How To Spring Clean Your Blog

Do you spring clean at your house? Do you enjoy the feeling of having a neat, decluttered living space? It is time to do the same for your writing. Let’s talk about how to spring clean your blog.

I have organized this post into four main tasks: review posts, promote yourself, update your look, and read your own writing. You may want to approach these categories in a different order, but all are critical if you want to spring clean your blog.

{Note: While you are at it, you may also want to go ahead and organize your digital life in general.}

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Review Every Single Post

I can understand how this might not sound like a realistic goal if you have hundreds of posts. When I started this process, I had been blogging for about 10 months and had written about 70 posts. This took me nearly a month of working a little bit each day. If you have been blogging for years you may want to start with a smaller chunk, say the last six months. 

Do you spring clean at your house? Do you enjoy the feeling of having a neat, decluttered living space? It is time to do the same for your writing. Let’s talk about how to spring clean your blog. Click To Tweet

You can review oldest to newest, newest to oldest, by category, by tag, or some other method. If it helps, print out a list of all your posts so you have something to physically check off. I love a nice list so this was my preferred system.

{To do this in WordPress, simply go to your dashboard and click on posts, then all posts. You can even choose screen options {top right corner} and include specific columns so you can easily see, for instance, the tags, meta descriptions, and keyphrases already in place.} 

Honestly, a few posts from the very beginning I did not do much with. I consider them to be my “getting in my blogging groove” posts, and while I intend to keep them I know they aren’t going to bring in traffic. 

I also did not add in keywords for some of my secular homeschooling updates. They are time-sensitive and unlikely to rank, and were mostly for connection with my regular readers. Plus I didn’t want a dozen or more posts with “secular homeschooling update” or something similar as the keyphrase.

Here’s how I did it. I opened up every single post in edit view. I used the following checklist to review key points:

  • clear title with keywords {minimal changes here and kept URLs same}
  • concise, informative excerpt {often the first paragraph, but not always}
  • focus keyphrase set
  • meta description {appropriate length and containing keywords}
  • Pinterest-friendly photo {with alt description}
  • second Pinterest-friendly photo {unless a very short post}
  • internal link{s} to related posts
  • external link{s} if appropriate 
  • confirm affiliate disclosure added {if needed}
  • all affiliate links set to nofollow
  • click to tweet added {twice for longer posts}
  • easy way to follow social media shared {re-usable block with links}
  • e-mail subscription box added
  • post share buttons at the top and bottom {not floating; *shudder*}
  • review Yoast readability score {aim for green}
  • review Yoast SEO score {aim for green}

Promote Yourself Every Day 

I admit, self-promotion is the most difficult part of writing/blogging for me personally. I hate talking about myself, and I hate asking people for favors even more. However, I know that no one will ever read what I am writing if they can’t find it. 

Connections within your niche and relationships with fellow bloggers most definitely impact your own blog. Engaging with your own blog’s “fans” is super important as well. People naturally like to feel they “know” the bloggers they follow online.

When you spring clean your blog, consider how the changes made will positively influence your marketing strategy and engagement.

I realize some of this is addressed in step one, but it is so important it needs to be broken down further.

You need to regularly put yourself out there on social media. Create new pins for old posts. Tweet your own blog posts. Share your posts on Facebook. Add an Instagram photo of your latest post and include a link in your bio. 

When updating older posts, take a look at your photos. Does every post have at least one image in the recommended 2:3 ratio for pinning? If you have a rather long post, have you broken it up with an additional photo or two?

Can readers share your posts easily? As a regular reader {and sharer} of blogs, there is nothing more frustrating than reading a post and having to hunt down a way to share it on social media. Or clicking on what I think is a share button but being taken to the blogger’s main Pinterest or Twitter page or whatever.

For the love of all things, make it super simple for readers to share your work. You can even ask, nicely. “Like what you’re reading? Please share.”

Another option to encourage social shares is to include an easy way to directly tweet a brief snippet of your post. {I use the Click To Tweet plugin.}

Equally important is letting your readers get to know the person behind the words. When someone comments, reply. If someone shares, thank them. Ask questions of your readers on all platforms that get a conversation started.

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Update Your Website’s Look

You might decide to really go wild here and completely change your theme; I did not. There is still much you can do to freshen up the look of your page. Consider fonts, colors, spacing, and more. 

Add a few new photos. Update your tagline. Go through all your homepage links {contact form, social media icons, etc.} and verify everything works.

Do you have a simple introduction that shares what your blog is about? Include a separate about this blog page to let readers know right away why your website is worth their time. {As I am typing this I am mentally noting I am due to update my own.} 

How do you utilize your sidebar? There is so much potential for information here. In addition to a photo and brief introduction, I love to see a list of recent posts and/or blog topics, a way to follow on social media, and an e-mail signup form.

Consider whether including ads is a good investment. Is the revenue you generate worth the additional clutter? Or is it interfering with the reader experience? 

{For me personally, lots of random ads turns me off. I know why people use them. I get the desire to make passive income. Yet, when I click on what sounds like an interesting read and am bombarded with banners and Amazon pictures throughout for literally everything even remotely related to the post, I feel . . . manipulated? I don’t think that’s the right word, but I definitely have feels about it.}

Do you have a simple introduction that shares what your blog is about? Include a separate about this blog page to let readers know right away why your website is worth their time. Click To Tweet

Don’t forget to check all your plugins—make sure you absolutely need all of them and double-check the settings to ensure they are doing exactly what you want them to do. Right now I have 15 active plugins. I am truthfully not sure if that is a lot or a few, but I like the functionality of each and haven’t had any major issues.

Read Your Own Blog

This last tip is really simple but one many folks may not have thought of. You need to read {and re-read} your own writing if you want to improve it.


Be a dork and subscribe to your own blog. This is an easy way to keep an eye on any potential issues with your subscription service. You want to see exactly what your readers see.

Pull your blog up on your phone and scroll through your recent posts. You will find mistakes. You will find typos—sometimes on very old posts! This will horrify you at first, then you will be relieved that you can easily fix them.

Have you ever decided to spring clean your blog? How did it go? Any additional tips you wish to share?

Thanks so much for stopping by today. If you enjoyed this post, I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. You can also sign up to receive new posts via our monthly e-mail newsletter here.

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9 Simple Self-Care Ideas To Implement Right Now

I don’t know about you, but I am over “self-care” advice that tells me I need a bubble bath, a glass of wine, or to pray/meditate more. 

Also completely not into suggestions that involve tons of cash or lots of pre-planning, like a spa day or a weekend getaway. 

You will not find that here. Instead, this list includes super simple self-care ideas to implement right now for free with zero or minimal planning.

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Drink Enough Water

Oh, come on—you knew this would be at the top of the list, right?

Spoiler alert: This may not mean 8 glasses a day.

But, I promise you if you make a commitment to consuming more water each day, you will not regret. It is like magic, truly.

One easy way I have started doing this myself is any time I think “oh, I’m thirsty” instead of just getting a quick sip I drink a whole cup. It takes only seconds more, and if you do this a couple times a day you will increase your water consumption considerably. 

Get Some Sleep

As a general rule I aim to be in bed for one hour longer than the amount of sleep I feel I need. So, if I am at my best with at least seven hours, I block off eight hours for sleep. 

I know I am a very light sleeper {thanks, parenthood} and I also wake up at least twice a night on average, so I figure adding an extra hour balances things out. 

Check here for approximate sleep needs by age.

Super simple self-care ideas to implement right now for free with zero or minimal planning. Click To Tweet

Establish a Morning Routine

Even if you are not a morning person establishing goals to start your day will help you to feel more on track. 

Having a basic morning routine will make your days less stressful. Knowing what to expect when you roll out of bed each morning puts you on a kind of relaxed autopilot. You can physically and mentally ease into the day instead of worrying what to do next.

You don’t need to wake extra early {get up whenever works for you} or accomplish specific tasks. The routine does not need to be elaborate, but if making a checklist helps, by all means do so. The key is to have a plan that works for you.

Eat Only Until Satisfied

Stay with me on this one. I am not encouraging you to deprive yourself of whatever kinds of food you want to eat. That is your business and yours alone. 

What I am saying is that I have never regretted eating only to when I feel satisfied but not full. 

Make a conscious decision to eat until you are no longer hungry, no matter how tasty the meal is. If you have trouble figuring this out—I sometimes still do—aim to put what looks like a reasonable amount of food on your plate and eat only that {no seconds}. 

Especially if you eat dinner close to bedtime you will be amazed at how much better you feel when you go to sleep at night not feeling sluggish from a big meal.

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Do Some Gentle Stretches

I try to make this a habit every morning while I wait for my coffee to brew. I also add a quick session with the Agents each weekday before we begin homeschooling. 

Too often folks give up on the “fitness” aspect of self-care because they feel it has to be all or nothing. But you don’t need to run three miles, take a one-hour yoga class, or hit the gym to feel better right now. 

Even something as simple as improving your flexibility over time {and working out any soreness or stiffness} is a step toward taking better care of yourself and increasing your overall body confidence.

Wash Your Hands More Often

Seriously, this is one of the best things you can do to take care of yourself. Not just in the fall and winter months or during flu season, but year round.

The Agents and I have all gotten into the habit of washing our hands as soon as we come back into the house, regardless of where we have been. 

Of course you will still have times when germs get the best of you, but I have found that since we began doing this regularly we have minimized sick time at our house.

Develop a Mantra

One aspect of my former religious life I actually miss is the soothing repetition of saying a familiar prayer. Sometimes you just want to have a calming verse at the ready, like a verbal security blanket when stressed.

So what’s a heathen to do? Consider poetry, movie quotes, inspirational writing, mythology, and more.

I have personally found that any positive words will do, as long as you have them memorized and can use them to center your thoughts and relax your mind. The repetition of the words, the simple act of sitting quietly with your thoughts, is the critical factor.


Write It Down

Those of you who know how into organizing and homeschool planning and travel I am might be surprised to learn I do not use a planner. It is just not something I ever got into. 

Instead, I clear my thoughts by making simple to do lists. I have used both paper and online notes and I don’t really have a preference. 

Writing things down allows me to mentally dismiss tasks until I am prepared to deal with them. This results in me being more productive in the moment.

Put Your Phone To Bed Early

I leave my phone upstairs when I take a shower in the evening {usually around 6:30 p.m.} and do not use it again until the following morning {usually around 5:30 a.m.}. 

The only thing I check before I go to sleep is if I have any texts or missed calls from family. {A habit from years ago when my dad was first ill and that’s how I was kept updated.}

Related to this, I only have notifications set up for phone calls and texts, no social media. That way I never even see the little red button and never have to overcome the temptation to click on it.

Do you incorporate any of these ideas into your daily routine? Do you have other simple self-care ideas to implement right now? What works for you?

Thanks so much for stopping by today. If you enjoyed this post, I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. You can also sign up to receive new posts via our monthly e-mail newsletter here.

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5 Realistic Blogging Goals for 2020

Did you set writing goals for the new year? Are you already overwhelmed by them? Maybe you need to step back and look at the big picture. Let’s talk about realistic blogging goals for 2020.

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Reclaim Your Time

Figure out the time of day you work best, and maximize your efforts during this period. Don’t waste energy trying to force yourself into a routine that makes you grouchy and irritable. 

Have a plan whenever you pull out your laptop or phone in the middle of the day. Don’t ever assume, oh I will just peek at my to do list and maybe pin a few things

Know going in what your goals are with that time, and make them as specific as possible: I will re-tweet four posts from bloggers I follow. I will create one new pin for a recent post. I will share a new book I am reading with my followers and ask a relevant question to encourage engagement. 

Figure out the time of day you work best, and maximize your efforts during this period. Don’t waste energy trying to force yourself into a routine that makes you grouchy and irritable. Click To Tweet

Evaluate Your Social Media Habits

Cull your social media blogging memberships down to a reasonable number. Aim to be more active with fewer groups. {Make this part of a commitment to declutter your digital life.}

Recognize that you will see more engagement on some platforms than others. Focus your energy where you feel you can do the most good and provide the most value. This can be difficult when you realize your favorite platform is not where your readers/fans are. Learn to be okay with that.

Also remember it is okay to use social media just for fun and connection. Not every post needs to be blog-oriented. 

Commit To Quality Writing

Face it, no one is going to care how snazzy your pins look or how catchy your blog titles are if they click through and find a poorly written post. 

It sounds cliché but it is true: Quality over quantity. 

Take time to edit your posts carefully. Don’t think that once you hit publish you are done. Become a reader of your own blog; try to see it through the eyes of someone just stumbling upon it for the first time. Evaluate older posts. Always strive to improve your style and clarity.

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Spread the Love

Share and support the work of others in your niche {and beyond}. A good rule of thumb is 20% self-promotion, 80% promoting quality posts from fellow writers. That means for every personal share from your own blog/writing/social media you are sharing four others.

This may seem like a lot at first, but trust me it will become second nature to spend this much marketing energy on writing that is not your own. When you post/share add a meaningful comment or question as an introduction {i.e., don’t just hit RT or FB share without context}. 


Do One Thing That Is a Little Scary

Find something that you have been thinking about doing and just go for it. It may not be pretty at first, but that is okay and that is how we learn. 

For me personally, my “scary” thing for 2020 is going to be starting a newsletter to send out to subscribers. It is something I have never done and I know it will involve a lot of trial and error.

{On that note, I would love more subscribers so follow this link to sign up!}

Fellow writers, are you setting realistic blogging goals for 2020? What have you learned so far?

Thanks so much for stopping by today. If you enjoyed this post, I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. You can also sign up to receive new posts via our monthly e-mail newsletter here.

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