Tag Archives: blog development

How to Increase Your Alexa Ranking

Participating in Financial Samurai’s Alexa Ranking Challenged, called The Yakezie Alexa Challenge, has me considering how to increase my Alexa Ranking (in addition to points made in Sam’s post). Alexa Rankings, for the post part, are resulted from your website’s page views and visits to your site (as it’s Home Page suggests).

I want to look at how each of these subjects:

Google Search Engine Optimization Tools, my website’s design, and other values could potentially increase my Alexa Ranking.

Google Search Engine Optimization
  • Using Google Keywords: There are many good websites that discuss how to use Google Keywords, so I won’t be discussing how to use them.

    But, I believe utilizing the Google AdWords: Keyword’s tool to target my written content can help increase organic search results. Thus, increasing visits to my sites and page views.

    Example, if you search the keyword “lemon” (with 5 million searches) versus “lemons” (with 386,000 searches), you can see I would have a better chance with people finding my site with the niche term “lemons” because it is more direct.

  • Buy advertisements on search engines: You may need to spend a bit, but it can increase the traffic to your website.

My Website’s Design for Search Engine Optimization
  • Write good content: You might develop your search engine optimization by using strong keywords, but content is what drives builds loyal readers to come back for more; creating the continuous flow of traffic to your site.
  • Post more frequently: Of course, an increase in page/site views is potentially imminent when writing posting more frequently, but to what degree? Per Alexa, frequently posting more content doesn’t always mean an increase to Alexa Ranking.

    My posting schedule is Tuesday, Thursday, and Sundays. I am thinking that fostering community, interaction, and conversation, on the website, with comment/nested comments might take a stronger stance to posting more frequently. To me, it is more important to build relationships with people. As this is what has helped my personal finance journey blossom.

    So, it might be beneficial to rankings if you can do both simutaneously.

  • Excerpt vs. Content: Does your website home page include an excerpt of the post leading to ‘read more’ or do you post a full page? I think Financial Samurai’s post excerpts has an edge on me in this area compared to me showing full post.

    One, there are more posts available for viewing on his home page vs. the 3 post I show on my home page. Two, if you’re content is good, then a person will hit ‘read more’ listed on the excerpt (counts as a ‘visit to your site’ and a ‘page view’).

    Where as, my site shows the full post. Many people pressed for a quick read can easily come to my site, read all, and move on (only gaining a ‘visit to your site’). My ‘page view’ would only be increased if the reader choses to leave a comment or hits an internal hyperlink. So, I might want to consider changing my home page format (don’t be suprised if my site morphs again). ;)

Other Values
  • Write about Alexa Ranking: Bloggers like to understand how to increase thier ranking; to reach more people. By writing a blog post it drives traffic to your site.

    So that is just what I did. Of course, the post is meant to help you, too. :) I’d like to have a community discussion to see what your thoughts are for increasing your Alexa Ranking.

  • Write Guest Posts: You might have heard me twitter this comment. Its meant to work just like the factor above. This also could include participating in forums, writing eZine articles, Associated Content Articles, eHow articles, Stumbling, Digg(ing), using Hootsuite, Tip’d, etc… Get yourself out there to be seen. Drive the masses back. :)
  • Use Alexa Search Analytics: When you search a website on Alexa site you will note the “Top Keywords for Search Traffic”. These are the keywords driving most of the traffic to your site note: my former food post for ‘Gordon Biersch Garlic Fries’ still drives the most traffic to my site). Do these Top Keywords align with the competition you wish to interact with? Or should you write more content with you site’s Top Keywords?
Conclusion

There are still many more possible ways to increase your Alexa Ranking, but these particular factors are what came to mind after joining Financial Samurai’s challenge. Ones I plan on focusing on.

Do I think installing the Alexa Toolbar will help? To a point. According to Wiki on Alexa Internet:

On April 16, 2008, many users reported dramatic shifts in their Alexa rankings. Alexa confirmed this later in the day with an announcement that they had released the new Alexa ranking system, claiming that they now take into account more data sources “beyond Alexa Toolbar users”.[19]

Meaning there are more factors to consider. You can follow up on the Wiki page.

At the end of this challenge, I will be sure to update you on that factors I think helped to increase my rankings.

What do you think works to increase the Alexa Ranking? If you haven’t signed up for The Yakezie Alexa Challenge, head on over there. What do you have to lose?

For more information about Alexa information, check out:

You can see my Alexa Traffic Rank Widget in the Sidebar. From the beginning of the challenge, in the last week of January, I have gone from a 433,000 to a 398,710 (Traffic Rank widget works a day behind). For me, that is not too shabby.

Make Money Blogging

Blogging

Have you considered making revenue from your blog to help pay down your debt? Blogging can help bring in a few extra dollars to supporting a full-time lifestyle.

At one time, I mentioned that I wanted to make a $1000 in extra income; to downshift certain areas of my life to make more time to spend with my family.

After refocusing my agenda and blog, I am getting closer to that goal – bringing in a few hundreds dollars on Money Funk to help pay down the debt.

In this post I want to share with you some of those avenues for making money on your blog.

Be aware – each blog makes money in its own unique way – some advertising avenues work better than others. The thing is to experiment with different avenues until you find that one that works for you.

Listed in order are the blogging income avenues that work for Money Funk.

  1. Private Ad Sales

     

    Advertise HerePrivate Ad sales have proved to be my main source of blogging income. At this time, private ads are in the form of text links placed within my sidebar. I hope to expand this to including 125 x 125 banner ads located in the sidebar.

  2.  

  3. Google Adsense

    google-adsenseReformatting some areas of my blog have helped produce an increase in blogging income. Currently, I use google search, a 468×60 pixel image ad in the home page header, 468×60 pixel text ad in the blog page header, a 336×280 pixel text ad in the blog page footer, and a 160×600 pixel text ad in the sidebar. I also have a 336×280 pixel image ad in the lower sidebar, but this is more of a space filler in my sidebar. The key is to place Adsense ads where your eyes wander.

  4. Amazon Affiliates

    amazon

    This has started to show some promise for Money Funk. Most of the sales are generated through book sales and tutorials from previous posts.

  5.  

     

  6. Commission Junction

     

    commission junction

    Commission Junction’s network provides publishers with opportunities to partner with leading advertisers while having access to millions of links and offers. This has provided me with a small income stream. I tend to link general products not associated with personal finance, just to break up the monotony. One exception, I offer a great place to print grocery coupons free of charge and receive a referral rate for your click (located as a text link in sidebar). I plan to experiment further commission junction’s advertising links.

 

There are many sites that offer great advice to make money blogging. Two of my favorite links are ProBlogger and Christian Personal Finance.

How to Make a Bar Chart for Your Blog

API Google Chart

Just one of the many cool charts you can create with Google Chart API

Do you every wonder how to get those cool bar graphs to mark your financial progress?

Well, Google Chart API lets you ‘dynamically generate charts’ by returning a PNG-format image in response to a URL. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize it couldn’t be more simple!

In this example, we will create a bar chart representing my imaginary savings account marked against my goal. :) This technical mumbo jumbo only looks scarier than it really is. Trust me. Give it a try.

To Make Your Own Chart

Define URL with Chart API’s location:

http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?

Define the Chart’s size:

chs=500×120

Define the Chart type:

&cht=bhs

*bhs defines bar chart, horizontal

Define the colors:

&chco=4D89F9,C6D9FD

Define colors using html’s rrggbb code, found here.

Map the Chart’s Data:

&chd=t:7000|10000

7000 representing $7,000 against $10,000. Change to your own defined values. The (|) symbol found under your backspace key on the keyboard (shift + \ = |)

Define the value range:

&chds=0,10000

In this case we are representing $0 to $10,000

Add labels on the x-axis:

&chxt=x

Define x-axis labels:

&chxl=0:|0|7000|10000

Add a title:

&chtt=Money+in+my+Savings|Nov 2009

 

So now your URL should look like this:

<”http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?
chs=300×100
&cht=bhs
&chco=4D89F9,C6D9FD
&chd=t:7000|10000
&chds=0,10000
&chxt=x
&chxl=0:|0|$7000|$10000
&chtt=Money+in+my+Savings|Nov 2009″/>

When you embed a URL in an HTML IMG tag, take care to use the character entity &amp; reference in place of an ampersand (&).

<img src=”http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?
chs=300×100
&amp;cht=bhs
&amp;chco=4D89F9,C6D9FD
&amp;chd=t:7000|10000
&amp;chds=0,10000
&amp;chxt=x
&amp;chxl=0:|0|$7000|$10000
&amp;chtt=Money+in+my+Savings|Nov 2009/”>
*post as one line straight across

If it works properly, it should look like this:

Try it for yourself. Copy and paste this URL into the address bar and hit enter:

If you’d like to discover a wider range of groovy choices or to find other types of charts, visit Google Chart API development tool site.

Help Brand Money Funk

wanted one logo

MoneyFunk needs your branding help! Every so often, the MoneyFunk Blog undergoes renovations to make it better for my readers. I think I finally ‘got it’! Some of the recent changes have been:

 

  • New site design by Moi. My OCD personality restructured the blog theme after another popular blog. I was going to ask you if you knew which blog that was, but they recently went about their own upgrades. (I say OCD, because if you have been following me then you realize how many times my blog design has changed)
  • Finalized the color choice to Blue & Yellow and marked the Hex Colors in my notebook
  • Updated the About Money Funk Page
  • Still updating and alphabetizing the Blogroll page – have I included you? If you’d like to be included on the blogroll, please leave a comment or email me
  • Beginning to restructure or construe my blog posts to offer you more valuable content
  • Make sure to offer lots of valuable link love – I don’t have all the answers and I know that when I need to know something, a lot of my blog friends have the answer
  • Added a Write for Us page – Again, lots of bloggers with great content. Come share it!
  • Started to have the blog reflect my family’s efforts in becoming debt free – I can’t do this alone, nor have I been doing it alone. This is my family’s PF journey. I have begun to include my husband’s efforts more. There may be posts coming from his side of the story soon :)

 

What has happened since I’ve begin restructuring:

 

  • Increased readership and subscribers
  • Increased comments with valuable insight to many areas of personal finance and living frugal
  • Increased Passion in people wanting to get out of debt and/or building a greater foundation for themselves
  • Increased passion to find our way out of this debt and to share it with you.

 

Now I need your help!

 

Two things. I hope you’ll keep reading because I really need your help.

 

What kind of content would you like or do see on MoneyFunk? Is it important for you to have the content appear on a specific day, categorized?

A lot of times I will write in no specific order. No Tight Wad Tuesdays or Friday Success Stories. I just write what is on my mind and in my agenda.

 

  • Would it help to see specific content on one of the days during the week?
  • What are MoneyFunk’s strong aspects? or even what are my negative aspects? I respect truth.
  • Tell me the first word that comes to mind when you think of MoneyFunk

 

MoneyFunk needs a Icon to adorn the Logo.

 

MF Logo

 

Some of the sites will have a text logo – reference based on a particular font. Other sites use a symbol or icon with or without their companies name; like Taco Bell (the bell), Blogger, Target (red bullseye). (Fabulously Broke just blogged about a logo quiz – you’ll see what I mean)

 

Logos

 

I designed my Money Funk title, but think I am going to side with placing a logo next to it. I’ve been scouring iStockPhoto for images and have a few in mind.

 

My Question to you: When you think of MoneyFunk, what image comes to mind to reflect the writings found on this site? No image? What is the first word that comes to mind?

 

Have other comments or thoughts, please share. Thank you for taking the time to read this long post. I am sure I’ve probably asked more questions than needed. The last two questions above are the most important. Your insight is greatly valued.

Thank you!
Christine @ MoneyFunk