Well, we have all had a nice two week’s holiday from the stress and strain of school runs, after school play dates and lessons and, for many of us, a two week holiday from blogging and social media. It is difficult to balance the daily challenges of our children being at home during a holiday with the running of the house, home and blog! Generally, and reasonably so, blogging tends to go on the back burner until we are blessed to return to normality and routine.
Thus far, in the Embrace Happy Blogger Challenge we have talked about relighting your fire by breaking down why you blog, we have examined who you follow through your social media channels and we have turned a blind eye to block the stats that tend to vex us so. Now it’s time to have a proper Spring clean but not of your social media channels, I’m talking about your blog!
Don’t you just love that feeling when you have a lovely clean and shiny home/bedroom/kitchen? You actually want to spend time in that room and you may even want to invite people over to revel in it as well. When we are having visitors, whether simply for a cuppa or for a proper “Come Dine with Me” dinner party, we spend time tidying, polishing, adding flowers, spraying a bit of air freshener and dimming the lights. It makes us proud of our setting and comfortable hosting people doesn’t it? Well, this week it’s time to have the same pride for your blog. It’s time for a good, old-fashioned Spring clean of your blog!
First of all, I want you to have a look on your Dashboard. Are their any updates needed? Do you have plugins or themes that you do not use but are languishing in the dust of your Dashboard? Out they go! De-clutter! I have it on very good authority and through first-hand knowledge that leaving plugins or themes that either you no longer actively use or which need an update is the perfect access for a hacker. And once a hacker gets in, like any household pest, it is exceptionally difficult to get rid of them. Keep your plugins, themes and platforms fully updated and “tidied” at all times.
Next, I would like you to have a good, unbiased look at your site as others view it. Look at how it functions, how it looks, how easily people can navigate through your site and find what you have spent plenty of time creating. Do you have a lot of distracting, flashing, whirling ads or images which might put viewers off? When was the last time you edited your About Me page? Is there a picture of you on the site welcoming your readers? Are your social media links in easy viewing for access? Are your pictures running over the width of your column? Are your advertisements or text images in your sidebar too big? It’s time for a tidy-up!
Finally, take this time to think about the theme you are using. If it’s not functioning well for you or you aren’t 100% happy with it, look around for something different. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials out there for even the most obscure of blog themes. Do a big of research and you may find tricks that you never knew! You, of course, want to ensure that any theme you use is fully responsive as most viewers tend to be reading blogs on smartphones and tablets these days. You may also want to consider a header re-design or making a new logo. PicMonkey and Canva are brilliant for this if you’re not a magnificently talented graphic designer.
The reason I want you to do this Spring clean is because when we are proud of something, when we feel comfortable and that it looks pretty and inviting, we want to spend time there and share it with others. This applies to your home and your blog. I know that I am more inclined to spend more time on my blog and regularly update it when I am excited about how it looks and how others view it. So as we move from late Spring to early Summer, take your blog and shake out the cobwebs! It’s time to feel proud of where you blog and how it represents you, your family and your passions. Now, get to polishing and show us all how amazing your blog can be!