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-   -   Constructive Criticism - Need some help with your blog? (https://www.splitcoaststampers.com/forums/blogs-blogging-f195/constructive-criticism-need-some-help-your-blog-t526717.html)

StickUps 04-24-2011 09:44 PM

Constructive Criticism - Need some help with your blog?
 
There's a thread over in the general stamping area where folks can post a card and get some constructive criticism (here). Of course, the key word is Constructive.

I thought it might be fun to try the same thing with our blogs. I'd love to see more exchange among this forum, so maybe this can get some good discussion going and also help some of us bloggers out.

So . . . I'll be brave and be the first. Here's my blog address: Catered Crop.

Let me know what you think and how I might make it better. Probably the most controversial thing is the sound that comes on when you first load the page, so turn on your speakers . . .

horseygal 04-24-2011 11:02 PM

I love your blog, I wouln't change a thing! Love the carrots, they are adorable. I'll have to remember that for next Easter or possibly for a fall display.

LaLatty 04-25-2011 06:03 AM

I agree with Cindi. I think your blog is wonderful! Cute carrots too :)

All Things Paper 04-25-2011 07:33 AM

Your blog looks really good! When you mentioned sound, my first thought was music and that it can slow load-time down, but your alarm clock chicken is too cute! The only little thing I noticed, and I mean teeny! - is that you mentioned being an nurse (that caught my eye because I'm [was, actually] a nurse too.) Hope you don't mind me mentioning a silly little typo like that.

StickUps 04-25-2011 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by All Things Paper (Post 18242921)
The only little thing I noticed, and I mean teeny! - is that you mentioned being an nurse (that caught my eye because I'm [was, actually] a nurse too.) Hope you don't mind me mentioning a silly little typo like that.

Ah . . . thanks! I do know better but that's exactly the kind of little mistakes I make all the time. Glad another nurse has my back!

Thanks for all the sweet complements. Anyone else want to submit themselves to a little constructive suggestions?

Linda

horseygal 04-25-2011 07:43 PM

Not sure what you are talking about (the nurse thing).

StickUps 04-26-2011 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by horseygal (Post 18246044)
Not sure what you are talking about (the nurse thing).

Cindy - I fixed it. It was on my "Baker Me" page. Just a typo.

Justina1218 04-26-2011 09:12 PM

I would love to have your feedback on my blog.
Http://justmycrafts.blogspot.com

commited 04-27-2011 08:50 AM

I love your blog. I can use some help. Check me out at:
artsandcraftsgal.blogspot.com
I can use some help and advice. Thanks

asuncionshija 04-27-2011 02:47 PM

@ StickUps - I think your blog is great! :) Clean, easy to read and a fun theme. I, too, was a little afraid that there would be loud music... but I think the alarm chicken was hysterical!
(I was part of a hop the other day and found a blog that I liked, but she had music I *didn't* like - so I didn't subscribe. :( )
@ Justina1218 - I think the only thing I would change is the font color. I found it difficult to focus on the pink font with the green background. Could just be that my eyes are getting too old! ;)
@Lizzie - I looked for your blog, but it wouldn't come up? Blogger said it wasn't a blog, but I could have the name if I wanted it! *lol*
Feel free to come have a look and send me constructive criticism: M'ija Stamps

StickUps 04-27-2011 06:50 PM

Justina1218 - I love your blog, and especially that background. I agree with asuncioshija that your might want to simplify your color pallet. That spring blue, green and white background is so pretty, I'd build from that. A couple of other suggestions. Your name doesn't appear anywhere on your blog. Who are you? ;) Also, you have only one way for people to subscribe to your blog. You might want to check into Feedburner or Feedblitz. You've got a really great start.

StickUps 04-27-2011 06:52 PM

Lizzie - Come Back! I can't find your blog.

Justina1218 04-27-2011 08:57 PM

Thanks
 
Thank you for all the feedback. I will make some changes and add some stuff! Thank you all! You guys have great blogs!

redrose21 04-27-2011 09:43 PM

The blogs that have been brave enough to post on here look good to me. I like them all. I guess I will be brave too and add my blog to the list :)
Crafty Girl 21! Lets see if you have any recommendations for me.

asuncionshija 04-27-2011 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redrose21 (Post 18254055)
The blogs that have been brave enough to post on here look good to me. I like them all. I guess I will be brave too and add my blog to the list :)
Crafty Girl 21! Lets see if you have any recommendations for me.

I like your color scheme! It feels happy and fun. :) I also like that you have plenty of ways to find/follow/share (FB, Twitter, etc.)
My only suggestion would be to check the size of the right sidebar link headers. I'm not sure if it's just me (I'm using Firefox, could be different on IE, Google Chrome, etc) or if it's something that everyone can see, but some of the blocks travel over and block text. Pretty minor if you ask me! :D

mkirkwood2002 04-27-2011 11:05 PM

I would love some feedback on my blog. I've played around with backgrounds and changed things around before but I'm geting bored with the current look and could use some tips to improve it.
Thanks!
Marie Loves to Stamp

blueyes 04-28-2011 09:27 AM

wow -- they all look great! but ---LIZZIE, i can't get to yours :(

what the heck -- i'll through my hat in too -- my blog is still pretty new, but i'd love some feedback ---

serenity lane designs

thanks for checking it out! :)

LaLatty 04-28-2011 11:12 AM

I would love for you all to check out my blog too! I'm pretty okay with the way it is, but I'm open to any suggestions for making it better.

mkirkwood2002 04-28-2011 12:02 PM

I do like all the pretty blogs but sometimes I find that they are somewhat distracting.

While I can appreciate the work and talent that went into making the blog banner and background I'd rather look at the photos being posted.

Maybe it's just me and I'm the first to admit I suffer from "sparkly ball" syndrome. I get overwhelmed easily when there is too much visual stimulation and what I'm looking at is too busy.

But just imagine walking into an art gallery that had wallpaper, murals, paintings and other artwork directly on the wall and then art being displayed in frames mounted on top of this other stuff...

It's hard for me to keep my focus on the actual cards or whatever is being posted when the background is too pretty!

Please don't take this the wrong way but I just want to caution you against "overdoing" your blog.

Patty I really really like your blog - why? Because it doesn't distract from the actual art that you are posting!

LaLatty 04-28-2011 12:20 PM

Thanks Marie :) I'm glad you liked my blog. Sometimes I feel as though my posts are sort of boring.

I had one thing I wanted to mention to anyone looking for some feedback. Blog music. When I click on a blog and I hear music I immediately close my window. For me the music really bugs me and sometimes I'm on my computer late at night and my kids are all sleeping so I don't want the music blaring at me. I've read in some other threads here that blog music is a real turn off to readers.

blueyes 04-28-2011 12:30 PM

i was thinking about marie's comment -- i like it somewhere in the middle -- i've seen some blogs that have so many buttons and gadgets and flashing things - it's over the top, but then i've seen others that are blank looking and (IMO) they don't draw me in either. i like something in the middle -- does that make sense?

i'd have to agree with patty on that one too -- music bugs me. especially if it's a bad midi and doesn't really sound like much of anything.

patty -- i posted before -- not sure why it didn't show up -- the directions are great on your site. and BTW -- i think i live near you.

StickUps 04-28-2011 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redrose21 (Post 18254055)
The blogs that have been brave enough to post on here look good to me. I like them all. I guess I will be brave too and add my blog to the list :)
Crafty Girl 21! Lets see if you have any recommendations for me.

Oh dear . . . I've been at work all day and I'm trying to catch up on all the blogs here.

@redrose21 - I love your blog. I agree with resizing your sidebars to fit your widgets. I love that white background. I'm a huge fan of white backgrounds because it highlights your crafts. My only other comment is that your header might be a little big. It takes up 3/4 of the screen when I bring up your blog and I have to scroll down to see your post and your beautiful creations. You might want to condense the depth of it somehow.

StickUps 04-28-2011 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mkirkwood2002 (Post 18254137)
I would love some feedback on my blog. I've played around with backgrounds and changed things around before but I'm geting bored with the current look and could use some tips to improve it.
Thanks!
Marie Loves to Stamp

MKirdkwood2002 - There's so much to love about your blog. The colors are so soft and soothing. There's nothing distracting. It's easy to navigate. The simplicity of it is makes it a comforting place to visit, and your creations are lovely. Ooo, and those cubbies are adorable. My only comment is that there's nothing to "brand" you or set you apart. You might think of creating some sort of icon that represents you and then incorporate that into your watermark, signature, sidebar, etc. It doesn't have to be a big distracting header. It could even be just a fun monogram. Also, by visiting your blog, I know your name is Marie, but I don't know your last name. Is that intentional?

StickUps 04-28-2011 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueyes (Post 18255317)
wow -- they all look great! but ---LIZZIE, i can't get to yours :(

what the heck -- i'll through my hat in too -- my blog is still pretty new, but i'd love some feedback ---

serenity lane designs

thanks for checking it out! :)

Blueyes - Oh darlin', what a pretty blog you have. I love the feel of it - so cheerful and sweet. I really don't have much to critique, but, since you asked . . . That font is so cute, you might use it as your watermark in your pictures, too, for a consistent "branded" look. Your creations are so lovely, I'd love to be able to see them better. Think about maybe cropping some of the background out a little more and sizing the pictures a little larger. Also, be sure to get eye level with your cards, maybe even a little below them when you take the picture, so we can see them better and they're not distorted. And, like a lot of the other blogs, your name isn't on the main page of your blog anywhere, so we don't know who you are. When you get famous we want to be able to say we knew you when. ;)

StickUps 04-28-2011 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LaLatty (Post 18255667)
I would love for you all to check out my blog too! I'm pretty okay with the way it is, but I'm open to any suggestions for making it better.

LaLatty - Oooo, I love those soft colors. And that background is lovely. My only concern is that we have to scroll all the way down to see some of your subscription options. I don't see an option to subscribe by e-mail. You want to bring all your subscription options to the very top. Your blog posts are so full of wonderful information - love all the tutorials - that it takes a long time to get to your footer. I'm haven't used Blogger very much, so I don't know if you have this option, but if you do, tell Blogger to only paint 2 or 3 posts when it first loads your blog.

StickUps 04-28-2011 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asuncionshija (Post 18252602)
Feel free to come have a look and send me constructive criticism: M'ija Stamps

@ asuncionshija - I almost missed you. Sorry about that. I'm glad you like the chicken alarm. It goes off every time you load the page, so I hope it's not too much.

I love, love your blog and that lovely softly distressed look. You did a fabulous job with it. I love that font you used for your sidebar and post headings. It's so unique, it kind of brands you. Can you use it for your watermark and your header? Everything else looks so cool, but your header doesn't reflect the same personality. I guess I'm getting old, I know my eyesight it getting worse - can you enlarge the pictures of your projects so we can see them better?

blueyes 04-28-2011 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StickUps (Post 18256909)
Blueyes - Oh darlin', what a pretty blog you have. I love the feel of it - so cheerful and sweet. I really don't have much to critique, but, since you asked . . . That font is so cute, you might use it as your watermark in your pictures, too, for a consistent "branded" look. Your creations are so lovely, I'd love to be able to see them better. Think about maybe cropping some of the background out a little more and sizing the pictures a little larger. Also, be sure to get eye level with your cards, maybe even a little below them when you take the picture, so we can see them better and they're not distorted. And, like a lot of the other blogs, your name isn't on the main page of your blog anywhere, so we don't know who you are. When you get famous we want to be able to say we knew you when. ;)

awwwww! thanks!!! glad you liked it. and those things you've mentioned i've been trying to figure out. it's all still pretty new, so i'm trying to figure out a watermark that i like, and a program i like - and i know i need to work on the photography part of it - thanks for the tips. i'll give them a try!

and -- as far as my name - wow, didn't even think of it. hehehe.

again -- thanks so much! i'll remember you when i get famous -- ROTFL! :D

commited 04-28-2011 06:40 PM

@stickups, this is my blog url. Arts & Crafts Gal
I don't know why it wont come up. I would hate to lose everything I've done so far.

Silke Shimazu 04-29-2011 09:22 PM

I'm glad I found this thread. I would like to get some feedback on my blog too.
Thanks!

StickUps 04-29-2011 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by [email protected] (Post 18257103)
@stickups, this is my blog url. Arts & Crafts Gal
I don't know why it wont come up. I would hate to lose everything I've done so far.

Yay, Lizzie, I'm glad you came back. I found you this time. You're probably not going to like this, but I found the layout of your blog very confusing. Your sidebars are taking up so much real estate, it's hard to find your posts. You have so many wonderful things to say about who you are (and that's so wonderful to be able to see), that I think you might want to move that to an "About Me" page. As best as I can tell, you have a four-column blog layout. Can you reduce that to two or three columns and make your post column larger? Some of the most important things are at the very bottom of your blog - how to subscribe and leave comments. You might want to move those closer to the top. Your projects are amazing, but we have to navigate through a lot of things to get to them.

StickUps 04-29-2011 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silke Shimazu (Post 18261140)
I'm glad I found this thread. I would like to get some feedback on my blog too.
Thanks!

Oh, Silke, I love your blog. It's simple, minimalistic style really reflects the style of your cards, too - simple, elegant, CAS style! (I love your cards!) The colors are so soothing. I love that you put your full name on it! (Everyone seems to be leaving their names off their blogs, I'm not sure why.) CAS is so hard for me, so I have so much respect for people who can pull it off so beautifully. I have only two comments. One is that all this appears between your post title and the post text.

Silke Shimazu Anniversary, Valentine's Day Anniversary card, Fiskars border punch, Fiskars corner rounder, glossy accents, mona lisa odorless paint thinner, Penny Black ...bunches! 3705D, Penny Black Critter Party 30-013, Penny Black stamp, prismacolor pencils, scor-pal, Valentine's Day card 1 Comment

I'd put that at the bottom of the post to keep it from distracting from the content you want everyone to read first (the post content).

Also, I'd move your watermark on your projects to the side or bottom of the photo. Having it in the middle of your photo distracts from the beautiful projects. (If you ever submit your projects to be published, that will count against you.) I hope this helps.

horseygal 04-30-2011 08:22 AM

Silke, I agree with StickUps! I prefer clean and minimalist type looking blogs or at least somewhere in between blah and over done. Yours is easy on the eyes and your photography is very professional.

In general, I'm not a fan of colored fonts except to highlight something and I prefer clean text. It's just easier on the eyes.

Music is a total turn off! I had it on mine for a while and it even bugged me, so I got rid of it! :rolleyes:

I have a hard time with images that do not look like they have been edited, especially if they are too dark!

Anyway that's my 2 cents, feel free to critique mine!
(p.s., I am trying to be a better photographer!)

LaLatty 04-30-2011 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StickUps (Post 18256977)
LaLatty - Oooo, I love those soft colors. And that background is lovely. My only concern is that we have to scroll all the way down to see some of your subscription options. I don't see an option to subscribe by e-mail. You want to bring all your subscription options to the very top. Your blog posts are so full of wonderful information - love all the tutorials - that it takes a long time to get to your footer. I'm haven't used Blogger very much, so I don't know if you have this option, but if you do, tell Blogger to only paint 2 or 3 posts when it first loads your blog.

Thanks so much for you advice. You know it's funny that you mentioned the email updates. I just put that on my blog about a week ago and then I took it off. I don't know why, I just thought no one would want updates that way, but I see maybe I'm wrong.

Thanks again!

LaLatty 04-30-2011 08:38 AM

Oh, I had one other blog tip, or rather a preference. I find it very hard to read blogs that have a black background with white typing/letters. I'm not sure if any of you have this- I didn't look because I'm not on my computer at the moment.

Silke Shimazu 04-30-2011 08:56 AM

Thanks StickUps and horseygal for your feedback! I really appreciate it :).

About the tags that show up between my post title and post body, I will see if I can hide them somehow or move them to the end of my posts. I'm not sure if this can be done in the wordpress theme that I'm using but I will look into it.

In general I like blogs that are clean and simple and focus on the actual projects. Like many of you I don't like music on blogs either.

Off to check out some of your blogs :).

commited 04-30-2011 12:38 PM

Hi Stickups! I am so glad you found me. Thank you so much for the advice. I lvoe it. Since this is my first go at blogging and creating a blog, I am amazed I even got this far! LOL I will make some changes and let you know so you can critique me. I have searched other sites regarding blogs and blogging, and visited so many other blogs. I wish my blog could look so professional. I don't have my own business and I am not a SU demo (yet)LOL, but I do want my blog to look good. I just don't know how to do it, and I don't think blogger is very user friendly. Well, we will give it another go. Keep checking on me and let me know what you think, Thanks so much for taking the time. you can email me at [email protected] if you like and leave me messages here at SCS. I also have a blackberry, and you can BBM me. TTFN

horseygal 04-30-2011 08:09 PM

I agree with Lizzie, Blogspot is not too user friendly.
If I didn't have to spend so much time dinking around with it, I would probably post more!

fan2daryl 05-02-2011 05:55 AM

I'm always looking for constructive criticism too on both my blog and my facebook page if anyone has some time.

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