Brenda has a lot of positive things going for her on her blog. I really like her profile picture, just move it up to the top of the sidebar. Get rid of the tag cloud. It just clutters a blog. Use a popular post widget instead of most recent. Have at least three posts showing on home page. Means less clicks for the reader. The archive list by date in the footer is useless. Keep the twitter updates and face book like widgets. The archive page is good; so is the photos page. Your about page is perfect just keep it updated. The biggest suggestion of all. Update the theme. The one you have now is dated. Choose a new theme that is for photography blogs to high lite your photos.
Thanks, Brenda, for having us take a look at your site. Let us know when you get the updates finished. We’ll take a look at it again.
Matt is updating his blog before spring planting sets in. He asked me to take a look at the new theme he chose and particularly the about page.
My suggestions: 1. move the about the blog paragraph up to the top. The readers what to know why they should read or spend time on your blog. 2. Add video and pictures. 3. Index what the other pages on the site are about. 4. shorten the page name in the navigation bar
Sidebar: 1. remove the tags widget or move it to the footer 2. have fewer categories 3. instagram pictures are good. 4. tighten up the facebook like widget 5. show popular posts instead of recent
Contact Page: Add the contact form to make it simple for readers to contact you
If you haven’t noticed, almost every post on this site (besides featured farmer posts) has text added to the image. Even if there isn’t a formal picture, I add text to a background texture or color. I have some excellent reasons for doing this. You should consider it also.
1. Quickly see the post’s topic:
Even though the title of the post is usually the same wording, readers’ eyes are drawn first to the image. If it were just a picture of a person or thing, the reader might not get the idea of what the post is about. But adding the text will make it clear and quickly known.
2. More “Sharability”:
Compare these two images. If you were to see them on facebook or pinterest, would you know what the idea behind the on the left was?
That would be a “No”. You should think about your posts in a way that readers will want to share them. That would mean including images to posts. And beyond that: If it is shared, will those who see the share know what the idea is behind it to want to know more and click the image? This is why you add text!
Don’t add text to every image but choose one per post. Can you see if you had a recipe or how-to post a title would add to its “sharability”.
Now I want to share how I quickly add text to images remembering to keep the file size small for quick upload time. It doesn’t have to look perfect or done by a designer. You just want to get your idea understood.
If you don’t already use skitch, go get it now. It is the easiest/no-brainer way to add text. When it’s easy, it gets done. In this video I show you how to use skitch. I even use it on my iphone and ipad.
Now you’ll have posts that are ready and able to be spread around on facebook and printerest or anywhere else.
Make sure you have the pinterest button available on your posts. For wordpress.com users in your dashboard — settings — sharing.
Yes, you should go back and add text to old post images. (especially ones that are popular, recipes & how-to)
Search engines love seeing links to your site. The best links are from relevant and popular websites. But I have noticed that many farm bloggers and ag businesses are leaving back links on the table at very obvious places. Every site owner should be grabbing this low hanging link fruit every chance they get. Simply because it’s easy and it counts. Furthermore, the links will bring in more traffic.
There’s nothing new to join. You are likely using most of these already.
Email Signatures: It’s very easy to put your site’s address in every email you send out. Go to the settings or preferences depending on your email client and add your url. Keep it simple and uncluttered. (no fancy curly cue stuff)
Facebook Fan Page: This omission I notice the most. When you write your about info, start with the address for your site. Then it shows up first or at least can be seen and clicked. Many don’t even have a link anywhere to be found.
Youtube Videos: I have to correct myself. There were even less links to be found here. Every time you load up a video to youtube the first thing in the description box should be a link (the whole url) to your site. I didn’t find any farm blogger that had this; so I’ll share an example of one of mine.
Pinterest Board: Create a pin board of the best of the best from your blog. Or a board with a theme of cool pictures originating from your site. Can be anything but a theme gives it continuity.
Social Media: Use the bio areas of social media sites to their full potential. Always include your blog link but be sure to place it where it can be seen. I still see farm bloggers with no links to their sites on their twitter bio. Every time someone clicks on your profile in twitter, why not have the link to your blog available?
Let me know: What other places would be easy to add some backlinks to our sites?
Will you let a single article sum up your farming heritage?
Someone tweeted a link to this article saying how proud of her family she was. And the lady should be proud. The article talks about the closing of a dairy farm and interviews the brother and sister who grew up milking cows by hand.
When I read it, I thought how sad if a single newspaper article were the only record of their family farm history. Yes, most families will have a few scattered pictures. But what about the stories. Wouldn’t it be amazing if our great grandparents would have kept a journal of everything that happened in their lives. Keeping a blog on your family farm will be such a tremendous blessing for generations to come.
When I see pictures of my grandpa farming, I wonder what he did for his daily chores. What were his struggles farming during WWII. How did he teach his sons to run the equipment. No one is around to tell those stories any more.
At my farm’s website, I don’t worry so much about unique visitors or page views. I’m writing for my kids’ kids.
I’m not overly concerned about advocating for agriculture. I’m telling future generations about their heritage.
So if I publish a popular post or someone from the city learns about farming from my site, that’s great. What is more important to me is that my grandchildren’s grandchildren can read the story about how their ancestors organized the harvest of a widow’s crops. Or the time we tried to save a favorite cow.
And that is one of the reasons I created this site. I try to make creating a blog or website easy for farmers to tell their story for future generations.
Really. How sad would it be to have a newspaper article be the only written record of your farm’s history.
Leave a link to where you’re keeping a journal about the story of your farm.
We are taking this site in a different direction. I have other websites that I am working on.
Together we will discover
1. how to reach an audience
2. make strong connections
3. get your message out
If you would like to join us to see how this can improve your site. Join the email list to be included. It's at the top of the page. :D