me in the comments – what tune-up are you doing to your blog??

Looking for more great articles to read on this topic?

Standard Operating Procedures
How to Measure Your Blog’s Success
Google Analytics for non-analytical people

Article Author

Hugh Culver

Speaker, author, athlete and founder of BlogWorks. I speak and write about getting stuff done and the art of growing younger.

2 thoughts on “Your end of year blog tune up”

  1. Hello Hugh,
    I’m in Australia where it’s now Saturday morning and so I’ve just watched your webinar replay and I had to make a number of comments.

    1. I think you’re brilliant! Thank you for all you shared. I have never seen you or any of your work before and have no idea where the initial email came telling me of this webinar. But I’m so glad I received it.

    2. I LOVE blogs and virtually never do any other social media for the exact reasons you mentioned — the life of a Tweet or FB post is minutes if you’re lucky, but I didn’t realise the endless lifespan of a blog post. GREAT! Apart from which for me a blog is so much more orderly and interactive and personal. Plus I’m far too busy to spend time on social media. BUT now you’ve shown me how to engage with Twitter, FB LinkedIn etc just by extracting pieces from my blog. Fantastic..

    3. I’ve been away from the Internet and social media for a number of years but will be launching a brand new website next February where blogging will be the main attractor and I will certainly be following all of your suggestions very closely..

    So thank you very much.
    Kashonia
    http://www.TheConsciousRevolutionNetwork.com

    PS – What software did you use to create your webinar? I loved the intimacy of seeing and hearing you live, whilst at the same time having the screen shots of the important points. It was super. .

    • Hi Kashonia. Well, I’m so glad you DID get on the webinar and that you enjoyed it. Another great aspect of blogs is their archival value – posts that are 1, 2 or 3 years old will still get traffic and create value for you. Get the posts coming – your site looks great as well. I use zoom.us for all of our webinars. We subscribe to the Webinar feature.

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