Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Steps To Optimize Your Site

Every other person that I've recently met has got a blog of some sort, but far too many of them seem to skip a very important part in the process. Understand here that it's highly important to take relevant steps in-order for you to optimize your site for your readers as well as search engines, without alienating either one. While some blogger's try very hard in focusing on how to monetize their site, there are still those that use these platforms to simply relay their personal feelings where they discuss daily issues, such as : what they had for breakfast today, or how they experienced some bad service at a fancy restaurant the night before, and so forth.

So it doesn't really matter what your ultimate goal is for your blog, the important keyword you have to remember here is - Optimizing! For some, the ideology of blogging is that it's a 'walk-in-the-park', you basically need to write a couple of lines, paste a great photo alongside it, post it up and you're done! In reality, I know you could simply carry on doing it in this manner, but sadly it's not gonna go very far if you want it to withstand the test-of-time.

But what I'm discussing here today is not your usual Search Engine Optimization (in short - SEO), because the majority of blogger's out there run off standard blog platforms or even run as a hosted blog with someone else's domain name, which makes optimizing for a blog a bit different, not to mention design issues which are unique to blogs that may have an impact in your rankings.

Step 1
Let us evaluate the many times we have changed our templates? I know a friend who has changed their template three times in the last six months. All because he didn't get the right background color! Yes, I reiterate that design is important and it counts, BUT, unfortunately not many of those so-called 'blog designers' that offer free templates, are also SEO's by trade. So, without you knowing, these designs could actually be effecting your rankings in a way. My best bet - get a designer to help you on this, or at the very least, try to customize your default template by changing the colors or even adding a uniquely brand new header.

Step 2
In order for you to optimize your blog for user experience, always make sure that their visits are hassle free - easy to access, interactive and most importantly - make them return. Blogs need repeat visitors, that's for sure. There are few methods in achieving this, take for example the commonly orange colored RSS button, every blog needs this, as it would allow yours readers to subscribe to your blog. Automatically many hosted blogging solutions do not have this feature, so it's highly recommended that you add one. FeedBurner is one good source for this feature. Another option you could offer would be to allow your readers to get your posts via email - FeedBlitz does this automatically for me. Finally, make certain that these buttons are well visible, rather than tucked far away at the bottom of the page or placed at another page all together.

Step 3
I remember reading a blog which did not even have a single paragraph break in any of its posts and boy were the posts lengthy. I was automatically off their site in just seconds. What does this tell you, it's always safer to break your posts into parts if you're planning to write a lengthy story, because how you write would eventually keep your readers coming back for more. And always remember to do a spell check prior to posting the article up at your page, this can help you save a lot of embarrassment and ultimately need not affect your image as an author.

Step 4
For some strange reason, I'm not sure why, but I've seen certain sites that display four to five different colored text in a single post or even better still, numerous different sized fonts placed all over. Yes, they may call it a unique talent or an artistic gift that they have, but ironically it simply doesn't work in the real world. Blogs such as these will eventually give their readers a painful experience, forcing them to leave, never to return. So, try not to kill the look of your blog by doing this. Choose a font that best suits your site and add color, only to certain crucial text.

Step 5
We tend to add anything and everything onto our blogs these days, one very common item has to be what we call - widgets. Every time you join something online there's always a possibility of them requiring you to place their widget at your blog. And no doubt there also some widgets that are so useful that you can't do without. But then again its always a wise choice to never overload your site with too many widgets as well. Adding a large number of javascript into your site will surely slow it down. Ya, I know some widgets have nice colors and all, but why sacrifice timely loading up time for something not all that necessary.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Google AdSense New Payment Method For All Malaysians

Looks like its a month filled with good news for all Malaysian bloggers in particular, and this time it is Google AdSense coming to our rescue. Apparently, yesterday Google AdSense had announced a great new payment method for all Malaysian (Individual Payee Names only) publishers, as well as several other countries. The new payment method we're all excited about is called Western Union Quick Cash, a much quicker and easier way to receive payment from Google AdSense.

Previously, Malaysian Google AdSense publishers were only given two options in receiving their payments, namely the Standard Delivery Checks method or the Secured Express Delivery Check method.

Standard Delivery Check Method
  • Receive checks within 2 - 3 weeks from their mailing date.
  • Incur much higher bank fees.
  • Long clearing time for foreign country checks
Secured Express Delivery Check Method
  • Receive checks within 5 - 10 working days after they've been sent.
  • Incur a USD24.00 processing fee.
  • Incur high bank fees.
  • Long clearing time for foreign country checks.
Western Union Quick Cash Method
  • Receive cash payments via worldwide Western Union money transfer service.
  • Payments are ready for withdrawal at our local Western Union Agents (any CIMB branch) office the very next day after Google AdSense payment schedule.
  • Cut down bank fees.
  • Payments can be withdrawn in local currency over the counter.
  • Have your conversion rates calculated based on the rate used by the Western Union Agent on the day you collect the payment at the counter.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mom Song

This is one great video! Incidentally it's called "the mom song", and it's perfectly sung by this comedian to the background of William Tell's masterpiece - Overture. I know it's not my regular kind of post but I simply had to share this with everyone as I found it so hilarious, entertaining and yet, so true to life.

Personally, it somehow reminded me of some of the things my mom would definitely say. Trust me on this one, there's surely something here that would remind you of your mom as well. Get ready to laugh and enjoy the show!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Things You Should Know About Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss programs have become so popular today, that there is a huge increase on those wanting to undergo weight loss surgery, simply to look good. Have you really considered to analyze the facts behind the medical term called, weight loss surgery? I have, after living with my father-in-law who went through a weight loss surgery himself quite recently.

Many may see it as the easiest solution for all their appearance issues, while there are those who still find it a difficult and tough decision to make on whether the weight loss surgery is actually necessary after all.

Deciding on a weight loss surgery is definitely like everyone says, a life changing one, and at the same time it requires the patient to have a strong commitment towards the whole program by following a strict diet and exercise plan. Get the right facts on the pros and cons of such a surgery procedure, because eventually the facts will surface and this would in-turn be a highly essential tool in helping one decide.

I believe that one has to always consider what their expectations are going to be from the said weight loss surgery, and whether the relevant results of that actual surgical procedure will be justifiable in their opinion.

If you ask me, patients should definitely not take this as their ultimate answer to all their problems when there are other options still available out there, take for instance, adhering to healthy eating habits, followed-through with a couple of good exercise plans helps one maintain their health and figure well into the future. Being the sceptical person I am, the sound of a fast weight loss program, always tends to worry me.

Nevertheless with the current technologies available throughout the world it is without a doubt that having a weight loss surgery done these days, is rapidly gaining more acceptance by making them more safer and more efficient in its process.

The most popular questions in the minds of all patients considering weight loss surgery would be questions similar to these :

How much can I lose from doing this surgery? Well, the amount of weight you tend to lose would fall into several factors, but basically its got to do with the type of weight loss surgery in itself, it definitely determines the overall outcome. If you were to analyze the Lap-Band procedure noted to be the safest amongst many, sadly this particular surgery type has a reputation in showing signs of an overall slower weight loss.

We all agree that a regular exercise routine and the food we consume on a daily basis plays an important part in our weight loss program. If followed strictly, then there is a 36% potential of losing ones excess body weight within that very same year.

Is there any qualifications in doing a weight loss surgery? Well even this can depend on several factors, namely your current body weight. An ideal candidate for a type of surgery like this would surely weight 100 pounds over and above their ideal body weight, in order for them to qualify. Your body mass index is yet another factor they would need to analyze.

Usually those who have a BMI in the ranges of 35 - 40 and suffer from obesity connected problems like diabetes, sleep apnea, obesity related heart disease, have found to be regular candidates for weight loss surgeries.

I want to know how safe is weight loss surgery? Thankfully, it's usually a relatively safe procedure to go through. But just like any other surgical procedure, certain risks should be carefully considered prior to the procedure. After researching further I've come to understand that surgeries done in a laparoscopical manner are much safer to do and patients find it much easier to recover when compared to other methods such as open surgeries.

Can I get involved in activities after a surgery? Of course yes, but naturally after allowing a time frame of four to six weeks, the body should be completely healed by then. And at this juncture I am pretty sure that your doctor would be encouraging you to continue with the exercise regime as it always helps the body achieve rapid weight loss.

What should I eat after a weight loss surgery? A liquid diet is definitely in store for you for the first couple of weeks after the surgery, and this should gradually change around the sixth week, when you begin to add in other food stuff such as fresh fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products and lean meats into your menu.

Normally you wont have much of an appetite in the beginning, so eat several small portions at a time throughout the day. Another thing to also remember would be to avoid food that are fibrous, sweet foods, greasy, doughy or sticky, which if continued to consume, may lead to obstacle the stomach and intestines, and then you might end up needing a totally brand new surgery just to correct that.

In most cases, weight loss surgery can be a life saving procedure for many people, while for others it's just another cosmetic procedure they carry out in order to look good. But, overall it has its many other advantages, where primarily patients being very pleased with the amount of weight they managed to lose.

Having said all that, I still feel that it is highly significant that anyone seriously considering a weight loss surgery to discuss this fully with their doctors first, and get the best medical advice to date. This will eventually eradicate any misconceptions that you may have relating to weight loss surgery.