A successful blogger is always looking at other blogs to decide which blogs are worth linking to and just to get new ideas.
This second checklist: Checklist for Linking to Quality Blogs serves both of those purposes. It differs from the original Blog Review Checklist in the point of view and in the way the questions are worded. The values in this checklist are approached from a readers’ point of view. I hope you find it helpful for defining quality blogs around the Internet.
1. Audience: What words would you use to describe the blog? What do you find most engaging about this site?
2. Purpose: What is the purpose of this blog? Is the purpose stated plainly where you can see it? How well does the blog meet that purpose?
3. Content: How well does the content support the purpose? Is the content quality, relevant, readable, interesting, accurate, entertaining, and appropriate for the audience?
4. Design: How well does the look of the blog communicate the kind of blog it is? Is navigation easy and intuitive? Do items flow naturally from the first to the next? Do the color palette, image, and type choices support the content or call attention away from it?
5. Posts: Are the posts on a consistent schedule? Do they offer variety and interest within the blog’s purpose and theme?
6. Comments: Does the blog writer read and respond to comments to form a sense of community? Do you get a sense of community at this blog?
7. Technical Issues: Did the blog load fast in your browser? Was the experience more confusing or fun?
8. Writing: Is the writing clear and respectful of readers? Does the writing voice let readers know who the writer really is? Is the blog essentially free of errors in grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation?
9. Organization: Are there categories to draw you into the backlist? Is there an archive feature of “Golden Oldie”? that you would have interest in exploring? Are the Categories named things that you can understand?
10. Marketing: How would you promote this blog, if it were yours?
11. Persuading the Writer: If you are thinking of asking to link with this blog, what do you know about the blogger? What does your content bring that will add value to this blog? How might you persuade the blogger that your blog will enhance his or her readers’ experience? Find three specific links that show how your quality content ties relevantly to this blog’s content. Use this information to write a compelling argument for making a link.
Do you go through this list with every blog that you visit? Of course not. Use this list when you’re on reconnaissance, when you’re looking for quality homes for your links inside your niche or creative ideas outside your niche.
Follow this checklist with sincerity and you’ll not only get great links and ideas, your reputation will grow to be one of someone who cares about quality and long-lasting relationships.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Blog Review Checklist
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SEOÃ¢â¬âLink Checking Tools
SEOÃ¢â¬âThe Value of Outlinks to MY Blog
Javier Cabrera (ClearYourMind) says
I have a little problem with the point number eight (Is the blog essentially free of errors in grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation?). My native language isn’t english, so I have a little bit of a hard time every time I need to write a post. Of course, I check my grammar with the OSX spelling checker, but I still have errors.
Some people tell me “hey, it’s alright, your english don’t s*ck, it is just rusty” and others thinks having errors is unprofessional. Anyway, I’m learning but it seems to me that the general public is willing to accept the little errors when someone first language isn’t english! 😉
But still, is a little effort to make it right!
ME Strauss says
I think that you do fine Javier with your English. You do better than I do. I think a reasonable person should leave room for the occasional error for you. They certain have done exactly tha for me. Perhaps I stated that too strongly. I’m sorry.
Nice one Liz,
The way I see it there are two types of blogrolls doing the rounds:
1) the massive list of links that has no end
2) the much smaller list, but more relevant
Have you seen the way that Des Walsh at ThinkingHomeBusiness.com does his blogroll – I like it so much I told him I’m going to steal his idea 😉 … and he’s happy for me to do so.
I’m also one for consistency – I don’t want to link to a blog that posts 5 times in a week and then nothing for a month.
I guess my first point ties in with Martin’s comment about consistency (also yours on technical issues) – some form of site feed is becomming more and more important to me. So long as the site can tell me somehow when it is updated, I can live with it being updated fairly irregulary. What I object to is having to bookmark the site and remember to check back to see if there is new content for me.
RSS is, of course, the prefered way of being notified (my aggregator and myself are developing an unhealthily close relationship), but email is acceptable. There are free and simple-to-use tools to do both of these things so really, there is no excuse not to have some form of subscription.
The most important thing to me though, is the content. Alas, I don’t think there is a checklist for what makes good content – it is a very ephemeral concept. For me, the authors personality needs to come through the words, and the words themselves should be ‘well written’. I don’t mean they have to be grammatically superiour or punctuated to perfection, just, with some indication that care was taken with the words. I will willingly forgive hideous design, irregular posting, and a whole host of other things, if the content grabs me.
With regard blogrolls/link lists, I like to see them because the indicate the author is concerned with the wider community around they, but too many indicates just linking to anyone regardless. I prefer shorter lists that show some consideration, maybe divided up into sections (ie., personal, business, geeky, other…)? and if it isn’t clear, some form of explanation as to what lies in wait at the end of the link.
Ok, I’m getting off my hobbyhorse now.
Once again, great post Liz 🙂
ME Strauss says
No I just went to look at ThinkingHomeBusiness.com. Are you talking about the file folders in the sidebar? I couldn’t figure out which one held the blogroll. Is that your point? 🙂
Google likes what you like as far as consistency goes, too. That dump ten posts at once technique makes Google think the blog is a spammer. Not a good thing. No.
ME Strauss says
You make a really good point about blogs making use of subscription services. They are becoming more and more necessary to everyone–even those who don’t blog. I’ve gotten a few of my non-blogging friends to subscribe to Bloglines because they like to read so much.
I agree about breaking up the blogroll into sub-lists, if for no other reason than to let readers know that we don’t just grab links indiscriminately.
Thanks Cas, for you input and for the compliment. 🙂
thinkinghomebusiness.com – I should have explained myself clearer – it’s nearing midnight Sunday here so forgive me…
It’s in the right side bar under the heading “Blog & Website Links”
Notice how he uses the bloggers name in the link (ie: Martin Neumann at Home Office Voice) and if you hover over it he uses the title tag to good effect (like his own mini comment).
That tells me he has put some thought into his links.
ME Strauss says
OOOOOh Martin. It’s barely 7 a.m. here.
I had my browser window set too narrow. Now I see.
Yeah that’s cool. It’s also a good anchor text practice, as I learned last week–natural linking and all. 🙂
Yeah, the comment in the hover also gives an ego boost to the linkee adding to the relationship and gets some folks to checkout everyone else’s link to see whether they agree.
This is a person who knows a lot about how people think.
PS Just stop by early on Tuesday and leave your comments about Patrick’s design. We’re open all day here at Successful Blog. I have a deal with the Sheriff’s Dept. They’ve made me a Deputy. So the Blue Laws that say no drinking between 4a.m and 10a.m. don’t apply here. 🙂
It’s 7am there and midnight here – what’s worse: you dopey in the mornings (not enough sleep, I presume) or me fuzzy-headed in the wee hours (no sleep, yet)?
open all hours, heh … get that bar stool warmed up for me, place a bowl of peanuts on the bar, hook me up to the internet (if you can) and keep the drinks cold and flowing and I’m there 365/24/7 😉
You serve Nanchos? them I’m moving in permanently 😉
ME Strauss says
We not only serve nachos . . . that romatic little Mexican restaraunt next door makes them fresh and delivers them in minutes to you at the bar. Their salsa and their guacamole are out of this world good. Here’s your drink and your pillow.
Michael Erik says
I think you make some excellent points for us all. Thanks for pursuing quality blogging!
– Michael Erik
Quality Blog Critic
“The Best Things In Life Are Free”
It seem an ideal blogging that a lot of things to do before blogging. but it is a good advices to get notice. Thanks
i love the way you do things
Ms. Freeman says
This is a awesome list. I am doing a post on linking to other blogs and searched for some relevant guidelines and was brought to your site via problogger’s search engine.
These 11 easy tips are perfect and with practice can be easily incorporated in to daily postings.