Hello hello, it’s Wednesday again, and I’m back! This getting back to blogging has been great during the furloughing period – it’s like all my creativity has begun to flow again and I can finally take the time and energy needed to both write and promote my posts! Today I’m back with 15 blog maintenance tasks that are on my to do list for during furlough.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but my inbox and Twitter feed have been inundated with posts relating to lockdown. And while I know I’ve now mentioned it in every post I’ve written over the last few weeks (how could I not?), I decided I’m not going to follow suit with the “in” topic right now. Quite honestly, I don’t need to read another selfcare post, or banana bread recipe – but you do you!
No, instead I thought – what have I been doing recently that I can share with you all?
Anyone of you who has me on Twitter and has seen my tweets will be aware I’ve been working through all my blog admin things gradually over the last month. While it’s been tedious and monotonous at times, my views are up, my Domain Authority has increased by 4, and my SEO score also went up! If like me you’ve been putting these few tasks off for ages, or if you aren’t quite sure where to begin, here are my top tips on where to start with your blog maintenance.
1. Clear Out or Tidy Up Old Posts
You know those posts from when you first started? The first month maybe back when you didn’t have a clue what you wanted to post but you just wanted to post something? For me, these were the majority of my posts from June and July 2014, and they no longer seemed relevant to my blog. It was hard to do at first, but I found myself deleting these old posts – normally after reading through and having a good laugh at myself – or fixing typos and formatting errors that I never knew existed back as a new blogger.
2. Add Feature Photos and/or Photos In General
Now I’ll admit this is something I am being very slow at doing, but it’s on the list to do. Especially in longer posts, images help to break up the writing and keep your reader interested. If you can’t or don’t want to take your own photos for these older posts, then search on copyright/royalty free sites for relevant photos. My favourite go-to is Pixabay, but there are several out there such as Pexels, Stocksnap, and Life of Pix. Jordanne has a full list of sites she recommends on her post Free Resources For Bloggers.
3. Check for Broken Links
I will be honest, I had never heard of broken links and how bad they can be until a few months ago when Twitter suddenly seemed to erupt with the news of them. People were spending days upon days going back and fixing or removing such links. And to be honest I should’ve done it at that stage! Roll on 6 months later and finally I worked my way through the first batch of them. The site I used was Broken Link Check, which checks the first 3000 pages for free. Broken links affect both your Domain Authority and your SEO score, so now that I know it needs done it’s going on my monthly to do list! If you’d like to read more, check out this post by Digital Frogs on Broken Links and your SEO.
4. Insert links to old/new relevant posts
You know those old posts we were talking about earlier? Have you mentioned in one of them a film or a book that you later went on to review? Or maybe you’ve done the same with a recipe you wanted to try, and then subsequently posted? Link the two posts! You would be surprised at the number of posts I found I could do this with; for example after watching a film with Nuala back in 2016 Freedom Writers I discovered there was I book related to it that I then went on to read and review – The Freedom Writers Diary. So now if you go to either of these posts, you will find a link to the other one. Internal links are your friend, so remember to use them where you can.
5. Create Pinterest images
Okay so I for one am appalling at Pinterest. But if you are wanting to reach the big leagues of blogging, I understand it is something you should probably get your head around. If this is something that you aren’t sure about, can I suggest you join me in reading Kayleigh Zara’s post all about how she increased her views with Pinterest?
6. Update Old Posts
This is a little like items 1 and 4, but updating a post is more than just fixing spelling mistakes and adding images or links. It’s checking whether your writing style has changed. Have stats changed? Maybe, like me, you’ve got a post that was correct at the time of writing but now that film/book/beauty product is no longer available or the price has changed. I came across a post of mine where I mentioned a play on in a local theatre, where I had linked to the ticket purchasing page for anyone interested. As the play is no longer running, I just removed it. But if you’ve even just done a “my morning routine” post and it has changed, then get that post updated and share it again on your socials! Let’s get the old posts some new love.
7. Add ALT text to images
ALT text on images is used in the HTML code of your page/site to describe the image to visually impaired readers, or those who find the image isn’t loading for them. It helps with your SEO (think Google Images searches – how many times do you find a website you never knew existed?), and is something I only recently learnt about by reading through a few blog maintenance posts I found when searching on Pinterest. If like me you aren’t quite sure what to do, or how to “get it right” then check out what Moz has to say about it by clicking here. I’m slowly reading through and making notes for myself, so I think this might just take a while to get fixed here on Life With Ktkinnes.
RELATED: Check out How To Improve Your DA Score As A Blogger!
8. Remove “spammy” comments
Again, something I recently discovered! Everyone hates those “Great Post!” comments that people seem to leave, purely so they can leave their link and leave. Or maybe the comment just isn’t relevant to your post but someone has left it as part of a comment thread you’ve been taking part in. It’s infuriating at the best of times, so you can imagine how annoyed I was when I learnt that Google sees anything as 10 words or less in a comment as spammy! Cue me sitting for 2 afternoons working through over 100 pages of comments, deleting ones that were too short or irrelevant. It felt heartbreaking to see the number of comments decrease, but if it helps in the long run then it’s worth it.
9. Update your retweet accounts list
Something I really hate doing at the minute is scheduling tweets, purely because it takes so long for me to do! It doesn’t help that I get distracted by every little thing… but if you’ve seen my promotional tweets, you will be aware I always use the BloggersTribe hashtag (#BloggersTribe) and then two others. Some accounts will retweet if you mention them, others only from their hashtag (like us at BloggersTribe), and some only if you both mention and use the hashtag! So it is really important to keep up to date on where these accounts are retweeting from. Another thing to note is that the people running these accounts are doing this out of the goodness of their own hearts, and often are doing it with their eyes half open either first thing in the morning or just before they collapse into bed after a long day of working on their own stuff too. Because of this, a lot of accounts eventually stop or shut down. I’m trying to go through my list of accounts I tag once every couple of months, just to see if the rules have changed or if they’ve decided to stop running the account. Plus, there are always new accounts popping up! So keep your eyes peeled because I will hopefully have an up to date list for you in a few weeks.
10. Update your bios on social media
This isn’t a huge thing, but something I often forget needs done. Have you your age in your bio, or the city where you’re based? Has this changed? Or maybe you’ve decided to redefine your blogging niche and yet your bio doesn’t reflect this? Get it updated! I think my about me still said I was a 20 year old student blogger living in Glasgow up until December 2019, which was inaccurate in 3 ways – I was 24 at this point, no longer a student, and certainly hadn’t been living in Glasgow since 2017!
11. Join new Facebook groups or leave ones no longer working
Back when I started taking my blog more seriously in 2016, I met Jordanne who introduced me to the wonders of Facebook groups for blogging. There are ones purely for opportunities, others for promoting your own work, and all sorts of things you could imagine. Now, as you would expect, 4 years have passed and some of these are no longer being updated, while others have changed their rules, and again new ones are popping up all the time. So if you want to access all the blogging opportunities available, or just want to promote your work while getting to know other bloggers, then have a look on Facebook and see which ones no longer update, and which have sprung up since you last started looking!
12. Create a list of future post ideas
One thing I hate is when I’m in the mood to blog, and yet just can’t think of what I want to say. I’ve tried writing my list of post ideas in notebooks, but then I lose the notebook. I’ve saved links to posts of “100 blog post ideas” whether I’ve seen them on Twitter or Pinterest. But what I’ve found works best for me is a draft post here on WordPress of all my ideas. If you find yourself in a similar situation, or often find you get the idea for a new post at a time when you can’t sit and write it, then may I suggest you start your own “future post ideas” list? It’ll save so much time in the long run!
13. Add Search/Meta descriptions to your posts
These descriptions are those little things you see when you search online for something. See my example below. I typed into Google “blog post ideas” and the first two links are shown below. Circled (untidily) in red are the search/meta descriptions for these two top searches. Use your keywords in these descriptions, keep it short and to the point, and try to make it draw people in. Useful for increasing both your DA and your SEO.
14. Return/Reply to blog comments
Not something that directly helps your blog but is basic good manners! If you’ve taken part in comment threads and someone has commented on your post; take yourself to their blog and return the favour. Or if someone has kindly taken the time to leave you a well thought out comment, or one that asks you something, then it is only right to reply to them. I will admit, I’m slow at replying to comments. But I hate when people link drop in a comment thread and never return any comments. Plus, it encourages people to come back and visit your site again.
15. Get new content scheduled
Last but not least, get those new posts scheduled! There’s nothing worse than putting yourself through all the above maintenance tasks only to not have new content going live to draw in new readers. Plus, didn’t you start your blog so you could share your content?
And that’s it! A longer post than I had anticipated, but I hope these blog maintenance tasks are helpful to you! What blog maintenance tasks are on your list that I’ve forgotten to add?