Spring Cleaning Your Blog

Spring has sprung and it always makes me want to clean. organize and straighten up and not just my house or garden, but my blog/facebook/twitter/reader too. I want a fresh start and a clean look. Here are some ideas on how to update your blog.

Freshen up your About Me page: I looked at mine a few months ago and it still said I had a newborn, worked outside of the home and had an ancient picture. It took about 5 minutes to clear it up.

  1. Is your contact information current? If your email is hyper-linked, click on it and make sure it works.
  2. Is your basic information current? Did you add a child? Do you mention their ages and are they correct? Have you moved?
  3. Do you have a picture on you about me page? You really should, especially if you do not have one on your front page. Is it relatively current?
  4. Edited to add: After reading this post, Tiffany from SITS offered two awesome suggestions: link up a “best of” page from your About Me page and include a link to your twitter. She is a smart lady.

Update your blog roll. I just added a text blog roll over on the right. It isn’t even complete, but I know it is current. I have buttons on the right that I need to edit and maybe move to a separate page. And I haven’t checked them. But I will this week.

  1. Do the links work? Yes, you should click every single one and check. Especially for buttons. Sometimes people make an edit or move the image or all sorts of things. And sometimes the buttons never worked at all.
  2. Are they still blogs you read? Do they reflect your current interests? If you just added the button for an entry to a contest, do you still want it? Blog rolls are a reflection of you – your tastes, your interests, your friends. Are you representing what you want to be and recommending people you still enjoy?

Evaluate your picture. Do you have one of those little Hi I’m SuperAwesomeBlogger with a picture and some fun facts on your home page? Does it look like you? There is nothing more annoying (to me) than seeing some candid shots that go out over twitter and realizing that someone is using a picture from 10 years ago, 50 pounds ago or 75 hair styles ago for all of their social media icons. Well, there are things that are more annoying, but that one is pretty high on my list. Blogging is wordy and faceless, people visualize you as your icon. Don’t misrepresent yourself.

Take a look around your sidebars. I really need to do this. Expect to see some changes by the end of the week. Like the tag cloud.  Do people use it? I’m kind of over it. And I don’t have a search bar. That seems like it would be handy.

  1. Are your ads (if you have them) current?
  2. Do you need all of your wigits and doodads? Personally, I am becoming more and more fond of a less is more approach on blogs. I would rather see more pages up at the top than a ton of stuff all over the place.
  3. We already talked about making sure your picture is current.
  4. Maybe freshen up your social media icons, cute ones are available for free. Just do a google search.
  5. Are your buttons current? If you have maybe a babywearing blogger or cloth diaper button. are you still baby wearing or cloth diapering. Is that still what you represent?
  6. Is your blog to busy? A bunch of flashing buttons and mixed fonts in the sidebars can be really distracting, especially if you have patterned borders on your blog.

Are you grabbing the attention of your readers? You may have noticed the orange bar at the top of the page. I hope you did, that’s why it is there. It is called a Hello Bar and I love it. You can put newsletter or subscriptions options there, or voting, like I have.  It is in Beta and still invite only, but I have a few invites left or you can ask around on twitter. Another option (on wordpress) is the WP Greet Box plug in. That is the one that says something like “Hello twitterer! …” based on who the reader found your site.

Are you spring cleaning your blog? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!

 

 

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36 Responses to “Spring Cleaning Your Blog”

  1. TMae says:

    Must. get. an. about. page.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Yes! I almost always check the About Me page before subscribing to the feed of a new blog.

    [Reply]

  2. Eva Gallant says:

    Some great advice there! Thanks.

    I’m just stopping by from SITS to say hello. Hope you find time to do the same.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  3. Rebecca says:

    I started doing this last night.

    My blog is feeling cluttered to me so I’m just taking stuff off now and will rearrange/move later.

    I definitely need an About Me page. It’s been ‘Coming Soon!’ for about 2 months now. (Shame on me…) Everything I write just seems lame and cheesy so I left it.

    I think it’s time to buck up and get something down.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Just bite the bullet and do an About Me page. It is kind of like writing a resume, awkward and weird at first, but once you get a draft done, it gets much easier to revise and polish. At least put a picture up with some basic info.

    [Reply]

  4. Veronica says:

    ohh I like this post. good tips.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Thanks! I think I might spring clean things all week. I would rather write about it than actually do it.

    [Reply]

  5. Brigid Keely says:

    I’ve had a livejournal since, like, 2001 and I looked at my profile page a few years ago and was all “lolwhat” and updated it to reflect that I’d gotten married and had a kid. And wasn’t in college any more. Then recently I was all “Oh yeah… not an infant any more.” My wordpress blog, I think, just has the year Niko was born so people can do the math in their heads as to how old he is.

    These are good tips and good advice! Thanks for this!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Thanks! I just added that I was married to my facebook profile and we’ve been married longer than I’ve had facebook…

    [Reply]

  6. TheNextMartha says:

    I just need you to tell me what I should do. You seem to know a lot.

    [Reply]

  7. Laura says:

    Stopping by from SITS. Thanks for the great trips. I need to do a little spring cleaning.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Thanks for stopping by, I think we all need a little reminder now and then. I am hoping writing the post motivates me to finish.

    [Reply]

  8. Fabulous tips, Amy! My “about me” page is totally current, but I hate the way it sounds. I need to revamp it. Thanks for the reminder!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    About me pages are so tricky. I might do a search for resources and do a whole separate post.

    [Reply]

  9. Joni says:

    Great tips. :) Love it.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Thanks! I’m trying to give myself a little prod.

    [Reply]

  10. Lisa says:

    Thank you for writing this! I totally need to update and “clean” things up a bit. If I “spring clean” my blog will you come spring clean my house? ;)

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    My housekeeping skills leave something to desired. You house would probably be dirtier after I finished.

    [Reply]

  11. Angie says:

    Great tips! Glad to say that we just did an overhaul of our site a couple months ago, but probably need to clean up our sidebars again since we installed a few new widgets. This was my first visit to your site (thanks to someone who tweeted), but won’t be the last :)

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Thanks for stopping by! The blog is kind of a mixed bag, welcome to the craziness!

    [Reply]

  12. Suzanne says:

    Oooooh the tag cloud. No, no one uses those! Ever! I’m totally deleting mine, and maybe adding back the little calendar that shows what days I’ve posted – I like showing people I write frequently, although I’m wondering if maybe that’s NOT a good thing. It seems like a lot of very popular bloggers post once a week.

    I spent MONTHS on my About Me page and was proud of myself for revamping it just hours after baby #2 was born. I never add a blog to my reader without a good about page (unless it came highly recommended or it’s someone who comments on my blog regularly)

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I took off my calendar too because all of the dates were always highlighted. And I’m glad I’m not the only one over the tag cloud.

    [Reply]

  13. OttosMom says:

    This is awesome. And sage. I NEED TO DO THIS. But alas I am lazeballs. I think your blog is gorg, by the way. Less is totally more!

    ps. Could I use the hello bar on blogger? If so and if you still have spare invites I’d love one. xoxo

    [Reply]

  14. Great post. I just did a big re-design and took many of these factors into consideration. Will save this list for next year.

    [Reply]

  15. gigi says:

    Great tips! I may link to this in a bloggy roundup I do for business 2 blogger.com!

    thanks for visiting my SITS day on Monday!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Feel free to link. Thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  16. rachel says:

    Great tips, great post, great blog! Stopping by from TRDC. Have a fantastic weekend!

    [Reply]

  17. Great tips for blog updating. Loving the hello bar, you have some invitations left you say…? Pretty please?
    Visiting from The Red Dress Club *waves*

    [Reply]

  18. Matty says:

    I recently re-did my blog. Entirely. It isn’t exactly how I want things yet, as I’m trying to do everything myself without any help. I still need to tweak some things, once I figure it all out.

    [Reply]

  19. Christina says:

    Wow! Terrific ideas! I need to do some spring cleaning on my blog, too. Thanks for sharing these with the ladies on SITS! Have a great weekend!

    [Reply]

  20. Shell says:

    What fabulous tips! I really need to update my blogroll!

    [Reply]

  21. Jessica says:

    Great tips, I need to work on my blogroll and my about me.

    [Reply]

  22. Amy says:

    These are great tips, I will be working on them shortly :) Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I still need to do some of them myself. Happy cleaning!

    [Reply]

  23. Tonya says:

    Great suggestions. Updating and refreshing my blog is on my to-do list and I’ve bookmarked this page so i can remember to do all of these. Thanks!

    [Reply]

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