Type of blog: Semi-Professional
KevinandAmanda was a blog started about ten years ago, when a newlywed woman was given a website domain as a birthday gift from her husband. What started out as a scrapbooking and new homeowner tip blog has gradually turned into the ultimate lifestyle blog with big brand giveaways, free fonts, and recipe testing posts. Her website is like Disney for the creative and food-oriented, woman. In 2008, Amanda posted a survey, asking where her readers came from: she was surprised to find that in only 4 months, her number of readers had doubled. At that point, Amanda’s blog began to receive much more attention. Today, Amanda’s full time job is to travel to Blogging conventions; go on brand-sponsored trips to lavish destinations like Italy, Sweden, and Los Angeles; and review free products with fancy giveaways for her readers…it’s pretty safe to say she has most women’s dream job!
Like many lifestyle blogs, Amanda brings in a certain quirky personality that is easy for her audience to relate to. While she is not advertising anything directly, she does an excellent job with her product reviews, and therefore confirms many brand’s decisions to give her free items to review. But what makes her unique, in my opinion, is her “Fonts for Peas” section within her blog’s site. I stumbled upon this section of her blog about 5 years ago (I must admit: I’m a bit of a font nerd), and have had it bookmarked on my laptops ever since. Readers can send in their handwriting style to Amanda, and she turns them into digital fonts for her readers to download: all for free.
KevinandAmanda promotes her personal brand through her various blog posts on photography tutorials, home improvement, organization, travel tips, recipe reviews, and home/kitchen product reviews. Not only does she provide interesting content regularly, she also has a great eye for photography, and includes gorgeous pictures with each post.
While many readers are regular subscribers to her blog, Amanda reaches new readers based on her social media platforms. She utilizes Pinterest heavily to post pictures of recipes, photography tutorials she has made in the past, etc. Her various social media platforms (see Facebook below) contain interesting images to draw readers to click through to read more. (Plus, ensuring that her site remains in the first spot on Google definitely helps)
Per our Lecture notes: “What Makes a Successful Blog”, Amanda encompasses all of the following components of a successful blog:
New posts are published daily, and sometimes multiple times per day.
Amanda is an active Twitter user, and accurately utilizes hashtags to direct readers to her blog.
Readers can contact KevinandAmanda in various ways:
Amanda creates original content that is not specific to one category of interests: her passion for cooking, photogtraphy, travel and her two cute Boston Terriers transfers very easily into her posts.
In my opinion, Amanda’s website is not missing anything. It contains interesting content, a search feature, archives of old posts, contact information, a detailed “About” section, and more. The one suggestion I would make is to create a simpler homepage – I can get distracted so easily, especially on a website of interest to me. At first glance, there are so many pictures and links to previous posts that I miss the reason I came to her website in the first place. On the contrary, this could be her intention to lengthen reader’s time on her blog. Regardless, it results in an overwhelming first impression for readers like me.
Advertisements on Kevin and Amanda are targeted ads, all based on my recent website usage: Moosejaw, University of Florida, Amazon.com. A few home improvement products are also advertised in the smaller real-estate at the bottom of the website.