Call me oblivious if you will, but in my journeys through the Internet, I have yet to come across a blogger based out of South Africa. Even if I did, I probably wouldn’t know it, because most people register their domain as a dot com. Not Adii, though. The freelance designer who ordered this paid review at 90% off is based out of South Africa and he’s proud of it; that’s why his domain is adii.co.za. And his site looks absolutely brilliant.
From One Freelancer To Another
Adriaan Pienaar — he prefers to be called Adii (pronounced “ay-dee”) — is a freelancer just like me, except instead of writing words, he has more of a knack for writing code and creating some absolutely gorgeous designs. On his About page, Adii refers to himself as a WordPress rockstar and I’d have to agree. The professional design of Adii’s blog ranks right up with there with guys like Shoemoney, Problogger, and John Chow. The eye-catching use of contrasting colors works splendidly. My only complaint is that I am personally not a fan of three-column designs, because the content feels squished to the left.
Also like me, Adii uses his blog as a promotional tool for his freelance business. There’s a direct link to the design services that he offers as well as a sub-site for his portfolio, the latter of which I’ll discuss in a moment.
It is unfortunate that when you check the contact page, there is no guideline as to how much your project will cost. I understand that the price for design services will vary considerably, but a rough hourly rate can help customers guess-timate how much Adii charges. On my freelance writing services page, I say that I charge $30 to $40 an hour.
Monetization Done Right, But No Adsense
Just like the bigger boys in the industry, Adii realizes that his personal blog is no different than any other business. As such, the advertising is handled in a very professional manner. He’s rocking six of those hugely popular 125×125 sponsorship buttons above the fold, as well as paid reviews and text link ads.
Adii has cut out the middleman altogether, because you’ll notice that all of the advertising opportunities on his blog are private sales. No Adsense. No Text Link Ads. No Kontera. No ReviewMe. It’s all Adii, all the time… and it seems like he has no trouble soliciting sales.
Words To Go With the Pretty Pictures
Adii’s blog focuses on the business of freelancing, the evolution of web 2.0, and the beauty of design. The biggest category on his site is Web 2.0, which is currently sitting at one post short of the century mark. The second biggest category — Mini Interviews — is perhaps more interesting, because Adii has gone through over 40 virtual sit-downs with some rather interesting people.
- Master of Photography (2.0) (Mike McFarlane)
- Goodlatte should be Greatdesign (Rob Goodlatte)
- What makes a premium WordPress theme? (Nate Whitehill)
Outside of the Mini Interviews, which get featured on the front page just below the button ads, are several other good reads.
More Unique Blog Designs
Adii’s portfolio, in some ways, is a section completely separate from the rest of the blog. It has its own design and color scheme. If you didn’t know any better, you would think that it’s a different website altogether. The portfolio has all sorts of different WordPress themes, all of which look pretty darn good.
One aspect is very confusing. You’ll notice that many of these themes have been sold, but they still carry pricing and purchase information. A potential buyer, in this way, has no clear-cut way of knowing whether the theme is still available for purchase. It also leads you to believe that when Adii creates a theme for you, he may sell that same theme to someone else. I thought that when you commission a designer, the result is exclusive?
The Web 2.0 Designer That Delivers
I knew that Adii’s name sounded vaguely familiar when he ordered this review and then while surfing around for a theme for the new hockey blog, I found out why. Adii is apparently part of Nate Whitehill’s team at Unique Blog Designs. That explains the professionalism. That explains the brilliant designs. And that would explain why I can’t help but like his blog.
On a side note, you’ve got to wonder when Adii is going to change the “fiance” part of his tagline to “husband.” Not to put any pressure on him or anything… 🙂