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Can you please critique my blog?

(31 Posts)
Pavlovthecat Fri 02-Nov-12 11:59:59

I would like some feedback from you wonder bloggers. Feel free to tell me what you like about it, but, for once, I am not after praise and back patting. I want to improve it, so that people come to it, and then return. Of course I know that not everyone is going to interested in my story, and don't want them to be. But I would like it to be engaging enough that if it is relevant to people, if they might be interested then it will capture them to return.

The purpose of my blog is, well probably the same
as many:
1) to be a diary of my life, which, to be honest I should have started long before now when my deep dark pit was huge and i was at the bottom, but, it is a way of having an outlet for my feelings, in a way I have used MN over the years, but in a more permanent traceable form so I can track my progress.
2) to provide knowledge to others experiencing chronic pain know they are not alone, to feel they have others out there who understand.
3) in time, to maybe provide useful information, directions and support to others who are where I have been/am going.
4) to link up with others who have been/going where I am, so I can learn from them.
5) to practice my writing, my organisation of thoughts, improve my creativity, learn/keep up to date with social networking, so I don't fall behind with technology as I have done.
6) not too conerned about huge following, and massive stats, but a nice long term group being established over time would be nice.

I am not happy with it. I am not a patient person and suspect I rushed into my initial blog, so I know the layout and how it looks needs changing, I want to use more photos but my camera is crap. I am saving up for a better one so I can use some more arty shots and making it visually appealing. I have seem some amazing, well written, beautifully presented blogs, simple, engaging, and many have brought tears to my eyes with their emotion, lots have made me want to go into the kitchen and cook, some have increased my motivation to get on with my own 'wish list' and get back in the sea. Mine is nothing like that. I think it is boring, and well, mostly a bit full of self pity.

But I need your feedback. Real and honest. Please. what is wrong, what things you think would make it better, what is missing, how can I improve it.

thank you smile

Pavlovthecat Fri 02-Nov-12 12:00:56 sorry, not even my link is working.

pebbles77 Fri 02-Nov-12 12:38:28

Hi, I didn't want this to go un noticed. I'm busy today but I promise I'll come back and comment xx

Pavlovthecat Fri 02-Nov-12 13:17:33

Thank you pebbles appreciate you giving your time whenever you are able to.

Tee2072 Fri 02-Nov-12 18:02:07

Quick impressions of what I would change:

Take the text to justified or left margin, not centred. Very hard to read.

Wordpress has many many free themes. Look through them and find one you really really like. Yours is okay, but doesn't really grab the eye.

Try to find one with three columns so you can have info on either side of your main post, rather in one long line down one side. I have my twitter feed and blogs I like on one side and things like my MN badge and topics and calendar on the other. People won't scroll down.

Be cautioius about your most recent post. More biliographic info would be better. What month was it in the NY Times? Who is she? (That may be in an earlier post, I didn't read very far).

Finally, pictures: why do you think you need them? Anyone who has been around here awhile will tell you that Tee doesn't think pictures are necessary. Sure, if a picture suits, use it. But don't put in a picture just to have a picture. If you look at my blog? Not many pictures. Tee's Blog

Pavlovthecat Fri 02-Nov-12 18:54:34

Thank you so much tee really useful info, and things I have been lazy about sorting, like the theme, I look at the free ones and it is like me shopping, I get overwhelmed by the choice and end up either getting nothing or the first thing that looks ok! It makes me head spin!

Re my last post, why did you not read that far? Is it that it was not relevant, too long, centred? Do you think it would be better if I linked it rather than put it in a complete post all of it's own? I had done that initially, and then thought maybe people won't click it, but if people might not read it anyway, then perhaps a link to the article would be better. If they are interested in what it is about they will click just as much as they will go to that post and read?

It is not that I necessarily think photos are always needed but sometimes I think about a particular thing that had happened as I write, and wish I had captured it or had a way of showing it. But you are right. Some of the most powerful posts I have read have been simple, no frills writing.

I really appreciate you giving it your time, it means a lot to have experienced and well versed bloggers giving me their view. And you are definitely one of those people!

Pavlovthecat Fri 02-Nov-12 18:56:40

I do love the 3 column style, I shall be looking for one this evening instead of working

Tee2072 Fri 02-Nov-12 19:40:57

I didn't read it just due to time, no other reason! You wanted a critique and I was in the middle of cooking dinner and I didn't want to forget!

I am going to read it tomorrow when I'm not half asleep.

Although, since it's not you're writing, you probably are better of, etiquette of blogs speaking, to link to it if it's somewhere online. If people are interested, they will click the link.

Glad I could be of help.

Tee2072 Fri 02-Nov-12 19:42:41

FFS. Not your writing.

See? Really tired!

2under2blog Sat 03-Nov-12 08:34:51

Hi Pavlov,

I like your blog. It's very honest and packed with information for fellow sufferers. And I see that MN has picked up one of your posts too for its headlines, which is pretty good praise. And I like any blogs that like wine smile

I only have one critique - and it's to have more faith in yourself. Your blog has an occasional very self-deprecating air. While sometimes that's a good thing (no one likes a show off!) you need to big yourself up occasionally.

For example, you've named your About Me page 'Too much about me'. It gives the impression you don't think people want to know - but the very fact that they're on your blog suggest that they do. And why wouldn't they?

From what I've read, it sounds like you're dealing with an awful lot. So praise yourself for it, be a bigger fan of yourself. Don't go overboard because it's obviously not in your nature to be boastful (a Good Thing) but have more faith in yourself, your blog and your writing. Which, by the way, is very good.

I've followed your blog and your Twitter and look forward to hearing about how great you are ;)

Pavlovthecat Sat 03-Nov-12 09:24:35

Hi 2under2 thank you for visiting my blog, and for giving me some feedback. I do feel boastful when I say something good, praise myself, I guess it sounds a bit false as I don't always feel I am doing well. I mean, I guess I must be as my children are happy and are doing well in all aspects of their life, but I find it hard to say it out loud, I put it down to their character not what DH and I are doing well. I do agree though, Sometimes I read it back and the self pity sometimes makes me want to delete it. But I don't (apart from one which was so morose and boring!) as it is a place I was/in and part of my blog is to track that, to see how far along I am getting when I feel myself being pulled downwards emotionally. But, I am not like that normally. I am a very strong headed, quite positive woman who for the most part believes in myself, but that has crumbled recently. I am getting it back, I will try to show it in my posts! I know our experiences are all relative, but I have read about some amazingly strong people on here and wide on the web who have experienced so much more negative and life changing things, I feel fraudulent sometimes wittering on.

Please ignore the ever changing theme. I am trying to find one I like. I quite like the one I have at the moment, but it does not change it as suggested by tee to the three column which was the whole point of changing it!

Please keep suggestions coming. Clearly mnblogger like it as they trittered it and put it on the blog front page, but, then I think that is because they feel sorry for me not because it is any good! (see, doing it again! <Slaps wrist), but I have a lot to learn still and want to be as good as I can be.

2under2blog Sat 03-Nov-12 10:01:40

I wouldn't class self-deprecating and self-pitying as the same necessarily. It's fine to feel down and a bit negative when you've got a lot on your plate. And blogging is a great way to get some much needed sympathy/empathy.

But just in general, in the wider scope of your blog, try to assume that people are there because they're interested in what you've got to say. Because it's true!

Sounds like you are doing an amazing job <-- since you struggle to toot your own horn, I'll do it for you!

mignonette Sat 03-Nov-12 10:03:38

I'd eliminate the emoticon in the leader....

Pavlovthecat Sat 03-Nov-12 10:58:59

where is that? Can you point to it for me? mignontette. tbh i am trying not to use emoticons at all, it is very chat speak and is a little lazy, rather than making that sentence a smiley one, or whatever, ff you get me. so consider it removed...once i know that you are talking about!

2under2 I love your blog, it has a simplicity about it that makes it very easy to read on.

Tee2072 Sat 03-Nov-12 11:14:36

I think she means this one: "but it can help ;-) the journey of a back pain suffering, wine loving mother, wife and part time complainer"

2under2blog Sat 03-Nov-12 11:40:34

Thanks Pavlov - that's great to hear!

Pavlovthecat Sat 03-Nov-12 11:59:59

ah i see! it's gone!

HeathRobinson Sat 03-Nov-12 13:36:13

I don't know whether you want responses from just anyone?

What I found (for a non-blogger), was that it was hard to navigate. I can't seem to go back and forth to different posts easily, except for the general info at the top.

It's true for many of the blogs I've looked at, though. Is it just 'blogger style' and you have to get used to it?

mignonette Sat 03-Nov-12 14:24:18

Sorry for delay in replying- I meant the ;-). I like your blog. No superfluous photo's and dense with information and support in a good way- so many blogs are very thin in actual content once you discount the pretty graphics and photo's. I'm more inclined towards your blog style so well done!

Pavlovthecat Sat 03-Nov-12 16:37:57

heath oh yes I want views from everyone! I think that about many blogs too, I will see how I can make it flow more easily. Thank you. And thank you mignonet

DillyTante Sun 04-Nov-12 18:32:15

Pavlov, just out of interest, was it you who had an accident with your glass shower screen a while back? Is that what caused your back pain, I seem to remember you we're pretty badly injured.

Pavlovthecat Mon 05-Nov-12 09:56:10

dilly yes that was me blush wow what a memory! i broke my nose, which had to be straightened again, had a gash on my eye and on my head. Not my back, that time. I had both children in the room, one either side of me. it was my DD who had uknowingly pushed the shower screen across with her back, to above my head as I knelt on the floor before lifting my head up, leading to the unfortunate chain of events. I just thank the lucky stars (as my mother would say) that it hit me and not my children. My son was literally next to me when a bit of the sink flew into my face, an inch or so to the right and it would have been him. Even now I shudder when I think about that. So, I was happy to get a broken nose if that makes sense! know what? I am thinking. the shower screen fell forwards to the sink, then backwards and the corner hit my in my back, I remember having a significant bruise on my spine. You know, I am going to see if I can dig that thread up, and check the timing of it. You might even be on to something there hmm hang on, are you a detective or something in RL...

Pavlovthecat Mon 05-Nov-12 10:03:08

DillyTante You Are Amazing. I think you have found the trigger for my back problem. OK. Watch Out on my blog. I am going to write a post. You will see why I am excited about this. I could kiss you thanks

MmeLindor Mon 05-Nov-12 16:22:44

oh, I have just wept reading your latest (not meant to be published yet) post.

You are a wonderful woman - keep updating that spreadsheet grin

I will come back and critique your blog another time, but now I just want to give you all big hug.

DillyTante Mon 05-Nov-12 21:23:13

Oh Pavlov...I can't believe you never made the association. It just stuck in my memory as we have a glass screen like yours, I must have been heavily pregnant or with a newborn at the time and it freaked me out. Every time I saw your name I kept wondering how you had recovered. I used to be B U M P E R L I C I O U S back then.

Well, it was just a throwaway comment, but obviously I will be adding medical diagnosis to my CV. Glad to be of help. Obviously it doesn't take the pain away, but I hope it can do some good.

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