Last month September Mikel won the top commentator contest, and since he does not have a blog he passed his prized free site review onto runner up Kavit Haria.
Kavit and His Blog Content
Kavit Haria is a blogger who wishes to accomplish two main interests, lifestyle design and giving back. He is from the UK, and reading his about page you will find, "I am a Tabla player, teacher and performer. I am called to speak on the topics of music marketing to groups of musicians. I am also a soon-to-be-qualified medical geneticist." He also is a fan of starbucks, this automatically makes him a good man :cool:.
Kavit's writings seem to cover a variety of topics, most are thought provoking and related to everyday life in general.
Some recent posts from Kavit:
- Sparking a Fire
- Less Priorities Creates Higher Results
- Never do anything for the first time!
- If you're a vegetarian
- Rwanda's monthly national "tidy up" afternoon
Kavit is an overall strong writer. He does a great job of using images within his posts, he does a good job of linking to other bloggers that inspire his posts, he posts consistently, and his posts flow well. Writing wise the only suggestion I have for Kavit would be try expand into new post styles, for example writing a few lists. Lists are great link bait and they are easy reads, and alongside them hit up a few blog carnivals every week as they are a very easy way to expose your best content to many bloggers.
One other great idea for Kavit that really would grab readers is to bolden a few important lines from each article and use sub-header tags. This grabs a reader's eyes, helps break up content, and just makes the read more enjoyable (especially for lengthier posts). When I am in a quick read mode I will simply read the sub-header tags and bold text as the whole post and if the writer did them right I still get the main gist of what's being said.
Blog Design Pros and Cons
When it comes to the blog itself, Kavit has done alot right. He boasts a lot of simplicity and cleanness with his blog's overall appearance. Let's take a look at the pros:
- Clean header
- One sidebar (just a personal preference)
- Use of y/m/d/t permalinks for posts over just listing the post number
- RSS featured at top of sidebar
- Clean sidebar without tons of junk
What Kavit really needs though is a way to gain more pageviews per reader visit. Just by scrolling through I would bet Kavit is easily doing less than 1.2 pageviews per visit. From my post on Maximizing Pageviews Per Visit, two recommendations I had were the use of the related posts plugin and featuring your best content above the fold.
Kavit can accomplish this by creating a simple CSS menu bar or by listing his "top ten posts" or something similar just below the RSS count in his sidebar. The cons can be summarized as such:
- Lack of related posts attached to each article
- Lack of featured articles
- "No Comments" standing out
- Lack of subscribe options below each post
If Kavit can get his best content out there he will have a much better shot at gaining new subscribers and daily readers. Also, adding an option to subscribe to his feed below each individual post may help as well.
The other big issue is how your blog feels to new readers activity wise. If I feel like I am walking into a dead blog I will not want to subscribe. I suggest not showing your RSS reader count until your surpass 100, and changing your comments heading title. "No Comments" sounds a lot worse then perhaps "Leave a Comment". This goes for the single posts as well, remove the "0 Comments" and change it; I personally use "Share your knowledge". Appearance is important.
Kavit is a good guy, he seems to have a good mission and a good flow for what he writes about. He enjoys his writings and his blog is a hobby over a "get rich quick" kind of gig (no ads that I saw). His writing style is good and the more he can highlight key parts of his posts the more it will stand out to his readers.
The blog itself is well designed and is very clean. He has a single sidebar setup with featured RSS at the top which by itself is a big plus. What I suggest Kavit does to improve his blog is to features his RSS below each individual post, put out his best of articles in a list type fashion or through a link in a menu bar, and change his default comment tags.