Spring Clean Your Blog
It’s Springtime somewhere in the world. (Or maybe it’s Happy Hour somewhere in the world. I always get those two confused.) Anyway, whether it’s Springtime in your neck of the woods or not, if might be time to give your blog a good Spring cleaning. Here’s a list of places to start.
Your colors: When’s the last time you changed any of the colors on your blog? Heck, when’s the last time you even noticed the colors on your blog? Look at your background, your sidebars, and your fonts. What’s that you say? They work fine just the way they are? How do you know if you’ve never changed them?
Your header: If you’re still using the generic header that came with your theme, or worse, no header at all, it’s time to get busy designing a new one. Even if it’s just your blog name and logo. Use your favorite image editor to do it yourself or hire someone at one of the freelance sites.
Your links: Install the WordPress Broken Link Checker plugin. It automatically makes periodic checks of all the links on your blog and notifies you when it finds broken links so you know exactly which ones to fix.
Spruce up old posts: Use your analytics to see which of your old posts are getting traffic. Then, go spruce up those posts to provide additional value and make them more engaging. Add a strong call to action and internal links to keep visitors on your blog longer.
Replace non-performing affiliate programs: Analyze each of the different affiliate programs you’re using and replace your low-performers. Use a search and replace plug-in to quickly change links and anchor text across your blog.
Check sharing and follow buttons: There are any number of reasons why buttons stop working and sometimes you don’t even know they’ve stopped. Check all your sharing and follow buttons on a regular basis – not just in the Spring.
Change your freebie: If you’ve been offering the same Free Mini-Guide to encourage new subscriptions, maybe it’s time to change it up to attract some attention.
Change your opt-in form: This is another one of those things where you’re probably thinking, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it.” But you won’t know until you do, will you?
Reorganize your sidebars: Some studies say the sweet spot’s at the top of the left sidebar and some say the right. ALL studies say get rid of the clutter. Clean up your sidebars and move things around to counteract ad blindness.
Rearrange and replace your ads and banners: If you’ve been using the same ads and banners forever, visit the advertiser and see if they have more choices. Again, don’t forget: All Internet readers quickly develop ad blindness and the best way around it is to keep things fresh and new.
Change your theme: Older themes have old coding which results in slower load times and navigational problems. Consider switching up to a premium theme with modern code and better SEO features. The search engines will like it and so will your visitors.