Chitika came to the party and offered a Tomtom One LE GPS unit to the comment that Ginger (the owner of the blog) found to be most helpful.
Thanks also to the great advertising network – Chitika – for donating the prize. Do check out the range of advertising units that they have available for bloggers at the moment – their new premium ad unit is a great option for many bloggers.
51 people left comments and some of them were quite amazing both in terms of the quality and depth that you went into. In fact it’s one of the longest collections of comments I’ve seen on Problogger (almost 17,000 words between the 51 comments).
So Ginger has chosen her winner and has asked if she can also say a few words about the process of having her blog reviewed. In it she talks about some of the changes she’s going to be making to her blog and announces the winner (last paragraph).
Thanks to everyone for entering and Ginger for letting us review her blog! Now – over to Ginger.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to comb through my site and give me honest, constructive and most of all detailed feedback. I received many comments through my contact page in addition to the 50+ comments here at Problogger. I appreciate the time you all took to give me your feedback around the changes I need to make to the site.
Darren, thank you for choosing my site for the review, this has been on my wish list for a while now so thank you for this awesome opportunity as your readers have been thorough and helpful. Between reading your book and this review I’m certain I know what I need to do moving forward to improve my blog and take it to new heights.
I will be making changes around 85% of the consensus that was held amongst the comments. This includes:
Reducing the amount of Adsense that I use on the page. When reviewing the revenue programs, it turns out that I make more with Essence, Blogher and advertisement contracts and Adsense is last on the list in terms of amount of revenue.
Changing the color scheme: I went back and forth about this but I will work on a theme that is lighter and easier on the eyes. I definitely don’t want to alienate the male readers so I will take this into consideration. All said I love the theme layout and functionality as I think Solostream did a fantastic job with it. So while I may make tweaks to the color and layout, I don’t foresee changing the theme altogether. The jury is still out full posts instead of excerpts on the front page but I will see how it works out when I make changes this weekend.
Site Promotion: This is my top priority as you all gave really awesome ideas around how to do this given my niche. I’ve printed out all comments and highlighted the ones that spoke to this area and will be implementing those very soon, IE connecting with other sites such as Cafe Mom and Work It Mom. I don’t have children so I have often questioned whether or not I could really speak to and connect this audience but I am willing to give it a try.
I’m quite surprised to see that most of the comments liked my writing style, that made me smile as I often think I could do a lot better in this area. I do write from the heart and glad to see that most of you are able to glean some my personality based on what I write.
Special Note: The purpose of Girls Just Wanna Have Funds is for me to be able to write about personal finance from a SINKs (single income no children) perspective. I realize this is different than many of the mom blogs and other personal finance blogs out there but please try to understand that I write about personal finance as it relates to my life. There is no topic that I’ve written about that I havent considered or experienced personally. I will from time to time discuss financial challenges and there are times that I will look to readers for answers because I don’t know it all, so I’m OK with that aspect of the blog even though some commenters did not and thought it made me look as though I don’t have all the answers since I have my own challenges. Well, I do and that is the purpose of the blog, to write about those challenges and keep myself accountable as I move through them.
There was also a comment about my purchasing only organic foods and not writing about buying groceries around sale items. The comment also stated that working moms would just roll their eyes and keep it moving to Safeway. This stood out to me because I now realize that perhaps I haven’t written much to this reader group. However, I purchase organic foods because this is something I value just as other personal finance bloggers value traveling on leisure or collecting comic books. I realize this is something that all women/households aren’t able to do but it is my hope that readers won’t be turned off by this aspect of my finances. I am far from perfect in my quest for financial freedom. I shop way too much around hair and beauty products and let’s not discuss decorating our new home. I’d like for my readers to understand that much if nothing else about what I write. I write from personal experience and articles that hopefully inspire readers to take action. So while I may shop at Trader Joes and Whole Foods, this doesn’t mean that I don’t contend with the struggles of making your budget work with rising food prices.
That said, I will be adding a reader request section and reader questions answered section to make the blog more interactive and inclusive of all perspectives.
The comment I chose that was most helpful in overall structure of how the information was presented and content is Ananda Palanisamy (no link left). This comment listed each area of improvement in addition to including more areas/issues to consider advertising and getting more readers. They were also VERY detailed in their response as most comments were, but I felt this comment was most helpful.
Note from Darren: Amanda, I’ll be in touch shortly with details of how to claim your prize.