blogs / tech tips for writers

11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

This week, I’ll post my updated suggestions for 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. 12 Ways to Update Your Online Presence
  2. 17 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
  3. Backup and Image your computer

For regular readers of WordDreams, these are yearly reminders. For new readers, these are like body armor in the tech battle. They allow you to jubilantly overcome rather than dramatically succumb. Your choice.

Today: 11 Ways to 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.

That includes your online presence and all those personal profiles. But, that must happen or they no longer accomplish what we need. If they aren’t updated, we are left wondering why our blog isn’t getting visitors, why our social media Tweeple don’t generate activity, and why you aren’t being contacted for networking. Here’s a short list of  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 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 eye.
  4. Check individual post tags and categories–whittle down the options while still authentically grouping your writing. Sometimes, you’ll find a new category that can include many articles written prior to its addition.
  5. Check the sidebar–for out-of-date and no-longer-relevant widgets and links. Include 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 smartphone and iPad. Does it display properly? If not, consider switching to a responsive theme that auto-adjusts for a variety of digital devices.
  8. Make sure everything posted reflects you. Your personal brand 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 return a second time. This means recent blog posts, feed activity, and information on all social media, blogs, and websites.
  10. 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!
  11. Update the stores where you sell your books. This includes your Amazon Author page, Teachers Pay Teachers, BarnesandNoble.com, and any other–prices, descriptions, categories, freebies. I need to do this more often.

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, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Winter 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

82 thoughts on “11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

  1. You provide some good ideas here–I especially like the idea of going back and editing popular posts. I generally give my posts just a run through edit (compared to that which is published which I edit 5-7x, then have two other people edit it before submitting, so there’s a lot of cleaning up to do).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great tips Jacqui. Number 10 isn’t in our power always. WordPress doesn’t allow me to unsubscribe to any blog. Sure it offers you an unsubscribe button, but it doesn’t unsubscribe, kind of dirty. I still get blog notifications to blogs I stopped following years ago to no avail.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jacqui – thanks so much … I must go through the list … excellent tips – cheers and have a peaceful and happy Christmas, New Year and all of 2020 – Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is all great advice, Jacqui. I did a major overhaul of everything when I added a website in September. It’s easy to overlook what needs to be updated and/or deleted. Probably a regular practice we should all get in the habit of doing!

    Liked by 1 person

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