You clean your house, your car, even your purse. But what about your blog?
Depending on the size of your blog and how long you've been at it, your archives and categories could do for a little impromptu cleaning session. Even a blogger with the best intentions will procrastinate when it comes time for blogging maintenance, but it is definitely a task you have to tackle soon. Imagine all the untagged or miscategorized posts that are floating around on your blog. How will any of your viewers get to that one must-read post if they can't find it? A quick clean-up session will give your readers more access to your content and will lead to an increased amount of traffic. Plus, all those dead links just leave blog readers frustrated!
Conducting blog housekeeping might seem slightly painful but with planning and time, you can easily tackle this blogging project.
Here are 5 easy tips to help you clean out your blog:
1. Get your blogging archives up-to-date. The easiest way to clean house is to pay attention to your archives. Organize them by year/month and you have just given your readers an easy way to follow your posts throughout the year. For WordPress users, you can use various plugins including the Simply Yearly archive plugin or the Clean Archives Reloaded which will automatically sort and catalog your posts according to date/time.
2. Tag your posts with traffic-friendly keywords. What's the easiest way to drive more traffic to your archives? Use the best keywords as your tags! By doing this, search engines will direct traffic to your posts because of those popular keywords. To figure out which keywords to use, try Google Insight which allows you to find the most-searched keywords for your blog post's topic.
3. Clean Out Your Blogroll. Yes, it's sad to weed out the dead links (RIP Blogs!) but those dead links are just annoying. Plus, they are taking up precious space on your blog. Make it a habit to check your blogroll every month and add new favorite blogs to increase traffic and build relationships with other bloggers.
4. Edit your Categories. Does our category menu look like a never-ending list of random words and tags? It's time to combine your categories and weed out the unnecessary ones. I recommend this Bulk Category cleaner which allows you to create new categories, delete old ones, and combine smaller ones. By categorizing your posts appropriately, your readers will be able to find relevant information that they didn't intentionally search for but are happy to have found.
5. Find and delete old links. It's inevitable- you will find dead links on your blog at some point. Yes, it's obnoxious but there is an easy way to trouble-shoot that issue: find a plugin. You knew I was going to say that, right? WordPress (aka my heaven) has a substantial amount of plugins that make it easy for you to do site maintenance. For instance, this dead link finding plugin will sort through your posts and notify you if there are dead links. Unfortunately, there isn't a simple tool that Blogger users can use. But don't let that detract you!
Now you've got the basic rundown of how to clean up your blog. That wasn't too hard, was it? If you have any questions or concerns, leave them in the comments section! Or if you know of a handy plugin that can help with any of the housekeeping issues mentioned up, do share!