Today's critique is on Matthew MacNish's blog, The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment. Go ahead and check it out. As always, I'll wait.
Anyway, back to Matt. Remember you can find a full list of all the things I look at on my critiques here. In this post I will just touch on a few components:
- Title: We love your title; it speaks to what your blog is about. But...I would like to see your name in the subtitle because...
- Where's your name?: I had to hunt for it. A reader should never have to search for the name of he blog writer. I would like to see your profile where you have your followers listed. Also a page link that is "About Me" could solve this (I would both add a page and move your profile.)
- Profile picture: Ok, Yoda's cool and all, and so is the pic of you with your daughter. But I'd like to see a real headshot of you somewhere. If you had an About Me page, that would be a good place to add it.
- Background: Your background for your blog and posts are great. It's easy to read, not too colorful to distract, easy on the eyes. The one thing the designers and I are wondering, though, is why that background image? It doesn't seem to fit your blog. Joe thinks your blog needs something clever to go with your clever title. And I agree.
- Message: Your message/topic is clear. You tell me what and why and I like that.
- Consistency: You blog consistently and always on topic. This is a major plus. When I come to your blog I know exactly what I'm going to get and that is a good step to obtaining readers.
- Schedule: I would like to know when you're going to blog. I can see by going through your blogs that you are a M-F type of guy, and when you don't blog you are awesome about telling us you are going to be away. But a little "I blog M-F" in your profile would be helpful.
- Cluttered?: Nope. Your blog is nice and clean. But your side panel could be cleaner. All the sections of lists with the same blog color becomes a little muddy. I suggest you put your query-helpful blog list as a page. This should be easy to find since this is what your blog is about, after all. Then I'd lose your top commentator cloud, or, if you really want to keep it, move it below your networked blogs section because that will break up the muddled lists.
- Query Critiques: Do you accept people's queries for critique on your blog? That isn't clear to me. If you do, make that prominent. Give it its own page to tell people exactly how to submit.
- Contact Info: I like to see contact info prominently displayed. You have writing samples - what if an agent or editor or anyone wants to contact you about your wonderful writing to give you an opportunity but gives up because its too hard to find?
- Comment Response: I only mention this for my other readers, I have said in the past that you should respond to as many of your comments as possible to create a good conversation. The exception is when your readers are conducting a conversation without you. If they don't need you, there's no need to butt in (unless you actually have something you want to say). Matt handles his comments exactly in this way. Great job!
- Search: I like search functions. I like it when it's easy for readers to find what they are looking for.
One last thing I'd like to say about Matt: He knows how to network and build readers. He might not always do it, as he says, but he can. If you notice, he just threw a blogfest where he built up like 170 readers. Look to him as an example for building a following.
And you folks? What do you think about Matt's blog? What do you like? What should he do differently? And if you'd like to have your blog critiqued, click here for instructions on how to submit.