blogs / social media

End of Year Maintenance: 13 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

7986040 Girl with tablet

This week, I’ll post three holiday activities that will get your computers and technology ready for the blitz of writing you’ll swear to accomplish in New Year resolutions. Here’s what you’ll get (the links won’t be active until the post goes live):

  1. Update Your Online Presence
  2. Speed Up Your Computer
  3. Backup and Image your computer

Today: Update Your Online Presence

For most writers I know, life zooms by, filled with research, writing, editing, critique groups, reading, promotions (of our books), people watching (to build characters), and thinking. There are few breaks to update/fix/maintain the tech tools that allow us to pursue our trade.

But, that must happen or they deteriorate and no longer accomplish what we need. Cussing them out does no good. Buying new systems takes a long time and doesn’t fix the problem that the old one wasn’t kept up. If they aren’t taken care of, we are left wondering why our blog isn’t getting visitors, why our social media Tweeple don’t generate leads or activity, and why our self-published materials languish. Here’s a short list of upkeep items that won’t take long to accomplish:

  1. Update your online profile–your blog profile page, your gravatar, FB, Twitter, professional groups, your PLN. Have you changed your focus? Switched jobs? Adding new publications or items efriends would like to know about? Is your contact information current? This, btw, should be done once a quarter, but at least at the new year.
  2. Clean up your FB and G+ stream–delete pictures and comments you no longer find as funny as when you first posted them or make them private. FB has become a common resource for future employers (be they companies considering you for writing gigs or readers interested in everything you’ve written) to use when researching your background. Make sure the YOU that shows up on FB is really YOU.
  3. Update grammar and spelling in old posts–start with the most-visited articles (under Site Stats) and work your way down (in case you run out of time). You’ll be surprised what you can catch with a fresh presence
  4. Check individual post tags and categories–whittle down the options while still authentically grouping your writing. Sometimes, you’ll find a category you added at a point in the year which can include many articles written prior to its addition.
  5. Check the sidebar–for out-of-date and no-longer-relevant widgets and links. Add new pieces that add utility. Move pieces around to give a fresh look. Current thinking is ‘less is more’. Considering putting awards, PLN groups, memberships on separate pages noted in the menu bar.
  6. Check your list of ‘pages‘–are they still relevant? Could some be nested under other pages to save room and/or make them easier to find? While you’re at it, be sure all of these less-visited pages are up to date.
  7. Check the appearance of your blog on a smart phone and iPad–to see if those venues display properly. If they don’t, consider switching to a responsive theme that auto-adjusts for a variety of digital devices.
  8. Make sure everything posted reflects you. Your public image may change year-to-year. Review your posts, images, videos, and everything to ensure that they support the profile you are putting out there for readers.
  9. Make sure all online presence sites are current. Have something that shows it’s recently updated (within the last week). If it looks like no one updates it, visitors will not care how up-to-date your profile is. This means recent blog posts, feed activity, and information on all social media, blogs, and websites.
  10. Check blog in different browsers–to see if you should recommend one over the other for best-viewing. For me, Chrome views best.
  11. Update your copyright–each year, cycle it forward.
  12. Unsubscribe from lists you no longer have an interest in. This is less about updating your online presence and more about freeing up your time!
  13. Update your Teachers Pay Teachers store–prices, descriptions, categories, freebies. I need to do this more often.

This is the time of year when lots of experts weigh in on upkeep of your online presence. Here’s Huffington Post’s Simone Collins thoughts, Jenny Yerrick Martin at Careerealism, and one of my favorite go-to sources on tech in your life, LifeHacker.

Do you have any maintenance issues to suggest for the new year? I’d love to hear them.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, is scheduled for Summer, 2017.

70 thoughts on “End of Year Maintenance: 13 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

  1. You are always so full of good and sound advice. I must say, among other things, I am in some writer’s groups on LinkedIn in a desperate attempt to improve my marketing, for which I seem to have no talent at all. Cleaning up my FB profile and the rest of it might help. Without you that would never have occurred to me. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you looked at my social media, likely you’d be aghast. I usually clean it up only because something pressing is coming up. For example, I mentored a college student on getting his resume together using LinkedIn. That’s when I realized that my LI profile was a mess.



  2. Great advice, Jacqui and this reminds me of Spring cleaning…can I leave it until then!😀😃 Some of these items I have been meaning to sort out…thank you for the prompt. I keep wondering whether to change the appearance of my blog is one of them, but then it seems to work and it’s recognisable…hmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is great advice, kind of cleaning out the closet of our online presence.

    But what do you mean by “Update your copyright?” I thought everything we write is automatically copyrighted. Are you referring to the “Protected by Copyscape?” that’s on this blog? Is this a service you subscribe to? Would love to know more. Thanks, Jacqui.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jacqui this is excellent! Since I’m usually on vacation from work the last week of year-end, I have found myself in recent years carving out time to do a few of the items on your list. However your post opened my eyes to several other high-impact, low-effort actions. I like how you recommend a triage approach for #3.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: End of Year Maintenance: 13 Ways to Update Your Online Presence « Charles Ray's Ramblings

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