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Criticize my site - Give me some advice

Discussion in 'Blogging' started by motzart, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. motzart

    motzart Power Member

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    Hey BHW guys,

    Could you take a minute and review my site.

    I'm looking for:

    1) Criticism - What do you hate?
    2) Advice - Experienced in this field, I'll take any tips you can give me.
    3) Desires - Have any ideas/things you want me to implement or write more about?

    Mainly I'm just looking to get an idea of what people like about my site and what people don't like about it.

    I'm after a great user experience here (and it just so happens my site is about internet marketing) so who could be better than BHW for this job.

    Oh yeah, things I am currently working on:

    1) New Logo - I'm bad at photoshop, going to pay a designer to come up with something nice
    2) More data and case-studies - concrete content for viewers
    3) Better site design/flow

    Thanks!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  2. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

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    First Impressions--Looks clean and crisp...no cluttered mess anywhere. I will have a better look at it this evening.

    You are right about the Logo. As soon as I started to pay Graphic designers to do my graphics and stopped messing around with gimp, my sites started to look less like a blog and more like a Pro website..best $30-$70 you can spend on your site.
     
  3. Endire

    Endire Elite Member Premium Member

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    Site seems to be down right now
     
  4. motzart

    motzart Power Member

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    I think my host went down for ~5 minutes.

    I checked their servers and they are back... but that was really weird, because I couldn't access the site or wp-admin for like 5 minutes.
     
  5. webwhizz

    webwhizz Power Member

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    honestly it says wordpress blog maybe lose the black and white theme, get a nice theme forest theme, or something add some colour , it will be great no one will ever know
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  6. Pornguy

    Pornguy Regular Member

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    yeah add some color
     
  7. hadoken

    hadoken Regular Member

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    I would
    -increase the post thumbnail size
    -add like some floating subscribe/social to the sidebar so that when they scroll on home page past normal sidebar stuffs, it scrolls too
    -not show full post for first one, just a summary
     
  8. BlackHat3

    BlackHat3 Regular Member

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    Like others said the theme is too simple and monochrome, it makes it look a little generic. I would recommend the theme "Ares" or something similar.Also, I would remove the part where you say you are a teenager. Yes, get a new logo but don't pay more than $20 on odesk. I read a few of your posts and the content is SOLID and thats what matters the most obviously. Great job and good luck with your blog bro.
     
  9. antagonist

    antagonist Registered Member

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    It's all nice and clean but why should I choose your blog over any other SEO / IM blog out there. I couldn't find anything that makes your blog special. And that's what's missing. I don't get it though. On your Google+ profile your cover screams "be original"...
     
  10. motzart

    motzart Power Member

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    Hmm, yeah I guess I need to work on the site design. I'd love to get a custom design, but I honestly can't afford paying $1,000+ for something awesome. I really haven't been impressed with any themeforest themes and I've used quite a few of them.

    Hmm, why don't you like the part about being a teenager. One of my ideas is that I could just own up to it, and bring in the teenage crowd, along with building a persona around my online image.

    Yeah, I'm happy my writing is up to par, but I really need to get my act together, I feel like there's just a general lacking feeling coming from the blog. I need something that looks awesome.

    Hmm, I know. This is something that's been annoying me since day one. I really want to be able to differentiate myself, as I know that's how people choose one site over another...

    Honestly I think I am just going to keep posting unique content, not like original content/rehashed stuff, I'm going to just keep coming up with my own tests/case-studies that no-one else will have access to.

    For now I think that could work. But yeah, its a problem.
     
  11. cash202

    cash202 Elite Member Premium Member

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  12. kitteh101

    kitteh101 Regular Member

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    it looks too boring, generic and plain.
     
  13. motzart

    motzart Power Member

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    Fair enough. Anything specific you would like to see me change, or just improve the design?
     
  14. writer@<3

    writer@<3 Newbie

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    The first thing that catches my eye is your profile info on the first page. I'd take "teenager" out and replace it with something.
    Many people equate "teenager" with irresponsibility, even if you've personally proven you're a great business person/IM'er. Many business people I've met (clients) refuse to work with young people, too.

    Personally, I've lost a few clients because of my age. When I finally got up the courage to ask why, one said, "because you young kids these days spend too much money and don't want to work enough." I changed my profile that very day and haven't had a problem since. I am, however, quite a few years older now...

    In any case, I'd replace it with something like, "young entrepreneur," or something equally business like that denotes responsibility.

    Otherwise, I really like it.I especially like the colors and the simplicity of the style. I especially like that there's not a pop up the minute I get there :) I despise that.
     
  15. writer@<3

    writer@<3 Newbie

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    But its better than so much flash that it hurts to look at it.
     
  16. bertbaby

    bertbaby Elite Member

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    The banner, text and headlines are a little too spaced out. The more you can load in the top half or in the two main hot spots the more visitors you will keep on the site.
     
  17. motzart

    motzart Power Member

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    I just redesigned the site. I made that my project for the day.

    Hopefully now everyone is happy.



    I love your young entrepreneur advice.

    That's exactly what I was looking for!

    Let me know what you think of the site now, I spent the past ~10 hours after replying to this thread redesigning the site.

    It still runs on genesis but its a totally customized child-theme (that originated from brian gardner).
     
  18. writer@<3

    writer@<3 Newbie

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    Definitely better - I like the new photo of you - makes you look much more focused (and sitting in a lazy boy with your remote definitely gets the "procrastinator" across LOL), and the background. Oh - since the site is a blog, you might want to consider adding a comment policy talking about what, if anything, you expect from people who make comments. Whether you allow keywords, links, etc., in the comments, and whether they are moderated or not. While this doesn't stop all spam, it will definitely cut down on some. On your Guest Post page, define "reasonable" regarding number of links. Some peole think 20 is reasonable, others might think 3 is. Saves time later in having to edit/send it back for editing.

    Do you have any plans to add a forum or other sections, or do you plan to keep it a blog?
    Good luck!



     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  19. motzart

    motzart Power Member

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    Oh man, you caught me. :)

    That's actually my iPhone, but it was upside down on the chair. And that's my 'workstation' haha. I guess its the upside to only needing my laptop and a few small things to get work done, I was never really a fan of desks haha.

    The comment policy is something I never even thought about... I didn't realize people have those. But I suppose you would just make the page, and put a link to it in the footer right? (It couldn't hurt, but 99% of the spam I get is just scrapebox, not usually people throwing in too many links/whatever)

    And yes, I have some huge long-term plans for the site. I guess I can spill my thoughts:

    Right now is phase 1: building traffic, optimizing each page, and setting myself up to gain a following

    Phase 2: Monetizing my traffic, capturing emails as much as possible, and beginning work on information products (Not WSO's, but actual guides/solid content that people will get serious value from, think: problogger eBooks, if you know what they are)

    Phase 3: Take advantage of the traffic and following to build a brand around my site, that's where I'll bring in a forum. At this point, if not sooner, I will also branch out and start doing videos, maybe a podcast, etc. Interviews with professionals...

    That's all really far down the line. I'm mainly working on phase 1 right now unless I've got a good 250-500 organic hits coming in each day, along with a solid amount of returning visitors. Probably going to take me another 6 months to get there, but I've got time.

    Honestly, this is a long-term plan, I want to take it seriously and I'm pretty set-up for success right now.

    (Going to college next year, which means lots of work and play, but it also means I have 4 more years to work on this site part-time without having to work a full-time job and focus on building a career)

    My dream would be to build it out as big as something like Pat Flynn's blog, or John Chow... but clearly even if that's possible it will take years.

    I'm bringing in some solid cash from my offline consulting as well, so that's why I'm not trying to rush the site.


    EDIT: Also, right now I'm mainly working on creating what Darren Rowse calls 'sneeze pages,' basically a few pages to direct first time visitors to my best posts, most popular content, etc. To prove my worth, and show that I've got serious value to offer, because not every one of my posts is going to be a winner, but if I can showcase my best stuff, why not?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  20. writer@<3

    writer@<3 Newbie

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    I'm very glad to hear you have bigger plans for the site - and I'm not saying that just a blog wouldn't work - but for me, when I read your domain name, I think of a site that has a forum or other social community, and/or offers more than a blog, but offers info concerning everything and anything you can think of about page rank. Do you know what I mean? I think that if you work at it, and keep taking the bad with the good, you can probably do very well with that site.

    As for the comment policy, since your site is new, it probably hasn't been hit a lot yet. Read: your URL hasn't made it to spam lists yet. When it does, you'll probably regret not having one. Creating a commenting policy can sometimes deter hardcore spammers who wouldn't waste their time knowing the posts won't get approved. Even if you just mention somewhere at the bottom of the post that, "We welcome comments, but keep in mind they are moderated" or other such line, they'll know there's a chance they won't get approved and won't bother. I highly recommend doing this.

    You know, I used to work from my bed, but then I realized I was watching more tv than working, so I changed my unused 2nd bedroom into an office, and that's when I started being able to concentrate a bit more at building my business. As my handle implies, I am a writer at heart, and that is how I started working online. I later jumped into linkbuilding and then full blown SEO, and - unfortunately - that's when I found out that being a writer doesn't pay the bills as well as the latter does unless you "know someone" and can get your foot in the door behind that someone.

    Don't get me wrong, I do very well when I write, but that said, I do better with SEO. My own site isn't so built up, because I work through word of mouth for the most part, but I've managed to build and then maintain great PR for my clients, their sites and blogs. It doesn't come easy, but it does come if you put your heart and soul into it.