Do you subscribe to many blogs?
What’s the single most important reason of doing so? Bet I know what you are going to say – great content right? But, how did you know that their content is in fact great?
Simple. You stayed around long enough to find out.
Many times you visit a blog for the first time and you click away within a few seconds. As heartbreaking it is for every blogger, it happens. Why do you think that is?
It’s because the blogger wasn’t able to make a good first impression on you -the visitor – who could have been their potential reader.
How many times we have been told – don’t judge a book by its cover. And yet that’s precisely what we do. Same happens to all bloggers, we are all at the receiving end whether we like it or not.
In order to keep readers, we need to make a good first impression.
In order to keep readers, we need to send the right message.
If you do these things, than your readers will stay for long enough to discover your amazing content.
I can help you make a good first impression with your blog. (Might I add I am working on creating a whole new look for my own too, and you will see a brand new blog soon.)
Here’s what you need to do.
Recently, I wrote a guest post titled Want more readers for your blog? First you need to put your best foot forward. You can go check it out.
The come back here. 🙂
Now, IF you would like my opinion, leave your name and blog’s name for me in comments below, specifying that you would like some feedback. I’ll have a peek and talk about what I can see within a few seconds. That’s all.
Oh, it’ll help me greatly if you could support me in establishing my online writing career. Please like my facebook page that I have just started (right bar- down bottom) and /or subscribe to receive my blog posts. Many thanks! 🙂
Subscribe to Writing Happiness & grab my 29-page FREE ebook “12 Essentials of Web Content that Works – How to get Noticed Online (and elsewhere)!”
Amy Says :
I would love some feedback on my blog. I write time saving tips for small business owners, busy professionals and active families.
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
Hi Amy, hope you are doing well.
When I go over to your blog, the first thing I notice is all the brown in your theme. Is it deliberate or just temporary? You might want to think about choosing colours in your theme, something that speaks for your personality? Serious, fun, quirky?
I read your about me page and it is very IMPRESSIVE. You need to maybe write a snapshot of who you are and why you started this blog on the sidebar. This clues in the visitor instantly to what your blog is about.
Maybe show your categories instead of dropdown menu?
You can make a fantastic blog because lot of people would be interested in what you are talking about. For instance ME! You’ve got the experience to back up what you are saying. Maybe look into how to make your posts scannable?
Your blog name and tagline are very creative but not necessarily indicative of what you are offering on your blog. Choosing one that does that will help you build your brand. But I think you have great potential. If you have any questions, do contact me again.
Hope this helps. Best of luck! 🙂
Amy Says :
Thanks so much Marya!!! These are great tips and critiques. And very much needed. I took all of them to heart – although I am working on the scannable part as we speak. Would you mind taking one more look? – – http://amymunns.wordpress.com/
Amy Says :
Thanks Marya! These are great comments. And very much needed. I took them all to heart – – would you mind taking another quick look? http://amymunns.wordpress.com/
WOW. I am impressed. You have made some great changes, and it looks so much more inviting now too. 🙂
Can I make two quick suggestions?
Watch the length of your posts. Moreover, you can make them ‘scannable’ by adding sub headings, bullet points or lists, or using bold to highlight key phrases.
Secondly although I personally love your headlines /titles of posts – they are so creative (and I used to be like that myself). Unfortunaltey, for blog posts, creative titles don’t usually work very well. Use a title which will tell the reader exactly what is coming in the post, the benefit for readin it. Make it enticing. If you do some research, there are lot of info out there for making posts scannable and adding great titles. Titles make a HUGE difference.
That being said, I love the changes. Keep in touch Amy.:) I have a feeling you will do great things with your blog – I love your idea anyway. Cheers.
Amy Says :
You are very awesome and wise! I really appreciate you offering to do this critique for me/us. It has been invaluable. Yes – let’s keep in touch!
Would you like to subscribe to my blog – I’d love the follow.
Have a great week. Amy
Sandra Bell Kirchman Says :
Nice idea, Marya. Hope it works for you. From what I’ve seen of your comments, you have an eye for what works and what doesn’t.
Hi Sandra, when I was starting out, I would have killed for an opportunity like this so I think it might be nice to help put beginners. But maybe I am a bit over ambitious this time? Will see how we go. Thanks 🙂
Kate Says :
Hi Marya, great idea, I would love your feedback on my blog:) will hop over to fb now,
Many thanks, Kate
Your title and tagline tell everyone what to expect from blog straightaway so that’s great. I notice your title says improvedconfidence dot com in your header as well. Is that done on purpose?
You have got your categories, your popular posts. All looks great.
When I go to your about me page, your story comes after you have talked about self esteem and all. I would have liked to read that up front so then I develop a sense of you first, and then start to relate to what are telling me about. You could also break your story up a bit and tighten it up. Just my opinion though.
Great blog. I can see we both belong to the same club. 😉 Best of luck to both of us eh?
Kate Says :
That is so strange, just last week I started to edit my about me page – not finished yet so this was perfect timing!
Definitely best of luck to both if us, I think it is great to know as many people as possible in the same field so keep in touch.
Thank-you for this, excellent idea,
Great minds think alike? heheheh
Yes, let’s keep in touch. Definitely.
Excellent offer. May be you can start with captain’s log.
Hello. I can see that you have just started your blog and that is fantastic. Often taking that first step is the hardest. I like you have planned out your categories and what you will be writing about. Maybe write a post for each category so if anyone visits, you have at least no ‘testing’ bits there. I can’t wait to see what you do on your blog. Best of luck 🙂
Attention (new) bloggers – Here is a chance to grab a FREE mini critique on your blog « Marya Writes Says :
[…] So allow me to help you guys out. If you want some feedback on your blog – FREE – and real feedback – practical tips that can improve how your blog looks, feels and behaves (get more comments and traffic), then go to my new blog Writing Happiness and leave a comment under the top post titled Need a mini critique for your blog? Here’s how you can get one – for FREE. […]
Tiffany Wells Says :
I would love some feedback. I am very new to this and have been sitting on this idea for 4 years… waiting until i could figure it all out… recently, I decided to just take a stab at it and make changes as i go along. This blog is a bit untraditional but I think if done correctly, it can meet a great need. Thanks in advance for your candid feedback.
Blog address: http://www.inthemeantimeletters.blogspot.com
Hi Tiffany. Firstly what an unique idea – and often unique turn into HUGE. 🙂
One question though, what are you hoping to accomplish by writing this blog? Say you have lots of people sending them your letters, do you want to build a community of some sort? What do you want to acheive? First you need to be clear on your goal – then you can really start to build your blog. Hope this helps.
sandy Says :
Marya! You angel! I have been subscribing to your blog for some months nw and find it very useful and interesting. Meanwhile I am stuck with my blog- I feel the content is good (but maybe its not), but I just dont know what to do to get more people in it. Please please help!
Hi Sandy, the first thing I want to ask you – what you do want to accomplish from your blog?. Is it a personal one, meant for family and friends only? Or do you want to offer your expertise in some area (in your niche). By answering this question, you can design the blog to suit this need. I did not get this from your about me page either so I can’t offer any specific suggestions.
I love your style by the way. I am sure once I am clear on what you wanna do with your blog, I might be able to offer some concrete advice. Hope this helps. 🙂
sandy Says :
Thank you so much about the feedback. I see the blog as a sort of a vox pop of the thoughts of the young urban Indian woman. It covers topics that she thinks about and that affect her life-these can be love an relationships, celebrities, politics and current affairs in urban India. I have tried to adopt a tone and manner that she can relate to.. Is this too vague a definition? Should I finetune it?
Hi Sandy, your writing and focus looks fine, obviously it is important to you so go on writing. 🙂 Just keep in mind that you might not be able to attract huge audiences if you want to monetize your blog later or that sort of thing. For that, you need to do it differently. (Solve some kind of reader problem, offer a service etc)
That being said, can I make a few suggestions? Your categories don’t tell me necessarily what sort of posts are filed there. Maybe make them clearer?
Secondly, its extremely important to have an ‘about me’ page where you talk about who you are, what your is blog all about, why you are writing it (your story leading to it). This would really make readers connect with you.
You can keep your distinctive tone, and style and yet make things clearer on your blog. Make sure keep your title posts, categories etc descriptive rather than creative. Unleash your creativity in your posts instead. Hope that helps 🙂
Mika Says :
I’m pretty new to this and I have been doing alright so far, but I would love to take it farther and I was so excited to see your offer! I really appreciate it. Thank you so much!
The Summer Chef- thesummerchef.wordpress.com
Hi. 🙂 I have taken a quick look at your blog and it looks fine. You might want to add a few categories grouping recipes.
I also noted one thing, you are not sharing your identity with your readers. Even if you choose not to put up a picture, people should know more about you. In my opinion, people follow people and not blogs. They are not necessarily after information only, but they need a sense of connection which is hard to acheive if the blogger doesn’t share their basic info. They want to know who is behind all this cooking. If they just want recipes, they can google them. They will follow your blog but you have to invite themselves in your world first. Have a think, you might be surprised. Hope this helps.
Joyce McDonald/Luciani Says :
I’d love some help. Some of this is a mystery to me. All suggestions appreciated. Love your blog. It’s always an inspiration for my day. Thanks
Hi joye, good to see you again. 🙂
I am just looking at your blog. How long have you been blogging for? At first glance, I couldn’t exactly tell what the blog is about, is it a personal one or do you have any other goals?
When I read your about me page, I find out that you are writer. That’s great. YOu need to add more detail here. Talk a bit more about you and what prompts you to blog here.
You also need to add a tag line right under your blog title which will tell people what your blog is all about.
Thirdly make a list of few areas you might be interested in writing about, and file those under categories.
Doing these simple things will make a huge difference and people would know what to expect from your blog. Let me know if makes any help and if you are on board with my suggestions and then maybe we can talk some more. 🙂 Best of luck!
westwood Says :
Mind if I give you some feedback? I suggest a catchier tagline 🙂
I’d like some too if you care to reciprocate, if you’re sick of the endeavour no worries!
Actually I would love some help with the tagline. This one is just – temporary. I need something that says .. inspiring people to blog /write online, and also .. simple writing is most effective when it comes to writing for the web. Think you can help?
Also I am going to definitely provide some feedback on your blog but have to do it tomorrow. My kids are screaming from the bath, its nearly their bedtime. Tomorrow! 🙂
westwood Says :
Hmmm. Tagline suggestions. here’s what I’ve got (none are great, but perhaps one will inspire an idea):
– Towards better blogging
– To write in spite of fear
– Uncovering mastery, one post at a time
– How to write your way around the web and back
Thanks for that. I have chosen something that a bit more ‘catchy’ then the old one.
I have just taken a quick look at your blog – sorry it took me so long, I messed up my site while updating its theme and it went down for almost 2 days. I think your blog looks great. I can see straight away what it is about so thats good. I see you have lot of people coming over and commenting so thats fantastic. Sorry, this is a lousy critique but no bone to pick here. Except that you might consider ‘coming out’. I personally like to know the blogger if I am following them but that’s entirely upto you. Best of luck!
Susan K Says :
I’d like to get a mini critique, too. I began blogging 2 months ago, and except for the occasional commenter, it is hard for me to assess how to improve it. Thank you!
Hi Sarah, how are you? I’ll jump straight in.
You’ve got a generic header that says you are not serious about this, which I can see you are. You need to change it.
YOu still have ‘another wordpress site’ as your tagline. You need to come up with one if you haven’t got one already.
Your blog name doesn’t do justice to your expertise and what you are offering. It doesn’t tell me what the blog is about and what can I expect. Assuming you want to establish your blog and be able to monetize it later on, you need to pick a name very carefully, something that clues the readers in to your content. Think of establishing your blog in terms of your brand.
I like the information on your about me page. You might to change ‘you might be wondering who am I and why I am writing this blog’ bit and start with your story. Talk about your credentials and what you are oferring. You might want to put the resources entirely on a new page and title it as such. That would be really eye catching. Also, in my opinion, there is no use for having a comment policy page. It doesn’t really accomplish anything. Most people are aware of this and spammers won’t read it anyway. 🙂
That’s all. You have got great potential as obviously you know what you are talking about. You have a clear goal, and a niche. Most people struggle with this in the first place and getting that sorted is the major work done. In my opinion. 🙂
Hope this helps. 🙂 Best of luck Sarah.
Susan K Says :
Thank you soooo much for taking the time to give a thoughtful review of my blog (and all the other blogs, too). To be honest, I really wasn’t even aware that the tagline could be modified — I will have to work on that during the next week.
Thank you again, and I’ve enjoyed reading your blog.
It was my pleasure, glad to know it helped. 🙂 Have a good day!
priya Says :
just dropped in on your blog and its lovely. I would definitely want my blog to be reviewed by you.
Here’s my URL
I am open to ruthless criticism 🙂
My apologies first for such a late response. I will blame it on the weather and all the nice things that come along with it – such as cold, coughing, flu and three highly demanding loved ones. Sigh, it just makes me exhuasted writing about it.
Anyway, I am just taking a look at your blog.
On first impression – I like how it looks. Straightaway I can see that you are a highly creative individual. 🙂 That’s good.
However, I have to ask, what is your purpose for writing this blog. If its a personal blog, then its fine. If you want to monetize your blog along the way, its best to decide that upfront. Then you have really have to think about branding, your content (it needs to be scannable and screen friendly) and also promotion. Your about me page needs to tell people who they are so as to develop a sense of connection. In a nutshell, there are TONS of things you need to do but you have to decide first – what is it that you want to accomplish from your blog first.
Hope that helps 🙂
priya Says :
hey marya, thanks a lot for the review..I was awaiting your reply. First, i wrote this blog as a personal thing because i like to write, although I may not be anywhere people like you, but i definitely like to attempt. I havent thought about the monetizing part yet, marya. Because that would take up a lot of my time at this moment. But may be in the future! I will surely do that. I will focus on the branding part too. Thanks, and i am a fan or your blog already..You are bookmarked 🙂
Uzma Says :
Its been so great to find you’re blog. Was going to call mine us swelter for the longest time so was really nice to see your URL. Love to write so its a pleasure to have found you. Would deeply appreciate a review of my blog. I do intend to change the name and URL soon. Some insights on the blog would be very nice. Do hope u can. Thanks so much. God bless
Sorry it took me this long. Everybody has been sick at my house for the longest time, only today I am catching up on all my comments. 🙂
I had a look at your blog and it looks good. I think your blog name signifies what your writing is all about. Your about me page is clear and well written as well.
I noticed you don’t have any images in your posts. You could use flickr to get fantastic free images, just search under creative commons lisence. Images really set a mood to a piece of writing and I believe do wonders in terms of creating meaningful connections with your readers.
Also you need to work on making your posts web friendly. Use sub headings, bullet points – I see you already use bold. Be creative in your sub headings rather than the main titles /headlines. Make those descrptive, so that the readers know what is coming and feel enticed enough to click on it.
Have you been blogging for long?
What do you want to accomplish from your blog? Is this a place to showcase your writing or are you after monetizing your blog in future. Think about all these things as well. These issues are very important.
Hope this helps 🙂
This thread is now CLOSED! Many thanks to people who commented and helped me polish my critique skills. Cheers guys 🙂
Uzma Says :
Thank you for the critique Marya. Will definitely look into the images and making the posts web friendly. Your feedback was so apt and useful and applicable. Thank you so much.
Right now am just writing , but do intend to monetize soon. Have work to do on that front.
Once again, appreciate you taking out the time. Hope everyone in the family is well-recovered. Ramzaan mubarak too 🙂
Childhood depression Says :
Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!
My blog is about Depression definition.
Praveen Rajarao Says :
Marya – I was about to submit my website for your review, when I saw your comment on this being CLOSED. It was really disappointing. So I took up the initiative to start a new thread for New Bloggers to Submit their website at my blog. It would be great if you could help me out with some reviews, my readers will really like a professional opinion. Take a look – I created a new poll and a forum for New Bloggers. If you are interested to provide some expert advise on How To Blog, take a look at – http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com/calling-new-bloggers/
Praveen, I wish I could do more reviews, I really do but I am flat out at the moment. I have got a huge teaching (my day job) related project coming up, starting Monday. I’ll be able to have a detailed look after that. Thanks for your feedback.
Rashmi Says :
wow…that’s so wonderful…
please do visit my blog too
it is http://expressbywords.wordpress.com
waiting for the feedback
Rashmi Says :
oh no……..is that closed now??
then how can i get your feedback on my blog?
Rashmi, I will try to do one for you as soon as I can. At the moment I am just too busy at work, in fact I would not be posting for a while on my own blog. When I do get some free time, I would be happy to take a look. Cheers
Rashmi Says :
Okay…no probs, you finish off your work and then I ll be happy to see your feedback and your own posts too
Josh Sarz Says :
Hi there Marya. Do you still do quick reviews on people’s blogs? If so, please tell me what you think about mine at http://sagoyism.com.
Thanks much Marya.
Hi Josh, I haven’t done any blog reviews for a while as I am flat out. As soon as I get some time, I’ll try to do one for you. Cheers.
Lydia Says :
Hey there Marya!
I’m not sure how often you do reviews anymore, but it would be great if you could review mine for me since I recently launched it. http://www.iamthefashionmentor.com