Author Archives: Dollars

AdSense Optimized WordPress Theme Requirement

A lot of WordPress themes claimed to be optimized for AdSense. When you look at them, what they really mean is that they included some spots for you to put AdSense ads by default. Some of them will actually fill in Google AdSense ads automatically if you put in your AdSense account ID number. That is not AdSense optimized so much as AdSense for dummies themes.

Some themes are a little more honest claiming only to be AdSense Ready as opposed to AdSense Optimized. Of course, if you think about it, all WordPress 3.0 themes and all earlier versions of WordPress themes are AdSense ready since you can ad the Google AdSense code to them. If you want to be really honest, every blogging platform from Blogger to TypePad to Live Spaces (or whatever they are calling it these days) are AdSense ready. All you actually need to be AdSense ready is to be able to edit the source code and publish it after adding a little bit of JavaScript which is how all AdSense ads are coded. So, again, these themes are not AdSense ready as much as they are AdSense ad locations installed by default.

What would it take to be a true AdSense Optimized WordPress theme?

That is an important question for those looking to make money writing online. The answer has nothing to do with pre-filled AdSense code or designs that leave spaces open for you to publish ads in. Rather, what a fully AdSense optomized theme requires is:

  1. Be fully SEO optimized. Face it, you get your ad clicking traffic from Google search results so the most important thing to make money with AdSense is to be as highly ranked in SERPs as possible.
  2. Minimize AdSense Static. This is where most of those so-called AdSense ready and AdSense optimized themes fall flat on their face. Nothing ruins your ability to earn money with Google AdSense like getting irrelevant ads displayed on your webpages. Nothing gives you irrelevant ads faster than having too many non-targeted keywords littering your webpage. All of those comments that you did not write are throwing off your ad targeting, that is, unless your WordPress theme incorporates Google AdSense section targeting tags. Open up that source code and look for <!– google_ad_section_start –>. If you don’t see it, your theme is NOT AdSense optimized.
  3. Eliminate AdSense Interference – Even better would be a theme that separates out the comments from the post, or one that requires a click by the user from the “real” keyword targeted post with your carefully chosen content in order to expand the comments section. That way, Google can index your good stuff, match ad keywords based upon your carefully worded articles, while still allowing your readers to interact with you and your website’s community.

Ironically, most WordPress themes for writers trying to make money writing (and frankly, pretty much every WordPress theme in existence) fails these conditions like a high-school dropout taking the GED without studying after a night out drinking. That means it is up to you. If you want your theme to really be fully optimized you’ll have to stick those Google section tags into the source code manually.

Happy writing, and may big passive income come to you and your writing always.

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WordPress Theme for Writers Review Voidy

voidy-wordpress-theme-for-writers Voidy claims to be a WordPress theme for authors. This writer’s WordPress 3.0 theme has a home page that claims that there is good content and that there is great content. Voidy, it seems, is only useful for those who write great content. Or, at least, that is what the poor developer of another WordPress theme for writers thinks after spending too much time listening to the echo chamber inside the blogosphere.

The idea upon which many new free WordPress themes for writers are based is that writers, that is good writers, and presumably, professional writers, either don’t want or don’t need anything fancy “distracting readers” from their amazing writing. Therefore, top writers want WordPress theme features that don’t have extra things to worry about like being AdSense ready themes, or SEO optimized themes, or heaven forbid, attractive themes with graphics and nice typography. No, you see, writers just want their wonderful text to sit alone, black on a sea of white open space, so that their readers can bask in the glory of powerful writing and beautiful prose.

I don’t know where this grade-school fantasy of what a real writer is like came from. I first encountered the whole “writers want simple, plain, uncomplicated WordPress themes to showcase their writing” nonsense from the Erudite WordPress theme. (Incidentally, real writers would not use the word “erudite” in this manner, even if its meaning could be shoehorned into titling the design concept. If nothing else, it is conjugated improperly. Anyway…)

Ever since then, every time I find a new WordPress theme for writers, it has this same banal design motif at its core.

Writers WordPress Themes Should Make Money Easy from Great Content

It will likely take a person who is both a quality writer and a quality web developer to create the first truly great WordPress theme for writers. When it happens, you can be sure that it won’t be a plain theme that “showcases” the writer’s writings.

What a professional writer really wants from a WordPress theme is for the theme to handle all of those other things that have to happen in order for the mythology of Content Is King to come true. As writers, we don’t worry about our content being overshadowed. We right great content. If that is what you want, then you’ll read our stuff regardless of what flash-based graphics are moving around the text. What we DO actually worry about is that our quality articles and well-researched posts will be buried in the wasteland at Page 8 of Google search engine results pages, while thin, barely passable junk posts make thousands of dollars a month for their authors because the person that wrote those articles knew to nofollow his Header 1 links to the .htaccess file next to the noindex parameter of WordPress widgets and their canonical links.

You get the point.

What REAL writers WordPress theme does is make sure that when we write high-quality posts they get all the right tags and links and nofollows and whatever else they need so that Google can find them, index them, rank them highly, and allow the writer to benefit from not only having produced “great content” but also having had that content indexed properly and ranked #1 by Google for all of the relevant keywords, all without us having to hack up our writing to satisfy Google’s engineers. In other words, a professional writer wants a WordPress theme for writers that makes money with writing quality.

Somehow this turned into a rant about bad WordPress themes for writers out there. I’m not going to let it go to waste or rewrite it. Properly using and re-using content written is how to earn money writing online easily and quickly. Instead, you can come back tomorrow or the next day (depending upon how it gets scheduled) and read the rest of the Voidy WordPress Theme for Writers review.

(Hey, look at that, a precious link to the review article that will count as a vote that the webpage that opens when you click it is the King of Content even though neither your nor the spider that follows the link have any idea of whether or not the words on that page are anything but gibberish. — Whew! I guess I’m testy today 🙂

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Biggest AdSense Mistakes Costly Myths

adsense-myths-costly-mistakes These days it seems like everyone is an expert on Google AdSense. Unfortunately, that is not entirely true. Worse, much of the expert advice out there is based on old information or ideas that were never true in the first place. Either way, following bad AdSense advice can cost you a lot of money.

Here are the top AdSense myths mistakenly followed by publishers and writers.

The Highest Placed Ad Is The Highest Paying Ad

Not anymore. Once upon a time, this was true, but Google changed up the AdWords program a long time ago by adding an Ad Quality Score. Now, the amount of the advertiser bid multiplied by the ad’s quality score is used to determine where the ad is placed on websites and blogs. In other words, an advertiser with a “high quality” ad may get the top ad spot on your website even if their bid is significantly lower than the bid of another advertiser with a “low quality” ad.

The bad news is that you no longer no for sure which ad is the lowest paying on your webpage. The good news is that better ads convert more and with higher positioning are more likely to be clicked. That means that you won’t get smart-priced because a garbage ad keeps getting all the clicks on your website because they pay more.

Google Smart Prices AdSense If No One Clicks On Your Ads

This was never true. Someone misunderstood the concept and drew the wrong conclusions, and then everyone started repeating what they said until every assumed it must be true.

Smart pricing occurs when the clicks on ads from your webpages convert as a lower rate than clicks on those ads do from most other pages. In other words, if your website is sending garbage clicks to advertisers, your CPC will be lowered by smart pricing. However, if your website never sends any traffic because no one ever clicks on your ads, you will not be smart-priced.

All Image Ads Are CPM Ads That Pay Per Impression and Not Per Click Like Text Ads

I don’t know if this was ever true, but I know it is not true today. When an advertiser sets up their ad they choose whether they want it to be CPC or CPM. This choice comes after they choose whether or not to create a text ad or an image ad. In other words, an advertiser can create an image ad that pays per click just like they can create an image ad that pays per impression.

Unfortunately, there is no way to allow only image ads that pay per click. If you allow image ads, then some of those ads will be CPM ads and some of them will be CPC ads with no control from you over them.

Reliable AdSense Information Will Increase Your Earnings

Be sure that the information you are getting about AdSense is reliable. Attempt to verify any program information directly with Google before acting on it. Don’t forget to read through the AdWords information as well because not everything is in the AdSense section. (For example, there is no mention of Smart Pricing anywhere in the AdSense information on Google’s website. Smart Pricing is only mentioned in the AdWords sections.)

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Yahoo Partners With Zillow For Real Estate Listings

Yahoo made news not too long ago when certain investors demanded that the company be sold (to Microsoft) and then again when Yahoo partnered with Microsoft’s search engine technology in order to get out of the business of being a search engine. While such news was apparently welcome to investors who had grown tired of owning the stock of a company that was the number two search engine in the world. Apparently, the company’s new CEO agreed and Yahoo search has been wound down. Most Yahoo search results are now powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine, whether that is made apparent on any particular webpage or not.

The question, of course, has to be then, what Yahoo plans to do as a business in order to make money if it will not be a search engine company. The answer has been a scattered set of developments, online services, and technologies that Yahoo! has rolled out over the last year or two, including Yahoo buying Associated Content.

Ironically, in many of the new areas Yahoo is focusing on are ones where the company is also the #2 provider (or less). One of the areas that Yahoo has been working at expanding its online offerings for is real estate listings.

Searching Real Estate Listings Online

Some industries were ripe for the Internet from the moment the technology and bandwidth speeds were in place to handle them. Searching homes for sale was one of those areas. The Internet allows users to browse through hundreds of real estate listings, including pictures without having to drive around just to see a dozen houses. What’s more, computers are great at parameter based searching. Users can select to only see houses with more than three bedrooms, or only those with at least a two-car garage, and so on.

Yahoo! Real Estate has been providing just such an online home search service to users for some time. However, it has languished behind other websites with a real estate focus. The company has made a new move to increase its real estate listing offerings, as well as provide more advertising sales and opportunities to local real estate agents via a new partnership with Zillow.

One of the things that make this deal interesting for those looking to earn money by writing websites or making money writing online by using AdSense or other online advertising is that Zillow has shown up as one of the Google third-party ad networks for Google AdSense. With Zillow offering ads on both the Google publisher network and on Yahoo, savvy webmasters and professional writers creating online content will need to keep an eye on whether or not their Google approved AdSense sites continue to get “the good ads” or whether the CPC for third-party ad network ads drops due to Zillow serving up lesser or left over ads on Google content publisher websites.

(Note: The deal was just announced and no one knows what, if any affect, it will have on AdSense earnings or publisher websites. This is only one more reason to closely monitor the level of AdSense success each website has, not a statement that things are already worse, or that things will change at all.)

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