If you’re not getting all of the traffic you want, or high enough conversion rates at your blog, then there are things that can be done to improve these results. Traffic and conversions grow incrementally and there are things you can do right now to make some serious strides to achieving your goals. Here’s a list of 5 fairly small changes that can be made to your blog to improve performance.

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1) Write Better Headlines

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Headlines serve as your initial selling point. If you don’t nail your headline, the odds are barely anyone will even check out your latest post. Make a better first impression by giving your headline some thought.

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Remember that sensationalism works. If you don’t believe it, just look at how many people can’t help but look at the stories on the tabloid front cover the next time you’re at the supermarket. Your readers want to be entertained, informed and walk away better off with a tidbit of wisdom than prior to reading. While it works for all categories and verticals, entertainment works for dry niches, quite possibly, the best because it’s least expected and there’s a great chance that no one else is doing it in your niche.

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Keep your reader wanting more by leaving some incomplete thoughts. Begin to share updates and insider info, but then change the topic by saying, “But first…” This will help to keep the curiosity going in regards to the first thing you mentioned, and so your reader will be keeping a closer eye.

2) Use Better Images

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If you’re not using images, this is an easy fix: start using them! Eyeballs on the web gravitate very quickly to images and do a great job in helping get viewers engaged. Check out Flickr’s Creative Commons to see what’s available for use now on your site without having to pay anything. (But be sure to follow the requirements for attribution and otherwise.)

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Like your headline, try to use interesting, entertaining or thought-provoking images at your blog. An obvious and direct tie in to the blog post is not always necessary, but don’t use just random images.

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3) Better Use of Keywords

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Writing with SEO in mind is usually a good idea. While you certainly don’t want to get out of the natural flow and style of your writing, it’s a good practice to optimize your writing for SEO by ensuring that your most important keywords are mentioned in your post. Going back to the headline, writing your article in response to a solid search phrase is a great way of getting quick placement for that search phrase.

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4) Regain Your Focus

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Sometimes we get too close to our work and lose track of how our target market sees it, or what their needs are. Be sure to step back periodically and evaluate your work from 30,000 feet so you can look at how it’s serving the big picture. If shifts and changes are needed, this is where you’ll notice, not when you’re in deep with your work. Listening to the feedback of your readers is another way to realign yourself and your blogging with your mission.