How I Make My Website Work:
Ever wonder how Humorous Homemaking is set up? How does the content get out to the world and how can we get everything delivered? This is your resource!
- WordPress – WordPress is the best blog publishing platform PERIOD. Free, easy to use and customizable in every way you can imagine.
- StudioPress/Genesis Framework – For a long time, we used a free theme for this site. It worked, but it was hard to use and updating it was always a little scary because it wasn’t maintained. At the recommendation of friends and fellow bloggers, we upgraded to the Genesis Framework and we’ve never looked back. A VERY GOOD investment if you are serious about blogging.
- Bluehost – Consistently rated #1 for WordPress blog hosting, we’ve used Bluehost for many years, from their inexpensive shared hosting packages to their largest VPS offering. I highly recommend you start here no matter the expected size of your site.
- Mad Mimi – If you want to grow your traffic, you need to encourage readers to sign up to receive emails from you when a new post goes up. There are several companies out there who can do this, but we used Mad Mimi as our tool of choice for quite a while because it is inexpensive, easy to use and does most of what you need a basic email service to do.
- Feedblitz – MUCH more powerful than Mad Mimi, but with a steep learning curve, we decided to switch to Feedblitz for our mass emails and newsletter sign ups. It is a good service, but it will take you some time to learn how to make it work. If you get stuck, their tech support via phone and email are fantastic.
- Google Feedburner – In addition to emails when there is a new blog post, you want to keep a good RSS feed going. Feedburner is the most powerful (and free) thing out there. It will also do daily emails for you for free, but beware it is not very customizable and there has been talk for a long time now of Google doing away with the email service.
How I Measure and Test the Website:
- Google Analytics – The world’s leading website measurement tool, Google Analytics gives you tracking on who’s visiting your site, where they came from and what they did while there. For free, you can’t beat this measurement tool to give basic traffic data and much more.
- GTMetrix – This tool “grades” your page according to the page load time, the cleanness of your website coding, etc. We use this tool whenever the site loads slower than usual or to make sure any site changes we’ve made were for the better.
- Alexa – This tool also “grades” your page, but does so to compare your ranking against other websites. As your site grows, you can use Alexa to provide demographic data, site visitor data and look for basic visitor trends.
How I Make Money on the Site:
How does Humorous Homemaking make cents? In addition to the banner ads and so forth that I manually put up when working directly with a company, here are some products I use to help make money through Humorous Homemaking.
- Google Adsense – Most months, this is our primary source of income for the site. Several of the display (banner) ads on the site are generated from Google Adsense and we are paid each time someone clicks an ad (PPC).
- Amazon Affiliate Program – Since we already love Amazon, it is pretty cool that we can get some commission if someone uses Amazon and just happens to use our referral link to get there. It is easy to sign up and commissions are based on sales.
- Swagbucks – Swagbucks is a search engine (like Google) that pays you in “swagbucks” (points) that can be redeemed for things like Amazon gift cards. Although it isn’t really a way we make money on Humorous Homemaking, it does generate some gift card “income” for us as we share details about it and others sign up.
- Vitacost – Similar to Swagbucks, we don’t really use Vitacost to make money, but because it is such a great service that we regularly recommend, we get a lot of referrals, earning us some store credit. If you’re looking for a cheaper way to buy healthy stuff, check out Vitacost.
- Commission Junction – This is a huge marketplace for advertisers to buy advertising slots and for website publishers to “sell” advertising space. If you want to put up banner or text ads and don’t work with companies directly, this is one resource to find companies to advertise on your site.
- Shareasale.com – Another huge marketplace for advertisers to buy advertising and for publishers to “sell” space.
- Skimlinks – Skimlinks is a service that has two components: skimlinks and skimwords. Skimlinks scans your existing links and, when it can, turns them into affiliate links and helps you earn a small affiliate commission. Skimwords does the same thing but it looks at all the words in your site (they don’t have to be existing links) and, when it can, turns those into affiliate links.
Blogging Books I Recommend:
- Platform by Michael Hyatt
- Problogger by Darren Rowse
- Quitter by John Acuff
- EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey