Today’s guest post is from my friend Lisa Gerber.
You know that first weekend after winter when it’s actually warm enough to open the windows and let the fresh air in for the first time? What a clean feeling to push out the stale air for the new. I even get to listen to the creeks rushing all around the house from the snow melt off.
Our spring cleaning weekend took place two weeks ago. We swept the driveway, raked up the old brown grass matted down under the weight of five feet of snow, put the snow blower away, cleaned off the lawn furniture, and swapped the ski gear in the front hallway for our bike and golf gear.
We’re ready to start fresh.
So why not take a weekend and do the same for your online presence?
Here are five spring cleaning projects to help you spruce up your online presence:
1. Dump out your blog reader
Just delete everything in it and start over. Sure, you have some must-reads. But there are also many you are reading just to be nice. There are also many you don’t read anymore. Go out and find new inspiration. Stop reading things that only serve to confirm your beliefs and go out and find something that challenges them. Look at blog rolls and Twitter for new content.
2. Sweep the email subscriptions
Your inbox is a disaster and each morning you more than likely delete several, if not dozens of emails without even opening them. Get rid of the clutter and spend some time unsubscribing to these lists. It’s a foreign idea to have an inbox that only serves you content you want to be served!
3. Tidy up the Friends Lists
My Facebook experience is so much more positive without Annoying Self Promotional Guy and Selfie with Fish Lips in the Gym mirror. Unfriend or hide (if you don’t want to make a deal about it) the people with whom you aren’t interacting in a meaningful way.
I tend to have a hard time engaging on Twitter because I haven’t taken the time to properly set up my lists. Depending on how many you are following, this could be a heavy duty task. Start by creating three lists and set them up as columns in Hootsuite. Spend an hour or so in front of the TV or whatever else you might be doing and start to move people into those lists. Watch your general newsfeed on a regular basis and start to move new ones in there each week. Pretty soon you’ll have three really useful newsfeeds.
4. Clean the house for the Google Bots
I had no idea my site was riddled with errors and bad links making it very difficult for Google’s bots to crawl until I signed up for the 30-day free trial on SEOMoz Pro. It revealed I had duplicate content, lack of meta tags, duplicate titles and more. The test gives you a list of errors and warnings and tells you how to fix them. Not only will you clear the way for the Google bots, but you’ll learn a ton about the technical aspects of SEO. I will more than likely pay for this service.
5. Open the window for the fresh ideas
Once you’ve cleaned out the dead and the clutter, you can bring in the fresh flowers. Subscribe to something like Brain Pickings Weekly to get new inspiration from new sources. Or, go to a big idea event once a year and invest in your own big thinking. This year as much as I don’t care for the name, I’m attending Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit. I got this idea from my friend Jess Flynn of Red Sky Public Relations who is attending the Aspen Idea Festival. Brain candy!
I am not a big fan of house chores, but it feels great afterwards, so why wouldn’t you apply the same methods to your online existence? I was only allowed to include five because of the May theme, but what would you add to the list?
PS. Allen Mireles wrote a great post on spring cleaning your digital presence. Great minds think alike. I had pitched the idea to Ken when the post ran, but we moved ahead with it, because I was going to take a different approach.
Photo courtesy eyeliam on Flickr
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