Pamela Wilson

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Reviewing the Reviewer: How to Clean Up (with) Your Blog

Christian Toto is a prolific writer. He posts on his blog at least once a day, and sometimes more. That’s a lot of writing, and it’s one of his many strengths.

His topic? Movie reviews. He’s a good writer, and is ready to ramp up his web presence with a more streamlined design. Christian contacted me for a Big Brand System Review. Here’s what we covered in our call:

  • Why ads on your site don’t always pay
  • How to earn more income from your web traffic
  • Why switching to a new theme may not solve your design problems
  • Icky picky typography fixes that make a difference
  • Why you shouldn’t be afraid to show your true personality in your marketing
  • Why creating a list should be priority #1

What Would Toto Watch? Site

Here’s a screen shot of Christian’s site on the day we spoke. He’s already made some of the changes we discussed, so be sure to visit it today to take a look.

personal branding includes a website that shows your personality
Christian Toto’s movie review site is as busy as the big screen during previews. We talked about how to make his great writing the first thing visitors notice, and how he can improve the reading experience on his blog.

brand marketing requires attention to design detailsTo the left is a screen shot of the “drop cap” type treatment mentioned on our call.

Listen to the Big Brand System Review Call here:

Christian Toto Site Review

Ready to have your site reviewed? Apply here.

What did you take away from this review call? Did you learn anything you’ll apply to your own site? Let me know in the comments.

Pamela Wilson

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10 thoughts on “Reviewing the Reviewer: How to Clean Up (with) Your Blog”

  1. Great review Pamela! I think your suggestions were really good and will help focus the reader’s attention in the right places.

    I totally agree with removing the WWTW acronym. As you mentioned, it’s too much to figure out, so I’d just skip right over that section completely. Another thing that happens is it slows down our reading, because in my mind I’m saying W-W-T-W and that’s a lot of syllables. It really halts the flow.

    One thing I’d like to ask Christian is about his Best of Toto section. He said in the recording that it was his best posts. I don’t think I care what he thinks his best posts are, I’d rather know what he thinks are the best movies out there.

    Just a thought.

    As always a site review from you is an incredible opportunity for positive change.

  2. And one more thing, in the Best of Toto section at the top of the page he should put an introduction to the topic.

    I’m just full of opinions today, arent’ I??

    • Thanks for weighing in on this, Marlene.

      It’s always great to hear how others perceive these things. After you look at a site for a while it’s really hard to see it with fresh eyes.

  3. Marlene,

    Thanks for your feedback! I did strip away the WWTW at the top of the page. I’m going to add a ‘TOTO Recommends’ label in the NOW IN THEATERS section so people will instantly know which films I recommend.

    I may replace the BEST OF TOTO Page with a ‘most commented plug-in’ – although I’ve gotten decent traction from this page in the past …

    Here’s a question for you, Marlene. I use WWTW to refer to the site in shorthand form. I do it often within my posts. Is there another way to do so? Another acronym, or could I just use TOTO?

    • Yes, I’d just use TOTO. People will get it. You probably don’t have to go back and change all your older posts, just do it moving forward and gauge how well it is received.

  4. This was a FANTASTIC way to do a blog, Pamela. I learned so much. The before snapshot, the actual conversation and then see the changes Christian made to has website brought the teaching to life. Amazing and thank you so much–both of you!

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Lee!

      I appreciate anyone who’s willing to submit to one of these publicly: it’s not easy to do that. Christian was a good sport, and is working to implement some of the changes already.

  5. Pamela,
    Thank you for this post. That was a fantastic way to show how the changes you suggested look applied to the site.
    Is the ability to change those column zones with apparent ease on account of the site being on wordpress? or perhaps I should ask how long it took to make those changes. That really does look fresh and easy to navigate.
    What a perfect way to illustrate your points.
    Thank you.
    Siita

  6. My three cents:

    1. Get a simpler name for the blog. (the Twitter handle perhaps?)
    2. Crowd-source a new logo 99designs or some similar place.
    3. Get a professional head shot (instead of the current pics.)

    Like the changes made so far to the site.

    Vin

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