The 4-Minute Blog Critique

Cynthia Morris and I recently asked for artist-volunteers who wanted a mini blog critique.  Many people were eager to get a free advice! The only caveat was that we would share our feedback with the world.
After looking through about 60 submissions, we selected Kim Werfel's blog for this experiment.
This video is a tiny sample of what we do in our Blog Triage class.

Video Highlights

Cynthia praises Kim for her consistent posting, short entries, and great use of images. She suggests that Kim lead with text rather than an image in order to be more search-engine friendly and that she provide a stronger call to action at the end of the posts.
Cynthia and I both think Kim is doing a fantastic job with spacing. Too many blogs have dense text and long paragraphs. Not Kim's! It's very readable.
I think Kim's header image, while sweet, has eyes that looked sad. I'd like to see a more upbeat image there. I also encourage Kim to try a white background and exchange the red text for something more neutral.
I'm always trying to help artists in the Blog Triage class tone things down so that the work can pop on the screen.
Watch the video to pick up other suggestions that you might be able to use for your own blog.
Be sure to stop by Kim Werfel's blog to see the changes so far. She's in the process of making improvements as I type.

In All Seriousness

We act pretty silly in this video, but we are serious about helping you get your blog in shape.
The video is just 4:30 in length. The Blog Triage class is one month.
Imagine how you could improve your blog if you devoted an entire month to it!
Imagine the suggestions you will receive from us and your fellow classmates over the course of the month!
As I say in the video, we don't just hand you a book or a lesson and ask you to do the work. You get constant feedback from us along the way. That's what makes this class so valuable.
The next Blog Triage class begins April 25. Space is limited to just 30 artists.
Click here to read all about it and sign up.

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9 thoughts on “The 4-Minute Blog Critique”

  1. Dear Dr. Cynthia and Dr. Alyson,
    I realize now why I love you both so much! I just about spit my coffee all over my computer this morning, realizing that I too was at that “age” to get the joke.
    So glad you’re doing house calls….I’m going to check myself into the giggle clinic for a Blog Rehab…right after I go out and buy a new keyboard.
    THANK YOU for the levity. 🙂 See you in the ER.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Janice: Welcome to the giggle clinic! I think you’ve been doing a great job with your blog, but maybe you have some struggles we don’t know about.
      We’re happy to have you in class.

  2. Ellene Breedlove Davis

    Hi Alyson,
    This post and the video were of real interest to me.
    The suggestion to write shorter blog posts was helpful as I tend to write longer posts.
    I checked out Kim’s blog and very much like the changes she has made.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Ellene: Short is good with images, but long posts can also be good. I find my long posts can be some of my most commented on posts.
      The trick with long posts is that you have to grab people’s interest and KEEP it from the get-go. Rambling has no place on blogs.
      My longer posts are usually how-to posts, which many artists don’t write.

  3. Hi Alyson, This was lots of fun and informative! And it got me thinking about artist blogs (including how to improve my own!)
    I wonder what you and Cynthia think about artist blogs that are on a different url from their main site (jumping to a blogspot blog address, for instance) and also have a different look than their main site? Do you think a viewer’s experience suffers when one is taken away from an artist’s site (if they started there) to get to a blog or the reverse if they started at the blog — and then to a page with completely different colors, fonts, etc. in each location?
    Perhaps this is a topic you cover in the blog triage class? Or maybe this is a fussy detail that only a few will care about (me!).
    With some tinkering (speaking from firsthand experience — a new niche offering perhaps?!), an artist can merge their Blogspot/Blogger blog into their existing portfolio site to make the reader experience a bit more seamless and keep the look consistent across both. I’d be interested in your thoughts on browsing experience when blog and site are separate entities or have little consistency in appearance. Content is king, of course, but looks (all part of branding) has to count for something, right?

  4. Hi Ladies – You’re both so much fun and full of such great info! I used to put text, then an image and then more text – but had heard someone else say the image should come first – so I switched. I will absolutely switch back!
    Thanks! Have a great class! And see you in The Conspiracy!

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Jennifer: I wrote a post about images at the top of emails, which I suppose could include a blog post that is emailed through RSS.
      But I’ve just seen too many Google search descriptions that start with the name of an image file to believe that it’s the best solution for blogs. So I’m with Cynthia on this. I’d go back to the text first. Until further notice.

  5. Pingback: Untangling Blogs and Newsletters — Art Biz Blog

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