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Don’t Let your Blog Become Like My Sock Drawer

Posted By Darren Rowse 11th of July 2009 Video Posts 0 Comments

Got a messy sidebar on your blog? It’s time to clean it up (like I cleaned up my sock drawer today).

Check out the full sized version of this on YouTube, MySpace, Blip.tv and Viddler.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Thank you so much for all of the great resources and support that you share with bloggers. Your information is indispensable!

  2. Darren,

    Haha, well done… I’m right there with ya! Actually, I got sick of my sidebar a while back, and just cleaned it up! If anyone is having trouble with this, just stick to the essentials. What’s absolutely essential?


  3. Minimalistic is the way to go. As the classic marketing saying says: “the less choice you give people the more likely they are to make one”. Great vid as always Darren.


  4. I always keep those socks that have small holes for months when I should toss them. But I like my sidebar.

  5. The easiest way I’ve found to clean out my sock drawer/widget is to watch statistics for a few weeks. When you realize no one is clicking on anything or you’re not wearing certain socks it’s time to toss them in the trash.

  6. This post made me smile. Good thing I always clean up my sidebar. I get a little too OC when it comes to my blogs (Obsessive Compulsive) but not to the point that I’m over OC. I will do some more tweaking so that my blog will be more appealing to my visitors. Thanks for this wonderful share darren!

  7. Your video clip made me realize I have socks that needed clearing up! Thanks!

  8. Yeah Darren, its true. Until my friend told that to me that my blog looked worst in IE(I use Firefox) due to the sidebar widgets, I never thought about it. And today your video said the same. Thanks man.

  9. lol just before watching this video i cleaned my sidebar :D lol – feels like did a good job ;)

  10. If your sock draw needed cleaning out then you obviously own far too many socks!

    Yes, keeping it clean and simple avoids confusion and keeps focus.

  11. Okay, great idea. Today will be International Bloggers Sidebar Clean Up Day. I think I’ll tweet that as #IBSCUD
    Thanks for helping us out Darren!

    krissy knox :)
    follow me on twitter:

  12. Why put unused socks in the sock draw in the first place. One can just throw it out. So instead of cleaning sidebars once in 6 months, I do it every month. For blogs not constantly monitored, this is a gr8 advice. But frankly it did not strike a chord with my case :)

  13. my blog is only 2 weeks old so i guess ive still have 5 months before cleaning it. but its better to start early, by not putting clutter on my sidebar….again thanks for the tip

  14. might be time to clean up my sock draw thats if i had one lol

  15. Great Darren, perhaps you could tell us the essentials for sidebars and what is outdated. Please expand.

  16. Looks like it’s time for some cleaning.. Thanks for the tips Darren.

  17. Darren you give me an idea on what i suppose to do with my blogs. Thanks and it is cool to give this kind of informative idea.

  18. That’s a good analogy. Most times outdated links etc. remain on sidebars.

  19. hi darren,
    its a useful stuff. thanks for remind me to do this task.

  20. I used to have a terrible sidebar full with ads and yada.. yada. I got bad feedback from the readers and changed it.

    Now I feel satisfy with the new look. Clean and neat! Thanks God!

  21. Ha, I had to laugh throughout. It is amazing how you can so perfectly fit a sock drawer and blogging together. A short video right to the point and giving another personal touch to your blog. Excellent post about the usability and look of a blog.

  22. Thanks for the tips your right and this post should not only be considered helpful for blogs. With websites also there are old junk and broken links that go untouched. Excellent video.

  23. Love this and personally needed it! :) Thanks for the advice!

  24. Nice video, i will clear up my side bar, thanks

  25. Well, that was a funny video. Great way to combine to important cleanup tasks, which reminded to take a look at my blogs plugins, sidebars and other maintenance related things. And I gotta take a look at my sock drawer too :)

  26. Thanks for the post Darren. I can’t wait until I’m big enough to declare specific days haha. I took a look at my sidebar and it’s not too bad. This is probably because I cleaned it up a week or two ago. I am iffy about getting rid of my tag cloud. For some reason, I think it helps considering the topic of my blog. It really throw out some suggestions that my readers are interested. Hmmmm….

  27. Just this morning I was reviewing my site and thought I needed to do some clean up on my sidebar. Of course, I didn’t do it, thought maybe I would get to it later.

    Well, I’m going to take care of it right now. And add it to my list of regular maintenance tasks.

    Thanks for the push!

  28. good video and good point about cleaning up that sidebar

  29. With websites also there are old junk and broken links that go untouched. Excellent video.

  30. Done! Cleaned my sidebar, made it functional and clean!

  31. You know, I watched this in the wee hours this morning. Just a few hours ago, I cleaned out my own sock drawer. I probably would have anyway since we were moving some things around in the house today. I just wonder how much of it was because I had watched this video. Anyhow, the end result is that I realized I need more socks…and my sidebar needs some work.

  32. Quite an interesting post there Darren.

    Cleaning is one thing and maintaining the same thing for the time to come is one more task.

  33. Hi Darren,

    You are right..I hate a messy sidebar and I am trying to hard to keep it down. Hope I continue that in the long run too….:)

    On a completely different note, I would appreciate if you could help with a problem I am trying to solve for a long time now.

    My Feed for the site is http://feeds2.feedburner.com/ChefInYou

    Whatever I do, I am not able to bring a picture in the post to show on the feed. Few of my readers insisted that it would be great if I could add at least one picture of my post in my feed. I am not able to make feedburner display a pic at all – it shows only text and I have a picture right in the beginning of my post.

    I ask you this, since you are in the blogging space, you might know of few ppl like me who faced this issue.

    I sincerely appreciate any time and effort from you end. Thank you…

  34. Darren, you hit the nail on the head here. I think of all the people that go crazy on the sidebar widgets and social networking buttons and services that most people never use. THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting this

  35. My sidebar is more important to me than my content, I know that is wrong but there you go!

    People can say bad stuff about my writing but at least my sidebars are tidy!

  36. Funny and awesome at the same time!

    But you don’t really say much about what the sidebars should look like…

    And I had a blog critique yesterday so your post comes at a SENSITIVE time.



  37. My sidebar was messed up and after watching your video, I started to clean it. Thanks Darren.

  38. Oh dear my sidebar is terrible I guess I better get sorting! :)

  39. This makes me want to clean up my sidebars…and my sock drawer! Very informative. :)

  40. Oh yeah, all the pretty widgets and doodads and ‘latest, greatest ads just sure to make me a few dollars’ are so tempting!

    Not to mention all the cool and funky things you can do with photos of your kids and pets, etc – like magazine covers, etc.

    Really – the list of super, groovy, fun ‘mess up your sidebar’ trinkets is literally endless!

    Sometimes I think I just want a ‘blog of sidebars’. LOL!

    Awesome video, Darren!!

  41. Excellent point in the video.

    So many blogs have a bunch of blog badges and stuff on the side bar that clash with the design and don’t bring in any value or traffic to the site…time to house clean. Me included!

  42. Good tips! My sidebar was fine (my blog is relatively new), so I cleaned out my sock drawer instead.

  43. A rare, but welcome video post! Yay! Very nice, Darren. Like having you at the kitchen table for a spot of advice.

    Clever idea, and it fits. I’ll go into a housecleaning frenzy now and then to get rid of mismatched socks and socks that just don’t fit anymore. It always feels a bit cleansing to do so.

    I’m still chuckling a bit here. Cool stuff.


  44. I have a new theory that Darren is actually a robot, since he apparently had no biological need to blink. Impressive!! ;)

  45. I solved my messy sidebar conundrum by eliminating it all together. My blog still has a magazine-style look but just one column =)

  46. Great points Darren. This couldn’t help but reminded me of one of Ren & Stimpy episodes. When Ren discovers a planet where all the left socks go to. : )

  47. Darren, kudos to the cocky comedy! Love it ;-)

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  49. Very true, I often find messy sidebars or banners which make me wanna throw up. First impressions are extremely important on blogs. Nice video, thanks for posting.

  50. I’ve made a habit of cleaning up my sidebars at least once a month, because I’m guilty of copy and pasting any old thing into those easy to use widgets!

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