Week 6 – Monetizing the Blog

addmoneyI just finished week 6 about monetizing the blog.  Monetizing my blog certainly sounded exciting but this week was very dull.  You might remember that last week I registered, updated in my case, at Google Adsense.  You have to wait for Google to accept your application.  I did get an acceptance after several days.  First, you receive provisional acceptance and told to put some Google ads on the site to receive full acceptance.


There is a plugin to facilitate using Adsense.  The plugin is GARD.  GARD is an acronym for Google Adsense for Responsive Design.  I installed and activated GARD.   Once activated, GARD connects to Adsense using my account ID.  Adsense and GARD have two modes – basic and advanced.  Basic mode displays small ads with minimal text.  Advanced mode lets you choose from a variety of ad shapes and sizes.  The two modes are mutually exclusive.   You can use basic or advanced but not both.


John emphasized over and over to not click on your own Adsense ads.  Google will know and delete your account.  I am not sure using blog space for Adsense ads is really worth it.  You get paid each time someone clicks on one of the ads.  That is a good thing.  But you don’t actually get paid until you reach $100.  If you don’t have a high traffic blog, reaching the $100 minimum could take a very long time.  I can always remove the ads.


The second method for monetizing the blog is to include ads for products that pay commissions.  The training video demonstrates this method using a ClickBank product called Simple Traffic Solutions.  This is a product developed by John.  There is no requirement to advertise this product.  It is just the product used in the video training.  I used STS for now but I will search for a different product soon.

There are several websites that have commission based products.  To sell the products, you have to join, find a product you would like to sell, and promote it.  Some products require that your approval by the developer.  Commission percentage varies with each product but is usually at least 50%.  Here are a few affiliate networks and marketplaces you can check out.

Commission Junction
JV Zoo
Deal Guardian

Week 6 concludes with instruction on how to ad advertising banners to the blog two ways.  First method is adding banners in code view.  This method requires retrieving the HTML code containing the graphic image link and your affiliate link.  Copy the code and place it in a text widget.  That’s it.  Drag the widget where you want the ad and you are done. You may have to tweak the HTML code if it doesn’t behave the way you want; e.g., center it or open in a new window.  This method works great for blog locations where widgets are allowed.  Other locations require the second method.  The second method is using media functionality.  This method requires you to find the graphic you want. use “save as” to save the graphic on your computer, upload it to the media library.  Once there the graphic is available for use with the OptimizePress, modules, advertising functionality.  This method provides many more locations for the ads.  I think this topic needs a separate post in the future.



Week 4 – Social Media

socialmediaThis week is about adding social media links to the blog and a couple of clean up tasks. I already had Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin accounts so there wasn’t really anything for me to do from the first video.  I did think that I could use Skype as well but not so.  I spent about an hour trying to learn how to link to Skype.  It turns out you don’t really “link” to Skype.  You can have the icon call or chat with an individual but that is it.  I couldn’t find a way for them to leave a message.  Maybe that is a chat.  I didn’t think this was something I wanted so I didn’t include Skype with the other social media.

A zip file with the social media icons was provided.  This file had to be downloaded and unzipped for use.  Once unzipped, the icons are uploaded to the blog using “add media”.  When the icons are in the blog media folder they are ready for use.  Next, a small file of HTML code that John calls the ”top sidebar code” is downloaded.  The purpose of this code is to link the social media icons to the profile pages.  This is done using the href and image HTML commands.  IMAGE is used to provide a link to the image that will be shown.  When the image is clicked, HREF provides the link where the user is sent. The complete HTML command looks like this

<a href=”LINK TO TWITTER” target=”_blank”><img alt=”Twitter” src=”LINK TO TWITTER BUTTON”></a>

After being modified for my blog it looks like this

<a href=”https://twitter.com/rcaine” target=”_blank”><img alt=”Twitter” src=”http://bobcaine.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/twitter.png”></a>

(The target=”_blank” is a command that causes the destination site open in a new window or tab.
The img alt= command contains the text that will be displayed if the image is not available.)

OK, enough coding detail.  I am not qualified to teach HTML.  I just know a little bit and I know how to look up more detail when I need it.

When I had modified the code for all three social media icon on my PC, I copied it into a text widget which I put on the sidebar.  WALLA!  The Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin icons linked to my profile pages appear on the sidebar.  Like any widget on the sidebar, you can drag it around to place it where you want.  I placed the icons just below the opt in form.

The last lesson for week 4 contained a couple of clean up items.  Redirecting the blog’s home directory to the blog and correcting settings to allow comments.  What is funny is that I had actually already fixed both of these.  I thought I was fixing the redirection based on personal preference.  Guess not.  There may actually be a good reason to do it to help the blog get evaluated by the internet gremlins.  The lack of comments was an oversight on John’s part because of changes in OptimizePress.  I had already discovered the fix for this by watching an earlier lesson.  On my blog the default settings to get comments were wrong.  I had to stop the video and copy what was on the screen.  John didn’t need to change his setting.  If others have the same defaults as me, they will have a problem as well.

After I got comments appearing on new posts, I had to tackle the problem of all my existing posts saying “Closed to Comments”.  It turns out this is easy to fix once you know the trick.  You “quick edit” each post that has closed comments and checking the allow comments box.  POOF! Comments box appears.

Wow, I didn’t think I had much to say about week 4 and this has turned into one of my longest posts.

On to week 5.

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