Blog Ads: Today’s Theme Leads to Money (Hopefully)
Well, as you can see, I’ve changed my “blog clothes” again. Yes, by golly I’m test-driving yet another new theme on my never-ending quest for the elusive perfect backdrop that illustrates my unique point of view. (Is there such a thing? A perfect backdrop, I mean.) This theme is very similar to my old theme, except for one big difference. I switched my blog over from wordpress.com to wordpress.org to accommodate brand spanking new blog ads.
Now for any of you who aren’t bloggers this would seem about as interesting as picking plaque off a poodle’s incisors (which, by the way, I did occasionally when we had a poodle). But to you fellow bloggers out there, you’re probably asking why would I ever do such a bizarre thing?
Turns out I have a pretty good reason. It’s called money. Lately advertisers have been knocking on my virtual door wanting to know if I wanted to dip my toe into the rushing river of blog ads. I politely declined until I found an ad company that offered blog ads from companies I’d actually heard of.
The First Roadblock to Blog Ads Based Cash
However, wordpress.com does not let you put blogs ads on your blog (unless you use WordPress’s AdWords, which I tried briefly and did not like). But wordpress.org does allow custom ads, so I decided to make the switch and try out the passive-income-producing world of blog ads. I doubt I’ll get rich off blog ads, however, it would be nice if I could make enough money to cover the cost of all the music lessons and band trips my kids do ad nauseam.
I made the switch over to wordpress.org just Wednesday of this week, so I’ll let you know in about six weeks how blog ads work out for me as a business venture. But in the mean time I want to give you a quick assessment of what it was like to convert my wordpess.com blog to wordpress.org, being that there are all kinds of horror stories on the web about what a nightmare it is to do it.
In a nutshell, it was pretty easy, and I’m not a CSS or html guru at all. I know enough to change rudimentary existing code, but not enough to write anything from scratch. WordPress.com does offer a service called Guided Transfer, where they’ll make the switch for you for $129, but I’m too cheap to do that. Instead I’d rather muddle through the process myself, banging my head against the wall as needed. (Hey, no sense, no pain.)
After I set up my new host domain on GoDaddy I simply exported my blog content from my wordpress.com blog and imported it into the canned theme I picked on my new wordpress.org blog. Needless to say my new blog looked like a mess, as the new theme formatted things about as randomly as how my son puts clean clothes in his dresser. But that was easy enough to fix (my blog format, that is, not my son’s disorganized dresser) because fortunately the admin panel on wordpress.org looks like the obnoxious younger brother of wordpress.org. Meaning the admin panels resemble each other, but wordpress.org’s is more obstinate to deal with. Everything you take for granted in wordpress.com has to be added in wordpress.org as a widget or plugin. Even so, it took me less than a day to get my blog to look like 95% of what I wanted.
Second Roadblock: I Don’t Know What I’m Doing
Adding the java code (for the ad) to a widget text box in the side bar was another story. That needed some tweaking and for that I turned to my rock star web designer friend, Amy, who graciously helped me out as needed without laughing at my obvious inabilities. She also made some adjustments to the style of the theme to make it prettier. In return I promised her I’d someday take a CSS class so I can stop pestering her.
When I got the new blog the way I wanted, I simply switched the blog’s domain name to point to the new host, and boom! Now I have rotating blog ads, which means someone is paying me to write my blog! How cool is that?
The downside is that there have been some technical difficulties. For example, some viewers don’t see the blog ads because they don’t show up for everybody (what’s up with that?). The blog ads should appear in my sidebar right after the picture of me speaking into a pasta spoon (an exercise I do nightly while cooking dinner, by the way). If you don’t see a box containing rotating blog ads (a new one appears every time you come to the page), let me know so I can tell the ad company to get a wiggle on and fix it.
Change is Never Easy (if it were everyone would be doing it)
Another very bothersome growing pain is that all my stats from my wordpress.com blog post (LIKES, shares, tweets, etc.) did not transfer, even though the comments did. So if you look up an old post, it will show zero social media stats. Also, wordpress.org blogs do not have a generic LIKE button for fellow bloggers to hit. At least I can’t find a widget or plugin for one. The only LIKE a reader can do is for Facebook, which is great, but probably not a prevalent choice for readers.
However, the gurus at WordPress customer support told me that they did transfer all my followers. So if you are one of my followers from before this week, and you get this post, drop me a comment and let me know. I can’t find a way on the wordpress.org admin panel to show me a list of my followers. If you know the secret to this annoying little riddle, let me know that as well.
So that’s my latest adventure. If you’ve made the switch from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, I’d love to know how it went for you. And if you have experience with blog ads I’d like hear about that, too. After all, I consider bloggers on the forefront of genius when it comes to the world of new media. Either that or we’re just plain crazy.
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Stacy Dymalski is a stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.
For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in paperback and on Kindle on Amazon.com.