Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Google Adsense Offers Western Union Payments for Everyone EXCEPT Thailand

Not sure I'm all that jazzed about this, but it is a step in the right direction. Previously bloggers in countries outside the USA had little option but to provide Google with a mailing address to receive a paper check at in the mail for their Google Adsense Payments.

I'm in Thailand. The first 3 secret code notifications Google sent were lost in the mail. The 4th one made it.
Recently our first check made it. Now, is that a guarantee that future checks will make it -? Hell no! I'm awaiting the 2nd check and it's late already. Should I request another check? What a SCREWY system this is...

So, Google realized how daft this was and opened up payments by Western Union for some other countries, though, sadly - this does NOT INCLUDE THAILAND Google Adsense users.

See the link:

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Robots.txt File Blocks Common Bad Bots Easily

If you have a site with any kind of size to it, eventually the robots from various servers will come and find your site through links from other sites. They scour the internet day and night - one computer or hundreds, and they are looking for information. There are good bots and bad bots.

I would consider Google a goodbot. Google has a few different bots, and I want all of them to index as much as possible on all of my web sites because when they do - Google will give me some representation in their index in the form of search results when Google users query a term or phrase at

I would consider twicelor a bad bot. I know nothing about it, except that it ravenously consumed 180,000 pages in one week at my blog. Robots act as web surfers really. They go to your site and view a page. They follow the links on the pages of your site and pull up all those pages. If you have many pages, like I have about 1100 pages on one of my sites - twicelor can pull a HUGE number of your pages as it crawl through your site.

If you're unlucky enough to have a poor hosting account you may find your site shut down, just because this one bad bot ate up all of your bandwidth!

I was looking through my stats and was happy to see - for about a week - my stats were climbing through the roof! I thought, ahh, Google is finally doing it's work! The traffic was coming steadily it appeared - no jumps just on certain hours (minutes) of the day like usually signifies a robot coming through.

I was excited until I checked the Browser stats - which shows what browsers, and also the names of the bots that are using the browsers (in my hosting account).

Bad web robot, Twicelor, showing false stats increase at my Godaddy hosted siteIt showed a bot named twicelor was killing me with it's request for pages.

376,000 pages were pulled by the twicelor bot in just a few days! It kept pulling more everyday - like exponentially increasing as it fed off my site.

My bandwidth that was eaten was just a couple of Gigabytes - I have a Terabyte of bandwidth - so, no worries YET. But, if that twicelor bot kept pulling pages I was afraid I'd have to start paying for bandwidth.

Would be a great scam for Godaddy to have twicelor run through Godaddy sites and eat up everyone's bandwidth so they needed to purchase more, eh? I'm sure that's not what is going on...

So - I realized I needed to block Twicelor from viewing my site. How to do this? Robots.txt file in your home directory.

How is that done?

Make up a robots.txt file and ftp it into your home directory and all your subdomains if you have any. If you have a blogger or blog you won't be able to access your home directory. No worries, they already block all the bad bots - you don't need to give it a second thought.

If you have your own site or blog hosted somewhere other than,, or other canned-systems, you'd do well to immediately effect this change at your site and add a robots.txt file to your home directory.

I will provide the text below that will keep the good bots coming and some of the bad ones - away. Keep in mind, this is not a failsafe system as the bots must choose whether to ignore your robots.txt file or not. Most will comply with your wishes, but not all. The ones on this list are thought to always comply.

Your stats may suffer a hit after you implement this change - as you are getting rid of BAD traffic - and fake traffic... the bad bots seem similar to traffic in your stats - but on closer inspection it's worthless traffic - and actually much more harmful since they're just TAKING and not giving you anythng of benefit - like Google gives back.

Below is the file that I use, you can copy and paste it into a .txt file - make sure there are no spaces before or after the text when you save the file as "robots.txt".

Upload that file to your main directory of your domain - the same directory that your index.htm or index.html file resides in. If you don't know how to do this, contact your web master that does your web site maintenance. Do it before you need it to prevent wasted energy and time resolving the matter in the future.

This is NOT a failsafe method... .htaccess files are better - but beyond the scope of this article.

And, in the future you may need to block more robots than the ones listed here.

Best to read up on this subject at other sources and really understand as much as you can about robots and what they do.

:) Good luck!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Google PageRank: July, 2007 Update (NOW!)

Google's PageRank update for July, 2007 causes EXTREME joy and heart palpitations or cataclysmic depression accompanied by... heart palpitations.

My PageRank bar is not working with any website today. THAT means that the much anticipated, feared and revered PageRank update is happening right now as you read this... (assuming you're reading NOW!)

Hopefully I'll see some positive changes, though I've changed hosting 3 times in the last quarter, not at all a good thing for Google to see. Google likes stability. Will Google's Pagerank update show just how GOOD they've become, by following and re-indexing all the changes to my 1500 pages of content? Not sure. Remains to be seen and we should see shortly...

Thailand Video Blogging on the Move, Tools, Tricks, Hacks

Two outside links for you today, one is a guy that wanted to blog from his mobile phone and did quite a good job. Visiting a PC was still necessary at times, but for the most part he could blog - just without full functionality that he would have liked... Post is here... BoonBloggle: Video blogging

This other link is a compilation of resources for bloggers or for people just interested in multimedia functionality via PC. Over 400 Tools for Video Bloggers, Podcasters, Photographers, etc...

There are some incredible blogging tools in that list, some of which I use myself, some tools I've heard of and others I've not heard of at all. If you're blogging in Thailand and you want to be a step-above the rest - you'll need to take advantage of some of the tools. Specifically, my favorite blogging tool is JPEG OPTIMIZER PRO found at It is an incredibly fine blogging tool that I multiple times per day while blogging here in Thailand.

I've written a bit about blogging and video blogging in Thailand at one of my other blogs and here are some links to relevant information there:

Do we NEED Computers Anymore? Mobile Phones seem to be Doing it ALL!

Blogging Professionally in Thailand... Possible?

Traveling to Thailand and need Internet Access?

Blogging in Thailand, and by the way, What the Hellsa Blog?

Blogging Phone / Business Phone: Review of Nokia e70 in Thailand

If you have any questions about blogging, or if you wish to blog for our Thailand network, please visit and see my email on the right hand side column. Thanks!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Google Ranking System Revealed

I just found this really great article about how Google ranks web sites and what is the primary focus. It's written in a way that gives information I've not heard of before.

Apparently the author, Lorelle, has studied the patent for Google's algorithms and has come up with some key features by deduction. Whether or not they are correct entirely remains to be seen - and I'll do some research to see if others agree... But, it sounds to me just like Google would want a quality site to be.

Steady additions to content over time.
Long term site and coherent strategy and focus.
No spam use of any sort.
No huge link love initially, but rather a slower build over time.

Many more key ideas - you've gotta look if you're interested in Google rank for your web site:

How Google Ranks Web Sites >

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Google Adds more Functionality!

Google just added another great upgrade, this time to their email ( program. They now let you attach 20MB files to your email, a great move since before this 10MB was the maximum and not big enough for a lot of movies that I wanted to send by email.

Google recently upgraded it's "Google Analytics" function to include nicer layout, and greater ease of use.

I'm anxious to see what other things are happening at Blogger - as I like Blogger a lot, it just doesn't have all the tweakability taht I'd like to see. I'm sure they're working on some major changes that will bring it in line with Wordpress, but do it in a much more intuitive and easy to learn manner.

I've now switched one of my blogs to I host the site at my own domain and web hosting at The name of this site is, www., and it's a personal development site. It's a positive site dedicated to providing new angles on what is out there in the personal development and self-help areas. It will be all unique as I don't copy anyone's blogs and rehash them like so many bloggers do.

If you aren't using Google's Webmaster Tools, Analytics, Reader (for RSS feeds), Mozilla Firefox (download the link on the right (I get $1 if you do so)), or Blogger if you are a beginning blogger then you are missing out on a lot of great stuff. Google is full of functionality now. Yes, they are so big as to be a monopoly almost, but - use them while they're here because there's nobody better right now if you're just starting out and don't know all the other specific tools for your blog and how to implement them.



Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Moving Blogger Blog to GoDaddy Domain using FTP Publishing

BLOGGER TO GODADDY FTP Publishing: Instructions

Ok, I just took the nasty step of switching over my blogs (5 of them) from blogger hosting where my url was:

and moving it to my own domain I have a web site at:

so now the new url looks like:

The reasons I did it require some explanation.

Originally I was hosting my blogs at blogspot. I decided, wow, I'm really into this blogging thing. I had posted 196 posts at my blog and my girlfriend had put 130 at her blog. I had another 150 posts at 2 of my other blogs there.

I thought - wow, this is serious. I need to move these things OFF Blogger and get them to their own domain for better monetization down the road - and more control over everything. Also, if I ever wanted to sell the blogs - much easier if hosted at my own domain, difficult if at Blogger because you don't own anything.

The next step I chose - and I should have eliminated this step - was to move them to Blogger's "Custom Domain" choice in Settings tab and Publishing link of Blogger's program to manage your blogs.

So, I moved them. All 5 of them.

This was a rather insidious process as I had to do some domain name switching and it was all hocus pocus really. The site stayed hosted at Blogger. I only bought the domain name and told Blogger to tell the DNS that I was hosting my blogs at my site - when actually they were all on-site at Blogger as they always were. Someone could now find my site by going to my subdomain on the domain I owned (example:

Hosting at their Custom Domains solution seems ok at first glance, until you want to look at getting a sitemap for your domain and also when you start considering that all those links pointing to the blogspot domain - like - everyone that linked to there wouldn't change their links because they still work. So, even though the proper domain name for her site was - the search engine sees links to and thinks that site is still valid too.

I then created a sitemap for two of my sites listing out every html
file I had in one huge list - realizing only later that an xml or txt
sitemap cannot be added to your Custom Domain at Blogger because you
don't have access to the root level domain to drop a file in there! When I tried to do a sitemap for the sites and place it in my directory at - it wasn't found... Apparently Google's webmaster tools can't read the directory because it's virtual. If that makes sense.

I then added the ATOM feed as my site map as some of you might know - we can do this for our blogs - no need to make a huge sitemap of every single file. Just copy the link url to your ATOM FEED from your blog's home page - and you can paste that in as your sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools. For instance, mine was:

However, that solves next to nothing as it only gives Google your last 10 posts at your blog. The other 186 of mine - were not registered by using the feed as the sitemap! BLAST IT!


To me, having a valid sitemap is everything. It means Google KNOWS which pages to index, so there's no excuse for not indexing them. I really like to have one as it makes me feel better about the whole Google spider process even though I still don't trust it.

I then decided - I'm going to move everything to my domain - physically put them there in subdomains and use the FTP function Google has to publish all my posts by FTP to my domain.

This way - nothing resides on Google (photos do I believe), but pages - that count for the search engines reside on my domain in my subfolder where they should be.

Moving to FTP takes some skill - not for the process which is fairly easy, but for the after-effects because now you are stuck with a classic template - of which there are about 15 maybe, but you don't have the easy widget functionality to put Google Adsense and all the other cool widgets all over your blog. It's cut and paste into the code time -and if you're NOT competent with code - don't move to FTP publishing - please.

So, moving on...

I killed the previous DNS magic that told people my site was hosted at my domain when really it was at Blogger and I moved all my blogs by FTP to my domain.

Now I have a valid sitemap for each blog - and all pages are listed. In the end I know this was the right move.

I've yet to move this blog though!

Ok, steps for moving to FTP from Blogger to Godaddy.

1. Create subdomains at Godaddy by logging into your hosting account. Choose Domain management. Choose OPEN control panel.

2. Choose Settings tab.

3. Choose Domain management. Create subdomains for each blog you want to put at that domain. For me- I had a whole site hosted at so I put my blogs in these subdomains:

don't list out the whole url - just add a subdomain like "trythaifood"

That's it.

4. Exit out of there because you're done. Nothing else to do in Godaddy because by default they point your subdomain to a folder on your path - they create the folder for you on your ftp path.

5. Login to Blogger's dashboard.

6. In the Template Tab go to HTML settings. Check the box for expand widget templates. Copy all of the template with Control and C and then paste that into a Notepad file and save it someplace with the name: blog-name-code-backup.txt.

Do that for each blog all at once so you don't forget and skip that. You'll lose the way your blog was originally if you don't save this complete template.

After you copy and save each template's code - scroll to the bottom of the page and choose "CLASSIC TEMPLATE".

This will change your template to a boring classic template - but you can pick from 14 other boring ones that are better than this one later.

7. Go back to your blog's SETTINGS tab, and Publishing link. If you need to set blog readers to "anybody" or "Everbody" then do so or FTP publishing won't work.

8. Choose FTP publishing.

9. Fill out the FTP publishing form carefully.

10. Your godaddy FTP server is just your domain name. was mine, don't put anything else - just this format.

Blog URL is the full name:

FTP path: for this one I went through heck to find it. Support gave me the wrong information so it was trial and error to find out what it was. NOW I GOT IT! NOW YOU HAVE IT TOO! If you have Windows hosting at Godaddy that is... If you have LINUX - you'll need to guess what your FTP path is - and maybe it's same as this one is for Windows - I hope so for you....

format is like this: /yourusernameforyourhostingaccount/subdomain/

if your username is billybob and your subdomain is trythaifood then it looks like this:


The other things - leave as they are - you will have to enter your hosting username and password at the bottom of the page.

When you hit submit on that page you'll see that settings saved successfully and it asks you to republish your blog.

From now on - any changes you make to anything - you need to republish the entire blog for changes to go into effect.

As you republish - watch...

It lists every one of your URLS in a nice list for you.

This is a bonus - because you want to highlight and copy all of those urls into a text file - Notepad - and save it as Sitemap.txt.

Make sure when you save the list there are no spaces before your first url or your last url - and, when you save the file - don't choose regular txt, choose save as UTF-8 which will make it a valid sitemap file for Google's Webmaster tools. The file still appears with the .txt extension, but the coding is a bit different - and valid for a sitemap file in Google's eyes.

Hopefully you have an FTP program. I use FireFTP which is a plugin for FireFox and it's quite cool.

It logs me into my domain and then I physically type my subdomain into the window address box at the top right like this:


when I do that the directory for trythaifood pops up -and I can upload my sitemap to it.

If I don't do that step - there is NO FOLDER FOR MY SUBDOMAIN available where the other folders are for my whole site!

Is that crazy?

Yes, but it's true, so you MUST type it in at the top or not be able to get there - and you NEED to get there to drop your sitemap into it.

Verify your sitemap in Google Webmaster tools and you're good to go.

For me the whole process once I figured out the FTP path took about 40 minutes for 5 blogs. Not bad.

However, to now make my blogs acceptable the eye after choosing all manners of classic templates and losing lots of formatting will take about 4 days to rectify.

You can go back to Blogger Dashboard, choose a blog's TEMPLATE settings and change to another classic template. To me the ROUNDERS one's look the best of all of them, but, up to you.

I"m not that concerned with formatting for now since I have what I wanted, SITEMAPS!

Good luck to you!

Hope this helps you - as I searched all OVER THE PLACE for a help file going FTP from Blogger to Godaddy and couldn't find squat. That, and an incorrect support answer from Godaddy made the experience my own private hell for 2 hours, but now you can learn from my mistakes.

Now, GO DO IT!


Friday, May 4, 2007

Blogging Simply: Format your Spew, Viralize your Spew. Huh?

Easy reading today, don't even go get a coffee.

Mood? Yen sabai... sabai-sabai... mellow yellow.... easy & cheesy...

This blog post will answer questions like:

What is spew, and what does a good blog look like?
How do I know if I'm blogging (spewing) correctly?

This blog post will NOT answer questions like:

Is it right for the US military to muzzle their bloggers (spewers)?

It IS right, but we'll not get into that.

Blogging IS simple.

You just write about the topic of your blog.

You can choose ANY angle to it. You can blog positively (+) or negatively (-). You can show photos and comment. Draw a note on a piece of paper and show it.

This is what I'm interested in lately. I can't draw well at all or I'd be a lot MORE interested in it! If you can draw - you gotta try it. It's interesting. It breaks up the online format because it looks like handwriting on the screen. That's always cool to see for some reason.

Check out You won't follow all her logic as a lot of it is mental gymnastics that she gets a kick out of... but, the point is - it's very cool to see handwritten charts or jokes that maybe started out as for her own edification (enjoyment and pride-building) but now she's sharing it with us.

She's getting mad traffic just doing that. She's not WRITING 300 words+ per day. How can she get away with that?

Here's me getting inspired from seeing her jokes:

A "farang" is what Thais' call foreigners. I'm a farang here. I'm not a drunk farang teacher, but they DO exist.

D= could also be a Thai prison.

I lied to you. Remember when I told you that you needed to write 300+ words everyday to get great traffic? I was only speaking of search engine traffic.

If enough people like to read what you're spewing - you can just spew a few words or write a joke on a napkin, photo it, edit it, stick it on your blog and call yourself a blogger.

Others will link to your spew and you'll get lots of Google PageRank Love....

But, you're not that concerned because you've got a site that isn't relying on the engines much. A viral site relies on it's visitors to evangelize it. Spreading the good spew all over the web so more traffic comes to see what the hype is all about.

In a way this is better than relying on the search engines because they're changing more than people are. People will go on raving about their favorite spew for a long time... sharing their favorites with their friends. This is a great thing for bloggers and if possible you want to capitalize on this by having a very interesting blog that is viral. Viral means, it is so interesting that visitors think they are COOL by sharing it with their friends.

Their friends may also think... "that Vern, he's cool for sharing that spew... How does Vern GET that cool?"

Here's an interesting viral blog with many cool things to do... BlogBombs >

Notice how you can't STOP reading it?
Notice the variety?
Notice the catchy way the spew is formatted?
The multi-colored spew?
Notice the ample use of horrifying photos, videos and descriptions to tweak the spew just right?

That site is COOLNESS personified. Blogified if you will.

It's my site.

So you can see - sometimes Vern is shooting for Google Group-hugs and sometimes Vern is ignoring Google for the glitz. The glam.

Sometimes Vern is just being his whacky self by posting cool things at his other sites.
Sites that make him think he's still cool.
41 years old and still cool.

Anyway... so, you know what spew is.
You know what viral is.
You know what Indexed and Blogbombs are.

Here are other examples of "good blog sites": (mine) (Darren Rowse, Blogger King)

You know you don't NEED to make a site that ranks high in Google - but it's actually easier than creating a viral site unless you're a pretty interesting blogger/bloggerette.

Get to blogging!


Thursday, May 3, 2007

Google Adsense Changed Allowable Color Schemes?

Is Google changing what can and cannot be chosen for colors with it's Adsense ads?

Maybe some testing or changes happening at Google Adsense.

I'm a blogger and I was changing my ad-link unit - 468x15 on my blog - at the top under the title.

As much as I wanted to change the URL links to RED it constantly made them PINK. I typed in the code for red. There was no mistake made. When I went back later and looked at the codes -they hadn't changed. But, what was actually showing on my blog were pink url links - not red. I was trying to match exactly the url color of the rest of the links on the page - like I've been able to do in the past without problems.

I thought, I'll try to change one of my other blogs.

SAME PROBLEM, different colors.

On I wanted the urls in the ad link unit at the top to be on a white background, black text and exactly the url color of the rest of the urls on the site.



It's not user error. I changed those links on BlogBombs to red 3 times -and it never took effect. I finally changed them to YELLOW in disgust. Changing to yellow worked instantly. At I changed the blue links twice before deciding on another hue of blue which the adsense program accepted.

Anyone having this issue?

Here is my screenshot - or you can go to see it: The Google links are pink. The other links I have on the right to join my feed are red.

Blogger screenshot

OK, so I checked the source code and found this for my ad link unit specifications:

Google Adsense link unit settings

My link, and url text shows: FF0000 which is the code for RED.

Here are my style settings - which I don't think influence Google's adsense ad since it's a separate script - but they all say RED except the hover - which is bright yellow:

Blogbombs style settings

Is this strange or am I the last one to know about Google doing this? It would make sense if Google is trying to limit the amount of clicks on the ad link unit - a highly successful ad - when visitors click them by mistakenly thinking they are part of the site's main links at the top.

Google has recently said more about webmasters that try to place the adsense ads too close to their own navigational text links at the top of a page. Maybe they are taking things into their own hands and forcibly changing colors to make them different from other link text on the page?

Maybe my blog was doing something wrong and they're penalizing me?

Maybe this is a test?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Step 8, Familiarizing Yourself with Blogger's Dashboard

So, you have a blog at Blogger and you need to find out - how do I make it DANCE?

Today is all about the "Dashboard".

My mood? Yen Sabai, Sabai-Sabai. In Thai this means "Cool and comfortable... feeling kinda groovy and relaxed". Yep, that's me today - the weather is just perfect today - a bit cloudy and in the 70's fahreinheit. A cool tasty breeze blowing through the sliding glass windows at this internet cafe. I've gotta Cappucino "yen" - over ice and I'm so, so Sabai...

This blog will answer questions such as:

What is the Blogger Dashboard and what can I do with it?
What is "tabbed browsing" and why should I learn to like it?
How can I create additional blogs?

Can I add personal information about me that others can see from my blog?

How can I blog from my mobile phone?

How can I Change the entire look of my blog very quickly?

This blog will not answer questions such as:

ANYTHING about the King of Thailand
(keepa da mouth shutup, u undastand, yes?)

What is the Blogger "Dashboard" and what can be done with it?

That is the focus of today's entire post. The dashboard is the first stop when you login to Blogger. Login now so you can read this and go over it while you're logged in. If you have a printer, print out this page and read along as you check out your own Dashboard on the computer.

When I login to Blogger this is what I see, along with every other blog I have there. These are 2 blogs I have:

Blogger's Dashboard list of blogs

If you choose , "View Blog" you will be taken to your blog from that page. But, since you have FireFox browser you can now just use your mouse to RIGHT click that View Blog link and you will have some options come up. If you then left click the "Open Link in New Tab" selection you will see another browser window open up beside the one you are currently on. You will remain on the page you were on and you can click the "tab" at the top of the page to see the other browser. This is a great feature to get familiar with. Play with that a bit. Try other options in the list when you RIGHT click a link. What else can you do? This process - using the tabs in browsers is called, 'tabbed browsing', and it's quite a nice way to browse the internet.

If you don't have FireFox yet, I strongly recommend it: There is a button to the right on this site where you can download it in full with the toolbar that adds a lot of functionality. **

If you choose the "New Post" link you'll be taken directly to Blogger's "Create Post" page.

If you choose one of the selections following, "Manage:" Each of those links "Posting; Settings; Template" are tabs that are full of features you can use for your blog.

You should explore those a bit and see where each leads. I think you'd have a much better time if you used the "tabbed browsing" that I told you about earlier. I like clicking different browser tabs much better than I like to hit the "back" and re-choose the links when I want to go forward to the same page. If you used tabbed browsing the pages remain open for you and loaded -no waiting!

Try it! Try it!
Don't stop until you LIKE IT!

How can I create additional blogs?

Very simply, if you click the "Create a blog" in the upper right hand corner of the whitespace of the Dashboard you'll be taken to the exact place you were when you created your first blog, and you know what to do from there since you read, "Step 7, How do I Create a Blog on Blogger?"

Can I add personal information about me that others can see from my blog?

Yes! Click on the right side link in the Dashboard on the "Edit Profile" link. A page opens up that lets you tell as much about yourself as you'd ever want to. If you're going to blog you should reveal some things about yourself so readers feel a connection to you. That is part of the attraction that visitors have to blog sites - they KNOW the person behind the site. Sites prior to this were like companies, anonymous and impersonal. Your blog must not be like that. Enter as much as you want, or even MORE than you want.
Remember, whatever you put on this profile is shown to everyone - all viewers of all different blogs. If you have, like I do - blogs done by you and your wife or g/f what name do you pick? I don't know either, so we use a : ) smiley face. Also - when you choose what blogs to display that are yours - they display to everyone - so again, choose which to display wisely. My girlfriend's readers of TryThaiFood don't want to see my blogs or some of my other even more crazy ones! Choose carefully.

When you choose the "My Account" link on the right side you'll see a list of services that you have with Google that are associated with the email address you have - if you have a email address. If you need one, email me and ask - I have 50 more I can give away.

How can I blog from my mobile phone?

First you can send an email from your mobile phone to Blogger will register your phone's email address and send you back a Claim Token to use to "claim your blog" here at a link from your Dashboard page.

In the Mobile Devices section on the right hand side you can choose the link, "Learn how to start mobile blogging". There is a place there to enter your mobile claim token that you received after sending a photo taken from your phone to Once you enter that you'll be given a choice what you want to do with images and emails sent from your phone to Do you want to keep the new blog that Blogger created for you - or, do you want to send all emails and photos straight to your blog to be published?

Up to you.

If this doesn't work for you - like it doesn't work for me in Thailand... you can send an email with a photo attached from ANY email address - from your computer and you will receive a claim token in your email box. You can then come here to Dashboard and plug it in and claim your blog.

Why Is This Useful?

Blogger offers you another way to publish to your blog by sending emails to a specially created (secret) email address if you wish - but it does NOT work with photos! If you set up another email address so that everytime you use it to send your photos with or without emails - you can post photos to your blog as well as text. A TRICK! We'll learn later about how to setup a secret email address that you can mail to from any email or phone you choose - and it will be published on your blog. It only applies to text, not photos though.

How can I Change the entire look of my blog very quickly?

There is a link on the right column of the Dashboard that is under the "Need a Fresh Look" heading. The link says, "Customize your blog" with a new layout today. If you click there you will be able to choose different templates that will re-arrange everything about your blog. You should start experimenting with those and find a template you like. There are many, and there are even custom templates you can download from other sites that are free and offer much more style and options.


The Dashboard is the first stop for managing your blog(s). You can do a lot from here, but the real meat of everything is just behind the Dashboard at the links that said, "Manage: Posts; Settings; Templates". We will start learning about those over the next few days.

Do some more playing around in Dashboard and clicking the Post, Settings, and Templates links and seeing the different options that exist. There are many you won't understand, but if you click the small orange "?" buttons on the site or the "help"links in the upper right hand side of the page you're on - you'll be able to understand some more of it. I'll review the rest!

and it got reeeeaaaalll quiet...

and Vern said,

"Thank you kind mother Google for raining your blessings on us like a sweet summer squall. We've all smiled because of you today, and we'll wake up smiling tomorrow too. Your desire to quench our parched minds with info-nectar is such a sweet and generous gift... "

; )

Step 1, What is a Blog?
Step 2, How does a blog make money ?
Step 3, What skills and qualities do I need to blog for money?
Step 4, What topic should I blog about to make money?
Step 5, How can I choose a good domain name and title for my blog?
Step 6, How much money does a blog cost?
Step 7, How do I create a free blog at
Step 8, You're there NOW - this is it...

** I make about a dollar if you download at that link. In Thailand a dollar is enough to eat a nice big bowl of Gwit Diao (noodle soup) with an extra bowl of bean sprouts on the side that I quickly dump in before my g/f can react. I top it off with a Cha-yen (iced Thai Jasmine tea). Sabai, Sabai indeed...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Step 7, How Do I Create a Free Blog at

Ahhhh! Finally, we're THERE. Creating the blog. All that other stuff prior to now was a bit boring. Today we can actually get our hands wet and not only our minds.

Mood? Rather feisty, let's get going with this... A very short post today.

This blog will answer questions such as:

How do I create a free blog at
Will I need to pay to upgrade soon?
How many blogs can I create at Blogger?

This blog will not answer questions such as:

My friend told me that to start his WordPress blog he had to pass an IQ test for MENSA first - does Blogger require this?

How do I create my free blog at Blogger?

Steps to Creating your Free Blog at Blogger:
  1. Make sure you're using Mozilla Firefox Browser . Yes, it's required** because the number of problems that you WON'T have because of it will keep you from throwing things across the room 6 times today. If you have Internet Explorer, please, for your own peace of mind install FireFox and transfer over all of your bookmarks to FireFox with this easy tutorial. You'll be so much happier in the future! (Find it at FireFox button on right column).
  2. Choose the Orange arrow link that says > Create your blog now >
  3. Enter title of your blog like, "Blog Simply!" is the title of this one.
  4. Enter the domain name (subdomain name) that you've chosen for your blog. Both of these can be changed later - so, don't get all anxiety disorder... just enter what you think these will be.
  5. Click the blue > Check Availability > link which will check the database to see if your domain is available in the system since there can be no duplicates. > Continue Arrow >
  6. Choose a Template - I use Rounders a lot in my blogs -I think I use rounders 2 - but it's not on THIS template chooser page - there are more templates later. Just choose any of them. > Start Posting! >

You've just created your site on Blogger.

The first screen that pops up allows you to create a blog post - go ahead and enter one... Choose a title that reflects what you'll write about. For my first post I always title it something like, "Blog Simply! What is this site about?"

Inside the large text box you can write the body of your blog post. Play with the formatting a bit. It's best NOT to hit the |ENTER| key when you are composing your blog because that is a "hard return" that will screw up the formatting of your post. It will take some getting used to.

Create a post and add a label for it in the lower right corner - just choose a keyword that fits the post. For posts like this first one I usually choose "admin" for my keyword or "notes" or "Blog Simply info" or something like that. Remember, a label is like a category that this post will fall into. Visitors can search on labels and bring up all the posts you made with that label.

Then when you're finished you can choose the orange PUBLISH button at the bottom.

Go to your new blog URL in your FireFox browser and see what your site looks like... (enter yours).

If you had any problems at all during the sign-up process you may have problems in the future. I'm using a mobile phone as my modem and I have occasional trouble even using FireFox but with IE posting to my blog is not possible.

"I'm more serious than when
"Lassie" and "Flipper" died...
need to use the FireFox browser
for anything Blogger or Google related."

Please don't fight me. ;)

If you can't live without IE then keep it - and use it for everything ELSE that isn't related to Google.

I was having SO MANY problems with Internet Explorer and Google's angels were kind enough to work with me for over a week trying to resolve it before they whispered to me in an email... "You could try FireFox, most people don't have any problems when they use that browser."

In their infinite wisdom and guidance they dropped in my ear some of the sweetest nectar known to man...

Google Love...

it was well-placed, and well-intentioned... it was... well, it was LOVE that's all I can say.

Apparently they like FireFox better. Me too after 4 months of using it. MUCH, much better.

Up to you.

Will I need to upgrade my Blogger blog anytime soon?

Not unless you are posting more than a gigabyte of photos and content anytime soon. If you re-size your photos for the internet you'll likely not use the 1GB anytime soon.

How many blogs can I create at Blogger?

More than you will ever be able to manage and update on a frequent enough basis to make them all work - so, stick with just ONE for now!


Go to and enter the info they tell you and you'll have your first blog! Make a post if you want, if not, no worries - we're getting there.

Play around in the Blogger interface and see what you can learn on your own... we'll go over everything later and it's unlikely you'll screw something up beyond repair... no, I think it's impossible - so, go ahead and play around!

and it got reeeeaaaalll quiet...

and Vern said,

"Thank you kind mother Google for all you provide for us, suckling us from blogger infancy until we can stand on our own... you gradually wean us off your info-nipple with a gentle pull and ease us into the blogging game with a careful push that makes us better and more responsible bloggers aimed at helping visitors to our blogs become smarter and happier. Thank you for your grace and your undeniable selflessness..."

Step 1, What is a Blog?
Step 2, How does a blog make money ?
Step 3, What skills and qualities do I need to blog for money?
Step 4, What topic should I blog about to make money?
Step 5, How can I choose a good domain name and title for my blog?
Step 6, How much money does a blog cost?
Step 7, This one!

** I make about a dollar if you download at that link (I gotta get mine too you know?) You with me?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

You'll Give Vern Cash AS he Surfs? NOTHING to buy... Uhm, Where's the Catch?

I HATE MULTI LEVEL MARKETING SCHEMES.  I can't emphasize that enough. I would never want to pull friends into something like that.

I don't ever want to attempt to sell my friends or even strangers something they don't need. MLM makes money only for the top people that started the company and some super-motivated and probably already successful folks a short hop away from the top of the chain.

That being said...

I just finished writing a letter to my brother about this internet opportunity that is similar to MLM but there is nothing to buy.

I thought I'd post it to the blogs too since it could turn out to really be something big down the line.  I joined last night because I read two articles about it from different bloggers in the "top 50" that mentioned this in their blogs. They are very skeptical guys but they signed up. I did too just based on that.

Hey Dave,

There is HUGE idea that is catching on bigtime. Even probloggers making $30,000 per month have signed up for it.

They pay you to surf the web.  Well, AS you surf the web. Don't do anything differently. Just install toolbar (not available yet) and then ask others to sign up using your referral code - given after signing up.  When you sign up others under you - they too will earn cash while they are online  - and you'll earn referral/commission from them.

Get your friends to sign up under you as you even make some bonus cash from their surfing...  I am telling everyone I know about it..

Apparently the big guys in blogging think this is potentially very big news if it works. It could be larger than AOL in terms of size / money.

In a year or so there could be serious income potential - for doing NOTHING.  Nobody is sure how much, depends on a lot of things.

No purchases required and nothing lost if you sign up and later don't receive any cash.

Read about it - then join - do this one - you know how I am about multilevel marketing SHITE - this has big potential and,
since there's nothing to buy or convince your friends to buy it should be a no-brainer just signing up.  I've read their privacy
statement and it is solid.

The link is below...

Vern -

Make money just surfing the Web: Sign Up >

(Vern does it, there's no catch. They send
you money basically just for joining.)

 Vern's Thailand blogs

 "Blogging Step-by-Step"
 "Thailand Travel and Experiences Blog "
 "Try Thai Food Blog"
 "Thailand Videos and Photos"

Blog Simply Mission Statement

What is the purpose of Blog Simply? 
What does Vern want to accomplish with this blog?

1. I want to help people understand things that don't make sense to them.  Blogging is one such idea that, though there are MANY sites out there to help you blog, there aren't any that describe it from a base enough level.  They start out explaining what to write about, not what a blog is. They start out telling you to optimize your keywords - but not what a keyword is.  They already start the game in the middle of it without giving the background non-technical people need to know.  I got into blogging as a logical step after having started many businesses online. It was a simple progression to blog. Since learning about blogging - the intricacies, the big picture... I realized, WOW, even I'M LOST sometimes and I have a decade of background in online ventures and lifestyle. There must be thousands of people that don't "get it".  I want to help those people by starting a simple site about blogging that anyone can follow.

2. I will use this blog to provide enough income that I can continue to just blog. I really hate to work for someone else and I really have not had myself in ONE game long enough to do any good. Blogging is something that I like and that I've dedicated myself to doing for a long time. In a year or 18 months I want to have enough traffic to the site to provide enough steady monthly income to stop all other pursuits of money and just focus on blogging.

3. I want to have something of value that I created from scratch and that nobody helped me with. I did everything on my own, and though others that I meet online are helping me, I've inititiated those relationships and it is because of my efforts that they are helping me. I find if I'm nice to others before I know them, they are kind in return. I only work with and interact with people like this. I've no time for selfish and unhelpful people. Why can't we all help each other?

4. I want to show other people that they can do something on their own that becomes a success on some level - and that level is whatever level they choose. Blogging is such that whatever you put into it, you will get out of it. There is no luck involved, though it helps, one doesn't need luck. There are more informational articles out there in cyberspace about how to blog successfully that one doesn't have any excuses. You WILL be successful if you follow advice of the experts.

5. I want to help others as a big brother - or a techy friend that they haven't had all their lives. If I didn't get into online pursuits I'd really wish I had someone to ask anything I needed to.  During my life I've tried to maintain a group of people as friends that could answer any question I had about anything. Now, that person is me for just about anything online. Actually, anything information technology related I either know or know someone that knows. I'm a good resource for visitors to the blog to have and I want to help other people jump into this blog game and other online games.

6. Growth. I'd like to grow at 10% per month over the first year on average. Sometime after the first year I'd like to see a couple jumps as Google takes into account the quality articles I've written and links that others have given to them. I'm hoping to make $1000 per month after 9 months and $3000 per month after 18 months.  In 3 years I'd like to be making over $5000 per month.  These are all very reasonable and attainable goals for a successful blog. In fact, a good percentage of successful blogs have taken less time.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Step 6, How Much Money Does a Blog Cost?

Welcome back "Bloggers and Blogettes"!

I'm not quite so feisty today, so we'll see how this post goes...

Today in Step 6, we'll talk about the cost of blogs, where the best place is to host your blog, and what blogging platform is the best.

This blog post will answer questions like:

How much money do blogs cost?
Where can I blog for free?
Where should I host my blog?
What is the best blogging platform for beginners (newbies)?

This blog post will not answer questions like:

How do geckos stick upside down on glass?
My son can't see further than the distance of 1 linear foot, could that be because of his Nintendo?

How much money do blogs cost?

It's a strange thing, but websites cost money. Sure you can get a cheapo site at Yahoo's GeoCities which is part of Yahoo, but the formatting is lame and nobody likes to look at those sites. You could have a MySpace profile, and likely you DO if you're under 30. Myspace is much worse than GeoCities in terms of formatting and professionalism, but the world is using it.

Bloggers that want to make money are using blogging-specific platforms such as Blogger, WordPress, TypePad and so on. These are professional type blogging platforms, and you know what? Most of them are FREE! Why is that? The only blog host (platforms) that we'll talk about here is Google owned "". I could guess why they are free. Google makes a tad less money than God by providing free blogs that people run their Google ads on.

Sure, the blogger makes money too so it's a happy-happy. (same as a win-win)

But, can you imagine how much cash Google is pulling from hosting ads on a few million blogs?

Does Google give me unlimited server space?

Uhm, no. Google is good, Google is great... Google is not THAT gracious! At last count I heard there was 1 gigabyte of server space allowed for your blog at Google. After that you could purchase more space and it's easy on your wallet as well as an easy process. I heard the 1 GB figure about 3 months ago. Things may have changed already. Don't worry, you'll likely not use 1 GB anytime soon.

Where should I host my blog?

You can host your blog at Blogger or you can host it at your own web site. Hosting your blog means - where the files for your blog are stored. If they are stored at Blogger, they we say they are "hosted" by blogger. If they are hosted at your own domain then the files are actually sitting ON your own domain on a server that you're paying for.

Google offers you two possibilities for where to host your blog:
  1. Host your blog with Google, and your domain name will be in this format: All the files for your blog will remain at Blogger. If you ever get HUGE or for some other reason you want to change blogging platforms or web site domains to host your site at, you can choose Option #2 below, or move your site to an entirely new platform or domain.
  2. Host your blog "off-site". You create your site at Blogger. You then tell Blogger you want to host your site, "Off-site" - which means, off-Blogger - away from blogger -on your own domain or subdomain. Google will let you enter that domain and will start publishing your site there as you make changes at the "Blogger Dashboard" which is the control panel for your blogging site - we'll talk more about that after we register your first blog.

Example... I've created the Blog Simply blog at Blogger. I could now change the location of my blog to be one of my other websites. I could tell Blogger to publish my web site to a subdomain, uhm, I would tell Blogger where to put my files - a specific folder on my site - and then everyone that goes to that url will see my Blog Simply blog. Blogger will no longer host my blog AT their site, I will be hosting my blog at my own site.

I will still login to Blogger and create posts everyday like I'm doing now - but, when I "Publish" my blog it will be transferred over to the folder I told Blogger to send to at my site. Then, visitors will see the updated post at "".

There are some advantages to this method, that we'll get into later, but just know that the two options exist - host at Blogger or host at your own domain.

What is the best blogging platform for beginners (newbies)?

I really believe, and part of the reason I created this site, that Google's Blogger is the best blog platform for a newbie to start at. I looked at TypePad and I looked at WordPress. I'm a fairly technical person - meaning, I know how to create sites and do search engine optimization at a high level. I know how to code HTML. I know how to work with web site forms and do some basic php and asp type programming. I can set up computer networks and troubleshoot anything related to computer hardware.

In about a month of trying I was still bewildered by WordPress. Everything I wanted to do was a learning experience since NOTHING was intuitive to me. Their whole blogging platform is like another language. It reminds me of Apple's operating systems - just not intuitive once you've used a Microsoft based PC for upteen years. There's no point in switching to Mac unless you want to join the cult of MAC and be one of their cheerleaders. Similarly there is no point trying WordPress until you've outgrown Blogger which may never happen since they'll release upgrades.

I didn't jump on the WordPress bandwagon like all the other top bloggers that think it's the greatest. It isn't for everyone, and it is NOT for beginners.

The best blogging platform for beginners is BY FAR, ABSOLUTELY, Blogger. It is much more intuitive and logical than WordPress, with or without update 2.

If you were bright you could start a blog today and have it up and running and publishing your blog and ads TODAY on Blogger.

Not so with WordPress, it's hard to "get it".

That being said, once you "get it" there is probably no better blogging platform available than WordPress because everything is customizable.

I just don't have time to "get it" right now.

Someday maybe.


Blogger is Free. Blogger is intuitive. Blogger is by far the BEST blogging platform for a beginner or even someone of moderate "techyness" to get started blogging with.

all was quiet... and Vern said,

Remember, Mother Google loves us like her own children and she wants to make us happy and smarter... We too should do this with our blogs, make visitors happier and smarter for having visited our blogs!


So, there you have it - that must be the shortest blog post I've done so far. If you are interested in learning how to blog for money in a very simple way you should start at Step 1 and progress up to this point, Step 6. Below are links to the other articles I've written so far here at Blog Simply.

Step 1, What is a Blog?
Step 2, How does a blog make money ?
Step 3, What skills and qualities do I need to blog for money?
Step 4, What topic should I blog about to make money?
Step 5, How can I choose a good domain name and title for my blog?
Step 6, This one!
Step 7, How Do I Create a Free Blog at

If you have ANY QUESTIONS about anything blogging - if you just don't "get" something - ask me by clicking the COMMENT link below and posting a question to me or the other readers. You'll get free feedback as I answer COMMENTS everyday!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Step 5, How Can I Choose a Good Domain Name and Title for my Blog?

Welcome back!

I'm in a little bit of a wacky mood, so bare with me.

This blog for money article will answer questions like:

How do I choose a domain name for my blog?
How do I choose a title for my blog?
Will any domain name or title work if I want to make money with my blog?

This blog for money article will not answer questions like:

Do Thais' use the explosive gas, hydrogen, in their party balloons to make them float?
I heard a 12 year old blogs and makes money, can my dog blog?

Ok, short blog post for today.

How do you choose a good domain name for your blogging for money blog?

First things first. Everything I talk about on this blog relates to Google since I really believe they have all the components anyone needs to get started blogging AND making money with their blog. That means you. That means me. That means 12 year olds and people without teeth too.

So, since Google owns and they've recently upgraded Blogger to be a great little bloggin' machine. We'll use to setup your first blog.

Once you join and login, they offer you a chance to "create a blog". Actually they offer you many chances because I've created about 25 and there's been no email to me yet saying,

"uhm, my good Google friend... you've recently been OUTED by a wondercog in the Google Machine that tells us you have 25 blogs with us and yet you're only actually blogging on about 10 of those. If you would... if you could... you SHOULD maybe delete some of those subdomains you're tying up so other good Googlers can Google-blog them to good use and keep smileys on their grills."

In plain-speak, stop hoggin' the subdomains VERN!

But, alas, no email yet. So I continue to tie up subdomain names with my "gotta have that one too" attention-deficit disorder fueled compulsion for more blogs.

But, you have not logged into yet, or if you have, I'm ignoring that fact during this post.

We're on the topic of choosing a domain (subdomain name) for your blog.

All blogs on are in the format Your well-chosen subdomain name goes in above the line. There IS a way to use Blogger at your own domain, but that comes in a later post.

In Step 4, " Choosing a Topic for your Blog", you were able to get through that post and come out the other end with a topic. It might have taken you 20 minutes, or 16 hours using the Google Keyword tool, but today you have a topic that you've chosen and are actually quite a bit proud of it I'd imagine.

Domain names for your blog should:

  • Be as short as possible. A rough guideline is 10 or less letters/numbers. I have one with 15: but it's jammed with the 3 best keywords I could use. Sometimes it's OK if it's recognizeable, especially places.
  • Contain 1 or more keywords that your topic is focused on.
  • Be catchy, clever, smooth, suave, and witty.
  • Never have cuss words or be racially insensitive. (oh, I don't deal with adult type blog information here, so any info you see here relates only to g - pg - and r rated sites. Google treats adult sites differently and it's beyond the scope of Blog Simply! to cover all that.
  • Should not use trademarked names or phrases.
  • Ideally shouldn't use names that are already .com names unless you own it! (example... if exists. You should probably stay away from naming your site: - there may be some confusion over that.
  • Not contain dashes, or if you just can't HELP yourself and think you want it - then no more than 1 dash.
  • Contain numbers only if they help identify some feature of the site... I try to stay away from numbers but one time I bought for a stock photography site in Hawaii - and the area code is 808. It caught on well. I sold it. I also had (digital video) right before the 9/11 tragedy. I changed the name quickly after that as you might have guessed.

Research some blogs that have the same topic as the one you chose. Go to Google and enter your topic followed by the word blog or blogspot and you'll find blogs that are competing for visitors on the same topic as you. You could also go to: and just search on your topic. Yeah, try that, "mo bedda" as they say in Hawaii (more better).

Will ANY blog domain name or title still make money?

Sure, it COULD.

You could name your blog" "
and title it, "Kid's Stuff" and the topic of your blog might be, "fly fishing". It COULD work on some level, but seriously bloggers, WHY would you want to do something like that?

How do I choose a good title for my blog?

Copy the blog name if you have a keyword in it. For example. My blog domain is named "". I chose to name my blog, "Blog Simply!" because I already have my main keyword, "blog" in the domain name, and now it is in the title for my blog. It is a VERY short and simple title, which yours should be too.


The way Google magic works is thusly...

Google loves to see good titles of posts that you create for your blog articles. The Google Machine gives you Google Points for having titles that reflect the topic of the content you wrote about that day.

Google takes the name of your SITE and blends it together with the name of the title of your post for that day and creates a title for the post in the very top of your browser (if you have Internet Explorer or FireFox browsers).

My site for instance. My site is named, Blog Simply. My post for today is named, "Step 5, How can I Choose a Good Domain and Title for my Blog".

The Google Machine will change things so that now you're real title - the one that means something to Google is, "Blog Simply!: Step 5, How Do I Choose a Good Domain and Title for my Blog?" This blend of your blog title name and the title of your blog post is called a, "Dynamic title". Google does this for all your blog posts.

"And, that's a good thing. Be happy that Google cares enough about you to blend you up a title that will bring you lots of Google Love and Google Points."

and Vern said,
"For Google so loved the world that she gave us an abundance of ways to gather Google Love and Google Points so that we may know that THIS is the most beautiful time in internet history..."

Hahhahah. Sorry, I told you, wacky mood today.
Not drinking that 6% alcohol Thai beer (Singha) either.
This is just me.

Now then. Google does not like to see a HUGE title. In fact, some say that Google stops looking at your title if it's longer than 12 words. Some say 10. Some used to say 8 or 9.
What do I think? I have no idea. But, I think that it must look at 15. I try to keep mine below 15. If it's indexed, it's indexed. If not, I'm not going to worry about it.

One can worry about far too much in this blogging for money arena. Let's not worry how many words Google looks at, can we agree to that?

That's just one particular that I don't worry about. You might find some other particular that YOU don't worry about either. It's OK. Nobody gets it 100%. Well, somebody does, but you'd pay them with fingers and first-borns and there's no sense taking this game to that level.

  • Pick yourself a good domain name.
  • Pick yourself a good title for your blog for money site and let's get going.
  • I'm anxious to get to the meat here.


Pick a short domain name and title that reflect your topic in a way that is catchy, and contains some, or at least one, main keyword.

  • Keywords are better than no keywords.
  • Catchy is better than boring.
  • Keywords are better than Catchy.
  • Keywords and catchy are pretty good. Hence, "BlogSimply"; "Problogger"; "Blogger"; "Blogit"; "WebBlogs"; "Bloggity".
  • Keywords and keywords that sound catchy or, are a name or a place, work very well... hence, ""

and Vern said,

"Remember, we are all Google's children and we help each other. We write our blogs to make others smarter and happier for having visited our blogs."

Prior post Step 4, What Topic Should I Blog About to Make Money?

Next post Step 6, How Much Money Does a Blog Cost?

Again, if you have ANY questions at all about whether the topic or domain name or title of your blog is, "OK", post a COMMENT below and I'll let you know what I think. Hopefully other readers will chime in with their opinions also.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Step 4, What Topic Should I Blog About to make Money?

This post will answer questions like: What topic should I choose for my blog so that it makes money? Can I blog about any topic and still make money? What are some of the hot topics that others are blogging about and making money from? Can I change my blog topic? Can my personal blog make money? This post will not answer questions like: Is "Presidential cheating" a good topic? What about "chips, whips, grass snips and cheese nips?" My friend blogs about barbituates, is that OK?

There are many things to consider when you are deciding on a blog topic. The GOOD news about blogging is that you can start 55 blogs today, all with different topics, and wake up in the morning decide you don't like any of them, kill them all, and start 55 more with different topics. Blogs are FREE on and only cost your time. I really want you to start just 1 blog and do that one as well as possible and learn what I show you in BlogSimply! first. Once you know what you're doing and you have your blogging down to a process where it only takes you 1-2 hours per day for 1 blog you might choose to start a couple more. It's difficult to stay on top of more than 1 or 2 blogs with constant daily posting of new articles. Right now I'm working on 3, but I have about 9 that have been back-burnered. They are still pulling traffic from Google searches, but I know that my BEST efforts are better spent on the 3 I'm working on now. Writing 3 blogs everyday is manageable for me. Choosing your first blog's topic:
  • Choose something you are PASSIONATE about. Something that will wake you up and crank you into gear to start thinking about blogging every morning.
  • Choose a topic that you are either an expert at, a pseudo-expert, or a wanna-be expert. If you're passionate about the subject of your blog you can learn about it as you go.
  • Your topic must have a high number of searches in the search engines. There are two tools I use to decide if my topic is popular with people using the search engines: Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool (since 1998 I believe), and, Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
  • Your topic SHOULD have a high level of competition among advertisers that want to show their products on a blog with your topic. For this, again I use Google's Adword Keyword tool as it is quite easy to understand.
  • You should not choose a topic that is too general, a sub-level topic would be much better. Example, you wouldn't want to choose "Travel" as the focus of your blog but, "Hawaii" or "Oahu, Hawaii" or "Maui" would work much better.
  • Choose a topic that still contains many sub-topics under it that you can write about. I think about, Googles directory of web content. It's arranged in levels something like: United States|Hawaii|Oahu - Maui - Kauai - Hawaii - Molokai - Lanai - Kahoolawe and then each island is broken down into topics below it: Cities - Business - Travel - etc... If you choose a niche that has nothing under it to write about - or little - you'll have a rough time coming up with content for a post every day!
  • Choose a topic that doesn't already have a lot of competition. Mobile phones; PDAs; Blogging... are all good examples of topics that have VERY high competition. Unless you are going to try to carve a piece of that pie for yourself - but, recognize it's a long and quite vertical battle.
Most of those are understandable. Below is more about using Google Adwords Keyword tool. I'll review Overture's Search Term Suggestion tool in another post. Google Adwords has a brilliant tool that helps their advertisers choose keywords that apply to the products they want to sell. BUT, we're going to use it to find good blog topics that might be candidates for making us money. Example... I want to look at the topic, "blogging for money". I go to Google's Keyword Tool > You will see: Results are tailored to English, United States (EDIT) You can click "Edit" to change where the results are pulled from. I typically choose USA, English because I'm most concerned about how many people are searching in America. If your blog topic relates to some other group of people substantially you can change this setting as you wish. Next look at the box below it that says, "Enter one keyword or phrase per line" where you are to type keywords about the topic you are thinking about focusing your blog on. you can enter as many as you like, but if at first you just choose one or two keywords or phrases then you'll be better off. I enter, "blogging for money". Leave the rest of the settings at their default setting. The drop down menu should say "Keyword Search Volume". Click the "Get more keywords" button. This tool will spit back a list of keywords related to the one(s) you entered and tell you a little bit about how many people are searching on the term and what the advertiser competition is for each term. The graphs have a blue bar that move from left to right to indicate how many searches were done on that keyword phrase. If there is just a tiny amount of blue, and much more white - few searches have been done. If there is a LOT of blue versus white -then many searches were done. You can order the column by clicking the top of it. Mine says "April search volume" You'll then see the top terms arranged in order from most searched upon down the line to least searched upon keywords (terms). This is the way you will go about choosing the exact topic area that has 2 things: 1. A high number of searches 2. A high level of advertiser competition. Now, in choosing your own blogging topic it's the same process. Put your idea for a blogging topic into the keyword section and let Google find related keywords. You will also see the exact phrase that you entered appear in a column below. Are many people searching on your phrase? What about Advertiser competition? High advertiser competition is GOOD because you want to receive bigger money for the ads on your site. That's a too-simple way to describe it - more coming later as I do a whole section on Google Adwords, Adsense, and the rest of it! So, you'll try all your blog topic ideas in that search and find some topics that might do well based on a high popularity of searches and advertiser competition.
Go ahead, put some cuss words
in there too and see what pops up...
you know you want to!

Next, go to . Enter your proposed topic into the search box in quotes. Mine would be, "blogging for money". Run that search and see in the upper right hand corner - how many pages of competition came up with that phrase on web pages indexed by Google? If the number is like 700 million like it was when I chose "travel" you will probably want to choose another blog topic for money. If it is only a few hundred or up to 50,000 or so you may have struck GOLD. IMMEDIATELY EMAIL ME THE TOPIC and I'll let you know... heh. If it is between 50,000 - 300,000 or so it is very do-able. If it's higher than 500,000 it will be a long-haul, but still do-able after a year, 18 months, or 2 years of solid effort. Those are my guesses. They are educated guesses because I've been doing search engine optimization and optimizing sites for keywords since 1998. But they're just guesses as that's all I can do to see the future. Remind me someday to tell you how a Thai guy in a Buddhist temple here in Thailand met me for the first time and said 3 words that almost made me fall over! Use my guesses as God's word, they aren't far off. Heh. If you have a specific question about your topic and whether you think it will work - just leave me a comment in the COMMENTS section below and I'll answer as soon as possible. Can I blog about ANY topic and still make money? You can. You can also pierce your ear with a nail, run a rope through it around your left leg and do a backflip off a tall building and land on concrete. Just because you CAN doesn't mean you should. You CAN blog about termite bellybuttons but your chances of making money from a blog like that are scant to none. Termites don't even HAVE bellybuttons, but that doesn't mean SOMEONE couldn't make that blog work. It would just be like spending 5 Thai baht on a Buddhist fortune machine at the temple - sometimes you score, but more often than not - you're wasting your time.
Can my personal blog make money? Here's an example of a personal blog that consists entirely of a girl griping about life. It's funny, but that's all there is, just griping, Kentuckygurl Blog > She HAS traffic. If she chose to put ads on her site she COULD make money. So, the answer to this question is, "Yes, you can make money with your personal blog." - but should you try?
Can I change my blog topic mid-stream and still make money?

Probably, but why WOULD you? Just start another blog unless your new topic is very closely related to your old topic. Don't let readers know you're changing the theme, just gradually start posting with more frequency about the new topic - ease into it. Eventually you'll be focused on the new topic and retained some of your old regular readers. Realize this... search engines like to see a focus on a topic. If your two topics are not related you'll not get "Google Love" like you had before you changed topics.

H-O-T Blogging Topics? Politics; Technology & gadgets; positive outlook & motivation; tips; gossip; life as a teen, mom with kids; advice blog; dating advice; saving money blog; frugal living; humor, jokes, funny photos, comics; collections of things- best photos; funniest photos; everything about a place - your town; your state; your favorite vacation destination; You DON'T need to BE THERE to blog it. Start a blog on Hawaii tourist attractions and things to do but you are living in Denver, Colorado!


Choosing a topic to blog about for money is very important because you'll be devoting hours and hours over time to making your blog work. Hours that should be going to spending time with your kids and helping your parents cope with old-age.

If you're focused on a topic that is not primo for making the duckies you will experience "no joy" as my uncle "Fishrat" used to say.

Just follow the tips above for choosing your blog topic. If you have a specific question just write a COMMENT below and I will answer, and even give my opinion if you are considering a topic you're not sure about.

Ok, take some time today and
choose a primo topic for your blog
that will bring you an abundance of

Google Love, Google Points,

and make you more money than
Oprah or Rosie.

Sorry, formatting is a bit "sketchy" as my Australian friend used to say, because I'm in Thailand, it's Songkran Water Festival time and all internet cafes are closed. I'm using my mobile as a modem and doesn't work perfectly when I try to edit my posts. Works well to post them, but editing is pretty snarked.

Prior post Step 3, What Skills and Qualities do I Need to Blog for Money?

Next post Step 5, How Can I Choose a Good Domain Name and Title?

If you have any questions that weren't answered by this post - please leave a COMMENT below and I'll respond quickly. I reply to every comment everyday. ~ Vern