Even though this blog wasn’t up in the first round, there were still some suggestions I saw given to other blogs which looked like could be applied to mine as well. Many of those suggestions came from Chikorita157 who did their own similar writeup two days ago.
Many of the things they talked about I also agreed with, and even discussed on this blog when talking about the AniBlog Tournament:
- Keep your Blog up to date
- Have a decent and relatively unique design
- Don’t use large banners
- Have sufficient navigation, such as categories, tags, etc. (and have them actually be usefully labeled. Having an “anime” category where 80% of your posts go with no further breakdown doesn’t count)
I can kind of add to that some of my further thoughts:
- I’ve found a trend among some blogs to have a posting style of a sentence or maybe a full paragraph of text, then an image, then a sentence or a paragraph, then a sentence, and so on. While I guess this would be an OK format if the entire post was about commenting on the images, if you’re actually writing about the episode, I found it to be rather disruptive, with it needlessly breaking up the text.
- Tag clouds: They are the bane of humanity. I have a tag cloud too…on it’s own page. Generally most tag clouds are so big and bulky they probably should be on their own page too instead of stuck on the sidebar. If you feel compelled to have a tag cloud, try to make sure you only have a limited number of tags, or you at least limit it to the most used tags on your site. And try not to make it too big or stand out too much. You don’t want it overpowering the rest of your page.
Things That Apply To This Site
However, just because I was passing judgment this round doesn’t mean I wasn’t also paying attention. I largely took advantage of Chikorita157’s advice and installed a plugin to create a mobile version of the site (hopefully it works since I don’t actually have a mobile device to test it with); do the page numbers at the bottom of the page, which I find much nicer than just the previous and next episode links; and I tried to cut down on the recap part of my review for upcoming episode reviews (I’ve always had a bad habit of writing excessively long recaps).
One additional thing I’ve added, since I noticed that my blogroll was starting to get really long, was install a plugin that shows 10 random links instead of the whole long thing. That had been on my mind for a while, so I figured I just as well do it now.
In any case, as the 2nd round goes on, perhaps I’ll pick up other ideas on how to tweak this blog, hopefully for the better.