Okay, I know we are not in Spring anymore but when was the last time you gave the ‘behind the scenes’ of your blog a little spruce and clean? It is so easy to forget about those very boring jobs but they are just as essential as the content you share if you want your blog to run smoothly.
Sally shares her really helpful tips on what you should be doing every so often to give your blog a little tidy up…
Fix Broken Links
If you’ve been blogging for a while, chances are there are links in old posts and comments that no longer work. These broken links can harm your site’s ranking in Google, so it’s worth cleaning them up. If you’re on WordPress, the Broken Link Checker plug-in is an easy way to check and update broken links.
Update your Plug-ins
Outdated and unused plug-ins are a hog on your resources, not to mention a potential security risk – hackers love to use out-dated plug-ins to find ways into your site. Identify the plug-ins you use most and ensure they’re up-to-date. Check to see if there are newer, better versions of those plug-ins while you’re at it. And delete plug-ins that you no longer use.
Sort through your Drafts
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have 50 or more half-written posts in drafts – those late night posts that felt like a good idea at the time, the headline that you’re almost certain you’re going to turn into a killer post any time now… sound familiar? Take this opportunity to delete anything that no longer inspires you, or which has been sitting in trash, taking up space and resources.
Tidy your Tags and Categories
Updating categories is a huge PITA. I’ve done it on several sites now, and it never gets easier – but the one thing that’s for sure, is the longer you wait, the worse it gets. If you have categories that no longer quite reflect content, or you have loads of categories with one or two posts, consider consolidating them and updating them – there are plug-ins like Term Management which can be used to merge similar categories.
Create an Editorial Calendar
If you’re blogging professionally then I can’t recommend an editorial calendar highly enough. These plug-ins allow you to plan ahead for weeks and months of content – great if you need to plot in regular features, linkies and reviews. It’s the perfect way to make sure things don’t get overlooked, and also that you don’t overload yourself with too many projects in one month.
Update your Contacts
Another tip if you blog professionally is to spring clean contacts when you spring clean your blog. At least once a year, you should be updating a client database.
How you store client details is a matter of preference – I use a combination of email (I store a person’s details along with all the brands I know they represent in Outlook, so I can search later) and I also have a full list of projects I work on in Google Drive, with a spreadsheet listing the project, the fee charged, and the contact details of the person who commissioned me. With agencies, staff turnover can be VERY high, so it’s worth tracking the various moves and changes.
Back up EVERYTHING
Hopefully you’re already using a plug-in or third party system to back-up your blog daily or weekly, and most of us using phones will have them set up so photos are backed up to Google or iCloud.
But it’s worth checking your back-ups and ensuring everything important is being backed up. I spend some time organising photos into albums, adding tags, and removing duplicates (Lightroom is GREAT for doing this if you’re not already using it; I can’t recommend it enough).
For me, a big part of this process is also deleting – I shoot photos in RAW and they take up a ridiculous amount of memory. I’ll often take 20 photos of a product I’m reviewing in hopes of getting two decent shots to use – and the 18 spares tend to sit on my Mac, hogging space and doing nothing… so I need to get ruthless!
Do you have any other suggestions to add to keep your blog running smoothly?
If you have any blogging tips you would like to share, get in touch with Nova at firstname.lastname@example.org
This post was originally on Tots100