I signed up for a free Clutter-Busting Review of my blog done by Skellie from Skelliewag.org. Here is what she wrote and my comments on that.
1. I’d suggest making your tagline more directed at the reader. Instead of ‘unlocking people’s potential’, what about ‘unlocking your potential’? It tells each new visitor “this blog can help you”. I’d also suggest getting a little more specific: unlocking potential in what areas?
I have changed the tagline to ‘Unlocking Your Potential’. Since it refers to my work as a professional coach it can be potential in any area, depending on the client.
2. I think you can do without the Snap previews. They impact on readability and aren’t so useful — you can’t tell much about the content of the linked-to site, mainly it’s layout. I can only imagine it being of much use on a site aimed at children or families, so parents could be sure the links are safe to click. I suspect your blog is aimed at adults
I have removed the Snap previews, I agree that it added little value to my blog.
3. I think renaming ‘Who’ to ‘Who is Bengt?’ is a more clickable title for the link. It poses a question, and encourages the reader to answer it by getting to know the author better.
4. I’d suggest adding some more whitespace between posts. At the moment they’re displaying very close together, which can impact on readability. Adding some whitespace will give each post the space to be self-contained.
When upgrading WordPress I changed theme, from Prosumer to xMark. Both modified when it comes to colours and other things. My current theme has more whitespace in between posts.
5. I’d suggest replacing ‘Share This!’ with specific buttons for key social media services (I tend to recommend the big 4 — Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and Del.icio.us). Share This! is ambiguous for anyone unfamiliar with the plugin. It could really mean anything. If a reader knows the specific effect a button will have they’ll be more likely to click it.
I have removed the ‘Share This!’ plugin and only have a StumpleUpon-button on my Single-page. Most people probably use a browser toolbar anyway.
6. I’d suggest replacing ‘No Comments’ with something more inviting to the reader, like: ‘Be the first to comment’ or ‘Leave a Comment’.
I opted for ‘Leave a comment’.
7. I would replace your Recent Posts and Random Posts area with Popular Posts. This will showcase your best stuff to new readers. Recent Posts can be seen by simply scrolling a little down the page, and ‘popular posts’ are more inviting than ‘random’ ones.
I have removed Recent Posts but keep Random Posts since I want older posts to show up. Popular Posts is something I consider, will look around for plugins.
8. I really like your color scheme. One thing you could play around with is changing the font for the site. Georgia can be a little hard to read. If you don’t like the look of other fonts like Verdana, Arial, and Tahoma, you can change it back in a second.
My new theme, a modified version of xMark, uses a different set of fonts than my previos theme did. The list is now Verdana, Futura, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif.
I was immediately impressed with your relatively uncluttered sidebars. Your blog is just a few changes away from being genuinely clutter free
This review was a great exercise and helped me see some things in a new perspective.