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Everyday Guide Blog Critique

Everyday Guide First Impressions

Everyday Guide First Impressions

Wow these blog critiques have been popular lately – I hope you are getting as much out of them as I have fun writing them :)

This critique is for Althaf Ahmed who runs a site called Everyday Guide which he described in his email to me as “an online repository of mini guides”. He also has the .net version of the domain which is due to be merged with the dotcom.

What are these “mini guides” you might ask? Good question, I am glad you raised it. Here are some examples:

Essentially this site aims to be an “everything for everyone”. A particularly tough nut to crack!

This means

  • Not being anything in particular
  • Not having any specific target audience
  • Not providing a deep experience

and it also means going up against the big hub sites, wikipedia, Squidoo …

Now this approach can work. You can get social media traffic by creating DiggBait, and you can get links and search traffic through linkbait. Just be aware of what it is you are creating. Essentially a traffic vehicle, and some ad opportunities.

My recommendation though is to tweak the strategy somewhat. Will return to that in a second. Let’s get some general impressions down first.

First Visit

Now if you go visit the site, I am sure you will agree that the first thing you will be struck with is that you are unaware of what the site is about. It seems to be about a lot, and then not very much. This is because, as regular readers will remember, we need to offer some sort of orientation.

  • Where am I? – People need to know where they are, and might not even be entirely sure how they got there. You might be dropped into a deep page from a search result or blog link, or might have clicked a homepage link in a social media profile, or some other random occurrence. You can not guarantee the visitor will have been given any context.
  • What can I see/do? – Navigation is not enough, and in fact more often than not in blogs you are overwhelmed with options. Too many choices is as bad as too few. Your popular content in the sidebar is good but too low down the page to get noticed.
  • Why should I care? – The old chestnut of WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? Give the visitor a benefit, or even better a problem that your site solves. Individual guides might well solve a specific problem, but why would they return?
  • Now what? – What can we do now? What should we do next. Always have a next step!

Reading Experience

The content quality varies, as does tone and style, which gives an impression of no single voice or personality, while the about page says there is only one person behind the site. Either make it a multi author blog (preferred) or a single author blog with a single voice.

My preference for multi author is because I know your future plans involve really growing the content, and this is your best route to that. If you go single author, you need to put more of “you” into it. Make it more conversational, provide picture and more detail about you.

Individual Articles

Individual Articles

A lot of the content is quite “thin” and does not entirely deliver on the promises made in the headlines. This is a similar problem to the content you find on article marketing sites and ezine directories, where the content is simply “enough to meet quota”. Do not fall into the trap of search fodder, create truly valuable resources and you will get far more links, word of mouth and social media votes.

Way Forward

Here is how I suggest you progress:

  1. Select an under served niche rather than go up against Wikipedia
  2. Target that niche’s specific audience rather than “everyone”
  3. Provide the very best answers for that audience’s specific problems – ask them what they need to know
  4. Approach advertisers who want to capture the attention of that audience
  5. Network with the leaders and personalities of the niche to grow awareness of your site

Essentially, rather than be “everything to everyone” become something specific for a specific group! You will gain by

  • Grow links, search and traffic traction
  • More profit with no “ugly adsense” downsides
  • Easier to create content ideas

Not only that, it gets better!

When you attract a specific audience with something truly useful to that audience, you can grow a subscriber base of people who want to hear from you. I can not underline enough how powerful this is.

It is only a slight change from your strategy, and in fact you can split off content into sub-sites or their own domains.

  • Starting a business
  • Getting healthy
  • Gaming
  • etc

All it needs is to really get inside the mindset of each audience and give them what they would most respond to.

Over to you

What do you think of Everyday Guide? Please share your thoughts in the comments …

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Comments

  1. As you said, adding images to blog posts can be helpful.

  2. As you said, adding images to blog posts can be helpful.

  3. I really like the concept of the site. I think it has great potential to be further monetized with eguides for purchase (price point of $5-$9) on some of the subjects that can be further expanded and possibly an affiliate program.

    I think there is a lot of potential in this site as Chris has already detailed.

    Great idea!

  4. I really like the concept of the site. I think it has great potential to be further monetized with eguides for purchase (price point of $5-$9) on some of the subjects that can be further expanded and possibly an affiliate program.

    I think there is a lot of potential in this site as Chris has already detailed.

    Great idea!

  5. First thing I noticed was the great logo, that did catch my eye, for what it is about, I also felt the site was nicely laid out. but after that unless you have time to search on the site, I don’t know if I would be encouraged to stay. POSSIBLY SOME STAND OUT CATAGORIES WOULD BE NICE LIKE LATEST FINDS OR CHECK THIS OUT, just as an example, It would be nice to see a paragraph or two describing the site and like you mentioned in the critique a little personalization would be nice, that always encourages me to stay and see the Authors views, also as mentioned photos would definately add to the site, that is how I see it. Hope it helps. Kathy

  6. First thing I noticed was the great logo, that did catch my eye, for what it is about, I also felt the site was nicely laid out. but after that unless you have time to search on the site, I don’t know if I would be encouraged to stay. POSSIBLY SOME STAND OUT CATAGORIES WOULD BE NICE LIKE LATEST FINDS OR CHECK THIS OUT, just as an example, It would be nice to see a paragraph or two describing the site and like you mentioned in the critique a little personalization would be nice, that always encourages me to stay and see the Authors views, also as mentioned photos would definately add to the site, that is how I see it. Hope it helps. Kathy

  7. I don’t want be harsh here, but despite an appealing design, the content has no value. Anyone wanting a guide is looking for depth, high quality info and authority and it’s just not there. I wouldn’t visit again. I think he needs a really tight focus like the food recipes which struck an obvious chord. Best of luck with it.

  8. I don’t want be harsh here, but despite an appealing design, the content has no value. Anyone wanting a guide is looking for depth, high quality info and authority and it’s just not there. I wouldn’t visit again. I think he needs a really tight focus like the food recipes which struck an obvious chord. Best of luck with it.

  9. Al could improve his copywriting. For example: “There is a currently a great need to develop user friendly experiences for internet experiences and the World Wide Web is gradually becoming more customized for the user”, makes little sense to me, needs better punctuation (and is probably irrelevant to the reader too.)

    I suggest something along the lines of: “There is a great need to develop user-friendly internet (interfaces? software? utilities?) for enhanced internet experience, as the World Wide Web becomes more responsive to the user.” Or ” . . . if the World Wide Web is to become more responsive to the user.”

    I wish Al every success in his venture.

  10. Al could improve his copywriting. For example: “There is a currently a great need to develop user friendly experiences for internet experiences and the World Wide Web is gradually becoming more customized for the user”, makes little sense to me, needs better punctuation (and is probably irrelevant to the reader too.)

    I suggest something along the lines of: “There is a great need to develop user-friendly internet (interfaces? software? utilities?) for enhanced internet experience, as the World Wide Web becomes more responsive to the user.” Or ” . . . if the World Wide Web is to become more responsive to the user.”

    I wish Al every success in his venture.

  11. JT Locke says:

    The first thing I see after the great logo is the advertisement with the teeth on the right hand side. It makes me stop and wonder is this going to be an everyday guide about teeth or what exactly am I visiting?

  12. JT Locke says:

    The first thing I see after the great logo is the advertisement with the teeth on the right hand side. It makes me stop and wonder is this going to be an everyday guide about teeth or what exactly am I visiting?

  13. Thank you for the review Chris. It made me think about my last blog article and I went back and added a picture. It always helps to have an unbiased opinion. We cannot always see beyond ourselves and the content we provide.

  14. Thank you for the review Chris. It made me think about my last blog article and I went back and added a picture. It always helps to have an unbiased opinion. We cannot always see beyond ourselves and the content we provide.

  15. Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
    that I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  16. Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
    that I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  17. Oh man… I’m wincing as I review my own work in my mind’s eye. I have a lot of work to do readability and usability. But I would like to think my content is really good… maybe a little too dense and telegraphic.

  18. Oh man… I’m wincing as I review my own work in my mind’s eye. I have a lot of work to do readability and usability. But I would like to think my content is really good… maybe a little too dense and telegraphic.

  19. Very impressive Chris. I love the idea of website critiques. You may have started something off here!!!

  20. Very impressive Chris. I love the idea of website critiques. You may have started something off here!!!

  21. Chris. Thanks for taking the time to educate us. I have a couple questions which I request you to go over and respond.
    1. I did notice a few articles while browsing that blog that were not up to the mark. But i noticed the same in top sites such as associatedcontent.com, hubpages.com, and a couple in ehow.com too. Personally I think perfection here is impossible.
    2. You spoke abt the lack of focus and deep experience there. What about sites like life123, lifetips, etc. They have a similar multi topic issue. Do they lack focus too?
    3. I understand the above sites had big budget etc, but given the proper organic optimization attention, social media exposure and maybe, some media coverage, isn’t it possible for the blog in question to rise in glory?
    4. this last question is a thought for day for everydayguide author, plus question to chris. What if this blog pumps our 1-2 flagship/pillar content per week, can it help gain smm attention and establish itself?

    Thanks again for review Chris.
    Dave

  22. Chris. Thanks for taking the time to educate us. I have a couple questions which I request you to go over and respond.
    1. I did notice a few articles while browsing that blog that were not up to the mark. But i noticed the same in top sites such as associatedcontent.com, hubpages.com, and a couple in ehow.com too. Personally I think perfection here is impossible.
    2. You spoke abt the lack of focus and deep experience there. What about sites like life123, lifetips, etc. They have a similar multi topic issue. Do they lack focus too?
    3. I understand the above sites had big budget etc, but given the proper organic optimization attention, social media exposure and maybe, some media coverage, isn’t it possible for the blog in question to rise in glory?
    4. this last question is a thought for day for everydayguide author, plus question to chris. What if this blog pumps our 1-2 flagship/pillar content per week, can it help gain smm attention and establish itself?

    Thanks again for review Chris.
    Dave

  23. Hi there,

    This is a well written review, and I completely agree with all your points. Good Job!

    Cheers,
    Eddie Gear

  24. Hi there,

    This is a well written review, and I completely agree with all your points. Good Job!

    Cheers,
    Eddie Gear