Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blog Critique: Alexandra Elizabeth

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.

This post is a day late because when I went to critique Alexandra's blog, I realized she was no longer posting. I emailed her and discovered she has a new blog address. So, now that I can get you there, go check out Alexandra Elizabeth. Then meet below.

I know. It's lovely. There's not much to say.  It's clean, well organized, beautiful colors, beautiful fonts, great depth, easy to follow links, front and center profile - seriously, well done.

I do have some suggestions, Alexandra, but they are really minor. Still, here they are:
  • Joe, our graphic designer, suggests that the site would be easier on the eyes if the header background color extended down to the posts. Personally, I think I like that it's a different color, but I do think the sidebar should be differentiated in color from the posts.
  • Joe also suggests that you keep the width of the sidebar at the top the same all the way down past the menu bar.
  • The line that separates the sidebar from the posts should be thicker and continue down the page.
  • Some of the pictures you use in your posts are on the small side. Don't be afraid to go big. Sometimes you don't use pics at all, but I think it's best when you do.
  • I think your partners logos should have space between them. Right now they're all bunched together and it's hard to distinguish one from another.
  • Repeat your name in your profile. Otherwise I might assume Alexandra is your daughter.
  • I really want a search box. I use them ALL THE TIME on blogs. Just a suggestion...
  • Sometimes you don't have spaces between paragraphs. Like on your About page. These bother me. Try to consistently separate them - it makes it easier for readers.
  • Your About page mentions "Mommy Glow" - wasn't that the name of your old blog location? Are you losing that title now? If so, revise your About page. (I realize you just moved and you're probably still cleaning up, but just thought I'd mention it.)
Alright, that's all I got. Beautiful blog. It seems you've already gotten some good exposure - featured in Jet magazine? Nice. Has that impacted your traffic? Just curious. Good job! Keep it up!

Lovely blog readers, do you have any other suggestions for Alexandra? 


A Daft Scots Lass said...

Gorgeous blog

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think she has a good blog setup. And pictures in posts always help.

Beth Stilborn said...

I was delighted and inspired by what I read -- and immediately signed up for the rss feed.

That said, I, too, noticed that the about, copyright, and pr friendly sections of the blog all refer to Mommy Glow.

I applaud her strong stand on copyright, but wonder if anyone who is likely to "lift" material is likely to click on a tab marked copyright. Might there be a truncated version of the copyright statement used on the sidebar or at the bottom of posts as well?

I love the banner and the colors!

Daisy Carter said...

Beautiful blog! Love the tag line!

Jamie Ayres said...

I think you've covered it all . . . these posts teach us so much . . .one day I'll get around to redoing my blog *sighs* Nicely done:)

Sharon Bayliss said...

Wow...that's gorgeous. I'm jealous. I'm trying to create a website for myself, maybe I'll submit that for critique when I'm done. (Bites nails).

Southpaw said...

I really like the look of the site. The changes mentioned are minor but could make it a little tighter. I didn;t understand what was meant in the first point though.

Laura Barnes said...

Sorry I wasn't clearer! Joe means that the peachish color that is in her header - the part with the picture and her title - would look good if it continued down into the post section. In other words, the posts should have that same background and it would look like one continuing banner of peach. I like that there is a different color under the menu bar though so people have differing opinions. Did that make more sense?

Laura Barnes said...

Great feedback, Beth!

Laura Barnes said...

It's like remodeling or redecorating your house - we all say we'll get to it one day. :)

Laura Barnes said...

Ha ha, no need to bite nails with me. I'm nice - aren't I?

Southpaw said...

Got it.

I agree with you. I think continuing the peach would over do it and take away the impact of the header. However, I might like to see the peach continue over into the rss feed/twitter/etc banner area.

Laura Barnes said...

Hmm, I actually like that area the way it is. But I'd like to see that defined white sidebar all the way down. Right now, it is a different width at the top than it is under the menu bar. That bugs me a bit.

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