Chosing A Blog Design | How To Blog On WordPress

Blogging is one way to make money in the current internet era. This is the same as having a ‘home’ or place in cyberspace. The house you have to shape as you want. Designing the ‘house’ is certainly an important part that can make you or any person who comes to feel comfortable. Well, in this topic we will discuss about the design of your home or blog. What should you consider when choosing your blog’s design?

Blog Topic

Courtesy : http://theowlsjournal.com

It is the most important consideration when choosing your design. Choose a design that personifies what your blog is about.

Photography

It needs to be taken into consideration. Photographs bring life to a blog. Both amateurs and professionals will need to pick a theme that struts their stuff.

Video

It features are a must now days. The trend is toward using more and more video. Although is is easy to place video with in your blog post, you may consider a theme that features video also.

Show Your Talents

Your blog should reflect your product and services.

Seven Rules of Good Blog Design

  1. Content is king. A blog is about content so keep your design simple.
  2. Stand out. Your design should make you stand out from all the other blogs. You want to be remembered.
  3. Stay ad lite. Do not overrun your blog with ads. Be effective with you ads.
  4. Color. Good use of color will make your blog posts easy to read and a pleasure to visit.
  5. Above the fold. Place all of the important information above the fold; start of content, subscription boxes and important images.
  6. Navigation. Because people will come to your blog by SEO and social media they may skip the front page. It is important that your side bars are easy to navigate. You only have a short time to keep your visitor, so make it easy to stay a visit.
  7. Loads quickly. Do you get impatient when a site loads slow? Make sure to keep your visitors attention with a site that loads quickly.

Take a look around and pick out blogs you like. What is it you like about them? Was it color? Content? Did you want to look around? What persona do you want to portray? What will make you stand out from the rest? What colors do you like?

How to Blog on WordPress – Above the Fold

When a visitor comes to your site, you have only a few seconds to convince him to stay. You want to put all the most important data above the fold.

Imagine walking past a newspaper stand. The headlines and pictures catch your eye. The newspaper is folded in half and all that eye-catching information is placed above the fold. This space is reserved for top stories, and pictures. Thus enticing people to buy.

In internet marketing this is also called above the scroll. The idea is to keep all that eye-catching and important data at the top of the screen. This would be your great headlines, your opt in box and your top advertising.

In the last year newspapers have dropped their old format and have gone to a blog look, still keeping it above the fold. The change is partly because of the amount of information that can be put in that blog look. Also newspapers are competing with the Internet.

There are many WordPress themes that will keep your eye-catching important data above the fold. How much information you consider important will determine if you want a one or two column sidebar.

No matter what you choose. Keep your lay out clean, easy to read and navigate.

Go take a look at WordPress Blogs you like. Were you enticed to stay the second you clicked on the site? What features in the sidebar do you like? Did they do a good job of keeping the important data above the fold?

Use AdSense Sparingly to Avoid Smart Pricing

It can not be deny that today is the age of information technology. The way to make money change also. Making website as a business is one of business. What is the reason people like to buy onmAdSense is perhaps one of the easiest ways to monetize a website, but that doesn’t mean that you should use it willy-nilly. Judging by the number of emails I get telling me that I should be using it on my blogs, or in my RSS feeds or whatever, it seems clear that most people feel that you should slap AdSense ads up everywhere.

Every Little Helps Doesn’t It?

The general theory seems to be that every little helps, and therefore, even if the ads aren’t clicked on all that much, surely every click is worth having? If AdSense can bring in a few extra bucks a month, then you’d be stupid not to use it, right? Well not quite, here are a few reasons why you should be sparing with your AdSense placement:

AdSense Takes Traffic Away

Some sites are built with the primary intention of getting AdSense revenue, but not all of them. This blog is not one of those sites. However, when somebody clicks your ad, they click away from your site, so that is a click that could have been directed elsewhere. Most people do not click back after they have clicked an ad!

Some Audiences Dislike AdSense

This is a problem that only affects a relatively small number of sites. Not all internet users are the same. I’m betting that you, as a reader of my blog, are pretty internet savvy, I imagine you have heard of social media sites like StumbleUpon, Facebook, etc. I’m sure you know what an ad looks like, and I’d bet quite a lot of money that you would very rarely click on an AdSense ad!

Now, of course, the only way to know for sure if AdSense is suitable for your site is to test it, but here’s a good metric to use: search engine traffic tends to respond well to AdSense, and social media traffic does not. If more than 50% of your traffic is social and not from search engines, then you might struggle with AdSense.

The Big One – SMART PRICING

At this point, you might still be thinking, so what? But here is something that many people don’t understand. AdSense allows you to put ad units up on multiple websites very easily, but it tracks your performance across your entire account, and it can apply penalties as a result. If one or more of your sites suffer from a particularly low click-through rate (I’m not sure the exact number but get worried if you’re generating less than 3%), then your account will be smartly priced and what this means is that you will only earn a fraction of the amount that you think you should.

I am pretty sure my account is smartly priced right now. None of my clicks are very high, and even in a very high paying niche, I only got $0.39 for a click that I would have expected to generate at least $1.00.

So if you just slap up AdSense on sites that don’t respond well, then you will drag down your CTR, which affects your whole account – the sites that were doing well will suddenly start making less money.

How to Avoid Smart Pricing

If you are smartly priced, then the only way out of it is to remove AdSense from the sites that have a very low CTR. Now recently, I started to add custom URL channels to my AdSense account so that I could track all my performance on a per-site basis, but I kept finding that the impressions and clicks that were being reported were less than the total number. In other words, I had AdSense running on some site that I had forgotten about!

Eventually, I tracked down the rogue URL – it was a hubpage! Back in the 2007 Thirty Day Challenge, I set up some hub pages, and back then, I knew nothing about how AdSense worked, so I just signed up for their revenue-sharing scheme. I started to track the URL, and sure enough, it was generating impressions (the hub still gets traffic now), but the CTR was appalling, so I removed it from the page.

I still have work to do because some of the niche sites I have setup are also performing badly. However, some of them have such little traffic right now that its difficult to accurately depict the CTR because just one click can cause it to vary greatly. Therefore my new approach is not to put AdSense on a site until it starts to generate a reasonably steady stream of traffic – around 25 visitors a day. That should be enough to track the clicks more accurately.

10 Great Ways to Repurpose Your Old Blog Content

Some of you from the previous decade might have liked to read magazines or books printed on paper, whether it’s good quality or simple paper. Now, magazines or books have become digital devices that you can read anywhere and anytime while you are connected to the internet.

Curation and crowd-sourcing in action! Today I’m summarizing 10 of the most actionable and creative answers to the following question:

Blogs are not vacuums. Each post, after circulation and promotion, after initial discussion, still exists and adds value. But how can we take a blog post and use this content in some other way after it has been posted? I am speaking here of ideas like converting to PowerPoint presentations and posting them to SlideShare, etc. Your ideas? Thanks!

Repurpose away!

1. “Best of”: Create special tabs, lists or pages for posts based on popularity, subject matter or number of Tweets, Facebook shares/Likes, etc.

2. Print pieces: Collect similarly themed content, and print booklets for distribution at trade shows, conferences and networking events.

3. Supplements: If you have a YouTube video, Sribd upload or Slideshare deck on the subject, link to a corresponding blog post.

4. Dig & link: Before you write a new post, review some of what you’ve written previously on similar topics and selectively link to related work.

5. Footer recommendations: After each post, collect links to related previous content. Several WordPress plugins can generate these recommendations automatically.

6. Internal resource: Your colleagues should know that your company’s blog is a content source that can inform their presentations, reports and other work projects.

7. Mash it up: Pull in content from multiple channels onto one page per subject. A page about word of mouth marketing, for instance, would have all applicable tweets from your company, blog posts, public slide decks, pod casts and white papers featured.

8. Manifesto!: Extract themes and learning from your previous work, and summarize into prediction pieces, opinion posts and year-in-review spots. Link back to the original posts.

9. Newsletters: Showcase relevant posts within your recurring newsletter, with a focus on digging deep into your archive to get new eyes on old content.

10. Shareable bits: Gather interesting factoids and points from older work, and tweet it out (or share via Facebook and LinkedIn) with a link. This is a great way to break a longer post down into pieces that are perfect for social sharing.

Top 3 Ways To Make Money Online

If you were to count the ways to make money online, you’d be at a loss. I don’t think four limbs would suffice. Lame jokes aside, there are, seriously, countless ways to make a living – even a fortune – on the Internet. The rules and principles that govern money-making in the real world apply just as much online as they do offline.

Some money-making tactics take money to make money. Of course, the trick is to create an extra dollar or more for every dollar you invest in any money-making activity. And you’d want to squeeze out as many profits as you can out of that dollar you’re going to invest. This is just business common sense.

However, this assumes that you need to begin with money if you hope to make any money. But there are several free ways to make money online as well.

As A Freelancer

Perhaps the easiest, fastest, and most straightforward way to begin making money online is to offer your services to other webmasters, online business owners, and internet marketers. If you have a particularly strong skill set – such as writing, designing webpages, copy writing, producing videos, editing audios, creating graphics, etc. – then you can find people who will be more than happy to pay for your services.

You can go to the freelancing networks that would charge you to bid on projects (such as Guru, eLance, or ScriptLance), but you can save your money. You’ll probably be better off going to specific webmaster forums and advertising your services in your signature file. To get started, you could even offer to do your first projects dirt cheap or for free to get a couple of references.

One important tip to take note of if you choose to take this path is that when you are starting on your virgin projects, even if you get very little (or no) money (at all), make sure you get the testimonials of your clients. Store your clients’ rave reviews so that this can serve as your portfolio of customer satisfaction and would give social proof that your work is of a high standard of quality.

Endorsing Other People’s Products For A Commission As An Affiliate

There are dozens of affiliate networks you can sign up with to become an affiliate for potentially thousands upon thousands of products sold online; it’s almost as if the Internet is conspiring to make you rich.

Clickbank is a popular choice and probably one of the easiest to sign up with. Your earnings are paid out by cheque twice a month, provided you have fulfilled some criteria (no worries, you don’t have to jump through hoops of fire to get your first payday). PayDotCom is ideal if you prefer to be paid via PayPal instead of waiting for the bank to clear your commission cheques (it could take weeks, especially if you live outside America). Both Clickbank and PayDotCom also offer affiliates the opportunity to earn some passive income from the monthly recurring billing products they list in their marketplaces.

If you’re looking to broaden your product line beyond merely selling information products, Commission Junction is the No. 1 network to be signed up with. Not only can you sign up with programs that pay you for referring sales, but you can also make some quick bucks out of the numerous CPA (Cost Per Action) programs available. CPA means you don’t need to make people buy products for you to get paid. All you need to do is to persuade people to sign up for some free offers, subscribe to a newsletter, or download software for free in order for you to earn a commission.

There are two sub-paths you can take within the affiliate marketing path – the Anonymous route, and what I call the “Oprah Winfrey” route.

For the Anonymous option, you can employ any number of tactics to promote your affiliate products – pay per clicks, article marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, etc. This route may be able to allow you to make money faster if you do the tactics right but may not last in the long term unless you consistently maintain your marketing momentum. Taking this option allows you to explore as many niche markets as you want.

The “Oprah Winfrey” option involves building an authoritative reputation amongst your target market, branding yourself, and building trust with your potential customers. This obviously takes time to build but pays off handsomely in the long run. Taking this option might prove difficult for you if you wish to explore different niches as general affiliates who market with authority usually focus on products that serve only one target market.

Create Your Own Product

Create your own masterpiece and sell it to the world. Most people would say that it is the hardest amongst the three ways, but I beg to differ. I made my first dollar online (US$17.00 to be exact, back in those days when US$1.00 equaled $1.70 in Singaporean dollars and Paypal was not that popular amongst internet marketers) selling my own information product.

Where there is a demand, there is money to be made. P T Barnum reportedly said there’s a customer born every minute, but how do you know what these customers want to buy? The secret to untold wealth and riches selling your own products online (even offline) is to know exactly what your potential customers are going through in terms of pain, frustration, problems, challenges, etc.

What is the one thing that is hindering them from achieving their goals? What is the stumbling block that they are encountering? How can you simplify their lives?

Before you go on to create products that would solve these people’s problems and sell a million copies, you must be able to answer the above questions and more. In brief, creating great products simply means being able to solve people’s problems quickly and easily.

Of course, there are many types of products you can sell online, just as there are many solutions to anyone’s problem. But let me simplify it for you further and categorize the kinds of products you can create into 2 :

  • Teaching people how to fish
  • Giving them the fish

Most information products would fall into the 1st category. Information products can be of many kinds as well – ebooks, audios, videos, tutorials, even live seminars and workshops. Depending upon the amount and value of the content you put into these information products, you can charge anywhere from dirt cheap to exorbitant prices for your information products.

Software, tools, systems, and services fall into the 2nd category. Here, you go beyond teaching people how to do whatever it is that they want to learn to accomplish and actually go do it for them. In this category, you can charge either a recurring monthly fee or a handsome one-time amount for the tool or service you’re offering that is going to solve their problems for them.

Exchanging Value

You have to understand that business is about making money – yes – but beyond that, it is about exchanging value. Ideally, for every $1 a person gives you, you give him $1 worth of value in return (be it via information, a service or a tool). But this is not a zero-sum game because the value you create and exchange for money is something intangible and cannot really be absolutely quantified in dollars.

Ironically, it is when you give just a little more than what you are paid for, that is when you start to make even more money than if you were to just trade a dollar for a dollar’s worth of value.