100 Tips To Improve Your Blog

This post is a follow-up of my first “100 things” attempt, 100 Ways To Live A Better Life, which was absolutely a blast. This time, for your convenience, I grouped the tips into several areas: content, layout, plugins, promotion, networking and money. And if you’re into big lists, you may be interested in this one too 77 Tips For Starting An Online Business.

Content

Your blog content is the cornerstone of your activity. You can’t have a blog without producing good, constant, quality content. Of all the other activities related to blogging, like promotion or networking, I consider content production to be by far the most important.

1. Keep An Idea Incubator

Don’t take it easy, take it as it comes. Find a place where you store your ideas. Writing only from instant inspiration is totally unproductive. Besides, chances are that your most valuables ideas will come when you’re not able to blog them. So, create an incubator and let them grow.

2. Make A Mindmap Of Your Blog

Keep a bird-eye of your articles. Putting your blog into a mind-map, with posts, categories, promotion and income sources proved to be an enlightening exercise for me. Not only it offered a totally different image of my blog but gave me a lot of ideas for overall improving.

3. Write Timeless Content

Don’t be caught in the “right now” trap. Writing about hot topics will last as much as the hot topics last. And we all know what’s hot is short. Try to write content that will be easily read in several months or years from now. Even if it’s about a hot topic, put something timeless in it.

4. Use Explicit Headlines

Headlines are the first thing your users are seeing. They are like a bait. If the bait is good, they’ll eventually bite the blog post too, if the headline is boring, common, predictable or not intriguing, they will most likely skip the whole paragraph.

5. Be Specific

Don’t go too far from the specific of your blog. If you do have different skills try to accommodate them on a tight topic. Widening your blog in an uncontrolled way will eventually dissolve your brand and even if you’ll have readers interested in different topics, you’ll be harder to recognize as a monolithic brand.

6. Be Constant

Be there constantly. Create a habit not only for you, but for your readers. Once you establish a connection with them, they will expect you to be there. Whenever you feel the need to give up, remember you will going to disappoint more then yourself.

7. Create And Maintain A Posting Routine

This will need a lot of self-discipline but it’s the cornerstone of your blog. If you won’t update it constantly, there will be no blog. Experiment until you find your pace. Some bloggers are posting 2-3 articles per day, some one per week. I find it easily to do around 2-3 posts per week.

8. Find Your Own Size

Find a post size which fits your habits and skills. Don’t do it like other successful bloggers, don’t copy, do it by trial and error. Seth Godin writes about 6-700 words pe entry, Steve Pavlina does more than 2-3000. My own ballpark is in the 1000-1200 words per post. Find your own.

9. Write From Your Own Experience

Show openly what you know and what you can say about something, without being afraid that you’re wrong. It’s much worse to blindly copy the experts than to assume your own mistakes and publicly learn from them. Your own experience is the most valuable blogging asset you have.

10. Be Authentic

Don’t play the mister know it all, dare to be personal and transparent. Always. A blog is the ultimate expression of an individual. Don’t waste time trying to be perfect, just be better. If you’re wrong, so be it. Remember, you’re unique. Nobody can be you.

11. Write For Your Readers

A blog is a personal matter, but if you want to have more than 2 visitors (including your mom) do yourself a service and write for your readers too. Think how your readers will benefit from what your write. If you want to be the only beneficiary of this process, you can safely start a private journal.

12. Create A Blogging Setup

You don’t just write. You must have a strategy, goals, evaluations. You need to have a place in which you can focus on the main goal. Since I created my blogging setup, GTD style, the whole idea of blogging has changed for me. Pick your own specific type of setup, even pen and paper, but do make one.

13. Ask The Readers

Interact. Don’t just assume you know what the readers want from your blog, go ahead and ask them. You can do that in comments, via email, on twitter. Or you can use online communities. Or you can write a specific post in which you ask them. There are ways. Just go ahead and ask.

14. Post In Advance

Don’t be shy about that, or think that it will ruin your authenticity. As long as you’re the author and you do write timeless content, there will be no problem. Posting in advance is a very good strategy exercise, not to mention the relief of always being covered.

15. Your Blog Post Is A Traveler

Once you hit publish, your blog post will live a life of its own. Your blog post will be a traveler. Be sure to give it the needed equipment to survive in harsh conditions and also enough instructions to find his way in this world. Take of him properly.

16. Your Blog Is Beyond Your Blog

Your blog is far more than your posts. You think it’s just a collection of articles, but it isn’t. In order to be successful, your blog must be a presence. It’s made by your posts, comments, your comments on other blogs, your tweets, your stumbles. Make a presence out of your blog, not just a list of topics.

17. Break Your Post Into Edible Chunks

One of the easiest yet most ignored practices in the blogging business. Don’t write like you’re running a marathon. Break the posts in smaller chunks. It will not only help your SEO, but it will create a much more clear writing approach. You’ll actually think better.

18. Link To Yourself

Don’t be shy about what you write and don’t wait for ever that your posts will be discovered by others. Link to yourself as often as you can. This practice, also known as interlinking, is also good for SEO, but its main advantage will be to create a greater awareness of your content. Even for you.

19. Do Writing Challenges

Push yourself into writing exercises. Establish a number of words per each post. Write personal stories. Write a how to. Write a 100 list, like this one. Try to write a specific number of posts in a specific period of time. Try to expand your skills beyond what you already have.

20. Engage In Group Projects

Try to do collaborative writing challenges. I participated in several collaborative projects, for blogs or ebooks, and it was a very productive experience. It will be extremely good for promotion, of course, but it will primarily help you try different writing styles.

21. Use A Dictionary

There are a lot of online or desktop based dictionaries. I find this extremely useful when I search for synonyms or related words. Yes, English is not my primary language, but I think a dictionary would benefit even if you’re born as an English speaker.

22. Create A Publishing Filter

Don’t just let the blog posts flow away. Create a publishing filter and apply it every time your write. I have my own filter made up by 7 questions to answer before publishing and so far it worked great. Find your own, based on why and what you are writing. It’s a good thing, trust me.

23. Create Alternative Content

Your blog can contain so much more than just text. Create podcasts, video content, or just apply alternative ways to your creativity, like mind maps, PDF based booklets or templates. A while ago I added Downloads page to my blog and I must tell you this page is pretty busy with clicks.

24. Link To Authorities

If there are authorities in your blog niche, link to them. That will help your readers understand your preferences and orientation, it will help them identify you better. Linking to somebody else it’s a statement in itself. As always, be constant and specific.

25. Openly Present Yourself

Write an About Me page with whatever type of information you want in it, as long as you feel it represents you. Subsequently, write About Me pages for any other media you are active on. For instance, I created an About Me page for my Twitter presence.

26. Keep It Simple

Blogging is not philosophy. Even if you are trying to explain complicated concepts, do your best to keep them simple. Your blog is competing with a gazillion other information sources, so be sure you’re giving something at least easy to understand.

27. Read Your Own Blog

Too often ignored. You must be your first reader. Whenever I have some free time I read some of my older posts. There’s nothing narcissistic in it, on the contrary, most of the time I dislike what I wrote, and think I could have done it so much better.

28. Balance Your Category Distribution

This is one of the 4 important metric I follow and which is tracked by the blog audit plugin. Keeping a balanced category will help not only in writing but it will improve your rankings in search engine. Too much content under one category will end up with a lot of duplicate content in your blog archives.

29. Create A Mailing List

This wasn’t yet applied to this blog, at the moment of writing this article, because I think it’s a little bit too early. But I successfully created and used mailing lists before, on niche websites, with tens of thousands of users. I mean it, tens of thousands. I know it’s doable.

30. Use Brainstorming Techniques

One of the most simplest – although pretty scary at the first sight – is this very blog exercise: a list of 100. If you are hit by the writer’s block, just sit down and try to find 100 ways to solve that problem. If you think it’s not possible, you’re completely wrong. You’re actually reading the result of such an exercise.

31. Don’t Quit

The most important tip of all. Don’t quit. Breaking through gets harder and harder, and in the first 6 months you can barely scratch the surface. Stay there and do your daily job even the results are so slow to show. At some point, you’ll be successful. But if you quit, you won’t. That’s for sure.

Layout

The way your content is perceived is fundamental. You may create good and engaging content, but if you don’t lay it out in a pleasant way, it will not be read. People like to see beautiful things first, and then read beautiful blog posts.

32. Buy A Professional Theme

I cannot stress enough on this one. The theme I’m using for some time now, not only for this blog, but for other projects as well, is called Total. And it’s not just a theme, it’s a complete framework. Check it out.

33. Create A Different Home Page For Your Blog

If you use an out of the box setup from a vanilla wordpress installation, you end up with a home page made by your latest blog posts. Replacing this list with a home page is usually a good idea, especially since your posts will be visited most of the time directly from search engines or other links. A home page can tell a completely different story.

34. Use Excerpts Or Features On The Blog Home Page

If you created a different home page for your site, doesn’t mean you won’t have a list of posts. That’s what I call a “blog home page”. Using just one or two full posts in that list is a good thing: usually, it keeps the reader focused. For the other posts I suggest using excerpts to declutter.

35. Enable Threaded Comments

Latest WordPress version have this cool option in the setting: enable threaded comments. You can even chose the depth of the threaded comments, standard (and what I recommend) is 5. In the old days, you had to look for a plugin to make that happen. Threaded comments are a great visual enhancement, not to mention the conversation boost.

36. Identify Your Blog Hotspots

Hotspots are places on your blog more visible than others. Depending on the reader’s habits and your own layout, you can use those places for various incentives, from subscribing reminders to advertising or premium content. The following 4 tips are examples of hotspots in my blog.

37. Use A Greeting Before The Content

Based on their referrer. Just before the content I have this sentence which welcome my users, based on their referrer and give them specific incentives. I created a thesis hook for those of you who are running thesis, but I’m sure you can find a plugin for that, if you don’t.

38. Keep Them Reading Your Articles After They Finished Your Post

After the post area I set up a retention zone. It features related posts (there is a plugin for that) and link for some strategic posts. After they finish your post, keeping them around is a very good idea, and that hotspot seems the best place to do it.

39. Put Short But Relevant Content Near The Linkbar

Another hotspot is at the link bar level. I chose to put there the total number of subscriber I get via FeedBurner. For my experience, link bar is not as hot as the beginning or the end of the post, so I just use it as an overall subscribing incentive.

40. Use A Tabbed Zone For Recommended Articles

The last important hotspot is just before the sidebars. I used it for a custom tabbed zone holding the most important articles in the most relevant categories. It gives a bird-eye on what it can be found and it dramatically increase the click rate for the selected articles.

41. Your Blog Header Is Your Identity

Pay attention to your header, that’s where the title is usually placed. People will remember your blog by visually recreating that zone. If it’s too crowded it will be hard to memorize. I Always recommend to keep your header as clean as possible, in order to be easily remembered.

42. Add A Top Posts Page To Your Menu

And subsequently create a top posts page. I don’t recommend to have it automatically generated based on the popularity of your articles. Tweaking it according to your own perspective of what’s good is much better.

43. Add A Downloads Page

If you followed tips number 23, Create Alternative Content, having a separate Downloads page for that is compulsory. If properly promoted, many people will land to that page directly, without seeing your home page or any of your posts.

44. Use Full Feeds

People have the freedom to chose which way they are going to read you: via web or via an RSS reader. Keeping partial feeds on the RSS part used to be a common tip for making people visit your site for the full content. I don’t buy it. I have full feeds: as long as they read me, it’s their choice how they do it.

45. Mix Your Twitter Timeline Into Your Blog

Put your latest 5-7 tweets in the sidebar or even in the footer, but do let them know that you have a twitter timeline. Will talk about how Twitter can enhance your presence from a promotion point of view a little later, but from a layout perspective, publicizing your current tweets will make your blog feel much more alive.

46. Focus On The Content

Whatever you do or add to your general layout, keep in mind this simple question: will this help my content to reach my users faster? If you answer “no”, or “maybe” to this question, usually the add-on doesn’t worth the time.

47. Use Excerpts On Archives Pages

First of all, make sure you add or enable the standard archives pages in every wordpress theme. And then, be sure to make the archives displaying only excerpts of your posts, this will create a better user experience and possibly increase the time you readers are spending on your articles.

Plugins

Plugins are for your blogging what chip tuning is for a street car. The right combination is hard to find, but once you find it, not only it will make your work much easier, but it will also make you look awesome! Or at least it will make your blog look awesome, which is what are we talking about in this post.

48. Akismet Spam Protection

You can’t really do it without this one. Or, you can blog but you would have to completely turn off your comments. Which is not blogging anymore, right? Activating akismet requires a key, but you can easily generate one in seconds. Once you install it, you’ll forget about it. That’s how a decent plugin should behave, anyway.

49. Google Sitemap

Another must have and also a quiet one. Once you install it, you don’t know it exists anymore, but it does work heavily in the background. The plugin does exactly what it says, it creates a sitemap of your blog in XML format and automatically submit it to Google every time you post. Pretty convenient, huh? (download here)

50. Recent Comments

A very useful addition and one that your commenters will heavily appreciate it. The plugin is easy to install, comes as a widget and is also quite configurable. Highlighting comments usually enhance the conversation, or at least this is what happened to me. (download here)

51. WordPress Download Monitor

If you’re going to have alternative content, like mindmaps, free or paid ebooks, templates or audio / video material, you should consider using this. It will help you organize your downloadables by category, show number of downloads and you can even create new posts inspired by those results, like my most downloaded mindmaps.

52. Blog Audit

This is a shameless self promotion. Blog Audit is a simple plugin I wrote, which lets you etablish blogging goals and measure your progress. You can set a posting routine, a comment density, even a pingback volume and then watch live how you’re doing with it. Download it here Blog Audit Wordpress Plugin (2134).

53. CommentLuv

This will also make your commenters shine with happiness. If your commenters enter a web address in the designated field, CommentLuv will go there and extract your latest post link. If you sign up for CommentLuv at their site, you can even customize which post you will want featured. Neat!

54. Recent Posts

Great way to showcase your latest articles in the sidebar. Readers are curious, they want to know what’s on your mind lately and if they are really interested in what you write, they will always want to be updated. It’s simple and good blog real estate use. Download here.

55. Similar Posts

I use this plugin to show a list of (possibly) related posts after each article. It’s not always matching the main idea and sometimes it gives weird results, but even that is much better than manually compiling a list of links each time I publish. Great time saver and good retention tool. Download here.

56. Woopra

Woopra is a new analytics tool and I’m kinda fond to it. Tracking your website is done by installing a simple wordpress plugin, which, a part from helping Woopra gather all sort of data, doesn’t do much. But will talk about Woopra as ana analytics service a little bit later. Download here.

57. WordPress Automatic Upgrade

Saves me the trouble of doing it manually. I reckon I struggled for years with manual upgrades of WordPress, and even if I got really skilled at some point, I can’t avoid the fact that this is just plain boring. Not to mention is time consuming. Better automate the process. Download here.

58. Twitter Tools

Twitter Tools can do a lot of nice tricks for you. It shows your latest tweets in the sidebar, automatically tweet when you publish a new post and can even let you tweet from your own public interface (don’t know who uses this, but it’s kinda cool). Download here.

59. Avoid The Plugin Hysteria

No plugin can write content in your place. No plugin can make you authentic. Spending too much time hunting, installing and testing new plugins will shift your focus from your most important task: to produce and maintain a constant flow of quality content. That would make you famous, not the plugins.

Promotion

You will have to make yourself known. You will have to get out and let the world you’re there and you are writing something important. Not promoting your work would be like projecting fabulously creative commercials in Sahara. The ads may be fantastic, but if there’s nobody to see them, it’s useless.

60. Don’t Be Shy About Your Blog

If you really know you wrote good stuff, go out and spread the word. Unless you hired a PR company to handle this you gotta take care of your own promotion, at least until it takes off. And even after. Accept the idea and make time for it in your schedule.

61. Tweet Your Blog

Sign up for Twitter and start to promote your posts there. Already mentioned a plugin which will automatically do most of the hard work for you, but you can also do it manually. Used properly, Twitter can bring in hundreds or thousands of visitors per day. As in every other social media space, the thumb rule is to be constantly there. Somehow.

62. Stumble Upon

That would be the StumbleUpon website, a community which aims to make the internet content relevant, by using a human powered algorithm. That sounds far more complicated than it really is. In StumbleUpon you must first contribute a lot of new discoveries until you really get the benefits of the game.

63. Reddit Your Posts

Go on and try Reddit, one of the simplest, yet most crowded user generated content places on the net. Usually, Reddit users are in the geeky zone of the internet specter, but if you carefully chose your subreddits (that would be special communities inside the main Reddit) you can have pretty good results.

64. Digg It!

Although I haven’t been very successful with Digg, I recommend it. I personally know bloggers who benefited enormously from it. Digg traffic seems to be the most volatile among all the communities I mentioned so far. Maybe you can help me change my luck on Digg by pushing this post on the front page. 🙂

65. Facebook

It’s all over so you must be there. I don’t know any specific technique on how to use Facebook to promote your work other than just being there. Put your blog feed on the wall, so your friends can see it and just wait. At some point, you will be surprised by how many hits you receive just by being there.

66. Follow Your Trackbacks

Constantly keep en eye on who’s linking to you. Visit them and let a comment. If the number is too high and you can’t physically leave a comment on every site which is linking to you (don’t smile, it WILL happen at some point) just be sure to constantly verify that list. You’ll learn a lot about your audience and possible followers.

67. Comment On Other Blogs

Find at least 10-15 blogs you really like and make a habit out of commenting on them. Not only you will get to know a lot of interesting and potentially useful players in this area, but you will generate a lot of links and buzz. Don’t brutally say: “Hi, check out this great article I just wrote”, say something meaningful and they will eventually want to know more about you.

68. Respond To The Comments

Keep an eye on the conversation you generate, if any. Be there for it, support it and make it a normal part of your routine. Behind your posts lies another exceptional line of content, and that’s your comment repository. Respect your commenters, as they are voluntarily creating content for YOU.

69. Establish A Slug Structure And Stick With It

A slug is the link part of your post, the one that shows in the browser. You can tweak what is shown there just with a vanilla wordpress setup. For instance, I chose to have the post title right before the domain name. Other approaches are to put the date between them, to add an “archives” or even a custom one made entirely by yourself.

70. Participate In Blog Carnivals

Kinda slow but necessary. Submit your most interesting posts to blog carnivals in your niche. It might be a little cumbersome to do this in the beginning but in a 3 months time frame you will gather a lot of links and awareness. Don’t be fooled by the somehow awkward interface of BlogCarnival.com, those carnivals are actually real and useful.

71. Use Proper CSS For Headings

That would be, by a wide accepted standard, 2. Make sure your paragraph titles, also known as headings, are styled with H2. This is extremely important for layout (if you change your theme and didn’t use h2, you will lose the formatting) but for search engine optimization also. A different CSS style weights differently in most of the search engines.

72. Select Your Keywords In Headlines

If you used a different CSS selector for headlines, don’t forget to chose specific words for it. If you want your post to be found by specific keywords, putting them in the headings will significantly increase your chances. It’s one of the cheapest promotion technique I know.

73. Use Proper Keywords In Your Slugs

In the same league as headings come slugs. Although WordPress can automatically create your slug, it’s always a good idea to double check for common words or / and for keywords you want to be highlighted. Also an easy one, but often overlooked.

74. Use Title Tag Appropriately

The title of your post can or cannot match the <title> tag. The thumb rule is: the tag is seen by search engines and the title in the post is seen by search engines + your readers. It’s useful to play a little with the title tag, but don’t go too far, don’t chose completely different words for the post title and the tag title, you can get penalized for that.

75. Use Metatags Appropriately

There is a long debate on the internet about how useful metatags really are. And the real answer is that nobody really knows, so it’s better to get yourself covered. Thesis theme has this awesome feature which lets me control per each post metatags like title, keywords and so on.

76. Look For Small Or Emerging Communities

Once you’ve done your job with the giants (twitter, reddit or digg) start looking for small / emerging communities in your niche. At this time, both Ycombinator or BizSugar are still young and emerging communities, but judging on how fast they’re moving, they may become mainstream pretty soon.

77. Use A Cluster Of Analytics Services

Observe your traffic statistics. You can use any service you want, from Google Analytics, to a server based log analyzer like webalizer. I use Woopra lately with fairly good results. One good strategy is to group 2-3 analytics services together, because usually they have different algorithms and you can have a better idea about your real traffic if you check at least 2-3 sources.

78. Establish (and strictly follow) A Statistics Checking Routine

Don’t go to your statistics page every 5 minutes. I know the feeling, and it’s not good. In the beginning, weekly it.s ok. Once you get to be linked or retweeted, 2-3 times a day is enough. And you will do that mainly to get in touch with who interacted with your content.

79. Identify Forums In Your Niche

Forums are still very popular and they can be a very good traffic generator. Just be sure to keep a fair balance between your regular contribution to that forum and your self-promotion, forums users are typically a little bit more sensitive.

80. Watch Your Comments Density

That’s another blog metrics which I consider extremely important and which plays a big role in shaping your overall visibility. By watching the number of comments per post. per day, per week and their variations from one month to another you can draw extremely valuable conclusions.

81. Watch Your Pingback Volume

If comments density is a measure of your popularity, pingback volume is a measure of your visibility among other competitors. Identify posts with the higher pingback volume and see what you can learn from them. Pingbacks are like a volume switch for your work, the higher the volume, the most popular the article.

82. Talk About It With Your Friends

Like the friends you have in the real world (if you’re fortunate enough to still have some). Let them know who you really are and what do you do. Don’t put your work under the carpet. Make it as visible as you can. Word of mouth is much more powerful than any promotion strategy I know.

83. Make Your RSS Subscriber Number Public

Surprisingly enough, many of the bloggers I met are shy about these numbers, most of the time thinking they don’t have enough followers to show off. In fact, making the number of subscribers public will encourage your potential readers to join. People are attracted to meaning, not numbers.

Networking

Blogging is about connecting. Don’t stay in the same place, you’ll get dusty. Go out, meet new people, contribute or help in different ways. Networking is so often forgot and I think this is a big mistake. Networking is much more than promotion, being able to connect you with people in the real world.

84. Write Guest Posts

Go out and find blogs in your niche. Contact the authors and ask if they accept guest posts. Most of the time, they will. The main benefit of guest posting is not, as they largely promote it, the traffic you get, but the relationship you establish with the host.

85. Write Massive Guest Posts

Massive guest posting is something a little bit different than guest posting (and, as far as I know, is something that wasn’t done so far). Basically, you write an article with several possible developments and then continue those developments as guest posts on other blogs. See massive guest posting.

86. Create And Maintain A Close Group

Identify bloggers with a similar background (they can or cannot be in the same niche, as long as you can get along) and openly propose a cross-promotion. Be careful when you chose them and be sure they are persons you can rely on. You will be in that group for quite some time.

87. Promote The Members Of Your Close Group

Just like any other friendship relationship this must go two-ways. Whenever you see the opportunity to promote them, do it. Retweet, stumble, digg or reddit their articles. Remember, they have to be people you trust and admire. What you promote tells a lot about yourself.

88. Participate In Internet Blogging Challenges

One of the most famous internet blogging challenges is Darren Rowse’s 31 Days To Build A Better Blog. I personally attended (virtually, of course) the last edition and I must tell you it was a really nice experience. This is as good as participating in collaborative projects, only you benefit from the exposure of a blogging icon.

89. Go Out And Meet Bloggers In Flesh And Blood

If you have a hugely diverse audience this may be a little difficult. But even so, you can try it. I did it too and that helped me understand that other bloggers are for real, just like you, they’re not just some numbers in your analytics tool, under the “referrers” tab. Meet them, maybe you won’t become close friends, but you may learn a lot form this interaction.

90. Attend Specific Blogging Events

Like in real world specific blogging events, this time. One of the most famous is Blog World Expo, but there are many other established conferences, not to mention the local ones. Do your best to participate in real events as often as you can.

91. Speak Out

Once you’re at a real life event, don’t be shy. I saw too often bloggers attending to interesting events but keeping an unexplainable low profile. Stand out, speak, give feed-back and let the people know who you are. People are more curious than you think to actually meet the real presence behind a blog. Even yours.

Money

At some point, you will want to make some money out of your blog. It’s natural. It’s your work and there must be some sort of payment for it. Only in this business, you have to take care personally about this problem. And that is the good news, because if you’re careful, the sky is the limit. Literally.

92. Accept Donations

Don’t make a loan and vouch it with your blog donations, it will never be like that. Donations aren’t predictable. But having them displayed is a nice way to let people know that you accept their gratitude. If you really write valuable content, you will receive donations. I know I did.

93. You Sell Authority, Not Goods

Always remember that what you are really selling would be your authority, your expertise, your credibility or your lifestyle. Be very careful when you chose to make money and how you do it. Blogging is not about selling, blogging is about building partnerships. You’re responsible.

94. Promote Only What You Use

Once you’ll become well known, there will be more and more requests for promoting different products or services. One of the rules I followed so far was to promote only what I directly used. People have this tendency to associate your person with what you are promoting and if the promoted product is a mess, that could be really awkward.

95. Use PPC Diligently

Don’t overcrowd your page with ads (and yes, by PPC I also mean AdSense). Pay Per Click is such a size consuming advertising technique, it needs a lot of space and exposure to create sustainable results. It can create a stable source of income, but its golden days are gone.

96. If You Sell Space, Sell It Directly

If you decide it’s time to sell display advertising, sell it your own. Make a separate page in which you are announcing your prices and your conditions. Selling display advertising via an advertising agency is very expensive. Not to mention that you don’t really control the process.

97. Make Your Expertise Stand Out

And clearly state that you are for hire. If it’s consulting that you do, say it out loud, if it’s web design, write it with big fonts. Don’t expect people to dig through your posts trying to find what’s your main expertise and if you could help them. There are a lot of people out there already doing it.

98. Make Long Term Deals

Even if the overall payout is smaller, always go for long term deals. Despite what TV news told you, economy is not predictable. Go for a tinier profit but do it for longer time. One of the best promotions I did was a year long deal with a software producer and I’m totally happy with it.

99. Create And Sell Your Own Products

Write an ebook. Create an online course. Make a suite of videos. Go for what you can genuinely create. Making money directly from your products is always better than advertising. You can totally control the process and even if you use affiliate networks to promote your products, the payout is much bigger than in any other field.

100. Use Incentives To Promote Premium Content

Create free ebooks or other free resources to create awareness. Link to your commercial products in those free products and then spread the word. That way, people will have the opportunity to know more about what you do before actually buying the commercial product.

101. Add Paid Membership

I didn’t actually do it here, but I successfully did it in other projects and all I can tell you is that is really working. But it depends a lot on your niche and audience.   As of January 2016, there is such a community, built on top of DragosRoua.com readers. The name is The Space and it’s growing pretty fast. You should check it out. Also, as a rule of thumb remember that people are ready to pay from premium content, if that content really solve some real problem for them.

I know, there are 101 ways, not 100, as I promised in the title. I lied. And I also did something that always helped me being successful: under promise and over deliver.



Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I'm blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You're invited, by the way.

This Post Has 159 Comments

  1. WOW Dragos! Excellent. I absolutely loved this and it is appropriately bookmarked for future reference. I found a TON of ideas in here. Thanks so much. Well done!
    .-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..When Wonder Replaces Hope =-.

  2. 100 Ways To Improve Your Blog « Netcrema – creme de la social news via digg + delicious + stumpleupon + reddit says:

    […] 100 Ways To Improve Your Blogdragosroua.com […]

    1. Hey, Shamelle

      Yes, it took a while but it’s well worth the effort. I’m happy when the final result is here to stay and to be useful. 🙂

    1. Hey Gloson,

      I will certainly look into that plugin you mentioned. As you can see, even with 101 tips on better blogging, there is always something new to learn. This is why I absolutely love blogging 🙂

  3. One of the best articles I have read in a long time, that is for sure.
    Would it be ok for you if I translate this to portuguese and post it on my personal blog (giving you the primary credits, of course) ?

    1. Hey Miguel,

      And welcome here. By all means, as long as you keep the credit there and the original links inside the blog post, feel free to do it. I appreciate it 🙂

        1. Hey, Miguel

          Just had a quick look at your blog. Seems like you modified the article pretty big. Also, I didn’t see the original links in the new post, seems like you either eliminate them all together, either replaced with your own links (like for the professional theme, for instance)…

  4. Wow Dragos. There’s months of stuff here for me to work through. Some I have covered already but there’s many useful things here I didn’t think about before. Great stuff.

    Hope all is well!
    .-= Ian | Quantum Learning´s last blog ..Living in denial – but for how long? =-.

    1. Hi Venkat,

      Mind mapping is certainly one of the best creativity boosters I used in a long time. I can barely think of the other, traditional and linear way of creating documents now. It just doesn’t feel complete.

  5. hello Dragos. i am one of the people dealing with blogs just to earn money and become rich. it is great that you’ve posted some of these tips here because it really helped me a lot. i rarely seen such article that really gives such a wonderful and amazing information about my area. keep it up. i definitely would want to share this one with my friends. is it alright with you if i would save your page so that it would be easier for me to visit this wonderful site whenever i would want to? anyway, thank you so much. keep it up.

    1. feel free to bookmark it on delicious, if you want. Sharing it on your blog, as many others requested, would be ok, as long as you keep the credit visible and all the internal links in the post. Thanks 🙂

  6. Hi Dragos

    Great listing. It is more helpful for me and improved my thoughts about how to popularize my blog. I recently started blogging. ThanQ once again for nice tips.

    Thanks
    Chetanz
    .-= Chetanz´s last blog ..Navigating between tabs in web browsers =-.

  7. Great post with some good ideas for blogging. I read your post on astrology & wondered if you could direct me to the url – the ones that you have in that post are dead. I am an astrologer & would be interested in the data. Thanks in advance for your help, Pemo Theodore AstraMatch Blog

    1. What URLs exactly are you looking for? If it’s for the 2000 bloggers project, I think the project is dead for a long time now.

      1. Yes that is the project that I am interested in. I understand that it is finished but would appreciate access to the data? let me know if that is possible as all urls are dead

  8. […] /100-ways-to-improve-your-blog The Dragosroua blog has some good depth to it concerning blogging – well worth a read. (tags: blog blogging) […]

  9. A lot of quality information here for blogging. I try and apply most. I finally added comment love to my blog. I love that feature. I’m going to try and submit some content to digg/delicious and see if anything ever comes from it. I figure why not give it a shot.

    I want to go to wordcamp next year and other blog conferences and photography conferences. I feel myself expanding as I think about such events.
    .-= scott webb´s last blog ..You are Not George Costanza! Help Kickstart Your Photography Business Using “The Opposite” =-.

    1. I think that’s great 🙂 Going out and meeting other bloggers in person is so enlightening. They are human too, you know 🙂

  10. What a wonderful list! I read each and every one, which is saying a lot, I don’t usually make it through long posts.

    I have a niche blog about blog designs (I am not a blog designer) and I would love to share your post with my readers, highlighting the ones that particularly pertain to blog design. Would that be alright with you?
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Beautiful Blog Series: Make Music From Your Heart =-.

    1. Hey, Amanda

      You’re not alone in this one, a lot of people already asked for that. Feel free to do it, just make sure to give the proper credit and keep the links inside the post. I’m honored by such requests, by the way 🙂

  11. […] 100 Ways To Improve Your Blog 1. Keep An Idea Incubator 2. Make A Mindmap Of Your Blog 3. Write Timeless Content 4. Use Explicit Headlines 5. Be Specific 6. Be Constant 7. Create And Maintain A Posting Routine 8. Find Your Own Size 9. Write From Your Own Experience 10. Be Authentic 11. Write For Your Readers 12. Create A Blogging Setup 13. Ask The Readers 14. Post In Advance 15. Your Blog Post Is A Traveler 16. Your Blog Is Beyond Your Blog 17. Break Your Post Into Eatable Chunks 18. Link To Yourself 19. Do Writing Challenges 20. Engage In Group Projects 21. Use A Dictionary 22. Create A Publishing Filter 23. Create Alternative Content 24. Link To Authorities 25. Openly Present Yourself 26. Keep It Simple 27. Read Your Own Blog 28. Balance Your Category Distribution 29. Create A Mailing List 30. Use Brainstorming Techniques 31. Don’t Quit 32. Buy A Professional Theme 33. Create A Different Home Page For Your Blog 34. Use Excerpts Or Features On The Blog Home Page 35. Enable Threaded Comments … […]

  12. […] article was originally submitted at Dragos Roua. Please give credit where credit is […]

  13. A very generous and patient offering! Thank you so much. I am serious about my own blog and have picked up so much from this posting to the extent that I did re-Tweet.,,.. Much appreciated and valued! 🙂

  14. Hi Dragos,

    Finding good content on blogs today has become such a rarity. Blog writers are pressured to create more blog posts to generate more traffic and revenues, and consequently dish out mediocre content.

    Your post is so contrary to this trend and one can easily see the thought and time that you have devoted to this single post. I congratulate you for a great post and hope that we get to read many more such gems in the future. It is people like you and blogs like yours that deserve to stand out.

    Having said that I will start by tweeting some of your great posts to my 42k + followers on twitter.

    Best,
    Pramit

    1. Hi, Pramit,

      Thanks for the kind words and I appreciate your support. I’m glad you found value in this post, and in the blog overall. Look forward to see your comments around.

  15. […] Dragosroua: Esistono molti metodi e consigli per migliorare un blog. In questo articolo puoi leggere ben 100 ottimi consigli molto utili. (Articolo in inglese) Continua a leggere… […]

  16. I like the idea of posting in advance. In fact, when we are on ‘our game’ we’ll try to blog twice a day. We will write both blog entries in the morning, then schedule the second one to post late afternoon – early evening.
    .-= Colleen´s last blog ..Kennewick Real Estate Listings =-.

  17. Very interesting list indeed! I only just started blogging and sometimes it seems hard to maintain a steady blogging schedule. Especially the last 2 weeks I found it hard, because I was so busy in my “day job”. Have you any more tips on this problem?
    .-= Verena Fischer´s last blog ..There is no “I can’t”! =-.

  18. Dragos~
    What a superb list of resources you have compiled for us.
    You just amaze me with everything you write to help each of us out.
    This article is bookmarked Stumbled and Digg.

    Thank you my friend, for all this information and I know I have some work ahead of me.
    .-= BunnygotBlog´s last blog ..Labor Day Weekend – Summer Sendoff =-.

  19. This is an amazing list of ways to improve your blog.

    As far as Facebook for blog promotion, one thing you can do is if you write a particular article that would be relevant to anyone with a particular interest (say this article for bloggers), you can search for blogging related groups and post your article link in the group on the wall or links section.

    ~ Kristi
    .-= Kristi´s last blog ..Do You DoFollow? =-.

  20. Oh man, this ijust made me realize HOW MUCH I have to learn, BUT the great thing is that there are several things here that I can implement right away without knowing any technical “stuff”. LOL!! 🙂

    This is another post I am going to print out and work my way through as much of it as I can (over time of course). It is exactly the kind of help I need. What I like about these posts of yours is that they are listed, which makes them easier for me work my way through…and to read. I just treid to set my wordpress settings for “threaded comments” but it doesn’t seem to be working yet. I will have to play with that. But it is a feature that I have LOVED on your site and Jonathan Well’s site. Hope I can work it out. Wish me well. :)) PS Thank you for all this help. It’s GREAT!!
    .-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..Dare to Take Risks =-.

  21. iT IS SURPRISE TO SEE SUCH GREAT BLOG, SO FAR I HAVE NOT SEEN WITH DETAILED SUBJECT. NO WORDS TO CONVEY MY WISHES ,THANK U VERY MUCH.

    1. Thanks, John,

      I appreciate that. But I will also appreciate a clearer indication about the blog author, with a link back. Right now, there’s no link back to my site and there’s no reference on who actually wrote the post. Again, I do appreciate you liking the post and wanting to spread the word and I look forward to see those changes.

      Cheers 🙂

  22. Great post! What I got out of it is that there is no magic answer. You have to invest time and effort into creating great content and building relationships. Just like most things in life, building a blog and community takes time. Its important to remember to be patient.
    .-= Jake Rosen´s last blog ..Top 10 Social Media Blogs =-.

  23. I was just thinking – if you apply your “create timeless content” and “read your blog” rules – which BTW are too often forgotten – why not go one step further and edit your own past posts? If one has a blog like yours – which is more like a collection of articles rather than a list of “what I did today”, it makes total sense to keep all the articles fresh – just like a wiki (but not necessary using a wiki as a backend). Of course, I’m talking about minor edits – from fixing spelling to, at most, rephrasing to make things more clear or dropping parts that were relevant at the time you wrote, but are not so relevant today. That’s pretty much what a bliki is, but I think it should be applied to all blogs (with timeless content, that is).

    1. thanks for the suggestion, it really does make sense. To be honest, I apply this already, but only at links level. I interlink from my old articles to my newest, but I seldom edit my old articles. As you said, it does make sense and I remember I stumble upon a rule like this in Darren Rowse’s 31DBBB. Thanks for hanging around 🙂

  24. […] Design articles from which I learned new, better or alternative ways to do things 3 Easy and Fast CSS Techniques for Faux Image Cropping 7 Rules for Mixing Multiple Fonts in Good Web Design Become an Awesome WordPress Theme Developer Style a List with One Pixel 10 Ways to Customize and Personalize your WordPress Blog Putting Together a Web Development Toolkit 9 Things You Can’t Forget When Designing a Blog Practical Tips for Taking Design Inspiration without Copying Moodboarding Methods for Web Designers The Encyclopedia of Typographic Contrast How to Use the FAT-P System to Streamline Your Workflow CSS: Design Out Of The Box The Secret to One-Page Designs Ultimate Guide To Speed Up Your Website WordPress Hacks and Tweaks to Visually Empower Your Website Checklist For Better Forms WordPress Cheat Sheet 100 Ways To Improve Your Blog […]

  25. Thanks for the awesome list Dragos. It’s going to take some time to study it all but i really appreciate your effort. Stumbled 🙂
    .-= Karlil´s last blog ..Give Me A Minute And I’ll Boost Your Happiness By 273% =-.

  26. […] I always saw this activity as important as creating content. Sometimes, even more important. Being connected and inserted in this huge web of links has many advantages, not all pertaining to the current moment. Having a constant flow of links will have huge benefits for the medium and long term. There are tons of techniques on how to build inbound links, I won’t go into detail here, but if you want to know more, you can always check out 100 Ways To Improve Your Blog. […]

  27. […] 100 Ways to Improve Your Blog – this article has some very common sense tips and some things you probably never thought of doing – great read. […]

  28. […] Roua: 100 Ways to Improve Your Blog – is actually more than 100 useful bits – because if one adds the high-quality advice added by […]

  29. […] 100 Ways to Improve Your Blog – this article has some very common sense tips and some things you probably never thought of doing – great read. […]

  30. […] 100 Ways to Improve Your Blog – In case you were still hungry for more. 42. 21 Surefire Tips for a Successful Blog Launch […]

  31. […] 100 Ways to Improve Your Blog – this article has some very common sense tips and some things you probably never thought of doing – great read. […]

  32. […] think of how that could apply to your business. We found a great article on another blog listing 100 Ways to Improve your Blog. There are some great tips on how to really make your blog work (our favorites listed below). […]

  33. Wow,
    It is amazing that your “100” surround us each and every day and we often just ignore them. Thanks for putting these together and make us keep in mind that we have so many tools at our disposal, but we often let them slide by us. With your listing, now we have a method of chosing one on a daily, weekly basis. Great task , Well done, and Thanks so much

  34. so you guys just talk about how you can make money all day. lol… go to business school, start with some real estate, buy a lot of town homes, eat up problogger, invest in some stocks, buy a skyscraper then buy off yahoo, then save up and buy fox network and then google.
    .-= Erik´s last blog ..equations and equivocations =-.

  35. Just wanted to say that this is a tour de force which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. There are more useful tips in this post than many of the reports and ebooks from internet marketers in the MMO niche. Really appreciate this.

  36. I love the info here. I have a meetup group that has just started to help new bloggers get started. We will use this list as our blogging bible. Thank you for this.

  37. Wow Dragos, there are list posts and then there are list posts that make you say, man this is great. This post falls in the later category. I have made note of the ideas and some of them like read your own blog, networking, meeting other bloggers, Keep Them Reading Your Blog After They Finished Your Post ( and some others) are ideas that I intend to follow through.

    Thanks 100 tons.
    .-= Sanjeev Sharma´s last blog ..5 SEO Friendly Things To Look For Before Making Directory Submission =-.

  38. Put Your Wallet Away - Free Photography For Your Blog | Coaching for Photography and A Creative Lifestyle | Nuwomb Creative says:

    […] of the simplest ways to improve your blog is with the the use of photography.  Adding relevant images to the content can seriously interest […]

  39. I don’t think I can’t anything to this awesome list! Great job, Dragos! I guess there’s nothing left to say but Commentluv rocks!
    .-= Mark @ Articulating Wall Mount´s last blog ..Articulating Wall Mount =-.

  40. WOW. This is this is a little bit too much man…. Thanks for sharing it
    .-= steppinout´s last blog ..Direct Access And Manage Your Windows Live SkyDrive Files On Desktop =-.

  41. ..]one must read source of information on this issueis ,www.dragosroua.com,..]

  42. […] I had an online business for 10 years. I made a successful exit a year ago and I still keep an active eye on the market. The following tips are actually pieces of my own experience, broken down in several areas: projects, strategy, team, money and partnerships. Feel free to add your own in the comments, if you feel like. Oh, and if you’re into big lists, you may also enjoy 100 Ways To Live A Better Life and 100 Ways To Improve Your Blog. […]

  43. Great post man, it is perfect!

    I definitely gotta save this!
    .-= Mohamed Adam Jr´s last blog ..VALIDATION – Awesome Short Film! =-.

  44. There are list posts and then there are list posts that make you say, man this is great. This post falls in the later category. I have made note of the ideas and some of them like read your own blog, networking, meeting other bloggers, Keep Them Reading Your Blog After They Finished Your Post ( and some others) are ideas that I intend to follow through.

  45. […] After I sold my company, 2 years ago, I knew there will be some inactive time for me. I mean, once you’re an important player and you sell your part of the territory, expect that you’ll be asked to take a break for a while. After all, it’s not ok to start to compete against your buyers the next day after the selling. I won’t go into the technical details of what a “non-compete” agreement should contain, because this is not the main point of the article. The main point of this article is to share what I’ve learned by playing the game of blogging. […]

  46. I have never seen such an enormous list to improve my blog. I have written about “How to be a Pro Blogger” on my blog Socialat, but this list is just awesome. I hope if we follow all these steps, we can definitely improve our blog.

    Its a great learning.

    Thanks so much.

  47. Wow. I’m speachless. This is a great checklist I can use. I think you could charge for this. I always forget something. Thanks for all the tips. This is one of my favourite blogs now.

  48. Thank you for so many and much information. It was fascinating to read. Thank you for sharing all these ideas with us and and keep up the good work.

  49. Number three is probably one of the most important tips in this entire list. Creating timeless posts will ensure that not only visitors will return but also that the content could be spread through links and word of mouth.

    Number 27 is also not applied by most bloggers. Going back and rereading older posts and even newer ones will help you create better content for the future.

    I will be implementing a lot of these great tips.

  50. […] kan altijd beter…: Blog like a pro. 100 waardevolle tips om je weblog te verbeteren. Nu alleen nog tijd en gelegenheid zien te vinden […]

  51. Very useful points for us who is armature in these business,so I will keep it in my mind from next time onwards.

  52. 101 tips of starting a blog this is abundant I will chase your tips this will abundantly advice me as a beginner. I will booty agenda of this tips of your and administer it in my blog Thanks

  53. Hi Dragos, thanks for your gigantic tips, this is a very big help, I hope this will do..I’m getting forward to use some of your tips…

  54. This is one of the great articles i have read, such a wonderful list to improve our blog. Sharing this kind of information and knowledge is a big to us. You’ve done a good job Dragos.

  55. Love this. I’m two years into running a moderately successful blog and after that time, it’s an entirely different beast. I’ll definitely be putting some of these ideas into practice.

  56. Thanks for all the blogging ideas! I will definitely put these to use.

    Anyway I have some questions:

    Can you send me the HTML for your comment form or how to get it?
    On my blog, the faces of the people who liked TJ Sports Journal on Facebook aren’t showing, it’s just a blank space. How can change that?

    If you can answer those questions, that would be great. By the way, I put a link to your blog under my blogroll on my site.

    Thanks,
    Jaxon Curtis

  57. This is a really great post! After just following a few of this tips my blog views have doubled! Very helpful for a beginner blogger! Can’t wait to try the rest! 🙂

  58. Going to one of your speeches inspired me into writing a blog and now with this post you’re helping me make it better. Thanks’. If is not too much to ask, I would really appreciate your feedback to my blog.

  59. Wow these are amazing tips, recently I was following event blogging tips but once event ended I realized how disappointing stage that is 😛

    You are right, we should right on evergreen topics not only hot topics

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