Domains for Sale

Went on a domain name shopping spree when trying to set up some shirt sales sites to go with some other sites (still trying to figure out how to generate revenue from web sites).

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of domain names I will never use, so I’ve started to list them on Sedo and on GoDaddy.  So far I’ve had nary a nibble.  I know someone out there buys domain names, but I have no idea how to go about advertising them, so I’ll just link to them.  Maybe that will build some traffic and interest.

Here’s what I have parked at Sedo:

Childrens Clothing

Mens Shirts

Win Congress

Mens t shirts

I have no idea what they are worth.  I actually had what I thought was potentially my most valuable domain name related to shirts, usshirts.com, professionally appraised, and it came back at $400.  Personally, I thought that sucked.  It was the “us” that apparently destroyed the name.  It could be an abbreviation or even just the word “us” but they didn’t like it.  If I ever sell a domain name, I’ll get some more appraised, but I don’t want to waste a bunch of money until I actually see that there is a real market.

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More Adsense Nonsense and WordPress.com

It doesn’t matter that you can’t run Adsense on WordPress.com.

When you get tired of hearing me complain about Adsense, let me know.  Here is my screen print from yesterday at my Funny Email (self-hosted) site:

adsensenonsense

 

So you can see I had a solid click-through rate at 1.41%.  I got 19 clicks and made 80 cents.  So let’s say I wanted to make $20,000 per year (a pauper’s income) from Adsense, and every day would work out in this manner.  I would have to make $54.80 per day, so I would have to raise my traffic to 92,553 per day.  That would give me 1305 clicks.    At an average earning of 4.12 cents per click that’s the way it works out.

So I need 92,553 impressions per day?  Sure, no problem.  I’ll just have to run over to Mosso and pay $200 per month for the cloud hosting and bandwidth.

But notice that this is from yesterday.  At the top in big letters it says, “Today’s Earnings: $0.04.”   That’s right, yesterday was unrealistically rosey.  Today I’ve only had 4 clicks and each one earned me a penny.  So how many page impressions would I need for that to get me to $20,000 in a year?  Well, today I’ve only had about 1000 impressions so far, so lets use that and the associated  CTR of .4 percent.  Then I would need 1.37 million page impressions a day.

Still furious that you can’t run Adsense on WordPress.com?  I would give you a screen print of my lifetime experience with Adsense, but I use to have a site that was pulling in around 10,000 impressions a day, and it would just depress you.  Next month, for the first time, I will receive a payment from Adsense (you don’t get paid until you get $100).  I’m giddy.

WordPress 2.8 Revisited

So after having multiple developers inform me that they weren’t having the problems that I was having, I decided to install it on another site of mine and give it a try.

I have to admit that I didn’t have any of the problems that I reported yesterday at the other site.  I am stumped.

The $3 Header and Image Mapping

If you are a code tinkerer/developer without formal training, chances are that you frequently do things about the hardest way imaginable.  Just think of the poor tinkerer who wants extra buttons in his/her header.  Pouring through code, trying to adjust the header, creating buttons, floating things around.  It’s a nightmare.  That’s because you don’t know what you are doing.  And that’s okay, most of us don’t.  We’re trying hard, and we do the best that we can.

Welcome to one of the most useful things a tinkerer can learn:  the wonderful world of image mapping.  Image mapping is when you take an image, plot out where you want your links to go, and code them up.  It’s actually almost sinfully easy using a free download program I’ll link you to.  I’m going to show you an example of a WordPress header I did using image mapping and then explain how I did it.

First, go look at the header and then come back.  The header is at Funny Shirts by Shirts Backwards.  The header, in case you are confused, is everything in the white section at the top of the page, basically above the funny looking guru guy.

I’ll get to the image mapping in just a second, but let’s get the $3 out of the way first.  I paid $1 for each girly picture on the left side.  You can get lots of royalty free photos out there, but if you want to show someone’s face on your site, particularly in relation to selling something, then you better do it legal.  The picture of the smilie face wagging its tongue came from a royalty free clipart site.

So, to put it all together, including the titles, I used a completely free art program called Paint.net.  If you can’t afford Photoshop, there’s a good alternative for you.

I then took the background image from the site and constructed, again in Paint.net, the buttons and put them into the header.  Now I had a single picture, three girls, the title, 10 buttons, and a smilie.

So how do I figure out the coordinates of all those buttons and write the code that makes it work?  I don’t.  I have a free software program that I downloaded to do it for me.  Check out Handy ImageMapper.  There are probably some other ones out there, but this one is the only one I’ve used and it is EXTREMELY easy.

After you install the program, just open it and click on the little file icon and upload your picture.  Here’s a screen shot of the header in question opened in the program.

ex1

Okay, just for a moment, pretend you can actually see that.

Now, next to the file folder button near the top left, you have several mapping tools, like a rectangle and a circle.  You click one of those and then drag out an area on the page where you want to create a link, for instance one of the buttons or the site name.

Once you’ve marked an area, the HREF area on the side opens up and asks you where that link should lead.  You put the URL there.

Now you can go back and mark more areas, each time adding the URL for that link.  When you are done marking and adding URLs for all your areas, the second button from the left on the bottom says “Copy to Clipboard.”  Click that button and paste into some text editor or other.

My results looked like this:

<MAP NAME="map1"> <AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="321,1,409,21" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="412,2,501,20" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/?page_id=97" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="504,1,592,20" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/?page_id=45" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="595,2,682,20" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/?page_id=99" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="686,2,774,20" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/?page_id=101" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="386,128,473,147" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/?cat=24" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="477,130,566,147" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/?cat=14" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="569,130,656,146" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/?cat=4" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="660,130,748,147" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/?cat=3" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="752,129,837,146" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/?cat=5" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="840,1,1014,149" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="6,2,314,148" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net/" TITLE=""> 
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="344,33,747,70" HREF="http://shirts-funny.net" TITLE=""> 
<img src="http://shirts-funny.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/headermap.jpg" USEMAP="#map1" border="0" alt="headermap" title="headermap" width="1018" height="150" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-302" />

Fill in the “title” areas, and copy and paste this into your theme where you get your header image and you are done.   Now you have a complex header image that links to where ever you want it to.  If you use good image compression, it also takes up very little space.  It doesn’t call the database over and over.  It’s a great solution.

Questions?  Just leave a comment, and I’ll try to help.

(Updated) Well, trying to design in WordPress 2.8 is a disaster

From little things like adding double quotes twice to gigantic things like screwing up all copy-paste actions and adding mountains of empty lines, WordPress 2.8 isn’t recommended for anyone who wants to play with their CSS and codes.  Hopefully a functional 2.8.1 will be out soon.

I should have known better than to immediately upgrade.  Looks like I’ll be downgrading now.  Yikes, what a mess.

Still love you, WordPress…best thing going by far…

Update:  At least one other developer has told me that he hasn’t had any problems at all.  My response:

I’m using FF3.0.10

I don’t know. I updated. I went into the CSS page. I clicked on line ten and ended up on line 110. I scrolled back up. Copied a line of text, pasted and got garbage. Deleted it. Suddenly 100 extra lines with no code appeared all throughout my CSS file. I then started typing, it gave me the duplicate quotes. And I promptly started backing up to 2.7.1

Maybe I should move out of the Bermuda Triangle.

Adsense Nonsense

So, I have a site that does okay.  Knowing I had some prolific joke senders on my email list, I created a site called “Funny Email” and all I really do is post an email or two a day that I’ve been getting.  I started it in February and just kept plodding along, figuring it would take off at some point.  Well, it finally has started to catch on.  I’m still not getting a lot of traffic, but it’s picking up steadily.  I guess that my daily average is about 150 unique hits.  What’s great about the site is how sticky it is.  People visit an average of 7 pages while on the site, hang out for over 5 minutes (not bad considering most of the jokes are short) and the bounce rate is minuscule.

So I decided to put up some Adsense, and I’ve been getting about 40 cents a day.  That’s not bad for a site this small, and I think the growth potential is still tremendous.  Right now I’m only really getting traffic from the main keywords, “Funny Email” and mostly just from Google.  Expand those keywords and pull in Yahoo and MSN, and this could really get good.

But today I’m looking at my Adsense and here’s what I get:  5 clicks for 5 cents.  Huh?  I don’t want to be running 1 cent ads on my site!  That’s ridiculous.  How is that even possible?  I checked out running Adsense from an advertiser’s point-of-view for another site and the minimum charge for an ad is 5 cents.  So what, exactly, is Google doing?  Keeping the other 4 cents?

I don’t know, but this is ridiculous.  They need to permit the user to reject ads below a certain point, particularly if you use Analytics and join the two accounts together, as I have.

Oh well.  Just thought I’d offer a little rant.

Would we be nicer bloggers/posters if only we knew this?

Leaving links around on WordPress comments gets you nothing, no Google boost, no more than an occasional hit–NOTHING.  WordPress, from version 1.5 on up, uses “Nofollow” for everything in the comment section.  This means that if they put a link to their site in their user name, or a link to their site in their comment, they really aren’t helping themselves and they certainly aren’t harming you.  SPAM is one thing, but everyone needs to lighten up on the genuine comments.  Despite the nofollow, I don’t leave random nonsense and links to casinos, viagra, etc.  But real comments?  I would never delete a real comment unless it was just from some angry troll.

Yet again, I’m finding myself annoyed with WordPress bloggers getting hysterical and deleting well-thought and kind comments in order to get rid of a link I left.  For instance, right after Ida, the “missing link,” was found, I was wandering around WordPress looking at what bloggers were saying.  I found some great stuff and left a few comments.  In one case, I left a very long comment, backing up the position of the blogger that the announcement wasn’t handled properly (too much hype).  I then linked to a similar article from another blog I had just been to.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with my comment.  I agreed with the blogger, elaborated a little, and linked him to a third party WordPress.com blogger who had similar thoughts.

I come back a while later, and it’s gone.  The whole comment.  Seriously, what the hell?  I’m never going to that site again.

And then there is the WordPress plugin that turns your entire link section into “nofollow” so that you can appear to be linking to people and get them to link back to you, but this way you aren’t helping out your “competition” with an actual link that search engines will count.

That’s just plain disgusting.  The people who are deleting harmless comments are just stupid.  The people who are turning their link pages into “nofollow” zones are thoroughbred ass clowns.