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Wife Advice — a ProBlogger Community Consulting Project

This week’s community consultation is for a very unique blog!

If you’re new to the project, it’s recommended that you read the launch post. This week there’ll be another chance to win an iPod Shuffle and a link to your blog under the winner’s name in the summary post. Not a bad haul for a few minutes work.

In this round of consultation we’ll be looking at Wife Advice. The blog’s owners, The Donkey and Wife, described the blog as follows:

At Wife Advice, The Donkey and The Wife share anecdotes, arguments, and advice based on their own marriage. The Donkey is an expert on what NOT to do (like don’t rate your wife’s looks a 6 out of 10 while you’re still on your honeymoon, and definitely don’t publish her weight on the internet). The Wife offers advice on how to handle a husband who lacks marital skills.

They’ve asked the ProBlogger readership to answer three questions:

1. What’s the best way for Wife Advice to increase its readership?

2. How could the design be improved?

3. What monetization strategies would work best at Wife Advice?

I’ll now open it up to the ProBlogger community to provide your advice, suggestions and constructive critique. The commenter who provides the most useful feedback for the blog will win an iPod shuffle from ProBlogger with a link to the winner’s blog in the prize announcement.

A round-up of the community feedback (with my own commentary) will be posted in 4 – 5 days, so make sure to get your comments in soon.

A screenshot of Wife Advice.

We’d love for comments to be as constructive, helpful and practical as possible, and will be taking all these factors into account when deciding on the winning commenter.

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Comments

  1. cyberfizzle says:

    1st post! Woot!

    I didn’t really like the “donkey” thing. Maybe it’s cause I’m a guy, but I found that it turned me off (although I know it’s just for fun’s sake).

  2. This piece of advice is both from a readership angle and design perspective… a big orange button at the top of the page with the RSS logo and the word ‘Subscribe!’ wouldn’t hurt I dont think. My subscribers began increasing dramatically once I had added this to my blog.

  3. Rhys says:

    Right. Here’s what I’d do.

    I’d try and lose the “Blogger” banner. It’s a bit unnatural and doesn’t really give too much in the way of further readers. I’d also look into switching to WordPress.

    Design wise also – whilst good – I do not like the “poll”. There’s far too much emphasis on it, as opposed to the content, which I feel is where the emphasis should be. Have a look on Problogger for how to integrate polls to your site successfully. If you want to drive readers to vote, make a post on it.

    What should be emphasised is the “Ask a question” section in my mind. It could be You should push this feature, maybe work with restaurants so the promotion doesn’t leave you out of pocket.

    I also agree with Andy, make more of a feature of the RSS feed, though – whilst I don’t know your target audience – I do suspect they’re of a non-techy background, so a page/post explaining the RSS feed – as well as offering subscription by e-mail – would be great.

    As far as increasing readers, why not guestpost on similar blogs? You have an advantage from the looks of your blog by having two bloggers. Why not one of you concentrate on posting on your own blog and the other posts on other blogs for a month or so? See how it goes.

    Furthermore, you could look to expand social networking for your blog. Maybe have facebook/myspace details for you both – stumble some of your more useful posts (but not too many!) – and hopefully it’ll get more readers that way.

    Monetization: I’m unsure exactly how to monetize your blog, so my advice would be “try anything”! Experiement with Adsense, Affiliate marketing (like you’re doing now) or maybe sponsored reviews? Think Affiliates for related products or services could be the way to go though!

  4. Neerav says:

    1. Best ways to increase readership:

    - Larger RSS button to start with at the top right

    - Email Subscription box as well (like Problogger)

    - Add a 1 line line promo and website link to your email signature

    2. Design improvements:

    - If you want to look professional quit blogger and move to wordpress or other hosted blogging platform

    - After that you can modify the design to suit your needs better or if you don’t have much in the way of design skills use a free wordpress template that you like

    3. Best monetization strategies:

    - This site just screams out to be repackaged as an ebook, like Aaron Wall has done so successfully at http://www.seobook.com

    - For onsite ads you could use amazon or other affiliate programs to create 2 seperate “virtual shops”
    a. one with suggestions from “a donkey” about what to buy for
    wives/girlfriends etc

    b. one with suggestions from “a wife” about what to buy for
    husbands/boyfriends etc

    Also of course suggest products just before all the obvious
    calendar dates eg: Valentines, Birthdays, Xmas, etc

  5. Sara East says:

    A donkey? Hmmm Would be better with a pig!

    Interesting website, kind of subjective though. Male egos won’t like the web site and us women will think she isn’t training him right.

    The comments to this so far have been interesting. They have already given me some ideas for my own websites.

  6. jhay says:

    I’m no expert but moving to WordPress would be a big boost. Especially now that more professional themes are coming out. It would be perfect since they already have some advertisers using the 125×125 format.

  7. Bob Blick says:

    The design of the page does not reach out and grab me. I would like to see a different header – not a black and white header. The sub-line should tell quickly what the blog is actually about. “Advice to keep your wife (and, ultimately you) happy – something on that order. —- a donkey – a wife – advice — Makes no sense and doesn’t want me to read any further.

    I think the donkey logo would turn a lot of people off and particularly women – but if you have to use a donkey – why not use something a lot more on the comical side? This current donkey is very blah!

    To increase readership, or actually to get more people to the site, this topic seems like an excellent topic for a MySpace site. In addition, YouTube videos showing the guy reading a question and then giving advice – I think that could really shoot up the readership. Particularly if you can make the headline something that would grab the Youtube visitors interest.

    ie. My wife caught me looking at another woman

    Monetizing this site – This subject just doesn’t seem to lend itself to much as far as Adsense goes. Amazon books probably help but you need an awful lot of sales to make money with them.

    Look for affiliate programs that pay. Dr. Phil if he has one – Oprah. Check out Clickbank for ebooks on this topic. Anything about family relationships, marriage advice – something on this order.

  8. Cory says:

    I’ve read Wife Advice a few times before. I didn’t subscribe because I found it to be a little bit demeaning. While it’s done in good fun, I think there’s too much negativity towards the male of the species as it is.

    That said, from a design standpoint you don’t necessarily have to leave Blogger. Everyone’s hyped up on WordPress around here and other blogs, but Blogger is very customizable and you can even get rid of the Blogger banner if you want to by making some changes to your template.

    I think that your design could use a little more color. It’s very monochromatic and things tend to look the same all throughout the page. The only things that really stand out are your affiliate ads.

    I would add a “What is RSS?” below your RSS button, make it bigger and add a subscribe via email option, then incentivize your email subscriptions.

    There are other ways to monetize. You could try adding the occasional video or podcast. If the two of you are as funny in speaking as you are in writing, then you could add readership by using multimedia. You would then be able to add ads to the multimedia.

    Also, the two of you might be able to use your blog as a way to get people to hire you to give keynote speeches, do shows, or other presentations.

    Have fun!

  9. Sangesh says:

    Well I’ll summarize my suggestions as follows:

    1) The slogan is kinda bit odd, well to me it sounds something too odd.

    2) The main content is in the middle of the page. So when one has to scroll down the page the left and right hand looks empty.

    3) I think the white spaces is a bit too much. Maybe the left and right content should be differentiated from the main content and to increase readability.

    4) For monetization of the web site, I think seobook.com would be a good choice.

    5) I would also want to add this thing. Sorry to say this, but the logo, I mean the donkey is …… a bit not good. I’m not that much a “logo guy” but still, may be you should try another option.

    Cheers.

  10. Seems to me the marital advice needs to go in both directions. The content comes across as incorrigible idiot married to nag.

  11. For me the donkey thing is a turn off but some people might like it. I also think that some neutral but different background colors to header and the side columns will help improve readability.

  12. Mike King says:

    I agree with most others about the logo and tag lines. They need to be rethought. Also, the design is very bland and a quick bounce page if you ask me. Nothing really unique here to keep my attention.

    One thing not mentioned yet is the fonts and colors of each post. The posts are not separated well and could do with some color for heading names and or post dates and such. It all kind of blends together. Also, the italic fonts are actually quite difficult to read and really don’t look that good, color for these with normal style would be better.

  13. Gina says:

    I see that most guys don’t get the Donkey as a PG way to say “ass” but I find it somewhat endearing as “pig” is overused.

    Here’s what I’d do – first, get your own domain and dump the Blogger-hosted URL. Many monetization schemes won’t get off the ground until you’re on your own domain, so that’s a positive step toward making a few bucks.

    Next, design a colorful, fun header. If this blog is intended to attract both men and women (as I’m assuming they are) you’ll need something fun to grab attention right off the bat. I’m envisioning a cartoonish donkey (think Shrek’s Donkey) with an equally cartoonish wife (but a real caricature would be even more fun).

    Add more feed subscription options – different readers, e-mail, etc.

    Add an About page. Since the premise seems to be handing out marital advice, I’m sure readers will want to know what makes them any better at marriage and conflict resolution than a group of people in the local bar.

    Also, I disagree that the polls are non-essential. I think asking readers to interact creates a relationship and makes them more likely to return. In fact, I’d add more interactivity through games, surveys and quizzes, all geared toward the battle of the sexes theme.

  14. Adnan says:

    1. What’s the best way for Wife Advice to increase its readership?

    Firstly, I want to congratulate you on the content and the site you’ve put up so far – you’ve got off to a fantastic start. I order to increase readership, I primarily think that you need to outline what the site is about in a better way.

    At the moment, the Title tag says that Wife Advice is about “Funny Marriage Stories”, then the logo suggests that you give advice about relationships, whilst the content really just portrays little snippest from your lives. In order to attract the “perfect visitor”, you need to define your niche a little tighter and maybe rethink who the blog is aimed at. I would suggest focusing on the advice / Agony Aunt thing – reword your Title tag into “Wife Advice” – as that pretty much explains exactly what the site is about (you did a great job in picking the domain name).

    Next, as a few have mentioned above, visitors like to see a face behind the blog, and some sort of real personality. Whilst there have been famous anonymous bloggers, they are few, and I’m of the mindset that giving a name and if you can, a photograph can really help form new relationships and will help grasp readers that little bit easier.

    Attracting RSS subscribers is another obvious goal, and so I would make the RSS Bookmark icon a little more prominent. Experiment using different colours instead of the bog-standard orange. Also, as you are aiming at a potentially non-technically-savvy group (without being offensive), I would have a subscribe by email option where visitors can get the latest posts directly into their inbox.

    What you’ve done well on the RSS front, is increasing the call to subscription by having a little sentence at the end of each post – well done on that.

    I also tell my clients to socialise and network in their individual niches. Try searching Google for other “marriage” and “advice” related blogs, and start commenting on these blogs with useful and insightful comments. After a while, contact the owner and generally try to make some friends. This will help to no end as you will most probably be able to leverage their expertise, and it will help with link building and traffic creation.

    2. How could the design be improved?

    Like you guys, I originally started off with Blogger’s Content Management System. However, I eventually found it to be unscalable with the site, and it didn’t allow me to customise the site to the extent that I wanted it. Thus, like the majority of bloggers, I moved to WordPress. I would definitely recommend that you guys make the move also. WordPress imports all of the posts and comments that you already have – I’d be happy to assist you if you have any problems doing this.

    Obviously once you’ve made the move to WordPress, then you won’t have an issue with the top “Blogger” toolbar – which can be bad in taking visitors away from your site.

    I think an infusion of colour definitely wouldn’t go amiss either. Whilst a black and white theme can be clean and refreshing, it does start to get a little boring after a while – and even if you added some coloured graphics/buttons/change in the header graphic – I’m sure that it would brighten up the site a little.

    I’m also not a big fan of 3-column layouts, particularly with the content in the “middle column”. Whilst it can be done tastefully (think CopyBlogger, it puts little emphasis on the content itself (which is the main reason why people visit your blog) and more of an emphasis on the sidebar content.

    What I would do, is go down to a 2 columned theme (WordPress again has a vast collection of these), with the content on the left (it’s a fact that visitors always start by looking to the left of their screens). With 2 columns, this means that there will be more sidebar room for image ads, “popular posts” (which will guide visitors to your best pieces), and potential linkouts.

    3. What monetization strategies would work best at Wife Advice?

    In my opinion, I think that eBooks could be very good in your niche. People who are after advice, are looking for bucketloads of advice and stories, anecdotes etc. Try searching on Clickbank for some products with nice commissions, and which other affiliates are doing well with. Then try adding relevant links in post and see how things go. After a while, you could be seeing some nice commissions – but again, this is reliant on you having a firm base of traffic and subscribers.

    After this, I could see you guys writing an eBook yourselves. This will mean that you’ll keep 100% of the commissions, and whilst it will be a time drainer writing the book, I wouldn’t hesitate to predict a great volume of sales – but again, you need to keep traffic levels high. Preeminence is very important here, and if you can establish that sense of authority within the “advice-giving” niche, then I’m sure it will pay off for you financially.

    At the moment, you do seem to have image adverts, and I would support this too. These don’t have to be instrusive, and with a 2 columned layout, they wouldn’t be that distracting to readers and visitors. Link sales are on the decrease however (and can have potential consequences in Google), so you may want to opt only for image ad sales.

    Other than that, focus on affiliate products and commissions, as in my experience, these can bring the most reliable and largest amounts of profit to a blog owner.

    Anyway, keep up the great content writing, and good luck.
    Adnan – blogLOUDER Blog Consulting

  15. Gina says:

    Oops! Okay, there is an About page – I just didn’t look at the header area much after dismissing it as completely unattractive. I’d add pictures to the About page if there’s no good reason to hide your identity (as in you’re in the Witness Protection Program and hiding out from Gino the Enforcer.)

  16. Benson says:

    I’ll just through my two cents into the ring here:

    1) As others have said, you need a larger (or more visible) RSS subscribe button. Also, consider adding an email subscription feed box.

    2)If you’re going to keep the donkey (and I don’t see much of a reason not to), make him more…exciting. He doesn’t need to be animated and dancing, but something needs to liven him up.

    3) Keep the poll, but move it down the page. Place less emphasis on the poll, and more on your great gift card offer. The offer is a really great incentive for your readers to participate, so you want to make sure they know about it clearly.

    4) Whole design needs more color. Honestly, if I came upon it in StumbleUpon, I’d click the “Stumble” button again. Make it more eye-catching to draw in passer-bys.

  17. Hafiz says:

    Switch to WordPress! Blogger is too limiting.

    By the way, this is Darren’s next post.

    How Longer Feature Posts Improved My Blog
    27 Dec 2007 / No Comments

    Today Leo Babauta from Zen Habits shares what he did in 2007 that improved his blog the most.

    Improvement on Zen Habits has come in many small doses this …

  18. kid blogger says:

    As a Kid Expert ;) I suggest you do the following changes to improve your blog:

    - Remove the nav bar! The blogspot guys want too many back links to their site ;) and you can easily get some info about how to remove the nav bar by simply searching in google.
    - Use a two column easy to read clean template. As you are using blogger I suggest you to use the fresh blogger template which you can download for free at http://jackbook.com/bloggertemplates/
    - If your goal is to reach more RSS subscribers you should… read Darrens post about it ;) I don’t remember what’s the url :P.
    - If you want to monetize your blog and make money without filling your blog with too many ads you can see how carlocab.com is doing. He earns about 900$ month without even recognizing the ads. I suggest every blogger that.
    - Use the platform of your choice. It can be blogpsot or wordpress. It is YOUR CHOICE.

    The rest is Oki Doki ;) and the content is………
    BTW Darren, if you want me (KidBlogger) to do a guest post on your blog please answer me here. I have a very useful article about blog traffic and if you are interest… I’ll be happy to give your (35000+) readers very useful stuff to help them boost their traffic.

    Kid Expert

  19. OldSailor says:

    My views are:
    1.Title black and white colour contrast is not eye catching; needs change to pleasant colour.
    2. donkey logo needs to be replaced
    3.donkey term may be replaced with parrot

  20. Evan Burton says:

    1.Increase readership.

    -Naked pictures of your wife
    -Larger RSS button

    2.Design Improvements

    -Naked pictures of your wife
    -Switch to WordPress

    3. Monetization strategies

    -Sell and ebook on how to effectively get your wife to lt you sell her naked xxx on the web.

    Watch the subscribers flow in….

    Easy :)

  21. silvino says:

    1. What’s the best way for Wife Advice to increase its readership?

    i would like to see an “easy to digest area”, maybe as a monthly video-post. it has a great theme, so videos could be easily both entertaining and useful.

    2. How could the design be improved?

    more contrast in colour headings. and images to capture reader’s eyes!

    3. What monetization strategies would work best at Wife Advice?

    have you ever considered making your own products? t-shirts? mugs? e-books?

  22. engtech says:

    - header doesn’t fit in 800×600
    - header should be a GIF or PNG file… JPG is giving it weird anti-aliasing issues because it is black on white text
    http://internetducttape.com/2007/03/09/design_tips_website_speed_optimization/
    - same problem with the donkey + flower icons used in posts

    Agreed with Rhys on focusing on answering reader questions — make up reader questions if you have to. It’s a great way to build community. I recommend going through answers.yahoo.com to find ideas for real questions people wonder about.

  23. What I do like, is the topic – not only interesting, but also a bit funny. The other thing that I like is the donkey, or rather the idea behind it.

    What I definately don’t like is the pool – reason is rather obvious. At the moment it is visualy the most important thing on the whole site, and it shouldn’t be. It is also not at all cohesive with the rest of the design.

    Another thing is the logo. As a corporate identity freak, putting together such simplified shape of a donkey and photo of the flower strikes me as insanely ugly and wrong.

    Hope it helps – if you want my full design review, please submit adress on my blog or contact me directly :)

  24. Lid says:

    I know very little about monetization so I’ll leave that to those that know more. However, on design and increasing readership, here is my take:

    Increasing Readership:

    Who is the audience?

    Looking at the site, my guess would be that it is written to the friends/family of donkey and wife. If that is the case, not much needs to change. If they want a broader reach perhaps consider audience and always write to them.

    Perhaps look at Skellie’s article on getting new readers and the importance of audience at Adesblog

    Create stronger and more meaningful headlines.

    Currently I see:

    - Christmas Shamboozled
    - Lesson 15: You Talking To Me?
    - He Said She Said: Can a Household Necessity be Giv…
    - Giveaway
    - My Call
    - Subtle Reminders
    - He Said She Said: Who is Responsible for Finding a…
    - Photogenic

    For anyone who is not a regular reader, these titles mean very little.

    Although Skellie and Darren may spruce up the site now, the owners need to be able to continue writing great headlines.

    My first stop would be: Copyblogger, specifically How to create magnetic headlines

    Create meaningful categories

    At the moment all I can find is: Giveaway, worth the advice, branded – none of which mean anything to me as a new visitor.

    Design:

    Colour

    Include more colour/shades.

    Give the page a darker/contrasting background

    As the links are in blue, differentiate pages (About, FAQ’s etc.) with another color

    Use colour lovers for inspiration

    Current Logo:

    Great idea – shocking implementation

    Get a professional logo; it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Logo Samurai gives you an original logo design for $37. You enter details, three days later you get a logo. One place of many online.

    Or check out what’s available on flickr with CC (over 9,500 images today)

    Navigation:

    When I visit a permalink, let me hit backspace and go back a page; don’t make me have to hit “home” each time. :)

  25. Sean Hodge says:

    I would like to see a picture of the authors on the front page. It would be cool if they were doing something interactive and funny to bring their personalities in. See threadless for some good shots. Thanks.

  26. infmom says:

    As a “wife” of 35+ years I think the idea for the site is amusing, but the first thing I would do is lose that logo. In this day and age, no one wants to be represented as a ball and chain, no matter how cutely done. The fact that “wife” is so represented conveys the impression of contempt for her. If you have to use a donkey-related logo, for pity’s sake make it two donkeys in love. Or something a bit more equal and a lot less annoying.

  27. I loved the website, it was great reading. I added them to my google reader as well. The best way to get more readers is to find like blogs, and others and post comments. Also, find forums that deal in your niche ( like I try to do with my blog) and add your address to your signature for emails and postings.

    great site would never have found it if it were not for this blog!

  28. Shameel says:

    This blog is a wonderful peace of collaborating blogging between husband and his wife. And this point is also to be noted that this blog is only four month old. And this is normally is not a time for a blog to become focus of like minded visitors. So it will take time for reaching its own audience. My recommendations are as under:

    1. Get Visitors from their already running Blogs.
    It’s important to get loyal visitors from their already functional blogs. Husband’s previous blog has referrals or links to direct visitors to their newly emerging celebrative blog. But I see no referrals in the wife’s previous blog. So should add referral as well. In this way her blog also help in getting traffic.

    2. Manage The Categories.
    Internet users are more time savy. Average reader stays 96 second on a blog. Managing the work and more importantly categorizing it can help the reader in finding its favorite topic of concern. So this blog seems to be have a handsome amount of general articles, How Tos , Advices and debates. They should be in categories.

    3. Change Blog Platform.
    Their blog is running on Blogger platform. Blogger is good platform for Blogger. But this couple is really in a mode to come to spot light. So they should think about professional looking, eye soothing, highly reader friendly and Interactive Blog.
    Blogger give free hosting but Blogger is not the plate form really personalized blogs. Wordprss give Blogger full control on

    1. Making and editing Categories.
    2. Variety of professionally looking temples.
    3. Wordpress community own best pluggins on the planet earth.
    4. In Wrodpress Tracking is easy.
    5. Naming of file is more sophisticated.
    6. As a whole we see most flexibly in wordpress platform. That’s why we see best blogs including Problogger working on wordpress.

    4. Add a pluggin for Related Posts.

    5. Add pluggin called (Evermore)
    We all know that post containing How Tos, advices and debates are commonly lengthy. Current simulation of their blog is not helping the visitors to focus their topic of interest. By using this pluggin, they can make blog’s Home page clutter free and give space to their 10 to 12 resent posts right on the Home page.
    This plugin is found here.

    6. Make more room for others experiences.
    This is neither a news blog nor a technology blog. It’s a family blog. So treating the visitors as family members will help them keep their loyal visitors. We see stumble upon of strategies are now failing for such type of community blogs. So make your blog more interactive.

    7. Invite Guest couples.
    Each family has some successful stories about variety of situations. These situations may be regarding emotional, social and financial. So try to find the members of their blog spares and invite then to contribute their success stories. How they altered the breakup, how they solved mysteries of their rebellious kids etc.

    8. You have a Green thumb of marriage. Write ever green posts.
    For make husband and wife relation ever green, try to write ever green post on having green thumb of marriage. :) try to write timeless post. These timeless posts will help them in making good ranking in search engines and will remain profitable for a long period of time.

    9. Be Open. Become Social.
    I am not seeing any link or blogroll there. This blog is as a whole belonging to a social topic. So it should be look like social in all ways. Add links of useful links correspond to the topic of your blog.

    10. Don’t participate in promotional advertisement right now.
    It is not a right time for these things. It’s a time for making and keeping good repute. These affiliate programs may harm your repute even without your knowledge.
    (Google adsense related programs are not dangerous.)

    11. Try to know the desires of Readers.
    Try to know what readers want from your blog. What are their burning desires? You can know this thing simply by inviting them to comment on your post. And by holding poll on various houses hold topics & various happenings regarding your topic of blog.

    12. Add Heath related Entries as well.
    As many readers of your blog will be mothers. So try to add health related issues common in mothers and their toddlers. In this way your blog will be because a source of mothers and children health recourse as well.

    13. Keep an eye on always on competition.
    Keep a closer look on the compotators: the family bloggers. Try to offer more than what they are giving right now. Try to find their short coming and improve your blog.

  29. ImageGag says:

    Oh, guys are asses. How cute. Back button.

  30. Ben says:

    Personally, I would change the style of the font (likes too old-timey or newpaperish) and I would also increase the font size. I also don’t like the 3 column layout because it just looks to constrained. I would use a 2 column because it gives it a wider, user friendly look.

    Moving the ads to the left column should increase the click through rate. Marriage advice books, Godiva chocolates and maybe romantic travel (cruises), might work well on this site for making money.

    Lastly, use some more color, the white and black looks really bland.

  31. Eric says:

    As somebody who was introduced to your blog through this ProBlogger post, I was immediately engaged by the description you provided to Darren. But if I had stumbled on your blog through without that kind of introduction, would your tagline (A Donkey. A Wife. Advice) have captured me in the same way? Probably not.

    The premise of your blog is engaging and interactive: promote it on the front page.

    That said, here’s 3 thoughts on your design.

    Keep the poll

    Unlike many of the other people leaving comments, I quite like the poll for two key reasons:

    1. It encourages your readers and visitors to interact with the site, which leads to a greater sense of community and reader loyalty.

    2. If you’re getting a lot of votes, the poll becomes a form of social proof.

    Keep the content’s line height consistent

    This was the first negative thing to really leap out at me. Your current post (Christmas Shamboozled) has nice, easy-to-read spacing. But the next post falls apart once you introduce the list… what happened to the beautiful spacing?

    My first inclination when I see a slab of text like that is to skip over it. Keep a consistent line height, and allow enough space.

    2-Column

    I agree with those who have suggested that a 2-column design would work better, since it will give greater emphasis to your content. That said, shifting to a 2-column design will involve some hard choices: what are you willing to ditch from your sidebar?

    To answer that question, figure out what your goal is. Are you trying to encourage user engagement? Then keep the poll. Are you trying to market yourself as a resource of advice? Then include links to all your categories. Are you trying to offer your services as advice givers? Then feature that in a prominent place.

  32. Jaseem Umer says:

    When I visited the blog, I tried to view it as if I am not from ProBlogger community.

    First sight
    First thing I noticed was the Navigation Bar from Blogger. From my experience it is a useless thing. Removing it won’t do any harm. It also take away the professional look of the blog making people hit the back button.

    At the first sign, I thought it was a place for donkeys and wives which I am not. Advices for wives are Ok, but for donkeys.. that is not wise.

    Template
    Template is not so good, let the sidebar have a different background. Header should have a good separated from the content. One bigger sidebar is better than two small sidebars. If the sidebars are there, then decrease the width of content and increase width of sidebars.

    Platform
    I don’t think you selected Blogger platform because of the scarcity of money. Switch to WordPress as fast as possible. If you choose Blogger because of some fact, you are really mistaken.

    Content
    The post headers are not so descriptive. Let them describe posts. Giving good advices is the best point. The blog really cover good advices for husbands.

    Conclusion
    The bloggers have good potential of writing, they should try guest blogging. Having good posts, the blog can grow big with positive changes in template, platform and everything esle.

    I am happy that I can give this much advice as a 14 year old blogger. ;-)

  33. Shameel says:

    I already mentioned 13 points in my earlier comment on this post. Now my other recommendations are as follows.

    14. Add a discussion forum.

    I mentioned earlier that his blog will be a community blog. This blog will be for married people, including ever loving moms and hard working dads. It’s a good idea for keeping a forum as well. And invite your reader for sharing their topic of interest. In this way your reader will emotionally involved with all the new happenings of your blog.

    15. Make your site visitors your trust worthy friends.

    We have many types of friends. Some friends of us are fair weather and some are very trust worthy. Make yourself worthy of trust and come closer with your trust worthy visitors. Contact them through various means and try to win their sympathy.

    The visitors are a lifeline of a blog. You are writing for your readers, not for yourself. You have the Emails addresses of your blogs commentators. Use there Emails for make connection with them. For example, send them e-Cards on various special occasions.

    CAUSION! Don’t try to use thees Emails for advertisement spamming.

    16. Take some initiatives by user self. Be Proactive.

    Don’t waste your time while waiting for others to approach your blog. Try to approach them by yourself.

    Participate in discussions going on in various communities. Blog networks, discussion forums and individual blogs of your topic of concern.

    Interact with your targeted audience or readers. They will interact with you in return.

    17. Add Book marking option.

    Although subscription based options like RSS feeds & feed burner is also a good way for keeping visitors with your blog. But new visitors option not like a particular blog subscription so early. First they test blog for its relevancy, consistency, importance and most importantly genuineness. By adding book marking option, you can help new visitors in easy remembrance of your blog. In this way your blogs new visitors will become your permanent visitors.

    I am still working on other option. So I will also add some other points shortly.

  34. The monetization on this one is a breeze. The wife just needs to set the donkey up to say stupid things that will lose him browny points and then she takes advantage of this to get what she wants, a holiday, jewellry, perfume, etc.

    On the design, get your self a hosted account and install wordpress. I really hate that Blogger look, it looks cheap. I personally think the two half column look like on http://dreamteamtalk.com, would really work well for these guys.

    On increasing readership, get involved on other blogs. Consider a video blog on Youtube or a podcast as well. You should have a good rapore and if you do can come off really well on a podcast. Also get a well read blog to link to you, you know like Problogger.net (damm you beat me too it).

    Being couples, there should be some good affiliate marketing that can be done. Adsense should work.

    Hope this helps.
    Molly

  35. Husbandhood says:

    Ok, I am struggling with getting more readers as well so I may not offer the best advice. The truth is I only post once a week but I will point out some things that help.

    Here are items that I dont think the others have posted:

    1. Submit your posts to the Carnival of Family Life. This carnival is for people within our niche (marriage, parenting). It has helped to increase my Alexa rank.

    2. Once you move to a wordpress blog, you could install a popular posts plugin that will list your most popular posts on the sidebar.

    3. As someone else mentioned, related posts are great as well. This also requires wordpress and a plugin.

    4. You might want to consider submitting some posts to Babblz.com. Its a social bookmarking site for parenting/marriage bloggers.

    5. Maybe add some more color

  36. Good discussion going on here. I took some advice from your comments and just added a big rss icon on my site plus I explained what rss is on separate page.

    I have a huge list to work on but I am excited.

    Thank you all for your good advice.

  37. Petain says:

    “-Naked pictures of your wife”

    This made me laugh. Although, I have to say that she’d have to be pretty damn hot for this to work, because as soon as read her “advice” they’d consider her to be an haggish harpie.

    As for him, all I can say is “grow a pair”, homeboy, you’ve been emasculated.

    In short, this site trades in stereotype and sexism. Men are animals (donkeys) and women are training them.

    Might appeal to those sorts of people who regularly shop at Wal-Mart, but otherwise…

    ‘Nuff said.

  38. Les says:

    To increase traffic you need two things, marketing, and something to market. The concept is quite marketable, however the page itself needs a little work.

    I would suggest moving to self hosting and wordpress is not the worst platform to use. If you are going to build a name and reputation then it should be something you can own long term.

    Color – you definitely need color but I wouldn’t go overboard. You could look at changing your sidebars so that one sidebar is for ‘her’ and the other for ‘him’ – could be quite novel. The page at present is a bit long. I would look to trim the older post using a ‘read more’ option if its available. In fact I would trim those older posts back to the opening quote encouraging the reader to go in and read. I would also look to add in the occasional photo, cartoon or graphic with a bit of color.

    To market the blog, It depends on time. If you have time then EntreCard may be a good start. BlogCatlog and perhaps MyBlogLog could also be good options. The blog lends itself more to building a following than paid advertising so promoting subscriptions would be a must. I would also encourage more reader involvement perhaps through Q&A type posts.

    Monetizing – this is always going to be the hardest as what works on one site does necessarily work on another. You could see if you could join the Rubicon Project. They display ads from six different sources and pay on a per click and per impression basis – the more traffic the better payout. Their ads are also changing all the time. At present you have a lot of empty white space in the sidebars below the fold so their ads may suit. Amazon ads would fit in well with the theme. Affiliate advertising is always hit and miss but as you have so much white space being selective and placing some of the better ones could be worth a try.

  39. Shameel says:

    I already mentioned 17 points in my earlier 2 comments on this post. Now my other recommendations are as follows.

    18. Unique, fresh and useful posts.
    Writing unique, fresh and useful posts also play an important part in the success of any blog. Internet is full of information and data. But people like the news and information sources which are able to give them some fresh and useful stuff and above all correct data. You can say it all about making a good repetition as a reliable source of knowledge.

    19. Registering blog in search engines.
    It’s a good idea to register your blog along with your site URL and site description in very meaning full way.

    20. Tell your friends, colleagues and family members about your blog.
    Inform you friends, colleagues and family members about your blog. But try to getter thing in your blog which keep them intact as well. Your social circle also helps you in getting real visitors for your blog.