Hey there buddy!
It’s Jake in the hotseat this week with the next installment of our arbitrage site setup… Over the past few weeks we’ve gone through some of the fiddly necessary stages for tracking and monitoring everything that we will be doing as this project goes on.
This edition of our blog is a combo of two things a stepbystep of how we put together slideshows in WP, and a few random bits of wisdom we’ve acquired thus far. The next stage will be spending money and running actual traffic, so now’s the time to crib what we’ve gleaned and take it on board yourselves!
First of all odd bits of advice from various parts of this project:
1. Analytics Academy
I have a background in writing (i.e. not with anything to do with computers beyond web browsing and Word…), so looking at analytics was initially daunting, but now it’s all hooked up and linked together, it really does make sense to me now, and i’ve learned massive amounts in a really short time. Take the steps as they come and focus on nailing each one you’ll learn more and things will be more watertight as you progress. And as we progress.
Something that has really helped with the learning curve has been this:
You might well know your way around this stuff, but as a couple of newbies to Google Analytics we didn’t, so the classes provided by Google have been really helpful. Though the first intro slides and vids are pretty basic, even for us, they pick up and start to impart some pretty esoteric info. Endure the first couple the course I’ve taken the most from is the ‘Analytics Platform Principles’ course, as it breaks down specific characteristics of the data that analytics accumulates, and how best to delve into the most useful info [We will go into more detail on what that is when we start to bring traffic in!].
Each course takes about 6 hours, with teaching and a questions section you should nail before moving on. It’s a little time consuming, but worth enduring it up front so you can make the most coming out the other side. You can go from complete novice through to earning an industrylevel certificate… I’ve given mine to my mum to stick on the fridge. Don’t mind it. But yea swot up and be ready to crunch numbers. Oh, and the guy hosting is superawkward. He knows his stuff for sure, but if he’s the most charismatic guy at Google, then their Christmas parties must suck.
2. Productivity Tools
If you’re working in conjunction with others, we strongly advise making use of tools to make your communication and planning easier. Since getting on Ad networks and realising the variations in Time Zones, as well as coping with different aspects of projects at different times of day, Dan and I have really come to rely on these two tools Trello, and Slack. There are other tools out there obviously, and whatever works best for you is great, but these have been helping us no end.
https://slack.com/ Slack is fantastic for communication and messaging, and allows everything to be kept in one place, searched easily, and across different channels. It sounded a bit ‘corporate’ up front but in essence it means we can have different chats running on different topics, so it is easy to keep things in focus, and themed chats keep us more clued up to the different threads of what is developing.
Even better, we’ve synched our Skype accounts with it so it allows you to just dive straight into a call without having to chopand change between accounts… and speaking of chopping and changing between accounts, we are doing all our work in Google Docs we can both jump in on edits, we stick everything in a shared drive, and we get easiest access possible for our important spreadsheets and docs (e.g. with all our account logins, and our profit and loss ((more of the former less of the latter hopefully) etc).
https://trello.com/ This is a great tool that serves as a pinboard for tasks and keeping track of who is doing what. It’s been invaluable for us for dividing work and keeping an eye on what is finished and what is pending. It integrates with Slack too, so you can get realtime updates when a task is completed. Recommended.
(Screenshot of the wiki page because if i screenshot my Trello i’ll give away a bit too much.
[A kind of ridiculous anecdote that stems from productivity and staying on track… I had a meeting with Peter from Native Ad Buzz to get some advice and to go over some Nativequestions we had for him. Anyways, I’ve got a bad back from an old sports injury, which was playing up pretty badly as we went over our work. Completely out of the blue, Pete divulged that he is a qualified masseuse and acupuncturist. Our meeting was derailed, and in ten minutes he had me face down in his flat, and full of pins… an hour later I was pretty much pain free and back in business… I guess the point (get it?) of the story is that if you are going to veer from your designated tasks, make sure you get something equally beneficial from your divergence haha! Anyways, cheers Pete. An unexpected afternoon… work/life balance at its finest!]
3. PG 13 Stuff.
Last week we ran through how we got onto Adsense and Content.Ad. Something we have realised while checking through the Adsense Ts and Cs is the importance of keeping the material clean A couple of blogs back we said PG13. That’s pretty much right, though having seen what Content.Ad hosts on our site, their interpretation of PG13 is pretty liberal… To keep Adsense happy (they are going to be the main income stream for this project, so we should play by the rules), we realised we can change the age settings for Content.Ad to make sure the ads hosted on our site are safer. Go to ‘My Account’, then pick the ‘Domains’ tab and set the ‘Default Rating’.
We’ve gone as safe as possible, and gone for the G rating the ads being offered up on our site are now much more appealing to all our users, which should help with monetizing things as we go forward! This will depend somewhat on your niche, but good practice is keeping it clean so use common sense on this as to what’s your own best practice. For us, safety first!
4. How to Make a Slideshow in WordPress
This is the meat and veg of what we are going to be doing to make money [I say ‘we’… Dan has done sweet FA on this front, and has left me to bear the brunt… he’s making up for it now, but yea… that’s a taste of what I have to put up with…], so it’s important to get it right.
Here is a breakdown of the most faffheavy part for you… First install the Theia Post Slider plugin!
Great! Now, start a new post. Add an image to it. Then above the image, click blank space, then select the ‘Add a Theia Post Slider title’ like below. It’ll insert the bit of code you need:
Next, below your image, click more blank space, and choose the ‘Add Page Break’ button (just to the left of the Theia buttons). This is essentially the layout you need for each slide
within your post…
Then repeat! As you can see, I then repeated the same layout below the page break. Do that for as many images/slides as you need. AND see where the Theia code is added? Between the two pairs of brackets, add text this correlates to the little header that will sit next to your navigation arrows. E.g. ‘a little picture of a TV’:
Any actual copy or bulk text you require should be typed below the Thea code, but above your image (assuming you want it above your picture). Finally, select ‘Gallery’ as your WP post type. Then get out of the backend and check your site, and you’ll see you are in business. Now you’re sliding!
A timesaving method I have found really helpful say you’ve got a 20 image slideshow upload all the images into your post first, then go through and insert the page breaks and Theia title codes after. Uploading one by one is much more time consuming. I found out the hard way…
That’s pretty much it! As mentioned previously, install the Yoast plugin as well, and it’ll give you all the guidance necessary to nail your content to be the most effective it can be for Google.
5. Content Advice Bonus!
A word on content at this point we got up and running with our articles a couple of weeks ago, and to be approved on Adsense you need to hit their initial threshold of 1520 articles. Something we have noticed and are keen to keep on top of slideshows will be our moneymakers (lots of pics, lots of slides, lots of clicks, lots of money), but Adsense need to be kept sweet, so we really advise churning out ‘normal’ content articles as well as slideshows.
Keep a good balance of both on your site don’t let slideshows outweigh ‘normal content’ for example they don’t like this. For the sake of an hour’s work, you’ll keep Adsense happy and keep being able to get paid. I guess it was our initial rejection from them that has made us super sensitive about staying in their good books, aan it’s good practice! So yea, keep abreast of their Ts and Cs and keep it clear that you’re providing informative content as well as slides.
Next time we will go through running our first paid traffic to the site, which is what it’s all about! Exciting times!