Reboot Your Own Blog

Performancing offers a blog rebooting service, and its always great to see what Ahmed has to say. I always find a take home lesson to apply to my own blogs.

But this post isn’t about having someone else reboot your blog. Rather, I’d like to suggest that you do your own annual portfolio reboot.

If you own multiple blogs, or even if you just own one blog, consider how much you learn over the course of a year. If you’re a full time blog operator, then you learn little tricks throughout the year that can make your blog more successful. Why not spend one or two days each year applying and optimizing all the new things you’ve learned?

In my last article on WordPress plugins, you’ll notice that my #4 plugin suggestion was for “related posts” – after I wrote that, I went around and looked at all my blogs and realized that the majority of them did not have a related posts plugin. In fact, it looks like the only blogs that had the plugin were ones I was trying to resurrect.

So how have I responded? Well, by trying to think about all the little tricks I’ve learned over the last year, writing them down in list format, and then applying them, one by one, to each of my blogs.

It’s absolutely amazing to go back and do a little maintenance on some of your older blogs. If you’re like me, you’ll be embarrassed and surprised by the stupid mistakes you made, the dumb decisions, the things that everyone was raving about but didn’t work, etc. You’ll probably even notice a few things that did work.

But I guarantee that if you haven’t done any “under the roof” maintenance, save for a WordPress upgrade or two, there’s plenty of improvement to be had.

Here’s a list of things I’ve discovered so far:

1. Missing related posts plugin
2. Using old-school [hr] tags to accentuate AdSense instead of pretty little CSS div tags
3. Missing internal navigation between posts (can you believe it?)
4. Missing search box
5. Bad placement of ads
6. Lots of ads that make no money
7. Ads without any tracking (no channels, etc.)
8. No link back to the home page (except on the header image, which isn’t intuitive for everyone)
9. Nondescript categories that serve no purpose but to crowd the sidebar
10. Full posts listed on front page rather than excerpts

The list doesn’t end there. But that’s plenty of evidence that we could all use an annual blog reboot or two. So plan on it and set the time aside. It’s worth it.

3 thoughts on “Reboot Your Own Blog

  1. Ryan,

    Ya know, I was thinking the same thing over the weekend. I know several bloggers and SEOs who tend to neglect their own blogs and websites – as a professional that’s being very unfair to yourself.

    But more to the point of the article – yes, I’d say that you should reboot a blog every quarter. I do it every month, but then again that’s because a) I don’t have 100 sites and b) I do minor reboots instead of massive overhauls. Sometimes a blog needs a redesign, sometimes they need a new plugin, etc.

    And when we’re talking about reboots, refreshing the marketing strategy for each site will help as well.

  2. I try to do this for every few quarter for every blog I have. Now whether I actually do anything about it depends on how busy I am 😛

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