Blog Updates

January 26, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz

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, 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.

Many readers wonder why I make these Blog Update posts, where I mention very small or seemingly unimportant improvements and modifications. Well, while they may not seem too notable by themselves, over time these small things can (and do) make a big impact. The key is to keep looking over your blog or site with a very critical eye and to constantly try improving 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.

Recommended Resources Page Added

A day or two ago I added a Recommended Resources page, which is now linked on the top main navigation bar.

The page lists all the various companies and services I use and can personally recommend. In there, you can find who designed my logo, who I use for custom vBulletin skins, as well as some of the ad networks I use to monetize my websites.

Some of the links contain my referral links, but not all of them. On the page, I only list companies that I have personally used and feel comfortable in promoting.

I’m very glad I added this to my blog, as it’s a win-win-win situation for everyone. I generate a bit of extra referral income, visitors gain valuable knowledge of good designers and resources, and the companies receive extra exposure.

If you only read my site via RSS, be sure to visit TylerCruz.com to see my list of recommended resources.

Subscribe to Comments Plugins Added

I added the free WordPress plugin Subscribe to Comments 2.1. The plugin lets visitors optionally subscribe to my blog comments via e-mail.

I find this an extremely useful feature to offer, as it allows visitors to write a long or important comment, and get notified by e-mail whenever somebody replies to it. Or, visitors can simply subscribe to posts where the topic particularly interests them.

The plugin is quite advanced, with many additional features for both the visitor and the blog owner.

Email Users Plugin Added

Another plugin I added was the Email Users plugin (version 2.5) which lets you mass mail registered members of your blog. I installed and used this plugin to help me in my competition versus Gyutae by e-mailing all my blog members in an attempt to sway the vote :)

The plugin lets you select the recipients by usergroup(s), and even deselect certain members (I deselected Gyutae so he wouldn’t copy my idea, hehe).

Unfortunately though, HTML links don’t seem to link properly in the outgoing e-mail, underlining the linked word but not actually linking them, and apostrophes are preceded by a slash. I contacted the plugin developer about these two bugs, but he said he is too busy to support the plugin anymore.

So, if anyone out there decides to use this plugin and manages to fix these two bugs, let me know, and I’ll make a post with the fixes.

Advertising Updates

Because my blog has been growing at a slow but steady rate of incline, and the waiting list for ad slots has been starting to grow again with 12 advertisers in queue, I’ve been updating my ad prices.

Increased Paid Reviews and Paid Plugs Prices

I’ve increased the price a while ago from $90 to $100, and then again about a week ago from $100 to $110. Even at $110, I think that they are still a fantastic deal.

Increased Embedded 250×250 Banner Price

About 4-5 weeks ago I increased this price from $175 to $200, and then again a couple days ago from $200 to $250. This increase was made due to a growing waiting list for the slot, as well as my increased RSS readership, and this is the only slot that gets sent in the RSS feed.

Increased 728×90 Banner Price

I raised my 728×90 Banner slot price from $200 to $250. The slot is the most prominent on the page (just look at how the pepperjamNETWORK banner pops out), and the waiting list for it has only been growing.

Updated Stats on Advertising Page

I’ve updated my advertising page with up-to-date statistics, metrics, and prices.

Entrecard Widget Moved

I moved the Entrecard widget to the bottom of the list on the left sidebar since the price of my blog isn’t determined by the amount of clicks. It also gives more value to advertisers who purchase my 125×125 slots.

Text-Link-Ads Removed

I removed Text-Link-Ads from my blog, which used to appear right below the Hire Me section on the left sidebar.

Since Google decided to give me a PR0, there was no point in using Text Link Ads anymore since nobody would purchase any ads. I also removed it to try to conform with Google’s guidelines by not accepting paid links.

I am still using the Text-Link-Ads In-Post and RSS widgets though.

Upgraded WordPress to 2.3.2

A month ago, WordPress 2.3.2 came out which was an “urgent security release” that fixed a few security bugs and flaws.

Marketing Efforts

Banner Exchange with NBB

I’m participating in a free 125×125 banner exchange with NetBusinessBlog.com

Purchased Advertising

I decided to start advertising my blog a little. I believe it’s the first time I ever paid for advertising on my blog. A lot of it is about generating awareness and branding, although obviously my main goal is to receive actual traffic.

Guest Bloggers

I’m still looking for guest bloggers to occasionally submit posts on my blog. 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 1,200 RSS subscribers reading your posts, you’ll also get the benefit of receiving a lot of feedback from commenters, 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: January 26th, 2008 under Blog Related  

23 Responses to “Blog Updates”

  1. Will says:

    Since you removed all that stuff I wonder if google will give you PR again.

  2. I think I will take you up on the guest post offer. Hopefully I make the cut :-)

  3. Bryan says:

    I am wondering why you are not using redirects on your affiliate links in your recommended resources page. There is probably 20 something links there that would look better if they were just php redirects? I am not sure if you did this on purpose just to show your readers that they were aff links, but I always redirect mine. Keep up the updates.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Yup, this has been in the plans for a while… I just haven’t found a plugin for it that I liked enough yet.

      I also believe that the difference from people purposely not clicking on a link because they notice it is an affiliate URL from those who just click on them is very minimal. The people that purposely avoid clicking on them will just as often avoid clicking on a /go/azoogleads link as well.

      But eventually I do plan on adding this.

  4. Desmond says:

    I don’t see much guset posts here Tyler…

    But hey, at least you are producing good posts!

    • Nick says:

      I am really glad that Tyler lets me post on his blog once in a while. It has increased my blog’s exposure and introduced me to some great people. If you’ve ever wondered about guest blogging, this is your opportunity to just do it!
      Tyler’s a great guy too, so you’ll get to know him and figure out what this blog is all about in a more personal manner!

  5. Ruchir says:

    Thanks for sharing the email users plugin Tyler!

  6. Quwen Qyiz says:

    I will admit, I like every single idea except for the EC widget being moved. I’m starting to get sick of EC widgets being placed below the fold on big-name blogs because they think it can’t benefit them in any way.

  7. Get the feed footer plugin i think its called and sell some feed links privately.

  8. Just a word of warning about the Subscribe to Comments plugin – If you get a huge burst of traffic, this might give you some problems. One of our stories got picked up, and we got almost 20K pageviews over the course of 24 hours. Within the first hour of the traffic surge, the site became completely unaccessible – Our host said that this plugin was killing the server with it’s SQL queries, and we ultimately had to disable it just to get through the day.

    Food for thought. Keep up the good work!

  9. Nice resource page. I’m going through it right now.

  10. I’ve been thinking I need to do a recommended resources page. I’m going to have to get on that.

  11. Kim says:

    Great post there. Just want to share a blog site that I always visit, http://blog.michellemacphearson.com. This is the source of my information and tips about internet business and online marketing.

  12. [...] I’ve been so preoccupied with other things that it’s actually been four months since I last gave an update on what’s new with my blog. In my Blog Update post series, I list any notable improvements, [...]

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