Now is the perfect time to review your site, prepare to blog for the new year, and focus on the brand you are building. Maybe you're looking to monetize your blog, build your brand, or create new goals to strive for the independence of blogging full-time.
Whatever your desire is for your site in the coming year, these 5 ways to prepare to blog for the new year will help you kick 2016 off on the right foot, giving your site the boost it needs succeed in 2016.
5 Ways to Prepare Your Blog for the New Year
Add and/or Update Your Media Kit – Monthly
If you're actively working on building your stats and social media presence and want to monetize your blog, you need to update your media kit at least monthly and have one available at all times.
Last year I set a goal to grow my social media footprint on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, three of my most challenging sites. The only problem was I wasn't updating my media as my stats were changing. Yikes! When I looked at my media kit a couple of months later I was stunned to see how low my stats were listed at.
Having an up to date, online media kit available is a great way to introduce yourself to a new PR rep who may have stumbled across your site, so you want it to be as up to date as possible. If you find researching your stats and demographics in Google Analytics time consuming, check out our article How to Create a Functioning Media Kit in Google Dashboard to learn how to update your media kit stats with ease.
Upgrade Your Camera Equipment – Enroll in Photography School
With social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, it's safe to say blog posts these days are highly photo driven. You need to have a beautiful pin worthy images, an eye-candy image per se, to draw visitors to you site before they ever read a word you have typed.
To capture the most amazing photographs possible, you need to have a camera that can produce large, bright, crisp images to draw visitors to your site. You don't need the most expensive camera out there, but you do need a camera that is consistent and reliable, and you need to know how to use your camera.
But a camera does not necessarily make a photographer either. I recommend everyone that takes photographs for a living (yes, blogging is a living) read as many how-to photography articles as they can to learn in depth about the camera they use, research the best lenses for your style of photography you do, and if possible enroll in photography school.
Remove Unnecessary Clutter
Clutter can make or break a site. Think about that for a moment. Have you ever clicked on a site, cringed and immediately clicked away? I have. It was not good.
Google measures a site's bounce rate, the rate at which visitors who enter the site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than continuing on to view other pages within the same site. The higher the bounce rate, the lower the ranking. You don't want that.
Instead, keep a clean site with as little clutter as possible. Remove any ads no longer relevant and update your front page (if you use one) by moving popular categories (holiday and themed) to the top. This will give your visitors a pleasant viewing experience and keep them coming back for more.
Add New Content to Old Posts – And Share It!
You know that fabulous old post you wrote a few years back? I bet you have learned a few new things that can make it better. Why not re-purpose that old post by adding some new content to it, maybe even some new photographs now that you are a pro with your camera, then promote it like you never have before with these 8 tips for marketing your blog.
You may even want to link to new content based on the same topic you have written since your original post, building internal links to help boost your site's SEO.
Get a Second Opinion
Whether you barter with a fellow blogger or hire a professional blogging coach, having a fresh pair of eyes give your site a once over can be enlightening as you prepare to blog for the new year. Not only can they share what works for them and what doesn't on your site, but they can also offer helpful suggestions for your blog design and content.