The end of this week has been focusing on web hosting. Mine just expired and I renewed again with Hostmonster, mainly because I don’t have the time to switch everything over to another host.
However some of the forums I participate on, the constant topic is web hosting and the different options available.
Using a web hosting resource like Web Hosting Geeks can save you a head ache.
Web Hosting Geeks
I’ve reviewed Web Hosting Geeks before, and it’s still my favorite site for information on hosting. It’s easy to navigate and find exactly what you want information on.
What I didn’t notice before (maybe it’s new?) is the Green Web Hosting section. That could be a HUGE factor to some bloggers moving forward in a more eco-friendly world. SuperGreen is rated the #1 Eco-Friendly Host and at $3.95 that’s good. Can I coin the term Organic Web Hosting?
The first thing I did notice though, was it’s outdated! This is such a good site to keep updated, it’s disappointing to see that their awards aren’t updated for 2009 yet.
It’s easily the best in my opinion. Not only is their information on the web hosting you are looking at, there is information ABOUT it. Say you were interested in Multiple Domain Hosting, you could scroll down to find out about it, learn, and see if it’s something you need.
It is interesting to see however how each web hosting review site ranks these companies. The top 10 always seems to be about the same, but the order is always different.
Who do you think belongs in the #1 web host slot?
And I’m not even a customer!
When I first purchased my web hosting, I went by what friends said and ended up going with Hostmonster. So far they’ve had pretty decent support, I’ve had to call in a few times. The price isn’t bad, it’s not cheap or high.
As a novice blogger and growing internet “entrepreneur” thinks like support and customer service become increasingly more important. Sometimes it may be worth paying more or making less to work with a good company.
Hostgator Online Support
As I mentioned I do not have a hosting account with Hostgator, but I have personally experienced their great online support.
While working for a client she decided to go with a magazine theme. Those can be tricky to get all of the features started, especially for someone brand new to Wordpress, so she hired me. Magazine themes are definitely not my favorite to configure and it took me a while to get it right.
I finally found the problem with a particular imaging set-up and it was something I needed the hosting company to fix. After logging in to the online chat I told them the problem and they made sure it was fixed, all was well.
The next day I woke up to an email stating my client had decided to change her theme (lol) to yet another magazine theme. Of course things needed to be changed internally on the hosting again, so back to the online support.
I told them the problem, while waiting for them to fix it I accidentally got disconnected. They must of still followed through with it, because the problems were fixed within a few minutes.
Hostgator’s online support not only saved me time, but a lot of frustration!
Do you know of an online company that has great customer service or support?
This week along with exploring social media I wanted to touch on web hosting. One of the biggest concerns for new bloggers, or bloggers looking to move to Wordpress is hosting.
Should you go cheap? Should you go with support? Should you host on your friends account? Essentially which hosting is right for you.
Well websites like Web Hosting Rating allow you to find reviews of web hosting as well as sharing your own reviews.
What’s The Best Hosting?
Well it depends on what you’re looking for. On the front page of WebHostingRating.com you can see #1-10 based on reviews. It shows the price and how many “thumbs up” it has received.
But what about if you want the hosting for something in particular? Maybe a forum? Or maybe you are on a budget?
On the sidebar of WebHostingRating you can see their “awards” for the different web hosting.
For example, Globat (never heard of them) is the best blog hosting, and Bluehost is best for forums.
However, what I’d LIKE to see is WHY. What makes them better for each particular award. Is it votes? If I was a newbie blogger I wouldn’t understand half of the stuff that is on there.
You can always help out your fellow blogger and go review some of these web hosting sites that you may have used, so they know if it’s good or not. I have a review coming up about a web hosting site I haven’t used personally, but really impressed me!
When shopping for web hosting, do you consider “reviews” or do you research it yourself?
Maybe it was rust, or just getting excited about updating this blog again I made a mistake with my last Facebook Fan Pages article. I completely forgot to really sell you on the importance of it. By that I mean giving you some proof! Where’s the traffic? Well let me show you some stats of my most successful fan page.
As I mentioned my Facebook Fan Page for Free Samples grows everyday, pretty organically. However to start it wasn’t as easy. I first really started seeing traffic in July, making it my 5th top traffic source (after Google, Bing, Yahoo and “Direct”). After that each month it has sent plenty of traffic.
July 2009 had 436 visitors from Facebook. That works out to be about 14 visits per day coming from Facebook. Decent, but not enough.
In August 2009 that number grew by 6 times! Facebook became my #2 top traffic source (behind Google) and came out to be 2,932 visits. If you want to break that down, it works out to be 94 visits per day (some days had nearly 200 visits).
The great thing about these pages is they continue to grow. In the month of September Facebook easily was my #1 top traffic source. In September we received 6,211 visits from Facebook. That works out to be 207 visits PER DAY. The best day got nearly 400 Facebook visits.
With October I am anticipating even more as the page continues to grow. I will definitely keep this updated.
Did I convince you to make a Facebook Fan page yet?
Myspace reminds me of high school drama and spam, it’s just what I associate it with. When I was told about Facebook I thought it was just another network, and I passed on it. Wasn’t it just for college students anyways? Well at first it was (right?), but it has emerged into a dominant social network.
How To Utilize Facebook
Shortly after I joined Facebook I saw the potential to promote my websites, affiliates, and any other type of sponsorships. It can all be nicely done with Facebook Fan Pages.
Every time a Fan Page is updated, the updates go out to everyone who is a fan (unless they have it hidden from their news feed). Whenever I update my fan pages, all of my fans see what’s new and can comment, engage in conversations, ask questions, and visit my website all at one central place.
As of right now Michael Jackson and Barack Obama have the most fans/supporters on Facebook. How great is that?
So what’s the best way of setting up a fan page?
In my eyes their are three different types of fan pages. One for businesses, one for websites, and one for products. A business is going to have a different type of fan page. They are going to be for the entire company, not just a particular product they sell. The most popular one is Starbucks.
For most of us, we would want to do one for our website, or the product or “theme” it’s about. However I would recommend targeting more to the niche rather than your website brand (unless it already has a huge following).
Blogging SEO 101 tells us to target the popular terms of your niche. Ranking well in search engines can be difficult and time consuming. Yet on Facebook the same rules don’t apply.
Targetting Your Niche on Facebook
When making my fan pages, I generally make the page about the topic instead of the website name. Once you make the page, you cannot change the name, so it’s forever.
For example, I’ve made fan pages for Free Samples, Coupons and Poetry. Most of the updates all link to my websites, but in order for people to find the page in the first place, they would search these terms. On Facebook I rank #1 for Free Samples, #3 for Coupons, and my Poetry page should be moving up soon.
I’ve thought about making a page for Blog About Your Blog, but I wouldn’t call it that. Most likely it would be “Blogging” since it’s becoming a popular word and I could rank well for that.
Promoting Your Fan Page
My fan pages have been the easiest to grow for my websites. One click and you can gain a fan. In about 3 months, I was able to get 2,000 fans for my freebie site with 0 (ZERO) paid advertising. Once you gain your initial fans, they grow pretty organically.
There are some easy ways to promote your page. Of course add the widget on your sidebar. You can include the name, thumbnail image, number of fans, and the newest update. To get your widget go to “edit page” and under your Admins you should find “get your badge”. There you can customize what you want the widget to display.
After doing that, I would definitely recommend “suggesting” your fan page to your friends list. Simply go to your fan page, on the left side select “more” then “suggest to friends”. I usually like to do this once a month, so I can send the suggestions to people who haven’t joined yet and send it to new friends I added.
Does your website/business have a Facebook fan page yet?
As some of you noticed, we got kind of quiet here without many updates. BAYB slowly got more difficult to manage as our regular writers started on new ventures or left the blogging world. I always envisioned BAYB as a community blog, and that’s what I want to keep it as. As we search for new quality authors, I’ll be doing my best to keep updating.
Its All Free Online
Over the last few months I went on an affiliate marketing binge. I was able to generate decent affiliate commissions through forums I participated in. When that dried up I went back to updating Its All Free Online (IAFO).
Through Social Media it has become it’s own community, which is great for any site. The way I was able to do that however was with Facebook and Twitter.
IAFO has grown to over 1600 fans on Facebook and about 130 on Twitter. Facebook has seemed to be easier to not only interact with people, but also continue to build the fans. The community has not only allowed traffic to basically double each month, but also create commissions, earn more money, and create new opportunities for networking.
I’ve never really been able to create the size community for this site as I did for IAFO. Instead of BAYB being my main focus I would like to maintain it not only as a resource, but a place for people to share their posts and ideas.
With posting being almost nothing, we’ve actually GAINED about 250 RSS feed readers. Many of our great posts have continued to be picked up by bloggers as a resource and advice. In turn I’m guessing many of those people who visited through those links subscribed to our feed.
As we continue in the blogging world, I’d like to re-visit my strategies for websites, social media, and SEO. I’m not only looking to set up a few paid reviews, but I also have some new resources to share as well.
Thanks for sticking with us!
Not only is blogging easy, but it is also powerful. One person with a blog can really do anything. Whether it’s promoting a great product, but also (maybe more importantly) criticize a product or company.
I first realized this when I had a dispute with Neverblue. I had commissions removed without any notification or explanation. After several phone calls and no ground covered I blogged about it. After blogging it if you search the term “neverblueads” my posts ranks really well.
Not too long after I received a call from a head affiliate manager from Neverblue. The end result was a full refund of the missing commissions.
Yesterday I saw another example of the power of blogging.
Kim from Accidental Mommies wrote a great blog post titled Are Premium Wordpress Themes Worth It? In the post she did mini interviews with other bloggers about what they expect from themes, the benefits, and support.
I’ve personally never paid for a Wordpress theme. I think with so many great free themes out there that you can simply customize it the way you want. If the theme doesn’t work with your website you can simply find another one, no need to worry about.
Some bloggers who are new to Wordpress do prefer to go with the premium themes because they usually do offer the support with installation and set-up.
In the article Kim wrote about Miss Blondie who had recently done just that. On her switch from Blogger to Wordpress she purchased the Allure Wordpress theme from StudioPress at $59.99. To make a long story short the support was really bad and the “unlimited” theme support ended up costing an additional $60. There are also comments of other problems with StudioPress not being what they promised.
After the article was published Brian Gardner (SEO of Studio Press) commented on the blog post apologizing. The comment did seem sincere as he was obviously making the effort to right anything that went wrong, which is great in my opinion. Why do business with any company with bad customer service?
Brian did in fact refund Miss Blondie the full amount (and then some). She was also giving a free upgrade giving her access to use all of the StudioPress themes instead of just the one she paid for. I can’t imagine a better result for this problem.
I think it was great of Brian to act quickly, and hopefully showed what type of business he is running and that he does care about his customers.
If you’ve got a problem, blog it!
There are many ways on how to make money online. One way that almost all bloggers (regardless of their niche) use to make money is through advertisement i.e. they allow people to advertise on their blog. The advertisers can either be other bloggers or companies that want to market their products. They can advertise on your blog in the form of a blog post, banner or text link. With these different ways of selling ads on your blog, how can you find these advertisers if you are looking for how to make money online?
You can find advertisers by joining
1. A Contextual Advertising Company:- These are companies that tries to match the content of your blog with an ad. These companies would require you to install a code on your blog. They pay you per click i.e you make a certain amount of money anytime someone clicks on your ad. The best way to increase your revenues from this site is to optimize your site for search engine so that you can achieve high ranking on them. You can read some SEO tips for your blog at 10 quick blogging tips.
2. A Review Company:- You would be required to write a blog post review about a website or a product. Depending on the advertisers requirements, the review is usually from 50 words to 400 words. If you can write more, the advertisers would like it, but that doesn’t mean you would get more compensation. Google frowns on this type of blog post because they feel that the advertiser is trying to game them, or manipulate readers to think that you like the product. Google wants you to disclose that the blog post is a paid review. You make more from these companies if your blog has a high page rank and receives a decent amount of traffic.
3. A Text Selling Company:- Joining this companies could be risky for your page rank because you are required to install a code in your blog theme. I think Google bots would be able to track the text code you installed. If you can build a lot of sites that can have PR 3 and above, you would make money from this type of companies because if one site loses its page rank, you would have another one to put into the system.
4. Webmaster Forums:- You have to be aggressively looking for advertisers if you are using webmaster forums. When you are in the forums, visit the section for link sale and send the people that want to buy link private messages with your blog stats (such as traffic, page rank etc) available. This would enable the advertisers to decide if he/she should or should not advertise on your blog.