Do a back up
When was the last time you did a backup? If you are hosted by Hostgator, they will do backups for you automatically, but if you ever need those restored, you have to pay a fee, while restoring the backup you did manually is free.
To do a backup, you just have to log into your cpanel and click on full backup. Five minutes of work and if your site ever gets hacked, you can restore it quickly.
Change your password
Speaking of hacking, is your password a little too easy? Spend another 5 minutes updating it to something with caps, numbers, exclamation points, whatever makes a hacker’s life more complicated.
Update your theme and plugins
Every now and then, you receive a notification saying your plugins have been updated, same thing for your theme. If you useGenesis like I do, or another theme with child themes, you may have to update both the main frame and the child theme.
That is easily done in WordPress, go to update and click all, but before that do a backup, in case plugins don’t work well with your new theme version.
Check for broken links
Broken links slow down your site and should be removed. For this there is a simple plugin called Broken Link Checker that will do the job for you, then give you a list of broken links. Some may come from other sites whose server is down that day, you can choose to keep them for now and recheck them later, some sites will be down for good and you should take the links down.
Improve your page speed
One reason why people do not spend a lot of time on your site is because it takes too long to load. Google has a nice tool called Pagespeed that will tell you how to improve your loading time.
Most of the time, you need to install a cache plugin, and to reduce your pictures’ size, if you are unsure about how to do that via plugins, you can hire it out on Fiverr. It is worth the effort as a faster page will mean more visitors.
Add picture credit and descriptions
Have you been using pictures that are not yours without crediting the author? Not cool. Add a credit to the image. While you are at it, adding a description to your image, or renaming it with a relevant keyword is also a worthwhile endeavor. For example you put a picture of a chart on your “Investing for 2014” post. Rename IMG0023 to “investing tips” or something, and you could get a little traffic bump from people searching for investing images.
Trim your RSS reader
If you enjoy networking around, you probably have a reader like Feedly or Bloglovin with your favorite blogs. Some may be extinct, some not your cup of tea anymore, and you may not have added a few new ones you read occasionally but enjoy more and more.
Spring cleaning your reader is pretty tedious but you will save time overall when you don’t have to skip 10 posts a day you are not interested in.
Rethink your networking
A bit part of blogging is networking, and at the moment you probably have a few blogging buddies within a mutual helping agreement. How efficient is your agreement? Is it even outlined or are you just linking to Bob’s posts in hopes he will link back to you, without saying a word?
You may have different goals and reasons for networking but here are some of the people you should look for:
Your peers. If you are a beginner, finding some beginners for mutual commenting, social promotion and linking to each other’s post is a good way to get a kick start together.
The biggest blogs you can. Some big bloggers are friendly, some are not, you’ll never know if you don’t try, thinking they are too big for you. They can be great help if you struggle with something your peers can’t help with. Don’t bug them with minutiae of starting a blog, only for more important matters, or they won’t pay attention to you.
The blogs with the best stats. Ideal for guest posting, linking, etc.
The most active in the community. If you are looking for comments, social promotion and the like, you may be better off targeting the most active members of the community than a big blogger who never tweet anything but his own posts.
People from your niche. There is a small early retirement website that is giving me more referral traffic than a much bigger general personal finance website who has me on it’s homepage’s blogroll. Why is that? Targeted traffic. Readers get to the small site looking for tips about financial independence, they get to the big one looking for much broader PF info. Your niche may be small, it is always better to get targeted traffic than general traffic that will stay on one page and leave.
The list goes on, but you only have limited time, so choose your friends wisely depending on what you are looking for.
Dust up social media
Haven’t tweeted in a while? There is a plugin to tweet automatically your last post. You can use dlvr.it of twitterfeed to tweet your friends’ posts automatically as well. Check out my post on how you can manage twitter on less than 10 minutes a day, if you aren’t that into it.
It is time to clean up your accounts, add your new friends, remove the ones you are not in contact with anymore, tweet and share your friends’ content and good reads you stumbled upon, etc.
Queue up some posts
I write up in sequences and then stop writing for a month or two, because of traveling, and simply life getting in the way. Having a few posts ahead helps me manage my schedule the way I want. At the moment, I am queuing up posts until mid May, as friends and family are coming to visit on top of Airbnb guests.
Whatever is going on with your life, you need some posts for those days you don’t feel like writing, you are busy, or something comes up at the last minute. Sure, your blog can go a week without post and few people will notice. But not a couple of months until you get your things together.
So try to have half a dozen non seasonal posts that could could put up at any moment, and try not to use them until you REALLY can’t do otherwise.