Let’s face it, there is a lot more involved in having a blog than just writing posts and sharing them on social media. If you’ve been blogging for any length of time you have probably already come to the conclusion that there will always be more to learn about how to run a blog.
While there are plenty of checklists for what to do before you hit the publish button on a new post, there aren’t many resources for what to do behind the scenes to make sure that your blog stays in tip-top shape. I’m going to share with you the behind the scenes blog checklist that I use to make sure that the necessary maintenance tasks get done so I can concentrate on writing…. because that’s really what we enjoy most about blogging anyway isn’t it?
Here are the most important blog checklist items that need to be completed, and why they’re important. At the end of the article I’ll tell you how you can get my free blog checklist organized into weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly tasks. As a bonus, my checklist has links to plugins that will help you complete some of these tasks as well as some bonus tasks not listed here that I do to keep my blog running smoothly.
Tasks on my blog checklist
Update plugins and themes
The most common way that bloggers get their sites hacked into is through vulnerabilities in out of date plugins. Once a vulnerability has been found in a plugin the knowledge spreads like wildfire in the hacker community and any site with that plugin is at risk of being compromised… even small blogs… everyone is on the radar! So, update your plugins at least once a week.
If for some reason your site is compromised and you need to restore it, you’re going to need a backup to restore it from. Depending on how often you post and/or make changes to the backend of WordPress, you will want to backup your files more often. I would suggest creating a backup at least once a week.
There are plugins you can install that will backup your site automatically according to a schedule you set. See my checklist for the plugin I use. But, even though you’ve scheduled your backups to automatically occur, you’re still going to want to verify that they are actually being done.
Unless you’re writing your blog purely to write it and don’t care if anyone sees it, then you should be tracking and logging your site stats including page views, referral sources, bounce rate, pages per session, session duration etc. Other great things to log include keywords that people are using to find your site and your most popular pages. Use this information to determine if your marketing has been working and to tweak it when it’s not.
This task is really important when it comes to tax season, but also when trying to determine which revenue streams are working best for your site. You’ll want to keep track of each affiliate program and/or revenue stream and how much money was made per month, quarter, and year. If you did any special marketing, or changed any settings (for example ad placement on your blog) be sure to note that as well.
Update about me page
This is one of those things that get’s forgotten so often. We really only think about our about me page when we set up our blogs and then after that they kind of get lost in the shuffle. In reality, things change in our life so often, and even the focus of our blog can change. These changes mean that we need to update our about me pages to make sure they’re still an accurate reflection of ourselves and our blogs.
Check for broken links
For a reader of a blog, there is nothing more annoying than clicking on a link we’re interested in only to find that it’s broken… insert sad emoji here. As a blog owner, there’s nothing more annoying than finding out that an affiliate link is broken and you’ve been missing out on making money! In my blog checklist I’ll give you a link to the plugin I use to monitor my links and make sure they’re all working.
Delete unused plugins
Unlike updating plugins to make sure your site doesn’t become vulnerable, you’ll actually want to delete unused plugins to make sure that you’re not using up unnecessary disk space, creating potential conflicts with plugins that you actually use, or backing up plugins that you no longer use (because now that you know you should be backing up your blog once a week, I know that you’ve been doing it and are now probably keeping an eye on disk space for those backups). Depending on how often you add new plugins and play around with your plugins, you might have to review your list of them more or less often, but I would suggest at least once a quarter that you review your plugins and delete any that you are no longer using.
Get my blog checklist
Now that you know what tasks are important and why they’re so important, I’m going to tell you how to get a simple printable blog checklist that I use to make sure that I’m keeling on top of things. There are even some extra tasks on the checklist that I didn’t mention here as well as links to some very useful plugins to help you complete your checklist.
To get a copy of my Behind the Scenes Blog Checklist just subscribe to updates from WikiPamela.com by clicking here. By subscribing, not only will you stay up to date on what’s happening at WikiPamela.com, but you’ll also get special notifications for subscribers only.