Ideally it's good to make changes to your website or blog as they happen. However, bloggers are busy. Inevitably something - or things - fall through the cracks.
Here are ten things to check on your blog around the beginning of the year.
1. Headshot. Did you change your look at all in the past year? Do you have stunning new pic? Has it been a while since you put a new headshot on your website? If you answered yes to any of these, it's time to update your headshot.
2. Bio. Add any new jobs/clients, writing venues, and speaking engagements acquired.
3. Accolades. Incorporate any awards and accomplishments, as well. Also, if you are involved in any sort of philanthropy, include that too.
4. Media. What sort of media coverage did you get last year for your book, product, services, or business? Do an online search to get links and/or embed codes for video clips to your site's Media page.
5. About Your Business Page. Add any new clients, awards, and accomplishments to your business' about page. While you're at it, check your contact page to make sure all that info is up-to-date, as well.
6. Products and Services. Did you release a new book this year? A new product or service? I'm guessing you added them at the time. But, just in case, check your product and services pages. Also, if you are increasing your rates, make that change too. Give current clients a few months notice (or grace period) or grandfather them into your new pricing.
7. Frequently Asked Questions. If you noticed any new frequent client questions, add them to your FAQ page. Don't have a an FAQ? Create one to add to your website.
8. The Look. Do you like how your website looks? Is it ready for a refresh? Review sites you like for inspiration, and determine what sorts of elements (navigation, sections) you want to incorporate into your blog in the new year.
9. Blog Schedule. As with your blog's look, also review your blog schedule. Do you have set posting days? (You should.) Are you keeping up with your schedule? Consistency is key. So, if you find posting twice a week is difficult, go down to once a week. If you have only been posting a few times a month, consider going weekly or twice a week. Determine what will work best with your schedule to set yourself up for success.
10. Copyright. Many blog themes will update the copyright year automatically. If it doesn't, make the change manually. It's one of those little things that shows your blog is current.
Note: After you update many of these items (#1-7), make the corresponding changes to your press kit, too.
Any blog needs to look professional, whether it's a showcase for writing, a consultancy, or a more traditional store or business. Investing a little time each year to review and refresh can make a huge difference.
What do you think? What else should you review and update each year on your blog? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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She is author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages and host of the Guided Goals Podcast.
Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.