Blog Page Critique: Crafty Garden Mama

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: Crafty Garden Mama

Blogger: Becky

Page: PR Page

Blog Page Critique: Crafty Garden Mama

Crafty Garden Mama is a guide to organic gardening, green parenting and living an eco-friendly lifestyle. Becky does eco-friendly product reviews, interviews environmental leaders and eco-warriors, and runs a linky called Tuesday Greens. She’s looking to move out of the hobby blog stage into blogging for profit. Becky said that she would like PR firms and brands to know where they can find her rate info and see her reach. She’s not sure that she should have the disclosure policy, privacy policy and media kit all in one place. She also wonders how to optimize the page to have links to other relevant pages, perhaps with a top posts feature.

Visual:

  • Regarding your overall design, I like that you use pictures in your header that showcase what your blog is about. The flowers and tomatoes especially stand out.
  • As I look at this page though above the fold (i.e. before I have to scroll down), it’s a little hard to make sense of what’s what. The particular ad running on the days I visited is actually the first thing I noticed. I think it’s because your background is white and the ad has a background partly filled in with color. The photos in the ad are similar to your blog header photos (in that there are four of them) so I think that made it confusing as well. While I’m sure that placement might be optimal for click-thru, I suggest moving it above your navigation menu so the top of your blog flows better. The header for this page gets buried because of the ad as well.
  • Another reason the top area of this page is confusing is due to the media kit page being included within your page. While I like the idea, perhaps the heading of the kit should be different enough to not look exactly like your header. Or you could add more content before that so the media kit image gets pushed further down the page.
  • Also regarding the media kit, it looks a little out of proportion. You can mainly see this because the photo of you is stretched. If you decide to keep the media kit here, then make sure it’s in the proper proportions.
  • Other than the media kit, there aren’t any more images on the page. I think you could show thumbnails of some of your brand-related posts (reviews, ambassadorship posts, sponsored posts, etc) with a link to those posts. Brands considering working with you would like to see work you’ve done for others. You can display them in a table like I did here (just hyperlink your blog post name in the places where I used a PinIt button).
  • You could also include some logos of brands you’ve worked with. The Stonyfield one stood out to me since I recognize the logo!
  • Consider removing the ad links at the bottom of this page. The key here is to minimize distractions for the brand or PR rep so they can contact you. You want them clicking on a link to contact you, versus clicking on an ad.

Navigation:

  • The location of your link to this page in the navigation menu is spot on. It’s right beside your About page, which is perfect.
  • Many brands or PR reps check out the About page to get more detail about you so I’d definitely provide a link to this page from there.
  • You might want to link to this page from your Contact page too in case someone goes there before noticing you had a PR page.
  • Regarding how to optimize this page to have links to other pages, I think you want to be careful in steering visitors away from this page. Your goal for this page is ideally for a brand to read the page then decide they’d like to reach out to you for a potential opportunity. However, if you send them all over your blog and to social media sites, they might not come back. While some links are great, I’d limit them to just brand-related content like I mentioned in the Visual section. I don’t think I’d link to the social media sites from this page.
  • Instead of having your contact info listed in the media kit image, also have it clickable so someone doesn’t have to write it out. The easiest way to do this is to hyperlink text like email me. When hyperlinking like this use “mailto:youremail@email.com” in the URL field. That will bring up a new message in the person’s email program.

Content:

  • When it comes to a PR page, think of it like a product page. What’s the product? Your blog! I think the information in the media kit shows some good information about your blog and your reach.
  • The biggest change I think you could make to this page is separating out your disclosure. While you might want to mention a few key points here, let people visit a separate page if they want more details. As I mentioned, you want this page to convince brands to work with you, so no need to get into the nitty gritty details yet. When you move the disclosure to a new page, you can link to it from this page, then also in your sidebar or footer so it’s still easy to find (disclosure pages should be).
  • Regarding your actual policy, I think it’s just fine. You might want to add if there’s any work you don’t do (like accept paid text links).
  • Use the heading of this page as another place to entice brands to work with you. Instead of PR/Disclosure, try something audience-focused like Looking to Reach Moms Who Care about the Environment? or blog-focused like Sharing Tips on Green Parenting and Eco-Friendly Living.
  • While it’s great that you share information about you, one thing you want to add to this page is information about your audience. Who are they? Describe them. You can get demographic information from Quantcast (you will have to set this up first) but even without that you can give the brand an idea of who your readers are. They’re eco-conscious but are they budget-conscious too? What are they trying to accomplish (like raising a family in the healthiest way possible)? Give the brand a peek into your audience so they nod their heads and say, “yes, that’s exactly our target customer!”
  • One more thing you should add is a little more information about your blog. You can probably take a little information from your About page. You don’t want to be lengthy here but at least say a couple of sentences.
  • Be sure to end this page with a call-to-action: ask them to do something. An example might be: “Want to work together? Have questions? Send me an email and I’ll get right back to you.” They’ve read your page and know your blog is a good fit, now it’s time to reach out to you. Essentially, you want to nudge them along a little bit!

Let me know your thoughts on the critique in the comments below. If you have an extra moment, head over to Crafty Garden Mama and give Becky some comment love.

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you, Melissa! I am going to tackle all of these touch ups over the weekend. This was a huge help. I have seen some PR pages start to include their prices for different options like giveaways, sponsored posts, etc.. Is this something to include as well? Or is that best kept as a separate media kit? Thanks again for the help!
    Becky recently posted..Tuesday Greens #51

    • Melissa Culbertson says

      Becky- You’re so welcome! I would probably steer clear of rates for anything other than general advertising. Some people do list with them success but I’d rather get someone to contact me for them. For example, if a PR agency’s client doesn’t have a budget for your sponsored post rate, they may never contact you. But if you don’t list the rate and they contact you to inquire, you can always respond back to keep you in mind for other brands that might be more in line with your rates. Or you might even take a lower rate if it’s a great brand. You might miss those opps by listing rates on your site. Hope that helps!

    • Melissa Culbertson says

      Can I tell you just how AWESOME that looks? WOW! Your entire site looks great too! That page is clean, simple and the copy really focuses on hitting the frustrations people have with planning. The intro line is perfection and I was totally nodding my head at “Even if you love your computer, sometimes you just need to put pen to paper.”

      Really awesome job!