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How To Audit Your Blog – To Determine Your Direction

Profile photo of Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha Submitted by Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha February 14, 2017

blog-audit-

Why You Need To Audit Your Blog

So, you are wondering what the next goals for your blog are and where to start from? You ran the blogging race through last year and would love to see some distinctive growth this year. Well, let’s take it from the top, you need to audit your blog.

Like every business, to run a successful blog requires auditing and doctoring your blog periodically.

Based on your desired goals, the process of auditing your blog effectively could be simple or intensive.

Looking at what you achieved over the past year no matter how big or small helps you to make a concise plan on the way forward for your blog.

If you don’t know where you’ve been, how are you going to know precisely where you are heading to?

Having a blanket wish of wanting your website to grow popular or hoping that you would have a better blogging year without taking into account previous fails, successes and the reasons for those results is like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

You are bound to repeat the same mistakes. Find the faults and fix them.

A good old-fashioned notepad and pen, word editor or Google spreadsheet would do.

If however, you are more into the nitty-gritty details of things Google analytics plugin and JetPack are free tools that you could use. They offer comprehensive insight into your site’s performance over a specific period.

This process might take a bit of your time but you’ll be glad you did it.

Questions To Consider

Blog Design

* Is the overall feel of your theme functional for you?

* Is it appealing to the eye and user-friendly?

* Are the colours properly blended or do they clash?

* If you’ve got a brand – logo, is it in sync with your site’s colours?

* Is the site too crowded and needs reorganizing? If there are widgets that are no longer serving any purpose, consider removing them. Snip, Cut and Tie. Examining your site with the critical eye of a visitor is the key here. Like a messy home that no one likes visiting, no one wants to hang out in a site that would probably end up giving them a headache.

* What of your essential pages like your contact form for getting in touch, about page and other relevant pages? Have they been set up? Do all the links on your homepage work?

* Is your Gravatar properly linked to your URL?

* Is a short bio of the author of the blog added to your Gravatar image? This gives a reader a general overview of the writer/author of the blog.

Subscription buttons

* Are your subscription buttons strategically placed where your visitors can easily see them? Time constraint doesn’t favour hidden buttons and to increase your subscription base. Place your buttons at various points where they easily draw the eyes’ such as the top part of your sidebar, the end of your post, just before your comment box.

* Are there any social proofs that could be used to show your visitors that other people read your blog? You could install your Facebook fan page, Twitter feed, Your subscription numbers et cetera. Other alternatives are your top post and top commentator box. For WordPress managed platforms, there are ready to use widgets that display such information while on a self-hosted blog plugins such as JetPack provides this service.

* A common practice used on self-hosted blogs is to attach some form of reward like e-books, images, printable, coupons et cetera for subscribers. Are you using any of the above?

Content Audit

Your site is only as strong as the contents found in it and as is commonly said by bloggers, ‘content is king.’

This part of auditing involves taking a good look at your statistics, either through your Jet Pack or the Google Analytics.

Before delving into the numbers and the how and why of things, check through your posts for issues enumerated below:

* Are your blog posts/contents concise, easy to read and to understand? Keep it simple. Avoid using ambiguous, oversized vocabulary that simply makes reading your articles tedious.

* Do you use pleasant images and graphics to emphasize your posts? Adding some visual candy and easy to digest information which creates an overall satisfying experience for your readers. In respect of your images, what image source do you use? Do you create your images, source for free images online or use attributable images? It’s important to sort out this aspect of image sourcing out to avoid any legal challenges. As a rule of thumb, images that have watermark by the creator are not free to use.

* Do you have related posts footnotes on your pages that links to your older posts? You can increase your page views when readers can find other articles a click away.

* How enticing are your headings? I always liken blogging to fishing. Your headlines are baits that you cast into the ginormous sea of blogging with the hope of catching a fish if not several.  When the title is flat, chances are it would fail to attract wanted attention.

* Is your content properly formatted or all over the place? Choose a formatting style and keep up with it.

* Compare your blog posts performance by their lengths.

* What are the types of your post that attracted more views and resonated more with your readers? Were they helpful, niche related, personal post? Can you publish more posts like them?

* Which posts gained a lot of comments? Which posts got shared most? What do you think caused it to arouse so much response?

* For the posts that fell flat, do they share a common trait? Is it something you can avoid repeating?

* Did you publish contents equally across your chosen topics or did you concentrate on a particular topic?

* What day of the week that got the most traffic? What can you make of the information deduced from these?

Social Media and Promotion Strategy

blog-audit-social-media

* Do you have branded social media presence?

* Do all your platforms link to your blog?

* Which social media and promotion strategies platforms worked best for you?

* Where was your dominant growth and engagement?

* Which of the platforms did you enjoy working with most? Will you keep using them?

* Have you submitted your blog to major search engines?

* Did you do guest posts or collaboration on other blogs?

* Have you been interacting with other bloggers by leaving insightful comments that engage conversation on their blogs?

* What new strategies would you like to try this year to grow your presence?

Auditing Backend

* What’s your SEO plan? Do you use rich keyword texts in the right places? For those who use SEO plugins, how effective was it? Would you consider trying something new?

* Are your images properly filled out with the alt-text focus keywords before inserting them into the post? It’s the alt-text that search engines, Pinterest et cetera focuses on to make it user-friendly.

* Are you plugin’s and widgets working properly? Do they need updating?

* Do you have broken links? You can find out by using the free broken link checker to fix the problem.

For Monetized Blogs

* What monetization strategies are you using? Has it been worthwhile? Have you made sales with them? If they are not working so well, would you consider changing them?

* Are you considering other monetization methods to generate income? Such as:

. Making and selling of eBooks, tutorials, videos, website themes, graphics, photos etc.

. Offering your services like writing, copy-writing, editing, coaching, building sites etc.

. Affiliate marketing and selling private ad spaces

. Exclusive membership programs

Setting New Targets

There you have it. You stuck to the end. Well done! When you know better, you certainly do better.

Armed with information learned from your audit, you can check your previous goals and use your performance as a yardstick to set new targets.

1. Don’t set too many concrete goals that would become overwhelming and only lead to failure to meet them.

2. Keep your goals S.M.A.R.T. Specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound.

Always remember that the journey of a successful blog is not a day’s walk. The more you know the better it becomes.

I hope that you find this useful and would love to know your thoughts and recommendations.


This post was originally published in http://theartofbeautifulexpressions.com/audit-blog-determine-direction/ by Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

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24 Responses to “How To Audit Your Blog – To Determine Your Direction” Leave a reply ›

  • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

    Hey Jacqueline,

    Indeed, the above questions are great for blog audit. They readily help to find and determine what the becomes of the blog in a specific period of time.

    Evaluation of the all of the processes that leads to blogging victory is necessary.

    Learning from mistakes and reinforcing the actions that work would help the blogger achieve success.

    Going to the right direction in blogging begins with the determination of how the previous efforts and strategies have fared.

    Thanks for bring on this reminder. The questions in all of the sections would surely help us to audit a blog so we can head to the good direction.

  • Profile photo of Black Profile

    Hey Jacqueline,

    I guess noting the clear answers to these questions would readily bring about positive change for the blogger. Auditing or evaluation is important, especially if the data deciphered are used for onward planning.

    The “how” of blog auditing must be made to be clear and absolute as the “why”.

  • Profile photo of Celine Profile

    Every blogger must master the art of evaluation or audit. This is important in the sense that the practice easily ensure that the right things are done.

    Whatever is not working in the journey would be determined and what works would be adopted.

    Making blog audit a habit is one powerful move for successful blogging.

    Thanks Jacqueline for this very insightful post.

  • Profile photo of James Ling Profile

    Hi Jacqueline,

    I think if we exhibit the habit of auditing every aspect of a blog then we would easily achieve success. Its difficult to keep track of every thing that should be audited. However, I am going to bookmark this post so I can start implementing all that is needed for real. Thanks.

  • Profile photo of steven Profile

    Hey Jacqueline,

    Indeed, doing blog audit is crucial for online success. The process should be timely so as to get the best results.

    Audit on content, promotion, blog design, socials, and every other action steps should be planned and approached with every sense of seriousness.

    I love your take on setting new targets with every audit!

  • Profile photo of Carl Profile

    Blog auditing is important for online success. Taking steps to ask the right questions and doing it right will surely help in achieving success!

    Thanks for this post Jacqueline, it is timely and helpful!

    However, I want to add that using a combination of free and paid tools would speed up the process!

  • Profile photo of Paul Profile

    Hi Jacqueline,

    Its a good thing you have shared this post. The importance of auditing a blog cannot be undermined. A blogger needs to do this by all means possible. Asking the right questions at every point in time will help to perfect every strategy that has been employed in the blog.

    I hope many readers of this post would take ACTION and do audit the right way!

  • Profile photo of Sarah John Profile

    Hi Jacqueline,

    “If you don’t know where you’ve been, how are you going to know precisely where you are heading to?” This is a question that readily tells of the essence of audit.
    Many bloggers understand the importance of audit but many don’t know how to make the most of it for real.
    After reading your advice, tips and questions on this post, it becomes really necessary to start achieving blogging success.
    I have truly learned new strategies and its good to know that free tools like Google Analytics and JetPack can be used to achieve blog audit.

  • Profile photo of Amit Sharan Profile

    Hey Jacqueline,

    Blog auditing is important so we get to know what works and what don’t. However, it would be good to do it the right way. The tips you have shared are clear and hands-on. Following them would help us determine the right direction. Thanks.

  • Profile photo of Winford Moore Profile

    I do blog audit from time to time. Its been wonderful seeing that it has helped me keep track of things.

    In most cases, I discovered that one strategy doesn’t work out well. But, with changes, I fix things and ensure that the right direction is made.

    Thanks for his post Jacqueline. Its a great reminder of what it takes to do a successful blog audit!

  • Profile photo of Sherman Smith Profile

    Hey Jacqueline,

    This post is a must read!

    Many bloggers, including myself, get stuck into a cycle of not progressing but yet don’t put forth the energy to audit their blog.

    I’ve actually started doing auditing ever 3 or 4 months for the past year and I have made a lot of improvements and it has helped me to work smarter.

    One reason why I didn’t blog at first was because I was very intimidated and lazy at trying to figure out Google Analytics LOL… But eventually I started focused in learning as much as I could with what I want to do with my blog and it has paid off.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a good one!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…How A Good Bounce Rate Is A Great Indicator Of Targeted TrafficMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Ron Sampson Profile

    Hey,

    What a great post! Reading this has come at just at the right time for me. I’ve started a blog but I’ve had absolutely no idea how to go about creating it.

    The blog I’ve started incidentally, is all about my journey of my 30 Day Kingger Challenge to encourage others to follow my progress in the hope of getting them involved as well.

    So, reading about all the specifics in your post serves not just the purpose of interesting reading but for me personally it serves as a valuable reference manual I can go back to regularly to measure up how my own blog is doing.

    Again, thank you so much. Great post!

  • Profile photo of darrellantonio Profile

    Hello Jacqueline
    That was a very insightful and very informative post that will definitely help me improve my blogs total ux. I try to audit my blog every 3 months so I will know whats working and capturing the most views and the most shares. Thanks for sharing all this valuable and useful information and have a super day.
    darrellantonio recently posted…51 Ways to Increase Your Google Adsense Income !My Profile

  • Profile photo of Hannah Edia Profile

    Thanks Jacqueline for a great post.

    Blog audit is indeed a tedious process but very necessary in order to continually improve the value to your readers and the growth of your own business.

    Posts need to be updated with the most up-to-date strategies, some posts need to be deleted, new site layout to increase ad earnings, include more visuals for your services page, testing out a new social media platform to increase traffic and the other wonderful points that have already been addressed in this post
    Hannah Edia recently posted…12 Life Changing Reasons to Host an Online SummitMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Sarah Kilby Profile

    Hi Jacqueline,

    I surely learned a lot from this post. The techniques you explained on how to audit a blog can be used in other content marketing endeavors as well.

  • Profile photo of sol Profile

    Hi Jacqueline

    Making every aspect of the blog work requires a thorough auditing especially the content part which is why the blog has been set up. Covering all aspect might be time consuming and can’t be done on the spot but I guess if done in a timely manner is great.

  • Profile photo of David Profile

    I have to admit, I should follow more of this advice than I do…but I won’t. Frankly, I spend my time on client work. My occasional audits are mostly piecemeal. They cover most of these items, but not all at once and not nearly frequently enough.

    All great advice, though.
    David recently posted…Christian marriage book publishedMy Profile

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