So, today's blog is called If You Can't Say Something Nice. You'd think that would be a hit here. But, it's a miss.
Randi was reviewed back in January, and has since moved to wordpress and done some house cleaning (something I haven't gotten around to today). But, her work isn't finished.
Randi, your new blog design LOOKS a lot better, but you've only gone halfway. You've left a lot of shit lying around in your sidebar that should be tucked neatly behind those header tabs: About me, your blogroll, and pictures. You also should consider a drop-down archive list to make things even cleaner.
But, even if you do all of that, you still aren't going to be my afternoon cuppa coffee. Your blog is so much like a girl on ANTM who just doesn't bring it. You're there, you're doing stuff, but there is no life or spark or fierceness to it.
I mean, you're writing about why you WON'T be seeing a movie (and using someone else's words to do it). Do you really think anyone wants to read that?
Your blog is still just a recounting of your day's or weekend's activities, with no spice or focus. One thing that would really help your blog, I think, is to make each post about ONE THING. Just one. Not a list, not a weekend activity regurgitation, but ONE SUBJECT, and ONE SUBJECT ONLY. This post, for instance, is really TWO posts, and should have been broken up into two: The story of your husband's crankiness, and the story about your dogs and the chickens. You spend way too much time on "I was here, I did this," and not enough on fleshing out the event or focus of the story. A blog isn't a chronicle, it's a place to tell the stories of your life. And, unless you tell those stories, you won't suck people in and make them interested in your life.
For instance, you tell us about your 4th of July weekend, and mention that you took the best pictures, ever, but you don't tell us how you did it. You tell us you went to a parade, but you don't make it come alive for us.
I've never been to a 4th of July parade in a little town in Vermont. Your experiences would be novel to me, and yet, you don't share the details that would bring the parade to life...the smells, the sights, the small town fire crew blaring their sirens on their fire truck.
In January, Ginny told you:
The average person who looks at a blog isn't going to slog through hundreds of posts to get back to that one story you told that was worth reading. You've only got a few seconds to catch us lazy-asses.
My advice? Do your blog Kegels, Randi. Tighten that shit up. Only post when you have something to say.
She was right six months ago, and you still haven't followed her advice.
So, let's try this again, in photographer terms. Look at your blog posts as pictures. You only have a few seconds to catch a reader's interest, so you have to say a lot with a little bit. You have to narrow in your focus, find a single item in a large landscape, and go for a piece of the whole.
A blog post is this:
(Image by Chris Ridley.)
Does that help you visualize what you are shooting for? In telling a story, it is the small stuff, the little details, that matter, not amount of words. It's a single snapshot, not a novel. It's a door, not a mansion. It's a moment, not a lifetime.
Who am I to say your blog sucks? I'm a mom whose kids are out of town, sitting in all my unwashed glory on a big comfy couch on a Monday afternoon, taking a day off work.
But, your blog bored the bejesus out of me. You aren't stretching, and you aren't ready for this review, yet. But, you are so like 75% of the blogs that submit here weekly that I'm reviewing you anyway, in hopes that they (and you) will learn something.