I think we can all agree that we spend too much time online. Whether we are browsing, working, or procrastinating, we use social media as a way to grow, distract, or network. I am always looking for new ways to be more efficient online, and I have a few strategies that I would love to share with you. Keep reading to learn more about web hosting and my brand new online course that launches this September!
1. Speed up your website. This one is a no brainer, but people seem to forget about it. There are website speed checkers online, and I know that my site is not as FAST as it could be. I blame the size of my photos and the placement of my advertisements. I’m working on this one myself. One way to help this process is to use a speedy webhost. First off, you should be on WordPress. If you’re using another platform, now is the time to switch. I think you can be successful on any web platform, but WordPress is easy to use, there are more bells and whistles for you to choose from, and it a great platform to launch your online space.
Optimized WordPress is a new hosting platform that is specifically built for an optimized and managed WordPress environment. Optimized WordPress hosting packages will come pre-loaded with PHP 5.6 by default (the most recent PHP version offered). HostGator will handle all of the core, theme, and plugin updates without the need for any action on your part. In other words, you won’t have to worry about logging into your WP-Admin panel to handle common updates. Additionally, Optimized WordPress does not provide cPanel access, allowing you to install and access your WordPress sites without needing to access or navigate an extra control panel to do the things you want to do. Talk about a time saver!
HostGator Optimized WordPress offers automatic updates of plugins/theme/WordPress, sitelock malware scanning and removal, sitelock Content Delivery Network (CDN), codeGuard daily backup and restores (down to the file level), and HostGator Optimized WordPress is a new premium product and just a small extension to existing products provided by HostGator. Leave the hard work to the professionals. No more trying to DIY your updates!
HostGator provides 24/7 live support via chat, phone, and email. One click WordPress installs – no messy downloading and uploading of files. One click and start easy to use website builder – drag and drop tools that make building a site super simple.
2. Streamline your sidebar. If it’s not offering value to your readers, get RID of it. I’m talking about buttons for link ups, blog friends, affiliate ads that don’t generate revenue, and anything else that might be holding space on your valuable real estate. Create a page for blog buttons or networks and link to it in your navigation bar. Share items on your sidebar that are worthwhile!
3. Set up online recipes to save time. The best way to save time online is to let the internet do work FOR you. Use IFTTT (if this then that) to set up “recipes” to help share your blog content on other platforms. All you need to do is set it up and forget it! I specifically use IFTTT to share my Instagram photos to Twitter (as a native upload and not as a link), share blog updates to Twitter and G+, and to make sure that all my networks get updated when I create new content anywhere. Since I have two blogs, it can be a bit of a time suck to have to update each and every network individually. I use IFTTT to do all the hard work for me.
4. Create an editorial calendar. This is absolutely crucial if you’re going to be making any kind of money on your blog. You can’t just wake up and decide what to write! You have to have a calendar that includes when, where, what, and how much you’re getting paid! Mark off payments, add reminders to email companies back or to send over more information, and plan AHEAD. The best way to grow your blog is with a clear plan and consistently awesome content.
5. Use stock photos in a pinch. If you’re in a hurry, there is nothing wrong with using a stock image every so often. However, try to use stock photos that match your brand. Use ETSY, Stocksy, Canva (just $1!), or even Pixabay (free). While there are available free resources out there, I do primarily use paid stock images. I like that they are more customized to the look and feel of my blog, and I feel like less bloggers will have the same exact image. I strive for originality, and I realize that a stock photo might not show that. So, I look for images that I’ve never seen before, something unique, or branding that matches the look of my site. I also crop and add text to stock photos after purchase to further customize them.
6. Batch. By “batch,” I mean basically working on several projects at one time. If you’re making a recipe for your blog, why not make two? You will have the photography scene already set, so why not create another recipe that uses similar ingredients? If you’re writing an article about Florida travel, why not segment it to get even more blog posts out of it? I try to do all of my work at once for the week. I take all of my photographs, edit all of my photos, and get the majority of the text in at once. I can then spend the rest of the week working on social media or creating products to launch.
7. Use one paper planner. When you use more than one, things get messy. I speak from experience! I thought I wanted one planner for my blog and one planner for my personal life and one planner for fitness and one planner for meals… talk about a lot of planners! Use one planner to keep track of EVERYTHING! I recently switched over to a Whitney English Day Designer from Target, and I’m in love with it.
8. Set up an online system using Evernote. Anything that can’t or shouldn’t be in a paper planner should go in an organized online database like Evernote. Create notes that go filed away digitally in notebooks for further review. Important documents, emails you don’t want to lose, photos, blog notes. Anything you can think of! I like using Evernote since it’s on my computer, my phone, my laptop, my tablet. Everything is there for me when I need it.
9. Get rid of all your email. The only way I was able to achieve inbox zero was with Evernote. I finally unarchived and deleted things that were no longer relevant, but I wanted to hold on to them in some way. I put them in Evernote. College papers I might want to see one day again, family emails, sweet messages from my boyfriend who became my husband. I want to keep those forever…just not in my Gmail account!
10. Delete unused plugins. If you are on WordPress, don’t forget to do a site check every now and then. Is there a plugin that you’re not using? This will help speed up your site too.
Did you enjoy these ideas to streamline your blog? Because this topic is kind of my favorite, I decided to launch a weekend online party! Streamline Your Online Space kicks off in September, and there are SO many fun events that you can join us in. You receive a 50-page workbook, there are live calls, and an online forum full of other bloggers looking for accountability.
Let HostGator help manage your web hosting for you while you do what you do best, produce content. When you have great web hosting, it’s a lot easier to have a more streamlined blog!
What would you like to streamline?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.