27 December 2014

How to do your blog housekeeping

Pretending to be a good blogger over the Christmas/New Year break I try and do a few of those nagging blog chores that get overlooked during the year. You know the ones I mean, those nagging bits and piece that you keep meaning to do, but don't quite get around to (Hello Twitter and Bloglovin' procrastination, but not now!).

I thought it might help to share a few of the things that I like to try and do over one of those quiet Winter afternoons... (it'll also hopefully inspire me to do all of these that I've been meaning to!)


Back up your blog. 
Yes, this means you. We're all guilty of doing this far less often than we should. Remember that time you accidentally deleted a blogpost and couldn't retrieve those hours of slaving over photos and carefully shaped phrases that were hilariously funny? Image it happening to your whole blog. Months of hard work deleted by a someone nasty. Marie, my panic-because-I've-broken-something friend at Code it Pretty has great tips for backing up all kinds of blogs. (Ps. she doesn't know I'm mentioning her, but she has so many awesome tips!)

Make sure your About Me pages, your headshot, copyright dates and media kit (if you have one) pages are up to date.
We love to see your smile, we do, but a photograph that's years out of date or old and blurry isn't very nice. Much like those dating websites, an up-to-date photograph is lovely and welcoming (and great when you're out networking!) Also, just check your social media links (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) are working properly and up to date - ya never know...!

Fix broken links.
Google doesn't really like it when you have lots of broken links in your posts - these are links to other sites or posts that don't exist any more. It's not a super bad thing, but can be a little better if you don't have too many. This 'Keeping your blog posts fresh' article by the lovely Marie at Code it Pretty is awesome - broken links tips are section 3.

All hands on deck, and wear 100s of thermal layers if you decide to do your chores in the Arctic circle.... #justsayin
Clear out those labels and post tags.
Word on the street is that Google & SEO isn't as fussed about your post labels/tags/categories as it used to be. They are still super handy for readers though - just make sure you don't have any double-ups or defunct ones lurking.

Mix up those main topic pages.
Do the major topics still reflect the focus of your blog, and is there some way you can improve on them?

Email lassoing.
Delete anything unread that's over 6 months old, reply to those starred emails & if you're a gmail user investigate the use of Primary/Social/Promotional tabs. They are amazing. Also, if you're still using your personal email address for blog related items set up a free blog email address & keep your personal one free from all that spam! Gmail again has a great divert tool...

Don't let yourself become distracted...
Got any cool topics archived that you want to re-visit? 
Re-use a couple of those early day/archive posts by drafting the post you actually wanted to write but didn't have the experience to, or draft an update with your newest recommendations. 
- Don't forget to link back to the original post as well - internal backlinks are quite good - and it's interesting to see how a blogger develops their style over time.
- Don't be tempted to copy and paste the whole post as a new one, Google doesn't like that...
- Consider writing a series based on those old ideas

Wanna become a dot.com? Do it!!
Usher the New Year in with a upgrade from the blogspot.com address (or whatever you want use) to your very own .com (my excited announcement in January is here). It looks more professional long term and there are loads of fantastic guides on the internet and through the website domain providers.

Reward yourself.
You've done a great job! Trust me, doing these will feel soooooo good!

Now I'm off to do all of mine - have you any planned for the break?

30 comments :

  1. Lots of great suggestions! It's the perfect time of the year to do all this!

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  2. I've been doing some blog housekeeping today as well. Need another break to complete my entire to-do list, but it's a start...

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  3. I never do this. I'm going to put this on my to-do list. Thanks for the prompt!

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  4. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)27 December 2014 at 20:36

    SUCH helpful tips Emma - I didn't even know half of this so am looking up of the links in this post as we speak and learning what kind of things I could be doing better! Thanks so much for sharing your pearls of wisdom :)

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  5. This is such a great post!!! Thanks for all the advice!!! xo

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  6. Ugh. I need to fix so many links.... but i just don't want to.... xx

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  7. I really, really need to back my blog up. I can't remember the last time I did it. I would be devastated if it were all lost. I also really need to start thinking about a new design. I did my current one myself over two years ago and it's time for a change. Just not sure yet if I can do it myself again - it's such a hassle!

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  8. Useful!! Thank you Emma - I didn't know about most of this!

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  9. Great list Emma, I hadn't heard about Primary, Social and Promotional tabs in Gmail so will be checking that out. Hope to meet you in 2015

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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  10. Lovely post - been using this over my little hiatus to do a little blog housework :)

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  11. Great post! I'll get right on this...tomorrow! :)

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  12. Thanks for this helpful post! I found the broken links site particularly helpful! And will definitely need to back up! Thanks for the reminder.

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  13. Just think of it as online dusting & vaccumming

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  14. The tabs are AMAZING. They don't work on smartphones but are so handy!

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  15. My pleasure - think of it as my interwebs Christmas present to you.

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  16. Ditto that... much like doing dishes. Urgh.

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  17. Yup, let's make those grey days work for us!

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