Madyson Designs

Design solutions for web, print, and multimedia

Successful Blog Review

I’m far behind in this 31 Days challenge, but I figure it’s better late than never! The task this time is to analyze another successful blog. I’ve picked Graham Smith’s to review, as it seems to be a similar setup to my own combination of portfolio and blog. Here are some of my thoughts.

Graham’s philosophy of design seems to be similar to mine- clean and fresh. There is nothing complicated, distracting, or unnecessary in the design. The home page prominently features the portfolio, rather than the design, and I think it works well. He uses featured and recent logos to give visitors an idea of what he does, and uses a short biography with a photo to give them more information about him personally. He very prominently features his Twitter page (he has a rather large following), and the ability to search, request a price quote, and subscribe to his RSS feed, all within the first 100 pixels of the site. It allows visitors to either find what they are looking for or contact him instantly, as well as stay in touch through RSS. This is a great technique.

Once you click through to the blog, you get to the bulk of the articles and information on the site. The site’s main subject is design, and more specifically, logo design. The majority of the articles cover logos, branding, type, Twitter, found design, illustration, and tons of other design-related topics. He really has a lot of great content to keep people reading. The posts are usually every couple of days, so there is continually something new to bring in readers. Many of the posts are quickies, sharing images, fonts, and websites, while interspersed there are longer, more developed articles. This seems to be a good balance between providing new content often, and putting all your effort into your writing instead of your work.

Reader Engagement
Perhaps my favorite reason to read is that Graham covers everything with a good dose of humor. It’s refreshing to read articles written by someone who is successful and influential but can still laugh about things, including himself.  While this is a serious business, it never hurts to see the humor in things, and it makes things more personal. This also ties in to another plus on the site- the interaction. This is probably the best example of a blog in conjunction with a Twitter account that allow him to interact with readers instantly, and follow what is said about him. The comments for the articles are a mix of actual visitors and automatically generated Twitter mentions. This is helpful, but for those posts that are retweeted a lot, the tweets can overwhelm the reader comments.

All in all, this is a great site to take inspiration from when just starting out. It’s great that there are so many innovators in the field, and it’s a great time to be a part of it.

(This post is Day 4 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge. Day 3 was a non-posting project. To find out more about the challenge, visit ProBlogger. To see all my articles during the challenge, click here.)

2 Responses to “Successful Blog Review”

  1. Graham Smith says:

    Ohhh. 🙂

    Read this late last night and was really intrigued to hear someone else’s view on my site. I’ll be honest, Im not a web designer or developer, so I am pretty limited to what I can do compared to the usual web design portfolios you see out there.

    So the focus was on presenting a clean and stylish site. I know enough CSS and HTML to tweak and change layout, but thats as far as it goes. So never expected my site to rank up their for looks or features.

    But was heartening to hear your views on the site, which made me feel really happy. I mean, Im happy with it. It’s been through countless changes and tweaks, trying to find right balance between form and function.

    The BackSpace Twitter remarks I agree with, this was a pretty new plugin, so I have now disabled the numerous comments that get left when someone tweets the post, so this cuts down on the comment clutter.

    At the end, you’re summing up is what’s important to me as this is and was my main goal, clean, fresh and easy access minus clutter to the information that matters, so very happy to see that Im so far doing the ‘right’ thing.

    Thank you very much for featuring the site, really made me smile to see it ‘reviewed’ rather than a site from a professional web designer/developer.


  2. NopsLausa says:

    Sweet blog. I never know what I am going to come across next. I think you should do more posting as you have some pretty intelligent stuff to say.

    I’ll be watching you . 🙂