Back when I was doing five blog critiques per week, I started noticing a few trends. Mistakes I see over and over again. While none of these is a huge detriment on their own, if you make a few fixes here and there, you could really start seeing some improvements on your site.
So if you feel like your blog is just missing that special something or you really want to start to be taken seriously, go through these 32 tweaks you can do in 10 minutes or less:
1. Add a photo (this can be in your sidebar or About page, but personalizing yourself can make a huge difference in connecting to your readers).
2. Update to the latest version of WordPress.
3. Add matching social media buttons.
4. Spell check all the major pages. Use a site like EditMinion if you want a “second pair of eyes.”
5. Remove unnecessary sidebar features like generic blog awards or silly memes that aren’t adding anything to your blog.
6. Download a trial of Scribe to check on the SEO of your posts.
7. Test each of your share buttons. Make sure they work and look the way you want.
8. Resize large photos. Use a plugin like Smush.it if there are lots to resize.
9. Test your site speed.
10. Check your site in different browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari…) to make sure your site works for every reader.
11. Write 10 new blog post titles.
12. Approve any pending comments and delete spam.
13. Pare down your navigation menu. More doesn’t mean better.
14. Spend 10 minutes tagging old blog posts, recategorizing and generally making posts easier to find.
15. Test your blog’s search capability. (Add a search bar if you don’t have one.)
16. Do a quick Google search for your blog to make sure the preview doesn’t look messy. Make any changes on your dashboard if it does.
17. Get a favicon.
18. Break up big chunks of text. Blog readers skim. Make sure your posts and pages are easy to digest.
19. Write down the main thing you want your blog to accomplish. Post it somewhere you can see when you’re at your computer. Remember that one thing whenever you post.
20. Check for broken links.
21. Switch to a self-hosted domain. Seriously, just do it.
22. Download a related posts plugin to encourage readers to stay on your site.
24. Write a page specifically for advertisers.
25. Write a list of 5 websites where you’d want to guest post.
26. Remove any “meta” stuff from your footer and sidebar if you haven’t already. It’s not useful for the reader, so why have it?
27. Do you really need that blogroll or do you just have it to get links back? Think about it, then consider deleting.
28. Start putting together a “Best Of” page.
29. Comment on your top 5 favorite blogs.
30. Sign up for HARO.
31. Do you have a newsletter? If so, look at it. Are you giving people a specific reason to sign up?
32. Organize your navigation menu from most important page to least important.
Got anything to add? Leave your suggestions below in the comments and I’ll be sure to add them as an update to the post!