This is the kick off to our annual January Blog Challenge: 31 Days To Clean Up Your Blog. What better time than January to sit down and review your blog? Over the 31 days we'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to deal with all those pesky maintenance tasks, take steps to grow in the new year and make blogging easier. This is Day 5.
Today, for Day 5 of the challenge, it's time to consolidate, update and add to your social media icons.
Social media changes quickly. When we first did this challenge back in 2014, most bloggers had buttons for Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and Stumble Upon. A few had Pinterest, Google+ and maybe flickr.
Stumble Upon and Google+ are gone. flickr is still around but it's mostly tumbleweeds. A lot of new bloggers don't even bother with a twitter account. And there are all those platforms that came and went in between 2014 and now: Periscope and Vine come to mind!
But of course, Facebook is still rolling and Pinterest brings in big traffic numbers for a lot of food bloggers. The popularly of Instagram and YouTube are a testament to how the web has truly embraced becoming a visual medium. More and more bloggers are going to video and starting up YouTube channels. And TikTok is starting to emerge as a new player - will it still be here in 5 years?
But what about on your blog - do you have links to all the platforms you use? Are they up to date and easy to find (I know from the experience of clicking on many blog social media icons and having them go nowhere that a lot of people have let keeping them up to date slide...)
Make Your Social Media Icons Easy
If we're starting to sound like a broken record on the whole "easy to find" thing it's because it's so very, very important. Usability plays a huge role in being a website people come back to. And it's not only usability on a desktop - usability on a mobile phone is absolutely critical at this point in time.
We see so many blogs that have Facebook buttons in the sidebar, twitter in the footer, and separate widget for pinterest. Sometimes all the social icons are hidden away on a contact page, making it nearly impossible to find them.
There are some in the blogging world who are moving away from displaying social icons but we still feel like they're an important part of your website and should be relatively easy to find.
Collect up all your social media accounts. Use uniform buttons. Line them all up in one widget. Need help? We offered up some great links in this post on 7 Tips to Instantly Make Your Blog More Reader Friendly (see point 3).
Standard spots for posting icons are at the top of your blog's sidebar or in or above the header. More and more bloggers are also adding them in their footers as a secondary location. If you're not a coding whiz, we suggest you stick to using your sidebar. And we don't recommend the footer as the only location but it's great to use it as an additional location.
Make it easy for your readers to connect with you so they can access all your great content across your different social media channels!
Make Sure Your Social Media Links Are Up To Date
Don't skip this step!
If your social media icons are all in one spot that's easy to find, do a quick check to make sure they all work and take users where they need to go. If they appear anywhere else on your site, check them there as well.
This is especially important if you've been through a website redesign recently, changed your username on any social media platforms or deleted any social accounts in the last year. Links have a tendency to break in all those situations so take 5 minutes and do a quick check!
- 5 Tips For Putting the "Social" Back in Social Media
- Get Noticed! Using Social Media For PR For Your Blog