Before long, there will be as many books on how to improve your blog as there are on how to raise a child. Maybe there’s a neat little metaphor in there somewhere.
Everyone seems to have the answer to the question of making your blog easier to find through search engine optimization, the dreaded “SEO.” Scan through blog-related post headlines, and you’ll find list after list of “5 Things You Can Do to Get More Readers,”  “10 Things You Should Be Doing on Your Blog RIGHT NOW,” or even “21 Things No Blog Should Ever Do.”
(If you come up with 21 things one shouldn’t do, how much can there be left to do?)
A new reader of mine who I was able to connect with through the weekly #blogchat Sunday nights on Twitter, Thomas, posted a blog critique offer on a website called Fiverr.
If you’re not familiar with Fiverr, and I wasn’t, it is a website in which people will post tasks they’ll perform for you for five bucks. Get your minds out of the gutter, people: it’s not that kind of task!
Thomas offers a blog critique that includes looking at your WordPress blog from several angles, including design, SEO, security and more.
I know what you’re thinking: how much information can you really get for five bucks?
From Thomas, it turns out, quite a bit. He gave me a three page critique about my blog  with more than enough detail to convince me that he spent a lot of time looking at my blog’s design and exploring the content. It’s also clear that he did some security tests because he pointed out a handful of potential vulnerabilities I would never even thought to look for.   He even recommended a short list of plugins that would take care of the bulk of the issues he found.
He was generous in his praise and gentle and very constructive with the criticism. And as for SEO suggestions, he even included a screen grab of some settings he uses on his blog that he thought would work well on mine.
All for five bucks that I was able to pay securely through PayPal.
The big question you’d next ask might be, “Did his suggestions get you results?”
It’s always hard to say how any one change inside a blog might directly affect one’s blog stats, so it’s a difficult question to answer. But I got his report last Sunday, and started implementing changes that night. The majority of them, in fact, were complete by Monday morning. I can’t tell you which ones specifically did or didn’t work; no one can.
What I can tell you is that when I checked out my Google Analytics stats yesterday, it showed that my page visits were up 90% over the previous week.
That’s certainly worth $5 in my book. I know some of you may not be wild about the idea of using money through websites you’ve never heard of, but I tried it and had no problems.