Disclaimer for FTC compliance purposes: Some, but not all!, of the links in this blog post are referral links. They might make me money if somebody buys something via these links. But using these links doesn’t costs you any money and, most importantly: The opinions voiced in this blog post are not influenced by the existence of said referral links. The last one you just have to believe me 😉
I recently decided to upgrade to the latest version of the theme I use on this blog. This was mainly due to the fact that I needed some of the additional features that the newer version provides. I needed them especially for my entry at the oes tsetnoc contest and to improve the general on page seo of this blog.
Now, using a free theme means that you don’t have to pay for an upgrade (actually I did made a donation or two to the theme developer previously ;-)) But when you upgrade, you still have to transfer your settings and transfer previous code tweaks to the new version. Something I was not looking forward to, but I bit the bullet.
As I was on it, I decided also to clean up a bit my layout, especially the sidebars. I removed some plugins I was not really using and that added no value for my readers. One plugin I removed was the one that displays similar posts. I decided I could save a bit of page loading speed and provide better results, by doing the linking myself, old-fashioned, by hand.
But I installed also a new plugin! But it is very light-weight and unobtrusive 😉 Did you notice the new top stripe ad, the one that is “glued” to the top of the page and moves down with it?
It is provided as “review ware” by Maxblogpress (ad stripe) and makes excellent use of the space on top of a blog. Even John Chow is using it 😉 You can adjust color, font, size, location, stick it to the top or not, and much more. This plugin is free (a review is appreciated) but if you want to loose the “powered by Maxblogpress” bit, you can do this by paying an one time off fee.
So far I am happy to use this stripe ad as it is and it does help me to use the ad space on my blog better and hopefully will improve the click-through rate and sales rate of the product I am promoting.
Next thing I did was to analyze which ads / products /services were the most successful ones on this blog. It boiled down to being Market Samurai (a keyword and seo research tool) and the Hostgator banner. Hostgator is the web host that hosts this blog and many others of my sites and I can really, really recommend it, especially their 24/7 live support is outstanding. I am a happy bunny since I switched to them more then two years ago, my previous web host was an incompetent nightmare! Or actually they were very competent when it came to provide nightmares for their users!
So, that is it with ads. I might inline post ads again when the need / occasion arises like I did during Black Friday / Cyber Monday, but for the moment I am happy as it is. Oh, and there is obviously Chitika, but that is worth another blog post 😉
And now, in the spirit of “pay it forward seo” here my blog post recommendation of the day: Kikolani, whose real name is Kristi, wrote some days ago about “free wordpress themes with a catch” Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of free wordpress themes, I am using one myself here, but what this theme developer did to people that downloaded and used his so-called free themes, was simply – evil. Go over and read the whole story at Kikolani’s blog!
Question of the day: How often and why do you tweak, update or change your blog theme and / or layout? And why? Care to share?
If you like this blog post and found it helpful, why not share it with your preferred social network? Handy links and bookmarklets above ^^^ 😉