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.

{ 22 Comments }

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

{ 14 Comments }

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.

{ 51 Comments }

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.

{ 32 Comments }

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…]

{ 73 Comments }