Attn: Diane, Your Blog “Musings From A Damaged Individual” Has Just Been Hit By The Blog Critic
Posted by The Critic on January 31, 2007
The Blog Critic has reviewed this blog by request “Musings from a damaged individual” and found quite a bit of areas that need improvement. I have taken into consideration that your blog is new and you may lack knowledge on the various ways to enhance your overall blogging capabilities.
I have critiqued your blog based on my findings on your front page (main page) only. You will receive an overall grade at the end using my scoring system (0 to 100) at the end of this topic.
Beginning with the very top – Your title “Musings from a damaged individual” is an ok title as long as you are not looking for quality traffic from the major search engines so consider using more relevant keywords. Your titles font size is to large thus creating more of an eye sore than a great appearance. Take note on how your title splits in half when viewed. This can be fixed by doing a little research inside the WordPress FAQ or in the forums. Why the period at the end of your title? Get rid of it, its not necessary.
Overall the description is not bad. You have used some good keywords in the description which will help bring new readers to your blog when they go searching the web for related content. On the negative side, your description has the same problem with appearance as mentioned above and goes hand and hand with your titles problem.
Theme colors – OK how do I say this in a nice way? Well I cant so here it is. What in the world are you doing with the colors? From the top its starts off with a nice clean looking gray color and then for whatever reason you decided to add in a blend of a color that I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen before. Its a mix of some kind of greenish grayish something and it looks bad. You also decided that highlighting your topics with yellow might look good. Well it doesn’t, at least not at present with the colors you are using.
Take a close look at your blogs appearance concerning just the colors and ask yourself “Does this gray, yellow, blue and white blog look professional” or could it use a complete overhaul? Will you take the time to clean this up and make it more appealing? I certainly hope so because my eyes are hurting.
Overall appearance score 45 / 100
So you decided to go with the Andreas04 theme. I personally like the choice and think if used properly it is one of the better themes available from WordPress. Notice I said “if used properly”
About – The text addition about yourself on the right side bar is way to much information for people to have to look at every single time they flip through your blog. I wonder how many viewers are actually inclined to read all that? Not very many! If your lucky at best some will simply skim through it and move on. After a while their going to get tired of seeing it over and over every time they visit your blog.
I suggest you shorten it to no longer than the length you have in the opening paragraph and leave it at that. If you want to use such a lengthy description about yourself then create a new page (not post) from within your posting administration area and give it a good title. Doing so will give readers the opportunity to “by their choice” read it if they want. Believe it or not doing this will actually get your viewers to take the time to read it and it will also offer them the opportunity to comment on it.
Your widgets- Right now the way you have it set up its hard to find your recent post, categories, links, archives etc. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is ok where it is because its not. It needs to be close to the top and right in front of the viewers eyes so they are inclined to follow some of your links the widgets produce for you. Fix the about you as mentioned above and that will move it up.
Why do you not have a blog search on your site? Do you honestly believe people will just go hopping through links in hopes of finding content that interest them? If so then you better think again.
Experiment with a few more available widgets such as the calendar, akismet, etc. to add more functionality to your blog.
Overall layout score – 53 / 100
I’m going to start this off by quoting your very first post you made on your blog “Speaking of Unpleasant Things“. It says the following so pay close attention as you read it once again.
“We turn our backs on people who make us uncomfortable, homeless people, starving children on television, the abused woman with children living in her car, the crazy girl on the corner talking to herself. I did that for many years. Somehow I thought if I didn’t look at them or acknowledge their existence, then I didn’t have to look at myself.After my hospitalization for PTSD, and clinical depression, I challenged myself to look. Not just look but become. I became one of them. The people who live marginal lives, the crazy people on the corner, talking to themselves.I was the sketch artist working a corner of the street. I told myself “at least I offered something.” I felt I was better than the person who was begging for spare change. I sketched portraits on the street, quick sketch for tips. I lived in a half way house, had a case manager, and I was surviving.What is the value of my life compared to the banker, the land developer, or the politician? Not much according to the people who I made uncomfortable. It is surprising that even though I was offering something of value, a charcoal portrait, I was still ignored, or laughed at. I was on the street with all the other useless eaters. People who survive. People who are looked at as needing a real job. I had lost my desire to accumulate things. I did not want a big house, a fancy car, or a fat bank account, and for that I was less, than people who desire those things.
I am willing to share my stories, and they are not pleasant stories. My stories are not about family love, or success, or happiness. My personal stories are about human exploitation. A mother and a father, men, and a society willing to exploit innocence. I make people uncomfortable. For that I’ve been made to feel ashamed. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve realized that now. I am a reminder that if you ignore unpleasant things they do not go away. They keep popping up reminding you that taking a look is healthy, it is right, it is good to look a unpleasantness and then act.
Human history is filled with horror that could have been prevented if people had been willing to look and act. Do not look away. Your future may depend on your willingness to confront the ugliness of the world.”
After reading that topic of yours I found it to be the best one on your blog thus far. The title of it isn’t exactly up to par for using keywords effectively related to your content however this topic of yours meant something. It said a lot about you and what your initial intent was when you started your blog.
This is your doorway to success. Your niche so to say, so use your past experiences to help others and keep building on that. There is so much information regarding the things you have gone through available on the www so why not use it to your advantage and to attract readers that you can actually help by providing useful relevant content to your blog on a regular basis. You’ve been through it according to your profile, you know what works and what doesn’t work in regards to certain mental stresses. Your goal should be to attract an audience that has been through some of the same things. They will become loyal to you and your blogging community and that is exactly what you should strive for if you are truly serious about having a successful blog.
For some odd reason you decided to stray away from your initial intent and went for the Jerry Springer concept. Here’s your most recent blog entry titled “Sexual responsibility, what a concept“ and quoted as is below.
“There are many who would disagree with me I’m sure. The concept of sexual responsibility is not foremost in a mans mind when his penis becomes hard. In fact, there are many who would say that it is a mans prerogative to cling to neanderthal and biblical notions of a mans right to impregnate women indiscriminately.Can I hear an amen?Despite the protests from men who are delinquent in their child support, ahhh you made a choice buddy. You made a choice to have sex with a woman who you didn’t particularly like, but there was nakedness, your penis got hard and she got pregnant. Now you want to complain.Get over it. If you weren’t a drunken horn dog, who was desperate to put your penis in a woman without a condom, then you wouldn’t be in court right now, would you?
I’m supportive of the rights of people who are sexually responsible.
Can I hear an amen?”
I can only think of one positive thing about this post. You got the keywords right in the title but that’s pretty much it. Are you trying to be like Springer? This isn’t what your blog is about so why even go there? All you did by making this post was to try and show a feminist viewpoint by downgrading men. Its not what your blog is suppose to be about. If it is then consider changing the title of your blog to something more relevant like “Why Men Ruin Women’s Lives” or to something of that effect.
Don’t rely on the wordpress tags to bring in a huge amount of viewers. You need to concentrate on relevant titles with relevant content on your subject. Doing so properly will bring in massive amounts of visits from the search engines.
Where are the helpful links inside your topics on your blog? There are none at this time, zero nada. If your going to use words like PTSD, stress, anxiety etc. then you should also provide a link to other helpful topics on the very same subject like I’ve done in this topic.
Your readers are at your site for one reason and one reason only! They found something that interest them. Now improve on that by doing what I’ve mentioned above and watch how your blog hits increase.
Overall content relevancy score 42 / 100
Total Score For Your Blog After Review – 46.6 / 100
UPDATE – 2 Days after Diane read our review she has totally revamped her site taking a lot of what I said into consideration and it looks so much better than before.
The above blog can be viewed here Musings from a damaged individual
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