I emailed Rachelle from Landlord Rescue and told her that she’d won the contest for the second Blog Critique and that if she wanted me to do the video she had to let me as brutally honest as possible. She wrote back saying, “You can’t save your face and your ass at the same time“. Challenge accepted.

NOTE: Subscribe by email to find out how to enter the next Blog Critique.

Get involved guys

Rachelle is one of a small group of commentators here on Blog Tyrant that has made this whole thing worthwhile. Without those ongoing comments, feedback and community vibe I would have stopped writing before all the success happened. I hope in some way this video serves as a mini “thank you” for all the comments and help you have given me and other readers here on my site.

Please watch the video and give as much feedback on Rachelle’s blog as possible by leaving a comment on this post. I’m not the only “expert” here and I really hope that these critiques become a bit of a jam session for everyone to get stuck in to the poor soul who put their blog up for examination. As mentioned, I’ll only keep doing them if they get enough good feedback and help enough people.

Some of the things I discuss in this video are:

  • The importance of wording in your About page
  • Why the color blue and purple are important in photos
  • Why Feedburner email forms need to be edited or replaced with Aweber
  • Why Pamela Anderson’s breasts shouldn’t be on Rachelle’s site
  • How to use emotion to get more subscribers
  • Much more

I’d really love to hear if you guys have any more suggestions or disagree with anything I have said. The community here at Blog Tyrant has a habit of bringing out some real gems in the comments section when a debate or discussion gets going.


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  1. Another great video BT!

    Rachelle I love the changing text beneath your site’s name. I couldn’t stop staring at it while listening to Tyrant’s voice! Super cool.

    I wanted to add one thing to BTs comments on your About page. Have you thought about using a professional photo? Although you look lovely, the photo is not sharp and the background is no good. If you want to do a self-portrait thing, I’d suggest going outside in natural light and choose a neutral background (or hang an all white sheet behind you so that you get a better outcome…

    I’d also just wear a dress blouse or a shirt and blazer for your profession…

    Best wishes from germany,

    1. the Blog Tyrant on March 2, 2011

      Great feedback TJ.

      Check out http://www.jame.com.au for the difference a professional photographer can make. Really takes it all to the next level.

      1. I just want to emphasize that the beautiful subject, Rachelle is not the issue. For me it’s the quality of the image itself and the setting.
        And this goes for ANY photo or image used in any post. I’m totally turned off if a blogger uses something that’s not sharp…
        Even the smoke mushroom image doesn’t do a lot for me. Several of Rachelle’s images seem to be black/white or basically gray. That’s not necessarily bad, but could be a place where she could color-up her site a bit.
        At the moment, the iPhone image in the sidebar is what’s most visually interesting to me and I don’t think that’s where Rachelle wants her viewers to focus…

        1. Kim @ Work At Home Mafia on March 2, 2011

          I have to agree with the focus and the background on images. I worked for several years as portrait photographer and honestly your image can make such an impact and first impression. You really want to show a crisp professional image and not one that looks like someone on myspace playing with their camera. (Pet peeve of mine)

          1. Rachelle on March 2, 2011


            When I was cheaping out on the professional photographer, I tried to get my husband to take a photo. Clearly the only part of me that he likes to photograph is my chin πŸ™‚

            So I got my friend to take pictures of me. She is shaky.

            I definitely have to rethink this strategy, I’m starting to think a professional would be a great investment!

  2. Rachelle on March 2, 2011

    Thanks BT,

    What’s interesting about the timing of this critique is that I’ve been learning a lot here at Blog Tyrant and I have also been procrastinating a little bit in the implementation.

    For instance I had the idea that I wanted to do an ebook and even started one, but it just didn’t feel right. But the other day, after the “stupid article” it finally did just come together that my offerings will be much more basic than a book. I will give away all the forms you need to be a landlord. This would be really valuable offering for new landlords, the ones I started my business to help and also the ones more likely to hire me.

    Then while watching the adsense article, I had the idea that I could put photos of properties I rented in my sidebar for social proof.

    As for my picture, I did want to get a professional photographer to take mine, but then I cheaped out. One of the biggest challenges I face as a small business owner is budget, one of the businesses I talk to had very nice head shots on their site, but it was several thousand $$$.

    Then the article about all the great About pages, this is the second most trafficked pages on my blog, I was really inspired by the wonderful copyblogger page and believe me I’ll be using that as a model for mine. Also I have my picture in the sidebar, I could remove that picture entirely.

    Sometimes I even blow myself away by how far I’ve come in less than a year with this site, everything I strategically improve on my site increases conversions for my business. It’s now my only form of advertising and its better than anything else I’ve ever done by a long shot and it keeps getting better.

    It’s 4 am here but tomorrow will bring some exciting changes!

    1. Cristina on March 2, 2011

      Hi Rachelle and BT,

      very useful critique. I am looking forward to seeing your changes in the next hours.

      I would like to ask you something. I also use Feedburner since, by now, I can’t afford Aweber. I have been trying to find the best way to insert the subscription box at the end of every post but I don’t know how to do it properly. Do you use any pluging?



      1. Rachelle on March 2, 2011

        Go to my site and send me an email and I’ll send you the code. I know where it is, I copy pasted it into About page.

        It’s not a plug in you have to copy it into your template

    2. You go girl! Yeah, profi photography can be crazy expensive. But I think if you research self-portraiture for 30 minutes and then took a series of your own shots, you could do something much improved in less than one hour’s work.

      A lot of people use home-made light boxes for still life stuff too. I’ve never made one but all you need is a cardboard box, white paper and a desk lamp. You can’t believe the difference it makes! Best wishes, tj

        1. AWESOME – exactly!! Now I want to make one myself too… (should take my own advice, sometimes my stuff looks dodgy). We can always improve! Thanks Tim.

    3. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper on March 2, 2011

      The photography doesn’t have to be expensive. I got my head shot at JCPenney when we had our Christmas card pictures taken last year. The lady was done with us and asked if we needed any other shots. I was like, yeah…a head shot for my book jacket.

      And the best part is that it was totally NOT expensive. I’m sure you could find something similar in your area…or an inexpensive photographer, if you don’t want to go the self-portrait route.

    4. If you’re in Oz/Mel, I can sort out a portrait photog for you? Email me if so.

      1. Rachelle on March 2, 2011

        I’m a Canadian, but I’m going to visit you guys one day!

        That would be so cool.

        1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

          If you come to Adelaide I’m not home. πŸ˜‰

          Go to Darren’s DPS forum and ask for any newbs in your area. Ask for the files in Raw format and then you can Photoshop it to perfection.

          1. Rachelle on March 3, 2011

            I’ll just lurk around the iced coffee shops, I’m sure you’ll show up eventually.

            DPS forums or a there must be a photography school around here. Good Idea!

        2. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

          You silly Canadian. Iced coffee doesn’t get bought in shops. It falls from the heavens.

  3. Great video. Thanks. Some really good ideas for my site. Appreciate you sharing it with your readers!

    1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

      No worries Magnus!

  4. Finergystic on March 2, 2011

    Haven’t had a chance to watch the Tyrant’s critique yet, but one thing that caught my eye. The ending to many of your posts are ALL CAPS. I’m not a big fan of that from a style perspective.

    Additionally, there’s a practical reason too. If you syndicate your posts with email, one of the rules many spam filters employ is around statements in all-caps. It’s not enough on it’s own to get you marked as spam, but could cause a problem if your score was close to being considered spam. Since you’re already dealing with real estate topics, that’s another black mark. You and your readers might like the style, but why tempt fate?

    1. Rachelle on March 2, 2011

      I did not know that, it’s actually my H3 setting for some reason. I kind of like to make the last summary more eye catching but I don’t need to scream it.

      Do you know how to fix this?

      1. If you know a bit of css, the H3 tag probably has a styling of ” text-transform: capitalize; “. Search for it and delete it or change the styling to ” text-transform: none; “. Good luck.

        1. Rachelle on March 2, 2011

          Ha I found it in record time with your help

          h3 { font-size: 1.0em; text-transform: uppercase; }

          That’s what it looks like and I found it in the CSS part of my template, just like Frank said.

          Wowsers, all done!

          1. Am glad to be of help.

  5. Hi BT & Rachelle

    Great vid and I see you offer a very useful service Rachelle.

    Here’s a few of my thoughts:

    1. Like your Header and the 3 changing taglines … excellent.

    2. Agree with BT about the About page … what problems are you solving for landlords … what pain are you taking away? If you can get some testimonials from happy landlords who have used your service then that helps. Also … you find tenants and somewhere in there you mentioned that you have had zero events of having to evict in 2010. That’s a statistic that might be worth highlighting

    3. I made a note ‘maybe images of the lovely homes that you care for’ … and you were way ahead of me. I think pictures of lovely homes show the level of quality that you’re working at. maybe it’s me but I do like pictures on Pages at the beginning … they can tell a story that you then reinforce with text.

    4. Agree about Adsense. As a reader I just think they ad visual clutter and I never ever click on them.

    5. Agree re Twitter. Have you thought about an FB Page that you can post quick comments and photos and build a community? I did that for Life Dreaming and we linked a visual of our lovely FB community into our blog … when someone visits they see that 157ish people like LD enough to follow it … gives a sense of community.

    6. In terms of your visual branding … you use a lovely blue for your taglines … how about you use them on all your bolded subtitles? You very rightly separate your text with some nice subtitles [and you know you can make them bigger than your text by going to header 2 on your post toolbar] and I feel that making them the tagline blue would just add that extra touch or professionalism.

    I read a number of your posts … like the most recent very much [silly landlord!] … you have a lovely style of writing that is both personal and very professional.

    Good luck with your business Rachelle and well done again BT.


    1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

      Thanks Liz. Awesome comment.

      1. my pleasure BT and it’s great to see how Rachelle has already altered her site to take in all the comments.

        great and supportive community here. I was just email chatting with Annabel Candy [I’d found a subscription clitch when I registered on her new site and emailed her to let her know as it was a biggy that would affect the readers experience] and said that in the main I feel that bloggers want to see other bloggers succeed.

        I think the comments on this post show how generous people can be.

  6. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper on March 2, 2011

    I just have a few comments to add.

    I definitely agree regarding Twitter. I provide a social bookmarking/sharing bar at the bottom my posts, but the only one I single out is FB (it works for me and a few people specifically asked for it to be on the site). I do get decent traffic from Twitter, but it’s because I have all my links auto-post to Twitter when they post to my FB page, not because any readers are sharing on Twitter. But, again, that might be because of my niche.

    Have you thought about putting a favicon on your site instead of the blue blocks that show up? A little house might be more appropriate. If you aren’t comfortable loading it via your FTP server, you can install a plugin with WP that does it for you.

    I might be alone in this – probably am since everyone always talks about using black on white – but have you considered adding more color to your layout? It looks very clean, don’t get me wrong, but…the black and white and blue all blur together for me. You’ve got red in your logo, so maybe you could find a way to incorporate it into the layout more. (People can trash red all they want, but it’s a power color and it can add a little interest to a site when used sparingly.

    1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper on March 2, 2011

      Oh…another thought about the color. Perhaps if you changed the background color around the outside of the blog to one of your shades of blue then there wouldn’t be so much overpowering white space.

      1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

        Ah the favicon. I spoke about that in the first shoot but forgot it second time around. Nice.

        1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper on March 3, 2011

          You were just trying to leave something constructive for me to add in a comment. πŸ˜‰

          1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

            I like your style.

    2. Rachelle on March 4, 2011

      Favicon Done πŸ™‚

  7. I am half watching this while at work but I love what you have said, especially about adsense, you have made me think twice about having adsense on my site. I agree about ads too, I never endorse or use affiliates whose products I have not used myself!

    Thank you and I love your site, my friend introduced me to it this month. Love you to review mine πŸ™‚

    1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

      Thanks Aimee. Make sure you are subscribed by email for details on the next entry.

  8. Jacqueline on March 2, 2011

    Wow! I am learning so much from you blog tyrant! This video was great. I have some major growing to do.

    1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

      Glad it helped Jacqueline.

  9. Wendy Mason on March 2, 2011

    This is great stuff for me – thank you. I’m off to write my ebook.I warmed to Rachel’s website a lot which suggests there is a lot of good stuff going on there. But what struck me most were the comments on Adsence – Rachel, I don’t think the ads do you justice!

    1. Rachelle on March 2, 2011

      Yeah I had no idea that Pam would end up as a feature on my site… I want to the most gorgeous lady on my site πŸ™‚

  10. Ciao Florentina on March 2, 2011

    Thank you for the google adsense tip. I have been struggling with that myself as I am just learning about monetizing my blog but I think Adsense makes my site look cheap, uncool, not special. I only have them on three of my pages and now I don’t know how to remove them…
    As far as the Twitter button goes I think it’s great but it only counts the tweets made directly from your post and not the retweets from others, so I find it is safe to double that number in your head for an accurate result.

    1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

      Hey gorgeous.

      The tweet thing is strange. Mine counts some rts but not others.

  11. Adrienne on March 2, 2011

    I’m a first time visitor to your blog and I found this post quite interesting.

    Really great video and critique on Rachelle’s site. I have a lot to take away from watching this to see what improvements I can make to my own blog.

    Thanks for sharing and great job on your site Rachelle!


    1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

      Thanks Adrienne.

  12. Rachelle on March 2, 2011

    Ok I went and did some work on the About page.

    I also tried to take my twitter button off my page…I don’t know where it lives πŸ™‚

    I took my second picture off the About page as well and pushed all the jokes to the bottom of the page.

    What do you guys think?

    I feel pretty brave, mucking about in my site’s code.

    1. hey Rachelle
      The About content looks so much better and dives straight in to ‘how I can solve your problem’ mode.

      Here’s a suggestion that might just add another sweetener to potential landlord clients who land on this page … maybe you could add a few links to your key posts just under all the problem solving stuff and before they sign into your subscription form.

      Are you using WP.org as the cms for your site? Twitter may be a plugin.

      I won’t repeat stuff I already wrote in a comment way above here … congrats on reworking the site and on the already cool content.

      Good luck.

    2. CreativeBlogger on March 2, 2011

      Looks like youre using the share this tweet feature β€” if so, you can find and remove the code within your single.php file by accessing the appearance edit settings in WP. Simply search for “sharethis” then remove the code.

      You might also be able to achieve this without going into the code by removing the pluginif you’ve installed it.

      I think removing the duplicate mae on your about page was a good idea β€” it gets to the point and cuts through any redundancy.

      1. CreativeBlogger on March 2, 2011

        I looked at the code and it might be a widget plugin called TweetButton.

        1. Rachelle on March 2, 2011

          I found it! I’ve been looking for the code all day. Who knew that I had two pages of plugins. I was getting all complex with it too, I went through every single page of template code there was.

          Thanks, you rock !

  13. Hi guys,
    Really good video! I’ve been learning a lot here, not only with the blog but also reading the comments. This is such a great comunity! Rachell great blog! I would suggest to work a bit more in the layout, clean is good but you could polish it a bit for a professional look.
    Good luck!

    1. Rachelle on March 2, 2011

      Hi Claudia,

      I hate to ask but a little more polish is not very specific. Could you be a little more specific? Pretty Please?

      1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

        I had wondered whether a sans serif font like Arial or Verdana in size 10 or 11 would look more “polished”.

        Just as a gauge; mine is verdana and Copyblogger’s is Arial.

        1. Rachelle on March 3, 2011

          I just read this post yesterday about using sans serif fonts


          Ok I’ve blown things up by copy pasting this into my style sheet to replace all instances of times new Roman I’m not sure why it all went so big! Any ideas?

          Also… I copy pasted my stylesheet before I started so no biggie I can make it behave again.

          : Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: #000;

  14. Shkumbin Llullaku on March 2, 2011

    Great job Rachel,

    Glad that you removed the adsense & blogroll (If you still want to link to your partners/friends – you might post them on a separate page). The About page is compelling, BT is really helpful isn’t he?

    To add a favicon is really a good idea, you can probably find something good for free and check http://codex.wordpress.org/Creating_a_Favicon how to add it to your WP site.

    1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

      Nice one!

  15. I love the spirit here. @Rachelle good job on the site. I just noticed that at the very bottom, the copyright says 2006-2007, you might consider updating that as well.

    1. Rachelle on March 2, 2011

      Another search. Do you know where the copyright lives in my template?

      Commenters be aware that you may be quizzed πŸ™‚

      1. It’s most likely in the footer block. I think the name of the file is footer.php in the theme’s folder.

        1. Rachelle on March 3, 2011

          I did it again, boy this is great! Bye Bye 2006-2007 welcome 2010-2011.

          1. Mike Holman on March 3, 2011

            Rachelle – I’m not sure if this code will get accepted in the comments – but you can automate the copyright date.

            This is an example. I’ll email if it doesn’t show up here properly.

            Copyright © 2007–, Blogthority (Making more money from your blog). All rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.

  16. Hi Rachelle – few thoughts.

    I love that you’re tightly targeting your niche – and you content stay on topic.

    1.Try setting the scene w/ subtle rental cues when you get the pro- photo taken in the background, like a nice place w/ a for rent sign in a window behind your shoulder. That little bit of “upstaging” brings home the point of what you do – that doubles up on the blue shirt trust.

    Also, try doing something interesting/out of the ordinary – perhaps hanging an eviction notice? Have fun and get a bunch shots taken – you can always A/B test for the best results.

    2. I’d like to see some of article suggestions on the right nav. They don’t need to be the most popular but they should be the most representative of the work you do.

    1. …and that you’re not as prone to typos as myself! sorry,

      that should read: “you stay on topic with your content”

    2. OOh I like the up-staging idea with the “For Rent” sign in the background…good idea!

  17. Dave Starr on March 3, 2011

    Excellent value from the critique, from (as always the great commentators, and from Rachelle herself. You can tell a lot about how a person will succeed in the future by the way they take constructive criticism.

    A very good point, yet again, about AdSense (and other banner-style adverts). If you are trying to sell a service it makes no sense, no sense at all to send your readers for the pittance AdSense will share.

    I am along-time AdSense publisher. I’ve made money from it for more than 6 years now. But to use it on a site where I want the reader to buy from that site itself?

    Doesn’t make sense … and when I see professionals … lawyers, Realtors, property managers etc., using AdSense it makes me wary of them before I even find out who they are and if I want to do business with them … good point for all to ponder, as I leave to take AdSense off a site I should have removed it from months ago πŸ˜‰

    1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

      Its strange how many big sites that make millions from property listings or other products still push Adsense. Its weird.

      1. Rachelle on March 3, 2011

        Computers and websites are always perceived as a cost center for business.

        First because most businesses don’t track where their business originates from and what they pay for every customer that comes through the door.

        For instance a restaurant doesn’t know if you come after hearing about them on the web or a flyer they sent out.

        By having that adsense revenue, it makes them look like they’re at least trying to make money for the company.

        Customer acquisitions costs are large in many companies, one time I figured out it cost the building I worked for over $500 in advertising for every tenant who walked through the door.

        So when you talk about websites… and the company doesn’t do tracking, then it’s just an expense. Of course if they did track they could figure out that their website is the most cost effective way to drive customers to them.

        And of course the other problem is that many businesses want a website because everybody has one without even knowing what it can do for them. Then there’s the lack of performance on the part of many “expert” companies and SEO’s.

        So for those type of customers and let’s face it most of them are like that in business, a website that makes several hundred bucks a month is a success story.

        1. Dave Starr on March 3, 2011

          Good analysis there … now I think I know why I see sometimes even crude and off-topic ads on major sites … major news networks and such.

          Senior management doesn’t like the ‘Net anyway (becuase it is knocking the foundation out from under their cushy ‘corner office’ life, and the workers in the tranches who have to keep the site running even when Lindsay Lohan gets arrested can use the Google revenue to show, ‘Hey boss, we’re a profit center, not a cost center now.”


          1. Rachelle on March 4, 2011

            It’s not that senior management doesn’t “like” it perse but that they don’t “grok” the web. Let’s face it most senior management is well uhmmm senior, they remember typewriters and secretarial pools. It’s a huge conceptual leap from that to the internet as it is today.

            They also don’t understand social media, but they hear that someone who does understand it is having success with it so they want it too.

            I don’t understand it that well myself, but at least I’m aware of my ignorance.

  18. Mike Holman on March 3, 2011

    Wow, what a great review. I’m quite impressed.

    Rachelle has been going on & on & on about this “Blog Tyrant” guy – I was skeptical, but I’m glad I finally checked out this site. Fantastic.

    I agree about getting rid of Adsense – I don’t think that it converts well with real estate investing, so it might not be worth having at all.

    I don’t normally like watching videos, but I actually wanted this one to be longer. πŸ˜‰

    1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

      That Blog Tyrant guy is an ass…

      Thanks for stopping by Mike.


    2. Rachelle on March 3, 2011

      Hi Mike,

      So glad to see you! If I had my way you’d brand that site and yourself and sell the crap out of your awesome book!

  19. [Runs in late to the game]

    Listened to the review on my drive home and it sounded great. I’ve seen her site so I knew what you were talking about.

    I think I agreed with everything you said, BT.

    There are two things that do come to mind about her site that has me wondering;
    1. The rotating tag-line in the header logo. I found it distracting. I would thing she should pick an all-encompassing slogan to replace it.

    2. The overall polish. Polish usually comes from a few things;
    a.) Consistency
    b.) Proper Color Palette
    c.) Logo

    You’ve got a nice logo in your header, so lets more on…

    Proper Color Palette;
    Other than your header, everything is black and white (or blue for links). Consider pulling out the red for something. Use colors to separate out sections. Just be creative.

    Personal preference but I dislike web sites that are all white backgrounds. Note, for example, how BT has a light gray background you see on the left and right but white in the middle where the text goes. It makes the content pop out.

    On the About page, the page header is in blue. Everywhere else that blue is used in your text, it’s the link-blue. Consider dropping the word “About” or changing that color. I keep wanting to click on it.

    I remember what your site looked like when you were new to blogtyrant. Looking Great!

    1. Rachelle on March 3, 2011

      Oh My,

      I’ve been online with my website for many years 🙂

      Until about a year ago this is what my site looked like. I got someone else to do that site 🙂


      So many bloggers have helped me and I still have so much to learn. Yesterday I was being extremely brave. I find it scary to fool with my code except I learned to use copy paste the original code on one of the videos here. So even if I break it I can go back and using copy paste undo anything.

      See Mike was one of the fellows who gave me the blogging bug, he hired me to write articles for his site and has helped me out countless times.

      I also can’t tell you how bad business was earlier this year, I relied heavily on one client and then I sold the building. Then my husband got sick. When I went back to my earlier marketing plan, putting ads on craigslist 🙂 it just didn’t work. See all my competitors are now spamming every new rental listing with their marketing. Every time I place a rental ad I get several offers for the service I provide. Word of mouth is great but a small business is likely to starve long before enough clients show up.

      Now that the blog has taken off it is my only marketing method and brings me all my clients. It’s been great. The better blogger I become the more money I will make its that simple.

      It’s important, I support my son and my husband who is still sick and who does most of the child care. Everyone’s help and feedback is invaluable to me. I can’t even express how grateful I am. Bloggers are some of the most generous, giving people I’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with,especially compared with my business where everyone tries to eat each other alive. It’s not a kind industry.

      1. Mike Holman on March 4, 2011

        I’m glad your site is working out well for you Rachelle. I certainly don’t mind helping people who help themselves and you are definitely in that category.

        BTW – I noticed on your blog you have “Expert Tips and Tricks” above the email sub box. This is good, but what about some sort of action call?

        Get Expert Tips and Tricks
        Sign up for Expert Tips and Tricks
        Subscribe to Expert Tips and Tricks

        and maybe (if there’s room) put the words “real estate” or “rental” or something in there too. Not sure if this will work or not.

        Sign up for Expert Real Estate Tips
        Sign up for Expert Rental Tips
        Get Top Notch Landlording Tips


      2. Melanie, the SoulDoc on March 4, 2011

        I so appreciate your courage here, Rachelle. You remind me to keep on keepin’ on, to stay open to expanding out rather than staying too small, and to keep it real. Because of your willingness to be vulnerable, and honest, we’re ALL learning a ton! It’s Righteous Empowerment in motion. Melanie

  20. Melanie Harth, SoulDoc on March 3, 2011

    Terrifically helpful, thanks to both of you. Rachelle, I had several shots taken by a pro; cost only $300.00 … they’re not all crazy expensive. I use one of them as my site banner. Another idea is to find an advanced student at the local community college, or even high school if they’ve got a good photo dept.

    BT, I didn’t submit this time because I’m one of those “older” people who don’t Tweet. Hmmm … do you really want to be leaving all of us out?

    Thanks again. Love what you do. Gotta go make some changes to my ever-evolving blog. Melanie

    1. the Blog Tyrant on March 3, 2011

      You don’t look old Melanie. 28 year olds don’t count in that statement I’m sorry.

      1. Melanie Harth, SoulDoc on March 4, 2011

        Thanks, luv. 57 years old, and counting … I’m included in your ‘older’ folks. See what a good photographer can do? xxx Melanie

        1. Dave Starr on March 4, 2011

          65 and happily counting (and happily earning too, I’m happy to say). A lot of current ‘movers and shakers’ on the ‘Net are relatively young … and that’s great too … but when designing a business (a site or blog should only be a gateway to a business, consider the audience …the clientele, same as you would if you were opening a shoe store.

          In Rachel’s property management business, the prospective clients are likely to be older folks … perhaps people thinking of renting out their own home, becuase sales are slow and yet they still want freedom to travel (a ton of readers on my retiring to the Philippine sites feel they can’t move because they can’t sell at a profit,and most are unfamiliar with what a good manager can do for them).

          This is an entirely different crowd than she would be looking for if her business was selling teen girl’s make-up, jewelry and ‘Hello Kitty’ stuff.

          Young is good, old is good, middle age is good, but you need to tailor expectations and the message to the particular age group who you want to open their wallets. πŸ˜‰

          1. Rachelle on March 4, 2011

            Your picture looks really good!

  21. Heather@Family Friendly Frugality on March 3, 2011

    Great analysis. Of course, I immediately had to pause and rip the tweet and facebook buttons off the top of my posts as soon as I heard the explanation on the video πŸ˜‰

    I am in the process of a total professional site design (I’m not calling it a redesign…I don’t have a design at all right now) that should go live in early March. Maybe I’ll put my name in the hat at that time. I would be slaughtered right now in comparison, if Rachelle had that much constructive criticism for her site! LOL

    I actually like the more casual pic to be honest. It makes you look friendly and trustworthy. I hate stuffy professional pics. They are an immediate turn off to me.

    Good job both Blog Tyrant and Rachelle. I’ve enjoyed watching your banter these past few months, LOL.

    1. The tweet count button is once where I’m not sure what to thing. Here is my thinking…

      1. In a small niche, the comment count might not be a good way of judging the number of readers or the activity on the site. That leaves tweet count.
      2. In some cases, people tweet an article but don’t post comments.

      After hearing the critique, I took the tweet counter off of my teasers on the home page. However, I left it on my articles. That kind of forces the question – if the reader is already on the blog post page, why have the twitter count?

      In my case, I have the retweet button at the top of the article and a line of social network links at the bottom of the article.

      I am considering a/b testing but being in a small niche, there isn’t a whole lot of traffic for that.

      I’m rambling, so I’ll stop. πŸ™‚

      1. Heather@Family Friendly Frugality on March 3, 2011

        My people don’t tweet much. They are more facebook friendly. I am thinking about putting the like button back up….

        1. Rachelle on March 4, 2011

          I think it’s pretty fair to say that most landlords don’t usually comment, they usually send me private emails if they have something to say.

          Bloggers and people used to the web comment. If I didn’t have so many blogger friends I’d be really lonely over there.

          I think facebook would work, someone comes to my site and likes my stuff every once in a while and they must have tons of friends because next thing I know I’m getting a bunch of people from facebook.

  22. Some really active and good feedback in the video and comments!

    I missed the first one but this is a great video.
    Agree on the Adsense, I hardly make money of it and it does look kinda cheap. (not saying your site looks cheap but in general.. looks cheap on my site too).

    Got me encouraged to change my about page..

    All I need is some inspiration.. off to the Pub I say! πŸ™‚

    Have a great weekend!

  23. Rachelle on March 4, 2011

    Ok the font is changed, I’m not sure if it’s better. Does it look more polished?

    I’m going to able to get a job doing this soon cause I’m so awesome.

  24. Tony Hastings on March 4, 2011

    Great series, I do hope you keep it going!

    Always something to pick up, this time it’s the about page. I’m not promoting a particular product or in a particular niche so maybe it’s slightly different for me but I will look at mine again.

    At the moment it is all about me but I think I need to change it around so that I am telling readers what the blog is about first then maybe about myself later, back to the drawing board (again)!

    Well done to Rochelle for building the blog to where it is today and for being a ‘guinea pig’, allowing the rest of us to learn a little more.



    1. Tony Hastings on March 4, 2011

      Whoops Sorry Rachelle, I got your name wrong, sincere apologies πŸ™‚

  25. Craig Pearce on March 6, 2011

    Re social media sharing buttons, unless I missed this in the many comments above…LinkedIn and Facebook buttons have an option of not including a counter, so you can make it easy for/encourage SM sharing without looking ‘unworthy’. Twitter I’m not sure about but I imagine it has an option like this too.

    Good point re customising the approach as per target audience/customers/stakeholders. It’s about them (i.e. ‘About’ page) not about you/me.

    Finally, re free value-add e-report, think of this approach as an option: have a few articles from yourself but a range of others from peers/industry leaders. You may be surprised by how many of your contacts will put a thoughtful 6-800 word piece together for you that enhances your credibilty by association (strategic alliance). I am doing this in a report I am soon to release.

    Everyone wins!

    1. Melanie, the SoulDoc on March 6, 2011

      Love the idea of including others’ articles, seems a terrific way to enhance one’s own credibility, expand the conversation, support colleagues … all sorts of good stuff. If anyone’s interested in my providing such an article, I’m happy to do so. My expertise includes: psychological motivation, inspiration, taking action, moving through fear, getting up offa your thing and doing what needs doing.

      Love this whole conversation, BT and Rachelle! Thanks so much.

    2. Rachelle on March 6, 2011

      Strange how when you are trying to fix something you break something else, I’ve changed my plug in for my social bookmarks at the bottom of the page to “sexy bookmarks” a free plugin.

      Next I have changed the contact form to a better one.

      The original problem with the email form is still the same. Who knows what else I’ll fix before I figure that sucker out!

  26. Hey all,

    Just an update! I’ve still got a few things to do like add some houses along the right sidebar and fixing my content form and changing out that picture but…

    I think the changes we already made have made a big difference so far my posts were included in 5 larger blogs link stuffs. I got an unsolicited offer for someone to post a banner and pay me for it. Then I got contacted by another blog who wants to copy paste my articles and told them about google and duplicate content, but he actually called me on the phone to talk about it.

    Perhaps the greatest honor bestowed upon this blogger was inclusion in the hot personal finance chick roundup even though I’m not a personal finance writer. If you’re a little past your expiration date like me that’s awesome.

    Friday was my biggest traffic day ever not just by a little either… by 30%

    I can’t help but credit this review and all the help I got here with my immediate success and I also found out my contact form on my blog was broken and fixed it and started getting the you’re great emails again which is nice.

    So thank you BT and everyone else who gave your time and attention to help me. You guys rock πŸ™‚

  27. Melanie, the SoulDoc on March 12, 2011

    Fantastic, Rachelle! BT, incredible. Thanks, Melanie

  28. Great to hear that. Congratulations. Its a sign of great thing to come..

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