Spring cleaning on the blog: the simple instructions for guaranteed more order

I did it. On the weekend. Although I have to overcome this again and again, the feeling is unbeatable. No, I’m not talking about sports 😉 I did some spring cleaning!

In certain areas, it is easy for me to keep order throughout the year. My blog and my work papers are a good example. Other areas, in turn, sink into chaos almost immediately. Ask my wardrobe … I think that’s all we’re doing, right?

And yet, after such a big spring cleaning, I notice again and again that it’s worth it. Because suddenly I find everything again. Discover treasures that I have never thought of.

The nice thing is: nobody sees my wardrobe. But your blog is your figurehead and the starting point for your customers and readers. It can be fatal when chaos and hooliganism reigns.

So in this blog article, you’ll find a list of things to do if you want to give your blog a spring cleaning treat!

 

Why it’s important to clean up your blog

Why we clean up our apartment is clear: so we do not end up one day in a Messy documentation. Or maybe a little less dramatic: so we can find our car keys and other things when we need them.

For the blog, we may not have the problem of not being able to find something. There’s a handy search function. But it still has drawbacks if you never clean it up:

  1. The user friendliness suffers. If your sidebar is crammed, if you have 20 categories, and your readers do not know how to read your blogs because of all the pop-ups, then the ease of use does not exist.

And that does not just mean that your readers are annoyed and may look less often. This is also bad for search engine optimization! Because the user-friendliness is a criterion that is becoming more important for Google in the ranking.

  1. The performance suffers. If you have tons of old drafts in your database and you have unnecessary plugins installed, then this will affect, among other things, the load time of your blog. Say: here again suffers the user-friendliness. But worse: you make your blog vulnerable, eg for hackers or bots.

Before you start: make a backup!

The very first item on your list before you start spring cleaning: a backup.

In most cases, nothing goes wrong. But every now and then it happens that a plugin update goes awry or you accidentally press a button that you would rather not have pressed. I know the feeling when the screen is white and sweat hits my forehead. And believe me: that’s not nice.

Roof most important before spring cleaning on the blog: make a backup! #blogging tips

If you have a backup plugin that does it for you automatically (which I strongly recommend, by the way), you can almost skip that point. Nevertheless, it does not hurt to check as the first point of the spring cleaning, whether the plugin works properly. Take a look at when the last backup was made and check the settings of the plugin. Is everything really secured?

If you have not made a backup yet or have not installed a plugin,  here are instructions for a WordPress backup .

 

Part 1: The Frontent – or: the “visible”

Once your backup is done, we can start! The most fun is when you see the progress, so let’s start with the frontend – your page as you see visitors!

  1. Your pages

When blogging we are so fixated on constantly writing new blog articles that we completely forget the static pages.

An example from my everyday life: Recently I got an e-mail from an attentive reader, that on my contact page is still the note that I’m from date xy – date on vacation. Stupid. What if I did not have the date, but the note “I am currently on vacation and currently have no new orders”?

Yes, things unfortunately happen. Even if you have a good todo list …

Well, do I convince you that it makes sense to review your own pages from time to time and control all content?

We are so focused on blogging on new posts that we forget the pages. Check from time to time if they are still up to date!

Particularly “endangered” are the following pages:

  • the contact page (eg if you have announced your holiday there)
  • your about page (if there are eg age or years)
  • Offers with (outdated) prices
  • the imprint (eg if you have moved)
  • a page with recent visits (if you have such a thing)
  • Category overviews (if you do not use a plugin that automatically adds a new blog article)

The first step in cleaning up your blog is to make your pages: examine each one and see if you need to change it. Sometimes it makes sense to revise a page from scratch!

  1. The sidebar

Have you ever stood in front of a garbage table in a department store? These big baskets with lots of robe in them, where you can not find what you’re looking for – even if you do not know what you’re looking for. And that’s why you just go back without taking a closer look.

Imagine, a potential new blog reader is like you in the store: he has heard that your blog should be really great. And then he comes to your side and gets hit by the banners, advertisements and elements in your sidebar, so he scrolls right to the end of your page and then leaves as soon as possible. An absolute horror idea – not only for the reader, but also you as a blogger, right?

The sidebar should provide orientation for your reader. Make sure that it is not too crowded with advertising, banners & Co!#blogging tips

Not anymore! Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when it comes to eliminating your sidebar. If in doubt: an element prefer to throw out than to keep it indoors 😉

  • Is your profile picture still up to date and does it fit the mood on your blog?
  • Is your short bio under the profile picture still up to date and fits it to your about page? Can you maybe make it more interesting? It should answer the following questions: Who am I? What is this blog about?
  • Which widgets / banners / references to actions are out of date? What do you really need and what can you throw out?Actionsare out of date? What do you really need and what can you throw out?

 

  1. Categories

The mucking out of pages and sidebar are done. But if we leave it at that, it would be like cleaning your living room and leaving all the stuff around in a cupboard. Therefore, you should also take a look at your blog topics and clean up the content: take the categories under the microscope – and exclude if necessary!

A handful of categories usually suffice per blog. Too many overwhelm your readers only! #blogging tips

You look at each category and decide whether you still publish articles on the subject or not. You can emphasize the most important ones so that they immediately catch your readers’ eye (eg by inserting them into the menu). You can “hide” the other categories eg in the sidebar or the footer.

Attention: for SEO reasons, I advise you not to delete these categories but really only from the menu to remove or possibly move to a less prominent place!

 

  1. Old blog articles

Last but not least: look at your old blog articles. Especially when you write about topics that change over and over again (eg the offers of online shops or tools that are available on the Internet), it may be that blog articles after a year or two are already very outdated. Instead of writing a new blog post, take some time to review the old ones thoroughly.

Among other things, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the information in the article still up to date?
  • Can I add more important points?
  • Do screenshots / pictures have to be exchanged?
  • Are all links still correct?

I wrote a whole article on the topic ” Why and how to optimize old blog articles ” as a guest post on Daniela bloggerabc.

Instead of writing a new blog article, you can also update an old one and do even better. This usually takes shorter and offers just as much added value! #blogging tips

And the last point is already a good transition to our next topic: the technology.

 

Part 2: The backend – or: the technology

Even though your readers and customers above all see the frontend – everything we’ve just worked on – it’s important to take a look behind the scenes. Because if you carry too much ballast with you here, for example, go to the loading time or security breaches.

Even if you occasionally delete an old draft or spam comment, you have to sort out correctly from time to time, so it runs smoothly again. You should pay attention to this:

  1. Check if all links work (eg with the plugin Broken Link Checker) and remove wrong links or better ones.
  2. Delete automatic storage of your articles (eg with the plug-in  Better Delete Revisions).
  3. Delete all spam comments that have accumulated
  4. Sort out blog article designs that you started but can not finish
  5. Empty the trash of your blog articles and pages
  6. Make updates for plugins to close security holes
  7. Look through your plugins and delete all that you do not use or sort out plugins that have the same function.
  8. Delete the themes that you have installed but not used (eg the standard WordPress themes)

 

Part 3: Social Media Channels

We’ve come this far, then you could actually do a diligence and look at your social media channels.

Mostly the blog is not the only channel that readers follow you on, but you are also on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, … In addition to linking to your blog, another point is important: that your channels have recognition value!

If you already clean up your blog, then think about your social media channels and make sure there is order! #blogging tips

The reason is quite simple: Imagine that a new reader wants to follow your blog, for example on Instagram, and is looking for your blog there. He finds several similar accounts, but which one of yours he does not know exactly because neither the picture nor the profile name seems familiar to him …

So that does not happen, you should do the following 3 steps:

  1. Use the same profile and cover art on all your social media channels.
  2. Think about how to describe your blog in 2-3 sentences and use this elevator pitch on all social media channels as a description.
  3. Set colors and fonts that you want to use consistently on images on all social media channels

Is it easy for you to keep order on the blog, or is there more creative chaos? Leave a comment and tell me!

 

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