Friday, 14 November 2014

Blog Review of Twisted Dreams in Pen & Ink

BLOG REVIEW

Blog review of Twisted Dreams in Pen & Ink by +M. A. Barr 

This blog has been around for a year and 2 months. It can be found at mabarrjournal.blogspot.com. This is a blog on literature and writing. The author feels it would be a vehicle for him to get reactions and criticisms to help his creative writing skills and storytelling.

When asked about his blog, the writer had this to say:
I decided that I needed to start building my platform so people can see me grow as a writer.  I see it as a way of connecting with readers, getting their reactions, and growing from their comments and constructive criticisms.  It's also a way for me to experiment with different writing styles and techniques, borrowing some from J.D. Salinger (this is hard, layers and conversation that portray personality), Ernest Hemingway (in regards to colors and contrast), definitely Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett.I honestly jumped into blogging not thinking about a target audience.  I guess in my head I was really just writing stories for a friend of mine, I consider her my ideal reader, who enjoys fiction, fantasy, and a good laugh. 



The blog can be found here.

Content: Overall information on the blog
4/5 stars
We gave this blog 4 stars because the content goes well with the title of the blog (journal). He also is consistent with the 100 words short stories. The idea of giving a hint of what the story is actually about before starting is also nice. Since this blog is in form of a journal, it has a host of topics. It would be great to add labels to posts.

Look/Feel: Template, design, overall look
3/5 stars
This blog was given 3 stars because personally, I don't like the almost all black and grey feel. It makes me feel sad and also perceive the writer as same. A little splash of color wouldn't hurt it. As a matter of fact, I don't mind the grey background but I don't like the black theme.

A unique header would also do this blog some good instead of have the photo to one side. The same photo can be used for the header. The general layout and arrangement on the sidebar is also a bit off. The "popular stories" and "recent stories" are similar. It would be better to use one of them, preferably the "popular stories" since you have a tab for past stories. The sidebar would be better if its just one instead of two.

Lastly, you can make you ads only on the header and sidebar instead of in between posts. It can be a bit confusing. This, you can correct by changing settings in your dashboard, under earnings.

Ease of Navigation: multiple things to look at and ease of getting to them
3/5 stars
3 stars were given because, even though there is a popular stories section on the sidebar, a box of post labels on the sidebar is very useful. A blog archive is also important, but I guess you replaced that with the "past stories" and "book reviews" tabs.

Ease of Reading: How fluent posts are to read
4/5 stars
Reading this blog was easy and understandable. You could relate to the message the writer is trying to pass across in the story.

Brand: About you, other social media connections
3/5 stars
You have done well, you have the addthis.com share buttons, but I think that perhaps, you'd also need the follow buttons. The Google+followers tool is also a wonderful idea. People can follow you straight from your blog.

Overall this blog, with no changes made to it, this blog would get our rating of 3/5 stars.

We feel this blog could use help in the following areas:

  • The overall background and template could use some color and improvement.
  • A unique header would be helpful.
  • Follow buttons are equally important.

What are your thoughts on this blog? Do you agree? Do you think these changes will help this blog reach it’s goal of becoming more exciting?

Monday, 10 February 2014

Calling All Bloggers: Do You Have What it Takes to be a B4B Reviewer?

The Blogging for Bloggers team are looking for new bloggers to join our review team! Unfortunately myself, +Luna LaBlue and +Joy Hancock have all got a heavier course load this year and need some help! 

If you think that you have what it takes to become a blog reviewer then let us know your name, along with a link to your blog, and we'll get in touch! We'd also like it if you could give us a sample blog review (you can send it via hangouts to one of us), on any of our three blogs, Aspiring Joy, trips down imagination road or my lowercase life

Looking forward to having you on the team! 

Friday, 17 January 2014

Our Guide to Revamping Your Blog

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Many people make New Years Resolutions, and maybe yours is to revamp your blog. Maybe you just want a change, or just to make it more exciting, but whatever the reason, here are some Dos and Don'ts from the Blogging for Bloggers team! 

Dos
  • Do avoid too much clutter! Whether that is a background that it too busy, or a lot of widgets in the side bar, too much to look at can be distracting!
  • Do add an About Me Page (if you're stuck for ideas then check out our Guide!)  
  • Do add a blog archive, so that people can easily find your posts! 
  • Do add various follow widgets.
  • Do make sure you update your other blog pages (e.g. facebook/twitter) to make sure they reflect your blog
  • Do use colour!

Don'ts
  • Don't change everything at once! You should leave something recognisable about your blog, whether that's the name or the look, just something to say to your readers that it is still you! 
  • Don't forget your content! 

Monday, 6 January 2014

Blog Review of Stuck in a Rut

Blog Review of Stuck in a Rut by +Saima Anis 

Here's what Saima told be about his blog: 
I started blogging this past September. I decided to start a blog because I can express myself best through writing (not one of my best ideas). My main audience is just a few friends and whoever has the misfortune to click on the links I share on different Google+ communities. 



So here's what we think:


Content: Overall information on the blog
4/5 stars
The title itself gives you a good idea of what this blog is about. The posts are on topic as well. One suggestion I have here is to add a list of all the labels of the posts, so it's easier for readers to get around the blog. 

Look/Feel: Template, design, overall look
2/5 stars
The all white is a bit drab. Since the blog is about being stuck in a rut in life, perhaps the blandness of the layout is to go along with that. I don't feel a bit of color would take away from the theme of the blog though.

Ease of Navigation: multiple things to look at and ease of getting to them
4/5 stars
Once again all that is really needed here is a box on the sidebar with the posts labels. Getting around this blog is really easy.

Ease of Reading: How fluent posts are to read
5/5 stars
Posts are easy to read and understand, and are even relatable. Everyone gets stuck in a rut at some point in their lives.

Brand: About you, other social media connections
4/5 stars
Glad there is an about me page (good job!!) and ways to follow the blog. My suggestion here would be to add twitter and/or facebook follow links. Twitter would be a great way for you to further converse with your potential readers.

Overall, with no changes made, I would rate this blog 3/5 stars.

While this blog isn't a happy blog, I like it because it's real. Talking about issues and feelings people don't normally want to talk about. I think this blog has a lot of potential! Adding some bits of color, a list of posts labels and twitter will help point this blog in the right direction!

What do you think of this blog? Do you think these changes will help it?


Monday, 30 December 2013

Apologies from Joy, Luna and Laura

Hi everyone!

We just wanted to say that we were really sorry about the lack of posts recently, all three of us just seem to have been really busy at the moment! We are going to aim to be back up and running properly in the New Year, so keep requesting reviews and post topics!


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Our Guide to the Blogger for Android App

 So you've set up your blogger account, and now you want to access it on the go...and what better way to do so than the blogger app, which can be seen on my app screen below (the games happen to be for my brother!)


So when you open up the app this is the screen that you come to, for some reason (that I'm yet to figure out) it doesn't show the most recently posted first. If you want to change blogs, go to the drop down menu at the top and click on the blog you want to update. Clicking on the image of the camera will take you to your camera, whereas the pencil will take you to a new post.


When you click on the pencil you are shown to the following page, though it is worth noting that you can't schedule posts  easily on the app. 

From the homescreen if you click on a certain post then this is what you will see. It is worth noting that this is a preview type thing and not how your post appears to other people. 


By clicking on the picture of an eye you can then see what your post does look like to other people, as below. Clicking on the pencil allows you to edit your post. 


Clicking on the share icon (next to the google+ icon) and it will give you the option to share your post to various places. I have used this feature of the app before, and I found that it was actually really easy to use (and this is the primary way that I use the app.) Just in case you are unaware 'Page Manager' is the app that allows you to manage your facebook pages on an Android phone (not sure about iphone or blackberry).



If you choose to view your blog, this happens in app and it takes on the standard mobile site format: 


Monday, 9 December 2013

Blog Review: The Pure Sacrifice

The Pure Sacrifice by Deanna Wiseburn (Reviewed by Joy)

I asked Deanna about her blog to help give me some background on it. This is what she told me:

I started blogging in 2007, although in the beginning it was hit and miss.  My original reason for blogging was to share my faith with others.  While I have at times changed the purpose for the blog, I remain strong in my mission now.  My audience, in my mind was simply for anyone who wants to grow their faith, and to encourage those who struggle with depression or needed regular encouragement.
Over the last 2 years I started really being intentional about blogging regularly and working on promoting the blog.



So here's what we think!

Content: Overall information on the blog
5/5 stars
This blog holds a lot of information and has it nicely organized.

Look/Feel: Template, design, overall look
5/5 stars
Although the background isn't much and is simple, I like it better than the old one. Deanna has been a member of the critique my blog google+ community and has asked for advice on her blog for a while now. She's come such a long way! There are plenty of pictures to catch the eyes now and the colors and feel fit the blogs theme perfectly!!

Ease of Navigation: multiple things to look at and ease of getting to them
5/5 stars
Love the drop down menu on the tabs, the big follow buttons as well. Everything is right there and easy to find.

Ease of Reading: How fluent posts are to read
4/5 stars
Posts are easy to read though I feel that some could be longer. I think it's always good to add a personal touch to each post, even if you are just posting things that come from other places (example being the posts with just Bible verses). I try to do this myself when I post something about a book release. None of the information needed in the post is my original writing, but adding just a sentence or two on how I'm looking forward to it or what it means to me helps! I think it would help your readers get to know you better as well.

Brand: About you, other social media connections
4/5 stars
Doing super in this area as well! There are always many ways to connect with bloggers. Since you have a wordpress blog google friend connect isn't an option, but bloglovin' would be a great addition! It will allow you to see who is following your blog. 

Overall, with no changes made, this blog would get 5/5 stars!! 

I'm so happy for Deanna! I know she's worked very hard on her blog and I think it's paid off! Her blog's colors and themes work wonderfully with her blogs topic! She has ways to follow her blog (just add bloglovin' or something like it) and easy navigation to get to her many posts! Keep up the great work!!

*The views expressed on The Pure Sacrifice blog do not necessary reflect the views of the Blogging for Bloggers blog*

What do you think of this blog? Do you agree that it deserves 5 stars?