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The Blog Is Up! - Critiques Appreciated

CoveredBridgeCellarsCoveredBridgeCellars subscriber Posts: 4
edited October 2007 in Website Critique
I just launched our blog a few weeks ago which
will be a central component of our marketing plan. Everything seems to be in
working order and I have setup google analytics, feedburner, etc. The main goal
of this site will be to get people to sign-up for our mailing list. Having good
content that readers connect with is obviously critical to converting visitors,
but there is also a site design element to this too. I would be very interested
in your thoughts and comments related to this as well as general commentary on
the look, feel, and ease of use of the site. Thanks for the help!
http://blog.coveredbridgecellars.comCoveredBridgeCellars2007-10-27 22:10:27


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    aaronserrandsaaronserrands subscriber Posts: 6
    When I first looked at the blog I did not even notice the mailing list sign up. I think it needs to be more visible, maybe mention it at the end of the "long" articles in combination with where it is at. Just my humble opinion.aaronserrandswww.weworkyouplay.net
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    deblyncdeblync subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi, Jeremy:
    I loved the look and "feel" of the blog...the impressionist look to the logo pix was fine with me...arty-type websites are not something I object to on the web!  It goes hand in hand with anything "artisan"...but I would recommend that you make the page a bit smaller so it fits in almost any monitor completely...mine cut off about 10% of the right hand side of the whole page so that I had to scroll over each line!
    I also loved the idea of using it for a mailing list sign-up sheet!  Very innovative and cute, but....if you really want to do this for consumers (who will be buying your products), or even retailers (ditto...but for different reasons), then you should make the very first page about your product line...I really didn`t want to hear about the explosion of the yeast in your wines!!!!!  Even if it IS the newest post, it should be relegated to the second page with indexes or something.  YOUR FIRST PAGE OF A BLOG SHOULD BE DEDICATED TO DESCRIBING IN FULL WHAT YOU ARE SELLING, PARTICULARLY IF YOU WANT TO USE IT FOR PEOPLE TO SIGN UP ON YOUR MAILING LIST!
    I also like that you used hypertext markup to send viewers to another page within your blog.....very nice.
    All in all...a very well planned out blog and idea...very professional in my opinion.
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    CoveredBridgeCellarsCoveredBridgeCellars subscriber Posts: 4
    Thanks for the feedback! Are you using a mini monitor? .... : )
    I`m very interested in this part of your post since I have not seen this really hit upon by others.
    I get the idea of a landing page, which I think is what your referring to, but of all the other winery blogs I read I don`t see anyone doing this. I will be adding our winemaking plans and other product details to an HTML page that readers can click to hopefully soon. I would be interested in other peoples thoughts on the landing page idea for blogs as its something I haven`t really considered.
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    CoveredBridgeCellarsCoveredBridgeCellars subscriber Posts: 4
    I agree. I have been looking at that same picture for a while so it didn`t register with my eyeballs, but your right it needs some work.
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    PiperTaxPiperTax subscriber Posts: 5
    I agree exactly with what CampSteve said. The pic`s blurriness I hadn`t even realized might be intentional. To me it just looked like it needed to have its resolution adjusted.The logo looks perfect for your business. Really like it.Also might consider eventually redoing the left-navigation. Something like:AboutProductsFAQsArchive...or something like that. Also, I definitely like the idea of a mailing list, but I think it`d also be good to make it easy to buy for those who are ready to go ahead and try out something right now.Best of luck!
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    CoveredBridgeCellarsCoveredBridgeCellars subscriber Posts: 4
    Good comments. I have moved a few things around in response to others comments, mainly related to the "Mailing List". Its now at the very top of the sidebar. The RSS button is something I always look for when I`m on others blogs (it seems pretty common), which is why I went with a medium sized one--there is another one available that is even bigger!!
    CA weather is always a topic of interest to wine folks, which is why I put the real-time doplar map up there and the link to the weather page. I`ll probably just take the standard Typepad Archive component out altogether since sorting by month is not really that useful. There is already a Master Archive link under the About section. Blog Extras does sound lame so maybe I`ll change that to something else. 
    Keep it coming everyone, I appreciate your thoughts!
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    CoveredBridgeCellarsCoveredBridgeCellars subscriber Posts: 4
    Thanks for the feedback. I "fixed" the bridge image its now much better than before and I have moved some stuff around on the sidebar.
    I`m using a Typepad pro account which I really like. I could have just downloaded WordPress and installed it into our web hosting shell account, but I like the idea of having one hosting solution for the blog and another for the website. That way, if one happens to goes down, I`m not totally off the net and can still communicate with customers.
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