I honestly can’t believe it as I’m saying it (or typing it I should say), but you are now reading my 100th blog post! Not only will my little pride and joy be turning two next month, but that’s 100 weeks of writing content, creating graphics, and sharing on social media. Before I go into further detail, I want to thank all of my followers and friends who continue to inspire me everyday! I personally have to admit, that I had many preconceived notions about blogging before I actually started. Well, I can tell you firsthand that I was proven wrong many times. Now the only way I was going to find out that I was wrong, was by actually being wrong. You can read industry best practices and take advice from consultants all day long, but at the end of the day YOUR data is where your particular truth lies. Don’t get me wrong, it’s best to start off by using the knowledge of other experts initially, but testing will optimize those findings even further! Let me explain what I mean when it comes to Haley Had a Little Blog.
Text-Heavy vs. Graphics-Heavy Content
Now this is a blog after all, so my site is generally very text-heavy! As someone who gets bored very easily, I know the importance of mixing up large blocks of text with some sort of visually pleasing component. I’ve found that the more fun and vivid my infographics are, the more engagement (likes, comments, re-blogs, shares, etc.) my post will get. The typical format of my blog posts is to section off each tip/point into a paragraph of it’s own, have a designated feature/cover image and a corresponding infographic. Now in some cases, such as my posts about spirit animals and Snapchat, I might incorporate more images in the body of the text. These ones have been some of my top performing posts due to the fun and visual nature of them. Now, if you have a more business, medical, or scientific blog, you might want to focus more on text. Most of this will be due to your audience, but you’ll never truly know until you test!
Subject Matter is one of the more unpredictable categories in my opinion! I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve spent a lot of energy and time on a topic I was really passionate about, just to have only 10 people read it. On the other hand, there’s been many times where I barely slopped together a post and it continues to get views and likes on a weekly basis! Subject matter takes time to test, and sometimes you won’t be able to make any sense on why certain topics do better than others. I’m always afraid that my humor will get me in trouble, so in many posts I try my best to keep it light on the laughs. That being said, the other posts where I’m more honest and packed with punchlines always perform significantly higher. Now again, this can all be due to your audience and how niche your blog truly is. Try to be patient in this area, and test different subject areas over the course of several months (as long as they relate to your blog overall) and see what happens!
Level of Engagement
Just from having a background in social media and advertising, I knew that having different forms of engagement on my blog was extremely important! This is why at the bottom of every post you will see a question of the week. Even though most people don’t like to answer these questions, there are a few of you guys out there that do! I’ve found that the more I encourage an open dialogue on my posts, the more traffic and followers I gain overall. If I could give any advice on this, I’d say that you should test out different ways of engaging, whether it’s asking questions or creating contests, and see how it affects your site’s traffic! Engagement is one of the most valuable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that can lead to a higher ROI (Return on Investment). Remember, a community doesn’t consist of one person shouting at a crowd of faceless people! A community means that multiple people are actively engaging with each other and listening to each other. Sometimes you’ll be the teacher and sometimes you’ll be the student, and that’s entirely okay.
Organization and Display
For those of you who were reading this blog back when it was The Haley Daniels Blog you probably remember a much different looking website design! Not only was the logo and name horrific, but the overall layout was very childish looking. Even though I initially loved it, I started realizing that it just wasn’t following best design practices. About a year ago, I decided to do a complete website redesign, which took a lot of effort! In the end it helped not only get me more recognition in the design community, but also from my readers. Unfortunately, there was no way of knowing if this massive visual change was going to work until I implemented it. Luckily it payed off in the end. I encourage you to Google best practices on clean design, and to test from there!
I’ve learned a lot over the past two years, and I know I only have more to understand! Testing has become a large factor in growing my base and creating new content! Whether you’re making site changes, conducting A/B tests, or just changing up what you post, pay attention to the details and learn from them! Feel free to ask me any question in the comment section below! 🙂
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What do you think is the most important feature that a website can have?