You’ve got to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the KonMari method by now. Made popular by a woman named Marie Kondo and inspired by her Japanese roots, the KonMari method has been revolutionizing the way people simplify and declutter their homes.
She’s been in everyone’s head (and feeds), so much that KonMari is no longer just a name but also a verb.
After reading the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and watching a few episodes of the Netflix series, I’m convinced that Marie Kondo’s principles can be applied to tidying up blogs too. (Ahhh, but of course!)
A blog, after all, is a blogger’s online home. And if you’re like me who’s been blogging professionally for years, you know well that a blog, like a home, has its way of getting cluttered with unnecessary “stuff”.
Files and photos that eat up too much space and slow down your server, blog categories that do not anymore reflect your blog’s purpose, old posts that do not anymore “spark joy”.
It can go unnoticed for years but the unnecessary clutter on our blogs has a way of slowing us down, taking away our joy, and before we know it, making us distracted and uninspired to create.
If you’re feeling that way about your blog, perhaps it’s time for a major decluttering! Here are some ways to declutter and tidy up your blog, KonMari style. Let’s begin.
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Applying the KonMari Method to Your Blog
1. Fully commit yourself to the process
Many bloggers quit blogging and sometimes it stems from technical issues that can be easily solved just by a little tidying up.
I know someone who, after months of trying to solve malware problems that plagued her blog, got so frustrated she just stopped trying altogether. I myself almost quit blogging because of web hosting issues, and increasing operational costs.
Others stop being interested simply because it’s not fun anymore.
Understandably, it takes a lot of work to keep a blog running. And this is why you have to be committed to doing it.
So first things first, commit. There’s work to be done and you have to be willing to see it through to completion.
2. Envision how you see your blog moving forward
Without vision, blogs perish. 😉 There are millions of blogs out there (and hundreds more being launched each day), but do you know that 95% of these blogs end up being abandoned?
Yep. So don’t be intimidated by the number of blogs you seem to be in competition with. Most of them will fold. YOUR goal is to be in the top 5%.
What sets successful bloggers apart from the ones who eventually quit is their clear grasp of what purpose their blogs serve them and the world.
And this is why it’s important to periodically go back to the drawing board and reassess if your blog’s direction is on track with your vision for it.
More importantly, envision how you see your life and what purpose your blog will serve you moving forward. Some questions to ask:
- Do you see blogging as something you can eventually do full-time?
- Do you aim to grow your blog audience so you can eventually be a book author?
- Do you see your blog as a tool to grow your business or pursue a career?
When you know what your blog’s purpose is, you begin to have a clearer direction for it. You also begin to rekindle the joy in blogging, allowing you to create more purposeful content and establish a more consistent content creation process.
Dive deep: Take the 7 Steps to Purposeful Blogging!
3. Tidy up your posts by category
If you’ve been blogging for years like me, chances are, you’ve created dozens of content across a broad set of content topics and categories. This is even more true if you started blogging just for fun and without a clear strategy or direction.
My other blog did not have a specific niche when I started it 12 years ago. It started off as a personal blog, which somewhat became a lifestyle blog when I started attracting brand sponsorships; then it became a design portfolio that I used to score freelance projects; and then it became a full-on Boutique Design Studio when I started offering branding and web design services. At some point it also spun into an online shop when I started selling merch; eventually transitioning back to the family and lifestyle blog that it is today.
Through all of those shifts, my list of blog categories kept growing too. Eventually, when I finally decided that it was going to be just that—a family and lifestyle blog—I decided to let go of old posts that don’t fit into that niche.
I know it’s hard to let go of old posts but there are important reasons why you have to stay within your niche and not dilute your content with topics that are too scattered or broad.
You want new readers to easily find what they’re looking for and not be neck-deep in content that is not relevant to them.
You also want your blog to have related keywords for better search visibility.
And just like Marie Kondo’s method of “tidying up by category, not rooms”, you can also tidy up your blog posts by category. Here are some suggestions:
- First, finalize and organize your blog categories. Then start deleting posts that don’t fit into any of those blog categories and the overall theme/direction of your blog. For example, with my family and lifestyle blog, this means deleting some of my old design-related posts that don’t fit anymore into the “lifestyle” niche I was aiming for.
- Dig into your blog stats and see which posts are not gaining you traffic or serving any purpose in your new direction. Be ruthless. Don’t be afraid to let these old posts go. (Or if you’re feeling sentimental about these old posts, put them in private mode so they won’t clutter the front end.)
- Repurpose posts that don’t fit in your new list of categories. Consider those instances where you have high-traffic posts that don’t really fit into your final blog categories. You can either update/repurpose these posts by finding angles that will make them fit.
4. Consider starting fresh with a better web host
Sometimes, a fresh start is what you really need.
I’ve seen this happen many times. Mommy bloggers who want to get out of the “mommy niche”, or bloggers who don’t anymore find themselves connected to their old brand. There are also some who are just really frustrated about the technical stuff like web hosting problems, malware issues, etc.
If your old blog is dormant—meaning, you have not updated it for months or maybe even years, and it doesn’t get any significant traffic at all—then those old posts are likely outdated too. Just. Let. Them. Go.
If your blog is active—meaning you have old blog posts that are ranking in search engines and you’ve been consistently publishing content—BUT you’re experiencing technical issues, I suggest starting fresh with a new web host.
I feel strongly about this because I experienced this very same ordeal and all the web hosting problems completely took away my joy for blogging.
Dreamhost has been a complete game-changer.
The technical stuff
Improve overall blog performance with Dreamhost
Dreamhost has always been a reliable partner for me in all my years of blogging. I’m not even going to tell you to look around. I’m saying I’ve done the legwork so you won’t have to waste more time searching.
I feel so strongly about this because I can attest to how important it is that your blog is hosted on a fast loading, high performing, and secured web space. It makes a lot of difference to your creativity, your website’s performance, and your time management too.
There’s more to blogging than you want to spend your hours on, and server problems are unnecessary baggage you don’t want to be carrying around.
If you’re having issues with your web host right now, I highly recommend you move to Dreamhost.
Or, even if you’re not having problems with your web host (in case you’ve practically abandoned your old blog anyway), I suggest you start clean with Dreamhost too.
Migrate decluttered content to the new blog
Dreamhost makes is super easy to transfer old WordPress blogs to their server with a WordPress plugin. plugin called Dreamhost Automated Migration. Take note that some web hosts charge a fee if you want to transfer your old website to their servers. Dreamhost does this for free.
If you have years worth of blog content and photos to transfer, migration can be super stressful! Dreamhost makes this seamless and painless, with little to no downtime.
Again, I know it’s hard to let go of old posts (trust me, I know!) even when they don’t have any real value to your bottom line. For all you know, these old irrelevant posts might cause your website’s performance and visibility more harm than good.
I personally deleted and removed an enormous amount of old content from both of my blogs. I highly recommend you do the same. Decluttering and starting fresh are not only good for the soul, they good for your online presence too.
5. Tidy up your WordPress
Once you’re done with tidying up blog posts (and/or migrating content), it’s time to tidy up your WordPress too!
The thing is, old versions of WordPress are much more susceptible to hacks and security issues. In the same way, un-updated plugins might cause bugs or slow down your blog, if not stop functioning altogether.
Just like regularly updating computer/mobile operating systems, regular maintenance of your WordPress theme and plugins is also highly recommended.
Take note, do this step with CAUTION.
Experts would recommend you backup your WordPress site before updating anything in case something breaks in the process. I recently observed, however, that the more regularly you update your theme and plugins, the lesser the chance for breakage.
Worthy of note: Ever since I moved back to Dreamhost, I have not experienced any update errors and downtimes. Unlike my old web host/s (where my blog would just constantly crash through every single update like an old Windows computer), I never had any issues nor fear of updating my WordPress now. And even if I encounter errors, I’m confident that Dreamhost’s 24/7 customer support is always available to help me through any technical issues.
So you’re done tidying up blog posts, categories, theme, and plugins. Now make sure that your sidebar, navigation, footer, and other site-wide sections would reflect your decluttered blog content. Make it easy for readers to navigate through your posts and main pages. Your sidebar is a prime spot on your blog so make the most out of that space and remove elements that are not important.
6. Consider a quick blog redesign
Through the years I learned that a quick blog redesign brings me joy and inspires creativity.
As a Web Designer, a blog’s design is something I don’t take lightly.
As a creative, I find that having a blog I love looking at helps me in my creative process. Not to mention, a good aesthetic attracts readers and keeps them on your website too.
Do you need a fancy WordPress theme to have a successful blog? In general, not necessarily. However, if your blog is within the creative or lifestyle niche, naturally you want to attract readers within that space. Hence, a proper WordPress theme is necessary.
But I also know that hiring a web designer can be costly. So if you don’t have the budget yet for a web designer, investing in a premium WordPress theme is your next best option.
I highly, highly recommend 17th Avenue, my go-to resource for beautiful, aesthetic WordPress themes since forever. Highly recommended for lifestyle and beauty bloggers, as well as for personal blogs.
TPB (this website you’re on, ICYMI) and Chasingdreams.net are designed with WordPress themes from 17th Avenue.
7. Ask yourself, does your blog spark joy now?
I’m a firm believer that your blog should inspire YOU first before it can inspire others. I find it hard to imagine how to consistently create content with topics that don’t give me joy or to keep working on a blog that doesn’t inspire me first and foremost.
So after you’ve discarded old blog categories and old blog posts, and after you’ve updated the back-end and front-end stuff, look around and see how else you can improve your blog in a way that sparks joy for you and for your readers.
- Is it reader and mobile-friendly, loading fast and easy on all devices?
- Does your content bring joy, answer questions, provide solutions, and inspire readers?
- Are your blog photos easy on the eyes, attracting viewers to actually dig into your content?
Think of all the things that spark joy when you’re reading or bookmarking other blogs. Chances are, these are the very things your target readers are looking for, too.
8. Have a renewed appreciation for blogging
Marie Kondo teaches us to say a quick “thank you” before discarding stuff. I find it a little weird to be honest, but I do like the principle behind it.
Gratitude is a real game-changer, even in blogging. When you appreciate the art of blogging (and the many benefits that come with it), it follows that you don’t also take your blog for granted. This is key in bringing the joy back into blogging and eventually achieving blogging success.
All done? Now it’s time to get to actual blogging! Here are a few more resources to help you on your way: