I am itching to roll up my sleeves and give my blog a spring cleaning. I generally do 2-3 blog spring cleaning sessions a year—at the very beginning of the year, in the spring, and then again in the fall.
I keep things pretty neat and tidy all year round, but these spring cleaning sessions are my time to get down and dirty, figure out what’s working and what’s not, reassess, reorganize, and purge purge purge!
And yes, I always call them spring cleaning sessions no matter what time of year I do them. Because, why not? That, and fall cleaning just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
I always find that I am infinitely happier and insanely more productive after one of these spring cleaning sessions, and I hope you’ll experience the same kind of happy and productive high.
Especially since, at least for me, that feeling lasts for months.
Today is all about giving your blog the ultimate spring cleaning.
Alright, let’s get into it.
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Why You Should Give Your Blog a Spring Cleaning
Simply put? Because your blog deserves it. Because your readers deserve it. Because you (the blog owner) deserve it. Because your employees (if you have any) deserve it.
You know how a well-oiled machine runs smoothly, effectively, and successfully? It only runs that way when it’s well-maintained. That means someone has to be tending to it and taking care of it—not just once in a while, but all the time.
Your blog is your machine. It will only run smoothly, effectively, and successfully when you tend to it and care for it properly.
Without your tender loving care, it won’t be long before things start falling apart at the seams. Which leads to unhappy readers, disgruntled employees, a miserable blog owner, and a failing blog.
But that’s not going to happen. Because you’re going to give your blog the spring cleaning it deserves.
How to Give Your Business the Ultimate Spring Cleaning
The ultimate spring cleaning for your blog can be broken down into three parts: your blog + website, your social media, and other parts of your business.
You should know that my spring cleaning sessions are generally tackled over a period of several days, sometimes a week or two, depending on my schedule. I’ll make a note on my calendar for when I want spring cleaning to start and then a time block each day to knock a few tasks out. I’ll cross them off as I go and rinse repeat until they’re all complete!
Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Blog and Website
1. Freshen Up Your Blog Design (Part 1)
If you’re jonesing for a change or looking to freshen things up a bit, try a new theme.
2. Freshen Up Your Blog Design (Part 2)
If you don’t want to do a complete overhaul, consider freshening up other things like your header, sidebar, navigation, social media button colors, photos, and graphics.
Little changes can make a huge difference in the whole aesthetic and user experience! I love to buy styled stock images and graphics from Design Bundles.
3. Update Your About Page
When was the last time you did that? Are the photos and text current? If not, take a few minutes to update them. About pages are prime real estate, so make sure you include the things you want your audience to know about. Direct them to other must-see pages of your blog or website and have a call-to-action (like opting in to your free email course or newsletter).
4. Update Your Contact Page
Do you even have one? If not, it’s time to make one. If you have a contact form, make sure it’s working. Include a valid email address that you actually check, a link to your FAQs page (if you have one), and even a response time expectation.
My favorite contact form builder is Gravity Forms—a plugin for WordPress that makes building (and placing) contact forms on your site super easy.
5. Update Your Important Pages
Your shop, portfolio and work with me page should always be clean and updated as they’re the ones that bring in the clients.
6. Fix Broken Links
Not only are these frustrating for people visiting your blog or website, but they’re also bad news for Google. There are loads of free link checkers and plugins out there that can do this for you, but I always make it a habit to check that important links (i.e., shop links, social media links, affiliate links, opt-ins, etc.) are still in good working order.
7. Refresh Your Social Media Buttons
Do they match your site’s aesthetic? Are they easily found and noticeable? If not, give them a new look. And make sure the links work.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked on a site or blog’s social media/share buttons only to find that they don’t link where they should or don’t link at all.
8. Revisit Your SEO Strategy
Let’s face it, categorizing, tagging, and optimizing your posts can be tedious and time-consuming. Maybe you’ve been a little lax in that department. Now’s a great time to go back and make sure you work on your SEO.
I currently use Yoast SEO for WordPress. Before that, I used All in One SEO Pack. Both are great SEO plugins if you’re on WordPress.
9. Change Your Passwords
I know it’s a pain in the butt to think up and remember a new password (never mind a whole bunch of passwords), but it’s a great security measure for your site.
10. Run Those Updates
They’re super important as they make your blog/website run better. Do them as you see them.
Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Social Media
11. Update Your Cover Photos & Profile Images
When was the last time you changed your Facebook cover photo or Twitter header? (Do they still have your old branding?) What about your profile photos? (Do they look like the you you saw in the bathroom mirror this morning?) Time to think about freshening them up.
Keep them looking fresh by changing (or rotating) them every time you do a spring cleaning session. Make sure they stay consistent across all your social media channels.
12. Update Your Bios/Descriptions
Your bios should reflect the most recent and accurate version of you or your business. They should also be consistent (or as consistent as possible with character count restrictions) across all social media channels.
If you have an opt-in, a new e-course (like my ebook for bloggers, The Blogging Blueprint), or something else you’d like to draw attention to, put it in your bio. Update the link portion with new blog posts, products, or offerings as you publish them/make them available.
13. Gut Your Social Media Feeds
Take a few minutes to clean up your social media feeds, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and even Pinterest. If it doesn’t educate you, entertain you, inspire you, or otherwise provide value to you, unlike, unfriend, or unfollow.
14. Revisit Your Social Media Strategy
What’s your strategy or mission with social media? Is it different for every social media channel? Take a few minutes to brainstorm what you want each channel to be to your brand and a few ideas for each one.
Use a social media scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to help you schedule social media posts in bulk.
15. Change Your Passwords
Because it’s (obviously) better to be safe than sorry.
Spring Cleaning Tips for Other Parts of Your Business
16. Clean Up Your Computer Folders & Desktop
If your computer desktop is covered in folders, documents, screenshots, graphics, photos, and other stuff—it’s time to get rid of what you no longer need, organize what you do, and create a folder system that works best for you and your business!
I recommend starting with two folders, one for personal and one for business, and as many sub-folders (for branding, blogging, accounting, etc.) as you need.
Organize your documents, screenshots, graphics, and photos into those folders—don’t stop until your desktop is completely clean.
Make sure you give everything (folders, documents, graphics, photos, and even screenshots) a clear title/descriptive label. It’ll be easier to find what you need (without having to sift through it all) later.
17. Clean Up Your Workspace/Desk
If your desk/workspace is cluttered or covered in paperwork, coffee cups, books, and other stuff—clean it up. Because a clean workspace is a happy and productive workspace.
Organize your paperwork, file away receipts, throw away the trash, tidy up your desk drawers and bookcases or filing cabinets, and put things away. Wipe down your desk, your computer screen, and your keyboard (get into all the nooks and crannies with a q-tip).
Style your desk/workspace in a way that inspires you. If you’re going to sit at it all day, every day, it might as well look pretty.
Make clearing off your desk the last thing you do at the end of your workday. It’ll do wonders for your productivity the next day.
18. Clean Up Your Inbox
This is a BIG ONE for so many creative small business owners. If your inbox is a mess, do yourself, your employees, and your clients a favor by cleaning it out, organizing it, and making it as easy as possible to return emails going forward. Because email is an essential part of your online business.
Use unroll.me to unsubscribe from emails you no longer want to receive. Delete emails that are six months or older. If you don’t already use folders, start. They’re a game-changer. Create as many or as few as you want, but make sure you at least have folders labeled answer, read, research, to-do, save, and follow-up.
Make sure you take a few minutes to update (or create) your signature, auto-responders, and canned responses to make responding to emails easier.
19. Check Your Supply Stock/Inventory
I recommend checking everything from office supplies to shipping supplies for your shop (if you have one). Figure out what you have enough of, what you need more of, and what you can get rid of.
If you need to place orders for things like business cards or paper products, either order right away or add it to your next spring cleaning time block.
20. Clean Up Your Browser Tabs/Windows
I can’t be the only one with a million and one browser tabs and windows open—at least I hope not. I actually have this problem on every device I own—yikes. One of my spring cleaning time blocks will definitely be spent going through every single one.
With every browser tab or window, figure out what you have open, and then make a 10-second decision to either pin it, share it, print it, or get rid of it.
21. Turn Off Your Notifications
Notifications (aka DISTRACTIONS) are pulling you away from your most important work. Every time one dings or buzzes, your concentration is broken.
Keep your attention solely on the task at hand by turning off your notifications. I know it’s scary, but it really will make a world of difference.
22. Look at Your Finances
This is definitely something you should be doing more than 2 or 3 times a year. But now is a great time to take a look at how things are going for you financially.
You might even decide you need to make some changes, like cutting back on your Starbucks habit.
23. Review Your Goals & Plans
Remember the goals you set for yourself in the new year? It’s not too late to start making them happen. There is nothing magical about January 1st. The magic begins when you start.
Go back and review your goals for this year. Adjust your plan, or chuck the old one and start a brand new one. Whatever you do, keep moving forward. After all, baby steps are still progress as long as they’re moving you forward.
24. Check Your Calendar & Create a Fresh To-Do List
What’s going on? What’s coming up? Are there any appointments you’ve been meaning to make but haven’t yet? Take some time to make them now and prepare for the months ahead.
Next, write a fresh to-do list of all the things you’ve wanted to do, all the ideas in your head. Get everything down on paper. It doesn’t have to be organized.
You can do that when you break the list down into more manageable pieces. (Writing down everything like this always helps me to clear my head and focus more intentionally on what’s ahead.)
25. Backup Your Stuff
I cannot stress this particular task enough. Don’t wait until you’ve lost everything on your computer, blog, or website to back stuff up.
I know this seems, looks, and feels like A LOT. But remember, you don’t have to do it all in one day. In fact, I don’t want you to. I want you to break these tasks up into time blocks so that you do them really, really well.