Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I usually don’t because I find them so difficult to keep. But, as I we get close to 2008, I’ve been thinking about them as they relate to blogging. Here are some blog resolutions that should be easy to keep and that will go a long way towards ensuring a successful year:
1. De-clutter: Get rid of all the junk in your sidebar. Toss those silly widgets that promised to send thousands of new visitors to your site and never really delivered. Get rid of all blinky things unless they’re making you a ton of money in ad revenue. Go through your blogroll and delete blogs that are now nothing but “zomblogs”. As Lorelle said recently,
Just like the cliché that a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, a cluttered blog sends a big message. Many messages. And excuses for not cleaning it up.
2. Clean out your feed reader: Just like the list of blogs I’m subscribed to, there are probably some in your list that you get very little value from. Time to stop wasting valuable time on them — unsubscribe.
3. Upgrade: If you use a blog system that provides regular upgrades, have you been been putting off doing it for fear your blog will come crashing down? This is the perfect time – people are busy with holiday stuff and you’ll probably be seeing a drop in traffic. Nothing else to do New Year’s Eve while you’re waiting for the clock to hit midnight? Celebrate by finally doing the upgrade you’ve been putting off for so long. Just be sure to back up your blog first.
4. Back up more regularly: Speaking of backing up your blog, now is a good time to put in place a regular schedule for backups. Just imagine what would happen if it were suddenly all gone. All those posts you’ve put hours and hours into… lost forever.
5. Focus on SEO: This is one of those things that I always put off, as something I really need to take some time to improve upon, but never quite get around to it. There are several basic things we can do to improve our overall SEO, and there’s just no excuse for putting it off any longer.
6. Spend more time [genuinely] commenting on other blogs: This one is easy to forget in the push to create more unique, quality content, but it’s not something to lose sight of, no matter how successful your blog becomes. Building relationships with other bloggers is important, no matter what your Technorati rank is. And, when you comment, stop using those keywords you’re trying to rank for like “Las Vegas Real Estate”, and instead use your name. The Google juice you get from doing this on blogs that have turned off no follow is really not gaining you as much as you think it is, no matter how high the page rank is because the page rank passed to your blog is divided up among all the links on the page. Plus, it is really annoying to the blog owner and might even get you blacklisted.
What have I left off the list? What are you resolving to do as we look forward to 2008?