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My Other Blog's a Ferrari : Wordpress or Blogger ?

Make Money Online for Beginners



My Other Blog's a Ferrari

If you want to make money online blogging is Wordpress inherently better than Blogger ?

Have you ever looked at your blog and thought it looked a bit dull or amateurish ? A bit of a clapped out old push bike compared to everyone else's brand spanking new Ferrari? I have to admit I have and in fact I do all the time. I console myself with the thought that I'm not the only one with a blog put together on the kitchen table!

Some blogs I read just oooooze professionalism - see the recent makeovers of Problogger and John Chow - others look like they were cobbled together on a manual typewriter and stuck together with bits of sticking plaster.

This raises the question - does style matter ? After all, if you've got nothing to say then all the professionalism in the world ain't gonna help you. Help !

Well, it all depends on the sort of image you are trying to convey. If the message which you intend your blog to send out is : "Hey I've made a load of money blogging about trivia and vacuity and you can do the same!" then a sharp professional image gives the impression that you probably have made all the money you say you have and so you probably know what you are talking about.

If, on the other hand, you are actually providing people with useful information, like how to cure their bowel cancer, then an old manual typewriter will do just as well.

This blog definitely falls into the manual typewriter category with regard to style, but is also a bit light on useful information ! (That's a slight exaggeration, but I am rather harsh on myself at times).

Well, I've decided to try and do something about it and give one of my blogs a makeover. Hooray ! Well done me.

In my virtual travels around cyberspace and my visits to the abodes of the bloggerati, I have noticed that nearly all the professional looking blogs are Wordpress blogs. There must be a reason for this I reason, so I have taken it upon myself to personally get my hands dirty and delve into the murky world that is Wordpress ! Not here on this blog, at least not yet. This blog will remain as it is, a sort of repository for odd thoughts on the myriad ways there are of making money online.

The blog that I will be re-vamping (at very little expense hopefully) is one of my other blogs - http://www.sharescity.com/ - my financial blog, which actually brings in more money than this 'money making' blog.

I have decided, as an experiment, to run a second parallel financial blog using Wordpress (the content will be slightly different of course as I do not wish to run foul of Judge Google's duplicate content laws). This shall be an experiment to see if it is easier to build up readership using Wordpress or if it makes no difference !

It will not just be an exercise in style, but also a study of the various 'widgets' that people rave about that are available with Wordpress and an examination of SEO techniques to see if they are easier to implement than with Blogger. One thing I have noticed already is that there is a Wordpress forum where you can ask questions and hopefully get informative answers, unfortunately that may be because Wordpress is a lot harder to get to grips with than Blogger.

I started work on my new improved financial blog three days ago, (although you wouldn't think so to look at it), and I'm already beginning to wonder if I've done the right thing. Blogger is so easy and intuitive. If you want to change something you click on 'dashboard' and change it! Wordpress seems to be a whole new kettle of smelly fish designed to make life as complicated and frustrating as possible and my brain is hurting already.

It has taken me around 12 hours of fiddling and messing around just to set up the webhosting and download a theme (template). But now I've got the theme I don't like it, so I will probably have to start again. Plus I can't even see how to change the fonts or the title ! The problem is I've no idea what I'm doing and manuals are written by experts so are of little use to nitwits like me.

However, I shall be keeping my loyal readers informed of how I get on and the pros and cons of Wordpress vs. Blogger over the next few weeks and months, as I get to know just how Wordpress functions and I find out if I'm as slow and dull-witted as I sometimes appear.

So, if you've ever wondered whether you should be making the switch to Wordpress or if it entices in more readers than Blogger, or if it is a waste of time and effort, then stick me in your bookmarks or your RSS reader to find out the truth.

From my point of view it would be useful if I had a beautiful assistant who knows all the ins and outs of Wordpress and how to configure and use it. So if there is anyone reading this who can help in this area then please get in touch. I can't promise any money at this stage but we may be able to come to some sort of mutually beneficial arrangement. :-)

Stay tuned for further updates and please leave any comments (whether useful or useless) or suggestions in the comments box. Thank you.


17 comments:

  1. Lol! That's one of the reasons I hesitate to jump in with the WordPress's bandwagon. Furthermoe, all manual regarding WordPress are written for the experts which are of little use to nitwits like me.

    Good luck, Wise Old Vic. After you get thru with flying colours (I'm sure you would) please write manual for WordPress for nitwits like me.

    I'm going now to see your WordPress.

    Greetings and lotta loves from Malaysia.

    p/s Still no words from Mr. Andy Beard about trackback. Haloscan deluded me, lol!

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  2. Hi Arahman,
    Thanks for the encouragement. I haven't done anything with my Wordpress blog yet as I haven't had any time, but I like the name Financial Mites so I will get on with it as soon as I get a moment. Sorry to hear trackbacking didn't work for you, it didn't work for me either, which is one of the reasons I'm looking into Wordpress.
    One thing I have noticed in the blogosphere is that there is a lot of BS around. I could say more but I shall reserve my thoughts for now and put it all in a post one day. Regards from the UK - Wise Old Vic (lol)

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  3. I am honestly not convinced by this style argument. John Chow clearly makes a lot of money, but that doesn't alter the fact that his site is garish, vulgar and takes quite a while to load. I read it now because I am trying to make money with my blog, but that doesn't mean that I have to like it!

    I prefer a simpler site - and that is not just because WordPress gives me the willies. My aim is to have a platform for my sponsored postings, with a nice sidebar where some adverts can go.

    Content, rather than style: that's my line. At the moment I am writing some essays on the theme of how to write sponsored postings - two have gone up, and a third will appear next week.

    Your feedback would be more than welcome.

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  4. Hi Ken,
    Thanks for dropping by. The reason I am trying out Wordpress is only partly about style. If you read my wonderful post http://www.netmonetization.com/2007/06/show-me-money-paula-mooneys-making.html you will see that I look at Paula Mooney's list of bloggers who make money to see who uses Wordpress and who uses Blogger. The conclusion is WordPress - 68 Blogger - 20

    So almost 3.5 : 1 in favour of WordPress. But, even more significantly, of those earning $50K or more, 14 are using Wordpress and only 3 are using Blogger i.e. almost 5:1 in favour of Wordpress.

    I have found with blogger, in addition to the style, that there are problems which I have been unable to solve and which I am hoping will not arise with Wordpress, e.g. trackbacks (which are very difficult to get right using Blogger) and things like the fact that my blog has two names (netmonetization.com and www.netmonetization.com) and Google treats them differently, thus splitting the pagerank. With the www I get a PR of 2 without the www I get a PR of 0. I have gone round in circles for hours trying to solve this. Nobody I have read has yet managed to explain how to solve it. I am sure it must be possible but finding the information is very difficult. I am hoping that with Wordpress a) this problem won't arise or b) if it does there will be someone with the answer as to how to get rid of it.
    There are other issues like this which collectively may be affecting pagerank and the number of readers a site gets.
    This raises the whole issue of content. If you write fantastic content then people should be banging at your door to read it, but lets face it there are lots of blogs writing fantastic content. So style/design is important too, as it is important not to put people off too. I suspect that fantastic blog A will get more readers than equally fantastic blog B if readers find it a more pleasant visual experience.
    The main reason I am experimenting with Wordpress however is to satisfy my own curiosity. I actually want to know whether it makes any difference. That is why I shall be maintaining two similar blogs, to see if it is any easier to increase pagerank using Worpdress.
    At the moment Wordpress is a nightmare ! I find it totally non user-friendly and everything I try to do takes around 5 hours and often doesn't work ! e.g. simple stuff like changing the font of the header at www.financialmites.com

    I see from your two blogs that you practice what you preach, i.e. you keep it simple. I prefer the design of the 'exile' blog and in fact used the plain white approach myself for quite a while before changing to the blue. I don't like the brown of the sponsored posting blog, I find it depressing (it doesn't take much to depress me!) it reminds me too much of daddy's sauce and transport cafes. So when I see blogs that colour I find it hard to stay on the site. The choice of colours affects the way you react to a site. If you land on a page that is pink and full of bunnies and kittens you very quickly form an opinion about the site and the person and their personality.
    Also, why is the money blog a sub-directory of your ask-ken site ? Why not just create another blogger blog ? It was quite slow to load and it may be because it's part of your website - just a thought.
    So those are my thoughts for what they're worth. This Wordpress 'makeover' is doing my head in at the moment but with a bit of luck it will bring success and untold riches ! Or help pay the mortgage at least :-) Let me know what you think. Vic

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  5. You can solve the problem of Google treating one domain as two with a 301 redirect - at least I think that is what it's called. How to do it? I have no idea, but I see that you are an Oxford man so stick a notice up on your college's board or the one in the Oxford Union.

    I take all your points about WordPress and since one of my blogs is hosted on Yahoo, I could use their free WordPress kit. I am just not convinced that I need it, that's all.

    About content leading to hits... Dunno, but it is not important for The Money Blog if I stay on the sponsored postings road. What matter then is Google Page Ranking, and that depends on links, not hits.

    Why am I on my own domain with The Money Blog? Largely because I had it, anyway, and also because some advertisers insist on own domain - no blogger, et al.

    As for the questions that you raised in my comment box, I will dedicate a whole post to both Adsense versus Bidvertiser, and Blog Soldiers against Blog Explosion next week.

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  6. I have a question, which has just come to mind: why do you have so many blogs???

    Would it not make more sense, if you must have that many, to host them all on your own domain? You don't need to create subdomains, and the main page could be a link to all your blogs.

    That way, the whole domain gets the same ranking.

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  7. A 301 re-direct doesn't sort it out unfortunately. I've done it but it makes no difference. It does re-direct one URL to the other but Gogole still refuses to allow me to 'verify' the non www domain, it just says it can't find it.
    As for sticking a notice on the notice board, that would require me getting up off my settee, so that's out too.
    I'm not convinced I need Wordpress either, but I shall battle on regardless in the interests of science.
    A good point about pagerank and links, I shall endeavour to get more links - in this respect you might like to have a look at another post I wrote - http://www.netmonetization.com/2007/08/one-tip-to-improve-page-rank.html - I haven't followed up my own advice as diligently as I had wished due to the day job getting in the way and Wordpress taking up too much time.
    Why do I have so many blogs ? Hmmm - it seemed like a good idea at the time - but most of them don't get updated very often - I didn't realize it would be so time-consuming - so when I get myself sorted out I will probably restrict myself to 3 or 4. Thanks for the suggestion about putting them all on the same domain, I hadn't realized I could do that, so I'll have to give that some thought.

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  8. Vic,

    I think it's a great idea to run the two blogs in tandem. The wonderful thing about Wordpress is it is very easy once you "get" it. The other thing is, Blogger can delete your blog at any time for any reason. That's what made me make the switch.

    If you need help with customizing a theme or finding some cool plug-ins I learned everything I know from Googling. =)

    Have fun!

    Sara

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  9. What I did was this...

    I had the ask-ken.info domain and space to host it on Yahoo. I decided to set up the new blog, but didn't fancy creating a sub-domain for it because of that "no sub-domain" rule that many advertisers have.

    The Money Blog runs out of a directory of the main domain, that's all. If I wanted to set up another blog I could do it as ask-ken.info/blog2.

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  10. Hi Sara,

    Thanks for dropping by and for the e-mail. It's nice to know I've got a fan ! Those pop-ups are still annoying though - are you sure it's such a good idea ? I might take you up on that offer of help :-)

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  11. Ken,
    Thanks for the info. I'll have to look into it. It certainly seems to make more sense than my current arrangement. Vic

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  12. Interesting experiment. I'll be checking back to see your progress. I've been running my first installation of wordpress for a little over a month now. It's not bad if you are willing to delve into the CSS, and maybe a little PHP. I learned my lesson with free blogs a while back when one of mine got yanked!

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  13. Hi Kristie,
    Thanks for the comment and the encouragement. At the moment I've been so busy with other stuff that I haven't been able to do anything with my various blogs and the Wordpress changeover has not progressed, hopefully it wil get back on track at the end of this week.
    Your blog looks interesting, I'll check out randaclay.com to see what themes they've got available, as I am still having trouble with the theme I have chosen. Vic

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  14. Wordpress is so widely used because it's a very powerful blog management system, with all sorts of extensions available.

    If you're not familiar with it (or programing in general), and not looking to pay someone to set it up for you....then it may not be worth your while.

    Ultimately, the quality of your content and persistence of your update schedule matter a lot more than the design or platform you use.

    A nice unique wordpress design will make it easier to grow your readership, but using a wordpress (or blogger) template (ultimately there isn't too much difference there when it comes to design) will not stop you from becoming successful.

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  15. Hi Dave,
    I find that the WP blogs I visit tend to look a a lot neater and better organized than the blogger blogs. I am also finding problems with Google 'verifying' my blogger blogs and treating the name with the www different to the name without the www - I was hoping that by switching to Wordpress this problem would not arise.

    It's just a pity that WP is so complicated for someone like me with no web design knowledge. Even changing column widths and fonts is a problem. Also at the moment the day job has been keeping me busy so I haven't had time to get any further than downloading a template and I've also neglected my blogger blogs.

    I agree that content is what matters ultimately, but content + a nice looking blog would be better. Plus it might be useful for me to learn abot WP anyway. But so much to do and so little time!

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  16. Hey Old Vic... here are a couple of links that you might want to check out...


    Blogger or Wordpress debate


    winners


    WordPress Tips and Tricks for Style Sheets


    I was like you too for a long long time, I kept debating content is what matters, but after moving I was really happy to be part of the community, you'll feel it instantly - especially with the trackbacks, the network forms pretty quickly and you instantly know who is talking about you and vice versa.. and most people are very helpful! so my bests to you, and don't worry about the templates, there are hundreds if not thousands of themes available that can be changed with a sheer one click! I am still learning and haven't found a template that I like but changing them is a breeze really!

    you can start looking here or google wordpress themes

    http://www.wpthemesfree.com/

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  17. Hi Pearl,
    Thanks for the links, I'll check them out. I installed the prosense blue and figured out a problem I was having with the columns. I'll be posting about the 'adventure' so far. :-)

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