January 13, 2017

Jump-Starting Your Blog in the New Year

Jumpstart cablesOne of the factors contributing to the feelings of frustration, burnout, and perceived pointlessness of blogging is the sense that nobody is listening. It is easy to feel unappreciated when one sees little evidence that one's content is being shared, promoted, or interacted with in other ways. "Why bother?" becomes an increasingly difficult question to answer. Is it any wonder, then, that the average lifespan of a blog is quite short?

Since I'd prefer that we hold on to as many rational voices in atheism, skepticism, freethought, secularism, and so on as possible, I've decided to write a series of posts aimed at helping anyone with such a blog make some improvements. My plan is to keep each post in the series as brief as I can and use each to offer a single actionable tip you can take to improve the chances of others sharing, promoting, or otherwise interacting with your content.

I know, I know. Who the hell am I to write such a series? It isn't like my own content is being widely shared or promoted. It certainly isn't like I am getting tons of comments on my posts. In fact, my blog could use plenty of help too. Admittedly, I am hardly an expert on this subject or anything else about blogging. Still, I have learned a few things that have helped me over the years and that I think might be helpful to many bloggers and that I am willing to share. I see plenty of bloggers continuing to make some critical mistakes that even I can now recognize as mistakes. I'm also planning to use this series as an excuse to revisit some of what I have been doing and see if I can't make some improvements as well.

If you have not already done so, be sure to subscribe to Atheist Revolution so you don't miss any of the posts in this series.

This was just going to be an introductory post telling you about the series, but I don't want to be a tease and leave you without a tip. I'll give you the briefest but arguably the most one I've got.

Before You Do Anything Else, Install Google Analytics

This tip should not be necessary because you have already installed Google Analytics, haven't you? If not, you are missing out on one of the most useful sources of information a blogger can have. Before even thinking about anything else you might do to improve your blog, install the Google Analytics code on your blog. It will give you a way of monitoring your progress and determining whether any of the later tips benefit you. All blogs are different, and some of the things that work for me might not work for you. Google Analytics is how we will figure out what is working and what is not.

In some of the tips I have in mind for subsequent posts, we will take a close look at Google Analytics. When we do so, you will discover that it is far more than a way to monitor traffic to your blog. It provides the sort of information you can use to improve your blog in many ways. And so, it really is important enough that it should be the first thing you do.