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3 Simple Ways To Increase Headline Click-Through Rates

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If you’re reading this, you’re among just 20% of readers who make it past the headline. This article refers to a study by Conductor, who looked in the behaviors of blog readers and how the headline has an impact on what articles get read, nad which are skipped over.

With over 250 million blogs on the internet, competing for reader’s attention is fierce and getting an edge any way possible can help your blog stand out above the rest.

I’ve written about How Copywriting Killer SEO Page Titles Destroy The Competition before and this new study cements the idea even further.

Types of Headlines

Conductor tested different headline types to determine which resonate with readers by analyzing a large sample set of headlines from multiple content sources including BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post.

They found there to be 5 main headline types:

– Normal (Ways Matcha Green Tea Burns Fat)
– Question (What are Ways Matcha Green Tea Burns Fat?)
– How to (How Matcha Green Tea Burns Fat
– Number (30 Ways Matcha Green Tea Burns Fat)
– Reader-Addressing (Ways Matcha Green Tea Burns Fat While You Sit At Your Desk)

Conductor showed respondents headlines written in each style for three different articles and asked them to select the headline that resonated most.

According to the findings, “number” headlines resonated the most by far.

overall headline preference

Overstating The Point

Conductor also tested a readers tolerance for superlatives in a headline. For example,

– 12 Ways to Catch a Fish (0 superlatives)
– 12 Best Ways to Catch a Fish (1 superlatives)
– 12 Best Ways Ever to Catch a Fish (2 superlatives)
– 12 Best Ways Ever to Catch The Perfect Fish (3 superlatives)
– 12 Best and Smartest Ways Ever to Catch The Perfect Fish (4 superlatives)

The results from the study showed that over half of readers preferred headlines with one or no superlatives.

headline superlatives

Interestingly, it seems you can go wild with superlatives and really overstate the point to get the message across. Being somewhere in the middle is no good.

Capitalization

Next, Conductor surveyed readers about their preference for headline capitalization.

– How to speed up your blog like a pro (lower case)
– HOW TO SPEED UP YOUR BLOG LIKE A PRO (all capitals)
– How To Speed Up Your Blog Like A Pro (sentence case)

The study found a clear preference for sentence case.

headline capitalization

The Study’s Conclusion

The best performing headlines are ones that explicitly state what the reader would get out of reading the article. The benefits.

Why do numbers in headlines work so well? It’s very specific and readers like to know exactly what they’re going to get for investing their time.

Contrast that with the least popular headline type, the question. This type of headline leaves some uncertainty for the reader, and uncertainty is certainly not best.

Remember, 80% of readers never make it past the headline, so craft your headline carefully and thoughtfully. It’s not just about SEO or being witty. Get the reader’s attention and be as explicit as possible about what your content will and will not do for them.

Although headlines should be *just* about SEO, you definitely should take search engines into account. It’s a fine balance between crafting a great headline and getting your target keyword in there.

The main thing to take away from the study is that the headline is at least as important as the article’s content, if not more so. If you can’t get reader’s attention to click through to your article, the content might as well not even exist.

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Cracked Screen

Dreaded Cracked Screen To Become Extinct. Smartphones Rejoice.

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Dreaded Cracked Screen To Become Extinct. Smartphones Rejoice.

HOME → Technology

Learn How To Buy & Sell Bitcoins

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You know the scenario. You’ve just dropped your phone and in that microsecond after gravity takes hold and that awful thump rattles through your ears, images flash through your mind of a spiderweb of cracked glass, petrified to discover a cracked screen, making your phone all but useless, never able to run your finger lovingly across your dear phone’s screen ever again.

In the world of technology, problems exist to be overcome and glass manufacturers may have just cracked this problem wide open (pardon the pun).

You’ll find Corning’s Gorilla Glass version 2 in your iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy models and many notebook screens. As our phones get thinner, so too must the glass that used to protect the screens. As you make glass thinner, it become more brittle and prone to getting a cracked screen or shattering.

Cracked Screen Saver

Sapphire glass has recently emerged to compete with Gorilla Glass as the strongest glass cover for our precious screens, and Apple have used a sapphire lens on the iPhone 5 camera to prevent scratches from interfering with pictures and video.

Corning doesn’t plan make sapphire screens for smartphones. It’s new Gorilla Glass version 3 outclasses sapphire and Corning are keen to prove it.

Corning dismisses sapphire glass as the best solution,

“What would people say if a cover was invented that was about half the weight, used 99 percent less energy to make, provided brighter displays, and cost less than a tenth of sapphire? It so happens that Corning has already invented that cover, and it’s called Gorilla Glass.”Jeffrey Evenson, Corning senior vice president

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While sapphire is admittedly harder to scratch than Gorilla Glass and a cracked screen is rarer, Corning claims that sapphire transmits 6% less light and produces optical distortions. Sapphire is also 67% heavier and more difficult to process the thinner it gets.

Jeffrey Evenson, Corning senior vice president, also claims Gorilla Glass can withstand three times the force needed to break sapphire, as seen in the video above.

cracked screen

Sapphire glass proponent, GT Advanced, a company which manufacturers sapphire products claimed quite the opposite during Mobile World Congress 2013, stating its sapphire panels were three times stronger than Gorilla Glass, saving phones from a cracked screen more often. Perhaps it’s all just technicalities. Were they referring to the older Gorilla Glass version 2, or the new version?

Regardless of which glass is the better of the two, competition in the field can only be good for consumers and the protection of our smartphones.

Gorilla Glass 3 has been installed on the Samsung Galaxy S4, and will appear in Asus Ultrabooks.

Future versions of Gorilla Glass are being developed and refined to improve screen performance in direct sunlight, and also kill germs and bacteria.

Sapphire glass is commonly found in high-end luxury phones and watches where a cracked screen would be an expensive affair to replace.

Tags:  cracked iphone screencracked screenGorilla Glasssapphire glass

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Bitcoin Cash

How To Buy And Sell Bitcoins For Cash Without The Regulatory Hurdles

 

Bitcoin, the digital currency of the Internet, is taking the world by storm. Due to the intense interest, various regulatory bodies around the world, especially in the US, are scrutinizing bitcoin more than ever. For those of you who want to know how to buy or sell bitcoins for cash, avoiding the major exchanges is a warranted course of action.

For readers unfamiliar with bitcoin, here’s a refresher:
Bitcoin Mining Goldrush Has Begun

Bitcoin Is Money And Money Is Regulated

Due to fears of US regulation and strict laws regarding anti-money laundering, many of the big bitcoin exchanges like Mt Gox have faced severe issues when dealing with customers in the US. In fact, Mt Gox is not even a US company, they are based in Japan, however this has not stopped the US regulatory body FinCEN from all but crippling their business.

Mt Gox will prevail but not without sustaining serious damage to it’s reputation and trust in it’s business operations. All bitcoin exchanges are now considered to be ‘Money Services Business’ (MSB) under the law and need to register for a permit or licence to operate.

Bitcoin holders are looking for alternatives to buy and sell bitcoins for cash while avoiding any type of MSB exchange that might fall under regulatory laws.

To comply with these laws, exchanges also require customers to become “verified” – that is, you need to give away all your personal information to a faceless corporation.

The verification process can turn off a lot of people. This is not due to bitcoin holders taking part in illegal activity, but rather legitimate, law-abiding individuals who believe in liberty and freedom to sell digital 1’s and 0’s to people seeking to buy them.

How To Buy And Sell Bitcoins

New entrants to the bitcoin market and alternatives to exchanges such as LocalBitcoins allow people to buy and sell bitcoins directly with each other.

This one-to-one interaction takes the form of a personal trade, effectively bypassing regulatory hurdles faced by the big exchanges. LocalBitcoins is not an exchange. It’s a platform bringing like-minded people together to organise trading between themselves.

Up-to-date pricing can be seen in this widget:

When you first arrive at LocalBitcoins, you’ll see a well-presented list of people near your location who are selling or want to purchase bitcoins.

So, if you want to sell your bitcoins, have a look through the ‘Buy Bitcoins’ list and see what other traders have put up. You can get a good idea of the pricing and methods of payment they accept (usually cash or bank deposit).

When you are ready to jump on board, sign up, verify your email address and login. For added security, also enable 2-Factor Authentication.

Then click on ‘Wallet’ in the menu and you come to this screen.

how to sell bitcoins

For the protection of both buyers and sellers, your bitcoins are held in the LocalBitcoins wallet. This ensure that:

  1. You have bitcoins to sell, and
  2. The buyer only gets the bitcoins once payment is verified.

Your wallet address is unique to your account. You can send some bitcoins to that address for holding until you have a buyer. If you have a lot of bitcoins, don’t send them all at once.

Sell Bitcoins For Cash

Next, you’ll want to post an advertisement. Click on ‘Post A Trade’ in the menu.

buy bitcoins

Go through the options carefully, where you can nominate your local currency, location, payment method, etc.

Tick the Advanced checkbox.

selling bitcoins

Price Equation

The ‘Price equation’ field calculates the current exchange rate for bitcoins in real-time. For simplicity in this example, we’ll stick with the default Mt Gox USD exchange rate, denoted by ‘mtgoxusd’.

This equation lets you add any amount of profit on top of the current exchange rate. If you were to purchase bitcoins and then sell soon after, you could profit by trading in this manner.

In this example, the equation mtgoxusd*1.05 means “take the current exchange rate from Mt Gox in US Dollars and multiply that by 1.05”. That would be a 5% increase on the current exchange rate, where 1.25 would be 25% increase.

You’ll need to stay competitive with other sellers, so keep your profit margin less than 10%.

Let’s get a bit more advanced.

Sometimes, Mt Gox could be down and unreachable, so you could add another exchange into the equation:

max(mtgoxUSD,cbxUSD)*1.06

This formula takes the higher value of either Mt Gox or CampBX.

Bitcoin prices also fluctuate, so we want the formula to respond immediately to sudden increases in the exchange rate, but also gradually to drops in the exchange rate, using the 24 hour average:

max(max(mtgoxUSD,cbxUSD), USD_24h)*1.06

Publish your advertisement and wait for your first customer.

Buying bitcoins is just as easy as selling through LocalBitcoins, and with price fluctuations and a bit of patience, profits can be made by buying low, selling high.

When you know how to sell bitcoins for cash, it’s really a piece of cake.

*IMPORTANT* This article does not constitute financial advice and you are fully responsible for your own decisions.

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.

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Tags:  bitcoinsbuy bitcoinsbuying bitcoinssell bitcoinsselling bitcoinstrading bitcoins

Blog Commitment

Do New Bloggers Need A Small Dose Of Reality?

If you’re here to read some quick and easy steps to getting visitors to your blog, I’m sorry to disappoint and I must bring you back to reality. There is no quick and easy solution. The likelihood of your blog posts going viral is close to zero. The probability your blog will be viewed by thousands of people in your first month online is also quite small.

These are realities all bloggers must face and it takes a strong person to stand tall and say “That’s fine. I’m in this for the long haul!”

I’m not intentionally trying to be negative, but believe me, these realities come from hard personal experience in the world of blogging

Commit To A Timeframe Before Building A Blog

Most people started a blog and think “I’ll give this a shot and see how it goes” without qualifying the length of time they’re willing to “giving it a shot”.

Will you dedicate one month or 12 months before giving it up?

Promise yourself that you will not give up before number of months.

starting a blog

Why do I say months and not years? Because most bloggers don’t last a year. There I go again being negative, but I have evidence to go by.

In my day job as a web host, I see new websites popping up every day on my servers with bloggers who are bright-eyed and hopeful of a prosperous future online.

I tend to know when someone is committed to their blog. They pay for a full year of web hosting upfront and purchase a domain name

These bloggers have put their money where their mouth is and committed to 12 months of blogging. Frequently, those customers will renew their hosting again after the first year.

Compare this to a customer who’s paying for web hosting on a monthly basis. They tend to disappear before the year is out. The key difference here is the mindset of the customer – their initial commitment to seeing it through.

Give your blog enough time to grow and mature.

new blog

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What Is Enough Time For My Blog To Mature

The amount of time you’ll need to commit to your blog largely depends on the quantity of *quality* content you will produce on a weekly basis.

I have emphasized *quality* because it’s not just a matter of writing a quick 100 word post that has no value to your readers.

Another commitment you must make is this:

Promise yourself to write quality content consisting of at least number of words times per week.

The minimum number of words should be 300, but you may be happier committing to 800 words per post.

The minimum number of posts per week should be 1. Although, in reality, how much of a commitment is merely 1 post per week? Try commit to writing anywhere from 3 upwards.

If you fail to post consistently with quality content, your blog will fail to gain traction. Ah, I’m being negative again! I do apologize. But I have my reasons…

My point about posting quality content on a timely schedule comes down to giving the search engines (ie, Google) enough time to boost your blog post’s ranking, and thereby bring in more visitors. More content means more chances to be indexed in Google, where quality content gets higher rankings.

You see, although it’s not enough just committing to writing quality content, you also need to commit enough time for that content to be digested by Google and for your blog to become more trustworthy in Google’s eyes.

Blog Traffic Is the Killer Or Savior Of Your Blog

start a blog

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Why do people give up their blog? Inevitably, it’s because no-one is reading it. All that hard work for what? 10 visitors a day!? Ouch.

You can see that there is a fair amount of commitment required and work involved in crafting your blog *before* you will even see significant traffic (visitors) to your blog.

Google will only rank your blog higher *after* you have done enough work, and only *after* Google has given your blog enough time to mature in order to gauge your commitment and trustworthiness.

So, this heading ‘Blog Traffic Is the Killer Or Savior Of Your Blog’ is the truest statement I can impress upon you. Traffic is everything when it comes to a blogger’s sanity.

Let’s put aside vanity, fame or making money from blogging. If your blog has no visitors, who could blame you if your commitment waivers? It’s only natural to look for social reinforcement to gauge how well you’re doing – that would be the number of blog readers.

The reality is that you may not see any social reinforcement in significant numbers for 6 months. Consider that when committing to your timeframe.

Treat Your Blog With Respect

If there’s anything else I can impress upon new bloggers and those who are starting fresh, it’s to treat your blog with respect. Visitors to your website will know instantly how much you care about your own blog by the look and quality of content.

Give your blog enough time to mature. Give your blog enough quality content.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is blogging success.

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Facebook Like Button

Increase Facebook Likes By Avoiding These Mistakes

 

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We all want to increase Facebook likes for our individual blog posts and also our Facebook page. Especially when you’re a creating a brand for yourself, it’s important to avoid certain mistakes, just as much as taking the right actions.

Include Facebook Like Box On Your Website

One of the right actions to take, and one of the most fundamental for marketing your blog on Facebook, is to make sure you have a like button on your blog or website.

increase facebook likes You can head over to the Facebook developer section here, and generate the code you’ll need.

From the above link, scroll down to find this box. Where you see the field “URL to Like”, enter your Facebook page address. That might be something like https://www.facebook.com/inscribd/

You can also choose whether or not to show faces alongside the Like button, and also customize the width of the area for the Like button.

Click on ‘Get Code’ and you’ll be given some options.

The easiest option is iframe

Copy the code given and paste it into the location of your blog or website where you want the Like button to appear.

Now that we have the fundamentals out of the way, there are some common mistakes marketers make when it comes to updating their Facebook page.

The good folks at Woobox have created the infographic below to show the primary reasons why Facebook users don’t engage with certain pages.

According to Woobox, over 80% of users “like” to see deals and promotions, and your page will be un-liked if you post too much, too often.

Check it out:

Increase Facebook Likes And Keep Readers Happy

increase facebook likes

Some key points we can take away from this study is the following:

  • Ask your audience what they want to read,
  • Don’t post too often, and keep it relevant,
  • Give readers special promotions, discounts, coupons and freebies.

What turns you off from liking a Facebook page?

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Copywriting Pen

How Copywriting Killer SEO Page Titles Destroy The Competition

How Copywriting Killer SEO Page Titles Destroy The Competition

HOME → Web

Learn How To Buy & Sell Bitcoins

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Crafting the perfect headline for blog articles or meta tag SEOpage titles is more fun than kneading a handful of silly putty. The title begins life as an amorphous blob containing a target keyword we want to focus on, nestled within a jumble of words. Trying to get our target keyword into the title, in the right place and making the title meaningful is quite a challenge. The title needs to be molded into shape so that it conveys the topic succinctly and includes our chosen keyword within a coherent sentence.

The title of a webpage, especially for blog posts, is not only crucial to encouraging visitors to read the page once they are on our website, but it’s also vital to getting visitors to our website in the first place.

Sometimes I’ll spend hours trying to craft the perfect headline for an article. I want the article to grab a person’s attention within 2 seconds. In order to do that, often I’ll spend a lot of time researching in Market Samurai (affiliate) the types of phrases and keywords people type into Google. This keyword research does 4 things for me.

  1. Pinpoint the *best* keyword to focus on for SEO purposes,
  2. Get an idea of the competition I should expect from my keyword use,
  3. Find related topics/keywords that I can discuss in articles,
  4. Frequently while researching one topic, I find myself getting off course but discover new topics for new articles.

More often that not, the research effort pays off when search traffic starts flowing in.

Crafting the perfect headline is not only essential for getting search traffic to a website but it also makes tweets and status updates far more sharable. The same logic applies to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, such as the Google’s AdWords program or Microsoft’s Bing Ads

SEO Page Titles For Better Click-Through Rates

In the code of a website, we have a meta tag called title. Google uses this tag as the headline of search results and it is the first, and perhaps only, impression we make on a prospective visitor. Without a compelling title that turns a vagrant into a reader, the rest of our words may as well not even exist.bad meta tags
Would you click on a search result listing like this one? Bad SEO page titles are bad, mkay? However, we can see there are 3 fundamental elements to the search result – title, URL and description.

While all three elements are important in their own right and shouldn’t be neglected in your search engine optimization efforts, I want to focus on the title. I believe it’s the #1 most important meta tag and getting it wrong can cost you valuable search traffic.

The title is essential to attracting the right audience and that audience will likely be searching for something very specific. We aim to capture them by utilizing the best keyword phrase in our headline and main copy of our page.

According to some of the best copywriters, you should spend half of the entire time it takes to write a piece of persuasive content – on the headline. I’ve read this a few times and I believe it’s true if you’re about to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a marketing campaign. In the context of website titles or blog posts, I’d suggest tweaking your headline for a good 20 to 30 minutes after you already have your keywords known. Return to your headlines and titles after a few days and tweak them again with fresh eyes.

Let’s look at how bloggers, copy writers, magazine editors and salespeople write great headlines.

When in doubt, start with How, Who, Why, What, When …

One of the most famous ‘How’ headlines is How To Win Friends and Influence People (affiliate). This headline structure is powerful because directly after “how to” is a benefit – win friends. Then after “and” is another benefit. The subtle relationship between the 1st benefit and the 2nd suggests that if you can achieve the first, you can automatically achieve the second.

How about some more …

  • How to Save Money and Retire Rich.
  • How to Travel Central America on $17 a Day.
  • How I Improved My Memory in One Evening.
  • How a New Kind of Clay Improved My Complexion in 30 Minutes.
  • How an Obvious Idea Made Me $3.5 Million.
  • How Moving to Melbourne Improved My Sex Life.
  • How Doctors Stay Well While Treating Sick People All Day.

Who …

  • Who Else Wants a Great Website Themes?
  • Who Else Wants More Fun and Less Stress When on Vacation?

Why …

  • Why Some People Almost Always Make Money in the Stock Market.

What …

  • What Everybody Should Know About Writing Great Headlines.

When …

  • When Doctors Have Headaches, What Do They Do?

Then there’s lists, which always work great.

  • Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of High Blood Pressure?
  • 11 Ways to Beat the High Cost of Living.
  • Five Familiar Skin Troubles.
  • Free Book Tells You 12 Secrets of Better Lawn Care.
  • 8 Things You Can Do This Weekend to Repair Your Credit.
  • 23 Things You Should Never Pay For.
  • Eleven Secret Techniques That Make Bloggers Money.
  • Lose 35 Pounds in Only 7 Weeks.
  • How to Shave 5 Strokes Off Your Golf Score in 3 Days.

For Example

Remember, our titles should contain our primary keyword phrase that we want to rank for in search results. For example, let’s craft a headline to include the keyword phrase ‘homemade dog food recipes’. How about:

  • 5 Homemade Dog Food Recipes That Improve Your Pet’s Health.
  • Homemade Dog Food Recipes For Under $5 a Day.
  • How I Pamper My Poodle With Homemade Dog Food Recipes.
  • What Every Pet Owner Should Know About Homemade Dog Food Recipes.

Once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy.

Old SEO Methods – Who Needs ’em?

You’re probably aware of the meta tag keywords. This tag was once the darling of SEO best practice. Just include your keywords in the HTML meta tags and boom! You’d rank in the search engines for those keywords. Well, obviously those days are gone and the keywords tag is completely ignored by the search engines.

Keyword over-stuffing has also fallen out of practice. It used to be common for titles to read:
Keyword 1 | Keyword 2 | Keyword 3 – Website Name

Google prefers to see a structured, meaningful sentence for the title.

SEO Title Best Practice

  1. Title should be a coherent short sentence.
  2. Primary keyword should be at the beginning of the title (or close to it).
  3. Title display in search engines is limited to 70 characters.

Great For Social Media Too

seo page titles
Absolutely everyone should have social mediasharing buttons on their blog. Putting SEO aside for just a moment, your page title continues to hold significant importance when a visitor wants to share your page on their social network. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn – whoever – uses the title tag from your page as the status update, as can be seen in the image above.

Bonus Tips

Another important part of showing up in the search results is to include your target keyword phrase in the body of your page content. Google scans pages of your website to determine the topic. They don’t just look at the title tag.

It is not recommended to over-stuff your content with your keyword phrase either. Google is very good at detecting when you are trying to manipulate search results and you may be penalized for it. Google recommends that you write content for the reader, not for the search engines. Good advice.

Also read 8 Google SEO Mistakes That Will Choke Your Search Ranking

Tell us in the comments, how long do you spend crafting your headlines? What are your best titles?

Tags:  copy writingcopywriting website titlesSearch engine optimizationseoseo page titles

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Paid Vs Free

Premium WordPress Themes Vs Free WordPress Themes

Before you jump on board with free wordpress themes you’ve found during your search, there’s a few things you need to look out for and actively compare the free wordpress themes with paid premium wordpress themes.

When you first set up a blog with WordPress, you’ll be given a default choice of themes, which are quite boring. There’s no reason why the WordPress team couldn’t include a handful of awesome themes pre-installed, but it’s my opinion that they don’t in order to open the market to designers like iThemes for paid premium wordpress themes and other free wordpress themes.

Developing themes for WordPress can be quite lucrative for web designers and some of the premium wordpress themes deserve fair credit.

Conversely, there are developers from the open source community who live by the philosophy that software should be free. And don’t we love them for it!

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Often though – and this applies to everything in life – you get what you pay for. That is, if you pay in peanuts, you might end up with a big lumbering elephant. Instead, we should be looking for a themes equivalent of a sleek cheetah, optimized for speed and to be lightweight in it’s download size.

That’s not to say you can’t find spectacular free wordpress themes. Free wordpress themes are a dime-a-dozen (er.. zero-a-dozen?). Finding the good free themes are actually just as hard finding good premium wordpress themes.

How To Choose The Best WordPress Theme

Even if you only want to get a free wordpress theme, I recommend taking a look at some paid themes as well. This will give you a good idea of the difference in quality and various design techniques to look out for.

What you need to look for are themes with a demo. You shouldn’t have to install themes just to see how it looks. Also, don’t rely on screenshots because you can’t test the functionality or proper layout on your screen.

You really should test a theme before deploying it on your main blog because you could regret it later. Spend a bit of effort making a wise choice to begin with and save yourself time and heartbreak down the track.

Testing WordPress Themes in Demos

If a theme’s author can’t get their own demo right, you certainly can’t trust them to get the theme’s inner code working well enough either.

1. Test All Links

Click on all the menu and navigation links. Click through to articles and make sure they all display as expected. Also make sure the ‘author’ link works – a link on the post author’s name. Often, that page is missing (because it’s technically not essential, but it’s nice to have).

2. Re-size Your Browser

A common web design technique called ‘responsive design’ adjusts certain elements of the theme to re-size as your browser window changes in size. Un-maximize your browser window and make it smaller. Notice if the website elements start shifting around.

Responsive design is recognized as good practice and your theme of choice should get bonus points for being responsive.

3. Load From Mobile

The web is quickly shifting to mobile devices and therefore you can’t just focus on desktop themes. Load the demo on your phone and tablet to see whether it still looks good.

Some themes will load a special mobile-optimized version while others might re-size elements to fit the mobile window, such as with responsive designs.

Free Vs Premium WordPress Themes

There is a common perception that when you pay for something, rather than get it for free, that the paid option would be better quality. With wordpress themes, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

Premium wordpress themes can still have bugs, performance issues and missing components.

On the other hand, free wordpress themes can be so lightweight and “simple” that they just work, which gives those the upper hand over bloated premium themes.

Your choice of theme comes down to a balance between features and performance. Often, more features slow down a website so think hard about whether you’d need that flashy gallery or fancy menu system.

Where To Get Free WordPress Themes

Instead of just re-hashing what other bloggers have found, here’s a few links to check out:

wprazzi.com free wordpress themes.
inspiretrends.com best responsive wordpress themes.
webdesigntunes.com awesome responsive wordpress themes.

Where To Get Premium WordPress Themes

iThemes have over 130 premium wordpress themes and live demos of each.

iThemes are also the creators of the BackupBuddy plugin which automates backing up your entire wordpress installation to the cloud or sent to your email address.

If you are looking for an easy way to edit your theme of choice, try DIYthemes who provide great looking themes together with powerful layout plugins.

Modifying WordPress Themes To Suit

Often, you’ll find a near-perfect theme that’s missing just one feature or you want the layout to be slightly different. If you don’t know how to code, you could hire a web developer through Elance at very reasonable rates to help you mold your theme to suit your tastes.

Readers, what is your budget for WordPress themes?

Facebook

14 Facebook Etiquette Mistakes Parents Keep Making

Back in the early days of Facebook, it was considered a real mistake for parents to friend their children and especially their children’s friends. This resulted in the Facebook etiquette phenomenon for kids to limit their profile so the parents could only see certain information.

As Facebook became the most ubiquitous social network with well over a billion users, the younger and older generations grew to share the network equally and understand it’s value as a place for community engagement.

As Facebook matured, so did the user base and those prior limits that kids imposed on their parents are no longer relied upon.

Kids and parents alike now rely on unwritten rules of Facebook etiquette. Most of them are a set of “Don’ts”.

If you are a parent yourself, don’t make these Facebook etiquette mistakes.

Bad Facebook Etiquette

1. Don’t pressure your kids over 18 years old to fully open up their profile to you. Even though they’re your babies, they are now adults who make their own decisions and can expect to reserve some privacy.

Don’t be offended though. Down the track, your kids may loosen up a bit and let you in.

2. Don’t comment on every single picture posted on your kids’ wall or status update. At least you could pretend not to be stalking them.

3. Don’t like every single status update. Liking everything is like the boy who cried wolf. Clicking ‘like’ is not to be used as an acknowledgement that you’ve seen the status. ‘Like’ only if the status is worth liking. Not all are.

4. Do not request to be friends with your children’s friends. It’s creepy and may be stepping over the line.

If that child is under 18 and you have a legitimate reason, you may want to get permission from their parents first before even sending the request.

5. Don’t reveal private arrangements in comments or status updates.

“See you tomorrow at our house at 3” may seem harmless enough, but it’s a general rule not to give burglars a heads up that your kid’s place will be unattended at a certain time. Instead, send such comments in private messages.

6. Don’t tag your kids in embarrassing photos. Actually, don’t upload those pictures at all. Scrutinize every picture and decide whether your kid would be okay with it being online permanently – yes, pictures stay online forever!

7. Don’t be the first to reveal big news of family members. Give them a chance to do it first.

8. Don’t fight with friends of your kids via comments. Sometimes kids will post comments on pictures or statuses that may seem offensive to a parent but are just playful schoolyard banter.

If you are concerned about bullying, ask your child first before jumping into a slanging match.

9. Don’t post vague status updates that can worry your children or designed to generate concern and attention. “Gee, I hope my husband is OK”.

10. Don’t post complaint after complaint. Hey, here’s an idea. Try post something positive, a silver lining, a nugget of gold for the day. Don’t use Facebook to vent all the time.

11. Don’t only post overly lovey-dovey, ‘look how great my life is’, spiritual wisdom type updates.

These have their place in the right context but won’t appeal to everyone and may make your life look a bit fake.

Nobody’s perfect, even those lucky enough to have the perfect life at certain moments. If you’re in that boat, show some humility around your more unfortunate Facebook friends.

12. If someone has deleted a comment you posted on their wall, status or picture, it’s probably for a good reason. Don’t get mad. Think about whether your comment was inappropriate and just let it slide. Take it on the chin.

13. Don’t post too often. A few times a day may be the upper limit for most friends, where others may have a higher tolerance. A general rule: If you have nothing important to say, don’t say anything at all.

14. Don’t share pictures without permission. On Facebook, a user who shares a photo with their friends only (as opposed to publicly) has intentionally limited the reach of that photo. When you come along and share that photo with your own friends, it’s kind of like sharing a private conversation.

The same goes for status updates. It’s not your place to make these things public if it was never intended to be.

If you want to avoid the dreaded ‘unfriend’ situation, take notes from 13 Reasons To Un-Friend On Facebook And In Real Life.

Also read 38 Things Not To Share On Social Networking Sites.

Make Money

Top 10 Ways Of Making Money Online And Work From Home

Throughout the ages, there has always been just one fundamental way of earning a dollar. That is, by selling something. Either you’d sell a product, a service or your expertise. But the internet has brought about new ways of making money online and the barriers how to earn money has been lowered for everyone.

Here are the top 10 ways for making money online (in no particular order).

1. Making Money Online Selling Through eBay

eBay is a phenomenon unto itself. Even if you don’t have products in stock, you can STILL make money online with eBay. How is that possible? Through dropshipping products directly from the warehouse and the supplier handles it all for you.

Read: How To Make Money On eBay Without Any Products In Stock.

eBay is one of the easiest ways to make a quick buck, even if that means looking around your house for items you no longer need. It could be jewelry, electronics, magazines, toys, just about anything.

When you find items on eBay going cheaply, there’s a very real opportunity to purchase and re-sell for profit.

Best yet, making money online from home has never been easier and you don’t have to worry about overheads like renting office space, hiring staff and all that goes with a bricks and mortar shopfront.

Some people do nothing all day but find objects to sell on eBay.

2. Selling For People

Do you love chatting to people and socializing? You’d probably make a good salesperson. There are plenty of businesses out there that are not good at selling, and that’s where you can help.

Create a profile with Elance where you can offer your unique skills.

There are plenty of businesses looking for a specific skillset who don’t advertise job positions. They just want to hire freelancers for the odd job or semi-recurring tasks.

You can get niche specific too for businesses searching for, say, fishing experts, they’ll find you (if that’s your thing).

Selling someone else’s product is much easier than creating your own products. Although, creating your own products is a great money-maker too.

3. Making Money Online Through Affiliate Marketing

making money online
Source: Flickr

Affiliate marketing is a huge part of making money online. If you have your own website or blog, email newsletter or a big social network, you can earn money by selling someone else’s products and services.

Read: Affiliate Marketing Basics. Earn Hefty Commissions The Easy Way.

You sign up to become an affiliate, where you’ll receive a percentage of each sale you make.

But just because you have popular website doesn’t mean you will make sales. You need to make sure you’re offering the right products to your audience at the right time.

4. Consulting

If you’re an expert in some field, you have a lot of potential in from of you.

Offer your expertise via video, such as YouTube or one-on-one business consulting through Skype.

There are many opportunities and methods you can utilize but you’ll have to find out which one suits you and your potential clients best.

Read: 12 Ways To Increase YouTube Views Without Begging Your Family.

5. Counseling

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Whether it’s business or personal problems, counseling people is huge opportunity online. If you are well-versed in a certain field of psychology or have personal experience with touchy subjects, you can find people who need your guidance and would be willing to pay for it.

If you become popular, you could setup your own podcast or blog radio channel.

6. Virtual Office Administration

make money online

Every entrepreneur needs a little help every now and then. As mentioned before, Elance will allow you to offer your services for general data entry, bookkeeping, attending to emails, or customer service.

There are always companies looking for people who work from home on the internet. Often, you can work in your own hours in the comfort of your own home or small office.

7. Make Money Online Negotiating Deals

Do you have the good manners and skills to bring a buyer and seller together? To don’t necessarily need to be a salesperson to act as the middleman in a negotiation.

If you can facilitate a deal between two parties, you can charge a fee for negotiating higher prices for the seller or better contract terms for the buyer.

This can be a huge source of income if you get the big deals.

8. Trading

Trading of all types can be very lucrative, and you don’t need to be sitting in the New York Stock Exchange to do it. All you need is the internet.

There are great opportunities to trade in virtual currencies like Bitcoin due to their price volatility. Buy low, sell high. With the current Bitcoin market, there’s plenty of opportunity to do just that.

Stock trading is one possibility but if you’re not into traditional stock trading, how about the trading of physical items?

Like I mentioned before, eBay gives you great opportunities to get stock at cheap prices, which you can trade up for higher priced items by placing ads in classifieds like Craigs List.

9. Making Money Online By Writing

making money online
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The skills of writing are in huge demand on the internet. Writers with great English skills can earn a very healthy full-time income online and enjoy working regularly for multiple clients.

Freelance writers may provide articles for online magazines, blogs, professional reports and brochures, script development and all sorts of writing tasks.

More prominent writers have their own website where they can showcase their skills and link to articles they have written as a showcase to potential new clients.

It all depends on skill and determination. Again, Elance is a great resource for both writer and employers searching for writers.

10. Proofreading

If you’re a stickler for spelling, grammar and correct formatting, why not try you hand at proofreading?

Businesses with an eye for quality and concern for professionalism always have their marketing materials and website proofread by a human being.

Once you get hired by a medium to large business, you can expect an avalanche of copy to proof.

What other ways have you found for making money online?

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.
Website Speed

How To Speed Up Your Blog Like A Pro

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Website speed and overall performance is an important factor that Google takes into account when determining your website’s rank in the search engine.

“The web should be fast.”Google

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Studies have shown that 25% of all visitors will leave a website if they don’t see any content within 3 to 5 seconds.

Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to have a fast website, not just for your Google ranking, but also to retain your visitors that would hopefully become customers and subscribers.

No-one likes a slow website. No-one!

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Speed Up Content Delivery

One of the best things you can do for your visitors and Google is to utilize a content delivery network (CDN).

It’s also one of the easiest and requires very little technical knowledge.

A content delivery network like MaxCDN is a network of cloud servers strategically positioned around the would.

A content delivery network’s sole purpose is to deliver website files to the visitor in the fastest way possible.

How Do Content Delivery Networks Work?

A content delivery network takes static files associated with your website like style sheets, JavaScript files and images, and saves them in multiple copies across the network of servers.

When your domain is routed through a content delivery network, the provider will determine the fastest way to deliver files to the visitor from the closest high-powered servers.

Not only does this save long round-trip waiting times for the visitor, it also saves your hosting bandwidth usage since files are delivered from the cloud rather than directly from your hosting account.

How To Use A Content Delivery Network

content delivery network

Map Source: MaxCDN

If you’re really keen to speed up your website on a world-wide scale, MaxCDN have a vast network and fast servers from under $40 per year.

If you’re looking to test the waters, CloudFlare have a free plan or paid packages starting from $20/mo. MaxCDN may provide better value for paid accounts.

Content delivery networks are used in conjunction with your existing web hosting account. They do not replace web hosting because your main hosting account acts as the source of website files for the CDN to retrieve data from initially. You still update your website in the normal way.

When you setup the CDN, usually you would delegate your domain name to the CDN’s nameservers. Not to sound complicated (because it’s not), simply put – you point your domain to their network and they take over.

How To Test Website Speed

website speed test

Pingdom offer a website speed test that shows you how fast (or slow) your website is to load.

The screenshot above shows the speed test for youtube.com. If your website is close to, or beating Youtube’s performance, you’re doing exceptionally well.

Depending on your CDN of choice, you should see a marked difference between speed test compared to using one and not.

Optimizing Website Speed With WordPress

Most of us run our websites on WordPress and luckily there’s an awesome free plugin that tremendously helps speed up blogs.

Caching plugins collate a multitude of website files that would normal be delivered to the visitor one-by-one. The caching plugin ‘packages’ multiple files into one compress file and delivers that to the visitor instead, saving a lot of downloading time.

I use W3 Total Cache due to it’s full range of features and full integration with content delivery networks like MaxCDN

However, don’t use multiple caching plugins at the same time as they will conflict with each other.

Find And Remove Slow Plugins

Some WordPress plugins can slow down your website and you may not realize which one is the culprit.

You can use P3 – Plugin Performance Profiler and run a test to discover which plugins are causing issues. A word of caution though. This plugin will show that your caching plugin is using a lot of load time. That’s generally OK because the caching plugin is taking over a lot of other tasks and saving time overall.

Find plugins that are using a lot of load time and remove them or find an alternative that runs faster.

I hope this helps you speed up your website.

Combining a caching plugin with MaxCDN content delivery network can effectively cut your website loading speed in half (and more).

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.

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