Blog Updates

December 22, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz

It’s been two months since I last gave an update on what’s new with my blog. In my Blog Update posts, I list any notable improvements, modifications, or milestones related to my blog such as new Plug-in’s installed, design changes, or new features.

I only list things here that I haven’t already announced or touched on in other posts.

So what’s the big deal if I made a small change here or there? Well, while they may not seem too notable by themselves, over time these small things can make a big impact. The key is to keep looking over your blog or site with a very critical eye and to constantly try to improve it.

By simply making small improvements here and there, my blog has evolved by leaps and bounds since it’s genesis two years ago. So, maybe you’ll pick up an idea or two by reading my blog updates. Feel free to search for my past Blog Update posts to get even more ideas.

RSS Feed Length Reduced

I changed my RSS Feed to display the latest 8 posts now instead of the default 10. My posts are always quite long, and 10 posts can cause a lot of scrolling. I will probably reduce this again in the future, but want to take small steps.

Number of Front Page Posts Reduced

For the same reason as above, I also reduced the number of posts on the front page from 5 to 4. I also did this, however, because the Embedded 250×250 Ad I have only displays in the first 4 posts on the front page, and so it made more sense that I simply limit the maximum number of posts to 4 so that I could claim that the ad would display on every post on the front page.

Custom Paid Reviews Button

I removed the PayPerPost Direct "Hire Me" badge and replaced it with a custom "Get Noticed" image that links to my advertise page.

PPP only sent me a total of 5 or 6 paid review offers, and charged the advertisers 10%. In addition, they didn’t accept PayPal which turned some potential advertisers away. Some advertisers also requested certain anchor texts which I was fine with at first, but it really compromised the way I had to write certain areas, trying to fit it in somewhere.

In the end, PPP simply wasn’t sending me any offers, so it made no sense for me to give them 10% of money from advertisers that my own blog was bringing in.

Added New Testimonial

I just finished adding another testimonial to my advertise page, this time from Graham Langdon of Entrecard.com fame.

Graham purchased two reviews of Entrecard, and I helped drive a lot of new users, around 70 or so, to Entrecard. Since Entrecard was very new at the time, this provided a helpful little boost.

Graham was very happy with the reviews, and so he was happy to give me a testimonial.

Added Paid Advertisement Disclaimer

I am very keen on giving full disclosure when it comes to advertisements, which is why I display disclaimers at the beginning of all paid reviews and paid posts.

Therefore, it was only natural that I added the text "Paid Advertisement" underneath the Embedded 250×250 ad which is displayed within every post. This should help prevent anyone from thinking that the ad is related to the post.

Advertisement Changes

Due to a continued strong demand for my 125×125 banners (I got up to around 8 advertisers on the waiting list at one point), I’ve raised their price from $30 to $40 a month. I also raised the maximum number of 125×125 slots available from 7 to 8.

In addition, I raised the price of the Embedded 250×250 Banner slot from $150 to $175. I think this is still a good deal, considering it is displayed in every single post, and the only ad to be displayed in the RSS feed. Plus, the current advertiser, who will be renewing, is very happy with it, having already made enough sales to cover it’s cost within the first week.

To be honest, I’m surprised that there is nobody on the waiting list for it (unlike the high demand for the 125×125 and 728×90 slots), but that’s fine with me because if it ever becomes available I’ll be glad to put up my own ad.

Author Names Linked

I had actually made this modification in my old theme, but it had been forgotten to be implemented when my new theme was made. The modification I’m referring to of course is having the author of the post’s name link back to the URL specified in their profile.

Since I obviously write the vast majority of posts on my blog, this modification wasn’t intended to help me in any way, but instead to actually benefit the guest posters.

While I already let guest posters write a small blurb in a sentence or two about their own blog, I thought it’d be nice to have their name link back to their site as well.

Therefore, "Posted by Gyutae Park" now displays as "Posted by Gyutae Park".

Guest Bloggers

I’m still looking for guest bloggers to occasionally submit posts on my blog. Gyutae Park used to write guest posts here, but he has been busy with his own blog lately, which is doing very well, and I wish him the best of luck.

In fact, his guest posting on my blog as well as other’s such as Shoemoney’s, helped him transition into writing for his own blog which he just recently resurrected.

Why do I want guest posters? It’s simple really: there are times when I’m too busy to write a new post, and could really use a guest post to fill in the gap. Since I try to post every day, having a few guest posts on file for when I need them is very useful.

I’m looking for good writers who can write about Internet business, web design, marketing, web development, or blogging 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 not so much for backlinks as it is to gain a bit of exposure and traffic. I’m also fine with you occasionally writing a small blurb (1-2 sentences) about your own blog within the actual post (preferably at the bottom).

With over 1,000 RSS subscribers reading your posts, you’ll also get the benefit of receiving a lot of feedback from commenter’s, and the knowledge that you’re writing to a large, targeted audience. And, of course, you’ll be helping me out as well :)

The way it currently works is once a 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.

If I think your writing style and post-length is suitable for my blog, I’ll upgrade your account to Contributor status within WordPress, and you can submit a post whenever you’re willing!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below, subscribing to my RSS feed, or following me on Twitter.
Posted: December 22nd, 2007 under Blog Related  

17 Responses to “Blog Updates”

  1. You’re just doing great Tyler. Hey, I wanna guest post! :-)

  2. Clog money says:

    Hi Tyler,

    I am fairly new reader to your blog but enjoy your writing style and impressed with your perseverance with the blog. I will be righting a couple of guest posts for yourself to review tomorrow!.

  3. Clog Money says:

    Bah and in my guest posts I wont spell writing correctly the first time and then completely wrongly the second time. Where’s the edit button when you need one….

  4. Im probably going to take you up on your guest blogging offer but after i perfect my grammer that is .-_-

  5. Gyutae Park says:

    Used to? Hey now – I’ll still be writing some posts for you now and then so don’t give up on me just yet. ;)

  6. bryan says:

    Sometimes I feel the blog is monetized past the point of usability. I don’t like the 125 buttons in a tower shape on the left. I think you should stick with the 8 but place some in a different area. The design just looks way to cluttered now. You should be asking more for your ad spots. The 5 dollar hiking is just saying you don’t believe in your service to them as a publisher. Keep up the good work but make sure you’re not cheaping yourself down to make a little bit of profit.

  7. Daniel says:

    I may be interested in doing a guest post. Thanks for keeping us updated.

  8. […] in: Design, My Point Of View, Tech Stuff After reading Tyler Cruz’s post with the same name, I felt inspired to make some adjustments to the blog to make it either look […]

  9. Changes are always a good thing to your blog if you do them in the right way. Your blog is a success and can only grow stronger :)!

  10. sven says:

    reasonable things you changed. Don’t know about the ads, but you are probably closer to an internet rockstar than 80% of the bloggers out there.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      The very first paragraph of the post you’re referring to at http://www.tylercruz.com/youre-not-a-rock-star/:

      “This is not the first time I’ve lectured about this, and I’m not alone in my thinking either. In fact, I’d challenge anyone to find an experienced publisher who would disagree: don’t litter your site with ads when you have no traffic.”

      Obviously I’m trying to monetize my blog now…

  11. Mike Huang says:

    Tyler, you’re pretty sneaky for changing these things behind our backs :)

    -Mike

  12. Ruchir says:

    I’m coming to your blog after a real long time and I must say you’ve made many changes…I like it very much now…I’ll be writing a guest post for you soon ;)

  13. Anthony says:

    Nice post again Tyler, you are an inspiration to us all!

  14. […] January 26, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz Paid Advertisement Another month has passed since I last gave an update on what’s new with my blog. In my Blog Update posts, I list any notable improvements, […]

PeerFly

Leave a Reply