Today I have something a little different for you in zee old blog tip department.
A really fantastic way of improving your own blog is to look in detail at other blogs.
Looking at other peoples blogs is a great way to not only improve your blog, but to get it to a place you’re happy with.
We’ve all be there – where something is frustrating us about our own blogs, something doesn’t feel right with the design, content, or photography. I find going over to other blogs and asking myself some questions can really help me understand where I want my own blog to go.
This isn’t about copying other peoples ideas, but about understanding what attracts you to blogs and makes you fall in love with them. It’s about seeing if there’s any inspiration you can derive from them.
It’s also about seeing what make’s you think a blog isn’t so good so you can avoid doing it on your own virtual home.
Whether you want to choose random blogs, popular blogs, blogs new to you or ones you read on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to get used to realising what makes other blogs tick.
I’ve put together a printable – click it to make it bigger and download, or download the PDF version underneath.
I’m going to explain how I answer each question below the image.
What topics does the blog cover?
Some blogs are more niche then others – have a look at what topics they cover. Do they stick to a theme or do the topics vary? Do they cover anything that spikes your interest?
How often does the blogger post?
Try to work out if there is a schedule for posting, a few times a week, every day or are there multiple posts some weeks and dry patches the best?
What style or voice does the blogger write in?
Writing style is one of my favourite things about blogs and I love it when I’m really drawn in by the tone that a blogger writes in. Some blogs are more informal than others, some are funny, some have hints of dry humour and some resemble articles from the BBC news site. See what impression you get from the writing and how you feel about.
What type of images are used?
Does the blogger use any graphics with writing? Do they have photographs they’ve taken themselves or stock photos? What size are they? Are they edited? Do you see any patterns in the photography or graphic style? What pleases and displeases you about the images?
Does the title or first paragraph draw you in?
Catch titles are important to get that click on Twitter, Bloglovin and other social media sites. After you’ve got a human to click, you need to get that human to keep reading. So go ahead and read the first paragraph, see if it’s written in a way that makes you want to carry on.
It should cause you to be interested and intrigued.
If you’re bored – ask yourself what the blogger could have done to keep your attention.
What type of posts get most interaction?
Have a look through their home pages and see if you notice a difference in interaction – which posts have the most comments? If there are social share buttons, see which posts have been shared the most.
Have a look at the comments to see how the readers react to the post.
What call to actions is the blogger using?
Call to actions is a request by a blogger to the readers. It might be a question at the end of the post to encourage the audience to leave a comment and share their views, it might be asking to follow a social media site, join a mailing list or even buy something.
What social networks does the blogger use?
See if there are any social network links and buttons and don’t be scared to have a nosey!
How does the blogger use social networks?
See how they interact on each site – do they promote their blog posts? Do they engage with their audiences? Is it just a barren site?
What’s your first impression of the blog?
Is there any visual noise that looks out of place? Is there a colour scheme or a font scheme? What impression do you get when you first log on?
What would you change?
Imagine if the blogger was to handover the keys to their website – what things would you change or do differently?
What is in the menu bar?
Is there an about section? Advertising information? Categories? Blog stats or a blog roll? See if the blogger includes anything that you might want to incorporate on your blog.
What is in the sidebar?
Have a look at what they have in their sidebar – a small bio? Adverts? How do they display their social media or any personal information.
What do you like/dislike about the blog?
Finally think about what you like most and least about the look and feel of the blog overall.
Hope you enjoy this little activity and let me know how you get on!