In August Ben Cook ran a competition to win some great blogging prizes, including a subscription to the Blog Mastermind program, a copy of Aarons SEO Book and a critique from me. The winner was announced as Jason Peck so here is the critique 🙂
Jasons blog is called Take A Peck and he describes it as a:
Blog about sports business, sponsorship, social media, and related topics
Sports and business are not two topics I immediately associate but it turns out that Jason works in the sports industry, working on brand partnerships. This gives the blog a good niche to work in, something Jason knows a lot about but is in theory not over-served by competition. While we are on the topic, he also runs an aggregator that draws in feeds from his fellow sports business news feeds.
The design looks nice though I think the header needs some work, perhaps a graphical way to represent the blog topic, bring the search box more into being part of the layout rather than floating in mid air, and perhaps remove that top line that appears on every page. Readers need to know at a glance where they are and what you are about.
When I visit a new blog I always like to look at the about page. Jason has done a nice job here, he has his photograph displayed so we can put a face to his name, and describes what the blog is about. He also lists some of his likes, it seems his favourite destinations are USA and Italy and he thinks boxing is dead. It is good to give people something to talk about, if you wanted to introduce yourself to Jason he has given you a conversation starter.
While he lists what the blog is about, it is useful if you can manage it to actually state a benefit rather than just describe the topics you cover. What would the reader gain by subscribing? This can be used again as a one-liner to promote the feed elsewhere.
Talking of feeds, Jason provides RSS and email options, good. I’m not sure the subscription options really stand out. It would be good to see a subscribe feature also underneath posts. After a reader has enjoyed a post is when they are most likely to sign up. Again, sell the benefits.
The blog currently has a PageRank of 4, from around 1.5k inbound links. Not bad for a year-old blog, but Technorati only shows 6 so some work is required to keep the links coming in. Technorati expires links after a rolling six months to level the playing field, you have to keep the links building just to stay still.
For link building ideas I would suggest
- Comment, link out a lot to get noticed through valued participation, referrers and trackbacks
- Take part in carnivals, projects, roundups and memes – even better, launch your own
- Make yourself a part of your niche community
- Join blogging forums and make yourself a valued member
- Get into social media
- Create something valuable and give it away
- Redirect the www version of your URL to the non-www or vice versa
It seems there is a mixture of monetization going on. While the ads are not really relevant, they are not obtrusive.
While I am the worlds least knowledgeable person on sports (really, there are long-lost Amazonian tribes with more of a grasp than me), the content looks good if a tad diverse. I would bring the most popular into the side bar to show it off and give readers somewhere to go after reading their first post.
Take note of social media to see what gets a lot of attention and build some Flagship Content. I don’t know if he already as some, Jason will know better than me what his audience is looking for, but I would have thought something on “sports and brands”?
In summary I think this is a great blog, with a couple of tiny tweaks to the design and a bit of promotion it has the potential to do even better.
Have you got any thoughts to share, or any tips for Jason? Let us know in the comments ..