As I shared in Refocusing this blog, I have been part of a gang of bloggers. We have been working through 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, which we simply call 31DBBB. Truthfully, I have not been able to keep up with the daily exercises, so I have not been getting the full benefit of receiving feedback on my posts and tweaks.
But today, they’ve come for me at last.
A quick introduction to my blog: I want to rock the boat a bit, for two reasons. One is to show people that they can begin to follow Jesus without “becoming one of those church people,” that there is room not to conform to church norms. Another is to prod people already following Jesus into living more missionally, to be willing to break out of the norms if it will help spread the gospel more effectively.
All right, give me your feedback. I can take it. Here are some touch-points to help guide the process:
- I hope to get a professional design someday, but for now, it’s what I have cobbled together myself. What are you impressions of the design? What would you emphasize, change or remove? Do the image and tagline work? (I tried to make something that communicated energy, motion, and a changing of time.)
- I notice more blogs using a three-column design with two sidebars on the right. Does my plain-old three-column design look dated?
- I want (in order): people to subscribe, people to comment, people to share posts, and to make a little income. Any thoughts on how my sidebar content (plus post content) do — or do not — help my goals? How can I improve the call to subscribe? Do the ads get in the way? …I know all bloggers dream of this. I guess what I wonder is whether the call to subscribe in the top-right corner is decent, and whether you find the ads bothersome.
- Except for “Subscribe,” my static pages linked at the top are new, put hurriedly in place before this review. How would you improve them?
- I have tried to keep my sidebars lean, and am wondering about moving my blogroll onto a static page to save space. I feel a little torn about this, because traditionally, blogrolls have served to point people to good stuff, and to establish a sort of pedigree: “It’s OK, these are the people I think are important. So you can trust me.” What do you think: Keep them in a sidebar, or move them to a static page?
- Given my desire to appeal to non-churchy people, are my posts too technical or church-focused?
I appreciate your feedback on any of these points, or anything else you would like to offer, especially in the area of form serving function. And you don’t have to be part of the 31DBBB to do this. Thanks in advance!