Demonstrative blog review: Alin ANGHELUȚĂ’s weblog

Hello, in this blog post I’ll do a demonstrative blog review for Alin ANGHELUȚĂ. Join me in the quest to find out things to be improved for this blog.

Copywriting

+I like the fact that you’ve chosen Romanian as a language for your theme; well done;
1. I would prefer to read a blog with diacritics;
2. Some words in the theme from wordpress.com have not been translated into Romanian, which is pretty bad;
“Tagged:
Permalink”;

Design


+I like the colors of the theme, nice colors, pleasant to watch;
1. If I were you, I’d try to find a blog theme that is less used; I seem to have seen the current theme on a lot of blogs;
2. The texts in small print are pretty hard to read, I’d look for a theme with more emphasis put on accessibility;

SEO

+Having WordPress as a blogging platform ensures that most SEO tools are there for you; that’s fine;
1. I’d try to have some keywords in the titles; a good start would be more descriptive titles, rather than very general ones:
“Sfarsit de mai – noi evenimente in Bucuresti”
“Evenimente … intelectuale :)”
“Weekend-uri in Bucuresti si imprejurimi”;
2. Some blogs have a rather large number of categories and tags, which can make usability a bit confusing; also, Google doesn’t appreciate going over the board with tagging:
“Brand Romania, activitati, personal, travel & adventure | Tagged: alin angheluta, aventura parc, cernica, comana, complex CFR Astoria Snagov, lacul snagov, lucianca, manastirea snagov, mogosoaia, palatul brancovenesc, palatul snagov, prima evadare, putnicu, snagov, wikimapia”;

Usability

+I like the fact that the search box is placed right in the upper-right corner of the blog, as it should be; great stuff!
1. The fonts icon in the lower right corner looks pretty bad;
2. I’d expect to find a contact page somewhere on the blog;

Structure of information

+It’s great that you’ve chosen wordpress.com for the hosting of your web site; no troubles with the hosting, you’re part of a community, tags on your blog link to other tags in the wordpress.com community; and on top of that, even if you use wordpress.com, you have your own domain name; well done;
1. You have relatively little information on the blog;
2. I’d put more content on the pages themselves;

Elements of the web site:

Newsletter subscription box
+It’s great to have such an option, having visitors which will subscribe to your blog is a very effective way to build a community;
+A lot of readers prefer to subscribe via email, rather than RSS, good thing you have that option;

1. In my opinion, it takes too much space; it’s a big box for an operation which you can only do once; if I were you, I’d only put a link to the email subscription feature, not a box;
2. There is no “!!” in punctuation; you can only have one “!”; very rarely you can have three “!!!”; two is out of the question;
3. Trying to attract customers by saying bluntly “Hey! Pay attention to me!” is, to me, a rather ineffective solution;
4. The subscription offers me no guarantees – what will you do with the email address once I’ve subscribed? How can I unsubscribe if I later wish to do so? How often will I receive emails from you?
5. In just a small box you’ve managed to put four (!?) exclamation points; way too much for my taste;
6. What does “activate the link” mean? It makes no sense to activate a link; perhaps you meant to say that I should click a link and activate my account; a bit different, won’t you agree?

The categories

+I llike the fact that the categories have blog posts which are evenly distributed, it’s nice to see a good distribution of blog posts;

1. I would leave out “Uncategorized” category; in a lot of cases, it’s just a sign of negligence; if you still prefer to have an “Others” category, name it just like that: “Others”;
2. Some categories are hard to understand – What’s “activities”? What should I expect to find in there?
3. You say “antreprenoriat & leadership”, which is a mixture of a Romanian word with an English word; much preferable are these two alternatives:
“antreprenoriat & lidership” or
“entrepreneurship & leadership”;
4. To me the “JCI” category mixes up with “antreprenoriat & leadership”;
5. You have 7 categories; I’d much rather opt for a smaller number of categories, which would make your blog easier to understand;

The blogroll

+Very nice list of entrepreneurs and people with a fresh look on the business world; inspiring blogs;

1. You have 35 blogs in your blogroll, which make it somewhat hard to follow; I’d suggest having a list with only top-notch blogs; if you can’t pick, how can I, your reader?
2. You list me 35 persons and expect me, the reader, to click your blogroll; why would I? Because one name in the list sounds cooler than the other? Because I’ve heard about some of the persons in the list? My suggestion would be to create a dedicated page for your blogroll and provide, more than just the link, with a description of each blog; your efforts will make me, your reader, much more likely to click a link for which you took the time to write a recommendation and provided me with a reason to click;

The menu bar

+I love the way the menu bar fits very well the blog; a nice thing to view;

1. I don’t understand why you list some titles with just an initial capital (“Despre mine”), while there are items which have an initial capital for each word (“Country Branding”);
2. “Country branding” could easily be translated into Romanian with “Branding de țară”;

The header

+The colors have a good contrast, the fonts are large, it’s an easy to spot and read title;

1. Why type “Blog” with an initial capital?
2. Why an English title for a Romanian blog?
3. Why not type “Angheluta” with diacritics – “Angheluță”?
4. The motto seems like a shorter list on your blog post categories; I’d either make a synthesis of all the items, or put all the items in the categories in the blog motto;
5. Your very first word in the motto is “activities”; so this is a blog about “activities”; this is so vague, you could have well said that this is a blog about “stuff”; you can read “stuff”, and find out about “this” and “that”; waaaaaaaaay too vague for my taste;
6. “Country Branding” can also be written in Romanian and With No Initial Capitals;
7. You use an acronym – JCI – which you seem to expect that all of your readers already know; I’d put some doubt in this and try to explain, somewhere in the page, what JCI stands for; preferably, I’d explain the word in the first occurrence of the word in the page;

The footer

+You give credit to the theme owner and WordPress; good karma;

1. I know you can’t change this, since you are using wordpress.com, with limited abilities to edit the theme, yet I can still tell you that after Vault9 there shouldn’t be a space before the dot;
2. Also, the smiley face at the bottom of the page, meant to inform the viewer that the page loaded successfully right until the end, it’s pretty useless for the average Joe visiting your web site;
3. I think the footer would have looked better had it been right-aligned, instead of centered;

Some final thoughts and ideas

+The blogs looks nice, good content and some comments;
1. I would put a RSS subscription link in the sidebar;
2. I’d encourage the commentators by having a list of recent comments in the sidebar;
3. When the blog will have a lot more blog posts, I’d consider moving to a self-hosted WordPress;

____________
Bottom line: the blog of Alin ANGHELUȚĂ is a very nice one, with good quality content and an effective design.

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

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