Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blog Critique: Relentless Karla

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. 

I'm late doing this blog critique. I asked Karla to move from Monday to Tuesday because of the holiday, and here I am late on Tuesday as well! It's been a busy Memorial Day weekend for me, that's all I can say. 

But here we are now, back to business. Check out Relentless Karla and we'll meet below. 

Today, many of the same things I usually talk about apply (move your follower button up on the sidebar, put your subscribe buttons up there as well, lose the advertising). But instead of really getting into all of those issues - you can read past critiques and my FAMP series for more info on the basics - we're just going to talk about a few that are really specific to Karla.

First of all, Karla, you're absolutely beautiful. I love the pics of you. Stunning. But here's the problem, all the pics at the top of the blog make me feel this will be a fashion or travel site. It would be different if the pics featured things you were trying to sell. But I don't think they do. Also, they are big at the top of your blog so it's hard to see that there is anything else to your site. I hate to say this, but the pictures that rotate really need to go from your header so we can see your content. They'd actually be very nice at the bottom of your site. The movement will attract people to them.

That being said, you need to clean up the bottom of your page. You've stuck a bunch of stuff down there like you're cramming things under your bed. The subscribe to buttons need to come up near the top of your sidebar. Really decide what is important on your sidebar and the bottom and only keep the essential.

Most importantly, Karla, your blog seems to be suffering from a bit of personality confusion. You write your thoughts in your blog, have an online store of beautiful items you sell, and you feature advertising. I'm not sure where to focus because I don't know where your focus is. You've taken a bunch of time off from blogging too, so that makes it even trickier to figure out. What is it you want readers to do when they visit your blog? Buy things? Read your posts? Whichever you decide, that will change how you build your blog. 

If you choose to primarily be a blog, tell us in your profile and get your content up front and center.

If you want to sell your things, you need to put pics upfront of those items and your profile and your posts need to direct people to your online store. Having other advertising really detracts from your own sales, by the way.
Okay, readers, what advice do you have for beautiful Karla? 


Daisy Carter said...

I agree - Karla's pics are gorgeous! I'm so envious of all those locales, too! But I also agree that there's a lot of them before I ever got to a post. I like how she incorporated pics into her post, though.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Definitely a smaller header. I remember you've mentioned that several times in the past.

Jamie Ayres said...

I never have any advice b/c you do such a wonderful job giving suggestions:):) Nice job again!

Jamie Gibbs said...

The first thing that came to mind from the screenshot was that it was a fashion blog and that it had dynamic views switched on because all I saw was the large header. It could do with shrinking a little.

Misha Gericke said...

I agree that it's so important to keep one's blog stuck to a single theme. :-)

KarenG said...

Lose the advertising is the #1 advice I would give as well. It just turns me off when I go to a blog and see ads for random stuff that have nothing to do with the blogger. This is fantastic advice, I love this feature you're doing!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

This is really great advice. I agree that I couldn't quite tell what the theme was of the blog.

Cassam101 said...

I agree with what you say and I'm learning so much here. There were too many photos before we came to the post although photos were beautiful.I hate advertising on blogs and if they don't make you much money I would ditch them.

Bonnie Way said...

I agree with your comments. I don't mind the blog header - that gives us a picture of who Karla is - but then there's the slideshow just below the header that feels like too many pictures at the top of the page. Takes too long to get to the content. And there is a ton of stuff at the bottom - I wouldn't even look at that because it's buried so far down. There was also issues with the older posts where the titles were getting mixed up with the social media buttons - not sure why or how Karl would fix it, but I don't like messes like that. Hard to read. :)

Jennifer Pitts said...

Your comments were spot on Laura. The blog looks very much like a travel blog. The subtitle says confessions of a drama queen, which draws me in, but I didn't get the feel for confessions or drama. Karla has a lovely voice and I think heeding your advice will take her blog to the next level.

I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award because I think your blog is lovely! You can pick up your award @ j-scribbles.blogspot.com

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...