January is a month of beginnings: the start of a new year, the taking up of resolutions, and the knuckling down to new projects. It is also, of course, the time when most people employ the Big D: Detox. However, though that process of toxic elimination usually applies to body and soul post the gluttony of the festive season, why not clean up other aspects of our life? Certainly, for those who blog, taking a good long look at our habits and processes can highlight why that follower count is stagnating, why those likes are no longer coming in.
Indeed, 2015 is the time to whip our blogs into shape. Here are six tips to help you take your blog for a figurative jog:
1. Become Smart Technology-Friendly
Rare is the person who sits at a PC and drinks coffee from a nearby percolator at home these days. From the laptop freelancers frequenting their local Starbucks have evolved the tablet generation with only enough time for a hit of espresso. How does your blog fit in with their lifestyles? Does your site format suitably to the various mobile technologies out there? Or are your readers getting half pages and frustratingly slow scrolling because your navigation is unfathomable? Check those templates.
2. …but Don’t Forget to Update Regularly
If your readers have bothered to log on, are you letting them down by only posting once a month? Remember, this is the App generation: if news comes by the second, that fortnightly update schedule you made back in old 2014 may no longer seem so appealing. Up your pace to weekly; if time allows, increase from there.
3. Remember Your Readers…
Yes, blogging often requires self-experience for inspiration, but don’t solely write about yourself. Why should people read about someone else, if there is no wisdom to be imparted to them in return? Rather, reassess what your own aim is in sharing that information with others: what is the purpose of your blog? Who is your target audience and why?
4. …but Don’t Forget to Self-Promote
That said, even if you churn out material worthy of a philosopher and followers are signing up to read you like the next Alain de Botton, don’t gloss over that crucial factor: promotion. No-one will come to the online reading party you’re holding in your head when you hit ‘Publish’ if you don’t invite them. And that means learning SEO.
5. Reassess Your Blog’s Raison d’Etre
Are you still in love with your subject? If that buzz you once got from creating a new piece has fizzled away and taken up hiding along with your muse in a mental cave somewhere, take a look at why you’re still writing. This isn’t the path for everyone. Self-motivation is a tricky thing and blogging can become a chore if you aren’t truly impassioned with your topic. And no-one wants to waste time reading a painfully half-hearted post.
6.…and Personalise that Media Content
Lastly, if you couldn’t imagine daily life without jotting down ideas for that next piece, step away from your beloved written word for a minute and take a peek at your media content: is it yours? If you’ve fallen into the trap of trawling Wikimedia Commons for a suitable-but- not-really-relevant image, why not start creating your own? It can only serve to increase your own love for your subject and add an attractive personal touch to your site, which readers always like. After all, blogging as a lifestyle choice is an art form: become the requisite artist.