This is my desk. See anything wrong with it? If you said no, then you’re right where I was. It would be more accurate to say, “right where I am,” but I’m trying to move in a more efficient direction. By the way, my wife sees much wrong in the picture.
If you said, “Hey mt, your desk is so cluttered and messy that I can’t make heads nor tails of what’s there,” then you’ve begun to move in the direction this post is carrying us.
Have you ever stepped back and pretended you are personally visiting your blog site for the first time? I know it’s hard because you’ve become so familiar with it, but remember, very few others spend even a fraction of the time there that you do.
This is why many successful bloggers suggest using a minimalist approach toward choosing what’s there when visitors come by.
By all means it’s very important to present content for consumption, but our tendency is to overload visitors with too much to do. As a matter of fact, one veteran blogger says, “If you give them too many options, they’ll choose none.”
Because WordPress gives us the ability to monitor what visitors are “clicking” on most, it’s relatively easy to weed out what’s not being hit on.
For instance, at our own personal site, we had a few “pages” that just sat there dormant averaging a “click” about once a month. Our primary purpose in added pages was to offer access to information about missionaries who the writers here prayerfully support. We had to ask ourselves if these mission-oriented pages which are very important to us were suffering because of pages that were basically meaningless.
Another area to consider cleaning up is our beloved “link widget.” At one time, mine was growing so large with links to other blogger’s sites that you would think the only purpose of my site was to be the phone book of WordPress sites. Here’s the kicker. No one ever clicked on them to go visit these linked sites.
The other side of the link problem is that no matter how large the list grew, we always felt guilty because there were more who could be added. In the end we made the decision to replace all of these links with one imaged link to ChristianBlessings, a site where we also periodically post.
Some will think it mean spirited to have removed the links to all of our friend’s sites.
The truth is, this isn’t a cold and methodical action, but an effort to clean up, structure, and make a more accessible site page. It is to make a page inviting so that visitors can stop by and get a quick grasp of what we’re doing here, and hopefully not be overwhelmed by too much clutter. Links are a good thing (I’m pretty sure we’ll revisit them), but can easily get out of hand, don’t you think?
How do you make use of the space at your site? Does much activity take place on your added pages and links to other’s sites? For non-bloggers, any input as to your visits to sites with and without clutter? I’m told the right creation of a blog site is much more like an art than a science.
The cleanup seems to be coming together pretty well at RIHG. As for my desk, that’s another story all together.