29 Things You Can Do to Help Grow Your Audience: Maintenance Edition
Anyone in the mood for actionable tips? I love having higher level, philosophic conversations, but sometimes it’s nice to have a checklist of things to do. Especially if it helps you achieve your sex blogging goals, even if in subtle ways.
So, in no particular order, here are some things you can do right now (or check that you’ve done them) to improve your blog or your social media presence. These things help new people figure out who you are and what you’re about. When they know that, it’s easier for them to follow you, growing your audience as a result.
Let’s call this the sex blog and social media maintenance edition.
- Complete your social media bio. This goes beyond adding an avatar. Make sure your website is listed. If, like Instagram, you only get one URL, make it the most important one for this moment. You may need to change your URL from time to time, and that’s okay.
- Double check spelling in basic places like your bio, about me page, and profile info. We’re not supposed to be perfect, but first impressions matter.
- Personalize wherever you can. Here, I’m thinking of Twitter. If your brand is associated with specific colors, use those on your Twitter profile for people who want to learn more about you.
- Make sure your blog archive is easy to find. H/t to Molly Moore and DomSigns for this one: in WordPress, you can add a sidebar widget for your archives (by month) and your categories. Make sure to choose the drop down option so you don’t create an endless scroll for people.
- Create an about page. If you have one, go edit it. If it’s been six months to a year since you thought about it, something has definitely changed.
- Install the Broken Link Checker plugin on your blog (WordPress only, as far as I know). It scans your website for broken links and makes it easy to fix them. No more 404 errors or sending people away from your site to something that doesn’t work.
- Look at your website on a smartphone or tablet. This is known as a mobile audit of your website. Try to navigate to the different pages, using the menus, sidebar, etc. If it’s difficult for you, it’s even worse for someone who doesn’t know your site. Add “update website layout” to your list of plans and goals.
- Check your menu navigation on your website. Are the things you’re focusing on in your menu still relevant to your goals? Do any of the pages need to be updated?
- Back up your website and then update plugins. Invariably, we all need to do this at some point. Since plugins are being constantly updated, it feels like a full-time job. But if it’s been a while since you updated anything, do it now. If you’re using a plugin that automatically backs up your website, you can skip the back-up. These keep your website up and running and secure. If your website goes down, no one can read it.
- Check out new themes for your website. If you can’t remember the last time you updated your theme (and you’re ready for a change or that mobile audit was bad), do some research on WordPress.org and check out what your options are. A website that’s easy to read and navigate helps people stick around longer.
- Check your pinned social media posts — Twitter or Facebook. If you’re using this feature, is that post still relevant? Should it be the first thing people see?
- Pin a tweet. Is there something you really want new visitors to your Twitter profile to know about? Pin it.
- Check the stats page of your blog and look at the most popular blog posts and pages. With Jetpack in WordPress, you can look at 7 days, 28 days, quarter, etc. Make a list (I like spreadsheets) of your top 5, 10, whatever most popular blog posts.
- Use the list you just made above and go edit each of those posts to make sure they’re as good as you can make them — good image, links work, formatted well, good meta description. These are some of the first posts people read when they “meet” you — make sure you’re making a good first impression.
- Update your categories. In WordPress, click on “Posts” and look at the drop-down menu. When you click on Categories, you’ll see all the categories you’ve ever made. Add a description and meta description (with Yoast SEO plugin) for each one. Some themes show the description, others don’t. But if someone comes across a category page, you’ve just told them what they can find in your category archives.
- Delete old categories you don’t use. You may need to shift the posts around or maybe you made a category and never used it. Since you’re in that section anyway (see number 15), go ahead and get rid of them. Or use that empty category as inspiration for more blog content.
- Create a page on your website that helps people navigate your website. It’s sometimes called a “Start Here” page. If you’re creating content about multiple topics, this let’s you share that breakdown and help new visitors find their way around. It’s part about page, part roadmap. Here’s the Start Here page I made for KaylaLords.com as an example.
- Put your “Start Here” page in your main navigation menu so people can easily find it.
- Add a search function to your website. If you have one already, make sure it’s visible. Some themes let you add search to the menu. If you can, do it. If not, make it one of the top sidebar widgets you can. Add one to the footer for good measure. You want people to be able to find content on your website!
- Add your blogging love badges. Are you on Kinkly’s Top Sex Blogger List? Add that badge to a sidebar! It’s a bit of social proof that someone else knows you exist and likes your blog.
- Update your blogroll. If you have one, when was the last time you looked at it? Are your current favorite bloggers listed? Do all of the links work? If it’s been a while, freshen that list up a bit.
- Make sure you have a “Home” page button on your website. In the main navigation menu, make sure visitors have an easy way to get back to your homepage from any page. Some themes add this automatically, but not all of them do. I’ve had to find out the hard way about this one, so if you don’t know, go check.
- Make sure your social media profiles are on your website. Some themes have this available or you can use widgets and plugins (like Jetpack). This lets you put the icon and link to your social media profiles on your site so people can find you there and follow you. I can’t tell you how many sex blogs I’ve gone to, and the icon is there, but isn’t linked back to the bloggers profile.
- Check your footer and sidebar widgets for defaults that need to be removed. A lot of new sex bloggers have a widget that says things like “Meta” or “WordPress.com.” This is a default setting (usually as a widget).
- Go to the Settings/General section of your WordPress site and fill out the information there. If it says, “Just another WordPress site” fix it immediately. This is what Google sees when combing your site. You need to add your tagline — something that tells people what your website is about.
- Add a copyright statement to your website. It definitely doesn’t keep people from stealing your content. But it shows that you’ve touched every inch of your website, and you’re aware that your content can’t or shouldn’t be stolen.
- Update your profile picture and headers. If the last time you thought about your Twitter or Facebook header was five years ago when you created the account, it’s time for an update. The same is true with your sex blog and any avatar you’re using on social media. You can use Canva for sizing and customizable templates if you’re like me and hopeless with graphics.
- Create a contact page. Contact pages aren’t a requirement, but they’re a good idea for most sex bloggers. If you want people to be able to reach you, a contact page on your website makes that easy — and it goes directly to your email. If you don’t want anyone to have your email address, create a specific one for your blog through Gmail.
- Use category archives as menu options on your blog. Want people to read specific topics you’ve written about? Use your categories as part of the menu navigation.
Some of these things you’ve likely already done, but some you haven’t. We all need to double check ourselves from time to time. I can think of a few of these I need to do on my own websites right now. If you’re looking for concrete things you can do, pick one or all. Use this as a checklist or do something at random.
The content we create matters most, but you’d be surprised at how these little things add up. When you make your sex blog or adult website easier to navigate, people who are interested in your content will stick around. But if they can’t find what they want or it’s hard to read, they’ll click away without a second thought.
Your social media presence is another tool in building an audience, and it’s not something we should be too anxious about. But, like your website, it often serves as a first impression. Keep it current and complete, and you’ll make it a little easier for people to decide who you are and if they want to follow you.
Okay, over to you. Are there any other basic maintenance things you do regularly to your website or social media presence? Are any of these a complete surprise to you? Share in the comments below or talk to me on Twitter!