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 blog comes from Norwegian Martine Svanevik's blog Nascent Novelist. Take a look.
Martine, this critique is going to be short and sweet because we only have a few suggestions. First I have to say you are our first wordpress blog. I'm not very savvy when it comes to wordpress but I believe it is generally easier to customize than blogger so hopefully any suggestions we make are compatible.
Overall Look: Your site is clean and straight forward, which is awesome. But it's also really plain. We need some color. Changing the background gray to a bolder color instead of a neutral color could make a major difference. Or you could change the color of the post section so that it pops a little more from the top white section. Another option would be to add a colored header. Just something to attract the eye.
Title: I always love alliteration so yay there. But I also want to see your name in a prominent place. I should see Martine from just a quick glance. You are the most important part of your blog, after all. If you don't want your name in your title (my first choice) then put it in a subtitle. "Featuring the adventures of Martine Svanevik" underneath your blog title is all you need.
Contact Information: This is very important yet it's missing. Give us a page with your contact info or at least a box in your sidebar. This should include a valid email if nothing else.
Social Media: I know you are on Twitter - I'm following you! And you tell us in your blog. So why not put your social media links on your side bar?
Writing Samples: From your profile box I get that you might be published but I don't see any bio about your work. Give us a list of where your writing has been featured and/or samples of your work. Another page is a great place for this.
Search Box: I love it when blogs have the search box so readers can search for topics. If I love a blog, I'll often search for particular topics. Or I might remember that I read a great post on a blog and when I go back I want to be able to find it easily.
I don't know who you are: I don't know what type of writing you do and I don't know the message of your blog without reading all your posts. Add a few lines in your profile box or in a subtitle. Is your blog about your daily life? Is it about writing? Is it about your adventures? I'm not sure. Tell us.
Follow: I don't follow people by email. I hate it. I get too many emails as it is. I follow things through my Google Reader or through GoogleFriendConnect. I like to hit the follow button on blogs I read. It's like a personal vote. Do you have a way to add this in wordpress? Maybe not everyone agrees with this. I"d be interested in hearing feedback.
So there you go, Martine. Like I said, not much we suggest to change, but I think these things could make a big difference on your blog. Great job, by the way! You are obviously very dedicated and consistent. Keep it up!
Any thoughts, readers? Please share!