Learn from others // Blog Analysis

bloganalysis

Oh hi.

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.

 

Click here for PDF versionClick here for PDA version.

Content.

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.

Readers.

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?

Design:

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!

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28 Comments

  1. February 5, 2015 / 9:44 am

    this is verry helpful! thx xx
    belle-fin.blogspot.be

  2. jackie harrison
    February 5, 2015 / 10:52 am

    I believe when you make changes it confuse people I had a person who send me lips paper clips because they thought of my blog when they saw it due to my blog she remember the lips. You have to do something that stand out for the person not to forget If I was to change it I bet they won’t know my blog.

    • Corinne
      February 5, 2015 / 11:03 am

      That’s a great point, Jackie. Unless I have a full refresh like when I moved to WordPress, I like to make small changes every now and then. On my blogger blog, I slowly changed things like the width of the posts, colours of text links, sidebars, headers etc so it slowly evolved over time.

  3. February 5, 2015 / 12:00 pm

    This is great! I think we all do this to some extent, but I love the idea of formally writing down your observations. I work on an e-commerce site, and we do this with other websites all the time!
    Colleen recently posted…SUBTLE CONTOURING FOR ROUND FACESMy Profile

  4. February 5, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    I have to do this! I’m so new that this could only benefit my little blog! 🙂
    Thanks Corrine!! You really are awesome – I love all of your helpful posts and the beauty product posts too!
    You are my fav blogger I’ve come across since my life in the blog world!!
    Hope that brightens up your day babe!! xxxx

    http://mystery-girl007.blogspot.com/
    Mystery recently posted…Revenge With A Weed PlantMy Profile

  5. February 5, 2015 / 2:08 pm

    I’ll be filling that form out this evening after work! Anything to help my blog grow is so worth it! Thanks Corinne!
    I’m even considering paying someone to do a new layout for me – although I do love mine…. it’s not too shabby I don’t think!?

    Your’s is lovely. I really like the circle photographs and stuff. You’re like an expert though!! haha

    http://www.bohemianmuses.blogspot.com

  6. February 5, 2015 / 2:15 pm

    This is really good, I think it helps to look at others blogs and see how you might improve or not do for your blog. I used to look at very popular blogs to see how they worked theirs, that helped a lot when I first started. xx
    KizzyDoll recently posted…Silence…My Profile

  7. February 5, 2015 / 3:26 pm

    This print out is such a good idea – it’s a very proactive way to combat that feeling that we all struggle with. I might give this a go next time I’m feeling down about by own blog.

    Sammy xo.

    littlefickleblog.blogspot.com
    Sammy recently posted…ApologiesMy Profile

  8. February 5, 2015 / 6:44 pm

    Thank you for taking time and doing this post, it’s very informative and useful for me as I’m constantly trying to improve. And hopefully I am on the right track.
    I have come across a few blogs that are too formal and I’ll admit they bore me to zzzzland. I have a twisted sense of humour, a little crude sometimes so I enjoy reading something that goes along with my kind of humour. And that is also the reason why I love the way you write and whenever you cuss, it makes me really loud out loud. LOL!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity
    Shireen L. Platt recently posted…REVIEW: Catrice Nude Illusion Makeup Foundation (NUDE BEIGE 030)My Profile

  9. February 5, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    Fantastic idea and I love the questions you chose. Bloggers can’t help but compare their blogs to others but at least this activity encourages us to do it in a more productive way, where we will actually take something positive away from the critique session, not just ‘omg my blog is so crap compared to theirs’.

    Job well done!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland
    Sarah recently posted…February – FITuary!My Profile

  10. February 6, 2015 / 12:36 am

    I thought about a blog analysis today and then viola I read this, thanks for the tips and printable checklist/form. I have several blogs I love to visit because they attract me but half will respond to my comments and half not let alone I don’t think they have ever visited my page. Thanks for your ideas.
    Rachel xo
    Rachel recently posted…In the woods and Guest hosting What Wives Wear Link-upMy Profile

  11. February 6, 2015 / 5:56 am

    This is such a great idea! 🙂 When I set up my blog, I’d been reading blogs for a while so knew what I liked and disliked, and although I didn’t specifically do this exercise, I’d been aware of the answers to most of the questions you posed that really helped me when I set up my blog. It’s a good tool to use to reflect on your blog or for a blog redesign too! 🙂
    Mica recently posted…Summer Maxi Skirt Outfits. Ombre, Print Mixing Stripes and FloralMy Profile

  12. February 6, 2015 / 6:36 pm

    Thank you so much for this handy questionnaire. I’ve been thinking about doing something like this but needed a way to organize it, this is perfect. Being organized is something I’m not very good at.
    Rose Journey recently posted…Corporate Advertising and FeminismMy Profile

  13. February 7, 2015 / 10:48 am

    A great idea and having a dedicated template to review is a brilliant idea. It helps if you know how to do coding and alter elements of your blog, this is something I struggle with Lucy x
    Lucy recently posted…Guiltless Afternoon Tea Intercontinental HotelMy Profile

  14. February 11, 2015 / 4:35 am

    I so read your mind on this one – I’ve just re-jigged my lay-out after visiting some familiar blogs and getting frustrated by the amount of STUFF on the page – I have ad blocking software but still, all the wingdings in the margins can mean a slow load time and hectic feel. I Changed mine so only one post loads at a time and checked all my links still work! Nothing worse than a link that goes nowhere

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.
    http://shoe-fiend.blogspot.co.nz/
    Paula recently posted…Manimonday – Nail-spiration Pinterest-styleMy Profile

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