Monday, July 30, 2012

Blog Critique: Tasha Seegmiller

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.

Well, I'm about two days from finishing my current WIP's first draft and I plan to take a break before revising. Also, the kids will be back in school (SCORE!). All this means that I will be back to blogging more seriously. Finally. Hopefully. Yes, let's leave it at that.

On to our blog critique. We have Tasha Seegmiller. Please note, it's pronounced T + ashes - s. That's important info, in my book. Take a peek and meet below.
Tasha, there's a lot I really like about your blog and, for the most part, you have a very functional site. Some of the things I like the best:
  • Your name is prominent and is part of your title.
  • You have great, informative posts that are interesting to read.
  • Your profile is nice and high on your sidebar.
  • It's easy to follow your blog and subscribe by email.
  • You have an About Me page.
  • You use pictures in your posts.
  • You watch the Olympics. Yay!
Lots of good. But I like to spend most of my time in these critiques mentioning the things I suggest changing. Because not only is that more fun, but these make better lessons for us all. So here goes:
  • Your header is simply your name and that's okay, but not very catchy. I'd like to see something more substantial. This is where I say do as I say, not as I do because I also have a simple header. A subtitle or just something that sets it off.
  • I would like more distinction between your sidebar and post area. Does your template allow you to make the sidebar a different color? I'd make it darker than your post area.
  • Tell us what you write. Do you write poetry? Adult fiction? Children's books? I'd like to know in your profile or About Me.
  • Speaking of your About Me section - it's very well written, but I'm distracted by the text format. You obviously copied and pasted from somewhere else. That's fine, but after you do that, use the "Remove formatting" button to remove all the other formatting. It's the button that looks like a Tx.
  • When you have a link going to another page, mark the box that says "Open in New Window". Otherwise, when we click on your link, we leave your page and may not return.
My biggest suggestion relies on advice from the graphic designers. The colors you use in your blog, while not awful, do not pop the way they could. The turquoise and red that you use are fine, but they don't relate to your background as well as they could. We suggest picking some of the colors in your background and pulling them into your blog. That orange and green and purplish-grey colors should be in your headers and tabs. Choose at least three different colors or shades of colors. Two isn't quite enough. Maybe something from this set of colors:

Alright, that's all I got. Thanks for being a victim, Tasha. I enjoy your blog and am glad to be a follower!

What are your thoughts, folks?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Agree the sidebar needs to be a different color. And a header with an image or something would be cool.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

Thank you so much for this feedback. I knew there were things that could be improved but simply didn't know how. I really appreciate this.

Jennifer Pitts said...

Great advice Laura, especially the tip on the sidebar and what she writes. I think I'll add the writing style to my blog too.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Ooo! Great advice! Tasha has an excellent blog. I love that you were still able to offer suggestions!

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