Blog Review – 31dbbb

Welcome to all fellow bloggers at 31dbbb, regular readers, and anybody here for the first time!
I want to thank Paul at Christian Web Trends and fellow 31dbbb bloggers for allowing 31dbbb to happen. I’ve been enjoying learning, blogging, participating and reviewing each others blogs together. Reviewing this blog came at a good time as I’ve been in the process of updating the blog layout for several days now and would appreciate feedback on anything regarding this blog as well as the following:
  1. Layout/Theme In WordPress this is known as your “Theme.” Does the Theme fit who you know me to be and what I blog about? What Theme do you think would fit well if not?
  2. Background – This would be the picture, and currently blue color on the sides. What do you think about them?
  3. Engagement – Do my posts hold your attention? Are they too long or too short? Am I asking good comment discussion questions?
  4. About page – Short bio or long? What would you like seen added to this page?
  5. Sidebar – Is what’s there in a good order? Is there anything that you think would be helpful to have in my sidebar that isn’t there?
  6. What I write about – Am I writing about things that you enjoy reading, or help you learn or feel encouraged? What would you like to see me write more or less about? Do you feel I have the credibility to write about what I write about?
  7. Enough images? Do you feel I use enough pictures and videos in my posts?
  8. Colors, readability, font size – Do the colors fit the blog? Is the text in the posts and around the blog easy to read? Is the font size and style too big or small, is it easily readable?
  9. Social networking – Facebook or/and Twitter followers, or that is how you find that a new post is up. – Am I tweeting about it or updating my status with it enough? What are the best times of the day and how often do you feel I should do this if not enough? Follow me on RSS, or read on your mobile device or iPad – does it come in good? Everyone – anything in this area that should be changed?
  10. Anything else you want to comment on; or ask to be changed, removed, or added.

Thanks for the feedback friends! I’m looking forward to making changes and updating in the ways I can that you suggested.

_________________

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Posted on May 25, 2010, in 31 Days to Build A Better Blog, Blogging and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. You’ve got a nice clean, simple theme and uncluttered. I do like teh contrast between the main theme body and the background blue. Nice header image and I have to say it looks the spitting image of my old school driveway – right down to the fence and curve to the left!

    I have no issue with the length of your posts – I think unlike the perceived wisdom that says keep them below xxx words that so long as the subject matter is something I want to read about then I will read it – irrespective of how badly written or wordy it might be. But, I think you do just fine having said that 😉

    One thing I would change is to increase the number of posts visible on your home page. I find only having two makes me have to find the ‘older posts’ link and frankly I’m not interested if the two posts haven’t already captured my attention. With, say 5, you stand a better chance of keeping me there.

    Your about page is just fine but perhaps a little more info about the blog and your aims might add some colour.

    Other than this I think your blog is just fine and I wouldn’t meddle too much.

    • Thanks for the feedback Stuart. The idea of more posts on the home page is a good one, I’ll change that! I also like your idea of adding more info about the blog and my aims to my About page. Thanks!

  2. I love that you have a link to ThePornEvent.com on your page. I feel like this topic is often unspoken, yet very destructive. Although I posted blogs on the topice leading up to the event, I did not think to post a link. Love it!

    I think your blog is easy to read. I think if you did change the solid blue backgroung that it should be a soft focus picture that is not distracting. But the blue is fine.

    I agree about having more posts on the home page. 5 seems to be the standard.

    I like your post topics and agree that if the subject is one I like, that I will stay there to read the topic.

    • Thanks Wendy! I’ve thought about doing things with my background or pictures on other social sites for the Porn Event, adding the link to the side bar is about as far as it got. That event is great, and thanks for blogging about the event!

      You’re feedback has been helpful. I think I’ll keep the blue for now, glad you guys think it’s fine and not distracting. And I think the idea of having 5 posts on the homepage is a good one, going to fix that after today. Thanks!

  3. Your theme and layout look great Becky. I personally love the twentyten theme from WordPress (the same one I use :-D) I’m a fan of stark contrasts or bright colors but you seem to have a nice middle ground between the two of them with the dark blue. Great choice.
    You could probably stand to use more images in your posts. I just glanced through your past few posts on my google reader and I think only three of the past 10 or so had images in them. It’s really tough to find good images though so don’t stress too much. http://www.sxc.hu is a good website if you’re having issues with Flicker commons.

  4. Yay for having WPtouch installed so I can navigate your site from my iPhone. Thanks! I also viewed your blog in full site mode and the layout is clean, I like your writing style. It’s a very welcoming blog.

  5. Becky, this is clean. Maybe too clean! 😉 Since you are big on social networking, I would like to see more connection stuff in your sidebar. You have recent Twitter posts, but not anything about your profile (like a “follow me” button). And I am left wondering where else you have an online presence.

    Colors and header image are nice. Your blog name “Tijuanabecky’s blog” is very generic, though — I think you can find a way to make it more “grabby,” but still keep your handle in there to establish it as your brand. Oh, and the blog description confused me a little, even though I use Twitter frequently. At first my brain turned it into, “Life Beyond 40” as in your age! 😀 Maybe “Life Beyond 140 Characters”?

    • Hey Jon,
      Thanks for the feedback. More on social networking sounds good, though there is a lot that I can’t do, such as “follow me,” “facebook, and retweet” buttons because free WordPress doesn’t allow javascript or plugins. I’ll have to see if I can find anything out there in html.

      I’ll have to think about the blog name, that’ll take some thought, any ideas of another name?

      As for Life Beyond 140, that is referred to in one of my beginning posts, but I can see how that could be confusing. Maybe I’ll put something on my About page about that or find another way to say that.
      Thanks!

  6. Unfortunately, I don’t have time right now to read all the comments, so forgive me if I repeat. I love your theme and the banner. I tried to use it, but couldn’t get the RSS thing to work–I see you’ve had better luck, so I may try it again. I’d recommend working on finding your own photo to use for the banner. The WordPress one is gorgeous, but of course it’s their photo and other people will have the same one.

    I thought I’d been looking at your blog periodically, but I see now I haven’t. I hit the follow button, so I’ll give you some feedback on that later. As for the sidebar, as Peter said on your about page, I’d definitely move the porn event button to the bottom. People will scroll down–it’s not that long a side bar.

    As for Facebook/Twitter, did you know you can set your blog to automatically post to your FB and Twitter pages? It’s under publicize somewhere. If you don’t find it, let me know and I’ll look again.

    I love the look of your blog–text, color, etc. are all very attractive. Looking forward to reading some of your posts when I get home.

    Blessings, Cindy

  7. Hey Cindy, thanks for the feedback!

    I’ve changed themes a lot recently, was trying to find something different than what I originally had so it’s possible that you’ve been here before. As for RSS, that is the one for Feedburner, not using the one that comes with WordPress. Not sure which you were talking about for your blog that you couldn’t get to work.

    That’s a good idea for the picture to change it as others will have the same since it comes with WordPress, I’ll have to go take a picture! “The Porn Event” is actually in both spots, at the top on the sidebar and at the bottom. My goal in that is to get people there, the banners will be gone after the 28th.

    I use TwitterFeed to have my blog automatically post to Twitter, and Twitter automatically normally posts to Facebook. I’m on the free WordPress version so not sure if I have the publicize thing, I don’t think I do. Is there another way to get it to automatically post to Facebook?

    • twitter feed should have an option to automatically post to a facebook account. That’s how my posts usually end up in that arena, although if you have a facebook fan page for your blog then I’m not so sure, but it should be possible. If you do have a page for your blog or anything then you should certainly have that posted on your side bar. “connect with us on facebook” and have the URL or something.

      • Good ideas Justapen. I tried adding those options to the sidebar but all the little button things I found for social networking all had annoying links attached to them. So I added links in my About page for where they can connect with me. Thanks!

  8. Hi Becky,
    I like your clean layout and the dark blue background. I’m not familiar with WordPress so I may not be able to make too many design suggestions. I like the tabs at the top. As a matter of fact, after I looked at your Categories pages, I thought about adding that as one of my “Sneeze” pages.

    As far as the sidebar goes, I would like the the Subscribe area to be bigger and maybe include email as well. I think it would be good also if it contained more information like an Archive List.

    Photos would be good with your posts. And I’m wondering if you have settled on one particular theme for your blog. I don’t think that’s real clear. But I can see the improvements you have made seen I first visited your site, and they are great.

    Janis

    • Thanks for the ideas Janis. The suggestion of letting people subscribe by email is a good idea. As for the Archive that is currently at the bottom the page, may consider bringing that one up now that I have more posts on the page :). From the comments I’ve received I think I’m sticking with this theme for now and kind of excited about it. I’m enjoying learning with you guys and doing new things on the blog.

  1. Pingback: 31 DBBB Day 18: Creating a sneeze page for your blog « Christian Web Trends Blog

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