Wednesday, September 2, 2009

GULP. And Now...for the Big Question...

Okay, so here's a question for every one of my readers. I sincerely hope you will answer me frankly, sacrificing nary an ounce of honest feedback to any (unwarranted) concerns you might have about diplomacy, tact, my feelings, etc. You see, my feelings are that I want to know what you really think!

So here's the query: Should I do a blog makeover? What I mean is, should I quit using the blogger template and get one like most of the rest of you have? (And if I did, do you really think it would make an appreciable difference as far as readership goes?) I was looking at a woman's post the other day, and she was absolutely convinced that her blog sort of "took off" after she made it over with a cool header, background, etc.

I've been convinced, too......that all that stuff didn't matter a bit, which is why I'm drawing all of you into my deliberations. Because I am entirely aware that, being such a "word" person, I may be overlooking the importance of "appearance." Would your enjoyment of Sue's News, Views, etc. increase to a significant degree if it looked more creative and original? And do you think, if you were a new visitor, that you would be likelier to return if the look were more in keeping with the mainstream loveliness of blogs in general?

That's the question, guys. So...please take a minute to comment today, regular followers and newbies alike, because my goal is to make this blog as pleasing to my readers as it is to me.

(Which would have to be pretty pleasing in order to meet that standard, as the writing of it pleases me no end!)


PS. Let's face it. If personal flags were all the rage, them's the colors I'd be flyin'!


jen said...

My dear friend Sue,
Opening yourself up to such criticism is dangerous, but you appear sincere, so I will be the first.
1. Your literary efforts are above and beyond the norm for blogging. Those of us who have your books see your talent reflected in your published works. A level most of us never even dream of achieving, I might add. That is one reason we all come back again and again.
2. Your ability to relate to others through the written word, especially people you only know through the cyber world, is a gift.
3. The content of your blog comes from your heart, and there is nothing more beautiful than that.
4. Having said those things, your blog design is a little, ah, bland. Not suited to your writing style nor your personality.
5. I don't have nearly the following that you do, but I do change my blog background frequently. Why? Not for anybody else, but because I get bored of it. Rarely do I receive comments on "that darling new background," or "unusual new gadget." But that part of the blog is mostly for me.
6. I did receive a few negative comments (mostly from my hubby) when I inadvertently chose a hideous layout, which only lasted for less than a day, I might add.
7. I have yet to venture into something professionally done, because I don't see myself as that valuable of a blogger. You, on the other hand, are of that caliber, and it might be reflected by those who follow and accidentally find your site.
8. Your button is quite darling, and something on those lines would suit you well.
9. First impressions by new readers are unchangeable, and a catchy blog layout might hook them a little faster.
10. This has been altogether too wordy, but I just wanted to express my opinion--bottom line, your writing doesn't necessitate flash or professional input to keep up reading your musings, but it may influence those who wander in from somewhere else.
11. Do I really need to post today now?
Love you so!

Krystyn said... a blog designer, I say go for it.

As a blog reader, I like the pretty different designs. I read a lot of blogs and it helps me remember where I am.

However, the design isn't what makes your's you.

Not sure that helps, but go for it, I say. I'm not very expensive:) (

Of course, only because you asked..that wasn't why I came to comment today!

Jill said...

I read the comments above and I can see their points. However, just speaking for myself, I don't care even one little bit how it looks. I read your blog from my google list and they all look the same anyway there. I come for your writings, your thoughts, your inspiration...which I am enjoying. I'm not a visual person so I guess my opinion shouldn't count.

Sue said...

Thanks for the GREAT comments!

As for the rest of you...Don't chicken out on me, now. I sincerely want to hear what you have to say. This is a difficult decision for me because I am way too prone to stick with the status quo on such things.

And don't worry; just let it all hang out. I am as thick-skinned as they come.


Karen Sue said...

I don't know you..I just happened upon you..I do that frequently, linking from someone else's blog for a taste. If I like what I READ (note here, not what I see) then I continue. One of my first blogs to read changed her layout to have sidebars on both sides..ok, I'm blog-lingo challenged, but the actual post was sandwiched in the middle 1/3 or less and it makes it harder for me to read. perhaps she has a wider screen and it is not an issue from her desk..also, I once commented to someone who changed their blog to please change their archives back to make it easier for me to go back and read the whole history, because that is what I do. If I find you, read a day or 2 and like you, I will go back to the beginning and get to know you better. Down-To-Earth took FOREVER, but it was worth it..and she's the archive I asked to change back and she did. I scrapbook and I'm crafty, but less artsy. My blog is pretty much the same format I set it up in over a year ago...oh, my GOSH!! Is that why my follower # is so LOW?? Do we all have to have a face lift to appeal? I say go with what you like. It is for you. Look at it like a mirror.. if you're OK with what you see, stick with it. If something bothers you, trim your bangs and tweak your blog...
Best Wishes!

KC Mom said...

I have to say that the reason I come to your blog is for the words and not the background. But in honesty, when I'm checking around at blogs, the ones that attract my attention are the ones that look original. Unless someone refers me to a blog and tells me to read it because it's so good, then I ususally take one quick look and then I'm off exploring some more.
So I guess it depends on what your agenda is. If you are wanting to welcome more readers and grab their attention before they even have a chance to read your words, then a makeover would be good. If you only care about getting out your feelings and it doesn't matter who visits, and you know that we love you no matter what, then leave it.
Personally, I think it's fun to change it up a bit and shows personality.

Tiffany said...

I don't think you need to do anything too 'flashy' or professional. Nor do I think you should go with the seasonal designs that seem to be so popular, but I do think something other than a blogger template would suit your blog more. Your content is most important, but like human relationships, unfortunately, looks do still matter!

em said...

if you're bored with your background and not feeling like it expresses what you're feeling, then yes, change it up sister! at least, that's what i always do;-)

Carolyn said...

I am a former designer...and I have a boring blog. I keep intending to change and update, but instead I just keep writing instead. It seems I have to chose between writing and slick design. I chose the writing.

That said. If I had the time. I would probably spend all day crafting the perfect design.

Karen said...

What?! Your background is not cute? I am sorry but I don't even notice when someone changes the background unless it moves things around. I love your writing, poetry and musings and honestly don't see anything wrong - then again I can't match my shirt to my pants so I always defer to Jen!

She had good things to say and I would always go with her advice becuase even my husband defers to her in these kind of matters.

Love ya,

karen said...

The blogs I go to every day all have something interesting or clever to say. They may be interesting to look at as well, but that's not what attracted me in the first place: it's how they reach out to me by what they SAY. This is sort of a contradiction for me, because I'm usually someone who loves to change things up a lot. But for some reason, with my blog anyway, I just want to write. Maybe I'll look into changing it as well (because who wouldn't like more readers?) but it's really, for me, all about what you're saying, and how you say it. If you go for the change, do it because you'll enjoy it, because I think all of us like you just the way you are!

Becky said...

I like it just the way it is. I have dial up and those fancy shmancy blogs take too long for my slowness to load up.

Natalie said...

Wow, I feel like a total loser...I have nothing to add that could be any more beneficial than what the previous wise woman have said.

Go with your gut woman!! ;)

Lisa said...

I am a visual person, that being said it really is ALL about CONTENT. I love "cute" blogs.. but I love the information on the side and I love looking at history's (like Karen Sue said). I like it easy, so KISS (keep it simple sue) we'll support you no matter what.

Heather Anderson said...

As you already know I think you should "up date" the look of your blog... being a visual person I think that your blog should reflect you. Of course, your words and writing is amazing and do reflect you and that is why we come to your blog to read your interesting and clever post... but a new header and some color would be WONDERFUL!!!! I would love to create one for you:)

Joyful Noise said...

I read your blog every day from my google reader, so really, it doesn't matter to me at all since I rarely come to your actual blog site.

That being said, I LOVE reading your content and how beautifully you express many of the same things that I experience or have experienced.

If your goal is to attract more viewers then an update is probably in order. Like others have said, a haircut or new makeup always helps.

Katie Blacker said...

I say do it. It will only enhance the eye-candy we get when reading your awesome words. But, if you are happy with what you've got, don't worry about it. I am constantly changing my blog look because I get bored and am no longer happy with the current look. I do have to admit though, the blogs that I "stalk" are the ones that are pleasing to the eye.

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