Menu

Quick Tip: Pair Up for a Peer Audit

Think your blog could use some improvement but not sure where to start? A fresh pair of eyes is your best asset.

Paperwork by Edward Dalmuder (CC-BY 2.0).

Blogging is an ongoing adventure; we keep tweaking our sites and what we publish as we develop a community and learn more about what we like in a blog design (and more about how to use our blogging platform of choice).

Blogs should shift and grow as you do, but you also want to make sure you’re still giving off a good first impression as things change — and it’s not always easy to critique yourself. If you feel like your blog has gotten cluttered but aren’t sure how to tidy it up, having another blogger “audit” your site can be an eye-opener.

Don’t worry: this is a fun, helpful audit: you won’t end up in jail for tax evasion, and no mountains of paperwork are required. An audit, at its core, is a comprehensive, unbiased examination. When you audit someone’s blog, you give it a once-over to evaluate it from top to bottom, content to design. Is the font easy to read? Are there too many widgets? Do the titles catch your eye?

Some more questions to help guide your audits:

Is the header image crisp? Does it compete with the blog title?

Does the title tell you what the blog is about?

Do the colors in the featured images pair well with the blog’s background color?

Is the menu clear? Easy to navigate?

Do the images add to the posts? Is there enough white space?

Do any pages make sense? Are there too many? Not enough?

If the blogger has profiles on sites like Facebook or Twitter, are the visuals there consistent with their blog?

Overall, does the site feel busy? Boring? Just right?

Kjell’s post on finding design clarity is also a great resource.

When someone audits your blog, they’re seeing your blog with fresher eyes — they don’t look at it day in and day out the way you do. Their outside impressions are invaluable for pinpointing places where things are muddled; just as we more easily skim over typos in our own writing, our eyes also skim over confusing menu items or redundant widgets. Things that blend into your visual background will stand out for someone else, giving you great guideposts for making improvements.

(Pairing up to do some peer auditing isn’t just a nifty idea I had — it’s a nifty idea you had. In Blogging U.’s Blogging 201: Branding and Growth class, we encourage bloggers to try auditing themselves. In the last course, the participating bloggers decided to take their audits a step further by partnering with one another to do peer audits, and it was hugely successful; everyone got great feedback they could start using right away, and made a close blogging buddy. And of course, y’all are always providing great feedback to one another in the Community Pool; this is just a more in-depth version of that.)

If you want to tidy your blog up but aren’t sure where to start, give peer auditing a whirl. Ask a frequent commenter on your blog to partner up, or put a call out on Facebook or Twitter for an auditing buddy. If you’re willing to take a leap and work with someone you don’t already know, use the comments here to pair up, or look for a kindred spirit in the Community Pool. Introduce yourselves, chat about what kinds of things you’re unsure about, and get ready for feedback!

Show Comments

85 Comments

Comments are closed.

Close Comments

Comments

  1. Hi! 😀 Thunderwhenitrains; I’m 15 and started blogging about a year ago, but I suppose I only really started a few months ago. That being the case, I could definitely use a fresh viewpoint, and I’d much rather pair up with someone I don’t really know. I write about anything and everything: I attempt fiction sometimes but I fail (:|), and I write about random things. So, if you’re interested, let’s pair up! 😀

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Excellent audit questions!

    I always get low when I see these entries, particularly since my site update has been going since January… I know what I want, but the process is an ongoing challenge. The biggest conundrum I’m dealing with is separating the blog stuff from the freelance work stuff, as well as the person that I’d trust to “audit” being snowed under with exams. Thankfully, today was the final of those exams, so fingers crossed for better progress!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey, any engineers willing to help me out? So I recently went to my site (linked to my profile) and it is very slow and lags alot. If I attempt to scroll extremely fast through any method – arrow keys, scroll wheel, or scroll bar – and attempt to do that when the site transitions to the next page, it will cause the loading portion to become completely white.

    ***Editor’s note: this comment was trimmed for length.***

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Good Evening,

    Your blog topic for this evening is brilliant. I suppose I could use some ideas, and maybe collab with someone. I’m looking for guest bloggers, and I’m willing to be a guest on someone elses too. If anyone is interested in the idea, please send me a message. I don’t bite! I’m very friendly, and always looking for feedback and a way to reach more people (readers). I talk about personal experiences and whatever else creeps up on my mind. Any takers?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I would be honored to do that. I will send you a message. I’m on my way to visit your site =). Thank you! I appreciate you.

        Like

  5. Hi guys, I haven’t blogged in a while, but in a few days I’ll be out of school and am thinking of some fresh material that would be suitable for summer.
    I’d love to have an auditer or something though. please, tell me if you want to partner up! (My blog simply put, is a teenager blog, written for anyone, by a teen)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. someone partner with me please we can audit each other and then be best friends ^_^ ❤

    preferably someone interested in poems and opinion pieces but totally fine if not

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think we have some common interests. We can audit each other’s blog. Check out mine sudhanlakshman.wordpress.com

      Like

  7. Such a good idea…I would love to partner up with to audit my blog:) I’ve been thinking for a while to make some changes but I need a pair of fresh eyes to have a look at key parts of the blog.
    Anyone interested?
    Obviously I would do the same thing…and give as much advice to you about your blog:)
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I would love somebody to audit my blog, it is relatively new and I would welcome feedback. I of course am happy to repay the compliment.
    Julia, perhaps we can hook up.
    Thanks

    Like

    1. Tracey,

      If you don’t have partner to audit with yet, I’m looking for someone to audit my blog, and I’d love to partner up with you. Please let me know if you’re interested. Or if anyone else out there is interested in partnering up with me to audit, please do let me know. I could really use a fresh pair of eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, have tried to view your site but due to privacy settings I can get in. Have requested access from you. If you can let me, I will take a peek for you.
        Thanks

        Like

      2. ThAt is absolutely weird! Anybody should be able to visit my site! I check out what The problem is, thanks! I just point out thAt my only scrive site right now is Italiangoodness.net (from Italy with love was The first idea but It is no more active…)

        Like

      3. Thanks! I took a quick look to your but before to give You a feedback I need to check it better… Today all my there daugthes Are home so it will be pretty taugh but tomorrow I will give You my feedback for sure!

        Like

      4. Hi Syliva
        Just had a peek at your blog and the first thing that hits me is the beautiful header picture – I love it. It conveys so much just from that picture. I found your blog interesting as my husband is Italian/American and he loves to cook just like his nanny. I am definitely going to give your Walnut and Thyme Cream Fettuccine a go. It sounds delicious.
        Overall, I found your blog very user friendly and I love the categories down the right hand side which can take me directly to my choice of recipe choice.
        I have followed and will be looking to try out some of the recipes.
        Thanks
        Tracey

        Like

      5. Hi Tracey,
        I tried to check your site, and once I found out Apricot tales, I involved my older daughter Letizia (she’ll be 5 in July) by reading your first tale to her… She loved it and She is looking forward for the next episode! I like your website, the theme you picked and the way you organize the pages. I will definitely follow you, not only for Apricot tales, but also because reading your articles will help me improving my English!! Thanks a lot for your compliments… I’m glad you like my blog, and thank you so much for following!

        Like

      6. Hi I am so glad that Letizia loved Apricot, I am quite fond of her too 🙂 Thanks for the feedback and I just wondered if you managed to take a look at my other side the Fibro Fantastic site, this is the new one and the one I am working with at the moment.
        Thanks for following Write On.

        Like

      7. I wanted to tell you that besides the appareance of your blog, which is ok and easy to navigate, the story of your illness touch me very deeply… I didn’t know much about fibromialgia, and I am sure that you will help lot of people by sharing your experience…i found very interesting also the posts about healthy eating and exercise, useful also for Who doesn’t soffer of your desease… Go on with your project, you are doing great… Just one thing to point out: the title of your blog is already used by others… You could think about changing it, to catch up audience without being confused with other writers…

        Like

      8. Hi
        I have been over to your blog and I love the concept, I have a similar creative writing blog. I am looking forward to reading some of your stories but so far have read just about you – fascinating bio. If I had any comment to make it would be that I found the menu a little disorganised. I think you have it in alphabetical order but as a newcomer initially I wanted to see the Home page and then the about page and I had to search for these in amongst the rest of your menu. Hope you don’t mind me saying!!
        I look forward to having some time to read some more of your writing – Good Luck.
        Tracey

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Hi Tracey. Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I know exactly what you mean about the home page and the About the Author page. I have tried to make them the very first things on my menu, but apparently it’s all arranged in alphabetical order, and I have found that I have no control over this, which is very frustrating to me. I am planning to write to the happiness engineers about this, especially since I now have someone (you) who has mentioned this specifically to me. I really do appreciate the fact that you brought this up. By the way, I have been ill for the past week and a half, and have still not really recovered, which is why you have not heard much from me about your blog. But don’t worry – I have not forgotten about you, and I promise that I will get over to your blog as soon as I’m back to feeling better once again. I suffer from many chronic illnesses, so I have that to deal with, but don’t worry – this too shall pass! 🙂 Have a wonderful day! 🙂

        Like

  9. I would like to partner up to try and get my blog active and not writing about my day like the 11 year old girl who started midiwombatz.
    Thanks a lot

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for the audit idea! I change my blog theme this week to one that is cleaner and gives emphasis to the posts. I’m a writer, mainly fantasy, who writes in two languages: Spanish and English. Anyone out there who also writes in Spanish who wants to audit each other’s blog?
    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for responding! Firstly, I very much like your blog and its whole layout. One thing I would advise however is editing your topics as you do have many of them and some posts could be put into the same topic e.g. the introductions. Overall, you’re doing a good job, and your writing is really good.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello Everyone

    I am looking for a peer-auditor who will review my blog, the way it looks, and read my stories and provide feedback. I mainly write short stories that are sci-fi and romance, featuring “Benjamin Arbor” and “Jennifer Glass”.

    will provide a review of your blog if you leave a comment on this post. Let’s all work together!

    Like

  12. Hello everyone,
    Very interested in a peer auditing, that sounds like fun. I blog about… well, stuff that makes me think, laugh or both. I write short and long posts, and I most of the time make my own drawings and photos.
    jess

    Like

  13. Hey…I have just started blogging and this peer audit sounds like a great idea..would love for someone to audit my blogs and give candid feedback. Would also obviously repay the favour 🙂

    Like

  14. This sounds great, I’m relatively new to blogging and would love some feedback. I mostly write about current events, but am working more variety into the mix.

    Like