Monday, June 8, 2015

Musings of an Average Mom Blog Review

The first week of Bloggers Helping Bloggers Link Party was such a success! I am blown away by all the valuable and insightful information I received. And because the review is a little lengthy I decided to split the review and the link party. The review will be posted Mondays at 7:30 am EST and the Bloggers helping Bloggers Link Party will begin at Tuesdays at 7:30 am EST (beginning next week)

So last week, I received nine reviews on my blog and the suggestions were so great I had to hold off on implementing them until after I published this post!

Overall Appearance:

My first impression is: this must be a Blogger blog. It looks nice and friendly but a little bit amateurish. I love the labels in the sidebar like Popular Posts. I like that fact that I can immediately see the woman behind the blog in the sidebar.

The overall appearance is great. I love the white background which is clean and easy read. 

When I click onto your site, and I am looking above the fold, I have a couple of recommendations I think would help you with new visitors. First, I don't see a picture of you, which means I am not engaged with you unless I scroll down and see your picture. In fact, I have to pass by three ads (one in the header and two in the right sidebar) before I see you. This means I don't immediately register you as the author. I automatically sort of see you as another ad. You also need an "About Me" tab for convenience. I want to know you! As I scroll down, I see there is a lot going on.  


The header looks a bit wonky, because it's not centered. Also it looks like one of the headers you can get for free if you google 'headers'. Having said that: I do like the way it looks. I also like the menu beneath the header. Though there aren't all that many items in the menu.

I love the design. Would prefer it to span the entire page rather than ending at where the sidebar begins below since it leaves a blank space in the upper right corner.

I like the look of the header, but I would love if it was centered. Also, I think it could be a little bigger. It's not like your blog name gets lost, but it doesn't really jump out, either.

This is actually the very best part of your blog, in my opinion. May I also add that my daughter, who did not know what I was doing, but is a social media expert in her own right (aren't all 12 year olds?), said, "Ooooo!! I love her Cover Photo (I was following you on Google+ at the time). It did look very attractive. You might take a note of the set up of your Google+ page. Your picture is in a circle right at the top next to your logo. Underneath, and separate are your posts. Very orderly. Very attractive. The one thing I want to beg you to do it to remove the bluehost ad from under your header. I know why it's there, but it's not the best first impression.

Sidebar (appearance and arrangement)

I like how you have your sidebar broken down by titles. I just wish your titles where all the same color.

I realize people have advertising however I would prefer to see your About Me at the top of the sidebar and perhaps even an About Me page. 

Nice size, as are the widgets within it. Would love to see the search bar near the top of the page though so it is easier to find. I really like that you have a popular posts section and the layout of it is very attractive.

I love your social media buttons! I think your About Me should be higher on the page (above the fold) and I heard recently that the search button should, ideally, be above the fold, too.

 I think this needs to be slimmed down. The ads should go below information about you. The thing is, I know you want to sell ad
space, and above the fold is a prime location, but you will in my
opinion, get more followers if you look like you are there to share your life and help people rather than be a billboard. It seems a little false to put them under the hearts, but over your picture. Your pic should be under those hearts, girl! It's you we should love, not a website builder. You should then bring all of your tabs under your picture, starting with the search bar. People won't search for the search bar. They will leave. Links, Ads, Invitations to Advertise, and Buttons should be underneath the important information about your blog and what you are about. 


I like your popular posts in the sidebar, this gives me a picture of your content.


How Easy it is to Follow on Social Media

Love the icons for your social media and because of the colour they stand out well against the white background. It is very clear how to communicate with you.

Social media in the sidebar makes it easy to follow. Pinterest widget is nice to see the flavor of what people pin.

I see no about or contact page (I do see the email icon). What if I wanted to work with you, or ask you if I could share one of your posts, and wanted to know more?


It's not clear to me what your blog is about. Looking at the menu I would say: about blogging. But that doesn't seem to go with your blog title which suggests more of a mommy blog. I especially like the 'Free Blog Elements' in the menu.

Well-written. Confusing to a first-time visitor though since the most recent content appears to be targeted towards bloggers while the title of the blog led me to believe it would be a parenting/lifestyle blog. As a blogger, I do love the content, I just wouldn’t have known to look for it here based on the blog name.

I really like your variety of content. As someone who couldn't possibly pigeonhole my blog into one niche, I love that you're covering such a variety of topics (and as a blogger, I LOVE all your blogging resources).

I clicked your post down that was recommended near the bottom called "Not Your Typical Potty Training Advice." I chose it over the other articles because of the adorable little boy in the picture. So cute! I would not have enjoyed that article because there was not much commentary, only bullet points. I like to feel like I am listening to a story. Then I checked out "Easter Minute to Win It" from the popular posts section, also because I felt it was the best picture (with actual photographs) and I wasn't interested in the blogging info. I was looking for mom stuff. This was great! I love the pics. I love the advice. It was excellent.

 I found your "This is Me" post. I don't think I would have found it otherwise because it is not on your popular posts, and it was written in 2014. Anyway, after reading this post, I get the impression that you called your page "Average Mom" because you were simple trying to point out that you weren't one of those perfect blogger/moms. If you were going to focus on the topic of blogging rather than motherhood, it might have been better to have called the page "Musings of an Average Blogger." Of course, you have a platform now, and this is your name. Still, you do write about motherhood. Why not showcase that aspect of yourself. I've said it a million times here. People want to connect with you and your family. They also want blog advice, but from someone who is an average mom like them. If you really want to gain community, you really should emphasize the mom bit more. Of course, that's just my opinion.

Your niche/target market is not apparent from your menu. None of your menu labels grab me, and all I see are a lot of giveaways on the home page. I see parenting and budgeting in your bio, but not your menu (which doesn't mean the posts aren't there). I see a gift buying guide and saving money on groceries post, which fit in none of your menu items.

Why is it musings of an "average" mom? Why not super mom? Are you covering things that are accessible to all? Does that mean you will be posting things any mom can do? Or making the life of the average mom easier?

How Easy it is to Read (fonts, etc.)

I would prefer the font of the posts to a size 14. Otherwise it's easy to read.

I’m not sure about the font. It is a little small for me and I don’t think it matches the title fonts or the menu font that you use. I also think perhaps you could make more use of Heading fonts which make important points stand out. 

The clean, uncluttered layout and white background makes the posts easy to read. The fonts don’t seem to go together to me though. The post title font is somewhat whimsical while the post content font is very traditional.

The font is great and easy to read. The font could be a size or two bigger, but it isn't necessarily too small (maybe I just have tired eyes?)

How easy is it to read (fonts, etc.) The sidebar is really the most confusing. The font is fine, but the letters could be a little bigger. I wish there was more differentiation between the main content and the
sidebar because it kind of blends together in places, but what can you do? It's just a lot to look at. My brain can't handle it at almost midnight when I am working on this, and you know, other folks might have the same issue.

How Easy it is to Navigate, and find what you are looking for.

Navigation is great, though I would suggest using the menu beneath the header better.
I couldn't find the search site option for a while but found it towards the bottom of the page.

You could definitely add more categories across the top of your page, under your header .It's kind of hard to find specific types of posts even though, after scrolling through several pages, I can see you have some variety.

How easy it is to navigate, and find what you are looking for- You know, I didn't see your tabs at first. They kind of fade into the background with the gray, and they kind of blend into the ad. 

Other Comments or Suggestions.


Be more clear about what your blog is about. The blog title doesn't seem to match your content I think. And you might want to use the footer: put widgets in there!

I especially like the layout of your Link Party Directory. Some blogs have them all different sizes and all over the place. Yours is well done. 

I’d love to see a “Contact Me” link somewhere so it would be easier to reach out to you. Based on your menu options, most popular posts, and your most recent content, you may want to update your About Me section in your sidebar.

You have so many great blogging resources! You could try to link back to similar resources in your posts, to get visitors to stay on your site and click around.
Let me say that, your blog title is "Musings of an Average Mom," but your tabs are not about motherhood at all. It's free things, link party, and blogging. If I wanted to read more about that cute boy, I would have to go to the home page and scroll like crazy. Even then, it took me a minute to find the older posts button (it's very small and buried in ads). I would have probably given up. I think you should add more tabs about motherhood and put them toward the front, THEN have some tabs on blogging.

Everything needs a bit more organization. On another note, I am guessing that organization isn't your  thing because you started with "Overall Appearance" rather than finishing with it.

It feels a little ad heavy to me, but I have a small screen so I'm having to scroll past ads a lot.  I can't stand the in-line infolinks ads, but that's my peeve.


 My Thoughts ...


 All the constructive criticism and suggestions I received are invaluable! I don't think there is one suggestion I am not taking. And will first center my header, move my about me up one ad, and utilize my page menu and footer more effectively! Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

And don't forget to link up at Bloggers Helping Bloggers Tuesdays  at 7:30 am EST to get in line to have your own blog reviewed by numerous fellow bloggers.



  1. Yes I remember writing a review and it was great for you to get that positive feedback. Thanks for sharing with us at #AnythingGoes #8

  2. I knew last week that your idea of Bloggers Helping Bloggers would be a great idea. I loved reading the reviews you received and it made me think about my own blog layout. It can be hard to hear constructive criticism, but you take it like a champ. Thanks for sharing at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.

  3. This is such a great idea. I love all the helpful feedback you received too. :)

  4. I loved reading the reviews. This all should be very helpful for you.

  5. I am definitively coming back on Tuesday for this great support
    Thanks for linking at the best of the Blogosphere!

  6. I've said it elsewhere but this is an awesome idea! It's a little scary to get criticism sometimes but so helpful in the long run! I already went and reviewed this week's selection! Thanks so much for linking up with Share The Wealth Sunday...I always love what you have to offer!


  7. I love that you posted the feedback as I am taking some of it to heart to work on the presentation of my blog...if I can ever get that darn header to work again. Grrr. Lol.


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