Friday, February 4, 2011

Frugal Blog Make-Overs!

Welcome to Frugal Blog Make-Overs!

My name is Lara and I’ll be your host!

What I Do: A thorough blog critique

How I Do It: I peruse your blog and make extensive notes for the good and the need to be tweaked items on your blog. I also include a general list of suggestions on making your blog look clean, neat and professional.

Since I’m just starting out, I will give you some of my background:

In college I took an Honors Seminar, where we were reading ancient literature (bear with me!). This is where I first learned to critique, hard core! Two different kinds of critiquing for every book we read and we read a book a week. My analytical mind liked this.

Recently, I was taking art classes with The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Some of the classes I took include: Color Theory, Fundamentals of Design, Drawing, and Design Concepts. All of these utilized either Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.

In these classes we had to critique each other’s work, usually 3 a week. Times 6 classes, you’re looking at over 70 critiques under my belt! J Things we had to consider: color choices and combinations, whether or not a piece was balanced, textue, depth, line and more!

I can apply these ideas to your blog, as well as what I’ve read about successful blogging and how to make your blog more appealing to your audience.

Here’s what I’m going to do:
The first five people who email me get their blog critique/help for FREE.
Yes, you read that right!
(I gotta get my name out!)

After those five, here’s the dealio:
A brand-new graphic designer would charge about $250 starting fee for designing just a logo from scratch.

So I think it’s a pretty fair deal to charge $25 for the blog critique.
If you want a header or buttons/badges done, that’s $10 EACH.

So far, I have done blog critiques for 2 people (only1 has made changes so far) that I was in contact with directly. Go here to see a before and after.
 I critiqued another person on Blog Frog.

This is what people have to say so far:

Reply by YayaOrchid, whom I found through BlogFrog
author of Chronicles of YayaOrchid1/20/2011 10:22:35 PM
"Lara, thank you so much for your VERY helpful input. You hit it right on the nail, those are the very things I wish I could change...... I LOVE your suggestion for putting the blog rolls on pages! I am not sure I know how to do that, but I'll sure give it a try. I never would've thought of that, thank you for the idea! It would really streamline the appearance......I really appreciate your help!"

Allie at 24inmymind had this to say:
"Wow - your comments are awesome! I really appreciate what you've suggested."
" All of your suggestions are good ones. You definitely know what you're doing. I looked at your site -- your artwork is wonderful. I'd love to link to your site from mine, if that's OK."
"Thanks again-- any additional comments are always welcome."

Nicole from Life's Lessons had this to say:
{all spontaneously sent emails I might add!....and the capitalization is all Nicole's! }
Me: "So, would that have been worth $35?" ($25 for the critique and $10 for the header help?)
Nicole: "I think $35 is perfectly fair and it's totally worth it!"
"I just cried a little. lol. I love it! I am forever indebted to you!"
"This was such GREAT advice! Thank you soo much! I will work on some of the things you recommended and I will await your help with the header and the blog button for littleanimation! When I'm finished I'll let you know so you can look it over.
Thank you!
"I love the way it's turned out!"
"I so appreciate your help and for even offering to help! This means so much to me!"
{This doesn't even include all the Tweeting she did on my behalf, she was so excited! :)}

I can do the most help with Blogger, but I can at least critique with any other brand.

Contact me via email:


  1. Lara, I loved your advice so much that I think I pretty much implemented all your suggestions on my blog. It looks so much better, I think. Thank you so much for your help!

  2. Very sweet of you to offer your services :) I'm working off so I am completely limited to what I can and cannot do. I know my blog needs help BUT I am too cheap to pay for hosting :p

    Visiting from RDC

  3. Ok I am totally not stalking your blog. But... Can you do critique for my worpress hosted blog? I use the Thesis theme.

  4. Good luck getting into the "game," so to speak. I hope it goes well for you! Visiting from RDC here, too. ;)

  5. AH - I get to be the 5th -YEAH!!!!!
    I'd love for you to look at my blog. It's been running since November 2009.
    Unfortunately it is a free blog from wordpress and I am limited with what I can do. I am not too wild about their themes either.
    So any help is welcome!!
    Glad you found me on twitter so I found you!

  6. Did I make the first 5??? Oh, I hope so! I will e-mail you right now--since you said to e-mail, and since I am a rule-follower! :-)

    I really love the look of your blog!!


No spamming PUH-lease!


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