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ghsb12
11-20-2008, 01:29 PM
Hi there!

Iím a writer on the verge of finishing a first novel, hopefully by the end of this year (if I donít strangle myself in the 2nd edit first). ;>

My blog is: http://gracetravellog.blogspot.com/ (http://gracetravellog.blogspot.com/), which is about me and hubbyís travels around the world. Well, so far, Iíve only written-up notes about Silk Road, China, and Sabah, Malaysia. The stories/articles are still in progress. And Iím hoping to write-up all the places weíve gone to.

Please have a look, and let me know what you think of the contents, writing and layout. Is it kinda interesting, or dull as molasses? Let me know. Any comments, suggestions would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

mjlpsu
12-18-2008, 05:07 PM
You have some wonderful information on your site. I'll have to bookmark it and go back when I have more time.

I'd just change the header and background--right now their too dull for your subject. At least add a header with a photo and the blog title. It looks like you have some great photos to choose from.

ghsb12
12-23-2008, 08:56 AM
Thanks for the tip, mjlpsu. You're right about the header. I'm working on combining a few photos to jazz it up.

Dominique
12-23-2008, 07:27 PM
Lovely blog...great writing and photos!

I'm still a bit of a baby blogger myself (I've only been at it since August), so it looks like I'm not nearly as tech-savvy as y'all :)

That being said...

I do have a tendency to try keeping my posts to about 500 words or less at Midwest Guest (http://www.midwestguest.com). If a destination merits more than 500 words, it merits more than one post for me. You have so many subject packed into one post, I think you could easily break each one out into several different blog posts for different days.
That's a real comfortable length for me (maybe that comes from having worked in newspapers for a number of years), and I think the shorter lengths may be more comfortable for many readers as well.
That way, you could schedule posts more frequently and keep readers in the habit of coming back for more.
I don't know how it works at BlogSpot, but at TypePad I can write my posts in advance and schedule them for auto upload whenever I want them to go up (I knew this week would be busy, so my posts for this week were already in the can and set for autoupload, f'instance).

The photos are wonderful as well. I do wish they were a little larger. It was one of the things people suggested to me when I first started my blog. My photos are just .jpgs and fairly low-res, so the file sizes are still pretty small.

There are lots of places to get great advice on this BBS, and you might also take a look at the Nerd's Eye View Travelblogging Forum (http://nerdseyeview.com/forum/index.php) (a great group of folks there as well, lots of great travel blogs to check out and lots of information more specific to travelblogging).

ghsb12
12-24-2008, 07:31 PM
Thanks for the advice and encouragement, Dominique!

I've been concerned about the length of my entries too. At first, I tried to stuff all the sites of one day into one entry. Well, as you can see, they became gigantic. Then I split a day's sites into two or three entries, still gigantic! It seems when I split them, I thought I would have more room to ramble. Yeah, not so. Anyway, will try to keep future entries shorter. I agree, it'd be more comfortable for readers.

As for the photos, there is a dilemma between the size and wrapping my rather long-winded writing around them. Hmm... bigger photos, less words; smaller photos, more words... choices, choices. I'll let that percolate in my mind for a while before deciding. :>

Dominique
01-03-2009, 02:41 AM
Yup, trying to wrap text around the photos can be a pain. It's more of a pain the shorter the article is, so I tend to keep it to between 1 and 4 photos per post.
Extra photos often end up in another post about the same topic or in a "Photo Friday" post in a blog carnival where I regularly participate...where I'll often include a link back to the original post I did on the subject. Like this (http://www.midwestguest.com/2009/01/photo-friday.html) In this case, I simply centered the photos because there wasn't really enough text to easily wrap around all four photos. But I did use the opportunity to link back to another post (http://www.midwestguest.com/2009/01/detroits-arctic-ring-of-life.html) I'd done on the same subject the previous day (oddly enough, most of the photos in both of these posts ended up centered because there were horizontal shots and I have a fairly narrow area set up for the posts).