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

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.

[image by found_drama]

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

86 Responses to “31DBBB Day 14: Update a Key Page on Your Blog”

  1. Okay, I am ready for your feedback! Our blog is up for today.
    http://ronniespoon.blogspot.com/2010/05/sometimes

    As far as today's assignment, I am very lucky to have the opportunity to get feedback today, so I am going to let some of that feedback come in before I make big changes. I am looking forward to hearing about how my blog looks through someone else's eyes.

  2. Not for me this – but a good warning. I update static content regularly, but include a fair amount of self-changing applets e.g. quotes, cartoons, photos, etc. For the rest I use a standard look and feel, which I adjust less frequently to ensure consistency of user experience in terms of navigation, etc. I do have other static stuff which I update whenever I feel it is getting a bit old.

  3. This left me a little lost. I'm not sure Blogger even allows a front page. Maybe I missed that. I do update my sidebars from time to time – especially the About & Why This Blog. I also have an update I am going to do today for an important recent blog on Quaker Values. It will require revising the link assignment and creating a new post but it deals with a troublesome aspect of my heritage – what happens when Quaker values are unhinged from Christ. I'll add the link via "reply" to this comment when I get the post completed in a little while.

  4. hmmmm, I know I have to update my pages, and add a guest post page – I would love guest posts (hint hint).
    I often wonder what the benefit is – to have lots of pages (as apposed to posts), I even saw that there was a list of top filmmaking blogs ranked on the number of pages, ummmm – what is is that?
    Anyway that's me:
    Add a Guest post page (future plans)
    update my "Stuff I use page":http://synapticlight.com/the-stuff-i-use/

  5. Since I'm using WordPress.com, I'm stuck with their designs and don't have a ton on control over the look and feel. For instance, there's a little paragraph in the header that says something like "Thanks for dropping by! Take a look around and grab the RSS feed to stay informed." I can't seem to find anywhere to change this.

    My "About" page ("What Is The Experiment") could probably use an update, though. http://prayerexperiment.wordpress.com/about/

  6. Hmmm this is definitely something I want to address and definitely want to change my homepage around a bit – but I'm waiting on my son to get home from Uni so he can do the coding side of it. Just subtle tweaks, etc as overall I like what I have.

    However one point I did want to bring up is the About page … I find it odd that bloggers want to tell us whatever it is they tell us butthen hide behind a curtain of anonimity. It's not as if any of us are writing "how to hack" or "how to subvert government" articles after all.

    If you're worried about a semblance of privacy then tell us just your first name and a bit about why you think you have a right to tell us what you tell us. When folks don't include this sort of stuff I tend to get more nosey than if you had just told me.

    Finally – please or please include a way to get hold of you more privately than a comment … WP users can use a contact form plugin or the excellent CryptX plugin which obfuscates your email address anywhere on the blog just still leaves it clickable or readable by human eye.

  7. Adding tabbed pages is one of the reasons I'm preparing for a move from blogger to wordpress. The attempts I've made to customize my blogger theme are less than professional. I'm looking forward to having more customizable options.

    My post today is a two minute video from Recycle Your Faith that I've called, "Is God the Same with Everybody?"http://captainestes.blogspot.com/2010/05/is-god-s

  8. Thank you all for reviewing my blog the other day. I have made several changes to it from your comments. I added an image to the header, rearranged the sidebar, changed some subscription buttons, and made the column width larger (that was not easy!). I am going to try to make a way to more easily see and link to my church web site (now you have to go to my profile to find it).
    I have gotten a lot of good ideas from visiting many of your sites. Thank you so much for helping this poor-preacher/neo-blogger. –Richard
    Oh, my beatitude post is up, Mercy! http://junctionforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/05/merc

  9. Hey everyone. Thanks to all for the reviews to my blog yesterday. I've made a bunch of changes as far as layout as well as my about page. Still working on it some, but that's the great thing about blogs right? Even when it's published you can change it. 🙂 This was def a good reminder and I'll probably end up updating, making edits, or completely changing all my static pages.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. I will have to take an incomplete for today's assignment and I can go ahead and confess the same for tomorrow. I need to update most of the static content on my blog (header, about page, book and music sidebars, blogs I follow). I will plan on catching up next week.
    Until then, here is my Thursday Quick Hits blog post: http://www.nolanbobbitt.com/welcome_to_nolans_wor

  20. Well, I revamped the About page on LiveIntentionally.org on Day 1 when I did the elevator pitch. And I tweaked the sidebar here on Christian Web Trends about a week ago to add the "Top Posts" segment.

    What I'm dying to do, though, is develop a completely new template for both blogs. I think they both look too cluttered. I just don't have the time to do that today.

    But I do have a new post on LiveIntentionally.org for all the parents out there…

    4 Things You’ll Never Be Able to Do as a Parent (and 4 Things You Can)
    http://www.liveintentionally.org/2010/05/20/4-thi

  21. So I figured out how to add tab pages on Blogger. Added an "About Me" page and a "Become a Jesus Follower" page that has the gospel message on it. This was a good exercise as it challenged me to find out how to do it. –Richard

  22. Man.. is it Thursday already? I have been a very bad boy and not done a single lesson this week.. Wrapped up in fixing a car, putting together a BBQ grill, preparing for our daughter's 4 year birthday party Saturday and etc..

    Hoping to get back on the wagon later today..

    My blog is brand new so it's not old enough really for me to evaluate what's working and what isn't. I will be changing some of the content on the static pages though.

  23. I actually did some of this not long ago. I updated my "About" page. It really needed some updating. I also added a "Contact" page with my e-mail address and Twitter username on it. I changed WordPress themes too, added some widgets to the sidebar, and had some feedback that my blog was much easier to read!

    My post today was "The Flip Side: When the Worst Happens" http://jenniferjanes.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/the

    ~Jennifer

  24. Hi Everyone,

    I finally got two pages updated with the help of my Oldest–the real "techy" guy here. I added a Contact Me page with all of his cautions about not putting myself out there 🙂 I'm glad he watches out for his Mom.
    And I updated my About Me page, calling it Getting to Know Me. Updated the About Me under my picture on the Home Page. Still want to add a blog descriptor and do some more work there.
    Stop by and see the Updated Me:http://openmyearslord.blogspot.com
    I'm DONE!!!
    Janis

  25. The evening is coming to a close again. I liked this lesson because it is something that I have been working on over the last while. I am finding that most of the suggestions made in these assignments will be completed over more than the span of this course.

  26. Love this post….so true! I WISH I could make them have a 40yo brain sometimes=) Oh well…

  27. Busy day–I like the idea, and will probably work on it tomorrow. I recently updated my about page–in fact, I did that on the first day when we were developing the little blurb thingy. I realized then that the "about" page needed changing. Plus, the theme, the header, and the name of the blog. "lol"

    Anyway, I'd been thinking about adding a topical page for my commentary on 1 Corinthians and maybe some of my other types of posts as well, so I think that's what I'll work on.

    Blessings, Cindy

  28. OK I WAS inspired this time…really..
    I have been wanting to start my funny fridays page and add it to my blog so here it is=)
    Feel free to join FUNNY FRIDAYS…make us laugh
    http://parentingtwinsandmore.com/2010/05/21/funny

  29. really nice information to get the best ranking in search engine like google, yahoo, bing

  30. I know I posted an answer to this yesterday but it seems to have disappeared.
    I keep my info updated on a regular basis and I really like the look of my blog so I don't really need to make any changes.
    I do however really like the idea of adding a guest blogging page with guidelines and instructions. I want my readers to submit theri own storeis and poems and they don't This may be a way of getting them to do so.
    It's on my to do list.

  31. I had to do today's lesson late due to personal problems. I have just revisited my static pages after going through this lesson. Surprisingly I noticed things that required attention but not observed before now. I have done a good work to them, thanks to ourchurch.com

  32. Beneficial Blog! I had been simply just debating that there are plenty of screwy results at this issue you now purely replaced my personal belief. Thank you an excellent write-up.

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