Day 21, 22, and 23: Praise a Reader, Present Blog to New Readers, and Check Broken Links

Written by Don P on . Posted in Challenge #1 (2015)

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)
Praise a Reader

I'm stripping away all the fluff and making this post a quick, step-by-step guide about the next 3 days for the challenge. Why? Well, frankly we're coming to the end of the month, Thanksgiving is upon us, and I'm a little behind on writing — not doing, just the writing part. I plan on trying to complete this month's challenge early to spend time with my family.

Stick with me here as we power through THREE DAYS worth of tasks.

Praise a Reader: Make THEM Famous

Take a break from building your own vanity, fame, and influence and today build the fame and influence of someone else – preferably one of your readers.

Pick one of your readers (if you’re just starting out and don’t have any readers yet, pick another blogger in your niche, preferably a less well known one) and make them famous in some way. Here's how:

  • Use a comment they left as inspiration for a new Post: Every now and then readers make incredibly insightful observations and tips in the comments of your blog. Why not use it as the topic for one of your post? Highlight the wisdom in it and cite the person who made the comment.
  • Promote their blog in a post: I try to do a good job promoting other blogs whether they're in my niche or not. Seriously, check out my "Friends" section for blogs I regularly visit and recommend to my readers.
  • Encourage your readers to comment on other blogs: Pretty self explanatory, but if you're driving traffic to someone else's site, usually they'll reciprocate.
  • Give readers the opportunity to promote themselves: Have contests, encourage interaction, see if a reader wants to write a guest post for your blog. That'll get their name out quickly and they'll have you to thank for it.

Introduce a New Reader to Your Blog Correctly

Once you get into the grove of blogging for a while, it’s easy to forget that not all of your readers have been reading your blog since Day One — in fact, that majority of your readers haven't. Even though you’re familiar with every aspect of your blog and how to use it, your more recent readers will not be.

One of the easiest ways to catch new readers up on what your blog is all about and how to use it most effectively is simply to write a post telling them, like my "FAQ" page. Be sure to hit on a few of the following questions:

  • Why Did You Start Your Blog?
  • How Should Your Blog Be Used?
  • How Can Users Connect via Social Media or Subscribe to Your Newsletter?
  • How Can Readers Get More Involved?
  • Where Should Readers Start?

Make it interesting and not too overwhelming. No one wants to read a 80-question FAQ page!

Find and FIX Broken Links

Nothing is more frustrating to a reader than trying to click on a link in your article, menu, or sidebar to get a "404 - Page Not Found" error. It makes you look unprofessional and cavalier in your attempts to create a quality site that provides information to the end-user.

The most obvious "solution" is to manually go to every page on your blog and begrudgingly check all the links. This might be achievable on a new blog with three pages, but for blogs with hundreds or thousands of posts it’s just not feasible.

Lucky for us, the internet has made link searching easier to find and fix. I try to run a broken link check once a quarter. Here's the website I use: Free Broken Link Checker. And here are the results it produced this morning. Broken Link Report

Looks like I've got a little work to do to fix some of my links. The report tells you what page the broken link originated from, so go back to that post, search for that link, and update. Your readers will thank you.

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