Blogging For Income

A novice blogger and his attempt at generating some income from blogging

Archive for the ‘Building This Site Day-By-Day’ Category

Every day in which I improve this site, I will review what I did and how I did it and I will file it under this category

Building This Site: Day 3 – Modifying Post Counts and Adding Links

Posted by JC on October 27, 2006

Welcome to Day 3 of “Blogging For Income”. The last couple of days I put up some posts mainly for content for this site and I was away for the better part of the week for vacation.

At this point, there isn’t really much else for me to do but to make a few adjustments. From here on in, the main purpose for everything I do with this site will be simply to drive traffic.

But before we do that, I just want to make some minor adjustments to how this site looks. First, I will want to include the number of posts in each of the categories on the left sidebar.

Modifying Post Count

To display the post count of each category, I first went to “Presentation”, then to “Sidebar Widgets”.

CatWid

Next, I clicked on the “Configure” icon just to the right of the widget and I checked “Show Post Counts” on the window that appeared.

CatConf

I also wish to show the post counts in my archives section, so I clicked on the Configure icon in the Archives widget and checked “Show post counts”

ArcConf

With that done, I clicked on Save Changes and now the site will display the number of posts in each category and the number of posts for each month.

PostCount

Adding Links

To complete the look of this site, I’ll add links to a few sites (related to this site) in my Blogroll. My Blogroll is simply a listing of sites that I visit frequently and may be of interest to readers out there.

To add links, I went to “Blogroll”, then I clicked on “Add Link”.

BlogrollAdd

Then I simply added several sites by providing the name of the site, the URL, and a brief description of the site. There are other advanced options (“Link Relationship (XFN)” and “Advanced”), but for my purposes, I’ll leave them alone for now.

And that’s it!

For the next little while, I will be mainly creating content for this site. If I do anything outside of creating content (such as doing something to increase traffic to the site, improve search engine visibility, etc), I will post it up under the “Building This Site” series.

Posted in Building This Site Day-By-Day | Leave a Comment »

Building This Site: Day 2 – Creating Categories, Changing The Sidebars, And Adding A Site Counter

Posted by JC on October 14, 2006

Welcome to Day 2 of “Blogging For Income”. Today I will be creating some categories in which I will place my posts in, change the way the sidebars (the areas of the page to the left and right of the main page) look, and add a SiteMeter tool (which will be used as a hit counter and will generate reports about the visitors that visit this site).

Creating Categories

Categories will be used to sort and file the different types of post I will be putting up on this blog. This will allow readers easy access to specific types of posts.

The first thing I did was I logged into WordPress, clicked on the”Manage” tab, and then clicked on “Categories”

 

cat1b

Scroll down further and you’ll see an area where you can add new categories. I added several new categories which resulted in the following:

Categories 2

Note that if you do not have any posts within a category, the category will not appear on your blog. Now save your settings.

Changing The Category Of A Post

My very first post “Day 1” is currently in the “uncategorized” category. This is not very appealing and I do not wish to have an “uncategorized” category on my blog, so let’s change the category of the first post.

Click on the Manage tab and you should see a listing of all the posts you have created.

Chng1

Click on “Edit” beside the post you wish to change. The post will be brought up and you will see a box called “Categories” on the right hand side.

Chng2

Check the appropriate category you wish this post to appear under and uncheck those you do not wish it to appear. In my case, I unchecked “Uncategorized” and I clicked on “Building This Site Day-By-Day”. Click on “Save” and you’re done!

Changing Your Sidebars

So far, this is how my blog site looks like:

Blog1

This is not how I really want it to look like. I’d like to add a “Recent Posts” section to the left sidebar and I want to remove the “Meta” and “Subscribe” sections on the right sidebar and replace them with a “Recent Comments” section.

Let’s start by clicking on the “Presentation” tab and clicking on “Sidebar Widgets”.

Wid1

You’ll notice that near the middle of the page there are several button-like rectangles that you can drag around on the screen. These are widgets. Each widget represents the information you can add to your sidebars. I’ve dragged and dropped what I want on my sidebars and they now look like this:

Wid2

Click on “Save”. This is what my blog now looks like:

Wid3

There! That’s a little better. But wait! I don’t like the way my links are showing up under “Blogroll”. Let’s go and delete these default links so that later on I can add my own.

To do this, click on the “Blogroll” tab and click on “Manage Blogroll”.

Wid4

Simply check all the checkboxes on the right and click on “Delete Checked Bookmarks”. A pop up will appear – just click OK and you’re done! The links under “Blogroll” are now gone and the “Blogroll” section has disappeared for now (at least until we add new links).

Wid5

Finally, let’s add a site counter that can provide us with daily, monthly, and yearly reports of all the visitors that come to this site!

Adding SiteMeter To Your Site

After taking a look at what’s available out there, I have decided to stick with using SiteMeter. I currently use SiteMeter for my other blogs and I find it very useful in tracking visitors to my site.

First, I went to SiteMeter’s website at: http://www.sitemeter.com

Near the bottom of the page, click on “Sign up for free”. You’ll have to read a couple of their rules so you’ll need to hit the “Next” button a few times.

You will then come to a page that will ask you to enter your website’s URL, the title of your blog, and a codename that you will use with SiteMeter. I signed up with the codename s26blogincome. Make sure you create a codename that is unique to you and something you will remember.

Once you are done, move on to the next page where you will be asked additional information including your email address and country.

On the next page, you will be asked if you wish to subscribe to several newsletters they send via email. Click “Next” if you are not interested.

That’s it! You are done! SiteMeter will then ask you to follow some detailed instructions on how to put the code on your blog site.

Please – DO NOT FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS OUTLINED BY SITEMETER!

Instead, check your email to confirm your SiteMeter account has been created along with your SiteMeter password.

What you want to do now is go back to WordPress and go click on the “Presentation” tab, then on “Sidebar Widgets”. Now look for a widget that is labelled “Text 1”. Drag and drop it on one of your sidebars. I put mine on the right sidebar.

site1

This is a Text Widget and it allows the user to display formatted text or embedded images. Notice the icon on the right side of the widget? Click on it so that we can edit and configure it.

site2
Now, what you’ll need to do is to copy and paste the following code into the Text widget configuration box.

<a href="http://sNN.sitemeter.com/stats.asp?site=sNNyourblogname"><img src="http://sNN.sitemeter.com/meter.asp?site=sNNyourblogname"></a>
The bolded parts of the above code are the things that you have to change. Change them as follows:

  • Check your codename you got from SiteMeter (check your email) to see what is starts with. If it starts with “s25”, then replace the “sNN” to “s25” in the above code
  • In the section that has “site=” replace “sNNyourblogname” with the codename you got from SiteMeter

Once you are done, click the little “x” in the top right hand corner of the Text Widget configuration box. Then click on “Save” and you are done!

Now, after adding that Text Widget, my site now looks like:

final1

We’ve done a lot today, so that should be enough for now. This concludes Day 2 of the Building This Site Day-By-Day series.

Posted in Building This Site Day-By-Day | Leave a Comment »

Building This Site: Day 1 – Choosing A Blog Space And Setting Up

Posted by JC on October 13, 2006

Welcome to Day 1 of “Blogging For Income”. The very first day I had to decide and do a couple of things including:

  1. Who will host my blog (Blogger, WordPress, TypePad)?
  2. What will the name of my blog be?
  3. Getting familiar with the blogging publishing tools (in this case, WordPress)
  4. Setting up my profile and user options
  5. Playing around with the features available to me
  6. Writing an “About” page
  7. Typing out the very first post!

One of the main things I had to decide was to figure out where my blog will be. I have currently have a Blogger (Blogspot) blog and I follow quite a few other blogs out there. From what I have seen, there has been a lot of negativity when it comes to Blogger. Also, there were several blogs that moved from other blog spaces to WordPress.

Flexibility and functionality seems to be the main reason why more and more people are moving their blogs to WordPress. As of this writing, I know that Blogger is in Beta testing of a New Blogger that promises more features.

I do admit that Blogger was fairly easy to use, there are some problems. First of all, there were many times that Blogger would be down or we’d be given notice that Blogger would be down for a specified amount of time. This occurred quite frequently.

Another thing about Blogger was that it made it rather difficult to post up pictures. You had to use other software and what should have been a 1-step process became a 15-step process. Also, Blogger is now owned by Google. This will probably mean that you will be limited with the types of ads you can display or you will be limited to what you can display on your blog.

Finally, I found Blogger to be very limiting in the things you could do. There were several times I wanted to change the way my blog looked or things I wanted to do with my posts (like place tags on them or categorize them), but there was no easy way of doing this.

And so, I decided to go with WordPress. And since this is the first time I am using WordPress, I am truly a novice at this. As I learn more things, I will post them up.

After signing up, I spent maybe an hour or so reviewing and updating my profile and checking out the features of WordPress. I then typed up an “About” page and posted it up. Finally, I deleted initial entry that WordPress puts on your site and I began this post!

From what I’ve done so far, here’s what I like about WordPress:

  • It has a nice slick interface that has drag and drop features – very cool!
  • I like the fact that I can insert images while editing this post – this was something I could not do in Blogger
  • There is a wealth of options – way more than Blogger
  • I love the fact there is an Import and Export feature – this means I can take an existing blog (say from Blogger) and import it into WordPress – very handy!
  • While signing up, WordPress gave me the option of making my blog more visible – with my Blogger blog, I had to manually submit sites to various blog communities

Once I publish this post, I won’t do anything else. On Day 2, I will try to categorize and add tags to this post, add more links on the sidebars and I will add a site counter to this blog.

Posted in Building This Site Day-By-Day | 1 Comment »