Monday, November 14, 2011

Blog Critique: Lizzi Tremayne

Blog Critique Day: In this series I give constructive feedback about the look and function of an author blog from a marketing perspective. As always, I rely on help from graphic designers Tom Barnes (my hubby) and Joe LaRue. To review the blog elements we look at or to submit your own blog for critique, go here.

Today's critique victim volunteer is Lizzi Tremayne at  Now Lizzie has a baby blog. She's only been blogging for a few short months. Take a moment and check her out. I'll wait.

Lizzi, you have a good beginning. We love the overall format (one column sidebar) and the font choices. The date display is also very nice. There isn't a ton we have in the way of suggestions. But you know us; we're never short of opinions.

  • Title: We would like to see your full name in your title or subtitle. Readers want to see what you're selling (you) from first glance. The subtitle needs to be a thicker font. It's hard to read. Both the graphic designers would also like color in your black title bar. The black doesn't bother me, but I'm not as visual of a person.
  • Background: At first we were like, what is that background and what does it have to do with her blog? I mean, cool colors, but what's it about? Then we saw the explanation on the sidebar. I like it's meaning. It makes sense. I understand you are all about beginnings right now. I just wonder if there might be a better way to tie that pattern into what your blog is about - make it more cohesive. It's also a problem that....
  • Message: I don't know what your blog wants to be. Are you going to blog about music and equine dentistry? Or just writing? I don't get a sense of that because your subtitle is telling me a ton of stuff, your spiritual geometric pattern is telling me you are about beginnings, and your posts are saying "writer". Streamline. Make them all fit together and your blog will evolve to the next level.
  • About Me: First, I love that your profile is perfectly positioned. I was also very excited to see you had an "About" page. Then I discovered your about page is just a wordpress template. Either fill it out about you (please!) or delete it.
  • Writing: What do you write? I want to at least know what you write about and, even better, connect to samples of your writing.
  • Pictures: I really don't mind you not using pics in your posts because there is so much color in your background. But if someone is reading you from Google Reader, your posts are going to be blah. Just  something to consider.
  • Search Box: I always want a search box. As your blog gets bigger, think about adding one.
  • Consistency: As you build your following and work your way to published author, its best to keep a consistent schedule. Though many people will follow you in their Google Readers and just be happy to read you when you pop in, some will actually go to your blog and look for you. Also, if I'm a first timer at your blog and see you haven't posted in awhile I get a little iffy about your blogging commitment. Some people aren't bothered by such things, but I'm a judger. What can I say?
Great job blogging and rewriting your life. Good luck to you. I can tell you have compassion and a great outlook.

And now I turn it over to the readers: Any thoughts or suggestions for Lizzi? 


Lizzi Thomp.Tremayne said...

Great, Laura! Thanks so much for the critique! Several of the things about the format were things I tried unsuccessfully to change! I'm trying to find out how to make Wordpress work the way I want! I've just downloaded a manual to try to learn more. All comments well taken. Will get up to speed (and stay there!) over next few weeks!
Thanks again! Lizzi

Ashley said...

Great post. This is really helpful to all of us with a "baby blog". Thanks!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Lizzi, Just looking at the few posts on the home page. It looks like you want to be a writing blog. You seem enthusiastic on the topic. If you want to write about the equine dentistry, you may want to refocus. I'm sure there's a niche for that. Good luck with your blog.

Alex J Cavanaugh said...

And those who view your blog from a mobile device won't see the colorful background, so you need an occasional photo.

LauraBarnes said...

Excellent point, Alex!

LauraBarnes said...

You're welcome and good luck! And I'm sure if you have questions that many of the other author bloggers on wordpress could give some words of advice. It's such a great community!

LauraBarnes said...

Thank you and you're welcome!

LauraBarnes said...

I agree, Stacy. I think she's mostly about writing. Can't wait to find out :)

Wendy Ewurum said...

I am improving mine with every critique you do. Thanks to these brave victims. LOL

LauraBarnes said...

Great to hear! Thanks for the comment :)

Bonnie Way said...

I'd like to see the title of Lizzi's blog reflected in her blog URL. If I visited her blog, and then went on to other places and wanted to return to her blog, I'd remember the title of her blog - but that's not her blog address, so it might be hard to find her blog again. Why is the URL "blue mist lizzi" when the title is "Lizzi_writer"? They should be the same, imho. :)

Liz said...

Hi Laura, finally getting to this. too many excuses to bother!
Have filled in the About and have been TRYING to change the title colour, have changed the display name, but working on the blog address. Not sure if all the links to twitter/ FB, etc, will change automatically as well or if I need to purchase their transfer option???
my editing page has always said that that background to the title is rust coloured, but it always shows black. not sure what is happening there, keep trying.
changing title... WRITER! will also start putting pics in.
thanks for all.

Liz said...

AND I put some writing in too... Let me know what you think, all!!!!!
thanks to everyone for your comments.

Laura Barnes said...

Lizzi, it's looking great!! I'm not sure what you're asking about the links, but it looks like they're all working. And your writing is up! Nice job. Can you make the "Evolving" in your header bigger or bolder? That's my only comment. :)

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