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Monday, December 24, 2007

I'm Moving - Update Your Feeds

Well, I gave myself a new blog for Christmas and I'm moving home...

My website's home, that is.

I've never been a fan of remotely hosted solutions, but Blogger was so darn convenient and easy to use that I stuck with it longer than expected.

For months, now I've been wanting to host my blog on my own domain but never got around to it... until now.

I now have a WordPress blog and it's hosted on my own domain. The address is and the RSS feed is still

I know what many of you are thinking, "If you use Feedburner then there's no need to announce your feed." I know, but I only started using Feedburner recently so many of you may still be subscribed under my Blogger RSS link. If so, you'll need to update your RSS bookmark to

If you're thinking of hosting your own blog, I highly recommend WordPress. The customization features are amazing and you can do so much more with your blog.

And for those of you who have been WordPress users forever are probably wondering what took me so long. Yeah I wonder that too. ;)

In any event, just a quick note to let you know about my new blog. Look forward to seeing you there.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blog Rush = More Traffic?

I've never been too big on blogging. I know, I know... everybody's doing it and it's sooooo "Web 2.0", right?

Well for me, it's always been sort of a secondary tool I use to draw traffic to my main site, and it was usually at the bottom of my "to-do" list.

But in the past two months, I've noticed a spike in my blog traffic and AdSense revenue. And those two things... traffic and money always get my attention. :).

Not to mention, I finally signed up with and discovered I had more than 400 subscribers to my blog.

So I decided to put a little more energy and time into blogging, especially now that I know many people have taken the time to subscribe (thanks!).

In the meantime, I stumbled upon this traffic-generating program for your blog called BlogRush. Like many of these referral network "thingies", I usually approach with caution and expect the least. But since it's free, I figured why not.

Here's how it works...

BlogRush operates on a pyramid-style, multi-level structure. You sign up for a free account, submit your blog to the network and place a widget on your site that displays other blogs from other members.

Without getting too deep into the details (you can get them at BlogRush anyway), you earn display credits every time your blog loads.

The more times your blog loads, the more times your blog is displayed throughout the network. You also earn display credits for your blog when you refer others to the network.

So just like any other multi-level traffic system, the people with high amounts of traffic, benefit the most because their traffic earns them more credits, which results in more blog displays throughout the network.

One flaw with BlogRush (and this happens with most programs that operate in this manner) is people have already figured out ways to cheat the system by using random user agents to spoof impressions.

In English, that just means they can generate more credits for their blog by using a script to trick BlogRush into thinking their blog has been displayed so they can earn more display credits for their own blog.

John Reese, the creator, says he is fully aware of these practices and is doing everything he can to remove "cheaters" from the network and keep the system clean.

Another issue I noticed with BlogRush is relevancy. When you join, you tell BlogRush what category your blog is in. This is to ensure your blog is displayed on the most relevant blogs and vice versa.

But when I check the widget on my site, often times I see blogs that are quite irrelevant to my content. And of course this means my blog is being displayed in the same manner.

Although I will say, things have improved tremendously since you can now choose a sub-category for your blog profile.

So what's the verdict? Can BlogRush deliver a flood of traffic like they advertise?

For most bloggers, due to their lower traffic levels, probably not. A "flood" may be overexaggerating a bit. But I do think you can generate some decent traffic.

And with time and some more fine-tuning (removing cheaters from the network and better targeting), this could be a very worthwhile program down the road.

I have been generating some traffic through BlogRush, and even though it's not a lot, it's enough to let the BlogRush widget maintain a slice of real estate on my blog.

And while there is much room for improvement, I like what I've seen so far. John seems very committed to the success of the program and has already improved many features, stats, etc.

So in the meantime, I'm sticking with them.

You can sign up with BlogRush here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Beware of AdSense Overload!

As the AdSense popularity grows among Webmasters, it's hard to find a site without at least one AdSense unit displayed.

And in my opinion, many Webmasters overdo it.

Because you want to get as many clicks as possible, it can be very tempting to lace your page header with multiple AdSense ads. After all, the more ads, the money you'll make right?

Not necessarily...

... especially if your site is in a niche that targets Webmasters or other Internet savvy groups. These audiences are often immune to Internet ads in general and are twice as likely to ignore them.

So instead of AdSense becoming an additional revenue stream, it becomes a sign that may suggest you're more interested in getting clicks than giving useful content.

Arial of told me she immediately thinks "amateur" when she comes across a site where the Google ads take up more real estate than the actual content.

And she really hates the sites where you have to scroll down just to see the first line of real content because the AdSense ads are in the way.

I have to agree. First impressions are everything. And if your visitors first impression of your site is "too many ads and not enough info", you've immediately lost some interest, credibility and perhaps a repeat visitor.

Your visitors shouldn't have to dig through your ads to find your content.

Don't get me wrong. I think you should maximize your AdSense revenue potential by using multiple AdSense units - that's why Google allows up to three.

Just make sure they don't overpower your site's layout and you have good content to supplement the ads.

Remember, it's your content relevance and site usability that keeps people interested and encourages them to return - not your advertisements.

So rather than being so eager to show off your AdSense ads with the contrasting bright yellow background, why not show them why your site is worthy of a bookmark and a return visit. There's no better way to do that than through useful info and site usablity.

These days Web surfers are much more ad conscious than they were years ago. And with the media stories that have flooded newspapers and news programs, it's getting harder to find people who don't know a little something about "making money with Google ads."

In other words, people are much more aware, and it's getting easier for the average surfer to spot a greedy Webmaster.

A few years ago, more people would click ads out of curiosity or confusion. These days the only click many surfers are making is the "Back" button because they know exactly what this Webmaster is up to.

It's all about balance. There's nothing wrong with using 3 AdSense units on a page. And there's certainly nothing wrong with having them highly visible to increase the chances of a click thru.

But if your ads overpower your content, and it becomes obvious you're only out to make a fast buck, is it really worth the loss of credibility and a potential repeat visitor?

AdSense should supplement your content, not BE your content.

It doesn't matter how you slice it. Content has and will always rule. And I'd much rather sacrifice a few clicks with the hopes they will find my site useful and want to return again.

And should they happen to click an ad in the process of browsing my site, that's an added bonus!

And who knows, maybe on their next visit they'll make a purchase that is worth a whole lot more to me in commissions than 8 cents from an AdSense ad click.

AdSense is a wonderful, lucrative program. But don't let the dollar signs overshadow what it really takes to make a site succeed for the long haul.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I'll Give You $150...

Yup... my contest is on again.

It seemed to work very well last time, and is really helping me build a nice community with useful posts and friendly folks.

All you have to do is become a regular member of my forum, contribute useful information on a regular basis and you could be $150 richer on January 31, 2008.

For more details, read my forum announcement.

Then join the forum here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Free Site For The Holidays

It's that time of year and SiteSell has done it again. (I was hoping they would.)

This is the best Site Build It! special you'll ever find - 2 subscriptions for the price of 1. Yes, you pay for one SBI! subscription and you get a second one absolutely free.

If you are unfamiliar with all Site Build It! offers, then you may not realize what a magnificent deal this is. The amount of tools and help you'll receive to help start an online business would cost you about $5,000 if you had to pay for each tool individually.

Lucky for you, SBI! doesn't cost nearly that much.

Not only is the price only $299/year, but for a limited time SiteSell is giving you TWO subscriptions for the price of one.

What in the world would you do with two SBI!'s, you ask?

You could keep one for yourself and give the free one to a friend or relative. Imagine giving the gift of financial freedom this Holiday. :)

Or you could keep both for yourself and start two online ventures. The choice is yours, just don't miss out on this special because you may regret it.

I don't generally like blogging for the sole sake of advertising, but I couldn't pass this up. Those of you who have emailed me about the next SBI! special will be glad to know it's here now.

And this is the best one of the year.

Skeptical about purchasing it? Just remember my experiment from two years ago. I bought SBI! purely out of curiosity.... never expecting to really make much money. Like you, I wondered if it was just hype.

Well, not only did I make my money back in 6 months, but today my experimental site generates over $2,000 per month and I haven't updated it in months.

Will SBI! make you rich overnight?


Is there little or no work required?

No. You have to put in your time.

But if you are not intimidated by some reading and a little brainstorming, it's an awesome collection of tools and tutorials that give you the best chance of succeeding with an online business if you take your time and follow the guide.

Please don't waste your Holiday money if you're looking for a get-rich-quick scheme. That's not what SBI! is about.

However, if you are serious about learning how to build a long-term, profitable website, then this special is the Holiday treat for you.

Get SBI! here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Need Help? Join My Family

When you're learning the ropes of website creation, design, making money, etc., the online world can be a lonely and even intimidating place.

More and more people are finding e-comfort at my forum, Website Babble. It's a place to connect with people who are learning just like you, and the members are some of the friendliest folks around.

Have a question you can't get answered? Want to communicate with newbies just like yourself? Looking for advice from some more seasoned Webmasters? Website Babble has it all, including a Lounge where you can talk about virtually anything and get to know the other members.

We are like family, so won't you join us?