A blog takes a lot of work, and you know you have to update your content routinely. Research gives businesses the range of posting between 2-4 times a week. Not only is this a good practice for your content writers, but it helps to build your company up in the eyes of your audience. The more posts you publish, the more your brand awareness grows, the more you establish your expertise and authority in your niche, and the more you can guide your viewers into partners. But your blog posts aren’t the only things that need regular maintenance.
You should be checking comments daily. If you require approval prior to comments being published, you should be sorting through pending replies every day. There are a few types of comments that you can collect on your website, and each type needs to be sorted and handled differently. Allow good comments to show on your website, and answer any legitimate replies. You can leave sporadic praise to your company, but if something truly has no value or counts as spam, trash it.
Your plugins and themes need to be kept up to date too. It could go totally unnoticed to you if the creator of your blog template has made changes to the layout you’re using and caused your whole page to be rearranged. Your plugins could have new updates that you want to download. It’s possible that nothing has changed and this step doesn’t require any work, but you should still check through things just to be sure.
If you have opt in forms on your site, you want to test these as well. Maybe you’d rather do this further apart, and nobody would blame you, but it does need to be done. This is to make sure that the emails or texts are going through as planned, and to make sure there are no issues with signing up. During this process you should make sure all of your text is up to date. If you changed the name or logo of your company, you don’t want your old information going out in emails right? Added a partner? Make sure their signature is on there as well. Make any needed updates here as needed. Make sure you’re sending the “Thank you for subscribing” messages, or that there are no spelling errors on the completion text on your website.
You should be scanning your site for issues and other malware regularly as well. Text isn’t the only thing that could go wrong. There are many scanning sites and programs that you can purchase or subscribe to that will run the scans through your site for you. This requires a little research into exactly what you need, and what your budget can allow for such a service.
Check up on your web hosting stats on a regular basis as well. This includes speed, security, and satisfaction. Did you know that a 5 second load for your page is considered too slow? After unsuccessful page load of 3-4 seconds, a customer is likely to move to the next site. Your competitor’s site. Slow loads are a no go for anyone anywhere. Mobile devices could grant you even less time. Don’t forget that when a consumer enters your site, they expect that you are doing what you should to protect them from any online germs. Security on your site, is your problem. Far too many hosting providers don’t think this is their problem, but it is up to you to keep your website running healthy. Remember, any negative experience a customer has is likely to go to someone else through word of mouth, or the ever feared Twitter.
You’ve done a lot of Quality assurance on a weekly basis if you’ve followed this guide so far right? So monthly is where you do the big stuff, and if you’re keeping track of what you’re doing along the way, this won’t be so daunting. Your “about me” section should be updated if you’ve done something different. Has a major thing happened in the world that has effected your niche? Have you done anything differently this month? Married, had kids, reached a career goal, totally revamped your site? Let everyone know here. If they’re loyal to your content, chances are, they’re curious about you too. But it’s not just your “about” page that needs to be updated. Check all of your pages and posts, can anything be archived or updated? Now is your chance to do it!
Check for broken links. Yes, every link on your website needs to be checked. If you’ve changed your pages, you need to make sure anything that mentions that page in an internal link is updated too. Now not all of your changes are going to prompt a change in the url, in fact, most changes won’t. But if you’ve deleted the page to start over, you’ll want to know where you linked that page in a post so you don’t end up with a page that says “Oops, looks like the content you’re looking for isn’t available!”. I cannot tell you how much I hate seeing that message pop up. Especially if this is your business, you need to avoid those 404’s at all cost. If you make a URL Doc listing where your internal links are, you have a way to quickly reference them during this monthly check. And if you know you ran last month’s check on January 31st, you only have to check the February posts.
And the final tip I have? Check out my SEO article on how to keep your website optimized for better visibility on the web!
Blogs are a LOT of moving parts when you really get into it. I figured it would be simpler when I first started, but I’m glad it’s not a one and done process. It keeps me involved in my content, which I use as motivation. So enjoy your process, and if you have questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you!