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Make Money Online My Personal Reviews WordPress How To

WordPress: Display Ads in Post Content and Only Display Ads in Old Posts

The title pretty much says it all. It’s 2 of the most useful AdSense ads tips for bloggers in my opinion. Obtrusive ads have the unnecessary effect of driving away readers after they have found what they needed. Unless you have amazingly great content, the chance of them becoming a loyal reader is rather low when you have ads splashing into their faces – this is not something you want to do to your subscribed readers. On the other hand, you’d want to maximize your AdSense earnings by putting up ads on as many posts as possible.

Ad Injection (WP plugin)

This tiny little plugin, Ad Injection, gets it all. Very useful plugin for you to insert AdSense ads in your blog posts AND set a specific age threshold for the posts to display ads, so freshly published articles won’t have ads to drive your subscribers away. See detailed introduction here: Ad Injection for WordPress.

Just install it from the inventory (upload or install from within your WP administrator panel) and activate it. Go to Settings > Ad Injection > “Random ad (inserted randomly between paragraphs)” and insert your AdSense code there. Depending on how aggressive you are, you can use a variety of ad formats from Google. I used a 468×15 links banner on Health Not. Check out the screenshot below:

insert ads in wordpress posts

By default, Ad Injection inserts a maximum of 2 instances of the Random ad per post. This way, the ads are well blended in the content. What works a few years back with the 336 square ad format on top of the content is gradually dying out in CTR thus click revenues. You should try something new such as this.

Another useful option of the plugin is to set “Only show normal ads on pages older than xx (days) – only for single posts and pages”. This would prove very useful if you want a good balance between ad performance / earnings and user experiences. Only displaying ads on older posts are a pretty good idea for creating a good first impression to those who stumble upon your site.

Categories
Kavoir & Whatever

Review of uCertify Zend PHP-5 Exam PrepKit

Recently uCertify approached me and asked me to do blogging on about Zend PHP-5 exam PrepKit. Since this is an interesting topic to me and as I would get a free simulator, I agreed. uCertify produces the preparation kits for many different IT Certifications including Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, CompTIA, Adobe, etc. The uCertify PrepEngine looks like this:

Zend PHP5 Exam PrepKit

Features of the PrepKit:

  • A nice looking user interface with good usability, especially regarding the minor details. For example, it is possible to click the answer itself and not only the checkbox next to it.
  • It has an optional study mode for every kind of test. When enabled it displays the wrong answers immediately rather than evaluating the answers only after the test is over. This provides a harmonic way of learning and measuring one’s progress.
  • It automatically shuffles the order of the answer options thereby preventing me from remembering the position of the correct answer among various options.
  • The explanation to the answers is of good quality and includes chart, diagrams, tables, snippets wherever required.
  • Huge amount of study material are included in the kit! It is not only a simulator but a full preparation kit.

In general it is a nice product that can be helpful for one to prepare for an exam (they have various prepkit available at uCertify). However I do not want anybody to get an impression that I think this is the only resource that one could use to prepare and pass an exam. This product and all other products available out there (books, prep kits, study guides) are just another resource for learning and practicing that one might consider to use when preparing for an exam.

It’s a very nice kit for diversified learners who want to learn things in all different ways. It’s also a breeze to create your own tests and quizzes. Give it a try and you are gonna like it!

Categories
eCommerce & Shopping Online Magento Tips My Personal Reviews PayPal & Ecommerce

Premium Magento Theme – Avalanche (Review)

Avalanche 15% Off Promo: Click here to get 15% discount off, then enter code KAVOIR in the box to claim the 15% discount off the Avalanche theme.

avalanche - premium magento themeAfter digging into Magento for a few months and trying to start my own tangible business (I only deal with digital goods as of now), I failed in finding the perfect theme for my store. What I had in mind was a Magento theme much like Thesis for WordPress, the sort of theme that’s simplistic yet powerful, finely crafted and omnipotent (not just for a specific niche). Seemed most of the themes I could find were a bit too frivolous for me, until I found Jake and his Avalanche, premium Magento theme.

Jake was one of a few Magento experts who are true masters of the eCommerce platform. I first discovered Avalanche with awe and thought, that was it – that was exactly what I wanted. With a few improvements it’d be the perfect theme for my store. I contacted Jake immediately with some of my ideas and he got back to me and greatly appreciated my feedback. He adopted and implemented my suggestions the next day. Those were some great ideas such as a mega / exploded menu option for the top navigation. It used to be 3 options, now there are 4 – it’s all yours to choose from in the Avalanche configuration panel.

I bought the Developer License for $399 that night. It was a remarkable experience. We exchanged quite some emails about how to make the theme better. Not every vendor takes customer suggestions so seriously, let alone a customer-yet-to-be; and it’s not every day you find a developer who so vigorously and wholeheartedly keeps refining his product.

The installation was a breeze. Had some minor problems as I was not quite experienced with Magento yet and emailed Jake for help and he got back to me within 1 hour. Every time. That’s the kind of support lacking in the official Magento Go team.

The Avalanche theme has lots of backend options that you can tweak to customize the look and general texts of your store. Cloud Zoom in place. Breadcrumbs are enhanced. Colors, typography, banners, featured products, AJAX quick views, cutting edge CSS3 features and many more.

As of now, I’m very much impressed in all regards, though I’d say it’s more of a theme for digital niches such as technology and electric products. The black and white theme may not suit every customer base (may not yield the best conversion rates in some niches). You need to tweak them a bit, unless Jake can come up with an overall color themes switcher in future updates. For now, we are stuck with color switchers just for borders, links, and action buttons – they are actually pretty nice with gradients, you should try it!

There could be more improvements and I’m sure Jake’s already started working on the next version. By far, I think he’s making the best premium Magento themes.

My 4.9/5 for Avalanche Magento theme.

Avalanche 15% Off Promo: Click here to get 15% discount off, then enter code KAVOIR in the box to claim the 15% discount off the Avalanche theme.

Categories
Kavoir & Whatever

JavaScript: Load Image based on Select Option (Dropdown)

It’s not unusual to respond to the user actions by dynamically modifying some content of the page. For example, you can employ JavaScript to change and load another image based on the <select></select> option the user has just selected.

This is the snippet you need:

<select onChange="getElementById('front_image').src='/images/'+this.value+'.jpg';">
  <option value="1">1</option>
  <option value="2">2</option>
  <option value="3">3</option>
</select>
<img src="/images/1.jpg" id="front_image" />

Assuming you store all the images in the /images/ directory.

You get the idea.

Categories
Kavoir & Whatever

Cheap PSD to WordPress Theme and Custom Plugins

My friend Xiaobo has been developing for WordPress for the last 4 years – a truly master he is about the themes, plugins, and any customizations you may need about WordPress. He has helped hundreds of professional bloggers.

If you ever run into any problems or are simply in need of a developer like him who can help you make your blog better, be sure to bug him at any time:

RoamFox: http://www.roamfox.com/
Gmail: roamfox@gmail.com

He does PSD to WordPress theme conversion and custom WordPress plugins development.

Make sure you mention you went over from Yang so that he would get you some nice discounts. Winking smile

Categories
Infographics Kavoir & Whatever

A Web Page Online for 10 Years – NY Underground Infographic

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/nyunderground/docs/nymain.html

It was 2001 when I first got on the Internet and this was one of the first web pages that I visited.

It’s been 10 years. And it’s still there.

new york underground system

How many more 10 years could I have……………

Categories
eCommerce & Shopping Online My Personal Reviews PayPal & Ecommerce

Shopify Review

shopify - create your own online storeWhen I was trying to find an eCommerce solution for my wedding dresses store, I tried Shopify for 30 days and then been a paid customer for 10 days before I canceled my plan (NOT in a negative manner). Have something to say about them so I come up with this brief review, which, hopefully can be helpful to those who are in search of a fine way to build online stores.

What I like about Shopify

  1. Beautiful. Anyone who has used Shopify would agree that it’s the a beautiful and graceful eCommerce solution. People behind it are working their heart out. The free themes available for you to choose from for your store are eye-candies, simplistic and highly brandable. They SHOULD make more of them, though. Currently there are only about 10 free themes. If you want more, you’d have to pay. Commercial themes at their theme store cost about $100 – $300.
  2. Proactive and personal support. I got emails offering to help from their support team every once a few days ever since my trial sign-up. Friendly, helpful and very personal. Of all the companies that I dealt with, Shopify is the only one that proactively asked me if I needed any help, REGULARLY. WiredTree comes second by asking for my feedback every 3 months. Magento Go comes last by offering unparalleled ridiculous support.
  3. Very easy to use. It only took me a few minutes to set up the whole store with an attractive look and add the first product. The control panel was intuitive and texts (tab names, section titles, field names, etc.) were straightforward. I didn’t have to think to do something. It’s simply there when you need it.
  4. Unlimited bandwidth. I specifically asked about this offer in one of the emails I exchanged with Chris, my client representative at Shopify, and he assured me that this was as TRUE as it’s promised. I never had the chance to have an online store that got hit by 100,000 unique IPs per day so I don’t know. But I sure like it. Who wouldn’t.
  5. Premium yet affordable. While it may seem that a month-to-month SaaS eCommerce solution would cost more than buying a permanent license that could be hosted on your own server, it may not seem so when you scale up. When you hit the mark of 20,000 unique IPs per day and got over 20,000 products in your store, Shopify’s offer of $179 / month for unlimited bandwidth, storage and SKUs is simply irresistible. With licensed shopping cart software that’s hosted on your own server, you would worry about security and upgrade (it can be painful, believe me) which take time and money. However with Shopify, you don’t have to worry about them at all because underneath details are all taken care of. You get a store that’s silently self-evolving without your custody.
  6. They refund. This is the single most valuable thing in any business. I was charged for the first month before I realized that I would be charged after the end of the trial period (30 days). After corresponding with my support staff Chris, I was able to get my money back without a hassle.

What I don’t like about Shopify

  1. First off, they didn’t make it clear that I would be automatically signed up with paid membership and be charged for a month after my trial period ends. After talking with Chris, it seemed that the terms were in there, in fine print, and I needed to click to open the complete, tedious terms and conditions to find it. Well, I believe it would definitely be much more customer-friendly to get the text in the sign-up page in large print, like what Microsoft did with Office 365 so I know I have to cancel my trial contract to stop them from billing me when it ends.
  2. Shopify doesn’t have effective product filtering. Or they probably have it but it takes quite some work to have it up for my store. For instance, the left side “Narrow Your Choices” product filtering at Zappos Women’s Clothing. I asked Chris about this and he said they had it and could give me an example store that had it. He never did.
  3. Custom made products that are made to order are not well supported by Shopify. For example, a store that sells custom tailored wedding dresses where customers can freely select any of all the possible combinations of options: “Color”, “Size” and “Belt Color”. With 15 possible colors, 15 sizes and 15 belt colors, there would be a total of 15 x 15 x 15 = 3375 distinct combinations of product options (“Color”, “Size”, “Belt Color”) for each wedding dress. The problem with Shopify is, they treat every product as in the inventory rather than custom made, therefore I have to add all 3375 distinct combinations of product options one by one for each of the products. It’s simply an unrealistic job.

All after all, Shopify is among the top 3 most usable and beautiful online store solutions out there after I tried many of them. I would definitely recommend it to people I know and would very probably use it for some of my future ecommerce projects.

4.5/5.

Categories
Business and Marketing Guest Posts Make Money Online

Reducing Bounce Rate, A Quick How and Why

It is vital to have a web presence in today’s digital world. With the large availability of high speed internet providers, it is also crucial to provide content that gets the attention of the visitor right away and makes them want to stay on the site.

Bounce rate is the amount of “single page” visits a site receives and this number must always remain low. The following list outlines ways for a site owner to reduce bounce rate and improve chances for success.

Focused Content

Site visitors will not be inclined to stick around if the content is not focused. It is better in the long run to choose a niche and write about it well rather than be more general and aim for hits. Also, the content should be based in fact and not opinion. The audience can always tell the difference and will also want to see facts backed up with evidence.

Post Presentation

The way a topic itself is presented in a post can make or break a site. The reader’s attention must be engaged from the first word or that person will not stay. Good presentation not only reduces bounce rate but also encourages the visitor to promote the site to friends or other interested parties. Word of mouth is the best advertising and it is free.

The right approach to presentation also promotes engagement through comments, subscribing to the site and sharing the link on social media. A high level of engagement can improve search engine ranking, as well, as site statistics improve with each visitor that doesn’t leave the site.

Good Navigation

Any website can be the most beautiful on the internet but if it does not have proper navigation, it will fail. Inability to find what is needed quickly is one of the top contributors to a high bounce rate. It is frustrating for both the visitor and site owner.

Let’s discuss some benefits of reducing bounce rate.

Conversions

Keeping visitors on a site can result in higher conversions for things such as sales, services, signups, downloads, etc. This can translate to greater PPC, as well. Offering digital downloads is a simple and convenient way to deliver goods, especially with most people using high speed internet providers.

Content Sharing

As discussed above, presentation is king and will encourage sharing of content. A link shared on Facebook or Twitter has the potential to go viral and lead to a huge increase in traffic. This in turn can translate into more conversion and more sharing. Proper presentation is invaluable and can only build upon itself.

Search Engine Ranking

A harsh truth about web presence is if a site isn’t well placed in the search engines, it can struggle to be noticed. Search engines can ultimately take into account a site’s bounce rate during indexing. This is why keeping the bounce rate low is so vital.

The online world is a very competitive place and this is especially true when running a website or blog. Taking some very simple steps to create an interesting presence will go a long way toward long term popularity and profitability.

Blake Sanders is a writer of news and information on high speed internet providers at broadband comparison site Broadband Expert. He also specializes in wireless internet, cell phones, and other technical news.

 

Note: Photo courtesy of Alaskan Dude via FlickR Creative Commons.

Categories
Hilariously Funny or Creepy Infographics

A Brief History of Video Games [Infographic]

Gaming sites. Of all the money making blogs, eCommerce, or even corporate websites on the web, perhaps none is more effective at bringing in the cash than those hosting game communities. The “why” of this is pretty obvious, kids and grownups spend huge sums at play, particularly digital playground play.

So, the reader is asking; “How did all that game frenzy thing start?” Well, games are about as old as mankind actually. But, for the digital age, or at least the age of electronic equipment, games and the graphics that support them have made an amazing journey. Perhaps the best way to understand why games and the sites that support them are so popular and profitable, is to take an insightful look at just how graphics have played their role.

What exactly are human beings able to put up with in order to play pretend they are really snuffing out those aliens, hitting that tennis ball back at an opponent? The cool infographic below reveals the graphical trip games have made into our lives and minds.

COLOURlovers History of video game colors

Created by COLOURlovers

So, as you can see, a lot about playing games early on was about “tweaking” the imagination only.” Not many people would sit and play pong for hours on end nowadays, not with Wii Sports around, not to mention Kinect by Xbox. One has to wonder what the next progression into graphical child’s play will be? But, for anyone considering starting up their own blog, the game space has to be a top choice if making money is the goal. Make no mistake though, the competition is tough out there.

Be sure to find more infographics at my W3EC blogs.

Categories
Guest Posts Internet Tools

Moredays: Cool Productivity Tool That’s Fun


Productivity tools don’t necessary make money for you, but they save money, especially those that help you keep organized, and save large amounts of data in one place so that you won’t have to access multiple sources to get much needed information. For people on the go, there’s no better, and more affordable solution, than productivity tools designed to sync between various devices, such as PC, tablets and smartphones.

Moredays is such a productivity tool – a cool calendar-cum-scrapbook  time management application based on photos and drawings. While many users will probably focus on creating cutesy calendars for their families, the business mind might reject it – and that would be a mistake. One of the best features of Moredays is that it records everything that is important to you.

When you add a new contact to your address book, Moredays can save complete information about the record, such as; when you added the contact, as well as notes, pictures and everything important related to that person. You can easily keep track of when you met your contact, and when you consult your notes related to that person, you will learn exactly what you were doing. To put it simply: Moredays is your personal diary, that can be accessed anytime, anywhere – because the information is saved safely in the cloud. Moredays is also a time saver, because, it’s so easy to use that even a child could figure it out, and because instead of having to type thousands of irrelevant tags to organize data, you can use a set of virtual “stamps”.

Another potential “cool” use for business, at the end of a contract with a customer, you can send her a printed version of your Moredays calendar together, as a reminder of the way you two conducted business every step of the way. A much better corporate gift than a keychain, if you know what I mean.

Moredays was designed to sync with Google Apps and Evernote – in the current beta these features don’t work yet, but they will with the public beta release in two weeks time. There are other features curently missing, like apps for iPhone and iPad – we expect to see them soon as well. In the meanwhile, why don’t you give Moredays a try? You’d be among the “early adopters.”