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Doug Scott’s Blog Critique

Doug ScottYesterday I drove down to the middle of the country to meet up with Doug Scott. He might not look like much ( ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), and the name might not be familiar to you but he is a bit of a mover and/or shaker in the Affiliate and SEO worlds

Doug has just started blogging and trying out this social media stuff. If you are interested in how the big boys of the affiliate business really work then you would do well to subscribe. Believe me, some of the large cheques you see flashed around on the forums wouldn’t pay Doug’s payroll bill for the month. If there is a level above “Super Affiliate” then that is where you would place Doug.

I had a great time geeking out about all things social media and attempting to grill him on affiliate marketing. Along the way I promised to do him a quick critique, so here it is.

Doug's Blog Critique

  1. The blog is unfocused, this comes across visually, in the content, and also navigation. While it is obviously something of a personal blog, which could have its own ROI, I think Doug needs to decide who and what the blog is for. Who is your perfect reader? How can you delight them enough to bring friends?
  2. Right now the blog is using an off the shelf design which is more suited to a ringtone affiliate. Lose the generic smiley faces header and build something unique.
  3. Again the blog name and tagline do not offer much idea of what the blog is about. Within 15 seconds your blog has to tell the reader what is in it for them. If your reader answers “So what?” then you are not trying hard enough.
  4. Build an About page. Who are you? What is the blog about? Why is that beneficial and important? Why should I care? Why should I listen to you?
  5. There are a couple of redundant widgets in the side bar, I would lose the Links and month archives. Much better to link to people in context from posts rather than have a blog roll. Of course you might want to link to your own stuff, but it doesn’t need to be at the top.
  6. Categories are for readers to navigate, not your own sense of organization. Seems to be an ever growing list of categories. Seven is more than enough, and you never really want to have an “other” category.
  7. Where is your best content? Have a most popular list, a “beginners start here”, personal faves, or a recommended list. Of course I recommend you have some flagship content ๐Ÿ˜‰
  8. I list my own name as author because I want to rank for my own name. If you are not bothered about that, and you are the only author, it’s probably not necessary to attribute your posts on the homepage. A box in the sidebar and in the RSS footer would suffice.
  9. Using “More” tags on the homepage is a matter of preference, and some suggest can help with SEO, but you need to make the “Read More” very prominent. Also, make sure you also provide full feed in the RSS. Talking about feeds, move the subscription options to the top, allow subscription via email, and consider having feeds for just the juicy Aff stuff separate from the more personal/fun content?
  10. My favorite headline so far is “Leading stupid people to click“. Inflammatory, compelling and great advice. It wouldn’t work on my blog but suits your tone of voice and brand perfectly. More like that, please.

Doug is a no-nonsense, direct person. He is well known in his niche for creating a real and profitable business from the affiliate field. That makes him a credible authority. With that in mind I think the blog would be very successful as

The Zero-BS Guide to the Affiliate Business

What do you think? What would you suggest Doug does with his blog? Please share in the comments …

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the awful photo Chris.

    Doug

  2. Thanks for the awful photo Chris.

    Doug

  3. Considering the raw material I had to work with I think it came out really well ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Considering the raw material I had to work with I think it came out really well ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. Good tips here, nice post Chris!

  6. Good tips here, nice post Chris!

  7. Thanks, glad you liked them ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Thanks, glad you liked them ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Chris,

    I’m delighted. Designing my site, so all this info will help.

    I always thought a blogroll was good to help drive traffic to the sites you visit. Do you think it takes up too much room?

    Yes, the About Page is good because it forces you to sell yourself when you’re not used to doing so. This is probably one of the most important pages of your site. That’s why mine is so little. Trying my hardest to think of some wam bam thing to say.

  10. Chris,

    I’m delighted. Designing my site, so all this info will help.

    I always thought a blogroll was good to help drive traffic to the sites you visit. Do you think it takes up too much room?

    Yes, the About Page is good because it forces you to sell yourself when you’re not used to doing so. This is probably one of the most important pages of your site. That’s why mine is so little. Trying my hardest to think of some wam bam thing to say.

  11. Space for the links is an issue, but also who you include and exclude can cause problems, and you don’t need such a list to be on every single page of your blog for it to be valuable to users. My preferred approach is to do a “top X best ____ blogs” article, and then you can even share and promote it in social media

  12. Space for the links is an issue, but also who you include and exclude can cause problems, and you don’t need such a list to be on every single page of your blog for it to be valuable to users. My preferred approach is to do a “top X best ____ blogs” article, and then you can even share and promote it in social media

  13. Thanks Chris, great points. I will incorporate your advice into my site design. I’m finding that moving sites is like moving into a new house. I’m constantly taking the pictures off the wall and putting them in different places. At least my new blog house doesn’t leave holes in the wall.

  14. Thanks Chris, great points. I will incorporate your advice into my site design. I’m finding that moving sites is like moving into a new house. I’m constantly taking the pictures off the wall and putting them in different places. At least my new blog house doesn’t leave holes in the wall.

  15. I found the spelling and grammar problems distracting. For me, even if someone is an authority, the grammatical problems detracts from that.

  16. I found the spelling and grammar problems distracting. For me, even if someone is an authority, the grammatical problems detracts from that.

  17. Sorry Angela

    It’s simply because my mind things much faster than my hands:)

    I do agree with you and would love to be able to write but alas I just am not too good at it. Ask my staff? They have never yet had a spec for a project from me….

    Doug:)

  18. Sorry Angela

    It’s simply because my mind things much faster than my hands:)

    I do agree with you and would love to be able to write but alas I just am not too good at it. Ask my staff? They have never yet had a spec for a project from me….

    Doug:)

  19. Doug,

    As a former English teacher I would like to point out that language is about expression, and I like how you express yourself on your site.

    Also, I noticed that you had a funny insight concerning “Why Women Drive Big Cars.” Women drive big cars because they feel protected. If you get rammed by someone your chances of surviving hopefully increase by driving a big pile of metal, compared to driving a little teeny pile of metal. This concern becomes paramount when you become a parent and have to motor your kids around.

    Anyway, good luck to you. E

  20. Doug,

    As a former English teacher I would like to point out that language is about expression, and I like how you express yourself on your site.

    Also, I noticed that you had a funny insight concerning “Why Women Drive Big Cars.” Women drive big cars because they feel protected. If you get rammed by someone your chances of surviving hopefully increase by driving a big pile of metal, compared to driving a little teeny pile of metal. This concern becomes paramount when you become a parent and have to motor your kids around.

    Anyway, good luck to you. E

  21. Ellen

    But do the have to be so big? If everyone had smaller ones then the dings would be smaller:)

    Doug

  22. Ellen

    But do the have to be so big? If everyone had smaller ones then the dings would be smaller:)

    Doug

  23. I agree with you. This big SUV phenomenon started a few years back in the US,and everyone had to get one to be cool. Advertisers seduced people into thinking they were wild and free if they bought one of these monsters. How free is spending 100 USD to fill up your tank? The only reason you need such a 4-wheel drive vehicle is to drive through the snow, or muddy, bumpy terrain.

    I used to live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and our Jeep worked very well in the snow.

    Hopefully, in the near future, we will have vehicles that use only renewable resources for a fuel.

    I will book mark your blog and come back and visit. We can all learn from our fellow writers.

  24. I agree with you. This big SUV phenomenon started a few years back in the US,and everyone had to get one to be cool. Advertisers seduced people into thinking they were wild and free if they bought one of these monsters. How free is spending 100 USD to fill up your tank? The only reason you need such a 4-wheel drive vehicle is to drive through the snow, or muddy, bumpy terrain.

    I used to live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and our Jeep worked very well in the snow.

    Hopefully, in the near future, we will have vehicles that use only renewable resources for a fuel.

    I will book mark your blog and come back and visit. We can all learn from our fellow writers.

  25. Chris, good critique – useful too for a couple points I keep putting off doing – especially adding the focus on best content.

    Something else I liked hearing was your comment on getting rid of the Blogroll. I still see this a lot, and on some extremely popular blogs.

  26. Chris, good critique – useful too for a couple points I keep putting off doing – especially adding the focus on best content.

    Something else I liked hearing was your comment on getting rid of the Blogroll. I still see this a lot, and on some extremely popular blogs.

  27. Just a note to let you know that I am enjoying reading your blog! Your critique of Doug Scott’s blog gave me a lot to think about. I’m just finishing up a degree (and about to start on another), so my own blog is just sort of sitting there. Even so, I know that when I get the chance to catch up on my reading and writing, your blog will be SO much help. Thank you for all your hard work. I have subscribed to your feed and look forward to staying in touch.

  28. Just a note to let you know that I am enjoying reading your blog! Your critique of Doug Scott’s blog gave me a lot to think about. I’m just finishing up a degree (and about to start on another), so my own blog is just sort of sitting there. Even so, I know that when I get the chance to catch up on my reading and writing, your blog will be SO much help. Thank you for all your hard work. I have subscribed to your feed and look forward to staying in touch.

  29. That theme brought me on first place in google in less then 4 weeks, where I tried all my best SEO skills for 8 weeks.

    Not talking about my main blog but for my other blog.

    Funny theme but good tho!

    I like it, and I like Dougs blog as well.

  30. That theme brought me on first place in google in less then 4 weeks, where I tried all my best SEO skills for 8 weeks.

    Not talking about my main blog but for my other blog.

    Funny theme but good tho!

    I like it, and I like Dougs blog as well.