This week, we've been discussing some of the issues bloggers who decide to make blogging a long-term project face. We've talked about planning your content, developing your network, and what to do when you go on vacation. Now, let's talk about the "business," side of things.
If you haven't already, you're going to need to secure your own domain name. For you WebRevelation folks, this is handled by your webmaster. For everyone else, you can get domain names very inexpensively. Be sure to use a proxy service to keep your personal contact information private.
Back-up Your Data
In the event of a hacker-attack or other type of system crash, you might need a back-up copy of your blog posts. For those using paid-hosting, chances are that this is done for you (check with your hosting service to be sure), but if not, you'll need to do it manually on a regular basis. Look for your blogging software's "export" feature, and save your blog to an external location (hard-drive, or portable storage device) periodically.
Prune your Sidebar
As we have pointed out previously, excess sidebar flair can hurt your page rank. It also creates visual clutter, and confuses your readers. If you have a blogroll, move it to a blogroll page or post, and delete the blogs that are no longer linking back to you. If you have badges and buttons from other places, make sure those are actually generating traffic for that blog or website, and that the link is mutually beneficial; otherwise, delete those. If you have advertisers, make sure they're paid-up, and that the links are still valid. If they are pay-per-click ads, and it will take you ten years at the rate you're going to reach the minimum payout threshold, get rid of those ads, already.
Review your Settings
From time-to-time, look over the optional settings available to you through your blogging software, and make sure those settings are still appropriate. You may want to re-consider your comment policy, and adjust the security level on that. Make sure your feed settings are set to "summary," so that readers will be encouraged to click into your blog or site, rather than just reading the entire post in their feed. Review your categories, and tags, to make sure they're still relevant.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.