Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Critique My Blog, Go AHEAD!!!

I've been thinking a lot about this blog and how it's evolved in the year that I've been writing it. When I first posted I pretty much thought it I was whistling in the dark - just keeping myself company in my head and faking it until I made it - as a writer. I think I've done that. I write. I identify as a writer. I'm not going to stop writing. In that way, mission accomplished.

But this blog hasn't changed as much as I have and I'm not so sure it's the right venue for my awesome self. KIDDING. But I do want to know how I can make it better. In March, the awesome Laura Barnes will critique my blog with a keen marketing eye. And today, I'm participating in the Critique My Blog blogfest hosted by Teralyn Rose Pilgrim at A Writer's Journey.

Here's how you can participate:
1) crit my blog
2) leave me your (nice or constructive) thoughts in comments
3) feel good about paying it forward

You can make comments on:
a.      Appearance: Does it appeal to you? Is it too busy, or too plain?
b.      Layout: Is it difficult to navigate? Is it cluttered, or sparse?
c.      Frequency: Does the blogger post too often? Not often enough?
d.      Content: Are the posts interesting? Unique? Are they focused, or all over the place?
e.      Quality: Are the individual posts too long, too short, too sloppy, or too generic?

Thanks so much for your feedback!


  1. Hello there. I like the blog. But there's a lot going on here for me to process. I'm wondering if this is just a taste thing. I like quite simple blog.

    How are you finding the 'You might also like' and this is a genuine question, do they add value? I would also suggest that the blogger icons get a lower a billing on the page.

    Gosh, it's hard to crit. Just take my thoughts as one person's opinion. What you've doing well is the content, and that's the most important aspect.


  2. I like the name of your blog. I would like to see some sort of blurb on what you write about.

    I like that you have an archive. I don’t like having to click to read your bio so please give me a teaser if you want me to click. I’m not sure about the background colour of your blog (that might just be my preference).

    You might want to consider moving “subscribe in a reader” over to “join this site” that way a guest can choose which one they prefer (makes your guests have to think less because they don’t have to go in search for alternative way to follow you). You might want to consider moving your blog list down the page (I don’t care who you are following but I do care what you have posted in the past and who you are). So for me I want to see someone’s bio and archive first. You might also want to consider moving your twitter/facebook buttons above your awards (being able to follow you is more important than the blog awards you have received).

    Your posts seem to be a good length. I like that you are using LinkWithin. I like that you have a blog post schedule. Good luck! I hope my comments help.

  3. i like the content, length & frequency of your posts (i like variety)
    that said, i think you need more pizzazz for your title and background and fonts.
    tried the template designer? experiment. make your blog show us your personality & style.
    you seem to be more than sea green and sea gulls! but i could be wrong!

  4. Like the color, love the birds! I'd suggest having the nav bar set at "light transparent" so it all blends in more seamlessly?

  5. Hi, I found your blog via this blogfest & I'm a new follower! Because I'm new, I don't really know if I can comment on your content in depth. I will say that I like the length of your posts, i.e. not too long, but with apparent substance! ;)

    I like that your blog isn't really cluttered. One thing I will say is that I think your colour scheme could use some rethinking. Mostly the background colour where your text is. I guess it's just not really easy on the eyes. It could be a lot worse (and I have seen a lot worse), just saying that maybe a white or different coloured background for your central panel might work better.

  6. Thank you for joining my blogfest!

    I also don't like the color, and I don't like that it's plain, especially since the color behind the content is so close to the background. In the same vein, having a title image instead of just the words "Magpie Writes" would look good and make the title stand out. You have a lot of room for creativity here!

    Your titles are nice, but half of them don't tell me enough of what they're about to make me want to click on them.

    I love the insecure writers support group. What a wonderful idea!

    I also love your unique voice. Your writing is distinctly you, and it gives me the feeling that I'm sitting down talking to you. That's probably the most important part of a blog, so good job.

    I hope some of that was helpful!

  7. I enjoy your voice and I'm a fan of blogs that expand the writing community and engage that community in meaningful conversation about the process, which your posts seem to do. Your look is pretty basic - maybe some more pizazz in the header? And I was a little confused by some of the stuff on the right-hand margin, i.e. what it meant. I appreciate the length of your posts - short enough for the way I tend to surf through blogs, long enough to engage.

    I also love the Insecure Writer's Support Group concept - so relatable.

  8. I agree with most of what people are saying. Try and create a more personal appearance. I like blogs where I'm sucked in before I even start reading. I enjoyed my visit and will check in again.


  9. Hello! It's nice to meet you through this blogfest. My only comment is about the colour- it is a little too bright on my eyes.

  10. a. Appearance: I'm really not a huge fan of the pale off-teal color. But I'm an artist, so I get nitpicky about stuff like that.

    b. Layout: Super easy to get around your site, and everything is perfectly readable. I'm a big fan of that.

    c. Frequency: You post more than a few times per week, which is good enough for me!

    d. Content: I love how in your post about interesting words you pulled in the actual word definitions from a dictionary website. However, I feel that the post was about two different things: the unusual words being missed, and then the unusual words messing up the flow of the piece. You were ABSOLUTELY right about the second one; that even though we'd like to think we're so scholarly by using big, unusual words, they may not help the story--in fact, they may detract from it. Make sure you're focusing on one "lesson," as the punch is kind of lost when there are multiple points that contradict in the same post.

    e. Quality: Your posts are thoughtful, a very good length (not too long or too short), and you get right to the meat of things most of the time. Good work!

  11. Thanks everyone for your feedback! I'm going to be taking a lot of it on board over the next month. I also think that visiting the other participating blogs is an eye opener - so much great design and content to take in. Looking forward to visiting everyone (it might take me a day or so) and saying hi. Thanks again!

  12. Good luck with the A-Z Challenge. I look forward to your posts.


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