Maintaining an informative blog is crucial to maximizing your marketing efforts as an Indie Business owner. Those who say it takes too much time to blog are really saying, “It takes too much time to market my business.” That attitude will get you nowhere fast when it comes to your small business, and if you have it, I hope you change it soon. (For more reasons to change this attitude, read this article about how blogging has enhanced my life, and this one, about what I call “comment blogging”.)
If you maintain a blog, you know that it takes a great deal of dedication and determination to keep it informative and current. To do this, you must continually adapt and change things up now and then. To get you started with some ideas, here are three easy things I did this month to improve my blog:
I Moved Dates To The Bottom Of Posts. I resisted doing this for a while, but since my posts are relevant for years after they're published, and since people often wrongly assume that dated content is not relevant, I now display dates at the bottom of my posts. If the date is relevant, it will be clear from the post itself. If the date is not relevant, the content will not automatically branded as dated.
- I Removed Dates From Post URLs. When I launched this blog, I didn't think much about permalinks (permanent URLs). As a result, my links included the blog URL, followed by the date of the post, followed by the name of the post. Example: this post's URL had been http://www.indiebusinessnetwork.com/2010/08/10/some-of-my-best-twitter-advice. After removing the date from the URL, the permalink is now http://www.indiebusinessnetwork.com/some-of-my-best-twitter-advice.
The benefit of this change is that I can more easily share the URL for a particular post. This is especially useful for video posts, when I want to direct people to the post URL. Having to say the date as part of the URL is cumbersome. Now, I only need to use words, and this makes it easier for me to say and also easy for you to remember and share.
A note of caution about doing this: if you make this change in your blog, it will break the links for your old post URLs that contain dates. You can find a workaround for this here, and you may need professional help. (See below.)
- I Added A New Category Instead Of A New Blog. In times past, when I launched something new, I launched a new blog to complement it. As it turned out, that was not a very efficient way of doing things, plus it forced you to visit and/or subscribe to more blogs to get the information you want.
Instead of launching a new blog for Indie Cruise, I simply added the Cruise Category, so you can see all of the Indie Cruise posts in that category from newest to oldest. This creates a wonderful historical record and makes it easy for you and others to collect information about the event.
(Side note: I created the Indie Cruise FaceBook Page — join me there?)
It would have taken me hours to make these changes on my own, and even then, I would have probably messed them up. That's why I hired Jennifer over at Eco-Office Gals to make them for me. I bet she can help you too!
Question: What do you think? Do you plan to make any of these improvements to your WordPress blog?