5 Steps to Cleaning Up Your Blog Before Year's End.

When I first started my social media consulting business earlier this year, I didn't think I was going to blog. It wasn't that I didn't have anything to say, but I was hesitant to commit to what I knew would need to be a consistent piece of content.

After years of working for the federal government, then for a celebrity, then for a "startup" agency - I had an innate chip on my shoulder for anyone telling me what to do. Committing myself to a blog felt like yet another shackle, even if it was one that I created.

"You are not the boss of me!" is kind of an unspoken slogan for my life - whether that's healthy or not.

Regardless, I threw myself into my business the way I do with everything - extreme voraciousness for anything I could learn and read to get started in the right way.

What I realized very quickly, was that in order to establish expertise and consistent "owned" content - I had to blog. No way around it. 

Ok, fine.

I started by saying I was going to blog once per week. I am not a "blogger" in that that's the way I make my living, so I didn't see a reason to blog several times per week. As the months have gone by, a schedule of once per week has proven to be the perfect commitment for me. It keeps me on track, accountable, but not overwhelmed. So how do blogging and social media overlap?

I tell all of my social media clients one main thing when I meet with them for a consultation: Social Media serves brand awareness and affinity - not direct sales.

Its purpose is to drive people to what you own - your website and email list. Most potential customers need to be touched 6-7 times by your content before they are ready to buy - which is readily accomplished with great social media posts. 

How do you provide that great expert content that will convince people they need to buy/hire you? Blogging.

At this point, I'm talking in circles and I think you get the picture. If you want to know more about my social media soapbox - read here.

Since I started blogging, my methods and graphics have evolved quickly. Last month, I decided I was going to start the new year by having all my past blogs updated and up-to-speed with my current practices. It's been a process for sure. 

I want you to start 2016 by running a tight ship - so here is the step-by-step process I used (am using, because I'm not quite done) to update my blogs.

5 Steps to Cleaning Up Your Blog Before Year's End

Step 1: Catalog all of your blog posts.

Go through your blog archive and list all of your blogs so you know how many you're dealing with.

Step 2: Decide how many blogs you will update at a time.

Don't try to do them all at once if you have more than 10 blogs to update - you'll get exhausted and give up. I do a month at a time, but you could also do one per day. What ever works - just decide and stick to it.

Step 3: Create a blog checklist.

You need to define the elements of your blog that are consistent and help you keep track. I keep track of images, tags, social shares, publishing, etc. As you go through your old blogs, this will help you check off what needs to be updated.

You didn't think I was going to leave you hanging did you? 

 ↓↓You can get the exact checklist I use for my blogs here↓↓

Step 4: Check all links.

I redesigned my site/blog a few months ago, and while I thought I updated all my links, as I've gone through each blog I realize there are STILL links to update. Sometimes it's that I switched the name of the page (hence the url link), and other times it's that I need to update the call to action (CTA) link. If you have a custom 404 like I do - your humor will at least soften the blow of bad link frustration and redirect visitors easily.

Step 5: Update graphics.

Your blog images should be branded (colors, fonts, logo) as easily identifiable to you. Brand recognition is how you start establishing your little corner of the pond in your industry. Whether you use free tools like Canva, or a professional program like Photoshop, the visual consistency is hugely important. 

The Art of Social Media was a big help in identifying for me how I needed to create my graphics for social media sharing.

That's it - and that'll keep you busy for awhile! What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

BloggingCara ChaceHow To