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It’s Springtime, Authors… Ready to Clean Your Digital House?

It's springtime, and that means it's time to clean up your digital house!

It’s spring cleaning time… clean up the digital clutter that’s slowing you down!

Here’s a Q for you: What IS a digital house?!

Answer: Everything you use online each day/week. Emails, social platforms, etc. And for the most part, we use them pretty passively. But it’s YOUR digital life we’re talking about, and you have control – you just might not realize it yet.

Here’s another Q for you: How much time do you spend combing through your emails each morning?

I’ll answer for everyone: TOO MUCH TIME!

Whether you’re a published author or not, these things will help you take care of the dust bunnies (aka digital clutter) that are slowing you down. We’ll go over five steps that will simplify your digital life and make you more productive online.

Ready? Let’s clean your digital accounts!

First make a plan of action: are you going to tackle the same task every day for ten minutes and do a really THOROUGH job of this online clean up, OR are you going to do every task every day, and be done in a week? Up to you, but you should make a plan, so that you don’t read this and then forget to do anything at all.

1. Remove Followers

Yes, you read that right!

Most new authors are hungry for followers because they want to build a large following. But if you’ve been around social media for more than a few months, then you know that there are many ways to game the system and get followers without actually doing anything or providing any value.

For most authors it’s best to cut out all but your most engaged followers—those who engage with your posts on a regular basis.

If you’re not sure who those people are, then go through your most recent posts and assess how many likes each post has received as well as the comments/comments length. This will give you a good idea of which followers to keep on board. Comb through your followers on IG – remove anyone who looks like a bot, or who isn’t your perfect person.

Then have a look at who you’re following, and make sure they’re accounts you WANT to see in your feed. You have all the control here! No need to passively accept what’s showing in your feed.

The best way to cut out the noise is by unfollowing accounts that are irrelevant or spammy. For example, if you want to read about writing tips and ideas but all your feed consists of is people posting their thoughts on politics then it’s time for a social media cleanse!

🔥 Hot tip! Make sure to only unfollow or remove ~20-30 people a day, or else IG might think you’re a bot.

2. Snooze the Losers

Curate the content you see on Facebook.

Bye-bye advertisements, “snooze” people who are too much for your liking and unfriend anyone who doesn’t deserve it: they were never really friends anyway. It’s never too late to delete that toxic friend (or relative!) on Facebook who always posts snarky comments about your life. You deserve better.

There are many options for Facebook filtering. “Unfriend” anyone who turns out to be toxic for your mental wellbeing or delete someone from a friend list if they’re never online anyway or if they just post snarky stuff that harshes your mellow.

If anyone (or page, or group) is burdensome on your heart, mind or spirit don’t passively accept it. You have control over what you see, what you consume and what you let in.

3. Inbox Detonator

Purge that inbox! Unsubscribe from email lists with one click. It’s just usually hidden waaaay at the bottom, in teeny print.

The best way to stay on top of all the latest onslaught that don’t really need is by unsubscribing as they hit your mailbox.

Simply scroll down and hit “unsubscribe” at the bottom, then a new window will open up for you to confirm that’s what you want. If not, simply close it out – no change made.

Have a folder filled with thousands of spam messages? This is the week to delete them.

Have multiple email addresses, and many filled inboxes? THIS IS THE WEEK! Get rid of that digital clutter.

4. Emailing Advice

If you have an email list of your own, then don’t forget to check on everything!

Are the messages going out as you intend them to? Are they being delivered to inboxes? Make sure your list is engaged and that you’re not sending to spam folder.

Do you have folks on your list who are no longer engaged and need to be removed?

Are there people in your address book that should not be receiving messages from you but somehow heard about the email list or newsletter group? If so, unsubscribe them! And don’t worry; they won’t even know.

5. Spring Clean Your Website

You don’t want to be embarrassed by outdated content on your website – make sure your copyright date is current (either ©year-year or ©2021).

You should also look for, find and fix or delete broken links and pages with 404 errors.

Check your plugins for any updates and make sure you’ve fixed those broken links! (not sure how? Google is your friend here)

Did you know that Google penalizes sites with outdated or broken links? Make a list of old and unused pages, then delete them – this way they won’t be indexed. If you have a blog, make sure it’s updated with new content, at least monthly. And you can always update old posts to refresh them.

Writer on a phone, cleaning her digital house.

More Ideas To Improve Your Digital Life

Since you’re in digital clutter cleaning mode now, here are a few more quick tips that weren’t on the podcast:

  • Review the privacy settings on your digital profiles to make sure they’re still what you want them to be
  • If there’s a trend of negativity on a page or in a group you’re in, consider leaving it. Remember, you’re in charge, and you don’t need to stay at a party you’re not enjoying
  • If there’s any old accounts that no longer represent the person you are now, delete those too. Too much stuff to manage can actually be dangerous for your mental health because it gets overwhelming to think about, let alone manage
  • Think about deleting old email accounts if they are unused but could provide access to sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers. This can potentially be a security risk, so it’s worth doing!
  • Change your profile picture to reflect how you want people to see you now, and so that your pictures match across platforms
  • Sort through the various apps on all of your devices. Make folders for most, and get rid of ones you never use
Notebook and coffee! Essentials for cleaning house.

And One Positive Place TO Join!

Join the Wrighter’s Club on Facebook! You’ve gotten out of a bunch of negative spaces and cleaned up your digital clutter, now it’s time to bring joy, friendship and learning into your online space

Part of being successful in 2021 and beyond, is using online platforms less as ‘social time-sucking spaghetti holes’ as ‘business media’ – where you go in with a purpose and strategy, and then leave.

The digital age has caused one major phenomenon in our society: a level of distraction that is hard to manage. In order to stay on top, it’s important for everyone who uses any kind of technology- from blogging and platforms like Twitter or FB to mobile phone -to constantly clean up their act so they can be more productive when using these devices.

I hope this post has helped make some decisions about what best for YOU moving forward!

Do you have any questions? Let me know below so we can chat more 🙂

~Laurie

Listening for the first time?  Start at the beginning HERE

Thank you for the podcast reviews, I know they don’t make it easy…

but they mean SO much!

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Laurie Wright

Laurie Wright

Teacher turned author, turned children's mental health advocate. Laurie has given a TEDx talk, gives workshops for parents, teachers, and children, and has published five books in the Mindful Mantras series, all to help combat the crisis kids are currently facing. Teachers can't stop the urge to teach! A course for creatives who want to write for kids is coming soon!
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