The start of the new year is a great time to re-evaluate your blog and do some updates. I’m sharing my tips for updating your blog to get off on the right foot this year!
Migrate from HTTP to HTTPS
If you haven’t heard, Google is starting to label sites “Not Secure” that do not have the “HTTPS” URL. Why is this a problem? Because readers might be hesitant to visit your site if they get that warning thus decreasing your traffic. I’ve heard that Google will also lower your visibility in searches if you don’t have the secure HTTPS prefix. So it’s in your best interest to switch over ASAP.
Basically, you need an SSL certificate for your site. I got mine through my hosting site (BlueHost) and it was free for WordPress users. If you use BlueHost too just click on “SSL” under the security section of your control panel and follow the instructions. I did have my cousin (who is a computer wiz) help me out but it did seem pretty simple. I didn’t have to do anything else to my WordPress site to get the HTTPS. Some of the articles I’ve read on the topic seem pretty confusing so I would try this route first if you have WordPress and use BlueHost like I do.
Clean Up Your Site
Now’s a great time to give your website a “once over” and make sure all the information is updated.
– Update your “About Me” Section! Did you recently have a major life change? Have a baby? Graduate college? Are you still sure you like the same things you did when you started your blog 5 years ago? This might be the first page a brand or potential follower goes to so you need to put your best foot forward and let them know what they can expect to find on your blog, a little bit about who you are as a person, and what value you can bring to their lives. It’s great that you love fashion, coffee, and puppies but why should readers keep coming back to your blog? Are you a resource for where to shop on a budget? For creative recipes? For out-of-the-box style inspiration?
- Make sure to include your NAME in your about section! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited a blog and have the hardest time finding out someone’s name because it’s not listed on the sidebar, at the bottom of their post OR the “About Me” section. Who am I looking at??
– Check out your sidebar and navigation bar and clean up any sections you don’t use anymore. The same goes for widgets if you have a WordPress blog. Uninstall widgets you don’t use anymore because it will help with site speed.
– Check all your links! Make sure all your social media buttons/icons actually go your your social media sites. Same goes for any links or buttons on your sidebar.
– Check your branding across all platforms. All of your social media sites should have the same profile picture so you are easily recognizable. It would also be a good idea to update the BIO for all social sites as well.
Plan Content/Brainstorm Ideas for the Year
I definitely need to take my own advice and PLAN AHEAD this year. Too often I’m rushing to put together posts for holidays or seasonal events. Try to at least think a month ahead so you can plan outfit themes and make sure you have space for sponsored content.
So how do you figure out what to post about besides outfit photos?
– Explore your Google Analytics and find out what posts were the most popular so you can do MORE OF THAT this year. For me, a lot of my popular posts revolve around minimalist fashion so it would be a good idea for me to post more about that. Login to Google Analytics, got to BEHAVIOR > SITE CONTENT > ALL PAGES to find your top pages.
- PRO TIP: Use your analytics to leverage sponsorships with brands. For example, I did a non-paid post for a shampoo brand a couple years ago that gets a lot of traffic. It would be a good idea for me to contact that brand again and see if we can work together on some sponsored content this time!
– Think outside the box. What can you do this year to set yourself apart from the competition? I think brands and followers are getting tired of seeing the typical #ootd posts that most bloggers (including myself) put out. Moving forward, the bloggers that can come up with original ways to reach their audience with be the ones getting the sponsorships.
I’ve put together a 4 page PDF checklist/worksheet with everything I talked about here PLUS more tips on how to update your blog for the new year.
I’m actually going to be using this checklist to go over my blog. I definitely need to practice what I preach and some elements on my site still need an upgrade. You might notice that I’m working on updating my blog header, fonts, navigation categories, and more! Let me know if you have any other questions about how to update sections on your blog!
P.S. You can find more blogging tips HERE!