Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blog Critique: Emily Veinglory

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.

Have we run the gamut this week? Not yet. Not until we review today's blog from Emily Veinglory, Yup. We've gone from picture books to erotica. Take a peek - take your time. I'll be here when you return.

Emily, I think the blog looks really good. I like the header. The size of it is good and your title is good since it tells us exactly what you are about.  I'm not too fond of the background. The dark color of it is nice but the squares don't invoke romance or erotica. You want a swirling shape if you are going to use shapes in the background - curves and swirls bring to mind bodies and such.

Generally I say to move the followers up higher on your blog. However, it's not as important on a blog like yours because it is likely that many of your followers are anonymous. I think that especially because of the number of unique hits you told me you get compared to the number of your followers. Instead, you need to make it easiest to follow by reader or email. Put these up top so people can find them right away.

I really like the clean look of your lists. (Yay! I'm even on your blog list!) I wish they were just a bit bigger but I understand you need to have them small to fit in the two column format.  Instead, consider enlarging the font and moving to a one column sidebar instead. You have a lot of room lower in your sidebar so you can move the publisher list lower -especially since you have a publisher page as well.

The headers for your blog posts could be larger as well. Not much larger, just one or two font sizes. Your footers are a bit hard to read because they are so light. Can you use a dark gray instead of a light gray?

Really those are all minor. Besides your look and function though, you talked to me about trying to get more traffic to your site. I'm not sure what you are doing now but some suggestions for traffic increase are:

  • comment and follow lots of blogs that are in your genre
  • invite other bloggers in your genre to guest post
  • give prompts to your readers before the comments - this engages readers more and makes them want to share, return, follow. By prompts I mean ask them a specific question so they have one to answer in the comments.
  • create fun buzz - come on, you've got the perfect excuse to be sexy and suggestive - go for it! Get your readers talking about sex. I love Roni Loren's boyfriend of the week segment, for example. It drives us to her blog to fantasize. Drive us to your blog to fantasize, to dream, to live out our inhibitions. Maybe invite other bloggers to give us some steamy excerpts to post - well, minus the parts that make it real erotica, but enough to make people perk up, if you know what I mean. (When you're looking at Roni's site, also notice the softer feel of her background - that speaks more erotica to me than the squares). 
  • give us more pictures! Sexy pics. That will get you more traffic....
  • make sure you send out quarterly newsletters/emails to all your publishers and applicable authors to remind them to follow your blog for all the latest sales information. 
Okay, that's all I got. Except I must say again: more pictures! Because the romance fans like to see the yummy stuff.

Anyone else like seeing the yummy stuff? What else would you suggest to our wonderful blog victim, I mean, Emily? 


Seeley deBorn said...

I actually like that the EREC blog *doesn't* have the so-called yummy pics. I can't stand mantitty. Besides, EREC is a blog about hard numbers and publishing industry info. It's business. My only suggestion would be that she update the sales numbers more often and include more of the background data (like book sample size, author sample size, and standard deviation of average sales).

Emily, thank you for only posting mantitty on bad covers.

Laura Barnes said...

Ha ha, yes it is more about the industry info. That is true. Thanks for your comment on that. Truthfully, I only like the mantitty if it's someone famous that I like. I can't stand the random half clothed men on most romance covers.


AlexJCavanaugh said...

More photos would probably do it! Asking questions at the end of a post invite followers to comment - and engage - in the discussion. Always a plus.

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