It's just about that time again...
When blog readers head out into the world, donning shorts and flip flops, exposing their pale skin to that sweet, sweet Vitamin D (maybe that's just me).
Late Spring and Summer can be a rough time for blogs, with engagement often dropping to a fraction of Fall-Winter numbers— but fear not. The Summer Slump is temporary, and there are a few steps you can take during the down time to freshen your blog for the next busy season.
1. CHECK FOR WRITTEN CONSISTENCY
As we blog, we change and grow in ways we couldn't have imagined at the beginning. I went through a phase where I thought The House of Muses would be expanding to include other regular writers. I wanted to be a 'we', not an 'I'— I felt sure that the 'we' would give me confidence and authority, make me feel like a real business.
Long story short? It didn't, and I'm not a 'we', but just a 'me'. Recently, I checked back through public blog posts and updated my use (as well as on secondary content pages, canned responses, etc). Embracing the 'I' gave me surprising strength and confidence in myself— it gave me powerful ownership over my words and my business.
"Embracing the 'I' gave me surprising strength and confidence in myself— it gave me powerful ownership over my words and my business."
2. TOUCH UP FORMATTING
If you've been blogging for a while, you will also probably have noticed that your eye for visuals has developed as well. I've spotted old blog posts with poorly aligned photos, terrible borders, and six different font colours.
Taking the time to go back and update these posts helps create visual consistency during your downtime— recently, I was reminded that I never know which blog post will be bringing people to my website for the first time, and that all of my blog posts need to be making a great impression— not just the current ones.
Look for inconsistencies in heading styles, colours, and photo size and alignment.
3. WEED OLD CONTENT
It can be hard to cut content that had been with you from the start, but sometimes those old, stale, irrelevant posts need to go. Am I saying you have to delete everything that's not 100% on topic? Definitely not.
At the same time, you never know what post your reader might come across, and keeping a heap of irrelevant posts around can be weakening your position of expertise (recently, I gave the chop to a bunch of old recipe posts, which, although I am clearly an amazing cook, don't belong here).
4. GIVE YOURSELF AN SEO BOOST
You've learned a lot since you started, but sometimes those old blog posts get forgotten. Help improve your search engine rankings by working in links to new and relevant posts in some of your old posts to help expose your readers to more of your content and keep them around on your blog longer. You may have expanded upon a previous topic, but if you never go back and update the early post, your readers may never find their way to related content (although they should if you're using tags properly).
5. REPURPOSE OLD CONTENT
You've put dozens of hours of hard work into your previous posts— while some may be still holding strong, there could be tons of untapped potential lurking in your senior content.
Share old content on social media, refresh oldies but goodies and pitch them as guest posts, expand a great post into a short ebook or workbook, or combine several in-depth posts into an introductory email series.
So I want to know: what are you doing this summer to keep your blog healthy? Let your fellow muses in on the secret in the comments.
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