When Should You Monetize Your Website?

All business websites intend to create some type of value for the owner. Maybe the goal is to sell products. Or maybe it is to promote services. A common approach right now is to make money with advertisements. There are primarily two different approaches to monetizing a website or blog with ads. Some website owners choose to build traffic first and monetize later, while others choose to include monetization attempts from the start. There are pros and cons for each approach, and we’ll take a look at some of the factors that should be considered when making a decision.

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Building a Successful Niche Social Media Website: An Interview With Andrew Egenes of Design Float

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you have probably seen that I have an interest in niche social media websites. However, the problem with niche social sites is that most of them have only a handful of users and they provide very little potential for marketing your website or blog. That makes the good ones even more valuable.

If you are a web designer or if you enjoy reading web design-related articles, hopefully you’ve already come across Design Float. Those of us in the web design industry are fortunate that there are several useful design-related social media sites. If you’re looking for a place to promote your own content and find other items of interest, I think you’ll like Design Float.

Unlike many other niche sites, Design Float sends a significant amount of traffic to popular submissions (in fact, today I’ve received well over 300 visitors from Design Float). And as its community grows I only expect it to get better.

I had the opportunity to interview Andrew Egenes, the owner of Design Float, about his experience with creating a successful niche social media site. Andrew has a great deal of insight that many of us can learn from. In just a few months he has accomplished the very daunting task of getting a niche social media website off the ground. I hope you’ll enjoy Andrew’s insight as much as I have.

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20 Websites With Unique Layouts

When you are creating a new website you may be inspired by seeing other sites that feature unique layouts. The 20 sites listed here don’t simply use a typical two or three column layout. Many of them use background images to interact with and control the layout in some unique way. Some of them I really like, and some I’m not sold on, but all are unique in one way or another.

Popmatik – Freelance web designer Rob Leach uses a unique layout for his portfolio site. The site uses a background image of a bottle and the content of the site appears to be on the label of the bottle.

Popmatik Screenshot

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StumbleUpon: Interesting Results Examined

Last week I published a post that did pretty well with a few social media sites, but I saw some interesting results from StumbleUpon that I thought were worth sharing. I normally don’t send pages to my StumbleUpon friends through the SU toolbar to ask for a thumbs up, but I did for this post and it seems like that may have restricted the amount of traffic the post received from SU.

To look at the situation I’m going to compare the stats from that post to stats from another post that had similar success with social media last month. Both posts received very similar traffic from DZone, del.icio.us, popurls, and CSS Globe.

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Networking for Bloggers: 8 Keys to Making Yourself More Valuable to Others

For bloggers and website owners building a strong network is crucial. In order to be a great networker, you need to make yourself valuable for others. Fortunately, there are many ways to do so, even if you are brand new to blogging and internet marketing.

8 Keys to Making Yourself Valuable:

Know Your Role

Know what you have to offer, and how you can help others. Try to look at yourself from the perspective of others. What would they want from you? Go a step further and think about what you have to offer that others may not even know about. Focus on fulfilling your role, and doing what you do to the best of your ability.

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Viewing Your Website as an Asset

Most people view internet businesses as a hobby or interest while a more traditional (offline) business is taken more seriously. Anyone who has built a successful online business knows that it needs to be treated like any other business, with respect.

Sometimes those of us who are building businesses online tend to overlook all of the assets that we are building. However, just because something is an asset doesn’t mean that it could or should be sold. An asset is valuable because it helps the business to grow and succeed.

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10 Tools for Researching Domain Names

If you are planning to start a new website and buy a domain name you will probably need to do some research on any domains that you are considering. This article does not focus on finding the right domain name, but rather the research that should be done once you’ve found a domain that you want to use.

The domain name that you purchase may or may not have a history, and that is what you need to know about. It’s possible that the domain has been penalized by Google or other search engines for the practices of previous owners, which is certainly something that you will want to avoid. A domain with a negative history can carry over when you start hosting your site on that domain.

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9 Ways to Gauge Your Visitors' Experience

Measuring tapeOne of the most important factors in the success of a website is the visitors’ opinions and experiences. A site that is liked by visitors will typically be successful, while those that aren’t liked by visitors will struggle. A challenge that all website owners face is determining how visitors feel about their experience on the site. In most cases you won’t have the option to speak directly with visitors to get their opinions.

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22 Resources to Easily Create CSS Layouts

Web designers are always looking for ways to save time and simplify the design process. Well, creating a basic layout doesn’t have to take any time at all. All of the resources listed here will help you to create the structure for CSS-based designs. None of these resources are templates that attempt to replace the need for a design; rather, they all aim to simplify the process by creating a skeleton that you will build upon.

Layout Gala – 40 different CSS-based layouts including fixed and fluid widths.

Layout Gala Screenshot

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Improving Your Blog Visitors' First Experience

A few weeks ago I wrote about several factors that influence the first impression of visitors to your website. Because first impressions are so powerful, you should always be trying to improve the experience for new visitors in a way that will encourage repeat visits. As a blogger, your visitors will come from all over. They’ll arrive through links from other websites and blogs, search engines, comments on other blogs, social media, etc. The majority of visitors will not arrive at your blog through your front page, but rather through a particular blog post.

It’s easy to sometimes forget about new visitors while you are trying to improve your blog by serving your subscribers, but in order to maximize the growth of your blog, you’ll also need to consider the needs of the first-time visitor.

What Will New Visitors to Your Blog Want to See?

1. What is your blog about?

Many first-time visitors will want to find an About page to find out more about the blog. Your blog should not only include an About page, but it should also be very easy for visitors to find. Using descriptive categories for your posts can also help new visitors to see the focus of your blog.

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