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: Untypically Jia
Page: New Here page
Jessica (Jia) says that her blog is about “being barefoot.” With the different shoes we put on for different circumstances (mom shoes, wife shoes, church shoes, friends shoes), we’re different people to everyone. After a mental breakdown in 2010 she decided to find her true, barefoot self. Her blog is a humorous (and sometimes offensive) tool for healing through mental illness, chronic illness, and infertility. It most recently has become the podium where she makes her stand in the body acceptance movement. Fat, awkward, and still beautiful!
Because it’s a personal blog, she writes about several different topics that might not be obvious at first glance. She wants the page to say, “This is the stuff you’ll find here, and here’s the best (or at least most relevant) posts,” and yet still have the typical (or untypical) Jia flare. Jessica wonders if this page is personal enough as well as if there are too many links or a good amount of images. She also asks if things on her About or FAQ Pages should be on this page (or the other way around).
- This isn’t my first time visiting your blog, but I still want to say that I just love your design. The colors, patterns, all of it!
- Since this blog is focused on you, it’s a good choice to have a picture of you at the top of the page. Nice!
- Consider adding a picture within each topic section. Images guide people through a page, giving them landing points. These images don’t have to be big, like your main photo. They could be photos cropped into strips that go right under your subheadings or circles with the text of your paragraphs wrapped around them. Use a photo from a post in that section if you can.
- Despite not having more images, the pink ribbons are great as subheadings. They really help break up the page and make it clear what each set of links are about.
- Other than that, I really don’t have much more to say about your design. It’s awesome!
- I think you’ve done a really good job at linking to this page from other parts of your blog. It’s in your FAQ, your About page and on your sidebar. My only suggestion is to get a wee bit more specific on the sidebar. Currently it says “New? Start here.” Try something more sassy. More personality-infused. Something that makes them curious to click over like ”First timer? You oughta start here!”
- You have the Goldilocks number of links on this page- not too many, not too few! The fact that they’re broken down by topic also helps keep them organized and not overwhelming.
- While it’s great that you have social media buttons on this page, they need context. Tell readers this is where they can find you. It always helps to have a call to action like find me, follow me, stay in touch, etc.
- You have SO much good content, girl. Just wanted to say that.
- Instead of having an All about Jia section on this page, I suggest cutting it here. Instead, weave in a few sentences about you into the intro piece at the top. While the blog is about you and I think your photo should be on this page, sending them there right off the bat would land them back to this page anyway. You could still weave in a link to your FAQ but keep it nonchalant. You really want to drive people to your posts, which they can then share within social media.
- With the entire intro section as it currently is, I definitely love parts of it but I think there are parts that could be more specific to your overall blog. For example, you say “I know it’s been a long journey” but I’m not sure exactly what you mean so maybe elaborate a bit. I like that you tell the reader they might feel “inspired, touched, and probably offended.” LOL. But also use this as a chance to convince readers to keep scrolling down the page by specifically mentioning some of your topics and/or alluding to them. For example you say “The wonderland is my blog. Not my body. Although my body is also a wonderland.” which makes me chuckle. But use that as an opportunity to give the reader a glimpse into the content below. Something like “The wonderland is my blog. Not my body. Although my body is also a wonderland, which you’ll see why below). That now alludes to the section on Size Acceptance and Self Esteem.
- Another thing to potentially touch on in this section is the notion about being barefoot. I think that’s a really good set up for this page.
- Now, onto other sections! For some of your sections, you include a paragraph intro but you don’t do this in your Popular Posts and Activism and Advocacy sections. I really like how the other paragraphs set the stage for the links in their respective section. I would do that for these two sections as well.
- I also noticed that most posts have descriptions, but not all. As I read through them all, the descriptions worked in piquing my interest about your posts! For that extra oomph factor, consider adding a little description to all of the links. For example, Untypically Jia and the Traveling Red Dress doesn’t tell a reader much (I’m a reader of Jenny’s and I didn’t even make the connection at first). But now if you add a sentence from your post, it becomes super powerful “Untypically Jia and the Traveling Red Dress: I wanted to be beautiful, because self esteem does not come easy.” That’s a sentence readers can really relate to! (And I adore that picture of you under the sentence “I wanted to be furiously happy.” It should totally be on this page somehow.)
- A small thing but I noticed a typo in your last subheading. It says “Untypicaly.”
- While you may have already done this, be sure to organize this page from your most important topics to least. “Important” can mean what you want it to mean- the topics that typically bring the most traffic, the topics most important to you, the topics you think are most important to your audience. Whatever you deem important, make sure they’re in that order.
- Consider removing the ability to comment on this page. Comments on pages can sound dated pretty quickly and can distract people from the ultimate goal of this page, which is to encourage readers to visit more of your content, not comment on this page. You can encourage people to start a conversation or ask a question on your Facebook page (and give them the link for easy access).
Let me know your thoughts on the critique in the comments below. If you have an extra moment, head over to Untypically Jia and give Jessica some comment love.