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7 Tiny Tweaks to Your Blog That Will Make a Massive Difference

by Team Caffeine · 15 comments

Tiny Tweaks

As anyone whose ever lost weight, written poetry, painted a picture, or been in a long term relationship will know: little tweaks make a MASSIVE difference.

In fact, little tweaks are so important that the Japanese have made a philosophy out of it. This is called Kaizen, which means small, continuous change.

Kaizen is the idea that tiny changes, put together, one after another, can make massive improvements to a business, a person’s life, or even a blog.

Kaizen is Toyota’s secret of success. It can be your secret of success, too.

Make a series of small tweaks, and before you know it, you’ll see your blog grow far more than you thought was possible.

These are little tweaks, because as all bloggers know, blogging takes enough time as it is.

1. Get an Email List Already

Ask any serious blogger the biggest blogging mistake they’ve made. All of them will tell you the same thing. Their biggest regret is failing to set up an email list as soon as they started their blog.

These days, you can’t hide behind any excuses. Money isn’t an issue, nor is the difficulty of setting up a list.

Mailchimp is free if your email list is under 2,000 subscribers, while you can try out AWeber for just $1.

Adding a sign up form to the side bar of your blog is simply a case of copying and pasting some html code. You’ve gone as far as setting up a blog, so you can surely manage that.

E-mail NewsletterInfographic Courtesy of iContact.

2. Go Self-Hosted

Okay, this isn’t exactly a tiny tweak, as it can cost up to $100 a year for a self-hosted blog, plus you’ve got the hassle of moving all your blog posts from your current blog to its new location.

However, with support from WordPress, moving your blog could hardly be easier. And with most hosting providers, getting WordPress up and going is as simple as a one-click install.

Once you go self-hosted, you’ll never look back. You’ll wonder how you managed without all the themes and plug-ins that are available to self-hosted bloggers. Seriously, these make your life way easier, and they give your blog the professional touch.

Even if you only go self-hosted to remove ads from your blog, it’s worth it in terms of reader experience.

3. Focus, Focus, Focus

Most bloggers I know have wide and varied interests. We’re great people to know, and typically we’re broad-minded and willing to plunge ourselves into anything.

When it comes to writing a blog, this leaves us with a dilemma. Do we stay true to ourselves and write about all our interests? Or do we segment ourselves, and only write about one part of our lives?

The answer is both. Choosing a clear, tight niche is vital if your blog is to have any chance of success. Sure, there are examples that break the mould, but they’re few and far-between. For the most part, blogs succeed because they’re focused.

That said, just because your blog has a focus doesn’t mean you should leave the rest of yourself behind when you come to blog. It’s vital to be yourself, to open up to your readers, and to use everyday examples from all areas of your life when you’re illustrating what you mean.

Talking of connecting with readers, you also must remember to…

4. Write like a Human Being

At school, you’re taught writing like it’s some special, magical process with special rules. You’re taught how to write in a specific style, and with certain structures, to produce cookie-cutter stories and essays.

What’s rarely taught at school is how to write for real human beings, and how to be engaging to real people. This is exactly what you need as a blogger.

Write your blog like you learned to write to at school, and your blog will chug along like a busted steam engine. You will struggle to gather momentum or attract a wide readership.

Instead, write for real human beings. Which, when it comes to it, is really simple. To write like a human being, write like you speak. A top tip here is to dictate your blog posts into your smartphone. Then you can’t help but write like you speak.

And when you write like you speak, it helps you in another important aspect of being a successful blogger…

5. Learn the Art of Speedwriting

Blogging is all about content. The faster you can write, the more you can write. The more you can write, the more content you produce. The more content you produce, the quicker you’ll attract readers.

It sounds obvious, but time and again I see newbie bloggers treating their blog like it’s the next Great American Novel. They’ll spend hours over a single sentence, making their prose articulate and flowery.

If you want to write literature, go write literature.

If you want to write a blog, write like you speak. When you write like you speak, you can write at lightening speed. The typical person speaks at around 100 words a minute, so if you talk a blog post, you can be done in just five minutes.

Of course, not everyone can type that fast, and you’ll need to do a little editing, but there’s no reason you can’t start and finish a typical 500-word blog post in under 30 minutes.

6. Remember SEO

I know, I know, SEO is boring. Who wants to worry about keywords when all you really want to do is write, write, write?

Try this trick: instead of fretting over keywords before you write, write your blog post first. Write from your heart. Then, when you’re done, add an SEO friendly headline, sub-headlines, and metadata. You can also tweak your first paragraph to be SEO friendly if you like.

Writing first then mixing in the SEO later helps you keep the inspiration and ideas flowing, and stops you getting blocked. At the same time, paying some attention to SEO ensures your blog has fresh readers coming in every day.

SEO InfographicInfographic Courtesy of WhiteFire, an SEO Company.

7. Build a Community

Good blogs are about a charismatic individual. Bloggers, by the power of their personality and writing style, can attract a wide following.

Great blogs are about a community. If your blog is a community, your readers will spread the word about your blog for you. Your readers will feel invested in what you’re doing, and connected to other readers.

How do you build a community? By engaging with your readers. Talk to your readers on Twitter. Reply to comments on your Facebook Page. Ask questions. Most importantly, reply to any comments on your blog, and leave comments on your readers’ blogs.

Related Reading

5 Ways to Bond with Your Blog’s Audience
The Copyblogger

The 7 High-Converting Places to Add Email Sign-Up Forms to Build Your List
social triggers

How to Write Faster
Lifehacker

SEO Basics: 8 Essentials When Optimizing Your Site
Search Engine Watch

Tribe Marketing: How To Build A Tribe Online
Social Buzz Club

For More Tips + Tricks

Over to You

What little tweaks have you made to your blog that have created massive improvements?

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Like this? You can find more social media tips and tricks in the Social Caffeine Collection, a collection of 24 books on social media marketing.

Team Caffeine

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon J. Hernandez June 24, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Great blog, Lori! Each time I get discouraged when I promote, I have to remember that the efforts you list here are all part of the process. I have always struggled with the idea of #3 in your list. I decided a few months back that I wasn’t going to change who I was because I really enjoyed music, but I also loved social networking and marketing. It’s blogs like this one that make a difference. Thank you for writing!

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LoriRTaylor June 25, 2013 at 6:28 am

I’m thrilled you enjoyed the article! I totally know how you feel – I struggled with #3 as well for the longest time, but once I defined my niche, it really made all the difference, both with my productivity AND with building my target audience, because I knew exactly who I wanted to target. Have a great – and productive – week! :) *Krissy

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Carolyn Nicander Mohr June 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Great article. I especially loved the speed writing part. You’re right. we should write as if we are talking. If I do dictation perhaps I will improve both my speed and my tone.

I am dictating this right now.Ha! It worked just fine. :-)

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LoriRTaylor June 25, 2013 at 6:26 am

It’s something I’m still getting the hang of – I think it’s because of the hours I spent toiling over essays being “just so” in school – it ended up making my writing “voice” sound stiff and contrived. Slow but sure, I’m loosening up, as it were. :) *Krissy

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Josh June 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Hi Carolyn,

I try to write my posts as if I was having a conversation with the reader. It works well for me.

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Carolyn Nicander Mohr June 25, 2013 at 4:57 pm

It works well for your readers too, Josh! :-)

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LoriRTaylor June 26, 2013 at 5:29 am

Great strategy Josh! It also makes for an enjoyable writing experience. I write posts as if I’m writing an e-mail to someone, to make sure I always remain “myself” during the process. *Krissy

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Geri Richmond June 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Hi Lori,
I like this post, because when I first started my blog, I felt like it had to be perfect. Little did I know that if I spoke like a “human” the response would be much better. Wish I had read this sooner. I like the idea of dictating what you are thinking. I will use my phone to dictate ideas for blogs from now on.
Thanks for the great info.
http://www.geririchmond.com

Reply

LoriRTaylor June 26, 2013 at 5:37 am

I’m so glad you enjoyed the post Geri! That’s been my issue too – I’ve always been very picky with my writing because of my freelancing background, but blogging is a totally different ball of wax – one I now thoroughly enjoy. I got into the habit of writing my blog posts as if I’m writing an e-mail to someone – it keeps my “voice” as consistent as possible. Keep us posted on how the technique works out for you! *Krissy

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annersch June 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

That first infographic is not making sense at all. “Is your open rate LOWER than 10%? No: Do someting. Yes: Your list is good” What??? And it´s like that all the way. Somebody changed their mind in the middle of making that thing.

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Brankica | Online Income June 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I was looking at the same thing and scrolled down to see if anyone commented on it. Makes NO sense!

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LoriRTaylor June 26, 2013 at 5:26 am

Thanks so much for noticing the infographic blooper – I’ve changed it to new one. :) *Krissy

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LoriRTaylor June 26, 2013 at 5:26 am

Sooo appreciate you noticing the blooper – I’ve changed to a different/more coherent infographic, LOL! *Krissy

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mikelking July 3, 2013 at 12:39 am

Hey Lori, found this to be a bookmark worthy article. Kudos!

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Lily Seymour July 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I see an increase of growth since i’ve added the “rel author” code to my post, i’m editing all my 500 post adding it into the html and I hope it’s worth it.

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