I saw this quote in my College Success textbook yesterday and it made me think of blogging. Then, I saw Ehsan’s post called Is Your Blog On The Right Track on Guide and News and I knew I had to write something…
“If you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers
In the world of blogging, moving forward is very important. For one, Internet technologies and techniques advance very quickly. If your blog’s design or code is aged in any way, it could prevent you from getting to the top. In this particular niche of blogging, however, there are so many new blogs coming out every day, so it’s important that you stay on top of the latest plugins, latest protocols, and the latest SEO techniques. To help you with this, I have compiled a list of a few things you can do to make sure your blog is always moving forward.
1. Read Authority Blogs That Keep People Informed
One of the best things you can do is read other blogs that share valuable information. The first two that come to my mind are Basic Blog Tips and SEOmoz. Note that this isn’t an exhaustive list, but both Basic Blog Tips and SEOmoz have kept me up to speed on the latest social media changes, SEO techniques, powerful blogging plugins, etc. If you expect to get your blog moving at all, you have to look at the blogs that are already in the fast lane.
2. Keep Your Blog’s Design Up To Date
One of my favorite blogs, Daily Blog Tips, has a very outdated design. It looks like it was designed in 2005 and intended to be viewed on CRT monitor. The theme is very plain without any pictures on the homepage except for the advertisements on the side. When you click on a post, though, there aren’t any pictures there either. It just feels very bland and outdated to use the website.
The best way you can keep your blog’s design up to date is to do a redesign once a year or so. I recently did a redesign here on Omega Web that switched my blog from a premium WordPress theme to the Genesis framework. I also included a mobile-responsive version of my site so that people using smartphones and smaller tablets will be able to read the content, comment, and share my posts without any troubles. When you’re doing a redesign, make sure you are moving forward and using the newest techniques in web design, such as a mobile-responsive version.
3. Use The Latest and Greatest Plugins
One thing I cannot stress enough is to use the latest plugins. CommentLuv is the first one that comes to my mind when I think about plugins. In a nutshell, CommentLuv will provide your readers with an incentive to comment. It allows them to place a link to their latest blog post underneath the comment to share it with your community as well as gaining a backlink to their blog. CommentLuv is one of the most game-changing plugins out there because I tend to only comment on blogs that use it… So if you don’t use CommentLuv, you’re already falling behind!
Some other great plugins to check out include Better WP Security, nRelate Related Content, W3 Total Cache, and Ad Injection.
4. Look At Your Statistics
Every morning, I wake up and look at my Google Analytics, Google AdSense, affiliate earnings, Alexa rank, and other blog stats to see what has changed in the last 24 hours. This is very important because I use this data to improve my blog. If I find that the post on Google Author Rank was very popular, I might write a post called “How to Improve Google Author Rank” because I know that is what my readers want to see. Also, I always check things like Alexa to make sure my blog is improving and not going backwards.
5. Strive Every Day To Move Forward
The biggest thing I can stress is to try and move forward every day. Even if you are just building a single backlink by leaving a comment at a blog, that’s still improving your blog better than it was the day before. Do something every day with the intent to strengthen your blog and you won’t get run over.