2013 is about to wrap up and as we welcome 2014, it’s important to look back on several things that shaped our lives the past year. It’s important to reflect on the things we did (and didn’t do) to find out which areas we can improve.
Are you happy with your blogging career? Did you accomplish the goals you set for yourself?
Great if you did.
Don’t worry if you still have a lot of items unchecked. There’s always time to do better.
That’s what New Year resolutions are for
It’s been tradition for many to have a list of the different things they want to change about their attitudes, habits and even image. And since it’s been helpful to many, why not do it to improve your blog?
Top 10 New Year resolutions that will make you a better blogger
10. Create an editorial calendar
Your blog needs to have fresh content for it to rank. Now, I know how difficult it can be to come up with great posts on a regular basis. Many times, writer’s block will keep you from meeting your deadline.
By making an editorial calendar, you’ll know what you need to write about in advance and that should give you ample time to research and write.
It’s so simple. You can either create a spreadsheet or input it directly on your calendar. Understandably, you can’t plan posts for the entire 2014 so what you can do is have at least two weeks’ worth of posts. That is if you update your blog several times a week. If you publish only once a week, then have a list for 2 months.
9. Get distraction-free writing tools
Blogging can be tremendously hard when you’re constantly distracted by emails and social media. Even those who consciously make an effort to stick to writing often get distracted, like me. The best way to not disrupt your writing is to use distraction-free writing tools.
I’ve used Write Monkey before and found it useful. I tried it mainly because it’s free. It blacks out the entire screen and all you’ll see are the words you type. Other tools that might interest you include OmmWriter, Q10, WriteRoom and Focus Writer.
8. Get to know Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a great tool to learn what readers think about your blog. This will also give you a lot of ideas on what search terms to leverage and what type of posts to continuously write about. How do you know that? They’re the posts that have the most clicks. It’s easy to use this free tool. It’s got an intuitive interface.
7. Read 1 book a week
You can’t become a good writer if you don’t read a lot. Most successful writers attribute part of their success to their love for reading.
Don’t like reading? You must force yourself to like it because you will never write exceptionally if you despise books.
These are just some of the many things you can get out of reading:
- Improved vocabulary
- Familiarization with different styles of writing
- Enhanced creativity
- Acquisition of new information that you can use when writing about different topics
- Improved grammar
6. Comment on different blogs regularly
Blogging isn’t just about writing stuff and getting people to read. It’s also become social. Successful bloggers are those who’ve established relationships with both readers and other bloggers. Commenting on other blogs is one effective way to do that.
Make it a point to comment on others’ posts. It’d be nice if you can set a goal, like comment on 50 posts a week. This can do wonders for your blog. It can:
- Invite others to check out your blog
- Let others know that you know what you’re talking about and look at you as a niche expert
- Introduce you to a huge network of bloggers
- Get the attention of pro bloggers
5. Find your most productive time
Ever found it hard to write even when you’re squeezing your brains? Writer’s block isn’t the only reason for being unable to churn out posts. Sometimes, you’re not making progress because the time isn’t right. Creative people have a productive time. Find out what’s yours.
Try waking up earlier than usual, say at 6 a.m. and then start writing. Or stay up late. Or try writing in the middle of the day. See which part of the day you’re inspired to write. That’s your productive time.
Remember, though, that this can change.
4. Play more
Blogging is a lot of work. To get the best results (more hits, engaged readers, viral posts) you must be prepared to work long hours. It can be tough. Successful blogs are results of blood, sweat and tears.
It doesn’t mean you should bury yourself in work. Play hard. Play more. Do stuff you enjoy. Make sure to set aside a few hours during the day to relax and enjoy. The time you spend for fun and leisure will relax your tired mind and contribute to enhanced creativity and productivity.
3. Invest in a writing class/program/book
As a blogger, your most important asset is yourself. Invest on your skills. Buy books that’ll help you write better. Enroll in programs on blogging and other related courses. Don’t be scared to spend money because the things you’ll learn will contribute to your success.
Exercise will keep you from getting sick. Illnesses will affect your work. They will keep you from writing, marketing your blog and networking with others. Lost time means lost income.
Another benefit of exercising regularly is it does wonders to the brain. It:
- Sharpens memory
- Improves mood
- Prevents cognitive decline
- Reduces anxiety
- Boosts brainpower
All these will be extremely helpful when trying to come up with great blog posts that readers will love.
1. Write regularly
This deserves to be on the top spot of your New Year resolutions list because the sure-fire way to improve your blog is to become a better writer and that stems from writing regularly.
It’s harder than it sounds because it requires discipline and commitment. With all the stuff going on in our lives, it’s easy to set aside writing for later, tomorrow or next week. You have to make a conscious effort to write even when there’s so much going on.