35 Ways to Improve Your Blog

Keep your blog up to date and improve your reach! #blogtips

Blogging is a quickly growing industry. In the last few years it’s become a standard for businesses to run a blog and nearly any question you have can be answered from a blog post. With all these changes and growth happening, it also means that you need to keep your blog up to date–and I’m not just talking about post frequency! Keeping your blog current with the times shows that you care about your space on the internet. Taking just a few minutes today to improve your blog’s look and feel can dramatically improve it’s future.

  1. Remove Google Friend Connect and use Google+ instead.
  2. Purchase your domain (no more .blogspot or .wordpress!)

  3. If you’re on WordPress, always update all your plugins.
  4. Make your Categories or Archives in the sidebar a dropdown menu or a short, simple list.
  5. Don’t use centered text. Either right align or justify it.
  6. Remove any following counters. They just take up unnecessary space.
  7. Simplify your footer. Decide what needs to be included and either delete or move anything else.
  8. Add a social sharing widget such as Shareaholic or AddThis.
  9. Add a hover Pin It button.
  10. Remove obnoxious pop-up ads. Even the most loyal readers dislike clicking “close” every time.
  11. Make sure you have a disclosure policy, terms of service, and privacy policy.
  12. Make sure all graphics are Pinterest worthy and replace graphics from old posts. The optimal size for images are at least 735 pixels wide. The height can be adjusted according to your needs, but taller images are more likely to get repinned.
  13. Make sure your font is big enough and dark enough to read.
  14. Space widgets evenly in the sidebar. Whitespace is your friend!
  15. Get a handle on your stats. Set up Google Analytics to track important statistics like unique visitors (users) and pageviews. Also, did you know that you can check Twitter Analytics?
  16. Proof-read your posts. Don’t just rely on spellcheck.
  17. Link back to your own posts within another relevant post.
  18. Join a blogging community! I recommend The Peony Project.
  19. Create a Gravatar account to display your avatar beside your comments.
  20. Use Alt tags on images.
  21. Make external links open in a new tab. If a user clicks on a link and it takes them to a new site, they might not come back to yours! So check the box that says “open link in new tab” or add target=”_blank” after the Alt tag.
  22. Set up a business blog email.
  23. Make images fit the width of your content/post. For example, if your content is 650px wide make your photos at least 650px wide. Everything will look cleaner with your text and photos lined up on both sides of the page.
  24. Write in a conversational tone.
  25. If you have a lot of affiliate and group buttons, move them to a separate page.
  26. Set up an RSS feed and have an option for people to get your posts mailed to their email.
  27. Move your “daily blog reads” list to a new page instead of listing it in the sidebar.
  28. Move your ads around to find the best locations.
  29. Streamline your images. Making images more cohesive and recognizable increases the chance that they’ll be shared on social media! It also improves the overall look and feel of your blog “brand”.
  30. Write a blog mission statement.
  31. Use Disqus as a commenting system. One of the most commonly used commenting system, Disqus allows you to easily visit other blogs and keep up with who you need to reply to.
  32. Delete any WordPress plugins that are unnecessary, as they slow down your blog’s loading time.
  33. Make sure you have a search bar.
  34. Link to your favorite or most popular posts.
  35. Make sure your blog reflects who you are as a person. You’ll enjoy blogging so much more if your blog is an extension of who you are!

Do you have any tips to improve your blog?

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Elevate your blog by following these blogging basics from The Kardia.

  • Abby

    So many great suggestions! Too many to absorb at once, so I’m pinning for later. Thank you for sharing! {I’m stopping by from The Peony Project}

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      I’m so glad to hear that this list helps you! :) Thank you so much for stopping by!

  • http://athisfeetdaily.blogspot.com Kristin C

    Awesome! Thank you for sharing! I needed a lot of these tips.
    (also stopping by from The Peony Project).

    athisfeetdaily.blogspot.com

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      You’re welcome! I love hearing that posts like this are helpful for others :) Thank you for stopping by!

  • Erica Wagenhauser

    These are all really great suggestions! Thanks for sharing :)

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      I’m glad you liked them! I love sharing things like this with others :)

  • http://lifewithrosieblog.com/ Chelsie Carr

    This is such a great post! I love how simple and streamlines you made it! I need to work on setting up a business email for my blog and I need to work on my branding a little more! And I totally agree with removing those stupid pop-ups on blogs; I never read a blog if there is a pop-up!

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      Thanks! :) I’m glad you liked it! Pop-up ads are seriously the worst. I hate it when it happens on a site I visit frequently too. I can understand maybe having a pop-up once in a while, for something special, but not every. single. time.

  • http://www.hopengriffin.com Hope N. Griffin

    Great advice. I need to make a few changes on my images, they need to be more pinterest friendly in size. Stopping in from The Peony Project.

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      I’m glad you enjoy this! :) I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on the optimal sizes for social media sites (because they’re all different!) Thanks for stopping by! :)

  • Sasha Maples Johns

    Great tips. I see a few I could really make use of! Thanks

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      That’s great! I’m so glad to hear that :)

  • http://thebloggingbrew.com Jessica Slaughter

    I love all these, especially the detailed design ones! There are so many little things like having enough white space and using the right fonts that people skip over, but they’re so important!

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      You’re totally right! It’s the little things that really make a difference! Just changing one or two of those things can make a dramatic improvement.

  • http://www.simplysheard.blogspot.com/ Simply Sheard

    How much did you have to pay to purchase your domain? Was it a one time thing? Or a monthly thing? I would LOVE to have our own domain, but have a real tight blog budget :)

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      I got mine for free as part of my Bluehost hosting package, but that was quite expensive :/ I know most people get their domain from a place like GoDaddy for around $10 or even much less per year. Do some research! It doesn’t cost a lot and it really makes your blog more professional! :)

  • Chelsea

    Great post! Very informative and helpful. I shared!

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      Thank you for sharing! :) I’m glad to hear that it helped you!

  • http://www.yourunfadingbeauty.com Toyin Alli

    Great suggestions! I think I will try Disqus!

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      Disqus is an amazing commenting system, and it fairly easy to set up too :)

  • http://gardeninginhighheels.com/ Angelica @GardeningInHighHeels

    I love these suggestions. I will definitely be referencing this as I’m updating my blog. Many I’ve done but others are on my to-do list. Thanks for posting!

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      That’s great! I love hearing that others find this helpful :)

  • http://gina-alyse.com/ Gina Alyse

    These are genius tips, Brittany! I especially agree with updating plugins and themes on WP–we can’t get lazy about them! I also like what you said about making a daily blog reads page. I think that definitely clears up space on blogs! Thanks for sharing these tips, my friend!

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      Thanks Gina! haha and as I write this, a plugin awaits updating in my dashboard, oops! ;) Guess I should go update that!

  • http://blogambitions.com/how-to-start-a-blog-the-right-way/ Kristie

    Great list with quick tips for improving. Keep it up.

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it :)

  • Rebekah

    These are great tips! I really need to take the time to go back through some of my old posts and take better pictures for them. They look kinda sad and I now totally understand why some people wouldn’t want to pin them. :-)

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      I’m glad you liked these tips! :) I’m planning out some time to go through my old posts too. It’s time for some blog spring cleaning!

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  • http://www.glamourcoastalliving.blogspot.com/ Ashlea

    Some great suggestions, thank u!

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad you like them :)

  • http://thoughtandahalf.blogspot.com/ Kate // A Thought and a Half

    I can’t believe I just found this post! I’m planning a rebrand and some big changes for my blog (once grad school is finished), and I definitely need to add some of these to my to-do list. My biggest point of contention is deciding whether or not to switch to WordPress. Once I decide that, then I think I can handle it. Great post! :)

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      Oh that’s so exciting! Change is both fun and scary at the same time. WordPress does take some getting used to, but it’s more than worth it. The simplicity it provides and the way you have complete control over your site was the deal breaker for me. Best of luck to the rest of your grad school!

      • http://thoughtandahalf.blogspot.com/ Kate // A Thought and a Half

        Thanks Brittany! I dug out my old WordPress account that I made in undergrad, and I think I’m going to start playing around with that more to get used to it…and to test out new design ideas. I’ve used it before, of course, but not to this extent. This will be a whole new adventure!

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  • http://shehlagrr.blogspot.com/ Shehla Ahmed

    Hi, Britt. I just wanted to say I’ve been stalking your site for almost an hour and I am so in love with everything. Your blog, the design, the posts.. they’re all so inspiring. It makes me feel like mine has a lot of work left to do lol,

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      Hey Shehla! Thank you so much for your kind words! They mean so much to me! :) I’m so sorry for not getting back to you until now; I’ve been so busy! Everyone’s blogs grow at different rates, but if you ever would like some help or just want to chat, send me an email and I’ll be glad to help! :) I’ll be posting more this upcoming month, so I hope you like the posts! :) Have a great day!

  • http://yandrealuna.wix.com/societybeing Andrea Luna

    Love this post! Learned a lot about what’s improtant to have in a blog.

    • http://www.thekardiablog.com Brittany Houchins

      I’m so glad you liked it Andrea! :) Hopefully it’ll be useful for you!

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  • http://daisywillows.wordpress.com DaisyWillows

    thank you for this

  • Angela Mary

    Thank you so much for this wonderful list. I really need to delete a lot more plugins. I always thought, the more – the merrier. Lol. I’ve made my list a couple of days ago and thought it would be fun to share my tips as well. :)
    http://maryangela.in/50-things-your-blog-needs-before-it-goes-public-free-printable-checklist/

  • The Gossip Darling

    Super helpful! I joined The Peony Project about a year ago and it was my best move EVER. Such a supportive group. They have saved me MANY times!!

    Mel | http://www.thegossipdarling.com

  • https://nezaustavljiv.wordpress.com/ Nikola Trajković

    Really helpful, thanks!

  • Nefeli

    I m also pinning this for later! Thanks!

  • Barb Sturrock

    Thank you so much for this info. I am going to pin it so that I can go over it again. And thank you for mentioning The Peony Project, I am fairly new to blogging and had not heard of it. It will be nice to talk to other people who are just starting out, aand to those who have been at it for a while.

  • http://www.jointhecreativeside.com/ Chelsea van Egmond

    Thank you so much for sharing! Those are suck wonderful tips!

    Chelsea | http://www.jointhecreativeside.com

  • http://www.digalittledeeper0.me Rachel

    Top tips thank you. I deactivate plugins but keep them for just in case. One could call me a hoarder. And the images. I used to be scared of them, they are so beneficial. The tip about the footer, I’m going to think about that. And white space is great on the side bar.

  • Stories of Our Boys

    This is such a helpful list, I’m keeping it open while I work my way down it. I love it when I come across substantive blogger instruction posts rather than all the fluff that goes around. Thank you!

  • Brittany O’Barr

    Thank you for making this a list! I love lists… and I’m tired of having to go through a bunch of hoops to get the info I need haha :) xoxo!!!

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