20 Possible Ways to Optimize Your Blog

Your blog is a piece of your virtual real estate in the online world. It’s natural that you’ll make every possible effort to make it more comfortable for your readers and subscribers to hang around.

Your readers and loyal subscribers are the life blood of your blog in my opinion. Without them, I see no valid reason why a blog should exist in the first place.

20 Possible Ways to Optimize Your Blog

In this article I’m presenting to you 20 possible ways to optimize your blog in the hope that by implementing them, you will see an increase in traffic and ultimately gain a few more subscribers as a result. In the spirit of giving back to my readers, I’m sharing with you some of strategies I have adopted and what has worked well in my favor.

#1 Link Out to More Bloggers

Make an effort to link out to other bloggers by finding relevant and useful articles that may be of interest to your readers. You could either write a Sunday Link Loves, a trend I believe started by Jim from The Net Fool or find an opportunity to include any relevant topics from other blogs into your post which is exactly what I’m doing it here.

#2 Do More Internal Linking – Rejuvenate Your Old Posts

Linking out to other bloggers is just as important as Internal Linking. I can’t think of a better way to reactivate and rejuvenate the old and buried posts in your archive than to link them internally in your recent post.

You shouldn’t underestimate the power of internal linking in the distribution of your Page Rank – if any, to your internal pages and in helping to improve your search engine results. Link building is never enough without proper internal linking.

#3 Hold A Contest

One of the common yet effective methods used by many bloggers to attract new subscribers and generate more buzz around the blog is by holding a contest where participants are required to perform specific tasks in order to win certain prizes. You can either offer your own prizes or you can contact other bloggers to sponsor your contest in return for some exposure and publicity.

In case you aren’t in the know, to celebrate my super 3 months blogging, I’m running a ‘thou shall win’ Contest with up to $2500 worth of awesome prizes to be won. The contest will runs till August 31, 2008. So if you think celebrating Christmas in August is just a myth, I’ll promise you this is one contest you’ll probably wouldn’t want to miss.

#4 Dedicate A Post to Your Reader’s Question

I’m sure there are times when your readers will email or contact you to ask some questions that you think may be worth writing a post to address them. I have recently converted a simple question from one of my loyal subscribers into an article titled Post vs Backlinks . Here not only I had the opportunity to express my personal opinions, I was able to hear different version of viewpoints on the subject being discussed from my readers.

When you are experiencing writer’s block, this method not only present you with an idea to write your next article, more importantly your readers will feel appreciated with your effort. Such a gesture of appreciation is most welcome and helps to enhance a better community around your blog.

#5 Invite Guest Bloggers

Guess blogging is a win-win situation for both bloggers involved. On one hand, it gives your readers fresh perspective and different style of presentation. On the other hand, the guest blogger will gain some exposure and permanent link in his guest post. I have so far invited 3 guest bloggers as part of my experimentation to gauge how well my readers are accepting another blogger running the show for a day. I’m yet to receive any negative feedback so I presume it’s been good so far.

#6 Write a Guest Post

In the much the same way of inviting guest bloggers, writing a guest post on other blogs is yet another powerful way of networking with other bloggers and gaining some extra exposure to drive traffic to your site. Writing guest post on other blogs certainly helps to increase your online profile and credibility.

Imagine if you have made several appearances on Problogger, John Chow or other authority blogs, however the more popular the blog is, the higher the barriers of entry are. That said, I still believe there are many bloggers out there who are more than willing to publish your articles. All you need to do is to sell yourself well.

I have recently made a special appearance on BradBlogging.com writing a guest post titled A Guest Blogger On Guest Blogging on why guest blogging is good for you and why you should start today.

#7 Optimize Your ‘About Me’ Page

I’m not sure if it is the same with you but I do notice that many of the first-time visitors will tend to check out my About Me page. If your ‘About Me’ page is out-dated or worst still, non-existence, it’s time you let the world know who you are and what they can expect from your blog and in such an impersonal world of blogging, your photo does make it more personal. If you haven’t done so, it’s time to procrastinate no more.

#8 Automate Daily Backup of Your Blog

They say, “Prevention is better than cure”. Regardless of how old is your blog, you shouldn’t put off till another day to backup your blog, lest you’ll cry over spoilt milk. It’s one of those things you shouldn’t risk it till too late.

If you are on WordPress, there is an easy way to automate the daily backup using a WP Database Backup plugin. I have opted to back up my blog and send it to my Gmail on a daily basis for safekeeping. In this case, procrastination is never an option.

#9 Remove Unnecessary Plugins

As time goes by, you may have installed and collected a lot of plugins in your plugin folders of which you may not be using at all. Due to compatibility issues, some of the plugins may cause some problems to your blog so it’s best to filter what you need and remove what you can do without.

Moreover, excessive use of plugins tends to slow down your blog’s loading time. Do your spring cleaning once in a while and remove unnecessary plugins off your blog. Here’s 5 Possible Ways You Can Speed Up Your Blog for your reading pleasure.

#10 Unclutter Your Sidebar

One of the common mistakes I have discovered in most newer blogs is the clutter of unnecessary widgets that get in the way of content and the blog as a whole. Those clutters are what distract your readers’ attention the most. Isn’t it time to de-junk your sidebar? Here’s 50 tips to Unclutter Your Blog to enhance the simplicity and usability of your blog.

#11 Offer Email Subscription

While RSS subscription may be a trivial matter to most of us but the vast majority of your readers may not be tech-savvy and familiar enough to use it. So offering an alternative and easier option to subscribe and get updates via email can make a whole lot of difference to your readers’ experience.

As a side note, I would recommend that you write a simple page explaining What RSS Is? for the benefit of those not in the know.

#12 Install Top Commentators Plugin

One of the most effective way to encourage more comments from your readers and reward them for their active participation is to install a Top Commentator Plugin. The most active commenters will have their names and links shown on the list. Isn’t it time you show appreciation to your readers?

#13 Separate Trackbacks from Comments

Most theme will display trackbacks and pingbacks along with comments from your readers but I personally find that separating the two is better to keep the flow of the conversation and keep tracks of how many trackbacks you receive. With WordPress, it’s relative easy to separate one from the other using WP Comment Remix plugin which will save you time and effort.

#14 Add Subscribe to Comment Option

How do you get you readers coming back for more comments? You can offer an option to your readers – your commenters – to have the latest response to the comment emailed to them using Subscribe to Comments plugin. In my opinion, this is the most effective way of encouraging your readers to come back and stay engaged in the discussion. I can’t think of any other better way to do it. Do you have it on your blog?

#15 Get Your Blog a Makeover

Get your blog a well-deserved makeover every 3 to 6 months to satisfy your readers. With thousands of WordPress themes available for you to use, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Pick the one that suits your personality and relevant to the theme of your blog and if you have a little budget to spare, invest on a premium theme to differentiate yourself from the rest. Why You Should Invest Your Time or Money For A Custom WordPress Theme.

How about a new logo design? Hugo from BloggerVenue.com is one satisfied blogger who has just got himself an awesome-looking new logo as part of his branding process.

#16 Study Your Stats

Do you know where your readers come from? On what keywords, do they find your blog? What are your most popular posts? By the way, when was the last time you check your stats?

You can make use of tool such as Google Analytics to analyze your stats. It all boils down to the importance of tracking and learning how people find your blog. With all these data at your disposal, you will be able to see which area you should optimize and which can be improved further for better performance and improved traffic.

#17 Join Affiliate Marketing

In monetizing your blog, apart from Adsense and other PPC programs, Affiliates Marketing can be used to diversify your online income, thus not putting all your eggs into one basket. Not only affiliates do give higher payouts, they are pretty handy to fill the voids on your sidebar before your manage to sell all your direct ads. Don’t leave it empty, maximize the empty slots with some good affiliates.

#18 Track Your Adsense

Is your Adsense getting enough clicks? How high your CTR is? Are your ads getting in the way of your contents and distracting your readers? There is no sure-fire way when it comes to monetization. Every single method is being tested through trials and errors to see what works and what’s not.

If you are using Adsense, assign different channels to track which ads format gives you the optimal result at which position on your blog and rearrange those that are not giving you enough clicks.

#19 Drop Entrecard

Entrecard – a 125×125 image which represents your blog. It’s part advertisement and part business card that you can drop on other blogs to drive traffic to your site and to earn EC credits where you can use to advertise on other blogs. It is a unique platform of social networking with other bloggers and an effective method of blog promotion.

#20 Spin Publicity Wheel

Publicity Wheel works almost in the same way as Entrecard and basically serves the same purpose. However, the mechanism of it is different in a sense that your chance of getting the publicity and exposure will largely depend on whether you win the wheel spin every 5 days. To see how it can spin some traffic your way, here’s an article on how Publicity Wheel Can Boost Your Blog’s Traffic In a BIG Way.

What’s Your Thoughts?

What have you done to your blog lately? Share your experiences and success methods with us for the benefit of others.

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