Delete. Delete. Delete. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past two weeks.
Every so often my blog goes through a purge, when I delete old posts that are no longer relevant or that no longer serve the blog. My very first purge, I changed the site name to what it is now, Lovely Curses, which very much reflects the types of “love stories” I write. In the most recent purge, in 2019, I made some updates in the webpage layout. I haven’t changed it much since, other than giving my front page/about page a sleek new feel (which was updated in 2021). I’d like to think that these regular changes help me to look more experienced as a blogger, make my blog more visitor friendly, and encourage passersby to stay awhile, especially for a weekend coffee chat.
Then I read Hugh’s post “4 Tips for Housekeeping Your Blog and Improving Its SEO Rating” and realized that I probably could (and should) be doing more than these random deep cleanses every two years or so whenever I come across an old post that makes me cringe.
For one, did you know that deleting a post does not automatically delete the tags? And I have so many tags. WHY do I have so many tags? The only reason I can think of is that some novice blogger told me once years ago that a lot of tags gets you noticed. Very bad advice. And completely wrong.
So here I am, deleting, deleting, deleting…
Deleting a post also doesn’t delete the images in that post, and there’s this little thing called copyright. When I first started this blog in 2014, I wasn’t as knowledgeable and would download pictures from Google with reckless abandon and add them to my blog posts, because blog posts with pictures get more views, which is true, but you may want to make sure you legally have the right to use those photos.
And when you realize you don’t, and you delete the post, make sure you also delete the pictures from your media library, because you still could be held liable. I’m trying to save you guys (and myself) from a lawsuit here. I’ve read too many frightening tales of copyright infringement notices (like here and here).
If you’re going through old media files and you’re not sure of the source of a photo, my advice is to go ahead and delete it. Better safe than sorry. There are free websites you can use to look up where an image originated from, but I’m a bit impulsive. I’d rather save myself the trouble and delete it and find a replacement from one of my favorite websites that offer free stock images.
- Pixabay.com (has great graphics and illustrations as well)
- nappy.co (if you’re specifically looking for photos of Black and Brown people)
Another issue I never thought to check for was broken links. The only time I’ve ever updated or deleted a broken link was when I was already updating the post, and it was usually a pingback to a post that I’d deleted in the previous purge. So imagine my surprise when I typed my website into the broken link checker that Hugh suggested and got nearly 300 hits! Oooh, this is gonna take a while.
Delete. Delete. Delete.
I’m starting to wonder if my purges did anything at all.
At least I can say I tidied up my categories and menu bar in the last purge. So, I’m doing something right.
By the way, if you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you might want to do yourself a favor and run your blog through the broken link checker too. I’ve deleted quite a lot over this fortnight, and while the more recent posts are generally safe, anything older than three years is at risk of getting deleted. I’ve already purged well over 100.
One thing I have to remember to do is pace myself because when I get started on a new organization kick, I tend to get a bit obsessive, and it consumes my every waking and unconscious thought. This week I fell back into old habits: working late, staying up past my bedtime, skipping meals, skipping workouts. Nobody expects me to clean this blog up in two days, so I don’t know why I’m stressing myself. Take it a week at a time, Nortina, and sometimes a day. Or did you forget?
This decluttering project will likely take me through to the end of the year, and that’s alright because by January 2023, the Lovely Curses space will be looking fresh, new, and 100 pounds lighter now that she’s gotten rid of the dead weight.
On another note….
I FINISHED MY SHORT STORY IN A WEEK! It was challenging. I fell behind a few times, and self-doubt started to creep in as I neared the end and the neurotic editor b*tch in me tried to convince me that a rough draft needed to be perfect. But I pushed through, and the result is a haunting Southern Gothic tale that I’m very proud of!
I would tell you more about it, but I actually have to hop on a call with the challenge host and other participants to talk about our stories, so I have to cut our chat short.
But as a final note, if your blog is in desperate need of housekeeping too, I highly encourage you to venture on over to Hugh’s Views & News for more blogging tips and tricks. And do come back to visit me for another weekend chat. I truly do enjoy these.