Today’s blog critique is the small business blog “Clever Start”.
Small businesses, 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.
- 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
- 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.