Entries Tagged 'Blog Design' ↓

To Advertise or Not to Advertise?

advertiseWhen it comes to creating and writing in a blog, one of the most important questions that a lot of first time bloggers find themselves asking is whether or not they should do any advertising. The truth is, there is never really a situation where advertising is bad, as long as you are advertising in the right way. There are a multitude of different ways that you can advertise on your blog, including advertising to bring people to your blog, and advertising on your blog to generate revenue through your blogging endeavor. Both of these forms of advertising have benefits, but they also have a small selection of drawbacks as well.

Advertising to Gain Traffic –

Advertising for the purpose of gaining traffic may mean search engine optimization, posting content to article submission websites, putting your blog link in your e-mail signature and finding other ways to spread the word about your blog. One of the most advantageous ways to attract people to your blog is to socialize, commenting in other blogs and facilitating conversations in a way that will attract people back to yours.

The Advantage –

The advantage to advertising your blog is obviously, as it will attract an increase in traffic and readership to your content, attracting more people to see what you are writing. There are plenty of ways to advertise your blog, and many of them are inexpensive or completely free.

The Disadvantage -

The disadvantage to advertising your blog is the fact that it can take away from the time you need to keep your blog updated. Luckily, many forms of advertising your blog can be done simply by writing in it and socializing through it, so you should not feel like you are limited in how much advertising you can do.

Advertising to Monetize your Blog –

This is another excellent reason to advertise because it allows you to generate money from your blog through advertising. If you want to make a little money back from your blogging effort, find out more about affiliate marketing, AdSense and other forms of advertising for monetization.

The Advantage –

You can make back the costs for your blog website and can even generate some extra money on the side without doing much work. Simply writing relevant content will do much of the advertising for you.

The Disadvantage -

Some readers are put off by obvious advertisements. If your blog pages are overloaded with adverts, you may be overwhelming your readers, which can chase them away. Make sure that your ads are visible, but not overwhelmingly so.

Once you know the ins and outs of advertising through blogging, and the advantages and disadvantages associated with each, you can make smart decisions regarding whether or not your blogging endeavor needs a little bit of advertising.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2009-02-03 10:45:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Principles for Good Blog Design, pt 1

tipsMost of the open source blogging platforms out there are going to come with at least a few different basic blogging designs. Some platforms call them themes, others call them templates, and others still have completely unique names for them. Most of these basic themes or templates have nothing inherently wrong with them, but customization is somewhat necessary otherwise everyone would have a blog that looked exactly the same as every other blog. Most blogging templates are really basic, and adding your own flair to them is easy. Still, many people get the whole customization thing wrong, and need to be steered in the right direction. There are some basic mistakes to how people go about customizing their blogs, and hopefully we can dispel some of them in this series on principles for good blog design.

1 – Whether you really want to or not, it is vital that you have some information about *you* in the blog. Either create an about me page, or have some information about yourself displayed in the sidebar of your blog. This should be a prominently placed section so it can be easily found, and it should be truly about who you are, rather than read like a resume.

2 – Make sure that your personal contact information is readily available, and even more importantly, easily visible. You need to at least have an e-mail address visible, and a phone number would be even better. If you want to prevent spammers from harvesting your e-mail address, use an image to display it rather than text. You can always use a free web based e-mail address such as a yahoo, gmail or hotmail address to keep from having your true personal address displayed, if you like. By posting real contact information, you are going to make yourself appear much more real. Although people may not really find reasons to contact you, you’re still indicating to your readers that you are available, which is a good thing.

3 – You should absolutely include a picture of yourself in your blog. All blogs, even business blogs, are personal, and the people who visit yours are going to want to know who you are and what you look like so that they can get to know you, and can benefit from the personal nature of your blog. It is much easier to build trust between yourself and your readers if your picture is visible and your readers feel like they know you. You do not absolutely need a picture, but it is still strongly recommended that you do have one in order to get the most out of your blog.

4 – Some of your blog posts are going to be more popular than others. Once you recognize which blog posts these are, keep them from being buried by finding a way to highlight them.

Continued in part 2 of this series.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2009-02-06 08:15:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

10 Benefits of Hosting your Own Blog

trafficIf you want to create an edge over many of the other bloggers on the web, then one of the best things that you can do is host your own blog. There are a number of benefits of hosting your own blog over having some other service host your blog. Here are ten of the most prevalent benefits.

1 – Professional Appearance –

Hosting your own blog gives your blog a professional appearance, because you can use your own domain name or website name and can host your blog on your own website. If you do not host your own blog, you will have a lengthy blog URL which will make it appear less professional and will make it more difficult for readers to recall the name and website for your blog.

2 – Design –

Another benefit of hosting your own blog is the fact that you have a lot more freedom regarding the design. When you host your own blog, you do not have to follow a pre set design but can design your own blog layout instead.

3 – Recall Ability –

By hosting your own blog, you can make your blog easier to recall among readers. What address do you think is easier to recall, http://www.blogsite.com or http://blogsite.blogger.com/~blogname? The easier your domain name is, the easier it will be for readers to recall it, and this is one of the greatest benefits for hosting your own blog.

4 – Content Control –

While there are not normally really strict guidelines regarding content, when you have your blog hosted by a blogging network, your choices in content can be restricted. By hosting your own blog, you can have much larger control over your content.

5 – Security –

By hosting your own blog on your own website, you can have more control over your security, and will be better able to protect your own blog rather relying on someone else to do it.

6 – Brand Promotion –

By hosting your own blog, it will be easier to develop and promote your own brand. Even if you are not selling something, hosting your own blog will provide greater individuality than what shared hosting can offer.

7 – Revenue Generation –

When you host your blog with someone else, you have less control over generating revenue. When you host your own blog, however, you have much greater control over how you generate revenue online.

8 – Growth –

While starting on a blogging network makes sense, if you want to grow your blog, you need to go independent. By hosting your own blog, you can create a much larger level of growth over time.

9 – Site Integration –

By hosting your own blog, you can integrate your blog with your website, rather than having to create a completely separate website from your blog.

10 – More Traffic –

Hosting your own blog will also allow you to generate more traffic, because your posts will be easier to find in search engines.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2009-02-01 05:05:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

How To Create a Killer Landing Page

landingtestingby John Tumbler, guest blogger

The landing page is the first page of your website where a visitor visits. Each website/company has its own landing page where they are driving all their traffic even if they are unaware of it. A visitor can reach your landing page either from Search Engine Results, online advertisement, email marketing or any other method. Therefore, creating a killer landing page can put a remarkable effect on your conversion rate and can increase your online sales or can help you in fulfilling your other desired goals which you want to attain through your landing page.

Tips to Create Killer Landing Page that Sells:

Custom Landing Page for Each Offer: – You need to create custom landing pages targeting a specific offer. The title and text of the ad which send visitors should be similar to the landing page. Don’t send all your traffic to your homepage or to a page which contains information about other offers too as these things can deviate the user mind and your conversion rate could be low.

Clear Call to Action: - Your landing page should have clear call to action which you want your visitor to take. A call to action could be to purchase a product, providing information or any other thing you want your visitor to do.

No Unnecessary Information: – Your landing page should contain only that Information which is required for your visitor to take decision and to perform desired action. Don’t fill your landing page with unwanted information as it can distract your visitor mind and you won’t be having a good conversion rate.

No Distractions: - There should be no distractions on your landing page as it can put your visitor in confusion and change his decision. Don’t put any distracting navigational links. Landing page is not for browsing the site it’s for conversions.

Keep it Simple: - Keep your landing page simple. Avoid using lot of images and Flash. Tests had shown that such landing pages have poor conversion rate.

Effective Sales Copy: – You need an effective sales copy which can push your visitor to take desired action. The content of your landing page should be short and straightforward. Break big paragraphs to short ones and use effective titles.

Easy To load: - An idle landing page should load in less than 8 seconds. Many people in remote areas are still using the dial up connection. Your landing pages should be able to load quickly even on slow connections.

Test, Modify and Test again: – Testing a landing page is very important to understand the behavior of your visitors and increase the conversion rate. It’s always good to create multiple landing pages for a same campaign and then see which page converts most. After that you can make more improvements to that landing page and test it again.

John Tumbler is a freelance writer who writes on Landing page optimization, gadgets, Technology and Internet marketing.

Photo Credits: affiliatesummit

Originally posted 2009-09-23 12:47:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Advantages of Using WordPress to Publish a Newspaper Blog

newspaperIf you want to have a blog or website that’s in newspaper format, WordPress is the ideal medium. There are many other services you could use, but because WordPress is so user friendly it’s easy to set up your blog to look like a newspaper (or a website, or whatever you want).

Why is WordPress so good for setting up a newspaper?

First of all, you can start a WordPress blog for free. You can also pay, of course, but if you’re just experimenting and trying to figure out what you want and how you want to do it, then it doesn’t cost anything. If you choose, later you can have your own domain and a variety of other paid features.

But even if you don’t want those things, you can completely lift your content from WordPress and put it somewhere else. They claim no ownership on anything you’ve published through their service. You really need to read the fine print on many other “free” services and even paid ones. Now and then you’ll find a clause in the fine print that gives them actual ownership of whatever you put up. It’s doubtful they’d try to take to the content from you, but why let them stake a claim on your content, just in case?

WordPress is also perfect for a newspaper because of the tons of free templates that are available. So you sign up for free and you can browse a variety of blog templates until you find the free one you want. They have some designed just for that newspaper look which makes them perfect.

And because WordPress is so popular, if you wanted to purchase a layout or pay to have one designed just the way you wanted, it would be easy to find a developer who could do that for you. Yet, you will most likely be able to get started with a free theme, if that’s what you want. You can even design your own. There are tutorials all over the web about how to design your own WordPress theme, so you have several options.

WordPress is so easy to use that with only the smallest time learning how you can easily update your newspaper blog and fill it with great content. You can add content and preview it, save it as a draft and tinker as much as you want before anyone else sees it, so you have the ability to get it just the way you want before it goes live.

It’s easy to go back and change a post in your WordPress newspaper blog, too. You just edit the post and go in to add or change something with very little hassle. If you know HTML you can enhance your content with it manually, or use their rich text editor which makes it easy to add formatting like different fonts, italics, bold, images and other great additions. All these add up to make WordPress a great place for a newspaper blog.

Photo Credits: Hamed Saber

Originally posted 2009-05-25 05:02:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

WordPress as a Website: 4 Great Reasons

websiteWhen you think of WordPress you probably think of blogging. That’s how most people use it. They sign up for a free blog and start posting about a variety of things. Some blogs are very specific and targeted while others are just general every day kind of blogs. You might not be aware of it, but some excellent looking websites are also using WordPress without using it as a blog at all.

Ease of Use: WordPress is designed for the masses. That means there’s really no specialized knowledge necessary to sign up for a blog and get started. If you want to go beyond the free blog and take advantage of their premium features, they’re thrilled. So they lead you through it step-by-step to make it easy.

Deciding to go from a free blog to hosting a domain with your blog as your site is fast, inexpensive and easy. At that point, your .com address contains the blog, which you can arrange pretty much any way you want.

Built-in Tools: Using the blogging and content tools provided by WordPress, it’s easier for many to create a great looking website than it is to use a more complicated piece of software. To create a WordPress site you don’t need an HTML editor or some “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) software to help you build the site. You can still use these, for the most part, but you can also do the same things right through the WordPress interface, including using CSS.

You also won’t need a tool for uploading like an FTP client, and you won’t need to learn a complicated file manager or control panel. If you’ve chosen a theme and made a few blog posts, you already understand how making changes in WordPress works. There’s really no learning curve in going from free blog to website.

Search Engine Friendliness: WordPress blogs, if they’re using keywords and contain relevant content, can rank high in searches on those keywords. Google tends to favor some sites over others, while completely ignoring some domains. Content on WordPress tends to be favored. So your website, as long as you actually do concentrate on keywords and content a bit, will probably have a better chance at showing up in search engines than if it were hosted somewhere else.

Popularity and Community: If you’re not paying WordPress and website experts to do your website for you, then the idea of setting up a website anywhere, let alone on WordPress, is probably daunting. But because WordPress is so popular and used by so many people, it’s easy to get help with a problem.

If you have your website set up with Host X and you’re having problems with the PHP, you can wait to hear back from them or do an online search and try to find the exact problem in the exact server configuration in detail. But the WordPress community has active forums where you can ask questions. And chances are your blogging question has already been asked and answered, so your problem could be solved with a quick search.

Photo Credits: josef.stuefer

Originally posted 2009-05-22 05:58:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

WordPress Plugins

These WordPress plugins are offered by the Blog Traffic Exchange. Enjoy

Related Websites / Related Posts

Related Sites OptionsCloud based multi-site related posts plugin. Traffic balancing algorithm to ensure equality based on traffic. Randomization to spread the effect. New traffic opportunities every 24 hours. Increase your traffic today, join the Blog Traffic Exchange.

WordPress Backup

Wordpress Backup OptionsPerforms regular backups of your upload (images) and current theme directories. Backup files are avilalbe for download and optionally emailed to a specified email. Don’t get caught without a recent backup of your theme or images.

Related Tweets

Using your blog as the seed, find quality content from the Blog Traffic Exchange and tweet it automatically. Provide your followers with interesting and relevant content within the niche of your blog. Supplement your twitter account with quality content related to your blogging niche using the our powerful content search engine.

Blog Copyright

Blog Copyright OptionsBlog Copyright injects a copyright notice into the blog footer. You can see it in action on this very site. The copyright notice automatically updates the year range as time goes one removing the need to ever revisit your copyright once the plugin is put in place… Adjustments can be made to a variety of options including the starting year and the rights reserved statement.

Old Post Promoter

OPP OptionsThe Old Post Promoter (OPP) is a WordPress plugin by the Blog Traffic Exchange. The purpose of the plugin is to promote old posts by sending them back onto the front page and into the RSS feed. It does it randomly choosing an eligible post and updating the publication timestamp. The post then appears to be the latest post on your WordPress blog. “You down with OPP? Yeah you know me!”

Online Stores

Online stores adds related online stores to the bottom of your blog posts. Improving the user experience by offering them additional related content. It uses your blog as the seed to find the related online stores.

Click to Call

Adding click to call capability to your blog will enable users to call you directly from your website. Clients, buyers, or shoppers no longer need to leave your website or even their computer to initiate a phone call.

Originally posted 2009-04-08 21:22:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Design Blog Improvement

blogdesignWhen it comes to blog improvement, one of the considerations that you might want to make relates to the design of your blog, as changing up the design of your blog can also have an impact of the quality of your blog and the functionality of your blog as well. Here are some tips for blog improvement in the area of your blog design and blog appearance.

Blog Improvement Tip #1 – Change the theme of your blog.

Do you remember the last time when you changed the theme of your blog? If you are using WordPress for your blog, then you probably know that there are thousands of different themes that are available for you to use for free. You can give your blog a fresh and new look simply by improving upon the theme of your blog.

Blog Improvement Tip #2 – Consider purchasing a premium theme for your blog.

If you really are interested in upgrading the theme of your blog and you are willing to spend a little bit of money in the process, consider buying a premium blog theme. With a premium theme, what you get is a highly functional and well designed theme and typically support from the theme designer as well.

Blog Improvement Tip #3 – Pay someone to help you with a custom design.

Stepping things up just a bit from the previous tip, you may also want to consider paying a blog theme designer to develop a unique, customized theme just for your website or blog, or if you are proficient enough you can design your own blog. If you are really serious about having a well designed blog, then this is the route that you should take.

Blog Improvement Tip #4 – Get a custom logo designed for your blog.

Another way that you can greatly enhance the appearance of your blog is to add a logo or improve upon your logo. Having a logo adds to the branding for your blog, giving readers and visitors an image that they can associate with your blog.

Blog Improvement Tip #5 – Use images in your posts.

One of the ways that you can easily improve the appearance and the visual impact of the blog posts that you make is to include images in your blog posts. You can find images on Flickr that are shared under creative commons, or you can spend a few dollars buying high quality images from places like Stock Xpert and iStock Photo to add images that are relevant to the subject of your blog posts to all of the posts that you make.

Blog Improvement Tip #6 – Change the color scheme of your blog.

Another way that you can offer a fresh new look for your blog is simply to change the color scheme up. This is something that can be relatively simple, and that often only requires making changes in the CSS file for your blog style. If you need help choosing a color scheme, there are a lot of resources on the internet to help you find complementing colors.

Photo Credits: Robert S. Donovan

Originally posted 2009-10-28 03:20:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Principles for Good Blog Design, pt 2

help4 – To reiterate… Some of your blog posts are going to be more popular than others. Once you recognize which blog posts these are, keep them from being buried by finding a way to highlight them. You may have a popular posts section in the sidebar of your blog, for example, keeping these specific blog posts from getting lost in the shuffle. Another option is to have a popular articles section in your sidebar where you list your most popular blog posts so that readers can continue to find them. You can also tag or categorize blog posts to reflect their popularity so readers can go back and easily find them later.

5 – Do not make a blog banner that is big or unwieldy. The banner is the top portion of your blog, spanning across from right to left. There is a lot of information that you can put here, like a graphic, the name of your blog or even your picture. If your blog banner is too big, and someone who is reading your blog has to scroll down in order to find your content, then its time to make a change. Your blog banner and how readable your content is are two details that will make or break your blog when people visit for the first time.

6 – Make sure that your blog is visually appealing. If you cannot come up with a design that screams “visual appeal!”, at least make sure that your blog is not ugly. You should avoid bright colors or seriously contrasting colors, and you should stick to fonts that are reasonable, such as Arial and Times New Roman. If you are looking for something with a little bit of flair, Calibri is a good choice as well. Once you are done, let a professional designer look your blog over and give you feedback before you start taking things live, because what looks okay to you may not look okay to the rest of the world.

7 – Get rid of anything that isn’t serving a purpose. If you have random widgets and other junk in your blog sidebars and they’re not serving any real purpose, get rid of them. Blogs can become too busy really quickly, and one, two or three sidebars can quickly become too much. Go through every widget and remove the ones that aren’t benefiting you or your readers in some way. Cut down on the clutter, because visual appeal and good blog design are your friends when it comes to attracting readers to your following.

* Keep in mind that not only is empty space allowable, but it can also serve a great purpose because it helps your readers focus on what truly is important: Your content. These concepts are really simple but they pack a punch when it comes to delivering the content your readers want without forcing them to be bogged down by poor blog design.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2009-02-06 08:20:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

8 WordPress Blog Theme Design Considerations

Most blogging platforms offer a wide variety of different themes to chose from, and most can be altered and edited to suit your needs, or left alone exactly as they are. Some themes are plain and dull while others are colorful, modern and inspiring. There are thousands of themes out there for different blogging platforms, and there are more WordPress themes than any other blog themes out there. While there are hundreds if not thousands of WordPress blog theme designs out there, here is a small list of themes that are well worth considering.

jello

- Grid Focus Public

This is a three column style WordPress theme. The navigation bars for the blog can be found both at the top and the bottom of the pages, in order to give visitors an ample opportunity to explore. This theme offers a very clear hierarchy and structure.

- Copy Blogger

The is a really cool WordPress theme that allows you to modify colors, fonts and all kinds of tiny details by utilizing a custom Style Sheet solution that comes included with the downloader for the theme. Thanks to open source development, you can also implement add-on styles as well.

- Jello Wala Mello

This is a news themed or magazine themed WordPress theme that was created primarily to suit multi media sites. Some of the positives include the fact that it has a beautiful color scheme, plenty of subtle design touches, and is easy to implement and begin using.

- K2

This is an advanced template that is only available for WordPress, though it also offers AJAX powered features including live commenting and live search. It also allows rolling archives, a navigation system designed specifically to suit K2.

- Whyte -

Monochromatic themes do not necessarily have to be boring, and Whyte is definitely a testament to this fact. It offers plenty of features including AdSense Ready, Widget Ready, Comments, Recent Entries and pinging separated on post pages. You can also create your own logo, add active navigation and do plenty more with this unique and versatile WordPress theme.

- Vertigo

This is a modern WordPress theme that is available both in two column format and three column formats. It is a widget ready theme, making it easy to implement and even easier to customize to suit your needs.

- Grid Lock

This is a cool WordPress theme because it is designed not to look like a blog, but rather like a standard HTML website. It also has a standard HTML help page which helps you customize your Grid Lock Theme, which is something most WordPress themes do not come with.

- Long Horn

This is a minimalist style two column WordPress theme with a simple design that can easily be used and implemented. This WordPress theme is compatible with a number of browsers including IE 6 and 7, Opera, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

Originally posted 2009-02-09 09:15:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter