Like an artist critiquing their work, any good blogger must be able to step back and objectively take a look at their blog.
A good blogger can look at their work, both individually and as a whole, and think hard on what is working and what is not, and more importantly, what is attracting readers and what is driving them away.
Remember, a blog is not for the writer; it’s for the people currently reading, the people you want to be reading, and hopefully, the advertisers who are going to pay you to write.
Looking at your own work objectively is not always easy, so here is an Objectivity Checklist to get you started.
1. Do your entries have catchy “hooks?”
Web surfers are notoriously fickle. If they are not grabbed immediately, they will turn their attentions elsewhere in a matter of seconds. Therefore, it is essentially that blog posts begin with catchy “hook” lines to “hook” the reader into reading the rest. Make opening sentences dynamic, exciting, surprising, controversial — basically any action verb that will entice others to read on.
2. Are your post titles just as catchy?
This may be even more important to grabbing the reader’s attention than “hook” sentences. Titles appear in bigger letters and should sum up the post’s subsequent content, but do so in a manner that makes the viewer want to read in the first place. Also, if titles can have searchable terms even better. More often than not, the terms used in a post’s title will be what shows up in search engine searches and drive traffic towards that specific post, and the site in general.
3. Are paragraphs short and scannable?
Notice how in newspapers and magazines paragraphs always consist of just a few short, concise sentences? That’s because most readers are going to turn the page if they see at first glance what looks like a college-level essay. Same goes for your blog: visitors are going to click away if the task of reading a post looks too daunting. Break up posts into bite-size chunks that allow readers to quickly scan the article for the pieces of information they want.
4. Is your blog readable?
Is the content of the posts presented front and center, and is it done so in a way that makes for easy reading? Or is it chock full of Flash video, ads, and GIFs? If the latter, you need to redesign your blog. Appearance is everything and a blog needs to be attention-grabbing, but even more so it needs to clean, concise, and readable. Clean it up and have some close friends take a look for more feedback.
5. Would you want to read your blog?
Ah, there’s a doozie, but it’s the most important question you can ask yourself. Think hard on whether the writing is engaging and informative, and whether the subject matter will appeal to more than an audience of one. Decide whether the blog needs a redesign to look more professional. Think on whether your blog can move up to the big leagues and start earning an income.
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