Month: February 2009

8 most heard un-written rules of the blogsphere

Blogsphere is the unique world of the internet, the world of personal publishing. No one ever wondered that simple web journals or web logs could grow up into a massive media of people and informations. Now there is no one to set rules and boundaries for the blogsphere, it’s universal and you can write anything. But still there are some un-written rules you can hear a lot in the blogsphere, lets take a look at the 8 most heard un-written rules of the blogsphere,

Content is king -article

Content is the king

The most heard thing ever on the internet. You have to write original articles and this is the one thing that will attract visitors to your blog. Don’t just write original content, write good quality content. Everyone loves to read informative posts and search engines too!

Establish something you own

If you’re serious about blogging, then look at the long term benefits of your creation. A blog’s final profit can be selling the domain or even selling the whole blog. Most of the time new bloggers spend a lot of time, effort and money to establish a sub domain that you don’t own. Your only asset is the domain that you own and the content hosted on your own server. Because if there’s a time when you’re able to sell your blog, you’ll have to own your blog.

Build upon what you have

Try to think the positive things while blogging. Don’t be sad if you have only 50 visitors a day -this is a good thing and most blogger don’t even have that. Try to build something bigger upon what you have already. Don’t feel bad about your blog if it’s a free blogspot blog. I’ve build my blogs upon the very minimum resources I had and the same way you can do it too!

put your eggs in different baskets for blog revenue

Don’t put your eggs in one basket

Your blog is a goose that will lay eggs and then golden eggs. From the very beginning, try to focus on different income streams. Don’t just focus on adsense, try other ways of money making like affiliate earnings, PTC or direct advertising. Also apply for paid review sites such as PayPerPost or Smorty. Your earnings will grow over time when you’ll earn in multiple streams. If one stream falls, other will help you out.

If you build it, they will come

Your blog, site and creations are immortal and nothing dies on the internet. If you wrote something, it’ll be indexed on google and people will keep coming to your blog forever.

be the purple cow

Be the purple cow

Just like Seth Godin said, be the purple cow of your niche and everyone will love to read from you. You have to create outstanding articles with out of the box creativity. Create articles and blog which will make you stand out from thousands of other bloggers.

Provide the value first

Most new comers in blogging try to bring traffic or earn a nice amount of money doing nothing. It’s not possible in the blogsphere because you have to provide a value before you can bring out something.

networking with people

Networking with people works

You can’t succeed online now if you don’t want to connect with people. The internet is driven by people like me and you and the more contacts you have, the more you can succeed. These people around the web are your readers, customers, advertisers and promoters. Network with people around you and you’ll succeed.

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Should I offer a full RSS feed to my blog readers? Why?

RSS feeds or site feeds are one of the cool ways to spread your content around the web. It’s an unique way to keep in touch with a blog without even visiting. Now as a publisher, you have the option whether you want to offer Full RSS feeds or only post teasers. Let’s see what’s the best option for bloggers.

I want to bring visitors to my blog

If you set short RSS feeds, then your readers must visit your blog to read the full post. So if you’re thinking that you want real visitors who will read your blog by visiting your site, then you might want these things,

Increasing the number of site visitors
I want them to comment and participate
I want them to click on ads
I want more readership

I want to give more ease to my readers

If you want to give your readers a unique and comfortable way to read your blog, then you must offer full RSS feeds. You might want these things,

I want them to read my blog posts easily
I want them to get the updates faster
I want them to read my blog for a long time
I want more readership

No matter what you decide, you have one common goal, “More readership.” It’s harder to be ones favorite blog. Every time a new visitor comes to your site and gets interested in it, he looks for a faster way to remember the site. Most people will bookmark it and tech savvy people will add your feed on their feed readers. People who are unaware of rss feeds, they will subscribe via email.

The bad thing about short RSS feeds

When your reader tries to read your blog in RSS, he’ll see only first 250 words in his software; your email reader will receive emails with only 250 words -that means they have to click to the link to read that post. Here they will “Unsubscribe” from your blog because if they’re unable to read in RSS, so what’s the point of subscribing?

They may come to your blog within few days for new updates, but soon they will forget about your blog. And what does that means? -you just lost an interested reader.

Full RSS feed means longer lasting readership

I found that an RSS or email subscriber usually doesn’t unsubscribe from a blog. Your subscribers will still be there even if you stopped writing for a long time. This is the power of offering full RSS feeds.

The conclusion: You should always offer Full RSS feeds!

Your RSS readers are the longer lasting supporter of your blog. They are the ones who are reading from you for a long time. By subscribing, they have decided to read from your blog forever and they will promote your posts. If you want real profit in the long run, then you should always offer full feeds.

How to set up full RSS feeds?

In wordpress: Go to Settings > Reading, select “Full text” for “For each article in a feed, show”
In blogger: Go to Settings > Site feed > select “Full” for “Allow blog feeds”

Have your say

  • Do you offer Full RSS feeds? Why or why not?
  • Do you read blogs in your RSS readers?
  • Do you love to subscribe to short feeds?

Subscribe to BlogKori’s Full RSS feed!

Yes I too offer full RSS feeds in my blog. Subscribe and read it from your reader,

rss-post

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How I made an awesome blogger template from scratch

How I made an awesome blogger template from scratch? 1

Have you seen my first blog The blog about success? This is my first blog and it’s still on blogger(blogspot) platform. The template is the basic Minima template from blogger and I customized it to look more professional. Blogger templates are cool and fast loading when you make some modifications with it. Most of the time we bloggers look for free blogger(wordpress looking) templates. These are cool but complicated.

I used a wordpress template when BlogKori was in blogspot platform. The template was complicated for google search bots to crawl and that’s why google had only 3 pages indexed from my blog and the homepage was not in their index!

This is why I recommend blogger(blogspot) users not to use complicated wordpress like templates. Now let’s see how we can create a professional looking blogger template from scratch.

Getting started

Lets start with the basic Minima template. Create another test blog from your account and make all of those experiments inside that blog.

mak2

Removing the blogger navigation bar

This is one element why we don’t like to use default themes. You can remove the blogger navigation bar. Go to blogger dashboard > Layout > Edit HTML. Now search this code,

 

]]></b:skin>

Now add this code before/above the code,

 

#navbar-iframe {height:0px;visibility:hidden;display:none}

So the results will look like this. Save template.

 

#navbar-iframe {height:0px;visibility:hidden;display:none}
]]></b:skin>

Header image

Now if you upload an image as the blog’s header, it will look messy because of those borders. Now we have to remove those borders.

mak3

Again go to your blog’s HTML and search this part,

mak4

Now if you want to change the width of your blog’s header image, then change the value. Change two of the values of margins from 1px to 0px. This will remove those borders.

Top navigation links

I’ve added extra navigation links like Home, About, Popular articles etc.

mak7

If you want to do this, then go to Layout and “add a new widget”; select “HTML/Java script”

mak5

and then add the following,

<p>
<a href="http://the-address.com">Link 1</a> |
<a href="http://the-address.com">Link 2</a> |
<a href="http://the-address.com">Link 3</a> |
<a href="http://the-address.com">Link 4</a> |
<a href="http://the-address.com">Link 5</a> |
</p>

Replace those green parts into links and the red parts into your desired link texts. Drag the element below to the header, save the template.

mak6

Making the template wide

Minima template is about 660 pixel wide. You can change the value and make it wider. Again go to your blog’s HTML and select “Expand Widget Templates” Now search this part of your HTML,

mak10

I’ve selected the value of outer wrapper from 660px to 860px. Main wrapper is for the posts, and I selected 500px; I selected 300px for the sidebar wrapper.

Scroll down a bit more and you’ll find the footer section. Now change the value of the footer width to 860px. Save the template.

mak11

Adding a favicon

Search for this code in your blogger HTML,

 

]]></b:skin>

Now add this code (change the green part into the URL where the favicon is hosted)

 

<link href='ICON-SOURCE' rel='shortcut icon'/>

After that the code will look like this,

 

]]></b:skin>
<link href='ICON-SOURCE' rel='shortcut icon'/>

Adding search bar in the template

mak8

There are ways to add a search bar into your template but I found the lijit service easier and most effective. Go to lijit.com and sign up for your free account. Create a search bar widget with your blog’s address and with your social profiles. Get the code and add it to your search bar.

mak9

That’s it!

Now you have a fully customized new blogger template. Download the template and upload it to your favorite blog. You can do more modifications if you just spend some time with the code. If you need a custom comments system then you can read this: How to install Disqus comments system on your blog?

Please feel free to ask me a question if you run into any trouble. Please promote this page by using the Share/save button.

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Lets create an effecting landing page to welcome new visitors!

wordle

What can you see on the picture above? Lots of keywords, just like the tag list of my site. This is the tag graph of my blog created with wordle.net. Now when a new visitor comes to my homepage, he feels the same with my blog just like you’re feeling with this image above.

A few months ago when my blog was in blogspot platform, my homepage was full of 6 banner ads. When I met a new person via online chat and asked him to visit my blog, he said: “Is this an advertisement website?” -ohh a big failure that my site was unable to express what it’s for?

I figured out that a blog’s homepage could be the worst landing page ever to make your new visitors go away. Here are some simple reasons,

  • Homepage loads slowly because it has lots of things
  • The content is always changing
  • The page can’t focus on new visitor, it’s ideal for returning visitors
  • Homepage doesn’t have the content what visitor is looking for
  • Harder to tell what this site all about

According to an average blog’s traffic statistics, 70-80% people coming to your blog are new visitors. They could be tech savvy, tech professional or could be a new internet user. 80-90% visitor wants a site to be perfect, or they will leave in few seconds. The rest of the 10-20% people will stay and explore because they have heard good things about this site or they are bloggers like you.

Now if you create a custom landing page for those new people, then I think you can capture some of them on your blog. Please take a look at my Welcome page.

Lets create an effecting landing page to welcome new visitors!

Cartoon credits: Psychotactics Zingers

The focus

The focus of that page was to let the new visitor know what this blog is for? No fancy, I just added few words. A simple image with the logo will welcome my reader and I want them to memorize it.

A killer approach to get their attention!

On the first line I said, “BlogKori is not another “Make money online blog” -like thousands of others on the internet. This blog is focused to create a better blog.” -the reader may know about a lot of make money blogs and he might think it’s another one, so I said that here’s something new. It will make him feel that yes there’s something new and let’s continue reading!

Tell them what this blog can do for them

On the first line I said “This blog is focused to create a better blog” -now I have to explain it what they can do if they have a better blog. Just like if you say that your blog is about “Cooking” then you have to make it clear what you’ll provide in your blog, and what they will get from it?

Ask them to subscribe

Add the options to subscribe to your blog via email or RSS feed.

Provide available options

Like, I added the link to the Beginners guide section for new bloggers. Add your mobile page if you have one, add the contact option, author information, your social profiles and some other things you have.

Don’t say good bye!

Now your reader will react the way you express. If you say, “Thanks for visiting, come back again later” they will go away from your site. But if you say something like this, “Thanks for reading this page, now you can move on to my homepage!” or you can also add some of your best article links at the end.

Using your landing page

You can use this link on social sites such as Facebook, twitter and other ones. It’ll help you a lot when you add this link on blog comments. Use the landing page URL on your outgoing email signatures. Each new reader will come to your special landing page. The blogs that are linking your homepage, ask them to change it to the new welcome page.

Have your say

Do you think you need a special landing page for your blog? What can be done more with a landing page? How’s my welcome page and please share your blog’s landing page too!

If you like this article, then please bookmark it with the share/save button. You can also Grab the RSS feed to get more updates like this one.

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How to Write Effective Blog Descriptions for Better CTR Click Through Rates

Although this article was written back in 2009, this article on how to write effective blog description still applies today now that it does a huge impact on your click through rate from search engines. Now days a top 5 ranking won’t always result in better click through rates. If your blog fails to get decent CTR google will drop your site ranking to favor the competing search results.

Writing a good blog description is more important than ever. A well written description is short, compelling, has keywords, and makes good sense.

At the very beginning, bloggers find it tricky for them what to do and what not? Titles are easy but what about description? There are some factors work together in search terms. Some bloggers found their site rank higher in search terms within few months. Most of the times these terms are not that popular enough to bring a burst of traffic.

For an example, when I started my first blog, it was ranking number one for a local term. But I was not getting hundreds of hits daily for that because it’s not a popular keyword! The thing I learned is that I should look for popular keywords and ranking my blog for such keywords will bring in more traffic.

[Continue reading…]

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Choosing The Right Blogging Platform for Your Blog

It is very frequent to see bloggers face dilemma when it comes to selecting the right blog platform. Should you host your blog on its own domain or on a free blogging platform like WordPress.com? Unfortunately, there is no fix answer for the question as different bloggers require different blogging features. Some blog platforms are much more suited for the hobby bloggers and others to more professional blogging application. Fact is there are both pros and cons for both. With that being said, I am not going to tell you which blog platform you be supposed to use. Instead, I am going to compare both choices and let you make a decision for yourself.

Blogs are a great way to give your employees a voice and an outlet for them to air grievances and issues.  Most executives and human resources professionals find this a very helpful tool, and it definitely doesn’t take a masters degree in organizational leadership to know this

Choosing the right blogging platform for your blog

Free Blogging Platforms

Free blogging platforms are websites that offer free hosting service that comes with blogging tools. Blog hosted on free blogging platforms normally runs on a third level domain name (something like http://www.blogname.blogspot.com). Many bloggers start out with free blogging platform as they are easy and free to use. It requires minimum IT knowledge to publish web content and there are little web maintenance job to be done. WordPress, Blogger, Blogster, and Bravenet are some of the names that offer free blogging platform.

It’s worth noting that not all hosted blogs (blog hosted by others, on a third level domain) are running free. Blogs on TypePad for example, require monthly subscription fees.

Blog on Its Own Hosting and Domain

The other sort of blog platform is the kind of blog that hosted on its own domain/web server and is run on a stand alone blogging platform. WordPress.org (different from WordPress.com), B2Evolution, Greymatter, and TextPattern are some of the big names for such service. These services normally come free along with your hosting package and can be installed easily.

What’s Good About Free Blogging Platforms?

The biggest advantage of a free blogging platform is that it requires zero operationg cost. Blogging platforms like WordPress.com and Blogger.com are totally free of charge. On the other hand, blogs running on its own domain/hosting comes with domain registration and web hosting cost.

Free blogging platforms are often recommended for the hobby bloggers as it requires minimum maintenance. You don’t have to go detail with the hosting as things are all settled by the admin. Database setup, blogging tools installation, server configuration – all these are none of your business when you pick up free blogging platform. All you need to do is select your blog name and start writing.

Another plus point with free blogging platform is that it requires minimum maintenance job. As the blogs are hosted by

How About Blog on Its Own Hosting/Domain?

While blog on its own hosting/domain requires extra time and money; there are several advantages that free blogs can’t offer. Generally, these type of blogs work better when it comes to monetization and advance web designs.

Blog running on its own hosting/domain allows advance web designs and developments as server usage is more flexible. For example access of .htaccess enable website redirects; robots.txt enable search engine bots control, and access of cgi bin allows bloggers to install advance web features on their blogs.

Some free blogging platforms (WordPress.com for example) prohibit their users to monetize their blog. You will not have such problem with blog on its own hosting/domain. Also, a blog with its own hosting/domain is better when it comes to branding and web marketing. A free blog long URL is hard to remember and it gives the image of part-timer. Many advertisers are reluctant to buy ads on a free blog and most webmasters are unwilling to joint venture with free blog owners.

What is The Right Option for You?

Back to our question: which blogging platform should you go with? The answer is in your hand. Are you a hobby blogger? What is the goal of your blog? Do you plan to blog for long term? Do you plan to sell your blog in future? Do you wish to monetize your blog? Do you have extra budget if you wish to host your blog on its own domain? These are the questions to ask before you make up your mind.

Generally, a free blog is best for those who do not wish to spend much time and money; while blog with its own hosting/domain is for those who are more serious about blogging.

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5 minute quick tips on how to become a blogging machine?

If you want to become a better blogger and want to create a monster blog, then you have to become a blogging machine. If you’re the only employee of your blog, then you have to work hard on creating articles. The more quality articles you have the more you’ll have the chance of getting search traffic and returning visitors. So here are some quick tips on being a blogging machine. -30 sec

Have a writing habit

Producing content is the most important task in blogging. Write lots of articles, messages, comments, reviews, tweets, direct messages. Create another test blog if you want to write about everything. Write more and develop a good typing skill. -30 sec

5 minute quick tips on how to become a blogging machine?

Read a lot!

Read blogs, stories, articles and capture the style of each author. Learn how they present one thing and how they capture “reader’s attention” like this! Read online, read offline; learn the way of creating contents, making sentence and how mistakes can be enjoyable. -30 sec

Learn more

You can’t write without having an idea or information. As a blogger you have to search places for new things. Read blogs, stumble, tweet, participate in discussions, read newspaper, watch TV, listen to radio and take a walk on the streets -even a billboard can give you new things to write! -30 sec

Write as you’re talking with people

Are you having problem about how to start a post? Try to write as you’re taking with your friends. Don’t just talk, listen and ask questions. Add information and share other posts. Link to your friends posts and they will link back to you too! -30 sec

Add humor

Don’t just be serious writers. Try to be a writer with humor. Add some odd posts and some funny lines, in your posts. You can add funny images and start your serious post. Make mistakes and give your audience a chance to laugh 😀 -30 sec

Experiment a lot!

“You don’t have to be perfect in blogging, you have to be active”. Experiment new post ideas and write odd posts. Just like I’m experimenting with this post. There’s only one way to know if it works or not, experiment! Most of the plans failed and some stupid ideas were a big hit, just because I experimented. -30 sec

Check the time!

According to my calculation, you’ll spend approximately 4 minutes after reading this paragraph. So did you enjoy this quick post or it bored you? Do you think being a blogging machine will help you to succeed?

Please promote this post with your favorite social bookmarking site by using the Share/save button -30 sec

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WordPress will save my 288 working hours in 2009!

I started to blog on blogger(blogspot) platfporm. After blogging for a whole year, I moved to wordpress self hosted platform. Now the experience with wordpress is surprising. As a tech geek, I spend my most of the blogging time to tweak and hack the blog -which requires a lot of research, experiment and time. The thing that I found in wordpress, the main blog setup is divided into multiple PHP files. Separate files for header, footer, comments and themes. This way the code remains simple and light. In blogger, there’s only one HTML file for the whole blog setup and it’s just like packing for a picnic in a small briefcase.

How wordpress can save a lot of time?

WordPress is full of plugins and there’s one for every task. Search, install, activate and configure -that’s it! But in blogger, you have to search for a hack, test it with your blog and hope that this will work. By average, I spent over 3 hours(sometimes even more) for a successful hack. 3 Hours are being replaced by 5 minutes of plugin installation.

If I add 2 plugins per week in my blog, that means I’m saving 6 working hours of blogging. With this basic sum, I can be able to save 288 hours in 2009 -and that means more time for other things, less frustration and more productivity.

Why Blogger is recommended for new users?

Blogger is my first choice of blogging and I’d recommend new bloggers to use this platform. It’s easy, fast and free! By using blogger, you have to mess up with those HTML, Java codes. The more you interact with your code, the more you’ll learn. WordPress is so simple that even a child can use it but blogger requires some programmer skills.

Blogger is the platform where I learned how to create HTML elements and how to tweak your design. No matter what platform you choose for your blog, please use your own domain to blog.

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Why bloggers shouldn’t share their earnings with the world?

When I first started to blog, I didn’t even know that bloggers can earn money with their free blogs. After reading some blogging blogs I got interested and one thing that inspired me that was bloggers sharing their revenue, checks etc. I got so much interested into blogging and to see if I can make a dollar with my blog?

After that I found John Chow Dot Com and again he shows his 5 figure earnings per month. With this entire year of blogging, I realized that earning with a blog is extremely hard and even harder when you have only one employee in your business -you!

But I started to earn a regular income from my blog within the 6th month but didn’t create a post to share my achievements. Now I always know that someday someone will ask about this. Few days ago I received this comment from Jakaria Uzzal,

“Hellow Tamal, many blogger explain ho much mony they earn after end of month. Why don’t you publish your earning?”

I posted a reply to his comment, but now the thing I want to express is why money making bloggers shouldn’t share their earnings with the world.

Why bloggers shouldn't share their earnings with the world?

Income is not a metric to determine blogger’s success

If you post all about your income in your blog, then your readers will think that all you want is income, nothing else. Money can be made with jobs, small businesses and from any other ways but blogging is different. Blog is a tool to interact with the world. The things I learned in 1 year of blogging couldn’t be learned spending 20 years in a typical job. It gives an opportunity to help people and to inspire them even if they are thousands of miles away from you.

A mass audience will be discouraged

As a blogger, I target all of world for maximum chance for success. Check your Alexa data and see what are the major portion of your readers,

alexa-data

The main two countries that are sending me traffic are USA and India, east and west. Now these two countries have different economical status and are in different time zones.

For an example, if any blogger earns $200 a month and posts it on his blog, then visitors from India and all other related countries will increase because the average income of a person in India is $200 or less.

On the other hand, visitors from USA, Canada and Europe will go away because they are making even more per month with their jobs and business and why they want to read $200 worth blogging tip? So you should not share your earnings if you want to get traffic from both of the continents.

Earnings will spoil new bloggers

Earning reports are not inspiring everytime, sometimes they encourage people to blog even if they don’t know about it. This is why they run for the money from the very beginning and most people even quit their jobs. Money making bloggers should inspire people how to become a better blogger. Creating a better blog will bring traffic, popularity and money. When you’ll share, you made $xxx from adsesne, they will put adsense on their site and wait for the clicks; when you’ll share you made $xxx from PayPerPost, then they will apply for PPP and wait for the approvel. Different bloggers found success in different streams of income and one tip won’t help everyone.

The more you hide the more they come!

Then I found Darren Rowse from ProBlogger -the blogging idol of the world. He doesn’t shares how much money he’s making with his blogs and everyone wants to know that information. People are desperate to know his income and we imagine that he’s a 6 figure earner. So with this example, it’s clear that the more you hide about your income, the more they will be interested in your blog. People are watching that I’m earning from 6-8 different streams and also started my own web design and domain flipping business, they can imagine how much I’m making but I won’t tell the actual figure!

Have your say

  • Do you think my points are valid?
  • Do you share your earnings with your readers?
  • Did I miss anything?

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How to Create Ebooks And Bring Viral Traffic to Your Blog

From the last year I’ve been creating ebooks and experimenting with my blogs. Since I learned the technique about creating viral ebooks with my older blog posts, this has become a successful technique to spread your content and bring on new and interested visitors.

Ebooks works well because I can create one with a set of similar articles in it and readers can download it and read it. They can read it offline or even on their cell phones and can send it to friends via email.

All ebooks links back to my sites so the more it gets distributed, the more exposure I get. A blogger should give away ebooks for free because you’re not an established writer and no one will pay you for that. Use it as a free resource and you know people loves to get free stuffs! Now let’s see how I created my latest ebook, “A step by step guide for new twitter users” [Continue reading…]

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