Friday, January 28, 2011

The Bold and The Beautiful Blog Review…I’d Love Your Input!

Weelll…I think I would…lol! Remember me mentioning earlier in the month my fear of putting myself “out there” for fear of rejection? As a dear friend said about herself “I want people to like me”. That’s me…if I feel that I am being rejected, I wonder what I’ve done wrong, or need to fix. So this will be  a little difficult but it needs to be done. I would like your input on my blog please….I am participating in:

It’s a unique blog hop sponsored by Gail @My Repurposed Life and MeganDVD @ Beauty in the Attempt.

Please take a look around my blog, check out the layout, pages, buttons,  sidebar and gadgets. I would love for you to gently critique my blog. I’m hoping you will leave me some positive feedback about my blog. It would be great if you could give me constructive criticism but be sure to tell me what you like about my blog too! Do you like my pictures? Does my blog load quickly for you? How about the font?  All tips and tidbits welcome!

The timing of this blog hop is perfect for me! I’ve not been happy with my layout for a while and what you are seeing is a transition…I’m just not sure where I’m headed. I hope it’s okay as a participant to ask specific questions of my readers/reviewers. I’m wondering:

1. Do you prefer a clean look vs. the decorated sides? I understand that some monitors don’t even show my colored background.

2. Link Party buttons: Should they be on a separate page with a link in a bar up top? This would “clean things up”.

3. Do you even check out the pages on a blogs nav bar? About me, linky’s, features etc.?

4.How about the “Top Posts” in the sidebar? Pictures of favorite or popular projects?"

5. Giveaways…are we saturated with them? I’m not getting much response with mine right now and I have a HUGE invite at the top of my page. The required entry is not that difficult  ( I don’t think) the other entries are “extra”. Opinions???

I know that some would say that it’s my blog and if  I like things a certain way then that’s okay. I agree with that but want my blog to be inviting, easy to read and navigate…a place you will want to hang out a while and visit often. So I’m putting myself out there….What do you think? Gently, please or I might go into hiding..

You are welcome to join the party, it starts Thursday night and is open for a week. There is even a giveaway going on for a blog makeover! Check it out!

20 comments :

  1. I think the layout looks really nice. Your sides don't seem too busy to me. My only constructive criticism is bigger photos. I love being able to easily see what a person is posting about. I think most people look at the photos way more than they read the script. Did you do your blog redo yourself? How did you get the buttons so small and orderly for the linky parties?

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  2. I like a clean look, but your colored background on the side does not distract me.

    About the link party buttons? I struggle with this myself. I think if they are on their own page, people don't check them out. As I link to parties, I put the button on the post. I think it makes it easier for my readers to "hop". I think htat your buttons have a neat appearance due to the sizing.

    For the most part, I do NOT check out the nav bar, but that is because I visit a LOT of blogs and don't have the luxury of time.

    Top Posts? I don't see yours there. Yes I do like to see them somewhere on a blog. (mine are at the bottom of the page) I like to see pics of your fav posts on the sidebar.


    Giveaways? I dunno. I personally LOVE giveaways, I just don't like a lot of "hoops". I entered your giveaway with one comment. I like that I have the "option" of hoops and that you didn't make me jump through the hoops for my initial entry. Thanks! :)
    My observations: I would love for you to move your "profile" higher on the page.
    Love your header/banner! too cute!
    Your email is on your profile, so I hope that means you are not a "no-reply blogger". If you are not sure, leave a comment on my blog and I will let you know.
    last but not least, I'm getting ready to "post comment" I hope I don't have to do word verification. ;)
    great blog! Thanks so much for joining in and adding the blog hop to your site!
    gail

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  3. ps I forgot-I think it's really important to keep your readers on your page by having your links open in a new window. If you would like info on how to do that, shoot me an email, and let me know if you blog in blogger or windows live writer. gail@myrepurposedlife.net

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  4. Good Morning!
    I like an overall decorated look with some "white space" for eye resting. I like your top piece (what I see at the top of your blog) it is inviting.

    I have no opinion about Link Party Buttons. I don't know what they are.

    I sometimes go to the nav bar for stuff, but I like the About Me near the top of the main page.

    I like the top posts in the sidebar. I LOVE LOVE LOVE photos of projects - the more the better!

    I like giveaways. I like that yours are easy to enter and you had options for more entries without having to do a LOT of work. Good job!

    My only suggestion for improvement would be on your sidebar, it was hard for me to figure out the different days - maybe make the font bigger for the day names?

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  5. Hello my dear!! Thank you so much for linking up. I am thrilled that you had the courage and took the risk to put yourself out there. I LOVE you header. I like a clean look. I love that as I read your post...I can truly gain a picture of you and your personality. I LOVE that you are so involed in the blog world. You had me at hello when I saw how many parties you attend. :) How awesome. For my gentle suggestions...I know Gail is not a big fan of links/navi bar, but I think this could benefit you in lots of ways...and give you more space to spread the width margins of your posts. You have such great posts...you need more room to strut your stuff. :) I say take all the parties that you go to during the week and add them to a page in your blog with a link up top in a navi bar. This way...when you link to a party...you can link to that navi page and free up some valuable space on your blog for YOUR posts and YOUR showcases. The same can be for all your feature awards. I love that you have so much talent and I am sure you will win more..so why not link them to a page you can have at the top under your header. With both of these elements in a navi bar....you can expand out. Also...move that FABULOUS pic of you and who you are up to the top. Be proud and show yourself off! I like to see you in the top right corner. This is your space...own it and love it..place yourself up there. Be your best follower and place that up top. As for top posts...you could do the same thing with the navi bar. I know time is precious, but I like knowing where I can go to explore more...but when I go a blog...I got for the post that I want to read and be inspired from..the rest is an added bonus. :)

    Hope to hear from you and see more of you soon. Oh...and I hope that your comments are set with your email. I heart being able to reply to my bloggers, and so many are no-reply. :(

    Let me know if Gail & I can be any help in your virtual playground.

    I hope this is the beginning of more than just a linky...but maybe even a friendship. :)

    Was I gentle enough? Best of luck my dear..

    Cheers~
    e

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  6. Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for your comments on frou-frugal. I like the colors of your blog and your header. I see that you also posts your link parties on the sidebar and I like that, but I prefer the single sidebar feature. I played around with this version, but I liked being able to make my posts bigger. I would suggest a navigation bar for your features. I also would recommend bumping up the "About Me".

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  7. Hi Sharon ,Thanks so much for dropping by my blog ,I love your blog especially the blue patterned sides ,techically I am a bit behind the rest of the class ,your blog seems just right and easy to navigate.
    ~Sharon~

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  8. Well since I am late to comment:) I am going to have to agree with MeganDVD. Love your header, gorgeous. Love the colors you have chose and the white background, easy to read. You do not showcase yourself enough!!! This blog is about YOU and you are awesome. profile to the top right so I can see your cute face. Yes, on the blogger widgets you can do a top post, I think it was added last month. Seriously you have some amazing posts! Showcase them!

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  9. Oh, No I did not do my header, I have an awesome sister in law that made it for me.

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  10. I like seeing who Is talking to me so I'd like to see you at the top of the page....really like the listing of the parties by they're days. Trish

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  11. Hi!
    I think your background looks great. I usually prefer something simple, but what you have isn't overwhelming. It is just a touch and really adds to it! :)

    Your sidebar is busy. But, it is very well organized. I think busy is ok as long as you are organized!! It is very neat and tidy.

    I agree with the above comments-- move yourself up some :) I like to see who I'm reading as well as what I'm reading! :)

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  12. Hiya Buddy! Just reading through your recent blog posts. I don't think your background is distracting. I fully agree that your "about me" needs to be at the top of the page...followed by the buttons, etc. that are most important TO YOU. You need the items that are most relevant to your blog as the first items and perhaps put links and such down further on the page. I personally would prefer to only have one column of items on the side as my eye just can't handle the visual busy-ness of two side by side. (you know how I am!) Those are just things off the top of my head. If you want to get together and play with design some day, I'd be glad to help, if needed! :D

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  13. Hi Sharon!

    I like the overall layout of your blog and the background is clean and the colors are very peaceful.

    I am not usually a fan of the two side columns, but you have it all so neat and orderly so I think it works.

    The only thing I can suggest is to move your profile info up the the right hand corner, or at least closer to the top. I love to see who you are as I read your words and look at your pictures...it helps me feel like I am getting a better picture of who you are as a person and as a blogger.

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  14. Hi, Sharon
    To answer your questions, I love the look of your blog. I like the clean look. Light and airy. I would love to see pictures of your favorite projects or most visited posts or something like that. Overall I love your blog but would like for your pic and info to be a bit higher up.
    Thanks for stoppin' by and reviewing my blog. Cant wait to look around yours some more.

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  15. Hi Sharon,
    late to the party it seems.. but happy to hop on over to see you. :)
    banner is nice and color scheme is calm and pleasing. would love to see your pretty face & profile up top, and maybe a single sidebar, or separated sidebars.. for ease of reading. great blog overall. {new follower!}
    many blessings,
    -Tracie

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  16. Hi stopping by from the hop and trying to remember all the questions you had :) I was scared of this whole process also! :)

    Anyway...giveaways...I only do them if it involved just a comment and a visit to the sponsor's site. I usually don't sign up for them if I have to follow a blog. I read all my reader blogs so it would get really really cluttered if I added every blog that hosted a giveaway. I understand that's the whole point of the giveaway for you though, so...??

    The blue and white doesn't bug me at all...I like the textured blue background. The buttons are a little distracting, but it is really nice that you have them sized small.

    As far as visiting pages and top posts, I usually just read a few posts from someone and move on, but if the blog really gets my atten tion, I use those pages a lot. I also come back over and over again and use the pages as a resource.

    Aside from those little things, I think your blog is clearly doing well, you are clearly "liked" :) :) :) don't be so hard on yourself and keep a' bloggin'!

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  17. I think your blog looks very clean and neat! I love the header and the calming colors. I also like the design and think it works very well! I don't think there is anything you need to change. Sorry I'm not much help!

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  18. Stopping by on the blog hop... I like your blog (love the font in your header). I agree with the past comments about needing your "about me" at the top of the page. We want to know who you are without searching! I checked out a few of your past posts and just loved your projects, I can't wait to read more!

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  19. Thanks for visiting my blog!

    I like your blog. I LOVE your header. The only thing I'm not a fan of is all the updates from other people's blogs. Personally I think it looks a little cluttered. Maybe think about putting it in a column on the other side of your blog.

    Anna
    www.askannamoseley.com

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  20. Here for the blog hop. To Answer your questions:

    1 - Honestly, I prefer clean sides. I see your decorated sides. Just as is, it's not distracting, but all the other buttons in the non-coordinating colors makes the sides look cluttered.

    2 - I am very picky with the blog parties I join. I usually link them up in the actual posts, so that blog party buttons do not appear on other posts that is not about the blog party.

    3 - I think NAV bar at the top and even at the footer is very beneficial for visitors. All the links all over the sides can be very confusing, that I, as a visitor, usually scrolls up and hit the NAV bar, thinking that the NAV bar has the most important links.

    4 - The “Top Posts” in the sidebar? Is it the one labeled 'Be Inspired'? My opinion on this one is - keep it short and current, and remove those outdated links, those of 1 to more months ago.

    5 - Giveaways. I have a giveaway linking site at All Things Bloggy. You are welcome to link your giveaways for more exposure. I have a blog of personal post, and another blog for contest-giveaways. It's really for better identity of the blog.

    Good luck on your next blog makeover! I hope to hear from you too.

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Thank you for your visit. I appreciate your comments, they keep me inspired! Feel free to drop by anytime!