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31DBBB Day 14: Update a Key Page on Your Blog

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This is Day 14 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ of us bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers.

Today’s lesson and assignment is pretty straight forward – update a key page on your blog.  After you’ve been blogging for a while, you tend to focus day in and day out on new posts and new comments.  It’s easy to end up neglecting the static pages on your blog for months or even years.

If you haven’t already done so, go ahead and read all of your static pages.  Static pages are the pages that don’t change, pages that are not blog posts or automatically generated category/tag/archive pages.

Typical pages include:

  • Homepage
  • About
  • Contact

I was surprised that revising the homepage was included in today’s assignment.  I would consider redesigning the header/logo one day’s assignment all by itself.  I would also consider revising the sidebar(s) a big enough assignment to get its own day as well.  But it’s in there, so give it some thought.

Adding Pages

If your blog is new, perhaps you don’t have an about or contact page.  This would be a great time to add them.  Other pages you may want to write include:

  • Advertising info – If you have ads on your site, provide information about rates and how a person should proceed if they’d like to purchase advertising on your blog.
  • Guest blogging info – If you’d like guest bloggers to write posts, it’s a good idea to add a page with guidelines and instructions.
  • Topical pages – If you’ve done a popular series, consider creating a special page with links to all the posts in that series.  Or if there is a topic you write about that is particularly popular, consider creating a special page with links to your best posts on that topic. For example, we have a Church Website Tips page here on Christian Web Trends (which needs to be updated, by the way).

Discussion

  1. What page(s) did you update or add?  What changes did you make and why?
  2. Did you make any changes to the header or sidebar?  If not, do you intend to later?

The Extra Mile

A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…

  • Reply & give other bloggers feedback on the little things they do.
  • When other bloggers include a link to a new article they’ve posted today, click, read, and comment on it.
  • Check previous posts in the series for new comments.
  • Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.
  • Please review Wendy Spoon’s blog, and give her some feedback.
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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

    86 Comments

    • I keep my blog pages & info updated all the time. I am very satisfied with the look of my blog, backgroud images, text colors, etc. and my About the Author profile so I don't want to make any changes there. I do however like the idea of adding a page to invite guest blogging including guidelines and instructions. I want people to submit there own stories, poems and articles and I get so very few. That may be just what I need to get the ball rolling in that respect.

    • Sorry I missed everyone yesterday…lots of work and a big children's ministry meeting.

      With that being said, I have updated my homepage. I had this color on there that looked like squash baby food. I changed some other colors to make it more "cowboy".

      I am trying to get a "contact us" form on there now. I am having to call in my calvary to help me out on this little job though. Please come by and take a look if you've been to my site before. If you haven't, right now would be a great time to read my post from yesterday.
      http://campfirecowboyministries.com/2010/05/how-t

    • Since today's assignment is to update a key page, I updated my 'about' page using my elevator pitch from Day 1 (and some of the feedback that I got on it).
      http://bibledude.net/about/

      I already have pages for advertising and how to contribute (as a writer) to the site, so updating the about page with stuff that I've been learning through this project was the biggest change that I think that I needed to make right now.

      BUT… let me know if there is anything else that you think I should be doing.

    • I was looking forward to today's discussion, but I hit a family snag. I'm still here, and I hope to come back to the project next week. Today's guest post was insightful!

    • I was actually thinking about this recently.

      I have it on my "list" to add a page link that says, "Want your own adventure with God?" It will link to a page that talks about what it means to be His child, aka the gospel message.

      I honestly don't have time to do it today. I am THE speaker at a women's conference in Virginia on Saturday–crazy. So my time this week has been really focused on seeking the Lord for that.

      If you are anywhere near Farmville, VA–and you are a chica–I would love to see you Saturday. Had to give a little plug.

        • Yeah it sounds sweet as ….!

          And knock em flat Saturday. You wouldn't catch me speaking at a conference – unless maybe it was a tech conf.

      • Lara, the "Want your own adventure with God?" page is a great idea. I can't believe I left something like that out of today's post. Every Christian who blogs should give some thought to putting their testimony and/or a gospel presentation on their site.

    • I ripped out the link to my old About page because it needs to be redone. I do have a page describing the benefits of subscribing and how it works (borrowing liberally from Darren's page on ProBlogger) that I have been tweaking. I don't have many email subscribers, but a handful of them signed up but never clicked the confirmation link — so I added that bit warning people to check their Junk email for the confirmation email.

      My latest post is Substitutionary Atonement: It's just a theory. It started as a response to questions I got on my list post The Six Deadly Sins of Evangelicalism. But I'm trying to be careful these days not to write overly long posts, so I stopped when it felt like I had made one point, with the promise to continue the thought as a series. I found that by breaking it up like this, I keep myself from writing something so long that few people will read it, and also have the satisfaction of clicking "Publish" sooner, which also keeps the posts flowing more regularly!

        • That's a great idea too, to have a subscribe page. How cool.

          Question – does your site have to be in "domain" instead of simply at .wordpress.com to be able to have google ads?

          • I use TypePad as my blogging platform, so no issues with AdSense.
            I believe wordpress.com will block various kinds of affiliate links regardless of domain mapping. …Can anyone on wp.com address this?

      • The idea of not making your posts too long is a good one. I read a lot of blogs through RSS and unless there are pictures or the first paragraph or so captures my attention I have a hard time reading something that is more than one screen length (having to not scroll down).
        Also being able to make it into more than one post can be nice too.

        Enjoyed your thoughts.

    • I have found myself frequently checking the About page for most of the new blogs I visit. So I need to definitely take care of the About page and tweak a few things on my homepage too.

      • I find myself doing that too, or now that we visit other blogs anyway. It's a good way to get to know the person, and maybe what you're reading about.

    • I have been wanting to update my About Page so that is where I will start when I return from an early morning appointment. Also I would like to add a Contact page. However, I am on Blogger as is Chad. And his outlook on changes in this format are not too promising. Wish me luck and give me any words of wisdom you have. I will read them when I return.
      I am contemplating working with a web designer. In the meantime, if you would like, you can take a look at a previous post of mine: http://openmyearslord.blogspot.com/2010/05/prayer

      • Updating your About page and adding a Contact page sounds great. Some people may be looking for how they can contact you and that could be a good resource. However I wouldn't suggest putting a phone number or private email address there unless it's for business.

    • I added a picture to my About page, and added a Categories page. I've been rearranging my side bar and trying to get ads onto my site, so I'm still playing with that.
      I made and make changes because it gets boring if it always stays the same, but also can make readers assume unreliability if I change it too much. I did not change the page background/Theme for this reason. I'm going to keep that the same for awhile.

      I did a series yesterday on what I learned from my "trip to the mall."
      "Learning from Observing" parts 1-3, then Summary with Blogging Tips.
      Pt1 starts herehttp://tijuanabecky.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/lear

      • Thanks, Becky, for your advice on keeping everything private. My Oldest son echoed your sentiments and concern when I wanted to add the Contact Me page. I'm finally done updating two pages with my son's help–what a job.

        Janis