25+ WAYS TO START YOUR NEW BLOGGING YEAR WITH A BANG
Well, Winter might still be here but Spring is officially on the way. And this is a perfect time to start a plan to give your website and social media accounts a bit of a spruce up.
There’s so much you can add to your online presence over twelve months - the clutter in your sidebar, too many categories and changing your bios so they all say different things. We can all get a bit carried away!
So today, I’ve got the ultimate list of things you can update on your website and social media profiles. All you need to do is pick what task you want to do when and work your way through the list. Spoiler alert: you don’t even need rubber gloves 😉
Whether you’ve been blogging for three months or three years, I bet there’s a few things that could do with being sorting out on your website. Having a clean and professional blog that’s easy to navigate is so important, so that’s what this section is going to cover. Let’s go.
One of my goals for the year is to update all of my old posts on my blog, starting with my most popular posts. Got Google Analytics? Good! Here’s how to find your own:
- Go to Behaviour
- Click Site Content and then All Pages
- Set the date range right back from when you installed Google Analytics on your site to now
- Your most popular posts are there!
You want to focus on the top five to ten depending on how much time you’ve got to work on your blog. Here’s a list of things you want to do them:
- Reformat - Check the layout of your past few blog posts and then look at your old ones. Bet there are some differences, right? Go through and edit the fonts, the colours, your headlines, and even add new images or screenshots if you need to. Consistency is key and you want the format of all your posts to be very similar, if not the same.
- Check all links - Broken links are an SEO red light, so if you click through to some that don’t work, you need to get rid or change them. Maybe your usernames all changed when you re-branded or you link to a post on another blog that doesn’t exist anymore. Check and change as necessary.
- Add more links - I bet some of your newer posts really relate to points you make within old content. This is your chance to link them! It’s like you’re taking your reader on a journey through your site. No, don’t leave! Here’s another post for you to read! That’s internal linking and believe me, it’s powerful.
- Update your images - If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you’ll notice my images have changed a lot over the past year. Instead of horizontal, they’re now vertical and they always include text. This is because if you pin your blog posts to Pinterest, that’s the kind of image you need. Since I started creating images like this, the amount of people sharing my blog posts to Pinterest has quadrupled.
- Add a content upgrade - These are like free downloads you can offer your reader within your content (you can see an example of one I did in Tuesday’s post here). If you have an email list, this will seriously help with your growth. Your most popular posts are going to be popular for a long time, so why not make them even more attractive to readers with a free piece of adult homework to help them?
Ah, the sidebar. Some people love them, some people hate them. I for one, love them, so here’s how to give yours a bit of TLC:
- Rearrange it - Your sidebar doesn’t have to follow the rules. You don’t have to have your picture, then your bio, then your social links and so on. When I did my Masters in Magazine Journalism, I learnt that on the cover of magazines, the most eye-catching or interesting headline is always above-the-fold. Meaning a browser can always see it without moving or even picking it up. It’s the same for your website. You want readers to see the most important thing as soon as they land on your site. This relates to your goals. Want more social followers? Put your links first. Want more subscribers? That button goes first. I want more people to join the #BloggingBreakthrough community so that’s the first thing people see when they land on my blog.
- Update your bio - Had a birthday? Changed your job? Found more purpose with the direction of your blog? Your bio is something you should constantly be updating and now is the right time to do it. Then just copy and paste it on all your other profiles and you’re good to go.
- Double check your social icons - Are they all there? Do they all work? Started on Snapchat recently? Add your icon. There have been so many times when I’ve come across a great website but been unable to find their social icons anywhere - frustration central!
- Get rid of junk - Old badges, rubbish adverts, and basically anything on your sidebar that looks cluttered, messy and unprofessional. Your sidebar isn’t there to be filled right up. Only the most important information should go in there.
- Add a sign up form to your mailing list - No brainer. Don’t just have one sign up form for your email list, give people plenty of chances to sign up!
When I introduced my freelance services to my brand, I knew it was time to update my About page. But it’s so difficult, right? Blowing your own trumpet can be tricky! But this page is your time to shine - plus it’s probably one of the most viewed pages on your blog. So here’s how to get it right:
- Your brand statement - This is the first sentence someone should see on your About page that tells them what your blog is all about. Get them excited - is this what they’ve been looking for?
- Your story - Why did you start blogging? What does it mean to you? A lot of my readers start off where I used to be - that’s the story I use to pull them in.
- Your photo - People want to see the face behind the blog. Make them unique and even better, use more than one!
- What your blog is about - From your About page, a reader will want to know exactly what to expect from your blog. What kind of content do you post? When do you post it? What are your values? Tell them everything and this will convert a one-time visitor to a full blown fan.
- Personal information about you - Just got engaged? Love your pet cat? Collect bar coasters? These fun facts add an element of personality to your brand which increases loyalty AND makes you human.
This is another important one. Don’t just put your email address in your sidebar. Add to your professionalism and create your own contact page! This makes it so easy for readers to get in touch. You want to make sure that all this information is up to date:
- Email address - You’re not going to get any emails through if this doesn’t work!
- Social links - Again, make sure these link to your correct profiles. Lots of people prefer to keep things informal and might want to DM you on Twitter, so make sure these are included.
- Contact form - Make sure it works!
Other elements to think about
- Your categories - Your blog has to be really easy to navigate in order for you to grow a readership. You could create the best content in the world, but if people can’t find it, then they’re not going to read it. This is where your categories come in.
You don’t need to use labels like you’re on Instagram or Pinterest. You don’t need to tag every word. Just one category is all you need. Try and keep them down to no more than six. My categories used to be Blogging, Social Media, Career and Productivity, but this year I’ve cut them down even more to Productivity and Blogging, because Career and Productivity can feature as subcategories within my main two umbrella categories.
- Your footer - This is part of website that so many people miss. It’s a prime location for including lots of important information! I added a sign up form to my footer and it’s now one of the most popular places on my site where people sign up to my mailing list. Mine also includes my Instagram and Twitter feeds as they’re the platforms I’m most active on.
- Sign up forms - Like I said before, be sure to give readers more than once chance to sign up for your newsletter. Your sidebar, your about page, your contact page, and even have a whole page dedicated to it.
YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
Step one was your blog, step two includes your social media platforms. I’ve written a post before about cleaning up your social accounts, but let’s go through them in a bit more detail.
Across all your platforms you need to make sure these are the same:
- Profile picture
These make you easy to find, enable people to recognise you and make you…yep, the big C word - consistent.
Your bio can vary a little - it all depends on what content you publish to each platform.
Facebook is the biggest driver of website referral traffic, so even if you’re not a fan, it’s worth having a Facebook page. These are the things you need to consider:
- Cover photo - This is the first thing people will see when they visit your Facebook page so it’s important to pick one that relates to your brand. Make it a good’n!
- Call to action button - Did you know there are different options for this? There are lots to choose from. Mine says ‘sign up’, but you can send people to your website or even call a number.
- Description and link - Make sure you tell people exactly what your blog is about (you can use snippets from your About page for this). Plus, be sure to include a link to your site.
As you probably know by now, Twitter is definitely my favourite social platform. Here’s what to keep an eye on:
- Cover photo - Like Facebook, this is really important so it needs to fully represent your brand. You can just use one of your images of you can use Canva to create your own by adding text. This is a great way to promote something in particular, especially if you’ve got a special launch coming up.
- Bio - Twitter is known for its limited amount of characters and the same applies to your bio. You’ve got to be succinct but detailed. Get all the important information across. A tip I got from looking at other bloggers Twitter bios is to add a call-to-action to your bio if you’ve got an email list or downloadable product available on your site. This will help to get people much more involved!
- Link - This doesn’t have to be a link to your site - it can be a link to your contact page or even the page promotion your email list community. Anything goes, as long as it goes back to your site.
This is such a great platform for any blogger, no matter what you blog about. There’s not a lot to consider on here, but these are the two main things:
- Bio - This is probably the most important part of your Instagram profile so utilise it. What kind of images do you post? Does this relate to your blog? Tell, tell, tell!
- Name - Did you know your Instagram name is searchable? Well it is, which is why it’s good to include a keyword or two in there. You could have yours as [YOUR NAME - Beauty Blogger) and change that depending on what you blog about. So many people find me from my Instagram account now, so this really works.
- Link - I sound like a broken record, don’t I? Include one to your site!
Last but not least…here’s the list you need:
- Name - Like Instagram, your Pinterest name is searchable, so tell people what you’re about and what people can expect you to pin.
- Bio - Make it interesting, make it about what you offer and make people want to follow you!
How often do you update your blog and social media? Has this post helped you gain the motivation to work on a few things? Let me know in the comments!