You being a blogger, get free time more often.
Instead of scratching your head, you must spend your spare time productively.
This post outlines what are all the productive ways in which a blogger can spend his spare time.
You have maintained a schedule to publish 2 blog posts a week. After publishing those blog posts, you sit back tight, occasionally staring at your traffic and Analytics. Some of you may spend some of your time in promoting the posts you have written.
But most of the time, you are idle without any work at your hand. This is not uncommon among full-time bloggers!
You must agree with this! Because this is the reality...
You got a good amount of time at your disposal and don't know what to do.
The very first step in starting to spend your spare time productively is to prepare yourself a blogging timetable. At the beginning of the day, you need to just list out all the blogging related tasks you need to do on that day. Sort the to do list items in the descending order of priority. Allot the time slot for each of the task, and plan your blogging time. Make sure you have no free time to spend idle.
In spite of preparing a schedule for your blogging day, you may get some spare time. You keep switching between your browser tabs in the endless search of what to do. Oh, man. I've been there too!!!
Here are the things that you can do in your spare time to help improve your blog.
Betterment of old posts
Whenever you get extra spare time to spend on your blog, treat it like it's an opportunity for you to spend time upgrading your old blog posts to their latest version.
Before carrying out the editing process, the first question that hits your mind is - "which posts to edit first?". Here I've got the answer. Edit and upgrade the blogs posts that receive more traffic on your blog daily; content which your readers are spending most of the time on your blog daily.
Upgrade for freshness. Google released the freshness update on 2011, and this update was known to affect 35% of the total search queries. After this update, the posts that have not been updated for a longer period of time lost value and demoted down the search pages.
It is now very important for you to head over to old content and do the following:
- upgrade the content to the latest version
- include the latest information
- link out to recent awesome articles around the web
- make sure that the last modified date is changed.
- keep the evergreen or timelessness factor in mind
Proofread and edit the content you published earlier. While editing, try reducing clutter, and replace less effective words with strong words. Especially, be careful about your word choice. Using the right words at the right time convey the right message to your readers. You may also make use of some proofreading tools for the process.
I strongly suggest you to manually proofread your content for perfection; at least twice. Read your content wearing the shoes of your readers, and spot out the imperfections in your way of expressing ideas. Make sure that what you have penned down is fully comprehensible.
Reconsider the images that you've used in your old posts. Create some more visually appealing images with the help of tools like Canva, Pablo by Buffer, Visme, etc. When your text posts are accompanied by eye-catching images, it increases the audience retention rate. Posts with good graphics tend to go viral on sites like Pinterest.
Always keep the screenshots in PNG format, crisp-clear. For markup and annotations, you can make use of Skitch by Evernote. Make use of tools like MockUPhone to apply device frames for some of the screenshots you take. It makes your screenshots look great.
Interlink your blog posts. Search your blog for some of the keywords that have the potential to become anchor texts. Link to newer blog posts in your old blog posts. This process is never-ending. You should do it, as soon as you publish a new blog post. So why not spend your free time, interlinking the posts?
Make a way to explore. If you've forgotten to include relevant links, resources in your old blog posts, do so. In any of your old blog posts, if you have presented a less obvious fact or statement; include a proof link to it. I advise you to include at least 2-3 outbound links to recent content of authoritative sites in your posts.
Edit to reduce bounce rate. Bounce rate quickly tells whether your content is read-worthy or not. It's the powerful signal that Google looks at. Lowering the bounce rate by editing and restructuring your old posts helps a lot in the long-term.
Like this, upgrading your old content is the most important job you got to do in your spare time.
Boosting search traffic
You could use your free time to help your blog get ranked for more keywords in search engines. This can be made possible with some techniques you can implement when you feel empty.
Just head over to Google search console >Search Analytics.
Sort the column CTR in ascending order. Take a note of all the keywords that are getting good impressions, but not enough clicks.
These are the keywords which you are ranking for, but not getting traffic.
It's time for you to head over to respective posts and optimize them for the above keywords. Add some content related to the keywords. Wait for some days for Google to recrawl the content. You will get search traffic from those keywords also.
In your free time, if you are thinking what to do, this is the perfect task to do.
Creating slides, infographics, and videos
Many people like to consume information in the format of slides. They find the slides effective to perceive facts and information. During your spare time, it's worthwhile to create some slides out of your old blog posts. Remember to create visually appealing slides. Once you create slides out of your blog posts, upload them to slide uploading sites like SlideShare.
In most of the slide sharing sites, you can include the link back to your original article in slide description. By this, if your slide goes viral, you receive a great deal of traffic.
You can also produce infographics with the help of the slides that you created. If the slide that you created is visually appealing and uniform, then upload your slide to Zamzar. It will extract the images from each and every slide and sends you the link to download the images. Later you can use these images, join them and produce infographics with ease.
You can also produce videos, regarding your blog posts. Upload them to YouTube, embed the videos in your blog posts, thus increasing the average visit duration of the readers.
As a bonus, you can extract audio from your videos, upload them to iTunes, and create a Podcast 😉
The process that I outlined in this section of the blog post is called content repurposing.
You can read in detail - Definitive Guide to Content Repurposing Process.
Read other articles around the web
In your free time, it's the best habit to learn reading other articles on the web, related to the niche of your blog.
Reading helps you in the betterment of writing skills. It enhances your vocabulary, usage of words and command over the subject you are blogging about in your blog. While reading the articles of others, you construct your own view about a concept. It in turn gives rise to more creative ideas.
According to Brain Tracy, reading an hour daily, preferably in the mornings helps you be productive throughout the day. It will help you quickly obtain expertise in your field. Reading an hour daily, translates itself to reading one book a week and 50 books a year.
Reading is an exercise for your brain. It helps your brain to remain mentally stimulated according to a research. It sharpens your mind and expands your creative thinking powers.
But remember - You gotta study the matter only regarding the field you are blogging in. By this, you will gain command over the way of expressing things related to your niche. You master the art of expressing complex stuff in your subject of matter.
It in turn increases your productivity and helps you write more in less time with ease. While you are reading the articles on the web, make sure you make a note of potential ideas, that you come across. It helps you never run out of ideas for your next blog posts and never again hit writer's block.
Social media things to do
Social media promotion is quintessential for the growth of a blog. In the spare time, you can work upon improving your social media presence by carrying out the things below.
- Use Buffer or Hootsuite to share awesome content across the web to your followers and circles. They are both available as browser extensions, Android and iOS apps. So you can use them to schedule your tweets, shares and maintain your online presence. Sharing the awesome content of others, helps you build relations with the bloggers and help you grow exponentially.
- Head over to JustRetweet. It is a platform in which you earn credits for sharing awesome content across the web. You can use those credits to get your own content shared across various social media channels. The platform automatically schedules your retweets. So, when you get some free time to spare on your social media presence, just head over to the tool, log in with your Twitter account and start earning credits. In turn promote your blog posts.
- Follow influencers in your niche. Retweet the awesome tweets in your niche. Use hashtags, and mention the person in your tweet. By this, you increase your chances of getting more Twitter followers. In the process, take a note of all the users that your competitor is following in Twitter. Follow them too. It helps you apply the same strategy your competitor is following to drive Twitter traffic to his site.
- Interact with communities. When it comes to this part, Google Plus and LinkedIn groups work the best. Search for some of the best communities in your niche, which have great interaction daily. Regularly participate in the community by sharing and leaving comments on the posts. Showcase your expertise in your niche. Get noticed among the members of the community. Then it leads to your strong social media presence and in turn leads to traffic. The same applies to forums. Find some of the forums in your niche, participate in them. Help the members of the forums solve their various problems.
How to move up in Google SERPs
You have to promote your blog post effectively than your competitor, to move up in Google SERPs. You can not simply overestimate the effectiveness of your blog promotion. To get quick success, you have to snoop into your competitor’s promotion strategies.
Have you ever wondered why posts on your blog are lower than that of similar blog posts by your competitors in Google SERPs? It's because your promotional strategies are not as effective as that of your competitors.
This is the exact point that I'm going to stress in this blog post.You have to analyze your competitors’ blog promotion strategies and make your promotional strategies better.
I've found many effective free competitors’ analysis tools. Among those, I found OpenSiteExplorer and SEOQuake extension effective to analyze competitors to move up in Google SERPs. Throughout this blog post, I am using these two tools. I will present you a quick tip to make your blog posts move up in Google SERPs.
For using OpenSiteExplorer, just head over to the site.
You can install the SEOQuake extension.
Let me tell how to use these tools, to satisfy your purpose.
Analyzing your competitor to move up in Google SERPs
You target one or two keywords to rank for. After publishing the blog post, you find yourself ranked for that keyword in Google SERPs. However, you may not be able to move up in SERPs.
In this case, just analyze the blog post above you in SERPs. Visit the blog post above you, activate the SEOQuake extension and analyze why it is ranked above yours.
There may be many reasons why Google decided to place your competitor’s article above yours:
- Blog’s age
- Increase in flow metrics
- Blog load time
- Domain authority
- Length of the article
- Keyword density
- Easy readability level
- More Facebook likes
- More tweets
- More Google +1s
- More pins
- Effective internal linking strategy
Or other Google ranking factors
You can analyze almost all the above factors with the help of SEOQuake extension.
You can analyze backlinks of your competitors by putting their blog post URL in OpenSiteExplorer.
Of course, you cannot do anything about blog’s age. All you can do is wait for some months, to gain time-based domain authority. That's the only way.
However, you can surely build up backlinks, keep the length of the article and word count higher than your competitor.
These are some of the things that you can do, after analyzing your competitor’s blog post:
- Build HQ backlinks more than that of your competitor
- Keep the length of the article high
- Keep the keyword density higher than that of your competitor
- Get more Facebook likes than that of your competitor
- Get more Tweets
- Get more Google +1s
- Get more repins
- Improve your trust and authorship score
- Follow best internal linking strategies
- Use more LSI keywords
In other words, make your blog post seem better to Google in terms of all ranking factors. Aim at increasing your blog post’s backlinks, on page SEO, and social signals more than that of your competitor's blog post.
And show Google that you have the authority to be ranked well for your target keyword.
Improving the SEO stuff and visibility of your blog post than your competitors ranks you higher.
It's also important to take visitors' experience into consideration. It's essential to keep up the rankings.
While building backlinks, it's important to build quality backlinks than that of your competitors. Because quality backlinks are effective over quantity.
Also read: 101 Ways to Build Backlinks to your Blog
If you have any points or tips to add, do comment.
If you disagree with any of the above points, feel free to scold me.
If you really liked reading this article, share it with your friends and followers.
I hope you found the tips that I mentioned in this blog post helpful. I am sure that you never again scratch your head, thinking what to do in your spare time. The more time you spend in improving your blog, the quick results you get. Never ever waste your time. Grab a book read it, or grab your Laptop and start proofreading your old articles. They help you in the long run.
If you have any suggestions for this post, or if you got any 'tips to do in spare time', do share them in comments.
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