Monday, January 23, 2012

Under Construction

My blog is a little over three months old.  I started it toward the end of October and if you don't mind me tooting my own horn for just a brief moment, I'll tell you that I've come a long way since MNWL first "went live."  Sounds official.  haha :)

My first header looked like this..

Horrible.  If you remember those days, I am so sorry.  But hey - thanks for sticking with me! 

Kitty from A Law Student's Journey and Randee from Randee's Organized Chaos had separate linky-parties that I participated in recently.  The parties were basically the same thing.  I linked up and once the link lists were closed, Kitty and Randee each e-mailed me two blogs to go check out and review.  So, I went and looked at 4 blogs and typed up a review for each of them.  I e-mailed my reviews back to Kitty and Randee, who then forwarded my thoughts/opinions anonymously to their respective blog owners.  Soon, I received anonymous blog reviews of my own!  So far, I've received 3 out of 4 reviews for MNWL (so I'm still waiting on my fourth one to come through).  Here's the feedback I received:

The Good
  • Pretty header, nice colors
  • Simple, colorful, easy-to-navigate layout and design
  • The "Pages" bar is right under the header
  • My pages are great and help you find what you are looking for
  • "Our Story" is an easy and comfy read.  You like that I have it documented before I forget, and it's written so that you imagine me talking.
  • My lay-out is easy to read, the middle column is wide and makes my posts easy to read
  • 3 column layout evenly distributes all of my stuff 
  • My side bars have a lot of "good stuff" in them and seem to be ranked in order of importance
  • Big pictures!
  • The posts are published in an easy-to-read font
  • I write about a good variety of topics, so there is something for everybody
  • My popular posts are fun to read and easy to see why they are popular.
  • My Pinterest posts are "fabulous" in content, and are a great length.
  • My stories are cute and personal. :)
  • I'm open and honest in my posts, so people can relate to my well.  I'm not afraid to talk about the hard stuff - which people like, apparently.  Cool.  
  • My "Coo-Coo-Kachoo" signature
  • I come across as sweet.
  • I share myself on my blog.
  • It's very pretty :)

The Bad

I have crossed out the issues I've already corrected.  :)   Consider the remained bullet-ed points here to stay.  
  • My header and buttons are too traditional for my funky personality
  • The green-ish box around my header is too big for the image inside of the box
  • I have a lot of "Pages" and could maybe combine a few to downsize
  • The "About Me" in the right side-bar should be moved up to the top and my button should be moved down.
  • My buttons tend to run together with the other info I have in my side bars
  • The font in the "Pages" bar is hard to read.  Either change the font or increase the font size
  • My craft and recipes photos should be larger
  • I should consider making the Post Title font larger
  • My posts seem too long & wordy, thus not grabbing the attention of potential new followers
  • I should proofread better to weed out those pesky typos!
  • I should consider making my middle column even wider
  • Sometimes my content tends to be a share a little "TMI."  While it's important to stay true to myself, I should consider keeping some intimate things out of cyber-space.  
  • Some of the pictures I post are small, so you have to squint to see them.  Bigger = Better!
  • I have my blog set up so that 5 posts are on my first page.  This was noted as a problem because my posts get kind of life, so I need to consider reducing the number of first-page-posts.
  • There was some confusion as to what my blog's purpose is - is it a journal?  it is for family/friends?  is it for the public?  Some of my posts get very long & are filled with details, which may not interest the general public.  So I need to do some major condensing or break up long posts into smaller stories.
  • I really need to work on CONDENSING 
So...I'll be picking and choosing through these, trying to figure out what I can do to best improve my blog while staying true to the odd-ball locked inside of me.  If you have any suggestions you'd like to add to the above lists, go right ahead!  Leave them anonymously if you'd like or you can publish it as your actual self.  I don't mind, I'm not easily offended, and I will greatly appreciate the input or help you have to offer!  :)  

Happy Monday!  Have a great week.  And try not to be too critical of my blog because it is officially....



Tamara said...

Ohh, I like the changes already! I think it all looks great! A blog review does sound interesting!

Bethany said...

I'm excited to see the new layout!! Grab my button!!

♥ ♥ Just a Girl in Love w/ a Soldier ♥ ♥ said...

I think your blog looks great, maybe I've come in after you've already done some changes but I think you have a great layout and its easy to navigate through and learn who you are.

Amber in South Carolina said...

Looks great so far! Also I will email you the devotional I did. It's at home and I completely forgot last night!

lilmoomoo said...

The bloggy is lookin good girlfriend!!

Here is my little ol' two cents on something that was in your "BAD" column...

Although, I do understand people saying that some posts are too long and wordy, and won't right off the bat encourage new/random readers to sit there and read all of your post- my thoughts on that are two things..

1. If you are writing this blog for you, which you seem to be, it is about your life, and you might want to be able to read back on certain days and remember random details that you might not have remembered if not for writing a longer/more drawn out post!
I have a couple posts that are major long.. like my engagement story- but I AM SO HAPPY I wrote it!! There are things that I probably never would have remembered if I hadn't written it in so much detail! SO. While I agree with the fact that shorter, simpler posts may gain "readers".. you will definitely appreciate the details you went into on down the road !

2. I personally don't really care how many readers I have, I'm more of an interaction kinda gal. I just want some awesome chickadees who wanna read my blog, whether it be a long or short post and still like me at the end of it!!
So I'm not necessarily concerned if a new reader doesn't want to take the extra minute or two to read my longer posts.. they probably shouldn't follow me anyway since my blog is not what they like to read!

OH. and I like your TMI. hahaha It's your blog!!!!

HAHAHA But- I'm sure you can tell from my comments.. I'm a writer. I'm a talker. I like to do both of those things a lot.. HAHA so of course I am alllll for the longer posts!! :)

Just wanted to give my two cents! I love your bloggy!
I do think this whole blog review thing sounds interesting though! Do they still do those link ups?!