In keeping with our focus on demonstrating rather than just reporting, on marketing to women online, Jane has chosen Monday as "What's Working" day. We will review one blog or website and tell you what's working - AND, we will also have some "What Isn't Working" reviews. Since it isn't our intent to pick on anyone - the "What Isn't Working" section may be sparse, unless YOU, dear readers, offer suggestions on sites you would like critiqued.
If you do offer suggestions (of your site or another's - be that a website or blog) remember that we will be totally honest. Not insulting. Not rude. Not flip. Just honest. That means - if a site is working, we'll say why. If it isn't, we'll also say why.
This decision also follows on the heels of a visit to Amazon to check on our book. We discovered two new reviews of the book. Reviews that were pretty critical. While we admit feeling a twinge of dismay at hearing uncomplimentary remarks about Dickless Marketing, after re-reading the reviews, we wish to offer thanks to the writers. Their input is very valuable - it's vital, as a matter of fact, in helping us focus and concentrate on our next book.
And, it convinced us that THIS blog should have more concrete content in the form of reviews. Let's get started:
Jill Fallon over at Estate Legacy Vaults has a good deal going for her. This blog covers a lot of territory, quite efficiently.
Here's what we think works: Design - Jill has chosen a simple but powerful header in the image of seashells on a beach. The color is a soothing peach on our monitor (it may appear otherwise on yours). Beneath the title of her blog is the purpose of it: The Business of Life and Legacy.
Ah! So, that's why this blog covers so much territory in its content! Jill brings a multitude of information to her readers, from Turnkey Blogging Systems to Online Banking news to information on the Women's Market. Her style of writing is smooth but informative, with an occasional personal touch. Perfect for a blog.
In addition to design and content working well at Estate Legacy Vaults, Jill offers readers some inspirational quotes (women love this kind of thing - as long as its focused; use a theme or purpose, don't just spout quotes). As we scroll down and read her blogroll, we notice that she gives personal titles to her links. This is a touch Jane thinks more bloggers should adopt. It proves that the blog on which the links appear is one that has actually visited those links.
We have one minor issue with Jill's blog. We think her Amazon book links are too distracting. We like that she has a reading list, but...why give Amazon so much prime real estate? Perhaps Jill feels this is a benefit to her readers. But, readers come to this blog for the excellent content, not to click on books. Don't get us wrong, we like books...we approve of reading lists and having the book cover accompany the link. But, Amazon gets enough attention on its own. It doesn't need Jill (or anyone else) to add these boxes to their blog for attention's sake.
We would also like Jill to put some of her best links (no, we don't think ours should be one...we leave that decision to Jill) on the top right - AHEAD of her Google Ads. In fact, we'd like to see her Articles and Blogs section there - at eye-level. That's content women appreciate. If we want to click the ads, we'll find them. We're there to soak up Jill's words. What better than to discover more of Jill in her articles and other blogs?
Jill Fallon has got it going for her at Estate Legacy Vaults. She keeps her design simple but appealing. She offers insight into the Business of Life and Legacy, and she shares some of herself in her links and her book suggestions. Now, if she will just nudge the ads down the page, and offer us more of herself on top right, she'll be just perfect!
What's Not Working
Sad to say, dear readers, but our government needs your help. We did a quick search on marketing to women, hoping to discover something borderline to mention and were rewarded with this Marketing Mall online site, via the Small Business Council which shows a badly developed image, grainy and pixelated, on its homepage.
There is no excuse for such a poorly developed site. What's worse is that clicking the links can lead you around and around, to nowhere. The images that are supposed to accompany the site are missing - NEVER an acceptable result. And, the overall visual impact is poor.
While this site does have useful content, if all the links only worked, the poor layout and design detracts from its intention. In fact, we clicked into the Online Women's Business Center and were led further astray. Not only is this section of the site difficult to navigate, the black border with green links is horror on the eyes!
Yes, we admit that - many folks, especially women opening new businesses - may click into this site and, eventually, find some help. But, surely, the U.S. government has qualified web designers who should be monitoring this site for better navigation, more user-friendly design, and just overall functionality. Is that too much to ask?
We do ask, dear readers, that YOU not make these mistakes. Women will heave a big sigh and chalk up their poor experience at the Marketing Mall online to goverment inaction. If you commit these web sins on your site - or blog - we will not be so forgiving.