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Free Blog Review –

Brian runs the blog, and has requested a free blog review.

Let’s take a look at his blog that deals with mortgages in Illinois and Indiana, and see if it can be improved.

Free Blog Review of

Free Blog Review of


First Impressions

  • You have a nice keyword-rich domain name. It also has a location based word (Chicago). This should definitely help you with SEO.
  • The blog has a very clean look. Lack of clutter makes it look professional and trustworthy.
  • Your home page clearly conveys the topic of your blog to the visitors, which is good
  • The image on the home page spices up the page. However, do consider moving it further up in the page, or adding one more image
  • The widget displaying the latest posts along with the image is good – it immediately draws attention to the latest blog posts.


Content Sharing Options

You do not have any content sharing and subscription options in place – neither in the sidebar nor in the individual post pages (apart from your RSS feed URL at the top of your web pages).

Sharing options – for sharing your posts on Facebook, Twitter, etc. – 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.

Consider installing a plugin that would automatically insert sharing options on each post. You can see the plugins I use at “9 Must-Have WordPress Plugins For A Successful Blog“.


Social Proof

You do not have any social proof on your blog. Why should people listen to your advice? Give them a reason!

Social Proof

If you have any formal qualifications (degree, diploma, certification, etc) or memberships of prestigious associations in your field, display it prominently on all web pages.

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 are not capturing the email addresses of your visitors – you are leaving a LOT of money on the table. (Please see “Email List – Why Do You Need It For Your Blog?” for more).

Place an email opt-in form above the fold in the sidebar (maybe just above the “All articles by category” dropbox). Offer an ethical bribe to people for providing their name and email ID.

Some ideas:

  • A free report on home loan rates and trends
  • Tricks for lowering home loan rates


Site Navigation

You have very good site navigation – the category menu at the top makes it easy to see what your blog has to offer, and it is easy to reach any section of the blog.

However, the category list in the sidebar (“Easy Page Navigator”) seems repetitive and unnecessary. Consider removing it, and having the list of best or most popular posts instead of it.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The homepage has a title, description and keywords in place, which is good. However, I feel that the title (Chicago Home loans) can definitely be improved and expanded to contain more keywords.

Similarly, the current description (My goal is to educate you on the home loan and buying process) can also be expanded to accommodate more keywords and to convey your message more accurately. Consider having the names of the states and cities in the description.

Your current keywords (chicago-home-loans, chicago-home-loan) are quite ineffective. At las consider removing the hyphens (-) from them. Also, consider adding more keywords that your blog addresses.

The posts also have their individual titles, which is good. However, their descriptions and keywords are not in place – there is a lot of scope of improvement here.

Your posts are quite short in length. With the latest updates, Google prefers longer posts that are thorough. Therefore, consider writing (or outsourcing) longer posts for the blog.

Also have good headings and sub headings in the posts, which is good both for SEO and readability. It results in a good user experience, which is good for everyone!

Try to have more images in your posts, and add descriptive alt text for them.



Monetizing Your BlogI am not sure if you are looking at monetizing your blog. If you are only looking for leads for your own purpose (guiding them about the best mortgage plan for them), you can have a good “call to action” image in your sidebar, pointing them to your “Contact” page.

If you are interested in monetization, there are loads of affiliate and CPA opportunities in the loans and mortgage space.

You can also consider running Google AdSense – the CPC rates for your niche are supposed to be excellent!



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 Brian? 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 the 5 years of my experience of running 20+ blogs. You can request a free review of your blog here.


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