As it’s March and now is the time for giving your life & blog a spring cleaning, I’d thought I’d update the blog with this great guest post by James Adams.
Creating and regularly updating a blog can be the perfect way to promote yourself or your business. Visitors to your blog can see what your business has to offer and how it has progressed, it can allow others to get a feel for your personality as you add personal touches to your blog entries.
However, just like anything else a blog needs to be maintained and “cleaned” regularly or else it can become cluttered, messy, and otherwise difficult to read. Nobody wants to view a blog like this, so if you wish to have visitors to your blog you can keep it cleaned up with these tips.
#1. Try to remain on topic with your blog –
Having several different blog entries on different subjects is just fine if you’re keeping a personal journal, but if your blog is meant to serve a specific purpose you will want to stick to one subject. Go back and delete old entries that don’t have anything to do with whatever it is you’re trying to say, sell, or promote with your blog.
#2. Clean out comment spam –
It’s good to have comments on your blog, but you should keep an eye out for spam. It’s fun to post comments on a blog, and sometimes they can lead to interesting conversations and debates, but nobody wants to wade through pages and pages of posts that promote other websites or repeat the same message over and over again. Delete these comments as they appear, and people will be more likely to want to comment on your posts.
#3. Reduce file sizes –
If you post images, videos, or other media, make sure that they’re relatively small files and in formats that nearly everybody can view. For that matter, keep these files to a minimum. Text blogs are more accessible to the average Internet user.
#4. Check for broken links –
Links don’t stay active forever, and there are few things more frustrating than clicking on a link that turns out to be broken. Chances are that at least a few of the links that you will post to your blog will go down at some point. Keep an eye out for these and fix them if you can. If not, delete the post so it doesn’t clutter your blog any further.
#5. Keep your posts short and to the point –
People are less likely to read a post that adds up to several pages of text that may or may not all be relevant to the main topic of your blog. Break up your entries into short, easily-scanned chunks of text. If you must post a long entry, break it up with subheadings. It will be easier on the eyes and make it easier for the average reader to process. Don’t be afraid to edit older posts that are too long (or delete them if they’re no longer needed).
#6. Archiving posts by topic –
If you archive your posts into topics, it better allows users to find a post on a specific topic. Even if you do this, you will want to go through the subject categories every so often and do some cleaning by deleting categories you no longer need.
#7. Include an index or site map for your blog –
This is helpful for new visitors who might find your blog through Google or another search engine. These users can quickly scan your index and see what your blog has to offer. Indexes and site maps can be completed easily through the use of a site map plugin.
#8. Avoid Flash-based content where possible –
Speaking of plugins, if you are going to feature media that requires the use of plugins, like Flash, bear in mind that not everybody, ie. iOS users (Mac Mobile operating system), will not be able to view the content.
#9. Where necessary, reply to comments –
Encourage comments by responding to them and actively taking part in conversations. This will keep readers engaged and coming back to your blog. Just remember to watch out for and delete spam comments.
#10. Secure your blog –
This last tip is less about cleaning your blog and more about protecting your blog to keep it clean, but it would be wise to use some kind of security software to protect yourself from hackers. PLugins such as WP Firewall and WP Security Scan work well in keeping your blog secure.
The most important thing to remember when keeping a blog is to update it regularly. As long as you keep posting relevant and interesting entries while cleaning out the fluff and outdated posts, you should have a blog that keeps readers coming back to visit.
Today’s guest article has been contributed by James who writes and is an analyst with SparesNextDay.co.uk, providers of the best hoover bags in the UK.