Today’s task in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge is analyzing a top blog in my niche. My Google Reader is full of blogs about writing, social media and freelancing. Men With Pens has more than 28,000 monthly subscribers and is certainly one of the top blogs in my niche. They were #2 Position on the Top Ten Blogs for Writers list for two consecutive years.
Men With Pens is also on my list of 9 Sites Every Freelance Writer Should Bookmark. James Chartrand, Jeff Sarris, Dave LaTulippe, Charlie Pabst, and Taylor Lindstrom are the men with the mens. Their blog covers several related topics: writing, web design, graphic design and freelancing. The 7-day series on writing really great website content written by James Chartrand is like a college course for newbie freelance writers, covering topics like: specializing in website content writing, how writers are like website tour guides and why great headlines are important.
Because the content is written by four different writers, you get a variety of views and see different writing styles talking about related topics.
Men With Pens’ logo speaks volumes about the people running the site. A mighty fountain pen bursting through the letters of their name. The website, like their dynamic logo is black and white, with dark burgundy accents. Simple, but powerful.
The other thing I like about the website’s design is the clean and well organized sidebar. There are a few 125×125 ads for their e-books, a list of recent posts, social media and RSS icons and a few other ads. It is not cluttered and filled with unless icons, widgets and badges.
What I Learned from Men With Pens
I have subscribed to this site for more than a year now and I have learned so much from them about writing, SEO, freelancing and web design. By carefully analyzing their website, I have also learned how to notice the finer points of content, staying in the topics of your niche and having a clean, consistent web design.
Day 3: Promote a Blog Post
I did not devote an entire blog post to this task, but I wanted to inform you about some of the thing I tried.
- Installed ShareThis plug to encourage readers to share my posts.
- Created an account with DIGG to promote other interesting bloggers
- Updated syndication settings on Facebook and Networked blogs.