Internet Marketing and More with Vance Sova

My Google Reader is filled with the RSS feeds of many different blogs. Some of them have to do with the business of freelance writing, since that’s what I do. Others are about video games, gadgets, personal development and all sorts of other topics. One subject that comes up again and again is this whole “make money online” thing.

Most recently, one blog that has come to my attention is the one belonging to Vance Sova. On his site, he discusses Internet marketing, list building, and other related niches. Is his blog worth reading? Check out this review and decide for yourself.

Who Is Vance Sova?

You may already know and recognize Vance, since he has appeared in a few recent Dot Com Pho episodes. Heading over to his self-named blog, however, I find one very vital area that is missing.

Do you see it? At the top of the page, where we find the core navigation of the site, there are just three tabs: home, contact me, and life story videos. Where is the about page?

Especially when you use your name as your domain, it is positively critical to have a brief biography on your site. People want to put a face to a name and they want to know why you are someone they should be reading. The “about” page doesn’t have to be elaborate — check out John’s and mine as examples — but it has to be there.

Further to this point, the main design of VanceSova.com needs some work to build his brand and establish his online presence. One of the easiest things to do, for instance, is to use a custom header image. The basic text header, as it stands, makes the page look awfully generic. This first impression will certainly color how people perceive what Vance has to say on his blog.

Building Content and Other Suggestions

Vance Sova approaches a number of different subjects related to making money blogging and through other online ventures. The category list on his blog is indicative of this kind of content.

Personally, I’m less inclined to have such lengthy names for categories. I’d prefer to have them limited to no more than about three words, so that they can be a little more versatile and succinct. Instead of Internet Marketing, Is This Ethical?, the category could simply be called Internet Marketing Ethics. Perhaps Vance is targeting a keyword phrase.

Since Vance only updates his blog every couple of weeks, the relatively longer length of his posts is perfectly acceptable. This “long form” can be a little more difficult to digest by our increasingly shorter attention spans, but the writing is reasonably fluid and easy to read.

A good example is the review post he wrote on the book I co-authored with John.

Another Vance Online Property

Outside of Internet marketing, Vance Sova also owns another blog at HealthyDietWeightLoss.org. As you can imagine, it’s a blog about healthy diets, weight loss, and healthy lifestyles.

Just like VanceSova.com, the site isn’t afraid to run advertising in the sidebar, but it suffers from much of the same design issues. There is no “personality” to the site; it needs an about page, a custom header image, and other features to separate it from the crowd.

That said, I have a feeling this site is designed specifically to make money and little more. Many of the links are (masked) affiliate links. Also, the post titles aren’t “clickable.”

A Decent Start, A Long Way to Go

Vance Sova seems to be off to a relatively good start with his main Internet marketing blog, but there is a lot of room for improvement too. More frequent updates, a more customized appearance, and other design tweaks are some good areas to consider.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE AT VANCESOVA.COM


49 thoughts on “Internet Marketing and More with Vance Sova”

  1. John, as always you have some very valid points.

    His pages do need personality, and that’s exactly what my site needs.

    Thank you for your tips I will apply them to my own sites.

    1. d3so says:

      Yeah, I think it needs to be announced that Michael Kwan writes the reviews for John.

    2. Alex Dumitru says:

      This is an interesting review indeed, though I wonder why did he pay for a review of his blog 🙂

      1. I think it quite difficult to put real personality into a blog page, though I guess it will be easier with video blogging because we can see your lips move

      2. I don’t think he paid directly for it, I think it is part of a recent deal (buy through my affi link, receive a free review of your site) John offered recently here on this blog, SY

  2. d3so says:

    So, is this a bonus review from a purchase of blog profit camp?

      1. Rash says:

        Nice, good review and vance sova is the real deal guys 🙂

    1. I am looking forward to read Vance’s review of Blog Profit Camp somewhere in the near future, SY

      1. I will probably do just that but only after the course is gone through by me.

        1. It will be nice to see such a review, from somebody that actually took the course, rather than just a ‘review’ from an affiliate that is mainly promoting it, SY

  3. Hi Michael,

    What a nice and balanced review. I know you say it like you see it.

    I could have avoided some of the criticism, especially the one about the lack of about page.

    I’ve been told that before. Now it’s clear to me that I need to act on it.

    When I make the about page it will maybe refer to two posts on my blog that have been there for a long time.

    In one I’m relating a story from my early boyhood and in the other I reveal 25 things about myself.

    The other post was prompted by a challenge.

    I’m not sure that so many people really read the about page but I know that some do.

    I will have an about page within 2 weeks.

    I’d be interested to know how much importance the other readers of this blog give to about page and if they always look for it and read it when they visit a blog for the first or second time.

    I do it maybe in 2% of cases at most.

    Vance

    1. It depends for me. I might not read it the first time I come, but if I keep going, it’s something I eventually want to read, so I know a little more about the blog author and his or her history.
      They’re usually not too difficult to create, and you’re writing about yourself, so no big deal right?

    2. PPC Ian says:

      Hey Vance,
      My about me page is one of the most visited pages on my blog, consistently month after month. Looking forward to checking out your blog.
      Best,
      Ian

      1. OK, I got it. I really appreciate your comment and input.

        This goes to Insurance Izzy and you PPC Ian

        I’ve decided to create the about page right now. It’ll be there as soon as you visit. No more 2 weeks of waiting.

        1. That’s the right attitude, better now then never 😉 SY

      2. d3so says:

        Likewise, my about page is also one of my most visited pages.

        I like reading the about pages of people because you get to know them on a personal level. It also makes you look more legit and not another random person on the Internet.

    3. Michael Kwan says:

      An About Page is one of those things where if a person is interested in it, it doesn’t matter, but for people who do want to know more, it really hurts when you don’t have it. Doesn’t take too much effort and it helps your readers better understand who you are and why they should care.

      1. Hey Michael,

        Thanks for the comment and again for the review. It helped me get over the resistance to creating that page.

        I now have an about page and you can read it any time.

        I’ll have comments section open for a limited time to get some feedback and suggestions on it.

        Vance

        1. d3so says:

          This gives me an idea for a future post of mine.
          Thanks!
          😉

          1. I’m curious what your future post will be about. When are you planning to publish it?

          2. Quick feedback, Vance. I wouldn’t write it in the third person. In the end, the blog carries your name, if you write in the third person, one might wonder who wrote about you. I also find it sounds very distanced and impersonal that way. But that might be just me, SY

          3. Hi SY,

            I know what you mean but I’ve seen other about pages written in third person on a personal blog and it seems OK.

            I think everybody assumes that the person wrote it him/herself.

            I chose to do it that way mainly because it helps to get around using I, I , I repeatedly.

            I appreciate your feedback very much.

            The nice thing about it is that I can always change it.

            Vance

  4. Hi,

    Good review. I learned a lot from this review.

    Yeah the ‘about me’ page missing is weird.

    I guess he does need to improve a little on his blogs.

  5. You know what — I have very rarely thought about “personalizing” my various websites I create. I do add an “about” page, but it is usually just a couple of paragraphs explaining what the site is about — nothing personal. This is a very helpful post. I think I will personalize a few sites to test the theory. Thanks for the tips. 🙂

  6. Well its sounding like an honest review and I am sure our Vance will note down those points and will start work on them.

    1. Yes, the review is very honest and I’ll work to improve my blog.

      I’d appreciate your honest answer (and that of all the other commenters) to my question of how often you view people’s about pages.

      I’ll have one within two weeks.

      Vance

      1. d3so says:

        Also, get a logo up. It’d be interesting to see how creative you are 😉

    2. PPC Ian says:

      I agree it’s a very honest review which is great to see. We all have areas we can improve and honest feedback is always helpful.
      Best,
      Ian

  7. Paul avery says:

    I visit john chow.com because of the daily post. Plus I get ideas here too. So I think frequent updates is super key.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I visit JC every day too, often several times per day.

      1. Me too, as I find it a constant source of new ideas and reminders about what i meant to do but…………..

  8. Thanks John..this was an awesome review..Let me go check out Vance site.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

    1. I look forward to your visiting my blog and your comments there.

      I’m sure you can find some topics there that you have opinions about.

      Vance

    2. d3so says:

      Yup, I’m gonna head to his blog too to check out his about me page.

  9. Nice review, I enjoy to see what other ventures people are doing online, like me I have an internet marketing and blogging Blog as well as a Blog about gardening and everything homely…

    1. d3so says:

      That’s nice. Are you generating any revenuefrom your blogs?

  10. Daily Smash says:

    John the pop up threat message is still appear when I open your blog. The treat says kanisius.net

    1. John Chow says:

      You might be looking at a cached page. Try clearing everything.

  11. What a nice review! Not too critical and not too nice. You’ve given Vance some good pointers for improving his site… and probably his traffic, income, and fame too 🙂

    1. The review kind of surprised me.

      I knew that Michael always strives to give a balanced review but having met him several times I thought that he’d be closing at least one of his critical eyes a bit and be more liberal with praise.

      I’m glad that he stuck to his usual ways.

      It’s difficult to remain impartial either way when you write about somebody you know but it has to be done.

      A whitewash review wouldn’t serve anybody well but an honest review helps the reviewed as well as the readers and the reviewer.

  12. Drops says:

    Vance Sova will surely do well in the future with the guidance of John

    1. d3so says:

      …and Michael Kwan 😉

  13. Jean says:

    “Instead of Internet Marketing, Is This Ethical?, the category could simply be called Internet Marketing Ethics. Perhaps Vance is targeting a keyword phrase.”

    Most probably not. Google almost makes no difference between “ethics” and “ethical”. Thus, search results would be the same.

    1. When I made that category I wanted to make it clear that it wouldn’t be about what IS ethical which is what Internet Marketing Ethics implies to me.

      I wanted it to be clear that this category is for posts that deal with questionable internet marketing ethics but that I needed the input of my readers to determine whether they viewed them that way too.

      Using Questionable Internet Marketing Ethics as the name of the category would make it as long as the name I chose but would make it less interesting and actionable in my opinion because it would have already made a judgment.

      I don’t think people want to read about something already deemed questionable. They are more interested in having a say whether it is so or not.

      Does it make sense to you?

  14. Thu Nguyen says:

    Hi Michael,

    Your review of Vance’s site was very straight to the point. I couldn’t stomach it at first but you’ve pointed out some areas worth noting. I noticed the About Me page missing as well and also thought the categories were the post names. As for the header, I don’t know how long Vance has gotten the site up but now that he’s on the spot, it would be a good idea to invest in some nice graphics or do something more creative. Looking forward to more reviews from you.

    Thu

  15. Krystle says:

    Nice review, John. Vance really needs to improve his blog design, the content of his blog is great though.

    1. Hi Krystle,

      Thank you for saying that. That really made my day.

      I’ll work on my blog design. It may take some time as it can be quite expensive to have a unique design made.

      As long as you think the content is great I’m real happy.

      Vance

  16. Seems to me that Vance is not going to change his blog look … so soon.

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