Get a FREE e-course "Make Money Blogging". Learn:

           
  • How to start a blog: Keyword research, installing WordPress, themes & plugins
  • How to get more traffic to your blog
  • How to make more money from your blog
  • Tips, tricks and step-by-step instructions that even a 10 year old can follow!
Completely FREE. Also get access to my newsletter. Absolutely no spam, guaranteed.

Name:

Email:


Free Blog Review – MommyAdventures.net

Sheri runs the blog MommyAdventures.net, and has requested a free blog review.

Let’s take a look at her blog that deals with the good and not so good parts of motherhood, and see if it can be improved.

Screenshot of MommyAdventures.net

Screenshot of MommyAdventures.net

 

First Impressions

  • The graphics that you put on your blog are awesome! They are great to differentiate your blog from the others.
  • You have a nice keyword-rich domain name. This should definitely help you with SEO. The name also clearly conveys the topic of the blog to the readers.
  • Your header graphic is great too – again, it reinforces the topic of the blog while making the readers smile
  • The blog has a clean and fresh design. It looks very professional, and is easy on the eyes.
  • The search box at the top makes searching easy, and makes the blog user friendly
  • The byline of the blog (An American mom in Australia blogs about things and stuff) can be made slightly bigger for better readability
  • I don’t understand the logic behind the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. It points to things that are not related to your blog or topic, and doesn’t add value. Its probably added by the theme designers. Please consider having it removed.
  • I found the commenting system a little annoying. First, I need to click on “Leave a Comment” to see the comment form. And two, even when it appears, it is way below – I actually had to look for it! I think commenting can be made more intuitive – but others might think this is just right!
  • The color of the sidebar for the posts is black – not sure why you need a separate color on the homepage and on the post pages
  • The sidebar has way too many things – including too many ads. It looks a bit cluttered – try and see how you can reduce the number of items in the sidebar.

 

Content Sharing Options

Sharing options have proven to be beneficial for quick indexing of new posts, and for SEO in general. Your visitors sharing your content would also result in more traffic to your blog.

You have very good content sharing options in place. The RSS feed URL in the top menu is very prominent.

You also have Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest in the sidebar – although I feel the icons can be placed better horizontally instead of vertically.

Even for individual posts, you have FB, Pinterest, Digg and many other social networks as sharing options.

 

Social Proof

Why should people listen to your advice? You need to give them a reason!

Social ProofYou have prominently displayed that you are #11 mommy blogger, which is great. You also mention the number of people subscribed to your blog viz email, which also gives people confidence to subscribe.

Apart from these, you can consider placing a Facebook widget which shows your fans and the fan count. Also consider including chicklets showing your RSS subscriber count and your Twitter follower count.

Have your articles been published in mainstream media or on other blogs? Consider putting their logo / links to them in the sidebar with a heading “This blog has been featured on:“. (You can start by linking to this review!)

 

Capturing Email Address

You have a email opt-in form to get the email address of people, but it looks like a half-hearted attempt.

One, it completely gets lost between the other things in the sidebar – it doesn’t sand out. Try to put at least a picture there to draw peoples’ attention.

And two, you are not giving people much incentive to subscribe. Try to create an e-book or a report that would appeal to your target audience – preferably something of “how to” nature.

Some ideas:

  • How to make a 1 year old stop crying, etc.
  • Your “Posts you can actually learn from” category cam be a good starting point
  • You can also expand on your tips for staying sane, and create a very useful ebook!

Make a good report that is actually useful to people, and give it away for free when people subscribe to your blog. This should definitely increase the sign-up rate for your newsletter. Placing the email opt-in form above the fold in the sidebar should also help.

I am not sure which autoresponder service provider you are using – Aweber is the best, so consider switching to them (there are a ton of reasons for using Aweber). Also consider using plugins like PopUp Domination to increase your opt-in rates.

 

Site Navigation

There is some scope for improving the site navigation.

Your top menu has links to important pages, which is good. But there is no way for people to find out about things on your blog unless they scroll down – the categories menu appears way down in the sidebar.

Consider having another menu at the top – maybe below the header graphic – that lists your categories. If not, consider moving up the category list in the sidebar. This would make it easier for people to reach the relevant content.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The homepage of the blog seems to have too many posts. Also, more posts appear on the homepage as you scroll down, just like Facebook’s fan pages. While this looks cool, I believe having so many full posts on your home page is not good for SEO.

The content of pages gets indexed on the homepage, and also on the individual post pages – resulting in duplicate content.

And since the homepage is the most important page, the content there would get indexed before it gets indexed on the individual post. This means that the actual post would be treated as duplicate content, and would not rank for terms you should be ranking for!

Your homepage doesn’t have meta title, description and keywords – this is a major SEO flaw. The title of the page is one of the most important factors in the eyes of search engines, and not having this is like throwing away traffic. Please try and put these in place.

Your individual post pages do have a title tag, but don’t have the description and keyword tags. These are important, so please try to incorporate these.

The meta title, description and keywords can be taken care of using the All in One SEO plugin – you can check out the “9 Must-Have WordPress Plugins For A Successful Blog” post for more details.

 

Monetization

You have lots of ads in the sidebar. Although this might be giving you good revenue, I feel the number of links and ads in the sidebar is quite high. Please consider removing some of the banners.

Monetizing Your BlogInstead, try to place some ads within the content of your posts. This would evenly distribute the ads between the sidebar and the posts.

You can also consider running Google AdSense ads and placing some ad units within your posts.

If you are taking about specific products within your posts, you can consider linking to them on Amazon.com using your affiliate link. This can grow into a nice revenue stream for you.

 

Conclusion

I sincerely hope that you benefited from reading this honest blog review and the recommendations. Please treat the advise as constructive criticism that can help you make your blog better.

Do you have any recommendations for the blog? Have I left out anything? Please let us know through your comments!

If you think you have benefited by this free blog review, please consider buying me a coffee or two. It would make me smile, and would help keep this free review service going!

This review is provided as a part of my free blog review service, and draws from over 5 years of my experience of running 20+ blogs. You can request a free review of your blog here.

Enjoyed reading this post? Get articles about blogging, WordPress, getting traffic, making money, and more. Plus, get a FREE e-course "Make Money Blogging".
Just provide your details, and get started instantly!
No spam, guaranteed.
Name:
Email:

 

 

My blogs are hosted reliably at HostGator

I run 20+ blogs, and each of these is hosted at HostGator. I have been using their service for a long time, and have never experienced any downtime. They also have a very responsive customer service team.
 
HostGator provides the most reliable and fully featured WordPress hosting service. Their plans start as low as $3.96 per month for unlimited hosting - try out HostGator now!

Related Posts:

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the review! I’m excited to put some changes in so my blog can be better than ever. Just FYI, the side bar isn’t supposed to be black. Sometimes it’s just ridiculous and decides it needs to be black. I don’t know why, nor do I know how to fix it. A lot of my blog issues I can’t change because I’m not self hosted. I tried to go self hosted once, but changing the blog over proved difficult and it just disappeared for an entire terrifying day. I desperately want to switch so that I can make it look exactly how I want, but I’m not sure how to do so without messing up my SEO and site maps. I would love any suggestions on how to move my blog.

    I read about the Amazon affiliate thing, but it never crossed my mind to put it to use with links on my blog. Fantastic idea! I’ll definitely be doing that!

    I know there are a lot of ads, but wordpress doesn’t allow google adsense or Nuffnang (Australian ads) or anything like that on the blog, so my widget ads are how I make money. I like the idea of putting them in posts. I think more people will see them and click on them that way as well.

    I just tried to make my posts appear on my homepage as excepts, not whole posts, but it doesn’t seem to have worked. Sigh. I have wanted to do that for a while. Maybe I just need a different theme altogether. One that doesn’t show up black half the time!

    I would love to put an alt tag on my blog title, but I have no idea how to do that. I went through all the settings I could possibly find on my dashboard, but there was no sign of anywhere to stick alt tags in. Do you know how I can do so?

    I would love to make all of the changes suggested, I just have to figure out how….

    Funny you mention an e-book, I’ve been writing one for a while. Well, I wrote it week by week when I was pregnant (it’s a pregnancy book), but I still have to illustrate it, so it will be a while before it’s finished.

    I’m glad you like my illustrations :)

    Also, I’m not using any third party plug ins or auto-responders or anything like that, since I’m not self hosting. Everything I use is purely free wordpress.com stuff.

    Thank you so much for your time!

  2. WordPress How To Blog says:

    Hi Sheri,

    Thanks for your comment – I am glad you liked the review.

    Looks like you should be able to do a few things immediately – like placing Amazon links and moving some ads to the posts.

    Most of the other things are because you are not self hosted – so time to move to self hosting again :-) It would give you a LOT of freedom, so trust me, it is worth it. Let me give it some thought (preserving SEO while moving stuff), and I will let you know.

    If you are not using any external tool for email marketing, again you are limiting yourself. I have been using Aweber for a long time, and have found them very good. You can read my full Aweber review here.

Speak Your Mind

*

More in Blog Critiques
Free Blog Review of ChicagoHomeLoansGuru.com
Free Blog Review – ChicagoHomeLoansGuru.com

Brian runs the blog ChicagoHomeLoansGuru.com, and has requested a free blog review. Let's take a look at his blog that...

Close