said 8 months ago:
Thanks @jasonhubbard for submitting your blog http://musketswordpaint.com/ for review on SME. I hope you find my various notes helpful!
Usually when someone’s goal is a professional looking site, I always suggest switching to WordPress on your own domain vs. using WordPress.com. That way you can have access to more themes, plugins, and sidebar widgets.
For your current blog (if you’re not ready to go with self-hosted WordPress yet), the design is nice. I would change up the sidebar a bit though. First off, maybe include a text widget at the top of the sidebar that says who you are and what the blog is about in one or two sentences. Next have a text widget that links to all of your social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Then have the Site Categories as you currently have followed by a Recent Posts widget (just in case someone comes to your blog through a post instead of your homepage).
Also, if WordPress.com has a contact form and page option, be sure to add that to your main menu so people can contact you to learn more about you.
If you’d like more people to be able to share your posts on social networks, try installing the Add This sharing extension (https://www.addthis.com/get/sharing#.UH9bksXA9jg) which does offer an option for WordPress.com sites.
When it comes to SEO, it’s a little hard to opimtize on the WordPress.com platform since you can’t utlize any of the great plugins out there. But if you do want more readership, start thinking about keywords that you want people to find you with and incorporate them into your page / post titles.
It looks like you have some good content. In terms of organizing it, I would suggest having some primary categories (maybe one or two per post) and then tags vs. having duplicate categories and tags.
Notes from the Audience
Now I invite everyone here on the SME forums to add your suggestions (or feel free to agree / disagree with mine). Please add constructive feedback and suggestions. This series is to help people improve their blogs, not to have their blogs roasted Comedy Central style.