Feedback required please


I am currently enrolled in the Blogging 201 workshop run by the guys at WordPress. This particular workshop is all about branding and growth of your blog. Over the last few days we have been asked to think about why we blog, what our blogging dream is and setting ourselves some goals.

So, why do I blog? Initially, it was to take part in a challenge, but I soon realized that I actually really liked writing short pieces (as opposed to a book say) and then it became my way during my solo trip to communicate with my friends and family and take them along with me on the trip. I now blog because I love to share my passion for photography, history and wildlife and I have connected with some great people through this medium.

What is my blogging dream? To make this a full-time job, travel around the world, photograph and share the history of the people and places I encounter. Have a firm follower base who I can take with me on my travels (virtually) and engage with on a regular (possibly daily) basis.

My three goals going forward are:
1. Increase my followers to 200 by end of August 2014
2. Try to develop my writing style and stick to it
3. Seek out like-minded bloggers and engage more

Those were my answers to the first challenge and I admit that Goals 2 and 3 should be more defined, but it’s a start.

After this we were encouraged to look at out blog and make sure it all ties in together with what our blog is about. In my case, some changes were needed. I am trying to convey that this blog is about history, no particular tine in history, so it was a little hard for me to find a banner photo to convey this – still not sure I have managed it.

Additionally we were challenged to look at the theme of our blog (ie. the layout theme) and to try a few different styles. I like the theme I started out with, but have made a change to something that allows me to show off my photos better. I have played around with it all for quite some time and have edited my last post to show what I would like to do for all my posts going forward.

The workshop has a “Commons” area where we can seek feedback from fellow class mates and so far it has been great, but I would really like to get feedback from my followers to see what you think of the changes. Do you like them, does something not make sense, or would you change something or include something that isn’t currently there?

Please feel free to be frank, as I really value your opinions and feedback!

Thank you!

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Categories: Blogging 201 Workshop | Tags: , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Feedback required please

  1. I like your new banner, it’s beautiful! I don’t like very much the dark colours, generally make my eyes tired, maybe if you add a lighter background or change the back to white, only an idea.

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    • Thank you Elizabeth, I will play around with the background colours some more and see if I find something a little easier on the eyes.

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  2. Hi Simone, I also like to ramble a bit occasionally on my blog but no ambitions for becoming a professional at either writing or photography. For me it is a bit of fun to fill in the little gaps in a busy life; a bit of ‘me’ time.

    If you want more followers then the one way is to promote your blog through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. But you need to encourage people to return and follow you and not just visit if they see your post. I get a lot of hits from social media. I also get a lot more hits than I ever thought I would.

    Lots of people will comment just in the hope that you will comment back again. I have a really busy life and don’t comment on other posts as much as others do, but when I do comment I try to make it meaningful, and not do it in the hope that they will comment on my blog in return. I try not to just say ‘nice picture of a bee,’ but something like ‘you have got the focus spot on with that . What was the processing you did? It’s great.’ If it is someone who invites constructive criticism and they have got the focus wrong, l will say so. That sort of interaction in a blog makes a big difference. (I can also take constructive negative comments o my blog.)

    When people do make the effort to post a comment on my blog, I always try to reply, even if just to say thank-you. If not, how will they ever know that I appreciate, or have even read, what they have said.

    Promoting in online forums increases the hits. There is one forum I occasionally visit and when I do I get lots of hits from it. But they have to get something new to be attracted to return to you without you visiting the forum. I get several host from Elements Village, even when have not posted there for a few days.

    Regular posts are important.

    The blogs that have become really popular have all seemed to be personal accounts and contain new information and personal opinions and are not just putting across facts that can be found in a textbook or on Wikipedia . “As I stood beneath the branches searching for the rope marks where Jane Smith was strung up for murder, I wondered at what drove this wretch to slay her children…” is a lot more interesting than “Jane Smith was hanged from this tree in 1867 for murdering her children…” Okay, that was a bit flowery, but it is well past my bedtime!

    I don’t like reading a screen and if a blog post is too long I turn off, usually after a couple of paragraphs. I can read chapters of a book until the early hours of the morning, but acres of type on a screen is horrible to plough through. Keep it short and sweet and announce that you are saving some information for the next post. The “You’ll never believe what happened next… I’ll tell you next time.”

    Finally, I am not sure about the red colour scheme you have at the moment., I find it a wee bit distracting. In every culture paper has been white and ink black (or slate black and chalk white.)

    I am sure others will disagree with me!

    All the best.

    Ivor

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    • Hi Ivor,
      Thank you very much for your feedback. Lots to think about and some great ideas.
      I currently share my posts on Facebook and have a few of my friends that share the posts, so a lot of my visitors come through that and the Village of course.
      I have just changed my background again, but it’s probably not the last change lol
      Again, thanks for taking the time to give me your feedback and I will carry on making changes no doubt over the next few days.

      Like

  3. Clare Powell

    I love the layout, which makes it easy to negotiate. I’m not keen on the colour theme although my dyslexia is mild the colour scheme made it more challenging (I’d still follow you though just on PC rather than phone) and I always think of you with a bright bold colour not a dark one. I still love it though x

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  4. Do what you love and love what you do has always worked for me. The road isn’t always clear or straight just keep forward movement and you will be successful!

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  5. I agree with PC. The best way to move forward is to work with what you love.

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