In this post, Cori provides us with helpful spring blogging tips that work any time of the year. She guides us through the process of blog spring cleaning, updating, and refreshing our blogs.
I live in Canada and deal with cold snowy winters. I’m often blogging with a coffee in hand while under a warm blanket. At least until I have to shovel the snow! By mid-winter, I’m screaming “Wake me up in the spring!”
When springtime arrives I’m inspired to clear my home of all the winter clutter.
Although I don’t always enjoy the work involved I do love the results.
What about our blogs?
- They are our online houses.
- Its contents build up over time.
- Some can be purged, changed, added to, and updated.
Why should you consider spring cleaning your blog?
It’s a great time to do something new with your blog!
Doing this helps you prepare for a fresh season of blogging.
Here are 12 top reasons why you should clean and update your blog;
- Updating your site speeds it up.
- Clears away the clutter.
- Shows your audience you care about them.
- Keeps your content and entire site current.
- Improves the quality of your message.
- Helps to identify any mistakes.
- Brings your blog out of a rut.
- Plants the seeds for future blog growth.
- Beats the blogging blues by renewing your mindset.
- Sparks ideas for new blog posts.
- Encourages people to subscribe to your blog.
- Creates a clean, organized blog that is easy to navigate.
So how do you start cleaning and updating your blog?
Here are 9 spring blogging tips for how you can create a clean, clutter-free, and updated blog;
1. Getting Started with Blog Spring Cleaning
Starting anything is always the hardest part. Developing a plan of action is the best way to begin. Visit your site with the eyes and mind of your reader.
My favorite way to start;
Beginning with my homepage I look at each page.
Check content, design, ease of navigation, buttons, and links.
At this point, I don’t make any changes. Just write out my list.
When I’m finished I’ve usually written out many things I can do to improve my blog.
The big picture can be overwhelming so I break it down into 6 most important things.
I start there. Doing this simplifies the process and makes my goals reachable.
With time some of the page content gets a little stale.
Maybe there are some links that don’t work anymore.
Or information about you that needs to be updated.
These are low hanging fruits for your blog Spring cleaning efforts.
This is, of course, the first part of your blog visitors see. It is here you make your first impression.
Is your message clear right away when someone visits your site?
Will they have a good idea what your blog is about within several seconds?
Ease of navigation: Can your readers find what they are looking for in fewer 20 than seconds?
Do you have enough buttons and links? Readers love to click links and buttons.
3. Simple and Clean Design
Is your blog design cluttered or outdated? Are there any improvements you can make there?
Write down three simple things you can do to update your blog design.
A simple and clean design will allow your written content to stand out.
Need a few ideas to get you started?
Create a new landing page hero image.
Make your own eye-catching blog post images.
Change Menu bar color or text hover effect color.
Redesign the look of your email form.
Add something new your audience hasn’t seen before.
Why not try a different post layout?
WordPress post formats: WordPress allows for you to set how your posts while appear. The theme you use usually will provide post layout choices.
Sidebars are fantastic for featured content and blog categories.
It doesn’t take long for your sidebar to fill up with tons of content. Often times resulting in a cluttered sidebar. This can be quite distracting to your readers.
Remove anything you don’t need anymore. Avoid using too many ads and limit flashing content.
Your Twitter feed and Facebook page is a nice sidebar addition.
Adding some custom widgets to your sidebar can look pretty nice too!
5. Take a break from blog spring cleaning to write a new blog post
Publishing fresh content is always effective in encouraging readers to visit your blog. Write a new blog post.
Once you’ve completed your clean and update you have something new to write about. You could share with your reader you’ve just completed a spring clean on your blog.
Ask for their input in comments and get a conversation happening about it. Your audience will share their thoughts and you’ll learn what they want to see.My blogging life is basically goalless. I like the zen nature of that, and paradoxically, it improves results. Click To Tweet
6. Subscribers, forms, and free giveaways
If you haven’t already started growing an email list I encourage every blogger to do this. An active email list has been a crucial part of building your blog brand for years now.
Have you had the same email form for a long time?
What about making a new form? Redesign it with a new look?
Are you offering something free as an incentive for your reader to sign up?
Why not create a fresh incentive for people to sign up and subscribe to your blog?
- A Newsletter
- An eBook
- Free email course
- Printable giveaways such as a calendar or inspirational quotes work too!
7. Content updates, buttons, and links
Removing unnecessary blog content helps blog spring cleaning right away.
Media files build up fast so try deleting any you don’t need.
Skim over your page and post content and make sure it’s all current information.
It’s a great way to tune up the written content and links.
Have you ever visited a blog with links and buttons that just don`t work? Make sure all your buttons and links work. Trust me your readers will love you for it!
Let’s not forget about our footer area. Does your footer need a little love?
The footer area is a great place to feature important information.
Contact, social media, other sites you have, free offers, resource links, and services offered.
9. WordPress, Theme, and plugin updates
It is important to regularly perform all necessary updates on your blog. You should never ignore these updates to WordPress, themes, and plugins.
WordPress plugins help us do amazing things with our blogs. They can also cause problems.
- Using too many plugins can affect how your site functions.
- Plugin conflicts can break your blog.
- Failure to update your plugins can also cause many problems.
- Be sure to update all plugins. Remove ones you no longer need.
Join the conversation! Here are some questions to for the discussion below:
As Seth Godin writes: “My blogging life is basically goalless. I like the zen nature of that, and paradoxically, it improves results.”
Are you a blogger who needs things to be super clean and orderly? Or do you leave your blog a bit of a mess because it helps your creativity to flow?
What’s your style? Are you going to clean out those plugins, or those old dusty post drafts?
What tips would you add here and how does blog Spring cleaning make you feel after?
We want to hear from your own unique blogging experience. We are always trying to offer advice to help you build a better blog. All of us face many of the same challenges as we grow!