Thursday, May 31, 2007

Adding a "Add A Page Element" Widget To The Blog Post Main Column

Sign into Dashboard, and in the relvant blog, click LAYOUT, then click EDIT HTML. In the Template Editor, look for this block of codes:

<div id='main-wrapper'>
<b:section class='main' id='main' showaddelement='no'>
<b:widget id='HTML10' locked='false' title='' type='HTML'/>
<b:widget id='Blog1' locked='false' title='Blog Posts' type='Blog'/>

Look particularly for showaddelement='no' and change it to showaddelement='yes', then save the template. Click "Page Elements" to get to the LAYOUT and observe that an additional "Add a Page Element" have been added to the top of "BLOG POSTS".

Source: Blogger Tips And Tricks


Can I Run Google AdSense With Bidvertiser?

I've received a reply from Bidvertiser. I'm glad to announce that you can run AdSense with Bidvertiser. However there are some guidelines.

Reply from BidVertiser
Dear customer,

Your ticket concerning 'Hi, I would like to know if there a ...' has been responded: Dear sir/madam,

Google allows to run BidVertiser ads along AdSense on the same pages, as long as a few guidelines are kept, were the most crucial one is to apply a different color scheme. Please see below the official response from Google:

"We´re asking that publishers use good judgment on how much they change the colors or formatting of the ads to ensure users don´t confuse third-party (BidVertiser) ads with Google ads. Proximity plays a role as well - if you´re placing the ad units directly adjacent to one another, we´d ask that you use clear borders and offsetting colors to indicate where one network´s ad unit ends and the other begins. If the ad units are on opposite sides of the page, using different backgrounds colors and/or a different color scheme for ad text and borders should be fine."

Best Regards,
BidVertiser Support Team

There you go. As long as you differentiate your BidVertiser Ads, it will be fine.

Recommended: Wordpress Adsense System : Blogging For Profits


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Rise Of Asian Bloggers

I may have only started blogging recently but a good majority of my friends in the blogging community are from Asia. I have stumbled upon many other blog sites from Americas and Europe but they are mostly out-dated. I can't help but wonder if the majority of the active bloggers are indeed coming from Asia.

Source: Serene Luo - Digital Life
"A recent survey by communications planning firm Universal McCann (UM) revealed that netizens from China, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines had the most active blogospheres.

However, countries such as the United States, Germany and Britain which use to dominate the blogging world has less vibrant blogospheres now.

The survey was done with 10,000 respondents in 21 countries, most of them major advertising markets across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Base on the survey, more than 85 per cent of all respondents from China and South Korea were reading blogs, comparing to less than 15 per cent in Germany. In terms of other kinds of social media such as podcasting or the sharing of photos and video clips, Asia also outside the rest of the world."

The chart (abstracted from Digital Life) caught me by surprise. There are less than 20% read blogs in Germany for the last 6 months as compared to 90% in South Korea. I am very dubious of such a finding. While I do agree that the number of bloggers in Asia has indeed increase, the difference is too great. Blog tracking is very difficult - what qualifies to be a read blog?

Base on UM survey, I assume that as more people from Asia are introduced to blogging, hence the sudden surge in blogs. With more blogs, naturally more people will read them.

Recommended E-Book: Blogging To The Bank - Zero to $1,018.15 in Two Short Weeks


Monday, May 28, 2007

My Review on Bidvertiser - An Alternative to AdSense?

Bidvertiser is a Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising site that competes directly with Google AdSense. Its main advantage over AdSense is its low $10 payout. Yep, that's ten times less than Google's $100 payout. This effectively slash your waiting period from months to weeks. For small time bloggers, this is particularly attractive.

Sounds too good to be true?

I did a quick search on Bidvertiser comments and they were pretty negative - ads were completely irrelevant or their $10 payout never arrived. With that said, I still went ahead creating my Bidvertiser account. After all, what's there to lose?

A quick run through of Bidvertiser:

Registration: Pretty straight forward and fast. I got my activation code within 5mins.

Mode of payment: Paypal ($10 Min.) Check ($50 Min.)

Ads Format: Very similar to Google AdSense. However I don't quite like the ad customization. Unlike AdSense, Bidvertiser uses only one code. Changes has to be made in your Bidvertiser account. It will need some getting used to.

No. of Ads: Bidvertiser allows me to show the ads that is displayed. I did a quick estimate and I have about 200-400 ads available for each of my 2 blogs.

Other Features:
You can get to choose which ads you want to display - meaning you can choose ads with the highest CPM. Though this may mean that you can earn more per click, the drawback is that ads may be limited and totally irrelevant.

Just when I decide to implement it into my site, a important question pop in into mind -
Can I use Google AdSense with Bidvertiser?

Google AdSense Program Policy
In order to prevent user confusion, we do not permit Google ads or search boxes to be published on websites that also contain other ads or services formatted to use the same layout and colors as the Google ads or search boxes on that site. Although you may sell ads directly on your site, it is your responsibility to ensure these ads cannot be confused with Google ads.

If you have any non-Google ads on your site that resemble AdSense - even if they are not contextually targeted ads - they will now put you in violation of the AdSense policies. i.e. If they look like your Google ads, even if they say "Ads by Bidvertiser " or whatever, you cannot use them on the same site.

Bidadvertiser can be a good useful montizeing tool but only if it works concurrently with other contextual text ads. Most popular contextual text ads in the market today like Google AdSense and Yahoo Overture have strict guidelines, thereby limiting its usage.

If you’re thinking of joining, please consider joining under me. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to answer them.

Sign up for Bidvertiser

Recommended: Blogging To The Bank - Zero to $1,018.15 in Two Short Weeks


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Keep Yourself Safe From Google

If you are like me who uses Google extensively as your search engine, you are particularly vulnerable because Google will have a record of all your searches. This is made worse if your Google accounts are link. E.g. Blogger, AdSense, Gmail, Analytics etc. Even if you don't log into Google, it can track your searches because it uses cookies to track from session to session.

The simple was is to delete all your cookies before and after you visit Google. But that's problematic because cookies can be quite useful - they can log you into some sites automatically or remember your site preferences.

Source: Computerworld
A simpler solution is to block only Google from placing cookies on your PC. How you do it varies from browser to browser. In Internet Explorer 7, for example, choose Tools–>Internet Options, click the Privacy tab, then click the Sites button. In the "Address of Web site" box, type in, and click Block. From now on, when you visit Google, it won't be allowed to place a cookie on your hard disk, and it won't be able to track your searches. In Firefox 2, select Tools–>Options, select the Privacy tab, and click Exceptions. Then type into the "Address of Web site" box and click Block. If you use another search engine, by the way, you can use this same technique to keep its cookies off your hard disk as well.
(Click image to see larger view)

Note that because Google won't be placing cookies on your hard disk, you may not be able to use various Google services, such as Gmail.

If you're a Firefox user, you can also use the CustomizeFirefox extension that among other things, "anonymizes" you when you use Google so that your searches can't be tracked.

Google has numerous services you can sign up for, including RSS readers called Google Reader and Google Groups, which let you read newsgroups and other discussion groups. The more Google services like this that you sign up for, the more information Google knows about you. In addition to your searches, it will know what blogs and newsgroups you read, for example. This makes it that much easier for the search giant to create a profile about you. So either don't sign up for those services or else create separate Google accounts for each of them, so that the search engine can't correlate all your interests.

Finally, think carefully before turning on Google's Search History feature. Search History lets you revisit all your searches and shows what you've searched for every day. When you use Search History, Google stores a record of all your searches on its servers. If you're worried that that search history may fall into the wrong hands, or be subpoenaed by the government, simply don't use the service.


Adding AdSense Ads in your New Blogger blog post

Base on the 'heat map' in my previous post, I have added Google Ads into my first two blog post. I've added only one ad unit as I don't want my blog to appear too cluttered and untidy. Another advantage of adding Ads into individual blog post is that the Ads seems more relevant, thus increasing your chances of a CTR.

If you are worried about violating AdSense Terms Of Service (TOS). Stavanger from blogcrowd wrote to AdSense Help Center, and received some vague replies that seem to indicate that slight modification of the code for the New Blogger is OK. Here is the email he received:


You are permitted to make minor edits in Blogger Beta. However, please keep in mind that in general publishers are not allowed to alter the AdSense ad code for any reason. Once you've generated the ad code in your AdSense account pages, you may not alter any portion of the code or manually change the layout of the ads.

Thanks for your understanding.

The Google AdSense Team"
Read more about it here.

This is how it is done. You generate the AdSense script from AdSense site, then replace HTML characters like < with &lt; etc.

Here are some tips for where in the XML Template you should paste the parsed HTML code. Blogcrowds used a barebone Minima template so it should be similar in all templates. Find the normal text and then add the bolded code are added by me:

1)Next To The Post

<div style="float:left;">

<!--parsed Adsense code-->


<div class='post-body'>


<div style='clear: both;'/> <!-- clear for photos floats -->


2)After Post Before Credits

<div class='post-body'>


<div style='clear: both;'/> <!-- clear for photos floats -->


<div><!--parsed Adsense code--></div>

<div class='post-footer'>

<p class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'>

<span class='post-author'>

<b:if cond='data:top.showAuthor'>

<data:top.authorLabel/> <>

3)After Credits

<p class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-3'/>

<div><!--parsed Adsense code--></div>






You can read more about it at Google AdSense In Blogger Beta XML Update.

You can actually parse the script in Notepad using Replace All or a HTML text editor like Dreamweaver. For those without any HTML editor, Stavanger has even made it convenient for you by giving a parser at Parse Google AdSense For XML Blogger.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Maximize your Google AdSense

Google AdSense needs no introduction. It is the most widely used and readily available online advertising program. What I mean by readily available is that their criteria for joining is pretty low. Unlike other Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising programs like Chitika which require your site to have at least 10,000 page views per month, AdSense does not have such requirements. I manage to apply for my AdSense account within 3 days of setting up my Vitamin and Health blog with about 10 page views per day.

Where should I put my Google Ads on my pages?
Studies have shown that certain locations in your page tends to be more successful than others because this is where people tend to focus on.

This "heat map" illustrates these ideal placements on a sample page layout. The colors fade from dark orange (strongest performance) to light yellow (weakest performance). All other things being equal, ad placements above the fold tend to perform better than those below the fold. Ads placed near rich content and navigational aids usually do well because users are focused on those areas of a page.

While this heat map is useful as a positioning guideline, I strongly recommend putting your users first when deciding on ad placement. Imagine watching a movie with constant ads appearing - it can very annoying. You will definitely want users to return to your site and not turn them off ya.

With that said, I'll be creating a AdSense Search Bar, a referral and maybe a link unit just below my header. I'll also be creating an Ad Unit for my blog post. This is more tricky because it involve a minor change to the AdSense code while still having to adhere to AdSense Program Policies.

In my next post, I will show you how it is done.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Expandable Post Summary for New Blogger

Expandable post summary is the term applied to blog posts where only short snatches (usually the first few paragraphs or sentences) are displayed with a link at the bottom that may say, usually, "Read More..." which if a reader is interested and when clicked, takes the reader to the full post.

Expandable post summary is useful if you have the habit of writing long posts. But the biggest advantage is that your blog looks neater and more reader friendly. For bloggers who monetize with their blog, this also mean a higher chance for a CTR.

There are two ways of doing it - one is pretty straight forward and the only a little more complex.

I would have use the straight forward method but unfortunately, the hack will place the "Read More..." even in short posts. Though some suggest putting the word END at the end of the short post, I still find it annoying. Therefore I opt for the more complex method.

Read about the two different methods here:
Expandable Post Summary for the New Blogger (formerly beta)
Blogger hack: Expandable posts with Peekaboo view

However the other method is not without its disadvantage. The hack has to be linked to a third party site. I'm worried that if the third party site is down, my expandable post hack will no longer work. Also, since the code is fix at that third party site, I wouldn't be able do certain modifications like editing the "Read More..." and "Summary Only..." or change the font color. I email to Ramani on my reservations on hosting the script on a third party site and below is his response:

On May 21, Ramani said...

Lots of people have been using this hack for several months and they never face this problem. The domain is with yahoo and I pay for it. If you still have concerns, you can download it and move it to your server.
Having got some kind of assurance, I decided to implement the hack.

Currently, I'm still trying to figure out how to make the hack work without having to upload the script into a server and to do some modifications to the font color. I have email Ramani for help on this. If any blogger has a solution, please let me know. Thanks.

Recommended: Social Bookmarking Automation Software - Get Unlimited Supply Of High PR Backlinks Backlinks


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Google Buys FeedBurner for $100 Million - More Opportunities for RSS Advertisers

According to TechCrunch, Google has just acquired Feedburner, a web feed management company for $100 million. With this acquisition, Google will have access to hundreds of thousands of blog’s RSS usage and feed count for a better blog search algo.

Interesting news for publishers currently running Feedburner’s advertising program because it’s likely that Google might integrate its Adsense contextual ad with Feedburner - for those bloggers who use blogs to generate revenue, the benefits is enormous.

I'm particularly intersted how other PPC adverstising sites like Chitika and BidVertiser will fare and how will Microsoft and Yahoo challenge Google almost strangle hold of the online marketing community.


Link Exchange

Cool Sites from MyBlogLog community.
Alex - Road to Freedom
Make money online | Add your link exchange
MusicVHP - The Best & Hit Music Videos on the Planet
Newopps Blog
Text Unlimited - A Collection of Text Messages, Love Quotes...
WebVH1 - The Best & Hit Videos on the Internet

Cool Sites from my BlogCatalog neighborhood.
Only God Keeps Me Going
Project Afterlight - Where there is light, there are views
Under The Sun - My Diary, Motivation...

Want to exchange links with me? Drop me an email.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Header - Adding a "Add a Page Element" widget

Headers are the first places where readers will see when they first come into your blog. Adding a graphic, banner and/or advertisements is a sure way to get your desired results.

I have implemented Google AdSense into Vitamin & Health blog.

This is how you can add a graphic to your header. Sign into Dashboard. For the blog you want to modify, click LAYOUT, then click EDIT HTML. Then look for this block of codes in the template:

<div id='header-wrapper'>

<b:section class='header' id='header' maxwidgets='1' showaddelement='no'>

<b:widget id='Header1' locked='true' title='Replacing Blog Header (Header)' type='Header'/>



Change maxwidgets='1' to maxwidgets='4'(or any other number greater than 1, or even leave a number out, then there is no maximum) and change showaddelement='no' to showaddelement='yes'. (you may also leave out the figure in maxwidgets='' in which case the number of widgets you can add to the header is unlimited). So the section should now be

<div id='header-wrapper'>

<b:section class='header' id='header' maxwidgets='4' showaddelement='yes'>

<b:widget id='Header1' locked='true' title='Replacing Blog Header (Header)' type='Header'/>



Click SAVE TEMPLATE. Then click PAGE ELEMENT tab to go back to LAYOUT. You will see an extra "Add a Page Element" above the Header.



Blog Burnt Out

I think I have been blogging too much which made me fell sick today. You can read all about it here.

My advice to fellow newbie bloggers like me is not to over stress your body. Blogging is fun and can be very addictive but please listen to your body, stop if you are fatigue. Go for walk, have a nice shower, drink plenty fluids and have a good rest, and that's what I'm going to do now.


AdSense - An internal error occured. Please try again.

Anyone experience this error? I had and it was frustrating but fortunately, the solution is pretty simple.

Solution 1
Log into your AdSense account, generate the code and under Template, Page Element, add the code into your HTML/ JavaScript page element. Sounds pretty simple ya but when I was starting out, I thought that the only way to link to AdSense is via the page element.

Solution 2 (may not work)
Adding the code manually can be very tiresome. Since Google created AdSense to work with blogger, we should make full use of it.

  • Log out from all Google accounts.
  • Enter the following into your browser
    Replace XXXXX with your blog ID. Every Blog that you create has its own blogID - refer to the screenshot below on where you can find your Blog ID.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Maximizing The Space In My Blog - New Blogger 3 Column Template

I believe that the 3 column is the neatest template to maximize the space in your blog. Be it for adding more ads to generate revenue or additional features like shout box or widgets.
You can view an example of a 3 column Minima template at my Vitamin and Health Blog.

However there are certain things to take note:

  • The blog will look very nice when viewed with a large screen. However, for readers with 800x600 resolution, the effect will different.

    To see how it will affect those with 800x600 resolution, try typing (or pasting) the javascript code into the address bar and press ENTER:


    It will resize the window to 800x600. You will notice relatively wide sidebars on either side and the main content squeezed into a narrow column in the middle.

  • Before changing or editing a template, it is always good practice to backup the current template so that if there is anything you are not satisfied with or if anything goes wrong, you can always revert to the previous situation.

    To backup the template, sign into the Dashboard, and in the relevant section of the list of blogs;
    click "Layout" -> click the "TEMPLATE" tab -> click the "EDIT HTML" sub-tab which will open the template editor window.

    At the top of the page, click Download Full Template and save the template with a suitable filename into a suitable folder which you can easily remember.
For my current blog, I'm using the Minima Black 3 column fixed width New Blogger template. The template can be obtain from

*To access to the code, you have to first register yourself as a member of blogcrowds and have at least 3 posts. It's not that hard and I got access to the code in 10 mins.


Update 29 May 2007
Rounders3 3 column New Blogger template Example:
My Personal Finance Blog

Click here to see all 3 Column Templates for New Blogger.


Welcome to My Blog Log

I have decided to create a blog to keep track of my progress. I'll be posting the latest news and update from the blogging world, tech articles and reviews.

I hope to establish a huge network of friends via Link Exchange and also to supplement my income via blogging.

Many thanks to MyBlogLog for giving me the inspiration for the name of my blog.