I have to give a big sigh before jumping into today's critique. My life has been a whirlwind, as you probably know by now. My other sigh comes from the pressure of critiquing a blog of someone who's a writer friend. You know, you don't want to say anything harsh. I'm glad to be done with it. So go check out Mindy McGinnis's Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire and see if I had any need to panic.
I already admitted that Mindy is a writer friend. But even before she was a friend, I loved her blog. I mean, it's called Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire. How can that not be amazing? Her sense of humor is, well, brilliant. And a little crass sometimes. I like that. She has a recurring feature called "Submission Hell, It's True" aka "S.H.I.T." Yes, she's that kinda girl. If you need to see more of the awesomeness that is Mindy, check out this v-log. It's my absolute favorite of hers:
My point of all that prelude is that when you enjoy a blog like I enjoy Mindy's, it's sometimes tricky to sit back and look at it in a critical way. But I did, and overall, Mindy has captured a very concise picture of who she is and what she delivers. You sense her style and flavor immediately.
Though there was very little by way of suggestions, I did find a few things that she could tweak.
So Mindy. Welcome to the spotlight. Let's dive in:
- You have the best author pictures ever. Hands down.
- You have a great color palette. I know it's important to you to have a look and brand, and I see that in your choices. That being said, our graphic designers feel the yellow you use in your query critiques is, well, I'll paraphrase and say "hard on the eyes". They understand the need to differentiate your additions from the original query, but suggest the color you use for your blog titles is a better choice.
- Speaking of your blog titles, they're great. Can you use that color for the titles on your other pages (i.e., Contact, etc.)? That will make it more uniform.
- You have a bit of a dilemma in your footers of your posts. I'm not sure how much Blogger will let you change in your template, but the blue/gray is not readable. Could you lighten the color of the background here to make that color stand out? It's a great color - I just can't see it.
- All right, here's the biggie: your sidebar overwhelms me. It always has. Maybe it's because it's a frequent reminder of how completely busy/involved/insane you are. Also, it's a lot to take in. Here's specifically what strikes me about it:
- You use the two column technique, but your sidebar runs out way before your posts. Either trim how many posts you have on your page (I say have no more than 5 anyway) or make your sidebar one column.
- Having the two columns makes your label cloud look HUGE. Too huge for me to feel like I would use it often. I'd go through your labels every so often and remove all the ones that you only have 1 of unless they're uber important. That just cleans it up. It's supposed to be an easy to use tool. Just sayin'.
- Actually, if you lose the number's in parentheses on your label cloud, it will help clean it up.
- There's a crap load of stuff going on visually. I like that you use pics, but it's tricky to navigate quickly with the eye. Maybe if you went to smaller FB and Twitter pics that would help. Mostly I think I'm saying I'd prefer you to have one column. Yeah, that's what I'm saying.
- Another option - you could get rid of your Book Pregnant and Thirteeners icons, etc. because you already have a page for them. It's not quite the same, but it's an option.
- I'd love to see your post background a lighter shade to differentiate it more from your sidebar. This might not be possible in this template. And it might really screw up your colors. You do have the bar between the sidebar and the posts, but again, it just gives us a lot to look at and a new reader has a hard time figuring out where to go first.
- You'll have a picture of your cover on the sidebar when it's revealed, right? And a link to purchase as soon as you can pre-order?
- I love that you have depth (pages) on your blog. I wouldn't mind seeing an About page though. I'd love to read your bio. It would be awesome, I just know it.
- One last thing, we want to know the black cat story. Can you tell us? Maybe on your About page. :)
But I might still be too close to it. Did I miss anything? It's the readers' turn to weigh in.