Critique my blog?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by russelldirect, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. russelldirect, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2011

    russelldirect macrumors member

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    Berkeley, CA
    #1
    I last posted about this back in August, before I moved across the country for college. I stopped blogging for about 2 months, but now I'm "back" and trying to post regularly with fresh content.

    The site is linked in my signature. Not a fantastic name, I know, but I'd like to think it's at least distinctive.

    When I last posted, I was using a Daring Fireball copycat theme. I've since moved on to an even more simplified theme, after reading posts like this about giving readers a better experience.

    I only have one ad on the site. It displays near the bottom, after all the content (terrible for making money, but it looks nicer and I can't think of a better place to put one with this theme). I'd like to eventually monetize the site by following the lead of the top bloggers and having a sponsored post each week, but that won't really happen until I build an audience.

    So after all that, a few questions. How do you all like the theme? Does it "work" with the content? How could I monetize the site now without hurting the experience or ruining the look of the site? Is the name okay, or should I try something else before I start getting too much traffic?
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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  3. russelldirect thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2011
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    #3
    Based on the writing, what would I be best served focusing on? I'm thinking tech and video games, but I'm worried that if I force myself into such a full niche I'll screw myself.
     
  4. russelldirect thread starter macrumors member

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    Berkeley, CA
    #4
    Decided to bump because I made some pretty big changes to the site. I've got another writer helping now, enabled compression in WP Super Cache to make things faster, and modified the theme to get rid of any references to comments or tags (I still have a few things to catch as far as comments go). I think it looks much more clean now, and the site loads way faster (Web Inspector says that I only had to load 114 KB!).

    What do you think?
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #5
    What are you trying to achieve with your blog? If you aim to create a clean-looking, but ultimately not particularly useful or interesting blog, you've done a great job. If you want people to come back to your site regularly, post something worth reading. It's not even clear what your blog is about. If I wanted to read a bunch of random crap, I'd go on Twitter.
     
  6. manueld macrumors 6502

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    Jun 8, 2009
    #7
    wow that's a skinny layout...i'd create a more responsive layout that would grow (to a certain point) depending on the browser width.
     
  7. russelldirect thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2011
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    Berkeley, CA
    #8
    I love Dan Frommer. I've been trying to follow those tips more closely lately.

    Is it any better now?
     
  8. waloshin, Dec 15, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011

    waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

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    Oct 9, 2008
    #9
    You're ad is not on the bottom anyways a good example of ad placement is on Waloshin.com.

    And I agree with the others either increase your width of your theme or increase your text size.

    And get rid of this
    [​IMG]
     
  9. russelldirect thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2011
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    Berkeley, CA
    #10
    Yeah, I changed themes so now I have the ad in its current location.

    I'll try to make the text wider, and I got rid of the meta thing.

    Um, I really hate that kind of ad placement. It probably makes you more money, but I find it kind of trashy to put ads between posts like that.
     
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Jul 24, 2006
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    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #11
    Waloshin doesn't really know what he's talking about. Unless your site is getting thousands of hits per day, ads are more likely to keep your traffic low than to make you any money in the first place.
     
  11. soco macrumors 68030

    soco

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    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
    #12
    Completely agree. Unless your site is getting hits like crazy (comparatively) then go self-funded until it makes sense to use your exposure to monetize.

    In the end, if you wind up making money, that's icing on the cake. You should be blogging for you. It's not a career.
     
  12. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #13
    Double agreed.

    I use Google Ads on a website I run for a local ambulance service and it pays me on average $100 per year. They average about 800-1000 unique hits per month, most of them employees logging into the protected area to fill out company forms.
     
  13. russelldirect thread starter macrumors member

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    Berkeley, CA
    #14
    I'm getting an average of a little over 100 hits per day. Would I be better off without the ads? I'm not even making as much as you are. :confused:
     
  14. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #15
    I would say leave them as long as they aren't distracting from your content. I think you have nothing to lose by keeping them. You might make a few bucks after a while. Who knows?
     
  15. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #16
    Removing them isn't going to affect your traffic significantly one way or the other.
     
  16. thebeautyisfake macrumors regular

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    Mar 4, 2010
    #17
    Nothing on the blog is really worth reading, to be honest. I get similar inane ramblings on tumblr/twitter, and even then I can access said ramblings of thousands of people.
     

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