With the arrival of 2013 came the flood of New Year's resolutions.

We're all going to write smarter, link better, analyze more, and debate less. Like every year, we start off with good intentions, but rarely do we have a to do list of HOW we're going to accomplish these goals. So, as I look at the dawn of another year, I've decided to take some action and be a bit more concrete. My goal for 2013: blog better.

I want my personal blog to be better. And the blog I edit to be better. And my client blogs to be better.

In the spirit of this resolution, I've brainstormed three things I can do (and we all can do) to blog better in 2013. Here we go:

  1. Be more visual. We know for a fact that good visualizations can mean more successful content. But beyond that, having great photos shows attention to detail (a.k.a. you care about this blog and this post and your blog community), plus, it encourages engagement. People are attracted to things that look good - and as a result, that can boost interaction. You can get comments on the content as well as the photo or graphic you use. More importantly, people can share it if they like what they see. It's basic nature - it has to appeal to the senses. Plus, there's the Pinterest factor (great images + social content curation/sharing = more traffic). This coming year, focus on creating great content - but also content that's visually appealing in both personal and social spheres.
  2. Be more human. My goodness, wouldn't the world be a better place if we all could just be human? It's hard though, to be human, especially in a world where one tweet or one post can make or break a brand. But, I do think there's merit to the idea of being human and authentic. We make mistakes, yes, but it's all in how we respond to them. You can be human and screw up and the world won't end. Not that I'm encouraging screwing up, but I in 2013, I want to see more bloggers be human. Share the REAL YOU. Be brutally honest. Make your opinion known. Don't be so crisp and rigid and safe. It's okay to be vulnerable - it encourages emotional connection which is at the core of good storytelling. And hey, if it doesn't go over well, it's a learning experience. Accept the failure with grace and learn from it.
  3. Be more attentive. This is a sin I'm guilty of. When you're working in SEO (or in any communication or marketing field, for that matter), it's easy to become distracted. We all wear multiple hats and have long to-do lists and sometimes, we don't give our projects enough time or enough attention. I do it. We all do it. But this year, make it a point to pay attention. Give your blog the love it's been missing. Make it a blog that YOU would want to read. Spend extra time reading and responding to comments. Plan out your editorial calendar a bit more. Give yourself a less stressful deadline to meet so that you can let the creative juices work the way you always wanted them to. Look at your analytics and give yourself time to figure out what's working and what's not. This isn't an easy task and as the year goes on and projects pile up, it'll be hard to stick with it. But it's well worth the effort.

Now, these are just three things on my to do list for blogging better in 2013. Have something I should add to the list? Share it - I'd love to hear it!