Welcome to another page critique! About pages, PR pages, product pages and so on are critical in helping you meet your bloggy goals. Each week I dissect a page on someone’s blog as a way to refine it into being more awesome. Read, learn and apply these tips to the important pages on your own blog. Here we go!
Blog: Team Whitaker
Page: How I Do It page
Kathryn is the mom of five and blog about life as it happens: big families, carpool, faith, Texas Aggies, prematurity, DIY/organizing projects, party planning, sanity checks and the occasional glass of wine at 10 am (side note: I LOVE her!). Her “how do you do it,” or HDYDI for short, is her most popular series on the blog. She would like this page to be easier to navigate; to encourage people to stay and read a while (particularly in areas that they find interesting/helpful); and to highlight her other social media platforms so readers can share what they read. A secondary hope is to be able to partner with like-minded companies to offer occasional giveaways for my readers.
Right now, Kathryn feels like the page is a bit overwhelming. She tried adding category headers with good photos and then listing the topic ideas below but she’s still not sure it’s easy to navigate. She also wonders if her personality comes through on this page. She says she also thinks her social media links get lost in the shuffle and is curious if she should add a Pin It rollover button and if she should consider selling ads on her blog as it relates to HDYDI. She directs people to this page at the end of her weekly HDYDI posts and a link under the Categories sidebar.
- Scrolling through the page, you do a nice job of keeping the colors aligned with the rest of your blog. The purple titles within each row of images adds a nice “subtitles” even though they aren’t technically subtitles within your text.
- I notice that this page’s text is all centered. Unless it’s a handful of words, centered text rarely works for bodies of content. If you scroll through your page, you end up with awkward spaces, like “101″ and “page” being on a single line. I suggest justifying it to the left.
- From a visual standpoint, I love the organized look and feel to your image collages, with each section being marked by a row of three photos. But, design is about more than just looks. From a usability standpoint, I keep thinking that if I click on the photo, I’ll go to the actual post. Then I realize they are each one large photo. Then I realize the links below are how I get to the posts. But it took me a second to figure all that out. There are a couple of ways to resolve this. You could make a design change to the photos, such as adding a border around them all so they are unified or using one long photo (so it looks more like a section header). As another option, you could skip the photo adjustments and align the titles of the posts underneath the photos so it’s clear that a photo goes with a link.
- Because the image headers represent many posts in one, I wouldn’t recommend adding a PinIt hover button on this page (though I do recommend it as a great plugin and you can disable certain pages or posts). It might be confusing to pin an image that represents three separate posts.
- As for the photos themselves, you’re a great photographer! It really does make a difference in making your posts enticing to readers. Woohoo!
- You might want to use your social media buttons at the bottom of this page, as opposed to links. Your page has a lot of links so buttons will give it a nice visual shake up.
- Having your signature on this page is also a nice touch, especially considering that this might be the first page (or one of the first pages) a new visitor looks at.
- I see that you have this page linked in your navigation menu which is great, of course.
- You could also add a link from your The Team page. Even a single sentence like “People often ask how I do it all…”
- Definitely create a graphic for your sidebar that directs to this page! Think of it like a little ad to catch your readers’ eye.
- I looked over the last few HDYDI posts and I didn’t see that you actually mention this page in any of them. Each post should end with a link to this page or a visual with a link, encouraging readers with a clear call-to-action.
- The HDYDI within your category “cloud” gets a little lost so I wouldn’t necessarily count on that to drive people to this page. Also, new readers may not know what that acronym means. Consider just listing links to your top 10 categories instead of a cloud. That way you can name it something like “How Do You Do It? (HDYDI)” The name is catchy and relatable so you want to make sure people know what the acronym means.
- First of all, I think this is great idea for a page! You’re taking advantage of the category’s popularity and giving readers an opportunity to have a go-to place to browse some of these posts.
- When it comes to the order of these categories, be sure your most sought-after topics are shown first. I don’t necessarily know which are your most popular so maybe the order is spot on! Just re-organize if you need to.
- I feel like this page needs a little more set-up to understand why people ask you how you do it all. I’m not talking a lot of extra sentences. But remember that this may be the first page a reader lands on so give them a bit of background. It can be as simple as adding a phrase where you say “ I get that question – a lot.” You could add something like “I get that question – a lot. After all I have 5 kids, __ and __.”
- After that set-up, shift the focus from YOU to your readers. Instead of “Here’s the best I’ve got,” tell the reader what they’re going to learn or glean from these HDYDI posts. I don’t know that I’d link to posts right here. Instead, I’d move the posts to the various sections and add a sentence explaining how to use this page like ” Find the topic you need help with the most.” But with more flair than that.
- A great page acts as a hub and sends readers out to the rest of your blog to soak up more content. Links are great but I think you may have a tad too many… I counted over 70 links! I suggest cutting that in half, just so it’s not so overwhelming. Remember that you can also lead readers down a trail of posts by weaving links to some posts within posts that you DO link to from this page.
- In addition to there being a ton, I noticed that I often wasn’t sure which links matched up to the photos in each section header. After looking for a second, I realized each section is in alphabetical order. Say that I’m a reader and I think one of your images looks intriguing. While I could probably make a guess at which link goes with which post, a reader may not have time. Make it as clear as possible for them so there’s no guessing on their part.
- I definitely get a sense of your personality from this page but not as strong as it could be; mainly because it’s mostly links. When you beef up the first couple of paragraphs based on my suggestions, that’ll give you a chance to really let your personality shine through. You can also use the part where you ask readers to follow you as a place to infuse some personality.
- You mentioned wanting to partner with brands for giveaways or offering ad opportunities. While that’s definitely a great idea, I don’t know if this page is the place to work that in. What you might need is a special PR page, where you can mention this popular series (and link to this page). The companies you work with could fit into the “how do you do X?” mantra. As in, you can do X because you have help for this brand and that brand. Could be a fun angle to take!
Let me know your thoughts on the critique in the comments below. If you have an extra moment, head over to Team Whitaker and give Kathryn some comment love.