Help Me Review This Blog

Flickr - Help! - dimi3I started this blog – Social Butterfly Guy – nearly 2 years ago with a few goals:

  1. Become a better writer.
  2. Express my thoughts (publicly).
  3. Write about what I’m most passionate about – people.
  4. Write posts that encourage others to share, think, comment, question, smile, laugh/dance, take action, get in shape, etc.

82 posts (& 21 pending drafts) later, I’m well-overdue to revisit those goals and get some help/feedback from the community.

It’s All About Timing

I’m a big believer in timing. Late last week, I saw a blog post from a friend, Mack Collier, titled Get your blog reviewed during #Blogchat! The timing gods were on my side. I immediately jumped all over it and submitted the following via a comment:

Count. Me. In. Great idea, Mack Collier . My blog: http://socialbutterflyguy.com/

What I’d like help with:

1. Design. It’s a WordPress Thesis Theme. I loved it 2 years ago when my blog launched, but it needs a refresh. I just don’t have the skills to do it myself nor the cash to pay someone as this is a personal blog.

2. SEO Stuff. Again, I’m using WordPress and it has some built-in SEO stuff, but I need help!

3. Content: As my tagline says, “It’s all about people.” My content is – for the most part – about people, but I worry that it’s all over the place.

4. Frequency: I was in a rut awhile ago, but finally got on track again. My last few posts have been some of my most viewed/commented in the past 2 years. But, I’m still struggling with the right balance on frequency.

Does that work? Need more?

Pick me. Pick me. Pick me!

This morning, while sipping on a freshly-brewed French Press and watching Baby Waldow (Eva) play pull everything in sight off of the shelves, I dug into my gmail inbox. Lo and behold, there was an email from Feedburner indicating Mack had published a new blog post.

Drum roll…

As I skimmed Mack’s post, Congrats to the Four Blogs That Will Be Reviewed at #Blogchat!, I immediately saw … my blog! The first 5 words that came to mind? Anxious. Nervous. Excited. Pumped. Honored.

Considering the likelihood that many will be looking at Social Butterfly Guy the next 24 hours, I figured I write this post to open up the review to all – even non-#Blogchat participants. If you’d like to join in the fun this evening, you can learn more about #blogchat here.

Let the critiquing begin!

Image: Flickr – dimi3

DJ Waldow
@djwaldow

15 comments
Ricardo Bueno
Ricardo Bueno

Hey DJ,

Kinda bummed I missed this one, but congratulations. That's pretty wicked awesome to get feedback from such a thriving community.

Now, I'm writing this just as I'm ready to do a #faceplant into the pillow...

Here's my quick feedback:

- Create a "Best Of" page. You have some great posts on here, why not hi-light them a little bit more. Here's a great example from Jonathan Fields: http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/best-of (very thorough).

I've created one myself (for varying categories in fact) and have found that my time on page has increased as a result.

- I did the popular posts on the sidebar. A little more so than the "recent posts" so I may consider moving that up further on the page and hi-lighting say the top 10. Again, that's just my personal preference.

That's it for now, I hope the "Best Of" page idea is helpful.

Rosie Taylor
Rosie Taylor

You got some great feedback from your fellow bloggers, DJ! Know that you've actually covered alot of your goals.  Now it's a matter of refining what you have here. At least you stuck with one blog. I've started like five and only this year started to settle it down. 

James Ball
James Ball

  I'm still a fan of Thesis...but as for your Design concerns: get yourself a skin that's compatible with Thesis. Start here maybe: http://thesisthemes.com/thesis-skins/  none of these will break the bank. Your readers will love the upgrade and change...thinking you will too!

SEO: just from looking at your source code, you have no meta description or keywords. Look in your dashboard on the left, then: Thesis>Site Options>Homepage SEO to get those in there.

Content: Nothing wrong with a little "all over the place"...but, add categories and tags, and use them. Add a dropdown for those tags on the homepage too. Help folks get around and find what they are looking for!

Frequency: We ALL have issues with this and get bogged down or blocked sometimes. Your blog is a mission though, and your readers have expectations. Manage these by setting your schedule and sticking to it!

That's my 2 cents, I hope you find some of it useful!

Wayne McEvilly
Wayne McEvilly

 DJ
First of all, Congratulations! I'm not qualified to make any kind of objective critique on anyone's blog, but am here to learn how blogging is done by others, and part of the learning process is making comments (such as I am doing now)- the simple fact seems to be that what we are all seeking is to communicate with others in a meaningful way about anything that might concern us. So I was interested to see your emphasis on worrying about being 'all over the place'. Since your primary concern is people, wouldn't that 'all over the place' factor be, as it were, a given?
One thing this evening will do for your blog is bring it to the attention of lots of people. Before this evening, I didn't know it existed -now it has become a 'blog of interest' for me.
Thanks.
Wayne
p.s.
Don't worry. Be Happy! LOL

Collin
Collin

I'll be providing you with some feedback during #blogchat tonight! I'm @collin_k on Twitter. 

Diane Hibbs
Diane Hibbs

This will be my first time on #blogchat but I'm looking forward to seeing what the experts have to say about your blog and the others.  Congratulations for being picked and I'll be back to see what kind of changes you implement!

Mack Collier
Mack Collier

 Boom! See you at 7:45, and thanks again for participating!