Author Archives: Dollars

Best WordPress Themes For Writers Earning Money Online

Let’s face it, the fastest and easiest way to make money writing online is by generating a truckload of good, solid, easy to write, usable content, just like you do every day as a skilled writer. Then, sign up for Google’s advertising program and get approved for Google AdSense and put some well placed ads on your high-quality content. Of course, you’ll also be on the hook for driving some traffic to your content by link building and other online marketing tactics, but you’ll have to do that no matter what you do to earn money online.

Yes, there are other affiliate marketing programs or those semi-legitimate pay per action ads that may or may not pay out higher income, but they all take another level of effort that diverges into the world of web design and Internet marketing. There isn’t anything wrong with that, of course, it just is not the same thing as earning money by writing online. When it comes to making money from your writing (and, of course, some basic level search engine optimization and writing techniques) Google AdSense plus good original content is king.

Best WordPress Themes for Writers To Use For Earning Money

In order to make setup, design, and adding content as simple as possible, many professional writers use the WordPress blogging platform as their content management back-end. You just pick a theme, tweak some settings for maximum search engine impact, add some useful WordPress plugins for writers, pick a good WordPress theme and then start writing.

The catch is that finding a good WordPress theme is not as easy as it sounds. Unfortunately, many theme directories have taken to showing just the upper-left hand corner of a theme screenshot. That isn’t very helpful if you are looking for a good WordPress theme for writers that displays your content elegantly and powerfully. After all, WHO CARES what the header image is? If you aren’t replacing that image anyway, you aren’t really customizing your publishing platform.

Even worse are the fatal flaws that can make your AdSense earnings lower than they should be without you even knowing it!

Every expert there is from Google itself, to advertising experts, to off-line advertisers, to writers and bloggers that actually make their living writing online will give you one major piece of advice for generating higher income from AdSense. That advice is to put a prominent ad above the fold. That means that the best WordPress themes for writers leave room for an ad and some content near the top of the design.

For those of you who haven’t gotten down the basic terminology of design and marketing online, above the fold for webpages basically means what the visitor to your website can see when the page first loads. In other words, above the fold is what you can see without scrolling down.

Now, do just a little bit of math (metaphorically speaking) and tell me, how can you display your article title, show at least a minimum amount of catchy, attention grabbing text from your writing, and show a decent sized Google ad, when the theme has some huge header image built-in?

Seriously, if you are looking at a WordPress theme with a header image and menu area that takes up one-third of the screen before it shows a single bit of word-based content, you are looking at a money losing theme for writers, not a money making theme for writers. Big, fancy graphics might look nice in a theme gallery, but they are space wasting, income ruining, bandwidth hogging, non-features when it comes to really making money writing online from home or anywhere else.

Make sure your WordPress theme is efficient and readable, or all the WordPress theme SEO-optimized header tags and other nonsense in the world won’t make a bit of difference.

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Best WordPress Writers Templates Features

wordpress-menu-customize-writers-themes Regular readers here at make money writing online know that I am on a quest to find the perfect WordPress theme for writers. After numerous new free themes came out proclaiming themselves to be WordPress themes for writers based on the fact that they were “plain” and therefore made “writing the focus” of the blog, I wondered what features and WordPress options would make the best theme for writers.

Obviously, this is no small undertaking. Writers come in all shapes and sizes. From writers looking to earn money writing online as a side business, to professional freelance writers, all the way to those looking to startup a writing business from home, covering all writers is tough business. However, as we’ve searched the WordPress theme gallery, and Google searched our way around the WordPress theme world, some very useful WordPress features have stood out as necessary to a top WordPress theme for writers. We’ve been cataloging those things that WordPress themes require to be the best money making writing themes out there as we go along so that until we do find a nice catalog of great WordPress themes for professional writers you can use the features for writers we have discovered to do your own analysis of themes that you find for yourself.

Today, we look at an important WordPress theme menu navigation feature that all good writer’s WordPress themes should have.

Customizable Menu Options for WordPress Themes

It is bad enough that as writers we have to dumb down our writing to fit into the outdated model that Google uses to index and rank search engine results. Clever titles and crafty writing are nothing more than suicide notes from writers who want more traffic to come to their websites. With that in mind, the writer should not also be further boxed into small minded navigation and menu options by theme developers who claim that all writers want from a WordPress theme is simple black and white text display.

While most on-page SEO tactics are nothing more than snake oil pedaled by SEO consultants and other search engine optimization experts, one critical SEO feature for writers is getting the right keywords in the titles of their webpages. Nothing gives a writer (or anyone else) a better chance of ranking high for a keyword or key phrase than exactly matching the search query typed into that little box on Google’s home page. To do that, requires titles that are occasionally wordy, or poorly framed. Fortunately, those bad writing titles can be hidden within the unused (by humans) title tags of the webpage in question. Then, a more sensical (but still optimized) title can be used in the H1 tags of the page.

All of this works provided that WordPress theme does not insist on taking whatever title it finds and jamming it into the menu bar or link list displayed automatically by the theme’s source code. For example, consider this money making blog theme currently being used here on makemoneywritingonline.com.

You see that menu in the upper right corner?

See that last tab? The one that says, “Writing Business Start-Up Guide“? You can about imagine why that is the title of the page. Fortunately, this particular theme uses small text up there and it doesn’t mess up the look of the theme, but that isn’t always the case. The problem is particularly acute for web developers and content publishers looking to take advantage of the Page functionality of WordPress. Many themes insist on listing all pages as menu options, and of course, using their full titles to do so. Unfortunately, most of them do not have the ability to deal with a WordPress blog that has enough pages to require two rows, or provide the webmaster with any easy way to configure which pages to display or how to have them titled when they are displayed.

So, we add another criteria for a good WordPress writer theme. Menu bars, side menus, and features that work based on displaying Pages must be configurable both for display as well as for which ones are displayed. All other themes shall be relegated to the for use only by Internet marketers and those who like flash over substance and success.

Theme on, my friends.

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How Good Are Google Search Result Rankings?

ranking Everywhere you turn people tell you the same thing about search engines; Google is the best search engine. Google is certainly the biggest search engine company. Depending upon whose numbers you want to believe, Google’s search market share is a whopping 71% or more. Google processes hundreds of millions of search queries every day and uses so many servers, computers, routers, and networking equipment that it recently got into the power business. But, does that make Google the best search engine? How good are its search results?

Quality of Google Search Results Page Rankings

Answering the question of how good Google’s searches are is not straightforward. There are numerous factors that can go into ranking websites and webpages as the best search result, or the number 38 search result. Which ones to include and how much weight each search ranking factor should be given is a matter of opinion. Some may claim that larger, better known, results should rank highest, while others would claim that the democratization of information is exactly what makes the Internet so powerful, therefore, no preference should be given to “mainstream” websites or their pages.

However, examining Google’s search results with human eyes often provides some insight into how well the company is doing when it ranks websites in the top ten search results. (UPDATE: The guys over at Search Engine Journal published a different look at what I was getting at here.)

Check out my freelance financial writer page.

Google tracks the preferences and history of most users. It uses this data to “personalize” the search results for that person. For example, if you often search for something like denver sightseeing, a search for something like tourist attractions may be skewed toward attractions in Denver, even though denver was not included in that particular search. Furthermore, if you often visit a specific website, especially by clicking on its links from searches, that site may be pumped up to a higher position in future searchers.

Many writers seeking to earn money writing online fall victim to this trap. Since they logically visit their own websites more frequently than others, they are likely to rank higher in most searches performed by the website author. Unfortunately, this often leads new writers into believing that they rank much higher than they really do for a particular search.

Always perform any searches that you want to use to see how things look to everyone else in your browser’s privacy mode. Google Incognito mode is useful for seeing unpersonalized search results and is my personal favorite, because it does not shut down your regular browsing session to go private.

Once you have launched a private browsing session, type in a few Google searches that you think would be productive ways of finding valuable information. Obviously, two word searches are difficult because there can be so much interpretation. Try better searches with three or four words. For an example, try “LCD versus Plasma”. Then try “LCD vs Plasma”.

google-search-results-quality-comparison

Despite Google’s insistence that it handles synonyms for you in searches, the differences between the results when using “versus” instead of “vs” are very different. This is technically an abbreviation, not a synonym, but the point remains that what results you get for your searches depends very much on EXACTLY what you search for. That is why writing to multiple keywords is so important.

You’ll notice throughout this site (and even in this article) I make an effort to link back for both “earn money writing online” AND “make money writing online” because it really does matter.

When you are out there writing content for yourself or your clients and building powerful backlinks to your best stuff, be sure to do the same. Otherwise, the best search engine in the world might not rank you as high as you deserve based on one tiny little word.

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Best WordPress Themes For Writers Feature List Continued

We’ve been looking at what kinds of features and functionality professional freelance writers should look for in a WordPress theme. At first, it can be hard to quantify exactly what a writer needs in a WordPress theme because they sort of all start to blend together and you forget what it was that compelled you to download one theme over another in the first place. Then, as you start to try and actually implement the themes it starts to get clearer. Whenever there is something that a writer can’t do easily with that WordPress writers theme, then you know what features are important.

One feature that is vitally important for any writer looking to make money writing online, is the ability to automatically provide links to other writings. For example, a freelancer writing a WordPress blog about local events as a way to drum up interest from local business, for example, would want that site to link to their freelance writing business website automatically. In this case, adding the homepage of that website to the blogroll or other link list would suffice, but what about really powerful link building?

While many SEO experts offer the misguided advice to be stingy with your links, one should never pass up the opportunity to link for their own benefit. For example, if there was a particular post on your blog that seemed to be attracting a lot of attention and traffic, using that page to link to other pages in your blog will boost that posts as well. This way you don’t end up with a huge website that has only two pages that have a high enough search engine ranking to ever draw any website traffic.

To really take advantage, however, you would also want to link your high PageRank pages and posts from many other places as well. That site about parenting skills could link to articles on your writing site about how to write high school essays that get good grades. Likewise, the writing site could link to an article about parenting tips for dads showing how important good writing skills are.

Doing this within individual posts is useful and essential for long-term search engine optimization power. However, linking to several of the best posts a writer has from all over requires putting those links in the template or widget part of a WordPress theme.

That is why the best WordPress themes for writers must include either a footer that can be used partially for links, or well-configured sidebars that can be filled with widgets full of links. Unfortunately, it seems that too many themes are either designed for AdSense, or designed for those who never want to earn money by writing. Smart writers want themes that are somewhere in between.

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