Today’s post is a guest post from Harriet of Harriet Rosie. Read on for her tips on monthly blog maintenance and be sure to check out her website!
Hey everyone, my name’s Harriet and today I’m going to be telling you about some great things you can do for your blog at the end of every month that’ll help you to keep it running smoothly! I genuinely think that a big part of taking your blog from a hobby to a business is having a good routine that you stick to – it helps you to be efficient and get so much done to help push your blog forwards. I love getting to the end of a month because that’s the time I go back and review how my site did that month, and get it prepped and ready for the next one. To help you stay on top of everything, I’ve created a monthly blog maintenance checklist to go through every month. Let’s talk about what’s on the list:
1. Increase your productivity.
Think about the month that’s just gone by – which tasks were the most time consuming? Which tasks do you dread doing? What do you spend a lot of time on that doesn’t get you the best results? Note down a few things and then see if there’s a way you can do them more efficiently. This might mean batching tasks together (like scheduling a lot of pins rather than returning to Pinterest multiple times a day, or having a set time you reply to emails) or there may be some helpful tools out there to save you some time.
2. Assess newsletter success.
Have a look at the stats for your newsletters that month and see what worked – and what didn’t! Did one email get a lot more engagement than another? What links were clicked on and which ones were ignored? Have a look through and see what people seem to respond to, then make some notes for your next newsletters.
3. Analyze blog stats.
I spend a good amount of time doing this every month! Have a look at your stats in Google Analytics and try and see what worked and what didn’t. Which posts are people reading the most? What was your biggest traffic referrer? Have a look at your pageviews and see if there’s a day that got more (or less!) views than normal. What happened? Make some notes on things that worked well and use that information next month!
4. Set goals.
I think it’s so important to set goals at the start of every month. It really makes it feel like you’re working towards something specific and manageable, rather than having a huge goal for where you want your site to be in 5 years. Of course, have that long term goal too, but creating smaller monthly goals helps you to push forwards and feel like you’re achieving smaller things on the way to your big end goal. Do you want to post a certain number of times? Do you want to reach a particular number of Twitter followers? Do you want to devote more time to replying to emails? Set a goal, and look back at it at the end of next month to see how you did!
5. Brainstorm new content.
Having a look back at how my site did last month always makes me feel inspired – and you’ve just made a lot of notes on things that do really well, so use that information! Set aside a bit of time to use what you’ve just done to come up with more great content. If a particular post did really well, what can you write that’s similar to it that your audience will love just as much? I love to brainstorm a lot of new ideas and then schedule them into my calendar, so I know what’s going to be published when. Planning it all out at the start of the month leaves me a lot of room to just be creative and write, without always having to think about what’s coming next.
6. Brainstorm marketing ideas.
I think it’s important to always be coming up with new ways to get your blog out there and widen your reach. Use what you’ve just learnt – what boosted your traffic that month? How can you use that next month? What can you do to market your blog in a way you haven’t tried before? Which blogs would you love to guest post on?
7. Update/uninstall plugins.
Have a look through the plugins and features you have installed that you’re just not using in WordPress. Uninstall the ones you never use, update the ones you want to keep, and make sure you’re using them all properly. So if you’ve got the Yoast SEO plugin but haven’t quite got it figured out, take some time to do some research into how you can use it best.
8. Check broken links.
Have a search through your site to find any broken links – I like to use brokenlinkcheck.com as it’s so simple. You might have linked to another site which has changed the way they do their URLs, you might have just accidentally included a typo in a link. Broken links make your site look a little odd to Google, and you want to give your site the best chance of appearing in searches, so make sure all of your links are working!
9. Sort through drafts.
Over the month, you may have started a few posts, made notes, added an image, written a title – you might have started a post then saved it as a draft. Go through all of them and see which ones you want to write full posts on and which ideas you just aren’t feeling. Then get rid!
10. Track all finances.
I know – it’s the one you’ve all been waiting for! Tracking finances can be dull, but it’s just something that’s got to be done when money is involved with your site. Keep a notepad or a spreadsheet and note down all of your expenses and any money you earned. Go through the numbers and find any unnecessary expenses, and have a look at what’s earning you the most!
I hope some of these monthly maintenance tips were helpful! It’s great to go through your blog and make sure it’s all running smoothly every month, because otherwise these things can really build up! Plus, it’s a great way to assess what works and what doesn’t, and you can use that info to keep pushing your blog forwards. And remember, you can download your printable monthly checklist for free right here!