When you hear the term “updating” what is the first thing you think of? Probably updating your plugins or updating to the newest version of WordPress. But it goes way beyond that. Now I am not a techie, but noticed there were some things about my blog that needed re-vamping. Here is a list that of things you may or may not be aware of. know of why it is so important to change things up on your blog if you are blogging for a while.
Themes: As a WordPress user, you may equate your theme with the design of your blog. I did, until I realized that a theme is not only a “design” but like a plugin, it needs to be updated regularly. If it is not, then you will be susceptible to security hacks, which could be devastating. I had a theme that the developer no longer worked on, so I never got any updates. So I switched themes. You might want to consider that, too, if you have a theme that the developer has abandoned or is not actively updating.
Plugins: There are many issues with plugins, too. They have to all work together like a dance. Sometimes one plugin you update will conflict with another one. It is like dancing with someone stepping on your toes. Now, I don’t know about you, but I just cannot keep up with all the changes of plugins and security issues. I’m not a do it yourself kinda gal, so I had this all done for me by my new hosting company (which I’m loving).
Read-Ability: Are you satisfied with the way your posts look on your home page? I wasn’t. I wanted to change it up a bit so I went for a “magazine” style theme. The first three posts are listed in 2 columns and the rest are one column. So it is easier for my readers to scan through if they see something interesting.
Optin: What sort of opt-in form is on your sidebar, header or footer? How old is it? An opt-in should be “ethically bribing” your visitors with a free offer in exchange for them opting in to your email list. Building an email list is one of the most important functions of your blog. So, when was the last time you updated it? Is it working well? Do new people continue to subscribe to your list? Or, has it become stale, out of date or just not the lead magnet it once was.
Now, my free offer was doing just fine and I was getting lots of opt-ins on a regular basis. But it was out of date and the video quality was poor for some reason. Plus, I grew… I released my new product and needed to have a targeted opt-in that would be congruent with it. So, it was time for a new opt-in form. Yea!
“Connect With Me” buttons: You want it to be clear and easy for your visitors to find your social site connections on your blog. Did you ever go to a blog and got so impressed by the author that you wanted to connect with him/her in every social media? I have. And sometimes I cannot find those buttons. Grrrrr Make sure it is visible and easy for your readers to find. If not, get a new one!
“Social Share” buttons: If visitors can find your share buttons easily, you are doing well. Plain and simple is the name of the game. After reading a blog, right after you comment, the first thing you want to do is share it on your social media sites.
If those buttons don’t look immediately familiar to people, or they are hidden somewhere beneath an obscure link, the reader is not going to share it no matter how good your article is. Did you ever come across a post and had to spend time figuring out where the heck those buttons were? Frustrating isn’t it. I bet you never shared it!
“Counters” on your Social Share Buttons: Some people don’t like counters. It’s great to have when someone scans out your blog and sees how many social shares you have on your posts. It’s a “wow” factor that gives you immediate social proof and authority status.
When I was making my theme switch, I chose a new Social Share button. Those counters could have been lost, and I agree to that because my old share button was causing too many problems. I leaped for joy when the numbers actually did migrate over. I know Mr. Google knows how many shares I have and factors it into my ranking, but I wanted my readers, especially new ones to see those shares!
Head shot on your blog: If you notice, mine didn’t change yet… but it will soon. Mine is 4 years old and I do have a different look than I did four years ago. Just waiting to get a professional head shot done. But this is important, because you want to look like who you are NOW! Did you ever go to a blog for a while and thought that person had a specific appearance, then come to find out, they didn’t look like that at all? Be who you are! Remember, one of the biggest ways you will ever attract people is by being authentic… not a fashion model… just an honest and authentic person.
Title and Sub-Title: The Title and Sub-Title in your header tells your readers (and search engine bots) what to expect on your blog. It’s your brand… Who you are and what you do. I still call myself “Donna Merrill Tribe” because I know it takes a tribe of people working together to make your online business successful. I branded myself this way from the beginning. The Sub-Title tells the reader specifically what to expect on your blog. In a sense, it announces your “niche” to the world.
“About Me” page: This needs to be updated as you grow. Make it somewhat personal and tell a bit about yourself. Even better, put a short video on it to really build some rapport with your readers. (I’m working on that one myself… lol)
These are some of the things you should consider updating, if you’ve let your blog get stale, non-secure or you just want to give it a facelift! Now here is a little video I did for you… don’t worry its short!