I don’t remember what a “helm” is.
Yeahh, for real.
I’ve been cracking my head trying to remember what that word means for the past 10 minutes.
And thus my confusion begins.. LOL. Don’t worry, it hasn’t started.
Besides, I haven’t done my pre-review “senrenre” (which I’m doing right now) so you can relax.
I noticed a few issues at first glance though, so I’m going to go HAM on you for those issues.
Now, let’s begin
The Education Helm Site Review
I love the theme with your colour choices and all. The red and black with a white background totally works.
Let’s not get too hyped though, but props on that.
Now, on to the issues;
I. Design And Layout
(i) I see you have a Site Title.
Nice move. You let us know immediately we arrive that we’re at the right place.
(ii) Your tagline wasn’t kidnapped by Boko Haram
If I had 10k for every site I’ve reviewed that didn’t have a tagline, I’d have over 100K.
It’s great that you have a tagline. What’s not great is that it isn’t very specific.
It says: “Educational Blog for Learning” and the question I and the rest of your visitors are probably asking next is “for Learning what?”
I don’t know if this is a big deal or not, but I’ve found being specific helps you attract the right audience.
Maybe because they feel like you have specifically singled them out by being specific. Sure, you might not attract everybody, but fact is, everybody is not your customer. You can’t please everybody, but you can please some people.
Figure out who your target audience is, and create the best content for them. Then make it clear to them in your headline that you’ve got what they want.
(iii) I love that “Ticker” feature in your header that shows us Popular posts.
That’s great. Keep that.
(iv) Your primary navigation menu
Your primary navigation menu looks good, but you’ve missed out an important feature- Categories.
You should be trying to reduce the number of clicks the visitor needs to make from your Home page to wherever they want to go.
By having your Categories in your primary navigation menu, you do that. Also, it helps give an idea of what your site is really about.
(v) Your Right Side Bar has been found wanting
The only thing I see here is a “Popular posts” widget all the way at the bottom of your home page.
NOT good. At all.
This right side bar is where you place things that both help you and your visitor, like:
- Subscribe widget – to help you build an email list, market your services plus provide value to your prospects
- Search bar- so the visitor can find whatever they want easily
- Popular posts- so the visitor can see what posts other visitors most viewed and check out your most interesting content.
- Categories- so the visitors can pick what section of posts they want to read
- Social media links – so your visitors can follow you on social media
- Archives – so if they’re interested, visitors can look at your oldest posts.
Add these widgets in that order, and you’ll have a better looking right side bar.
(vi) That Left Side Bar
You have “Labels” which I’m going to assume are Tags and a Search field.
This is unnecessary. When you still have space in your right side bar.
Move them there (the right side bar).
(vii) Your Main Content Section
Okay, I’m not a big fan of the one post per line layout you have going on here.
I feel you should try to have at least two on the same line so you make the best use of the space, and make it easy for the visitor to see some of what your site is about, from one glance.
Also, why do you show the time you published the post, instead of the date it was published?
If you think about it, the date is not really important but it’s definitely better to have up there than the time it was published.
Change that to show the date instead of the time.
Aside from that, there’s no major issue here.
(viii) Your Footer has also been found wanting
This right here.
It doesn’t really help us visitors do anything. Not good.
This is where you can have a secondary navigation menu, and links to pages from your site.
As a matter of fact, just check this post on how to craft a home page and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Let’s move on…
I’m not sure who your target audience … I think that should have been made clear from your tagline, so no need to cry about that right now.
Let’s move on to other issues:
(i) Your headlines don’t implicitly communicate the benefit to the reader
You need to work on your headlines. STAT.
From the few I looked at, none of them caught my attention. Now, you can say “You’re not my target audience” bla bla black sheep. But the fact is simply this- Your headlines suck. Period.
But don’t worry. It’s something that can be fixed.
Take the headline “4 Reading Techniques for Academic Achievement” , for example.
It might seem cool to you and maybe other people with a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree, but to most of your readers, it doesn’t exactly stop us and make us want to read more.
Instead, we get the feeling that it’s just another one of those blog posts that would make us want to scratch our eyes out.
If you were to put it differently , say, something like:
“4 Simple Reading Techniques That Would Raise Your/ Your Children’s Grades by 100%”
Now, that would attract more attention. Why is that?
Two reasons. One, it communicates the benefit to the reader clearly. Two, grades are things most people worry about and have some emotional attachment to, therefore talking about raising grades has this feeling of elation attached to it.
Plus there’s also the fact that I said “4 Simple Reading Techniques”. Everybody is looking for the easier way to do things- another emotional trigger.
You need to know your target audience well and use that information to craft emotionally charged headlines with obvious benefit to the reader attached.
(ii) Body Content
Again, I need to wonder about your target audience here. Here’s why:
One, you type in huge blocks of paragraphs which makes me think maybe you’re aiming for an audience with B.Ed degrees and super smart, serious people… but then you use different colours in some of your Headings which they won’t like.
There’s also the fact that you bold random parts of your text, which I assume you’re doing for SEO (if you are, that’s wrong though… the search engine’s crawler is not that stupid), and there are some spelling and grammar mistakes in your content.
Regardless of who you’re writing for, you need to make your content easy to understand, easy to read and error-free.
To make your content easy to read, break up those huge blocks of paragraphs into 1-3 sentence paragraphs. This way, you don’t scare your visitors off.
You also need to write in your own voice. Let me reiterate that:
“YOU NEED TO WRITE IN YOUR OWN VOICE!!!”
Don’t write like Osei Yaw Ababio. Write like Wole Soyinka.
You don’t have to sound like a textbook to communicate. You can do it while being human.
Oh yeah, I noticed you put links to other blog posts within your post. That’s dope. Keep doing that.
When I looked through your site, I didn’t see any social media account links.
Here’s the thing about content- Your content is only as good as your content distribution. All the great content in the world won’t help you if nobody reads it.
On the flip side, if your content isn’t great, all the promotion in the world won’t help you.
I think you should get your social media share links set up on your site, while focusing on improving your content and making it more user-friendly.
Then distribute your content actively and shamelessly.
IV. Monetization and other Biz
I think I saw one lonely ad at the bottom of your site. Okay, I’m going to tell you something you probably haven’t heard before (and might be my next blog topic) or maybe you have, but not as clearly:
“AD SENSE IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE MONEY THROUGH A BLOG!!”
Yes, you read that right.
Ads are great and wonderful things. Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income can probably testify that ads made him rich.
But fact is, ads are not the only way to make money through your blog.
Considering you blog about Education, I would say you take the time to create content that provides real value to your audience. This will set you apart as an expert among experts.
You could then use that as leverage to land contracts with schools revolutionizing their classroom systems.
You could even come up with a revolutionary, or not-so-revolutionary-but-new, system of education that changes the game of education.
For real, our education sector in this country has been sleeping. There are different ways to learn… I was reading somewhere about how some people are Visual learners, others are Kinesthetic etcetera shmetcetera. You could come up with a system of teaching that adapts to the particular way a person learns and then that could be revolutionary.
But you’re not going to do it by just focusing on traffic and ad sense.
Focus on creating REAL freaking value, putting a dent in the universe and changing the game in your niche.
It might not pay well at first, but when you hammer, you could have a machine that would keep bringing you money for the rest of your life.
Ad sense is all well and good for short term ish, but what about long term?
I suggest you focus on the long term.
That’s my 2 kobos. And this review is done.
Any questions or comments? Let me know in the comment section.
P.S. If you’re reading this, and you’d like me to review your site, post it here.
Keeping it 500,
Author: Tomi Joshua
Tomi is a case.
A bit brash, at first blush. But ultimately, he means well. There are very few things he won’t say or do in the presence of tolerant company (especially when it could make for a good story later).
Tomi is a Doctor, writer, certified inbound marketer (Shout Out to HubSpot), Digital Hustler, and online business addict.
He is most likely to be found dancing to the beat of his own drum, even in accapella.