The start of a new year is always the perfect time to give your blog a good, thorough refresh! It doesn’t just help you out, but it also helps your readers.
I try my best to keep my blog updated and organized throughout the year, but there’s something about a new year that helps me to really get motivated to tidy everything up around the blog. I want to encourage you to do the same!
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when staring at everything you want to update and plan, so I put together a list of starting points for you. Don’t let refreshing your blog become a daunting task. Instead, let it be a task that motivates you! Make it fun.
[bctt tweet=”7 Ways To Refresh Your Blog For The New Year” username=”SummerTelban”]
Pro tip: Don’t feel like you have to give your blog an entire refresh in one sitting. Instead, come up with a short schedule on what tasks you want to get accomplished each day. Give yourself some wiggle room and remember that it’s okay to go at your own pace. 🙂
7 WAYS TO REFRESH YOUR BLOG:
1. Update Your Pages // It’s important to always keep your pages up-to-date, because believe it or not, your pages are visited quite often.
Some pages to refresh at the start of the year:
- “About me” or “start here”
- Anything another pages you might have (shop, e-courses, etc.)
It has always shocked me at how often readers visit my “start here” page. Your current readers and new readers want to learn more about you and your blog, so you need to have a space that allows them to do that. Having a contact page is just as important. I’d also encourage you to create a FAQ page, as they can be super helpful to your readers from the start.
2. Clean Out Unnecessary Plugins // Plugins, plugins… it can be so easy to forget about cleaning them out. Right now, go check out what plugins you have installed. If you have ones that aren’t activated, delete them. Even if you think you might use it eventually, just delete it for now. Then, be sure to double check all the ones you do have activated. Just because you have one activated doesn’t mean you actually need it.
Plugins can sometimes become compromised and cause site issues. Just a few months ago, I had a plugin that was infected with malware somehow and it was causing issues on my site… even though I have very high, expensive security for my site. You can never be too safe. Clean out your plugins!
[bctt tweet=”Clean out unnecessary plugins! If you’re not using one, delete it. If you’re using one but don’t need it, delete it.” username=”SummerTelban”]
3. Minimize Your Sidebar Content // Many people say that your blog’s sidebar is the least visited section on your blog, let’s be real – it’s really different for everyone. They say that because many readers read from mobile, so the way your blog shows up on a phone or tablet doesn’t have your sidebar easily visible. For me, my readers are split almost in half – 50% mobile, 50% desktop, so my sidebar is still important for me.
Sidebars shouldn’t bee too cluttered. Even if you have a good amount of engaging content in them, your sidebar shouldn’t be too flashy.
A couple years ago, I wrote a post on what you should and should not include in a sidebar, and it still rings true today.
What your sidebar should absolutely have:
- Photo of you, short bio, and your name! So many people forget to include their name – that’s something you simply can’t forget.
- Social media links
- Search bar – When readers are looking for a certain post or topic, a search bar is the most convenient way for them to do this.
- Subscribe form for your email list
- Popular posts – This is a great way to keep readers on your site longer!
You can choose to have more or less, but the above are must-haves (in my opinion).
4. Start An Email List // Email lists are so important to have as a blogger. They’re not only a great way to keep dedicated readers up-to-date, but they’re an awesome way to further build community within your brand. If you don’t have one yet, start one today!
[bctt tweet=”Start your email list TODAY! Your brand needs one!” username=”SummerTelban”]
I use Mailerlite and LOVE it. I have used other sites before, but Mailerlite is the easiest and most convenient for me to use. I recommend it 100%, especially if you’re not too good wth coding and such. If you sign-up for Mailerlite with my referral link and you choose to upgrade from their free option, you’ll get $20 credit! You can sign-up here!
Email lists take awhile to get used to and to figure out what’s best for your target audience, but it’s worth it and needed.
5. Track All Of Your Statistics // If you’re not already, the start of a new year is the perfect time to start tracking all of your blog’s statistics – pageviews, demographics, social media growth, and more. Tracking your stats helps you to see where the majority of your growth stems from and helps you to determine what methods are working best for your target audience and your brand.
To help you out, I’ve created some FREE printables for you! I’ve created a Blogging Statistics Tracking Sheet and a Social Media Tracking Sheet.
[bctt tweet=”FREE PRINTABLES: Blogging & Social Media Statistics Tracking Sheets” username=”SummerTelban”]
6. Create A Content Calendar // When I finally implemented a content calendar into my blogging strategy, my blog grew and I became more productive. A content calendar is basically an outlook of what you plan to post within a certain amount of time. I have found that planning out by quarters has been most helpful for me, though I’ll still go ahead and plug in any monthly series and post ideas that I have for certain times of the year.
Whether you already have a content calendar or not, this is the perfect time of year to get it filled out. Doing so will also further get those creative juices of yours flowing.
Not sure where to get started with a content calendar? Here are two posts that’ll be super helpful to you!
7. Schedule A Blog Break // Yes, you read that right! Make sure you schedule at least one blog break for the year. A blog break is a great way to unplug and refresh yourself so that you don’t burn out. It’s also a great time to find inspiration in everything around you. I know it may seem like a tough thing to do, but if you’re in blogging for the long haul, blog breaks are essential to growth and further success.
[bctt tweet=”7 Ways To Refresh Your Blog NOW” username=”SummerTelban”]
Have you refreshed your blog for 2018 yet? What are some ways that you’ve refreshed your blog or want to refresh your blog? Let’s chat!