✿ // Lets skip to the main subject here…if you’re anything like me, you’re basically never satisfied with how your blog looks. The occasional days where I don’t post any new material, you can find me in the back-end of my blog updating, and tweaking anything I can find. I am a perfectionist, especially when it is something to call my own and represents me in some way. My blog is my escape from the real world. It is a place where I can go and write whatever and express whatever. It is a place where I can do what I love and share with the rest of the world who does/feels the same. I mean if its your passion why wouldn’t you take care of it?
When I started out my blog initially, I started on the Blogger platform. Blogger is a great way to set up your blog if you are a beginner. It lays everything out for you in black and white. Definitely user-friendly. After a while I started to get bored with my look on blogger. I ended up refreshing the entire design on blogger including a logo to brand my blog. Once that was done, I felt like something was missing. I mean I just spent a week on updating my blog but what else did I need? I went on to research more advanced options to make my blog look impeccable. I decided update my blog..again…and to make the jump to WordPress, and boy was I ever glad. I don’t recommend WordPress for beginners because it is quite finicky and you WILL NEED a great deal of patience.
Now that my blog is finally where I want it to be aesthetics wise, I will discuss some of the simple ways you can update your blog for free. There is nothing wrong with updating your blog now and then because sometimes it can start to look a little stale and boring. So, with that being said, lets take a look at some ways you can update and refresh your blog to keep those visitors turn into frequent readers and followers. You can thank me later 😛 \\✿
1. Update your About Me page.
Every blogger needs to have at least one photo of themselves somewhere on their blog. I can’t count the several times I have had to search and search to see what the person looks like. It is so important to put a face to the words. They key to having a good blogger photo of yourself isn’t having a $3,000 camera, it’s actually more simple. You can certainly use a regular photo taken by your phone or regular cheap camera. All you need to do is just make sure the photo is semi-decent, i.e. you look presentable and your background is clean AND BRIGHT BRIGHT BRIGHT! If you’re an anonymous blogger, I suggest to create an avatar of yourself (you can see mine here even though I’m not an anonymous blogger), or use a photo of your pets and/or favorite things.
Or how about if you’re still using that picture from a year ago where your makeup and hair were ON POINT? Hey, I get it. Best foot forward and all that. But if the picture no longer accurately represents you, make sure that you have something recent. In the age of high-tech phones and digital devices, TRUST ME you can find a way to easily take a new fresh photo of yourself.
Now check your About Me write-up. Are there typos? Bad links or broken/ugly images? Can you update it with new information about yourself, your blog, your credentials, or any recent accomplishments relative to your blog?
It’s always nice to revamp the page that many first time visitors will spend a few minutes on. Maybe the wording you found so poetic and clever the first time around doesn’t seem like you. Or maybe your about page isn’t a proper reflection of who you are and what your blog stands for anymore. You need make this page represent everything that is YOU. This page needs to tell a story. If readers aren’t intrigued by your About Me page then chances are they won’t stick around to read what you have to say in your blog. Think about it..
2. Clean Up Old Posts/Broken Links/Images
After you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve likely made a few changes, found your way and started to produce higher quality content. Are there broken links on your site (maybe other blogs that you linked to that have since shut down?) or images that aren’t loading properly or are just really, really bad? Is the information you’ve posted before still relevant to your blogs image? Does it even make sense to have that post content on your blog? Your posts live forever on the Internet, and if you get traffic from search engines, people may be finding your work months or even years after original publication. Don’t just publish and move on. Go back and fix things so that they can continue to be good, relevant links for your readers to use and share. If you come across a better photo for a particular post, its not a sin to go back and change it. Keep refreshing and updating as much as you can!
3. Organize Into Categories
Now, before you go off and deleting all your old post, maybe its better to organize them into categories. I usually recommend having 4 to 5 top categories that represent your blog, i.e. Food, Beauty, Haircare, Fashion, Accessories, etc. Choose a few (if you haven’t already) that best represent your blogs content. Then organize your blog posts into them. Or if you want to add a little pizzaz create an “old favorites” category or a “best of the blog” category to keep the content flowing and share-able.
4. Check Your Social Sharing Tools
SHARING IS CARING! The number one way for your content to circulate the web and gain readers is to share share share! Make sure your blog has easy to access sharing buttons. I don’t know about you but I know when I see a really interesting post I will definitely hit that Twitter or Facebook share button. The more platforms you offer the more sharing your posts will get.
Also, check the buttons yourself. Have you recently changed your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter handle? If so, you better update your blog accordingly because your links won’t work. Making sure your readers can get in touch with you is the key to growing a community on your blog. Visit your contact page, and make sure all the email addresses and social media links lead to the right place.
5. Update Your Sidebars
Okay, SERIOUSLY this is probably my biggest pet peeve. Personally, I feel like the sidebar ads just look very unprofessional and MESSY. But really, how many banners/buttons/badges/flashy ads do you REALLY need in your sidebar? I’ll admit to being a sidebar hoarder too but it was time to take out the trash! Lets keep it simple ladies and gents. It’s okay to have a few social links on your sidebar and maybe a few ads if you must but please DO NOT power load it!
6. Get Your Posts Into Motion
Something as simple as incorporating new post ideas into motion can brand your blog and make it stand out among the sea of bloggers. Do something that is different. Don’t blog about the same thing everyone else blogs about. Make it your own and keep your content fresh. Give readers something to think about that they won’t find anywhere else.
Don’t just post facts and stats. Use emotion. Consider what your audience cares deeply about and revisit those topics often. Encourage and inspire. But that doesn’t mean you should stop stating facts. Have a post that you back that up with a fact? Then go ahead girl! Trends, statistics, news, and current events are all more interesting with a few facts sprinkled in.
Create a relevant and enticing list of related blogs (blogroll). Visit those blogs regularly and leave comments they will do the same in return. Make recommendations. Write top-ten lists. Share books and quotes you like. Be a filter for bloggers who want more on your topic. Write longer posts in serial fashion. People will return to catch your next point. Make a reoccurring post, i.e Makeup Monday’s, etc.
Why not dedicate a day of the week to introduce and feature on of your favorite bloggers? New content helps people discover you, get interested in your blog, and become regular readers of your site. You need to give readers a reason to stay on your site because you’re not the only blogger who is writing a review for MAC’s Russian Red lipstick.
Turn your posts into different formats. One of the easiest ways to reuse your existing content is to take a blog post, and turn it into a speech, podcast or video. Surprise your readers with a video review or a podcast instead of the usual photo and text. You can take a boring blog post that you’ve created, and create a story around it to give it new life via video or whatever your heart desires.
Take a look through your blog and see which posts were most popular. Refresh them by updating them with new information or adding new material. This gives you an excuse to reuse your old content, while also providing the same quality content that performed so well in the past.
7. Social Data and Blogging Community
There are so many tools available on the internet today which give you a better way to broadcast your blog to the public. Use social media tools like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Bloglovin, etc. Take an hour or two out of your day and research top blogging communities you want to be part of.
For example, join blogging communities like Bloglovin, Independent Fashion Bloggers, Brandbacker, E-Tail Pr, The Blogger Programme, Etc. By joining these communities it channels your audience down to individuals who blog have interests in the same things as you.
8. Don’t Be Afraid To Jump On Your Own Bandwagon
Lastly, you can’t always predict what posts will be popular before hitting “Publish”. Sometimes you just need to take a leap and go for it. There will be times where you think you just produced your best post, and it falls flat. While other times you’re publishing something that isn’t your best work, and it takes off virally for reasons you have no clue of. But either way, when you have a popular post that really connects with people, you need to keep that spark alive! Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn and write additional angles and follow-ups – it is not being repetitive! The more you put yourself out there, the more feedback you will get from your readers.
Do you guys have any areas of your blog that tend to get cluttered or forgotten about? How are you going to revitalize your blog? Leave your comments and thoughts below!