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.