The Blog: The Birds and the Beads by Lavender
The Reviewer: Liz Medwid from ThreeBrightStars
First impressions: At first glance, The Birds and the Beads is a very girly, very artsy blog all about – you guessed it – birds and beads. The title is cleverly specific about the main topics of the blog, yet suggests adult naughtiness (generally not delivered in the content). The tagline, “It’s nice & light… so it’s fun to read,” defines the tone of the posts as well as the appropriate reader response: it’s a clever and effective technique to invite casual surfers to stay and read further.
Design: Pinks and purples signal a feminine personal blog, and if you like that, you’ll like this page. At the top of the page, the sidebars seem a little disorganized, but as you scroll down, you notice the posts are short, consistent, organized into tight paragraphs, and littered with gorgeous photographs, which, to the North American audience, are bound to have an exotic appeal. Overall, I think most of the target audience will hang out here long enough to check the content.
Although she has only been posting on Blogger since April of this year, with a total just topping 100 posts, she seems to generate significant discussion on many posts. One post hints that The Birds and the Beads gets a lot of traffic from Google and other searches on the main topics. When you delve into the posts, the content type and the page design actually diverge, in the sense that the content, being expert and business-related, could benefit from a more professional web-page design.
The rest of the content deals with photography and Lavender’s personal experiences living in
Blog writing is so often hit-and-miss that competence in this area must be mentioned: Lavender’s writing is concise, conversational, and generally error-free, which makes it a pleasant read.
Best and Worst: While the design is good enough to attract casual readers, the content actually rates an even better design. Lavender’s knowledge about birds and bead artwork provides a light and fun read, as the tagline promises, but it is also a great starting point to develop and maintain customer relations with that part of her audience wanting to take advantage of her expertise on these topics.
- Improve design with a more professional color scheme. This doesn’t mean abandoning pinks altogether – but a little pink goes a long way on a page like this.
- Tidy your widgets, especially at the top. The most important elements, your bead link and your profile, should appear at the top of each sidebar. Then, consider editing your other sidebar links to include the most usefulness with the least visual clutter. If possible, condense your topics list. Periodically cull some of your directory links: only maintain the ones that provide the most impact to your readership.
Blogroll worthy? Yes, for anyone who is interested in raising budgies and parakeets, and anyone who might want to collect handcrafted bead artwork.