All Freelance Writing started to undergo a long maintenance and optimization process last night, and it will likely continue over the next two or three weeks. I want to give you a brief look at what's going on, how it might affect you as a visitor, and what problems could arise.

Redirections

Last night I made changes to our permalink structure (the Web address format for our posts). It was much too long for a long time, but there was no simple way to change them and have the old links redirect to the new ones due to our custom permalink structure and desired change.

As of yesterday we did have a solution. (I'll blog about it in more detail next week for any bloggers facing similar problems and looking for a solution.) I ran a lot of tests based on both internal and external links to our posts, and the redirection seems to be working properly.

That means you shouldn't be affected by this change in any way. If you have links pointing to our posts, you might opt to update them, but even if you don't the links shouldn't stop working. If you do come across problems where the redirects aren't working and you're getting 404 "Page not found" error messages, please let me know so I can look into it.

Category Changes

Update: The category structure changes are now complete and redirects have been set up. It shouldn't affect your browsing experience, but if it does and you see errors, please let me know.

Today I'm hoping to change our category structure to remove some redundancy and allow for better organization.

For example, we don't need all of the following categories:

  • Freelance writing jobs
  • Finding work
  • Writer's markets

If I can sort out this redirection issue (and I should without much trouble), we'll be combining all of them under the Freelance Writing Jobs category.

I also don't like having a "general" category here. So that will go, and all current posts there will be moved to the "Business / Career" category -- which really already exists to cover general topics about the business of freelance writing. The old category largely existed so we'd have somewhere to post site news. So I've created a new category for that -- News and Updates (this is the first post in it).

Along those same lines, we really don't need a "Freelancing" category. Again, it's too general and mostly exists as a parent category. That one will be removed and again, anything solely in that category will go to the Business/ Career category. And the name of that category might change to something like "Freelance Writing Business."

We'll have some new categories -- like "working from home" to discuss issues related to working from a home office, and "freelance writing life" or something similar to deal with the lifestyle side of freelancing (how it gives you more flexibility in your schedule, etc.).

Overall, everything here will still be here. It might just be moved around a bit in the category structure. And again, I'm trying to set up automatic redirects on these changes so it shouldn't affect your browsing ability or cause any existing links to stop working. If you notice any problem when this happens, please let me know. Just know that category browsing might be slightly wonky for short periods today while I'm putting the new changes into effect.

In-Post Changes

These are the changes that will occur over the next couple of weeks as a result of a full blog content audit of the site.

  • We'll be updating and adding meta info for all posts and pages. This is a simple back end SEO issue and shouldn't affect you in any way on the front end.
  • We're adding hand-picked related post links to the end of every post. For now you'll see the heading with a message that there are no related posts yet. I'm getting there. I just don't like the automated solutions, and I want to make sure every related post we link you to is worth checking out (for example, automated tools often pick up very outdated announcement posts that you have no reason to visit anymore).
  • We're updating some old permalinks manually. Again, these should automatically redirect, so you shouldn't notice anything on the front-end.
  • We're making sure all post formatting is consistent (using the same subheading styles for example). This will cause some older posts to change a bit visually, as they were never updated for the current design.
  • We'll be editing old posts where appropriate. That might include altering the title to make it more applicable to the freelance community, fixing old typos, adding new lists and subheadings to break up paragraph-heavy posts, etc. We all get better at blogging over time, and this is just a matter of bringing old content up to some higher standards.

If you notice anything else that seems wonky over the next week or two, please leave a comment or contact me privately to let me know. I don't anticipate any issues on the front-end of the blog other than a few minutes here and there between the times when I change our permalinks and set up the appropriate redirection rules.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, NakedPR.com, and KissMyBiz.com.

Jenn has 19 years experience writing for others, around 14 years experience in blogging, and over 11 years experience in indie e-book publishing. She is also an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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