Sunday, April 15, 2012

A to Z Break/Blog Critique: Laura Diamond

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.

It's only been a couple of weeks since we did our last critique, but it feels longer. I had to really stop and think about what I usually talk about. Then I clicked over to look at the Laura Diamond's fabulous blog,  Diamond - Lucid Dreamer, and I completely forgot all my critique points again. Why? Because she had a blog that drew me in. But I'm jumping ahead. Go check out her blog and meet below. 

I loved the colors of your blog, Laura. Immediately I was drawn in by the gorgeous gold that so wonderfully matches your header. The picture very much captures the fantasy feeling too. The lay out was easy to look at so after oohing and awing about the prettiness, I just started reading posts. That's what you want readers to do so you done good, Laura. Great job!

But there's always something that can be tweaked. And here's my two cents:
  • I wouldn't mind if your post area was just a little bit wider. The gold is beautiful, don't get me wrong, but  most people have bigger screens these days and you are missing out on prime real estate. I'd widen it just ever so slightly. Of course, if your header can't get any bigger without getting blocky, then never mind this suggestion.
  • Your blog title needs to be bigger. It's a great color, but not quite commanding enough. Also, I'm glad you have Diamond as part of your title, but it's not enough, in my opinion. If I didn't know your name was Laura Diamond, the title would mean nothing to me. Your title should scream your name - you are what people come to find, after all. I suggest considering putting Laura Diamond as part of your subtitle. At the very least, put your name big in the About Me section. You could change "About Me" to "About Laura Diamond".  This is actually what I have done since Barnes isn't part of my title.
  • I really like that green color with the gold, but you need one more punch color added to the scheme. This scheme shows some blue and orange punch colors you could add with the colors you already have.
  • I know it just happened, but you're a published author now! Get a link to purchase your book on your sidebar under your About Me as soon as possible. Always make it easy for people to buy your books. (I know you have a tab dedicated to your book, but some people will never leave the home page.)
  • I very much enjoyed your excerpt of Encounter. I don't know what it is, though. Is it a work in progress? Is it part of your upcoming book? Give us some info.
  • The only other tip I have is to watch your exclamation points. I admit, I had a hard time typing this sentence, because your ! seem to really be sincere. I'm sure I would/will have !!! when I am published, but you have them elsewhere. If you are really attached to them, don't get rid of them, just think very carefully every time you use them and decide if you really need the emphasis or not.
Sincerely, the rest is wonderful. You've been blogging for awhile and really know what you're doing. Great job, blogging pro. I'm happy to have you in my Google Reader. 

Any advice or comments for Laura? Don't you love her name? 


Melissa Sugar said...

Well, aren't we up mighty early and chipper on Sunday morning? And look at you doing a critique on your day off from A to Z. I am impressed. As always, outstanding critique. I just popped over and visited her blog and congratulated her on the release of her new book.

AlexJCavanaugh said...

"Yup, just like the stone." Think that used to be in her header.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Laura! Yes, Laura Diamond's blog does look very nice.


Beth Stilborn said...

I have missed your blog critiques! Great to see one!

I like the gold. Gold and a diamond seem to go together somehow, but I agree, I wouldn't have realized what the Diamond was about if I had just happened upon the blog.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Laura,
As usual when I read your blog critique postings, I learn something new.

Laura Barnes said...

LOL, I'm so not a morning person. This was written at the stroke of midnight - my prime time. :)

Thanks for the comments!

Laura Barnes said...

I was a little burnt out from them myself, but, surprisingly, I really was glad to get back to it. I'm happy to hear that others feel the same!

Laura Barnes said...

I'm glad to hear it!

Carol Riggs said...

Good job! and I've always enjoyed the aesthetic look of Laura's blog. :) Good point about her name; it does need to be on there somewhere--and of course the fact that she's published!

Karen Lange said...

Enjoyed your comments about Laura's blog. I like the look of her blog and yes, I love her name! Thanks for your thoughts. I went back to mine and tweaked a few things. :)

Laura Barnes said...

Thanks for the input, Carol!

Laura Barnes said...

Oh, good! Glad you found something useful for yourself. :)

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