Now is no better time to throw open the windows on your blog, let some fresh air in and do a bit of dusting and polishing to make sure it’s looking good.
I’m not talking about anything too technical or time consuming like changing theme here, just some straightforward tasks to help your blog look cleaner and run more smoothly.
Sweep up dead plugins
Have you looked at your plugins lately? I did and I was surprised to find that I had 3 still active that I had actually stopped using months ago, additionally I had several that I had deactivated but not deleted.
I was amazed with the effect when I completely deleted all of these from the Plugins, the load speed of the blog improved dramatically, particularly the Home page which used to hang for an age while the featured panel loaded, simple to do but very effective.
Rearrange your sidebar
The sidebar can be an essential feature of your blog but sometimes can look neglected and tired. Take a look at yours – is it a while since you freshened it up? Have a look at what you are displaying, is it there for a purpose, is it a benefit to your readers and therefore doing something for you?
I would say keep the ads to a minimum but have them in a prominent place, have some options for people to subscribe and follow you and also something to highlight other content on your own blog. Review it regularly and change things around to keep it fresh for returning visitors. Above all don’t clutter it up with useless stuff.
Dust off your ads
Do you have ads on your blog? I like to have a very limited amount as I feel that too many can make the blog look messy and distract from your content. I think it’s vital to let your personality shine through on your blog and making it look to commercial can stop that happening.
Take a little time to analyse whether the ads you display are returning any revenue, there’s no point in having them if not. Mix things up a bit and don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works.
Tidy up your sharing options
All bloggers love to have their content shared so it’s vital to make it easy for readers to do just that. Have a look at the options you use and make sure that you are up to date with changes in the social media world. For instance I still see many blogs which don’t have the option to share to Google+.
I am using DiggDigg at the moment, you can see it floating to the left of the post and below. I had been trying others but since the boys from Buffer took over development they seem to provide the most comprehensive list of options and tempted me back. Make sure that you configure the settings so that Tweets include your own Twitter handle when shared.
Reinforce your SEO
I must admit that I have learned so much about SEO since I started out on the blogging road and my efforts now are I think much better than in the early days. So one job to do this spring is to go back over all the early posts to review the SEO and to make positive changes.
Refurbish your subscription options
You would love to have readers returning to your blog time and time again and to connect with you in all the other social media places you inhabit. You hopefully have some shiny buttons on your blog to let people connect but have you reviewed them lately?
I did and was shocked to see that I only had options to subscribe via e mail and RSS and on Twitter.Â Take a look at the top of the sidebar and you will see that you can connect at many more places, make it easy and people are so much more likely to do it, make it hard and they definitely wont.
Polish your profiles
Have a look at your profiles in all these other places too, are they up to date? Could they be improved, review them regularly to make sure they are kept up to date and to keep them fresh.
Remove unloved rubbish
Have a look at the visitor stats on the posts on your blog. Have a fresh look at the earlier content on the blog. Are there posts that are languishing, gathering dust and unloved? Are there some that are now frankly embarrassing? Consider having a tidy up and maybe binning some of the clutter on the blog.
Stand back and admire
OK – you have done all that and hopefully the blog looks cleaner and is working smoothly after all the work you have been doing. Step back and look at your blog with the eyes of a new visitor, if you find that hard then ask another blogger who you trust to do it for you.
Do this regularly and make any changes that you think you need to keep things fresh, keep the blog tidy and move the furniture around with your sidebar and ads to make sure your space looks good.
What do you think? Do you have any tips to add or regular routines that you use to keep your blog fresh and clean? I would love to hear your feedback.
Many thanks for visiting the blog today. I hope you have found this post useful and will share it with world if you’ve enjoyed it. If you would like to see more like this then you can connect with me by way of the options in the sidebar.