33 Actionable Steps for Blog Improvement in ONE WEEK

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This post is a part of a 3 post series about improving your blog:
25 quick tasks to improve your blog TODAY
33 actionable steps for blog improvement in ONE WEEK
41 tips to significantly improve a blog THIS MONTH
Or just download all 3 posts in PDF form at
99 tasks for blog improvement.

blog improvementThere are 25 things you can do in less than 3 hours to improve your blog today and there are 33 more you can do in a week to make it even better.

If you did your homework, this is the time when you put some of those tasks to better use and add some more blog improvements in the next 7 days.

Search Engine Optimization

#1 Do keyword research for an old post of yours that is getting comments and has been shared around, but can’t seem to attract any search engine traffic. Optimize it for the keyword that will fit.

This whole process won’t mess it up, you don’t have to change the URL, just add the keyword in the description and sprinkle it throughout the post. Here is how to do the on page optimization for a WordPress post.

Social Media

You registered for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn last time. So it is time to put those social media accounts to use.

#2 Create a facebook fan page and write a post inviting your readers to like it.

#3 Use Twitter 3 times a day for 5 minutes (if you can do it more, it will be even better).

In those 5 minutes:

  • tweet a post of yours,
  • tweet a few posts from the blogs you are visiting (add a note to the tweet, something like “Just read this great post” or “I recommend this”),
  •  @ mention someone you think is doing a great job. Just write something like “@person, I read your last post about Google Analytics and I really learned a lot from it. Thanks!”.
  • If you get a reply, make sure to add the person to a Twitter list you will keep up with.

#4 To appear more active join Triberr.com.

#5 Add Tweet old posts plugin. You will get all those great old posts in front of your new audience.

#6 On Google+, make a few comments a day on posts of active users whose blogs you read. Also, post something interesting from time to time and don’t forget, a post of your own! You can even feed your Google+ activity to Twitter.

#7 On LinkedIn, join a few groups that are in your niche and start commenting on threads over there.

This is all just a few minutes a day on each of these sites, to get your feet wet. The main goal here is to connect with new people and get noticed.

Important note: don’t spam anyone. Ever!

Be efficient

#8 Organize your google reader so you can keep up with the news in your niche and blogs you want to comment on.

#9 While at it, comment on 5 blogs every day. To make it easy on you and save you time on creating a list, here are 199 blogs you can comment on.

#10 Install Editorial calendar plugin on your blog and start planning your blog posts.

Blog usability

#11 Clean the navigation on your blog. Remove everything that is excessive in the header and move it to the sidebar or footer.

Leave the most important links in the header. I did it several weeks ago and I get more clicks on the pages I wanted the clicks on.

#12 Install Reply me plugin to inform your visitors about the direct replies to their comments. To make sure they come back, modify the plugin like in this tutorial.

#13 Publish your blog on Kindle.

#14 Post a commenting policy on your blog to make sure you don’t get annoying “Why did you delete my comment” e-mails.

#15 Add Privacy policy if you plan to use Adsense, although it is good to have it anyway.

#16 If you have a health, fitness, pet or other similar topic blog (although this can be applied to any blog) post a disclaimer to make sure people know you are not a doctor, trainer, vet, etc.

Blog clean up

#17 Reply to all of the old comments you neglected in the previous months. Yes, it will take time, so you better start now. Do this after installing the Reply me plugin (#12).

#18 Delete ALL spam comments. If your blog is new and those are the only comments you have, delete them anyway!

Design and appearance

#19 Register for Fotolia and find some great images to make your blog look better. If you prefer using your own images in blog posts, you can still find a cool, professional image on Fotolia to turn into a logo.

Networking and blog promotion

#20-22 Register for blog communities like

  • BlogInteract.com
  • Blokube.com
  • Blogengage.com

#23 Share a few of your best posts on those three sites and vote on other bloggers’ posts.

#24 Write a guest post and submit it to a related but not competing blog.

 Traffic generation

#25 Read my traffic generation contest winning post about 50 traffic sources, find 5 traffic sources you will focus on in the next period and work on mastering them.

#26 Write a monster post. It can be a detailed solution to a common problem in your niche, a long list of tools needed for your niche or a pillar post on anything that is important to your readers.

No ideas? Here are some:

  • travel blog – 50 companies that will give you frequent flyer miles without actually flying
  • pet blog – 30 pet insurance companies that will insure your pet lizard for less than $10 a month
  • food blog – 100 recipes for less than a $5 dinner
  • fitness blog – 50 Youtube videos for a complete body workout
  • writing blog – 30 magazines you can submit your work to and be published in less than a month

Time to track your efforts

#27 Start tracking your results. Register for Clicky (free), add the Clicky plugin for easy set up and start analyzing the visitors’ behavior on your blog. To show you how cool this tool is, see how I fix stuff in real time on this blog.

#28 Start using Google Analytics. Add plugin for easy integration and analyze your traffic sources. Although I use Clicky, I still like to combine both of these tools.

Since you are going to track your efforts with these two tools, it would be great to track some ROI and performance from the beginning. It will save you time on deciding what to ditch first.

#29 So make sure to set up goals and conversions in your Google Analytics. As always, I turn to Kristi Hines for detailed tutorials on cool stuff so here is the simplest way to do all that – Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5.

List building

#30 Start building a list. You can do it for free when you sign up for MailChimp, although I would highly recommend Aweber since it is better than MailChimp by far.

#31 Write a short report or a solution to a problem in your niche and make it available for free to your newsletter subscribers.

Making money

#32 Review ads on your blog if you have them. If you have an ad in your sidebar and it is not making any money for weeks, remove it!

#33 Add affiliate disclosure to your blog if you have any affiliate links on your blog.

So, you have 33 here and 25 in the previous post, that is 58 tasks in total :) Not much for a serious blogger, right.

These 33 tasks will take some time to finish but you can see results in matter of days.

So how did you do with the first 25 tasks and how long do you think these will take? 

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Comments

  1. At time will go back and do a little seo for past post..this helps my all around traffic.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  2. Really nice post Brankica. Definitely bookmarking! I don’t actually know what a “blog community” is (isn’t this one?) but am headed over to check those out. Thanks for sharing!

    • Brankica says:

      I was more referring to blog voting sites, if I can call them that way.

      You are right, this is a community and thanks for that :)

  3. Brankica, this is an awesome post. Though I do follow some of your advice, I could really benefit from just going through this and cleaning up some of the cobwebs on my own blogs.

    I haven’t read the previous post you mentioned yet… so I’m off to do that. You’ll know when I do… you’ll ‘clicky-see-me” :-) LOL

    I actually needed this right now. I’ve been a bit loosy goosy what, with the kids off school. I’m pulled in so many different directions.

    Tonight is “mama-time”… I’m getting on it.

    You are so much more than a pretty face… you smart cookie you!! ;-)

    Thanks so much for the ‘push’ to get my act together!

    Jayne

    • Brankica says:

      Awww, Jayne, you make me blush! I promise I don’t spy too much on Cliky, lol. I do actually spend some time there when I have some new stuff going on just to make sure everything is working. I had some technical issues lately so I am double-checking.

      I hope the kids will let you have some mommy time often, your blog is great and I wanna see it running full speed for a long time.

  4. I need to do #17 desperately – getting behind in my comments since I’ve been a bit under the weather and sleeping longer. :(

    Great tips in this series though – can’t wait to see the part 3!

    • Brankica says:

      Oh, I would not want to be in your shoes now, I can only imagine how many comments you have! But you need to rest, even if it means getting behind on comments.

      I don’t think people mind that much when you miss a comment or two, it is more that there are blogs where the blogger never replies to any comments.

  5. I need to write a monster post soooo bad! I have a couple of them in mind too. Thanks for the encouragement. Good tips my friend!

    • Brankica says:

      If by any chance you run out of ideas, you can always make a monster post out of “the best on my blog” cause you have so many great posts!

  6. You have surely written your own monster post with this one Brankica. I really need to get my act together in my social media presence – if only I can finish the “finishing touches”. Seems to be taking longer than the project itself! :)

    Definitely bookmarking this timeless post!

    • Brankica says:

      Flo, I am with you on those finishing touches. I can never get them done.

  7. Thanks for the tips. It’s quite easy to think that once you hit publish then the hard work is done but we all love more traffic and comments so I reckon I’ll be implements some of the points I’m not already doing.

    • Brankica says:

      Hey Adem, I think hitting the publish button is one of the easiest things. Unless a person is blogging for themselves, lol. Thanks for the comment!

  8. Awesome tips! I originally thought tweeting too much was like spam. I’m starting to see new ways to use Twitter. Thx for your tips!

    Tom

    • Brankica says:

      Tom, I have more than 12.000 tweets and I had that account for maybe 8 months roughly. You need to be noticed, share your stuff, share other people’s stuff. You might seem to be tweeting too much to people who only follow a few others, but I follow more than 300 people and I can tell you, sometimes I miss so many of their tweets that I wish they tweeted more often :)

  9. I think what I enjoyed most about your post was it’s actually very east to accomplish these tasks on our blogs. I’ve totally removed any ads from the blog engage network except the revenues sharing ones we have on our member’s story pages.

    I still have kontera but I’ve been making a really good amount of money with them this year. I think they are by far the best earner I’ve ever had bringing in over 180 USD each month.

    Thanks for sharing this at blog engage and you know I’m going to tweet and hopefully bring some more attention and comments to it. By far this is the best article of this type I’ve seen to date and hey I’ve seen a lot.

    • Brankica says:

      Awww, Brian, thanks so much, I really appreciate it! I rotate ads often and keep only those that make sales. Everything else would be just cluttering the blog.

      If I had only one product that was making more than others, I would keep that one and nothing else.

  10. Hi Brankica,

    Great to know I do most of these, but there a few I really have to begin focusing on. Oddly enough I just joined two more LinkedIn groups yesterday! Plan on giving LinkedIn some more luv. ;-)

    Definitely want to look into adding my blog to Kindle. I’m a Kindle fan and I think it would be cool seeing it on there!

    Thanks for the wonderful tips. Great reminder of some things I have to get back to or pick up the speed on.

    Ciao!

    • Brankica says:

      Michele, I think Kindle is going to take like 10 minutes of your time tops! LinkedIn is a great way to get traffic, but it does need some time to work on it.

      It is definitely worth a go because of the amount of traffic they have!

  11. Great stuff Brankica! I will add my blog to Kindle and get more exposure! Installing Reply-Me Plugin now, which is the plugin I am after :)

    Cheers,
    Ming

    • Brankica says:

      Glad you found the plugin. Kindle will take about 10 minutes I think, so don’t forget to do it!

  12. OMG, I hate you now for giving me so much things to do, lol.. just kidding.

    Seriously, after going through this, I have noticed that there are a few things that I really should be addressing, one of them being creating a FB page. I got some of them but nearly close to being “interesting”, I must say. Also, as with Kristi, I do have some older “comments” that require my attention. Also… nah, I’ll just print this and go over all of them one by one – check, check, check :)

    • Brankica says:

      I don’t mind if you hate me for that reason, lol.

      You don’t have a Facebook fan page? Are you kidding me?? OK, If you don’t get around to doing it, I am going to create you one. Cause no way a blog like yours should be without the page!

  13. Two AWESOME back-to-back posts Brankica!

    A few things on here I still need to look into. But I think I’m doing good for the most part.

    I do use the tweet-old-posts plugin. What do you think about deleting old posts once you have that plugin installed? I feel like some of my early posts are…well…pretty crappy. Or maybe even irrelevant. Could turn some people off.

    You think it’s a good idea to go through and delete some old posts once you get to a certain amount of published content?

    • Brankica says:

      I deleted some of my old posts but just because they didn’t fit this blog anymore at all (those were the old non blogging related posts).

      Most important, if you do, redirect those pages to something else, you don’t want broken links all over the place.

      Now, what I would do is try to save the posts if possible.

      Like re-do them, publish again, add information, update. If possible. If I understand how WP works, you can change everything on the existing post but the URL (so it would be in the same location).

      Tweet Old post won’t mess you up with that, if you don’t want to RT those you can set it up in the plugin. But I would try and do something with them.

  14. While I’m a fairly seasoned writer, I’m a newbie writer, and I’ve spent far too many hours these last few weeks reading ‘how to’ lists and ‘best of’ articles about blogging. This is one of the best! Great tips, thanks so much; definitely bookmarking!

    • Ruth Zive says:

      Oops…how embarrassing. I meant newbie blogger!

      • Brankica says:

        Thanks so much! I really appreciate it.

        I always love posts like those because it is easy for me to check off stuff I’ve done :)

  15. Hi Brankica,

    I like #8 and also I’d add use feedly that improves the landscape of you RSS reader.

    The #10 the editorial calendar plugin seems very interesting :)

    Unfortunately the #5 the plugin isn’t working for me, disabled.

    And finally what great ideas to have in mind for reference – thank you :)

    Cheers,

    Gera

  16. Brankica,

    This is a great list of tips!

    To be honest, I’m neglecting my Twitter account too much and it was nice to see some effective tips (#3) when it comes to one’s daily Twitter use.

    It is interesting to put those in use and see the results!

    Timo

    • Brankica says:

      Hey Timo, you can always schedule tweets. Take 30 minutes and write several tweets and then schedule them for the next few days. A few tweets a day is still better than nothing and it will keep you looking active.

      I sometimes want to neglect Twitter, lol, but it is the place where I talk to a lot of people and where they ask questions, especially if it is something urgent, so I don’t feel like letting them down. Otherwise, I would do the same thing you did :)

    • Hey Timo,

      I read through my Google Reader every morning. There’s tons of good stuff I like to share so I end up scheduling some tweets through-out the day so that I’m not blasting followers with links all at once.

      Check out http://www.timely.is – it’s a scheduling app. Pretty much does all of the heavy lifting (scheduling) for you. Been using it the last couple of days and it works like a charm. Good way to manage your twitter use.

  17. Hi, Brankica.

    Every time I come and visit, you always make me learn tons of things and realize that there are tons more I need to do. I am falling so far behind with my blog commenting as it is. Well, time to badger my boss again for our Google Analytics which is still not working and check out Clicky. I am just using Chrome SEO Plus now.

    Thanks, Brankica! Without your reminders about all these stuff that matters, I don’t know where I’ll be. :D

    Hope you are enjoying your week. :)
    Kim

    • Brankica says:

      Google Analytics and Clicky are awesome when you combine them. I love the depth of info you can get from GA but also love the real time updates from Clicky. You should definitely tell your boss to start acting like a pro, lol

  18. Holy Moly Bran – this is such a thorough post :) !!!
    Awesome stuff here.
    I have a bit of catching up to do when it comes to replying to comments – I have one or two posts that I’ve kept people waiting on so will have to do get to those asap. But in general I’d like to think I’m pretty good with that.

    I downloaded the editorial calendar a while back but haven’t used it yet – do you find it really helpful?

    I haven’t done #26 (the monster post) in a while – although I have 2 of them sitting in drafts. Time to start them up again and complete them.

    I know that everyone and their mother is using Google + but I have yet to use it properly – I think I need to sit and give that network some serious thought. All I’ve done is accept certain people into friends circles but haven’t made use of it. I might come back to you with questions on that if I have any.

    Funny you mentioned deleting spam comments – although I use G.A.S.P – which I think is better than Akismet and lets fewer spammers in – I have been getting a few lately and I’ve been going through comments to delete them all. Those sneaky bastards – crazy how they slide by!

    Needless to say that my big one is still number 30! I have MailChimp – I set it up and all – but I have yet to focus on building a list. I keep putting it off for some reason. I’ve procrastinated enough I think – I’m hoping that once I’m done playing catch up I will give list building some serious thought. I keep saying that but… :(

    You outdid yourself with this list Sharpy – and with the previous one before it. You never cease to provide value for your readers and I for one am very grateful for it! Thank you my dear friend :) .

    Talk soon.
    Have a great weekend.
    Ciao

    • Brankica says:

      OK, so I missed your comment somehow and obviously I am late at replying!

      I use Editorial Calendar a lot, it is easier to create draft posts, move posts from one day to another and I use it the most to add links for my round ups, because instead of going to edit post, I just do the quick edit from the calendar, get a little pop up with the post content and add a link.

  19. Glynis Jolly says:

    Wow! What a list! Yes, it will take me awhile to do the things I haven’t done yet but at lease this list makes some sense. Thank you.

  20. Hi, Brankica,
    I am still reading…Amazing series. I am also glad that we all like it. Well, who could complain for getting all this for free. :)

  21. Great tips Brankica. I especially like the tip to go back to posts that never got the love they deserved and optimize them for the search engines.

    I’m off now to install the reply-me plugin. I’ve read posts where you’ve recommended this before but I’ve never installed it. Since you provided us with a link on how to customize it, I’d be a fool to not just do it now. Thanks! :)

    • You know what I would do Sherryl? Create a landing page for some of your “Best Of” content in a specific category. Use those pages to attract new subscribers.

      I have pages for:

      - Blogging 101
      - Social Media 101

      …with a Call To Action to subscribe via email. Since adding those, email subscribers have converted very well on those pages.

      • Thanks Ricardo. That’s a great idea. My site needs so much work. I really have to make the time to implement all these great ideas.

        • Trust me Sherryl, I feel the same way… I shoot to get at least one thing done every day though :-)

        • Brankica says:

          Yes, those are resource pages and if you want to see how it is done, Sherryl, the best place to look is Smart Passive Income blog, I think his are in the sidebar.

  22. Great list of tips Brankica! Enough to keep anyone busy for a week for sure…

    For me, the most important ones are on usability. To many sites are rendered useless or ineffective as a result of poor design and navigation. So the first thing I’d do is put some thought into layout and structure.

    What are the most important pages on your site?

    Where do you want to direct people… What actions do you want them to take?

    Those are the kind of questions I tell folks to ask themselves. If you can answer those, you’re headed in the right direction.

    Anyway, great tips!

    • Brankica says:

      You are right. I think that a lot of people think of their blogs as their “babies” and never think of conversions, optimization, target market, etc. And once they do, they are so deep in the blog that they don’t want to go back and fix everything :)

  23. Hi Brankica,
    Great stuff, I wish I could drop 5 comments everyday.. Sometime, it is not that easy as I think that there are other important tasks to accomplish. However, I will spent my time to do it … thanks..

    • Brankica says:

      Leaving good comments can be hard since you would need to read all the posts you want to comment on, but you can focus on other tasks instead. As long as you are doing something for your blog you are good :)

  24. A special thanks to you for sharing such a great list. Had no idea that blogs could be published on kindle.

  25. There is so much value here. I am bookmarking and continue to make my way around your site. You and Lisa are like Wonder Woman. :-) I really want to build my list but have been too intimidated to do an e-book or white paper. And Twitter – trying to really get involved in Twitter. So much to do. I know many people outsource a lot of task, but not everyone, right?