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Have you been blogging awhile and things are going ok but not the way you want? This list is for you!
We all reach blogging plateaus – whether it’s with traffic, income or just the time we spend on our blogs becoming very repetitive.
I find I tend to have periods of rapid growth followed by a plateau then rapid growth again. So if this is your blog, don’t worry, you are not alone.
It’s time to shake things up and reach that next level – and that’s what this list is all about!
10 ways to take your blog to the next level
1. Have a real strategy for each social media platform that you use
Many of us are so busy spending time on multiple social media platforms that we don’t put enough time into having a real strategy for each of them. Let alone checking that the strategy works and refining it over time.
One of the ways to take your blog to the next level is to just STOP working on every platform and start concentrating on one.
If you have been blogging for awhile, you probably have one or two platforms that are going well. Either pick one of these to concentrate on improvement or pick one where you don’t perform as well and concentrate on that.
Make time to work on it by stopping tasks that you are doing just in case they make a difference or because you feel you should. If those tasks were working for you, you wouldn’t be on a plateau.
Stefania from Every Steph suggests, “Devote a whole week to learn all you can and get obsessed with a new social media or way to get more traffic, and implement it.”
Then give it a few weeks and check back and see how the strategy is working. What’s good? What’s bad? What could be improved?
Then refine your strategy and keep working on it until you have it right.
Once you’ve got that, automate it as much as you can and move on to the next platform.
It’s more powerful to have one platform working very well for you than having five that don’t really do anything.
2. Optimise your old posts for SEO
The quickest and easiest way to see results in regards to both traffic and income is to optimise the content you already have.
I recommend you stop working on new content – give yourself even just one or two weeks off – and concentrate on improving what you already have.
I have a 10 minute SEO trick that can help you start getting more search engine traffic to your existing posts much faster than writing a new one.
3. Grow your email list
An email list is a powerful way to make sure you have easy access to your audience.
Google can change their algorithms, Facebook could disappear, but you would still have your email list as you own it.
If you are not doing all you can to get your readers on to your list then you are missing an easy opportunity to keep your readers coming back to your site (and hopefully buying your products or using your affiliate links).
At the very least, you should create an optin offer that would appeal to your ideal target audience. This is generally something your reader can download for free in return for their email address.
For example, I offer eBooks, PDF copies of long guides, extra lists of attractions, keyword checklists and even a 7 Day Link Building Challenge 😀
You then have various ways that your readers can subscribe to get this offer. These could be pop ups, links in your content (like the traffic boost challenge link above), or Bethaney, from Flashpacker Family, says that “adding a welcome mat led to high conversions” on her blog.
Once they sign up, you either email it to them or email them a link to download it.
You can read more about how to do this here.
You can do this in less than a day and it can have powerful results.
4. Create an email autoresponder
Once you have your email subscribers, it can be hard to know what to do with them.
Many bloggers take the easy way out and just send a weekly/fortnightly/monthly email of their latest blog posts via a rss feed.
However, if you are doing this, you are wasting an opportunity.
These subscribers signed up because they want to hear from you.
They want to get to know you and it’s hard to do this from a blog feed.
An autoresponder series generally has the best open and click rates. They also are great from a time management perspective as, once they are set up, you don’t have to create new newsletters every week.
What is an autoresponder series?
This is a series of emails that automatically sends out over a period of time.
So say, I sign up for your email list today.
You will probably send me an email straight away and then an email a week for a certain length of time.
This is a great way to get your new readers to all your best content and for them to get to know you.
I like to think of a journey I want to take them on. From where they are now to where they want to be and show them my expertise along the way.
For example, on my travel blog, I aimed it at families planning a trip and helped them with the planning and any concerns they may have about travelling with kids.
On this site, it depends where you sign up. If you sign up for a niche site optin, I take you on a journey of how (and why) to build a niche site. If you are a newer blogger, you see content for new bloggers, a more experienced blogger, you see content like this.
I recommend you plan a journey for your readers and implement an autoresponder series.
5. Redesign your site
Is your site due for a redesign?
If it’s been more than two years since you last designed your site or changed themes then there is a good chance that the answer is yes.
Look at your site with a critical eye.
- Is it easy to navigate and find anything a reader could be looking for?
- Is it easy to read your posts?
- Does your home page make sense and illustrate what your site is about?
- Does your banner/logo look professional?
- Do you like your footer/sidebar/menu/etc?
Look at your site from your laptop, phone and tablet. Try it in different browsers.
Look at your competitors. Does your site measure up? Could your site design be holding you back?
If you are confident it does then don’t worry about this one. If it doesn’t, consider a site redesign.
This doesn’t have to be huge. You don’t have to do something big like change themes. It may be as simple as changing the layout of your home page and menu structure. Or changing the font.
The main aim is that people who arrive on your site can find what they are looking for and that they want to stay. Your site should be easy to navigate, read and engage in.
6. Ensure you have consistent branding
Does your branding match up across all the channels of your blog?
By this, I mean your blog, every social media channel, YouTube, your emails, etc
There should be consistent branding across all of them so a reader (or potential client) can automatically realise they are all connected.
Try to avoid things like using different photos on your social media channels. Use the same logo from your blog across everything.
This is an easy one to get wrong and also an easy one to fix.
7. Consider creating products
An under utilised way of making money from blogs is creating products.
The great news is that you don’t even need a large audience to make good money from products, but it does help if you have an email list.
Products can be incredibly powerful, not just because they can earn great money but because they can also position you as an authority which can help you grow your audience.
I was surprised by how many people “talked” about me once I brought out my eBook.
I recommend you seriously consider doing this.
8. Create articles with buying keywords
The most powerful way I know to make money from blogging in a passive way is to create articles based on buying keywords.
What are buying keywords?
These are keywords people search for when they are looking to buy a product or service. For example, best blender, vacuum cleaner reviews, best blogging course.
If you can write a great article on one of these topics and have it rank on the first page in Google with affiliate links, you will make money.
How should you do this?
Start by finding a keyword that meets this requirement where you think you can rank on the first page. Follow my instructions here for how to do this.
You then need to write a thorough buying guide to the topic using the keywords you found. You should be able to find examples by looking at the articles that are currently ranking in the top 10 or you can see an example here.
9. Spy on your competitors
A highly effective way to get more traffic from Google is to spy on your competitors. Learn from what they are doing so you can improve!
There are two ways I recommend of doing this.
Firstly, check out their backlinks. Sandra, from Sandra Muller, suggests “Use an SEO tool like KeySearch, Serpstat, Ahrefs, etc. to look at their backlink profile. See where their backlinks are coming from. Look for places you might be able to easily source a link they have.”
I have done this myself with great success.
This is because if someone has featured your competitor and their blog then there is a good chance that they might be open to also featuring you.
Another way is to use KeySearch to check out what keywords your competitors rank for. This will give you some good ideas about what keywords might be successful for you too.
10. Get help
One of the best ways to kick your blog off the plateau is to get help from bloggers who have been able to have the success you want.
I currently have a great way I can help you.
I’ll show you how to make affiliate marketing work for your blog and answer all questions.
The biggest piece of advice I have for getting off the plateau and giving your blog a kick start is to do something different.
Don’t be afraid to make changes to what you are doing and how you are spending time on your blog.
If what you were doing right now was the answer then you wouldn’t need a kick start.
Don’t be afraid, try some of the techniques above and get your blog moving!!