Blogs and businesses have seasons, just like the weather. Autumn is usually a season of change – a time for new directions and new experiments, the closing of doors and opening of new ones.
Are you thinking of taking your blog to the next level? Trying something new, or fixing something that never worked in the first place? “The next level” means something different to everybody, but here are 6 ideas that might get your creative juices thinking about something fun and effective at whatever your current goals and focus might be.
photo credit coneybeare
1. Make a Survey
Instead of taking some random advice from a stranger (ahem), why not ask your readers what THEY want? Use Google Docs to create a form, and then send it to regular commenters, active Twitter followers, Facebook fans. Then send it to your email list. See what the trends are. Act on them. Talk to them and see what works for both of you.
2. Master a new Medium
If you’re a photographer, why not try some video posts? Writers, how about a podcast? It’s not all about text, and who knows, you might fall in love with a new format for your work. The hot thing right now are photo essays in ultra-huge-ginormous format, as well as video blogging. I’m not saying you have to do either, I’m just saying they’re popular.
3. Do some Site Housekeeping
Time to take care of all those loose ends on your site that pile up over the year. Here are some common offenders:
- Upgrade WordPress/Joomla/Whatever-You-Are-Using
- Upgrade your plugins, or delete unused/unneeded ones
- Do you have old pages you’re not using? How about “about us” pages or other info pages that need some fresh new verbiage?
- Blog Categories. Are they working for you, or are they just frustrating?
- Same goes for post tags, if your site uses them.
4. Freshen Up Your Visuals
You don’t need to change out your logos every season, but how about some new banner ad creatives on the sidebar? A fresh new email newsletter signup box will give you a boost, albeit temporary, on your signups. Rotate your widgets. You can use Fiverr.com to get some new social media icons, banner ads, or other minor graphic tweaks for cheap.
5. Stretch those SEO Muscles
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is great for a blog, but who has the time for keyword research, deciding on the right traffic-vs-difficulty keywords, updating the posts, doing some guest posts for backlinking, wash, rinse, and repeat for every page and post! It can be crazy. But SEO works, so promise to block off at least a couple of hours a week for a month and just work on tidying up your SEO efforts. (It hurts less once you get going, I promise!)
6. Attend a Travel Media Event
Last but not least, get out of those pyjamas, leave your hostel for the day, and meet and greet some other travel professionals – preferably travel PR companies who want to work with you or travel suppliers who are interested in getting coverage. There are travel media events all over the world, year round – LA Travel Show, World Travel Market, US Pow Wow, Canadian Media Marketplace, Go West…. Just do a Google search on travel media show/conference, you’ll have your hands full options.
What are you doing to take your blog to the next level?
About this week’s guestwriter: Andy has his own travel blog, Sharing Travel Experiences, as well as a tourism marketing company. Follow him on twitter, @andrewghayes.