Spring Cleaning Blogging Challenge
Time to Get the Dirt Out of my Posts
Ah, spring cleaning. It conjures up all sorts of thoughts to different people, not all of them pleasant. We all have a general sense of what spring cleaning means in our homes, right?!
With traditional spring cleaning you sometimes don’t know what you are in for until you get down and dirty in the cleaning process. So often one thing leads to another, and it’s easy to get distracted from one task at hand because you find another issue to address in your cleaning – or discover something you really ought to tackle even though it was not part of the original plan.
Typically it’s unpleasant. But it feel good once it's been addressed.
All this was certainly true in the challenge issued by Debe Maxwell, where our posts were the focus of our spring cleaning, and what that entails. If you haven't finished, keep in mind your entry is due at the end of the day on June 30th.
No doubt others who participated in this challenge found out how much spring cleaning there was to do…I certainly did.
It was an ominous task to tackle. And with many of us writing tons of posts over a number of years, how does one decide where to begin? The attic? The garage? The closets?
I didn’t put a formal limit on the time frame – and went back to 2007 in a couple cases. I also decided to narrow it down to several strategies since I couldn’t do it all. I chose a couple of types of post, community and informational, plus others that had lots of clicks, views and comments suggesting…in my humble opinion…that they were popular.
It felt like selecting the best stuff for the garage sale, or to donate!
I even took on a couple of posts that I knew were going to be a bear because of all the links and formatting issues…sorta like tackling that part of the garage you haven’t explored in years! Or those especially hard to reach places for cleaning.
It came as no surprise that there were all sorts of cleaning activities, some more tolerable than others.
And lots of similar issues over and over.
I corrected links; deleted outdated text; deleted non-working videos and corrected when I could; added or deleted (in some cases) photos; corrected typos; added content; corrected font size; added and corrected tags; edited SEO titles and descriptions where needed; corrected broken links (those certainly get tiresome!); and changed links to open in a new window rather than the same window.
Here are the 10 posts I edited (actually there were more, since so often one post linked to another where I discovered additional cleaning issues and couldn't just ignore them):
So what did I learn from all this, other than wishing I had not just ignored some of these issues originally?
It was certainly disappointing to find I could not always alter photos (size), so I replaced them where needed which is probably a good thing – some of the photos in my early days were not all that great.
I also found that a number of slideshows and videos in old posts simply did not work, in particular when going back to older posts. No doubt some of this is due to changes in the photo editor functionality as well as the video embedding function since that time. Who knew?!
But it’s a reminder these issues need to be monitored periodically, as least for those popular posts getting lots of traffic, and those all-important evergreen posts (e.g., community profiles).
Reading some of these old posts while deciding which ones to clean gave me ideas of other posts to write, and perhaps some summary articles focusing on sellers and buyers with a list of key posts that I haven’t used to the best advantage will emerge. Nothing like repurposing posts when you can when the content is good!
It’s clear that as an active blogger there is much more to do from the past, and it’s important do a good job of writing and formatting in the first place. That’s a good lesson there for our blogging, just like avoiding clutter and dirt in our homes!