It’s a new year and resolutions have been made:
- Lose weight
- Stop smoking
- Reduce our drinking
- Improve our productivity
- Exercise more etc etc etc
But we all know that we probably wont keep them as January gets its chilly grip on us and seduces us with lovely warming meals by a roaring fire. It’s a time for hibernation not exercise and salads. So why not use that fire-side time to improve your blog’s efficiency and productiveness by making three simple changes. Go grab your laptop and try the following (if you haven’t already done them) – go on it’s good for the soul and you can stop feeling guilty for not pounding the streets if you are pounding the keys.
Now at this stage I must admit these are the three things that really bug me when I visit a site that hasn’t done them – and I guess if they get my goat then they are probably annoying other people, as well as losing opportunities for you.
1. Ensure URLs open new windows/tabs
This is the simplest of all the points here and the most obvious, yet blog after blog seems to fail to pay attention to it. If you allow a url link in your post to take your hard-earned reader away from your post, or worse, blog, by clicking a link to another site they may not return. EVER. Your url has gone and they have to click backwards to go back to your site which means leaving the site they’ve just visited and they may not want to do that. The solution?
Make every link open a new window/tab. In most blogging sites such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger it’s as simple as ticking a box when you create the url. You get to keep your reader and provide them with valuable links – easy. It breaks my heart every time I see bloggers pushing people away from their posts, or blogs so please don’t.
2. Use an aggregator for all links to Amazon or iTunes so that your readers are directed to the correct geographical store.
This is a real bug bear for me. Why do so many authors share Amazon or iTunes links that take their readers to the wrong store – why would they lose this valuable chance to get a sale (be it their own or an affiliate sale)?
I don’t know the exact stats but I would be willing to bet that the number of sales they achieve is substantially reduced if the link doesn’t take the reader to a store they can buy from. This both annoys and inconveniences the reader, who has taken the trouble to click the link, and it loses you sales – please don’t do this…. pretty please. It’s so simple to use a link aggregator that automatically sends your readers to the right store based on their geographical location. The internet is a global tool and you should provide links that work globally.
I use Georiot which is great and doesn’t cost you anything other than click shares and this means if my readers are in France they will be taken to the French store, if in the US taken to the .com store etc. I recommend Georiot as it’s so simple to use and I’ve had a great service over the last year. There are others such as those listed below but I’ve no personal experience of them:
For more detail on these aggregators and how to use them please check out this great post by Roger Packer – It’s ASIN: Four ways to get a global link for your Amazon ebook
3. Create a social media friendly image(or two) for every post
Imagery is one of the most important elements of any blog post – it attracts attention and encourages more shares. With the rise of Pinterest any post without an image is totally missing a great opportunity to gain new readers from this exciting channel (for a reference point – Pinterest is the second largest referer to my site). Today there really is no excuse for not using imagery on your blog with all the free image creation options available (Picmonkey, Pixlr Editor etc) – in fact with a basic digital camera and using these two pieces of software I show you in the video below how to create an attractive and FREE post image in just 13 minutes.
- I use Depositphotos by signing up for a month’s download package of 10 images a day (that’s around 300 images in a month) for $69 that equates to just $0.46 per image. I do this every now and again to build a library I can use for my posts.
- I use Envato when I don’t have an image in my library that fits the mark as you can download photo’s from as little as $1 for small images (543 x 368) up to $9 for huge images (5529 x 3744).
The quality the images on both sites is exemplary so definitely worth checking out.
Go on take these 3 steps now and improve your blog for the new year – it’s definitely worth it. Let me know how you get on with them…
Bye for now…