I try to read the Art of Manliness blog every day and I came across one post in particular about "rediscovering your passion for exercise". I thoroughly enjoyed the post by Steve Kamb and afterwards, I visited his website: http://www.nerdfitness.com. I felt it appropriate to write a review.
Overall, the site design is aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. The colors aren't distracting, and the content is very easy to read. The links are clear and accessible and have an appropriate hover effect to show users which link they are about to click.
There are appropriate images throughout his site to guide the user to the particular content for which they are looking. The search bar is above the fold as is a quick blurb about himself and a link to subscribe to the site.
Steve has some great content on his site. He always chooses appropriate pictures for his posts and uses proper formatting for headings, lists, and editor's notes. His posts are well thought-out and always identify if the post contains fact, recommendations or just his opinion. Almost all of his posts contain references to more well-established or well-known dietitians or personal trainers.
His post titles are great, such as Help Me Make a Complete Ass of Myself – It’s for a Good Cause. or The Lord of The Rings Guide To Getting Sh** Done. The posts are lengthy, but always engaging. I have yet to start a post and not finish it promptly.
Steve recently started a community forum where people can gather and discuss health and fitness related messages, and he's using this to great effect. His most recent post is about a 4 week challenge to become more healthy, so he's using the forum as a place where "contestants" can gather and track their (as well as read his) progress throughout the challenge.
It seems to be an inviting community with people who really want to help you get in better shape. Steve himself is a rather inviting fellow who invests a lot of time into his fans/followers. In fact, he was kind enough to send out an e-mail to users who had registered during a period of system instability to apologize and let us know that we had been approved.
The home page is incredibly long even having only 10 posts. With the length of posts, I would suggest making each page have 3 or 4 posts instead. Also, it's a bit difficult to separate posts as all of the headings are the same color and the post titles are only slightly larger than the headings within the post. If possible, I would suggest making the titles stand out a bit more by giving them a different (and distinct enough) color and perhaps making the font a bit more bold (maybe even go so far as to use a different font). I have done something similar by changing the background color of my titles and while I honestly don't like the implementation of my solution, it did indeed improve the separation of my posts.
Nerd Fitness has gained quite a bit of traction over the last few months and I can see why. Steve pours his heart and soul into the site and his users, going so far as to make them friends.
When businesses (or simple websites) learn how to treat their customers/users with respect and dignity, it greatly increases the chances of even a mediocre business's success. When people feel like people, and feel like you are a person as well, it helps them to associate and empathize with you, and that can make your business grow. Steve has done a great job of this.