If you are ready to learn how to makeover your blog, today’s post will be right up your alley!
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Wondering How to Makeover Your Blog?
Have you ever pulled up your blog and thought about things you could do to make it look better? Life happens and days, weeks, months and perhaps years go by without any updates to your site.
Do not fear. There are simple things you can do right now that will make a HUGE difference in your blog’s design.
Update Your Theme
If you are blogging with WordPress, you probably know that there are thousands of theme choices available to you. Some are free, and others are paid. I used free themes for the better part of 2 years, until I decided to go pro. I now use the Daily Dish Pro Theme from StudioPress.
When choosing a theme, I try to go with a minimal, clean design. There are some themes out there that make me scratch my head and wonder what the designer was thinking when creating it. The last thing you want are any unneeded distractions. Stick with a theme that will highlight your content easily.
Clean Up Your Sidebar
Is your sidebar cluttered with too many widgets or images? Now’s a good time to go in and clean up some of the unneeded items. It’s a good idea to keep the information in your sidebar to a minimum and only include elements that promote you, your blog and your products.
Update Featured Images
I’m going through this right now, and let me start off by saying that this is a daunting task when you have nearly 400 blog posts. But, do not let this stop you from upgrading your featured images to more attractive designs.
No matter how many blog posts you have, if you make use of the featured image, spend an equal amount of time ensuring the images are visually appealing, the title stands out, and your blog’s URL is visible somewhere in the image.
Change Your Gravatar
You know that one gravatar you’ve had on your WordPress site for years? It’s time to update it, and keep it updated every few months. This simple action lets readers see that you are constantly making even the smallest of changes to keep your site fresh. Every little bit helps, right?
Hey, you’ve probably read about this on my blog before, but you should regularly update outdated links on your site to ensure they still work. I love the site brokelinkcheck.com to help me find any broken links on my site.
Checking for broken links helps you on multiple levels. First, it makes your site look more reputable because you are directing users to other valuable content (and not to dead ends!!). Second, you are increasing your site’s SEO because search engines crawl sites for broken links. Sites with many broken links don’t get ranked very well. The more functioning links you have, the better your SEO ranking will be.
Along with updating broken links, also take this time to add new links. Since you have written a lot of new content, chances are, you can link to them in your older blog posts. The more opportunities you have to keep someone on your site longer, the better.
Add a Dynamic Call-to-Action to Every Post
If you haven’t been consistent with adding a fantastic call-to-action with every blog post, now’s the perfect time to do it. For me, it’s adding my embedded mailing list subscribe form at the end of every post to increase signups.
If you already have calls-to-action in each post, but they aren’t converting well, consider revamping them by adding a freebie like I did with adding my free eBook for anyone who signs up.
Make your CTA obvious, easy to find and easy to understand. Your goal is to take every opportunity to engage with your readers, whether it’s asking them to sign up to your newsletter, follow you on social media or simply add a comment to your post.
One CTA I’ve started using is giving my readers the option to tweet a quote from my post to their followers. Using the free WordPress plugin, Better Click to Tweet, I can easily add a stylish box quote allowing any reader to tweet to their followers. Really cool stuff (and easy to use!).Using the free #WordPress #plugin, Better Click to #Tweet, I can easily add a stylish box quote allowing any reader to tweet to their #followers. Click To Tweet
Improve Your About Me Page
One of the most important pages on your site is your About Me page. Take every opportunity to grab your readers’ attention and show off what you can offer them by maximizing your About Me page’s efficiency.
One of my favorite bloggers, Melyssa Griffin, has an awesome post on creating a killer about me page. Her very first point talks about creating value for your readers. This is VERY important. Too many blogs I’ve visited have self-centered about me pages, which isn’t very shocking. While you can talk about who you are and what you write about, make sure to incorporate how you can help your readers.
Update Your Logo
Okay, so I’ll admit my logo isn’t the snazziest, and it’s probably not the one I’m going to go with for much longer, but it serves its point. If you don’t have a logo, or the existing logo on your site sucks, now is a great time to update it.
Whatever you decide to do with your logo, make sure it reflects your brand and conveys what your site is about. A well-crafted logo can be used on your site, your social media accounts, media kit and other branding material.
Check Spelling and Grammar
Hey, I know you’ve probably already done so, but it’s a good habit to go back and check spelling and grammar of all blog posts you’ve published. Taking this approach ensures you are catching any previously uncaught mistakes and updating them. The less mistakes on your blog, the more professional you will appear to your readers.
I recommend using a site called Grammarly to check grammar. Grammarly is the world’s leading software suite for perfecting written English. It checks for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, enhances vocabulary usage, and suggests citations. Plus, if you have tons of posts, you don’t have the time to go through each one. Grammarly does this for you!I recommend using a site called #Grammarly to check grammar. Grammarly is the world's leading software suite for perfecting written #English. It checks for more than 250 types of #spelling, #grammar, and #punctuation errors,… Click To Tweet
Simplify your Navigational Structure
Is it easy for your readers to get where they need to go to find the content they want? Or is it a click after click process? One good site makeover opportunity is to revisit your blog’s navigational structure and look for ways to simplify it.
Consider these questions:
- Does the menu option still need to exist? Or can it be removed?
- Is it easy to find your About Me and Contact Me page? Or are they hidden?
- Are there menu options that don’t apply anymore?
- Do you have a menu in other places, such as in the sidebar or footer? If not, consider adding them.
- Can you consolidate multiple menu options into one?
If you don’t update your sidebar very much, there’s a chance that ads are present that are expired or no longer work. Removing them and replacing them with current and relevant ads will keep your income earning potential at the highest possible level.
Are there some ads that just look out of place? Or, do they interfere with the flow of an article? Consider moving them to less-distracting spot, but still in a place where roaming eyes will still see them.
Add an FAQ Page
Do you have a place where comment questions are asked and answered on your site? Depending on your niche, a FAQ page could prove to be a valuable and highly visited page on your site.
I like this post, The Benefits of an FAQ Page (and how to do it right). It gives good examples of how to maximize your blog’s SEO and conversions by implementing a good FAQ page strategy. As you can see, as of today’s post, I don’t have one, but it is coming soon!
Change your Domain Name
If your blogging has taking you in a different direction than you planned, and your old domain name doesn’t fit anymore, now’s the time to update your domain name. Your domain name should be easy to remember and reflect your blog’s niche. Many bloggers simply use their name, while others use their blog’s title.
If you need a reliable domain name host, I recommend Namecheap.com.
Switch Web Hosting Providers
This won’t always be the case, but it’s happened to me several times. I started out my blog using BlueHost, had all kids of issues, but them moved on to eHost. eHost wasn’t very reliable for my site. Load times were slow, available disk space options were limited and it crashed a lot. I finally arrived at SiteGround, and am very happy with them. Read why I moved to Siteground here.
Increase Site Load Time
Have you ever tested your site speed? If not, you may be surprised at how slow it is in comparison to other sites. There are free site speed tests all over the web. A simple Google search will yield tons of results.
I always use WPEngine’s free site speed test. I love it because it tells me how long my page loads, what’s slowing me down and more importantly, what I can do to speed it up.
Show me your made-over blog!
Did you recently makeover your blog? I’d love to see it! Leave your URL in the comments below! I can’t wait to see some of the tips above in action.
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