Here’s one for the bloggers! If you’re not a blogger you could look here instead?

This is the time of year we are all putting our best feet forward blog-wise, right? We’re sweeping the cobwebs away and making everything look sparkly and new? Well luckily I created this DIY Blog Critique and Tweak for people just like us! I made this last year and put it in my Etsy store, but I thought it might be nice to share it freely now as it seems to be really helpful and not a lot of people even KNOW I have an Etsy store (possibly because it just has one thing in it!)

Anyway, I wrote this after writing a couple of years worth of how-to-blog content and running my super-fun blogging eCourses. These were the things that were top-of-mind, for me. It’s definitely not THE definitive rundown, but it comes pretty close, I think!  You can download it below for free, too.

Pip’s DIY Blog CRITIQUE AND TWEAK <– The list below is updated, buy you can also download the original version (which is almost the same) at that link right there! (No email sign-up or other such trickery!) Here’s a glimpse of its dandy-ness!

Now, without further ado, here are some questions to ask of your blog (if you want to!)

Pip’s DIY Blog Critique and Tweak

User Experience

Readers-eye tour

Have you visited your blog from a reader’s point of view to experience how they might navigate your site? Have you noted down any glitches or problems?

Design and Layout

Fonts – size and choice

Is your font web-safe, legible and the correct size?

Colour palette

Are you using a cohesive colour palette? Do the colours work nicely together?


Does your header look the way you want it to or does it need an update?


Does your template need an update?


Do you have a favicon? Do you want one/need to update yours?

White space/clear borders

Have you got plenty of white space or clear borders between content and sidebars?


Have you got one sidebar or two or more? Is this how you want your blog to look?


Are you using the footer area of your blog well? Do you want it nice and clean or would you prefer useful widgets in there?

Post Layout

Is your post layout working? Do you want to add subtitles, justify text or other layout tweaks?

Overall Layout

Are you happy with the overall look – how it all looks together?

Basic Blog Bones

Mobile responsiveness

Have you viewed your blog on various mobile devices? Does it work well?

Site description and title

Are these correct and up to date? Do they show correctly in your browser ‘address bar’?

Browser compatibility

Does your blog look great in Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox?

Search Button

Do you have a search button clearly visible at the top of your blog?


Are your permalinks/URLs showing post titles or just a number?


RSS Subscribe Buttons

Do you have subscribe via feedly/bloglovin’ options near the top of your sidebar? Or simply an RSS subscribe button?

Email Subscribe Button

Do you have an email subscribe opt in box?


Navigation & Menus

Is your navigation logical and easy to work with? Or does it need a tidy up? Do you need to refresh your menus/categories?

Previous / Next Post option

Do you have this feature at the bottom of each post for fluid, chronological navigation?


Are they easily navigated to and through?


Are your categories up to date and logical?


Are you tagging your posts logically so that you can curate those tagged posts if need be? Do you want to display a ‘tag cloud’ to encourage more page views on older posts?

Related Posts

Do you have a related post widget showing within your posts

Author stuff/About YOU!

About Page

Is your about page succinct and up to date?

Photo Of Author

Do you have a photo of yourself on the home page of your blog?

Contact Button

Is there a way for people to easily contact you?

Email Address

Contact form emails are not always prioritised – have you published your email address on your blog for urgent enquiries?

Purpose & Readers

Blog Mission Statement

Have you written a mission statement for your blog detailing why you are blogging and what you hope to achieve? Is some of this included in your About Me page?

Blog Tagline

Do you have one? If not maybe you’d like to consider one?

Blog Ideal Reader Profile

Have you created an ‘ideal reader’ profile? To help you focus on who you are writing for?

Google Analytics

Are you using Google Analytics to find out more about your readers and improve your blog’s content?

Overall Vision Calendar

Have you written down an overall vision for your work (blog and otherwise) to focus on as your blog grows?

Editorial Flow

Editorial Calendar

Are you using an editorial calendar to map your content plans?

Content Brainstorm

Are you making time to brainstorm fresh ideas for your blog?

Guest Posts

Would you like to think about working with other bloggers on your blog (and on theirs?)

Content Balance

Are you happy with the mix of content? Are you using text, images, video, podcasts etc in the way you most want?

Pages & Posts


Are your existing pages all up to date (broken links? Formatting correct? Images loading?)


Are your most popular posts all up to date (broken links? Formatting correct? Images loading?)



Are you writing about the things you care most about?


Is your own voice (or your chosen professional voice) coming through in your posts?


Are you telling the kind of stories you want to tell, or focusing on your core messages or things you care most about?

Writing for new readers & old

Will your writing be interesting to new readers as well as your established readers?


Are you checking your grammar and spelling before you publish? Perhaps you would like someone else to read your posts and help with edits? Are you writing proper sentences/paragraphs?

Post Structure

Are you conscious of the structure of your post? Are you writing your story logically and clearly?

Post Length

Are your posts too short? Too long? Just right?

Post Transparency

Are you upfront (at the top of the post) when your post is sponsored or commercial?

Post Title

Do your posts have logical titles?

Motivation & Inspiration


Do you need to work on your time management to find time to blog? Is this a bit of a challenge?


Do you need to adjust the post frequency to keep things achievable and fun?


Are you making time to do fun stuff? Not just doing ‘bloggable’ stuff?


Are you getting stuck because you compare yourself to other bloggers all the time?


Is your purpose still matching your blog output?


Image Size & Quality

Are your images the correct size and resolution for your blog’s post body? Do you know how wide this column is? Are you resizing your images to almost span that measurement?

Image Style

Are you working on your photography skills and developing great images to use on your blog? Do you need to skill up a bit more?!

Image Watermarking

Do you want to watermark your images in Photoshop or Illustrator?

Image Labelling

Are you labelling your images correctly so they are easy to find in your media library?

Image Attribution

Are you attributing images owned by others correctly (and asking for permission to use those?

Image Library

Are you taking the time to develop your own ‘stock image’ library so that your blog photos are always unique to you?


Comment Monitoring

Are you happy with the way your comment notification system is working?


Are you replying to comments as often and in the way that you want to?


Do you want CAPTCHA turned on? Or not?


Do you have a reliable spam filter – or are you needing to wrangle those pesky spammy comments a little better?

Commenting System/Ease

Is it easy to comment on your blog?

Social Media

Share Buttons

Do you have share buttons at the top of your sidebar and/or within your post?

Profile Cohesion

Is it clear across all social media platforms who you are and where to find your blog? (Especially important if you use different handles on Twitter/Instagram)

Social Media Integration

Are you ‘feeding’ your blog into your social media streams? Manually or with scheduling platforms?

Social Media Widgets

Do you have a Facebook feed or like box? Or Twitter or Instagram feed on your blog? Do you want to consider that?


Linking out

Are you linking to other bloggers you admire frequently in your posts?


Do you have a blogroll? Do you want one? If you have one, is it up to date?

Real life community

Are you finding ways to meet other bloggers or readers in real life?

Community – replying

Are you commenting on other great blogs?

Plugins & Widgets

Freshen up

Are all your plugins or widgets up to date? Are you using them all or can you remove some? Are there some you’d like to add?


Ad Networks

Do you want to consider working with an advertising network?


Is it time to offer advertising on your blog?


Do you want to look for a long-term blog sponsor?

Affiliate Links

Would you like to introduce affiliate links (where you get a commission from sales of a particular product or service?)

Ad Boxes

Are they the correct size and up to date? Do the visuals suit your blog design? Is the pricing structure correct?

Disclosure, Copyright & Privacy Info

Do you have a disclosure, copyright and privacy statement on your blog?

Media Kit

If you have a media kit, is it easily accessed? Or perhaps you want to create one?



Have you explored keyword tools and thought about keywords and searchable phrases which might bring more visitors to your blog?

SEO plugins and Approach

Do you use an SEO plugin? Are you mindful of SEO? Do you need to find out more about this?



Do you have a shop link on your blog? Are there things you can sell?

Related Products

Are there products you could develop to extend the reach/readership of your blog?


Do you want to set up a monthly (or otherwise) newsletter for your readers?


Do you need a page for events to promote the things you are doing?

Improvement & Growth


Are you having regular catch-ups with yourself to target areas for change/improvement?


Are you noticing the things you are doing right, and repeating those?


Are you tweaking small things on your blog on a weekly basis to keep things fresh?


Are you looking for existing, older content that you can reuse in new ways? (updated post, eBook, printables etc!)

Phew. Told you it was a good one! I hope this helps you tidy up your blog for the year! Let me know what you think!

x Pip

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