First of all I’d like to quickly ask for your forgiveness. You see, yesterday was the first weekday I have not published a post on this blog since it started. However, I need to apologize not for taking the day off, but for not letting you all know ahead of time that I wouldn’t be posting. You see yesterday was my wife and my first anniversary. Can you believe it? That beautiful lady you see in the picture there has suffered through and entire year with me! Anyway, special days like that or major holidays I pretty much will always take the day off blogging. So, please forgive me for not alerting you all sooner. I’ll be back on schedule for the rest of the week and hopefully have some pictures of the beach to share sometime next week. Now, on to the post!
A while back Zane from KungFuCabbage.com asked me to take a look at his site and provide feedback on areas he might be able to improve. He gave me a link in exchange but that wasn’t necessary. I enjoy analyzing websites, especially blogs, and if I can offer up a few comments or remarks that help make it improve, then all the better. In fact, if you’d like me to put your blog under the microscope, just drop me an email with the URL and a bit of what you’d like me to focus on. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s jump right in!
Take a look at the screen shot of KFC (sorry I had to) and what’s the first thing that jumps out at you? If you’re like me, the field of green caught your eye right off the bat. I have no problem with the color, in fact, it plays into the cabbage part quite well, but does it need to be so large and relatively empty? Zane, I think we’ve talked about a tag line for your site previously, and I think this is the perfect place to employ it. Also, an image or something might help spice it up a bit as well. Shoot even something as simple as a cartoon cabbage that you draw a ninja style headband on could easily become your logo. I know most of us aren’t graphic designers or graphic artists but logo’s aren’t expensive to have made and I think it would help you quite a bit in the branding department.
The next thing that caught my attention is the Google Ads. I don’t really want to get into why I hate Adsense with the burning white hot passion of a thousand suns, but believe it or not, I don’t have a problem with people using it on their site. It can be a decent source of income and I’m always in favor of that. However, by displaying multiple adblocks, you could actually be decreasing your earnings. If you allow only a few ads to be displayed, the higher paying ads will be the ones served up. However, by displaying multiple blocks, you allow lower priced ads to eat up space on your site. I’d suggest setting up channels to discover which block of ads generates the most clicks, and then eliminate the rest.
Another change I’d like to see made, would be to put more focus on the content in your upper right hand corner. I’m not sure whether it would be to just increase the font size a bit or perhaps integrate it into the green or even make use of another color but that section contains a lot of good information and I don’t think enough people will notice it right off the bat. As long as we’re up in the top right section, you might want to explain the subscription options a bit more. Right now the only clue that tells me you offer email subscriptions is the “Delivered by Feedburner” part under the email box. If a visitor is not familiar with Feedburner, they’ll have no idea why they should put their email address in that box. Last but not least, I’d like to see the recent entries up above the calender. That’s really more of a personal preference but in my mind, the titles of your last 10 posts are more valuable than knowing your posting schedule. Really though, that kind of option is different for each and every blog and there’s really no “right” way of doing things.
You’ll probably notice that I didn’t mention your content at all. Considering I have often talked about the quality of content being the top priority for a site, that might seem a bit odd. However, I think your content is a) fairly strong as it is and b) probably not getting the amount of attention and exposure it deserves. Hopefully some of these suggestions will help change that and in help your blog hit a growth spurt in the process. I’d also like to mention that these suggestions are simply that, suggestions. If you decide not to take one or all of them, I won’t be offended and I won’t look down my nose at you. This is your blog and I’m simply honored that you’d ask me for input on it. What you do with the input is entirely up to you. I hope this small study has been useful not only to Zane, the author of KungFuCabbage, but to the rest of our readers as well. Check out your own site and see if some of these things might also work for you. And remember, if you’d like me to put your site under the microscope (see how I tied that in to the “experiment” theme there? wasn’t that clever? lol) just drop me an email and let me know. I’ll try to save time for one these every week or two.