Last week, I decided to try publishing this ezine using Blog software. I’ve been trying to stick to putting out an issue once a week but that’s been difficult. Part of the problem has been getting everything formatted properly.
When it comes to the way my web pages look, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. The challenge for me is time. Since I primarily focus on product reviews, I have to:
Thoroughly review the product or service
Write and edit my review in a text file
Convert that text to HTML
Upload the HTML to my website
Upload the HTML to Desktop Marketer for subscribers that opt to get the ezine that way.
Write a text email to let you know the new ezine is online.
Run that text email through a Spam Filter to make sure that it will actually get to you.
Send the emails out via 1shoppingcart.
The formatting part holds me up every time. I’ve tried using WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) HTML editors like Dream Weaver and Front Page but they always seem to mess something up. So, I tend to write HTML the old fashioned way.
Then I started publishing my blog for John Reese’s Traffic Secrets course using Blogger.com. I didn’t particularly like Blogger’s stock template but did find it very simple to use.
The actual posts came out looking exactly like I wanted and I could get something online in minutes rather than hours.
I did a little research and discovered a free, open-source blog software called WordPress. It took me about 10 minutes to install on my website. The first time I tried something went wrong and I had to reinstall. WordPress has a user’s forum and I was able to find what I did wrong after just a few minutes. The 2nd install worked perfectly.
I put a post on the forum looking for someone to help me customize the blog to match my website. I quickly got an email from someone recommending Jeremy Poradek. Jeremy is a college student that does excellent work. He’s fast, inexpensive (he adapted WordPress to my template, installed an additional script and did some customization for only $50) and does great work. Best of all, unlike every designer I’ve ever worked with, I never had to tell him to do something twice.
If you need a website designed or want to add a blog to your site, contact Jeremy. His website is at http://jporadek.com/. But don’t judge Jeremy by his own website. It’s about as far from an ecommerce website as you can get but he does great work for others. Tell him I sent you. I don’t make anything off the deal, I just want him to keep building sites for me when he’s flooded with business.
Anyway, while Jeremy was working on the template, I tested the software by posting a few of my older articles. At this point, there was no link to the blog from my website. You had to know the address to find it.
What happened next shocked me. With WordPress, you have the option to allow people to add comments to your posts. You can let these posts appear immediately or elect to hold them for your approval. I chose the latter option.
About an hour after posting these old articles, I got an email telling me that someone had posted a comment about my article. What? Somehow, Google had found my blog and indexed it within an hour of my post.
I’d heard that Google likes blogs but never expected to get mine in Google that fast. Incredible!
So far, I’m very pleased with WordPress. The ezine goes online in a third of the time it used to take. Plus, if I get a hot tip for you or need to make a quick announcement during the week, I can post something on the blog and have it online for you in a few minutes.
There are a lot of cool things you can do with this software and I’ll be talking about that in the coming weeks. I’m convinced this is the way to go. And, best of all, WordPress is free.
The bad news is that I’ll no longer be publishing the ezine via Desktop Marketer. However, for those of you that like getting the ezine that way, there are free RSS readers available that will work in a similar fashion to DM but you’ll also be able to use them to get other ezines and website updates.
I’m going to test a few of those this week and will let you know my recommendation next week. If you’ve got a free RSS reader that you really like, shoot me an email and let me know or, better yet, post it in the comments section at the bottom of this article. But remember, you won’t see your comment immediately, it’ll only display once I approve it.
I’m not trying to censor anyone but rather trying to prevent spam which is one of the negatives about having a blog. Spammers love to post ads and links to unrelated websites on blogs. This extra step will prevent that from happening here.
This week, I’ve reviewed Jimmy D. Brown and Ryan Deiss’s Niche Pay Raise audio/ebook. Click here to read it.
By the way, this blog page is not yet linked to from my main page. I’m redesigning my pages to accomodate the new, wider menu. So be sure to bookmark this page so you can easily find it.
That’s all for now. Have a great weekend!
All the best,