Hope you all like the new design and layout.
Above is the snappy new logo I designed. Because my theme keeps the header at the top at all times, I needed a logo that would be easily visible against any background, but unobtrusive. I got the idea of using that old tape that you could press letters through using a label maker (my research reveals it’s called a Dymo Labelmaker). I found and installed a few likely fonts, shortened “criticism” to “crit”, and made it on two pieces of overlapping tape. The font did a lot of the work, but I tinkered on top of it — ex., the font has nothing to do with one piece of tape sitting on top of the other and casting a shadow — so it has a Trompe-l’œil effect of being affixed to the screen.
Above, my homepage now shows a full screen of the featured image of the current post.
My self-promo is usually somewhere between minimal and not at all. Occasionally I try to be smarter about it, and I also want to keep the aesthetics of my blog current (nothing like having a hokey blog to showcase your contemporary art, and I can think of some stunning examples).
I splurged and spent $50 to pay for a custom theme that allows me more flexibility, and a right side bar. I was encouraged by the small but surprising news that I’d garnered $10.56 in ad revenue last month, which is my rather modest record. Mind you, the ads that appear at the bottom of posts would bet there whether or not I make a cent off of them, and I have to pay if I don’t want them to appear. If they are going to be there anyway, I might as well get a cut.
I analyzed my stats before and my traffic overwhelmingly comes from internet searches. Let me dig up my pie chart:
So, 82% of my all-time referrals are from searches. And below you see the numbers, with searches having over 340,000, as compared to Facebook coming in at #2 with just over 45,000 views.
If most my audience discovers me through online searches of topics I’ve written about, than, logically, if I want to reach more people and get more views, I should make my site — which has over 500 posts — easier to navigate, and with more options and suggestions. Through some miracle some of my articles do well in Google searches, and as far as I understand it on a rudimentary level, the more hits you get the more you will get (until something gets popular enough, and then someone steals my content and directs my traffic to their site). Some of my best articles have simply slipped through the cracks, and nobody is likely to see them. But with my new blog, there’s a lot more ways to discover content.
Above, as soon as you scroll down from the home page you can see an array of recent posts, as well as material I’ve put in the sidebar. Here you can see I’m able to add whole galleries. Now, unsuspecting people searching for this or that art-related topic will discover my entire SFAU series, which perhaps deserves more than to be buried without ever having been noticed. And now you will get the curious effect of seeing in my post what you are also seeing on the side. That might make the new layout seem a little odd, but don’t worry, this is the only post I’m going to make featuring the layout of my page within the post.
I made custom graphics that people can click on to go to some of my more popular articles. Here are some examples, which you can also find by just looking on the right sidebar:
I believe that is my most popular article. The next one is being discovered. The part where the “DEBUNKED” stamp goes off the image is, of course, a deliberate design element. Rather bold, and I usedit a few times.
This one is just a reminder of the insane prejudice in the contemporary art world against painting:
The sentiment above is as unoriginal as Jonathan Jones himself. He ain’t no Robert Hughes.
Above, I used “Deconsructexd”. How appropriate for Krauss and her world-salad attack on originality. You can just check out the sidebar for more examples.
Then I added some art pieces, because virtually nobody comes to my blog for my art, and that is quite logically because I’m not famous, and thus nobody is doing a search for me. So, now people who are just visiting to read about art censorship, or what the hell is wrong with postmodernism, will also see some of my work in the sidebar. I’ll switch them up when I get sick of looking at them.
I decided to put the titles in, because, well, I put some thought into them, and they’re not bad.
Click-bait, er, yes, but the piece was conceived in reaction to click-bait YouTube thumbs, and has, not-surprisingly been nicked for YouTube thumbs.
I made a custom morph and gif animation for the SFAU series:
Cool, I think anyway. Here’s a newer one.
At the very bottom of the page, I have a full-width footer option, and can put a large gallery there. I just put my most current gallery of just a few images for now to test it out. It’s a good place to feature a sampling of images in the near future.
I’m quite satisfied with the new look and all the bells and whistles. I was able to pay for the new theme mostly because of my perspicacious patrons. I’m not sure if it’s more professional, or seemingly comprehensive, or just more easily showcases my art and articles, but I get a better feel over all about it.