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:
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 . . .
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 . . .
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.