Blog Updates

August 31, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Well, another month has passed which means it’s time for another Blog Updates post.

It’s also my birthday – I’m now 24-years-old… which is quite depressing to say the least. I feel I should have accomplished a lot more by this ripe old age. Can anyone spare some Ovaltine, prune juice, or a cane?

Anyhow, here’s a list of what’s new with my blog:

  • Windows Live Writer!
  • New RSS Record: 757
  • Advertising Page Update
  • Guest Bloggers
  • Added Favicon

Windows Live Writer!

I used to write regular complaints on WordPress’s rich text editor. It would often mess up my formatting, and lately it had seemed to only get worse. Whenever I would paste an image or text in it would always scroll up to the top, linking and unlinking text was often a pain, and inserting images and videos properly took finesse as well. I actually spent half my time writing the posts and the other half fixing the formatting and trying to work with the awkward editor.

After a few of my complaints, several commenter’s had suggested Windows Live Writer. A couple days ago, I finally decided to try it. Windows Live Writer is a 100% free software program from Microsoft (remember them?) used as a platform for bloggers. Think of it as Word for Blogging. This TechCrunch Post gives a good summarized description of it.

Within 3-minutes of installing Windows Live Writer, I was ecstatic. In fact, I’m using WLW right now. I won’t get into any details here since I could write several pages on it, and will just encourage others to try it. It’s a quick free download and you can try it out for yourself within 5-minutes. That’s the best testimonial you’ll get – from yourself.

That being said, here is a quick rundown of some of the pros and cons of Windows Live Writer:

Pros

  • Almost flawless editor allowing for stress-free blogging.
  • Can save drafts, drafts to blog, or publish directly to the blog from the editor.
  • Built-in spellcheck – no more going to Dictionary.com
  • “Instant” previews. Can even write directly on an overlay of your site’s theme in real time.
  • Special features such as instantly creating watermarks on your images.

Cons 

  • When adding images, they do not stay at original quality.
  • Can’t center-align images without editing via HTML by hand
  • Can’t paste title, have to type it in

As already stated, Windows Live Writer is still in beta, which is a good and bad thing. It means that the bugs an quirks that are there will probably and hopefully be fixed soon. Right now the only real thing that I don’t like about it is the image quality… when you add images WLW makes them a bit blurry (see the images below). This was probably an attempt to auto-optimize them, but this should be an optional feature, not an automatic built-in one.

I’m still getting used to blogging from an application, but hopefully this will make blogging for me a lot faster and easier and allow me to focus on the actual writing and brainstorming instead of formatting!

New RSS Record: 757

The beginning of the month had my RSS jumping up and down quite a bit, but the past couple weeks showed a slow but steady increase.

A few days it was at 742 making a new record, then it was 744 the next day. Yesterday it continued to climb to 746, and then this morning I woke up to see 757 RSS subscribers! WOOHOO!

At the beginning of the month on August 1st I had mentioned how my goal was to average 750 subscribers. While it’s still a bit too early to declare 750 as being my new average, I think it’s safe to raise my new goal to hit 800 RSS subscribers and then average 800.

 

Here’s yet another reason why you should purchase a paid review from me… 757 RSS subscribers is nothing to scoff at for a mere $70 ;) 

Wish me luck on hitting 800!

Advertising Page Update

I’ve updated my advertise page. First, I updated the site traffic information (traffic, Alexa, Technorati, RSS, etc.). I also added Target Audience and Demographic sections.

In addition, I got TLA to lower the price for paid text links on my blog from $35 to $25 a month. Your link will appear on the leftside column underneath the navigation menu.

Nobody seems to be interested in the top 728×90 leaderboard banner on my blog I have for sale. It’s sitewide with no rotation for only $75 a month… quite surprising to me that there’s not a big lineup for it. It’s fine with me though as I seem to get a decent amount of traffic to PublisherSpot with it :)

Guest Bloggers

I’m still looking for guest bloggers to occasionally submit posts on my blog. I’ve been looking for a while now, and while I had two good candidates lined up, they’ve yet to contribute anything. I guess blogging is a lot harder than it looks!

I’m looking for good writers who can write about internet business, design, or web development and the articles/posts must be written specifically and exclusively for TylerCruz.com.

In return, you’ll have your name attached to each post which can be linked to your own website. This is good for backlinks and a bit of exposure (750 RSS subscribers will be reading your posts), plus you’ll help me out :-)

The way it currently works is the guest blogger submits a draft, and when I don’t have time to write a blog post I then publish the draft into a post on the site.

If you’re interested, please contact me with a sample post or two.

Added Favicon

Lastly, I added a Favicon to my blog. It’s about time, eh? I’m actually surprised nobody suggested it to me yet.

I wasted 2 hours yesterday designing a bunch and then trying to choose which I liked best. I even made a Tyler Favicon lineup:

From the few people I asked, the decision seemed to be split between 2 and 4. I ended up going with 4. If you’re using FireFox you should see the new favicon in your browser right now. If you’re using Internet Explorer like me though, you probably won’t see it for a while as I believe IE has a weird behavior where it won’t start displaying a favicon until after it’s been in the cache for a while.

 

So there you have it, another month and another batch of blog updates.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below, subscribing to my RSS feed, or following me on Twitter.
Posted: August 31st, 2007 under Blog Related  

19 Responses to “Blog Updates”

  1. Click Input says:

    Are you going to update us on how much money you made off the blog?

  2. Dan... says:

    Happy B-day and congrats on the subscriber growth!

  3. Gary says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Good to see the blog growing.
    I remember the Blogspot days, with the pink theme. Ah, they were good times.

  4. krillz says:

    Windows Live writer is a nice little tool, but I find it a bit unnessecary if you already have Word 2007 installed.
    As it has the blog feature implemented and you can publish, send drafts etc.

    But if you do not have the latest word then Windows Live Writer is a good tool that you can use.

  5. Matt Huggins says:

    I like the 4th favicon the best myself. Also, are you okay with individual guest blog posts as opposed to being a consistent writer? I wouldn’t mind writing a post for your blog, but I doubt I would have the time to write with any consistency.

    • krillz says:

      I have to disagree with the forth one.
      I mean the red background attracts your eyes to it, and it serves a purpose you won’t forget it as easily and it sticks out from the rest in your bookmarks which is great.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I’d prefer for guest writers to post on an ongoing basis. However, this doesn’t mean I’d want one post per day, week, or even month, but just on occassion would be satisfactory (Ex. one post every 6 weeks for example…)

      I’d prefer not to have somebody write just one post though…

      • krillz says:

        I’m interested in this, however I write about tech.,coding and security. Don’t know if you’re interested in such posts?

        1-2 posts a month would be manageable.

        Just let me know if you’re interested.

        • Tyler Cruz says:

          It would largely depend on exactly what the posts were written about. For example, a post on the Top 10 Most Common Programming/Server Security Mistakes would be a lot better than a post on a new Perl Module that is released…

        • krillz says:

          of course nothing that technical for this blog, I’d choose topics that would benefit the readers of this blog as well.

  6. study guide says:

    Wait a minute, you use IE? Tyler, excuse me asking but what one earth is holding you back from leaving IE and joining us firefox users. The grass is greener on this side, wink.

  7. Nathan says:

    Have a great Birthday! Spend it having some fun and not at home.

  8. Paul B says:

    It’s a little bit John Chow for my liking:) Just curious but what software did you use to create the icon? I normally go for a JPG convertor but all recent attempts have been poor quality!

  9. fumbler says:

    Happy (belated) birthday! I also like number 4. Now I can find you in my firefox tabs. Are you not using firefox? Why? I love all the extensions I can add on into it. Makes my life a LOT easier.

  10. Cowboytf says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday! I hope you had a good’un. You know I have favicons for all of mine but I wouldn’t dare use my fat face!! You’re pretty good lookin’ so yours works;)

    Just a suggestion…you really should add a subscribe button because that was the first thing I looked for but couldn’t find:/

    Anyhoo, love your site and all the info you provide!

  11. [...] started using Windows Live Writer 6-weeks ago and fell instantly in love with [...]

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