SITS 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge – Day 4

How to Blog Today’s Task:  Analyze Another Blog

Today’s 31DBBB task was to analyze another blog {one within my niche and one outside it}.  You might think this would be easy, since most of us who blog also read blogs.  Lemme tell you though, it wasn’t!

First, you have to pick one.  It feels like the whole picking your kickball team and inevitably somebody is left sad and lonely, waiting to be picked.  I’m sure given my small existence within cyberspace nobody would even know that I didn’t pick them, but still, it feels weird.

Then you have to sit there and try to analyze, without feeling like an utter failure on your own blog, and attempting to process without stealing.

So what blog did I analyze?

I used a series of tags to narrow down my search on Delicious.  Through this highly scientific process, I decided to analyze Simple Homeschool, a blog within my niche {homeschooling}.

First impressions…

First impressions are that Janice’s blog is clean looking, like a pretty crisp white sheet.  She incorporates a nice amount of color that seems to blend into the page without gouging your eyeballs.

Genius stuff…

I really like the way she has her categories/topics set up.  There are eight; easy to see at once and easy to sort through.  In addition, they change color and have a cute little graphic next to them when you hover over the link.

These are the most important topics I would think a homeschool parent would be interested in when they came to her blog.  She doesn’t blog just within these categories, as she has a tag cloud in her footer.

I also like the fact that her navigation bar is not cluttered with tons of options.  She has the most important up there:  Home, About, Contact, Advertise, Meet the Contributors, and Articles up top.

Everything else {tag cloud, mission statement, disclosure, press page, and the short about the blog blurb} is at the bottom.  She has incorporated all elements you need {archives, categories, press, disclosure, etc.} but has spaced them so there’s not a huge glob of stuff in a sidebar.

Simple Homeschool {well, the whole Simple Living Media conglomerate} has an uber media kit.  I think it’s one of my favorite ones to date.  When my blog grows up, it wants one of those.

These are the basics I took from my analysis.  I’m pretty sure there was more, but I got sidetracked with all the digging and didn’t have a chance to analyze a blog outside my niche.