Yesterday I drove down to the middle of the country to meet up with Doug Scott. He might not look like much ( 😉 ), 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 😉
- 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.
- 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?
- 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 …