Blog Update & 15 Aspects That Might Need Your Attention

by @thewritermama on July 6, 2010 · 5 comments

Every three months, my blog is badly in need of an update. It’s been six months since the last update and so much has happened that many things that were posted were embarrassingly out of date. I could have let that throw me but I just used it as motivation to really dig in and get everything ship-shape.

Does this happen to you? I imagine it does. Part of the reality of the platforming writer/author is that we are building, building, building our business and networks all the time. So if we don’t stay on top of what we are communicating, it’s going to become stale quickly.

Here’s a list of the kinds of things that I fixed, maybe they will inspire you to check your blog too:

  1. Blog title/subtitle: I tweaked these to a variation of what they used to be. I never wanted my blog and my e-zine to have the same name but I let that slide for a while. It feels good to finally have a separate identity for each of them. Basically my blog now says what I do. And my e-zine says who I serve. That works.
  2. Consolidate Info: The information about my books was on two separate pages. In retrospect, that made no sense, so I consolidated all the relevant into onto one page.
  3. Remove Out-of-date Info: Some of the information on my classes page was no longer relevant since I am not offering those classes at this time. Down the copy came.
  4. Clarify Any Fuzzy Ideas: My page headers were too esoteric. Now they pretty much say what they are. I had gone with an idea that seemed clever to me at the time. But in retrospect, the vagueness of the page headers might have been impeding navigation of the site. And that’s always a bad thing. I think they are more clear now.
  5. Proof All Copy Carefully: Even though I had partially updated some pages, I spotted several examples of my old e-mail address where my new one should have been and other mentions of timing that needed corrections. Always check your fine print!
  6. Change Your Mind: When Author Mama came out in the Alpha edition, I raised the price from $5.99 to $9.99. In retrospect this was a bad idea, even though I suppose it must have made sense to me at the time. So back down to $5.99 it went and that’s where it’s going to stay.
  7. Say What You Are Going To Do: Not what you already did. Are your upcoming appearances posted? Or do you still have your past appearances up there? Guess which I had? All better now.
  8. Amplify Your Credibility: I had not listed where I’ve spoken or listed my credits. It took a bit of time to gather all this info together. But it should be shared since it’s an important part of my credibility.
  9. Don’t Just Do What Google Does: On my Creds page I made an effort to compile the works that Google would not necessarily list for a person searching for me by name or book. I have, in the past, linked to a lot more online sources, but those links go out of date and need such constant updating that I’m going to let Google take care of it.
  10. Share What Others Say About You: It’s difficult to remember to request testimonials from folks unless you make it a regular part of what you do. I realized that I had been collecting feedback from students but not audience members or coaching clients. So I’ve started to make this part of my routine.
  11. Don’t Forget Your Mission: My Trust page is a way to let folks see what I’m all about. I want them to see both that I have a mission and that I’m a real person. I have a family and pets and a life and other responsibilities I balance with my work. I’m a person, not a brand. I’m a real person who works with real people. I want my blog to express this.
  12. Comply As Necessary: I also state in my Trust page that I run a blog as part of my business and list my affiliations to comply with Federal Law.
  13. Tweak Your Bio: My bio didn’t change too much except to say that I am working on my third book for Writer’s Digest. I think I must have already updated it several times since the New Year because it was pretty good.
  14. Remove the Non-sustainable: I took down what is no longer sustainable for me at this time. Be careful that you don’t over-promise. Better to under-promise and over-deliver. The unsustainable was posted on both my Contact Me page and my Free page. My schedule has changed to include the writing of a 100,000-word book, so what I can freely offer has been tweaked accordingly.
  15. Offer Some Things for Free: I noticed that my Free page needed a new post to share. So I decided to include this one. Please feel free to re-post it in your blog.

Sure, there’s always more you can do. I will add a slideshow by the end of the summer. I’m creating podcasts of my books for fall. I’ll have more e-products by then, as well. But for now, all we are talking about is getting everything up to speed. I hope this tour of my blog tidying helps you tidy your blog/site up, too. Give yourself some time and just go for it!

~ Photo by Pewari Naan

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  • http://www.lydiasharp.blogspot.com/ LydiaSharp

    Thank you so much for this! You make it all seem so easy. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/RhiBowman Rhiannon Bowman

    Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I put off updating my site for so long it became a point of stress. While I still have a long way to go to get it to where I envision it, it feels so good to have *finally* spent an afternoon updating it. Now that I've overcome that hurdle, I've renewed my interest in learning more about how to make the site shine, I feel less embarrassed and I'm blogging more.

    By the way, your site looks great. I love the Thesis Theme! It really is an easy button.

    Keep up the good work, and thanks for the inspiration.

    Rhi B.

  • http://worddreams.wordpress.com/ WordDreams

    Great ideas, every one. I like #5. I notice when I'm not in the thick of writing my post, I find those mistakes that escaped my editing efforts. Yuck.

    One you didn't mention–maybe it's mine only. As time passes, I add categories. Then my old posts aren't in those collections. It's on my Todo list to go through older posts and add them to the new category listings.

    This summer, I hope!

  • Pingback: Routines for Writers » Post Topic » Great Information From Others()

  • http://twitter.com/FisWritingHaven Fi Phillips

    Useful article, CK. Thank you.

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