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Free Website Review: What Do You Struggle with Online?

By:     Topics: Blogging

Over the last few months, I’ve been talking with many of the brightest minds on the web.

There are two things that they all do incredibly well. One, they know their audience. Two, they help their audience.

So for my post this week, I want to get to know you better so I can help you better. If you’re interested in finding out how I would improve your website, follow these instructions.

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Step 1: Leave a Comment Below

In your comment, include these three things:

  1. Tell me about the number one thing you struggle with online.
    It could be setting up your website, getting traffic, converting traffic, making money, finding the time to work on your site, etc. Be as specific as possible.
  2. Tell me how you think you can do better with what you struggle with.
    I want to know what you think the problem is and your ideas for solving that problem.
  3. Leave a link to your site.
    Link to the homepage or any page that you’d like me to take a look at.

If you don’t include each of those three things, then I’m not going to look at your website.

Step 2: I’ll Leave a Review

Once you leave a comment, I’ll take a look at your site and reply with these three things:

  1. My honest first impression of your site.
    If you’re not prepared for critical feedback, then maybe you shouldn’t do this.
  2. What I think you do well.
    I’ll let you know something that I like about your site.
  3. How I think you can do better.
    I’ll give you my best advice as far as getting better at what you struggle with.

As we get going, leave reviews on your fellow commenters’ sites as well. Let them know what you think so we can all improve from lots of feedback.

If we get 100 comments…

If this post gets 100 comments, I’ll tell you about the number one thing that I struggle with online.

It’s something that I don’t like to talk about because I know it’s a big weakness of mine. I’ve even gone three months without posting on my blog because of it.

If you want to know what it is, start by leaving a comment.

Edit: Welp, we hit 100 comments! And I’m going to cap it at this. I spent about 10 minutes on each of your sites and I hope I was able to give you some valuable feedback. It was interesting for me to see what each of you struggles with and it’ll help me create content that is more targeted at the problems that I know you’re having. If you don’t see your comment, it might be on Comment Page 2.

As promised…

The #1 Thing I Struggle with Online

When I first started started my latest site, 14 Clicks, my mission was to help young entrepreneur ages 20-29. I wanted to give advice to the college-aged kid and recent college graduate who had an interest in starting a business but didn’t know how to start.

I figured it was a good niche. I knew how to appeal to people my age and I had enough expertise to give them some solid steps for starting their businesses. We’re golden, right?

Wrong.

The problem was that I chose my audience based on age, not on the type of business they wanted to start.

So the site started to pick up speed. (It’s gotten over 100,000 uniques in the last six months.) The people coming to the site are typically interested in entrepreneurship but I don’t feel like I’m helping them get started. Since I want to help all entrepreneurs in that age group, I have to keep the content theoretical and inspirational rather than practical. Plus, people who don’t consider themselves to be “young” feel like they don’t belong even though the concepts can be applied to them too.

In order to fix this, I need to choose an audience based on specific problems that they have, not the type of person that they are. Right now I put my site on hold because I’m struggling with re-choosing my audience.

Let me know if you have any ideas.

Thank you all for your comments.

Image by: claudiaveja

  • http://www.zivotnabali.cz Bibr

    Hi Nicholas, my page is in czech language, so I am not sure that you can tell me something about it.
    I need more traffic to monetize my site, I can’t monetize with low traffic. Well, problem number one is, that my country is small and it’s hard to find high traffic for too specific niche. Anyway, maybe you will help me. I am number one (after Wikipedia) on czech Google on word “Bali” and my rankings are good, so I think that problem is with size of my country, not my site :)
    Maybe I need to write articles not only about my niche, which is Bali island and Indonesia. Maybe I need to write articles about all SE Asia. It means, that maybe I need to change domain and all website concept to “Living in Asia”, now it’s “Living on Bali island”
    Maybe I need to write more fun articles, which people can share online. My articles are maybe too informative and not funny. Well, you don’t understand my language, so you can’t help with this…
    Maybe I should translate my site to english, learn english and start writing in english to find more readers (traffic).
    My page is: http://www.zivotnabali.cz
    Thx, I appreciate any help.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Bibra! I think your site looks fantastic. You’ve done a wonderful job of maintaining consistency with your posts and images. The ads also fit well into the design. I think you’re right that you’d get more traffic if you expanded your niche. Traffic, however, isn’t the main thing you need. Since you’ve done such a good job of owning your niche, if I was you, I’d partner with a local travel agency and start sending them your leads. Instead of trying to get people to click on ads at the end of the post, ask them to sign-up for a mailing list with more information about traveling to Bali.

      • http://www.zivotnabali.cz Bibr

        Hmm, nice, I have something to think about. Thank you Nicholas! :)

  • http://www.progressyourhealth.com Robert

    Hello Nicholas,

    Of course there are several frustrations with online marketing, but I would say that my number one frustration has been setting up my website. Both from a design and SEO perspective. I have wasted too much time on this. My next frustration has been getting traffic as well. Thanks for the post.

    Take Care

    Robert

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Robert, if you’d like me to take a look at your site, answer #2 and #3 and I’ll give you my best advice.

      • http://www.progressyourhealth.com Robert

        2. Tell me how you think you can do better with what you struggle with. I want to know what you think the problem is and your ideas for solving that problem.

        I know one thing I can do better is to stop wasting time tinkering on my site. I can outsource most things. I have realized this has prevented me from making any real progress. By outsourcing, it would free me up to produce more excellent content. If I produced good content, it would probably solve my traffic problem as well.

        3. Leave a link to your site.
        http://www.progressyourhealth.com

        I look forward to your feedback. Thanks in advance.

        • Nicholas Tart

          Overall, I think your site looks great, Robert. There are a few minor things I would fix, but I think it’s time for you to start focusing on traffic and converting that traffic. Your blog is informative, although a little dry (except AFS Annie). I imagine it would be more interesting if I had those problems/symptoms and I wanted to fix them. One small thing you can do is start linking to products/resources at the end of your blog posts that’ll fix the problem that the blog post alludes to. You’re right that more exceptional content = more traffic.

  • http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com Carter

    HeyNick,

    I’ll take a crack at this. It’s hard to get honest feedback from high level professionals sometimes so I’m hoping you can give me some thoughts.

    1. Converting traffic. Right now I’m converting at about 4% (email opt in). The email responder series has great metrics (60-90% unique opens for the entire campaign, 25-70% unique CTR), but I think it’s more of a brand issue. I need to find a way jack my email opt in conversion and connect the message of my website to the emails. Traffic is at around 500-700 people a day.

    2. I’ve currently got a new header design in development. I can email you the link if you’d like. It’s going to have a video of myself introducing the site with an email box right below for people to join an exclusive area of the site. That area is going to allow them to be a part of a video series where I walk them through hiring an app developer, building an app, and marketing it. The design looks pretty slick, would be interested on your thoughts.

    3. http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com

    Thanks!

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Carter, my first impression is that your content area is way too wide. Use Pearson’s, the creator of Thesis, Golden Rule Typography Calculator to shrink your content area: http://www.pearsonified.com/typography/. I’d also like to see something happen on the nav menu when I hover over the pages. Look at Michael’s nav menu above. You’ve done a great job of giving visitor’s a reason to opt-in. The book image, headline, subheadline, and form all look great. (Thanks to Alex Mangini?) If I was interested in App development and was impressed with a few of your posts, I would fill out that form. I’m guessing once you add the feature video and opt-in to the homepage (like socialtriggers.com), conversions will go up. I would also add an opt-in in your post footer or site footer to give people a next step after reading a post.

      P.S. Thanks for the link under Great Sites!

    • Nicholas Tart

      Also, Carter, I would change Recent Posts to Popular Posts. I almost always start reading a new site by finding their popular posts.

  • http://dominiquegoh.com Dominique@Dominique’s Desk

    My main struggle is making money online. How to increase PR ranking and get more traffic to my site- I’m trying to add more varied content, guest posting and joining different forum groups.
    Website: -http://dominiquegoh.com

    • Nicholas Tart

      My first impression was fairly positive. You have a noticeably unique design and your Alexa is up there. Good job. My best guess is that your site exists to help Singaporean moms with their parenting. But your homepage doesn’t communicate that to me. The content is a little sporadic as well. I think your first step to making money with it is focusing in on who your audience is and communicating to those specific people why they should follow your website.

  • http://www.biblehades.com Paul

    1. I can’t find the time to work on it.
    2. It takes me a long time to think and write.
    3. I still need to make it more interactive.
    4. I’m working on an e-book about the subject to offer it to the audience.

    Please, let me know what you think. Thank you.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Paul, is your site BibleHades.com? If so, your header image makes me think that your site is about Bible burning/bashing, which, after reading, it’s quite the opposite. I think you’ve done a great job of niching your topic based on a problem you see. I think the best thing you can do to start finding more time to work on it is to start getting traction with it. I struggle with this too, but I’ve found that once I know exactly what my purpose for the site is, it’s much easier to keep working on it. Focus in on your purpose and update your header image.

  • http://turbofitnesssecrets.com Bryan –

    Hello,

    I run a fitness blog (http://turbofitnesssecrets.com), where I share interesting tips and facts about fitness and health.

    My biggest problem is getting traffic to my website, without the traffics I am unable to convert the traffic into a money making customers.

    With that being said, I think I am scattered in my ways on creating back links. I need to find or create a step by step system on getting links back to my keywords so I can rank high in Google.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Bryan, overall, my first impression was positive. One thing that hung me up was your tagline, “The Web’s Most Trusted Resource…” I read that then looked at your Alexa, then saw your comment counts, and thought, if this really was the web’s most trusted, these numbers would be higher. I know it’s tough to balance the “fake it ’til you make it” philosophy, but I would leave your site immediately after I realized that the first thing I read was a fib. You have an interesting strategy for crafting SEO-based and people-responsive headlines. I like that. If I was you, I would look at how Joel Marion and Craig Ballantyne model their sites and advice based on their personal health. I think health is a very personal battle and the people who do it best are personally-integrated on their sites. You’re doing a lot of things right, I would just get more personal with your blog.

  • http://www.optionstradingiq.com Gavin

    Nicolas,

    Fantastic offer, thanks. It would be great to get an experts feedback on my site, http://www.optionstraidngiq.com

    The number one thing I struggle with is getting conversions. I’m not generating a huge amount of traffic, but I’m reasonable happy with it at this stage (100 uniques per day) given it’s a competitive niche.

    I think I probably need more of a clear Unique Selling Proposition. I might need to try to reduce my focus to a mini-niche within the options trading niche in order to do this.

    Would love to get your thoughts,
    Thanks!
    Gav.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Gavin, your site design is simple/good and your logo is solid. The first thing I noticed was the red arrow. Your target audience is fairly intelligent and I’ve found that those tricks don’t work as well with smart people. I would get rid of it and model your homepage after SocialTriggers.com. Derek has an incredibly intelligent audience partly because he keeps things simple and straightforward. On your blog, you’ve done a great job of adding post images. Figure out how to link your post titles to the post as well. I kept wanting to click them. Also focus a bit more on your headlines. Your best headline is the post with 8 comments. I also like how you post your trading results.

  • http://www.fatlosshaven.com Ryan Phillips

    # 1 Thing I struggle with online:

    Getting traffic to my blog – I have NOT been blogging much recently because I have been building a product and going through launching it on clickbank although I am committing to a blogging schedule moving forwards.

    # 2 Idea’s of solving the problem:

    2 days ago I built a new page on my blog inviting people to guest post, I think this will help because when I accept a guest post they will market the post as well as me. Also helps with content creation.

    Also I know seo will help but I have the impression its a long hard road to take (I don’t know if that’s a correct impression or not)

    # 3 Link to homepage:

    http://www.fatlosshaven.com

    Really looking forward to your reply :)

    Ryan

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Ryan, my impression was decent. I can tell that your design is based on a template, but most people in your niche won’t notice. Overall, it’s very clean. Your headlines are generally pretty good and you do a nice job of staying consistent with your post images. Just a few things… In your posts, you use H1 tags for subheads. Those should be H3 considering your title is H2. I would just keep posting regularly. You seem to have quite a following for only having 12 posts. SEO just takes time as long as you’re posting high quality content that people like. With guest posts, my experience is that 90% of them are terribly low quality. Hope you have more luck :)

  • http://www.cruisinaltitude.com Kerwin – Cruisinaltitude.com

    Hi Nick,
    Thanks for this :-).
    I struggle with users signing up for my free travel course on http://www.cruisinaltitude.com.

    I have a lot of travel knowledge, but I don’t get enough visitors to my site and when they do, they don’t comment or rarely comment.
    I’m thinking I can make my call to action clearer and possibly say more about what the course has to offer.

    Kerwin.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey there, Kerwin! Yeah, I see you traveling all the time. Cool gig. I think your design is solid, especially the transparency effect on your post images. Your logo and tag line is a little bit of a sore spot for me. I would brand it more with CruisinAltitude instead of generic Travel Tips. When I first landed on your homepage, it took me about 5 seconds to find your opt-in. If that’s what you want, it should be the very first thing I see. I would replace your slider (sliders are pointless) with an opt-in area. And just like you said, add a few more benefit-driven bullets. I think part of the reason people rarely comment is because they only search for travel tips when they’re traveling. I imagine it’s difficult to get regular commenters because there are very few regular travelers. Focus in on tailoring your advice to only people who travel regularly, maybe the type of person who looks for your tips as their sitting in the loading area of an airport.

  • Sheyi

    Nicholas,

    I struggle with traffic and comment
    I don;t know how to solve it yet
    http://www.ivblogger.com

    Sheyi

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Sheyi, I don’t know what Epistle means and I don’t understand how it applies to “Rise Above Hate.” Those were just a few thoughts I had when I first went to your site. You have a decent design and I especially like how you have a mission behind the work you’re doing. I would niche your topic to help a specific type of person develop a specific skill that you have. Interviews are good, but I’d also like to see your advice.

  • http://intrepidmotion.com Marvin

    Hi Nicholas,

    First, thank you SO MUCH for this opportunity to get an objective review. I see that no one has left a comment yet.
    Well, given that on my website I talk about taking bold and immediate action, I decided to be first to act on your offer…so here goes:

    1. Our blog is about 9 months old, but really only starting to gain it’s stride the past month or so. I struggle with figuring out how what to offer to monetize. I have some affiliate links, and talk about how I’ve coached fitness…but not sure yet what to offer my readers.(consulting/hr, ebook, membership) Meanwhile, I’m spinning content to try to see what sticks.(I know, not a very targeted approach)

    2. I think we need to poll our readers to find out what they want. What do you think? Follow-up question, should I wait until I have a certain number of subs before polling(in order to have a large enough sampling?). Also, I think our design could use an overhaul.

    3. Our site is: intrepidmotion.com

    Thanks again!

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Marv, sure thing. It took me about 45 seconds to figure out what your site is about and I’m still trying to understand who it’s for. From reading your About page, which was quite pleasant, I gather that you want to help people lead a more passionate and fulfilling life. It’s great because it’s a big problem. But it’s too big for one couple to solve. A person in their 20s needs different advice than a person in their 70s. If I were you, I would niche it down to helping a specific type of person lead a more courageous life. Perhaps focusing on married couples… Yeah, I think it’s great to ask your readers exactly what they want. It doesn’t have to be a survey because people don’t do surveys. Maybe you can create a post like this. I’m learning a lot about you all. (Small thing: I have a wide monitor, so the blue background doesn’t run to the edge of my screen. Something is off in your CSS within the #wrap tag.)

  • http://becomingadangerdame.com/ Jen

    I hope this goes through, I tried posting it once but it didn’t show up. Thanks for this amazing offer!

    1. The thing I struggle most with is driving traffic to my blog.
    2. I think I could comment more on other blogs and offer to do guest posts for blogs I admire that have a similar theme to mine.
    3. http://www.incomediary.com/free-website-review

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Jen, I found your site. Your background image makes me nervous. It’s cool that it loops but it keeps distracting me. You’re a great writer. I read a few of your latest posts and you do a nice job of reeling people in with personal stories and details. Most people, myself included, are afraid of doing this. One thing I struggle to understand is, who is your audience? You need to start focusing on giving your advice to them while using your stories to back up your advice. While it’s interesting to hear your reasons for chopping off your hair, reading it doesn’t benefit my life past entertaining me. Start crafting posts that are more audience-focused with a side of Jen.

      • http://becomingadangerdame.com/ Jen

        Thanks for the tips Nicholas! That makes a lot of sense, and I love how you phrased it “with a side of Jen.” My earlier posts focused more on that and I didn’t realize how much I had slipped from the focus on the audience. Very helpful and very much appreciated input.

  • saurabh

    Hey…
    Well i am currently working as a blogger on my website http://www.mixedpocket.com

    I am working with an adsense program but not getting that much of clicks or hits on the advertisements.

    page views of my website are around 1500-2000 daily.

    please if you can suggest some methods then please tell me.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey saurabh, your site is very busy. My eyes were pulled in every direction and I had no idea what you wanted me to see. Too many things popping in an moving around. You seem to do a great job of adding tons of content and nice job getting that traffic. The problem with entertainment-based sites is that it appeals to every type of person. So the ads aren’t targeted. The success of the site comes down to how well you trick people into clicking your ads, which is a tough game to play. What do you think you can do better?

  • ST

    Hey thanks Nicholas – I think my number one problem would be figuring out what to sell to my audience (men’s advice website).

    So a couple of days ago I changed the 1st email in my aweber series to say ‘thanks for joining my list… hey I’d love it if you could just take a second to hit reply and tell me 1) where you’re from and 2) your biggest frustration.’

    No replies yet but hopefully I get some feedback soon.

    What’s your take?

    • Nicholas Tart

      I think that’s the best thing you can do to better understand what your audience needs. Derek Halpern, from SocialTriggers.com, does that. Then he takes all of the responses and puts them into a database so he can analyze his audience. The result is that his content is incredibly audience-focused. One benefit of niching your audience to maybe “Men’s Fashion Advice” is that you can start recommending more target products/services without worrying about it not being relevant to them.

      • ST

        Hey Nicholas – to be clear, I’d welcome your feedback on my site. I appreciated your comments on my strategy, but you said nothing about the site itself: http://whatamanknows.com

        What are your first impressions?

        • Nicholas Tart

          That’s because you didn’t list the site, ST. My first impression is that you’re using the old Copyblogger theme. It’s a good design, but it will always belong to Copyblogger. I think you need something a bit more unique. I’d also like to see your posts on the homepage. You’re a good writer but I had to search for the content. What’s your reason for only featuring that video on the homepage?

          • ST

            BIG thanks for coming back and taking a look Nicholas – I’ve always guessed that the readers of a site like mine probably wouldn’t be familiar with Copyblogger, but you’re probably right, better safe than sorry – I’ll change it.

            I felt like the vid on the homepage might help distinguish my site from others out there but, again, you’ve got a great point – that real estate would probably be better used by a huge Halpern opt-in box across the top, followed by articles below…

            • Lianne-carla Savage

              Hi I’ve been reading the advice and looking at all the websites and the most striking thing to me was just having the video on the homepage so I had to reply.

              I scrolled down the page and saw nothing and the only thing in the menu bar is an offer so I would head straight out of there as it looks like a brand new empty blog.

              It’s only because you posted here that made me take the time to look further and the right hand column ‘currently trending’ sounds like it’s pulled from elsewhere, having one item ‘just posted’ backs up the feeling that there isn’t much going on therefore not much to gain by hanging around.

              Hope you don’t mind me stepping in with my thoughts.

  • Daniel Smith

    1. The number one thing I struggle with is user-generated content. In order for my website to be functional it requires the participation of college students.

    2. To do better with this I need college students to submit content from their universities. I think once other students see pictures and videos from other schools which show off their school, they will be more inclined to submit content of their own. I have tried encouraging students through Twitter, Facebook, and in person.

    3. http://wwww.thecampusu.com

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Daniel, my first impression was that your design and logo does a nice job of giving your site a collegiate feel. I think the content of your site, however, is shallow and small-minded. The problem with that is that your site will only appeal to people whose only focus is partying. Advertisers won’t want to advertise on your site, especially not universities. You seem to be open to accepting other sorts of content. Perhaps party pics is all that college students want to submit… I think you’ll get more submissions if you tell people exactly what you want them to submit. Sites like FMyLife.com get tons of submissions because people understand exactly what type of submissions they’re looking for. I don’t mean to be hyper-critical about your site. It’s just that I’ve always been frustrated with the importance that people place on partying in college. It becomes the reason they’re there. This is why they don’t get jobs. They’re worthless to the world. For you, I respect the fact that you’re working on building this site while you’re presumably in college. I know it’s a lot of work do balance everything.

  • Torrey (TorreyShannon.com)

    Greetings, Nicholas, from a fellow Coloradan! Thank you for your generous offer to review reader’s websites. I am quite curious to see what you think of mine. :)

    My site is actually being redone as we speak, which means I realize how horrible my site is at the current moment. My goal to have my “old” site reviewed is to address things I may not realize need fixed while I have the chance to get it fixed. I would rather know now than to find out after my new site launches. Any help you give will be greatly appreciated!

    1. Tell me about the number one thing you struggle with online.

    My site is a hodge-podge of information geared toward the wounded warrior community, which culminated as a result of being seen as an expert in veteran care issues and finding myself answering the same questions over and over again. I also ‘overshare’ our own life to let people understand they are not alone in their struggles.

    I write for multiple outlets and my blog was just thrown together haphazardly to support my other writing outlets. My niche is for people who are struggling with life after combat but I feel it can convert well to anyone who may be going through difficult times.

    Right now I need to monetize my site more effectively with multiple income streams, but I do not want to “profit” off of anyone’s tragedy. I want to help people, and I need to help my own family in return.

    My question for you:
    How do I monetize my blog in such a way that helps people without appearing to be profiting from their struggles? Mind you, I am in their shoes and understand the struggles we face, and one of them is how to replace the income we lost when we gave up our careers to become fulltime caregivers to our severely injured spouses. It’s hard to make it a profitable site as a result because of the internal dilemma I have with asking for money for assistance I provide already for free.

    2. Tell me how you think you can do better with what you struggle with.

    I believe I can provide resources (both free and paid) to make our lives easier, such as creating my own e-books, creating webinars and e-courses that no one else has even tried to create yet, recommending products I love and use and thus getting affiliate income from each of those products, joining an ad network vs. my current use of Adsense (I really hate having visual clutter with too many ads that don’t pay well anyway!), bringing in private sponsors for ads, subscription options for content to help with balancing our lives, offering ways to make money from home (ie, blogging for income, creating a home business, etc. and by capturing leads for my own work-from-home opportunities) and maybe even merchandising and creating iPhone apps.

    For the audience I am trying to help, I am struggling with knowing what my best options are for the best outcome up front …without driving existing readers away.

    I am going to integrate aWeber into my new site to better capture my list and create a sales funnel for the above ideas. Right now I have about 200 subscribers via Feedburner and about 5K followers via multiple social media outlets (mainly via FB, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+). Right now I just need to know WHICH products or services are going to net me an income without putting anyone off in the process. My absolute goal is to continue helping others in more effective ways.

    3. Leave a link to your site.

    http://torreyshannon.com

    Please note, my readership has been exponentially growing and my Alexa ranking is drastically growing as well. My blog has been ‘live’ for about 8 months and I am in the top 700K sites per Alexa. I want to be in the top 100K sites by the end of the year.

    I hope that explains everything. Thank you!

    Torrey

    • Torrey (TorreyShannon.com)

      Oh my word, I am hoping that comment didn’t come out as just one block of text. If it did, is there a way to edit with paragraph breaks after it is approved? Yikes!

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Torrey, it’s ok as a block. I read it in the Comments section within WP. My first thought was that you need a logo. I like the general look of your site and your personal description does a good job of establishing your credibility. It doesn’t, however, explain the purpose of your site, which, as far as I’ve gathered is to help the families of wounded warriors… You are a wonderful writer. I would stick as closely as you can to helping that very specific group of people. I know it’s tough to get over the feeling of profiting from the pain of your readers, but that’s what businesses do. The way to get over it is to sell/recommend/advertise something that will ultimately make their life better. Sell something that makes them thank you for selling it to them. Perhaps it’s a humor-based book with personal stories that you’ve gone through that wives can read with their wounded husbands to lighten the load, if only for a moment. What else have you purchased because of your circumstances? Recommend that.

      What part of Colorado are you from?

      • Torrey (TorreyShannon.com)

        Wonderful feedback, thank you! That makes me feel much better, and to know I am going in the right direction helps too. I am in S. Central Colorado in the Wet Mountain Valley of Custer County. Basically, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. Love it here! And you?

        • Nicholas Tart

          Ah, beautiful area. I’m in Fort Collins.

  • http://grownuptravelguide.com Andy

    Hi Nicholas, here goes:
    1. I would like more traffic, by which I mean both a higher volume and more page views per visit. I think the market for my site is huge but I am not sure how to reach more people.
    2. I think I need a structured approach to marketing my website, and a much better use of social media. I want a plan I can follow each day to build traffic and links.
    3. My site is found at http://www.grownuptravelguide.com
    Thanks,
    Andy

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Andy, your blog design is clean, but a little generic. It does a good job of communicating what your blog is about, except, when I first read “Grown-up,” I thought it was for people in their 50’s plus. But once I started reading, I think it’s meant for people who are new to luxury traveling. I’m 23 years old and, for the first time in my life, I’m at a point where I can afford a nice vacation. When I go on this vacation, I’m going to gather a few friends, choose a tropical location, maybe read a few online reviews, pick one, and go. Other than reading the reviews, I don’t expect to search for additional tips… The first thing I would do is remove “Grown-up Travel Guide” from your headlines. You’ll notice that none of your popular posts start with that keyword. I would also add post photos more consistently. Remove some of the sharing options. Figure out your top three, probably Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and remove the others. When you give people too many options, they don’t choose any.

  • Xavi

    Ok here we go:

    1 – We are struggling at increasing traffic at the desired speed.
    2 – I would definetely do better with a larger budget, but maybe i just don’t know how to optimize my resources
    3 – http://www.designitecture.com

    PS: Also even if it’s not relevant at this stage our conversion is not great at all

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Xavi, I’m impressed with your design. Clean and unique. You do a nice job of regularly updating your site. If you want more traffic, I would get rid of your ads and limit your sharing options to 2-3 choices.

  • Lovestorycritic1

    Hi Nicholas,

    Thanks for your generous offer. I’ve been big fans of you and Michael for a while now. I’d love to take you up on your offer.

    In response to your requests:

    1. Tell me about the number one thing you struggle with online.
    It would be two things: getting traffic to and reader participation in my review site. I just started this site in February 2012 and so far, I used the free google adwords $100 credit and social media (facebook and connecting with other bloggers in the same area of film reviews) to boost traffic. I have steady traffic now (not a lot, just a handful a day), but I’m having trouble getting people to comment on my film reviews, even though I ask questions at the end of my reviews.

    2. Tell me how you think you can do better with what you struggle with.
    I’ve been reading the other articles on this site, especially the posts about traffic and will be implementing a lot of those suggestions, such as using images on social media instead of just text, asking questions and other attention-grabbing techniques.

    To be honest though, I think my problem is my site layout. It has more of a blog feel and doesn’t look as professional as incomediary.com. I wanted my site to have an intimate blog feel, but also, look professional at the same time. I’m figuring out how to fix this problem. Perhaps the blog feel hinders people’s commenting on my site.

    3 Link to the homepage or any page that you’d like me to take a look at:
    http://www.lovestoryreviews.com

    Thanks! Feel free to be brutally honest. I have a thick skin and view constructive criticism as necessary for success.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey LoveStoryCritic! Since you gave me permission ;)… I like your typography and header image. The grey background image is calming. Now for things I would change. Simplify the nav menu with one – three word descriptions (i.e. About, News, Love Songs, etc.). Move the sidebar to the right. Use a white background with black text. Add subheads to your blog posts. Only show excerpts on your homepage, not the entire article. Embed YouTube videos rather than just link to them. Get rid of the copyright notice at the beginning of each post. That’s like starting a conversation by saying, “If you say the wrong thing, imma punch ya in da face.” Be more personal by telling people who you are. People like celebrity gossip because they get a taste of who people actually are off the screen. Same with websites. You’re not getting comments partly because of these things but also because you’re not getting enough traffic yet. Non-bloggers aren’t used to commenting on sites like we are. Oh, and remove the archives from your sidebar. People don’t actually use those. Most importantly, ask yourself why anyone would come to your site to read Love Story Reviews. This answer will help you craft your entire site and online marketing strategy.

      • Lovestorycritic1

        Thanks Nicholas. I’ll definitely take your advice to heart.

  • http://yogainspires.co.uk ntathu allen

    Hi Nicholas, what a wonderful idea. Ummmm, #1 thing I struggle with re my site..what should I chose. OK I guess it is a toss up between traffic, getting more traffic to my site and converting traffic to sign up to new 7 day ecourse. #2. what could I do better, I could be more regular in posting blogs and be more specific in what I write (I am going through a change from providing general yoga info for beginners to focusing more on wellbeing/yoga self care and relaxation for women, so I am not sure if that message is coming across. I could be more consistent on twitter and build up my business facebook page (but I dont like facebook, prefer twitter), I could build up more relationships with other yoga/health bolggers and subscribe to forums, offer more freebies ( I would like to offer short guide relaxation/meditation audios and videos yet having funds to buy equipment or expertise to do audios or videos…feels like chicken and egg scenario), link to homepage is http://www.yogainspires.co.uk Thank you. Look forward to your review:) and good luck re getting 100 comments.

    • http://ultimatefifa.com/ Craig

      Hi Ntathu

      I hope you don’t mind but I had a look at your blog and 2 things stood out straight away.

      Firstly, I completely missed the sign in box. It blends in well with your site but you want it to stand out and draw people in. Secondly, when I did find it I couldn’t see anything to tell me I’d get a free 7 day ecourse if I signed up so the incentive was lost. (people will be too lazy to click the “why sign up” link.)

      The two thing’s I’d do would be create and nice promenant opt in box that stands out and clearly lets people know what they get if they sign up.

      Secondly use a pop up (Aweber has a basic one or Michael’s Popup Domination for a better, more customisable one) again clearly stating incentives to capture first time visitors.

      The site looks great though – good luck!

      • http://www.yogainspires.co.uk ntathu allen

        Thats wonderful Craig…small things make such a difference. Am home tomorrow so shall work on changes and view other readers site. Take care and thx.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Ntath, I second Craig’s comment. Overall, your site is calming. The header area is scrunched. I’d like to see you expand that. Look at SocialTriggers.com for an example of a high-converting homepage. For your headlines, put less focus on Blank of the Weeks and start writing original headlines every time. If you go to Copyblogger, you’ll notice that their Saturday Link posts don’t get as much traffic. Partly, I believe, because it’s a series and every one is the same. As far as not having funds to buy equipment for videos and audios, I have a hunch that that’s more of a crutch than a reason ;). You’re a smart gal, I think you can find a way to do it on the cheap.

      • http://yogainspires.co.uk ntathu allen

        Blessings and Thanks Nicholas..I had to smile – yes..my excuses are crutches…time to put on the Big Girl Knickers!..thanks for that. I appreciate yours and Craig’s feedback. I had a look at SocialTriggers and you are right, I can see the difference and like the simplicity and clarity of Derek’s site. I will chat with my webmaster and make appropriate changes and sort out the wording..so many things to think of and everything is interrelated. I was so happy and focused re creating the ecourse I forgot the other parts of the equation.

        Separate note> I find it fascinating reading your comments re other site reviews. Considering there is so much info out there, we all need the helping hand you offer. Stay blessed and keep up the positive work. Thx

  • http://www.budgetmindedorganics.com Laura Black

    I’ve finally developed a formula that has improved a lot of things on my site, but I am still struggling with building traffic. I use AWeber for e-mail marketing, but I haven’t had the time to really get into it and use it to it’s full potential. I want to create a personal template that I can use quickly and effectively for blog posts and product updates and sales. I am new to this, but have learned a lot, thanks to this site and others. I would love to hear your feedback.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Laura… I’m glad we’re helping. My first impression is that your blog is way too wide. It seems to be over 1000 pixels which makes it difficult to see on mobile devices. 900-960 pixels is ideal for a 2-column layout. Also, your header image is unnecessarily big. It pushes down all of that wonderful content you’re creating. Then your blog post pages are really narrow. I would noticed all of these things before I read a word. In terms of getting more traffic, you seem to be doing a lot right. I like your idea of streamlining the content creation. That’s something I’ve tried doing as well.

  • Syeda

    First, I want to thank you so much for this godsend. My blog is completely new, only two weeks old actually, and I may be paranoid but it seems like only one person read it.

    I’m not sure how to generate traffic for the blog. I’ve tried adding a link whenever I make a comment to another person’s blog (a bit pushy… I know) but I comment so much anyway that I thought it couldn’t hurt.

    My niche is very competitive so I think improving my writing may make me stand out. I’ve altered my writing style somewhat over the last few days so an improved blog post should be updated soon.

    My blog is http://youngsuccess.net/. Again, thank you so much for your help!

    • Nicholas Tart

      You seem to be incredibly insightful for someone so young, Syeda. For your content, I would try to settle into some sort of style. I noticed that some of your posts are layed out with subheads and lists while others are more essay-like. Posts with subheads tend to do better unless you’re a news-based site. On your subscribe section, give people a reason to subscribe. Tell them what they get. As your site grows, upgrade your theme to something that stands out. My best advice for your is to figure out who your audience is? What age? What type of student? What are their hopes, dreams, and fears? What do they eat for breakfast? Do they eat breakfast? The more you know about them, the more you’ll be able to write content for them.

  • Kenny

    website is http://www.axjeebes.com…I think one of my major concerns at the moment is my web design and functionality. I want to engage my readers yet I’m not so familiar with the site remodeling and how to utlitize the tools. I do have other issues I know of (getting traffic, monetization come to mind) but right now my worry is not having the type of layout and design that I feel is ideal. My theory to solving this problem is utlizing books and taking classes on web design and layout. If all else fails, I could always break the bank and hire a web designer to set me up. Your input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Kenny… I was in the same boat a few years back. Didn’t know anything about web design but didn’t have a budget to hire anyone. So I bought the Thesis Theme and started learning. I’d recommend getting a premium theme when you can. That would improve the look of your site quite a bit, not that it’s bad right now. You have a unique way with words. Reminds me of that Russian guy on YouTube. Can’t remember his name.

  • Tim Goggin

    Hi Nicholas,

    My dad bought your Site Profit Domination course and thought this blog post could help my business. The main problem we have is site conversions. Conversions vary wildly from day to day and week to week.

    Thanks,

    Tim Goggin

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Tim, your site seems to be set up well to convert. If I was a potential customer, I would’ve known exactly how to purchase. On your blog, I noticed that the post titles link to a 404 page. And once you get on the blog, it’s difficult to get back to the main site. The point of the blog should be to direct everyone to your home or sales page. Also, your logo should link to the homepage. I tried clicking a few times. Do the conversions fluctuate with traffic or is the percentage wildly varying?

  • Harriet

    Thanks a million Nicholas. Love your postings to date.
    1) the technology. What to do when. I feel utterly overwhelmed with widgets and plug ins and SEO and traffic optimisation and all the other doodahs. I got someone to build me a shell, then I simply couldn’t get it to work, then it got a virus, and another.. aaaarrrggghhh.
    2) I want a rent-a-techie mentor I can trust and I can use on a shoestring budget on an as-and-when basis. Someone who will tell me what I need to do next, and perhaps come and mow the grass and trim the hedges every once in a while. I am very happy writing content (I know there is loads I can do to improve that, but I’m comfortable doing that). A once in x months review of my site by a techie mentor and list of actions would be awesome
    3) helpfulhumour.com
    All the best Harriet x

    • Nicholas Tart

      Something told me that you were a comedian before I saw your domain. I really like your header image. It answers all of my questions about what your site is and who it’s for. Yeah, I see a number of small things that need a little bit of coder love. First, trash the Sample Page. That should remove it from the nav menu. Then I’d get rid of the Blogroll and Calendar widgets in the Appearance > Widgets area. They’re drag and drop. Just drag them away… I’m not cheap but I think I could teach you a lot over an hour or two. Email me, nick@monumentmarketing.net, if you’re interested.

  • http://www.adaliaconfidenceandsuccessblog.com Adalia John

    Hello Nicholas,

    Please review my site. I am a coach and hypnotherapist who enjoys helping entrepreneurs (mostly women) have the mindset for their success professionally and personally. My challenge is that I don’t get enough traffic, convert the traffic I get and make money. I think my offer or what I do may not be clear. I feel I should either be a personal development, self development blog and forget information about blogging and business.
    I have 84,760 views to my blog (launched 6/22/2009). My busiest day was 780 views 1/10.12 . My Alexa rankings is 1722367 (ouch) and most people come to my blog for posts on personal development.

    Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog.

    • Nicholas Tart

      The first thing I noticed, Adalia, is that your logo is a little fuzzy. You do a nice job of updating regularly. I know how difficult that is. If you want to convert more of your readers, you need to add opt-in boxes in places other than the footer (i.e. top of the home page (using Thesis’s feature area), top of sidebar, bottom of posts). I would also get rid of your sharing options above the headline on single post pages. That’s like asking me to share something before I know what it is. I like your tagline, though. Didn’t notice it on first inspection. Perhaps because my eyes shy away from fuzzy logos ;).

  • Michelle DeMarco

    Hi Nicholas!

    Thanks for the great article. I have seen a big improvement in my traffic over the past couple of months, but of course getting that traffic to increase and convert is going to be an ongoing goal. That would be my answer to Question #1 – and for Question #2, I am going to do better with driving traffic by running facebook and google ads, guest posting, article writing etc.

    I know my website links above but it is http://thebossyredhead.com

    Excited to hear what you recommend!

    • Nicholas Tart

      My first thought, Michelle, was that I like your domain, although it could be shorter. Once I got to your site, I read, “The #1 resource…” and thought, “according to who?” Because, if it’s according to you, then it’s probably not the case. If you want your site to convert more people into subscribers, check out Derek Halpern’s SocialTriggers.com. That’s one of the highest converting blogs in the world. He also uses Thesis. One of the things he’d recommend is putting your opt-ins in more places, including your about page.

  • Mark Savard

    Hey Nick, I read all your posts and think your a great author. I have a problem sticking to one venture. Checkout Jobprices.com and let me know what you think, its a work in progress but I made it live so you can look at it now.

    • Nicholas Tart

      I have trouble with that too, Mark. You have a great domain, but I think you need to hire someone for the design. It doesn’t really give off a, “this site is safe so gimme your credit card” feel. I can tell that you’re trying to model Fiverr. With a few small tweaks, I can be improved a lot. As far as sticking with one thing, I’ve found that it helps to start with a mission statement. That always pulls me back to what I originally thought was important.

  • Debra Hilton

    Hi Nicholas,

    Thanks for the offer. My number one challenge is getting traffic and interaction. I started the blog just over a year ago, and the lack of interest has been demoralising. I’ve been paralysed by the header design but I think my main problem is the lack of interest. Maybe I need to niche myself more clearly.

    I’d appreciate your response.

    • Nicholas Tart

      I really like your domain, Debra. It instantly gave me imagery. Then, like you mentioned, the header wasn’t anything like I imagined. I expected to see brighter, more thought-provoking colors. You need to answer the questions, “What problem does my blog solve?” and “Who does it solve it for?” Because if your blog doesn’t solve a problem, then people have no reason to visit… Your first sentence on your about page under “What is this blog about?” is weak. Instead of, “I hope that…” it should be, “This blog is for [a very specific type of person] and it will help them [solve a very specific problem].” Does that help?

  • http://www.moneysuperstar.co.uk Brett White

    Hi Nicholas,

    1. The main thing is purely traffic! We have also been wanting to create revenue but again low traffic is hitting us hard.

    2. I have been using twitter alot to create visitors but not much luck, also I have tried to create link swaps with high traffic websites. I have asked many other blogs but get turned down somewhat.

    Would love some advice!

    Brett

    • Nicholas Tart

      The first thing I thought, Brett, was “I like Pete, your avatar.” I always like that you tell people exactly what your blog is and who it’s for in the header area. I think you’ll have more success if you niche the audience a bit. I think the biggest issue is your content. There’s no meat to it. Your monthly updates are nothing more than, “here are a few things that happened and here’s where I stand.” If you want to help people, you need to be more descriptive. Tell people how you reduced your debt. When you went grocery shopping, how did you decide not to go for the superfluous pint of ice cream? You’ll also notice that your most popular articles are the ones with interesting headlines. The success of the posts here is dictated by the headline more than anything else. Spend a little more time on creating exceptionally helpful content and you’ll see your traffic rise.

  • http://disneydose.com DisneyApprentice

    1. The one thing that I struggle with online is being original while posting all the latest Disney news which is what my website is for, and getting people to visit my website. 2. I could continue writing the news, and also work on adding original content.
    DisneyDose.com

    • Nicholas Tart

      One thing you do well, Gavin, is crafting your headlines. They’re interesting to me even though I’m not that interested in following Disney. As long as you’re limiting yourself to Disney-related news, it is going to be difficult to come up with original content. You have a lot of the basics covered, you just might need a different focus.

  • Delords Austin

    Thanks Nicholas for this Privilege,
    I Run a Blogger Blog Directory and the number one problem am having is having most of the bloggers listing their sites to link back to me, also having the problem of making money with the Directory.

    I have thought about giving up on it as my efforts there is not being appreciated but i think i can do better if i can have people appreciate my efforts there in inking back to me and help in making it a standard Blog Directory
    Here is a Link to My Website http://www.blogsonblogger.com
    Please i need your review on mine also.
    Thanks.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Delords, I think your domain expired yesterday. Let me know when it’s back up.

  • http://www.bizoppsbuzz.com Owen

    Thanks for this offer of giving an objective review. I have been a follower of your articles in this blog and feel confident of a from the heart honest answer.
    1. My issue is traffic and because of this I ask myself, have I got the right plug-ins, the onpage seo,the correct theme and the back end set up correctly? I have a lot of doubts and they are there primarily because of traffic.
    2. I’m working on an e-book to give as an offer for opt-ins and I’m going to improve on the content as well. I’m also going to do some face book ads to get traffic,but I haven’t done that as yet because I’m just not sure if I have all the settings and plug-ins correct(as mentioned in item 1)
    3. My blog is about various business opportunities(main keyword), business ideas,start-up business ideas, entrepreneur profiles and eventually webinars and podcasts from around the world. The idea is to write a few words(between 100 and 200 words) as an introduction and then link to an external site for further reading. I think this is called curation.
    My target audience will be people who are interested in business start-ups and how people made money from business and also those looking to model a business idea that they can start up wherever they live in the world.
    My blog is http://www.bizoppsbuzz.com

    Once again, thanks

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Owen, the first thing I noticed was that your logo looks amateur-ish. From a design standpoint, if you’re using black text, the drop shadow should be lighter. If you’re using light text, make it darker. I like that you describe your site in the tagline. I know instantly if this site is meant for me or not. If you really want to curate an audience, you need to start creating original content. I’ve heard that people have had success with curating, but I’m not convinced that it’s a long-term successful model. Also, all of the ads turn me off immediately. I think you understand what you need to do, it just comes down to doing it. I like your mission.

  • http://www.aviationmd.com Peter

    If only all the IM’ers were as generous! As a non-techie type I struggle with design the most, As you’ll see my site is about as plain as it gets. http://www.aviationmd.com I’ve been at for a while now with very little success and minimal traffic i.e. 30-40 views per month. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    Peter

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Peter, yep, you’re right. Very basic design, but that’s not a bad thing. If you want an easy way to improve the look of your Thesis site, check out Alex’s skins: http://kolakube.com/skins/. I think the larger problem is that your content is extremely dry. It’s like reading a legal document. It’s good to have an online resource that’s nothing but facts, but I couldn’t read more than a few sentences. Can you? You should also add an about page and a contact page. Until you start to build a personal brand around your site, it’s going to sit at 40 views per month. You do seem to know your stuff. Now it just comes down to how effectively you can communicate that stuff in a way that’s interesting to people.

  • http://www.IndependentClinician.com Jena

    Hi Nicolas!
    Thank you for your offer. I’ve been a big fan of IncomeDiary.com for about a year now – but sometimes I struggle adapting the info to a non-Internet Marketing audience. My audience are speech, physical and occupational therapists looking to start their own small private practice.

    My biggest issue is: selling/copy for my sales page. I am thinking about creating a video sales page (via OptimizePress) to see if that makes a difference. I basically have no competition – no one else is selling this info. I sell about $750-$1,000 per month in both eBook and hard copy books but I would love to be making closer to $2,000/month.

    My site can be found at http://www.IndependentClinician.com

    Thank you for your consideration!
    Jena

    • Nicholas Tart

      Wow, Jena, you seem to be doing a lot of things right. You’ve done a great job of choosing an audience, understanding that audience, and helping that audience. As a first-time visitor. It took more more than two minutes to find your sales page. Once I did, there are a bunch of HTML issues (looks like the shortcodes aren’t working). I was also distracted by the, “Click Here to Share” plugin. I was like, what the heck is going on here?! From a design standpoint, your typography is a little messy. Your page should only have one H1 tag which is your headline. Also, your site should use no more than two different fonts. I don’t have any experience with OptimizePress, but I’ve heard from multiple sources that video sales pages work much better than long-copy sales pages. Keep it up!

  • Kebabope morapedi

    Hi Nic,

    My #1 problem is not making money.

    My biggest problem has been inconsistency because of information overload, which ultimately lead to inaction. I also struggle a lot with following my plan of action,To curb the above problem I am focusing on only few strategies being article marketing, ezine advertising and twitter for NOW. I also do a bit of outsourcing so i can focus on only critical areas of the business like working on myself.

    Here is a link to my site: http://finchmorapedi.com

    Thanks again Nic for this opportunity looking forward to your feedback.

    Regards,

    Finch.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey there Finch. The first thing I noticed was that your design is a little sloppy. It does a good job, however, of communicating exactly what the site is and who it’s for. One reason I think you’re struggling with making money is because you don’t sell anything. You have a few ads and affiliate products, but it took me awhile to find them. Another reason is because you’re still building your following. You can’t expect to make much from a website until it has at least a couple hundred regular readers. I would keep posting and start spending some time in forums where your audience hangs out. Figure out how to help those people. Then help them.

      • Kebabope morapedi

        Thanks Nic for the warm review will do my best and act on your recommendations.

        Love n Light

        ~Finch

  • Frugal Joe

    I struggle with writing good interesting content that readers will want to keep coming back to read.

  • FloodedGates

    Hey Nick,

    One of the things I struggle with (I’m still new to this thing) is not putting enough time for planning or putting too much time into planning things out. If I don’t put much time into planning, the goal I originally had for my site starts to change directions and I start to lose the main purpose. If I over plan things, I tend to be overwhelmed from everything and feel as if I’m taking on too much at first. I think I’m getting better at things now, but I rather think big when it comes to my goals. I probably just solved my own problem but setting smaller goals that will lead to my ultimate goal is what I should probably be doing. As of right now, I’m trying to design and tweak things; I usually want things to be perfect before moving on to the next thing. One thing I would say is, I’m fascinated by Inc.com and enjoy the site, however I would love to be better than them one day soon. What advice would you give to someone who would like to accomplish something like that? Remember, it’s only me, myself, and I at the moment but I’m constantly learning and I’m a great leader when it come to anything non-internet related, so I would have to bold a community, gain readers, get contributors and authors with similar interests. Those are things I think I will have somewhat of a hard time tackling. I know that Inc.com have been in business for some time now and have top notch authors, developers, etc. what advice would you give. Leadergates.com (it’s under construction) thanks for the help in advance.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey FG, the first thing I noticed was that your logo was fuzzy. I know you’re still working on the development, so I won’t critique much there. As far as over vs. under planning, I did the same thing. I planned, researched, planned, planned, researched, and planned some more because I wanted everything to be perfect too. The result? I spent months and months planning when I had a few of the fundamentals wrong. My best advice is to get something out there. Figure out how people respond to it. Then adjust from there. One of the best uses for a blog is that it becomes an incredible platform for market research. People tell you, if you ask, exactly what they like, don’t like, and want changed. It’s amazing. Get the site up. Start posting great, unique content. And see how people respond. On a practical note, I think you’re spot on with creating some feasible, short-term goals. I do that too. I have my mission and vision. From that, I create 1-year, 3-month, and 1-month goals.

  • nicole

    Hi Nicholas, Ok so I started this blog… seriously knowing nothing about it. What i am Trying to do is basically just make some noise for my cousin Anthony Shepherd. Just trying to get his story out. Im having trouble with basically everything> just kidding.. but i can’t seem to get it organized… But maybe you can take a look and let me know if i’m getting the point across. I thin k that i need to be more organized? Thanks

    • Nicholas Tart

      Props to you, Nicole. It sounds like your cousin has a decent case. The first thing I would do is stop writing in all caps. I couldn’t read most of your content simply because of how distracting that is. The snow in the header is also unnerving. I would choose an entirely different design. You want to have black text on a white background. And as soon as you start making grammatical and spelling errors, your credibility is squashed. Ask yourself, what’s the point of this [blank] on my website? If you don’t have a good answer, remove it. I hope justice is served.

  • http://www.bookbox.com Pam Botelho

    Hi Nicholas.
    My main issue right now is to get traffic to my website. When I first got this project, I found that the new website had many broken links, 404 errors which we are fixing I also found out that everyone who were coming, were coming through organic search, really few redirection and by looking for the same word Bookbox. I just started to manually ask for backlinks, work on twitter and facebook pages. I’m first trying to get some people subject related to my personal facebook and post good content, for then connect to the company, but face seems to be the one that I’m struggling more, and backlinks haven’t happen yet.
    http://www.bookbox.com looking forward for your review. Thank you.

    • Nicholas Tart

      I really like your domain, Pam. It’s good. After 30 seconds, I have no idea what the purpose of your website is. My best guess is that it’s a resource that recommends books for kids. Ask yourself, “What’s the purpose of the homepage?” Then tell people what you want them to do. Then ask, “What’s the purpose of this page? What’s the purpose of the website? What problem does it solve?” The answers to those questions should be clearly explained throughout your site.

  • Noobbgodlike

    Struggle:
    How to convert traffic into money. I am using adsense on my blog. The CTR seems so low (about 0,23 %). I get about 500.000 page view/month. Should I change to “advertise here” model on my site (advertiser pay fixed amount of money per month), if yes how to create a proposal to do that ? I don’t want to use subscription based model, I want to give my content free :D.

    I am really confused about social media marketing too, but it’s my fault not following tweetadder tips from incomediary, I will follow it ASAP

    How to do better?
    Maybe to change the themes?? But not sure what kind of themes can increase CTR.

    Thank you very much
    My site http://www.guide4gamers.coma

    • Nicholas Tart

      You get 500,000 page views/month? You must be doing a great job of SEO. Unfortunately, ads aren’t the best way to monetize a website. You can sell private ads through BuySellAds.com. Not sure if you have a logo, but it’s not showing up. Oftentimes, the success of ads comes down to how relevant they are to your audience. The three ads I see right now are APMEX, HP, and Kayak. Those are very generic and probably not relevant to people on your site.

  • http://www.organisemyhouse.com Chrissy

    HI and thanks for this opportunity!

    I struggle with getting traffic and comments, but feel that although the site is now 3 months old I have been concentrating more on posts rather than traffic as traffic won’t stay unless they like it.
    I have followed your ecourses and have learnt so much so thank you, as I had never done a blog before.
    I have automated a lot of stuff through aweber which is saving time, but would love to know how to get to the next step.
    Website is http://www.organisemyhouse.com
    THanks!

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Chrissy, you do a good job of maintaining consistency throughout your posts. Your sidebar, however, is cluttered and doesn’t give off the “I’m organized” vibe. Go through each section of your sidebar and ask yourself, “what’s it’s purpose?” If you can’t come up with a good answer, remove it. Out of the 14 things, I would only keep three of them. Which three do you think I’d keep? Also, the Twitter Updates, Recent Posts, Tags, and Categories in your footer are all unnecessary. Especially the tags and categories. Nobody uses those. One small thing: Move your post images to the right side. It makes it easier to start reading the post. And make your links a different color. Ok, that was two small things… Traffic will come with time. For now, you need to focus on keeping the traffic that you get.

  • http://ultimatefifa.com/ Craig

    Hi Nicholas,

    Thanks a lot for your kind offer to review our sites!

    [Tell me about the number one thing you struggle with online.]

    My site is a niche gaming site (for the EA SPORTS FIFA series). I have an e-mail list of 4K+, nearly 4K followers on Twitter and the site gets at least 5000+ views per day).

    Despite this I get few comments and struggle to get people to engage in conversation on the site. I also really struggle to encourage people to share the posts.

    [Tell me how you think you can do better with what you struggle with.]

    I think I could do better by putting more emotion into my posts, for example, a lot of my posts are news and information. Rather than just providing the news or information, maybe I could give opinions on the subjects, create a bit of controvecy maybe?

    I’ve always wanted to put more personality into my writing but at the same time I don’t want the site to rely on my personality if I want to sell it on at some point.

    I’ve also always wanted to put counters on the share buttons but I’ve always worried that if the numbers of shares are low that it will undermine the authority of the site… Apart from actually asking people to share the posts I’m a bit stuck for ideas. Any help in this area would be hugely appreciated.

    [Leave a link to your site.]

    http://ultimatefifa.com

    Thanks in advance Nicholas and to anyone that takes the time to have a look.

    Craig.

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Craig, I think you have a great looking site. You seem to be doing a fantastic job of maintaining consistency throughout your posts. One reason you’re not getting a lot of comments is because they’re so far down the page. It’s almost like they’re afterthoughts. It might also be because your audience doesn’t have a reason to comment. Either, they aren’t naturally inclined to comment, or (more likely) your content doesn’t incite them to comment. Many of your posts are less than 500 words. There’s not much to comment on when there isn’t much content. As far as sharing, add the standard buttons and remove the icon-based sharing plugin. There’s a disconnect whether clicking the icons will share the post or simply link to your Facebook, etc. page.

      • http://www.ultimatefifa.com Craig

        Thanks Nick – much appreciated matey. I know what you mean about the short posts. A lot of them are breaking news when they go up and I’ve been struggling with time to put some meat into them. Will take that on board.

        Good point about the sharing icons – makes sense! Do you mind me asking which plugin is used here?

        Thanks again.

        • Nicholas Tart

          I think it’s Sharebar. That’s what I use and it works great.

  • Nick Messenger

    Hi Nick,
    I know there is very little content on my blog & that is probably my #1 challenge.
    I feel that my best way to find regular content is by reading other blogs but I feel as though I`m only repeating what other people have already said. It`s difficult to make the content unique when you aren`t as experienced / knowledgeable as others.
    You can view my site at http://nickmessengeronline.com/
    Thank you. I look forward to your comments.
    Nick

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey there, Nick. Yeah, you’re definitely entering a crowded niche. Most people who are successful in the MMO niche had previous success online in other niches. Michael had a graphic design site, a young entrepreneur site, and a few niche sites before he launched Income Diary. What’s the purpose of your website? You’re right that simply rehashing what you learn from others is the wrong way to go about creating content. It needs to be based on the fundamentals plus what you’ve found to be successful. You need to figure out how you can serve an audience that’s different than the typical MMO audience. How will you be different and better?

  • http://umreviews.com Umar

    Mr Nicholas Tart,

    Its my very first comment on any of the official sites. For the last 6 months i research on the topic “Internet Marketing and Product Reviews”, at last i am succeeded to make a blog. Its all because of your site ” incomediary.com”. My first priority is to get True and unbiased information regarding the theme. I tried my best to get the best information and manage it for my friends, visitors, searchers. Your advice into the matter is highly appreciable. Regards,

    Umar (http://umreviews.com)

    • Nicholas Tart

      Overall, your theme looks decent, Umar. The header is definitely a weak spot. There’s a disconnect between your domain and your logo. Plus, the T in “tactics” should be capitalized. From an outsiders perspective, I would notice that and immediately leave. If you’re providing reviews, you need to establish your credibility as an honest and educated reviewer. Also, your homepage should only show excerpts, not the entire post. There’s way too much information on the homepage. I like your nav menu. It looks classy. Also, you have two email subscription options. Which one do you want me to sign up for? Remove the other one.

      • http://umreviews.com Umar

        Thank You Mr Nicholas Tart,
        I appreciate your review of my site and try to start over again with my logo and other errors. Thank you for your sweet contribution. I remember you always. Keep in touch. Bye

        Umar

  • Kerry

    Hi lovely offer and something I could really do with. I have a personal blog based on Turkey which is a small niche.

    I am struggling to work out how to make money with my site. I have ad words which I make probably about 50p a month! but it’s a start.

    To improve on this I think I need a product and maybe better ad placement, I have played about with ad location and it seems to be working a bit better. I am working on traffic and in the past two months I’ve raised my visitors up from 500 to 1000. I am now also seeing better returning visitor figures than before.

    I have thought about a product but struggled to work out what this could be what would work for the site.

    The other side of things I feel if I can improve visitor interaction more comments and create more a community feel and engage with my visitors more I would also at the same time be able to start offering affiliate products through articles etc I have a facebook which I do post to daily but I also struggle there with interactions also.

    http://www.earthlaughsinflowers.info

    Looking forward to your thoughts. Thank you very much for your time.

    Kerry

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Kerry, you have the best looking design that I’ve seen in these comments. I know it’s a theme, but you’ve done a good job of not making the theme look ugly as you add content to it. You’ve done a good job of niching your site so everyone who visits either lives in or travels to Turkey. Your next step is figuring out what they’re interested in purchasing. Maybe it’s Tours or Turkey, an ebook with things to do in Turkey, or an ebook with Turkish customs that travelers need to read prior to visiting. Then create that product or service and link to your relevant sales pages from your blog posts. I don’t see anything wrong with your ad placements. My guess is that you’re making as much as you can with ads with the traffic that you have… Just a small thing: In your interview series, change the order of your headline (i.e. Jake Olson | Turkish Life Interview Series). That way it’ll rank higher for the term Jake Olson.

      • Kerry

        Hi Nicholas

        Thank you very much, especially for the time you have taken to look at mind and everyone’s blog. I really appreciate your comments and compliments. I will do a bit of research now and see what it is people are looking for and would purchase.

        All the best to you and look forward to your next article.

        Kindest regards Kerry

  • Maraikar

    Hi, Thank you so much for your different niche ideas to help us. I have very good interest and impression about online as well as some knowledge about it. But still I did not start any Blog or website bcoz my mother language is not English, but Tamil. However I can manage English. So please advice on this how I can start a Blog and getting traffic and make money. Thank you so much and wish you all the best to get 100 comments

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Maraikar, if you’re going to start a blog in English, you need to get a better command of the language. This should be your number one focus. Otherwise, I’d suggest starting it one in Tamil.

  • http://internetmoneymap.com Mark

    Nicholas
    Number one is the conversion of site visitors. No one is opting in to our free offer on the home page or any of our affiliate banner offers

    I think the issue is either messaging (copy) or images, maybe both. The opt-in is above the fold and looks clean and the content is good. Time for a website design overhaul??

    http://internetmoneymap.com

    Thanks Nick!

    Mark

    • Nicholas Tart

      Dude, Mark. The first thing I would do is change your background image. That thing can give seizures as you scroll. If you want a lesson on how to convert your blog better, check out SocialTriggers.com. That’s one of the highest converting blogs in the world and he has a highly intelligent audience. You’ll notice that he has two opt-ins at the top of the homepage, an opt-in at the top and bottom of every post, and one in the footer. And your sidebar opt-in is clean, but it’s noticeably not customized. Your audience will recognize it as one of the default Aweber forms. I think you also need to be more clear as far as what they’re opting-in for. Does that help?

  • Max Andrews

    1. Monetizing the site
    2. have a broader range of relevant ads?
    3. sententias.org

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Max, I didn’t gather what your site is about until I started reading your headlines. Your tagline, “Meaningful | Purposive | Thought” means nothing to me outside the context of your site. I think you’ll be able to better monetize your site once you have a better idea of who your audience is. Just a small thing, your header image should link back to your homepage.

  • http://www.JobCoachHQ.com Douglas Andrews

    Nicholas 1 – I need to drive more traffic to my site. 2 – I could be more consistent with my posts. http://www.JobCoachHQ.com THANKS! I look forward to your response!

    • Nicholas Tart

      Hey Doug, the content on your homepage does a good job of establishing your credibility. The header image, although, looks like it was designed in 2003. Also, the blue background on your opt-in is hideous. I would never fill that out simply because it’s like staring into the sun. In general, you want to have your content on the left and sidebar on the right. I think you might’ve switched it to get more ad clicks. As far as your content, I think it’s pretty good. I can tell that you write from experience. On the blog page, the double headlines are confusing. I know you do that for SEO, but it confuses people. I would eliminate the Blogroll, Calendar, Categories, and Archives from your Appearance > Widgets area. You have good content, Doug, which is the hard part. I think you need some work on your design because it distracts from the quality of your content.

      • http://www.JobCoachHQ.com Douglas Andrews

        Thanks, now that you point it out….wow, you are right! I am encouraged by your comments on content. I will change the design with your recommendations! Thank you.

        • Nicholas Tart

          Much better, Doug ;). I appreciate you taking immediate action. Still need to adjust that opt-in though.

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