jimcoe wrote:OK, I'm pretty good at "brutal honesty". But first to say that it looks pretty good - especially for a first website!
The colors and general look of the masthead and sidebar are good, but you don't "follow through" with color on the actual content - so the content looks bare and gray.
For color in the content, you could use colored text for your bold headline and also for the "subhead" ("there are so many ways...") to tie those 2 together. And colored custom list bullets (one of your long paragraphs might benefit from a bullet list), Bold text headers in the same color, etc.
Centering the image at the top, with no text around it also looks kind of bare and amateurish. You should wrap the text around the image, or move the image to the right (text on left) or some such.
I'd delete the welcome sentence - it gets in the way of your UVP (Unique Value Proposition) - which is always the first order of business, to start your text. And welcome messages like that have become a cliche.
The "There are so many ways..." sentence is the finishing line of your UVP and should be in the same paragraph. Or you could say the bold line is your headline and the "There are so many ways..." is your subhead. That's maybe a more traditional way to look at it - though the UVP concept is more useful.
Too Much Repetitive Text:
As for your ad copy. It bothers me because it's so repetitive. You say essentially the same thing over and over. That makes it hard to read and dilutes the strength of your message.
Writing for the web:
Your grammar is pretty good, but still needs work. Stuff like the way the you mix and jump back and forth between 3 different point's-of-view, "we", "you" and "they" - which is it going to be?
Besides not having (colored?) headers, bullet lists and such to break up your blocks of text, there's at least one paragraph that's too long. People don't so much read through all the text on a web page as they do "scan" through it and pick a few things to read. When they see big blocks of text, they simply want to go away to another site on their search engine results list that's easier to scan and read.. So, your writing has to be easy to scan. Much like what you're reading here.
Also, when writing for the web, each paragraph should hold just one thought. New thought = new paragraph.
The whole page looks somewhat off balance, with a very tall sidebar not balanced by all the empty text area at the bottom of the content column. I'd build a box below the text content and move the bottom 2 items from the sidebar into that.
Federal Trade Commission Disclosure:
I don't see an FTC disclosure. Maybe do a search on Google (or here) for info on that.
So, there's a few ideas - hope they help...
This topic was started on Aug 04, 2012 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.