Apr 30 2007

To tweak or not to tweak your blog?

This is my first post under the new theme regime, and I’d like to say, it is a cool new home. Well done to Matt and Lee for taking a big and positive step. Ironically, they probably won’t find much of interest in this post, preaching to the converted and all that! (And I hope this isn’t too long a post!!)

They say, if you stand still in business, you die. A bit demoralising to think that you have to keep pushing and can’t rest on your laurels. Not that natural-born entrepreneurs ever think of resting easy. You have that ache in your stomach to tweak what you already have, dump what isn’t working, and invent the next big thing. And natural born bloggers are the same too, I suspect.

If it ain’t broke…

What sets the good business/blogger mind apart from the average, however, is the ability to “see” what is going on. It is one thing to want to be dynamic, it is another to be able to analyse what elements truly are in need of attention – or should be left well alone. How many companies have fizzled in apathy, or fallen to earth after a CEO broke something that wasn’t broke!

I’m no CEO, but I have ruined a few good things in my time, due to inertia and an over zealous desire to “progress”. I am responsible for a blog now, which one day may be a business, so I want to do the right thing. The pressure is killing!!

Plus ca ne change pas! or thomesing like that.

As the lord and master/mistress of a blog, what to tweak, dump or invent, is one part of the equation, but starting from the beginning, what to keep the same while the rest of the mix evolves, that is the biggest question!

At the end of this month, staring wide-eyed at stats, one part of me is tempted to relax into the cosiness of traffic that has tripled over the past 30 days. Yeehah. But the niggly feeling takes over. Should I leave everything as is? Should I keep the formula the same – keep posting, keep talking, keep having fun on-line? More of the same means a step backward, doesn’t it?

Luckily, I am too young in blog years, to go changing too much. I have loads of work to do to be the best, but to be realistic, for better or for worse, I am happy to leave the core of the blog well alone for now. (Also, my guilty restless side willingly accepts that continuing the blog in its current format is excusable this month, so no major new decisions to make just yet.)

Tweaking a good thing – the devil is in the detail

Fortunately, instead of relaxing, a little devil kicks me in the shin and sets me to wondering how to keep peripheral parts of the Pisstakers blog moving on a bit more. But which parts could do with a re-vamp?

As a starting point, I am happy to see I got 28000 page views in April. That is almost 1000 per day, blimey, but is it quality traffic? Are people reading, or are they speed reading, or simply accumulating hits for gummi bears on MyBlogLog Sunday? Yes, to all of the above! So which part of the Pisstakers “brand” do I tweak, because there is no such thing as unexplained coincidences in my world and something has been attracting this extra attention.

I usually go on gut feelings, but that isn’t always a good premise. (Ask SEO expert Shyflower about my gut instincts before I implemented some new keyword tactics that actually worked, and I was way off base with my ideas on Polliwog Pond’s traffic generating prowess.) I cant read stats well enough yet, but I am sure that MyBlogLog Sunday is an intrinsic part of the recent popularity of The Pisstakers. However, I am ignoring my gut instincts to make a change to the rules, for now. I am just going to keep telling new folks about it, and hope that at least half of the 10 blogs featured for a mini review on Sundays are new blood. That would keep the idea fun for new blogs, fun for me and fun for my readers. And if a possible “Best of past reviews” that I have in mind doesn’t get a result… I can’t abide not doing anything new!

Irresistible new feature

I admit I am a mischievous person by nature, but under the guise of a proactive entrepreneur, to sate my creative side this month, I was talking with my man in Milan about a drool-worthy new feature. Bonsai Studios have obliged in kind, and are preparing a little something new, coming soon to a sidebar near you.

Features can even tweak themselves!

I have also seen that if you sit tight and let an untried idea run for a while, it may evolve a life of its own. Comments Friday here is hitting top gear nowadays with early commenters setting the topics without being guided by Matt.

And sometimes a feature can produce a new feature!!! I got a post from Mr MyBlogLog programmer extraordinaire, SEO Solo who kindly left a recipe for a top referrer widget for MyBlogLog members. And then you start thinking, should I look at packaging the MBL Sunday feature, syndicating it, getting it adopted, plus a multitude of other ideas. Who wants to jeopardise that sort of feedback and thinking with a tweak in the wrong direction?!

How long do you go between blog tweaks? Got any do’s and don’ts?

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5 Comments on this post

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  1. K-IntheHouse said:

    Nice post Ed!

    This is something I am going through right now as well. I love the theme I have right now but I would like to move on to a SEO-friendly, an ad-based theme but not very comfortable with the idea now than when we had fewer readers.

    But, as a friend once told me, nothing is permanent besides change!

    K

    May 1st, 2007 at 6:10 am
  2. Ed the Editor said:

    If you want to, why not go see the blog doctor for a few pointers?

    I need to go see a doctor now for something to help me to recover from the length of my post. Thanks for reading it!

    May 1st, 2007 at 7:36 am
  3. Matt said:

    SEO is something BAYB actually lacks. I have thought about getting some internet companies to SEO us so we get more “natural” traffic if that makes any sense

    May 1st, 2007 at 9:22 am
  4. K-IntheHouse said:

    Thanks for dropping by Ed and glad you liked Blufr.

    I did read the post from the Blog Doctor. I wonder how much it costs to get an appointment! :-)

    May 1st, 2007 at 12:22 pm
  5. Matthew Jabs said:

    I am a firm believer in constant blog theme updates. I make changes at least once a week.

    Readers probably don’t even notice them most of the time, but I think it’s imperative to stay on top of things & change as time goes.

    PS…off topic, why don’t you have the “Subscribe To Comments” plugin installed? I may miss your response because I won’t be updated when you reply.

    May 14th, 2007 at 4:16 pm

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