Like a good old cleaning of my war zone of a bedroom, spring cleaning for your blog can do amazing things: faster loading time, getting rid of clutter, less stress… you might even get more readers! Remember in my first blogging post, I said “design is king”? Call this an extension of that point. Here are 5 quick ways to spring clean your blog today.
First, can we please talk about that sidebar! I think everyone can agree with me on this one: say no to clutter sidebars! Only allow the important things on your sidebar: navigation, information, social media, short intro, ads… whatever you think is essential. We do not need to know your horoscope reading for the day, nor your pick of “hot man of the week” (it is obviously Chris Evans every week, ahem).
Another thing I do regularly on my blog is to look through old posts and delete anything out of date. Posts that were once hot and are now irrelevant (such as a new pieces from years ago) should go. This also allows for more bandwidth space and a less cluttered blog – you want your readers to read on the important posts!
Speaking of deleting, clean up that footer! I feel so sorry for footers – it’s like a dumping ground for whatever is left and it always ends up looking like a big mess. I love “fat footers” with relevant information, but that’s the key: keep it relevant. Like the sidebar, only put important things and make it as neat and clean as possible.
Next, get organized. One thing that I’ve changed with my blogging is to get some kinda system. Whether it’s through an Editorial Calendar plugin (for WordPress users), or set up an iCal calendar just for “blog stuff” (which is what I do); or just a simple notebook, plan out your content. Plan out ideas, notes, and have some sorta system going on your blog (if you’re semi-serious about blogging, that is. As we all know, consistency is key!)
Now, with the rise of personal web fonts and Google fonts, everyone is going font-crazy! But don’t get too font-crazy. Personally I think this is one way to make design really messy – the eye takes a while to get used to it. And if the reader has to take time to “get used to your blog”, rather than arriving on it and knowing exactly what it’s about, they may close the window and you’ve lost a potential reader. While you can go buck-wild on your banner image, keep everything else – the content, post titles and sidebar and footers – fonts no more than 2/3 different fonts. And as for cursive or handwriting fonts, limit it to one.
Do you regularly spring-clean your blog? Is this something important to you? If you have any more points to add, please share! (Also, if you want more blogging tips, check out my post here.)