9 Things I Should Have Known About Blogging On Day 1

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I have been a full time blogger for like 9 months now. I started way back in Novermber 2006 and here’s the first post that I ever wrote on rangit.com. 9 months is actually a short time, and throughout these 9months, I learned tons of things. They were things I wish I knew when I first started blogging. Below are the 10 things that I think all blog newbies should know about before jumping in.

  1. Make sure that the blog is already making income before quitting 9-5 day job.
  2. This is the No.1 mistake I made. Seriously. I was living on my savings for the past 7 months. I always thought that having a website was like having a service that is accessible by anyone in the world. And if I had advertisements placed around it, I’ll be rich in no time. Guess what? I was wrong. It was a mistake.

    My budget was so tight that I couldn’t afford to go out with my buddies during the weekend for a drink. It was bad. My blog was like a leaf in a garden that didn’t stand out. I had AdSense installed but I was like making $0.01 a week! How pathetic can that be? I have read other blogs and have seen others making it in 2 months and thought that I could do the same. My savings was only enough to sustain my lifestyle for 3 months at most. Who knew it took 7 freaking months! What an experience that was.

  3. Domain name
  4. When I first started, I wanted a blog that is interactive in a sense that it allows an user to rate the product mentioned. And so I searched for a domain name, keeping in mind that it has to be short and sweet. I ended up with the domain rangit.com (this blog) as an anagram to the word ‘rating’. At that time, i called my this site ‘because you value yourself’.

    Later on, an idea came in and thought ‘Why not divide my blog into 3 different niches?’. I knew that it would be better that way so that it keeps the scope and audience focused. Then losu.org and odyb.net came. Both are anagrams of ‘soul’ and ‘body’. if you check out the sites, they are named ‘because you value your soul’ and ‘because you value your body’. Too bad my domain name of rangit.com doesn’t really match ‘because you value your mind’. I would have used a different domain name if I knew it earlier. Oh well.

  5. Register domain names separately from the host.
  6. When I first started blogging, I had no idea how hosting went. I made a mistake by registering my domain name together with the host. The problem is, I have no control over the domain name. A simple step of redirecting nameservers took days. If I had control over it, I would have just changed it in a minute. Lesson learned.

  7. Just use the best blogging software and forget the rest.
  8. WordPress. The best. Period.

    I always wanted to be different and at that point of time, Joomla! was a new open source project and it received good reviews. What i didn’t know was that Joomla was still a baby and couldn’t perform a lot of the other features that WordPress can. I installed it anyway and blogged on that platform for almost 4 months. Those were really frustrating months. If you’ve followed me since the birth of rangit.com, you’ll know.

  9. Take it 1 step at a time.
  10. I made a mistake by registering 4 blogs. I thought that more blogs meant climbing up the social ladder, faster. Wrong. It was proven when I couldn’t concentrate on all 4 at the same time. In the end, I had no choice but to prioritize. Look at losu.org and compare it to rangit.com. Rangit.com far supersedes in terms of traffic and posts. Oh well, I gotta learn to better manage my time.

  11. Better URL structure.
  12. All my blogs have the same URL structure.

    • http:// sitename / category / post title

    Though it’s not too bad in terms of search engine friendliness, I would have preferred

    • http:// sitename / post title

  13. Networking?
  14. There’s a question mark for a reason. For the past 9 months, there were at least 5 different blogger gatherings around my area. I wanted to join in the fray, but I thought, ‘Hey, how can i go? I have nothing solid to offer? The bloggers who will be attending are already making 5 figure income, known all around the local blogosphere and have a legion of loyal readers.’

    Most of my friends are not bloggers. I have no blogger buddies. My blogs are not as famous as theirs and I make much less money than them. I felt that the only way for me to avoid being neglected is to make it in the blog world first, before attending any gathering. Of course it’s no harm attending the event, but I think it’s better to attend it with confidence and knowledge that I have something to offer too. Tell me I’m wrong.

  15. Ad positioning
  16. Ah… I only found out about the BESTEST spot to display an advertisement ONLY 3 weeks back. What a waste to the months before. You can even see it in action. Tons and tons of other bloggers have already been doing it.

    It’s the (336 x 280 Google Ad) directly after the title. Trust me. It works.

  17. Choice of niche affects revenue
  18. I didn’t realize but the choice of niche affects your revenue. I didn’t know that keywords like ‘hair’ and ‘computer’ had a difference. I always thought that all keywords are more or less the same. Too bad I only learned about it after a few months of writing. Oh well, at least now I know what to focus on more.

    =)

Free Automatic Blog Backup Online

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Now here’s a cool online based blog backup system by Techrigy. Blog backup is very important because in the event your content is lost, having the ability to restore it is critical. Furthermore, being able to store your blog backup anywhere, export it, and transfer it to any platform provides security and convenience. The project is currently in beta testing and have several limitations like :

  1. 50 MB limit
  2. I have just fully backed up 3 of my blogs and they take up only 1.63MB of space. The total number of articles are less than 300. Don’t panic if you hit 50MB. To get more space allocation, all you need to do is just send them an email at [email protected]

  3. The famous 10
  4. If you use any of the below blog platform, you qualify for free backups.

    1. Blogger
    2. WordPress
    3. TypePad
    4. Friendster
    5. LiveJournal
    6. Serendipity
    7. Windows Live Space
    8. Movable Type
    9. Terapad
    10. Vox
    11. Multiply

  5. Switch Blog Platforms
  6. Want to move to a better blog platform? Do it easily using the ‘Restore’ feature. If you are using Joomla and want to migrate to WordPress, here’s a nifty script modified by me.

  7. Images & Videos
  8. Look out for the image and video backup support. They will be out pretty soon.

Blog Backup Online
Secure, store and transfer blogs

Who else wants to prevent click fraud and track PPC clicks?

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aaahh… adsense. Everyone’s favourite advertising program. Almost everyone who owns a blog/website has it. After all, anything that generates cash is most welcomed.

For those who aren’t so sure, you might ask, what is adsense?

AdSense is an advertising program run by Google. Website owners enroll in this program to enable text and image advertisements on their sites. These ads are administered by Google and generate revenue on a per-click basis based on website content. Though it’s pretty amazing how certain people can earn 4 figure income in a day through adsense, there are 2 BIG issues that come with it.

  • Click Fraud
  • If you are hated by certain groups for something controversial that you’ve said, you’re dead. There are certain groups of people out there who pick out websites that they disagree with and destroy the webmaster’s adsense income. All that has to be done is to click on the ads multiple times, say for example 100 clicks per person. A group of 3 is already enough to get your site’s adsense suspended.

  • Tracking Visitor Clicks
  • Of course it’s all great when you get clicks, at first. As time goes on, you’d want to improve the content and layout of your site. However, you can’t see who clicked what, where that visitor came from, how many clicks that particular visitor makes, or even which advertisement he clicked on. The only thing that you and I can do in the adsense dashboard is to see the clickthrough rate and how much you’ve earned.

However, the world of adsense publishing became a better place thanks to Trevor Fitzgerald, a 20-year-old student studying Business Administration at Michigan State University, who developed this amazing nifty tool called the ‘Adlogger‘. However, you gotta be able to use FTP to upload the folder to your website.

screenshot

Guys, if you’re an adsense / YPN freak, you’re gonna love the 16 benefits that come with using the super cool, free, open source, amazing Adlogger.

  1. Track and log when a visitor clicks on one of your AdSense ads
  2. Optionally receive an email after every reported click
  3. Receive an email after every reported multiple click
  4. Secure administrative backend
  5. Know the total number of clicks and the total number of unique visitors that clicked
  6. Know the IP address, hostname, user agent, browser information, operating system of the visitor who clicked on the ad
  7. Determine which advertisment was clicked
  8. Get past click performance for a specific date or range of dates
  9. Find your best performing pages
  10. Custom channels help you monitor which pages are receiving clicks
  11. Block ads for a specific IP address or range of IPs
  12. Automatically block ads for visitors who are clicking too many within a certain time period
  13. Know exactly when, why, and for whom ads were successfully blocked
  14. If AdSense ads are blocked, you can display an alternate advertisement
  15. Code generator page to make installation and setup easySynchronize all of the reporting to Google AdSense server time

You gotta start using it, man. Actually, everyone should. =)

Adlogger
Prevent click fraud & track clicks