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Spring Cleaning Your Blog

Saturday, 29 April 2017
spring clean your blog tips and tricks bloggers tlc

By the looks of things, spring is finally here. I don't know about you guys in the rest of the UK, but I actually thought for a while that Scotland wasn't going to get spring this year at all, never mind a summer. I'm a sucker for the warm weather and bright blue-skied days, and the longer I can shed my parka for, the better. I think UK summers are the perfect balance of being beautifully warm but not too warm I'm melting and can't do anything (like, in Turkey last year it was 35-40 degrees. How do people function in that?). 

In recent months, I've talked a lot about decluttering your make-up stash and in the past I've even talked about clearing out your wardrobe (a now deleted post as I'd like to re-write it at a later date), so today I thought it was about time I got around to talking about how to spring clean your blog. There are so many ways to do this, but here are a couple to get you started.

EDIT OLD LINKS

I'm really bad for deleting old posts and videos, and as a result I end up with a lot of broken links. There are different ways you can do this, depending on how long you've been blogging for and how much content you've produced. If you have a lot to get through, Emmy from Emmy's Beauty Cave did a post on how to fix broken links which I recommend you read for all the nitty-gritty details as I'm crap at all this fiddly SEO-related jargon and how-to's. 

If, like me, you find that this actually feels like more hassle and you don't have a massive pile of posts to get through, you could to this by just invidually checking your posts. This was the best method for me as I only have a total of 130 posts altogether (both published and scheduled) as I write this, so it's not actually overkill and something I can do if I just sit down and focus on it. Plus, I have a fair idea of what posts and videos I deleted so I know right away for the most part where the problem links are. If you do it this way, though, you won't find the broken links left by other people in the comments so be aware.

TAKE NEW PHOTOS

If you've had your blog a while, chances are you've improved your photography over the months or years. I've drastically changed my style of photography, favouring portrait over landscape nowadays, and instead of a minimal background, I'm enjoying playing with colours, textures and patterns. As a result, my photography from January 2017 and prior just looks completely out of place on my blog - not only this, but I used to brand all of my photos with a title and the transparent circle, too, something I've long since dropped. 

Overall, I hate the fact that my old photography looks so crap in comparison to my new style! One day, likely during the summer months when I've got more time and less hours at work, I'm hoping to go back and re-take most of my old blog photos so I can feel more confident in those older posts. This is something that will be time consuming, yes, but worth doing if you need to freshen up your blog. Unfortunately, some photos I won't be able to retake as I've thrown out the beauty product :(

EDIT OLD POSTS

Just like your photography, there's a good chance your writing will have improved and developed during your time running a blog. Sometimes we're guilty of posting content we're not entirely happy with just so we can fill a gap in our schedule (I did this a lot in 2016) but it may be an idea you like and want to develop further. I think it's a good idea to go back and re-vamp old posts by updating not just the photos and links, but also the writing itself. I have a certain layout for my posts now, often breaking them into paragraphs and titles like you can see throughout this post, and I don't often include more than one photo now, so it'd be a good idea for me to go back and make them a little bit more uniform whilst also writing a better post using the writing skills I've learned since I first wrote the post.

I did this for my Tattoo 101 post - instead of writing a brand new piece I just went back and re-wrote it last year, and even updated the photo a few months ago.

REVAMP YOUR LAYOUT

Nothing says a fresh start like a clean new blog theme! Not everybody likes the minimalist black and white thing that I - and a lot of other bloggers - rock, but that doesn't mean a cute new theme won't breathe some fresh air into your corner of the internet. If you don't want to splash out on something new, what about just adjusting your sidebar and adding some new widgets? Add a featured post segment perhaps, or list your most popular posts to give new visitors somewhere to start, and veteran readers something to read that they may have missed. It's always worth shining light on older posts - especially if you're proud of them and feel like they could get more attention!

UPDATE YOUR INFO

This doesn't have to just be for your blog - you can do this across your other social medias too. Re-write the info visitors to your page will see right away on your sidebar or type out a summary of yourself under your About page because let's face it, we're human and constantly evolving, and you probably have changed a little since you last wrote it six months ago. If all else fails, update your profile picture to something you took recently and feel gorgeous in. Even adding an FAQ page - or section to your About page - will give readers a new way to connect and get to know you.

GO THROUGH OLD POSTS

This isn't one that everyone will want to do, but I find it highly therapeutic to go through my old posts and decide what I still want to keep and what I don't. For a lot of people, their blog is their baby and their online journal, and for that reason, they want to keep old posts as a memory and a friendly reminder of how far they've come. For me, I hate to see old posts I know I don't enjoy, and only really keep older posts I don't like if they're popular because, well, it brings in views. Shallow, yes, but I just hope people hang around long enough to read the newer content I'm more proud of. My blog is my baby, too, and for that reason I want to keep it in tip-top condition and share the content I'm pleased of and proud to put my name to.

Upon revamping my blog and branding earlier this year, I made sure to go through old posts and got rid of a lot that I felt were gap fillers from last year, and there are some I'd like to re-write, or videos I'd like to put into a post, so I've taken them down altogether and plan to redo them all again at some point in the future. I'm very delete-happy though and will do this quite a few times through the year when I become unhappy with content and/or need a general 'refresh', but I haven't regretted my decision to press the 'delete' button so far.

That's a wrap for this post - what are your tips for spring cleaning your blog? Do you plan on tidying up your site this spring?

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