At this time of year there are hundreds of blog posts and articles about spring cleaning your home, your wardrobe and even your life, but what about giving your blog a spring clean? Blocking out a couple of hours to give your blog a good clear out and tidy up can make the world of difference. Here are a few little bits and pieces you could do:
1. Check for broken links
Ideally, you should be doing this much more often than this – I try to do it monthly. If you haven’t made it part of your regular blogging admin, spring is a good time to start. Lots of broken links can be really bad for SEO (search engine optimisation) and can bring your DA (domain authority) down. Not only that, but it can be really irritating for your readers to land on a page that doesn’t exist anymore, or click on a link that takes you nowhere. I use Broken Link Checker to do mine.
2.Tidy up your drafts
Now, I don’t know about you but my WordPress dashboard is filled with drafts, some from months ago. Some are posts that I’ve written and are waiting for the right time to publish, some are ideas or posts I have planned for the future. Others are ones that I started months ago and changed my mind, or didn’t end up finishing for one reason or another. A blog spring clean is the perfect chance to have a bit of a sort through and delete any you no longer need. You never know, you might find some inspiration lurking there.
3. Edit, update and SEO old blog posts
Another task that I think is really important to do at least once a year is to have a look back through your older blog posts and see if you can edit them and improve the SEO on them. I look at my Google Analytics to see which posts still get lots of views, and see if I can update them with new information, take some better pictures, add some affiliate links, make pinnable images or use my improved knowledge of SEO (because 4 years ago I didn’t have a clue!). A post such as this one about rain clouds in a jar, for example, was written just a few months after I started my blog. The photos are, quite frankly, shite, the pinnable image is crap and the writing itself leaves a lot to be desired. It still gets loads of hits though! At some point in the next few weeks, we’ll recreate the activity and I’ll take some new photos and tweak the whole post.
4. Tidy up side buttons and badges
Since leaving various blogging networks and ranking systems, my sidebar looks a lot cleaner. It still probably could be tidied up even more though. At one point I had all sorts of badges and buttons, saying I had joined in with this linky and that linky, I’d been chosen as blogger of the week by another blog etc etc. It looked a bloody mess, and I’m pretty sure my readers weren’t taking any notice of them anyway. by An overcluttered sidebar isn’t just irritating to readers, but if there is a lot there it will slow down your page load time which leads to page abandonment and lower SEO scores.
5. Update your ‘About Me’ page
I’m terrible for not looking at my ‘about me’ page for months and months. I looked quite recently and it still said I lived in Birmingham – I moved from there almost two years ago! Is your location up to date? If you include your kids, have you made sure you have added any new additions? If you have another job or have done something amazing you want to showcase, have you added that in? Go and have a look and make sure it’s up to date.
6. Theme and Plug-In Updates
Another one that is super important to do regularly. Just like apps and things on your phone, plug-ins and themes often have updates which you really should do ASAP. Plugins that haven’t been updated can leave your site vulnerable to attacks – something I learned the hard way a couple of years ago. It takes just a few minutes to do and could save your blog from being hacked.
7. Check your social media
Just like on your blog ‘about me’ page, have a look at your social media bios. There’s quite limited space on most of them, so it’s important to be concise about who you are and what you do. Check that your blog URL and email address are visible.
8. Check your contact details are easy to find
If someone is thinking about working with you, they’re not going to want to spend ages hunting down your email address. Make sure it’s really easy to find. Ideally, I would have mine on my sidebar, but I haven’t quite got around to it yet. I have mine on my ‘work with me’ page, which is at the top of my site. I’m not sure that is even clear enough thought to be honest!
9. Update profile pictures and gravatars
This is another job that I really need to do myself as well. I always think consistency is best on your blog and social media, whether it is your blog logo or a photo of yourself. My Twitter and Instagram are different to my Facebook picture (they’re Snapchap filtered pictures, which, let’s face it, are a bit naff) and then god knows what my blog gravatar is. I also have my old, old logo as my picture on Pinterest, so at some point soon, I’ll make sure they are all updated.
Can you think of any more tasks that you could do as part of a blog spring clean? Let me know in the comments.
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