13 Vital Blogging Tasks for When You Can’t Be Bothered Writing
Sometimes writing a new post just isn’t going to happen. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of other stuff to do for your blog.
Successful blogging is so much more than just pumping out article after article. In fact, some of these other tasks can drastically impact your bottom line.
In this post I’m going to show you 13 things you can do on your blog when you can’t be bothered blogging.
Oh, and a bit of a promotion opportunity for you in number five.
1. Develop a list of blogs to comment on
Your commenting strategy is really important. A good one will help you:
- Connect with A-list bloggers
Good, regular comments will help get your face in front of the people you might be pitching guest posts to later on
- Find new readers
If you have something useful (and possibly expert) to say in the comments you will attract new readers
- Increase your rankings
Clever comments can also help your rankings in Google grow and mature (remember each comment is a backlink)
I recommend that you create a folder in Google reader that is called “Blogs to Comment on” or something like that and take note of the time of day that the publish new posts. Try to get there every day and add some value.
2. Research new post ideas
If you can’t be bothered writing you may as well come up with some new post titles and ideas.
Some of the best ways to do this include:
- Scouring Digg
Head over to Digg and take a look at the posts in your niche that are getting votes. Find out why.
- Visiting the big boys
Check out the big sites in your niche and have a look at their most popular posts. Try and see whether there is something there that you can improve on.
- Finding problems
Think about problems that you yourself are having (or had) in your industry and write about ways to solve them.
Make a list in a Doc file or something of all your ideas and constantly add to them. Even if you only have half-baked ideas. Some of my most successful posts came from half-baked ideas.
Sometimes I think that Blog Tyrant itself is a half-baked idea.
3. Make backups and fix your security
A little while ago I wrote about how to stop Facebook hackers and had a pretty interesting response. Some people posted some really cool ideas about how you can keep WordPress secure so I suggest going through and trying to make sure everything is nice and safe.
Go into your WordPress Dashboard and hit Plugins > Add New > Search and look for one called WordPress Database Backup. You can have it all done automatically.
For more information about backups you should take a look at the WordPress Codex.
4. Update old posts to include new links
Interlinking your posts is really important. Not only does it improve your SEO but it also helps readers stay on your site (become sticky).
When you are an established blog it is easy to link back to all those awesome old articles but those awesome old articles themselves might not have many links at all. It is a good idea to go back to them all and add new, relevant links with some sexy anchor text.
Remember, the anchor text you use should be relevant to your readers but also relevant to your rankings. Don’t link words like “here” and “this post” but instead use a phrase of keywords.
5. Develop a VIT (Very Important Tweet) list
A few weeks ago I had the idea that I should develop a list of really awesome articles from around the web and compile them into a Tweet list.
The idea here is that you want to be giving away lots of value on Twitter. And by Tweeting articles and tools from other bloggers and people in your niche you are able to give your readers something cool as well as establishing a relationship with the authors.
I’ve developed a list of around 50 articles from all sorts of niches that I think my readers would find valuable and useful. Rather than just Tweeting them out once and forgetting about them I save them so they can be retweeted again in the future if it seems necessary.
NOTE: If you think you have an article that would help my readers post a comment with a link and I’ll consider it for my VIT List.
6. Remove all the distractions
Take a look at your sidebar. Is it full of stuff that never gets clicked? Little icons for all those different social media accounts? Yep, they don’t get clicked.
One of the best things you can do is go around your blog removing all the things that are distracting people from your offer or email sign up area. Keep the Facebook and Twitter but other than that you don’t want too many other things.
One thing that you CAN add to a sidebar that you might not have already is a nice About section that introduces your blog. Pat Flynn does that well.
7. Update your social media accounts
When was the last time you looked at the profile page of your Twitter account? What about the Info page of your Facebook account?
These things are vital for attracting new business but most bloggers (myself included) totally forget that they exist once they are set up for the first time.
Go and make sure all of those social media profiles are still aligned with your blog’s current theme and goals.
8. Start the hunt for a good Virtual Assistant
A Virtual Assistant (or VA) is one of the secrets to running a big business from home. If you want to get to all those projects that are going to make you that long term income you really need to learn to outsource.
I’ve been outsourcing for about 5 years now and have a few insights to pass on. This is actually going to be a topic of a few blog posts soon so make sure you are subscribed to the updates if you want to hear all about it.
9. Update and tweak your About page
The About Us page is one of the most important pages on your blog. Its where everyone goes as soon as they have read a bit of your stuff and want to get to know you better.
I’m guilty of not doing this but you should continually tweak your About Us page until it is a gleaming beacon of sexiness.
Take a look at some of the best About Us pages (that’s how you interlink) and see if you get any ideas.
10. Develop a five year plan
It astounds me how many bloggers have no five year plan. Actually, it seems like most bloggers have no plan full stop.
If you want to quit your job and work from home you need to make money consistently, year after year. And for that to happen you need to develop a plan. Some questions you should be asking are:
- What am I going to sell?
- How am I going to grow from 1,000 to 10,000 to 50,000 subscribers?
- What do I do if I get banned from Google?
Make sure you know where you want to be at all the major anniversaries of your blog. Develop plans for the week, the month, the year, the decade. Make them happen.
11. Perfect the “above the fold” area
Above the fold refers to everything that a visitor sees on your site before they are forced to scroll down. It is the most important part of your site.
Some of the things you can do to improve this area are:
- Remove the clutter
As mentioned before, you need to remove the clutter and get the focus on your content and your list.
- Reduce your header size
All the old readers of Blog Tyrant would remember when the header was at least four times as big as it is now. I made it as small as possible so as to show as much of the first post and email subscription areas.
- Remove ads
We don’t want ads in this spot unless you are running an Adsense site. This area should be dedicated to content and related matters.
Your top half of your site is extremely important. Please make sure you give it the attention that it needs.
12. Experiment with new tools
New tools are something that seem like a bit of a luxury but, in fact, can actually add a lot to your business.
The thing about blogging and online business is that we have to have our heads around like 500 different topics. By the end of our careers its like we have college degrees in marketing, sales, business admin, accounting, graphic design, etc.
So you need to get started with these tools early (or get your VA on it). Some tools that I highly recommend you start master include:
- Market Samurai
The best tool you will ever get if you want to research keywords and write posts that actually get traffic from Google.
- Photoshop or equivalent
An image editing software is vital for a blogger. This post on blog images has some excellent recommendations in the comments.
- WordPress plugins
Start searching around for different problems you have on your blog and then add the word “plugin” to the end of it. I have found so many amazing and helpful plugins for WordPress doing this.
Camtasia is software that allows you to record your screen and do tutorials like the ones I do occasionally.
The only editor you will ever need for making wicked podcasts. Oh, I do one of them too.
If you don’t feel like writing try and get into some other type of content delivery. Videos are going to be so important for bloggers over the next ten years as smart phones and tablets become the “PC” of choice for most people.
13. Set up a split test
Split testing is, quite honestly, what makes the difference between some online millionaires and everyone else. It takes the guess work out of making money.
Take my side bar opt-in form as an example. Aweber allows you to create a split test whereby you run two versions of the same sidebar ad at once.
So, 50% of the time you will see one opt-in and 50% of the time you will see another. This allows you to change things like the text, colors, headings, etc. and see which one performs better.
When you start doing this with whole landing pages, check out areas and so on you can really influence the amount of money you make.
What have I missed?
What other things can a blogger do when he/she doesn’t feel like blogging? Please leave a comment with your non-Battlefield 3 suggestions. And don’t forget the opportunity in number five!
Photo credit: thrig