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Review This Blog – Groovy Vegetarian

This week’s community blog review is of a blog by the name of Groovy Vegetarian (another ProBlogger.com member).

The idea behind these reviews is that readers of ProBlogger read:

  • the story of the blog
  • the goals of the blogger
  • the questions and areas of concern that the blogger has (all below)

Then readers are invited to visit the blog before giving their feedback and constructive advice to the blogger whose blog is being reviewed.

Please do keep your advice helpful. Telling the blogger that their blog is no good isn’t constructive – share what you’d do to improve it.

OK – here’s what Missy (the blogger behind Groovy Vegetarian) submitted in response to my questions about her blog. I hope you find it helpful information in constructing your own advice for her blog.

Tell us the Story of Your blog

I started Groovy Vegetarian back in the Summer of 2007 at first to chronicle my experiences with becoming a vegetarian. Like many other bloggers I had started on blogger.comand over time progressed to the more powerful WordPress platform. But for some reason (can’t recall why) I wanted to start with a completely new blog. Actually I think it was the name, I wanted to create a new BRAND and so I cooked up the brand Groovy Vegetarian. When I created this blog I knew nothing about WordPress, SEO, monetization, Google, etc. The only thing I did know is that I wanted to SHARE my vegetarian experience with others. And that is what I did. As of right now the blog has over 600 RSS readers, 1,200 plus Twitter followers and over 500 email subscribers.

I had been having hosting trouble lately but last week, I switched hosts. And so far so good with it staying up. I love my blog and know I need to nurture it more to get it to the next level.
groovy-vegetarian.png

What are your goals for the blog?

I would love to be a go-to resource for the vegetarian lifestyle. To have more pillar content. To showcase more cool vegetarian products. Vegetarianism has evolved, it isn’t your mom and dad’s granola hippie type lifestyle anymore. Lots of people are interested in the lifestyle, because of several factors, but one driving alot of interest as of late is global warming. There is nothing more planet destroying than eating meat. This has been proven by scientists. Not too mention the horrors inflicted upon BILLIONS of animals each year.

So more mainstream people are turning to the net looking for information and resources on the topic. PETA does a great job of providing information, but there is room for us small publishers as well. I’ve never really considered Groovy Vegetarian a recipe or food blog, but more of a lifestyle blog. Focusing on news, products, information, entertainment, etc.

And most importantly, I would really like to create a guide on the topic. A comprehensive one aimed at new vegetarians and those wanting more information on the diet. That for now is my next BIG goal – to create a vegetarian guide of sorts.

What would you like our readers to help you with?

A challenge for me from the get go has been content, organization and design. I don’t know how to structure the blog content or layout. Obviously there needs to be room for monetization, but what form should that take? And which WordPress theme should I use? Everyone keeps touting Thesis, but I’ve never liked the design aspect of Thesis. So minimalistic. But it appears to be a really good theme with a solid support community behind it.

I would love for your readers to advise me on what they would do with my blog? What is the first thing they would change or get rid of and what do they like about the blog?

OK – it’s over to you. What advice and constructive feedback do you have for Missy about her blog.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Sharninder says:

    The blog design looks quite nice, although if I were you, I’d make better use of the sidebar for ads or other social media stuff. Right now it doesn’t hold two adv buttons and is too big for one. I hope you understood what I mean.

    The font size also needs a little work, particularly in the sidebar and the header menu. I had to squint on a notebook to read it.

    As for content, I see that the front page has a lot of mixed content, you have comedy, product review, wordpress themes and some more stuff. If you really want an all in one blog, then why have a blog format theme. A magazine type theme would suit the blog better since it helps to distinguish categories better.

  2. Nibras Bawa says:

    A few things you could do.

    1- Change to a professional custom designed blog than use themes and templates. This way you can do proper branding. Currently it doesn’t stand out. So get professional designers to help.

    2- Have some sort of certification like SKAL etc.. Become member in vegetarian movements. Have professional validations for the blog.

    3- You need not clutter with 125 x 125 Ad blocks on the side bar, nor do you need to do reviews. Instead be creative, have theme days , theme weeks etc… link them to a social cause, create a community around, use your members to buy niche products (like T.Shirts / Cups / Clocks etc from cafepress) supporting your cause. This becomes a win win formulae as everyone is likely to benefit.

    4- Sell your own custom made, vegi theme products as collector souveniers. Price them high so it becomes a proud thing to own.. This should be different from the normal Cafepress goodies discussed above. These are collector items.

    5- Subtle diversification into related areas like Eco friendly products, no animal testing (like Body shop) products can help too. But do remember not to divert your attention. Your core is Vegetarianism. So stick to it, but around that have some augmented products / services as well.

    Thats all i could think of for now.. Best of luck.

  3. The design is simple and is good to the eye, though im not very much interested in your content im sure it can change a lot of people into vegetarian. I also see that your site is worth $17000, not bad but it would be better if you’d use some monetization methods. This can give some income and keep your blog ongoing.

  4. Missy and Darren,

    I agree with Sharninder and I also think there are way too many topics on the site.

    It’s either a vegetarian or green or internet marketing site, but not all three.

    This might be why Missy’s stats are so low because summer of 2007 is a very long time online and her numbers should be much higher.

    I do not recall the name of the food blogger, but there is a vegan food blogger and she gets loads of traffic.

    I think Missy needs to do a search and look at other vegetarian/vegan blogs for inspiration and maybe even reach out to them.

    Missy – I have a healthy eating site which I started in April and it’s getting goo traction. I’m starting as of Dec 09 weekly vegetarian meal ideas. I’m not vegetarian and love my meat and chicken, but I do NOT eat meat all the time and I want to help my readers include vegetarian days in their week.

    Missy, if you want I’ll gladly work with you and maybe we can come up with some ideas and we can have it on each other’s blogs?

    I’m doing something similar with a chef in Atlanta and it’s great because she’s also building a good base on facebook … which is great for both of us.

    You can visit my contact us page and drop me a line!

    I think you need to focus on one course and as Yaro Starak, Brian Clark and Darren keep teaching us “teaching sells”!

    I’m keeping that in mind with everything I do now on my new site.

    My other site which was launched in 2007 has a different angle and I can tell you that the new site is helping me build a community!

    Drop me a line and maybe we can find ways of supporting each other!

    Oh – on your article page (when people click) you have the adsense ads right up top above the fold and there is only copy below the fold … not sure that’s the best idea. You may want to have copy on top so it doesn’t look too much like a pitch fest for Google.

    I hope my two cents helps!

    Krizia
    PS: Here’s my contact us page:
    http://www.eatsmartagesmart.com/contact/contact-us/

  5. TO optimize it, I would suggest you select a certain area of your blog and allocate it to showcase your best posts. It works quite well for health and fitness blogs since new readers are always on the look-out for the best tips online.

    As for branding, just the basics, have a good, brandable logo and perhaps you could optimize your theme a little more. It kinda looks bland from a new visitor’s perspective.

    You’re story is great though. I wish you more success. See you around probloger dot com. I’m a member too. Goodluck!

  6. Oh, sorry, I’d just like to add. You asked us to give motinization tips too. I suggest adsense since health and fitness blogs relatively have readers who are not tech savvy (thus more probability of clicks). I recommend affiliate networks too such as clickbank and amazon. There are a lot of products out there that would well compliment your blog. Also, there’s a ad network called revresponse (www revresponse dot com). It pays you to give out free magazine subscriptions (no kidding). They have a health category and I think you’ll enjoy it.

  7. Nipuna Silva says:

    The blog design is very easy to use. because people will see articles on one side and the advertisements and every other in the other side. So it is simple and nice.

    Even though the image selection for the articles looks nice,
    It is better to consider inserting some eye catching images in the right side of the web page becasue there’s only 2 (the advertisement and the twitter image) images on that side.

    Overall I will give 7 out of 10 for this website.

  8. BrianJUY says:

    First thing… If you are going to name a character in a popular show “Entourage” get it correct… (Ari Gold) is the name of Jeremy Piven’s character.

    Your content seems to be all over the place.

    Your sidebar is not very easy on the eyes.

  9. Hi Missy,

    I took a look through your blog. I’m not expert but in less than 4 weeks of blogging I have almost 200 total RSS(with email) subscribers and now 500 unique visitors a day thanks to a guest post on design sponge.

    As a vegetarian, I was super excited when I saw the title of Darren’s post.

    I like the mix of content (celebs, tech stuff, not just recipes).

    My thoughts on how you can improve:

    1) it doesn’t seem to have a focus (other than being for vegetarians)

    2) it’s not groovy enough – i’d like to see some new graphics for the title and sidebar to go with your theme. It would help with branding and presense.

    3) it should have categories or at least one page of archives (like Darren’s site here) because as someone who is super busy, i don’t want to scroll through. I’d rather go and look at stuff that specifically interests me.

    Good luck!

  10. Lennongirl says:

    Okay, I am no pro, but the first thing I notice is that the header looks a bit small. I would make it bigger to attract more attention.

    Secondly, I agree with Sharninder, in that your sidebar is not optimised properly. I would make it slightly wider and then split into two to make more optimal use of the space.

    The other thing is that, despite the blog having a nice clean layout (good for readability), the use of colour throughout the site seems a bit incohesive. There’s green, blue & orange, but nowhere are these colours pulled together in say a header design or even logo. It makes the blog appear somewhat disjointed.

    You might also consider using a more easily recognizable (and larger) RSS button if you want to attract more subscribers.

    All in all though, I think you’ve done a great job with your blog so far. If you just polish it a little bit, I think it will go far.

  11. Kang Asep says:

    Beautiful template, but I think this blog is general blog and not a vegetarian blog niche. I think this blog will get visitors not only from vegetarian people but also from computers people/readers. Usually general blog is difficult to get feedburner subscribers because usually people like niche.

  12. Infonote says:

    As regards monetization, use Amazon. Review Vegeterian books.

    As a non-vegeterian in discussions I

  13. Infonote says:

    As a non-vegeterian in discussions I frequently hear discussions which vegetable provides the alternative to e.g. meat.

    A suggestion for your content.

  14. Missy, I am a raving carnivore…gotta have my steak and 3 vej every night! I married a Beef Cattle farmer’s daughter!

    Re your blog: your Unique Selling Proposition is very clear, that is, no confusion to prospective readers. This is good.

    Maybe, a better tagline than “Compassion Lifestyle Blog (with eco fun mixed in)” – this is a bit wishy washy…put this out to the problogger forum for ideas.

    Best of luck with your blog. 8 out of 10. Good effort!

  15. Hey, everybody:

    Happy tofurkey day to all? I wanted to quickly come on by and say thank you so much for taking the time to view (and review) my blog.

    I appreciate it.

    I’ve read every single comment and am taking your advice to heart. The consensus seems to be to DEFINITELY invest time (and maybe even money) towards branding. Including a better theme and to maybe use a magazine style layout – since I do tend to venture out in many different ways.

    As for why my stats are kind of low (for a 2 year old blog) there are different reasons for this.

    1. I did not actively pursue RSS subscribers, email subscribers or anything else for that matter – till about a year ago. And even less for email subscribers. That was only within the last 6 months.

    2. I’m no pro. I’m learning as I go along. And believe me I’ve learned loads since 2007. But still have a long way to go.

    @Krizia:
    Thanks for the awesome invite and review. Will definitely be sending you an email to chat more. Cheers!

    As for why I have Adsense where I have it, is because that is where I make the most money. Until I find a better monetization plan, that will have to stay up there. But I’m listening to all feedback, so will definitely take this into account on my redesign.

    @Darren:
    So appreciate you giving my little blog BIG space on PB. It has been a thrill. And I will keep coming back to check and respond to reader comments. Ole!

    Thanxs guys!

  16. RisingBlogs says:

    Although the blog seems good, in my opinion the niche is hard to monetize.

  17. FCEtier says:

    Missy,
    I like the minimalistic design and the green fits the theme.

    Content-wise, please consider an occasional article directed at carnivores like me that have family members who are vegans.

    I liked the article on soy milk and I’ve signed up to follow your blog. Please consider reciprocating.
    Thanks,
    FCEtier aka “Chip”

  18. Kris says:

    Good morning Missy,

    It’s always great to see inspiring bloggers pushing content that promotes a healthy lifestyle. The first thing I noticed was your contact page was down :P So I’ll drop a comment here instead.

    You’ve got some great advice from the other readers however there is one thing that I didn’t see. Direct marketing is great way to monetize readers in a niche like yours.

    Ad clickthrough rates are on a sliding scale as visitors are more accustomed to working around them. I see you’re promoting some affiliate materials on site – have you considered including them in a mailout next to some valuable content?

    While I see where the last comment was coming from, I have to disagree – the vegan and vegetarian niches are growing, and growing. Keyword stats support this as well as search trends. Keep going, add personality or find a way to differentiate from competition and you definitely have an opportunity.

    I would enjoy brainstorming some more indepth techniques with you (SEO/DM/Copywriting/ect.) if you’re interested. I’ve added you on twitter if you’de like to get in touch.

    Cheers,
    Kris Scheben-Edey

    (P.S. Inspiring blogging Darren – you’ve helped another blogger, entertained your readers and engaged them all in one – we all can learn a lot from this blog post.)

  19. Dean Saliba says:

    I think you could do with changing the theme, looks like a generic free one, and not a very good one. :)

  20. Hi, Missy. A couple things strike me about your blog.
    My main blog (Life Out Loud) is also about several different topics; I can relate to wanting to write about many things. I agree that a magazine-style theme might serve you better than a straight blog-post type theme. I’ve been looking at the ones from Headway, but I also like some of the free WordPress magazine style thems (like Depo Masthead.) Definitely try to keep the clean style of your blog – content is king, but readability and good clean design makes your content accessible – and accessible content will at least never turn a reader away.

    The comment about getting facts right, that Piven’s character’s name is Ari, struck me, too (and I’m not even an Entourage fan or watcher, but I knew that.) Bloggers, personal or otherwise, are web journalists – and we can’t just turn off the research and fact-checking that journalists do because we’re writing opinion/editorial. Whenever I mention someone or something about which I’m going to express an opinion (or goddess help me, write humor!) then I check and verify – hello, google. It’s a lot easier to appreciate the humor if details like incorrect facts aren’t distracting the reader. Verify EVERYthing!

    If you’re going to approach something scientific (even from a humor perspective), you really do need to get it right. Back to the Piven post – the science on the phyto-estrogen effects from soy is still mixed, and the jury is still out. But to write from the perspective that it’s nonsense without citations to back yourself up is non-value-added noisy distraction to readers who have done more science reading than you were willing to recognize. It’s great to ask the questions you asked – but when the question involves science, you also need to be prepared for a firestorm of people who have all of their citations on speed-dial!

    I don’t get ‘groovy’ from your current logo or theme. I was born in the mid-50s and lived ‘groovy’, so your blog’s title gave me expectations I didn’t find fulfilled. You might want to address that disconnect, or better brand your grooviness. You could USE those colors, play them out of a dynamic logo that really sings groovy, or you could explain how groovy fits into the 21st century – but by doing neither, you leave a hole that will leave some of your readers wanting more.

    A bit abou content and voice – I’m no longer meatless – although I was for 25+ years. I’m writing a low carb cookbook for people who are or want to incorporate meatless meals into low-carbing, and my cooking specialty is ethnic vegetarian foods. I don’t eat meat at every meal or every day, but I’ve always eaten fish, eggs and dairy, and do eat meat now for health reasons. As someone with over two decades of experience as a granola-and-birkenstocks ovo-lacto vegetarian or pescatarian, I’m still uncomfortable on sites that mix up choosing not to eat meat with politics, and draw unclear lines between vegetarians and vegans. For me, meatless eating was a religious choice I grew up with, and ovo-lacto vegetarianism was a budget (lifestyle) and now a menu choice – not a philosophy of life. There are folks out there, a lot of them, who don’t eat meat for reasons other than the ones currently in vogue in Hollywood. ;)

    In making your brand, you might want to take into consideration whether you want to focus on the politics (PETA, etc.) or focus on the health benefits (the science behind things) or focus on vegetarianism as a lifestyle component, or to what extent you want to incorporate or spotlight any or all three of those approaches. Speaking only for myself, political vegetarianism is an immediate turn-off – I’m as politically far away from PETA as I can get and be on the same planet. A lot of people new to or experimenting with vegetarianism eating are in that same area – not political. If you really want to be a resource for people who are new to vegetarianism, you might consider whether that part is important enough to you to risk alienating those in your audience who aren’t into that aspect and never will be.

    I would love to see a vegetarian site that provides the kind of resource you describe for new vegetarians – explains sound nutritional approaches and how-tos of vegetarian eating. I’m always being asked to come up with menu plans for families who have one (usually teen-aged) ‘vegetarian.’ Often, I ask what the new vegetarian is eating, and the answer is ‘french fries, cheese pizza, mac’n'cheese, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They can’t cook, they have no idea about simple ways to make their own foods, and they’re stuck trying to recreate their typical family meals without meat instead of thinking outside the box. The parents want to know what menus they can make that the whole family can/will eat, what can the new vegetarian choose from popular restaurants, the school or work cafeteria, the regular old supermarket that will make day-to-day vegetarian eating both healthy and easy. A resource guide like that would be a great e-book, Missy, and something you could easily market to your subscribers and feature as a download off your site. It would be your way of ‘teaching sells.’ You could also incorporate eco or vegetarian lifestyle resources into the ebook. Vegetarian 101. Go for it!

  21. Julie says:

    In addition to the above comments, with which I basically agree, I have to say the writing is very basic. Anybody can start a web site or blog. To be taken seriously, I think you have to write very well, displaying not just a mastery of your topic, but a mastery of your native language. I suppose, depending on your audience, writing on a high-school level may be appropriate. However, on the front page alone, I noted not a few but numerous punctuation, capitalization, and grammatical errors. This just ruins credibility. As a reader, I would not believe this person was an expert or a reliable resource.

  22. elizof says:

    Hi Missy,
    Lucky you! You have received a ton of great advice above and I’m probably going to repeat more of same… I’d say add some mixed media such as video, mpr3 links, links to other sites, do reviews on say the Food Inc movie, and add a few interviews and other interesting content to your page.
    Your blog name should be larger and perhaps the blog font could be reconsidered. Since I love art and color, I found the starkness of your blog a bit ho-hum… but again this is a preference; an opinion you may ignore.
    I became vegan 29 years ago and a modified vegetarian after my twins arrived 16 years ago so this is a topic close to my heart… I want to wish you continued success as you write on a subject that continues to attract attention as our food production/supply is taxed by population growth, environmental climatic changes, the use of chemicals, genetic engineering and a slew of other factors.
    Kudos to the Groovy Vegetarian!

  23. Madeleine says:

    In general, I agree with many of the comments about the wide mix of categories and the focus of the blog. One thing which would help is a more specific tagline.

    I also agree with comments about the writing itself, especially the comment by Julie. Errors in puctuation and using language, such as “…drinking like an insane amount of soy milk…” detract from your credibiliity. It’s good to write like you talk, but only up to a point. Your writing seems to be geared to a younger audience than I think you want.

    Finally, I’d suggest more focus on providing specific help for certain occasions. Holidays and food can be stressful enough, even without vegetarians or vegans in the family. So how about (1) Food to serve guests when it’s your turn to cook, (2) What to cook if one of your children is a vegan, (3) What to do when Mom invites your for Christman dinner (and she’s definitedly not a vegan), or (4) What can a single dad cook for his vegan daughter. I think there’d be a lot of interest in some practical suggestions for these situations.

  24. David says:

    Hi Missy.

    I was looking forward to your website, because my daughter (22) is a vegetarian, I go through bouts of being vegetarian, I love vegetarian restaurants (I find the innovative), and I’m a fan of Peter Singer.

    BTW: I recently visited the restaurant “Raw” in Santa Monica. A great place: the food is not only veg, it’s also all raw.

    You wrote: “I would love to be a go-to resource for the vegetarian lifestyle. To have more pillar content. To showcase more cool vegetarian products.” What disappointed me was the lack of pillar content, in both the blog, and the side bars.

    Here’s a detailed critique:

    BLOG

    Jeremy Piven… lose it. Here you’re opening with a negative story about soy, one which I’ve never heard before. And in it, you counter one authority (a medical doctor) with your own (no qualifications.) Overall, this has left me wondering whether I had better start googling and see what the science is.

    Style: you write in an informal, readable way, but you insert too many personal opinions. I don’t care whether you think Piven is funny. I come here thinking I’m going to learn about how to be a “groovy vegetarian.” I want you deliver on information on how to do that. You can deliver that information in a way that is full of personality (which you are)… but don’t interrupt with personal opinions (which are off-target.)

    Cool coasters. Are they vegetarian? Lose it.

    Latin blogs. Completely off-promise. Looks like an “advertorial”.

    81 Veg Recipes. The first targeted content. Keep it.

    Morningstar Farm coupons. How “groovy” is that? Sounds like my grandma.

    Ketchup costumes. Advertising processed foods from agro-industry? Drop it.

    Vegetarian wordpress themes? Whose your audience? Other bloggers, or people that want to become groovy vegetarians? Marginal at best.

    SUMMARY: “Groovy vegetarian” is a promise. Make sure every article keeps the promise. Elsewhere you mention that you want to find more vegetarian products. What’s the obstacle to do that? That’s a road to monetization that’s consistent with your promise. You can’t break the promise to your readers. The blogs on your home page today do not keep that promise. So: you know what to do… better to make one post a week that’s good pillar content, then 7 posts, 6 of which drown out the good one.

    SIDE BAR:

    Why heart amazon, which is just an off-promise. Ad. Why not linke to 10 great groovy vegetarian books that you’ve selected. Why not a groovy veg book club?

    The rest looks good and appropriate, except:

    • the “Groovy visitors”: who cares? And too small to tell me anything, even if I did.

    • Ditto: I don’t want to know the value of your site… it works against your authority as a blogger (so… this is what she’s really about, eh?)

    • Latina blogger, again. I’m not a latina, and this is not the latinavegetarian blog!

    •  Why are the Keetsa and Blogroll so low on the list? Push them up farther. Isn’t the Keetsa list what’s going to get you paid?

    Don’t put stuff on your website unless it really adds value to the reader. If you do, you waste shelf-space (so to speak) and dilute your content.

    SUMMARY:

    Again, delete content that is not directly relevant.

    I think this is the best place for monetization… people expect that the side bar will be a little more “ad” based. But really, there must be more groovy get product out there than you’re showing us.

    And can we see some photos? Keetsa is not doing it for me (I don’t know anything about it: can you get photos appearing?)

    Strong, bigger headlines.

    Maybe ads that rotate, so you can see which ones get the strongest response, and increase the rotation on those? (Don’t have the technical nous to know if that’s possible on WP.)

  25. Well, I think Groovy Vegetarian is a nice blog since it talks about vegetarian lifestyle. People should recombine and recycle anything that broken or unuse. This blog is important for the future of our Earth.

  26. abrablog says:

    i love different niche of blog.

  27. Nick Aster says:

    Good content, nice blog.

    Most definitely needs a better header though – just a custom logo in the top bar would do wonders.

    A few posts I see on the front page a little off topic. That may or may not be a problem, but I did notice and it threw me off a little bit

    I would suggest some more prominent categorization of posts. I see that there are categories at the end of the posts, but I only notice that because I’m familiar with WP… I don’t think many people will be compelled to see them. You should figure out what your 5 or 6 most popular categories are and focus on them and make big obvious links to them!

  28. Jaszy says:

    Wow, I thought I learned a lot reading the post, but I certainly learned a lot reading all the comments!

    First off, I commend you Missy! Putting a blog together, despite the “anyone can do it” nonsense is still no easy feat, especially if you’re trying to put one out that serves a real purpose.

    I won’t bother you with repeating what you’ve already read, only that I agree that branding would certainly help you quite a bit. Stating that you’re a “groovy” vegetarian led me to believe that I’d see a bit more groove, so definitely dance with that idea for a spell. We worked with a really good graphic designer for a few weeks before deciding on a look that we felt epitomized the “modern hippie”. Take a look, would love to hear your thoughts.

    Simplicity works for me, but some people need lots of bells and whistles to keep their attention…ADD, hello!

    Stay the course. I love your content and would like to discuss a possible link exchange or guest posting.

    Let’s chat, [email protected].

    Be well.

  29. Betsy Talbot says:

    Hi, Missy. As a mainstream eater with a desire to have more vegetarian meals I can speak to some of your content questions.

    Having a “beginner’s guide” will help your readers know where to start if they are new to vegetarianism or if they just want to add more vegetarian meals into their lives. I have this on my site and it is really popular – it is based on the one Leo at Zen Habits did. I added a short video to mine to show readers how to use the page to find the information they needed and to give them a taste of my personality so they could decide if it was a good fit for them.

    My theme is Arthemia, which is a magazine layout. The thing I like most is that I get 5 categories under the headline article that cover my main subjects. New readers can click on whatever subject interests them most without scrolling through all the blog posts (which they wouldn’t do anyway). Make it super-easy for your readers to find the information they need. Your regular readers won’t mind.

    My husband does some web design work and uses Thesis for almost all his clients. Each website looks vastly different, so I don’t think you will be limited to something too simple if you go that route.

    Good luck!

  30. I think the main thing missing is a logo of some sort. Some type of branding.

    I would also move many of the links in the top navigation to the bottom somewhere. Most folks know you have to scroll to the bottom of a page to find a privacy policy link. No sense taking up good space for that sort of thing. The top navigation should send people into your site. Not bury them in the particulars of how you run your blog. Maybe have a few important category links up there?

    Outside of this, I think it’s a pretty nice blog.

  31. Brad says:

    1. I wouldn’t worry about monetization of the site right now. My first step would be to provide more in depth content. Take an angle, shape & work it into a piece that becomes a resource, engage the readers (as you’ve already done with the ‘Vegetarian & PR’ article).

    2. I would move the Google ads from above the articles to below. They are a distraction for me as a reader. Though they are topically related, when I go to an article, I expect to jump right in.

    3. A 3 column theme might work better as it would allow you to place the links from Keetsa and Blogroll, which are more topical than the Google ads, in a more prominent position rather than being almost below the radar.

    4. You have a niche that is unique – Latina and vegetarian – which you could focus more on via recipes, restaurants in your area (or other areas) which provide good vegie dishes/sandwiches with a Latina flare, exploring issues of being vegetarian or vegan in the Latin culture especially with teenagers. My wife is vegetarian and Brazilian, but grew up in a meat loving family which made some meals difficult.

    5. Though the two costumes columns were interesting and provided a good laugh, they seemed to be a sideline to the focus of vegetarianism. If you do want to bring in those type of items every so often, you might wrap them around a topic like ‘Introducing Your Friends With a Vegie Themed Party’.

  32. Hey, guys:

    Thank you for all the additional feedback. It seems many of you are mentioning that I should stick strictly with vegetarian only articles.

    But why?

    Yes! it is a vegetarian blog, but that doesn’t or shouldn’t mean I have to ONLY write a vegetarian article. Right? lol. C-mon, surely not.

    As for my title. It isn’t I who is the “groovy vegetarian” it is YOU. Or at least that is how I originally meant it. But I can see how it could be interpreted the other way.

    I do want to also mention that since the blog has been up, it has had several WordPress themes. The one on there now was sort of a quick choice because with my (then) webhost repeatedly told me that my THEME was causing the blog to crash. But long story short, I had server issues as recent as three weeks ago and had to completely switch host providers. And with that colossal move, a few things went haywired and or were lost. Such as changes I had made to the sidebar and other things. But Im working on all that now, at least the blog is stable for now. Yiippee!!!

    I want to thank all of you for visiting the blog, leaving me your constructive feedback and an extra special thanxs to those who have offered collaboration ideas. Sweet of you!

    Thanxs again.

    Cheers!

  33. Nice choice of WordPress theme compared to Bible Scholar theme and RCG forest theme.

  34. BIG NO TO FREE WORDPRESS THEME.

    Switch to thesis theme or some paid theme which can represent your brand as professional.

    Background should be related to some veggies photos and try to add buttons of some veggies as well.

    Your big aspect is you are sharing your own thoughts on your blog.

  35. 911 Fitness says:

    Well first I want to say it’s smooth and clean, a header and pagebackground image whould do wonders, but clean is good too. I didnt check your traffic but I’ll assume your getting enough to monetize it, using Adsence Now will allow you to place your adds any where you want them in the post. If you dont need the income,, reinvest it in a designer that can make your site pop, I recently done over http://911-fitness.com/ and the differance is night and day, try some colors and darken your text, break down your niche even farther then build your blog around it. Other than that I think your doing great.

  36. TD HAWK says:

    Eat meat-ha. The vitamin A helps the brain ;>)

  37. Michelle says:

    The quality of the info is what keeps me on this site, thanks!

    Wish You a Merry Christmas. :)

  38. Jason Ulsrud says:

    Thesis is an amazing platform for creating your blog. You can do just about anything design wise with it.

    Check out this blog I just finished the design on in Thesis. I love it and I’m very excited about it.

    http://www.forty2fifty.com

    Good luck…

  39. DrDoug says:

    Hi,
    I have had a website for close to 10 years. I am just about to start my first health blog. As a chiropractor and nutritionist in NYC I feel we are in similiar fields. Although, I’m not qualified to give you any technical feedback, I do have something that jumped out at me. Or didn’t jump out at me…That is “you”!

    When I look at a new blog, I skim the top half of the home page, then proceed directly to the ABOUT page. I would have loved to see a picture of you. You mention that you love animals. I would have loved to see a picture of you and either your pets, or with any animals that you interact with. Something real, not necessarily a portrait shot.

    Your type of blog is going to attract the 10% of the population that cares about global issues. About Animal rights. People that rant about their passion. If we went out to dinner, we would probably get on a few topics and hours would fly by, as we voiced our opinions about “changing the world”, and leaving the planet a better place for future generations.

    So… are you like that? I probably wouldn’t have bookmarked your blog, because I don’t know who you are and what makes you tick. I would like to see your rant. And let the reviews, be dovetailed into the rant.

    For example, on your post about Soy causing man boobs, which it can, along with other xenohormones. It would have been interesting for you to rant about how soy is a huge cash crop, and in the last 20 years, the agriculture industry has taken a good protein source and shoved it down the world’s face in order to make profits. Now instead of simple soy products, we are getting soy hotdogs, and soy american cheese, which are highly processed, genetically modified vegetable proteins. Man boobs are on the rise, so is testicular cancer and infertility. Does this upset you? Occasionally, show us your colors.

    Today I noticed a few items you recommend. Like a slow cooker. It would be great to have a Comment: or Tip: inserted,where you personalize your choice. For example,
    “I love throwing 5-6 ingredients in my slow cooker, 9 hours later I come home, and I have a hot savory stew waiting for me. Here is the type of cooker I use (link), Amazon has a lot of good ones. This cookbook blew me away (link), I made a dish on page 242, that was a Moroccan Cous Cous. They actually had you put honey in the sauce!”

    That way, again, I see you and how you live, and what you read, and I can really line up with you.

    With your topic, I am 98% interested in you, and 2% interested in your technical skills and layout.

  40. Dr. Doug:

    Thank you for being 98% interested in me. lol. I do appreciate it. And I very much have taken to heart the feedback you have so generously shared with me. (and others on PB)

    I feel I have loads yet to do on my veg blog, by no means am I where I need to be. But I am definitely listening and hope to implement many of the ideas and tips given to me here.

    @Dr.Doug: I will do my earnest best to occasionally show more of my “colors” on the blog. Great tip!

    Cheers,
    Missy

  41. Doug says:

    Hi Missy,
    I am 100% interested. The 98% was a typo,most likely caused by eating too much meat in my diet, over the years. But at least I don’t have any Moobs to get in the way! Because I only eat non-gmo soy!

    I look forward to following your blog. Thanks for sharing so much.
    Doug

  42. Ernest says:

    I very happy reading your article. Thank for provide good information.

  43. Biche says:

    Hi Missy,

    First and foremost, congratulations on a great blog! When I first took a look at it, I wondered what I could possibly “advise” you to differently. Frankly, I was impressed with your design. I liked your crisp and simple design, and liked your choice of photos. For me, it set a positive tone to your blog.

    In reading through the comments on this post, I agree with a couple of things that previous commenters said. For instance, that the name of your blog is a little small compared to say the title of your first post, so it’s bound to be a little less remembered. Also, the font in your sidebar was a little small for me and so discouraged me from actually reading through a lot of what’s written in your sidebar.

    I can’t give you any advice about monetization because my blog is not monetized, but I noticed that a lot of your sidebar below the fold is empty. That’s a lot of room to put interesting stuff for your readers to interact with, be that ads or other things.

    That’s just my 2 cents worth. Overall, I think you have a great blog, which I’m sure will become even better with all the advice that you’ll get through the comments of this post.

    I wish you luck and success.

    Biche