Category Archives: Blogging

Maintenance Day

I hadn’t planned on making today a maintenance day. What happened is that I was going through my email and came across the email telling me about another affiliate dropping me because I’m in New York state; sigh,…

Anyway, I went looking for that particular affiliate throughout my blog, and as I went along I noticed other things that were off here and there. That included a few links that were discontinued that were shown to me by Broken Link Checker, but it turned out to be a heck of a lot more.

For instance, I saw how many of the affiliate products I add at the end of my posts had the images suddenly missing, either because those products were discontinued or the company added a different program to the mix; I wish they’d tell a body. Also, I came across many other affiliates which had been discontinued, that I hadn’t thought about, so I had to replace some of those ads.

One thing about doing maintenance on your blog is that it will bring some posts back to your mind that you hadn’t thought about in awhile. For instance, I’d forgotten that I’d written a post way back in March on publishing one’s own book, which I then followed up on in November as the final piece of my book writing series.

I also found many instances where I hadn’t typed the HTML code all that well, so I’m glad to have had the opportunity to fix those errors. It probably wasn’t until August when I started looking at every post before publishing it so I could see what things looked like, and I’m glad I do that now.

Still, I realize that I’m going to have to do two things. One, I’m going to have to create something that will be at the top of this blog that lists all my posts on making money online. I think putting them all in one place will make it a very valuable resource. Also, I’m going to have to pull out the spreadsheet and log all the affiliates I’ve used at the end of each of these posts so I can keep track of them and make sure I’m not leaving anyone out, as, it seems, some of these affiliates have rules for making sure you use them within a certain time period; weasels.

So, think about looking back through your posts to see what needs to be cleaned up and what you may be able to change around. Of course our buddy Dennis has a link error problem that he can’t find, so I’m sure he’ll find that using the time to go back through his posts may help him find it, though he’s hinting at a contest of some kind, which is sneaky, but I like it. 🙂 Also, I did all of this work this afternoon, and just a few minutes ago I read this post on Blab Web on the same thing. I guess great minds do think alike.

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Number 301, A Year To Remember

When I hit milestone number 201, I said that my goal was to get to number 300 before I’d had this blog a year. This is post number 301, and I wrote post number 300 two days ago, on the 11th, and I started this blog on December 12th, so I hit my goal; how about that!

As I did with my recap of my first 100 posts and my second 100 posts, I’m going to offer a recap of how the last 100 posts went, obviously my biggest output of posts in such a short time (less than 60 days), and compare it to at least the last 100 posts in some fashion.

Interestingly enough, four of my top five categories are still here, with the order changed, but there is one new entry, that being writing, as I had my book writing series, which can now be accessed all together by clicking on this link, or on Book Writing at the top, just as I did with my blogging tips series. Overall I wrote 8 posts on writing, which places it in 4th place. The other topics were:

Blogging – 26

Marketing – 23

Internet – 10

Computing – 7

Next, a quick look at comments. The first 100 posts had around 100 comments, and I was very happy to report last time that the second 100 had 486 posts. The third 100 posts have had,… 1,344 posts! Okay, some of those are my responses back, but so were the others, which means the figure is legitimate by comparison. And I also acknowledge that it’s not only the 100 posts within this period that got responses, but that’s not important either. I think the activity has been amazing, and I appreciate every one of you who have gifted me with your comments, and I hope you continue gifting me with even more comments as we move forward. The top five (actually six, since I have a tie, two ties to be more accurate) posts that received the most number of comments were:

A Point About Commenting On Blogs – 45

Dofollow Page Rank Discussion – 37

I Want More RSS Subscribers – 33

My Gripe With Blogger Blogs – 33

How To Be A Prolific Writer

Broken Link Checker – 29

Oddly enough, the post that got the most visits in this time period wasn’t one I wrote, but one that a guest writer, Jerry Low, wrote, called 9 Instant Tips On How To Leverage The Power Of Squidoo, so congratulations to Jerry on that one, a post I couldn’t have written because, until I read it, I didn’t know anything about Squidoo. My most visited post was the one on Dofollow Page Rank Discussion that I mentioned earlier, but a strange number three in the list was the viral post of the Dance Off between Barack Obama and John McCain; I knew folks loved to be entertained from time to time. 🙂

I doubt that over the next few months I’ll be able to write with the speed and consistency that I’ve written this past 100 posts, mainly because, as you know, I’m in Reno on a consulting assignment, and I’ve just started a new blog called Top Finance Blog that I went through a lot of trouble in getting it going, and I hope y’all find it in your busy schedules to visit and offer your opinions on what I post over there.

In my mind, as we count down the days to the end of 2008, I view this as a very successful and fun year. I treasure the friends I’ve met here, and I’ve read some wonderful entries on all of your blogs also. So, everybody, get up and dance for a few seconds, as we’re joined by the Peanuts crew; see you on the flip side!

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Two Software Issues

Back in September, I wrote a post called Upgrading Technology, talking about problems I perceived I was having with my blog, and it turned out to actually be the browser instead, most specifically, IE6. The site just won’t render properly in IE6 for whatever reason, but once I upgraded to IE7, it worked just fine.

Well, I just decided to check my site in the place where I’m consulting, and it wasn’t formatted properly. I remembered what had happened before, so I checked the browser, and indeed, it’s still IE6. Ugh! Well, this isn’t my computer, per se, so I can’t do much about it. However, I’d really like to encourage people to upgrade to at least IE7, even though IE8 may be on the horizon, because without your doing it, many sites aren’t going to look like they’re supposed to. I have no idea why Microsoft did such a thing with their previous browser versions, and I’m glad they’re not doing it anymore, but they could have done something with an update to IE6 so that it could see newer sites better, I’m thinking.

Anyway, that’s software issue number one. Software issue number two pertains to WordPress blogs specifically. As many of you remember, we talked about problems with our blogs in relation to javascript issues a couple of weeks ago. Well, that worked fairly well in changing the access to my site for everyone else, and of course I’m all about the visitors to my site. 🙂 However, when it came to my Admin, things were much slower and bogged down.

Now, if you’re me, you only put up with stuff for so long before you finally decide to take some action. The first thing I did was disable WP Super Cache, since it was the last thing I’d loaded. Admin seemed to run fine for a little while, but the next time I signed on, it was bogged down again. I went into Google to look for a problem, and someone recommended actually deleting WP Super Cache to see if that would fix things. So I did that, and it seemed things were working well once more. However, the next time I signed on, more problems. Man, was I frustrated.

Most of the articles I came to said that one should go about disabling each plugin one by one until you found the problem, as it was probably related to one of them. Well, with the high number of plugins I have, I really didn’t want to go through that mess, so I pushed on with the research. And I finally came across something that seemed to make some sense. What it said is that some plugins are tied in to the original websites where one gets the plugins still being active. Once a site shuts down, it will mess something else up.

I thought about that, and remembered that there were a few days when another one of my plugins, Tweet My Blog, went screwy when their site went down for a few days. I hadn’t thought back on that, because most of our plugins we think of as just adding to our site and that’s that, but many of them, like CommentLuv, are definitely tied in to the original website, and many of you remember that Andy was having some problems here and there over the summer as he was working on that one.

So, I decided it was much easier to click on each plugin’s homepage link under the Plugins section to see just who might be down. There was a couple I knew I didn’t have to check, thank goodness. Anyway, the next to the bottom plugin turned out to be the culprit. It seems that the site for the WWordPress Database Backup plugin is gone. I have no idea how long it’s been down, but it’s gone. So I disabled it, and things have started working as they used to, nice and fast. I took the test one step further and rebooted the laptop, then signed back in, just to make sure it was doing what it was supposed to do, and man, it’s a go!

So, if any of you are experiencing this same issue, and I know at least one person is because I remember a comment on it, though I can’t remember who made it. This might work wonders for you also; at least it’s worth a shot, and much less time consuming that deleting all those plugins you probably also have.

WP Super Cache

There’s a plugin for WordPress called WP Super Cache that I’ve been experimenting with lately. The main purpose of it is to helps speed your WordPress blog up by creating a series of HTML files out of your PHP files, and thus it speeds up your site because PHP can be a heavy load. I’m not going to get into all of the science of it, because frankly I don’t quite get how it works, so instead I’m going to talk about what I’ve seen thus far.

First off, you have to remember to do a little bit of configuring before the plugin works. I’ve noticed that the first time I ran the program, then the second time I’ve decided to run the program (I inactivated it once; I’ll come back to that), I forgot to enable the cache, which it mentions on the plugins page. If you forget to do that, your blog will hang, and it’ll take you forever to get back into it; anyone else, for that matter. Also, there are other choices and recommendations for things to do after you’ve enabled the cache; some I’ve activated, some I haven’t. For instance, you can enable the compression of files, which helps things move faster, and I’ve done that, although it does warn that some ISPs might not work well if you do that; so far, so good. At the same time, I didn’t enable something called Lockdown, which is supposed to protect you against a spike in comments. Trust me, I’ll feel elated with a spike in comments, at least the first time around.

The first time I inactivated the program because my blog started running really slow, and it was the last thing I’d remembered adding at the time. Later on, I thought about the javascript, which I wrote about here, and of course it did turn out to be the javascript issue all along. So, I brought the program back, and things have gone along pretty well.

I did have one more issue, though, which led to my forgetting to enable the cache again. This morning I tried to update my blog to 2.6.5 because of more security flaws, and this blog just wouldn’t load using the WP Automatic Update program. I wondered what was wrong, so I went and updated my other blog, which is also WP, and it worked just fine. I then figured it had to be this plugin, so I inactivated it, and voila. I then reactivated it after the update, and, of course, just now went through that problem of not being able to get to the blog until I enabled the cache; ugh. I wonder how many people tried to come to the blog and couldn’t because of that idiotic mistake. Oh well,…

Right now, the jury is still out on this plugin, but the blog does seem to be moving pretty fast right now. Unfortunately, using this plugin didn’t affect the bad performance of the javascript in any fashion, which was disappointing. However, I’m doing some research on that issue, and if it works out I’ll write about it here, so stay tuned.

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A Slave To The Numbers

Michael Jackson has the biggest selling record in the history of the industry with Thriller. At its peak, it was selling a million albums a week. Sales are estimated to be between 47 and 108 million copies worldwide. There were only nine songs on the album, but seven of them were released as singles and four of those songs went to number one; the others all made the top ten. Thriller the album won the Grammy, American Music Awards, and just so many other awards that it’s scary to try to think about it.

Thing is, since that time period, Michael Jackson has done fairly well musically, but he’s never been able to get anywhere close to the standard that Thriller did. It doesn’t seem to matter that no one else has either; people look at him as someone who did it once, so why can’t he do it again. And that’s with his second album selling over 25 million copies and having five of those songs hit number one. Even with that type of success, he, and everyone else, keeps looking at the numbers, wanting more, wanting to be better.

That type of thing hits many of us who are trying to monetize our blogs. We look at the top bloggers in the world, who show us their monthly figures, and wonder how we can get there. We check our Technorati stats to see how we’re progressing, and get worried if we slip a notch here and there every once in awhile. We check our Adsense and our Widget Bucks and our Commission Junction affiliate performances and do our tweaking, looking for that one big post, or that one big product, that’s going to put us over the top, so we can join the pantheon of top bloggers and proclaim our success to the world.

It’s tough not to. I’m one of those people, mind you. Not only do I post my monthly statistics on this blog, but I’m looking at my figures often, trying to figure out why one particular post hit the masses and made them stand up and say “hey, this was good”, or why I’ll write something else and have it totally get ignored. I wonder why my Adsense performance is so far down on my blog, but doing fairly well elsewhere. And I wonder how others are doing, those who don’t share all this information. I wonder where my blog ranks with all the other blogs in the blogosphere. Okay, sure, right now it’s ranked in the top 300 blogs, sitting at #279 (look at that badge on the right), but who knows how long that will last, or if I’ll be able to move up the ladder some more?

So, what determines our success with our blogs? Is it the number of visitors we get? Is it the amount of money that we might make, if we’re trying to make money with our blogs? Is it the design, how pretty our blogs are, or how ugly, how many ads we have on our blogs? Is it the pictures, or the widgets, or any of that fancy stuff? For that matter, is it our content?

Or is it the fact that we’re blogging to begin with, and not only blogging but adding more and more things as we go along? In a way, we put ourselves out here for the masses to grade us, and it can be somewhat scary at times. Not everyone agrees with our position, and sometimes we have to deal with that. It’s kind of life what I’m talking about in my book writing series, the guts that it takes to even start writing, let alone finishing. I look at all you wonderful people here in the blogosphere and then I look at my friends, and I can easily say that the friend to blog ratio doesn’t figure out all that well. It could be that most of my friends are older, but I’m not sure that qualifies anymore.

As I’m about to embark on another professional adventure, heading to Reno next week for a consulting assignment, I wonder whether the obsession for chasing better and better numbers will wane a bit, or whether they’ll stay as intense as they already are. In any case, I hope to keep up my blogging schedule as it is now, but realize that it might come down to 3 or 4 posts a day, unless I do what I’m hoping to do, that being writing a bunch of posts on the weekend and dating them for future posting. After all, that’s how I’ve done my book writing series, which ends Wednesday morning. I hope y’all have been checking it out, by the way, and sharing it with others. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to ask that of people, to share the idea and spread the word to anyone hoping to write anything. I guess I’m also supposed to ask you to flag them on any of those social networking blog sites so that people will supposedly come over and check the articles out for themselves.

Nah, I’m not going to ask that. It’s enough that I’ve told the world that I want more RSS subscribers (and I still do, by the way, so let’s keep it going!), but I’ll have to do with getting those higher numbers the natural way, I suppose. And I’m going to gain control over myself as it pertains to checking all those other numbers also.

Yeah, right; we all know that I’ve already checked my Adsense and my Technorati score. 🙂

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