You know, it’s interesting how things work out on the Internet. When I decided to offer half price reviews on this blog, I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of response rate. It didn’t take long for a work from home blog to take me up on the offer. As it got closer to the end of month, I got one other request, this time from a more personal blog.
DCR Blogs is the online home of Dan C. Rinnert. The interesting thing about this request is that I happened to be the first person to ever comment on that blog… and now I’m going to be the first person to ever write a paid review of it too.
Who is Dan C. Rinnert?
Surfing through the blogosphere, I don’t think I’ve come across an About Page quite as extensive as the one on dcrblogs.com. On that page, Dan goes at length about his personal interests (he’s a bit of a language buff), his business background (he happens to be a writer), and a little bit on his personal outlook on life.
Realistically, a lot of the content found on Dan’s About page can be easily translated into a series of fantastic blog posts. The paragraph on how he enjoys “the satisfaction of bringing my own vision to fruition” is particularly great material. He also talks about never being satisfied with the results of a project and the need to continually strive toward self-improvement “without regard to how others are doing.” This kind of stuff is totally up my alley.
Making Money with dcr Blogs dot Com?
People have different motivations for getting into the blogging game. Some people just want a place to voice their opinions. Some people want to make a difference by raising awareness about a particular issue. Dan Rinnert, in his own words, started dcr Blogs as “a way of keeping in touch with people.”
Somewhere along the line, he stumbled across John Chow’s blog and discovered that it was possible to make a sizable amount of money online. At that point, Dan set out on a journey to try and make a few bucks from blogging. He’s no “make money online” guru, but he figured that he had a shot.
Dan can be a lot more aggressive with his monetization strategy. As it stands, he is placing almost all of his eggs in Google’s basket. The primary advertising is the inline AdSense block in each post. Aside from this, you’ll only find an eBay skyscraper and text link ads in the sidebar. Go within a post and you’ll find some Clickbank ads near the header as well. He can easily get away with some ads in between posts and perhaps a redesign can accommodate some 125 buttons in the sidebar. Paid reviews can be a great source of income as well.
How has Dan’s modest ad strategy worked out so far? Not so well.
Three Steps to Success
The tagline for dcr Blogs is “Believe. Act. Achieve!” Success is a three-step process and you really do need to believe in yourself before you can “act” to your fullest. Only then will you be able to achieve. Dan has the first part of the equation, I suppose, but he needs to work on the other two.
The sidebar needs some updating, because it’s still telling me that Dan hopes to earn $300,000 by the end of 2007. He’s over six months and nearly $300,000 behind on that goal. In 2007, his blog earned him a massive $5.25. Not that he’s discouraged. Dan is not quitting any time soon. The plus side is that he’s moving in the right direction, earning $16 last month. He’s believing he can do it, he’s acting (e.g., by ordering his review), and I’m confident that he has a good chance at achieving too.
That’s because while his monetization strategy may be lacking, Dan already has a wealth of great content going for him. I particularly enjoy the linkbait category, which contains a great entry for my contest. It’s also there that you’ll find innovative concepts like the viral story.
Design and Layout Feedback
The design for dcr Blogs dot Com is very clean and I appreciate that Dan has kept the layout simple and easy on the eyes. You won’t find any messy things like peel away ads and blinking banners. It may not be flashy, but it works. I did find a few areas that are in need of improvement though.
Starting near the top, I feel that the RSS subscription button could be featured more prominently. This will help to increase loyal readership. Offering email subscriptions can also go a long way (I was able to increase the number of subscribers by about 100 when I started to promote email subscriptions).
The other issue with dcr Blogs dot Com is the large number of outbound external links. I’m sure that the people on the receiving end of the SEO juice appreciate it, but Dan may be shooting himself in the foot. The sidebar has a blogroll, blazing hot links, featured sites, hot blogs, links, and photo blogs. This is in addition to three other lists accessible from the primary navigation. These lower the value of outbound links and, thus, hamper Dan’s ability to sell advertising on his blog.
Dan C. Rinnert, you’ve got yourself a great blog with tons of fantastic content. With some education in Internet marketing and blog monetization, you could not only entertain the masses… you could make a few bucks along the way too. Oh, and I dig the subtle animation in your header image. ð