I must admit that I tend to forget some of these myself, so hopefully this post will also serve as a checklist to go through once in a while. What about you, do you forget them?
1. Proofread. If you browse around the blogosphere you will notice that the vast majority of the bloggers do not proofread. Confusions with its and it’s, your and you’re, and their and they’re are very common. So the next time you finish writing a post or article, remember to proofread it. If it is a guest article or a linkbait piece, proofread it one more time. Check out the article 8 Proofreading Tips And Techniques for tips on this topic.
2. Backup. Over the past year I had around five friends coming to me on MSN and asking: “Hey Daniel, my blog crashed, and I had no backups, any tips on how to solve it?” Trust me, you really don’t want to find yourself in that position. Backup regularly if you do it manually. The best option, however, would be to get a script or your hosting provider to do automatic daily backups. Read Backup Your Blog Regularly to find more instructions on how to backup a WordPress blog.
3. Link to older posts. Linking to older posts can increase your traffic and search engine rankings. Additionally, it can also give more information for the readers that want to go deeper into certain subjects. If you have been blogging for months already you probably have a vast and rich archive, so use it. Read more about this on 10 Easy Ways to Improve Internal Linking on Your Blog.
4. Answer to comments. When you started blogging I am pretty sure that you got excited with the first few comments that arrived. You would even take the time to answer to each of them individually. That approach helps to create loyal readers and to build a community around them. Even if your blog is much more popular now, do not neglect the comments. At the very minimum you want to answer the people that post direct questions to you.
5. Answer to emails. Depending on the size of your audience it might become cumbersome to answer to all emails, but you should try nonetheless. Create a standard letter to common questions that you get asked. Answer to them in batches. Do whatever it takes, but try to be responsive to people that want to interact with you. It might be the difference between an upset visitor and a faithful reader. If you have a hard time dealing with your email, check these 10 tips to manage it more efficiently.
6. Approve comments. If you use comment moderation (and you should unless you get very low volumes of spam) you should approve pending comments on a regular basis. There is nothing worse than taking the time to leave a meaningful comment on a blog and not being able to see it published within a couple of hours. Not to mention when your comment doesn’t get published at all.
7. Check the spam folder. This point is valid both for your blog comments and for your emails. Some legitimate comments and emails might slip to the spam folder. This is not your fault, but it is not fault of the sender either, so check these folders once in a while to make sure people are not getting ignored.
8. Upgrade WordPress. Common sense, yet many bloggers are reluctant to upgrade their WordPress software. Some people deliberately choose to use older versions. That could be possible if you know what you are doing (i.e. if you know to patch the security holes). If that is not your case, though, just stick with the latest version. Here is a guide to update WordPress.
9. Update WordPress plugins. Not all plugins are compatible with all WordPress versions. Some require special functions or features that are found only on a particular version, and they might end up messing up your blog. Some of them also come with bugs and security problems, which get fixed by the author on consecutive versions.
10. Network. Ask ten bloggers what is the secret of their success, and I am sure that at least half of them will mention their network of contacts and friends. Sometimes who you know is more important than what you know. Keep that in mind and try to network with people as often as possible. As a blogger you have numerous way to do it.
Is there anything else that we tend to forget but shouldn’t?