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Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Grade yourself!

122 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Events, Personal

blogiesta Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

Hello, bloggers! Are you having fun? Sorry I don’t have any more guacamole to share. I kinda ate it all. :Þ I do, however, have a great mini-challenge to share! *throws confetti everywhere* This mini-challenge is about using a website grader to help with your marketing mojo. As bloggers, marketing is something we should all be conscious of and actively doing as much as possible. I discovered Hubspot during Bloggiesta in 2011, I believe. They always share previous mini-challenges, and I stumbled across a 2009 Bloggiesta mini-challenge that Bookish Ruth created.

Hubspot all-in-one marketing software helps more than 7,500 companies in 46 countries attract leads and convert them into customers.

Hubspot obviously caters to businesses. That being said, we are obviously not going to buy their software, seeing as how we do not get paid for our endeavors. But wait, Hubspot was nice enough to create a free website grader with a ton of really interesting and informative data that we can use to increase traffic to our blogs! *cheer* You do have to create an account, but this is beneficial for one very good reason: It tracks your blog grade over time. I suggest grading your blog once a month. It’s awesome to see those grades rise! Of course, your grades also go down. *sigh* It’s a sad fact of life.

Capture3 Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

By grading your blog monthly, reading through their report, and making as many suggested changes as you can/want to, you may really increase the readability, traffic, and interest in your blog! I think it’s good practice, all around, because it keeps you informed about blogging best practices so your blog remains fresh, fun and fancy!

You are also able to add “competitors” to your list and see their grades, as well. I think this is beneficial so that you can keep up with your competition. While we all love each other and support each other, we do seek the same readership and therefore, it’s important that you remain on top of your game! Know what I’m saying?

As you can see, I have 6 recommended action items that the grader suggests for me to investigate and fix/add/delete/something to make my blog run better, according to their expertise. You will be able to see all these suggestions and a lot more if you continue to scroll down.

Capture2 1024x388 Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

Note: You will notice that some of the suggested changes are geared more to businesses. Use the ones that you feel are relevant to your blog.

I will spare your sanity and not post my entire report. I’m only going to highlight the bits I think are important to bloggers…

The grader detects if you have a blog. Again, this tool is geared toward businesses, so it’s not automatically looking for a blog, but a website. So it will detect you have a blog, and well, duh. You do! It will then show about your latest blogging articles and how many Tweets and Facebook shares they received (*sad face*), and other important details.

Capture7 1024x278 Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

Capture8 1024x279 Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

Capture18 1024x359 Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

Next it grades your blog titles, how often you post and if you have an easily located RSS feed.

Note: RSS is VERY important, especially now that people are slowly moving away from Blogger’s Google Friend Connect option. All the blogs in my feed reader are followed via their RSS feed. I highly suggest becoming very friendly with Feedburner.

Capture9 1024x358 Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

The next section shows how easy it is to find your blog. Again, this is geared toward a website with a blog, so your blog should show up easily., so your blog should show up easily. If it doesn’t, then you get this face from me: o_O. This section also talks about how easy it is to share your blog and how much Twitter/Facebook action you are getting. Sadly, I get very little. After all I do for you people! *whines*

Capture101 1024x759 Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

Now we talk about Search Engine Optimization…

Capture11 1024x257 Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

This section tells your mozRank, of which I haven’t a clue about. It also points out how many sites have linked to you (WOOT!) and “authoritative” pages that have sent traffic your way. ♥

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Now we are at the mobile section!

Capture15 1024x473 Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

 And lastly, social media!

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Capture19 1024x341 Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

The Challenge

Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to create an account, generate your report, and report back here with one item that Hubspot suggests you improve and that you plan to do. Or you can share a section you are really proud of, like your overall grade or that you get 150 retweets a day. I might not like you afterwards, but I will be impressed. icon wink Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

I know it might all seem daunting, but you are bound to learn something from the process and walk away bettering your blog in some light. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. I will do my best to help you out!


Stop by my Bloggiesta To-Do List and Mini-Challenge Attempts!

ash sign Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Grade yourself!

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122 Responses to “Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Grade yourself!”

  1. Felicia says:

    This one always kills me (it is also part of SEO teach myself agenda): Make sure your blog article titles are unique and under 75 characters.

    UGH it is the 75 characters part that kills me :)

    That is a great site and I have bookmarked it!

  2. Mandee J says:

    Very cool! I’m totally going to do this! =)

  3. Kelly says:

    Thanks for posting this challenge–very helpful!! I have some work to do on social media and search engine traffic. I will definitely use this again in the future!

  4. Kt says:

    I’ve heard rumors that Feedburner is going the way of the dodo, just for your fyi :(

    • Not entirely. Though it is unclear at the moment, Google has said that APIs will cease come 10/20. What that exactly means is the unknown. Some say email RSS subscribers will no longer get email updates. Guess we’ll all find out on 10/20 O_o

    • Yea, I made this post prior to all the hubaloo. I should’ve changed it, but then I saw that my stats were back up again today. So I decided to leave it in, and what Brianna says is true. We don’t know what will happen at this point. And I still want to use it for my RSS feed option, anyway. I provided a new email subscribing option, should that be needed.

  5. This is terrific information! Thank so much. I think that Google is doing away with Feedburner as well. And, what does RSS stand for?

  6. I’ve grade myself on this site before but didn’t know you could track your blog’s grade by signing up.

    I accept your challenge and will be back sometime this weekend to report in :D

  7. I’ve never seen this site before! I got an 80. My biggest things are I need to add alt titles to my pics (I’m not very consistent with doing it), and I need to get my 301 redirects set up. Lots of other little things, too.

  8. I got a big red box on the 75 character thing and a couple other places but my grade’s gone up since the last time! So, yay. I still don’t get SEO…

  9. Alethea says:

    I got an 84! *Flamenco dancing* My top action item is to add 301 redirects… I think I did it correctly, just have to wait for the interwebs to catch up. I will check again soon!

  10. The big one for me aside from long titles is links leading to a landing page. I’m going to have to work on that!

  11. Chauntelle says:

    Wow, what a great idea, I had no idea about this website. It’s something I’d definitely try out. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I did this and found it helpful, although some of the things it commented on I can’t really do anything about…

    But for the moment, the one I found the most helpful was that I need to give a name to all my photos so that they’re searchable. Definitely need to work on cleaning up and organizing my photos this weekend!

  13. [...] mini-challenge is hosted by Smash Attack Reads – go there to join this mini-challenge yourself it’s fun! You fill find the link to [...]

  14. [...] PLUS……..I will be hosting a mini-challenge! I am FREAKING out about it, but it shall be awesome to share with all of you, so I will suck up my [...]

  15. Kim says:

    Loving it! Thank you so much for the awesome information.

  16. This is interesting! I checked mine out and my Marketing Grade is 86 … a lot of the stuff is quite helpful, though I’m not sure why it can’t track my unique visitors, even though it says I have StatCounter.

    Thanks for sharing this, Smash!

  17. I got an 89! Yay! Apparently I need to add an Apple icon and share my things on facebook more. OH and make my blog partner do alt image tags, ha ha. 14/29 of my images on the home page don’t have alt tags so I guess I’ll have to go in and fix that. :-)

  18. PS here are instructions for how to do Apple icons for anyone who wants to up that part of their score!

  19. D. Ann says:

    Well I got a C+ (78/100) I need to work on making my titles unique and under 75 characters.

    I haven’t even started learning SEO but I need to get on that ASAP. Le sigh, another thing to add to my to-do list this weekend.

  20. Lucybird says:

    Wow, I am well impressed my score was 89!

    Like you it wants me to be tweeted and mentioned on facebook more…not sure how I can improve that. The other thing it suggested was adding alternate tags to images, but I don’t want to mess up my amazon links….

    Thanks for sharing

  21. Get more people to tweet your content by making it more remarkable and/or making it easier to share.

  22. Kimberly says:

    This was great! Thanks so much, it gave me quite a few things that I need to take a look at! I was pleasantly surprised that I got an 82!

  23. [...] —Smash’s Website Grader Challenge [...]

  24. Judith says:

    Thanks for this challenge.

    I checked both my Leeswammes blog (grade 90) and my Boekblogger blog (grade 87). I was happy with those grades. It turns out that my main issue is that blog posts don’t get shared in Facebook (except when initially published). There is only a Like button under my posts, and I don’t think I could get a Share button. I’m not sure how to proceed there.

    I was a bit miffed that it couldn’t find my Klout score (and acted as if it was 0, while my actual klout score is a decent 49).

  25. [...] part in 1 mini-challenge. I did Smack Attack’s Grade Yourself Challenge. My grade came out as 89 which I’m really chuffed with. The only things it said was that I [...]

  26. Catriona says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! What a great tool :)

    One of the things that it is telling me that I need to fix/improve is:
    - having an alt tag on all of my images (I hardly ever think about doing this)

    I will definitely be using this more often, thanks again!

  27. I love this idea and I’m going to try it!

    Ha ha — I’m sure my post titles are waaay over 75 characters. I’m kinda wordy.

  28. Rikki says:

    Great challenge. I am quite happy with my results, however, I need to work on my 301 redirect. Still have to figure out how to do that…
    Other than that a score of 85 is ok, considering I am a bad at marketing, :).

  29. I’m not so great in the social sharing aspect, either. But my blog looks pretty good! Thanks for this challenge :)

  30. Liza says:

    No surprises on the report for my main blog. #1 action item is to post more frequently (something that used to be fine). A big part of this weekend is to correct that.

  31. [...] Take part in some mini-challenges (Have completed Smash Attack Read’s Grade Yourself Mini-Challenge) [...]

  32. Bwahaha. My average time between tweets right now is 4 minutes. I’m not a Twitter whore. NOT AT ALL.

    This was a great idea, Smash! I may actually have to use this for my business website!

  33. Just finished this mini-challenge, this site is awesome! I got the score I was expecting….can’t wait to try and get it to go up!
    My score:

  34. Trish says:

    Boo–major points off for not having a Facebook page. Which I really don’t want to have. Ha! Guess I’ll just have to take my C grade and put it on a curve? ;)

    I also need to add Alt tags to my images. I used to do this before Blogger changed formats. and OMG I average 11 minutes between tweets? Scary!!! (tries to resist urg to go and tweet that fact). Thanks for the fun challenge!

  35. This is cool! One of my biggest issues is the lack of social sharing of my posts. I’ll have to think about that one. The one thing I see that I will address is that I don’t have descriptions for my blog pages. I’m going to write some descriptions up this weekend.

  36. This challenge scared me so badly! I don’t tend to have good stats but surprisingly, my results weren’t all too bad!
    Here is my post!

  37. I love this site…statistics and numbers make me happy, haha! I need to set up my 301 redirects. And work on my alt tags, which is a pain but it needs to be done! I got a higher grade than I expected, but I would much prefer it to be a little bit higher still. Thanks so much for the challenge!

  38. Alexia561 says:

    Thanks for the great challenge! I was surprised that I received a grade of 84, which is higher than I expected!

    My top action item was: 1.Get more people to tweet your content by making it more remarkable and/or making it easier to share. Not sure how I’m going to do that, but it also told me to tweet more and that I need to be more conversational on Twitter. And here I was trying to wean myself from Twitter….*sigh*

  39. I got an 82, which isn’t horrible, right? I need to get people to re-tweet and Facebook my posts… so I’m going to start baking a lot of cookies to bribe fellow bloggers with… I was surprised that it says I blog on average every day, because I don’t. However, it did call me a Rock Star for making my posts shareable, so maybe I’ll give the blog grader a cookie too. ;)

    Thank you, it was fun to see my grade and find the areas that need working on my blog!

  40. [...] Smash Attack Reads’ Grade yourself challenge [...]

  41. [...] Grade Yourself from Smash Attack Reads. I checked both my Leeswammes blog (grade 90) and my Boekblogger blog (grade [...]

  42. Christine says:

    Great mini challenge! I just did mine and got an 84. I think that’s pretty decent since I really don’t do anything to promote or market my blog. I have a facebook account, but it’s for personal use.. as is my blog to tell the truth. And I’m on twitter, but I don’t use it to promote my blog. I rarely tweet links to my blog and when I’m on twitter I rarely tweet about the same content that’s on my blog. Haha I guess I just like to socialize. :D

    I had no idea you could add keywords to your photos to get your blog searched more often. But then are people just coming to my blog to grab my images or are they coming to read my blog about the content? Because if they’re just coming to take my images, who cares if they found me? It’s not just about numbers to me.. I want quality visitors just as I hope I’m giving something of quality back to them.

    Fun stuff, this website grader. Gives a lot to think about.

  43. Hubspot tells me I suck at SEO (Like I didn’t know this already…sigh).
    I need page descriptions *cries* and I need alt tags on all my photos *weeps uncontrollably in corner*

  44. FABULOUS site!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for hosting this mini-challenge!! I’ve always wondered how I stacked against other sites and I’m actually right where I perceived myself to be. I compared myself to you and my friend, Lisa. My score was a respectable 82 and I was just below Lisa and, duh, below you. Exactly what I thought!!! YAY!! I’m happy right there!!

    One goofy thing is that they said I had no social sharing buttons. But I do! On the first page below the excerpt of a post and on the post itself (where they usually are). My template sucks so that’s probably why Hubspot can’t see the share buttons.

    I had 3 action items: social sharing buttons, use Facebook (I try), and put page descriptions on my pages. I’ll have to get to that last one b/c I had no clue they needed them :)

    And what freakin’ character makes the tongue sticking out?!?!?! ;P

    • I am not sure why the grader didn’t pick up your sharing buttons. Strange. I think you can up your score to 83, then. ;)
      GOOD LUCK.

      The Þ is made by holding down the ALT and pressing 0222 on the keypad. If you don’t have a keypad (numbers to the right of the letters), then I’m not sure how to do it. It won’t work when you use the numbers above the letter. *shrugs*

  45. Jennifer says:

    Nice challenge! I’d never even heard of such a service and I’m excited to check it out!

    I plugged in my info and got my grades :) I see that I need some more love on Twitter and Facebook and I need to tweak my page descriptions. I’m not sure how to go about that but I’m going to go learn right this minute :)

    Thanks for this challenge, very helpful!

  46. [...] also graded my website, thanks to Smash from Smash Attack Reads who blogged about how fun and informative it is to Use a Website Grader. My site got a 74%, which I [...]

  47. Okay, back with my results. I got a 90, but I think that was grade inflation because I don’t really do Facebook. Somehow Hubspot thought I had a Facebook with 2 million friends or likes or fans or something — see how FB savvy I am — not.
    But that aside, I’m doing ok. I need to put alt tags on my images. And that Apple icon thing just gives me a migraine. Maybe next Bloggiesta!

  48. This is awesome. My grade is a lot higher than I expected and all of the tips are so helpful. I’m definitely going to be playing around with this a lot :)

    ~ Claire @ Project to be Read

    • Daniela says:

      This is such a great challenge! :D I got a higher score than I expected, but there’s so many little things that can be improved upon (especially social networking, like Twitter, and learning how to implement SEO sigh). I’ll definitely be going back to the site!

  49. Colleen says:

    This was actually a really helpful exercise! I got a score of 79. My twitter presence was good. It seems like my SEO stuff was the easiest and also most important parts to fix – I should try adding alt tags to my images (I had no idea that was important!), and page descriptions if I can figure out how to do that in Blogger.

  50. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says:

    Very fun! Thank you for sharing.

    Here’s my ¡Olé! ¡Vamos a Bloggiesta! I hope you will stop by!

  51. Vasilly says:

    Thanks for hosting this! My grade is 89 and even though I’m often on Twitter, I need to do more to get tweets about my blog retweeted.

  52. I did this and got a pretty disappointing score. It also said that my blog is not easy to re-tweet, but there is a twitter widget at the bottom of each post, so I’m not sure what that’s about. Thanks so much for this great info. Thanks for the info about RSS too.

  53. Amber Stults says:

    It’s been years since I graded my site. I dropped significantly down to 67%. Mostly because of social media. I refuse to join Klout and I don’t get a lot of retweets from Twitter. Part of that is because I don’t often tweet my reviews or interviews. You can bet that’s going to change in the future!

  54. I received a score of 76. Not too bad, I guess. One thing they told me I need to do is Get more inbound links to your website. Guess I’ll figure out how to do that someday.

  55. I went back over to Hubspot to officially sign up and my score was up to 80. Fancy that!

  56. Jessica says:

    I did this last night and totally had fun looking at what a random tool thinks I do right and what it thinks I can improve on. I got a number of good things to think about. The thing I plan on doing more often and in a more focused way is interacting on Twitter. Thanks for a great mini-challenge!

  57. [...] Smash Attack Reads Grade Your Website. It’s been years since I graded my site. I dropped way down to 67% due to mostly social media. Imagine me speaking in my best shaky old lady voice, “Back then the grades were all about SEO, not about social media!” Yes, I’m resistant to Klout. Probably because I see a stream of messages in a row on Twitter where people gave or received Klout from someone. It feels like spam to me. [...]

  58. [...] Mini Challenge #1, Smash Attack Reads, Use a Website Grader - I graded myself with HubSpot’s Marketing Grader and got an 80. I made note of some easy solutions that I did right away (like add a 301 redirect, add alt text to pictures) and some that I will do later (page descriptions, internal pages). In fact, after a few hours, my grade went up to an 82. [...]

  59. [...] —Smash’s Website Grader Challenge [...]

  60. [...] Smash Attack Reads Grade Yourself Challenge: [...]

  61. [...] Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Grade yourself! [...]

  62. [...] to my new format.Came up with ideas for more ‘My Thoughts On’ posts.Completed the Grade Yourself! mini challenge.Installed a Networked Blogs [...]

  63. […] Smash from Smash Attack Reads shows how fun and informative it is to Use a Website Grader. […]



Smash Attack Reads is a blog that celebrates the world of books and the people who create them. Smash also rambles about crafts, personal and social worky-stuff sometimes, too.

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