Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Get Your Blog & Website Ready for the new Year

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

2021 is barreling toward us. With a difficult year behind us, and changes still to come, I find myself in a period of introspection. Actually, it’s a good thing. It gives me a chance to look back over the past year and decide what worked and what didn’t. It also gives me a push toward trying something different.

Today I’d like to invite you to join me in one aspect of this journey and get your blog  & website ready for a great 2021. Click on your own site and look at it with these thoughts in mind. Here’s the checklist I use to evaluate my sites. Don’t hesitate to tweak it to fit your needs.

  • Make sure your site hasn’t become too cluttered in the sidebar, header and footer areas. Clean out any old links and add any you’ve been considering.
  • Take a look at the position of your gadgets. Many times during the year I’ll add something and it will rearrange things. It’s important that you have your email and RSS signups in a visible place so readers can subscribe easily. 
  • Also be sure to check all your links, especially for social media. Nothing’s more frustrating to a visitor than trying to connect with you further and coming up with a dead link. Also dead links will adversely affect your search engine ranking.
  • Recheck your default font. Sometimes you’ll find you’ve drifted into a different one. Whatever font you use, make certain it’s easily readable…on all screens.
  • Update your ABOUT ME section on your site. Include the things that have happened over the past year in regard to publication, job changes, awards, and anything else applicable.
  • If you have a calendar with your speaking engagements, update it as well.
  • Also be sure to update any lists you have of other sites, like those for writers, photographers or others.
  • Now take out your mobile device (cell phone, tablet, e-reader, whatever you have) and make certain your site looks good on a smaller screen. This is vital because at least two-thirds of all visitors to your site will be looking at it from a mobile device and that number will continue to increase!
  • Reassess what action you want your reader to take after viewing your blog. Maybe you want them to share your site with their friends/readers. Perhaps you’re selling a book. Even if it’s only to follow you on Twitter, make sure it’s easy for them to see what you want and then execute it!
Update Your Schedule
This is also a good time to look at your blog posting schedule and evaluate the popularity and efficiency of your different topics. You can do this by utilizing the stats section of your dashboard.
  • First, look at the most popular posts of the past year. Do they fall into a specific category or theme? If this isn’t the main focus of your blog consider making it a bigger part of your posting schedule.
  • Next look at the day of the week when you get your most hits. Does it correspond to your posting date or is it the following day? You may need to tweak when your email notification is sent out.
  • Finally, Google the subject of those popular posts. Don’t plug in the exact title of those blogs, instead try a more generic subject search. The purpose of this is to see where within that search your blog entry is falling.
We all benefit from a yearly checkup and our blog is no different. I’d love to hear how you use this time to get ready for the New Year ahead!

Don't forget to join the conversation!


Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.


  1. Thanks for these tips, Edie.
    Wishing you and The Write Conversation staff a happy new year 2021.

  2. Thank you for these great tips. I needed these steps to get back to blogging.

  3. Thanks for this great information. I'm still working on getting set up and my first blog. Maybe 2021 will be my year! Happy New Year to you and yours!

  4. As always, great advice and it includes things I wouldn't think to check. Thank you for your useful lists. Happy New Year!

  5. This is great! Every year I try something different with my blog. This past year is was introducing a different author to my audience each week (almost). It amazed me that there were certain authors that had such a following that they pulled readers into my blog as well as their own. They were the ones that made sure to put a link on social media, etc. This year, I want to do that to a certain extent, but I want to have more original content, as well. Still thinking and praying on that one, and I need to get a "Sign-Up Genius" list up, and yesterday!!

  6. You have given me some things to think about. Thank you.