Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Blogging 101 Part 6: Refreshing Your Blog in the New Year

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Fill My Little World' - The Feeling ♫ ♪

The New Year is a really good time to freshen up your site and decide the direction you want to take this season. I have a really good spring clean of my blog every January and I would like to share with you a few things that I do!
†madness returns† | via Tumblr
1) Declutter your sidebar – There is no better feeling than getting your sidebar in order. A good place to start is by scrolling down and finding buttons/links/pictures that you want to get rid of. Have you checked if all the links are still active? Are the images the same size? Maybe your affiliate banners have expired without you realising. This is the time to check! 

2) Unfollow follow inactive bloggers – You may think it mean, but what is the point of dormant blogs clogging up your reading list? It’s best to get rid of them and find new, fresh blogs that will inspire and entertain you! Many blogs are no longer available to view, so you can delete them by going to the ‘Manage Blogs I'm Following’ on the dashboard (for blogs on Blogger).

3) Update your Blogroll  – I realised that I had not done this since August 2012, which is crazy seeing as I love sharing all the blog gems I come across. I just copy my alphabetical reading list from my Blogger profile and the links are already attached – easy!

4) Make a new header – Nothing says ‘New Year’ like a new blog header. If you are feeling confident with art/graphics, why not try making a fresh, brighter header for 2014? For photo editing, why not try the online free Picmonkey software? For free fonts, I go to dafont.com for lovely downloadable fonts for Microsoft word. I then mess around with ideas in Paint and then upload it to the blog.

5) Learn HTML to tidy your social media links – Want to make your blog link stand out when commenting on other blogs? Just use this HTML code:  
This is a lot neater than putting http://www... Pretty nifty, right? And people are more likely to click because a link to your blog has already been created (sometimes I'm too lazy to copy + paste every link I get).

6) Advanced Changes If you want to give your blog some extra pizzazz, why not delve into the advanced design settings and have a play around?( Dashboard - Template - Customise).  Here you can change font colour/size, backgrounds in more depth.

7) Compact your social Media links – I used to make different links to every social media platform I was on for my blog. I found it easier to download media icons, place then in Photobucket and then create coding for them using the tag.

8) Change blog width size – It’s great to check how your blog layout looks on other devices such as a phone or tablet. I found that on my tablet, my sidebar was too far away from the main body of the blog and looked weird. So it's a good idea to adjust the widths accordingly. 

9) SAVE – This is the most important thing you can do for your blog. Trust me, saving the entire coding of your blog will save you a lot of heartache and stress if you accidentally delete/alter your blog HTML codes. To do this (on Blogger), just go to Dashboard - Template - Edit HTML and then copy the coding and save it into a Word document for safety. I think that this should be done monthly.

I hope that this helps you! :)


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