The Three Critical Blogging Chores You’ve Probably Ignored

If you have ignored these three simple, but essential, chores to maintain your blog’s health, you’ve ignored them at your peril. The best news is that as important as they are to do, they are equally easy to enact:

Three Essential Blogging Chores Made Easy  Tweet: 3 Essential Blogging Chores Made Easy


Export WordPress Site Content

Exporting Your WordPress.com Site Content


1. Betcha never back up your WordPress posts, pages, projects and feedback.

Why you should: Imagine the day that WordPress.com gets highjacked and held hostage in exchange for deleting the identities of all the Russian hackers on the NSA’s hit list. You might lose every post, comment and design mod you’ve ever created if there’s a hosting catastrophe at WordPress.com. Isn’t that reason enough to export it (weekly)?

Never fear, there are also plenty of positive reasons to do so. You might find you can repurpose your content into newsletters, longer articles for other blogs, or even books. Then you can organize your writing and categorize your subjects, to find inspiration for future posts, or to edit for a future book, or to use the feedback in testimonials, or to repurpose it any number of ways.

But the main reason is: Exporting it on a weekly schedule (just add it to your Friday To Do list) could save you a world of hurt if your content is ever lost by the blog’s host.

How to: This is the really easy part. Go to your WordPress.com WP Admin Dashboard—see the screenshot, above—then to Tools, then choose Export. And take it from there . . .

Your next challenge: How can you repurpose all of your great content? To be continued in a future post . . .

 

MailChimp and WordPress play nicely together

MailChimp and WordPress play nicely together


2. Betcha don’t collect email addresses from your blog visitors.

Why you should: Anyone who is willing to give up her email address to you is a fan of your blog for life. Why let this potential relationship slip through your fingers for wont of a simple email signup form? You want a form that is tied to your free email marketing platform (in this case, MailChimp), to give yourself control over the specialized content you send to your subscribers.

Unlike the built-in “Subscribe to this blog” widget WordPress.com provides, you (not WordPress) will own a list of your readers’ email addresses, with their consent, to send them not just your published posts, but anything else you deem interesting to them.

How to: Get yourself a MailChimp account—it’s free (unless you’re a power user) and even fun to use. Then follow the steps here in the Ultimate Guide to Using MailChimp and WordPress.

Your next challenge: What to email everyone on your list? To be continued in a future post . . .

 

Enable Mobile Friendly

Enable ‘Mobile Friendly’ for Your Blog


3. Betcha haven’t enabled ‘Mobile Friendly’ for your blog.

Why you should: More and more page views in these mobile days come from devices other than personal computers. And with Google’s recent announcement that mobile search has now tipped the scales to lead online searches, you may be getting many of your blog views from iPhones, iPads, Androids, anything mobile.

For some insight into how your readers are viewing your blog, your blogging platform may provide these stats—or get them with a connected Google Analytics account. If you use WordPress.com, you’re out of luck. That info is only available to the $299/year Business Plan subscribers. But you can take Google’s stats to heart: people are reading your blogs on their mobile devices. (Aren’t you?)

How to: The theme you’re using may already be mobile-friendly. If it is, don’t override its built-in capability by electing the WordPress Mobile Options shown under Appearance—chances are your theme’s built-in functionality will trump the catch-all conversion you can get in WordPress. But if your theme isn’t already mobile-friendly, you’re in luck. Just go to your WP Admin Dashboard—see the screenshot, above—then to Appearance and select Mobile and choose Yes, Enable Mobile Theme.

Your next challenge: How to get more hits from mobile search? To be continued in a future post . . . You are on my mailing list, right? 

Got a suggestion for another easy but essential blogging chore?


Find some additional tech tips that are decidedly more art than tech in my Art Meets Tech category, HERE. For a nifty workaround I came up with that allows you to import and follow all of your favorite blogs using one terrific app, Feedly,go HERE.


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31 replies

  1. You betcha this is a great list! Especially for those of us who are not tech nerdy and feel good about how much we’ve already figured out. I definitely have #3 worked out because I’m a marketing nerd and understand the impact of mobile-friendly in algorithms. #2 is under construction and #1 is my weakness — gotta remember to do this! Thank you!

    And how do you shrink images when you don’t have Photoshop?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t done the email addresses…I just don’t know if I’d feel comfortable doing that and then, what would I do with them? I’ll wait for your later info on that and see. 🙂
    Great advice, I didn’t know everyone didn’t know about backing up their blog…then again I strongly believe, what we don’t know is much more important than what we do know.
    Awesome post, Jann, as always.
    Shared, of course. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess that means you didn’t become addicted to the Serial podcast, either? I’ve used Constant Contact and Vertical Response and Flash Issue and others, but none hold a candle to MailChimp. Even its endearing goofy High Five. Let me know what you think of it.

      Like

      • Constant Contact is really set up for mid-sized to large business. It’s not bad, just doesn’t seem to be a good fit for individuals or smaller business. I do know some local government officials who like it for keeping in touch with the voters though.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Is two out of three a passing grade? The only one I haven’t done is go after e-mails, and even then, I do have access to the e-mails of everyone who has ever left a comment—-that is if I have the time to search back through thousands of comments and capture them. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ll call that a B+ as long as you go back and capture all those emails 🙂 I’ve noticed that little privacy quirk of WordPress, too, and like you, have saved the comments in order to save the emails. Just feels a bit spammy to actually use them that way, though, do you agree? That said, most folks never sign up for my email list. In fact, most readers follow my blog via their awful and inadequate WordPress Reader (see my workaround for that HERE), and don’t opt to subscribe by email. Can’t blame ’em; that’s my M.O., too.

      Nice to hear from you, and get your thoughts, Lloyd. You show promise as being an excellent pupil.

      Like

  4. Jann, your post on these important subjects has been ruminating since I read it. I do want to do the export option, but am nervous about what will transpire. Will the free option export the entire blog? Or just the most recent post? When I export it, where does it go? To my desktop to be put on a file? Or…I’ve always printed a copy of each post, and then I have exactly what i’ve written and upload images to external files. I also save all my images on a flash drive and Google Drive. I was using an external drive for a long time, but now it seems that the flash drive and Google Drive cover as a “permanent” archive. That’s it. I always consider the Internet as a permanent fixture, but your post reenforced the fallacy of that notion. So any more hints in the export option. Sincere thanks for this information.

    Like

    • Never fear, Sally, your computer will NOT blow up when you hit export. It might just take a while to execute the export—I’ve experienced that before—but I think that is a WordPress issue, having to do with blogs that are image-heavy (like ours). So what you are exporting is not merely the content of your posts and pages, but all of the styling that goes into each one—an enormous archive of html and code. Thus if your site goes kaput, you can import your file into another new WordPress blog and voila! It’s back, though switching themes may cause you to have to do some tweaks. So export away, and just keep it safe somewhere. Best of luck.

      Like

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