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Blog Critique

Blog Critique: Mommy Nani Booboo

By Mar 10, 2012 May 16th, 2012 21 Comments

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We’re back with another Blog Critique from Momcomm and The SITS Girls!

Gigi and I are dissecting a blog from top to bottom in three areas: design, navigation/functionality and content. The reason? To help the featured blogger meet her blog goals and become even MORE awesome.

The goal of a blog critique is to help all of us learn and grow. One suggestion for a particular blog may very well apply to multiple members of our community and get us all thinking about how we can improve what we do.

Blog Critique: Mommy Nani Booboo

Jenny’s blog Mommy Nani Booboo is a personal blog encompassing womanhood, motherhood 2.0, ridiculousness and life’s big questions.  She basically describes it as “my heart and soul on the page.” Her blog posts are usually humorous, but sometimes heartwrenching too.

While Jenny is proud of her content, she feels that her design is flat and foreign to her, like there is an elegance missing. While blogging is a passion for her, she definitely wants to earn money from her blog mostly through advertising, which means more traffic.  She occasionally also writes sponsored posts and is always interested in working with brands that don’t mind her pushing the envelope a little.

Blog Design & Navigation {Mel}

Header & Menu

  • I really like the boldness of your header. The black and pink contrast definitely pops off the page. I came across your blog a while ago and the whole “Jenny Chiu is…” thing really stuck out for some reason. It’s memorable and helps me immediately draw a connection to you and your blog (versus some bloggers who I may only remember their blog name).
  • One thing I notice about your overall design is that you have many fonts going on. There are three in the header (two scripty and the sketchy one), one in the menu (clean, san serif one), one for your main content and sidebars (a serif one) and a final one as your signature. I would reduce your header fonts to two, keep the font in your menu bar and then change the main serif font to a san serif one. (For those who don’t know, serifs are the top and bottom lines on letters in fonts like Times New Roman). Overall, try to keep the font count at three. It will just give it a cleaner look and smooth out the design a bit.
  • Since you describe your blog content as typically humorous, I’d love to see a tagline that makes me laugh and get a sense of your personality.
  • I love the font you chose for your menu bar- very clean and polished. I’d consider removing the Archives tab so that your menu is all on one line versus having one piece of line on a separate line. For Archives, you can add a drop-down in your sidebar as an alternative place for it.

Sidebars

  • I’m happy to see that your social media buttons are at the top of your sidebar. People want easy access to them so yay! While I like the icon design, they don’t fit with the boldness of your header since they are more watercolor-looking. Consider getting custom ones made or use simpler non-custom ones so they blend in better with the design.
  • While your header centers around you, I don’t necessarily see any continuation of that in your sidebars. I’d love to see a picture and little blurb about you. By doing that, you’re building layers… first, you tell new readers your name “Jenny Chiu is…” then you give them your nickname of sorts “Mommy Nanny Booboo” and polishing it off with a couple of sentences about you. Golden!
  • Consider moving your left sidebar to the right. As we scroll down through a blog, it tends to be harder to bounce back and forth from one sidebar to the other so people will most likely focus on one and ignore the other. If they are on the same side, that isn’t as likely to happen. Plus, search engines read content like we do, left to right, so it’s good to have content on the far left.
  • Your sidebar headers match the menu bar so it’s good to have that consistency! The one thing I notice though is that some parts seem a little cramped. For example, the Search Me underneath the BlogHer Voices of the Year button.

Main Column

  • I like that the font from your menu is used for the blog post titles but I think it may look even better if it were a bit larger and in pink to draw your eye to it.
  • The black borders around each post are a bit heavy and distracting from the posts. Consider removing it all together for a cleaner look.
  • You do a nice job of keeping your paragraph size reasonable which is definitely easier on the eye and make your posts easy to read through.
  • Hooray for having social media sharing buttons at the bottom of your posts. But consider consolidating a bit for a cleaner look and to get more action on them. For example, you have three ways to share on Facebook that a reader may be unsure which one to use and skip it altogether. I wrote a post on SITS a while back about giving readers too many choices. I think the social sharing strip and a Facebook like button underneath is plenty.
  • In this section at the bottom of your posts with the sharing buttons and categories, try to add a bit more spacing in there just so they aren’t so close together.
  • Your commenting section is very clean and easy to read through the discussions happening in the comments.

Writing {Gigi}

  • Let me just start out by saying that your writing is amazing. I just spent time reading several of your posts and I am blown away. You have the unique and very special ability of being able to write awesome humor posts as well as searing and heartwrenching personal reflection posts. This is not something everyone can do.
  • Writing on such a wide variety of topics and doing it well is such an asset – but it can also be a challenge. I, too write a lot of humor posts but mix in more intimate and personal posts from time to time. The upside is that readers get a little of everything and it never gets boring. The challenge is that sometimes people don’t like not knowing what to expect. Those that read you for your humor may not necessarily respond to your more personal posts, and vice versa.  I don’t do a ton of advertising because people have not approached me a ton for it. I have had amazing success on sponsored posts because my content is so diverse and nicheless. So from a monetization perspective, I would suggest that you look in that direction. You get more buck for your bang, if you know what I mean.
  • Your writing has the power to move people. I read Post Partum Psychosis – Shedding Light on the Demon and was transfixed. An image could make that post even more powerful. You included a perfect one at the very bottom but by then, the story was over. I would love to see you incorporate one image into every post, at or near the beginning. Another example is your post 35 Weeks – And my other kid may be scarred permanently. Such a well written post and I loved how you ended it! An image would have been the cherry on top.  Including photos will set the tone for the post (and help people know what to expect) and really help frame your amazing words. I know this can be difficult – I struggle with adding images to all of my posts, but I do think that it helps. And if you’re looking for advertising, the more visual your site is, the better.
  • I agree with Mel that the boxes around your posts are distracting, and also agree that you should consider getting rid of that left hand column. Your writing is SO very good, I’d love to see a wider area devoted to content and have you combine your two side columns into one. Having a wider area for content will also give your posts the illusion of not looking as long. As you know, we are a society of scanners, and I think this will make it easier for people to read your stuff.
  • I actually don’t have any recommendations in terms of your content or how you write. Keep on keepin’ on. Your voice is distinct and completely you and it’s fantastic.

Now it’s your turn. What do YOU think about Mommy Nani Booboo? Do you agree or disagree with our recommendations? Let us know in the comments below.

And be sure to head over to visit Mommy Nani BooBoo and leave her some comment love.

Want to Read More Blog Critiques?

Accept no substitutes! Blog critiques from Momcomm & The SITS Girls are the best you’ll find on the web. You can find all of our past blog critiques here.

The blog critique queue is currently closed but if you feel like critiquing your own blog, grab a copy of the DIY Blog Critique, where Mel from Momcomm walks you through 43 points to critique your blog in design, navigation and content.

About Melissa

Melissa is a busy mama with 11 years of experience in marketing and branding. She blogs at Adventuroo, a blog about capturing the everyday moments in motherhood, and Momcomm, a blog where she shares can-do tips for blogging, writing and social media.

21 Comments

  • Yes this YouTube video is much superior than previous one, this one has good picture feature as well as audio.

  • I agree – the less clutter on the sidebars the better. That is something i read from bloggingwithamy.com and have always tried to keep in mind when I think about changing my blog layout or adding more info to the sidebar.

  • I have always struggled with the left sidebar or 2 right sidebars. I think part of my issue has been limitations with design, but I am switching to a premium theme, so I am hoping I can settle this issue!
    Great critique!

  • Alexandra says:

    I love Jenni’s writing…

    Why I go there.

    You never know what you’ll read that day, and that makes each visit special to me.

  • Charlotte says:

    These are all such helpful critiques. Thank you so much for this series; definitely helps me with redesigning my own blog.

    Too bad the queue is closed… but I look forward to reading the others for some more advice. Thanks!

  • Luci says:

    Thank you for these critiques. They’re sooo helpful! I’ve missed the last few and intend to go back and read them because, right now, I’m always up for improving my blog! Hugs to you and happy weekend!

  • Michelle says:

    Some great pointers! Really like the suggestion of only having one side for everything but posts. Makes it more concise.

  • Maggi says:

    I really love reading these critiques!

  • Spot-on, as usual. I love these critiques and always pick up a little something for myself whenever I read them.

  • Jen says:

    I love this site! Jenni is an awesome writer and always makes me smile. 🙂

  • Jenni Chiu says:

    Thanks for the critique, guys! I tend to focus on my writing and neglect design and function. Now to find someone to help put these tips into place!
    I have to disagree about needing a tag line, though. I have one – “Not perfect, just right.”
    I love it.

    • Jenni – I just had a redesign done by Booyahs Momma and couldn’t be happier. If interested, heck her out at http://www.booyahsmomma.com.

      • Nelie says:

        2011/11/09 21:22此处温度为 1 ℃,因你而温暖,感谢你的加温!Witaj Yang sun,Ten list został wygenerowany aticmatyoznue jako potwierdzenie realizacji usług w AZ.pl:Pragniemy poinformować, iż wymienione poniżej usługi:USŁUGA: Rejestracja domeny:[]

    • Hi Jenny- glad you like the critique! All I was saying with the tagline is that yours is cute and catchy, it doesn’t necessarily reflect how humorous you are. However that being said, your blog name is funny SOOOO if you add some sort of About Me blurb in your sidebar that showcases that humor of yours, you should be golden!

  • What a great review! I am now drawn over to read her blog.

  • This is great. I know (and love) Jenni’s blog and I’ve always noticed that it’s got a bit of a different design. Great to hear the suggestions on what to keep and what to change up.

  • Holly says:

    Thanks for the critique- I’ve learned a lot from this series! (I’ve also found a great new blog to read! Thanks jenny chui!

  • Samantha says:

    To echo what the other ladies are saying these critiques are really helpful! I would never have caught the sidebar issue on my own. Both of my active blogs have sidebars on both sides primarily because I can’t stand the unbalanced look of having it on only one side.

    I really like Mommy Nani Boo Boo – You can really connect to the writer’s personality just in how the content is written. But I was also distracted by the boxes and over all layout of the blog posts scrolling down the landing page. This is also something that I struggle with. You want to showcase as much as you can on that landing page to provide a mix of options for readers to navigate through the blog, but when is it too distracting?

    Do you have any advice on how to best approach to laying out the landing page? Is it more effective to have multiple posts with “Read me” links or to have a magazine style layout?

  • Denise says:

    I love these critiques. They are really helpful for looking at my own blog and seeing where I can improve things.

  • I am not one to talk but…
    I agree on the part about combining the sidebars… I got wall-eyed trying to figure out where my eyes should go… and I was just trying to read the excerpts. (not trying to be mean)

    I enjoyed Jenni’s writing and the box did not bother me…it kept me in the margins and not on the side bars.

    I did like some of the titles in the side bars And to tell you the truth… I really didn’t notice the different fonts as much because of the 2 sidebars (again not trying to be mean) And I liked the social media icons…

    I thought it was cool that there was a delivery survey in the sidebar… would really like to know how she did that…

    Why are the archives in the bottom widget area…I wouldn’t look for them there

    I really would like to take her badge… but my text box widget is acting “stupid” or it could be me… not sure which.

    I liked the header… wondering where I can get one designed

    And again… I am just a relative newbie in the blogosphere… so what do I know… I am trying to learn from others in any way I can… And I would absolutely love for someone to critique me… when is the next opening.

    And I leave you with … Over All I give 2 thumbs up to this blog…

  • Thank you so much for these critiques! I learn or at least give thought to something new every time.