How does Monday come about so quickly? Not that I'm complaining. Mondays are like my Fridays with my work schedule. Tuesday's my day off!!
But I'm sure there are a few of you with traditional work schedules that may be complaining a bit. Let's see if we can brighten the mood with a blog critique, shall we? Then scoot on over to Donna Martin's On the Write Track and we can get on with it.
Ooo, Donna's a martial arts girl. (My oldest daughter just got her high red belt this last Saturday. Can we say proud?) She's also got a baby blog. She's only been at it since December 6th.
Great job for a newbie, Donna. You've got a lot of posts under your (black) belt for such a short time period. That's awesome. Now, this isn't the first time I've been to your blog. But trying to look at it with fresh eyes, I immediately see things I love and things I maybe don't love so much. Let's discuss:
- Love your title.
- This isn't the first time I've said it and probably not the last: I think that specific pictures in the background should relate to what your blog is about. What do mountains have to do with your blog? If you don't have an answer other than "I like mountains" I would suggest changing it.
- I like the definite differentiation between your posts and sidebars.
- I'm not a fan of two column sidebars unless you really need all the space. Alex Cavenaugh has a lot of really relevant info on both columns so I don't mind his. (By the way, Alex's new book comes out Tuesday!) But I can see that yours could easily be consolidated. Also, your blog is just really dark with both sidebars. Specifically I would:
- Lose your welcome message. It's not necessary. You could consolidate relevant info from it in your profile.
- Fish are cool, but are unnecessary (and unrelated to your blog).
- Your blog awards could be consolidated and even moved to a page of their own.
- Your blog archive could be moved to the other sidebar.
- I love that your profile is in a prominent position!
- I'm not sure that I would put your black belt info as your leading line, though. Not that I think its not important, but I want your first sentence to tell me about your blogging or writing. This is where you can consolidate your welcome info with your profile.
- I also love that you have your email available.
- I like that you use pictures in your posts. It really attracts.
- But you could lessen the amount of pics without losing anything. It will also make it easier to read on a mobile phone.
- It also wouldn't hurt to trim your posts a little. (I know, this coming from someone who has long posts.) But short is best for holding followers.
- Actually, if you lost a sidebar and some pics from each of your posts, the length would probably seem a lot shorter.
- Personally, I'd only keep five posts on a page. I don't know why. It looks cleaner.
- I like your colors. Blue and orange are good contrasting colors. I would prefer a less bold font though. It can be hard to look at such a strong font for long.
- I love that you post consistently. And if you love doing it every day, then keep it up. But, just FYI, it can be difficult for many followers to get to your blog that often so just realize that some of your posts might go unread.
Do you all have any advice for Donna?