The story behind this one is fun. A mom who also happens to be a millionaire is encouraged to by her friends to start a blog about how she achieved her financial success. She does, considering it a test, and it takes off way beyond her expectations. Now she's been interviewed on national TV and is ready for a blog face-lift!
She's looking for something fun and slightly feminine without alienating the male members of her readership.
As for me, I'm an experienced contest holder--I give useful feedback and don't abandon contests! See the full brief for specifics on what kind of feedback to expect.
Millionaire Mommy Next Door
A self-made millionaire mommy shares her recipe for success, happiness and financial freedom.
Desired Color Scheme:
Accepted File Formats:
Layered Formats (.psd or .tiff); Fireworks PNG
All content should be pulled from the current site
"Primary target demographic is women/moms age 20-45, but I don't want to drive men away from the site by looking too feminine - I think the majority of my current readers might actually be men!"
Style and color
"Friendly, hip, interesting- not techy or intimidating. I like curvy lines, rounded corners, torn paper edges."
"I like aqua and muted blues, greens, creamy-yellows, purple, salmon, muted red. I want the background (including post area) to be a soft muted color, as I hate reading text on backgrounds that are stark white, too dark, or too bright. I like muted shades but NOT baby pastels. I sometimes like alternating-color sidebar and post sections. No pink, neon, or super bright colors. No busy background patterns."
Content and layout
"I prefer the clean look of 2 columns, but I think I'll need 3 to fit everything I want...
- BlogHer ad section needs to be above the fold (and it's pretty long!)
- I'd like to offer square-block ads for sponsors
- Tabs on header graphic linked to pages: Home, About Me, Media & Testimonials, List of Baby Steps to Financial Freedom (eventually a list of 52 posts +/-), Archives (by topic), Contact Me, Subscribe
- Perhaps a little shorter header graphic (so more page shows above the fold)
- Sidebars: Favorite Posts (a list of about 5-10); Drop-down box for Archives by topic (or use linked tab in header?); Marketplace/Sponsors (ad blocks); Search this blog tool; Recommended Links; Reader Stats (Sitemeter, Feedburner); NetWorth IQ graphic
- Footer: Member of: (buttons/logos); Disclaimer and Copyright text
- Within each post: Comments; Date (small, inconspicuous and at the bottom of the post, not on the top. Want the posts to appear "timeless"); Subscribe by email or feed (text plus link to the Subscribe page)"Â
- http://swirlingnotions.com/ "I think I like the 2 sidebars next to each other rather than on each side of the posts. Maybe it would be good to have a text section in the header for the "About Me" part and an introduction to my "Baby Steps to Financial Freedom" like in this header? But it could look too crowded. And the header text is too small."
- http://www.mommyneedscoffee.com/ "Kinda like the photo snapshots in the header. I'd love to be able to update my photo(s) easily, too. I experimented with Photoshop the other day and put together a new header on my blog comprised of 5 snapshots of me and my family. It came out very pixelated, though, and creeps over the right boundary. I couldn't figure out how to make it look any better..." [Note to designers: I don't have the original photos yet, but if you go this route, use the ones on the existing site FPO and I'll get you the real photos at the end.]
- http://www.crazyladyinvegas.com/ "Like the curvy lines, although the header takes up too much space."
- http://www.letterstotomorrow.com/ "Love the gradient and soft colors."Â
I feel that all entries deserve feedback, so I promptly (every business day) rate every entry. However, because I usually receive many entries and only have an hour or so per day to review them, I am only able to provide detailed feedback to entries that are fairly close to what I'm looking for (usually those rated 3 stars or higher).
If your entry is given 1 or 2 stars, it's not personal; it just means it's not a good fit for this project. If you wish to continue submitting entries for this contest, you're welcome to do so, and my best advice is to re-read this brief, look at my example sites, and look at the entries that have received higher ratings. Try to identify what makes them a good fit, and emulate those concepts (but don't copy someone else's entry!).
Here's what my star ratings mean:
1 star = Can't imagine using it for this project
2 stars = It would require too much time to modify it for our use
3 stars = There is potential here, with some changes
4 stars = Very good fit with few changes needed
5 stars = A final contender with no changes needed