Blogging Hero

How to Make Money with Your Blog

What does your blog look like to your visitors?


Have you checked to see what it looks like in other browsers?

If not, you might want to start.  (For the newbies, a browser is the program you use to view the internet, like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer.)

Different browsers support different things, different types of code, so they can display websites differently.  It’s important that you make sure your blog layout works in all of the popular browsers.

You want to make sure first of all that your website functions properly and the navigation is clear in all browsers, and then that your layout looks appealing and how it should.  Sometimes, because browsers display sites differently, you can get awkward spacing that makes your website look like a mess!

Imagine if you were a visitor and came upon a website with awkward blank spaces and obscured navigation.  It wouldn’t look professional and you probably wouldn’t come back.  You want to make sure that your blog is friendly to every visitor who stumbles across it.

You don’t need to download a bunch of different browsers to check your blog.  (You can if you feel the need, and it might help for you to have the most popular browsers.)  You can visit websites like, which will give you screenshots of what your blog looks like in various browsers – not just different browsers, but also different versions of each of them.

While you’re at it, you should also consider the resolution size that people are viewing your website with, as this can also affect how the layout is displayed.

How do I know what my visitors are using?

Analytics programs (like Google Analytics) can provide these statistics for you.  They can tell you what browsers your visitors are using and the percentage of visitors using that browser, and also what screen resolutions they are using.

More Tips for Pay Per Click Links


Having trouble getting your readers to click on your pay per click links?

As discussed in a previous post, there are a few ways to get your readers to click PPC links by mentioning them on your blog. In that post we briefly discussed how you can use design to help readers notice your ads and therefore click them.  For example, you can post your link at the top of the page so its visible right away, and you can make it stand out by surrounding it with blank space.

Here are 2 design tips you can use that follows along those lines of making your ad “Stand Out”.

Avoid distracting widgets

You might have a number of links, pictures and widgets in your side bar.  All of these things can distract your reader from clicking on the ad.  Simplicity will help you here.  If there are less things to divide your reader’s attention, chances are they will be more likely to click your PPC ad.

A lot of the time, when readers see a mess of “things” on a side bar, their eyes my just skip over it entirely and they won’t even bother looking there.

Direct your readers’ eyes to the ad

It is a way to help things stand out on a page.  Often, blogs will have distinct elements or sections of a page.  For example, you have the top banner, then you have the content, then you have the side bar.  The sidebar itself is often divided into neat little boxes.

This “boxy” type layout may help you get your PPC ads noticed.  To get it noticed, you can have it stick out a little bit, outside the “boxes” on your page.  You can also use a different font color, a different background color, a different font face, a different font size, a different font style, etc.

By making your ad different, you can draw your visitors’ eyes to that section of your blog.

(Of course you can also use this to attract your visitors’ eyes to other things – not just your PPC ads.  You might want to use this for your content as well.  If you have one article that you think is really good, post the title in a different font color, use a different background – etc, all the same things mentioned before.  Then if a reader comes to your page, they will be drawn to that article.

Drawing a reader to a particular article may give them something to focus on, whereas otherwise they might feel overwhelmed or unsure about where to begin.)

The key to making this strategy work is to make sure you don’t go crazy and over do it.  If you want to make an article stand out, you can only make one (maybe two… a small number) stand out.  Overall, the layout design should be simple and organized – it should be neat, with the exception of that one item, your PPC ad or your article (you could probably do both).

If all your articles have different colors and font styles etc, then it won’t stand out.  To have something standout, the rest of the page should be mostly uniform.

Attract Readers with an Easy To Read Blog


Have a high bounce rate?  Maybe your text is too hard to read.

If you want your readers to stick around, you’re going to need to make sure they can read your blog.

One of the easiest things to do in regards to reader usability is to make the text easy to read, and yet I’ve seen so many blogs that are nearly impossible to read.

If I can’t read a blog, then I won’t read it – I’m gone.  Staring at a computer screen causes enough eyestrain as it is, I don’t want to be squinting at the screen trying to decipher text.

There are at least three things you should consider when determining the readability of your blog:

  • Font Style
  • Background
  • Skimmability

Choose a Good Font Style

Who is your target audience?  Does your font really have to be Arial size 8?  Maybe you think the smaller font is cute, but if you are writing for older people, will they be able to read it?  They don’t even necessarily have to be old.  I’m in my earlier twenties and I find myself squinting at size 8 font.  Just make life easier, and at least go with size 10.

Also consider the font face.  Script fonts can look nice, and if you are going for a more antique feel, or a diary esque feel, you might want to use fonts that look handwritten.  Be careful doing this.  Fonts might look different on different resolutions and different browsers.  You can check your browser compatibility.  But ultimately, you should probablby avoid using a cursivey font.  They do look nice, so if you want to use them, use them sparingly, perhaps in your logo or your headings.

Also consider: sometimes people just do not have the font you are using.  If they don’t have it, then their browser will substitute a different font.  You can set which font the browser will go to in your html code.

Avoid Busy Backgrounds

Color plays an incredibly important role in readability.  Use colors that are easy on the eyes.  Red text on a blue background … probably not the best choice.  I would also avoid using dark backgrounds with light text.  This can also hurt someone’s eyes, especially if they are used to reading text on a white background.

Lighter colors are better, but if you really like the look of a dark background consider this: the page background can be dark, but you can use a lighter background for the area behind the posts.

You’ll also want to consider the pattern of the background.  Some very busy backgrounds can make the text hard to read.  If you want to use a patterned background, try making the area behind the actual text a solid color.

Make Your Posts “Skim”-able

The easier it is, the more likely people will read.  You need to entice them to read in the first place.  It’s like using a good cover to get a reader to open a book.  For blogs, you need a good layout – that is, an easy to use layout – to get visitors to read your posts.

I can never stress enough the importance of using shorter paragraphs.  Many readers just don’t like the long of long paragraphs.  They’re intimidated and therefore turned off from reading.  For more information, you can read my older post about how to write easy to read posts that appeal to readers.

It’s simple – easy to read posts make your readers happy, and happy readers will keep coming back.

How to Organize your Blog: Navigation Tips


When a reader visits your site, you want to provide them with an experience that is pleasurable, and thus memorable.  One of the best ways to do this is by creating an easy-to-use navigation bar.

Intuitive navigation and usability are key aspects to provide your reader with a satisfying experience that will keep him or her coming back to your site.

Here are a few things you can do to make navigation easier.

Put a Main Navigation Bar at the top of your blog

This should include a clear link to your home page.  Many bloggers also include a link to an About page and a Disclaimer Policy (if you accept money for ads and/or paid reviews).  You may also include a Contact link.  Perhaps you could also include a “Guest Post Policy” link, if you frequently have people request to do a guest post on your blog.

Use Categories

New readers won’t have read your older posts, yet those posts may be of interest to them.  Help them find these old posts by including a Categories section on the side bar.

This will help users find posts by topic, meaning they can more easily access the subjects they are interested in.

Put your Newsletter and RSS Feed Sign Up at the Top

If you have a newsletter, put the sign up for it near the top of the screen, where it is easy to see.  If you have an RSS Feed, do the same thing.

Some readers will look for either of these things, and by placing it in a visible spot, you’ll help them find it faster.  They might give up if they can’t find it.  And, some visitors might not have thought or known to look for a newsletter sign up, but now that they see it, they will.

Use Related Posts Plug In

Another good idea is to include a ‘related post’ section at the bottom of each post.  If visitors enjoyed reading your post, now they will be able to see related topics that they might also be interested in.

Link to Older Posts in Your Newer Post

Include in-text links to older posts within the body of your newer articles.  Make sure you use specific anchor text.  Don’t just say “read this older post,” say “for more information about making your blog user friendly, read this post about how to organize your blog”.

A positive user experience will increase the chances that readers will return to your blog.  Easy navigation is one simple way you can make your readers happy.

Craft Your Posts For Your Readers: How Article Design Can Increase Traffic


How your content appears on the page can have a huge influence on your bounce rate and ultimately your number of readers.

Blogging isn’t just about writing content, it’s about how you format your content.  Here are a few things you should think about when formatting your content:

  • Paragraph length: keep it short
  • Use of headings: direct your readers to unique content
  • Lists: provide a preview, entice readers to keep reading
  • Your Audience: what do they expect to see?

With the popularity of texting and websites like Facebook and Twitter, it seems as though people today have shorter attention spans.  When people text they try to fit the most amount of information into as small a space as possible.  The same goes for Twitter.

This means that longer paragraphs and longer articles may be intimidating to some of your readers.  Most readers probably do not even read entire articles, and instead just skim them.

Use Short Paragraphs

If you have large blocks of text, then most viewers will probably be bored or intimidated, and they’ll stop reading and leave your site.  Using short paragraphs may encourage readers to stay longer, since it’s easier on the eyes.

Think about it: if someone puts a large cookie in front of you, you may decline because it’s too big, you’re too full and you don’t want all those calories.  But if someone puts a plate of small, snack-sized cookies in front of you, you’ll eat one, and then another, and then another.  Before you know it, they’re all gone.

Break up your post with headings

This makes your post more structured looking, and helps your reader know what each part of your post is about.  They can skip headings they’re not interested in and beeline straight for the ones they are.  Thus it’s easier for them to find information they’re looking for, and when a site is easy to use, visitors will keep coming back.

Headings also help search engines understand what your content is about, so they have a better chance of marking your page as relevant.

Lists are fast and easy to read

Lists also look appealing, and add more variety to your post.  With bulleted lists and headings your post will be less intimidating to readers afraid of large blocks of text.


  • are easy to read
  • are a good summary for your readers
  • can act like a table of contents (if included in the beginning of the post)
  • sum up the post for readers
  • act like a preview to entice readers to keep reading

Your Audience

Keep in mind, of course, that different subjects will have different kinds of readers.  For example, a political blog will probably have followers who enjoy reading long, analytical posts, so it’s good to do long posts now and then, too.  Longer posts with more text may look more academic, and so if you are targeting a more academic audience, you’ll want to structure your posts for them.

How Your Blog’s Layout Can Increase Your Blog Traffic


How a blog looks can have such an influential effect on how much money you make. You can make more money online with a better design. Unfortunately it’s true that people judge books by their covers – and also websites. You can draw readers in if you have a nice, attractive layout, and you can keep them coming if your site is easy to navigate and user-friendly.

Here are five basic things you should consider when designing your page:

  • Banner & Background
  • Readability
  • Relevancy
  • Usability
  • Ad Location

Banner & Background

“Use original content” goes for both your words and your images. Readers will be more impressed if you can create your own top image. Don’t go too crazy over it though; it doesn’t have to be too extravagant. If you want a more clean, functional look, then you can just include your logo at the top.

Your layout can look nice with really any type of background, whether it’s just a solid color, a simple design (ie: stripes), or an image. If you do use an image, then I would strongly recommend that you use a solid color background for your posts. Text is usually impossible to read on top of an image. If your readers can’t read your content, they’re not coming back.

Try to spice things up and keep it exciting by including at least three different colors. Colors should match and complement each other – not clash!


What good is good content if your readers can’t make out the words? When ensuring that your text is readable, you should look at three things: font color, font type, and font size. Your color should contrast enough so that its readable, but it should not contrast enough with the background so that it hurts the eyes to look at. Bright red can be difficult to read on a bright blue background, for example.

As far as font type and font size go… keep your audience in mind. If you are writing for an older audience, you should probably stick with a larger font. If you are writing a humorous blog, comic sans, for example, would be fine. But if you are writing a more serious blog, you might want to go with Times New Roman or Georgia.

Just remember, if they can’t read it, they’re not sticking around. Easy text to read will encourage your visitors to return and increase blog readership.


Your layout should be appropriate to your content. If you are writing about food and cooking, then you could have a picture of food in your top banner. But don’t have a picture of soccer players.

Taste and style is going to depend on you, and your viewers. Keep your subject in mind when creating a design. For example, you will not want a pink background and bubbly text if you are writing about wrestling, cars, etc.


One of the most important things is that your site is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Put some tabs at the top to help guide your readers throughout your website. If you write about multiple topics, include a sort of “Table of Contents” type of list in a side bar. For instance, if you have a Food & Cooking blog, you could have a link to “recipes,” another to “recommended cooking supplies”. Make sure that these are visible across your website. A user might not access your site straight through the home page. He might find a link or have been directed by a search engine to a particular.

Also keep in mind that cluttering your page with a variety of ads, widgets, buttons and banners might make it harder for readers to find their way around. You can still incorporate these things into your layout, just make sure they do not interfere with your reader’s ease of navigation. Swamping your page with all these can also slow down how fast the page loads – and if it takes too long, a visitor might turn back.

Ad Location

If you have ads, try to make them unobtrusive. Of course they are going to have to be noticeable (that’s their purpose), but work them into the layout so that they fit. Sometimes I see ads that literally do not fit into a column, and it makes the page look sloppy. If a page looks sloppy, viewers might not want to come back. Furthermore, and this is crucial if you are just starting out, do not over load the page with ads.

While we do want to impress our readers, we also do not want to overwhelm them. I’ve seen websites with music, pictures everywhere, and even little pictures that trail after the mouse as it moves around the screen. This is over kill! And probably much worse than a simple, “boring” layout. Whereas a boring layout might not necessarily give a warm welcome or invite, an over the top design can scare the reader away. I certainly have no interest in searching for the real content when I’m bombarded by too many images.  For more great tips on layout design, read this article about designing effective layouts.

If you aren’t good at web design, you may want to hire someone or, if you can’t afford that, start with a template. The free blogging sites usually come with one and they are somewhat customizable.

Some final tips…

Do… make your layout attractive, clean and functional.

Don’t… depend on your nice layout

Don’t focus all your time on making your layout perfect. Yes, it’s important, but don’t forget to update your content! There are many different ways to increase blog traffic, and the layout is only one!