How to make a successful blog?

This topic is one of the most searched topics online these days. Everybody wants to have and writes about having a successful blog. But the truth is ..this is a hard thing to to. It takes a lot of work, a lot of time, planing and a lot of discipline.

This article is a continuation of the  How to make a site and sell it for $10000! article and it focuses on blog development part. I will assume you already read that and you made your homework.

Here are the things you should consider blogging if you want to achieve greatness at this:

1. If you think you can setup a wordpress installation, choose a theme, write 2 articles and … wait to get the money, you are wrong!! Stop reading anymore, don’t waist your time. This is not for you!

2. Blogging means lots of work. Months of writing without any payment and before you see any google love.

3. You have to get familiar to failing. Learning from failure will make you and your blog successful.

4. Don’t steal!! Try to be as original as you can! Google loves new and original content and so will your readers.

5. Stay focused! Ignore stupid comments. Don’t let them alter the way you think about yourself. Don’t let anyone between you and your goals. Stay true to your beliefs and your work methods.

6. Always do your research! Always spend time and document your topic as good as you can.

7. Give Caesar what’s Caesar’s. Also linking to the websites/blogs you inspired while researching your topic..is a good thing. Your reader will love the extra info they will get from there. Google will also see your links there and appreciate your post as a relevant one.

8. Always try to write about things you love. As I said on the other article, loving a topic ..implies knowing about it. Your auditorium will notice the way you feel about the subject and if interested in that they will also love it!

9. Connect with your readers! Try to develop a relationship with them. Always answer to their comments. It will keep your post alive  and relevant more than you think.

10. Get social! this is somehow related to the above one but this time i’m thinking about Tweeter, Facebook and Google+. Get yourself up there. get folowers and likes and .. try to contribute as much as you can on this social cloud as possible.

11.  Don’t be shy! Speak your mind! Get involved in anything that requires your presence! Go and meet personally your blogosphere fellows! Connections in real life are as important as the virtual ones! :)

12. Get real! Don’t bullshit your readers!  They will know when you’re writing about something you don’t know!

13. Write as much as you can. You can write 2-3 times a week, once a week or 5 times a day! Does not matter the frequency. Al lit matter that your content is relevant and that you keep updating your blog!

14. How many words should I write? I’ve seen some great bloggers following a rule of writing around 300-500 words per posts. Other are saying that the longer the post the better. I don’t have any rule. I try to write as much as i can, depending on what i have to say.

15. Keep it simple! Yeah , i know I just advised you above to write as much as you can, but don’t loose focus. Google might love the extra words ..but your readers will move on if they get bored with your “blah blah”

16. Find your niche! If you can find 10k readers to read what you eat in the morning how many times you’ve been to the toilette and how bad is your finger nails polished .. than you can ignore this one. Otherwise you really need to find your place in this informational cloud that is today’s blogosphere.  As I mentioned above, write about something you love, you know and you don’t get bored to soon.

17. Monetize your blog! Having a successful blog does not mean only writing in it and having traffic. It also means you have to monetize it.  You can do that by researching your competitors. Find out how they make money. Study their websites .. see what affiliates they use, where they sell their ads. How they manage to have all advertising spots occupied. I would also take a look on buysellads.com and check your competition in there. See how they do business.

18. Design your blog. We all know content is king and .. the truth is .. if you really have great content it does not mater how your website looks like. But .. again there’s a but! :) How much difficult to get you make your other relevant content for your readers? How easy is for them to get to other blog posts? Is your blog user friendly? If you can’t do it yourself or find a free great theme for that, or if any of the free themes don’t satisfy your need than you should think about buying a theme or getting yourself  a custom designed theme. You can always check out themeforest for great designed wordpress themes. Or find a freelancer do make that for you from scratch. Don’t forget you only have 2-3 seconds to make a good first impression on your readers, design has also a lot to do with that!

19. Speed up your blog. Try to keep pictures you post in your blog not to big. Optimizing their size would be a great idea. I’ve seen more than 100’s times great blogs lagging because the writer uploaded 15 huge pictures in one page. Why would you put a picture so big in a blog post? A normal blog is around 1000>1200 pixels wide. On some retina displays with @2x technique layouts you could have bigger pictures. but crunching a 4800px wide image into a 800px spot is plain stupid and it freezes your site.

Using to many plugins can also make your blog work slow, remove, update or replace the ones that slow you down.

You could also look into some caching plugins .. if you really need it.

All the above don’t exclude having the best hosting with the fastest response time you can afford :)

20. SEO! Wtf seo means? SEO comes from Search Engine Optimization. This is a huge topic I would love to get into at a later point but for now i would recommend you just using a plugin that helps allot your blog accomplishing this optimizing. The best plugins in this area are All In one SEO Pack (i use in this very blog) and WordPress SEO. Both of them incredible easy to use and incredible powerful. Here are some basic simple SEO rules by Alex Chris.

21. CONTENT IS KING! Yes, the best thing you can do is WRITE the best content you can. proofread you article, spell check and double spell check.

22. Make guest posts on other peoples blogs. Yeah .. it sounds stupid? Well ..that’s how I first think about it when i first read about this. Why would you do that? First because you can address yourself to someones readers. Second, you will be allowed to write a few words about you in that post. That translates into a free link towards your blog and maybe some readers too.

23. High standards! We all love quality things. So is in blogging. Every article has to be at some levels if you want to impress your readers.

24. Use an Email List! Yeah, i know it’s almost 2015 :))  Why are those so important? I believe this is the most important thing about blogging. Think about it! Why would you sign up in an email list? Maybe because you like the content of that site? Maybe because you want to get more quality content from this website? The followers of your tweeter account are not always interested in what you have to say, but a person who knowingly subscribed to your email list really WANT’S TO KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY.

25. Be active on Blogosphere! Go on other peoples blogs, on competition .. and start commenting on subjects related to your niche. Networking with other bloggers will help your site greatly!

26.  Delegate! When you are caught in other stuff don’t neglect your blog! Hire people to write for you. Hire a freelancer to update your design. Find a smart marketing guy that can help you with that. You can get as big as you want, if you work your ass off, but you can get even bigger if you know how to share and delegate work. Don’t be afraid to do this.

27. Contact. Make at least one way for your reader to contact you. Trough your contact page, your skype, your social accounts.

28. Link to your previous posts! If you don’t link to your blog ..who will? It’s the only way yo get internal links. And it’s a great tool to achieve that SEO I wrote about few lines above.

29. Invite People to Guest Post on your blog! This is just as important as is posting on other blogs. You will get free, unique and quality content. And get a friend in the meantime.

30.Learn from your readers. Don’t be a smart ass!  nobody likes someone who’s always right and won’t admit is wrong. Learn from your readers comments but also from their preferences on your site. (write more posts on the topic you say has more success).

I will keep this open for more advice you guys can think of.

WordPress 4.1 is finally released!

What are the main improvements in the new version?

After I’ve played a bit with the RC version I noticed the following improvements:
– Support fortag – now we can make wordpress themes with much better support for it. – new Template tags for archive, navigation tags.. – the newer Distraction Free Writing is more user friendly. Includes all kind of triggers (haven’t discovered them all yet). Has very fluid transitions .. and many changes that improves your workflow.

You can check more stuff about it here.

How to clean your wordpress site from SoakSoak?

How to clean your wordpress site from SoakSoak?

Most of us never heard about this SoakSoak until this weekend. Looks like since this Sunday there where around 100k worpress sites infested with this malware.

This can be fixed if you know how to remove that code and go behind a firewall.
So what code should you remove? what causes this? What all those infected sites have in common? It can’t be the wordpress itself because that would mean 15-20% of the internet would be infected. So what is then?
It looks that the malware uses a vulnerability in an older version of the Slider Revolution. The guys that made that have already fixed it. So .. if it’s fixed ..why are we talking about this anymore?

Because you should always update all your plugins to the latest version!! The vulnerable version is still online on millions of wordpress sites that use an older version of that plugin.

So if you wanna get rid of this malware you should follow the next steps:
1. backup your site

2. update your wordpress to the latest version

3. update all your plugins to the latest version

4. update your theme to the latest version

5. I would install and config BulletProof Security

6. you should check your site for malware on sucuri free scan

7. if you can you should try & buy their antivirus and firewall.

More update on this problem you can find here

SuperSleek – a free wordpress theme PSD

Here is my design, my first free wordpress theme – free psd. I want to call it SuperSleek.

I’ve done this theme a wile ago and it was waiting for me to make time and slice it up and code it into a wordpess theme. The time went by me and I forgot about it. Now I’m releasing this FREE PSD. If one of you guys has the time and wants to slice this and code it .. i would be happy to let it out there for free .. under some GPL licence. Please download the psd, check it out, use whatever you want to use from it, study it. Learn from it!

I know it’s not the best work i could have done, so please let me know in the comments what you think about the theme? What is that I should improve on it before i slice it?
Here is the preview:

SuperSleek - free wordpress theme
* This is free for personal and commercial use, no attribution necessary, but certainly appreciated!
* Resale or redistribution is prohibited.
* You may not offer this resource for download on your own site.

Note: please register and login to download this free psd.

How to make a site and sell it for $10000!

So you are here to learn how to make a site ?

In the next few lines i will try to explain the best i can and show you with the most samples how to make a great site and then i’ll help you setting up a great sale on flippa.

When you start something like this you have many options: you ca start a blog, a service site, a membership site ..or even an adult entertainment site:))

I will try to explain more about the first 3 options.

What is a blog?

A Blog, is a website where you write your thoughts or sometimes the blog posts can be written on a specific topic (webdesign, make money online, or fitness). When you choose to write your blog only on a specific topic you choose your niche. Usually this limits you but it also has it’s benefits. I will write latter on about choosing the right Niche and growing your site around that.

What is a service site?

A service site is a specific site where clients come and order some specific services you can deliver. Here we talk about webdesign, advertising, hosting, Car polishing or even finger nails polishing. it does not mater what the service is all about, it only mater that you can do that service. You can’t risk having a webdesign site made up .. you advertise it ..clients come and you have no idea on how to write a single line of code ..or how to open Photoshop. Usually you can’t make money with a site like this if you don’t have the knowledge.

What is a membership site?

A membership site is a website where people come and pay to have access to your content. News, wordpress themes, designed elements, audio file, tutorials, courses.. etc.

I will try to elaborate every single type of website in this article.

There are a few things you have to do before you start anything.

No mater what type of site you start with there is a preparation stage! You can’t skip that! There are a few things you have to do before you start your site in order to have success with it.

Figure out what type of website you want to start!

This is a very important step. You have to know from the beginning what you wanna start. Each type has it’s own start up prices and each one has it’s own potential. You have to figure out what you want to do. If you are a good writer you can always start a blog. If you have some specific skills you can start a service site and get clients ..start monetizing your set of skill. And If you got the money, time and skills you can try the 3-rd option. Start a membership site.

Anything you want to do is achievable with lots of work and determination. Don’t stop when things get a little harder .. and don’t sell yourself cheap.

Do something that you love!

If you will start a blog and you will write about fishing. If you love fishing people will notice and they will love your site to. If you hate fishing (like i do) .. you will lack the specific terms, the specific knowledge .. and eventualy you will run out of subjects to write about. You will loose interest in writing about something you don’t like.

Look at me for example: I like designing, i like wordpress and I love smart wordpress themes. You will say i’m loosing time writing this article, but the truth is I love writing this because it’s about everything i know, about everything i do in this business. I might not be the best writer in the world …but I love what i’m doing and that’s why I won’t stop and i’ll keep going further. There are many times I skiped working on this site (maybe to tiered, maybe I worked on a huge project and you didn’t  had time .. or maybe you I just need to spend time with my wife) but i’m always coming back whenever i got free time because i love what i’m doing.  If you write something you don’t believe in .. people will notice and won’t come back for a second reading.

Choose a wide topic, a large niche! 

If you write on a narrow niche,  you will soon remain out of subjects to write about. Also if you pick a niche to small you will notice you have already  an established competition and you won’t be able to compete with them. If you have a bigger topic, than .. there is room  for anyone.

Look at my site: It’s called Super wordpress themes .. but actually is about design, creating websites, advertising websites based on wordpress. So if i where to focus only on wordpress themes, i would have been on a small niche, but choosing writing about all that other stuff that involves using wordpress and a wordpress theme expands my horizons.

You won’t be number 1

Don’t worry about being the first or the best in your niche. There is room for anyone. Today there are almost 1 billion websites out there .. you really believe you are going to be number 1? But . that’s the beauty of Internet,  you can be the fifth . the fourth . .the tenths .. does not mater. You don’t have to be and you can’t be number 1 to make money. Yeah .. would be great if you could be but don’t kill yourself over it!

Have an idea on how you’re going to monetize your site!

If you’re going to sell this site for 10k then your site will have to make money. Nobody will invest so much in a website without seeing some money flowing in. If you build a blog, than you need to sell something on it related to your niche. I promote my wordpress themes in here and my web and banner design service websites.  If you have a fishing blog you will promote all kind of fishing equipment. But you need to figure out this before you start your website.

If you have a service website .. it’s clear you sell those services. And if you have an membership website, yu need to have something to sell in there. Honestly on a membership website .. in the member area I would not advertise anything .. except my products :)

Make a research of your future site!

Get a piece of paper, a pen  and start drawing what you want to do with your site. Write down the functions you want to have. Find your competition, write down what you love about them and what you hate, what you want different on your site.

If you have want to have a blog  go on themeforest and find a theme that suits your needs perfectly or .. maybe get one free super wordpress theme from this website. Or buy some webdesign services and get your premium wordpress theme designed from scratch.

If you want to make a service website ..you can also find incredible business themes on templatemonster.com or themeforest. Almost turnkey websites. You will only have to input your texts and you are done.

For the 3-rd option .. you need more advanced knowledge to make your own site using wordpress (yes it’s possible to use wordpress for that and you can make it for free ). The more expensive solution is to find some developers with experience that can build your website the way you planed it.

 Get your domain! 

This is a very important part of the preparation stage. This step is very important and needs to be addressed with the most attention because this is how you will brand your business. This is how your site will be known and remembered. Also this is important in google searches to.

For example if you will buy a domain called: thebluecarp.com sounds cool, is close to fishing but will it be better than fishingtips.com? Witch one you think google will love more? Everybody knows the words in domain name have a huge impact on google searches. Also the domain name also has to be easy to remember. Imagine your friend found and recommended you a great fishing site called : fishingtipsonhowtofishcarp.com, You think you will remember that name when you got home and try browsing it?

Get A good hosting!

This is a very complex process and I will elaborate this step on another article. But basically you will have to find a host and choose the perfect plan for your website. The host has to be big enough and with options for you to move on once your website takes off and will be more server hungry.

Why I recommend wordpress?

Because it’s beautiful! Because Google love’s it! because it’s simple to operate, maintain and customize. It has a huge developer base. It has enormous themes options. Right now 15% of the online websites use wordpress. Long time ago, the simple blogging platform has develop into today’s most spreed CMS. The simple tinymce editor made this platform incredible easy to use for anyone that can use a word editor. If you can write 2 words on a computer you can become an wordpress editor.

Find someone to build your site! (in the case you don’t know how to setup wordpress and customize your theme)

This is a huge subject that needs it’s own post but i will try to sum up the basics.

Now that you know exactly what you want go and get a specialist. Go and talk to the developers. Show them your sketches(don’t be ashamed to show them your drawings) and let them know your requests. Show them what your competition does, show them what you like abut them and what you want improved on their services. YES, their expertise will cost, but if you’ve made a great concept .. and if you will be persistent YOU WILL PREVAIL! :D

You can hire a full time developer or a freelancer to do your job. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages. You can chose one or the other only after you’ve answered some questions:

How much will this cost me? If you hire a full time developer ..this will be a cost each and every month. If you hire a freelancer ..will cost much more at the beginning .. but on the long run will be cheaper. Most developers(me included) will try to invoice you their time invested in your work (ie: i worked 200h, the price would be 37$x200). If you hire an freelancer try to pay him for the result … not per time.  A smart thing would be to write down your requirements and  specifications and not change them during workflow. Expect the developer to ask more if you change the initial requirements.

Do I need maintenance? Can I make that or I need a full time developer for it? Does this has to be done by a very skilled specialist? Can I learn it? Can i hire a student for it?

Where can I get someone to make me a site? 

The obvious answer is here, write me an email. But I will also give you some alternatives:

You can find a freelancer on Odesk, craiglist, your local newspaper, mashable, techcrunch, freelancer or elance.

You can hire someone posting an add to you local newspaper, or at an university .. or local job listings.

Next steps on making your website and selling it on flippa for $10000 or more you can find hem here:

How to make a succsesfull blog (this is the part you want to read if you’re interested in building a blog)

How to sell your service on your website

How to make a membership website and make money from it

How to sell your website on flippa 

Who designs best wordpress themes?

So is almost 2015 and we are still debating who is the best designers of wordpress themes around. Here are my top choices in no particular order.

I like a lot Elegant themes. These guys have made 87 incredible themes (until today) and some great plugins. The best theme I can think of is obviously Divi. As they claim is the smartest and the most flexible theme in their collection. Honestly I use this one for one of my clients and i can tell you it’s magnificent. I simply love how you can combine different elements from one simple app, the builder. This builder simply gives you the abilities to build a whole site without writing a single line of code. You can see more here: DIVI
My next recommendation for buying a wordpress theme would be a theme or the whole pack from WPZOOM.com. I’m watching how those guys expanded their business and themes collection for more than 4 years now. I’ve seen them lunching their second or 3-rd theme . .and now i’m loving almost every single one from their collection.
Pavel Ciorici has made an incredible team around him. I can recommend the incredible Videozoom theme, fourth version. Also you should check out the ZOOM Framework and the Zoom Builder from them.
CPOthemes.com – an incredible source of beautiful designed wordpress themes. They say about themselves that they are a premium wordpress theme online store. I love how they say their main focus is quality not quantity. i love their Distinct theme(photography/portfolio oriented) or the Adroit (blog/creative). Incredible and beautufull.

themefurnace.com- small number of themes but very nice made. Their priceing is incredibly low. you can basicly buy 14 themes for the price of just one on ThemeForest.

ThemeForest - i left this at the end because it’s the most complex and the richest source of WordPress themes. You can find anything you want on this site, from low budget to extremely expensive premium themes. You can find simple, to the precise purpose theme .. and you can find incredible chameleon themes. Themes you can change and alter in tons of color combination and layouts. All you have to do is start searching.

Who will be the best wordpress desingers in 2015? What theme is the best designed  wordpress theme in 2014?

Let me know your answers and opinions.

Thanks!

What makes a good wordpress theme?

There are some clear elements that make a good one wordpress theme, or very good. Next I present some personal opinions about things that a wordpress theme would need to have.

1. a simple, easy to understand, intuitive design
2. code must be impeccable, as simple, without flourishes (js, flash, etc.)
3. SEO must be implemented properly (no random h1, h2 tags)
4. ideally have commercial spaces (adsense)
5. the “theme options” would need to be able to handle as many things and this has to be simple.
6. Cross-browser compatibility – this is the biggest problem (especially in IE)

I will complete the list, as you inform me. Please do not hesitate to comment.
In the next posts I will try to elaborate each of the points above

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Free Glossy Buttons PSD

Simple Glossy buttons offered free for our users. You can use them how you see fit. Please link to our site, if you like our buttons! You can download the free psd from the zip archive.

 

white UI kit

New resource of the day, all white UI kit named Cloudy Ui kit

A very fresh UI kit with all the buttons and elements that an web designer would need on his work.
What you can find on this kit:
– few buttons
– a media player
– few scrolling bar
– few media buttons
– 2 search box designs
– on/off buttons
– a “sign in” button
– ratings elements
– a menu
– few selectors
– a check box
– a radio button

you can download the ui kit from here

Also I recommend checking out that guy’s site for other incredible resources.