Tag Archives: the blog critique

The Blog Critique #13 | The Native New Yawker

The Blog Critique #13: Utilizing Social Media As An Artist With A Blog

Within the last week I got a lot of new blogs submitted to the critique, so I thank you all for helping me keep this series alive. With the increased amount of interest this series is getting, after much debate I decided that I will go through with offer blogging consultations outside this blog. I will get into more detail about that service at a later date, but just be advise that’s going down.

I read all the blog submissions and try to pick blogs that are dealing with new issues that haven’t really been addressed yet with these critiques. I took the time and renamed all the previous blog critiques, to make it easier for you to find common problems that all bloggers seem to be dealing with including promoting engagement, increasing page views, and building a credible brand within your niche/industry. I offered some lovely tips and techniques that you could apply to your own blogs and brands. If you’ve gone through all the posts and still have an issue that hasn’t been addressed, by all means.. please submit your blog for submission. Let’s move right along to today’s critique.

Illustration + Lifestyle Blog

Brooklyn based illustrator, Brittany Holloway-Brown, finally submitted her blog for critique after months of deliberation. Although she’s fairly ‘new’ to the blogging community, she’s had her blog for quite some time now. This year she made a resolution to put not only herself, but her art out there more and start networking with other fellow artists. Although she’s confident about her blog post imagery, she submitted her blog for a critique to get my advice on the overall design of her blog and most importantly, what she can do to increase her presence on social media as she feels her skills are lacking. Well Brittany, you’ve come to the right place.

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The Blog Critique 12 | The Native New Yawker

The Blog Critique #12: Gaining Followers & Promoting Engagement

It has literally been months since I’ve done a blog critique. Let me just thank all the bloggers that are still submitting their blogs for critique even after this series has gone on a mini hiatus. I’m slowly but surely going to make my way to everyone’s site.. eventually.

I’ve been thinking about switching the medium up for this post and turning it into a video series instead. I feel like some points could come across better via video than text, so we’ll see. So just don’t be surprised if you see one of the next critiques a video. Moving right along with today’s critique.

Dating & Relationship Blog

Veronica is getting ready to approach her first full year of blogging as of March. When first setting up her blog, Veronica had two goals in mind: build traffic and reach out to women everywhere. Since she started blogging last year, she’s managed to pull in over 2000 unique visitors, but like all bloggers, she’s facing some challenges. Deeming me the “godmother” of better blogging, Veronica submitted her blog for critique to not only get my feedback on the aesthetics of her blog, but she wants to know what she can do to gain a following as well as promote people to leave comments on the site. Like I always say, *that default Godfather accent* you’ve come to the right place.

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the blog critique | 11 | The Native New Yawker

The Blog Critique #11: Brand & Engagement Building

It’s been weeks since I critiqued a blog — once again.. my bad, ya’ll. This 2014 Blog Planner, on top of crazy freelance work, has consumed all my time lately. I have quite a few projects & businesses launching for 2014 that I can’t wait to share with you all, including ebooks, webinars and consultation. I’m really trying to turn it up next year and slowly make my way back over into the freelancing lane. I miss working from the privacy of my own apartment in my PJs.

I will tell you all this.. for 2014 I’m working on one-on-one blog critique sessions that will take place over Skype or Google Hangout. I’d do a live critique of your site showing you how a new user navigates your site, pinpoint problem areas and what you can do to fix them, as well as touch on any specific concerns you may have such as getting more engagement from your readers, or how to properly go about monetizing your blog. So stay tuned for that. Make sure you’re subscribe to the blog as I’ll be sending emails out for signs up a few days early. Moving right along.. let’s jump into today’s critique.

Lifestyle Blog

Ariel started her blog as a place where she was ‘testing the water’, voicing her opinions on topics, such as the latest celebrity news. But that got old real fast and she realized she actually can’t stand celebrities. So nowadays her blog focuses more on ‘girl talk’ where she offers the realness with an inspirational twist. She now wants to start using her blog as a platform to offer her services and products and figured her blog could use a critique. Her major concerns dealing with her blog are that it’s not only not visually appealing, but she’s unsure if her brand message is clear.. or if there’s even a brand at all. And, of course she’d like to improve the engagement factor with her audience. She lives for conversations and engagement and just wants to know if there’s anything she can do to turn it up. Well, Ariel.. you’ve come to the right place.

The Good

Despite not being aesthetically stimulated when first arriving on your page, you got all your vital information about the fold. You have all your social networks listed, including G+ (you go, girl!), making it easier for people to follow you. When I actually went to click they links though, it took me to the main pages of the social networks rather than your actual profiles. I can check out your YouTube videos, follow you on Bloglovin’ or find specific articles I want to read from your navigation section. When it comes to the basics of what’s need for a blog, you’ve definitely got that covered so as I say, kudos.

The biggest challenge you’re facing with your blog is the aesthetics, but before I give you some suggestions.. let’s talk about some of your other concerns.

The Concerns

I’m not sure if my brand message is clear.. or if there’s a brand at all.

When it comes to branding, I’ve noticed a common misconception. People think that once they have a site, a name & a logo, they instantly have a brand. Sure, visuals can play a large part in your branding, but that alone doesn’t make a brand–you just have an identity.

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the blog critique | 10 | The Native New Yawker

The Blog Critique #10: Developing Your Personal Brand

Last week I totally lost track of time and by the time Thursday came around I was all like.. “It’s Thursday?! It’s Thursday.. Shit.” But this week I was on it.

It’s still quite awesome that you all are still submitting your blogs for the critique. I promise, no blog will go without a critique, it’s just going to take some time to get to everyone. I thought I would probably end this series by the Fall, but since starting this series I’ve gotten so much supportive feedback so long lives The Blog Critique! If you haven’t submitted your blog for a critique, you can do so now on the Contact page — simply fill out the form & hit send! So, let’s get into this week’s Blog Critique.

Lifestyle Blog

After wanting a blog for the longest, Tara finally took the leap and started her blog over a year ago. The excitement of just having a blog made her overlook important factors like who was her audience or what exactly was her blog about. She started blogging about what was popular at the time, whether it was about natural hair or personal style, but that wasn’t exactly her area of expertise. The more she blogged, the more she started listening to her audience and realized it was actually her inspirational or observation about life post that they enjoyed the most. Now, a year in, she’s found her niche. She’s looking to aim her blog towards a more inspirational lifestyle blog. She submitted her blog to the critique in hopes of getting some good advice on really creating her brand through design and content. As I always say, Tara, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve all been in your situation before, so hopefully I can help.

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the blog critique | The Native New Yawker

The Blog Critique #09: Improving Your Blog’s Design For Longer Page Visits

Happy Halloween! It’s Thursdayyyyyy, ya’ll. This week I’ve been all off with posting. Between having a wisdom tooth removed and battling a cold, I’ve just been out of it for the past week or so. However, this week I was determined not to miss a Blog Critique. So let’s jump right into it!

Teen Jazz Musician Blog

Saxophonist (you gooo, girl!) Shannon’s blog is a community for up and coming jazz musicians. Her blog features everything from music and career advice to equipment reviews to interviews with other jazz artist. Even though she has some older readers, her current demographic is high school students. Shannon submitted her blog for a critique because she wanted to get some tips to help improve the flow of the site’s design to invite readers to not only stay longer but to engage as well. She’s also unsure of her blog’s current design. Which demographic should she gear it towards? Her younger audience or older? Well, Shannon.. you’ve come to the right place.

The Good

When first landing on your page, there’s quite a lot of information to take in but being that there’s ample amount of white space, it’s not too bad. Your slider features pivotal information that can get users started with your blog, including your awesome video explaining what your site has to offer. You have all your important links from About to Contribute to Contact all above the fold and your navigation is broken down nicely, making it easy to find exactly what I’m looking for whether it be an interview or a podcast. Since the goal of your blog is to build a community of musicians, you have clear copy and great call to actions making it easy for users to engage one way or another. So for all those things, kudos.

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