Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Evaluate, Update and Recommit to Your Blog by Edie Melson


Staying up to date with trends and advancements in the publishing industry is critical to any writer’s success. But many of us miss a regular evaluation of our blog or website. Technology is changing so quickly, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and forget about this basic—especially if it’s working okay. But a good site can often be updated to a GREAT site with just a little bit of thought and tweaking.

Today I’d like to invite you to take a look at your own blogging aspirations. Click on your own site and look at it with new eyes, keeping these thoughts in mind. Here’s the checklist I use to evaluate my sites. Don’t hesitate to tweak it to fit your needs.

Checklist
  • Make sure your site hasn’t become too cluttered in the sidebar area. Clean out any old links and add any you’ve been considering.
  • Recheck your default font. Sometimes you’ll find you’ve drifted into a different one. Whatever font you use, make certain it’s easily readable…on all screens.
  • Update your about me section on your site. Include the things that have happened over the past year in regard to publication, job changes, awards, and anything else applicable.
  • If you have a calendar with your speaking engagements, update it as well.
  • Also be sure to update any lists you have of other sites, like those for writers, photographers or others.
  • Now take out your mobile device (cell phone, tablet, eReader, whatever) and make certain your site is optimized for mobile viewing. This is vital because at least a quarter of all visitors to your site will be looking at it from a mobile device and that number will continue to increase!
  • Reassess what action you want your reader to take after viewing your blog. Maybe you want them to share your site with their friends/readers. Perhaps you’re selling a book. Even if it’s only to follow you on Twitter, make sure it’s easy for them to see what you want and then execute it!
This is also a good time to look at your blog posting schedule and evaluate the popularity and efficiency of your different topics. You can do this by utilizing the stats section of your blogger dashboard or of your specific blogging platform.
  • First, look at the most popular posts of the past year. Do they fall into a specific category or theme? If this isn’t the main focus of your blog consider making it a bigger part of your posting schedule.
  • Next look at the day of the week when you get your most hits. Does it correspond to your posting date or is it the following day? You may need to tweak when your email notification is sent out.
  • Finally, Google the subject of those popular posts. Don’t plug in the exact title of those blogs, instead try a more generic subject search. The purpose of this is to see where within that search your blog entry is falling. Not certain what I’m referring to? Read my posts about SEO and Tagging.
We all benefit from a yearly checkup and our blog is no different. I’d love to hear how you keep your site fresh and up-to-date.

Blessings,


Edie Melson is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for life’s stories. She loves to share her 16+ years experience in the field of writing through mentoring and teaching others. Her first foray into professional writing was as a technical writer in the 80’s. From there she quickly moved into freelance writing and editing, a perfect fit for someone who loves new challenges. Hundreds of articles and devotions, including those for Focus on the Family, CBN.com, Crosswalk.com and Christiandevotions.us, have flowed from her pen to her audience. 

A savvy business owner, Edie has numerous copywriting clients who rely on her expertise in SEO and keyword formatting. She also consults on web content and social networking. And, she's the c
o-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.

Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home, is Edie’s latest project. This devotional book for those with family members in the military has just been contracted with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Connect with Edie
Twitter - @ediemelson

4 comments:

  1. Wow! Great tips here, Edie. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Excellent tips, Edie. I'm off to check my blog!

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  3. Thanks, Edie! Very helpful information. There were a few things I'd never thought to check.

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  4. Dora, Jessica and Dawn, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad to know these tips helped. Blessings All, E

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