Have 10 minutes? Think you don't have time to do anything on your blog? If you ever get overwhelmed (like I do) with maintaining your blog – or leave it to the last minute (like I also do…), just take 10 minutes right now and do these 10 things:
Back it up!
Unless you have an automatic backup plugin, or your blog is not self-hosted, you're probably not backing it up as often as you should. Ideally, you should backup your blog's database every day (or as least as often as you add a new post or page) and other files whenever you make a change. Vaultpress is a good paid option if you have a large blog or multiple blogs. I've also used the WP-DBmanager plugin for backups; it's very easy and allows you to schedule automatic backups and forget it.
Check your Comment Spam
I ALWAYS forget to do this, but every time I do, I find at least one comment that wasn't intended as spam. I also like to empty out my comment spam frequently, gives me a sense of accomplishment!
Reply to Comments
While you're in there, reply to comments you might have forgotten about, or that have come in recently. If your readers are leaving comments on your blog, it's important that you acknowledge and reply to them as much as you can; while comments aren't the only measure of success for your blog, they do indicate some level of reader engagement and shouldn't be neglected!
Check for Broken Links
If you have a lot of blogs in your blogroll or links in your sidebar, some may be out of date. Go through and check them every once in a while to make sure you don't have a lot of dead links; it's an important signal to your blog readers that you take the resources you share with them seriously. If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, Broken Link Checker is a good plugin, it will check ALL your site's links and tell you in your dashboard which ones are broken. It also makes it very easy to clean them up.
Check your Analytics
Do this as often as possible, but at least once a week. Check for spikes or drops in traffic and try to determine where they're coming from. If you're getting a lot of traffic from another blog referral, write to the blogger to thank her/him.
Update your About Page
How long has it been since you edited/updated your about page? Take a minute to look at it and see if it's time you changed your profile picture, or updated your age. Your about page is usually one of your blog's top five pages, readers and potential partners rely on it to give them insight into the person behind the blog, and it can be a crucial tool for engaging with your audience, so keep it updated!
Update your Media Kit
Have you changed your ad formats lately? Added a new component to your site? Worked on a new project or have a case study to use as an example of your work? All of these things should go in your media kit, has it been updated lately? I try to update mine at least once a quarter with new stats, especially social media followers, and make sure to note the date so potential partners will see that you've included recent data.
Clean up your Sidebar
If you've already checked for broken links, you've probably cleaned up your sidebar a lot, but also look at any ads you're showing and/or blog buttons and check that they're up to date and link to where they're supposed to. If you show ads, especially affiliate ads, it's important to change them out frequently (I do it at least once a quarter) so your readers don't get tired of seeing the same thing if they visit your site daily.
Check your Mobile Site
How long has it been since you looked at your site on a mobile phone or tablet? Do you have a responsive theme so your blog adapts to the platform your readers are using? Or use a plugin to optimize your site for mobile? I use WP-Touch for my sites, which makes mobile rendering easy, but after I installed an incompatible plugin the site stopped scrolling on mobile and I had no idea until a friend told me! Check in with your mobile site frequently to make sure it looks like it should, and then fix any issues you find as soon as possible.
Update your Plugins
I don't know about you, but I always have 2-3 plugins that need updating on my blogs. Whenever I am going to update plugins though, I always make sure to have a recent backup on hand, just in case anything goes wrong. Updating plugins is important, as is updating WordPress to the newest release because of security issues. Don't let updates get out of hand, go and do them now!
What are some things you do on your blog when you have a few minutes? Anything you consistently neglect?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]