Better Header

Everything on a website matters. The colors, the graphics, the layout, and everything else add up to an impression in the reader’s mind. It’s important that the impression you’re creating matches the site’s intent.

Temporary Header on Make Money Writing Online

You can imagine my horror when I dropped by Make Money Writing Online today and noticed that I’m running the site with an old, temporary header graphic.

Agggghhhh!

I’ll need to make generating, or finding a better header a high priority so that readers of this website don’t get the wrong idea.

In the meantime, we look okay considering the whole thing got messed up behind my back when I wasn’t paying enough attention to a blog that fell to the back burner of my website empire.

Keep moving forward.

search spider index

Write Anything for Better Earnings and SEO

When you start trying to earn money by writing online, there are a lot of things to learn and keep straight. However, the most useful online writing tip to make money is the simplest.

Just write something.

Current and Fresh = Active and Used

When it comes to earning money from your website writing, the reality is that you are going to need traffic. In order to get traffic you’ll want to build and audience, and get subscribers, and develop and email list, and a bunch of other things. You’ll also want to show up in search engines when people look for content on your websites. This is where writing something, anything, is so important.

search spider indexThere are literally billions of webpages out there. The search engines, whether it’s Google, Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, or whatever else, all have to index and rank those pages in order for their search engines to work. They use programs called spiders to move around the web finding and indexing content. As you can imagine this is an intensive process.

In order to make it all work, the different search engines all have various shortcuts and algorithms that help them rank and index faster. Many of these tweaks are trade secrets, but one well known maneuver used by all search engines is noting the freshness, or current state of various websites and acting accordingly.

So, for example, if this website gets updated every day, the search engines will eventually decide that they need to come check and index new content every day or two. If this website gets updated monthly, they’ll notice that too. If it doesn’t really get updated at all for a while, they probably only show up when a new link points them this way.

More importantly, for most of your online money making endeavors, a fresh, or current website, counts much more ranking of the other websites the links point at. So, if you have a knitting website which links to your sewing website, the links from the knitting website are much more powerful if they are not considered to be coming from an inactive website.

While it is important that the content you are actually trying to get ranked highly, and that which you actually want to drive traffic to on all of your websites should be the highest quality, best effort you can manage, the posts necessary to keep your page “alive” in the minds of the search engines can be less inspired. No one is saying your posts should be low quality. However, not every post has to be an amazing, inspired idea. Write good quality posts, just write about those less in-depth things as well.

(Note: This assumes, as most things on this website do, that you are a good writer. A good writer’s efforts are often higher quality than a non-writers best effort.)

Keep your websites active by updating them on a regular basis, and watch your online writing portfolio increase its income and value. Otherwise, your ad revenue will dwindle, not just on the websites you are not updating, but on those that depend on the incoming links from those sites as well.

WordPress Upgrade 3.0.1 Works Fine

I am not the end authority by any means, but I do run about a dozen blogs across about a half-dozen hosts and I upgraded all of the WordPress blogs to WordPress 3.0.1 via the automatic update function available on all WordPress dashboards with no trouble. So, I’m going to give this upgrade my OK.

Of course, always have a backup of your WordPress database and posts before attempting any upgrade just in case your situation differs from mine!

W3 Total Cache Upgrade Issue

w3-total-cache-configuration I’ve been using the W3 Total Cache plug-in for WordPress ever since it was recommended by Joost who seems to be one of the few original thinkers in the WordPress developer community. When he posts something, it usually turns out to be dead-on accurate, if for no other reason than he usually writes about his reasoning and what led him to his conclusions. It is an extra step that ensures you really know what you are talking about because then you can’t just blame a different opinion if someone comes in and points out that you are wrong based on something in your reasoning being faulty or disprovable. So, when says that WordPress publishers should be using W3 Total Cache, I listen.

However, a recent upgrade to the W3 Total Cache led to a minor annoyance. While the caching functionality is still flawless and the features in the caching WordPress 3.0 add-on are the best out there, one chance to the interface was made that bugs me.

W3TC used to be like most other WordPress plug-ins. Configuring the cache plug was done from the Settings menu on the sidebar, or by going into the Plug-ins screen and choosing settings from the options on the plugin itself. The new version adds its own special menu to the standard WordPress menu bar. Worse, it is labeled “Performance” instead of W3 Cache or something similar.

This bothers me for two reasons. One, the standard interface for WordPress is that plugins are managed via Settings, or in some cases, Tools, or within the Plugins area itself. The other menus are reserved for core WordPress functions and specifically categorized sub-functions like Themes which are supposed to be listed under Appearance. Two, labeling it as “Performance” strikes me as disingenuous even if that is not the intention. It is almost like the developer wants it to seem as if the functions provided by W3TC are core to the WordPress system when they are not. It will also increase confusion among those of us who make money writing online for a lot of our own websites, WordPress and otherwise.

w3-total-cache-config

I don’t reconfigure my WordPress sites every day. I do a lot of posting via Windows Live Writer or QuickPress or even ScribeFire, which means that days or even a week or two can go by without me seeing the Administrator screen in WordPress. When I do go into WordPress admin and I want to tweak my W3 Total Cache Minify settings, for example, I will no doubt click Settings and upon not finding it there try Tools or the Plugin screens. Even if I did happen to notice the cache settings menu (I work fast and I know what it supposed to be on each screen, so I have screen blindness to things that I am not looking for deliberately), it is likely that I wouldn’t know to use it right away because it is generically labeled Performance and what I am trying to find is W3 Total Cache not some WordPress performance settings.

This is not an indictment of W3 Total Cache, nor a reason to not use it or switch to another WordPress caching plug-in, but it does strike me as a move in the wrong direction for both the WordPress interface in general, and the development of this particular WordPress 3.0 plugin.