Reviews of my blog continue to come in and so here are 5 new reviews of my blog, and my own mini-reviews of their blogs in return. This makes a new total of 124 reviews of my blog… it’s hard to believe that 124 different blogs have reviewed me!
(Note: I’m really being far too generous with my reviews now. It was originally supposed to be just one paragraph in return, and now my reviews are often longer than the ones I get of my blog!)
#1 GradeMoney.com – This is one of the worst reviews of my blog I’ve read… so bad, in fact, that it’s actually fairly humorous. Now, I don’t want to insult or make fun of the guy – I’m not like that, but this is a good example why you want to put at least a little effort when undergoing "deals" such as my TylerReviews – if you don’t put the effort into writing a review for me, why should I for you?
In fact, when I found out that his original "review" was only around 100 words, I politely reminded him that there was a 200-word minimum. How did he fix this? He copy/pasted three paragraphs from my About Page.
Again, I’m not trying to attack him, but illustrate the point that you get what you pay for (or write for in this case). Desmond Ong is only 17 and from Malaysia – I know I can’t speak Malaysian so I can’t fault his poor English, but the lack of effort still shows. If he had put more effort into the review I would have given him a real nice long and constructive review like I did with Derek-Baker.com last batch since Desmond has me on his blogroll (I wonder if I’ll stay there after this review…), but since I can see his lack of effort in the review, I shall return the favour… although… my review is probably slightly longer than his already 😛
#2 SvensWorld.de – Nice honest and "casual" review. Instead of providing a summary of his blog (you can visit it yourself…), I’d like to suggest two simple but helpful suggestions.
First, the smilies on his blog show a border around them and appear on new lines, which makes posts appear… well… ugly. Both of these "bugs" can be fixed quite easily within his theme. The border appears because Sven has borders set to images when they appear, and so they get applied to the smilies as well. Sven needs to either turn off borders of images in posts by default and then apply them as he needs them (ex. class="niceborder") or else make it so the smiley HTML uses a non-border CSS class, which is the better way to go.
The reason it appears on a new line could either be due to the CSS properties of image handling (again this is why separate classes would be useful) or else because the image is larger in height than the font.
My second suggestion was for Sven to provide a link back to the front page of his blog somewhere, as I’m currently on his review of my site and have no way (that I can see) to view his front page, other than manually typing in his URL into my address bar.
#3 Blog.XavierMedia.com – The author of XavierMedia’s blog has been working on his blog since March of 2006 and has around 500 posts archived, making it quite-well established.
Like my review above, I’m going to skip on a summary of the site and suggest two constructive criticisms instead:
First, Andreas (the owner) should remove the prerequisite of having visitors register and log in in order to comment. I only know this because I have received countless complaints when I used to require logging in as well. I had used to do it only because I was receiving too much spam, but that has (thankfully) gone away so I’m able to let anyone comment.
You should really never enable that option unless you are receiving a lot of spam or trolls like I was – otherwise it’s just one more thing stopping people from commenting on your posts. I usually receive 2, sometimes 3-times as many comments when I let anyone comment as opposed to having them register and log in.
Secondly, while I think that Andreas’s blog is a bit too ad heavy for not being that big or popular, I’ll let all the banners go. But there needs to be some reduction somewhere, and I think that a good thing to pitch would be the "Xavier Tools" area in the top right.
Not only does it take up a lot of valuable space where blog navigation should be, but it is rather redundant. See, this is the blog of Xavier Media. If I wanted to use Xavier Media’s tools, I’d go to XavierMedia.com. I’m on the blog to read about Xavier Media or web-related posts, not to use the tools.
If he wants to leverage his blog to bring traffic to Xavier Media, he should do so with a small well-placed link or banner here and there – less is often better.
#4 LearnHow2Earn.com – LearnHow2Earn.com is run by Nick, a 20-something grad student by day and information systems professional by night. Nick is actually one of the guest posters on my blog, and the author of yesterday’s post.
Here are two pieces of advice I have for Nick’s blog. The first is simple: please remove the thick blue border from all the linked images on the site, such as the four 125×125 ads.
By default, most browsers will add this border when an image is linked, and it can be removed with a simple border="0" parameter within the image tag. Heh, not the most ground-breaking piece of advice I’ve given, but the bordered images do annoy me *smile*.
My second piece of advice is simple as well: it’s time to market your site. I think that Nick realized this himself though and is on his way to doing so, considering that he is now a guest writer on my blog, did this TylerReview, and even purchased a 125×125 banner on my blog (which will go live on January 2nd). So, I think Nick understand that he has to do something to get his blog "out there".
What I find strange is that Nick bought a banner on my site (and perhaps other advertising on other sites as well), but doesn’t have a blogroll on his blog!
EXCHANGE SOME LINKS! Never underestimate the value of a simple link exchange. Let’s say you average 1 click per link each day for every blog you exchange links with in your blogroll, and you have 10 blogs on your blogroll. That is 300 targeted, quality clicks each month that you are getting for free. When you’re a growing blog, this is extremely valuable traffic. And I’m not even mentioning the SEO benefits from the backlinks.
And it’s not like exchanging links costs anything or is difficult; in fact, I bet that Nick could exchange links with 10 other related blogs within 48 hours. I would suggest that he try to target blogs that are slightly larger than his to exchange links with.
#5 Ciao9to5.com – Will Harrison runs Ciao9to5.com, which is only several weeks old. His blog covers most general "make money online" topics that you’d might expect, but it is hard to navigate through the older ones due to the lack of an archives page [*hint hint* Will :)]
Now, I might get mixed reactions to the following suggestion, and I don’t want to sound so cutthroat, but it’s an important point to bring up: Will, as many other bloggers, are too generous with their blogroll.
Will has 6 bloggers on his blogroll – all blogs that he reads regularly and enjoys, and thus wants to promote and share. This is the main point of what a blogroll is for, and it’s nice of Will to do this, but it’s also rather generous. Only one of those 6 blogs actually links back to Ciao9to5.com. If Will instead added more blogs there that agree to link back to him, he would receive the benefit of some nice traffic (200-300 clicks a month as mentioned in the LearnHow2Earn review above).
But maybe Will already knows this and plans to add some reciprocal blog links in the future and is just using these ones to start a blogroll, or to use temporarily. In any case, I’m happy that I’m on his blogroll 🙂
It will be slightly difficult to analyze the results, in terms of Technorati at least, this time around since I held my RSS contest which brought in some "press" from 7-8 blogs.
In fact, it might explain for the rather large jump I gained in Technorati, jumping from 8,963 to 7,838 which is an increase of 1,125. I still really want to get in the top 1,000 though.
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", "blogging tips", 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 1,000, 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.