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The bloggers I met at BlogWorld 2010

December 27, 2010

I made my third annual trip to BlogWorld in October. Once again, I met a wonderful set of bloggers from all around the world at the annual conference in Las Vegas.

Let me introduce you to the ones I met, along with some tips for their blogs. Maybe you’ll be inspired to blog like them in 2011!

BlogWorld 2010 - Sassybella

Helen Lee, Sassybella, a fashion blog based in Sydney, Australia

What I like: Clean look, easy to navigate, clear headlines and spot-on content. Excellent job on the Advertise page.

What I suggest: The newsletter sign-up ad in the far right rail is hard to read. It could be bigger, higher and with a plainer font. Also, for a style blog, the logo is a little flat. Time to invest in a professional logo that reflects Helen (and her readers), a young woman on the go and in the know.

BlogWorld 2010 - Planet Josh

Sarah Oriel, Planet Josh, a mom blogger raising an autistic child

What I like: Lovely header, chock full of personal stories and warmth. One of the better mom blogs I’ve seen in a while.

What I suggest: More art, please. Photos would help break up long blocks of text. (And I’m betting readers want to see more snippets of family life in photographic form.) I think Sarah is born to write a book, which means rethinking the blog approach top to bottom as a business.

BlogWorld 2010 - Rick Darby

Rick Darby, Rick Darby on Learning Technology, answering questions about learning and technology

What I like: Very accessible: Information is broken up into good chunks and well organized. It’s clear who’s writing it and what it’s for.

What I suggest: The Spartan look needs more images. Blogging more frequently is a must. Also, don’t forget to respond to your commenters, even on the About This Blog page!

BlogWorld 2010 - By Women For Women

Barbara Bailey, By Women For Women, helping women get started in business

What I like: For a young blog, very helpful material (even for men).

What I suggest: Cut down on the sharing buttons at the end. Which ones are your readers actually using? Too many creates confusion.

Patrick Warren, Zappos.tv, the video side of the shoe retailer’s corporate blog

What I like: A company that goes out of its way to encourage fun on the blog, showing off who its people really are. Each video ends with a tag identifying Zappos’ sites, very smart. Does it sell more shoes? Probably. Does it boost employee morale? Definitely.

What I suggest: At least one video wasn’t embeddable. On the author pages, include the five most recent posts. And use your company size to your advantage: Get some folks internally clicking Like, tweeeting it out and leaving comments to get things rolling (just be transparent).

BlogWorld 2010 - DealerKnows

Joe Webb, DealerKnows, showing auto dealers how to make the most of the Internet

What I like: Lots of good information packed in there. Joe has fun with videos, promoting talks and interviewing attendees.

What I suggest: More regular blogging. Also, make it easier to find the video channel. And again, photos and graphics will help break up those all-text posts.

BlogWorld 2010 - The Write Design Company

Marcie Hill, The Write Design Company, showing businesses how to blog

What I like: Regular posts show Marcie active in blogging and conferences. Lots of live blog posts using CoverItLive.

What I suggest: Lose the “Painting Pictures With Words” graphic; it’s taking up too much valuable screen real estate. Take the CoverItLive transcripts and post them with widget for maximum SEO value.

BlogWorld 2010 - Entertainment Law

Gordon Firemark, Entertainment Law Update Podcast, a monthly podcast focusing on entertainment law

What I like: Each entry lists topics covered on the podcast. Lots of great links related to topics covered in each episode.

What I suggest: More info everywhere. What is this podcast and who should listen to it? That should be on an About page or in a box in the right sidebar. Let visitors know in the excerpt that more info is available on the full post. It might be helpful to make the “Subscribe with iTunes” box bigger, and even include a mention in post at the end (getting people to subscribe automatically increases listener audience). And consider putting a transcript as every other post, for SEO value. And maybe a white background; text is hard to read on a gray background.

BlogWorld 2010 - Barry J. Moltz

Barry Moltz, BarryMoltz.com, professional business speaker and author

What I like: Great example of how a professional speaker (or other service provider) sets up a site. Most information is easily located …

What I suggest: … except the blog! I had to nose around a bit to actually find the entries. Blogging may not be the primary function of the site, but it’s still difficult to get to it. As I always say, “Blog like you mean it!”

BlogWorld 2010 - Your Virtual Girl Friday

Eleanor Prior, Your Virtual Girl Friday, virtual assistant for social media marketing and site set-up

What I like: Common sense advice and tips for business owners trying to get into social media.

What I suggest: Front page makes it hard to get into the posts; header takes up a lot of room, as does the carousel with no defining text. Plus, that double navigation bar has always been a turnoff for me.

BlogWorld 2010 - Bill Murphy.tv

Bill Murphy, BillMurphy.TV, a CEO talks about his Ironman adventures and training

What I like: Bill has an outlet for his athletic pursuits outside of his IT business. I like that he’s sharing his plans and his doubts, plus video interviews.

What I suggest: For the videos, investing in a microphone will improve the audio tremendously (tip I heard recently: video without good audio is surveillance footage). Add Related Posts to each post to encourage readers to stick around and look at more stuff.

BlogWorld 2010 - Danuta Hinc

Danuta Hinc, DanutaHinc.com, writer and writing teacher with a novel coming out in March

What I like: Good stories with art from a professional. Easy navigation, good comment response.

What I suggest: For authors with books coming out, more content related to the book: the writing process, the book tour, the first chapter, whatever readers might be interested in. This is a group that really digs deep into literature and discussion, so make the most of it.

• • •

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2010 1:59 am

    Wade, thank you so much for this unexpected and pleasant feedback. Receiving your insights at this time was perfect because I am actually working on revamping my site, and this was confirmation that I am on the right track.

    You have been a blessing since our meeting. And again, I appreciate you.

    • December 28, 2010 11:14 am

      You’re welcome, Marcie. Let me know when your new site is ready — I’d love to see it.

  2. December 28, 2010 10:03 pm

    Thank you for including my blog here, Wade! Your advice and insight is very much appreciated and I hope I can live up to your prediction 🙂

    • December 28, 2010 10:12 pm

      I have faith in you, Sarah!

  3. December 30, 2010 4:14 pm

    Thanks for mentioning me! I put all the sharing buttons at the end because I wasn’t sure which ones my readers would use. Per your suggestion, I’ll look at that data now, and clean house.

    I’m also redesigning the whole website, and adding a lot of new features in January. I’d love for you to take another look when I’m done.

    It was fun meeting, and networking with you, at BlogWorld. I hope to see you again at BEW11.

    • December 30, 2010 9:14 pm

      My favorites are Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, print and e-mail.

      Let me know when it’s ready. I’d love to see the new look, Barbara.

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