SELaplana is a blog by Sustines E. Laplana. The blog covers a wide variety of topics, including ones designed to help you learn to make money online. Sustines was the first person to use my new contact form (only minutes after I activated it!) and requested I review his site as part of his Join Review Me Challenge and Win promotion.

Sustines has picked an interesting way of branding himself. He calls himself the Dumb Blogger, and one claim to fame is being #1 in Google for the keyword “dumb blogger”. In fact, the top 5 results are either to SELaplana or about SELaplana. Unfortunately, “dumb blogger” doesn’t even register as having search volume, which generally means there’s less than 1 search a month.

The blog itself is an interesting mix of posts. Technology, making money, religion, there’s a little bit of everything. A truly impressive amount of content, spread over nearly 60 categories. As I was scanning the category list, there were the usual suspects, but also ones like “surgery”, and “God”. For a niche blog about making money online, there are quite a few off-topic posts.

According to Sustines, the blog gets about one thousand visitors every day. As he notes in that post, though, most of the keywords being used in search engines related to those off-topic posts, not to making money online. In my opinion, Sustines is sitting on a gold mine of information about what people are searching for online. While SELaplana doesn’t interest those visitors, he could create another niche blog or two that would.

And that brings up an excellent lesson about targeted traffic. Traffic alone doesn’t make you money, targeted traffic does. Keyword research is a critical component of writing a blog, and no blogger should write a post without having determined which keywords will bring in the right sort of traffic.

There are a few things that caught my eye that looked unprofessional that Sustines might want to fix. The first was that while he’s using the Top Commentators plugin, he doesn’t have it set to ignore his own comments (so the first entry in the top commentators list is himself). Another is that the Google ads in the right hand sidebar don’t blend well, having a white background while the sidebar itself has a gray background.

The sheer number of links in the sidebar is a bit overwhelming. The last 30 posts are shown in the sidebar, along with a list of projects, the most popular posts, the MyBlogLog widget that shows pictures of recent visitors, and a few links to anime guides.

I’d like the blog more if it were more focused on the primary topic, making money online, and didn’t have quite so much visual clutter.

With one thousand visitors a day, though, Sustines is sitting on a traffic stream that he should be able to make money from, if he can come up with a blog targeting what those visitors want.

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