I joined the Blog Critique party at Truly Lovely last week. I signed up to have two critiques done and to give two critiques. For my critiques, one was from Megan of Some Good Times and the other from Elena of World Wide Mom. We all followed the blog critique list created by Carolina at Crafterminds.
They both gave me great critiques. Here is a summary of their critiques and my responses in red.
- Finding the blog: You are doing great on Google. I Google-d the term “Ali Lilly” and your Blog was number Your Etsy shop was number 2, and your Facebook page for your Blog was number 3 !
Seriously? That is super awesome!!
- Finding your blog on Google was easy and fast.
- Blog Loading: Your blog loaded quickly in Google Chrome, which I use, within a few seconds. I also tried in Safari and IE and both were slower to load your page, but I tend to have that issue with any website with these browsers.
- Blog loading was pretty fast
- First Impression: I love the background and the Title image, though my eye was drawn to the top banner Ad more than to your content at first. I love the many quick links at the top. I really appreciate when I go to a blog looking for something specific and find a link to it at the top!
- First Impression: the first thing I notice is that you have the adv banner after your header and I would put it before at the very top of the page. So that after your header would follow the green menu, that I like because it gives right away some useful tools and info where to find what.
They were both instantly drawn to the banner ad. Which is both good and bad. But, I did move the ad to the very top. I think it keeps the blog flowing a little better. I LOVE having those tab links up there and equally love when other bloggers have them as well. Makes it so much easier on us readers.
- Sidebar: The Sidebar is organized well. It is easy for people to follow you in their preferred way and to find you on other medias (facebook, etsy).I love the photos of your family included ! They are great. I find that it’s easy to feel like bloggers aren’t “real” and one of the ways to counteract this is to include photos like these of the people/things/events that are important to you.
- I love that you put pictures of your daughter. I never thought doing that but I really think that showing a little bit of you and your family, is something that people may like. It is like getting you know better!
Social media buttons are so important. You want to give your readers every opportunity to follow in which ever way they prefer. I find so many blogs out there without these.
I love having pictures of my family up. I will say that has I gain more and more followers it makes me a little nervous to have them. Especially Alie. I’ve had to block a few followers that were more than R rated! (Thanks Kassi for the heads up!) I’m not quite sure how to go about this. I LOVE letting y’all into my world and my world is my sweet Alie and my hubby. I see quite a few bloggers that do not post pics of their kids or they post without their faces. Right now, I think the best thing to do is TRUST that God has my life in His hands and that includes this blog!
- I would put your amazing etsy shop more on the top of the site. What you create is beautiful and should be more visible!
Thank you so much!! I actually widened the widget on the side bar. I also have a tab up top that takes you to a larger widget which includes prices.
This is pretty dang cool!! I didn’t even KNOW about Alexa.com!!
- The font style is very nice and simple I wouldn’t change that only the bold effect.
I’ve been posting in bold since the beginning of the blog. Once it was brought to my attention, THEN I suddenly noticed how annoying it was!! Sorry y’all!! I even share my AMAZING TACO RECIPE yesterday for taco Tuesday and changed the font. I guess I’ll slowly change them all. I like it better like this.
- I like how you gave space to your sponsors. They have a good spot and the size of the buttons is just right (in some blogs the sponsor buttons are so tiny you cannot understand what they are even selling!)
I agree, there are a lot of sponsor buttons on blogs that are really really small. I’ve seen lots of interesting ideas behind sponsors. Now, yes, most of my sponsors right now are friends and we both sponsor each other. And yes I am terrible at doing sponsor features. I am working on that! I do have a few sponsors that pay. Some big blogs out there have SO MANY sponsors I think they get lost in all the buttons. If your paying for sponsorship you want to be seen and you want a feature post, whether it be a single or multi-feature post as long as the blog your paying is putting YOU out there. I saw one really great sponsor idea. One blog out there only has 10 sponsor spaces open and she only runs your space for one month. That way there isn’t too many sponsors and there is the opportunity for anyone who wants a space to eventually have one. I heard too, that she has a wait list and bloggers fighting for a spot!!
Even though, she liked the size I changed my sponsor button sizes. Perhaps a bit of guilt for not so many sponsor features?? Absolutely! And…well…it’s a bit more symmetrical now.
- On your sidebar you have two times the Popular Posts Gadget.
I have two because one the popular post from the past 30 days and the other is popular posts from all time. I edited the titles so that it was clear why I had two.
- About me: From your about me I learned a lot about how you became interested in your shop and crafting/blogging which I enjoyed. I think it would be nice to learn how you met your Husband as well. Your daughter is adorable !
Well, it’s actually a funny story. I was in the “talking about going out” part of the relationship with someone. I went to hang out one night at this certain someones house. In the kitchen stood this GORGEOUS man in a crazy looking super tight (like spandex tight) orange and blue Nautica shirt. Lucky for him orange is my favorite color. BUT, I didn’t pay attention to the shirt for long. David had the most haunting hazel eyes I had ever seen. Those eyes have held my heart in soul in them ever since. We have been together since THAT DAY. I prayed the whole time I was pregnant with Alice that she would have her daddy’s eyes.
So, there is my critique. Thanks so much, Megan and Elena. You both gave my wonderful critiques and really helped me make this a better blog. Thank you, Kassi for hosting. I really learned a lot!! And thanks to Crafterminds for setting up a great critique check list. :)
I want to add too… I have learned a lot this past weekend. Someone on Facebook had a page up FULL of awesome looking wreaths, wall hangers, kids clothes, and other stuff for sale. Only problem. It. Wasn’t. Her. Stuff!! She had MY FALL YARN WREATH for sale for $35 ANY color you want! Really? I was LIVID!! She had MANY MANY other images stolen from lots of bloggers, including Jen with Craft-o-Maniac and Amy with The Idea Room. Her page has been shut down by Facebook. But, I learned from all of this that any image that is yours whether it is watermarked or not is YOURS. PERIOD! And no one can use it with out your consent. I have added a NEW tab to the top of my page called Copyright. I have added a few links that have some interesting info us bloggers should know.
I hope this was helpful to you. Thanks so much for stopping by.
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