Monday, October 20, 2014

[Breaking it Down] Alex J. Cavanaugh

Hi, my name is Carrie and I am very thorough... 



In the second episode of Breaking It Down, I take a look at Alex J. Cavanaugh's web presence. Please be sure to leave him some love in the comments for being a good sport! :)



[Update] Quick Summary

As far as interaction is concerned, Alex is king. He's active in the community, gracious about his success, and makes a significant effort to support/engage other bloggers.

The blog itself was a little bit overwhelming—flashy graphics, high contrast background, buttons everywhere. It's just a matter of toning it down and finding a place for everything to keep things visually appealing and fast-loading.

Brand consistency across platforms (blog, social media, etc.) would be helpful, i.e. similar colors, fonts, and imagery.

Similarly, consistency with text and format is important, i.e. title sizes, order of information, etc.

Information is updated and readily available.

Covers convey genre and gel with color psychology.

This will be a ten-episode series. If you'd like to read details on the project, please click here. :)

Also, I have a little giveaway going on this week. If you've ever wanted to see an artist's take on one of your characters, be sure to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Question of the Week:
What's one thing you love about our ninja captain's web presence?

P.S. For those of you who remember Emily and Kelley's dance bloghop (May 2012), I mentioned my senior prom date who was a childhood friend. Unfortunately, he passed away from a rare form of cancer this weekend, so please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

69 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks again, Carrie! Sill working on making some of those changes.

Pat Hatt said...

Suggestions for the ninja wannabe, way to go at your sea

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

I would like the summary, especially since the video just keep loading. I noticed it was close to 45 minutes, so I have to remember to come back when I have the time rather that just read it now.

Christine Rains said...

One of the things I love about Alex's presence is that he's positive and encouraging. He's the ninja captain because he supportive of many people but makes each person feel special.

The videos are great, and perhaps a short little summary for those who don't have time to watch them is good.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I want to watch the video but it's pretty long when I'm trying to do all my blog visits and then get to my WIP. Like the changes I noticed on Alex's blog.

Charles Gramlich said...

Yeah, gonna have to book mark for a bit later.

Karen Lange said...

I love this breakdown. Thanks so much Carrie, for going over things individually. Thanks to Alex too, for being the example. :) I need to review my blog with these points in mind.

Carrie Butler said...

No problem, Captain! Happy to help. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Yeah, these are kind of intensive studies—helpful to those looking to up their web game, but a little daunting to my regular visitors!

Carrie Butler said...

Don't let him hear that wannabe part, Pat! ;)

Carrie Butler said...

Yes! I completely agree, Christina. That is my favorite part. :D

I'll try to work that in!

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks for stopping by, Charles! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Understandable! You could just listen to the audio portion while making other visits or bookmark it for later. If I have a moment this week, I'm going to try and put a few summarized points up. :) Thanks, Susan!

Carrie Butler said...

Yay! You're very welcome, Karen. I really hope it's helpful. :)

Crystal Collier said...

I'm going to vote for the summary! I think the videos are amazing, but a point by point break down would be epic as well. (If you have the time. You put so much in with the analysis as is!)

My favorite part about Alex's web presence is how much priority he puts on visiting and supporting others. It's epic.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi Carrie! I came over from Alex's blog today, and I listened to your full breakdown video. It was the first one I saw, and I found it chock full of helpful advice that I could use. So much of this was new to me, so I really appreciated it. And I will listen to Donna K. Weaver's video also, but later. One comment: I would vote for the summary or perhaps a shorter video and a summary. It's hard to carve out a 45 minute block of time. What made me listen was the fact that this was on Alex, and I was familiar with his blog and books. I might not always hang in for the full 45 minutes because time is precious.

As for Alex's web presence, I can't tell you how much his personal interaction with his blog readers means. He has given me such encouragement as I write my fist book and build my blog. I'm in awe. I don't know how he does it, but he inspires me with his caring for his blog readers and his IWSG members.

I did think that your suggestions about streamlining his blog page were spot on. I did find everything a little overwhelming ~ kinda made my eyes spin. But Alex is such a compelling on-line presence that I hung in there until I figured everything out. I admit, I am somewhat ADHD, so I do appreciate a calmer, more orderly look, and I am distracted and frustrated when there is too much going on.

Thank you, Carrie, for a wonderful, useful, and inspiring post!

Fundy Blue said...

P. S. Carrie. I know I'm a first time visitor, and perhaps I shouldn't say this ~ but that grey box that moves on the right as I scroll is unsettling for someone who is easily distractible. Just saying! But otherwise, I love what I'm seeing in your blog, and I became your newest follower.

Robyn Campbell said...

I like the summary. BTW, the captain is a real sport! He's always there to lend support. Gotta love a guy like that. I need to review my blog. It's probably pretty sucky. Thanks, Carrie!

Carrie-Anne said...

That was a very thorough video! I wasn't expecting it to be so long when I clicked on it, but it had a lot of good advice in all the areas covered.

I most agree with the suggestion about streamlining a blog so it's less visually overwhelming. As old-fashioned as I am, I personally most prefer a clean, simple appearance over a very busy sidebar and lots of images.

Mark Noce said...

I really like the new look on Alex's blog:) I also love the tag line "I am very thorough." Sounds like a good opening line for a book to me;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for all the nice words, everyone! This has made my day.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Alex is supportive to all his writer/blogger friends. He's awesome.

S.K. Anthony said...

Hmm, Alex's web presence to me is about being supportive and encouraging. Can't get better than that positivity!

Loving this series, I'm learning things!!!! :D

S.K. Anthony said...

Oh forgot to say I like the idea of the summary points . . . if its not extra work, that is. Otherwise the videos work just fine!

Jay Noel said...

Great assessment. Alex's site is visually overwhelming, but then again, he's a busy guy! So that makes perfect sense.

Catherine Stine said...

Don't know about the official assessment 'cause I only could watch a few minutes of it... BUT I think that Alex is a valuable part of the blog communtiy because he takes time to help many authors, and he has something on his blog for everyone's tastes.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I love Alex because he's so supportive and brought together a group of us who love to blog and want to be friends and stay friends.

And I agree with the suggestion of you writing a summary of your suggestions because most of us don't have time to watch the whole video..

Fundy Blue said...

On the left!! LOL It really was distracting me, couldn't tell left from right!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm coming back to read this through later. Alex is like a god in blogging circles, so this is a must see. Can't wait. ... I'm back. I love how you found ways to make Alex's blog even better. He's a great guy and a super mentor. The amount of stuff he's involved in online makes my head spin. I work with Alex over at the IWSG webpage and I'm always blown away by his enthusiasm and quest for helping others. He's a kewl ninja with a heart of gold. Thanks for showcasing how awesome our Captain is. I deleted my first comment because I'm a lousy spell-checker.

Loni Townsend said...

Alex really is a great guy. He makes the Interwebs that much brighter, and it's not just the flashing banner at the bottom of his screen.

Great job, Carrie. I like the longer/thorough video, but I think bullet points touching on the topics you covered would be a great reference too.

Jennifer Lane said...

Alex is AMAZING at visiting so many authors' blogs and leaving comments. I'm in awe of his energy and support.

cleemckenzie said...

The thoroughness is really helpful, especially for the blogger you're targeting. Like Southpaw, I have to set aside time to return or I'll never get through that video. Guess I'd love a summary or just highlights because they're really excellent tips, Carrie.

Lynda R Young said...

Wow, that was an in depth assessment with heaps of helpful info. A little long, but definitely helpful.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you, everyone! Wow, I feel so undeserving... Crap, I really need to make my blog better for all of you.

Helena said...

For me, Alex is a supportive cheerleader for all his fellow writers. A spirit of generosity flows through that man like the mighty Mississippi.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Alex is the best. The support he gives to the blogging community is never ending and amazing.
I vote for a summary. Top 10 list or something. You can always give a more in depth review to the author.
Great work though.
Heather

Carrie Butler said...

LOL Sorry for the ADD attack, Fundy. I'll see if I can find someone to fix it in one position. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Robyn! He really is. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Crystal—especially for understanding that. I am so pressed for time, these days. I want to crawl under my desk and hide. LOL

Totally agree there!

Carrie Butler said...

I wasn't expecting it to be so long, either! It all depends on how far the author's reach is, and you know how far Alex's reach is! Haha :)

Glad we agree there! :)

Carrie Butler said...

It does sound like a good opening line! Hmm...

I like the new look on Alex's blog, too. :D

Carrie Butler said...

He certainly is! :)

Melissa said...

Alex is amazing.
Great assessment, Carrie. I'm loving this series!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Carrie,

WOW... that was interesting. Alex's blog sure is eye-catching.Nicely done. He is a true inspiration to us all. So giving of time and ability to help EVERYONE...

Thanks Carrie for featuring this series... way cool!

Fundy Blue said...

btw, just wanted to let you know that I am already making changes in my blog that were inspired by your suggestions for Alex! I'm slow with the technical end of computers, so it may take a few days. But THANK YOU! I really liked your summary above, but I hope you don't eliminate the video. It really helps to see what you're talking about, especially when you navigate around with that spotlight. What a lot of work that must be!

She Writes said...

Here from guess who :)! Gotta love Alex. Looking forward to video!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

That he takes time out to visit so many of us.

Mason T. Matchak said...

Not surprised that Alex got top marks, but I do agree that his blog's a little busy. ^_^

Misha Gericke said...

Alex is awesome. :-)

I'd submit myself to your analysis, but I'm well aware that my web-presence is currently shot to hell.

Toinette Thomas said...

Love your assessment and like the changes he's made. You're good.

David List said...

Alex's presence is quite dominating! (Especially compared to mine :( )
Very good review. I finally got time to watch vid. I dig that and the summary. I like that the vid is a real time response. Like we're seeing it for the first time.
Thanks for your time, once more, to make us all a bit smarter. I have a list of fixes for myself based on the two reviews of yours I've watched.

Carrie Butler said...

Absolutely!

Thank you, S.K.! I'll try to incorporate a few summarized points, even if I don't have time to elaborate too much. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Very busy! :) Thanks, Jay!

Carrie Butler said...

I totally agree there, Catherine! Alex is a major asset to the community. :)

Carrie Butler said...

I understand. It's been near impossible for me to find time to make the videos, so I know how difficult it must be to watch them at full length. I'll try to summarize a few points in the future. :)

And yeah! Alex is awesome.

Carrie Butler said...

It makes my head spin, too! I can barely keep track of everything I'm into. In fact, I have to take November off from blogging just to catch up. I have a lot of writing to do. Readers are circling with torches...

Anyway, I totally agree with everything about Alex. Thank you so much for stopping by! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Toinette! :)

Carrie Butler said...

You're welcome! Hey, you better not fix everything. I won't have video material in a few weeks... LOL

Carrie Butler said...

I like the way you put that, Loni! He really does make the Interwebs brighter. :)

Thanks, Loni!

Carrie Butler said...

He certainly is! :)

Carrie Butler said...

I totally get that! Most of the time, I just turn on the audio of video features and listen to them while I'm working on other bloggy fun. :)

Thanks, Lee!

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Lynda! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Well said, Helena! :D

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Melissa! :)

Carrie Butler said...

He really is an inspiration! Thank you for stopping by, Michael. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you! :D

Carrie Butler said...

He is!

Nonsense! Your web-presence is fun and ambitious. :)

Carrie Butler said...

He certainly does!

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks for stopping by, Mason! :D