How to Things All Bloggers Should Do

You can tap into a vast variety of tips and tricks that can take you to the next level with your blog or even help you settle in happily where you are right now.

Discover your voice
Your blog is an extension of you, and discovering your blog voice is a bit like discovering yourself. Many bloggers struggle in the first weeks (or months or years!) to find their blogging voice. It’s also quite common for bloggers to travel far down their blogging path before deciding to change their writing style.

As you begin thinking about your blogging voice, ask yourself what you want your readers to know and feel about you. Do you want your blog to mimic an informational website, perhaps sharing product reviews or the latest news? Or would you like to treat your site as an online journal, sharing every bit of yourself?

It is not at all uncommon for bloggers to struggle as they find their blogging voice and gain the courage to write freely. However, after you’ve discovered your voice, blogging will become magically easier and suddenly more enjoyable.

Stoke your muse
Your life will inevitably change as you encounter exciting new things and opportunities. You may get a new job, your children will age, or you may decide to move to a new city. In any case, don’t neglect what inspires you.

If you write a mommy blog, your content will likely focus on the stage of life that you are in and the challenges you face with your children. But, those topics will change as your children age.

However, if you only focus on your blog and not remember to take time for your family and myself, your muses would be neglected and, consequently, our content would suffer. As you work hard to bring your blog to the place you want it to be, don’t forget to take time to stoke the muse that inspired you to write in the first place.

Survey your readers
Unless you are blogging solely for you and care nothing about growing or fostering your readership — which is absolutely fine, by the way — you should take time periodically to connect with your readers to get their thoughts on your blog.

Some bloggers like to keep an open, ongoing survey that is always available, not unlike a feedback box in a place of business. A link to such a survey can be included at the end of posts, within your RSS feed, or even as a widget in your sidebar. You may choose to check in with your bloggers once or twice a year instead, devoting an entire post to reader outreach.

Typical reader questions may include:

Education level
Favorite post topics
Interest in blog giveaways and contests
Preferences for blog subscription method

Find your tribe
You’ve likely caught on by now that the blogging world not only requires participants to learn a new technological skill set but also introduces them to a whole new language. One of these fun terms is tribe, or simply put, the readers and fellow bloggers to whom you most relate.

Finding your tribe can be a tough and lonely road, but after you’ve plugged in to the online community that is right for you, it will take your blogging experience to a new, more enjoyable level. Take your time finding the community that is best for you, and be sure to look both inside and outside your content area while on your journey.

Know your traffic sources
There are many reasons to know how many visitors your blog receives, from being able to report to advertisers to simply knowing that you’re not sending your content out into the abyss. However, even if you truly don’t care about the number of readers your blog draws, you still may want to know your traffic sources.

Take a look periodically at your traffic sources. For starters, it’s nice to know whether that sidebar ad you’ve placed on a friend’s blog is actually driving new readers to your site, or whether that free guest posting you’ve been doing is truly building your audience.

It’s also useful to your future content creation to know whether some content is drawing more readers than other posts.

This information may inspire future editorial calendar (where you schedule future blog posts) ideas! You may also want to go back to old posts that are still receiving search engine traffic and update these posts with links to more recent posts. Using tracking programs to look thoughtfully at your traffic sources may give your blog — and you — a needed boost, even if traffic is the least of your blogging goals.

Set goals
Joining the blogosphere can be an overwhelming experience, but you need to know what your goals are. Blogging goals don’t have to be complicated, and they’re certainly open to revision as your blog grows and changes. Some simple goals may include:

Grow readership: Would you like someone other than your mother and spouse to read your blog? Set a specific goal such as 50 new readers in the first month.

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