1. Choose a great theme or hire a developer to create one.
If you’re just using a basic theme, you might want to branch out into something different. WordPress provides a number of clean, sleek themes that will make any blog look 100 times more professional. You can do a live preview of a theme before you activate it to see if it fits your style. If you’re not falling in love with any of the free templates, you can always purchase one. While it’s not always a blogger’s top choice to pay for a theme, you can look at it this way: By purchasing a professional theme for $40 or so, you’re still paying way less than you would for a developer to completely redo your site.
If you’re not using WordPress, you might want to try this article. It features over 200 of the best free responsive themes for Blogger!
2. Keep your tags clean and organized.
When you tag your posts, do you use any kind of system? Are there tags in your cloud that you rarely use? If you’re a blogger who has been working for a while, chances are that you’ve come up with quite a few colorful tags that you’ve used to categorize your posts. But honestly, it pays to go through and clean them up every once in a while. Try to keep common themes together–for example, graphic design, design freebies, design inspiration. If you have some random tags about a trip you took or something, go ahead and delete those. That way you keep everything neat and tidy.
3. Organize sidebars and advertisements.
If you’re a prolific blogger, you might find that your sidebars have become out of date. That’s normal, so don’t beat yourself up–but you should also clean it up for the sake of future visitors. Evaluate add-ons or advertisements and see if they still add value and are relevant. If not, get rid of them. It’s not only useless for your blogging business, but it’s also irritating for your visitors. If they take the time to read your blog, they trust your input. And when they click on broken links or advertisements that aren’t any good, they lose trust in your brand. Don’t let that happen!
4. Make sure your images are properly sized and aligned.
Did you know that your blog’s theme is designed to work with images of specific sizes? If you didn’t, now would be a good time to explore your theme’s settings and discover how your images will be most effectively displayed. Your blog theme should be responsive–that is, work on mobile devices such as phones and tablets, as well as desktops and laptops. So see which dimensions are recommended (you should be able to find information in your blog’s theme) and test it out on different screens to make sure they display properly across all devices.
5. Delete or fix old links.
There is nothing worse than getting really into reading a blog and being so excited to click through posts–only to find out that half of those links are dead. Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to go through and make sure all of your links are up to date. Sites close down. You may have moved your site and forgotten to change some of the old links. It’s okay, it happens to everyone. But make this a part of your regular blog maintenance schedule and you’ll be far less likely to receive a lot of complaints about it.
The good news is that WordPress users can find plug-ins that do this for them! Makes it a lot easier, doesn’t it?
6. Get rid of old plug-ins.
Do you have a lot of plug-ins installed that you don’t use? Are you cluttering up your sidebars with things that you could put elsewhere? Go through and get rid of them! Not only does this help increase your page load time (and studies show that a fast page load time is very important to retaining visitors), but it also makes it easier for visitors to find the links that truly matter. Check out this cool guide to get your WordPress database cleaned up efficiently.
7. Say buh-bye to old posts that offer irrelevant information.
Because we’re SEO people, we always do new posts when Google releases an update. But, as you probably already know, Google releases new updates preeeeetty often. So whenever a newer one comes out, our old posts become irrelevant. That means it’s time to take them out of scheduled post updates (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) No one wants to follow a link on social media, only to be led to something that is a complete waste of time.
If you like, you can also delete the posts from your blog altogether. For example, if your old post ends up ranking and people are getting incorrect information, you’re going to be dealing with some unhappy readers. To solve that dilemma, just unpublish the post or delete it.
Otherwise, another option could be to open up that article and insert a link to your new post. Now readers know where to go for the most accurate and up-to-date information!
8. Could you be using different fonts?
Take a good look at your blog. Do your eyes have any trouble adjusting to anything? Are your colors too bright against the background–or are they too close in hue and difficult to make out? The charts at Colorcombos.com can help you decide on an aesthetically-pleasing palette.
What about font size? Are your headers overwhelmingly large? Can you easily read the print in the body of your articles? If not, be sure to test out the font sizes on a few different screens. Keep in mind that some readers might have vision issues, so don’t make your fonts too small.
Finally, evaluate the font type. Do you have font styles that complement one another? Serifs pair well with san-serifs. Likewise, bold fonts pair well with scripts. Try I Font You for great combos!
9. Make sure your contact and about info is up-to-date.
When was the last time you updated your contact page? Has your email changed? Are you still available at the same phone number, address, or social media accounts? Double check to make sure that every bit of your contact info is correct so that your readers can contact you via the channel of their preference.
On your about page, make sure that your bio is up to date. Maybe you’ve had some important personal events happen over the last couple of years. Maybe you’ve changed jobs and have more experience to add to your bio. Make sure that your about page reflects just how awesome you are!
10. Connect social media accounts and get rid of old accounts that you no longer update.
Does your blog have the option to connect with you via social media? Whether you place widgets in the sidebars or design a floating bar with links to your social media profiles, you should always make it perfectly clear to your visitors that you’re on social media and you’re inviting them to connect with you.
If you’ve stopped using a social media network, delete that connection from your blog. It’s annoying to follow an author on Twitter, only to find out that they never tweet anymore!
Can you think of any other great tips for de-cluttering your blog? Let us know in the comments!
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