Affiliate Links Every so often, I take a look at my blog, and I realize that it needs some blog CPR. Just some minor, or significant, tweaks because I’m no longer focusing on a particular category anymore, or I’ve realized that I forgot to link to my Virtual Assistant page. Even if you don’t have time to sit down and do significant changes to your site, there is always time to make some changes to your blog that could be crucial.
Blog CPR: What to Change RIGHT NOW
If you don’t have the time to do a DIY Blog Critique, but you know you need to make some changes to your blog, it’s time to do some Blog CPR!
The C in CPR stands for categories. Do you have your categories listed prominently at the top of your blog? If not, that’s the first step. Actually, rewind a bit. Do you have your categories organized yet? If not, that is the first step.
Organize your categories. Add category tags to each of your posts. If you have old deal posts that are expired, outdated, etc. , feel free to delete them or turn them into evergreen posts. Take all craft posts and tag them with your craft category, same with recipes. Continue until you have at least 3-5 main categories to place in the menu at the top of your blog.
Example: Take a look at the top of my website. I have two menu bars, and in the top menu bar, I have my social media icons. This helps increase your follower numbers because you make it easy for readers to find you across all social media platforms.
Pro tip: Just something to test out, but it could be profitable for your blog: add an affiliate link to your menu. It doesn’t matter if you’re promoting a recipe book or a Vitamix because you’re a food blogger, a book about how to work at home if you’re a freelance blogger, etc. The idea is to have a product that resonates with your readers. Having an affiliate link in your menu that doesn’t make you any money is pointless, so track the clicks and conversions to see if you’ve chosen the right product(s).
P is for personality. Is your blog boring? If so, you’ve answered your question if you’re asking why your traffic stinks lately. There are so many blogs out there these days! You need to stand out. Even if you’re writing about the same subjects, you can do so in your way. This creates loyal readers that come back day after day to see your posts. Personality is key when it comes to building a solid foundation and readership on which to base your blog.
The R in CPR stands for remove. It’s time to remove anything that’s not making you happy, serving your end goal or purpose, or making you a bunch of money.
Bonus: Header, Menus, and Sidebar
Your header should be reflective of your website, meaning you will use your logo or some variation of it for branding purposes. In my header, I also have my most recent Instagram posts. This encourages readers to follow me on Instagram and shows them why they should do so.
Above my header, I have one menu. Like I said earlier, it has my social media icons. It also has my popular bucket list post, as well as a contact for PR reps, and a direct link to my virtual assistant services. These things make me money in some way or another, so I want them front and center.
Below my header, I have another menu, with my categories. You can list your categories, as well as subcategories, on your main menu – or in your sidebar. I’ve seen both, but I like how they look in a nice, clean and simple menu up top.
Your sidebar is valuable real estate. In fact, it’s the most valuable real estate (besides maybe right under your header, but that’s debatable). That being said, your sidebar should make you money, lower your bounce rate, and increase the number of subscribers you have. How do you do that?
Make money. I don’t want you to stuff your sidebar full of ads, but if you are using ads, it’s best to place one at the top of your sidebar because it will be seen more than if it was at the bottom or in your footer. If you have affiliate posts that make you a lot of money (or you want them to make you a lot of money), put those in your sidebar as well. Be creative, though! Don’t just add links or banner ads and expect clicks. Your readers need to have a reason to click on an ad or onto another post, so give that to them.
Lower your bounce rate. If you’re working on lowering your bounce rate (Pinterest traffic is terrible for driving it up), your sidebar is the way to do it. Create a few very helpful evergreen posts. Depending on your niche, this could be a post about going gluten free, a bucket list for travel bloggers, or even a post about the best free resources for bloggers. Whatever your audience likes to learn about, use that as a starting point for your evergreen posts. Once your posts are completed, create an image that links to them, and place them in your sidebar. Your audience will click over, which means your page views will increase, and your bounce rate will decrease.
Increase subscribers. Many bloggers use a pop-up ad to increase subscribers. Depending on your feelings about pop-ups, you could do that as well. If you don’t want to use a pop-up, put a subscriber box in your sidebar. Giving readers an incentive to subscribe (like a free ebook) is the best way to increase your numbers quickly.