After getting married last summer, I took a sabbatical from blogging while settling into newlywed life. Now that our first anniversary is approaching in a month (!), I am looking forward to getting back to blogging. In anticipation of that, recently I did a bit of spring cleaning around my blog. Not only is my site now newly redesigned (by Gretchen Louise) and prettier than ever, I rewrote some posts, redid some graphics, and made sure all my maintenance tasks were up to date. Looking to spring clean your blog? I share tips and tricks below—including the #1 tool I use that I couldn’t have tackled this massive task without!
But first, do you even need to?
You May Want to Spring Clean Your Blog If…
Whether you’re an entrepreneur launching a business or a stay-at-home (or not!) wife/mother wanting to bring in some side hustle income, a healthy blog may be a huge component of your everyday. Hi, I’m Rachelle, and I’m both an entrepreneur and part-time stay-at-home wife. I house my business on this web space, so I strive to run my website well so that I can also run my business well. I knew that I wanted to conduct a spring cleaning because I hadn’t blogged in a while and I was getting a brand new WordPress design, so I wanted the innards to match the outer brand-new gorgeousness.
But if your to-do list is already overflowing, don’t add spring cleaning–and overwhelm–to your tasks!
If you decide it’s for you, below I share how I spring clean my blog—and tips you can use to spring clean your blog!
First, Conduct a Content Audit.
I reread everything. That’s right, I took the plunge into all my archived posts (pages, too!). This is actually the second time I’ve gone through all of my archived content during my blogging history. After all, I began this blog when I was an eighteen-year-old homeschool grad. Then I was a twenty-two-year-old college grad when I did Bloganization the first time. Now I’m a twenty-four-year-old wife, author, and business owner!
Do you need to reread everything? No!
- Start with your evergreen or cornerstone content (popular posts + pages, especially the pages on your navigation bar) and work outward from there.
- Use the Yoast SEO plug-in to easily create a sitemap so that you can easily see all of your content at a glance.
- Use a spreadsheet. I exported my sitemap into an Excel spreadsheet and highlight in green the posts and pages I deemed “done” so that I never lost track of where I was in the course of my audit.
To offer a bit of perspective, all that history means in my post list I had a heap of personal journal-like posts, peeks into my love story, and blogroll lists where I offered info about my book tours. Three seemingly disconnected segments of the same site! So I decided to spring clean my blog around the disjointed sections. I took care of any overlap I noticed along the way. But how?
Consider Your Theme
Use Google Keep to organize notes
When I mention noticing things along the way, I noticed a lot. Plug-ins I was no longer using, pages I hadn’t updated in forever but wasn’t sure I wanted to keep, and how saggy my graphics look—just to name a few. I love Google Keep because I was able to type something I noticed needs attention quickly into my “spring clean blog” to-do list and return to what I was focusing on in the moment. This kept me task-oriented and chugging along efficiently, instead of getting carried away by every new rabbit trail and broken link.
Google Keep also allows me to color-code all my notes, create checkboxes, and label them all bloganization so I can easily find them again. An organizer’s dream-come-true! It’s definitely the #1 tool I wouldn’t recommend spring-cleaning without.
Best part? It syncs across all my devices!
Delete Irrelevant Content
I lost you right there, didn’t I? Don’t worry, I’m not saying DELETE as in eradicate eternally.
For me, I discovered some of my content to be very disorganized. Although I knew the first time I did bloganization the power of the Delete button, I quickly relearned that lesson this time around. I deleted ninety posts. Which sounds so scary! But, listen. Some were short announcement posts. Some outdated posts were about giveaways of my books that are now closed. Some were more personal, journal-like posts that I didn’t feel lent themselves to the new theme of my site: inspiring others through words, either mine or yours, freshly polished by the services I offer here.
So I lightened the posts archive, refreshed evergreen content, and just generally re-familiarized myself with my blog so that I can roll up my sleeves and begin enjoying writing on my blog again!
And that’s it! That’s how I spring-cleaned my blog this year. Easy (and as time-consuming) as that. I hope you’ve been encouraged to perhaps spring clean your blog if it needs it.
Are you thinking of spring cleaning? What overwhelms you the most?