I’m so excited about the changes that I’m making to my blog! This past week, I was in the middle of writing a blog post when I had an epiphany. My content was all over the place. I was writing and making videos about any and everything that I found interesting, but I needed to develop a clear FOCUS.
As part of the process of reorganizing my blog, I deleted and unpublished a dozen or so blog posts. It was difficult to let go of articles that I worked so hard to write, but, honestly, those blog posts weren’t getting any hits anyway, even though I promoted the posts on social media.
I was also confusing myself by jumping from topic to topic. I pride myself on creating high quality content and some of my posts were short and didn’t have enough information to make them valuable. I didn’t even want to promote those posts. So, I realized that something had to change.
So, how did I start making over my blog? I took some time to think through the messages I wanted to convey and what made the most sense. I briefly considered changing my entire blog theme, but I realized I really like my theme and it’s very flexible. I’m currently using the Captivating Theme by Restored316. If you want to check out their themes, or grab mine, you can use my affiliate link. If you make a purchase using the link, I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
This WordPress theme is specifically built for bloggers, and it has a ton of features that can do everything I need to do now and plan to do on my blog in the near future. So, the theme was not the problem. The problem was my organization and direction.
I also thought about what I want to write about and what I can write about consistently. As a writer and a lifestyle blogger, I wanted to cover enough interesting topics to create consistent content, but I also want to keep things simple enough for readers to navigate my site. As you can see, I had to do a lot of thinking and planning to makeover my blog, and I still have some work to do.
Here are the 5 steps I took to streamline and reorganize my blog.
1 – I listed out the topics that I wanted to write about and sorted them into five main categories.
Although I started blogging back in 2008, the blogging world is constantly changing. I took a blogging course in 2015 that recommended that I use lots of categories and sub-categories to organize my content. At first, it seemed like a genius idea. But, now I think it’s just confusing. People are bombarded with so much information these days, that it’s best to keep it simple.
I organized my site under 5 topics – Beauty, Food, Books, Culture, Fitness, and Blogging. I’ll be sharing tips and tutorials under all of the lifestyle categories, and under the Blogging category, I hope to share tips with others on how to grow a brand organically once I learn more, and achieve success on my online platforms.
2 – I went through my posts to see which ones fit into those categories.
The categories I settled on initially had to be adjusted after I went through my posts and assessed what I actually write about. I know I will have to make a few adjustments in the future, but I’ll try to keep them organized the way they are now for as long as possible.
After I defined my main categories, I went through my published posts and deleted some and simply unpublished others. This was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and I’ll save these posts in case I can use them in the future. I could have left the old posts up there, but it was confusing enough to me and I don’t want it to be confusing to new readers.
I also deleted some links on social media that promoted the old posts. If you delete posts and you can’t find where you linked to all of them on social media, make sure your “404” redirect page has a message for readers to redirect them to updated content.
Lastly, I’ll have to beef up my content creation to fill in these categories. Right now, when people come to my blog, there’s not very much content to convince them to stick around or subscribe to my email list.
3 – I updated my sidebar content and updated my sidebar profile picture.
This was the hard to do because I couldn’t decide what should go on the sidebar. I decided to link to my Instagram page because I’m trying to grow my followers on hat platform. I also have a mini “about me” page to let new readers know who I am. In the future, I’ll be adding more links to my work as I publish my books. If you are updating your sidebar, make sure it’s not “information overload” for new readers. The good thing about your blog sidebar is that it can be changed often, and you want it to reflect your current blog goals.
4 – I updated my “about me” page to be more personable.
This is still a work in progress, actually. I’ve written professional biographies for other people, but it’s a lot harder to write one for myself. I’m in the process of rewriting my bio and adding a “welcome” video for new visitors to the blog. I also have a heartfelt post that explains a lot about my past struggles in this post, I Call This Part of My Life BUILDING.
5 – I updated my graphics for social media and my blog post graphics.
The process of create graphics that are aligned and “branded” is so time consuming that you wouldn’t believe it. Right now, I use lots of tools to create graphics. My camera equipment is essential, of course. I use a Canon G7X Mark II and my Canon T6i to take pictures. I honestly don’t like video editing besides using a few apps on my phone, but Canva, Adobe CC, and iMovie are essential for creative graphics and editing videos.
I am learning to show extreme patience when crafting my social media shares. Instead of posting every picture, article or video that I want to, I have to think about what I post before I post it and show restraint. But, slowly, my branding is more aligned and so is my message. Thanks to Insta Stories and Facebook Stories, I can still post spontaneously and share moments, but now I edit posts to match the brand story that I want to share before I post on my timeline.
So, what’s next? Besides updating my blog, there are a few other things I need to do to update my online presence.
- I need to update my LinkedIn profile to add my writing and editing experience.
- I need to update my UpWork profile so I can start bidding for freelance writing jobs again.
- I have to decide what direction to go in with my YouTube channel, and create a video intro. Right now, it feels like it is all over the place the way that my blog was. I’ve been adding beauty content, and I’m not quite sure how it’s all going to come together.
If you want a more comprehensive list of the tools I use to craft my blog, you can check out my full list of blogging tips, tools, and resources by clicking here. I hope that this information was helpful! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to follow along with the blog and join my email list for updates.
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