I love to read blog critiques and then reflect on my own blog to try to improve. There is a now defunct blog called 10 Things I Hate About Your Site that offered critiques to bloggers who signed up. I discovered the site too late and never got that harsh criticism I was looking forward to in some sado-masochistic way.
I do think that we, as bloggers, often shy away from any sort of criticism of other bloggers in this blogging bubble we live in - especially the "big" bloggers. My blog friend, Janet, and I were discussing that oftentimes readers will complement ANYTHING bloggers post- "they could smear cat poo on a canvas...frame it and hang it in the dining room and everyone would be in awe of their creativity." Have you ever found yourself doing that? I think I'm guilty.
Well, I think a healthy dose of criticism is good for the soul and since I couldn't get a critique from that blog I mentioned, maybe I should ask for it here!
I'll list my top 10 blog peeves and then you can critique my blog and then list some peeves of your own. What do you think?
1. Your avatar doesn't link to your blog. If you don't have your blog linked in your profile, I can't click over there to see who belongs to that lovely face I see over there in my "followers" box.
2. You don't have an email registered with Google. I can't respond to your questions, or make a little joke, or ask you a question after you comment!
3. Word verification, word verification, word verification...I cannot tell you how many times I just click off a page with word verification because I don't have time to mess around with it when I want to leave a quick comment. Blogger has tightened up their spam criteria and almost 100% of SPAM is filtered into your spam folder now. Try it! PLEASE try it!
4. The long list of blogs in your profile and half of them are defunct or private. When I'm faced with several blogs in a profile and I click on the first one that is private or not in use I get so frustrated! Did you know you can set your private and test blogs so they are invisible?
5. Auto-play music. I admit I jumped on this bandwagon when I first started my blog - thank goodness I came to my senses! Most people don't like the same type of music, or they are already listening to music, or sitting in an cubicle secretly reading blogs instead of working ... your music just ratted them out!
7. Your posts are written in one large paragraph. Break it up with space between ideas, many paragraphs are sooooo much easier to read!
8. You don't include photos. I'm not going to lie, I need a little fluff to entertain my brain. I like to see what you are talking about, even if it's a clip art photo of a concept. Show me pictures, it makes me happy!
Oh, BTW, check out how hilarious my son looked when he fell asleep during the long drive home from New Jersey:
See? Do it like that!
9. You only talk about your Etsy/Artfire/Whatever business. Dude, branch out. It's kind of boring and a little indulgent. It's not interesting to read about the same thing every day. Gain readers by keeping the topics varied, regular, and interesting, then those folks will see your "goods" when they visit you.
10. A cluttered sidebar. When I see random buttons from every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the sidebar all willy nilly it just looks messy and crammed. It makes me feel stressed, like I need to come over and clean. And I hate to clean.
It's Feedback Friday...
Okay, so far, here are the things I've changed based on your feedback:
1. I changed by feed back to full feed.
2. I added the buttons to allow you to Tweet or Facebook posts