***Update*** Since writing this post, I have yet again amended the blog design. As can be seen, it is now a 2-column design with larger images…
Screenshot shows new design with the article Digital Embossing
I’ve been making some changes here lately at AndrewKelsall.com. The biggest change apart from the design is that I am now excepting advertising. Until recently, I only ran Google Adsense in a limited way. Google Ads appeared on older posts, but I excluded the ads from posts about my design processes (which potential clients may look at) and brand new posts (as to not ‘annoy’ regular readers).
These ads were running quite well. I didn’t make a great of money from them, but they actually covered my hosting costs. However, after digging around in Google Analytics, I discovered that posts that included Google Ads had a much higher bounce rate than posts with none. Alas, the Google Ads are gone (or at least for now).
Some Blog changes
1. New header design
I’ve been itching to find time to redesign my header for a while. I didn’t really know what I wanted to design before starting it (but it just developed over a few hours and there you have it!). This is not an orthadox way of designing, but hay, I reckon it came out looking good.
2. BuySellAds 125px Spaces
I first signed up with BuySellAds over a year ago, but I decided not to place their ads on my site until I started to get get close to an Alexa top 100,000 traffic rank. At the time of writing I’m now at 112,000, so since I rid my main blog of Google Ads, I thought I’d introduce them now (I still run Google ads on my Free Stock Images sub-blog, which I’m still setting-up and is a work in progress).
I didn’t want to have adds in my sidebar as I reckon I will have more chance selling ads if they’re 125×125 pixels in dimension, as they’re the most common size. My solution was to include them in the header. Also, as they’re in quite a prominent place (and above the fold) I may be able to sell them at a higher cost, as they would generate a higher ROI for the advertiser.
This is all just experimental at the moment. I I cant sell them for a ‘worthwhile price’, I may rethink the decision to include ads at all. However, Ill see how it goes. If I get advertisers, great! If not…I may hold-out again until the site becomes even more popular in the future.
3. Refreshed RSS and Social Networking list
Gone is the old “RSS Subscribe image“ to make way for a more comprehensive list of networking options.
4. Community Links
I just wrote a post about this new section entitled Submit Your Design News.
5. 2-year Archives
This section is quite experimental, and I’m going to keep an eye on Google Analytics to see how well the section performs. If no-one utilises it, I’ll use this space for something else in the future.
Just for reference, this is the semi-old “business card blog design” that I used over the past year:
Screenshot shows old design with my article Branding a Singer/Songwriter
Oh, I got rid of the blue banner image on the homepage, too.
Anyway, I’m feeling positive about this blog and I intend to write fresh and useful articles as time permits. I’m ‘getting there’ slowly but surely. I have some goals set, which include attracting new RSS or Email Subscribers, attracting new clients from the UK and abroad and improving my writing style. I also plan to move to a DV server at Media Temple (my current host) in a couple of months. This should speed-up the site, amongst other benefits.
What do you think of the updated design? Do you have any suggestions on how I could improve this blog?