Serious spring cleaning with the revamped ‘BEAUTYCALYPSE Brand to Watch’ series featuring awesome ethical brands. | PLUS: 12 top tips to spring clean and improve your personal or corporate blog, too!
The Quest‘s Core:
Gathering the Tribe of Ethical Heroes
As part of my blog spring cleaning, I’ve finally come to rearranging the recently launched format of the series called BEAUTYCALYPSE Brand to Watch. Since I’ve portrayed some excellent brands before that, I’ve refurbished and updated those evergreens also, and added them to the series. Now you can discover all those amazing brands & meet their pioneer, gamechanger ethical hero founders in the:
Did it sound promotional? Good 🙂 Now a few important remarks, seven in fact:
1. This series, unlike the range review series for example, focuses on the purpose and philosophy of a brand. Maybe because it’s absolutely novel, or absolutely outstanding, or both – just a perfect Brand to Watch!
2. The series is not limited to any particular industry: you’ll find skincare, fashion, jewellery, interior and food brands. I plan to post at least one new brand portrait each month in 2016.
3. All brands mentioned in the BEAUTYCALYPSE Brand to Watch series redefine how a product is made, reaccess the value chain, and don’t settle for ethical compromises. And that’s hard, often discouraging, work! Often such brands would go unnoticed by the media because they don’t have large marketing budgets or don’t promote themselves, being all about the mission – and totally not about attention. With BEAUTYCALYPSE Brand to Watch, I want to change that and I invite you to be the change – with me!
4. So please, dear Adventurer, this is an invitation (because there’s a lot to discover for you) and an appeal: have a closer look at those. Tell me what you think. Share with friends who are interested in this particular topic. Let’s spread the word!
5. A BEAUTYCALYPSE Brands to Watch tag means these brands are worth all our support. These are the true ethical hero brands that the whole BEAUTYCALYPSE quest is all about: the beating, bleeding heart of it.
6. As always, there are no affiliates or any sponsored content in there. Just honest appreciation, love and support.
7. This is not a lonely ride! Feel free to tell me about changemaker founders of ethical brands and amazing social entrepreneurs. Leave a comment or drop me an email.
Now, there have been – and will be – even more tweaks and spring cleaning on my blog in the days to follow. Maybe you’ve already noticed the new category navigation (top left, neon green) that I’ve added earlier this year? Several readers have complimented me on this for greater findablity of content they were looking up. And speaking of spring cleaning…
Spring Cleaning For Your Blog:
12 Tips For Personal & Corporate Blogs
1. CATEGORY & POST ‘CLEANSE’:
Check all categories to find some you haven’t used for months, that are outdated or just not in use anymore. Always gravitate towards reducing, not adding the amount of categories for more simplicity. Do you have cryptic category names? Make sure to simplify. You can also get new post ideas by closely examining your categories.
An example: in the first months, even years, of BEAUTYCALYPSE, all things skincare were categorised as my ‘main quest’ and anything else, ‘side quest’ which was more than fine for a personal blog but super cryptic for a blog read by thousands of people! Once you address a larger audience, remember the #1 copywriter rule BE CLEAR, NOT CLEVER 🙂
On the other hand, my category Nutrition&Recipes hasn’t seen a proper recipe post since December. Am I trashing it? Hell, no. But I sure know what to write next.
Are there older posts that, if found by readers, would confuse the hell out of them? As you go on with blogging, you always gain more clarity about your particular niche or point of view or purpose. And so, older posts that are not just awkward – I presume you don’t post anything god-awful you have to remove afterwards! – but posts that are not in tune with your blog’s general directions, outdated, useless posts must go. I tend to rewrite them with a note that says “updated” or “2016 update”, because simply deleting them might cause broken links and thus lead to poor search results and poor(er) rankings.
2. FIX BROKEN LINKS:
Use the great free tool DeadLinkChecker.com to find any broken links on your website or blog and fix those nasty little buggers. Broken links are no bueno for your ranking.
Just so you know: I’ve fixed over 100 broken links this week – websites get rearranged, businesses close, online shops move, bloggers change their comment handles or avatars, and all you get is a goddamn
lousy t-shirt broken link.
3. CHECK YOUR ABOUT PAGE (Blog & Social Media):
Is your about info recent?
You’d be surprised how many about pages contain old info, broken links, old images and other little nuisances.
Corporate blogs that have but an info box instead of an about page are advised to regularly check if the copy is up-to-date, mentioning all relevant awards, achievements, topics or events.
4. REFRESH BLOG DESIGN & AESTHETICS:
This can mean a major project like changing the whole theme – or, if you’re quite happy with your blog’s design, how about tweaking colours to more fashionable, fresher shades or redefining the design of your blog’s visuals? Create a ‘styleguide’ if you don’t have any: it can be as much as a simple Photoshop template to work with, or a sheet with instructions for a corporate blog that your design department and your editorial marketing team can set up to refresh the blog’s overall aesthetics without global changes or too costly efforts.
Look for design inspiration outside your niche.”
5. PROFILE PHOTO CHECK (Blog & Social Media):
Has your profile photo grown old and dusty? Or is it maybe still Christmas-themed? Time for an update!
6. UPDATE MOST READ/ FEATURED POSTS – VAMP UP EVERGREENS:
Now this is pure gold! Your blog is most likely to have “evergreen” content that keeps being found driving traffic to your blog like crazy. It’s wise to re-evaluate evergreen posts and, if you feel that something about them is underrated or underrepresented, use this knowledge to update, to repurpose or to reuse the posts.
On BEAUTYCALYPSE, it’s, among others, these posts (clicks will open new tabs) – and I’ve revisited them just this past week:
7. TECHNOLOGY CHECK:
Front end check – share buttons, social media links, contact forms up and running?
Back end check – is your blogging software up-to-date? This is tremendously relevant for performance and security reasons. But don’t just update and add: you might want to remove something as well:
8. SPEED IT UP – REMOVE PLUG-INS:
If your website is hosted independently, you’re likely to have installed plug-ins that help you leverage your blog. Reaccess your plug-ins and remove those you don’t use or that are not relevant: this will speed up your blog – which helps retain readers. Yay.
Don’t forget, in fact, never forget the one non-target-group that will read and evaluate your blog’s every word: competitors.”
9. REACCESS YOUR AUDIENCE:
Who is it – exactly – that you’re writing for?
This topic might need some serious adjusting every now and then, so why not now?
10. ADJUST MEDIA KIT & SALES PITCH (Commercial Blogs):
Could your media kit use a refresh? Gained followers and subscribers? Update the numbers. Ran new collabs? Share the client use cases. Have great new photography? Update media kit photography.
Your sales pitch, too, should be adjusted accordingly. Adjust your ‘elevator pitch’ making sure to include recent updates and anything relevant that will make brands think about your blog in the weeks and months to come. I presume you’re well aware of what’s relevant in your niche. Speaking of whiche… 😉
11. A BREATH OF FRESH AIR:
Introduce your blog to new brands, think outside your niche, check out relevant blogs you’ve never read before, chat up new people on Twitter. Do something nice and unexpected that will break up your routine to give you new ideas or even just a new angle for the good ol’ stuff that you care about – extend your field of expertise.
12. RE-EVALUATE YOUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR:
When you check your blog for old and outdated posts, this often leads to brand new ideas. Use the “flawed” old posts to create terrific, epically useful new ones! Update an old post that went nowhere and set a link to the new one to get advantage of the ‘classic’ post leverage.
Happy Blog Spring-Cleaning, friends!
Have more ideas? Share in the comments 🙂
And make sure to pay a visit to the BEAUTYCALYPSE Brand to Watch series ❤