Month: November 2015

Monetize Your Site with Online Games

Digital games has become one of the biggest activities on the internet. Games are in fact the biggest driver of revenue on both the iOS app store and Google Play. This rise of mobile gaming has even changed the demographics and consumption habits of an entire industry. Did you know that 52% of women are gamers?

The user base of Candy Crush is over 60% female, with 42% of these players between 21- 35 years old and almost 40% above 35 years old. However, a lot of bloggers have not capitalised on the digital games opportunity by earning advertising dollars from games advertisers or within games.

The huge shift in demographics has opened up a massive opportunity for bloggers, allowing them to monetize a much larger audience and therefore maximize their revenue potential.

There are several effective ways to monetize your traffic with digital games. Below is a list of 3 highly effective ways to do this, with guidance on how to do each.

1. Have a Games Portal on your Site.

A games portal is an area of your website that users can see a list of games and can play them within your website. Having a game portal on your site is a great way to engage your users for longer, helping to convert your site into a hub where users can spend more time.

Having a selection of popular and familiar games will help to engage more users which translates into increase repeat visitors and higher advertising revenue. These same users will then also visit your core content more frequently as well.

2. Embed Games into your Articles.

Inserting games into an article on your site has many benefits. In exchange for providing your users a free game, you can show them video pre-roll ads. Typically, a video ad would earn you a multiple of 5 times the CPM of a banner ad, so this is a highly monetizable ad unit which contributes highly to boosting your eRPM.

Additionally, users that play games will increase their time on page and your average user duration. This will increase the likelihood of them clicking on other ads on your site such as Google Adsense. A combination of both higher ad clicks and higher eCPM ad units can make a massive impact to your overall RPM.

There are 3 options to embed a game into your site. You can either custom build, license or white label a game. It’s important to get a HTML5 game as these can be played across all devices. To get a game custom built for you will cost around $10k per game. Acquiring a license costs around $999 per game, which is usually for a single site license. To white label a game you either pay on a usage basis, like pay as you go, or on a revenue share on advertising revenue generated.

Developing a custom-game is expensive but can be a good solution for a very large publisher like Yahoo. It requires a lot of time and technical expertise. Using a white label provider on a revenue share basis, such as AddPlay is free and is profitable from day 1 which is generally the best option for bloggers.

3. Generate Free Users and Traffic

Social media sites like Facebook are used by most people for entertainment. This makes for a great fit to engage users with any type of entertainment content, which is why a lot of entertainment sites get lots of traffic from Facebook.

If you have a Games Portal, not only can you drive your existing followers back into your site, but you can post on your social channels to engage a new audience of users. A percentage of these new users will then go onto read your core content, therefore, helping you to generate new users and increase your advertising income.

Have you monetized your site with digital games? Which of these strategies have worked well for you or would be most interesting to test?

Wanna learn how to make more money with your website? Check the Online Profits training program!


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How to use Maps To Make Your Blog More Visual

You often write blog posts that talk about or even promote events that you are planning and hosting. Events can involve either one or several venues, but either way location is usually a big factor. You may or may not have heard of Mapme, but you should probably look into it if these types of blogs are up your alley.

You may also just be discussing a topic or piece of content that has to do with places and locations.

Nowadays (and often in the olden days), readers gravitate towards visual content over written content. For blog posts, that means you want your content and the information it involves to be all the more visual, and less ‘texty’.

But to achieve this, you need visual tools that are super appropriate for your subject matter, and that engage people with your discussion topic uber clearly.

Mapme is built for just that. Mapme tackles content by segmenting location categories and themes, and creating personalized, “smart” maps in a very simple way.

How it’s Done:

a. Think of a map idea that would up your blog post’s engagement factor

b. Sign up for map creation on Mapme.

c. Begin the 3-stage process:

  1. Create a map
  2. Choose the borders of your map (the default zoom of your map)
  3. Choose categories that describe your different places. Label them with a name, icon, and color, all of which you can go back and change whenever.

d. Embed the map on your blog, or wherever you want to engage people.

Other cool features that users can choose to take on:

-Opt to make the map content crowdsourced, so that those interested can directly and add location to your map. You can moderate the locations before they’re added.

-Make reviews available for your map locations, to make your map into a community forum and not only a knowledge base/guide.

-Choose which information fields you want to hide or display with each place: URL, phone number, logos, e-mail, etc.

Don’t forget to share your maps!

Wanna learn how to make more money with your website? Check the Online Profits training program!


Show Zoom Slider in Google Maps

Are you missing the zoom controls from the old Google Maps interface for the desktop? Mouse over the “-” or “+” button at the bottom of the Google Maps page and click “show slider”. You’ll get the old zoom slider which allows you to quickly control the zoom level of the map.

If you want to go back to the default interface, mouse over the “-” or “+” button and click “hide slider”. The nice thing is that Google remembers your preference.

Big Offline Google Maps

I don’t know about you, but my Google Maps for Android has just enabled the new offline features. Even if you have the latest version of the app, you still need to wait until these features are enabled because they’re gradually rolled out.

My first disappointment is that the new features are still limited. The biggest size for an offline area you can download is 120,000 square kilometers and there are many countries that are bigger than that. I downloaded London’s map and checked the size of the map: 332 MB. It also expires in 29 days (maps need to be updated at least every 30 days).

It looks like Google’s maps include too much information, they take up too much space and there’s no way to download some simplified maps.

Let’s try one of the smallest countries in Europe: Liechtenstein, which has an area of only 160 square kilometers. The offline map has 62MB. New York? 409 MB.

Forget about downloading the map for an entire country. Google Maps still can’t replace the Here app or paid navigation apps.

Google Star Wars Experience

Google has a new site for Star Wars fans. You can join the dark side or the light side and transform your Google experience across Gmail, Google Maps, Waze, Google Translate, and other Google services.

“We reached out to our friends at Lucasfilm and Disney, and since then we’ve been working together on building google.com/starwars. It’s a place for fans, by fans, and starting today you can choose the light or the dark side, and then watch your favorite Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome and many more transform to reflect your path. And that’s just the beginning. We’ve got more coming between now and opening night — the Millennium Falcon in all its (virtual reality) glory included, so stay tuned. And we’ve hidden a few easter eggs, too. So awaken the Force within, and be on the lookout for things from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” mentions Google’s blog.

There’s a new Star Wars theme in Gmail, a new progress bar for the loading page and probably some other changes.

Google’s Deals Alerts

Google’s mobile search site shows some ads that promote a new notification service. Google’s own ads feature a “subscribe” button that lets you “stay up to date on the latest deals, promotions, and updates from popular retailers”. Basically, you’ll get deals via text messages, just in time for Black Friday.

Tap the “subscribe” button and then you can text “join” to Google’s SMS number: +1-646-665-2745. There are multiple alerts for phones, computers, TVs and more.

Struggling to Find Free Images? Check Out VisualHunt

As you probably know, adding images to your website or blog is essential to make it popular over time. Not only will the images make your content come alive and help to engage your users, but it will also help to drive traffic to your site over time, as many people search for images on Google, and if they find one that is on your website they might end up visiting it.

Now the problem is that finding images that are free to use is not that simple. Contrary to what many people think, you can’t just search on Google for the image you are looking for, find a nice looking one, download it and use it on your website. Most of the images that show up in Google search results are proprietary. This means that someone has copyrights over those images, and if you use them without permission you are basically infringing the law and could get in trouble if this person decides to go after you, especially if you are using his or her image commercially.

image-search

There are two solutions for this problem: you can either purchase images from sites that sell royalty free images, or you can find images that have a license that allows you to use them, like the Creative Commons license.

The second solution is much simpler and won’t cost you any more, so I suggest you start with that.

Finding those free-to-use images it now always easy, but there are some tools and websites that will help you. A very nice one I came across recently is called VisualHunt.com. It’s basically a search engine that allows you to input some keywords and it will list Creative Commons images that you can use on your website.

They have over 354 million images indexed already, with almost 14,000 Creative Commons ones, and the number is growing every day. The Creative Commons images are high quality and manually curated, which makes your job much easier.

Another cool feature is that you can filter your search by license type and by color, as they include a color pallette for every image. For instance, you can limit your search only to images are can be used commercially, or you could search for ‘white cars.’

And here’s a tip: they have a section where they feature how bloggers and website owners are using their images. In other words, you get a plug from the website and get some new site visitors from it.

Wanna learn how to make more money with your website? Check the Online Profits training program!


10 Most Widely Used Content Management Systems Online

Gone are the days when hard-coded HTML pages and Cascading Style Sheets were developed by a bunch of geeks and uploaded onto the server using specialized software. The 21st century brought with itself a revolution in the field of website designing and development in the form of Content Management Systems (CMS) — the software packages which allow you to organize, publish, modify and maintain content on a website, without requiring much of technical expertise. All you need to do is install a CMS, choose a domain name, give your inputs in the template design and hop onto the web server with your new online identity.

15 years into the new millennium, we are surrounded with hundreds of CMSs to choose from. And the cherry on the top is that most of them are open source platforms, implying that they can be used for free. Although owing to the pros and cons of all, no CMS can be termed as the best but some are more popular than the rest. A list of 10 Most Widely Used Content Management Systems has been complied for you. Have a look!

1.

WordPress

Ask any CMS Website Development Company for an open source platform, and the first suggestion would be WordPress. Built on PHP and MySQL, this CMS powers around 15% of the world’s top one million websites and 24% of the total websites. Be it hosting, installation or administration, WordPress makes everything hassle-free. Sites developed on this open source platform are W3C complaint, search engine optimized and have excellent Web 2.0 functionality. Its huge universe of themes and plugins allows you to create virtually any type of website.

2.

Joomla

This open source CMS enjoys high levels of popularity, particularly amongst the startups and SMEs owing to its flexibility and easy-to-use admin controls. However, many bigshot names like MTV and Harvard University are also running their websites on Joomla. This polyglot platform has created millions of websites in 64 different languages. Also, if your website is on Joomla, its promotional capabilities can enhance your viewership to a great extent.

3.

Drupal

Another free, PHP-based Content Management System, Drupal is being used by prominent names like New York Observer, Popular Science and MIT amongst several others. Similar to WordPress and Joomla, it also possesses a treasure of thousands of extensions to increase your site’s functional range. If your website has a lot of complex content to be organized, Drupal is best suited for you with its unique features for taxonomy and ability to tag.

4.

ModX

Although the name of ModX is not much heard of in common parlance but there are over 100,000 websites running on this CMS. Its core strength lies in its usability allowing even non-technical handlers to conveniently work with it. A logically laid out interface makes it easy to customize the designs. To top it all, no additional plugins are required for SEO in ModX sites.

5.

ExpressionEngine

Developed by EllisLab, this CMS is based on PHP and offers both open source and premium software for creating websites. Although, its number of plugins is nowhere even close to what popular CMSs are offering, this platform does provide complete liberty to design the sites and search engine friendly URLs. Official support is available on purchase of license.

6.

TextPattern

Underdog of the CMS world, TextPattern is a highly flexible, free PHP based system. It has a minimalistic interface which makes it easy to work with. Native anti-spam system, import tools and flexible design engine are some of its key features. While this CMS does not have many jewels to its crown but it offers themes, designs and plugins in reasonably good numbers.

7.

Contao

Formerly known as TYPOlight, this CMS is also built on PHP language. Contao combines Ajax and other Web 2.0 features to enhance the usability. SEO-friendly sites with high level of security can be made on this platform. Live update services, easy integration of modules and support for multiple blogs are some of the highlighted features.

8.

DotNetNuke

While most CMSs are written in PHP language, this one is an exception using ASP.Net to cater specifically to Windows. As Windows servers play host to an array of intranets, opting for DotNetNuke would be a wise decision. While the CMS comes with a cost, interested users can take a free demo and trail before purchasing.

9.

Umbraco

Unlike most ASP.Net solutions, Umbraco is an open source software that gives complete freedom to designers over the aesthetics. An open API gives full access to developers for customizing the back-end applications. While the CMS offers flexibility to create both websites and intranets, it does not provide any prebuilt themes at the front-end.

10.

Concrete 5

One more PHP-based free system on our list; Concrete 5 can be used for creating websites as well as web applications. The CMS is growing in popularity on account of flexibility offered for coding and use of themes. With its easily comprehensible features, turning a basic HTML site into Concrete 5 takes only a few minutes. Business-class hosting including support makes it the CMS of choice for the corporate world.

Since there are so many CMSs available, having their own highs and lows, we had to draw the line somewhere. However, you can be sure that the 10 platforms we’ve talked about have more merits in comparison to the ones that didn’t make it.

Bio: Anurag Gupta works for WeblinkIndia.net, a well-known Website Designing & Development Company based out of India. He loves to write and share his views on the latest developments in the world of Web Technologies. This write-up is yet another incisive piece on the top 10 Content Management Systems that have simplified the whole activity of setting up and running websites.

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Best Guide to Create Your First Website

If you are planning to start your first blog or website, either for yourself or for your business, you know that the first steps can seem daunting. There is a lot of technical informatin to digest, and sometimes getting one thing wrong can result in the failure of your project.

Luckily there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of tutorials online that will guide you through the process.

If you want a recommendation, this past week I came across a very complete and easy-to-follow guide created by the Template Monster folks.

Called Startup Hub, the guide is divided in two sections: Startup Basics and Startup WordPress.

The Basics section will cover things such as:

-How much money you need to start a new website
-How to choose the right platform for your website
-How to find a reliable web hosting and a good domain name
-If your business needs a responsive website design

The sections are divided into questions and answers, which makes it easy to follow along.

The WordPress section will cover things such as:

-If WordPress is the right choice for your website
-What to choose WordPress.com or self hosted WordPress
-Which hosting to choose for your WordPress website
-The Anatomy of a Perfect WordPress Theme

I was impressed with the quality of the layout and with the information as well, so I highly recommend that you take a look. Even if you already have a website or blog this might be a useful resource to bookmark, for instance in case friends and family come asking you how to get started online.

Check it out.

Wanna learn how to make more money with your website? Check the Online Profits training program!