Tweak Your Blog for Better Results (10 Step Checklist)

Want to get better results from your blog?

Here’s a 10 Step Checklist to help you review important elements of your blog design and blogging strategy.


1. Your Reader

Who is your ideal reader?  Describe them in detail.

What are their biggest challenges?  What solutions are they looking for?  What changes for them when they’ve got those solutions?

2. Your Goals

What are goals for your blog?  You’ve got to define them so you can measure how you’re doing in achieving them.

I gave some ideas in my last post of what your goals might be.  Here they are again:

  • Build a Platform
  • Create a Community (Time Spent/Bounce Rate)
  • Drive/Attract Traffic (Stats)
  • Build Your List (Subscribers)
  • Create Discussion (Comments)
  • Social Sharing
  • Build Business/Sales ($$$)
  • Ad Revenue (Alexa/Compete)
  • Content Creation (Book)
  • JV/Partnership Invitations
  • Media Requests
  • Authority/Reputation
  • Get a Message Out (Downloads & Views)

3. Opt-in Strategy

Where on your blog are your opt-in boxes?  Are they working?

Consider testing the…

  • position (top of page vs. side bar vs. popup vs. blog post footer)
  • headline
  • image
  • description or bullet points
  • button color
  • button text
  • privacy policy

4. Header

Does your blog header clearly communicate what you offer visitors and why they should stick around and read your blog?

Does it  fit with the brand image you want to create?

5. Links and Navigation

Review your links and navigation.  Do they guide your reader easily to the solutions and information they’re looking for?

Take some time to look at websites and blogs you find easy to navigate and note why, then apply those lessons to your own blog.

6. Blog Post Categories

Do your categories make sense based on what your readers want help with or what information they’re looking for?

Remember categories are the “big buckets” so you don’t want dozens or hundreds of categories (that’s where your tags come in).

7. Sidebar

Does your sidebar focus on the right actions based on your goals?

Use your sidebar to guide your visitors to the actions you most want them to take.

Also be careful not to clutter your sidebar with too many links or banners that take your readers away from your blog.

8. Footer

What’s in your footer?  Do you have the current year in your copyright?  Have you linked to important legal terms and conditions?

Get those ducks in a row to build confidence with your readers that you’re a “real” business and not just a hobby.

9. Content

Review your post headlines and content.

Do your headlines grab your readers attention and work to get more people reading your content?  (Click here for the solution if you aren’t 100% sure your headlines work!)

Is it actionable?  What’s the result your readers get from your content?

10. Engagement

Are you replying to comments, watching social media to interact with those who share your posts or comment on your links, and generally active with your community?

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  1. Nice! This is really very interesting. Thank you for sharing this very informative post.

  2. Ohh my gosh, so many things i have to look at!! Thanks for sharing your list.
    Mrs. Chasing the Donkey recently posted… Filigree earrings KorculaMy Profile

  3. Great list Michelle, and I see from your “most popular posts” sidebar that I’m going to have to start stalking you : )

  4. Thank you for these great tips Michelle. I’ve been considering how to make my blog more productive so this came at the right time. I even spent 45 minutes and watched the drive traffic to your blog video again.
    Julia Neiman recently posted… Caine’s Arcade – A Young Entrepreneur’s StoryMy Profile

  5. Wow wow – I like these kinda analysis done periodically on my blog. Especially when it comes to narrowing down my audience and to make sure if I’m delivering the right kind of content/offers to them.

    It is quite normal to go blind once we jump into the content creation and promotion cycle. It is important that we do periodical analysis of what works and what doesn’t work. If I put up a new sign up form or released a new membership, I must stop and analyze it after a week, and every month too – this has to be done in addition to my pre analysis -the one I did before launching.

    Doing something and hoping it is right never works in business.

    Thanks for the pointers to look at Michelle!
    Jane recently posted… How To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally? 6 Practical TipsMy Profile

  6. Great content Michelle. I have quite a few of my ducks in a row. Always looking to improve. Methinks I’ll get some feed-back from past clients and trusted friends about my header and menu bar.
    Adalia John recently posted… What Is Your Story? Share It and Inspire OthersMy Profile

  7. Many important checklists you have shared with us. The checklist can be practical guidance for newbie and great reminder for those who have been blog for years. I think headline and sidebar are great parts we can use for many purpose today through a blog.
    Okto recently posted… How Do I Create Video Content for Free?My Profile

  8. Excellent stuff Michelle! Always good to go back and check on these, you may think you’re on top of it and then you realize you forgot something.

    Our blogs are always a work-in-progress and it’s great that way ;)
    Delia recently posted… Why you don’t need more time to blogMy Profile

  9. Hi Michelle,

    You wrote a nice checklist of thing to do in an online business. It’s so important to do testing and tweaking on a regular basis. You can always get better results as long as you do these practices. This is a dynamic not static category.
    Branko Zecevic recently posted… The Truth About Search Engine Ranking Of A SiteMy Profile

  10. Michelle – I so appreciate you sharing this comprehensive list.
    I am always looking for ways to enhance my blog about divorce and co-parenting guidance and offer the content my blog readers want most along with easy navigation.

    Could you offer a training about how to start the process of getting ad revenue?
    Nancy Kay recently posted… Designing your Home After DivorceMy Profile

  11. Michelle, wow, this is a lot to take in and all of it very helpful! I’m going to PIN it so I can absorb it later, point by helpful point. THank you!! And thank you for hosting the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I learn a great deal from it!
    Amy recently posted… The Ultimate Blog Challenge lessons, and a lightning strike!My Profile

  12. Well, maybe I won’t PIN it, I don’t see a pin! I’ll share it, anyway!
    Amy recently posted… The Ultimate Blog Challenge lessons, and a lightning strike!My Profile

  13. Nice points! Thanks for sharing. It should help us to increase our knowledge about the technology of blogging. So that I would like to thank again to the author to have this awesome post.
    Jane Stevens recently posted… Improve Your Fashion Statement with Elegant SunglassesMy Profile

  14. A comprehensive list on how to tweak your blog for better results. Thanks for sharing Michelle, by following your advice, we can all achieve better results for our blogs.
    Neil Butterfield recently posted… Calcium can reduce eye problemsMy Profile

  15. A very comprehensive list. I like #9. Reviewing what you have written might get one more traffic.

    Thanks for sharing.

  16. Dear Michelle,
    I appreciate your 10 step review checklist for our blogs. Although I don’t always have time to read your posts regularly, I love reading them every chance I get. Thanks for all your support. You don’t know how much I appreciate it. Debbie Seiling
    Debbie Seiling recently posted… Everyday We Have a Fresh Start…Thanks to JesusMy Profile

  17. That’s a good checklist. Always keep your readers in mind when writing your blog posts.
    Max Arthur recently posted… Play Lead Guitar My Profile

  18. Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for such a great checklist. No matter how much traffic and blog receives it could always do with tweaking!

    Take care

    Naomi recently posted… 6 Steps to Start A Business When Leading a Busy LifestyleMy Profile

  19. Thank for this article was a pleasure to read thanks again now my blog will be better
    Steve Bonanno recently posted… Puzzle Charms Hack ToolMy Profile

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