Or rather, why managing your blog is similar to organizing your kitchen.
Considering you spend the better part of your life these days in both places, just as important. eh?
Okay, don’t answer that!
Talk about a crazy K post!
I am in the process of uncluttering my kitchen (and my blog) and in the process, had such an a-ha moment over the similarities.
I enjoy spending time in the kitchen, the hub of my home, just as much as I enjoy spending blogging. And, just like the kitchen, I find that a blog is just as challenging to organize, with so much going on in there.
(Feel free to admire my revamped home page. Go look! I’ll wait!)
In my kitchen, my friends and guests come to check out what I cook, give me feedback (pun-ny, right?) and enjoy hanging out with me.
On the blog, readers come over to: read, check out what I’ve got to offer, respond to my call to action, if any, and of course, just hang out with me.
Of course I want everyone to feel happy when they’re here and smile when they leave.
Interestingly, like the kitchen, there’s only so much space on the blog to catch a visitor’s attention. With so many people coming by or passing through to share this space, it is necessary to organize it in such a way that it is easy to navigate. Yay, clickable links, no?
There are ways to make your blog look good (who’d have thought I’d give design advice, eh? But here I am, just the same!)
I use four F words. No, no, not those. These are good F words that make your blog look good when you focus on them. (F for focus!) I use the same F words in the kitchen too!
These are the essential elements you need on your blog: your content, your contact info, your “about me”, your social media buttons, email subscription form, your (special) offers, and all those things you need specifically for your blog to meet your blogging goals. Unless you’re remodeling, you wouldn’t change these, just as you wouldn’t change your refrigerator, microwave, oven, stove, sink, and dishwasher—unless you were remodeling.
This is all about relativity. How do your blog’s features relate to one another? Think navigating between the kitchen’s features where the sink and dishwasher are close to each other. You want everything to be easily accessible so you can efficiently turn out that meal.
Similarly, on your blog, you want everything conveniently placed so your readers find it easy to navigate and enjoy their browsing and reading experience. Goes without saying that you want everything working perfectly—your links, your forms, your load time. Yep, a well-equipped kitchen where you can find everything easily equals efficiency. Who prefers dead links and super-slow?
What are you trying to achieve? Incidentally, readers on a blog use the F pattern when they browse. So what you want to do is place things where they expect to see them. Being cute and creative is nice, but not if it doesn’t serve its purpose. A good layout groups similar features together. Quite like you would place your kitchen supplies close to their function—groceries in the pantry, chopping, measuring, slicing, blending tools together near the preparation area, dishes, utensils and other accessories in your cutlery cabinet—in the same way, arrange your blog’s elements according to their function, rather than scatter them around so your readers miss them. In fact, give good sidebar! If it doesn’t make you money or help you connect with your audience, it doesn’t belong there. Make that valuable real estate work for you.
In my kitchen, although I start out with organizing it each time I clean, stuff does spill over after some days—stuff that I don’t use frequently and stuff that occupies space that should be put to better use.
It is the same with blogs. The home page starts out looking nice and clean. Slowly, the widgets and the badges add up. Something we saw on someone else’s blog seems like a perfect fit and before we know it, we’ve got it, never mind whether it adds value.
The point is, if it does not serve you or your readers, chuck it. Can’t let go? Give those things you love a separate page, just like you pack up those Christmas decorations—bring them out and highlight them when relevant. There’s a big difference between “want” and “need”, you know!
Find it hard to decide what to keep and what to lose? Sit back and think about what you want to accomplish. If necessary, get professional help to steer you.
Sigh. If only organizing my kitchen were as easy as organizing my blog!
Do you agree that organizing your kitchen is pretty much like managing your blog?
Do you think these F words will help you organize your blog better?
And just in case you think I am nuts, did you know that the visual editor toolbar in your WordPress post editor is called the “kitchen sink”? Ha ha!