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The best way to improve your writing, to find your voice, or to learn about what your audience wants is to just write. I’ll be the first to admit that I love to plan and I love to strategize. What you need to do now is take action. Write something every day. You don’t have to have the perfect post every time. Just put something out there. You’ll improve much faster than if you had thought more about fewer posts.
I’m right here with you. For 2015, I’m going to write something every day.
Take the time to re-read your work. Beyond just writing, reflect on your words, your voice, your message. Read your articles aloud so you can hear how they’ll sound in your audience’s minds.
Try to write your posts early so you can take a break from them before editing them and posting them.
Read blogs that inspire you – be it the content or the writer’s voice. Not only can you use these blogs to inspire yourself toward improvement, you can reach out to the owners and authors of these sites. Ask them questions or share some of your favorite work with them.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone new — they’ll probably love that you did. These kinds of connections can be invaluable!
Series are one of the best performing types of posts, not to mention they start to write and promote themselves. If your audience is loving a piece of content: give them more! Write a series on “packed lunches” or “7-minute salads.” Then write a post called “seven 7-minute salads.”
These posts become easy to write: you’re not working as hard at brainstorming a topic, you’ve written many similar articles, and you get a “free” post that brings everything together. Guess what? That list post is so in right now. And it’s promoting all of your other posts (more successfully) on social media networks like Pinterest.
Want to see what’s working and what isn’t? Take a few hours right now to learn Google Analytics. Did you know you can set this up to track posts by category? You can know which types of posts are most popular with your audience. There’s so much more you can monitor, and all you need to do is learn how to navigate and read the statistics. Just hire someone to do the initial setup for you.
Check this weekly. You shouldn’t be obsessed with the numbers, but you should review what posts are most successful, when new ideas are working or aren’t, and how your social media presence is affecting your incoming traffic.
The internet is full of ads these days, and it’s just a fact that consumers are learning to deal with. We may not like them, but if we care significantly about the content, they aren’t going to be the reason we leave. Stop worrying about the integrity of your site, and put some ads on it already! Also, link to products you use with an Amazon affiliate link! Guess what? If your audience wants to use a product in your photos, they are going to buy it. Why not make a little bit off of that sale? You’re not affecting the purchase price.
You deserve to make a little money to support your site, just do it in a classy way. Don’t auto-play ads with sound, and don’t post affiliate links without disclosing that they’re affiliate links.
The hardest part about blogging is the disconnect between what we want our blog to be and what it actually is. Make a resolution that you believe will allow you to make the greatest impact with the least amount of effort. This will prevent a burnout before you see results.
The important thing to remember is that you’re not going to see results tomorrow. You need to stick with your plan for 6 months. Consistently!