7 Things You Can Do To Help Your Blogging During December

This is my ninth December in the blogging world, and it’s turning out to be as similar as others.

I see a familiar path. As the days in December tick by, the blogging world gets quieter and quieter.

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Don’t allow blogging to lose its sparkle in December.

I’ve already witnessed bloggers signing off their blogs for Christmas, wishing their readers a Merry Christmas and saying they’ll be back early in the New Year. Others have announced the dates when they’ll take a blogging break.

Just because the world of blogging gets quiet doesn’t mean you don’t have to stop blogging, but I’ve always found that this time of the year is perfect for doing blogging jobs many of us were meant to do during the year but never quite got around to doing.

1. Fix broken links.

I use the free version of Brokenlink.Com to check and fix broken links on my blog.

It can be daunting if you’ve never checked for and fixed broken links on your blog but don’t be put off doing it.

Fixing broken links helps the SEO score of your blog and also helps to reduce spam. Did you know that spammers are attracted to blogs with many broken links?

Your readers will also be happier because they’re not taken to pages, posts and links that no longer exist.

Top tip for checking broken links: Don’t try and tackle the list in one go. Do a few every day. Before you know it, you’ll have smashed it.

Click here to start checking for broken links on your blog now.

2. Update the About me page.

Every blogger should have an ‘about me’ page on their blog. Why? Because not only do most readers like to know a little about the person behind the blog before following, but it’s also one of the most visited parts of any blog.

When did you last update the About me page on your blog?

Not sure what to put on the About me page? Click here for recommendations.

3. Do some blog housekeeping.

From sorting out the tags and categories on your blog to updating the menubar, housekeeping your blog is vital if you want to keep your blog fit and healthy.

This time of the year is perfect for performing blog housekeeping. My blog post, 4 Tips For Housekeeping Your Blog And Improving Its SEO Rating, gives details of some housekeeping jobs you can perform.

Blogs, where no or little housekeeping gets performed, lose more followers and readers than well-maintained blogs.

Get your blog ready for the New Year by performing some housekeeping on it during December.

4. Explore the Block editor.

Are you still terrified of the Block editor? As the number of bloggers using the Block editor continues to climb, now is the perfect time to explore the Block editor and join all those already using it.

WordPress has excellent tutorials on how the Block editor works and how to use it. Click here for more details.

If you’re still using the Classic editor, WordPress recently announced that they’ll continue supporting it until either the end of 2024 or when necessary. However, don’t forget that you can still use the Classic editor via the ‘Classic Block.’

5. Unsubscribe from blogs.

Following too many blogs is not good for your mental health. It can cause some bloggers stress and guilt from being overwhelmed with too many posts to read.

There are many good reasons for unsubscribing from blogs. Here are just a few.

  • No longer interested in the content being published? Unfollow that blog.
  • No new published content for many months? Unfollow that blog.
  • Not read any of their posts for the last year (also known as ghost-blogging)? Unfollow that blog.

Check what blogs you are following by clicking on the ‘Reader’ button at the top of your blog. Click on ‘Manage‘ (next to ‘Following‘). You’ll be presented with a list of blogs you are following. Go through them and unfollow the blogs you’re no longer interested in.

Image highlighting the Manage button on the Following list of blogs followed on WordPress
Click the ‘Manage’ button to see a complete list of the blogs you’re following.

6. Choose a new theme for your blog.

If the WordPress theme you are using has been retired, you are likely (or soon will be) having problems with your blog.

Once WordPress retires a theme, they remove support for it. Don’t waste your time trying to find workarounds. Choose a new theme.

To choose a new theme, go to your blog’s dashboard and click on Appearance – Themes. You’ll be presented with lots of current themes to choose from. However, my advice is not to spend too long choosing one. As soon as you find one you like, go with it.

The current theme I use for my blog is Toujours.

7. Delete old blog posts.

Did you know that keeping old, out-of-date posts can damage the health of your blog? These out-of-date posts are often the source of many broken links.

Not convinced? My post, ‘Are Your Old Blog Posts Damaging Your Blog? How To Stop It From Happening,’ gives full details.

All the above tips can be performed at any time of the year. But make the most of the quietness the month of December usually brings to the blogging world. Keep blogging from losing its sparkle in December.

Am I planning a blogging break?

Yes. I’ll take a blogging break from December 23rd – January 3rd.

I won’t be publishing any new blog posts during this time apart from my monthly round-up post on December 31st. I won’t be reading and commenting on blog posts during this time. However, I will be responding to comments left on my blog posts.

What will you be doing with your blog during December?

Looking for more blogging tips? Click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ and ‘Block Editor – How To’ buttons on the menubar of my blog.

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Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

4 Tips For Housekeeping Your Blog And Improving Its SEO Rating

Performing housekeeping on your blog has many benefits. After all, who doesn’t want their blog to look like a friendly, easy-to-use and inviting place old and new visitors will want to keep coming back to?

If you’re a blogger looking to expand their readership, performing housekeeping on your blog is something you should seriously consider.

But what blog housekeeping jobs should you consider doing?

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This is why blog housekeeping is essential.

During a 4-day heatwave last month, I couldn’t venture outside, so I took the opportunity to do some blog housekeeping. Here’s what I did.

1. Delete old, out-of-date blog posts.

I always feel that old, out-of-date blog posts that can not be updated or rewritten do nothing but drag down my blog.

They hang around like some uninvited members of the family you hardly ever see or have contact with. You know they are there but feel afraid to ask them to leave.

I had over 400 blog posts on my blog, some of which were doing nothing apart from attracting spam comments. They were dead ducks. They were not attracting any new views, visitors or comments.

I ended up deleting over 80 posts. Not only did I feel good getting rid of what I considered clutter, but I was also able to cut the number of spam comments by deleting those old posts.

After deleting them, I felt a lot better about my blog. I felt much more positive knowing I had removed all the deadwood.

Some bloggers claim that deleting old posts is not a good idea because they can look back and see how much they have improved since those early posts. But when you’re somebody who never goes back to read old posts, mainly because you don’t have the time to do so, deleting these old blog posts is like cutting away the string tied to the brick holding your blog down.

2. Fixing broken links.

A downside of deleting old blog posts is that any pingback and links you have to them will become broken.

I used Broken Link Check to run a report showing me broken links on my blog. It’s free to use.

Since SEOs like Google rank blogs lower that have broken links, cleaning up and fixing broken links is a job every blogger should consider.

That first broken link report could be long and overwhelming, but once you start running a broken link report every month, you’ll soon conquer that job.

Fixing broken links was the best bit of blog housekeeping I did because it improves your blog’s overall ranking, meaning more traffic and visitors to your blog.

3. Categories and tags

When I checked how many categories and tags I had on my blog, I was shocked by the number.

What amazed me was that many categories and tags were no longer active. Like some of my old blog posts, they were deadwood.

Checking which categories and tags are no longer active is easy.

Follow this guide.

  • On your blog’s dashboard, click on Posts and then Categories. (Click on Tags to manage Tags).
Image highlighting where to manage categories and tags on your WordPress blog
How to manage categories and tags on your WordPress blog

A list of all your categories will show how many posts you have under each category.

  • To delete a category, click on the meatball menu next to the number and click on ‘delete.’
Image showing how to delete categories on a WordPress blog
How to delete categories on your WordPress blog

Follow the same process for managing the Tags on your blog.

4. Menu Bar

I also took the opportunity to tidy up the menubar on my blog. Although it was not what I considered ‘top heavy’, I moved some items to sub-categories.

Here’s an example. I moved some fictional stuff to sub-categories under ‘Fiction.’ When you now hover over ‘Fiction‘ on the menu, you’ll see the sub-categories pop up.

Blogs with top-heavy menus can look overwhelming and messy to visitors.

Click here for more help with menus on your blog.

Once you start housekeeping your blog, it will make you feel much more positive about your blog.

Try and get into the habit of housekeeping your blog at least once every six months, although I’d recommend running a broken links report at least once a month.

Let’s wrap it up

  • Performing housekeeping on your blog is something every blogger should perform at least once every six months.
  • A well-kept blog is a blog that old and new visitors will want to keep coming back to.
  • Fixing broken links on your blog will improve your blog’s SEO rating.
  • Run a broken link report for your blog once a month. Fix any broken links.
  • Delete categories and tags that are no longer being used on your blog. Too many categories and tags can confuse readers.
  • Delete old out-of-date blog posts, especially if all they are doing is attracting lots of spam.
  • Try and keep the menu of your blog to a minimum. Top-heavy menus can look messy and overwhelming.

How often do you perform blog housekeeping? What do those jobs involve? Do you have any simple tips for housekeeping your blog? Share them in the comments.

Remember that a well-kept blog is a positive and friendly place for your visitors and readers.

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