As part of tidying up my first online writing phase and transitioning into my second phase, I have to clean up many of my blogs. In addition to consolidating my online properties, I need to clean and maximize the properties I have remaining.
First let me say there is no scientific way to go about maximizing blogs. It’s all about common sense. When I look at my blogs I ask myself, “What do I need from my blogs in order for them to remain on my To Do list?”
I have to streamline my old To Do list to make room for new and exciting ventures. My blogs are going through a type of American Idol judging. Those that didn’t survive the consolidation cut are out of the competition. Of those remaining they must meet the following criteria:
- They must be profitable
- They must be low maintenance
- They must provide quality information
- They must be easy to navigate (this is a big problem on most of my blogs)
- The advertising has to be efficient
- I want them to look good
Let’s take a look at my must haves:
This is a no-brainer. Profitability comes in two flavors in my book. One is cold-hard cash and the other is nourishment to the soul.
The cash aspect is self-explanatory. If the blog makes money, and I’m talking about more than enough cash to pay for itself several fold and keep me living in the luxurious lifestyle that I’ve become accustomed to…oops, I’m taking creative liberties here. What I really mean is that it must make significant contributions to my mortgage, utilities and groceries. I won’t have time to nurse along blogs that are limping financially.
Soul nourishing blogs, like NJFM, stay because I wouldn’t be me without it. Where would I place my early morning I’ve-got-writing-on-my-mind posts? I don’t have too many soul-nourishing blogs. Hmmm, let’s be honest, I only have one and a half soul nourishing blogs so that means the rest must make money.
Low maintenance means that I write it and forget it (except for the soul-nourishing blogs). My moneymaking blogs don’t accept comments, questions or advice. I do the research, write the article, provide supportive links and let the cash roll in.
Maintenance includes upgrading the software when required and running Xenu periodically to make sure there are no broken links . Oh, yeah, and write a new post on occasion. My goal is to write no more than 2 to 4 posts per month for each of the money making blogs. Remember, the purpose of this whole consolidation thing is to free up my time to learn and make mistakes elsewhere.
On all but one of my online sites, I took care of this requirement when I created the site. Tidbits and Stuff, however, has quite a bit of ‘splainin’ to do. I mentioned before that Tidbits was my first site and I used quite a bit of free content from article directories.
Although I made sure the articles were quality articles, they are articles from article directories. I will either delete the free articles and redirect the links to the home page or I’ll write another article on the same topic to replace the free article. This involves making a list of all of the free articles and addressing them one by one when time permits.
Ease of Navigation
I’m guilty of having difficult to navigate sites. Back when I was hand coding sites, I made sure the navigation was easy and all content was accessible though the menus. WordPress has made me lazy.
I have a host of WordPress categories that are not accessible from any of my menus. Not only that, my categories and blog posts need to be streamlined. I had fallen into the bad habit of writing, writing and writing without paying attention to the menu structure. I think NJFM is the biggest culprit (NJFM is also last on my blog maximizing list).
In an attempt to put a band-aid on the broken leg, I inserted Google’s site search tool in the right-hand column on NJFM (I’m adding this to all of my blogs/sites). What I like about the tool is that it allows me to find posts that I would otherwise have a difficult time finding.
This tool can prove to be lucrative on my moneymaking blogs because I can earn AdSense for Search income by using Google’s search feature. Granted, I only earned a few pennies so far, but pennies add up.
Because the blogs/sites have survived until now, that means they’re all making money. My goal is to maximize their money-making potential. Some of the methods include:
- Utilizing Widget Logic for selective ad display
- Searching for affiliate products that are a hand-in-glove fit for each site
- Adjusting the AdSense ad block size/color and location for best results
- Investigating a few of InfoLinks new features
- Potentially selling ad space
I want the advertisement to be efficient without making the blog look spammy. There is a way to maximize income without losing too much screen real estate to advertisers.
If I had to choose between quality content and good looks, I’d choose quality content any day, but there’s no reason I can’t have both.
There you have it, my non-scientific list for maximizing my blogs.