This week I have the pleasure of reviewing Ashley’s blog The Book Less Travelled. Her blog is all about Fantasy literature, full of reviews, author spotlights and fun reading challenges like the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge.
One of the first things I looked at for this review was Ashley’s social media accounts. From the content being posted it seems like all the pages linked to her website are mainly personal accounts. I don’t see clear consistency in terms of what’s on her website versus her social media platforms. Her social media channels seem to mainly feature animals. That said, we’ve talked a lot in class about writers and how they use their social media platforms to give their audience an inside look into their lives since fans are really curious about that kind of stuff. So, in that sense I think it might be okay for Ashley to keep her social media platforms fairly personal, but I do think there could be more consistency or at least more content related to reading and writing on her different channels. Perhaps, posting on social media about what she’s reading at the moment, or posting about reading/writing events she goes to, or even giving a snippet of the reviews she posts on her blog would add some more cohesion between platforms and strengthen her online identity.
Also a quick note on the Tumblr link, it took me to my own Tumblr account’s homepage instead of linking directly to hers, so I wasn’t actually able to see her content because I don’t know her account name (since it wasn’t a direct link, I’d have to search it up to find it). It might be a good idea to link straight to her personal page for easy and quick navigation.
Reading through the previous review of Ashley’s website done by Alice, I can see that she has made some major changes to her website’s look and feel. Ashley has added some more visuals, such as a custom banner, that adds a more ‘fantastical literature’ feel to her website. I also really liked the picture of herself she chose for her About page as the flower crown really helps drive home the Fantasy literature theme, and just adds a nice playful, whimsical touch. In terms of what she has posted so far, I think she does a really good job of posting content that Fantasy readers would find interesting. She also has a good variation of what she posts from book reviews, opinion pieces, and other fun things like reading challenges, so there’s lots of different content for readers to engage with.
Something I think Ashley should change is the location of the About page on her website. It wasn’t that easy to find as it’s under the ‘Blog’ menu and then under ‘Check out thebooklesstravelled.com!’ As a visitor to the site, the first thing I wanted to find after reading the description on the home page was a description of who was writing this blog. I would add an ‘About’ tab right next to the ‘Home’ one so that it’s easier for visitors to access.
While I love that the banner has a clear connection to fantasy literature, I would be careful with the acronym used in the graphic “B.L.T”. It immediately makes me think of the sandwich. I’m not sure if this was meant to be an intentional pun or not, but I actually don’t think she needs the acronym in the banner at all because the title of the blog is clearly featured right below, so it’s a bit redundant.
The last things I want to mention in terms of improvements is the home page. The line length for the text is a little long at the moment. I would either find a way to make it shorter just by editing the page or by adding some sidebar content (maybe a link to your brand video). I would also find a categories sidebar helpful for navigating through the different content on the different pages as it can get to be a lot of scrolling for visitors looking to scan through the different posts on one subject.
So far I think Ashley’s blog is coming along really nicely. She’s creating specific and interesting content for her audience, she has a clear voice and the look and feel of her blog helps reinforce her identity as a fantastical literature lover. I can’t wait to see how Ashley’s blog progresses in the last couple weeks of class!