How to maintain a blog

41 Things Bodacious Bloggers Do to Maintain Their Blogs

Blogging reminds me of being a mum and running a busy household. Just like the shopping, cooking and cleaning, the work of blogging is never really done.

If you’re a parent you’ll know what I mean. No sooner have you dumped $200 at the supermarket, carted the food home and served it up than it’s all gone. No matter how often you shop there’s always something essential missing (most often milk or toilet roll) and no one else seems to take responsibility for writing it on the eternal shopping list, never mind actually going out to get it.

That’s what blogging’s like too. It’s a never-ending story. There’s always a blog post waiting to be written, a tweet to be sent, a blog update that you haven’t got round to yet. There’s always a book that needs to be finished, a service that needs to be updates or a special offer you should promote.

It’s exhausting if you think about it too hard and sometimes, just sometimes, the constant work of maintaining a blog can get you down.

But bold, brave, bodacious bloggers adjust their mindset when that happens and either take a break – we all need one sometimes to prevent blogger burnout  - or just accept that’s the way blogging is and get on with it.

“Bodaciousadj. 1. Remarkable. 2. Gutsy. Probably from blend of bold and audacious.”
The Free Dictionary

One thing I do love about blogging is the variety. Sometimes I’m hanging out on Twitter chatting, other times I get inspired to write and sometimes I’ll be choosing and editing photos. But those are just three of the many different jobs I do to maintain my blogs.

So here’s a bloggers checklist to help you keep track of what you need to do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You can use this to create your own personal checklist if you like once you’ve worked out what the most important jobs are for you.

Things Bodacious Bloggers do to Maintain and Grow Their Blogs

Before You Start Blogging

1. Establish a clear goal – if you don’t know what you want to achieve from blogging you won’t get there.

2. Choose a topic or niche you’ll be able to write about for years to come.

3. Pick a blogging platform – if you haven’t done it already I recommend WordPress.

4. Decide on a blog name and domain.

5. Pinpoint your ideal readers and making sure your target audience isn’t too wide or too narrow.

6. Choose strong branding and design a blog that appeals to your target audience.

7. Write at least five blog posts before you start promoting your blog and start with the most relevant posts to your audience, not the back story to your business or creative ideas.

8. Unless you’re tech savvy you’ll need to find a great and responsive blog designer like the Successful Blogging team. You’ll be working with your blog designers for years to come so chose carefully.

Maintaining Your Blog

One off tasks:

9. Join forums where other bloggers and readers in your niche hang out.

10. Set up an email newsletter with MailChimp or Aweber. You may want two newsletters – one which simply sends an email when your blog is updated and another you can use to send other news or special offers.

11. Design and print business cards with your blog address. Show the world you mean business.

12. Tell your friends, family and colleagues or clients about your new blog and ask them to share it with their friends.

13. Registering with social networks like Digg, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook. There may be specific social networks for those interested in your niche so work out what they are.

14. Set up Google analytics so you can track your blog statistics and analytics.

15. Set up Feedburner for those who’d like to follow blogs in RSS readers.

16. Register with blog directories like Blogcatalog.

17. Learn about search engine optimisation so you can make the most of your blog and get search engine traffic.

18. Create a free giveaway such as an ebook to encourage people to subscribe by email.

19. Create a series of emails on auto-responder for new subscribers.

20. Make sure you have a mobile friendly blog design.

Regular tasks you can do weekly or monthly depending on time, personal priorities and blogging goals.

21. Create an editorial calendar.

22. Write hundreds of posts over the course of a year – assuming you post twice a week. You can batch process for speed and write daily, weekly or monthly depending on what works best for you.

23. Find images to go with the posts.

24. Leave comments on other blogs.

25. Write guest posts for other blogs. Guest posting is the best way to grow your blog.

26. Look after your core readers and faithful followers. Nurture your first readers, reply to their comments, thank them for their Facebook shares and retweets and leave them a comment if they have a blog.

27. Start using those social networks and building a network with strong relationships. It’s better to join a few networks and master them than to dabble in many but never really get a foothold.

28. Check your statistics to see which posts are the most popular so you can write more like them.

29.  Optimise any posts that are getting traffic from the search engines, either to improve their search engine ranking or to encourage new readers to subscribe.

30. Publish new blog posts regularly according to a schedule that’s realistic for you.

31. Promote your latest blog posts on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media outposts you’ve chosen to be active on.

32. Reply to your blog comments.

33. Network with other bloggers, start a Facebook group and get some blogging buddies so you can support each other.

When your blog is established and you’re ready to make money blogging

34. Find relelvant affiliate programs if there are any in your niche.

35. Join the best affiliate programs and review the products on your blog. Be honest, you need to keep building trust.

36. Create a media kit.

37. Approach advertisers.

When you have time

Don’t laugh. You may just have some extra time on your hands one day or need some mindless tasks to do when your creativity and motivation is low.

38. Clean up your Twitter account to remove all the non-followers and dead accounts. Manage Flitter is great.

39. Look at your blog with fresh eyes to see what needs updating or improving and take action to do that.

Maintaining a positive mindset

40. Be creative and keep experimenting. Blogging is still in its infancy so you’re a pioneer. Keep trying new things to see what works best.

41. Have fun. If you’re stuck with nothing but an endless list of jobs like the one above you’ll probably throw in the towel. You’ve got to be passionate about your blogging topic, really love what you do and keep having fun with it if you want to maintain and grow your blog.

Silly little things like slipping unusual words or lovely alliteration in headlines work for me. If I can manage both that’s even better.

So be a bodacious blogger too. Like being a mum it may be never-ending work but the excitement of your kids growing up makes parenting worth it.

Blogging is worth the work too because there’s nothing quite like the thrill of watching your blog grow and evolve.

So now every blogger can experience what it feels like to be a proud mum – even if you’re not a woman and don’t have any kids. Your blog is your baby. Take care of it and it will take care of you.

What did I miss? What are the essential tasks and what should we bloggers be doing less of? We’d love to read your comments. I always find them so valuable to help me learn how best I can help you in future blog posts. 

Like these blogging tips? Check out my workbook and audio book Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps. Read and loved by hundreds of other bloggers it’s guaranteed to help you succeed faster. 

Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne September 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Annabel, Thanks for the blogging to do list. I was actually thinking of making one for myself but I think I will start with yours and then tailor it for myself!!

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Annabel Candy September 15, 2012 at 7:44 am

Hi Anne,

That’s a good plan. I’m getting more organised and plan to divide it into daily, weekly and monthly tasks so I can fit as much as possible in and not miss anything:) Glad it’s a good starting point for you and do let me know if you notice anything important I missed.

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barbara September 15, 2012 at 1:27 am

I had to laugh Annabel because the first six tips weren’t even on my radar when I began. I had no idea what I was doing other than venting about turning 60. I changed the original name 6 mo. later. I had no clue what a niche was let alone where mine would be. I started on wordpress and switched to blogger, only to go back to wordpress this year. I put the LESS in clueLESS!
Thankfully some wonderful people found me. Thankfully I joined SITs. Thankfully I read ProBlogger religiously and that’s where I found you.
The rest is history.
Great tips though!
b

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Annabel Candy September 15, 2012 at 7:46 am

Hi Barbara,

You’re funny. We were all clueless in the beginning! It’s the only starting point and so glad you stuck with it. That’s the only real secret to blogging success:)

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SallyE September 15, 2012 at 1:29 am

Hi Annabel,
What a fantastic list. It’s not just a 10 steps to having fun with blogging, but an actual down to earth, what it takes to keep up and keep it good. We need to make this into a cheat-sheet, don’t you think? One of the best blogging lists I’ve come across. Thanks bunches!
–SallyE

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Annabel Candy September 15, 2012 at 7:48 am

Hi SallyE,

I think we do. I’ll be refining and working on it. I’ve been sitting on it for a while but finally decided to get it up there as is and improve on it later:)

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Debra Eve | Later Bloomer September 15, 2012 at 5:25 am

LOL: “Just like the shopping, cooking and cleaning, the work of blogging is never really done.” So true, Annabel! Thanks so much for the Manage Flitter mention. I was just going to look into something like that. (I can always count on you for just the right timely tip!).

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Annabel Candy September 15, 2012 at 7:49 am

Hi Debra,

It’s so true though! That’s good timing – I think you’ll love it:)

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Di Mace | Word Swords September 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Annabel, You just won me with words in the headline!
I just love the sound of the word “Bodacious”… it’s so rounded, and voluptuous that it makes me think of Botticelli paintings, and yet, it’s also rough and tough like Boadicea! *off to find my breast plate*….

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Annabel Candy September 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Hi Di,

Glad you liked that. I do too;) It is the best word and love the image of us voluptuous bloggers doing battle with Wordpress, Twitter etc!

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Phil September 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Nice post, but, is it me or does your design not have the date the posting was made? I am looking for current blog posters… and the only way I can guess a date of your postings is by looking at the comments.

I would therefore suggest that your design is not so good!

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Annabel Candy September 16, 2012 at 9:15 am

Hi Phil,

I never date my posts and recommend to my blog design clients that they don’t either because it makes the posts date. Most of my blog posts are evergreen classics so I don’t want people to discard them as old news. Though you’re right, people can still tell when they were published by the comments:)

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Phil September 16, 2012 at 10:02 am

I respectfully disagree. Age, on the internet, can be a GOOD thing. It can show that your blog has been around and active for years. And that you have been posting regularly.

Without a date on the posts, and without trolling through comments, for all I know this blog just popped up last week and that you only post once every few months, thereby not making a blog worth following.

Similarly, I find it great when, like happened yesterday, I saw people tweeting about someone’s blog posting and see the posting was from 3 years ago. Now THAT is a posting that is ageless.

(And I can’t help but comment on the conceit in claiming your own posts as being ‘evergreen classics’… surely that is for the audience and posterity to decide!)

I cannot see the harm in putting a date on posts.

Annabel Candy September 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Not all posts are evergreen:) Some like posts about tools or apps will naturally date and maybe of little use in future years but many such as my blog writing magic series are classic posts that will be just as useful ten years from now. Like most good bloggers I try to write a balance of evergreen and news posts that will become outdated overtime. It is something the writer can judge and which readers appreciate:)

Jojo September 16, 2012 at 11:33 am

Annabel – Thanks for the list. Being new to the blogging world, it’s nice to have a rough road map . ;)

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Annabel Candy September 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Hi Jojo,

Good to see you here and glad this helped:)

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Gary @ Solavei September 17, 2012 at 5:35 am

Thanks for the tips. There were a couple of things I overlooked I guess. I still believe I am on the right track though. :]

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Annabel Candy September 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Hi Gary,

Yay! That’s great to hear.

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Babette September 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Fabulous article. Thanks so very much for putting it out there and for giving of your expertise so freely. Very much appreciated.

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Annabel Candy September 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Hi Babette,

Great to see you here and appreciate your taking time to leave a comment too:)

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Seana Smith September 17, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Hi Annabel, good list and am glad to read it – but feel exhausted!! Oh, hey, that’s just like being a mum too.

On my blog, as with books and life, I prefer the content creation and am not so good at the publicity and promotion. And perhaps that needs to turn into more of a goal. Actually having a clear idea of my goal would be good too.

On the evergreen note, I am updating some of my posts as re-posting them. With lots of mine it’s important that they are up to date and reliable and so I think I will do a couple of refreshes a week for a while as I changes do happen and then one is aiming to be a good information provider they need updates. Well, mine do. It’s a very tight niche!

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Annabel Candy September 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Hi Seana,

I like the content creation best too but I think we should be able to get systems in place so the promotion can be done fast. It is an important part of the puzzle to help people find that great blog content:)

I think I need to write a post about evergreen content, content that dates and content that needs to be updates. You’ve raised a good point and I know how important it is to make sure the advise we give our readers is up to date because (for example in the travel niche) restaurants, shops and hotels do close down.

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Andi the Minion September 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Hi Annabel, plenty of great tips here, I haven’t thought about creating business cards, with everything these days focusing online, with Facebook ads, PPC, groups, forums etc etc It never occurred to me to create a load of physical business cards.

I guess a series of guerilla tactics like leaving a few dotted about on coffee shop tables and bar tops could drive a few extra people your way especially if you create a curiosity teasing business card.

As for the discussion on evergreen, you are right restaurants and hotels do close down, after reading about one such place online only last week I became excited only to do more research and find that it was no longer open. As a blog owner, it is important that what we offer and supply is up to date and checked regularly otherwise it will be us who suffer in the long run.
Andi

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Linda @EcoTraveller September 21, 2012 at 9:58 am

What a great checklist. Thanks Annabel.
And so agree about it being like the never-ending demands of motherhood… but like that, I guess we do it for the love of it :)

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Noodle October 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Wow! Thanks Annabel. You really have given alot of great advice. Wonderful for a person about to launch herself into the blogger world!
I have ideas spinning in my head, but hopefully I can find the niche amongst all of it and produce some good writing.
Thanks!

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Michelle Rebecca January 9, 2013 at 9:00 am

I absolutely love this post title and the list! I definitely want to be considered a bodacious blogger (who wouldn’t?! What an awesome title to hold!), so I’m going to have to start implementing more of these into my daily blogging schedule! Thanks for the tips! :)

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Johanna at ZigaZag WA Travel & Lifestyle March 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Don’t know how I missed this great post, because it’s reminded me of many things that I need to put on a weekly ‘to do’ list. Late to the party, but not late to blogging which as you infer is still moving onwards and upwards. Here’s living proof that optimising past evergreen posts, does work ;)

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