It's not too late for blog spring cleaning

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2008/04/its-not-too-late-for-blog-spring-cleaning-3/

At one of my blog networks my channel editor decided that all of the bloggers in the channel should complete some blog spring cleaning. It’s a good plan. I completely cleaned up one blog, and it looks (and feels) much better, and posting runs a little smoother now.

My editor’s suggestions included items like:

  • Clearing out your spam cache.
  • Checking said spam for any comments that passed though and vice vs. checking comments for spam.
  • Being sure to have an “About” page in place.
  • Picking up your blogroll – or maybe creating one if you don’t already have one.
  • Adding a new poll (at this network we do use polls often – and some are fairly old).

All good stuff to do.

There’s more you can do to spiffy up your blog and post content. Such as…

Set a blog clean-up schedule. Once a year is not usually good enough, especially if you have an intense blogroll. I add basic blog clean-up tasks to my schedule at least once every four months. Personally, I alternate blogs so that I’m not cleaning eight plus blogs at once.

Clean up your categories. Push like topics together, such as combine eco books, coloring books, and green books into one category – books. I tend to gage my categories on how difficult it is for me to find the right slug, quickly, when I need it. If I can’t find what I need fast, there’s a good chance my readers can’t either. Some people think you should have no more than 10 blog categories. I think that’s pushing it. At some of my blogs it would make no sense to have just 10 categories, it would be too vague.

Make sure you have some other pages as well, besides the “About” page. A “Contact me” page is good, and it’s also nice to make pages that highlight popular posts.

Do some back reading. Then read your “About” page or what was written into your contract regarding topic. If your current posts seem to be swaying off track from the original intent of the blog, you may need to jump back on track. One good way to do this is to make a list of keywords and phrases for you topic. You don’t have to fill your posts with keywords, but I’ve found that keeping a short list by my desk can keep me focused and help me work faster.

Do an, “Ask the readers” post or poll. Over time your readers change; their minds change, you get new readers, and it’s hard to tell what everyone is interested in. You could pull some of this info from stats, but it’s not the whole story, especially if you have some posts that have hit it big on Stumble Upon or another social media site. The best thing to do is ask your readers what they’d like to see more of from now on. I’ve asked readers what they’re interested in reading in posts, but currently I’m running a poll about this at one blog, and getting way more responses. If you go with the poll option, I’d set it up so that the poll contains some basic topics relevant to your blog and also set it up so that readers can fill in an answer.

What other spring cleaning blog tasks do you do to keep your blog in top notch shape?

Comments

  1. I happen to know that Jennifer is an excellent category cleaner.

  2. Our blog was really hard though – it took me forever. Honestly in the back of my head I’m still trying to cut down, but I think I did all I could. Can you imagine if we only were allowed 10! We’d have to do stuff like, “Animal, mineral, vegetable, etc…”

  3. I counted the number of categories in Light Green Stairs — exactly 10. : ) Of course, they are very broad and I don’t write there as often as THF. And don’t get paid for it.

  4. I’ve actually been thinking about implementing the same practices in my home and residential cleaning business. Great thoughts and thank you for the helpful information.

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