Last week I discovered I couldn't log into my account of the site I use to generate affiliate links. After a few unanswered tweets, I tracked down my ‘account manager' and found out my account had been flagged (a.k.a. disabled) for inactivity. While I would've preferred a gentle reminder or warning I was in danger of being flagged, this little episode was a reminder for me to give my blog a good look-through with a fine-toothed comb. The transition between seasons is always a great time to refresh and update your blog – as summer vacations and sun-frolicking wind down, it's the perfect opportunity to make sure your blog is in tip-top shape for fall. Here are some general things to look at:
Affiliate Links & Ads
Don't get shut out of your accounts like I did! Haha 🙂 Make sure the coding and links are working for any ads or affiliate link programs you use for your blog, and make sure your back-end information (payment, address, etc.) is current.
Is it time for a new look and feel for your blog? As seasons change, so do our tastes, and sometimes it's enough to want a whole new color scheme, header, logo or theme. There are some great resources here at IFB for free or low-cost themes for a quick and easy change, or you can ask around for a good and trustworthy designer to help you bring your new blog look to life.
Our blog sidebars can easily get clogged up with links, badges and ads. Is everything on your sidebar still relevant to you and what you blog about? If not, it's time to remove that link, badge or ad! Make sure to also add any new favorite links or association badges to your site as well.
If you're changing your blog design, your business card will probably need some love too. Check to make sure your URL and contact info are up-to-date as well. If all is well, this could be a good time to stock up and order another batch of cards before your fall and winter fashion events!
Do you look at your analytics often? If not, (you should, but) now is the perfect time to do so. Google Analytics code will sometimes break, so make sure you're seeing the numbers you should be seeing within your GA dashboard. Otherwise it's time to update the code to make sure your blog is linking and pulling reports correctly. Observe what your blog's traffic patterns look like. The blog posts that are getting the most hits and the keywords people use to get to your site are gold as far as telling you what your readers respond to best!
Social Media Profiles
When's the last time you updated your Twitter bio, Instagram header or Facebook cover photo? Almost as important as your blog look and feel are your social media profiles. If they read your blog, most likely they'll want to find and chat with you on social media. Make sure what they're seeing is current and reflective of you and your blog now.
As you know, I keep an idea bank within my editorial calendar. When I plan out blog posts, I also like to go through my idea bank and get rid of any topics or post ideas that don't appeal to me anymore, and add new ideas as well. Sitting down to update your editorial calendar is the best way to get a leg up on what you'll blog about in fall and winter seasons.
New York Fashion Week is just the beginning of a very busy fall season full of fashion events. Most likely, there are in-store fall collection launch parties, designer appearances, blogger meetups or full-on fashion weeks in the area you live. Plug in those events on your calendar, and if you don't know of any – now's a prime opportunity to do some research! Google, Facebook events, Meetup.com and Twitter keyword searches are your friend for finding new events to attend.
What would you add to this fall refresh list?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]