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Rotating Banner Problem Resolved By Max Banner Ads

Let’s face it, the majority of bloggers out there all hope to make a little money from their online journey. Even those who claim to blog for the love of it usually place an ad or two on their blog in the hope that someone will click on them. There’s nothing wrong with that, I mean as long as they’re online why shouldn’t they make a little something for their efforts?  The problem most people have is the majority of surfers suffer from banner or ad blindness. What this basically means is that after awhile people just tune out and fail to see these ads, and they can’t click on something their subconscious fails to see.

I discovered this ages ago and I knew the solution would be to constantly change the ads on my blog. If you think about it the greatest mistake a blogger can make is to place and ad in the sidebar or post and then forget about it. There is two major flaws with this, the first being if someone sees the same ad in the same place each time they come to your blog they  develop ad blindness. The second is having only one ad results in minimum market exposure.

Broadway show billboards at the corner of 7th ...
Image via Wikipedia

Unfortunately constantly changing the ads resulted in too much effort and I gave it up pretty quick smart. I knew they’re had to be a solution and so I started digging around and I came up with my post on CJU’s Rotating Banner Function! The results spoke for themselves as my click through rate rose dramatically. The problem was that not everyone offered this feature and then the other day I stumbled upon Max Banner Ads.

Max Banner Ads is a WordPress plugin made by those guys at MaxBlogPress, who are famous for producing high quality WordPress plugins. Other popular free plugins they’ve produced include MaxBlogPress Optin Form Adder, MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer, MaxBlogPress Stripe Ads and so many more.

Not familiar with those free plugins? Then perhaps some of their professional paid plugins will ring a bell. The more popular ones that spring to mind are Ninja Affiliate and Subscribers Magnet but they do have several others.

Enough about that, let’s get back to their Max Banner Ads plugin. This plugin is the ultimate one that I’ve come across so far. I did trial one or two others, sorry but I don’t recall which ones they were, suffice it to say I couldn’t have been too impressed otherwise I’d still be using them today.

Max Banner ads has several features that appeal to me;

  • It allows you to input simple ads, the ones that just need an image and url for them to work.
  • You can use more complex ads that include tracking information. CJU ads come to mind. I used to use just the link and the image url until I discovered it needed all the other stuff that came with it for it to accurately track clicks, sales and such.
  • It allows you to include those scripts we’ve all grown to hate, the ones that can cause havoc with the way your blog behaves. These could include Amazon widgets and even your ClickBank hoplinks.
  • You can select where they appear on your blog and you can even choose to have the text wrap around the ad itself.
  • Installation is so simple and you don’t have to play around with your  WordPress theme for it to work.
  • It tracks the ad’s impression and clicks and even calculates their CTR, Click Through Rate!
  • Being able to have rotating ads means you can now display more ads on your blog without making it look cluttered. By this I mean instead of displaying 10 ads you can now have one rotating ad which will display a new ad every time the page refreshes.

There’s so much more but I don’t want to bore you with all that it can do. I’ve configured it to show the ads at the end of the post, even if someone lands on my Home Page. Unlike CJU’s rotating ad feature which showed the same ad on every post, one of the reasons why I stopped using it in posts, Max Banner Ads shows a different ad in each post.

The one flaw is that the free version shows the ‘Powered by Max Banner Ads’ link at the bottom of the ad. You can have this removed by buying the pro version of the plugin or you can do as I did and use your ClickBank affiliate ID from within the plugin. That way you get the commission if anyone clicks on that link and buys one of their products.

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Why I Chose MailChimp Over Aweber

Now you’ve all heard about Aweber and how it’s supposed to be the bees knees of auto-responders? Well I decided against it because I just couldn’t see the value in it. These guys are so up themselves they won’t even offer a free trial! Instead you have to pay $1 to sign up for the first month and after that the cheapest rate is $19/month and if you have more than 500 subscribers you can expect to pay a lot more, up to $149/month. No wonder people using them have to keep shoving stuff down your throat, if they don’t they’d be losing money.

I sampled several auto-responders, more about them in a future post, and once I was through trialing them I decided that my list would be powered by MailChimp. As long as you don’t have more than 1000 subscribers and you don’t send more than 6000 emails a month your account is absolutely free. That knocks Aweber completely out of the ball park as far as trials goes.

Image via CrunchBase

What I love most about MailChimp is that you still get so much even though it’s a free account. I’ve actually had list members compliment me on the quality of my ‘newsletters’ and it’s all so easy to do because they have a large collections of templates that you can use to design absolutely stunning campaigns. You can even design your own templates.

There are so many features available to you with a free account, some of which include;

  • Multiple Lists: If you want to run more than one campaign targeting different lists then you’ll be happy to know you can do this with MailChimp
  • Good Reporting Features: There are so many reports you can keep track of. You can see who opened the mail, who clicked on what links. Whether or not any got bounced. Who’s unsubscribed. You can even connect it to Google Analytic and check whether a particular campaign has increased your traffic.
  • Connect With Twitter: Not only can you send your campaign to your lists, you can also send it out as a Tweet or via other social networks including FaceBook, Digg, Delicious, Buzz and MySpace. This is a Tweet of my last campaign.
  • Video Tutorials: I love the fact that they have video tutorials that help you to get the most from their site.

As far as I’m concerned these guys offer me all that I need to run a campaign and it’s all for free! If I ever grow my list to the extent that I need to pay for their service then I’m more than happy to do that.

Email Marketing Best PracticesThere was one point that was brought up by Ben Wan who mentioned that their TOS didn’t allow the use of affiliate links in the campaigns. This didn’t bother me all that much as my list was more for informing my subscribers of new posts than it was for promoting affiliates. Still, I could see how this would be important   for others so I decided to email support.

I spoke to a bloke called Edwin and I asked straight out about affiliate links and their TOS. This was his reply.

Hello Peter,

It’s nice to virtually meet you.

In the general sense we can only support affiliate content that is being sent to a list that is current and has been collected through a double optin process.  Also affiliate content can compliment newsletter content but can not be the entire focus of a message itself.

We would have to see an example of your newsletter to be able to say for sure if we could support it or not.

Feel free to email us back if you have specific questions or comments beyond this that we can assist you with.

Regards,
Edwin
MailChimp.com / Client Services

Well, I thought that was entirely reasonable. It’s obvious these guys are as much anti spam as I am, and let’s face it most of those guys that have lists send out so much crap it may as well be spam. These guys want to make sure people don’t give their product a bad name and I can understand that. Anyway, I purposefully put in an affiliate link into the next campaign and emailed him a copy.

He got back to me the next day saying that the example was fine but warning that the word “affiliate” in the content could have some spam filtering issues.  No worries then, that means I had absolutely no reason for not using MailChimp, I could even use affiliates in my campaign as long as I wasn’t a complete ass about it.

So, have you joined my list yet? If not you really should. As a member you will be listed on the My List page. You will never miss out on a post again. I will always try to include a link or two to other members blogs so that they also benefit from my campaigns. As a subscriber you may even learn a thing or two about what makes Sire tick, something that others will not be privy to. :wink_ee:

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Are Your Goals For 2011 Achievable?


It’s now 2011 and we have a whole year ahead of us to make something of our blogs, so what are we going to do about it? I’m not one to make any New Years resolutions and I’m definitely not one to set any goals, but I know that setting goals can be an important tool for many. I also know that although there are many bloggers who achieve their goals there are just as many, nope that’s not quite right, there’s probably more who don’t.

The question is, why aren’t these bloggers achieving their goals? Let’s face facts here shall we, if you’re not achieving your goals there’s no point blaming anyone else because the fault is entirely your own. Perhaps you’re simply setting your goals too damn high? This comes as no surprise when you consider that the reason so many bloggers dream of financial freedom is because  they read of how all these other bloggers are doing it? What they need to realize is that not all of what they’ve read is the truth. A lot is an exaggeration of the truth and some is just utter bullshit! Why do they do it? The obvious answer is that they’re trying to sell you something and that something is usually the idea that they know something that you don’t. That they have the secret to success and they’re willing to share it with you.

That’s right, the key to success and all it will cost you is your name and email address. They will even sweeten the deal by offering you a free Ebook, one filled with enough knowledge to get you started on the road to success but it won’t take you the whole way, for that you will need a detailed map and unfortunately that’s gonna cost you some dollars. Naturally you don’t mind paying for something that works, it’s just that most of the time what you get isn’t all you thought it would be.

Anyway, enough waffling on, it’s time for me to tell what you need to do when setting your goals for 2011.

Goalpost @ Lowestoft, Suffolk

Don’t Aim Too High!

This is the number one mistake most people make when setting goals. I reckon that this is the main reason why so many blogs disappear from the blogosphere in such a short time. Those who start a blog thinking it’s an easy path to riches are usually the ones that give up when things don’t go the way they expected it to.

Baby Steps Is The Key

When your mom popped you out like a watermelon seed you didn’t just start running trying to get away from that nipple now did you? And for those guys out there who’re saying they never tried to get away because they love sucking on a nipple, get a grip guys it’s your mom for goodness sake. :doh_tb: :laugh_tb: No, from the moment of conception you had to learn in stages, you had to learn to crawl before you could walk. You had to learn individual words before you could form a sentence, and even then it took time to learn how to string a sentence together so that it made perfect sense.

Blogging isn’t any different and so when making goals you should do them in stages. This really goes hand in hand with the first point I made. Your goal may be to become self sufficient but there is no way in hell that’s going to happen in the first year. Shit I hardly made a dime in the first year and if I hadn’t developed a love for blogging I would have been among all those others who had given up.

  1. Keeping this in mind you first goal would be to make sure that you set up your blog so that it’s the best it can be before you go out there promoting it. As you know I will normally follow bloggers back to their blog so as to reciprocate the comment and there have been times when all I see is the default WordPress theme. They hadn’t even taken the time to do their first post :bigsurprise_ee: :thumbdown_tb:
  2. Once your blog is up and running with a handful of quality posts, a very achievable goal, then and only then you should set your next goal, to drive traffic to your blog. The best way to do this is to spend a lot of time visiting other blogs leaving quality well structured comments behind.  You do this right and not only will you build your brand showing others you’re a competent blogger who knows what hes talking about, you will also build traffic and links back to your blog. Done correctly I’ve found it to be the best way to Get More People To Comment On Your Blog
  3. Your third goal could well be to start making money but again I think it’s best to do this in stages of achievable goals. Perhaps your first one would be to to make enough money blogging so that you’re actually making a profit. This means that all it has to do is make enough money to cover your hosting costs and such. One you’ve attained that goal you set the next one which is a little higher and then achieving that you set the next one each time increasing your revenue stream.

As you can see each goal that I’ve set out above is very attainable. Every time you achieve that goal you will gain confidence  and that confidence is the foundation block that will set you on the right path to attaining all future goals as long as you don’t set that bar too high.

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About Peter Pelliccia"