Monthly Archives: May 2015

Tips To Increase Your Blog’s Adsense Revenue

budget-013There are dozens of different ways to monetize a blog, but one of the easiest is to display Adsense ads. Google’s Adsense program allows webmasters and bloggers to display pay-per-click (PPC) ads from its Adwords program. When a visitor clicks an ad, you earn a percentage of the total price paid for that click by the advertiser. It’s a simple formula in which bloggers such as yourself get paid for each ad click. To maximize the amount your earn through Adsense, however, you’ll want to follow the tips listed below.

Identify Your Keywords

The first step towards optimizing an Adsense-driven blog is to identify your keywords. This doesn’t necessarily mean the keywords for which you are trying to rank, but rather the keywords you want associated with your Adsense ads. You’ll generally earn more money per click by targeting keywords associated with expensive Adwords ads. For instance, you can expect to earn much more if you display an ad for car insurance as opposed to pet accessories.

You can check out Wordstream.com for a list of the top 20 most expensive keywords in Google Adwords.

Blend Your Ads Into Your Blog’s Background

Another simple yet highly effective tip is to blend your Adsense ads into your blog’s background. Ideally, you want your ads to look like they are a part of your blog’s theme/template rather than a foreign object. This encourages visitors to click, which results in higher earnings. Google has a helpful Adsense creation tool to achieve this goal, which you should certainly use.

Use The Right Ad Formats

The format of your Adsense ads can make a world of difference in terms of revenue. Generally speaking, leaderboard-style banner ads are best suited for the top area of your blog (directly under the header) and square-shaped ads are best suited for the sides. While there are always exceptions to this rule, some of the best all-around formats include the 336×280, 160×600, and 300×250 medium ads.

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize!

Just because you are earning a decent amount of Adsense revenue on your blog doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no room for improvement. On the contrary, you can almost always improve your earnings by making small changes to your blog. Feel free to adjust your blog’s layout, navigation, ad placement, and other elements to see how it affects your Adsense earnings.

Do you use Adsense on your blog? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Top WordPress Plugins For SEO

One of the perks of using the WordPress content management system (CMS) is its use of plugins. Rather than modifying hundreds of lines of code just to add a feature or functionality to your site, you can simply activate a plugin. However, plugins are also useful for optimizing websites so they rank higher in search engines — and we’re going to reveal some of the top SEO plugins for WordPress.

handtoolWordPress SEO By Yoast

With more than one million active installs, you can rest assured knowing that WordPress SEO by Yoast is the real deal. This free-to-use plugins features customizable page Titles and Descriptions, as well as content analysis, RSS optimization, Meta elements, breadcrumbs, social media integration, and more. I guess you could say Yoast is the Swiss army knife of SEO plugins, as it does just about everything. And while many other plugins offer the same or similar functions, Yoast is updated and maintained frequently, ensuring a high rate of compatibility.

Google XML Sitemap

Another SEO plugin that shouldn’t be overlooked is Google XML Sitemap. As the name suggests, this plugin automatically creates a search-engine friendly XML sitemap, telling search engine “bots” how many pages your website has and where those pages are located. This makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website, which subsequently leads to higher rankings. Google XML Sitemap has been supported for over nine years and was recently ranked as one of the best WordPress plugins.

RSS Include Pages

Why should you use the RSS Include Pages plugin? By default, WordPress does not include pages in RSS feeds, only posts. As long as you publish posts, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if you’re going to publish content on pages, you should download and activate the RSS Include Pages plugin. It’s designed to include pages in WordPress RSS feeds, allowing users to read snippets of both posts and pages in their feeds.

W3 Total Cache

Speed plays a key role in determining a website’s search ranking. All of the major search engines — Google, Bing and Yahoo — use loading times as a ranking signal, meaning websites that load faster rank higher in their respective indexes. W3 Total Cache is designed to improve load times through browser caching, page caching, file compression, and content network delivery (CDN) networks.

Which SEO WordPress plugins do you use? Let us know in the comments section below!

Things To Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme

web-design-pitfallsOne of the perks of using WordPress as your content management system (CMS) is the ability to change your site’s design with the click of button. Rather than building a new template from scratch, you can simply download and active a “theme.” There are literally tens of thousands of different WordPress themes available, ranging in all styles, colors and designs. But with such an enormous selection, how do you know which one to choose?

Frequency of Updates

Arguably, one of the most important factors that should influence your decision is how often the theme is updated. Being that WordPress is updated several times a month, themes and plugins must also be updated to function and remain secure. If a developer fails to update his or her theme, users may notice broken elements. Make sure your site’s theme is supported by an active developer who constantly releases new updates.

WordPress Theme Library

Themes can be downloaded from the official WordPress theme library or a third-party website/source. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great themes available on third-party websites, but you have to use caution when downloading them. Since they aren’t hosted directly on the WordPress.org website, there’s a greater risk for the files containing viruses or malware. Therefore, it’s recommended that beginners stick with themes from the official WordPress theme library.

Terms of Use

Pay close attention to the terms of use when choosing a theme for your website.  Some themes are free to use for both personal and commercial purposes, but others may only be used for commercial websites. If a theme says “non-commercial,” you cannot use it on sites that are intended to earn money. Furthermore, many themes have licensing restrictions, meaning you can only use them on X amount of websites. Carefully read through the theme’s terms of use to ensure it’s suitable for your needs.

Responsive or Non-Responsive?

With Google emphasizing the importance of maintaining mobile-friendly websites, it’s a good idea to choose a Responsive theme. Responsive themes use a combination of CSS3 media queries and proportion-based grids to create a universal layout that loads and functions the same, regardless of which device the visitor is using to access your website.

Have any other tips that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!

Productivity Tips For Bloggers

typin1Do you struggle to stay focused on a single task when blogging? Whether you’re researching topic ideas, writing the rough draft of a new post, or editing existing posts, staying focused is critical to your blog’s success. Unfortunately, far too many bloggers become distracted, at which point they drift off towards other tasks. If this sounds like a familiar scenario, keep reading for some helpful tips and tricks on how to boost your blogging productivity.

MinutesPlease

It should come as no surprise that social media networking sites are one of the leading causes of distractions for bloggers. You may visit Facebook with the intention of posting a single update, but once you log in you begin to message your friends, change your profile pic, and perform other tasks. To prevent this from happening, try using the free tool at MinutesPlease.com. While there are several browser plugins and add-ons that serve a similar purpose, this is one of the only web-based tools that limits the amount of time you spend on certain websites. Once this limit has been reached, it will automatically close the browser tab.

Schedule Your Day

Another helpful tip to boost your blogging productivity is to create a schedule of your day ahead of time. You don’t have to create some elaborate, detailed list, but instead jot down each task you want to finish as well as time limits for them. When you complete a task, mark it off your schedule and move on to the next one. Following this simple formula will make a world of difference in your daily work output.

Stop Procrastinating

I know this probably sounds like common sense, but procrastinating is a sure-fire way to kill your blogging productivity. You may tell yourself, I’ll write a new blog post tomorrow, but when tomorrow comes you put it off for another day, and then another. Rather than putting it off, take action now to create new posts for your blog. You don’t have to necessarily complete the posts, but you should start them at the very least.

Content Management System

If you aren’t using a content management system (CMS) for your blog, you are essentially wasting tons of energy. CMS platforms like WordPress are designed to streamline the process of creating and managing content (hence the name). While you can technically create a blog using nothing more than Notepad, this is a tedious, time-consuming process that really doesn’t make sense given all of the excellent CMS platforms available.

Have any other productivity tips that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!