Monday, June 25, 2012

Blog Critique: Word by Word

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 really enjoy doing blog critiques because I learn so much about so many new people and ideas. Our blog today comes from Stephanie Pace who provides wonderful insight on self-publishing and  Go check out her blog Word by Word and we'll talk.


Stephanie, you have the elements of a great blog - all the things I always harp on - which is great. Your name is in your header, your profile is up nice and high where we can see it. You have pages with essential information which provides depth. Readers can follow your blog easily. You have a search box (love that). It's clean and uncluttered. Really, your elements are pretty much all spot on.

Where I think you need some work is your aesthetics. Specifically:
  • It really bugs me that your header doesn't go across your whole blog. That empty space makes the whole blog uneven.
  • I feel the same way about the space after your pages. You could even that out by adding a contact page, which is a good idea anyway.
  • Your colors don't quite go together. I like that you are attempting to have a palette, but take a careful look at your colors. Try using www.colorschemedesigner.com to get your colors right. Pull some of those background colors to make your footer background, your title colors, and your header background.
  • I'd like to see some pictures in your posts. Pics really help make a blog more attractive and interesting to readers. 
With a few color tweaks, I think your blog can go from great to fantastic. I can't wait to see where you and your blog go next!

Readers, do you have any suggestions for Stephanie?

25 comments:

Jamie Gibbs said...

Agreed. Whenever I tweak my blog, it takes me a while because I need to adjust the header graphic to fill the space. having overhang or underhang irritates me (on my own blog at least)

Matthew MacNish said...

I wish I knew enough about HTML to know how to center the header and the pages.

Southpaw said...

I agree with Laura, but I'd like to add a one thing. Set your background to fixed. Right now, when we scroll there is a white space where the background doesn't connect.

Where you upload your background image just uncheck the scroll with page.

Callie Leuck said...

I always like to look through an archive of posts when I go to a new blog. It helps me get an idea of how often the writer posts and what about, and I just like to browse through older posts. That may just be me, though.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's challenging but not impossible to make a header fit. Agree the about the colors.

Jennifer Pitts said...

I didn't mind the header so much, but the colors threw me off right away.

Nancy S. Thompson said...

Always helpful to see what you like and don't like. Is there really anything she can do about the header photo though?

Stephanie Pace said...

Thanks so much Laura. And everyone who offered advise. I'll figure out what to do about the head picture and the colors.

Daisy Carter said...

I LOVE this header! It's great! But I agree with Laura that it should stretch across the width, if possible.

Great title, too!

robin said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

Laura Barnes said...

Yes, that often takes lots of tweaking to get it just right. So time consuming!

Laura Barnes said...

You and me both. :)

Laura Barnes said...

Great tip! One I didn't know. Thanks for expanding my horizons :)

Laura Barnes said...

I do too. That's why I love the Link Within App. I should have suggested that...

Laura Barnes said...

Do you suggest playing with the HTML or do you adjust the header in a graphics program?

Laura Barnes said...

Me too. And I'm really not a visual person. Thanks for the comment. :)

Laura Barnes said...

Yes, she could bring it into a graphics program like Photoshop or even Paint and change the dimensions. It can be a lot of trial and error.

Laura Barnes said...

You're welcome! Hope it was helpful. :)

Laura Barnes said...

I love the header too. It's perfect for her blog except for the dimensions. :)

Laura Barnes said...

You're welcome!

Jaye Robin Brown said...

These are always so interesting, Laura.

Guest said...

LOVED your post! Thanks for sharing all those wonderful tips!

Stephanie said...

Done it. Thanks Southpaw.

Brooke R. Busse said...

I definitely agree with the archive comment. I like to read a person's old posts and it irritates me if I can't get to them easily.

city said...

thanks for sharing.

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