Thursday, January 26, 2012

What I Learned From DIY Blog Critique

I cannot express how excited I was when Melissa Culbertson, author of Do-It-Yourself Blog Critique, agreed to be featured on Mentoring Mondays.  She was featured on Monday of this week (read it here) and that post has already becoming one of the most popular post ever at Disney Donna Kay.

Purchasing Melissa's book is one of the smartest decisions I have made as a blogger, I guess asking her to participate in Mentoring Mondays is up there on the list too.  Today I would like to share five things I have learned from Do-It-Yourself Blog Critique.

  • Setting Goals-I don't know why I hadn't thought about doing this before.  I just blogged on the fly and didn't really think beyond today.  You start to take your blogging more seriously when you take the time to set measurable goals.
  • Blog Design - It's more that a pretty header or background, your blog design can actually drive readers away! When someone visits your blog for the first time it takes them 3SECONDS to form an impression, and you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
  • Side Bars - Keep them neat and clutter free!  The main focus should be on your posts, let your main column be the star of your blog, not 25 blog buttons or a blog roll that's 50 blogs long. Have a small "about me" in your side bar for new visitors. (This is something I really need to do, I just HATE writing about myself!)
  • Social Media Buttons - Make them easy to find, preferably on the top of the right hand side bar or in your header.  I have been to blogs and cannot find Twitter and Facebook buttons and it drives me nuts!! Click on them and make sure they work!!
  • Popular Posts - Add links to your most popular posts in the sidebar.  They will be easy for readers to see and they will read them if they are there.  They are popular for a reason, use them to your advantage!! Also link back to them in related posts.
Honestly, I could go on and on.  These points do not begin to touch all the fantastic info in Melissa's book, there is so much more.  I am not an affiliate so I have nothing to gain from recommending this book.  I purchased my own copy and it is definitely worth the $14.  To top it all off it's an immediate download so instant satisfaction!! 

If you are still not sure, Melissa has a mini book you can download for free.  This mini book gives you an idea of how DIY Blog Critique is written, but it is all totally different-yet equally wonderful-content.

OK, I infomercial over!! Now back to your regularly scheduled Disney content...

Have a Magical Day!!
Donna Kay


  1. Ooo. I feel like I'm cheating a little. I didn't get to the part about adding links to popular posts on the sidebar yet. Can't wait to put what I'm learning from this book into action. I have pages and pages of notes. It's really fun to work through Blog Critique. Sincerest thanks for bringing it to my attention, Donna!

    1. Thanks Lucinda!! I have put some of the info from the book into play with my blog and I think it is much improved, although I still have a long way to go. Can't wait to see how DIY Blog Critique works for you!!


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