Wade Richards is my customer. Have a look at his site.
He’s a musician using wordpress tools to promote his business and doing a good job of it.
I recently helped get rid of some malware from a site. Bad stuff was inserted into every page.
In addition to the crap in the site’s 16 pages there were over five thousand extra pages with malware. Apparently it was there for quite a while.
We deleted the bad stuff and secured the site and when I was done the owner asked me how to know if this kind of thing ever happens again. Coincidentally Google has just come out with a free service to help. Follow changes to any website is a very cool service that notifies you when a website page changes. Not just a blog, but any page.
Everyone with a website should check this out.
I got an polite email request from someone who is selling an icon pack. They wanted me to promote their site.
I have a previous post about icons and if you know me, you know that I’m all about good free stuff. So I found this…
When I make a website, I like to keep the actual content as plain text and css. Especially in the header section.
There are things that you always want to be found for, like your name and contact information.
Sometimes fancy effects can make the important stuff harder to see and that’s not good.
There are lots of cool toys, and widgets, but I like to keep them mostly in the sidebars, out of the content.
I Like Black Text On A White Background. Maybe it’s because I’m old and can’t see as well as I used to or maybe not.
The thinking of many webpage designers is the look of the entire page.
I’ll agree when looking at a screenshot of a page my eye goes to the entire page.
Having different colors for the font and background of a page look really great, but are sometimes hard to use.
Looking nice is one thing, but what most (human) visitors expect is something that’s easy to use.
If the colors of your content make it hard to read, maybe you shouldn’t do it.
More about this.
WordPress has a feature that you might like.
On any of your posts click the Preview Changes “Status: Published Edit” link and there is a checkbox which will make the post the first one to show in the listings (sticky).
You can use this for your featured listings.
This feature is also available on the “edit” –> “quick edit” menu
I’m sure by now you’ve probably seen that the FTC has set new guidelines for bloggers. I’ve been reading comments on both the pro and con side of the issue. Some folks argue that this is long overdue. Without specific rules people will take payments to promote products and services whether they actually like them of not.
The other side says that this is not needed and is probably weakening the First Amendment to our Constitution. The government has no business infringing on our freedom of speech. Our right to lie, so to speak. Personally I’m on this side a bit more than the other, but I can see good arguments for both sides.
What I’ve decided is that it probably won’t make a bit of difference either way. Bloggers (or anyone else) who are willing to lie about a product or service will soon lose their credibility. It doesn’t matter if there’s payment or not or what they disclose. The biggest problem with rule in my mind is that while the FTC says that you have to disclose the relationship between you and your sponsor, they don’t mention how it must be done. So while many people are writing about how they think it should be done, they’re just guessing. It seems that it can be done in many ways. Here’s mine…
Disclaimer – There may be some people or companies out there crazy enough to pay me money or give me merchandise for my opinion or review of their product and/or service. If they do I’m going to take it.
I’m not a lawyer, but from reading this rule I believe this small blurb or something like it may be actually enough to satisfy the rule. It doesn’t even say that it has to be on the same page as the endorsement.
While my statement may not actually be enough disclosure, the rule is gray enough that you could argue it is. I don’t expect that anyone will actually offer me anything for my public opinion and I would like to think that I wouldn’t give a positive review to something that I really don’t like, but I did write a post on this topic a couple of years ago called I Probably Can Be Bought.
Some people will continue to ignore this rule and if I were a big enough celebrity that was worth more than the $11,000 fine I might consider risking it. In addition if by some fluke I was caught and publicly fined, the resulting publicity would probably be worth much more than that anyway, so the company might even cover it.
Read more on this topic on Search Engine Watch Site
I saw a great post by Eric Brown on the Search Engine Guide site where he reports on an apartment rental company in Michigan who’s blog has nothing to do with apartment rentals and are still top of the search engines.
They offer virtual sightseeing tours, restaurant tips and reviews, and other good information about the community. Without ever directly plugging their main business from their blog their website business has more than doubled. A very good lesson for anyone interested in writing or improving a business blog.
If your blog screams that you can “Make You A Million Dollars”, but offers no other value for free, your visitors will not take you seriously. However, if you offer them something of value without any strings attached they will take the time to find out what else you can offer them, even if it’s not free. In fact, they will look expecting to have to pay for it. You’ve already proven that your experience can be valuable to them.
As a designer I think that the Urbane Life Blog is very hard to read, with blue text on a black background, but they have done everything else right. It’s just my opinion and who knows the blue on black may even help them.
When first starting or adding to a website one of the first things that you want to do is to decide on which keywords to target. These words should be action words to get your visitors to do whatever it is that you want them to do when they land on one of your pages.
Usually a new client will ask me which keywords should I pick and how do I use them? I usually first explain that keywords can be and usually are more than one word. How it can be very hard to get to the top of a search results page for a one or two word keyword that is very competitive (like “web design”). It can be much easier to get to the top spot for a more narrow keyword (“web design Pittsburgh”, “web designer western PA” or “WordPress expert Pittsburgh”), but because the action inferred from that keyword is more specific to what you do, the traffic from a search term like that may also convert to sales better if you pick the right one.
Another great advantage in more targeted keywords is if you are buying keyword ads you can save quite a bit of money not getting clicks that aren’t really interested in what you have to offer.
It’s always best to have one unique page per keyword and to use your keyword once in the main headline, maybe once more in the sub-headline and a couple of times in the body text. It’s a good idea to read the page out loud before it’s published to see if it sounds spammy. If you have overused your keyword it may be considered spam by the search engines or worse by your human visitors.
To help my clients pick good keywords I have been sending them to a older post where I suggested some free keyword research tools (two of the three still work). I’m writing this post today because I found a new free keyword tool from WordStream and I thinks it works really well so I’m now recommending it to everyone.