Yes, this past weekend brought us a new year, a fresh start for all of us. But, just because it is a new year, that doesn’t mean that all is good and we can just rest! No, in fact, the new year has brought with it a bunch of work that needs to be done! Yes, no matter who you are or what you do, we all have little tasks that await us. If you have your own websites or blogs, you have a little more work to do than others do!
Yes, on January First, I was doing some blog reading and checked in on one of my favorite sites, Mike’s Life. MikeCJ, as he calls himself, has not been blogging for very long, only a couple or three years, I think, but he has become a blogging powerhouse in that short time. How did he do it? He did things right! Well, Mike had a new blog post about a Blog Housekeeping Checklist, things that you need to do for your blog and your online presence in 2011 to get the new year kicked off right. I already do, or should do all of the things on his list, and even a few more, but it was his blog post that clicked in my mind and reminded me that it is that time of year again.
So what are Mike and Bob’s recommendations for 2011?
Check the dates!
Yes, for every blog or website that you have, it is likely that in the footer (or somewhere) you have a Copyright statement with the year listed. Yikes! I just went and looked at some of mine… most was 2010, but I found one that said Copyright 2007! Wow, better update that one quick. Yes, go check all your sites and make sure they have the current year in the copyright statement. It will make it obvious that you are paying attention, and are serious about what you do.
Update your Avatar!
Do you have an avatar, a picture of you, that shows up on your website, or elsewhere on the net when you leave a comment? If so, how long have you been using the same photo? Maybe it’s time that you update to a newer image of yourself! Keep up with what you really look like, not that handsome guy that you were 20 years ago! Doing this will again show that you are not stagnant, and also will draw more attention, because it’s something new, not just the same as before.
If you are offering services or products on any of your sites, take a look at your prices. Are they current? Are they accurate? Are they still the right prices that you should be charging. If you answer no to any of those questions, update the prices – either up or down – and charge what you should.
Every one of your websites either does have or should have your profile on it. Something telling a bit about yourself. It helps readers make more of a personal connection with who you are, and makes them feel like they are your friends. What about your profile on your Social Networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn? Read these over and make sure they are up to date. Also, you should massage each profile a bit and make it a bit different on each of your sites, to fit in with the theme of what the site is all about. Do it now, and keep it up every New Year!
Just like Profile, your sites should have an “About” page to tell what the site is all about, who you are, who your company is and such. No information is static, and things change often, so every year you should go and make sure that your “About” page is up to date, and accurate.
Take a retreat
One of my new year habits is that I try to take a retreat for a day or two – just me, nobody else. Why? To reflect on the past year, and decide the path for the coming year. You will be amazed how much more you can accomplish if you make a conscious decision as to your path for the coming year. You will get a lot more done, and you will do a lot less of things that are disruptive, or downright destructive of your goal. So, take some private, “alone time” with yourself and nobody else to map out your goals in the new year. You will be glad that you did. I like to take a retreat to somewhere remote, where it is hard for anybody to reach me. If you can’t do that for some reason, just lock yourself in your office. This is a very important thing for you to do, in my opinion.
Make a list
When you take your retreat, make several lists. Goals list. List of things you want to avoid doing. that sort of thing. Get it on paper, and keep it handy. Refer to your lists at least once each week in the new year to make sure you are staying on target. If you do this, by the end of the year you will be very surprised at how much you accomplished in 2011.
Happy New Year to you… now get busy! I have to run now, my list is not yet complete!