Its been a while since last post. Actually 75 days passed from my last one. Have to start working to revive this inactive blog immediately. This gap in blogging timeline was solely made because I was exhausted and desperately need rest from everything, including blogging.
It is time to revive this inactive blog!
Creating content can be a great fun but is very time consuming. Not to mention all the SEO and social promotion tasks taking hours a day and results are commonly a complete disappointment.
When feel tired, rest a while. One week may be not enough, but two weeks might be too much. If not active more than this, your blog will start dying and in couple of months of inactivity it will completely die.
Not publishing new content will show the search bots not to come and index your site. If no new content is present they will come back in a few days, than a week after. If there is nothing new present will come again next month and so on till stop visiting at all. Meanwhile competition which is active will get your place for keywords you’ve previously ranked well and you will slowly disappear from the search results going to page two, three or worse.
Not posting new content will lower traffic. A visitor that once visited your site and find it useful or interesting will likely come back again. But when come back again and see nothing new, will leave for good. Inactivity will let you loose your audience and traffic
With blogging, You’ll have to be active all the time, constantly creating and publishing new content both text and visuals, promote your content and build backlinks. Its exhausting I know but must keep going if want to prosper.
If too tired, take a break, but come back after few days and continue you work. If make two months break it will be much harder to continue growing a site and its audience.
Getting back to blogging after 2 months of inactivity is almost the same as starting a new blog from zero. Will have to work twice more to achieve constant flow in content and traffic acquisition. Have to publish more new posts, post more often and promote new and old content much more to get to tracks.
This is I have to do in following months to revive and continue this blog. Its a hard task but I have a plan and will must stick to it.
What have to do to revive an inactive blog?
Building new content is the first thing to do if want to revive inactive blog
In past two months was working on another site and have a several posts there which I can rewrite and use here as they are niche related. This will give me opportunity to fill my post schedule.
Republishing refurbished posts and post curating is just a part of the content strategy for reviving a blog after a period of inactivity. New, fresh content is needed too. This means more new long posts to write, create appropriate visuals and hopefully infographics.
Posts should be creative, useful, interesting, funny and easy to read to keep a visitor engaged. Posts have to be long, as most of the blogging community suggest 2000 words or more per article (I doubt anyone can achieve to write alone so much on daily basis if not hire help of professional writers or buy some articles).
So much text will be hard to read. Separate the text in short paragraphs, use catchy subheadings, bold and underline text, hyphenate quotes and create lists to make the text more attractive. If use only text, the article no matter how good, will be boring. Nobody like boring stuff.
Create and incorporate visuals
Images in a long article placed properly, where related text appears, quickly gets visitors attention and retain them to read the whole paragraph (article and a related posts hopefully).
For creating images can use a free online service, desktop software (free ones does the work too) or even a phone app can do the job. Can use free and public domain images (always check the licence), photos taken from your cell phone to add some text or create your own from scratch. Have to be nice and article related. If an article is long ,use more images. If just few hundred words an image or two would be enough.
Too much text is bad, too much images are not so bad, but don’t over use
Infographics are another type of visuals you can use to spice your post. Think of infographic as a visual story: You have a text article that explains something. Have created related images already. Why don’t incorporate all the images in a single one large that tells the whole story in graphic way from up to bottom and place it at the end of your article with a sharing option for social media or even an embed code to be used on other sites. This will give you a free back link to your site for free 🙂
Images take far more time to load then plain text or html (few milliseconds more per each image). If image is large in dimensions and file size, jpeg format and not optimized it will take ever more time to load completely. Keep this in mind when creating visuals.
Alternatively, you can host your large images (and infographics) on an external free image hosting site. Make sure the site is established and reputable or might get lost your images. This applies for very large images and infographics.
Always use “alt tag” for images. The “Alt tag” is for images as keywords are for text.
Not using video is a mistake you can’t afford
Videos gets attention more then still images and far more then plain text. If need to explain something, it is far more effective to create 5 minute long how to video tutorial then to write a 2000 words post explaining the same thing. Creating a video will take you less time then writing.
Video is much more engaging then every other type of content combined.
Creating videos is not an easy task.Will have to use specialized software or online service to create one. Might find free ones that will do the job but mostly for screen recording, creating tutorials and podcasts only. Everything else comes with a price and it is not cheap but surely worth the money.
Creating how to videos or podcasts explaining how to do something in details, teach others about something that may help and showing competence about given subject/niche will help you grow audience fast. With larger audience greater are chances a video to become viral e.g. shared thru many channels and social media as much possible, broadening audience, new followers, subscribers, visitors and grow traffic in general.
Simple formula for video content going viral is: Create video content, post it on Youtube, embed it back to a blog and promote it. This is an idea that works.
With videos you can simplify content creation althou creating videos is not an easy task. May screen record explaining how to do a stuff. Recording a video tutorial from a desktop is easy and there are many tools. If want to create an animation from a scratch you might find yourself stuck as tools and software for this purpose are very expensive. However free ones are also available but harder to find.
Whatever, you’ll find a way and create a video eventually. What to do next?
Post it to Youtube, Vimeo or any other free video hosting service. Can post it on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media too but not right away.
Next thing is to get embed code from a youtube video (or any other service) and paste it into to a blog post. Along with a video can write a story about it. It is curation of video content and works very good in most cases . You don’t have to create a video itself, just accompanying story. Another good thing is when posted on Youtube, you have the ability to share it on other social media and spread the reach and grow potential visits to a main site/blog.
No matter what type of content you create be sure it is helpful, interesting or funny. People tend to solve things as simple as possible. Try to help them with your posts. If a post is informative, interesting or funny it is more likely to be shared by your visitors. This will increase potential audience and grow traffic.
When finished with content will have to promote your new stuff. Do not forget old posts too.
Blog promotion doesn’t consist of sharing your stuff on social media only. Will have to think wider.
Social media is excellent for promotion and will give you a quick jump start if done right consistently. If stop promoting your content on social media, results will drop and eventually stop. Have to be active all the time. While on social media, don’t just try to promote your stuff, share other people articles too if find them worthy, comment and exchange thoughts with other users.
Be social on social media, engage with others as much as possible
Commenting and direct messaging will help make relations with other like minded people with same and similar interests, exchange experiences and help both sides to grow. This is what social media are made for.
While promoting yours and other peoples content may find very interesting things, posts that will motivate you and give you ideas for creating more new better content. While socializing, will meet new people, some of them interested in same subjects. Some of them have a large number of of followers. These people are influencers (in their field/niche). Making relations and following influencers, especialy if they respond to your post might bring a business relations if both sides are willing to share each other content to their followers, growing a post reach further.
Contacting influencers is easy. Can contact them thru email, direct message on social media, blog comment etc.
Not everybody will respond. If they respond it will be nice. If they agree to promote your content in exchange for promoting theirs it will be great. Be consistent, make list of influencers in a niche subject, contact them once and track their respond.
If they respond at first contact and agree to collaborate with you it would be fine. If not respond, try to contact them again in few days or week. If response is negative respect their opinion and don’t bother them again.
The trick with promoting on social media is to grow your followers base (audience) and become an authority/influencer. This can not be done over night. Self promoting is not enough to become an authority. Will have to bring value and help people. In return they will follow you back and testify that you have the skills or knowledge to help or make the life/task easier. But this not stop here.
Will have to make connections with general audience, preferably with everyone that respond to a post or comment you’ve post on social media or another blog,/s, especially with other influencers in your niche.
By growing audience and making relations with influencers in your niche, You will become one.
As an influencer you will gain larger audience, and with larger audience traffic grow is imminent.
Once you become an authority things will change and will be much more easier to post something, be shared, reach larger audience and make visitors to came back to your blog again and again if find your content interesting and helpful.
Next comes SEO
When speaking of Search Engine Optimization most people roll their eyeballs 🙂 SEO is not quite exact science and is constantly changing but some rules stays the same.
Purpose of SEO is to achieve a better ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), preferably if you search for something, result of the search to appear on first position or at least among few first on the first page of the search query page.
SEO is simple in fact. There are few general rules to follow, all other is just routine and tweaking. If anybody tells you different, tell them they are wrong.
Basically there are only three things SEO is about: content, keywords and links.
Posting regularly new fresh content is a must. Content should be informative, helpful and interesting to gain and keep readers attention. Titles, headings and subheadings should be post related and catchy. Posts should be long, full of information and brings value to the reader.
To be honest, long texts are boring. Sometimes you can say more with less. Incorporate images and video if possible. This will entertain and show what is important to read.
Use polls, rating/voting and commenting system to engage with your audience. Share your posts on social media and further engage audience there. This will make traffic grow.
Keywords are key for search results. When you search for something on Google , you write a word, sequence of words or a whole sentence. All these are keywords. Words or phrases you type in a search field in a search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other). There are one word keywords (commonly referred as a keyword) and long tail keyword consisting of 2,3,4 and more words.
As internet grows, number of sites rises exponentially and keywords are evolving. If want to rank well, now days, put an effort in using long tail keywords consisting of at least three or four words. It is hard (even impossible) to rank for a one word keyword today if you have a new blog.
My prediction is that in near future (next few years) search engines will evolve further and be able to recognize whole sentences and whole paragraphs as keywords. It may be wise to start implementing this strategy right now.
For now, use phrases that are not commonly used. May check for long tail keywords on Google trends and adwords keyword planner. Both are free. First shows trending topics and keywords used in searches, counts, and frequency. Keyword planner goes further and gives suggestions which keywords to use, keyword/phrase combination etc.
While writing a post you are unaware of your keywords as inspiration push you forward to complete writing your next article. You might be aware what are the main keywords or keyword phrase you want to incorporate in your next post but can’t be sure how often you used that certain keyword/s. If using WordPress, Yoast Seo is the plugin that will make your life much easier as it measure keyword use, counts how many times a keyword appears in the article, analyze and suggest what to change or improve and much more.
In the past, keywords have to be put (typed one by one separated by commas) in a Meta keywords tag in the HEAD of a Html document (each and every page of your site). With CMS (Content Management Systems) things simplify as you have to put meta tags only once. More recently, few years ago META KEYWORDS is obsolete and don’t have to use it.
All meta tags go to the HEAD section of a html. Check the page structure to see what I’m talking about.
META TITLE – a page title, usually a site name or short (few words) description.
META DESCRIPTION – Description of a page/site. It is a character snippet used to summarize a web page’s content. Search engines and social media use these snippets to let visitors know what a page is about before they click open the post.
There are other meta tags still in use. The two mentioned are necessary. All others are optional but may improve SEO a bit if used properly.
Sitemaps and robots.txt are more technical seo. Both tell search engine bots (spiders) to visit your site, crawl/index its content and tell the search engine (e.g. Google) if there is some new content added and remind to come visit again for more news.
Design of your site, blog theme, contrast between text and background color, color of links and text and overall user experience (UX) together with navigation structure (UI = User Interface) plays a big role in SEO.
Links are everywhere. On social media, sites, searches, everywhere.
Links are the heart of SEO. If have a site must create a navigation structure a link menu to your other posts and pages or a link to another site. A post without a single link doesn’t help your SEO.
Links may be classified as internal and external. Internal link leads to another post or page on your site. External links are those that point to another site (web adress). Incoming links or back links are links from other sites pointing to your sites homepage or a post of yours.
These are the basic types.
SEO suggests using several modifications of a basic links by adding a additional code to the <link> tag. Commonly used are:
target=”_blank” will open the link in new browser tab or window (very useful when link leads to another site and your site stays open)
rel=”canonical” tells that this is the link of the original content first posted here
rel=”nofollow” tells a web bot not to follow this link (used for sharing affiliate links)
rel=”noindex” tells bots not to index this link e.g. not to index the page a link points
What to do with links?
Build internal site structure. Cross linking internal links by putting a link to other related posts on the same blog will help build internal blog structure. Benefit is that it lowers the bounce rate. Visitors are more likely to click on internal link that will lead them to another post of yours and read it too. If liked will come back for more.
External links pointing to other sites may notify that you put a link to their site and may be willing to visit yours. If both are in similar niche may even collaborate and build links thru guest posting or commenting. Possibilities are many.
In the past number of links pointing to yor site was the major factor for a good ranking. In time things changed and now quality and relevancy of links from several sites linking to you weights much more then thousands of backlinks acquired from web directories and link farms.
Quality over quantity is the imperative for a successful link building strategy. Avoid link directories, Private blogging networks and other suspicious places, but if an opportunity for a comment or a guest post appear grab it immediately.
There are other link building techniques but this post is on how to revive inactive blog instead of how to make build links and improve SEO 🙄
Make sure your blog look good and load fast
Visual look of your site is the first thing a visitor see when came to your blog (beside post titles). First look worth much. If your blog has a visual theme that looks great you have no problem, unless…
Site has to load fast. If not loaded in first 2-3 seconds 60% chances that a visitor leaves before it loads completely. Less chances to stay and read your posts if loads slower than 5 seconds. Can check thew ways to improve site speed but in general problem has two sides:
More graphics = great look = slower site
Must make a compromise. Choose a theme that looks great, has less graphics and still load fasts while looks nice and modern. Use less plugins and code if possible. Having less unnecessary widgets on your blog will help loading time. Use caching. In worst case, upgrade hosting pan or move to other host and migrate your blog there along with all your content.
Another very important thing when choosing a theme is knowing what it offer. Themes might be free or premium (paid). Not always a paid theme is better option, but gives a little more comfort as you can change some parts add more plugins change a look and there is usually free support included.
Better option is to start with a free theme and then upgrade if satisfied with its options and look.
Responsive and user friendly
Responsive theme means your blog will look good on all devices, different screen sizes, both on desktop monitor, laptop screen, tablet, phone or your TV. This is easy to achieve (it is just one line of code) but some themes simply don’t have it. So choose wisely.
May decide to change your theme if not satisfied with its look or performance (if not paid for it :)) Some themes simply doesn’t perform well. It may not be responsive or have blunt code or you just want to change the look of your site.
Changing a theme can be a good excuse for inactive blogs 😆
If decide to change the look of your blog have on mind its look, fast loading and easy to use/navigate. Make sure you pay attention to those three when changing themes. If fail with some change the theme again or back to old one. Problems always appear.
What a user friendly site means?
Imagine you are browsing the internet, you’ve seen some advertisement, clicked the link and it leads you to a site. You are there. Where? You’ve came to a site which looks like printed version of 60’s novel. There is nothing except plain text and a lot of it. You scroll to the bottom and looks there is no end. Finally at the end you see a link. Hallelujah!
Have clicked on that one link and you’re brought to another site. Completely opposite of the previous, there are only banners here (linking to nobody knows where), scrolling down reveal more and more banners and few suspicious text links. You’re in panic! Simply close the browser tab and continue browsing.
These scenarios were more likely to see 15 years ago but some sites are still simple as that.
Fortunately, today, most modern sites (including blogs) have a navigation structure and main menu that will lead to another post or section of the site. It is on top of the page and easy to see containing links to most important pages, categories or other sections of the site. Blogs especially goes a step further as it is very easy to add additional menu to the side (the sidebar) to show your recent or most popular content. Same can be added at the bottom (commonly known as related posts).
Menu can contain links to as many posts and pages you want. In the past many sides used a main horizontal menu with drop down submenus, sometimes even submenus inside a submenu, filling half the screen with a link menus and covering the main content, so this practice was abandoned.
Common practice is a horizontal one line menu with five up to ten items (links to internal pages). Whatever the structure of your site is, you must have About page and Terms of service page and links them in your main menu.
About page, is vital as it shows what a site is about. This page tells a short story of the site it self, the company or a blog author. It shows a site credential, competence and builds trust in yoour content and what you have to offer.
Another important page is Contact page, where you leave your contact information, address, email/s, google map pointing to your business headquarter or just simply put a contact form and get all inquiries in your inbox. If decide not to be bothered ever, don’t create a contact page and delete it from the main navigation menu.
Navigation and site theme are part of the complete user experience
You need a logo. Having a logo will make a difference. A site with a logo is more recognizable than one without. Logo should be simple and meaningful (related to your site, business and niche). Can create one yourself or hire a graphic designer to do it for you. Create a logo in different formats with different resolutions and sizes. This way you can use it elsewhere.
It is a good practice to place a big banner in the site header. Your logo and your slogan on the wide banner on top of your site will look great and quickly show what is the site about.
Logo can be used as a “favicon” = a small image icon in the browser tab. Favicon shows that a tab is opened and your site is in there. It is a SEO factor.
Think I’ve got all covered!
It is time to start working, revive inactive blog and continue blogging
While finishing this article, I’ve already done most of the work so the rest is content creation, SEO and promotion to grow traffic.
Technical steps I’ve gone thru:
- Have renewed this domain
- Bought new hosting plan
- Migrate my posts and most of the content (some images were lost as migration to another site is not 100% accurate and data loss is expected despite the backups and downloading all to my laptop)
- I’m using the same theme as before but with less plugins now
- Improved site security
- Fixed some issues with domain, preferred version and redirection
- Review all content, rewrite and fix misspellings and grammar errors in posts and pages.
- Some pages has to be rewritten
- Set a SEO friendly permalink structure (same as before)
- Checked images (optimize some to reduce size) and add ALT tags where missing
- Checked site SEO
- Add meta title and meta description
- Checked titles and post headings and rewrite some if necessary
- Checked site navigation (main menu has to be changed a bit as it is too deep)
- Add sharing buttons
- Have continue growing follower base on social media
- Have started a Facebook page
- Have few posts in queue ready to be published
- Several how to videos are ready too
- An infographic about this post is on a way soon
HUH! I’m finally done now! 😉
Hope this article will help you revive your inactive blog or give you an idea how to build or continue running a blog and become successful.
Waiting for your response.