Website Pick-Me-Up: 3 Subscriber’s Get a Good Grillin’ from Me! (Video)

by Chris C. Ducker · 28 comments

Website Pick-Me-Up!Earlier on in the week, I posted a status update over on our Facebook Community, asking for people to volunteer their websites for a bit of a ‘beat down’!

I was astounded with how many people submitted their sites for public critiquing, but also happy to see so many great site authors following me online – even though they are doing just fine on their own, by the looks of things!

I’d love to have the time to go over every site in detail, however, I don’t. After scanning all of them, I selected these three that I felt were almost there, but needed a few tweaks in place, in order to get to the next level.

Here’s the video, where I spend around 4-5mins per site going into each one in more detail. You can also visit the sites themselves by clicking the links below the video, too.

Websites critiqued in the video are:


Although all the sites were very different, in regards to the way they looked, there was one major problem that they all had in common.

Even though they all had opt-in forms set-up on their site, none of them were really focusing on the importance of creating a super strong opt-in offer, or promoting that offer properly, on the site itself.

FACT: If you want to do well online, regardless of whether you’re trying to build an online business, or simply build a list to keep your ‘offline’ customers up-to-date with things that you’re up to – you must, must, MUST make it easy for people to get their email address onto your mailing list.

Share the Tweetable:
To do well online, make it easy for people to get themselves on your mailing list! [Tweet This!]

If you don’t, you’re literally cutting a hole in your own pocket, and stopping money from landing (and staying!) in there.

Did you like this new idea of mine? Did you get anything out of it yourself? Would you like to see more? Maybe something a little different, but along the same lines? Please let me know all of the above by commenting below…

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Luca Lazzari October 26, 2012 at 22:07

Well done, you have the rare ability to offer sound criticism in a courteous and motivated way.
Hope you keep them coming, maybe you could focus on a specific issue in each video. For example, here you addressed mainly the opt-in.
Thanks Chris

PS You want to change the “beat down” picture top right into a “pick-me-up” one. And here is one smiley ;-)


Chris C. Ducker October 27, 2012 at 10:51

Hi Luca

Picture – changed! :-) (There’s MY smiley!)

Love your idea of focusing in on one specific aspect, too. That’s a solid idea.

Stay tuned for more fun and games!



Luca Lazzari October 28, 2012 at 18:31

Thanks Chris
Just another idea: why don’t you create a sort of reviewing team, on a volunteer basis, for this project of yours? If you can get 4/6 people out of your “fan” base, when you pick the web sites you could ask them to briefly review those sites before you create your video. As you may see from Diamantis’ post, many eyes can be better then 2. And everyone can contribute with her/his personal viewpoint.
Be sure I’ll stay tuned!



Chris C. Ducker October 30, 2012 at 11:53

Interesting concept, Luca.

I’ll look at that in the near future, for sure.

Appreciate the idea. Keep workin’ hard!



diamantis October 26, 2012 at 22:20

Hi chris !

That was interesting. You MUST do this in regular basis.

I will keep two of your observations for my site . Bold headlines and social media in contact form.

And one little thing I noticed in vicky’s site. Inside the first video it reads “Tips for successful netOworking”. I think its a small mistake.

And until the next site beatdown…
… be healthy and smile !


Chris C. Ducker October 27, 2012 at 10:50

Thanks, Diamantis.

I’ll be doing some more soon, no doubt.

Nice eyes on Vicky’s video – I’m sure she’ll correct it at some point.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting.



Vicky October 27, 2012 at 14:15


Thank you so much for that! This teaches me to read every single word carefully! I just fixed it!

Thank you :)


Shayna October 26, 2012 at 23:09

Absolutely YES, please keep doing these! So many people talk about website design, business, and entrepreneurship in theory, but it’s both rarer and more useful to see those principles actually applied in case studies and critiques. I’d love to see analyses of business concepts/models as well.


Chris C. Ducker October 27, 2012 at 10:49


Sounds good. I’ve had some solid feedback via email, too, with plenty of additional ideas – so, lets see.

Thanks, Shayna.



Jamie Alexander October 27, 2012 at 00:36

Hey Chris,

Thank you again for doing this. It was great and you made some excellent points.

I’m going to get in contact with my designer and get him to add a tagline to the logo, and also make it bigger.

I’m going to get one of Sean Davis’ new opt-in forms and they are an actual box and I have the ability to make the photo bigger so that’s definitely getting changed as well.

That unanswered comment was just bad timing lol, It was actually made very recently and I was going to answer it when I logged onto the site. But it’s a great way to realize I should be trying to do it quicker.

I’ll definitely strip out the reader stories section until I get more info. Great advice.

Speaking about the actual concept as a whole, I loved the other critiques and I would thoroughly enjoy watching more of them if it was to become a regular thing.

The fact that you don’t think my site is a complete disaster means a lot to me. It shows me I’m going in the right direction and that’s the only thing that matters. Obviously this critique will speed it up which I’m absolutely ecstatic about.

Thanks again,


Jamie Alexander October 27, 2012 at 00:47

I forgot to say I’m going to eventually do video and the about page will have one, plus I’m upgrading to Thesis 2 as soon as MD2 update has come and I’ll look into the typography :)


Chris C. Ducker October 27, 2012 at 10:45

That’s a great idea.

Remember to keep those types of videos to a maximum length of around 3mins. No more, like I say in the New Business Bootcamp – thats the sweet spot.



Chris C. Ducker October 27, 2012 at 10:48

Glad you enjoyed the video, Jamie, and that my critique of your site was welcomed well…

Making our site as user friendly and visually pleasing is more important than most people think.

I reckon with those handful of changes in place, you’ll be off to the races, my man.

Let me know when you’re done with all the changes. I’d love to check it out – just tweet me!



Leyla Giray October 27, 2012 at 00:37

Chris – first, thanks for choosing my site as one of your three – very thrilled to be critiqued! Valid points all, and much appreciated. So I’m off to implement them now and looking forward to some strong results!


Chris C. Ducker October 27, 2012 at 10:46

Hi Leyla

I’m really looking forward to seeing your site once you’ve made the changes.

Please let me know when its updated.



Vicky October 27, 2012 at 15:27


Thank you so much for all your kind words. It really makes it easier to hear the criticism on the smileys.

You are absolutely right about everything. I will be very busy working on my site.

I LOVE the idea of having a photo of me in my office on the about me page. I will make it happen. Thank you so much for that idea.

Adding a Social Media links to my “contact me” page is brilliant! Thank you!

Chris, ok, I agree, – there are one too many smileys on my “about me” page, but I’ve always been taught to be myself and let my true personality shine through everything that I do. It’s SO hard for me not to use exclamation points and smileys. I understand that there needs to be a balance and I need to work on that, but I really want to know, is it really irritating? I would love to hear feedback from your readers.

As always, I learn a TON from your work and your content. You have been an amazing role model and motivator. Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity. Please do more of these as I learned a lot from the other websites that you critiqued.

I also really appreciate you mixing up the beating with kind words and compliments.

All my best,


Chris C. Ducker October 28, 2012 at 16:19

So happy I can help, Vicky.

Let me know when you’ve made the changes, and I’ll check ‘em out.



Wayne Melton October 27, 2012 at 20:04

I agree, please produce more of this type of video review post. I loved it and you are so credible. Also you seem to choose sites that are less than 1 or 2 years old. This is a great niche since many of us are just getting our sites off the ground and can relate.

You are an expert and your insight is a life changer. I have you on rss but need to become a regular visitor to your website. It is one of the best.

Wayne Melton


Chris C. Ducker October 28, 2012 at 16:20

Appreciate your very kind words, Wayne.

Thank you – stay tuned. More coming soon.



Michael Bryant October 28, 2012 at 05:03

What I missed this on Facebook, where was I? Dang! But I get to benefit from the critique. Please do more!
“Opt in form above the fold.” Check and changed. Thanks for all the great info.


Chris C. Ducker October 28, 2012 at 16:22

Haha. Gotta be in it to win, buddy!

Next time… :-)

Thanks for dropping by and glad you took some action anyway!



Greg Cato October 30, 2012 at 09:30

Yes, this is a great idea….would like to see more


Andriana Lam October 31, 2012 at 14:07

I love this idea! I’m sure I will learn so much. I’m such a beginner. I would love to have my site critiqued too!


Chris C. Ducker October 31, 2012 at 16:07

Stay tuned to the Facebook page then, Andriana.

That’s the place where I do this type fo stuff regularly.



Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon November 3, 2012 at 07:54

This is really cool – I think you hit the nail on the head on quite a few of your observations. One in particular is on the Women on the Road site when you point out how the latest posts look like AdSense. I didn’t even realize it wasn’t AdSense until you pointed that out :) I love that these site owners are taking your advice right away! Kudos to them!



Chris C. Ducker November 5, 2012 at 16:47

I love it, too, Thomas!

Actionable change – that’s what will separate ALL of us in business. Plain and simple.

Thanks for dropping by.



Yamile Yemoonyah December 1, 2012 at 14:24

Hey Chris,

great advice here. I’m redoing my homepage at the moment and picked up quite a few tips. Thanks for that!


Chris C. Ducker December 1, 2012 at 18:08

That’s awesome, Yamille!

I hope you’ve been we’ll since BKK. Let me know when your new design is live – happy to take a look at it for you.



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