This guest post is by Peter G. James Sinclair of Motivational Memo.
Before I aggressively started to build my Motivational Memo blog at the beginning of this year I had already owned a web design company for over seven years.
During that time I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in web design, and now that I have entered the blogging industry I continue to see the same mistakes being made by many bloggers.
So use this quick checklist to analyze your own blog.
1. How well is your blog structured?
- Have you clearly identified your audience?
- What’s in it for the client when they come to your blog?
- Do you have a call to action?
- Is your blog outstanding? What do you do differently from others?
- Do you sell the right things—most profitable and easiest to deliver?
- What are the best things you are doing in your niche?
- Have you a clear purpose for each web page?
- What action do you want your visitors to take?
- Do you provide quality information?
- Are you building a list?
- Are you selling a product or service?
- Are you gathering referrals?
- Are you building a relationship with your readers?
- Have you built credibility and authority in your niche?
- Have you promoted your success through a Press, Awards, or Featured-in page?
- Do you realize that you are building an asset that you can sell?
- Do you know that you need more than one website if you want to make money from blogging?
2. How good is your written copy?
- Do you write headlines that are benefit driven?
- Does your writing stand out amongst the crowd?
- Do you provide proof either through testimonials, comments, featured articles, endorsements, and statistics—in text, audio, and video format?
- Is your call to action clear?
- Does your offer provide great value?
- Does every page have a benefit-laden headline?
- Do you demonstrate how you stand out in your niche?
- Do you use proof of claims you make about products/services?
- Do you provide one call to action with clear instructions per web page above the fold?
- Do you make no-brainer offers even for opt-in?
- Are you enthusiastic without hype, but rather provide enthusiasm with substance?
- Do you write the way you speak?
- Do you avoid jargon?
- Do you use a double-readership path—provide headlines and sub headlines that make it easy for readers to skim your piece before reading the entire article?
3. How descriptive is your domain name?
- Is your domain name clever, quirky, or meaningless?
- Have you used your business name, unless you are well known?
- Have you used your personal name, unless you are well recognized?
- Have you used a .net where there’s a .com site available?
- Have you used the Google Keyword tool to identify some of the keywords people are searching for on the Internet in your niche?
- Have you chosen a domain name that grabs your attention through clear communication?
4. How professional is your layout and formatting of graphics?
- Do you use white writing on black or colored background that makes it hard for people to read?
- Do you have a cluttered or confusing layout?
- Is your top banner large or complex and slow to load?
- Do you use big blocks of text?
- Do you write text in all-capitals?
- Do you provide captions (where appropriate) on photos that are keyword rich and benefit-driven?
- Do you use too many fonts, colors, and sizes?
- Is your blog quick to load?
- Do you have a clean, simple, narrow banner at the top of your blog that creates the right feeling on your site?
- Do you break up text with sub headings, bullet points, and photos?
- Do you have a white background and use colored headlines and black text?
5. How easy is it for your potential customers to buy?
For blogs to make money, there is usually an attached web page that will promote products, courses, etc. So you might need to analyze these pages as well.
- Do you provide an obvious way to buy online?
- Do you use a secure payment processor?
- Do you provide a number of ways for people to purchase—credit card, ClickBank, PayPal, or even for some an printable form, depending on your demographics?
- Do you provide a money-back guarantee?
- Do you allow for payments in customers’ local currencies?
- Is your offer obvious, providing clear instruction for buying above the fold?
- Do you use a recognized payment processer?
6. Are your visitor details being collected?
- Is your opt-in above the fold?
- Do you provide an incentive for visitors to provide their name and email?
- Do you ask for too much information?
- Do you have our opt-in on your sales pages, and did you know that if you do this you could reduce sales by up to 75%?
- Do you communicate regularly with those who opt-in to your blog or newsletter, and did you know that responsiveness will halve after each three months of no communication?
- Do you get at least a 25% opt-in result?
- Do you offer something customers desperately want in return for their name and email?
- Do you make it easy and obvious to opt in above the fold—a single opt in requiring minimal details?
- Do you use an automated way to follow up?
- Do you make offers to your list—your own products/services or others in return for an affiliate commission?
- Do you give twice as much as you ask by providing good value?
7. How well are you marketing your blog?
- Do you believe in the concept of “build it and they will come”?
- Do you only using one or two marketing methods?
- Do you only use online-to-online marketing?
- Do you outsource the marketing or manage the outsourcing properly?
- Do you test, monitor, and fine-tune?
- Do you use out of date marketing methods or only use the latest craze in marketing?
- Do you use multiple marketing methods—free and paid, tried and tested, and new?
- Do you use offline-to-online marketing?
- Do you understand your marketing strategy well enough to train others to help you?
- Do you collect stats on results weekly, or per campaign?
- Are you marketing to your existing list—email, social media, sms, hard mail, etc.?
- Do you use SEO, Google Adwords, Google Places?
- Do you use paid traffic, Facebook PPC, banner ads?
- Do you build or buy lists in your niche or even pursue joint ventures?
- Have you ever thought of buying an offline list and developing an online list?
- Do you write guest articles for other blogs in your niche and even other niches?
- Do you submit articles to directories?
- Have you used offline free publicity?
- Do you seek out referrals?
- Do you interact regularly through social media—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn?
- Do you run competitions?
- Do you give things away to your database?
- Do you conduct surveys?
- Do you partner with online thought leaders in your niche?
- Do you help your readers to engage one with another?
So there you have it. Tick off all the things that you are doing well, and then begin to implement all the things that you could do better. You will be amazed at the results.
Peter G. James Sinclair is in the ‘heart to heart’ resuscitation business and inspires, motivates and equips others to be all that they’ve been created to become. Receive your free copy of his latest eBook Personal Success Blueprint at http://www.selfdevelopmentmastermind.com and add him on Twitter @PeterGJSinclair—today!
Fantastic list! I wish some of these came with explanations, especially since they seem to cover both things to do and not to do and some are rather ambiguous as to which is which.
Thanks Tara – send me any specific questions and I’d be happy to clarify for you.
Great list Peter.
This is both comprehensive and concise.
Trust it is helpful Bret…all the way to continued prosperity!
This is really a great list… It seems like the majority of them are things I have legitimately never even thought about, which is great! Now I have lots of things to consider. Thanks a lot!
Great Jeanne – time to work I guess. Let me know how you get on once you apply them.
I believe in “build it and they will come” at the moment. But I’m hoping one day I’ll be able to spend a lot of money on marketing my blog.
Michael – no need to spend money. Start writing guest blogs like this one and watch the traffic start flying in your direction. The greatest investment when it comes to marketing in the early stages is time. Go for it. You can do it!
Great list! I’ve got five blogs and none of them are making money yet. My readership is growing by leaps and bounds and I even landed a book deal for one of my blogs (http://www.howtoblogabook.com), but it’s time to make some money! Thanks for this great list. I’ll be going down the items one by one.
Great Nina. If you are building a list you are building a powerful investment into the future. Keep it up and learn from blogs such as this and get ready for the money to flow. Keep at it!
Peter thanks so much for this checklist, it’s excellent. Could you clarify for me please your point about – Do you know you need more than one website if you want to make money from blogging?
Yes Melissa. I took a course run by Yaro Starak where he taught me to develop a membership site. My main blog is http://www.motivationalmemo.com on which I offer a eBook which helps me to build a separate database to my blog database. Through that eBook called Personal Success Blueprint I lead people to my membership sales page http://www.selfdevelopmentmastermind.com/coaching and it is there that the business is done. Also that list then allows me to offer affiliate products that I want to sell when I send out my weekly newsletter. The power is in the list and in fact multiple lists.
Great information! Thanks for sharing this.
My pleasure Justing – go do!
Thankfully I’ve answered YES to alot of these, but I’ll be sure to keep in mind the ones I’m not. I have just started but doing it right since the beginning is probably going to work to my advantage!
Great to hear Lucy – started well? Keep going!
Pinning a hard copy to my bulletin board!
Super checklist. The recurring theme is to augment your reader experience. Put on your reader’s shoes. See things from their perspective. I like asking people with little or no internet experience to look at my blog from time to time. This crowd sees things – or misses things – online entrepreneurs are oblivious to.
Great advice Ryan…..the adage of KISS reigns supreme especially so that people who are not familiar with the medium can understand and follow our directives.
Sometimes simple, direct questions work best!
Thank you for sharing that practical, detailed, and illuminating checklist and blogging primer for both novice and experienced bloggers.
Great questions – great answers for us all!
Wonderful Article Peter. Your point 1 speaks the whole process. Thanks for sharing the post
Structure – good structure – my pleasure Manickam.
Nice guide and check list.
Glad to be of assistance Daniele.
The check list covers almost all aspects required for a good blog. Great list after implementing all of this its sure to be something that the readers will enjoy because after eliminating all chances of mistakes there’s nothing that cold go wrong. Thanks for sharing it I’m sure it will help us all.
Glad to hear James that this will help you.
100% useful check list! Thanks for sharing it Peter :)
100% thank you Praveen!
Cunning…a checklist with enormous sub-checklists…here I was thinking it would be easy! ;)
Thanks Tom – never easy – but always worth the effort.
WOW! These are really great tips Peter. Thanks for sharing
Thanks Fisayo – glad to be of assistance.
Dude, if everyone asked themselves these questions (and answered them) when launching a website, competition would be way too fierce!
Seriously though, that’s a great list you put together that people can refer back to throughout the course of researching, designing, and running a website. Good job!
Thanks Sucker – most people don’t take the time – but those who do will reap the rewards.
Loving these 91 questions, I mean 7 points… lol
Seriously though, I’ve just printed it, it seems like the type of list I will read once every month or so to keep me on the right track, there are some terrific questions in there, and I can’t say I’m doing all the right things, but I will definitely try to improve. Thanks for creating this list Peter.
Thanks Jamie. Good on you for wanting to improve. Just by improving one thing a day – what a difference it will make in one month.
This is something, in my opinion every blogger must read at-least once. Some of the great point are collected in a single article. Trying to answer almost all of them :) –
Thanks Rakesh. Answer them by putting them into action and watch what positive results come your way.
Love the list! Appreciate the time you took to put it together. I’m intrigued by your comments about cross-promotion of sites and lists. Do you feel like they need to be separate sites or can you promote an e-book within your blog as a value-offer? Would it be better to maintain the e-book site separately from the blog? I’m about to engage in a very similar tactic, but was going to market my e-book as part of my blog. Would love to hear your thoughts!
Hi Sean. Great question. My answer to your question is simply that you should try both and then test and measure. Every industry seems to be different – so until you test and measure it’s hard to say. So try both and then see which performs the best.
Start writing guest blogs like this one and watch the traffic start flying in your direction. The greatest investment when it comes to marketing in the early stages is time. Go for it. You can do it