Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog Critique: Diane Estrella

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.

The subject of today's crit comes from the very lovely Diane Estrella at Go ahead take a peek.

Wow, Diane. The designers and myself love the look of your blog. It's clean and organized. The header is simple and doesn't take too much room. You use big, beautiful pictures that stand out and make your posts interesting. Your posts are separated from your sidebar and it is easy to distinguish one section from the other. Visually, this site is stunning. Great job!

Now some things to think about:
  • About page:  I don't mind that you don't have a profile description on your first page because you have a clear link to your "About" page. However your about page doesn't tell us too much. It's cute and I get you have personality, but I don't know what you write, if you write, what your blog is supposed to be for, what you do or who you are. Give us some bio or tell us in a few sentences what you mean to be about. On that subject....
  • Tagline in header: "That's what I'm here for" is cutesy, but again it doesn't tell me much. Even a line before could help clarify; something like "Books. Fashion. Just Plain Life. That's what I'm here for." Or whatever is appropriate. I don't even know what your tagline would say because I'm not sure what your blog is about.
  • Advertising: I'm not a fan of ads on writer blogs, but I don't think your blog quite fits the mold of who my usual critique subjects are. If a blog is going to have ads, then I very much like the way you handle them. They are beautifully integrated and seem to fit your post subjects.
  • Subscribers/Followers: What's more important? Your followers and allowing people to subscribe or your advertising? I would move your followers higher or remove them all together. Having them below your advertisements makes them seem like an after thought while removing them makes it seem purposeful.
  • Reviews: It seems you post lots of reviews. Consider adding the word "Review" to your blog titles when you do. This allows search engines to pick you up more often when people search for reviews on certain topics and makes it easier for first time visitors to know what they're reading.
  • First impressions: Just a little FYI, Joe and I were immediately confused by the powdered detergent giveaway. I can't say you did anything wrong in the way you have it positioned and displayed, it's just one of the first things I saw. Perhaps if you put above it "Tropical Traditions Giveaway" then had the picture of the detergent. I don't know. Any thoughts, readers?
Beautiful blog, Diane. It would take very little to bump it up to the next level. Just add a bit of clarification and you're there. Great work and thanks for participating today!

Your turn, readers. Any feedback for Diane?


sunil singh said...

Thank you

Your blog is very Informative.

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Freya Morris said...

I wanted to go have a look but the link doesn't seem to work for me. Is it just me being 'ere in ye olde England?

Dianeestrella said...

Laura-Thanks so much for all the helpful thoughts and tips. Will get at it implementing!!! Hugs :O)

Dianeestrella said...

P.S. You need the link to have 2 e's..... :O)

LauraBarnes said...

Goodness, I forgot an e! Got it fixed now, thanks for telling me!

LauraBarnes said...

Marketing advice: Always test your links! Oh, dear. I got it now! Thanks :)

AlexJCavanaugh said...

I always like to see the followers widget up high in the sidebar. Nothing like searching endlessly for it.

Nancy S. Thompson said...

It's always interesting to read your critiques!

LauraBarnes said...

Thank you, Nancy!

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