In only 11 days Summer will end and we'll enter Fall, the season of new beginnings: after the Summer vacation we're going back to our daily activities and life is settling down again. It's the season to get ready for winter, to start projects, to look forward to upcoming holidays.
That's why I think it's important to get your blog ready for everything that is going to come in the next weeks and months. It's time to make sure that you start the season with the right foot, and make your blog warmer for your readers!
10 TIPS TO GET YOUR BLOG READY (AND WARMER) FOR AUTUMN
- Start making sure that all your information on your blog is up to date: check that your email address is still the valid one, that there's no broken links anywhere, and that there's no links to sites that you don't want to link to anymore (for example, if you had an Etsy shop at some point and we don't have it anymore, make sure to remove the link on your blog to your shop if you haven't done it yet). All the information and links in the sidebar and sections of your blog need to be correct. Also, keep in mind that your name should be easy to spot in your blog, there's nothing more frustrating than trying to contact a blogger and being unable to call them by their name because you can't find it anywhere on the blog.
- Wash the face to your "About" section. It's usual to write the "About" section in a few minutes when we create the blog: we add the basic information, and then we forget about it. Then, after a while, we check it again, we realize it's almost empty, and we decide to fill it with more information, but then we never update it anymore. Now it's the perfect time to do it! Change your photo for a more recent one (for example one you took this Summer), and add more information about your and your blog. Remember that a good "About" section should answer, at least, to two basic questions: a) who I am? b) what is this blog about?
- If you're promoting your blog in other blogs (through sponsoring or button swaps) create a shinny new banner to do it (don't take the shinny word literal tho!). While I give a lot of importance to branding and using always the same userpic and logo when interacting with other bloggers in the social media, I also think it's important to attract reader's attention, and that's what buttons are for. If you go to a blog and you see the same sidebar buttons that you already know (either because you've always seen them at that blog or because you're tired of seeing them around) your eye won't even pay attention at them (they'll be almost invisible to you) while if you see something new and unknown, your attention will be instantly driven to it. It's the power of renovation!
- Clean and Organize your posts. Go through your archive of posts and start deleting all the posts you've saved as drafts and you don't need anymore (it's scary how those tend to pile up). Then go through your posted ones and check the tags, making sure that they're all tagged and that they contain the right keywords to be found (it can be a tedious task, so take it easy). If you don't have a sidebar menu (for example, posts separated by categories, such as "DIY", "fashion" or "recipes", maybe it's the time to think about creating one, it's a great way to get your posts more accessible and your blog more organized.
- If you accept button swaps on your sidebar, Autumn is the perfect time to consider which ones are worth to keep, and which ones you're not interested in keeping anymore. Swapping buttons can be very rewarding, and we can even make good friends through them, however sometimes we're stuck with a button swap that is not really what we thought it would be: the blogger on the other side doesn't even remember we're there, and you don't have any kind of contact or collaboration with them. If on top if it those blogs don't bring you any visitors, it's possibly the right time to end the collaboration. On the same line, it's time to look for new blogs to collaborate with, don't hesitate on contacting a blogger if you think it could be interesting to swap buttons with them.
- Autumn is also a great moment to change your blog layout. Some questions you should ask yourself are: I'm happy with my actual layout? Does it match the content of my blog? Is it a personalized one (for example with a personalized header) and no other blog around has the same layout than mine? All these questions should be answered with "yes". It's not recommendable to change your blog layout too often (it will get your readers confused), but doing it from time to time will help your blog renew itself. Consider if you're happy with the appearance of your blog compared to other blogs you see every day, and if its colors are pleasant to the eye (nobody will spend a lot of time in a blog with a neon background for example). In case you're using a premade blogger layout you might consider personalizing it (as long as it's possible) to make it stand out from the other blogs that use exactly the same layout. In case you decide to change your blog appearance remember that is highly recommendable to make the layout of all your other social media sites match it.
- Important holidays are approaching, like Halloween or Christmas. Start planning now how your blog is going to celebrate them. Do you want to organize a special giveaway this year? Start contacting other bloggers in advance, to don't have to rush it all at the last moment. Do you want to start a special series of posts to celebrate the season? Start planning it now too. Remember that when the holidays are approaching you'll be way too busy to organize anything, so make sure that the big part of the work is done in advance.
- Start at least one new section on the blog this Fall. Something that I find useful (specially for general or lifestyle blogs) is to have "themed days", because those not only will "force" you to post, but also will give you post ideas (it's easier to find an idea for a post if we know the subject of it, than if we have to pic a general theme our of nowhere). For example, start a "literary quote section", in which you share your favorite quote of a book, or a traveling section in which you show pics and share information about places to visit in your country or area, or even a decoration section, in which you share inspirational ideas to decorate a room. The topic doesn't matter as long as you love it. The main goal is to stick to it every week, always at the same day. For example, I started doing "Treasury Sundays" at the end of last year, and since then I post them almost every Sunday. When Sunday approaches I know I have to get a treasury ready, but at least I don't have to think about what I'll post about: I already have the topic. If it turns into a regular section of your blog, your readers will look forward to it every week!
- Declutter the blogs you're following. As important as cleaning your blogs face is to keep under control the blogs you're following. In here I'm not going to advice too loud to "stop following a blog you added only for a giveaway if you're not enjoying it or reading the posts" because I know a lot of bloggers will jump on me if I scream that. But really, for how long do you have to keep following a blog post only because it's rude to unfollow? What is worse, to follow a blog even if you never ever read the posts or comment on it, or unfollow a blog only because you're not interested in the content anymore? Some bloggers care about the numbers, but what's the point in following a blog we don't want to read? It's pointless. We follow blogs because we like to see what they share, or because they're our friends and we like to stay up to date, or because we love the products they sell or the posts they make, but following a blog because you don't dare to unfollow is as bad as unfollow a blog when the giveaway is over. I'm not going to say that you have to unfollow them right away after the giveaway, but two months after it should be okay to do it (yes, it should). You don't think it's ethic? Then you have another option: join giveaways only on those blogs that you really want to follow. Is the only way to don't feel conflicted. Start the new season following only blogs you like and love.
- Post Autumn related posts. Because after all is Autumn! It doesn't matter what it is (Fall recipes, DIY for Halloween, Autumn decoration, Autumn pics, Autumn printables...) everything goes, but make sure every now and then you share content that is Autumn related. Take advantage of the posts that you can only make at this time of the year and that will help your blog look warmer and more welcoming for the new season.