5 Reasons Why You Need to Experiment More with Your Blog

It's only fun when it goes wrong, right?! I think so...

[This is part of theĀ Developing Great Blog Content Series.]

Last night I had something that happens quite often: In an obviously-hurried email, one of our community members emailed me asking for some assistance since he had “messed” up some code on his theme which resulted in a nuclear meltdown of the blog itself.

The blog wouldn’t load and all it produced was one line of scary code that told him where the problem was. Not exactly the best thing to happen before you go to bed, right?

I asked him for his FTP access, let him know that I’d charge for my time, and quickly fixed it in less than 15 seconds. Problem solved and disaster averted!

He was safe and sound (although a bit burnt) and said this explicitly:

Like I said. I’m not touching anything else again! ;)

To which I quickly replied:

I think it’s good to experiment… I think the lesson here is to always make a backup before you make any change… simply copying the file is the first step!

I can't tell you how many of these I've done!

And it quickly inspired this blog post to share with you that one of the key ingredients to success is simply this: Experimentation.

Here are 5 reasons why this is both a powerful and necessary part of a successful blog from not only a content perspective but also one of design and development:

  1. It’ll challenge you to try new things, many of which could vastly increase the value and engagement with your readers. You would never have known if it could “work” if you hadn’t tried! Trial and error is extremely valuable with your blog and without making mistakes (and then learning from them) you will never reach your full potential as a blogger.
  2. It teaches you to blog better since it’ll stretch your thinking about the what, the why, and the how of blogging. It’ll challenge you to think differently about the methods, which are constantly changing. It’ll keep your content fresh, exciting, and on the “edge” of where you need to be.
  3. It’ll help you decide on the absolutely necessary parts of your blog (design, features, content) and the ones that are truly superficial and unnecessary. Experimentation can provide justification for elements in simple terms: Value.
  4. Experimentation is one of the best ways to know if you’re even being successful! By doing something different you provide a comparative perspective on your existing goals and metrics. For example, if you’re getting 200 views a day and you’ve met your goal and you think you’re doing well, what happens if you try something different, experiment perhaps, and you double your traffic in one day? You thought you were killing it when you were holding yourself back!
  5. It’ll make you a leader and authority within the space and niche that you’re targeting. Everyone’s doing this thing called “blogging” but what apparently separates those that make it “big” and those that live in the land of mediocrity are those that experiment the most. I see this time and time again.

Those are just 5 that I thought of within moments of crafting this post and I’ve already thought of 3 more, but I’ll save them for later!

But, I want to hear from you! How have you seen the element of experimentation help you become more successful? What’s stopping you?

[This is part of theĀ Developing Great Blog Content Series.]