It’s been almost a month since my last TylerReviews batch, so here are 6 new reviews of my blog, and my own mini-reviews of their blogs. This makes a new total of 119 reviews of my blog… 119 different blogs having reviewed me… wow!
#1 Derek-Baker.com – Since Derek has me on his blogroll, I’m going to give him a slightly longer mini-review 🙂
Derek-Baker.com is the entrepreneurial blog of… you guessed it… Derek Baker. His blog is only a month old, but he has stated it off pretty well by making a new post every 2-3 days. His content is fairly reminiscent of mine when I first started blogging, and it’s always a nice change of pace to read smaller blogs because they offer a different perspective. Larger blogs can cut deals with ad networks and advertisers and receive premium rates, but the smaller guys can review their experiences without receiving special treatment.
His posts include interviews with smaller entrepreneurs (which I still find interesting, regardless of if they are big or small), case studies, SEO articles, and blogging tips.
Three quick pieces of advice I’d like to give Derek would be to first suggest that he define his posts better. By define, I mean better encapsulation and separation. When I go to his front page right now, it is very difficult for me to tell where a post starts and where a post ends.
This is partly due to the fact that some posts are extremely small, only 2-3 sentences long. That would be my second suggestion, to lengthen his posts. In my opinion, a post should usually be at least 4-5 paragraphs long, the longer the better.
Lastly, it would help a lot if the date of each post was posted close to the title, much like how my blog is structured. On the front page right now, there is no date displayed at all. Only on the single post can I see a date, which is located in small print at the bottom of the post. It is important for me to see the dates easily on the front page so that I can decide whether I should read something or not, and how often he updates.
(Hmm, that was a lot longer than a mini-review… oh well, attribute it to blogroll Karma..)
#2 Aimsgraz.org – Adam posts about once every two days, with topics including Facebook, blogging, SEO, and business. I have two very simple pieces of advice for Adam.
The first would be to wave goodbye to Blogger and embrace WordPress (on your own server). Change can be difficult, but it can also be the secret to success. I, too, was originally on Blogger. And many people told me to switch to WordPress, but I didn’t because I was lazy and was scared of importing issues (which did arise, BTW), but in the end, I’m extremely glad I did.
My blog wouldn’t be anywhere close to as successful as it is now if I hadn’t switched to WordPress. There are just too many plugins and modifications you can do to WordPress that you simply can’t do with Blogger, and customizing your theme within Blogger is frustrating with all the restrictions.
WordPress can import from Blogger, so all your past posts will be fine, eliminating any excuses 🙂 Switching may be a headache for a week or two, but you’ll be sending me roses before long, thanking me.
My second piece of advice would be add a few ‘side’ pages, such as "About Me" and "Contact Me", either on the top left or top right columns.
#3 BloggerNoob.com – Okay, this guy deserves to win the prize for "Most Time Spent Blogging". I noticed that he made 4 posts yesterday, and so I checked the older entries to see if this was just a fluke, but nope – I found 3-4 posts made every day!
The archives statistics proves this, showing 124 posts made in November, and 102 already in December, when the month is only half-over! That’s an average of 6-7 posts per day! This leads me to almost wonder if he is actually ripping the content off other blogs automatically, or hiring cheap writers. But I don’t think he is; I’m pretty sure it’s really him writing all these posts from the style and way they’re all written. Crazy.
#4 iBlog-YouBlog.com – iBlog-YouBlog is another standard "make money online" web entrepreneur blog. First I’d like to give the same advice I gave Aimsgraz.org above – which is to upgrade from Blogger to WordPress.
Secondly, I really think that the owner needs to start thinking about branding/themeing. There are so many "make money online" blogs these days, probably a couple thousand, and the market is just over-saturated. Sometimes, good content isn’t always enough – you need to stand out from the pack. Whether this is through a theme, features, or humour, as long as something easily defines the blog as unique, it will grow a lot faster. So, be unique! Stand out from the crowd! Oh, and a new domain might now hurt either… (IBlog-YouBlog.com is not only awkard and difficult to brand, it’s also extremely difficult to remember and spread virally).
He did a review of my blog, and so I have to keep my word and give him a mini-review in return!
I have one quick and simple suggestion to Mark – please put the actual date in your posts. Right now it only states "December 2007" and doesn’t disclose the actual date, only the month and year. You should be able to easily do this with a simple template edit, and WordPress knows the date of your past posts, so you won’t have to go back and try to guess when you posted all of your older posts 🙂
#6 DigHong.com – As you may have guessed, DigHong.com is another "make money online" blog. Trying to put this as tactfully and politely as I can: following the suggestions outlined below would go a long way to improve the blog:
1. Fix the "Advertize" typo which is displayed everywhere 🙂 (It’s spelled with an "S").
2. Read my You’re Not a Rock Star post which explains why I strongly feel that putting a lot of ads on your site when it is small is a bad idea. About half of the content space on the blog are ads: large embedded AdSense ads, 6 125×125 banners, Kontera, text links…
3. Please put the date in the posts (as explained in the Walsho.net review above)
4. Add an Archives page, or at least a monthly archive list on the right side. Currently I have to keep hitting ‘Previous Entries" if I want to read any past posts.
All simple tips and suggestions which will go a long way to improving your blog 🙂
It’s interesting, because shortly before I took a "break" from TylerReviews, my Technorati ranking didn’t change much, even though I’d receive at least a couple dozen reviews each month.
But I noticed an immediate Technorati boost as soon as these TylerReviews came in, jumping from 9,682 to 8,963. I really want to get in the top 1,000 though. Technorati is one of the metrics for my blog where I’m doing pretty poorly (apart from PageRank, but that’s relative these days, considering JC is a 4).
Review My Blog
I’ll link back to anyone who reviews my site in an upcoming post such as this one.
The review should be at least 200 words and can be positive, negative, or anywhere inbetween, and one of the links within the review must use the anchor text “internet entrepreneur”, “webmaster blog”, "top blogger", or “make money blogging” when linking back to my blog.
In return, you’ll get a link back to your blog and a paragraph (or more) written about your blog in an upcoming post on my blog which has an average RSS readership of 900, and receives around 500 unique visitors per day. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your blog’s URL when you’re done.