For most American families, Thanksgiving means turkey with stuffing and all of the trimmings.
While the turkey is necessary for a traditional dinner, by itself, it’s not sufficient. Eat too much turkey, and you can feel bloated and won’t be able to enjoy the rest of the holiday meal. Similarly, an overstuffed blog can hinder its effectiveness.
Here are 12 signs that your blog may be overstuffed along with actionable blogging tips to get it back on track.
- Covers too many topics. Is your blog all over the place trying to be all things to all people? If so, the chances are, it’s not satisfying anyone. Actionable Blogging Tip: Focus on your core topics. Within your main subjects, find new ways to make your points.
- Includes too many categories. Have you started creating a new category for any potential issue of interest to your target market? Actionable Blogging Tip: Concentrate your content around a set of topics of interest to your readers. It’s useful if they’re also related to your keywords.
- Contains too many unnecessary words. While long pieces are useful for attracting readers, the issue is when your writing is flabby and full of excess words. Actionable Blogging Tip: Get copyediting help. The reality is that every writer thinks that every word is important and beautiful. It takes an outsider to determine where you can eliminate extra words that don’t help the text accomplish its goals. Minimize and get rid of extra words wherever possible.
- Presents too much dense text. This translates to unreadable. While readers will take the time to consume long content, they don’t want reading to be hard work.This means that you need to present your information so that readers feel that it’s not difficult to consume. Actionable Blogging Tip: Incorporate bolding and outlining into your content presentation to guide readers through.
- Is a circus of too many colors. Be strategic in your color selection. Don’t add colors just to make your content look pretty. Actionable Blogging Tip: Select and integrate color into your blog and its presentation to attract attention and lure readers in. Avoid colors that make readers want to hide such as anti-freeze yellow. To this end, consider the age and sensibilities of your target audience.
- Keeps too many drafts. This is related to the inability to let go of excess words. It’s the idea of capturing every possible thought in hopes that it may work out. Actionable Blogging Tip: Periodically go through your draft files and delete everything that you don’t have plans to convert into articles or other content. Either decide to finish the post(s) or get them out of your files and into the trash bin.
- Hasn’t optimized photos and images to load well. If your images aren’t optimized for size, they’ll slow your blog down when people visit your pages and posts. Actionable Blogging Tip: Use the right image format to minimizing file size based on the type of image: gifs for illustrations using a limited color palette, jpegs for photographs and graphics with gradient colors, and pngs – a compromise format that allow for a transparent background.
- Contains too many social media buttons. While it’s important to show a variety of social media options to encourage readers to share your content, adding more buttons for sites that don’t get used slows your blog down. Actionable Blogging Tip: Streamline your social media buttons based on your target audience’s main usage.
- Has too many widgets crammed into the sidebar. This includes ads and other information. Actionable Blogging Tip: Focus your sidebar real estate so that it supports your business. Check that visitors can find the information they seek.
- Uses too many popups and/or floaters. Many readers get irritated when they encounter a popup or floating ad. Actionable Blogging Tip: Minimize popup use to support building your own list.
- Takes too long for your blog to load. Speed counts when it comes to engaging readers. Actionable Blogging Tip: Get technical help to reduce load time and help retain blog visitors.
- Has too much unnecessary information in the database. Like your PC’s hard drive, a database can collect junk. It’s not just a matter of filling up space. It can slow your site down. Actionable Blogging Tip: To this end, optimize your database by eliminating old post revisions, spam comments and expired cache items.
Keep in mind that the benefits of running a lean and clean blog are not just speedier load times and improved responsiveness for your readers. As your business evolves and trends change you’ll be looking to restructure and/or redesign your blog and you can end up paying extra for too much blog stuffing.
How do you keep your blog from having that over stuffed feeling?
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Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/voght/2441818832/