Analyze a top blog in your niche.
I’ve been doing this naturally for more than five years, but I’ve never narrowed it down to one focus. I was trying to be a network marketer and a writer at the same time, but I couldn’t do both. As it turns out, I struggled for five years not doing well at either one. So I have learned a lot about blogging in general, but not about blogging in my niche — writing.
I could list a couple of dozen top notch writing blogs, and probably just as many blogs of great writers. My niche is more a cross between the two. So I’m looking for published authors who have great blogs.
What to look for when analysing a blog.
This can be broken down into quite a few smaller parts, but I’ll just touch on three.
What topics does he write about?
What topics do he ignore?
What voice does he usually write in — authoritative? conversational?
What style of posts does he write — list posts? opinion? educational?
How often does he post?
How long are his posts — short, sharp posts? long, deep ones?
Does he include videos, podcasts, infographics?
Is most of his content original, or does he do a fair bit of curating others’ content?
How does he engage with his readers, and build community?
Does he use WordPress comments, or something else, like Disqus?
Or does he prefer to engage only on social media?
What types of posts get the most comments, likes, and shares?
How much does the blogger himself engage with his readers via comment replies?
What social media platforms does he use? Any new ones you want to explore?
Does he use polls, surveys, or quizzes?
Does he have a newsletter? What sort of content does he send in a newsletter, and how often does he send it?
Does he have a free ebook or report?
What is your first impression? Is the blog clean and simple? Cluttered and busy?
What does he use for his front page — a portal? his blog posts?
What template and colour scheme does he use?
What is the layout of his blog?
What does he have in his menu and sidebars?
Does he have a Hello bar up on top of his blog?
Is his blog easy to navigate?
What’s in his header?
What is the title of his blog — and his tagline?
All of these questions are a great way to look at a blog, with the view of improving your own. But the most important thing to remember is this:
Learn from the best, but don’t copy them! You are you. Your blog is yours. Don’t try to imitate anyone else, no matter how good he or she is.