July 29, 2020
This year I’m participating in Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by Jo Linsdell. The plan is to work on making our blogs even better and setting our goals for the coming months. Each month will have its own challenge to work through. Join us!
I hope that if you are reading this that you continue to be well and that your area is opening up for business and recreation with social distancing precautions. Our area is mostly locked down again because of a surge in COVOD-19 cases. Stay safe, book buddies!
July’s Challenge Focus: Quality Content
Over the last few months, the challenges have allowed me to improve content.
1. Determine whether your older posts meet your current standards.
WOW! This is a huge, HUGE task! Obviously, I’m doing things differently in my third year of blogging than I did in my first year. Starting in January, I’ve been systematically returning to old posts and updating them. Here’s the checklist I created:
- Read through content:
- In three years, I have developed kinder ways of writing negative reviews!
- Does the format of my review reflect the format I use today?
- Can I add more content (text or links) or delete extraneous content?
- Can I remove outdated or irrelevant content?
- Check all links.
- Run the content through Grammarly. I was not using Grammarly the first year of blogging and I have found several errors by using it to update old content.
- Check categories and tags.
- Fill out the Twitter share section (shockingly, I was not sharing my posts to Twitter in the first year).
- Fill out the Excerpt section (I was not doing this in the beginning either).
- Create a Pinterest graphic for the post (yup, I didn’t use Pinterest the first year either) and make it my Featured Image. (I also share this updated post to Pinterest with the Pinterest worthy image.)
- Check the size of all my pictures and add Alt Text.
- Change the size of Headings and Subheadings to match today’s format. (one thing I was doing was using H4 for less significant headings and I read that it’s best to simply bold the text and not use H4)
- When updating, DO NOT change the original URL! Sometimes I feel like a title change is needed and I have to live with the original URL if I make a change.
Sometimes I feel as if I’ve created an entirely new post! However, this investment of time is worth it because my DA has jumped several points since January! SEO rewards updating.
Yes, it is tedious to update old content. I set a schedule and update one to two posts per week. It will take me a while, but it will be worth it. I created a spreadsheet where I can track my updating project. I made columns for my checklist and also one for ‘reshare.’ That way I know exactly where I left off, which posts have had the ‘treatment’ and which have not, and which posts have been reshared. I’ve linked the older posts (reviews) to my #throwbackthursday posts. So, I’m accomplishing two objectives: updating an old post and creating new content. This provides extra motivation.
I have read that it’s not good to delete a post. (it messes with Google in some way) I’ve been tempted! I simply fix it up the best I can, rewrite parts of it, and leave it be.
Remember to reshare the updated evergreen content posts that you’ve worked hard to update!
2. Check for errors.