Criticue.com is an interesting concept—a peer to peer website review portal. You create a free account, submit your website, and start reviewing other users’ websites. (start-up owners and web designers form the majority of user base).
You earn one credit for every submitted review, and each review cost you one credit. Putting it simply, if you review 10 websites, you’ll get 10 reviews of your own website(s). Note: You an also buy credits, if you do not feel like reviewing websites.
Site moderators check each submitted review, and users rate reviews they receive, which helps to eliminate spam, and ensure that your credits won’t be wasted.
Nice do-follow backlink
From a SEO point of view, submitting a website to Criticue.com will get you a nice do-follow backlink. And that’s exactly why I originally joined the website, not planning to make any reviews. I simply joined to get a backlink (as a part of my SEO strategy), and move on.
A few hours later, however, I returned and decided to review a few websites. After all, feedback always helps, and feedback from unbiased web designers and start-up owners is likely the most objective feedback you can get.
I honestly reviewed about a dozen websites, emphasizing what could be improved, as well as what impressed me. It took me about five minutes in average to review a website.
My reviews god great ratings and I even got some thankful messages from users who received the reviews. Positive feedback did not surprise me, however. I’ve been in the internet marketing industry long enough, and regularly consult various people on their online projects, so I can certainly tell people what to improve on their websites. Then I waited for my credits to be “spent”, for reviews of our website to arrive.
We got mostly 4 star or 5 star reviews for the University of Solitude website, and people were generally impressed with the design. But they also posted some valuable ideas for improvement. For example:
- Italicized text was hard to read, especially on mobile devices
- “Read now” button was misleading, since one could not read the entire book, just the prologue and first chapter
- Different font styles were used for headings and paragraphs, which helped neither the design, nor the readability.
I followed the suggestions, unified the fonts, changed “read now” to “read prologue”, transformed italicized text to normal text, etc.
Of course, you’ll get also some useless reviews. Some users try to review the sites in a quickest time possible, just to earn credits. Some of these shitty reviews still pass the quality and spam filter and land in your inbox. I just accepted that as a wasted credit and moved on. It is a free website, after all, so you can’t expect everything perfect. :).
Unexpected sales channel
Critique.com surprised me in more ways than one. The messaging systems allows for interaction between users. I used the opportunity to thank some people who made a useful review. Needless to say, interaction sometimes leads to connection, and if you manage to make an honest, good connection with someone, it can easily lead to a sale. Three people I “met” on Critique expressed strong interest in reading the book, and at least one of them, a nice guy from Germany, actually bought the book. About the other two I am not sure.
You can discover new products and business models on Criticue.com. I’ve reviewed some pretty interesting websites, many of them still being developed (before the launch stage). If I was looking for new ideas, or wanted to enter a new market, I’d certainly got great inspiration. The same applies from a perspective of a web designer—I definitely reviewed several websites that exceeded my expectations. People designing them did a better job than I have ever done on any of my online projects (from a web design perspective).
Criticue.com was the fifth most frequent traffic source for the UniversityofSolitude.com in the last 30 days. (“direct” traffic includes traffic from YouTube, and other websites that use https protocol). See the picture below.
You should definitely submit your website to Criticue.com and spend some time reviewing other websites, interacting with the reviewers. You will get a do-follow backlink, valuable feedback regarding your web design and functionality, referral traffic, inspiration for other ventures, and potentially even some sales… one can hardly ask for more, considering that the entire concept is free. . . .
That’s it for today friends. I will soon leave the country for some travels, but before I do leave, I’ll update you at least one more time. Have a great week and try to live in harmony. (And take some action to promote your work!)