To attract an audience and keep it we need to constantly repair and refresh our blogs. When was the last time you did a complete blog over-haul? Have you ever done one? These four steps will help you refresh your blog by breathing new life into it.
“To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward”– Margaret Fairless Barber
Is your blog functioning well?
Broken links and bad links
Broken links and bad links imply you don’t care enough to manage your blog well. Search engines favor the highest quality results and may penalize sites with many broken links. Use some free tools to maintain and track your links. Check for broken links and bad neighborhood links and repair or replace them.
Gadgets and Widgets
When it comes to gadgets and widgets less is more because viewers have to wait for gadgets and widgets to load before they can interact with your blog. Too many widgets will:
- increase page loading time and provoke potential visitors to click out before the blog loads,
- spoil the theme design giving the blog an amateurish appearance;
- distract readers from focusing on your content.
Is your blog representing you, your purpose and your passions?
Revisit your purpose for your blog and the vision you have for its growth.
- Has your audience expanded? Do you want it to grow?
- Is it time to alter or modify your blog’s purpose?
- Is it time to change or improve on how you reach your audience?
A vision board is a collage representing your blogging focus (topics) and new things you want to see happening in your blog. Use your vision board as a springboard for updating your goals. Carry through by updating your Tagline, About page and blog description. Don’t forget to freshen your gravatar and profile page on social networks too.
Is your blog looking fresh and lively?
Evaluating your theme by seeing your blog through the eyes of your audience is the next step. Changing themes or freshening up the theme you are currently using will breathe some new life into your blog. You cannot build or use your own custom theme built from scratch, you cannot upload third-party themes, and you cannot edit themes at WordPress.com. However, there are ways to customize themes built-in such as custom header images, custom backgrounds and featured images. Some themes have color customizable options. Try experimenting with a different color scheme and ensure your colors choices are the right choices for your readers. If you want to go further and do some custom designing of an existing theme you can use CSS editing for freshening your WordPress.com theme.
Are you ready to freshen your writing?
Eye tracking studies reveal we typically scan blogs in an “F” shaped pattern similar to two horizontal strips and one vertical strip which form a shape resembling the letter “F”. Eye tracking studies advice: Understand the F principle, write eye-catching, concise headlines and display crisp images. The title and first two paragraphs must be attention grabbing. Use sub-headings, bullet points, and paragraphs to keep the reader focused when scanning down the left side of the eye tracking pattern.
Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience. — Henry David Thoreau
Try out a different style. Take a new approach. Blog to inform. Blog to persuade. Blog something controversial. Use comedy to address serious topics. Or get personal and go deep. A thought-provoking post that engages readers in the discussion can attract new readers like nothing else can.
I’d like to hear any and all suggestions you readers have for refreshing a blog so please share them in the comments.