One of my 2013 goals is to be more organized with my blog, but that means fixing old errors so that everything is kosher moving forward. I don’t want everything previous to 2013 to look like junk and 2013 and beyond to be fabulous. So, I’m going through and giving my blog a lift.
Here are a few things that are on my list of “to-do” and things I have learned and wish I knew (or at least applied) when I was a beginner:
* No-follow your paid links immediately and do not trust that a “bigger” blogger or “more experienced” blogger will provide you the html for a post with no-follow links. Always double check your own and any other posts provided to you. (Learn more about no-follow and do-follow here.)
* Learn SEO from day one and use it!
* Watermark your images from day one. It will save you time and headache later (and hopefully prevent theft of your images!)
* Delete any script html (Rafflecopter, InLinkz, etc.) when completed. Having scripts in your html provides easier access for hackers. How long you leave them up is up to your discretion, but I would recommend a clean out at least once a month.
* You need to have a winner’s list. It does not need to be visible on your blog, but it needs to be accessible should anyone ever ask for it. Therefore, before you delete a Rafflecopter, be sure you jot down who the winner was and what the giveaway was.
* In the beginning, joining as many giveaways as you can may sound great to build traffic and gain readers, fans and followers, but do not sell yourself short. Yes, you will be gaining traffic, readers, fans and followers, but you will lose some after the giveaway ends. And do you really want to look back on your blog months later and see nothing but giveaways? (I am not saying do not do them, but make sure you really want to do it and that it fits your blog. Do not sell yourself short.)
* Take good images that fill up your content space. This is what advertisers, sponsors, etc. are looking for. Good, large photos.
* Don’t believe everything you hear! Do your own research. Ask questions.
* Don’t have a million tags. Keep your tags to a minimum.
* Make sure your categories are relevant.
* Be sure you have the proper disclosures on your posts.
* Keep record of any money you have spent blog related (hosting, design, ingredients for recipes, your electricity bill, etc.). You can claim this type of stuff for taxes.
* In addition, keep record of any money you have earned blog related (products for review, cash, gift cards, etc.). That is an income for tax purposes.