A redesign is in order!
Since I started really putting my nose to the grindstone, teaching myself about managing a blog, designing a website, and growing a network, I’ve learned a lot. Many of the innocent design decisions I made in the early days of Prime Recovery are not doing me any favors! All of the choices I made were borne of necessity: I wanted to get the page up and start writing as quickly as possible.
Now that I’ve had some practice and I’m confident that writing is something I love as much as I did when I was a child, it’s time to get my house in order. You may have learned from my post What and How to Tidy, I’m a big fan of organization. That my blog is not organized and doesn’t have a neat and tidy structure bothers me insanely.
Knowing this, I’ve decided to start working on a design this morning in Adobe Muse to figure out what categories and tags I’ll be using as well as where all of the functional parts of the site will go once I’ve switched over to the subscription plan. Some of the conventions I’ve learned a well-managed blog should follow are:
1. Using simple and descriptive names for categories
My categories are mostly one-word all-encompassing terms that don’t say a whole lot about what’s within. “Sobriety”? I’ve written posts on sobriety which range from early recovery to dating in recovery. It’s too generic!
2. Make an organizational structure!
Structure is where I really dropped the ball! Absolutely no thought or care went into how pages work together, the order of posts, tags, etc. Which is totally fine! Early blogs don’t need to be professional enterprises and nobody should feel like I’m criticizing them for not following these rules. Personally, I eventually intend to be paid for my writing so I’m trying to look as professional as I can while increasing exposure. I don’t feel I can do that with my present design.
3. Research keywords
Looking around at other blogs to see which keywords are working and which are dead-ends is a great way to get noticed. As I mentioned above, there wasn’t a lot of thought going into the tags that I used. I’d write a post and then tag it with some words that I thought fit. Little did I know that almost nobody was using some of these tags. If nobody else is using them, you can bet that nobody is searching for them! It would make just as much sense to use no tags at all.
4. Write ahead of time
Emphasis here! Maybe this should be number one, but I didn’t write this ahead of time. I’ve used Scrivener on and off for about a year and it’s a wonderful tool for all kinds of writing, not just blogging. With it, I’d like to get in the habit of setting aside a specific block of time every day to write and build up a backlog of posts that I can release on a timer. I did do this for a brief period on my last blog (deleted now, out of embarrassment) but never implemented it here simply because I am a pretty busy guy these days!
You probably won’t notice much on your end. Since I don’t have a domain, there’s very little chance that anybody will ever see the main page of this blog. If you’re like me, you also don’t reflexively look at the tags and categories of the things you read (which is going to change for me, of course). I simply didn’t have a plan for what to write today, and this is what was on my mind. 🙂
Also, I own two tie clips and I’m missing two tie clips. Ugh. Gonna be that kind of day is it, Universe?