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ReviewU: The Limelight

When was the last time I did a free review? I think it was just before I started doing paid reviews. Oh well, time to go back to my roots.

Today’s ReviewU target is The Limelight, a blog that’s about everything. Seriously, I can’t figure out what niche this blog fills. Is it a money blog? Photo blog? Inspirational? Political? All of those topics are on the front page, and I can’t figure out where he’s going with this. That’s ok though, there’s nothing wrong with an everything blog. Sometimes it’s nice to just share whatever is on your mind. The problem with that, however, is that you can’t expect many readers. More on that later.

Get to the gripes already

Ok, fine. What can I say about this blog? Well, for starters, it’s trying to do everything at once. No, I’m not talking about the subject matter, I’m talking about the widgets. This blog is very, very “busy”. On the left sidebar, we’ve got three social bookmarking icons and an adsense block (ew). On the right, we see recent articles, ad blocks (including Entrecard), categories, archives, an empty links block (big no-no), the meta menu (also unnecessary), and the BlogRush widget (I hate BlogRush).  Up top we’ve got a simple nav bar and the RSS links (why would anybody want to subscribe to a site’s comments?).  On the bottom we see a tag cloud (who really looks at the footer anyway?).

The main content area is full of truncated articles.  Personally, I can’t stand those.  To me, they’re just a ploy to get more pageviews.  If I’m reading an article, I don’t want to have to click to see all of it.  I know a lot of people are fine with that, I’m just saying that personally, I hate it.  Given that the articles are rather long, though, I guess it works for this site. Expanding the full articles reveals even more Adsense blocks, which work ok with the theme (not saying I like them though).

Oh, and there seems to be some phantom buttons in the nav bar.  Move your mouse below the actual links and you’ll see them.  I know, I’m nitpicking.

The everything blog

I really don’t understand blogs with no niche.  They make me think of personal blogs, and why would I want to read your personal blog?  Unless you have a lot of credibility (celebrity, professor, etc), why would I want to listen to what you have to say?  Retaining readers on a no-niche blog must be very difficult (I’ve never tried it, so I have no idea).  Since this blog doesn’t use Feedburner, I have no way of knowing how many subscribers he has (which, of course, doesn’t do anything for his credibility). dnScoop tells me that the site is over 4 years old, and that its Alexa traffic is nonexistent, so I guess I’m right about the readership retention thing.  My humble suggestion would be to submit each and every article written to Digg, stumbleupon, etc, until you have a steady stream of returning visitors.  It’s hard enough to become recognized as an authority in one niche, so gaining recognition in everything may very well be impossible.

Overall

There’s nothing terribly wrong with this site, but it’s going to be an uphill battle getting and keeping readers.  Social bookmarking is your friend, and sadly, that’s all I can think of.

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5 Responses to “ReviewU: The Limelight”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    Well, that was a fast turn around for the review. I kind of expected this kind of review, but that’s okay because sometime negative press is the best kind.

    I choose not to use feedburner as I don’t want any part of my site to be controlled by a third party if I can possibly help it. Even so I use an internal plugin to track feed readers and and my numbers are growing every day.

    My domain is over 4 years old, because that’s when I first registered it, and then it mostly sat idle for all of that time. I would have thought that was obvious considering the first article on The Limelight is from January of this year.

    As for it trying to do everything at once, I suppose you are right, but this is the first blog I have ever started, until January I had been in what I call my “internet dormancy” and not doing anything online. Hence the domain being 4 years old. Anyway, it took me a little while to find my focus, but it coming along.

    Thanks for your review.

  2. JustChris Says:

    I always liked your ReviewU articles, and glad to see one again in a while. It’s a pretty safe bet that it’s just a “messing around” blog while trying to give meaningful content. I do agree that if you’re not going to make it a niche blog at least make it more obvious that it’s a personal blog.

    As for why would anyone would want to get an RSS feed of comments? It’s practical if there are frequent commenters. There is one blog that I visit that have long, heated discussions of news articles posted, and the audience is the keyboard-happy gamer generation. Each post is like a thread on a mini-forum. Having an RSS feed for this, you can reply back to someone’s particular comment and then check if your comment has been replied to.

  3. Will Says:

    These type of “everything” blogs do work, but on one condition. The person writing it has to be famous because people care about what famous people have to say.

  4. Jonathan Says:

    I’ll just have to get famous then. ;-)

  5. Will Says:

    Yup. One of the easiest ways is to leech off the success of other people’s fame. If I were you, and could write about anything on a blog, I would mostly write about celebrities and make all the other posts about keywords with good KEI.

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