users are probably expecting a WordPress blog. WordPress and the community might well have a legitimate interest in keeping the associated look and feel relatively ad free.

The gray area seems to be for those of us who have paid for a custom domain name. Such a blog seems more "mine," from the blog owner's perspective, and the blog's character might be such that ads would be more or less appropriate. Yet ads are still banned.

To be fair to Automattic, ads on blogs are generally not very lucrative. Most blogs don't get much traffic, and the mood inspired by most blogs seems to be more reflective rather than actively commercial. So, for most blogs, allowing ads might cause a lot of damage to the user experience without generating much revenue.

Even if you were to do relatively well with your advertising, it takes a lot for the money to add up to much. You might get 5 cents, for example, every time a user clicks a Google AdSense ad on your site. If your click-through rate on the ads were as high as 5%, which is considered very good indeed, your average payment would be a quarter of a penny per pageview on your blog. To make $10 a month, you'd need 4,000 pageviews a month — more than 100 per day. To make $1,000 a month, you'd need 400,000 pageviews per month.

Still, the prospect of at least paying for a morning cup of coffee from blogging profits entices many people to ask Automattic for help on the advertising front. The management continues to tease us with hints that AdSense ads, or at least Amazon partner program links, might be available soon; but as of this writing, nothing. Until then, this book seeks to make it as easy as humanly possible for you to upgrade to using the WordPress software and adding plug-ins and custom code, including revenue-generating options, yourself.

Who Is WordPress For?

If you're still deciding whether to use WordPress for your current and future blogging needs, you'll want to know who it's best suited for. If you've already committed to it for now, you'll still want to know this so you can get the most out of WordPress, and decide how long to stick with it.

Blogger as a Worthy Alternative

Let's begin by pointing out that there is one type of user for whom WordPress might not be the very best option: those who put an absolute priority on simplicity and are not very interested in growing their blog or their blog's impact over time.

If this describes you, a couple of other platforms besides WordPress are worth considering. The main competitor to WordPress among beginning bloggers is Blogger, now owned by Google. Blogger is all about making blogging dead easy, launching beginners with what is literally a 1, 2, 3 approach to getting a blog going (see Figure 1.2).

WordPress makes it easy to import blogs from several competing platforms, including Blogger.

Figure 1.2

Blogger makes starting a blog a 1, 2, 3 process.

Figure 1.2

Blogger makes starting a blog a 1, 2, 3 process.

A simple example of a feature that Blogger doesn't support is categories, "buckets" that group related posts. WordPress makes it easy to define categories and put your posts into categories, which both bloggers and blog visitors find very useful and powerful. However, it takes a bit of focus and work to understand, use, create, and maintain categories. By not offering categories at all, Blogger makes your blogging life easier, if poorer.

Blogger does allow you to edit the CSS, which is where many layout decisions are made, without paying or moving to a hosted solution. It also allows Google AdSense ads, as you might expect from a Google-owned blogging platform. Features change, and some differences between platforms are as much a matter of style as substance. However, it seems fair to say that Blogger emphasizes simplicity over extensibility. There's no open source aspect to Blogger, and no Blogger community to support that. You can get your own domain name with Blogger, but you can't download your own copy of

If you want to see a detailed comparison of blogging platforms, try searching on key magazine-style sites such as PCmag.com, CNET, and LifeHacker. One specific, regularly updated comparison we found is on TopTenReviews at http://blog-services-review. toptenreviews.com/.

It's worth doing such research for your own purposes. It's a necessity to do such research, and share your findings, if you're looking for a blogging solution for a business or other organization, which will affect a number of people and will need sign-off at several levels.

the Blogger software to host yourself. There's certainly no Blogger MU to allow multiple users to run from a core installation of Blogger software.

WordPress is, as we said earlier, deeper than Blogger and most competing options. Getting started with it can take more time and focus than with Blogger. There are certainly more options in WordPress to both empower and, potentially, confuse you. This book provides answers to most of your early questions, helping you cut through the clutter of online help and related resources.

WordPress User Case Study 1: Beginners

Though it's not the very simplest alternative, beginners use WordPress.com every day to start new blogs. Many other people use the WordPress software from Day 1, giving up the simplicity of WordPress.com for the power of the WordPress software.

WordPress.com requires no investment of money and only a modest investment of time and energy. In return, it offers benefits that millions of beginners have found compelling:

■ Low barriers to entry—There's no large, single cost of money, time, or learning needed to start with a blog on WordPress.com.

■ Large support resources—Support for WordPress is very impressive: free online help, meetings, and third-party resources. Because WordPress has different forms and does so much, it can take a bit of digging to get an answer to your specific question. This book, in itself a third-party support resource, should help bridge the gap.

■ Legs—The depth of WordPress.com alone matches up well against many other platforms, and the availability of WordPress software, a large network of WordPress hosts with varying support options, WordPress MU, and more, means that you'll be able to take your blog as far as you want it to go.

Who might be beginning a blog? Although there are "a thousand stories in the naked city," as the poem says, it's worth considering some of the purposes different beginning bloggers might have in mind.

Personal Journals

The word blog means web log, and a blog today still often serves as a personal journal or online diary. This is a fine and fully legitimate purpose for blogging, even though blogging has also become a tool of professional journalists, corporate communicators, and others with skills, training, and resources. Citizen bloggers have often bested the professionals on many fronts. Personal journals are valuable in and of themselves, and provide a training ground that can take you a long way.

The goal of a personal journal is more about self-expression than how many people read it. In fact, having readers might almost seem beside the point at first. Such journals, though, might gradually become part of a loose online community of bloggers with some degree of shared interests. WordPress is well suited to personal journals. The ease of starting a WordPress blog, the lack of up-front costs, and the extensive community that users tend to encounter soon after joining WordPress—it feels like joining, not just using, WordPress—are very supportive of this kind of blogging.

Adsense - The Dollar Producing Factory

Adsense - The Dollar Producing Factory

Have you ever wondered how people make money through the internet by doing almost nothing? The Secret ADSENSE, Googles Online Advertising Program. What is AdSense? How to get registered with AdSense Programs? What are the different types of AdSense programs? What are the tips and tricks for earning more through AdSense? How do I stop the Ads of competitors from appearing on my website? How do I get paid? Do I get reports for analyzing the performance of my website?

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