This post is an excerpt from the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook
Today your task is to update some of the key pages and posts on your blog.
What are the most important pages on your blog?
This is an interesting question to ponder for a few minutes…. in fact, why not do that before reading on.
What pages or posts on your blog do you see as most valuable?
I sat down and asked myself this question earlier in the week and identified 10 or so pages on my blogs that for one reason or another were more important than others.
The reason I did the exercise was because that day I’d had the realisation that while every page on my blog is important – there are pages on most blogs that are more powerful than others at helping you to achieve your goals as a blogger.
However it also struck me while thinking about it that some of these important pages need updates from time to time.
So today your task is to spend time identifying key posts and pages on your blog and to give them an update.
Let me explore a few of these pages and suggest some ways that they might need an update:
Let’s start with the most obvious page first….
Your front page
This a fairly obvious one – most blogs get more traffic to the front page of their blog than any other. Here at ProBlogger my front page gets a little under 20% of all traffic on the site.
It’s the page I usually promote on business cards, in my email signature, on profile pages of social media sites and the page that others mentioning my blog on their sites refer people to. It’s also a page that people landing on old posts on my blog often head to next to see what the site is about.
Update it – there are a variety of ways that one can update the front page of their blog. These range from complete makeovers through to tweaks. The makeover/overhaul end of the spectrum is a little beyond the scope of this challenge so let me suggest a few smaller ideas:
1. First Impressions – what first impression does a new reader coming to your front page get? Do they know what your blog is about immediately? Does your blog’s title tags, header, tagline etc strongly communicate what your blog is about? Are their eyes drawn to any one important element or are things cluttered?
2. Sidebar – most blogs have a sidebar on every page – but it probably gets looked at more on your front page than any other. Over time sidebars tend to become cluttered with lots of buttons and links – perhaps it is time for a spring clean with the objective of only leaving useful and important information there.
3. Headers/Logo – one way that you can give your front page (and other pages on your blog) a refresh without doing a full redesign is to develop a new logo/header for your blog. This is not something to rush but perhaps today is a day to begin thinking about a new look and brand for your blog.
4. Think about Objectives and Call to Action – one question to ask when looking at your blog’s front page is ‘what are your objectives?’ What do you want people to do when they arrive on your blog for the first time (remember your front page is a logical place for new people to be visiting)? Do you want people to subscribe to an RSS feed or newsletter, click an ad, tell a friend, drive them to your best content, buy a product, hear your story…. what do you want them to do? Once you’ve identified your objective you can then position a call to action in a prime location on your blogs front page.
The front page of your blog is very important – but there are others. Let me suggest a few:
The about page of a blog may not get as much traffic as others – but it is one of the most important ones that you can spend time developing. The reason I believe this is that it can be a very influential page.
Think about who might read an about page. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that those reading your blog’s about page are going to be people in ‘investigation mode’. My suspicion is that those clicking on ‘about’ links are going to be:
- first time readers wanting to know whether this is a site for them
- potential partners/advertisers/collaborators/journalists/PR people/other bloggers etc wanting to know if they should invest time in building a relationship with you
It stands to reason that it’s a page you’ll probably want to have spend some time on recently to keep up to date, to think about how you call people to action etc.
Probably the biggest two mistakes that you can make when it comes to an about page are:
- Not to have one
- To leave it as the ‘default’ about page
During the last week I had an email from Becki who is doing the 31DBBB challenge. She wrote:
“I read all 700+ comments to the day 2 post and searched for people who have blogs in a similar niche as me. I was hoping to get a link on their site and to cooperate in some way, and am amazed that most have no method to directly contact the author.”
Becki was actively wanting to reach out to other bloggers in her niche with the hope of working with them in mutually beneficial ways to build their blogs. But due to the fact that many bloggers didn’t have any way to be contacted they missed out on a potentially fruitful relationship.
Do you have a means of being contacted on your blog? If so – is it up to date?
High Traffic Pages
Most blogs that have been around for a while have at least a handful of posts in their archives that generate a higher number of page views than other posts. This can be the result of search engine traffic, the result of another site linking to you, a social media site making a page popular etc.
This is an important page on your blog as it is a gateway where potential new loyal readers are entering.
The problem that many blogs have is that those entering your blog in these gateways often turn right back around and leave again.
Spend some time today identifying the most visited posts on your blog using a blog stats program (Google Analytics is one that I use and recommend – but even using a blog platform like WordPress’s native stats package should reveal what pages are getting visited most).
Once you’ve identified some key pages – make sure they are up to date and as helpful to readers as possible – but also think about how you can make that post more ‘sticky’. You could do this by:
- adding some suggested further reading links at the end that point to other key posts on your blog
- adding an invitation to subscribe to your blog at the end (or even at the start of the post)
Other key pages
Many blogs have other key pages on them that often go for months and months (if not years and years) without an update. These include ‘advertise with us’ pages, ‘recommended reading’ pages, ‘subscribe’ pages etc. Almost any page linked to from your navigation menu probably fits as these will be links people looking around your blog for the first time will probably be visiting.
Enough talk – go update some pages! Once you have – share with us how this exercise went in comments below. (Update – You can also share your results and exchange feedback with others in the challenge over at the forum: Day 14 – Update a Key Post or Page on Your Blog)
This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.
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I recently updated my About page and would like to get some feedback on it (the good, bad and the ugly):
Also if anyone has advise on tweaking the Contact page I would appreciate it. I have noticed a number of hits on the contact page but few Contacts.
Thanks for the reminder! I’m planning on repeating this 31 day challenge at least 4 times a year just to make sure this momentum never stops.
My traffic has doubled since day one!
Hello people! This article was very usefull to me. I will come back frequently.
Fantastic! I’ve been tearing my hear out over a site redesign that’s been taking longer than normal, and just went live today! I’m glad it also completed today’s task! Woo woo!
I like this idea. I will recommend this article to my friends. Thank you
I am in the process of updated two of my blogs so this is a great exercise. I am also adding new plugins and widgets and changing things up a bit.
I think it also helps to add interest to a blog reader because sometimes familiarity becomes boring or stale.
I love the way you updated problogger and think the two exercises together are very powerful.
Heidi Richards Mooney
How funny, I have been doing that since I started with the 31day challenge.
This was one of those duh moments. Most of my business site is getting updated but I hadn’t thought about my sidebar in forever.
All clutter free now!Thanks!
(Oh! And I wanted to say, I’ve run into the same problem as Becki, and the other thing I have trouble finding is RSS feeds!)
Contact Page is HUGE! I didn’t have one for a while until someone sent me a post on a forum saying they were trying to contact me via my blog and couldn’t find any contact info. LOL I love the Contact Page wordpress plugin featured in both of my blogs
I do need to work on updating a few posts! Thanks for all of the great ideas!
Updating key pages and posts is a task that I’m constantly aware of. As you change, so should your blog. :) Funny, I was actually doing this task before I received the email.
So many aspects need updating it’s impossible to choose where to start! This is really overwhelming me.
I am in the process of uncluttering my sidebars now. Some of the things there really could be included in the “About Me” section and some could be made into posts so that is what I’m doing. Also, I have rearranged some things, trying to put things with more value to my readers up higher.
i also recently added the link within widget which recommends three more posts for further reading after each post. I got a lot of positive feedback from my readers on that.
I have Facebook and Twitter badges up but will make sure I have an email address too on my About Me section.
Appreciate all your tips! Thanks!!
this is great and it’s very valuable to do a little ‘housework’ on the site and keep it up to date.
I’ve just revamped my total site, so there is no need to update things at the moment, but on my other site: http://myzerowaste.com there is some serious updating to do. It’s reaching it’s first year so there are pages to bring into the moment :)
Thanks for the reminder!
What a great reminder. At work, I’m constantly working to update our most visited pages – not sure why I didn’t think of doing this for my blog.
I did recently update a few things and add some new features since I feel that our blog is pretty basic. Sometimes I feel that the simple nature of the design allows the stories to stand out – but other times I see it as boring.
I’d love some feedback. I think there’s still more updating to do. THANKS!
My blog is my front page. Does anyone think it is imperative to have a stand alone front page or can I leave it the way it is. I have a coaching page that I was thinking about adding as the front page or take part of it and make a front page. If anyone has an idea let me know.
We have been putting off doing an about us page and contact page for so long. I must say it was a rewarding experience to finally complete this exercise.
* your elevator pitch says “what you do” but
* your about page says “why you do it”
and as the saying goes
“if you have a why the how is easy”.
Our about us page will be something for us to refer back to if we ever lack motivation to continue blogging.
Look at the recommended about us page from one of the recommended resources back in Day 4 — http://chris.pirillo.com/about/. It is a great about page model to follow.
Finally working on catching up on the challenges – today I updated my “About M.E.” page. I still don’t love it, but I put a little bit more thought into it. It’s better than what it was originally…
Any suggestions as to additions/improvements would be greatly appreciated!
Redid my about page, added some pictures to give a little more mass as to who I am.
Because I am a guide for newbies I have used the term “Your Guide” instead of the “About”.
Anyone- does that work? I would appreciate your comments.
I really don’t have anything on my about me page because I never assume anyone will really care about me. I will have to fix it.
Sheila, I like it! :)
well, this one was an easy one for me (hehehe…) mainly because I have a brand new blog and most didn’t need updating. But I do have to remember to get to this exercise periodically once my blog runs for a while …
This is probably my favorite of your posts that I have read, if simply for the fact that I’m a beginning blogger and have had NO idea how to approach the tasks at hand. I have a lot of work to do…
I’m BACK!!11 days behind the challenge..Been too busy at home and also prepare a new culinary blog about Bali, coming very soon this week!
Darren,my header,logo, tag line,etc,will not be changed, simply because I received many comments from my readers that they like my blog theme specially the tag line of “Learning from mistakes project” so much it has now become some sort of http://www.beeamazing signature :) (thanks to WP).
My About page was the first one I wrote when I started make this blog as I know how importance it is to let the readers know about my profile and what the blog is all about.
I have however do a little “clean up” on the front page by removing the Calendar widget as I think is not really useful and relevant anymore with my latest traffic to my blog. People coming to #Beeamazing tend to read the latest post or directly to the page they’re interested in when they got the link either from social medias or google search, and not by date of archives.
I haven’t intended updating some old posts yet as I think it looks all fine :)
Hi Darren, I could not log in to 31DBBB Forum, the password didn’t work, it used to work. Did you change the password I might not pay attention? As I haven’t read all emails from you?
I got a little crazy and updated my entire blog look! I suppose it was due for an update. Have a look and let me know what you think:
This post was extemely useful for me because I went back and tweaked some popular posts on the site and thought about the way I was presenting information.
Most importantly I updated the my about page which was previously both pompous and bare. I think it looks much better now.
I worked on a contact page for my site. Still needs a little tweaking, but it’s a start.
Every day I think nah I won’t get anything from this one – and then I do the exercise and get so much from it.
This was great on several levels –
– I didn’t even know which pages were the most popular (I use analytics – but had not looked at that bit of it – enlightening!)
So far I have revisited 2 of them and have found ways to make them more useful/ push people deeper into the site via relevant links/ sharpen up the copy.
I do feel Darren as if I am like Sisyphus – the job is never-ending – however the difference is that unlike Sisyphus this one is interesting and rewarding. I have come to the conclusion though that I need another 24 hours in every day.
I do update my blog almost every week. It’s a very good idea to update pages and posts on your blog regularly.
I agree, Intresting to know that at the moment my about page is my most visited page. Just did a major overhaul added more personal details and pictures and it’s making a difference.
I’m a travel blog and wasn’t giving any indication as to who I was. Now it feels more personal and leads to trust.
I updated my “about” page – aka “my complete profile page” on blogger. I was amazed how much I wanted to change it in just a couple of months of blogging. I was also amazed how many other people have momming as an interest on their profile. Here I thought I invented a new word…
I updated my About page to include an e-mail address… I used to have a link to a profile page with an e-mail address :( Too many clicks.
Unfortunately my blog is still to new to have any great key pages just yet… I think all the posts are pretty neat :)
Pop by and let me know what you think.
Updatet 20+ pages for my blog about project and process management: http://www.jahooda.org/
Hopefully it will work!