How to Improve your Blog in 5 Small Steps
A week or so ago I set up a small survey through Survey Monkey asking readers what they like about my blog, and what they don't. Although I set this blog up for myself, I love to interact with readers and your opinions matter to me, I want you to enjoy visiting this website and of course keep coming back. I knew I had to make a few tweaks here and there.
Do you find my blog easy to navigate?
Of course this is extremely important. I know when I'm visiting another bloggers page I want to be able to easily find what I'm looking for. Here are the results...
Out of all the respondents, one person said no. That may seem like a good result, but that one person could be speaking for many other people. I went away with my notepad and pen and began my research. How could I make my page easier to navigate?
- Simplify the menu. My blog is all about nails and beauty, but I also like to include guest posts and more personal posts such as my 'Dear Diary' blog and lifestyle posts. I really broke the menu down. For example, instead of just being able to click on 'Nails', you can now choose to see either nail art or swatches. Instead of just being able to click on 'Beauty', you can now choose between makeup, skincare or hair. I also added 'guest posts' to the menu. You might not always want to be reading about me haha!
- Add a 'New Post' button. Now when you visit my page you can simply click on the New Post button and you will be directed straight to my latest post. Great stuff!
What do you think of the quality of my photos?
Now then. The results were slightly mixed...
I'm over the moon that the majority of people think my photos are great, but it does show that work needs to be done. This is slightly tricky for me as 1 I don't have spare cash to be splashing out on fancy new cameras, and 2 I'm not overly technical anyway. However, I want to do my best and have already started making small changes.
- Lighting. This is so important. I invested in a daylight lamp that really helps to brighten my images. I also try to stick to white backgrounds as this helps to reflect the light and keep the image as clean as can be.
- Try some photo apps. There's lots to choose from, I tend to use Photogrid for Instagram just to 'whiten' my images, but I also paid a small amount for Enlight which I use to 'smooth' my images. I really do recommend these apps.
Do you enjoy the topics I talk about? Do you enjoy the guest posts?
Phew! 100% of you said YES!
Of course content is one of the most important things about your blog. You can have the fanciest, all singing all dancing designs going, but if your content is lacking, nobody is going to be bothered about returning.
- Be yourself. I write about what I love, not what is on trend at that time. I feel that people can connect with you more and want to read more when they can see the passion you have for what you're writing about shine through.
- Include guest posts. This is one of the best things I ever did. Not only do I get to feature the people and small businesses that I truly enjoy, but I get to read more about them too! It's also a great way to connect with other bloggers, and to reach out to a whole new audience.
What do you think of the frequency of new posts on my blog?
Another mixed response...
Bear in mind that I work full time, so to produce new content on a daily basis is next to impossible for me as I'm a believer in work, life, balance. Although I absolutely love blogging, I want to keep it that way, I don't want it to become a chore because you would be able to tell. My content would be pants!
The majority of you think I post enough, but some of you want to see more. I post at least twice a week. So what I'm aiming to do is up my amount to three times a week, and also change guest posts from every Friday to every other Friday. That way you can see or read more of me.
- Be organised. I know that a lot of other bloggers have timetables, planners all the works to schedule blog posts, I need to keep things as simple as possible, having too much planning around me would actually confuse me - I know, easily done right?! I instead just have one notebook. I list in there blog posts I want to write, guest posts that will be featured, and any guest posts that I write for other bloggers. I tend to post on a Tuesday and Friday, so I don't need to be adding lots of different dates for each post. Simple. (This is what works for me - there is nothing wrong with using planners/timetables - find out what works best for you!)
Do you think I do enough to advertise new posts?
Another important part of blogging. We need to advertise and get our work out there.
Most of the results show that you think I advertise enough. One response was unsure whether I advertise anywhere other than Instagram. I do, but I obviously need to do more....
- Advertise on Instagram, Facebook, everywhere! I always link my latest post to my Instagram bio as well as posting a few images throughout the day and week to show off a new read. I also advertise on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon. I have also upped the amount of times I advertise on these pages to a few times a day, not enough to lose followers, but just nicely spread out through the day.
So there are the five ways in which I have tried to improve my blog. I hope that this has been useful to you in some way or another. My website is far from perfect, and I have a long way to go, but just making small steps can make such a huge difference. I have had some amazing feedback so far, and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me along the way. I also hope that I have smoothed out any things that frustrated you about my previous layout.
I'd like to thank anyone who left such nice comments in this survey too. They are completely anonymous so I can't thank you individually, but you know who you are!
Love, Leanne Xx