Collin De Ruyck of Your World Gallery describes himself as an abstract artist (you can see some of his art here), but his blog isn’t about how to put brush to canvas. It isn’t about expressing yourself through your paintings or anything to do with the art world at all. Instead, Your World Gallery appears to be a look into the world of Collin De Ruyck, and it serves as the subject of today’s ReviewMe review.
Looking Into Your World Gallery
Before even getting into the actual content of the blog, I was immediately captivated by the overall look and feel of Your World Gallery. The header image, for example, instantly grabs your attention. Following with the theme of being international, a series of grayed-out country flags flank the bottom of the image. I think it works very well.
What I don’t think works well are the three “discover” tags. When you roll your mouse over the text, it reveals that you will be discovering yourself, success, and an artist. Unfortunately, none of these are actually clickable. They’re simply rollover images and nothing more. Without rolling your mouse over each word, it just looks like Collin is telling you to discover three times. This is my first piece of advice to Mr. De Ruyck: Ditch the “discover”, possibly replacing it with a site slogan of some sort.
Knowing What to Expect
So, if Your World Gallery isn’t about artwork, what should we be expecting from this blog? Well, much like the BlueFur blog, Your World Gallery has set topics for each day of the week. These are all outlined, appropriately enough, on the blog outline page.
Based on post count, the two areas that you will be reading about the most on Your World Gallery are Learn to Market Yourself and Building a Site. It’s nice having a certain sense of predictability, and Collin throws in random posts from time to time, just to break up the routine. Here are a few sample posts to better indicate the nature of Your World Gallery.
- Topic 5 – Do you use your skills and talents?
- You might be getting screwed by Alexa out of your rank!
- Smile its Friday – Ain’t they cute
- Topic 2- What have you got to offer?
- Make Money – Never Blue add’s vs Googles adsense (his first post)
On a side note, I do have to ask why the site is called Your World Gallery in the first place, especially if the core focus is learning to market yourself. With a name like Your World Gallery, I expected something wholly different, so it would be useful to expand the About Me page to justify the name of the site. Without it, there is a strong sense of dissonance.
Layout and Structure Issues
While I appreciate the basic layout underlying Your World Gallery, there are several issues that must be addressed. The 125 x 125 advertising buttons on the left sidebar are fine, but there are elements that don’t quite fit properly. As you can see in the screen capture below, the BlogRush widget protrudes slightly to the right.
I’d also recommend the removal of the keywords page and the spam comment counter, because they add no value to the site. Another HUGE recommendation is to change the permalink structure. As it stands now, all page links are on the WordPress default. Like this:
Not good for SEO purposes. It is better to have a permalink structure that integrates the title of each post/page into the URL directly.
Someone Needs to Proofread
Reading through Collin’s blog, it’s clear that he has a reasonably strong grasp of the English language. His spelling, grammar, and presentation style are just fine. However, he does have a tendency to spew out several typos and at the most inopportune moments. As you can see here, he misspelled “available”, and more importantly, he misspelled my last name.
You’ve got some interesting content, Collin, but you really need to proofread more. It would also help if your blog had a clearer sense of direction.
Welcome to Your World Gallery
Collin De Ruyck is off to a good start with Your World Gallery. The overall layout is quite attractive and I especially appreciate the boldness of the header image. There are some minor issues here and there, but the ones that deserve the most focus are the change in permalink structure, a better rationale for why the site is called Your World Gallery, and the intense need to proofread. Keep at it Collin, and you’ll get there “some day.”