Print the Blog Review Checklist below and check off each box that your blog already does. Leave boxes that explain elements that do not already appear in your blog blank. When you're done, add up your check marks. If you have 8 checks or more, you're blog is great! If you have 6-7 checks, then your blog is doing okay but needs improvement to be positioned for great success. If you checked 4-5 boxes, then you're blog is below average and is unlikely to achieve success unless you make some changes. Finally, if you have 3 or fewer checks and you want your blog to be successful, you need to make changes immediately!
Blog Header, Title, Subtitle and Tagline
My blog's header, title, subtitle and tagline (if my blog uses one) clearly communicate what my blog is about and the audience that would be most interested in my content. The header area is well-designed and images are crisp. I own copyrights to images used in the header or the images are copyrighted using licenses that allow me to use the images on my blog. I have requested any necessary permissions and provided any necessary attributions.
My blog layout is designed well. It is not cluttered and page elements are well proportioned to one another. Ads don't negatively affect the layout or user experience on my blog and the layout makes it easy for visitors to find the type of information they're likely to look for. For example, footer content, legal notices, a search bar, and so on are easy to find and placed where visitors traditionally expect to find them on a blog.
The colors and fonts used in my blog make it aesthetically pleasing and easy to read. My blog is also easy to read on mobile devices.
My contact form and contact information is easy to find on my blog. While a contact form is not a requirement (simply offering your email address is adequate), a form can make it easier to manage inquiries and keeps your email message off of the open web (if that's something you're not comfortable with).
I accept comments on my blog posts and let visitors know when their comments are held for moderation. I offer a way for people to subscribe to post comments, so they can stay involved in conversations that matter to them. I also allow gravatars to appear with user comments (if your blogging application allows them).
I offer links for visitors to easily find and follow me across the social web such as on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, and so on. I also make it easy for people to share my blog posts with their own social media audiences by including one-click sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and so on.
My blog content is original, meaning it was written by me and not already published elsewhere online. My blog content is interesting and meaningful to my target audience and meets their expectations. It is relevant and the quality matches those visitors' expectations. I listen to what they say in their comments on my blog posts and acknowledge them and adjust my content according to their comments, my goals, and my blog's performance analytics (discussed in the next item on the Blog Review Checklist) to create the best content going forward.
I use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to track my blog's performance, so I can learn what's working and what isn't working. This enables me to make changes to improve my blog, learn where traffic is coming from, what keywords people are typing into search engines to find my blog so I can better keyword optimize my content in the future, and much more.
The links on my blog work. It's easy and intuitive to navigate around my blog. Pages load quickly and completely, and my blog's "up-time" (meaning when people visit, it actually loads in their browsers without problems) is 100% or very close to 100%. Furthermore, my blog doesn't include video or audio elements that start without warning nor does it include pop-up or pop-over ads that can annoy visitors.
Disclosures and Legal Matters
All ads and sponsored posts on my blog are identified as such. My blog must also comply with copyright and privacy laws. Therefore, my blog attributes sources for content and images, and my blog provides all necessary privacy disclosures.