8 Point Blog Quality Checklist
If you build your blog, will they come? Or does that only work in baseball movies. The reality is that building a solid blog following depends on a variety of factors. To help you assess your blog’s potential area(s) of weakness, here’s a checklist of eight factors that could have an impact on your ability to grow your blog following.
- Blog name. Does the actual name of your blog make sense to readers? Sometimes companies use the letters in their name or internal company abbreviations that don’t make sense to outsiders. Test your proposed name on prospective readers. Depending on your goals, this could be prospects, customers, fans, employees and/or others. I’m a big fan of checking with your mother. Since if she can ‘t understand it, there’s a good chance that your target audience can’t either.
- Blog topic. Does anyone care about the subject of your blog? Or equally bad, are you a me-too blog that doesn’t provide new insights and value on your niche? When selecting a theme for your blog, do your homework to find a new spin on an existing subject or a well-defined segment in an area with lots of interest. For business related topics, bear in mind that rehashing other people’s ideas won’t make your work stand out. By contrast, with consumer topics like hobbies, you may only need to show off your work because you’ve a built-in set of readers.
- Post content. Do your posts provide value to your readers? Is it a repetition of what’s readily available elsewhere? Is the content too promotional? Is every post a new offer related to your product. While this works for Woot, it doesn’t work for most etailers. No one wants to listen to an endless salesman. Conversely, is your blog a personal journal that doesn’t matter to anyone except you and your mother? In the same vein, can your blog be classified as TMI (aka too much personal sharing).
- Writing quality. Is the actual prose in your blog of an acceptable, readable quality? Is the content coherent? Are there spelling, typos and/or grammatical mistakes? Do you use jargon people don’t understand? If they understand it, does it detract from the image that you’re looking to project? Similarly do you use text-speak such as “gr8 writing”.
- SEO. Have you ensured that your blog will appear on search engines? Do you use a separate domain (example.com)? Have you installed appropriate SEO plug-ins (code to help optimize your blog)? Are your posts focused on a special keyword? Have you added relevant, keyword rich tags to your non-text content such as videos, photographs and audio?
- Post frequency. How often are you posting new content? If you only post once every few weeks, it’s difficult to make reading your blog part of your prospective audience’s routine.
- Blog promotion. Does any one know that you’re blogging? Have you incorporated your blog into all of your online and offline marketing? Readers don’t find out about your blog by telepathy. You need to tell them that you’re blogging and give them a reason to check your blog out.
- Content delivery options. Do you offer your readers multiple ways to receive your blog posts? This includes visiting your blog, Tweets and shares, RSS and email. Since research shows that these channels tend not to overlap, it’s a good idea to offer a variety of options.
When building your blog following, it’s important to assess every aspect of your offering to ensure that each component is maximized to achieve your goals. This eight point blog checklist should help you to determine where there are gaps in the marketing of your blog, which include the offering itself.
If you have any other suggestions, please add them in the comments section.
Here are some other posts on the topic of building your blog:
- 7 Points to Create Your Blog’s Personality
- 12 Suggestions to Overcome Blank Blog Post Syndrome
- 12 Ways to Grow Your Blog Audience – Flog Your Blog – Part 1 of 2
- 15 Ways to Expand Your Blog Audience – Flog Your Blog – Part 2 of 2
- 5 Tactics to Create a Corporate Blog
Photo credit by peasap via Flickr