Throughout January we will be running our 31 Day Blog Challenge: 31 days to clean up, grow and improve your blog. What better time than the start of a new year to get things sorted and ready to go for a brand new year of blogging?
We'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to get things in order and make blogging easier. This is Day 11.
What is a Blogroll?
For those that are not in the blogroll loop, a blogroll is typically found along the sidebar of a blog or possibly in a drop-down list. It usually consists of blogs that are of interest to you or share a similar focus to your blog. Of course, it can also be a list of bloggers that also happen to be your friends and you're all just showing each other some link love. And lastly, a blogroll could be a list of very popular blogs or well-known bloggers that you link to in the hopes that they will reciprocate.
A quick and easy video tutorial on creating a blogroll can be found here on the WordPress site.
Clean Up Those Links!
Whatever your reasons for having a blogroll, they are your reasons! However, just like the clothes in your closet need a good overhaul from time to time, so does your blogroll! Since it's not a page you edit often or visit yourself, it's so easy to forget about those links on your blog. Chances are you created your blogroll when you first began blogging and haven't updated it since. A good review of your blogroll should ask the following three questions.
- Are the links active? If it's been awhile since you last updated your blogroll, there's a good chance that some links on don't even exist anymore. Imagine a reader clicking on a broken link in a section of your blog that you personally endorse. If the reader thinks you don't care, why should they?
- Is this blog relevant to you now? We all had some bad hairdo's in the 1980's, but we eventually figured it out and moved on! Now it's time to apply the same rules to your blogroll. Maybe you began by blogging about your love of bacon but now you're all about professing the love you have for your vegan lifestyle. If that's the case, it may be time to change the categories of your blogroll or it may simply be time to say goodbye to all your bacon-loving links and show some new love to your new passion. Show your reader that you change (and update) with the times, they'll appreciate that.
- Counting on reciprocity? I get it and really we've all done it. Who wouldn't be flattered to receive an incoming link from your blog? This might be tough to hear, but that rockstar blogger or that one blogger who is your ultimate crush doesn't care too much about the link you're sending his/her way. Link to them because you love their blog and you love their stories or photos, but don't link to them in the hopes of them reciprocating. It's a story that will end in sorrow.
Just like anything else in life, be it your kitchen pantry or underneath the seats of your car, your blogroll also needs a good thorough review and cleaning. It doesn't take much time, but it shows you care!