Easy Tips to Make Your Blog Outstanding

Moonday Mania

a blog on the craft of writing

Today I’m swinging in Gloria Richard’s Hammock as she interviews me, and reveals my secrets! Another opportunity to win a free copy of Little Red Riding Wolf. Check it out HERE!

As a recent blogger I’m always hungry for more, more, more information on how to make my blog outstanding. I read books like Kristen Lamb‘s We Are Not Alone, the Writer’s Guide to Social Media. And I follow experts on blogs like Brinda Berry on Gloria Richard’s Blog (HERE), and try to implement new techniques.

But even I, the brand spanking newbie, have stumbled upon a few things that other newbies, like myself, can use to fix their blogs in an instant.

Today’s tip is one that I have real trouble with, but I’m making it my goal to fix.

 Post early in the day

Free Stock Images - Businessman Clock Hands TimeI admit, I could do better at this.  I post somewhere around 6am my time. But that’s too late.  Why? Because 6am my time is 8am EST, and those people have already checked their computers and headed off to work. They missed my blog.

I only noticed this after I started using RSS to keep track of my blogs. I’m not sure everyone is aware of RSS, but once I discovered RSS I found that it was the easiest way for me to keep track of all my friends blogs. It works for me because my email box is so stuffed with Tweets and Yahoo Loop digests that I was losing everyone’s post announcements.

I have found that the RSS organizer I like best is Google Reader. It’s on a separate tab on my browser. Nothing comes in an email. I click on Google Reader and all my blogs that I follow are listed, if a blog’s name is highlighted then they have a new post. That’s it. No email.

Am I perfect at posting early?

No! I’m sure you’ve all noticed. I sometimes mess up my scheduling. I think I’m posting at a 06:00 and it turns out to be 18:00. And really I should be scheduling at 1:00am, not 6:00am. Right? Right. But this is a process and like all processes it takes time

You can still get emails even if you subscribe by RSS. Just subscribe through one of the other services, like normal, and you’ll still receive their emails. But if you subscribe only through Google Reader or another RSS service, no emails. That works for me. What works for you?

Back to our topic, now that I don’t get an announcement in my email. I have to go check. Which I do, at around 7am. My time. Not yours.

This means that my friends (and you know who you are!) who post on say Monday’s, but post late, don’t get seen until Tuesday. Why?

Because I’ve already looked at my RSS feed page at 7am and you hadn’t posted yet, so it didn’t say you were posting. And I don’t get the email. So on Tuesday morning, I see that you’ve posted.

Now this is not a big deal, most of my peeps don’t care if I’m there on Tuesday or Wednesday, and they know I love them even if I’m not particularly faithful about dropping by every post. Too many buddies and too many good posts! But it does mean sometimes that I miss out on giveaways, because I’m a day late and the contest is closed.

Once again, my friends aren’t worried about me. But they should be worried about readers like me. If you are using a contest to draw people to your blog, then you want them to feel good about coming to your blog. Not late, because they didn’t get the invite on time. Many times I’ve shown up to the blog to find out that the contest is closed. Luckily it’s not a big deal for me, but what about your other readers?

This can be frustrating for your visitors. Frustrated visitors means less visits.

How can you fix this?

You can run your contests for more than a day. I like that because it means you can get those last minute people, or people who don’t always have the time to check out their favorite blogs and so show up the next day. Everyone feels good.

But even better: by using the scheduling feature on your blog you can post at say, 1am. And that way, early birds, you catch more worms.Stock Photography - Blue Bird w/worm

Easy. More viewers, more people entering your giveaways, more satisfied customers.

Another benefit to scheduling your blog is that you don’t have to be there to post. You can be in say, Costa Rica on the beach, and your blog still posts. Love that!

How do you follow blogs? Do you have a stuffed email box, would RSS feed work better for you? Would you remember to check it every day? How about scheduling your posts? I know this is very easy on WordPress, what about your blog? As a blog reader, how do you feel when you show up late to the party?

And expect another hot blogging tip next Moonday Mania!

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18 Comments

by | March 12, 2012 · 1:05 am

18 responses to “Easy Tips to Make Your Blog Outstanding

  1. Thanks for the mention! I am definitely an early reader. I also do all my reading on my Google Reader (RSS feed), so I can scan down to see what’s new and important. I have a few that still arrive in my email from the days before using the Reader, but I don’t read them there. I should unsubscribe since I see them ALSO in my reader. I guess I don’t because I know how it feels when I see that “unsubscribe” notification in my email.

    Running contests for more than one day is a great tip!

    • Hi Brinda! You are great to follow for techie-tips. I’ve learned a ton from following you and going to Gloria’s Hammock. I’m always late to the party, and sometimes I’d at least like the chance to win the book! It can be disheartening to see that the book was given away before you even had a chance to read the blog. But I’m sure you never do that!

  2. So here I am, early in MY day, getting a tip from Jessica. I’ve never figured out RSS feeds so thanks for that. You’ll have to start calling yourself a computer geek with info like that. Way to go!

    • What a nice thing to say! Never thought I’d be called a computer geek. And I have to say, I am far and away from understanding much about any of this technical stuff, but I’ll share what I learn! Happily. 🙂

  3. I use Google Reader, but I check it once in the morning, once during my lunch break,and then once more before I go to bed. This way, I catch my friends from all over the world.
    Sometimes I don’t read posts right away if they are content heavy or complicated, so I leave it on my reader until I have more time to read them. Given my schedule that could mean it’ll sit there all week until Sunday morning when I can review what’s left on my reader.

    • What a great idea to check it out more than once a day. That would take care of the late posters. Sometimes I do get to it later, but that’s just because sometimes in the morning I’m short on time. And that’s a good point about blogs being world wide. Everyone’s time zone is different, sometimes by almost an entire day!

    • It took me a while to realize that it was important, but I kept finding I was getting left out. Not a big deal for me as a person, but when I thought about other people reading my blog I realized that I didn’t want anyone to feel left out!

  4. The thing about autoposting your post is this: The stupid thing doesn’t always automatically upload your post when it says it will. If it posts early, that’s no big deal. What if it posts late? Or never? I’ve had that happen. I’d rather control when it posts. Most of my readers trickle in overnight, it seems, anyway. I also always leave the giveaways up at least two days just to make sure whoever wants to get in on them, can. 🙂

  5. My hat’s off to you, Jessica, for managing your blogs so well and keeping up with the writing. I’m terrible with timing, both reading and posting (any time my blog is posted late to R & B, it’s my fault not Carole’s). That said, I will often check friend’s blogs throughout the day, if I don’t get a chance in the morning. Weekends are not good blog days for me, family is too busy at times here and I don’t even have young kids anymore!

    • I frequently feel like I am struggling to keep up with everything. That’s why I love the scheduling feature. Even if I’m sick or not able to get the internet to work, WordPress is working for me. 🙂

  6. I have blogs I’ve registered to follow via RSS feed and I have not YET looked at my Google Reader.

    Why is that, you ask? Beats the hell out of me, I answer. Yeah. I know. There should have been quotes there.

    So much to keep in my brain. MUST put Goggle Reader on my “today I get to…” list.

    I’m trying. Really, REALLY trying to get ahead of the curve on blog posts so I can schedule them ahead. Sherry Isaac (you may know her *snort*) observed that two posts per week seemed to be in my comfort zone. Add the occasional guest blog on Wednesday and I MAY get ahead of that curve.

    • Two posts per week was comfortable. Then I added Saturday’s and I feel a little stressed. But I also added them at the same time as I added a guest post on Paranormal freebies, organizing all the guests on paranormal freebies and added in guesting on other people’s blogs. No wonder more than two posts feels overwhelming. Two is a good number!

  7. Great tips. I keep trying to schedule my blog posts but can never quite work out how to do it. It never seems to actually work! Not that any of my posts are particularly time sensitive. I am also still getting to gribs with Google Reader. I love it that I can find all the thousands of blogs I’ve followed but still don’t quite understand it! I think I read somewhere that you can organise it better. Must do that.

  8. Pingback: SLOW DOWN AND SMELL THE COFFEE! | JessicaAspenWrites

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