Ponder your journey, don’t let discouragement get you down. Find a fellow blogger to act as a triage nurse to help you find your way forward on your journey to increased blog traffic.
Ponder Your Way Going Forward
Ponder means to think about and reflect on something with great intention. So, when I suggest that you take some time to ponder your journey, I suggest you set aside an hour or two to review your goals and the changes you have already started. Whatever you do, don’t let the need for changes overwhelm you.
Don’t think you have to go back and ‘fix’ all the posts you’ve already written. I didn’t learn a lot of the things I share with you in this series until after I’d written my 529th post. Who has time to go back and update all of that?
Instead of bemoaning all you didn’t do on your first dozen, hundred, or thousand posts, decide what changes you want to incorporate and create a workflow that helps you remember what to do going forward.
Look back at the goals you wrote down at the beginning of February (or check out this post and take some time to set some goals). Do you want more organic traffic? Maybe you want more referrals from Pinterest. Do you long to have people comment on your blog?
Don’t try to make all the changes at once. For the first two years of blogging, I concentrated on growing my Twitter following. Unfortunately, I never analyzed my stats to see if having a large Twitter following actually helped my blog traffic. Instead of growing my Twitter presence, I should have spent the time improving some other area of my blog. That happens when you wander instead of ponder.
Find a Triage Nurse
Find a fellow blogger who also wants to improve his or her blog and make a triage-nurse agreement with each other. Each of you should decide on specific things you want the other to look at on a new post:
- Shareability: What happens when you click on a sharing button or tweetable? Do the Pinterest graphics have a good description with keywords? Does the tweetable have an ‘@yourtwitterhandle’ automatically attached to it? When they try to share on Facebook, does the correct-sized graphic appear?
- Readability: Do you make good use of headings (check out this post to see how often you need headings). Does the reader see enough graphics of different orientations (horizontal, vertical)? What about grammar, punctuation, and passive voice?
- Understandability: Does the reader know your blog’s purpose with a 15-second glance at your blog? Do they feel as if they’ll find answers to their questions by just glancing at the blog’s heading and tag line? Can the reader easily search your site or find posts that interest them? Do readers know what to do next? Does the reader feel bombarded by pop-ups?
This exhaustive list could frighten anyone. Don’t hit it all at once. Choose just one of the ‘ilities.’ Ask your triage nurse to treat you kindly, but honestly. Make sure they understand what you do and don’t want. Ask them to start and end their triage with a compliment—that makes it easier to hear the truth.
Having a triage nurse evaluate your blog (your brainchild) feels risky and uncomfortable. Ponder what they report back to you. Don’t get angry. I suggest NOT asking a friend or family member act as your blog triage nurse. You want a disinterested third party. Preferably someone who wants you to return the favor.
The triage nurse helps the doctor figure out which patients to see first and gives the doctor an idea of where to start the examination. You get to act as your own doctor. Choose ONE thing you can change today. Change it.
Don’t let perfectionism hold you back. Your blog (and mine) has room for improvement, but we don’t have to change all the things in one day.Don't let perfectionism hold you back. You have words that someone in the world needs to read. #blogger #write28days #blogger Click To Tweet
It takes me an average of three years to unpack everything when we move. After six or seven years, I start hanging things on the walls. I understand the paralysis that comes from not having things look exactly how you think they should in your mind.
You have important words and ideas to share with the world. Words only you can share. It doesn’t matter if one person or one thousand people read your words. You have them to say and a blog provides the perfect place to experiment, ponder, grow, change, and inspire others.