Hold on to Your Hard Hats: Blog Renovation Zone
Pat & Me at SES SJ Search Bash. Photo by the lovely Kate Morris.
Patrick Sexton is a wildly passionate, remarkably generous and insanely crafty SEO. This morning he gave me some sound advice on how to make the BC blog better. I’m still blushing over the obvious effort and care he took to do so.
You may recognize Pat from a number of ventures he runs across the Web. His blog SEOish, his adorable widgets, his groundbreaking local listing resource, his mad skills over at kneesockz.com… The man is an Internet marketing machine!
Last week I made a public confession that I was trying to improve the community presence of the BC blog. The support that came pouring in afterward was truly astounding!
One of those supporters is Pat, who has replied to my post with a brutally honest appraisal of what is hindering the blog’s capacity for engagement. It’s a lesson I think will not only help myself but others facing similar problems as well.
Pat listed his fixes to the blog, and while it will be no small task, it makes a lot of sense:
- Get rid of the sideways barcode problem we’ve got going on.
- Include lots of images!
- Let people communicate real time through the comments.
- Make the comment approval process better.
- Kick the blog navigation up a notch.
Photo credit Granth via Creative Commons
Susan and I have knocked out our new plans for the blog. Yes, there’s going to be a full blog overhaul. No, it won’t happen over night. A number of Pat’s recommendations can be made right away. (See all my pretty pictures?! Quick learner over here, folks!) Some of them will take a bit more time.
First, we can eliminate the barcode syndrome and “please people visually” by peppering lots of images throughout the text.
As far as the comment approval process and its hindrance to communication, we plan to address this problem with a better spam filter so that each comment doesn’t require manual approval. This is one of the fixes that’s gonna take some time. Improvements to navigation, however, are underway as I type. The sidebar is undergoing a makeover, complete with a new feature that pays service to regular contributors. Over the next few months we plan to move the entire blog over to WordPress, where a number of amazing functions will be available.
I want to thank Patrick again not only for giving us the kick in the butt we needed, but also for the thought and love he put into his post, all in the name of helping out a fellow blogger. There were also a number of kind commenters who shared their sentiments and support for the content of the blog, if not the design.
So everybody grab your hard hat, pardon our dust, and enjoy your view of the construction zone!