Blogger Review

blogger logoBlogger.com is a free blogging platform owned by Google that allows you to instantly publish your information whether it be articles, pictures, videos, personal stuff, or business content. It even works very nicely in conjunction with a ready-made website. As with wordpress.com, you won’t need web hosting, you won’t need any technical skills – it’s very easy!

For example, if you sell wedding shoes so your main site is ecommerce-driven, and you want to quickly set up a blog to provide tips about how to choose the right shoes, Blogger gives you that ability without having to make a new website or using a different script on your existing website. All you do is link to your Blogger page from your regular website and presto, you have an informative blog and your customers are happy!

But, like all free accounts, there are reasons for and reasons against using the site. Here are some of the main ones.

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The dangers of quitting your day job for your e-business

online businessSo you started an online business some time ago and you figure that it is time you spend all day working on the site so that you can make a full-time income right? Maybe…. Before quitting your job for your online work, you need to understand that there are some serious risks to doing that, so we are going to show you EIGHT real dangers of quitting your day job for your e-business.

    1. Businesses, whether online or bricks and mortar, are usually seasonally. What are you going to do in the long, dry months when very little or no money comes in? Do you have the financial resources to see through this time period?
    2. Your business model, if you have one, could be a “fad”. Once the hype is over and users are on to something else, how will you reinvent yourself? And how quickly can you get something up and running to compensate for the lost revenue of the first venture?
    3. Hours worked on a website is not relative to the amount of money earned, whatever kind of online business you are in. What that means is if you make $20 for doing nothing (you set up your website and are trying to decide what to do next), it does not mean that if you work 20 hours per week, you will earn 20 times the $20. Bottom line, you are not going to quit your day job, work twenty hours the next week on your website, and find $400 in your bank account. While it is true that the more you work on your website, the more potential you have, money and time are not direct correlations. You cannot guarantee earnings this way.
    4. Everyone has the read the stories about someone starting a website on a shoestring and making it big-time. These stories are not the norm. You hear about them after the people have long been successful. You do not hear about the millions who failed. To gain any momentum on the internet not only takes long hours and a good strategy (business model), but it also takes money.
    5. Your business always depends on someone or something else. For example, if an affiliate program can no longer pay, you are out your commissions – one of many problems for a starting an online business. If your host or server goes down for some reason, you have no revenue. If the search engines change their algorithms, you could be in for some serious trouble as you watch your income fade overnight. When the hacker decides to mash up your site, your income is lost.
    6. When you go to your day job, you are expected to complete a certain number of tasks in a day in order to get paid. But when you are working for yourself online, it is VERY easy to get sidetracked and ultimately waste time, even days. Many people spend so much time “learning” and “reading”, that they never do anything. Money is not made by perusing. It is made by doing something concrete and having people buy something.
    7. Depression and poor motivation are serious issues with quitting your day job and focusing on your e-business. You have no-one else. Plus, you may in fact be trying really hard and putting in a long day’s work but you have not seen a full-time earnings. It is hard to watch your money and time being spent without getting upset or down.
    8. Earnings are not consistent for a long time in online business. Typically it takes years to build a consistent income. Just because you might have three good months in a row, does mean that level can be maintained. The income can drop as quickly as it came. Until you have about eight to twelve months of the same revenue, you are best served to stay at your day job.

One other thing that should be noted is that these scenarios are not “maybe this will happen”. These are all things that are happening as the norm everyday to millions of webmasters around the globe. So please, recognize the dangers of quitting your day job for your e-business.

Drupal Review

drupal logoIf you are a novice web developer, you will be confused about the content management system (CMS) that must be implemented on your website. Plenty of software packages (free and proprietary) are available and only the adept web administrators can identify the vantages of a suitable CMS. In the succeeding sections, I will be explaining the advantages of Drupal. Examples of notable websites developed using Drupal include the official website of the Whitehouse and this car theft website. In fact, many other portals maintained by the federal government make good use of the same CMS platform. Despite humble beginnings as a blogging platform, this web publishing package could conquer heights (and minds) effortlessly.

If you plan to make your website search engine friendly, then you must develop the portal using Drupal. Increasing the page ranking of a website will play out to be highly feasible to the web administrator. Another term that you might come across is “modules”. Modules are nothing but plug-ins meant to augment the overall functionality of a website. Innumerable modules are available for Drupal. Hence, you can customize the portal according to your necessities – swiftly, easily and effectively. Conflicts between modules might arise sometimes; you must be wary of such consequences before implementing them on your website.

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How much money does my web site have to make before going Pro?

Webmasters start an online business with the intent of earning some extra cash to pay bills or making a full-time living. Others want to speak about their passions and decide to work on a website to meet people with the same hobbies. And often times, these hobby sites can become serious online enterprises.

Business FundingBut the same question remains for many web property owners. How much money does my web site have to make before going Pro? Here we define “pro” as having a legally registered business entity and leaving a job to work on the site full-time.

In broad terms, the amount of money you “must” make from your website to go pro is different depending on the individual and where the business is located. There is no magic number to which everyone should aspire. But in specific terms, there are several considerations that webmasters should review when deciding to go pro or not.

First, let’s look at leaving your job to maintain your website. The amount of money that you require is at least the same amount you receive from your employer. You must be able to replace your current earnings. But for some people, even that may not be enough.

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TypePad Review

Typepad logoTypePad is a powerful blogging platform that works a little different than other blog creation sites. It is a subscription based system meaning that it is not free, which distinguishes Typepad from Blogger or WordPress.com. Users choose a monthly package from three choices, the Plus package, the Unlimited, and the Business Class. Prices range from $8.95 to $14.95 to $89.95 per month. A fourteen-day trial offer is available but you still must provide billing information and your subscription ends only if you cancel the service. Even though it is not free, TypePad is still considered one of the most popular blogging sites.

Following are listed some of the reasons why users like TypePad and reasons why they dislike it.

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ExpressionEngine Review

ExpressionEngine LogoWordPress, Movable Type and Textpattern were free CMS platforms. ExpressionEngine, on the other hand, is a proprietary platform developed by EllisLab. I fully understand the queries that might pass through your mind – should one opt for ExpressionEngine, especially when there are other free alternatives. The bottom line is simple as well as straightforward; those who have no working knowledge of PHP will find the ExpressionEngine to be exceedingly useful. In simpler terminologies, the novice web administrators will like this CMS platform. The various flavors of ExpressionEngine along with their subtle differences will be outlined in the following passages.

ExpressionEngine is available in three flavors – Core, Personal and Commercial. The Personal and Commercial versions are priced $99.95 and $249.95 respectively. This is a onetime fee, though. The Core version of ExpressionEngine is available for free. If you ask me, I would suggest you to familiarize yourself with the Core version before jumping ships and purchasing the pricier versions. The Core version does not come with technical support too. In case of doubts, you will have to consult the official documentation or ask for support from the community forums.

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Review: Yahoo! Publisher Network

Yahoo! Publisher Network, more commonly known as YPN, was Yahoo’s version of Google AdSense. It was a contextual ad program where webmasters could earn revenue from Yahoo! in return for placing ads on their websites and acquiring leads or paid customers. Unfortunately, the program was fraught with problem after problem and is now basically defunct. The sad part about YPN was it was a program with good features, it was just never developed fully. In fact, it never made it out of the Beta stage and because of this, it was only offered to webmasters with US tax numbers.

In the early days, publishers were able to make quite a bit of money from the program. Because it was new, the pay per click revenue was much higher than Google for instance. Webmasters who were able to test both programs indicated that they were getting sometimes at least four and five times the click dollar rate. But, they also indicated that the click-thru percentage was very poor because the ads were not consistently targeted to their content. Also, in the beginning, there were not as many restrictions with the ads as in later days.

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Review: Adbrite

AdBrite, originally called MarketBanker, was actually a new concept for selling ads. Basically, it was a contextual type advertising method, but it was unique because instead of websites having to find their own advertisers, they could place their criteria for ads in this marketplace and find advertisers. It also had a revenue generating section for publishers who did not sell advertising on their sites, but rather, wanted to earn some extra revenue from ads that were served to their pages.

Although the program was great for webmasters selling ad space, AdBrite, as a contextual model like AdSense, was not as lucrative and in some cases not even productive. The biggest problem was the ads were not targeted. Many were not relevant to the web pages’ content. Plus, there were not many ads so the same ones appeared over and over again which bored the site users.

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Textpattern Review

textpattern logoThere exist countless sorts of web publishing systems. Although most of them function alike, these systems are designed to augment the functionality of a website in their own ways. WordPress is a common example (for an effective desktop web publishing system) that is widely employed these days. Certain power users who look forward to optimizing their websites utilize Textpattern. The advantages (and the disadvantages) of this web publishing system will be highlighted in the rest of the paragraphs. Some of the web administrators concentrate on developing websites that include dynamic content, and it is they who prefer Textpattern.

You must understand that Textpattern is an Open Source offering. In plainer terms, there are millions of developers working in tandem to ensure that the end user can enjoy one of the best experiences while deploying Textpattern. The Open Source tag, likewise, enables literally anyone to download the CMS for free and utilize it on their websites. You need not have to worry about support and documentation – they are also available freely in the form of discussion forums. It is quite natural to have doubts about deploying Textpattern effectively – head over to the official forums to participate in the discussions held there.

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Movable Type Review

Movable-Type-LogoMovable Type is a web-publishing platform just like WordPress. Although it is relatively unknown in comparison to other leading publishing technologies, Movable Type is still being opted for manifold reasons. You have to consider something – almost all the web-publishing technologies include the same feature set. You are free to opt for one among them.

As a rule of thumb, it is better to concentrate on one web-publishing platform – instead of being another “jack of all trades”. I would strongly recommend you to test these technologies and select one amongst them – for the time being, allow me to demonstrate the features of Movable Type.

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