Does your Website or Blog need a Facelit

Flowers and Windows, Brugge, BelgiumIs your website or blog in need of a facelift? Perhaps the reason I haven't heard that comment about my own site is because I'm constantly tweaking it to get it to a state with which I'm happy. It's amazing what a difference a few relatively minor adjustments can make. I anticipate that, by the middle of the year, the Travel Photography Guru site will look and function in line with my expectations.


The next step will be to survey folks to better understand how I can help them. An underlying philosophy of this site is to inspire, motivate and educate and, in doing so, help folks make better and more meaningful photographs. To achieve these goals I need to hold an ongoing discussion with my audience. Simply surveys, comments and messages are really useful in helping me help you. It's  essential that I test and measure the relevance (success) of any changes I make to the site, including the nature of the articles and images posted.

I take all comments and messages very seriously and am always glad to receive them. For your information the changes I expect to make by the end of March are as follows:


More Photos

My portfolio section will be expanded with many more photos from around the world. Look out for a film-based panoramic portfolio over the next day or so.


Big Surprises

The large black area along the top middle and right of the home page will be filled with goodies - ASAP


Podcasts

The first of my podcasts will be launched and available through this site.
By the end of April you can expect the following:


Video

I have a YouTube channel containing a number of educational videos. Now that I've got a pretty good understanding of how to produce these videos I expect to be adding many more, via the Travel Photography Guru site, on a more regular basis.


Even More Photos

I have so much more work that I want to share with you. Look forward to even more portfolios over coming months.

Over recent times I've decided to scale back the quantity of posts I produce. I used to aim for one post per day but, with travel and a range of other commitments, that became difficult to achieve. Nevertheless I still managed to post 2 out of every 3 days. Now I'm sure you'll agree that its important for the process to be fun, for the creator as much as the audience. With this in mind I'm trying to reign in my enthusiasm and produce posts that better target your needs (thus my need for feedback and comments).
This new approach will likely involve more research and carefully planned articles that are more strategically written. The challenge will be to do so without compromising my own unique style of writing. Again, the process and outcome must be enjoyable for all.

How does My Site look to You?

One thing that's been on my mind lately is the basic look of the blog. You'll notice that it features white text on a black background.

My site is about photography which is why I opted for a black background. The fact that I include a fair amount of text on my blog does complicated things. Its very much a game of compromise. Some folks find it a little hard on the eyes to read lots of white text against a black background. I'm considering changing the font and, maybe, making the text slightly larger. That might help. Again, it's a matter of testing and measuring. Black backgrounds probably look a little old fashioned to some folks, but they do help photos pop.

So do I leave it as it is which is great for the portfolio section, but possible less than ideal when it comes to reading the articles, which tend to feature a fair amount of text?

I could change the blog section of the site to the more common black text on a white background and keep the rest of the site much the same as it currently is. I'm resisting this as I think its important to have a common design theme throughout the site. That same theme may well end up flowing through to my Twitter and Facebook pages. Branding is important and needs to be consistent. 

I know that everyone seems to be time poor these days. There's so much information and not enough time to access let alone digest it all. I could cut back on the amount of text in my articles. But articles that are quick to read are rarely information rich. An alternative I'm considering is to have less text for the average article, making it more image based and then, say once per week, publish a more substantial article.

I'd be very grateful if you would take a few minutes to let me know what you think about my site? In particular I'd be interested if you could address the following 3 areas:

  1. Do you like the white text on a black background, or would you prefer the reverse?
  2. Do you consider the articles, on average, to be too short, too long, or just right?
  3. Overall how would you rate the pictures on this site
0-3 = get a real job
4-6 = they're OK
7-8 = very nice
9-10 = beautiful/inspirational

Of course any other comments or feedback is very much welcomed.

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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru