March 30, 2020
March’s Blog Audit Challenge 2020
This year I’m participating in a Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by Jo Linsdell. The plan is to work on making our blogs even better and setting our goals for the coming months. Each month will have its own challenge to work through. Join us!
Well….March was a bit derailed due to Covid-19! I hope that if you are reading this that you are well.
March found me preoccupied with finding paper towels and toilet paper! Because of orders to stay home and isolate, I spent many reading and blogging hours ordering food and paper goods online. I had difficulty reading books with heavier content and had a serious case of the “blahs.” How about you? Thinking strategically about the blog became nonexistent. So, I don’t have too much to report unless good intentions and reflection count for something!
March’s Challenge is to focus on The Trimmings:
1. The Header
In anticipation of the March Challenge, I contacted an artist friend in February and inquired about designing a new header for the blog. The header needs to reflect my site and my personality and set a tone. When I first started the blog, I set it up quickly and impulsively and grabbed some generic graphics from Google images….I realized later that this is not recommended and I’ve known for some time that I need to come up with my own original artwork or pay for the right to use an image.
My header reflects me and my personality, but I don’t think it reflects what I DO. I know I need to think about branding.
- My style– I’m a casual person. I love informal, warm, and welcoming. My current floral header reflects my love of nature, lots of color, and gardening, and it sends a warm vibe. So I’d like to keep that feel but stylize it so it’s uniquely me and doesn’t look like I pulled it from Google images! I think I’d like a pen and ink drawing and water color.
- My mission-My header needs to convey a clear message about what I do….it needs to reflect my mission (from the January Challenge). Right now I have some words that suggest what I do, but I’d like my header to also visually reflect what I do.
- My branding– I need to match my header to the rest of my branding. I definitely want my branding to reflect the informal, friendly, warm, and bookish vibe.
Definitely, I have a great deal of work to do in this area, and after the Covid-19 situation dies down, I will have more brain power to devote to this task!
2. The Side Bar
Of the three task items this month, I’ve been the most proactive with the sidebar.
The sidebar is for extra content that I want visitors to find easily but it can’t be cluttered. I don’t think my sidebar is overly cluttered. Do you? One thing I ALWAYS look for is a search bar. I think I might also want to eventually put a search bar in my header. Right now it’s placed high in the sidebar….but still, it’s not the first thing a visitor sees. I was looking on another website this morning for a review (I knew she had reviewed the book and I wanted to link to her in my review) and I couldn’t find a search bar anywhere! So frustrating! One tweak I want to take care of soon is putting a search bar in my header!
This article has some good suggestions, and I think I have incorporated most of them. Do you think my sidebar is missing something? Please let me know what you’d like to see!
3. The Footer
I’m not sure I have what I need in the Footer. I remember when I first set up my website, I duplicated some items from the Sidebar which probably isn’t the wisest design idea! One item that was suggested in this article is a strong call to action. I know I don’t have that, so this will be a task for the future. I need to do some hard thinking about the footer, but honestly I don’t have the bandwidth for that in March!
April’s Challenge will focus on Design.
If you are a blogger, have you thought about your header, sidebar, and footer?
If you are a follower and have always wanted to make a suggestion for improvement, now’s your chance! I’d love to hear feedback about why you continue to follow or read my reviews and other blog content. I’d like to hear about what I could improve. I am committed to the genres I review, so that’s firm for now.
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
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