Monday, January 2, 2012

Blog Critique: Lindsey Bell

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.

Wow, it feels like I haven't done this in months and it's only been a little over a week. How was your break? Mine was fabulous! Except that I'm tired of my kids being home and am enjoying the idea of getting back into a routine. And so here we go with our first blog critique of 2012 - Lindsey Bell. Take a look and come on back.

Okay, I have to say, I love it.  You don't appear to be blogging for authors, but you still blogs seriously. Here's a few things I love most:
  • Your name is in your title.
  • Your subtitle explains your blog message.
  • The navigation is easy to read.
  • The header is very attractive.
  • Your profile is up top and easy to see (though I would like it above the social media icons)
  • It's easy on the eyes.
  • You have a contact me area.
  • You use pictures.
  • You have connections to your writing.
  • You say when you post.
  • And you stick to it pretty well.
Just a few little things to think about:
  • Joe suggests you use a picture in each and every post since it is really the only color in your palette. Plus, they pop really well and draw attention.
  • Move your followers up under your profile. It is easy to follow you, but let us know how important we are. 
  • In what direction are you going with your blog? Are you hoping to eventually attract authors or potential readers? I think you have a good solid message and your posts are consistent, but your contests to attract more readers makes me wonder exactly who you hope to draw to your blog. If you are hoping to draw Christian, stay-at-home-moms then you have a good start and we might be able to brainstorm some other ways to draw readers.  But you are already an agented writer and may be seeking a different audience. If you are, then you may need to rethink your blog posts.
What are your thoughts, my dear readers? And what have you all been up to this holiday season? I've missed you tons!

22 comments:

AlexJCavanaugh said...

I'd think a background color that is more cheery than grey would be good as well.
And it does seem like it's been weeks since you critiqued a blog.

Lindsey Bell said...

Thanks so much for your insight, Laura and Alex. Great tips!

Nancy S. Thompson said...

Thanks again. Your suggestions always make me reevaluate my blog. Very helpful! Happy New Year, Laura!!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I really like Lindsey's blog, and she must have been paying attention to your thoughts, Laura, because by the time I got there she had her profile above the social media buttons :)

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I'm going to check out Lindsey's blog right after I change the location of my social media buttons. I got so excited about adding them to the blog ... well, I'm glad I read this today. Boy it does seem like a long time since everyone has been blogging.

Beth said...

I admit I didn't realize Lindsey was a writer until I read it in your critique, Laura. I thought she was targeting moms, and specifically moms who have dealt with miscarriages, and specifically among those, Christian moms.

I'd like to hear Lindsey's take on her target audience.

Kristen Wixted said...

Pictures are very important. I totally get that now!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Those are great suggestions, Laura. And I agree with Alex about the possibility of a cheerier color. :-)

Lindsey Bell said...

You were right on with my target audience, Beth:) I am a non-fiction writer, and the goal of my blog is to reach potential readers. I write parenting books for Christian moms, so that's my target audience. The miscarriage audience wasn't my original intention but life circumstances kind of created a new audience with that. Hope that makes sense!

Lindsey Bell said...

:)

Melissa Sugar said...

Great suggestions as always, Laura. Maybe one of these days I will be brave enough to ask you to critique mine. I love reading your critiques. Happy New Year.

Jamie Ayres said...

Hey, Laura. I don't comment very often but just wanted to let you know that I love this series. Always very helpful thoughts! Happy New Year to you:)

Laura Barnes said...

More than a week later I'm responding to this. I actually like the gray. And don't you have a lot of gray in your blog...? :)

Laura Barnes said...

Anytime! Glad to have you :)

Laura Barnes said...

Your welcome! And Happy New Year to you!! Sorry I'm so late responding.

Laura Barnes said...

I love it when people listen to me! I really like her blog too. Thanks for your comment, as always, and I'm sorry this is such a late response!

Laura Barnes said...

Ha ha. Yes, my reader was very bare for a week or so. And then overnight I had 200 new posts. So I guess everyone's back. And I'm sorry I'm late responding. Shame on me :)

Laura Barnes said...

Good call on the target audience. I guess that means she's got a consistent message since you were able to nail it like that.

Sorry I'm late in responding to your comment. I do appreciate your time. I've just been swamped with writing :)

Laura Barnes said...

I particularly like pics with hot young guys...oh, wait, did I say that out loud?

Thanks for your comment, Kristen. Sorry I'm late responding.

Laura Barnes said...

Well, that's two against one. I like the gray :) But I'm kind of a serious person so maybe that's why.

Thanks for your comment. I'm sorry I'm responding so late. I've been ignoring my blog (bad me!!)

Laura

Laura Barnes said...

It would be my pleasure. Just tell me when you're ready. And sorry I'm late in responding. Thanks for the comment!

Laura Barnes said...

I'm sorry I'm responding so late, Jamie, but I really appreciated this comment. It made my day when I first read it, and it's making my day now as I reread. Thanks for letting me know!

Post a Comment

I love hearing from you! You can choose to comment as a guest or use any of the other login options available after you hit "Post As". Thanks for contributing to the conversation :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...