Back in August of this year, John had a promotion where you could get a free $500 review if you enrolled in Yaro Starak’s Blog Mastermind program. One of the people who took advantage of this promotion was J.D. Meier, who is now using his free review to promote Sources of Insight, a blog centered on discovering the “world’s best insight for work and life.”
Finding Inspiration and Putting It in Action
Unlike many John Chow dot Com fans who have blogs focused on making money online, J.D. Meier has taken a distinctly different approach with his blog. Sources of Insight isn’t so much about trying to rake in the cash as much as it is about personal development. In this way, it approaches a wide variety of topics that are aimed to improve your overall way of life as well as your productivity in the world of work.
In terms of overall design, Sources of Insight automatically has a Zen-like appeal as it makes use of a minimalist color palette and a clean layout. Above the fold, the blog appears to take on a magazine-style template, featuring the most recent article with a relatively large picture, but below the fold, the layout is much more akin to a standard blog, displaying recent posts in reverse chronological order.
While you may find well over 30 categories in the sidebar, just five are highlighted below the most recent blog post. These categories, like emotional intelligence and personal excellence give you a great sense of what you should expect from Sources of Insight.
I’m not so sure about John, but the exploration of personal development is of great interest to me. It’s all about making better decisions, improving your quality of life, and looking at your day-to-day in entirely new ways.
Who is J.D. Meier?
One of the key features of any successful blog is a good “About” page. It is here that readers can learn a little more about the person behind the computer screen and, more importantly, why they should care what this person has to say. Looking at the About Page on Sources of Insight, I found it to be somewhat lacking in this kind of information.
There is no photograph of J.D. Meier, nor is there any information about who he is and why he may be qualified to discuss personal development. Even the information about the blog itself, aside from the “vision” statement, is quite vague and superficial. Instead of a series of very short bullet points, it would be better to have a few short paragraphs.
Insightful Posts for Insightful People?
Sources of Insight aims to tackle all the aspects of a person’s life, not only approaching financial and career choices, but also how we approach relationships, having fun, and interacting with the world around us. Some of the posts that caught my attention include the following:
- Counteracting the Me Syndrome
- Conflict Resolution by Shifting Tense
- Balance Your Intuition and Reason
- Be Aware of the Larger System/
- 4 Types of Problems
Many of the blog posts on Sources of Insight fall under the Book Nuggets collection. While insight can be drawn from a wide variety of sources, J.D. Meier derives a fair bit of inspiration from the various books that he reads. Yes, you can find insight outside of the Internet.
Always Room for Improvement
As with all blogs, Sources of Insight is not without its shortcomings. I am very glad to see that the more recent posts, like the one about helping colleagues look good, come with an embedded image, because many of the older posts are very text-heavy. Relevant pictures can be great for making your content more approachable.
However, like the About page, I found that many of the blog posts felt somewhat superficial. Many posts were very heavy on short bullet points and blockquotes, but they were lacking in any deeper discussion or analysis. Given the nature of the “personal development” niche, I think that readers would appreciate something with a little more substance. More specifically, J.D. Meier should offer more in terms of a personal touch or opinion.
Also, while I’m not sure how much of a priority it is to J.D., the monetization on Sources of Insight is quite lacking. There is a basic AdSense block and a small Amazon widget in the sidebar, as well as Amazon affiliate links within the blog posts themselves, but he could be leaving a lot of money on the table. Don’t be afraid to explore other ad networks (and placements) if you want to make cash providing insight.
All in all, Sources of Insight offers some value to people interested in personal development and personal excellence, but J.D. Meier still has plenty of room to grow too.