03 December 2013

Beginning Blogger's Bootcamp: The Group Critique - Hurry, Sign Up!!

Hi Bloggers! I'll be back later (either tonight or tomorrow) with a post on social media, however, I want to post this before it gets too late. Reading about blogging is very useful when you are building your blog. So too is following blogs that you admire and learning from what they do. But feedback on what you're doing is essential. Without feedback, how are you supposed to know what you are doing right, and what needs improvement?



When I started the Beginning Blogger's Bootcamp I knew from the beginning that I wanted to have an interactive component. It is essential for learning. If you are interested in participating (and I encourage all of you who have been following to participate), you will need to sign up ASAP - the deadline to sign up is December 12th. I would like to finish this series before the holidays when people start to take off. Also, I figured if I ran the group critique over a longer period of time, the people who signed up later would not get as much feedback as the people who signed up earlier.




Here's how it works:

  1. If you are a blogger who would like feedback on your blog, please sign up with the InLinkz. below. Your link can be your general blog link, or a link to a specific post - for example, if you have a particular nail design that you are proud of.
  2. This group critique is for people who blog about nail polish and nail arts. Beauty blogs are also acceptable. If the primary focus of your blog is not nail polish and/or beauty related, please don't sign up. 
  3. By signing up, you commit to visiting a minimum of three other blogs that have signed up.
  4. When visiting other blogs, leave a comment on their blog post giving them feedback about their blog.
  5. Feedback should take the form of constructive criticism - tell them something they are doing well, and something that needs improvement.
  6. Feedback should be in the spirit of a positive and encouraging exchange. If you just want to criticize and denigrate other bloggers, this isn't the place. It is possible to make suggestions for improvement while still being nice about it. 
  7. If you are a more experienced blogger (1+ years) and don't need feedback but would like to give feedback, you can sign up, just put mentor next to your name in the InLinkz form.
  8. Try to give feedback to bloggers who don't have much feedback. Just to ensure that everyone gets some feedback.
  9. To make sure the critique happens in a timely manner, please sign up by Thursday December 12th, and make sure to visit and comment on three other blogs before Monday December 16th.
If you are not sure what to give feedback on, here are some things to consider:

  • Navigation: Is it easy to find things? Can you find out where to follow, leave a comment, learn more about the blogger, find past posts?
  • Photos: Are they clear and in focus? Do you have any suggestions for how to improve them?
  • Writing: Is the blogger's writing easy to follow? Do they write their posts in one long paragraph or do they break it into easy to read chunks of text?
  • Layout/Design: Does the design go well with the content? How is the layout, are the components of the blog organized in a logical manner?

This is very much an experiment, and so if you have any feedback or questions about the whole group critique thing, please leave a comment or send me an email. Thanks!

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73 comments:

  1. This is what I was hoping you would bring up. I do appreciate any kind of feedback I can use to improve my blog. Going to add my link! Thanks Meghan!

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    1. You're welcome! And if there's anything else that you want me to cover, let me know, I might be able to sneak it in before the series is over! ;)

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  2. Thank you for doing this series! I think the critiquing will be really helpful. Even after blogging for over a year, I still feel like a beginner.

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    1. Thanks for signing up Patricia! I hope you get some good feedback.

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    2. Thank you, Meghan! The feedback has been great and has given me a lot to think about. Today, I'm going to redo my layout! :)

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  3. I'm with Patricia -- I've been at this since January/February but I definitely feel like a beginner. I can't wait to give and receive feedback. Thanks for putting this together, sweetheart! :)

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    1. You're very welcome Jolene, and thanks for signing up! I hope you find it useful. :)

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  4. I'm right there. Blogging since last October and I still feel like I have so much to learn! Thank you for doing this!

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    1. I totally understand, I'm still learning! :) Thanks for participating!

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  5. Everyone else's blogs on here look so great! I have no idea what tips to give these people when they are such pros!

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  6. I'd love to give feedback to bloggers who need it and would love to get some myself. I have recently changed the look of my blog and could use any and all opinions on it.

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    1. And I'd like to add that thanks to this segment of bootcamp I have found some great new blogs to follow. Thanks.

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    2. Vedrana - I hope you got some good feedback, and I'm glad to hear that you are already finding it useful. :)

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    4. I did get some very useful critique and have already changed some things that were pointed out to me as not that great. I got some praise as well so I know what not to change :D
      I have also checked the blogs I left my opinions on and most of them found the feedback useful, so I guess this segment of the Bootcamp proved to be a success. The idea is amazing and it takes so little time to check one blog a day, for instance, and see if you can leave a meaningful feedback.

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  7. Awhhh I've just moved my blog to a new place so it's all empty of any formatting right now, I had best get my coding boots on and sort it out quickly

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    1. Yes, do that! And if you haven't signed up already, you should do so!! :)

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  8. Excellent idea! My blog isn't in English, I don't have enough time for translation so I decided to focus on local Polish followers, but there are some issues (like photos and general layout design) that are internatiolally understandable and I'd love to participate in this project :)

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    1. Sounds great! Yes, you should definitely participate, you can always get feedback on other aspects of your blog, like you mentioned. Have you tried a Google Translate widget? They aren't perfect but if you want to draw some non Polish followers it might help.

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  9. Thanks so much for opening this up for feedback on our pages. I'm still in the newbie phase but I've learned so much from this series and from paying attention to other blogs. So many great ideas and so little space! This series has definitely been an asset - I've bookmarked almost all the posts in it!

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    1. It means a lot to me to hear that you find the series helpful. I hope you also get some useful feedback on your blog. :)

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  10. Yes, thank you for setting this up, such an awesome idea! I'm looking forward to ANY feedback and hope that my feedback helps someone out, even a little bit.

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    1. Thanks for participating!! I hope you get some useful advice or feedback. :)

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  11. Thanks for putting this together, this could be really helpful for beginning bloggers, myself included!
    I think you've mentioned this in this series of posts, but just looking at other blogs and thinking about what it is about them you like/dislike can really help (:

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    1. Thanks for signing up! I hope you find it helpful. :) Yes, I definitely think that looking at other blogs you admire is good in terms of ideas and inspiration, and figuring out what you like/don't like. Some blogs are so amazing that I just think "maybe someday", but at least it's something to works towards. :)

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  12. This is an awesome idea :) Great way to connect to other active bloggers too!

    xo Maddy

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  13. Thanks for setting this up! It's a great idea for the newest newbies and some of us older newbies too :)

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    1. You're very welcome, and I hope you get some helpful feedback! :)

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  14. This is a great idea. I just hit my 1 year blogaversary and I still feel as if Im in my first week. I'm hoping people will give me feedback on my side bar especially. Something about it just doesnt feel right to me but I have no idea what I should change or switch around. Thanks for the oppertunity to get some feedback on my blog itself and not just the polish I post about.

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    1. Thanks for signing up Lustrous Lacquer - I hope you get some useful feedback. And thanks for mentioning what it is that you are looking for feedback on. I'm hoping to visit each blog and I'll keep that in mind. :)

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  15. This is an awesome arrangement! I've been blogging for a couple of years and quickly shifted into a nail polish focus for my blog, but I still occasionally feature other beauty products, as well. I'd love feedback of all kinds!

    I'll visit as many other blogs as I can; I should definitely be able to critique more than 3!

    One idea to go along with this Group Critique Experiment - how about a follow-up post? Those who have joined in this round can leave their link again and comment with what suggestions they had been given for improvement back in Dec 2013, and see what the new response is after they've tried to implement those suggestions. There could also be a new group sign-up for those who are fresh to the giving and getting of critique.

    Perhaps make this a quarterly thing on your blog? I think it would help people a lot as well as give you an opportunity to keep referring new bloggers back to your Bootcamp posts!

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    1. A follow up post sounds like a good idea. I am taking notes on the critiques I got and see what I can do about it once this is all over.

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    2. Rochelle I just wanted to say that the feedback you gave me really helped. I was completely overlooking little things like making my widget titles centered. Your fresh perspective was exactly what I needed.

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    3. @Novita: I'm doing the same thing! This was really perfect timing for me because I'm in the midst of redoing my blog layout... now I'll have a bunch of great feedback to consider as I'm putting the finishing touches on things! =)

      @Lustrous: You're very welcome! That's usually all it takes... I've been the only one working on my blog for +2 years now... I was overlooking some really basic stuff, no doubt because my eyes were used to it! Glad I was able to be of help. Your blog is looking great. =)

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    4. Rochelle - thanks for signing up and participating! I'm sure your feedback will be valuable. I really like your suggestions for a follow up post and making this a quarterly thing. I will seriously consider that for the new year! Thanks so much! :)

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  16. This is a great idea! I've added my link, and would love to hear some feedback. I will be checking out the other blogs that have already posted their links too :)

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    1. Thanks for participating, and I hope you find it helpful!! :)

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  17. Signed up. Although I have had my blog for a year, I don't consider myself a mentor. Hope that is okay?

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    1. Yes, that is definitely okay! I hope you get some helpful feedback. :)

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  18. Thanks so much for putting this together, I've been commenting like crazy haha! It's also a good way to take up some work time ;)

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    1. Yay! Thanks so much Erin, and I hope you find it helpful! :)

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  19. I have only reserved my name....I have a mental list of content ideas for the first few weeks ... but I don't plan on actively setting the blog up until after the holidays. Should I still sign up?

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    1. If you don't have a physical blog set up, it will be hard for people to give you feedback, so I would hold off on signing up. If you still wanted to visit some of the blogs, leave feedback and see what people are saying, you can do that without signing up. I may do this critique again so if I do make sure that you sign up! :)

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  20. Thank you for setting this up! Love the feedback I'm getting, and I hope people find my tips useful too. I plan on stopping by a few more blogs :)

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    1. Yay!! Thanks for participating, and I'm happy to hear that you are already fining it helpful. :)

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  21. This is brilliant timing! I've just finished uni and am planning on dedicating a lot more time to my blog, hopefully this will give me the right direction! I also really look forward to looking at what everyone else is doing :) Thanky!!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that the timing works out for you! Thanks for signing up and hopefully you get some great tips! :)

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    1. Thanks for participating Helena, and I hope you find it helpful.

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  23. This is such a great idea! I've been blogging for just over a year now, but I think feedback on my blog would really help! Thank you for setting this up! :)

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    1. You're very welcome and I hope you get some good feedback! :)

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  24. Thank you so much for doing this! I've already received some great & helpful feedback and am already starting to implement new ideas! :)

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    1. That sounds great! I'm so glad to hear that you got some useful advice and feedback. :)

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  25. This is a great initiative!
    Thank you for this interesting opportunity :-)

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    1. Thanks Rebenice! I hope you find it helpful. :)

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  26. What a super idea! I've been blogging about my nails for about 10 months now, but I'm finding it hard to build an audience so I'd really appreciate any feedback :)

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    1. I hope you are able to get some good feedback. I'm hoping to visit all the blogs so I will definitely see what I can come up with.

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  27. Meghan - First, your boot-camp is so awesome. I have been picking up all kinds of helpful things along the way. Second, after much contemplation, I've decided I'm not going to sign up because I don't feel I have the ability to evaluate & comment enough right now (family needs are a priority at the moment) - but I will check out everyone who's participated at some point in support. I love the community booster you are doing with all of this hard work! Thanks again!!!

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    1. Thanks so much for the note. I know you've been following along throughout the series, and while I'm disappointed that you can't participate, I totally understand. You are absolutely right, family does come first! :)

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  28. This is definitely what I need since I recently set up my blog! :] However, in terms of "recently" which means only few days ago and I haven't really posted a lot of things like others... is it still okay for me to sign up anyway?

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    1. Yes, of course! Please sign up! Even very new blogs still need feedback! :)

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  29. What a great idea. I've been looking at all the blogs and I fear that I have no good critiques. They all look so nice and represent each girls style. I'm a noob at this. Thanks for the opportunity ^^

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  30. Just did my 3. Although I feel like I have room to critique, I'm trying to be helpful. I've read a lot of stuff on what people search for to follow a blog, and have learned some important things that I hope will be of some help. And I hope I get some critiques. I've changed my blog around a dozen times, constantly trying to improve, and I'm always paranoid. haha But not having many followers doesn't leave me much room for feedback, so I'm glad I made this before the deadline!

    Seriously, thank you for the opportunity and I'm sure everyone is so grateful too! There should be more of these. haha

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  31. Thanks so much for doing this! Such a wonderful idea. I have done my 3 critiques and hope to get a few more in before the time runs out! This has also been a great way to discover amazing blogs I hadn't visited before too!

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  32. I know this is slightly delayed, but I just wanted to say thank you for putting this together. I've been dreaming of something like this to give me feedback and help meet other bloggers in the community.

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  33. I totally missed out on this since it happened during my exam week. *Sniff sniff. I'm hoping and wishing that you'll host this again in a month or two for other bloggers who might have also missed out on this great opportunity? :D

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    1. Yes, I'm thinking about doing this again sometime in the new year, maybe 3 months from now. I'm going to try to get some feedback first to see if it's something that people would be interested in.

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  34. Can I still sign up? I'm a newbie blogger and need your help!! I've done two reviews and the second is definitely better than the first but I know i can improve with help. My blog is Http://www.cahtchthelightnails@blogspot.com. See, i don't even know how to write the website url.!! Thanks, debra

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    1. Hi Debra, I'm sorry it's too late to sign up. But check back again because this is something that I will probably do again in a few months (two maybe three). Also you can check out the other posts in this series. Also part of learning about blogging is just doing it, and learning through the process of writing and publishing posts. So keep posting. You will find after more posts that it starts to get easier.

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