I am rethinking my blog, amidst lots of great advice from readers, the SOAP experience and what I have learned from reading other blogs. What I have learned is easily transferable to anyone wanting to enhance any type of home business through blogging. I still have a way to go, but have a clearer direction. I will be using this as a checklist for my blog “makeover”.

Using a Blog for Your Writing Business

Content and Purpose

  1. Define the purpose and of your blog. What outcomes are you aiming for?
  2. Define the focus as it relates to yourself and your business.
  3. I’ve read that some blogs are a conversation and some are a monologue. Which is yours?
  4. Who are your readers or target audience?
  5. Are they mainly passing through or are they willing to stay around and listen and maybe give you another try?
  6. What do your readers or target audience want? What are they looking for? Why do they come back?
  7. Does your content offer value to the reader? How do you know?
  8. Does your home page look like a Google Poster Board (like mine at the moment – soon to be changed)
  9. Do you include original thoughts or add value to previous discussions around the net?

Any other points you can suggest?

Are You a Generous Blogger or a Lone Wolf?

  1. Do you have the Do Follow Plugin installed?
  2. Do you link to other blogs of value to your readers?
  3. Do your outgoing links go directly to the other blog, or do you force them to open in a new window?
  4. Do you value add for your readers e.g. offer free reports, ebooks, special features?
  5. Do you engender a sense of community on your blog?
  6. Do you comment regularly on other blogs, including those who visit you?

Any other points you can suggest?

Navigation and Usability

  • Do you have an up to date and attention grabbing About Page?
  • Is it easy to comment on your blog?
  • Can you be easily contacted?
  • Is it easy for a non regular to find their way around your blog?
  • Does the blog template reflect your topic and focus?
  • Is there a photo of you on your blog? People like to know who they are dealing with.

Any other points you can suggest?

SEO & Traffic

  • Does your content load before your side columns?
  • Do you use “alt” tags for your images?
  • Have you checked available WP SEO friendly plugins?
  • Do you interlink to your other posts?
  • Do you have MyBlogLog installed? (if suitable for your blog)
  • Do you take part in social networking e.g. StumbleUpon and Digg etc.
  • Do you join in with useful input to forums about your topic?

Any other points you can suggest?

How Blogging Has Worked for Me

As my blog develops, I’ve realised that the greatest benefit to me as a writer is the networking and learning aspects that I have gained from my blog. The networking is not with clients but with other writers and readers. I have discovered that even in a diverse blogging world, there are more commonalities than differences.

In return, I hope I have contributed something too. For the future, I will have a business page with samples and services, or perhaps even a separate blog for my writing business.