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Blog Critique: Clever Start

Todays blog critique is the small business blog “Clever Start“.

Small business, or SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) as they are often called in the UK, is a huge market. Anyone who can do well in this space should have a decent audience, and businesses nowadays need to be online which ought to help also.

The downside of course is there are a ton of people blogging the niche, after all every pro blog, freelancer, affiliate, microstock photographer, etc is a small business. Covering the whole of “small business” is a huge mountain to climb.

First Impressions

  • Clean template, nothing that makes a massive impression but the content is clearly legible
  • Advertising is unobtrusive
  • Small, orange, welcome box explains what the blog is about
  • Feed URL prominently displayed top right
  • Tag line “A few tips for starting a small business” – humble but says what it means
  • Big testimonial – banner? sponsor? ad or testimonial? Not clear. “Ad sponsored by” further confuses. It’s an ad for TenTon Technologies, seems out of place and confusing.
  • The only name you see on the blog is Frank Roa who it must be assumed is a client, not the author
  • Content is nicely written and pretty regular

My Advice

  • Personalise – Use your name, show what you look like. Small businesses especially are personal, show that YOU are talking to them.
  • Focus – you can cover a lot of topics but what do you want to be KNOWN for? Small business might be too big, try a sub-niche “web designers”, “small business people in their first year” or “freelance designers”, etc
  • What’s in it for them? – Determine what you can offer and push the benefit, make it obvious
  • What’s in it for YOU? – Work out what you want. If it is leads that is a different audience to if you want a reputation amongst your peers. Talk to the audience you want, or love the audience you have got.
  • Give something away – There are a ton of resources you could provide, example contracts and documents, free templates, spreadsheets, systems, scripts, critiques like this one … give something away because the more you give the more you receive
  • Offer email – a large percentage of readers still would prefer email subscription, make it easy for them

In summary it is a great blog and has lots of potential, but perhaps the problem here is the niche has too much potential. It is easy to get lost in a big niche, by choosing a tighter sub-niche you can find your voice stands out and gets more notice.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the review Chris, really appreciate it:) I am taking your advice to heart and making some changes for the better. I am new to blogging so any advice is golden to me.

    Thats also a great idea to see what I can offer and even give away.

    Once again thanks:)

  2. Thanks for the review Chris, really appreciate it:) I am taking your advice to heart and making some changes for the better. I am new to blogging so any advice is golden to me.

    Thats also a great idea to see what I can offer and even give away.

    Once again thanks:)

  3. I hope it helps you, good luck with the blog 🙂

  4. I hope it helps you, good luck with the blog 🙂

  5. I’d like to make a suggestion, too.

    I just subscribed to his RSS feed for my reader and he uses partial feeds as opposed to full. I immediately unsubscribed because of it.

  6. I’d like to make a suggestion, too.

    I just subscribed to his RSS feed for my reader and he uses partial feeds as opposed to full. I immediately unsubscribed because of it.

  7. Great review Chris, as for the partial/full feed, i had the same problem on my blog, and installed the “full feed” plugin, so you can still use the “read more” links in your posts and publish full rss feeds. Hope it helps.

  8. Great review Chris, as for the partial/full feed, i had the same problem on my blog, and installed the “full feed” plugin, so you can still use the “read more” links in your posts and publish full rss feeds. Hope it helps.

  9. Great advice here! I love finding reviews of sites like this because I’m always trying to better my site. Thanks much!

  10. Great advice here! I love finding reviews of sites like this because I’m always trying to better my site. Thanks much!

  11. Trevor I changed that, thanks for pointing it out. Some reason I had it set like that in WP:(

  12. Trevor I changed that, thanks for pointing it out. Some reason I had it set like that in WP:(

  13. That is a wonderful advice. Not only to one particular blog but for so many others.

  14. That is a wonderful advice. Not only to one particular blog but for so many others.

  15. Thanks for this review, Chris! I found, these advices are very much applicable for my site too.

  16. Thanks for this review, Chris! I found, these advices are very much applicable for my site too.

  17. Awesome review Chris!

    If it is possible, I’d love one as well – please? =)

  18. Awesome review Chris!

    If it is possible, I’d love one as well – please? =)

  19. Thanks guys, unfortunately I have my list of 30 or so to work through but look out for when I announce I am ready for another set. Not sure when that will be so watch this space!

  20. Thanks guys, unfortunately I have my list of 30 or so to work through but look out for when I announce I am ready for another set. Not sure when that will be so watch this space!