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Ten Questions to Ask Your Blog

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What has your blog done for you lately? or this year?

blog evaluationYear End Blog Review

At the end of the year it’s good to see where you’ve been and all you’ve done. If you really take it all in, evaluate it and learn from it, then build on this foundation this can lead to an amazing future.

Don’t get stuck in the rut of doing what you’ve always done. You’ll never grow and have the gifts or blessings of what’s possible.

So let’s take a look at our websites. We’ll ask it some tough questions. The answers will lead our actions to the new year and a better blog.

Questions to ask your blog?

1. How fast is the site’s load time?
The biggest suck on a website’s load time is images. Pictures and graphics should be uploaded to your site in the smallest file while not looking pixellated.

So if the image is only going to be 300×300 on your blog, upload it at that size. Resizing it after it’s in the media library creates a drag on your site’s load time (thus dinging your SEO). Another size benchmark is 72kb.

Go to GTmetrix to test your speed.

2. How old is my theme?
If your theme is older than two years, you should consider an update. This site’s them was 3 years old when I found this new one this spring. Before it was really dated. I think this new theme is unique even though it’s a little busy.

When choosing a new theme, make sure it is responsive (adjusts to phones & tablets). The first comment I got on this new look was from a guy using his smartphone. Thankfully it was very positive.

3. Did I use a variety of post formats?
Are you mixing up your posts for your readers? Add some videos. They don’t even have to be your own.

Use a series of pictures in a “how to” post. People love “before” and “after” stories.

4. What was my most popular post?
This is a huge indicator of what you should write about in the future. Was it a hot topic at the time? Or was it a more general search term?

Also consider the post format. Was it more of an experience or story? Were there lots of images or single fascinating picture?

5. What search terms brought people to my site?
Take a look at those phrases that directed people to you. Can you capitalize on this traffic?

6. What’s my strategy to keep readers on my blog?strategy
Time on site influences SEO. If readers don’t visit more than one page of your site it raises your bounce rate. (not a good thing)

Link to other pages/posts in your article. Add related posts at the bottom. Have a “top 10” in the sidebar.

Your post titles are extremely important here. They need to compel visitors to click.

7. How old is my about page?
We all know by now that the about page is high priority for any site. It should be updated yearly.

If you don’t have anything new to add, you need to get out more.

8. Do I have consistant branding on all social platforms?
It’s nice to have a signature look on all the platforms you use. That way if people see you in their timeline, you are a familiar face or can recognize your logo. They will remember the topics you post about. You’ll have the “know, like, trust” factor going on.

Jenny at the PrairieCalifornian does a great job of this.

9. Am I up to date with SEO?
Search Engine Optimization gimmicks come and go. The post I wrote Bare Bones SEO is still very relevant.

SEO should be regarded in every post. But don’t obsess about it.

The only thing I would add to my post about SEO is to make your posts at least 200 words long. The longer the better but don’t ramble.

Google ranks a meatier post higher. This goes for all your pages too.

10. Whom do I need to thank?
Appreciation for someone that has given you their time should be on the top of smoocheseveryone’s list.

Has someone: commented more than most on your blog, shared your posts, helped with a website problem, gave a kind word when it was really needed?

THANK THEM!

I owe thank yous to @farmerbright, @al_winmill and @jpLovescotton
These lovely people took the time to leave an intro to my discontinued podcast this year.

Thank you, Ryan Alec & Janice. You are sweeties.

It’s time for you to have the conversation with your blog.

Just answering these questions can make a huge difference in how successful your site will be in the new year.

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