11 Ways To Spring Clean Your Blog Or Business Anytime Of The Year
Whatever the time of year, sometimes you just really need to declutter that Monica closet! Well, it’s the same with your blog and business.
At least once a year or so, it’s important to do some digital feather dusting, so you can:
- Figure out what’s most effective for your business
- See what’s not working anymore
- Find things which need to be updated
- Choose activities to simplify and streamline
And - bonus! - you’ll gain more insight into your readers and potential ideal clients + improve their experience when they interact with your business + gain more time to do what you do best.
Caveat #1: Before you read on, you need at least 6 - 12 months of blogging &/or business behind you to benefit from these activities.
Caveat #2: You don’t have to do everything on this list! Even choosing one element to focus on will still have a positive effect on your blog & biz.
FYI All the tools mentioned are either free or have free trials/options - the vast majority can be used effectively for free.
Spring cleaning your blog
1 | Find out which of your posts performed the best
Take note of your top 5 - 10 posts (of all time &/or the last 6 to 12 months):
- Which posts got the most traffic? (You can use Google Analytics to monitor your site)
- Which posts got the most shares? (By other people, not you!)
- Which posts got the most comments?
These posts resonated with more of your readers.
2 | Audit your top performing blog posts
Looking at your comments on your blog and the response on social media, think about:
- Why did these particular topics resonate with your reader?
- What questions were showing up in reader’s comments?
- What did people gain from these posts?
- What were people’s own insights &/or ‘aha’ moments?
- Anything else?
You can use this information to plan out new content, update posts or write new ones where you dive deeper on popular topics and sub-topics.
3 | Repurpose some of your best content
There are SO many ways you can do this to add more value and get the most mileage from your blogging efforts, such as:
- Re-promote popular posts on your social channels - use a scheduler, like Buffer, Hootsuite or Later.
- Write a roundup of your most popular posts from the last 12 months.
- Write roundups of your best content on different sub-topics. For example, I’m an SEO and digital marketing specialist, so I could write a roundup listing my top SEO posts, another on blogging strategy, another on social media marketing, etc.
- Make downloadable content upgrades, such as templates, cheat sheets, checklists, or guides - make sure people have to subscribe to download and you’ll gain subscribers (aka lead magnets).
4 | Give old posts a brand new life
Constantly publishing posts can be challenging once you’re juggling clients and the rest of your biz! If you’ve been blogging for a while, updating some old posts can be a great way of keeping your blog fresh.
But it’s more than just giving your post a new title and hitting publish! You can:
- Has your post dated - are there new statistics or industry info you can add?
- Could some/all of the headings or subheadings be updated?
- Remove time-sensitive text and make your post useful year-round (aka ‘evergreen’).
- Add a CTA (Call-To-Action) at the end of the post to encourage comments.
- Make your posts more shareable (see #6 below).
- Break up text with quotes, subheadings, bullets and images (see #5 & #6 below).
- Update the publish date, to bump it to the top of your blog feed.
- Email popular posts to your email subscribers.
Even if you change the title, don’t change the URL! If you really want to change the URL, set up a 301 redirect, so that you don’t lose the old traffic.
5 | Make your blog picture-perfect
Going forward, help people enjoy your blog more and stick around:
Use on-brand stock photos to create appealing imagery.
Use sub-headings to break up long chunks of text help readers who love to scan get to the content they want most.
De-clutter your sidebar to keep readers on your blog, eg:
Do you really need those ads taking readers off your site?
Are those badges well-known and adding value?
A small number of “as seen on” brand names or client logos are okay, but don’t overload your sidebar.
6 | Make your posts shareable
Going forward, give readers easy ways to share your content, via:
- Tweetable quotes, using Click To Tweet.
- Add picture quotes - images which highlight an insight from your post.
- Create a pinnable feature image for your posts.
- Use an app like Sumo and Shareaholic to help people share your post across any platform at the click of a button.
- Share the imagery on your posts (with a link of course!) across your social platforms.
Cleaning up your blog or business will help you to gain more insight into your readers and potential ideal client, improve their experience when they interact with your business and gain more time to do what you do best.
Spring cleaning your biz
Here are some tips as to get you started on spring cleaning your business both online and offline.
7 | Audit your customer experience
I’m sure you provide a great customer or user experience (UX)! However, it helps to analyze those areas of your business to ensure their working for both you and your clients.
- Are there any changes you can make to enhance your customer/user experience?
- Are you gathering client feedback (not just reviews) to see where you can improve?
- Do you provide onboarding training and reference materials for staff?
- Most customers check your website before buying or making inquiries - would FAQs, a knowledge-base or Live Chat be of any help? This can also help cut down on your time spent responding to queries (more time-saving tips in #7).
Your website UX:
Is your site/blog easy to navigate? You can use blog categories and tags to organize your posts.
Is it very easy to find your contact details?
Is your blog topic obvious to a new reader? Could you add a headline on your blog feed page? I have my six main categories on my sidebar to help readers find topics of most relevance to them.
Have you checked to see if you have any broken links? You can check by adding Google Search Console to your blog or run your site through a free tool like Broken Link Check.
Does your website load in under 2-3 seconds? You can speed things up by:
Deleting plugins you don’t really need
8 | Find ways to streamline & automate
You can still provide a personal experience while automating some parts of your business - in fact, streamlining and automating will give you more time for client work, marketing and connecting.
- Are there any ways you can streamline your client intake process &/or after service? For example, could you create an intake form for new clients (and project feedback forms) with Google Forms, SurveyMonkey or Typeform.
- Are you using a project management tool to stay on top of your tasks + maximize your productivity? I love Asana for my internal team and 17Hats for my client work.
- Are you using an appointment scheduling app? Acuity, SimplyBookMe, MINDBODY (paid only) for wellness businesses are just some of the myriad of apps available.
- Have you created a welcome email for new subscribers &/or customers? You can even have a short welcome sequence that leads up to a paid offer.
- Could you sign up for an accounting software to automate your invoices? Wave, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Harvest, and many others can do this for you. Or if you use something like 17Hats mentioned above, invoices are built in.
- Do you have any templates you can copy & paste then edit? This can really save time when responding to queries, throughout project work and sending out invoices.
There are a wide range of tools for each point above - simply ‘Google’ phrases like ‘project management app reviews’ to help you decide.
9 | Analyze your branding and marketing
This is not something to do too often, but every few years it’s worth checking that you’re still happy with your core branding.
Here are some things you can do more regularly:
- Is your brand ethos still clear and in-line with your marketing?
- Are your visuals on social media still representing your business fully? You could hire a designer to create a new look or range of templates for you or DIY on Canva.
- Are you advertising in the right places, where your ideal clients hang out?
- Are you re-targeting warm prospects with, for example, suitable Facebook Ads?
- Which digital and offline marketing activities are still working for you?
- What podcasts and blogs could you be a guest on?
- Which social channels are working best for you? You don’t have to be everywhere! Use a handful of the ones you enjoy + where your ideal clients hang out (see #10). And, if you’re a solopreneur with no freelancers helping you out, stick to 1 or 2 profiles to be active on.
10 | Explore your full network and connections
There are a number of ways you can explore how you’re growing and making best use of your network, such as:
What have been your most productive ways to find new clients in the past - is that still working for you, or is it time to try something new? I’ve found networking offline has been a great way to connect with peers + new clients.
Ensure you are grow your mailing list online and offline:
Invite people making inquiries, your new contacts + new customers to join your mailing list.
Take a ‘Subscribe to Our Mailing List’ printout to events.
What activities seem to be working well for market leaders in your field, in gaining quality leads.
Are you hanging out where your ideal clients hang out? Are they in Facebook groups or on other platforms, like Pinterest or Instagram?
Have you got contacts or old clients you haven’t reached out to in a few months? Hit them up!
11 | Spring clean your SEO
Whether you own a bricks & mortar business or a 100% online enterprise, you can use SEO to with great effect. It’s not a fast hack, but the effort you put in now pays dividends later. SEO done well can have a snowball effect and there are really simple actions you can take variety of simple steps to optimize your SEO.
Where is your traffic coming from? You can set-up Google Analytics to track this.
Review your content strategy and update if needed - SEO, in my book, is a tactical mix of content strategy and ‘classic’ search engine optimisation.
Going back to your most popular posts, and going forward with new posts, see how you can refine the SEO on those post (see how below).
Research your keywords - this can even help you get ideas for future posts.
Update the metadata to boost where you land in search engines: update or write a meta description and title tag for each post (they show up as the description and title on search results and when shared on platforms, like Facebook).
As mentioned in #7, optimizing your images improves how fast your site loads, which reduces the numbers of people leaving before your site has loaded and search engines prefer faster-loading sites.
Keep abreast of how search evolves, for example, are you:
Considering voice search is on the rise?
Creating content for the different stages of the customer journey?
Using Pinterest as a search engine?
Using your location to your advantage? Getting into Google’s Local Pack search results is vital for stationary-premises businesses, such as wellness centers, retailers, opticians, spas, hotels, cafés, etc; as well as mobile businesses, such as photographers, mobile therapists, food trucks etc.
SEO is so powerful - I find it truly exciting to discover the benefits it can have to a fellow biz owner’s bottom line!
So, to summarize, the 11 ways you can spring clean your blog & biz are:
- Find out which of your posts performed the best
- Audit your top performing blog posts
- Repurpose some of your best content
- Give old posts a brand new life
- Make your blog picture-perfect
- Make your posts shareable
- Audit your customer experience
- Find ways to streamline & automate
- Analyze your branding and marketing
- Explore your full network and connections
- And, my favorite, spring clean your SEO
Which spring cleaning activity are you going to try first?
written by danielle zeigler