For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Blog Monetization Suggestions

January 24th, 2009

blogging-to-the-bank-3.jpgThis article from one of our forum authors at DigitalPoint provides a general overview for how we can monetize our blogs. It does not get terribly specific about individual programs, but right now I am monetizing primarily with Clickbank (I just got another check from them today - yay!), Amazon, and AdSense. I am also experimenting with Chitika in the sidebar (this appears only for search engine visitors), and I have a few PayDotCom links scattered around. If you have any other blog monetization ideas that seem to be working for you, please feel free to mention these in the comment section. This is one area of my blogging strategy that I definitely need to bring up to speed.

When individuals are looking to profit from their blogs, they usually employ one of two different methods. The first and most common method involves selling advertising space and links in a blog to companies or other sites, based on the traffic the site receives. The other type of advertising on a blog is indirect advertising where a company uses the blog to show positive experiences with a certain brand or product. Whichever way the entrepreneur chooses, a lot of money can be made through blogs if the owner has a keen marketing sense.

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Blogger Tutorial: How to Add a Sitemap for Blogspot Blogs

December 15th, 2008

blogger-blogspot-logo.jpgLast month one of my commenters asked a question about how to add a sitemap to Blogger blogs. At the time I was not sure of the answer but earlier today I managed to figure it out and have successfully submitted a sitemap to Google for one of my Blogspot blogs. It was actually quite simple and took me less than 5 minutes. Here is a step-by-step tutorial:

1. Before submitting a sitemap page to Google, you will first need to verify your site with Webmaster Tools in order to prove that you actually own the blog. To begin this process, sign into your Google account and click on the Webmaster Tools link that appears on the first screen after logging in. Currently this can be found near the bottom right corner of the list.

2. If you have clicked the correct link, you should arrive at the Webmaster Tools Dashboard page. From here, you can find a rectangular box directly underneath the word “Dashboard”. Click once inside this box to remove the default text, enter your blog’s URL, and click the “Add Site” button to the right of the box.

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How to Remove Nofollow on Blogger Blogs

December 5th, 2008

nonofollow.gifAfter figuring out how to remove the Blogger navbar, I took some time earlier tonight to research the issue of how to remove the nofollow tag for Blogger comments. For those who are not aware, ‘nofollow’ refers to the rel=nofollow attribute which, when added to a hyperlink reference, will instruct Google’s algorithm not to count the link for the purposes of rankings in the search results. Contrary to persistent myths, nofollow does not block access to a linked web page’s content or prevent search engines from indexing it.

The two most popular blogging templates, Blogger and WordPress, both use nofollow tags in comments by default. Although the original justification for including nofollow was to discourage blog comment spam, the advent of strong anti-spam plugins for WordPress and moderation options in Blogger have rendered this argument effectively moot. Meanwhile, if you want to explore this issue further, Michael Hampton at Homeland Stupidity wrote an excellent article about what nofollow is and why it does not stop spam.

For now, however, we will look at how to remove nofollow for comment author links in the Blogger templates. The advantage of doing this is that it rewards commenters with a small amount of “link juice” to help them with their SEO efforts, which in turn encourages more people to comment and contribute to your blog’s content. The disadvantage is that it may attract quasi-spammy comments that are sparse on content but have niche-oriented keywords placed in the name field. Therefore, it is advisable to actively moderate your comments if you choose remove nofollow.

Here are the steps required to do so if you’re using Blogger:

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Remove Blogger Bar: How To Remove the Navbar from Blogspot Blogs

November 19th, 2008

blogger-blogspot-logo.jpgOver the past few days, I have been exploring the idea of creating some different kinds of blogs using Google’s free Blogspot domain and optimizing them for AdSense monetization. During my research, I read about a useful tip that was mentioned by several of the more experienced money-making bloggers in this particular genre.

They suggested the idea of removing the top navigation bar that appears by default in all blogs hosted by Blogger. From a monetization standpoint, it makes sense to get rid of the navbar because it plugs a possible “leak” in your site through which visitors could escape without clicking on an AdSense or affiliate link. Others may want to hide the bar for cosmetic reasons so that it does not cover up the top of the header and immediately tag the site as “just another Blogspot blog.”

It turns out that removing the Blogger bar is actually quite simple. Here are the basic steps:

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Google Accidentally Blocks Blogger Sites as Spam

August 6th, 2008

blogger-blogspot-logo.jpgIn its ongoing battle against spam blogs, or “splogs”, Google managed to inadvertently lock out many users of its Blogger service last week, apparently due to a bug in the data processing code. After becoming aware of the problem and realizing it was an error, a Google official named Brett noted in the Blogger Buzz Blog on Friday, “To those folks who have received an e-mail saying that your blog has been classified as spam and can’t post right now, we offer our sincere apologies for the trouble.”

Complaints from less-than-thrilled bloggers had begun to filter in to the Blogger Help Group earlier in the week after they received emails informing them that their blogs had been locked due to being classified as spam. Although the full scope of the problem is still not clear, eventually Google reinstated the affected blogs and issued an official apology:

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Survey Says: Two Out of Three Don’t Like Web 2.0

July 15th, 2008

web-20.jpgJust when I thought that everybody and their cats had embraced the idea of Web 2.0 technology, I ran across this survey from German IT security company Avira which found that two thirds of its website visitors did not like Web 2.0 for one reason or another and were not using it. Web 2.0 is a popular catch-all term that includes a wide array of Internet-based applications that allow for user interaction. These include social networking sites, wiki pages, blogs, RSS feeds, video sharing, file sharing, and a plethora of other hosted services. Here is a quick summary of the survey’s findings:

  1. 14% of Internet users communicate more online than in person.
  2. Privacy seems to be a major concern — 40% of survey participants opposed what they called “digital exhibitionism” and refuse to disclose any type of personal data on blogs, wikis, or other social networking sites.
  3. 28% think that profiles on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter do not make any sense.
  4. 10% valued the information found on blogs.
  5. 8% of survey respondents refused to use Web 2.0 platforms because of spam-related issues.

Since Karlonia.com uses a blogging format and therefore falls under the Web 2.0 umbrella, these revelations are a significant concern for me. The notion that only ten percent of Internet users are finding any useful information on my beloved blog seems pretty disturbing, but it also presents an opportunity for future growth. If the other 90% of “sheeple” out there can be reached and supplied with information that is targeted to their interests, we bloggers can significantly increase our incomes with well-placed affiliate links, AdSense units, or other forms of monetization.

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Blog Monetization Option: Google AdSense Search

July 3rd, 2008

google-adsense-search-blog-monetize.jpgMost of us who have tried to make money from blogging are already familiar with the ubiquitous Google AdSense text link ads. They are designed to optimize themselves according to the main keywords present in the content of the web page in which they are included, and publishers earn money every time someone clicks on one of those ads. However, it is also possible to monetize a blog or other website by using the Google AdSense search feature. With this option, site owners can include a Google search box somewhere on their websites, and whenever a visitor enters a query into the box, Google will serve up any relevant search results either from within the site or from the Internet generally, depending on the parameters chosen by the site owner. As with standard search results pages, depending on the query some sponsored results may appear along with the regular organic ones. If a visitor clicks on one of the sponsored results, the publisher earns money on his or her AdSense account just like with the regular text link ads.

With sufficient traffic, this can get pretty lucrative. As I was thinking about what to write for this post, I was reminded of an article I read a little over a year ago which discussed the revenue sources of the Mozilla Foundation, owners of the useful and increasingly popular FireFox browser. It turns out that they had earned approximately $55 million in revenues during 2005, most of it coming from the Google search box that appears as the default start page for many FireFox users.

Yesterday I received an email from AdSense reminding me about this option because Google had detected that I was not yet using it. Apparently Google has recently improved its AdSense for search feature, and after reading about it, I decided to go ahead and implement it on this site to see how it would work. For now, I have replaced the old WordPress search box with the new Google custom search, but I have backed up the old code to a text file in case I ever need to revert to the old search function in the future. Meanwhile, I have the Google search box set up to open results for any queries in a new window; initially, these results will come from within the Karlonia.com site itself, but afterward you can choose the “Web Search” option to access results from the whole Internet if you wish.

Because it does a pretty good job of explaining the new features and how to get started with it, I have reprinted the email text below. I have modified it slightly in order to include the video that was linked to from the original email text; I have placed this in the appropriate spot just below the jump.

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Karlonia Rated at Blogged.com

March 20th, 2008

Today I received my first contact form submission, which confirmed that the system works and is sending messages to my email address. The message content is not exactly what I was looking for; instead of an article or advertising offer, I discovered that this site was reviewed and rated by a directory called Blogged.com:

Dear Karlonia.com author,

Our editors recently reviewed your blog and have given it an 8.2 score out of 10 in the Business category of Blogged.com. This is quite an achievement!

We evaluated your blog based on the following criteria: Frequency of Updates, Relevance of Content, Site Design, and Writing Style. After carefully reviewing each of these criteria, your site was given its 8.2 score.

We’ve also created Blogged.com score badges with your score prominently displayed. Simply visit your website’s summary page on Blogged.com.

Click on the “Show this rating on your blog!” link underneath the score and follow the instructions provided.

Please accept my congratulations on a blog well-done!!

Amy Liu

I suppose that this is still a good thing overall since it will count as a directory submission and backlink, although my listing is buried pretty far down and is unlikely to receive much exposure.

Unfortnately, I could not find any kind of “eclectic” or “mixed bag” category at the directory, which would probably be a better fit for this blog’s content and might also result in a higher listing. The closest thing I could find was “Miscellaneous”, but this section contained no listings at all, so it is possible that they are still rearranging their categories and trying to decide on what the final names and qualifications will be. Therefore, I might check back with them in a few days and see if it is possible to have my site recategorized. If this is successful, I can then point a few backlinks at whatever page my listing settles on and increase the value of my own link indirectly.

Site Updates: Email RSS Subscriptions, Contact Page Added

March 18th, 2008

stampoutignorance.jpgToday I finally spent some time implementing two long overdue site features, the ability to subscribe to the Karlonia.com RSS feed by email and a functional contact page that can be used for submitting articles or sending me other messages. On a somewhat related note, I also managed to have my brother design a new widget graphic for advertising this site at Entrecard or other venues that use similar banner images. The new image is located in the upper left corner of this post.

Although all of these new improvements should be helpful, the contact page feature is probably the most important. Not only do I need a way for people to contact me without having to use the public comment section, but I am also hoping that some of you would like to have your articles published here in exchange for increased name recognition and a free link back to your site. If I could receive enough submissions, this will free up some much-needed time for me to promote the site and explore monetization options, which could generate enough long term income to make things like contests or revenue sharing programs economically viable.

Meanwhile, the new banner image has allowed to me advertise more aggressively through Entrecard without having to worry as much about being rejected for “design clash” problems or because the image is “not appropriate” for some silly reason. I am still getting a few “not relevant” rejections, but these are to be expected for a site that tries to advertise everywhere, including categories that are outside of my usual range of topics. The increased advertising efforts should eventually draw in more visitors and help to push the proverbial snowball closer to the top of the hill.

Finally, those of you who prefer to subscribe to RSS feeds by email will now have this option, paving the way for a steady increase in the subscriber count. While I have not really made much of a push for RSS subscribers, this has become an important metric by which sites are being evaluated for advertising value, and as such it would seem foolish for me to ignore it. I have even managed to strategically place the RSS chicklets so that they flank the Entrecard widget on either side. This will make it very easy for card droppers to subscribe via RSS if they want to keep up with the latest posts.

Blog Monetization Video

March 7th, 2008

Earlier today I ran across a video that deals with an aspect of blogging that I have been thinking about a lot lately: monetization. Although I seem to be doing well on the content creation and SEO side of things by bringing in an increasing amount of organic search engine traffic through on-page optimization, backlinks to internal pages, and bum marketing methods, actually monetizing this blog is an area where I have lagged behind. I have managed to pick up a few affiliate sales of Clickbank products and a few signups to the free-to-join programs, but there are still many areas of monetization that I have not explored, including the ever-popular AdSense.

After watching the video from SEOmoz.org, it turns out that I may be on the right track somewhat by using affiliate links instead of starting off with AdSense. However, Jeremy Schoemaker (the interviewee in this particular segment) also mentions the use of direct ad sales through 125X125 pixel squares similar to those have become popular for advertising through Entrecard and Project Wonderful. With regard to pricing, Schoemaker suggests that we allow the advertising market to determine this based on the level of pricing that can be sustained while keeping the available ad slots full. I may try this later if I can overcome the technical hurdles involved with the ad placement and payment processing.

The video itself is about 11 minutes long and consists of an interview between Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz.org and Jeremy Schoemaker, a professional blogger known as “Shoemoney”. I have placed it after the jump for your viewing pleasure:

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WordPress Blogging Tip: How to Change Your Permalink URL

February 19th, 2008

If you have just started a WordPress blog, one of the advantages that you will have over most other platforms is the overall SEO friendliness of your content management system. However, there is one little tweak that you should make before accumulating too many posts. This involves changing the format of your permalink structure, which will affect the appearance of each post’s actual URL.

I noticed that many bloggers are still using the default permalink format, in some cases even after several months of operation. Most experienced WordPress users advise that you change this to a more “pretty” permalink structure because this will be more search engine friendly and allow you to target additional keywords in the URL for SEO purposes.

Fortunately, making the necessary change is relatively easy. You can do this by first going to Options >> Permalinks from your admin panel. I have underlined the correct menu selections in the following screenshot:


After clicking on both menu choices, you should see a list of options, including the default, name and date based, numeric, and custom. As you can see in the screenshot below, I have chosen the name and date based option; others who are more technically inclined may choose the custom option and tweak the individual parameters.


Either way, almost everyone recommends getting away from the default PHP parameter display as early as possible. Frankly, I don’t understand why WordPress does not simply designate the name and date based permalink style as the default structure, but until they do something about this, it’s still up to the individual bloggers to change it.

Meanwhile, for a thorough explanation of the more complex technical aspects of this issue, you can visit the WordPress codex documentation on using permalinks.

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