Blog Reviews – Chocolate, News and Photography

There are many types of blogs and today I’m going to delve into three different types.

Chocolate Covered Katie

CCK logo

Chocolate Covered Katie is a blog I discovered a few years ago. The health-conscious blogger is a vegan who especially enjoys chocolate and other desserts.

This blog would be considered somewhere between professional and semi-profession as Katie a full-time blogger and her sole source of income comes from her blog, yet she is the only contributor and only posts between one to two times weekly. Katie strives to share healthy dessert recipes. All recipes are vegan and almost all of them incorporate chocolate. Her blog is unique in that it shares healthy, low-calorie, vegan dessert recipes. Her recipes became so popular that she was prompted to publish a book.

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Her blog started as a recreational blog where she shared recipes that she created in her kitchen. Her readers were most likely primarily vegans looking for dessert recipes. Over time it became more popular due to non-vegans searching for healthy recipes. Her blog was catapulted into fame due to Pinterest. Her Healthy Cookie Dough Dip was pinned on Pinterest so many times by its fans that it drove a significant amount of traffic to her blog. Pinterest continues to be the main traffic driver to her blog. Her SEO is also a key reason for her site traffic. Searching “vegan dessert blog” in Google will return results that include her blog in the top few links.

CookbookChocolate Covered Katie is decidedly a successful blog. In 2012, she reported 8 million views to her site in just two months. I can only assume the number has since grown. She’s won multiple awards for her blog and wrote an Amazon #1 Best Seller in dessert cookbooks. She posts original content often, pins, tweets, retweets, posts on Facebook and Instagram, and makes it easy to receive email updates, share her posts, and search her site.

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All CCK’s posts include these share buttons.

 

The blog includes many different advertisers. In this post, Katie says she uses Foodbuzz to push ads to her site. While visiting the site for the purpose of this post, the advertisers included both sites I had visited recently and some I hadn’t. They included: Breck, Madewell, Shutterfly, Broward Hospitals, Publix, Marie Calendars and Pronamel.

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Overall, I’d say the blog isn’t missing much. In my opinion, though, the blog format could be improved upon. I’d prefer to see posts versus small images of recipes (see image above). I also think she could ask guest bloggers to post on her site more often. Lastly, I’d like to see a blogroll that includes blogs she frequents.

Vox

Vox logo

Vox explains itself as “a general interest news site for the 21st century” with a mission to simply “explain the news.”

tiles

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Though Vox could be described as a news blog, it feels less like a traditional news source than for example CNN or Huffington Post. The landing page consists of a list of the most recent news and then underneath it places news stories into sectioned tiles (see above). It has multiple authors, is updated frequently and is very active on social media. It is also different from traditional news sources in that each of its articles include “card stacks,” which provide context related to the article’s topic. These card stacks can also be viewed on their own. Each stack’s title begins with “Everything you need to know about…” and each give a quick explanation of hot topics such as net neutrality, vaccines, marijuana legalization and pretty much any other topic you can think of. In this sense, Vox could be considered an aggregate blog in that its card stacks include news from other sites. As Vox itself explains, the purpose of the blog is to disseminate easily understandable news. The target audience seems to be millennials.

Card stacks

Vox is pretty well-known. It’s owned by Vox Media and its editor in chief is Ezra Klein. It’s successful. Much of the site’s traffic is probably by users who visit the site directly, but it is also very active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. It also has an RSS feed and an email newsletter.

Vox uses AdChoice and thus its advertisers consist of site that its viewers have recently visited. Thus my recent history dictated the ads I received. Discover is also a sponsor on some of their posts.

The news site is well-organized and updated frequently. I cannot think of a way it can be improved.

The Coveteur

The Coveteur

The Coveteur describes itself as “an intimate and voyeuristic look at today’s influencers.” The blog posts beautifully-styled photographs of influential people’s closets and homes. They also post beauty tips, how-tos, health tips and luxury items.

Sky Ferreira at her home.

Sky Ferreira at her home.

The Coveteur is a professional blog. They have a full-time staff and post one to two times daily. They photograph celebrities’ homes and luxury items so it follows that their site is visually stunning and clean. The Coveteur is active on social media. They are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+, and BlogLovin’. Their posts have share buttons so their content can easily be shared by their fans.

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The Coveteur is a successful blog. New content is frequently posted and shared widely by both the blog itself and its viewers. They have a large following on all social media platforms and it is very simple to sign up for email updates (the email signup is on every page). It isn’t overtly clear that they have advertisers, but it is safe to assume that a few of their posts contain sponsored content. They also use RewardStyle to both track and monetize on the products they share on their blog (if you hover over a link you can see the source is RewardStyle). I think they keep advertising to a minimum since it is a high-end blog. Advertisers could include luxury items and retailers, such as Net-a-Porter and Neiman Marcus, however.

I think the blog is very well-organized. The only thing I would add is a blogroll.  I’d like to know what blogs the staff frequents.

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