Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blog Critique: Fresh as a Daisy

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 postponed Monday's blog critique so I could announce winners yesterday, but no worries - we still have one this week. Since we're already a day late, let's jump right in. Go on over to Daisy Carter's blog Fresh as a Daisy and we'll discuss below.

Okay, are you back? Then let's discuss. 

Daisy, your blog is perfect. Seriously. It's beautiful. 
  • Your palette is divine. I love the colors and the way you use them. I could stare at your blog for a long time.
  • You have depth and relevant information on your pages.
  • You have a contact me page.
  • You don't have samples of your writing, but you're on submission which puts you in a different ballgame.
  • Your profile info is high on the sidebar.
  • You stick to your blogging schedule.
  • You use pictures in your posts which are very thoughtful and interesting to read.
  • What else can I say? You should include a picture of you somewhere. I don't have the percentages in front of me right now - they're sitting on my desk at one of my client offices - but faces attract people to read the information more than images without them. And we want to know what you look like.
  • I also personally prefer changing the "Link Within" option to 5 instead of 3 - it fills the page better.
The only other criticism, if you can call it that, is that I'm surprised you don't have more followers. You obviously engage with the readers you have - you have lots of entries in the contest you are currently running and you seem to have comments on each of your posts. But I think, if your heart is in it, you could improve those numbers. I've written various posts where I talked about this but I must not have labeled them well since I can't find any of them right now. Looks like I have some homework...That doesn't help you right now. Some obvious suggestions that are also time consuming:
    • Visit lots of blogs. Follow blogs. Make comments.
    • Stalk followers - find blogs you want to emulate, click on those followers and invite them to follow you. Or just comment on their blogs to attract them.
    • Join blogfests.
    • Hold contests (like you are now!) and encourage people to tweet/blog about you as part of their entry.
    • Be genuine.
You're probably doing all of those things already. This is just a confirmation that those are the right things to be doing. Good job! And good luck as you continue on your career!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Your suggestions for followers and comments is spot-on.

Southpaw said...

I couldn't find the link to Daisy's blog. I do like the color pallete though and the header.

Callie Leuck said...

Here it is: http://www.daisycarter.com/

Callie Leuck said...

Daisy seems awesome. Laura, sometimes I think I stalk your blog to find cool new people because I seem to accumulate my most interesting new connections that way. (Also because you are awesome, duh!)

I have a suggestion for the picture. It's cool to use the picture of a daisy, but like you point out, Laura, there's no face to connect with. Maybe she just really doesn't want to share a picture (some people don't) but Daisy, if you do decide to post a picture, how about a picture of you HOLDING a daisy?

Beth Stilborn said...

Since you inadvertently left out the link to Daisy's blog, I googled it, and discovered there are other blogs called "Fresh as a Daisy" out there. When I discovered that Daisy's url is Daisy Carter dot com, I wondered why her blog title didn't more explicitly include her name, but expected you to mention it in the comments. I also expected you to suggest having more than one way to follow/subscribe, as Google Friend Connect isn't the only way people like to follow a blog.

The blog is visually lovely, the palette is refreshing.

Laura Barnes said...

Eeek! Fixed now!!

Laura Barnes said...

Great idea! I understand not wanting pics. But I really recommend having one anyway. I hate pics of me so I just don't look. Get one with you holding a daisy in front of your face and you can hide behind it. :)

Laura Barnes said...

Beth, I did consider mentioning the other links, but I don't think Daisy has other things to link. If she does or wants to expand her online connections then YES do include them. I didn't mind the Fresh as a Daisy because Daisy is her name and she put Daisy Carter in her subtitle. But that's an excellent point since you found so many others with the same name. Even changing it to Fresh as Daisy Carter might be a cute change.

Daisy Carter said...

Laura, thank you so much for the critique! I'm late getting online today - traveling = whew!

I am still so new to platforming/online presence. Blogger is my only presence right now! I will amp up my stalking to win more followers! :)

Beth, you make a great point! I had not googled Fresh As A Daisy to see who how many sites there are. I did worry when I titled it such that I people would expect a gardening page! :) I like the idea of having more ways to follow. How do I set that up?

Callie and Laura, I am very camera shy, but I know an author pic is inevitably in my future. I'm saving up for a professional headshot, so stay tuned. And I LOVE the idea of holding a Daisy in front of my face!

Thanks again, Laura, for taking the time to do these critiques - they're invaluable!


Mina Lobo said...

...or maybe with a daisy in your hair? :-)
Some Dark Romantic

Callie Leuck said...

I really like that idea too.

Callie Leuck said...

Looking forward to seeing the resulting pictures, then :)

Jamie Gibbs said...

You're right about the colours - it's beautiful :)
I'm having trouble with LinkWithin - it keeps giving me only 3 options, even though I select 5 when I create it. Maybe Daisy's having similar issues?

Laura Barnes said...

Well that's no good. I wonder what's up with link within? Maybe it doesn't like certain templates? Hmm.

Southpaw said...

Okay, still like it. They only thing I don't like is the grey text on a white background. It;s a strain on the eyes. Go with a dark grey.

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