We all love Lisa’s helpful posts (remember the one about things you need to know about images and the things to do before you publish) and she’s back with a few things we should all get on top of if you haven’t already. She also updated her snazzy little website Elembee, check it out. — Meg
In the spirit of the new year, today I’d like to share a few ways you can prepare your blog for the future!
1. Buy a domain name.
Maybe you’ve started a blog and have no idea where you want to go with it, so why would you want to put money into it? Or maybe you’ve been at it for a while, and the domain name issue has slipped your mind. Take a few minutes, and spend the $10-$15 — I promise, it’s worth it! A domain name offers you so much more flexibility for the future, whether you decide to change blogging platforms, or start a new blog altogether and redirect your traffic to your new space. Plus, there’s no guarantee that name will still be available a year down the road when you decide you really need it. GoDaddy is a popular choice for registering domains, but regardless of what you choose, make sure you keep track of your account information.
2. Install Google Analytics.
Again, this is another one of those things you may not think is important when you don’t know where your blog is going, but it’s best to have it just in case. Google Analytics is the standard for website stats, and it only starts tracking from the time you install it. The numbers may not be as important when they are low, but you can’t see growth over time if you don’t have a good starting point. The install process depends on the platform you’re using, so just do a quick search, and a number of instructions will come up.
3. Set up a Facebook page.
I rarely use my personal Facebook account, so I hesitated to create a page for my blog for a long time. I wish I had created one sooner. As bloggers, we tend to know about the latest and greatest apps for keeping up with our favorite sites. The average person is probably just going to bookmark your site and revisit it when they can remember. But everyone these days has a Facebook account, and for many, it’s the first site they check in the morning or visit when they’re killing time. A Facebook page will help you connect with those people. While your updates aren’t guaranteed to show up in every fan’s news feed, you’ll reach a lot more people that way than if you rely on them to remember to check their bookmarks. (Side note: A Facebook page is different from your personal account. You can read more about it on Facebook.)
4. Back it up.
Backing up your site is one of those boring tasks everyone knows they should be doing and just forget. Well, here’s your friendly reminder — do it now. And set up a schedule!
5. Write it down.
I mentioned this already, but it’s that important, so I’ll say it again: Make sure you keep track of all account information. Take some time and gather all emails and logins associated with your site, even if you have no idea what they mean. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used an old email the client thought was inconsequential to get exactly what I needed to set up their site or redirect their domain. Also, if you work with someone else on your site, and they set up any accounts for you, make sure you understand what they’re setting up, why, and how you can access it, in case you need to provide that information for someone else in the future. At the very least, you should know where your site is hosted and how to log in, as well as where you bought your domain and how to log in.
Photo by Meg Biram