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How To Get On Technorati’s Top 100 Popular Blogs List In Less Than 7 months

March 4, 2007

I just came across a blog that has managed to be listed in Technorati’s top 100 most popular blogs in less than 7 months!

The blog I found is Brian Gardner’s blog. Brian even wrote this post about reaching the top 500 and how he was on his way to the top 100. Well now, Brian’s blog is all the way up to 71 and climbing.

How did he make it in to the top 100 so fast?

Brian designs really nice free wordpress templates. In fact, he has 14 free wordpress themes so far! At the bottom of each theme is a link to his blog. When people use one of his themes, they are linking to his blog from their blog. Technorati’s rankings are based on the number of links other blogs have to your blog. So, in Brian’s case he is getting tons of links from other people’s blogs, which is quickly raising his Technorati ranking.

What a brilliant way to get on Technorati’s top 100 list!

Anyway, if you want to do what he has done, just follow in Brian’s footsteps:

1. Create lots of free wordpress themes or hire someone to create them for you.
2. In the footer of each theme, have a link to your blog.
3. Submit your themes to all the free wordpress theme sites and theme viewers out there.
4. Watch your blog climb the Technorati ranks.

That’s all there is to it…

Don’t Be Boring!

February 14, 2007

I am done creating anything that is boring on the Internet (well mostly done). I can’t think of one blog or website that I visit on a regular basis that I consider to be the least bit boring.

Whenever I get bored with a website or blog, I stop visiting it.

One of my BIGGEST goals in 2007 and beyond is to be remarkable, and to NOT BE BORING!

You should make it one of your goals too! Stop being boring! Nobody cares about boring websites except their owners. Just stop it!

Be remarkable, Be exciting, Be interesting, Be unique, Be everything you want to be, but…

DON’T BE BORING!

Start Of My Outsourcing Plan – A New Writer On Positive Sports News

February 5, 2007

We have a new writer working for us on our Positive Sports News blog. Neither Jill or I have had the time to write on it anymore, and it just made sense to hire at least one person (maybe more) to keep up the blog. John DeBroeck (the new writer) is a former homeschooler turned college student here in Texas. He is very interested in sports journalism and he is a perfect fit for our positive sports blog.

I am looking at outsourcing some more of our content creation. We already have some people lined up for the work.

Why am I starting to outsource more of our content creation?

Well, here is the thing. At this point in time I have to outsource some business tasks in order to continue to grow our business. I analyzed our primary business needs and I discovered that the best use of our income would be to hire people to create content. I believe it will give us the best bang for our buck at this point in time.

The next thing I plan on outsourcing is probably going to be web design. We have a few blogs that I would like to redesign (this one included), and I just don’t have the time to do it. Outsourcing this work makes a lot of sense.

If you do any outsourcing, I highly recommend you have a business plan and business goals in place BEFORE outsourcing. I also highly recommend you read Rich Schefen’s Internet Manifesto series and follow the steps he outlines in his free ebooks.

Testing Adsense Placement On One Of Our Blogs

February 5, 2007

I have decided to go ahead and test placing Google Adsense ads in new positions on one of our blogs. It has been a while since I tested Adsense placement on any of our sites and maybe the results will be different now.

Anyway, I moved the ads from inside the posts (like on this blog), to a banner above the first post and a skyscraper ad in the left navigation bar. I actually like the way it looks better, so I might keep it that way. Anyway, you can check the new look on our Positive Sports News blog by clicking here. Depending on the results of the test, I may make more changes and/or change some of our other blogs.

PS. We have a new writer on our sports blog and I will write about that later today.

While I am Out There Will be Tons of Product Launches

January 2, 2007

I will be going on vacation this Thursday, so after Thursday it will be quite difficult to get in touch with me. I will be spending very little time blogging while on my vacation. We are heading over to visit my parents in Tampa and we are going to spend a few days in Disney World. We will actually be spending my birthday and Jill’s birthday in Disney World.

If you own The Product Launch Formula you know that there are going to be a lot of product launches while I am in Florida. This is both good and bad…

Good – because I won’t be tempted to buy proucts I don’t need.

Bad – because there are products I am seriously interested in buying and won’t be available to buy them on the days they launch, which means I will have to pay more for them.

The one product I am most interested in buying is launching on January 10th – Joel Comm’s Instant Adsense Templates membership site. I will be in Disney World when it launches, which means there isn’t much of a chance I will be able to sign up the first two days it is offered.

In the world of blogging, the biggest blogging product being launched has already been launched. It is the half price deal that Andy Wibbels is giving on all of his blogging products combined. He is calling it the Season Pass. For those interested in becoming professional bloggers, I recommed you click here and check out Andy’s offer.

Anyway, you can expect one or two more posts from me, before I head off to Florida. Then I won’t be posting much (if at all) until I get back.

Which Google Adsense advertising placement annoys you the most?

December 25, 2006

In my last poll I asked you:

Which Google Adsense advertising placement annoys you the most?

Here are the results:

  • At the Top of an Article: 50% (34)
  • In the Middle of an Article: 25% (17)
  • At the End of an Article: 0% (0)
  • At the Top of the Site: 4% (3)
  • In the Navigation Bar: 4% (3)
  • Don’t care: 16% (11)

Total Votes : 68

I am not sure how this is going to affect my Google Adsense placement.

Personally, I find it most annoying when ads are in the middle of an article, because I have to pause and stop reading in the middle of an article.

Ads at the top of articles make me the most money, so it’s hard to move them. In fact, this poll showed that Adsense placement that makes the most money is also the placement people find the most annoying. Adsense placement that makes the least amount of money is also the least annoying.

So all website owners are faced with the problem of making money vs. annoying our visitors. That kind of makes sense, since nobody really wants to see advertising.

What do you think of the results?

Why You Need to KISS Your Navigation

December 6, 2006

This past weekend, I fixed the navigation for our homeschooling wiki. You can check out the new navigation by clicking here.

I modeled the original design after wikipedia. It had featured articles, featured categories, etc. I think that the original design was too cluttered and from what I discovered non-techies found it hard to navigate.

In the redesign of the home page, I decided to follow the axiom: Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS). Instead of having featured articles and featured categories I made one big table with a list of the most popular categories, subcategories and articles. I find this layout much easier to navigate.

I also moved most of the introduction text to a separate page. Right at the top of the page, I direct new users to this new Introduction page.

I feel like the new home page is WAY easier to navigate and much more user friendly. I think that often times technical types (like myself) forget that most of the people who use the web are not necessarily as web savvy as we are. It needs to be simple for people to a navigate your site. That’s actually a lesson I learned way back, but I was reminded of this by my wife Jill, a visitor to our site and from interviewing Austin of Trust My Mechanic. It didn’t sink in that our wiki was in violation of this rule, until others pointed it out. Easy navigation is very important.

I suggest taking a look at your sites and/or blogs and asking the question,

“How can I make it easier for my visitors to use this site?”

We should all probably ask that question on a regular basis….

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How to remove the arrow images that follow external links in a Mediawiki wiki

December 2, 2006

I searched, and searched and couldn’t find any useful information on removing those external link arrow images that mediawiki’s wiki software automaticly inserts directly after links to external sites.

I find those images annoying and feel like they clutter up the screen. So I went through the code and found out how to get rid of the arrow -> images.

If you own a wiki here’s what you do:

1. Go to the skins directory and into the directory of the skin you are using. For our homeschooling wiki it is the monobook directory.

2. Open up the style sheet file “main.css”.

3. Search for the word “external”.

You should see something that look like this:

#bodyContent a.external,

#bodyContent a[href ^="gopher://"] {
background: url(external.png) center right no-repeat;
padding-right: 13px;
}

4. Remove the 5 lines above, save the file and upload it back to your server

Then say goodbye to the annoying arrow images!

You can see the results on our wiki by clicking here. Notice that none of our links have those annoying images. Woohoo!

The next step is updating the navigation for our homeschool wiki. It is going to be much easier to navigate when we are done with it.

UPDATE:
You also need to do those same steps for the files: “IE60Fixes.css”, “Opera6Fixes.CSS”, and “Opera7Fixes.CSS”.

Don’t Make this Mistake!

November 30, 2006

The other day I was talking to my wife Jill about our Homeschooling Wiki and she mentioned how hard it was to find things on it. Being a computer programmer, by nature I am used to poor navigation and automaticly looking for a search box to find things. I told her that all you have to do is use the search button.

Jill explained that most non-technical people do not look for the search button on websites. Instead, they use the site’s navigation and our wiki’s navigation was very difficult. After talking more about the useability of our wiki, we decided to make some changes in the near future.

Then the next day we got an email from someone complaining about the site navigation. Well, that made it painfully obvious that we need to change the navigation as soon as possible. We looked at other wikis and websites, and came up with a few ideas. I am going to make the changes soon. One thing I have already done is added an A to Z article index towards the top of the wiki. That alone should really help with the navigation, but it is certainly not the ultimate solution.

Making your site easy to navigate is extremely important. It will increase the number of people who come back to your site, which in turn will help increase your traffic. It also improves your website conversion rate, and ultimately helps your site become the best it can be.

Always, always, always make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for on your website. I have known this for a long time, and still managed to mess this up with our wiki.

Don’t make the same mistake I made!

Internet Marketing is NOT DEAD!

November 14, 2006

Just so you know, I really like Mike Filsaime’s new free ebook.

However, I think the title is misleading. Obviously, Internet Marketing is NOT dead. If it were then Mike would be quitting and he is not.

There is a ton of money to be made on the net with all kinds of sites (blogs, wikis, forums, download sites, affiliate marketing, Adsense, ebooks, services, copywriting, seo, web design, software, games, membership sites, Internet Marketing, drop shipping, etc). There are all kinds of statistics out there about how fast the Internet is growing and how much money consumers will spend on the net.

So if you are trying to make money online, don’t worry. There is plenty of money to be made on the web and just like Google Adsense, Internet Marketing is NOT DEAD!

I just wanted to make sure I was clear about that.

That said, “The Death of Internet Marketing” is still a good read.

Jill has a new blog – Natural Product Reviews!

November 6, 2006

This weekend I set up a new blog for my wife Jill and her friend Laura called Natural Product Reviews.

I have been putting this off for at least 6 months, but it didn’t take long at all to set up. Jill bought the wordpress template for their blog from template monster. It’s really nice and professional looking. We were originally going to try a free template, but we stumbled across the paid templates and decided to go with one of them. I made a few changes to it and have a few more changes left to make.

I think in the long term it will be a really good blog for Jill and Laura, because using natrual products is something they both have a big interest in. Also, they are both very passionate about using natural products, so their passion will show up in their blog posts.

Another good thing about their new blog is that it is a more focused niche than Natural Family News, which I think will make it easier for them to get regular readers.

Also, it should not be too hard for them to establish some initial traffic to the site. So many of our friends are also into natural products, which will give them some good word of mouth traffic to the blog. Plus, Jill and Laura already have a small community built up with their Natural Family News blog, most of whom will be interested in their new blog as well.

The last thing I wanted to say about their new blog is that at this point it is monetized with Adsense only, but once it is established they may find other ways to monetize it.

How to Pick a Color Scheme for Your Website

November 3, 2006

My wife Jill found Karen Blundell’s blog yesterday, and showed me this great post of Karen’s about choosing the best colors for your website. Click here to read “Picking a color scheme for your website”.

Choosing colors for your website or blog can be an interesting process. I have to bookmark Karen’s post for the next time I am choosing colors for a website.

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