Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Google Sites Outperforms Blogger: Trouble with Google Adsense

I learned the tricks of web writing from Suite 101 before Google demolished it via the Panda algorithm. Now I write for myself, having several blogs and Google Sites.

I saw my earnings steadily increase with the quantity of content published. As can be seen from the screenshots, my sites comprise original content, have easy navigation and share useful information. They also get a fair amount of hits.

Left: my Google Site; Right: my blog.

However, no matter what I do, Google Sites always massively outperforms blogger.

Earnings from Google Sites are underlined in red; blogger in green

Google Sites is a free intranet site builder for businesses and for sharing knowledge. When I began writing, you could select to ‘share with the world’, so in effect, the Google Site is no different to any other website. It is public. You could also place Google Ads on Google Site pages.

However, Google in their wisdom, decided to ‘sunset’ Adsense on Google Sites in 2013. I was devastated at this news, as my Google Sites provided the lion’s share of my Adsense earnings throughout.

Having said this, Google announced they would not remove Adsense already placed. However, new Adsense codes cannot be added to new webpages.

I was astounded at why Google would do this.

Because new Adense codes could no longer be added to Google Sites, I abandoned these sites and concentrated on my blogs.

Three years have since passed.


And no matter what I do, Google Sites continues to radically outperform my blogs.

Poor earnings from Blogger compared to Google Sites

My blogs are bigger than my Google Sites, having hundreds of articles, all of which are original content. SEO, keywords and image tags have been used on all my articles, having a similar approach. By contrast, my Google Sites are small, having around 30 articles each.

And Google Sites continues to outperform blogger.



I have tried different ad placements on my blogs, trying out different sizes and formats, opting for ‘responsive’ and recently, page level ads.

These new ad codes cannot be added to Google Sites, because, as mentioned before, you cannot ad new Adsense codes to Google Sites. But my Google sites continues to reap more earnings.

I recently contacted Google about finding an alternative way of adding Google ads to Google Sites. A Google administrator offered to help, and I followed his instructions, but as can be seen from the screenshot, we hit a dead end.

Disappointed, I tried various other experiments, contacting Adsense and Blogger administrators for advice on how to make my Blogger level up with Google Sites in performance. I changed the background colors, removed and added gadgets, changed fonts and the layout.

Failure to add Adense to Google Sites

Nothing has made the slightest difference.

Google Sites continues to outperform blogger.

I decided to try out the other webuilding sites, including Wordpress, Wix and Weebly. But all have serious downfalls. Read about the trouble with Wordpress in my other article. Similarly, Wix and Weebly require a fee to use various features or if the site exceeds a certain size. Their plugins are also buggy with little quality control. I simply like writing, not learning about codes and conducting web fixes.

Yes, these templates might create ‘beautiful’ websites, but what is the point if the web-writer cannot make a living?

The features that require a fee on Wordpress, Wix and Weebly can be used for free on Blogger.

And I like free.

I also like blogger. It is easy to use, you can use all sorts of templates, colors and layouts, but I have a big problem with blogger.

Google Sites Continues to outperform Blogger.

Earnings from Blogger are pathetic compared to Google Sites

I wish Google would reverse their decision to sunset Adense on Google Sites. For reasons I cannot fathom (nor the Google administrators), these small Google Sites continue to provide the lion’s share of my Adsense earnings, and at present, I cannot find a platform to match the earnings they provide.

Perhaps the future might yield something else.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Page Level Ads on Blogger Error Message: Could not Load Template Preview

Making money blogging has been made a little easier. Google’s page-level ads are a special type of Adsense code with two actions: They stick to the screen regardless of the scrolling action. These are known as anchor or overlay ads.

Page Level Ads on Blogger
The other type of ad, vignette ads, appears between pages. These take up the whole screen. Page level ads can be easily be dismissed. The great thing is that page level ads do not count towards your quota of 3 ad units per webpage. This could only mean more money for the blogger!

Money Making Tips for Bloggers

How to put page level ads on your Blog

I tried to implement the code into my blog template, but error messages kept coming up. Such as the following:

“Could not load template preview: Error parsing XML, line 5, column 15: Attribute name "async" associated with an element type "script" must be followed by the ' = ' character.”

Fellow bloggers may experience the same difficulty with a similar message which might spur the scratching of heads. However, I found a way of overcoming this problem. Here is my step by step instruction on how to place page level ads onto your blog starting from the beginning.

Select Page Level Ads for extra Adsense earnings
1 sign into your Google account which holds your blogs and your Adsense.
2 In your Adsense page, click on My Ads on the left hand menu.
3 Select ‘page level ads’.
4 Under ‘status’, select the 2 boxes from ‘0’ to ‘1’.
5 Scroll down to click ‘Get code’
6 Copy the code that comes up.



By simply pasting this code into your blog template will spur error messages. The code that I had used for my blog was:

Extra Adsense earnings

Which did not work.

To make page level ads work on your blog, you will have to paste the amended code found below, and place your unique 16 digit publisher id into the highlighted section as shown. 

I had amended this code by simply following Google’s instructions.


Step by Step Adsense Guide for Blogging

Placing Adense code into Blog template
You can easily find your unique 16 digit publisher ID by clicking on the gear icon on the top right of your Adsense account. Select ‘settings’ and then ‘account information’. At the top, you will see your 16 digit publisher ID.

Simply place this publisher ID into the bolded section I have provided of the code.

7 Now go to your blogger dashboard and select the blog you wish to implement page level ads.
8 Click on ‘template.’
9 Click on ‘edit HTML’
10 Paste the code beneath the section of your blog. You should find on around line 5 or so.

You can preview the blog before saving changes to make sure the code does not show up on your blog.

If something goes wrong, don’t worry. Simply refresh the page without saving changes, and the changes will be lost.

Once you have successfully placed the page level ads code into your blog, you can view it on you mobile phone, tablet or other reading device.

Page Level Ads on Blogger Error Message: Could not Load Template Preview

Making money blogging has been made a little easier. Google’s page-level ads are a special type of Adsense code with two actions: They stick to the screen regardless of the scrolling action. These are known as anchor or overlay ads.

Page Level Ads on Blogger
The other type of ad, vignette ads, appears between pages. These take up the whole screen. Page level ads can be easily be dismissed. The great thing is that page level ads do not count towards your quota of 3 ad units per webpage. This could only mean more money for the blogger!

Money Making Tips for Bloggers

How to put page level ads on your Blog

I tried to implement the code into my blog template, but error messages kept coming up. Such as the following:

“Could not load template preview: Error parsing XML, line 5, column 15: Attribute name "async" associated with an element type "script" must be followed by the ' = ' character.”

Fellow bloggers may experience the same difficulty with a similar message which might spur the scratching of heads. However, I found a way of overcoming this problem. Here is my step by step instruction on how to place page level ads onto your blog starting from the beginning.

Select Page Level Ads for extra Adsense earnings
1 sign into your Google account which holds your blogs and your Adsense.
2 In your Adsense page, click on My Ads on the left hand menu.
3 Select ‘page level ads’.
4 Under ‘status’, select the 2 boxes from ‘0’ to ‘1’.
5 Scroll down to click ‘Get code’
6 Copy the code that comes up.



By simply pasting this code into your blog template will spur error messages. The code that I had used for my blog was:
Extra Adense earnings

Which did not work.

To make page level ads work on your blog, you will have to paste the amended code found below, and place your unique 16 digit publisher id into the highlighted section as shown. 

I had amended this code by simply following Google’s instructions.


Step by Step Adsense Guide for Blogging

Placing Adense code into Blog template
You can easily find your unique 16 digit publisher ID by clicking on the gear icon on the top right of your Adsense account. Select ‘settings’ and then ‘account information’. At the top, you will see your 16 digit publisher ID.

Simply place this publisher ID into the bolded section I have provided of the code.

7 Now go to your blogger dashboard and select the blog you wish to implement page level ads.
8 Click on ‘template.’
9 Click on ‘edit HTML’
10 Paste the code beneath the Head. section of your blog. You should find on around line 5 or so.

You can preview the blog before saving changes to make sure the code does not show up on your blog.

If something goes wrong, don’t worry. Simply refresh the page without saving changes, and the changes will be lost.

Once you have successfully placed the page level ads code into your blog, you can view it on you mobile phone, tablet or other reading device.

Monday, 13 June 2016

How to Add Multiple Pen Names to Author Central on Amazon

Every author must have an author page on Amazon, including pseudonyms. This free writer’s marketing tool enables fans and readers to find out more about you and your other books. You can use your existing Amazon account to create author central. Just log onto Author Central https://authorcentral.amazon.com

An author central is also available on https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk. But the UK site does not presently allow a third pen name. I have emailed them to see if they will add it manually.

Adding Multiple Pen Names on Amazon

If you write under more than one pen name, you can create separate author pages from just one account. I write under my own name, and also have two other pen names. You can have up to three names under one account on Amazon.com.

If you write under more than three names, then it might be worth creating another Amazon account.

Here’s how to create more than one author page from author central.

Refer to images below for further clarification.

1 Log into Author Central.
2 On the panel above, click on ‘books’.
3 Now you can click on the tab, ‘add more books’ that appears just beneath the message ‘are we missing a book?’
4 The link enables you to find your book that you have written under a pen name.
5 When you find your book, click on the link ‘this is my book’.
6 A pop up box will appear. Click on the message ‘if you write under a different name let us know’.
7 Enter your new pen name.
8 Click ‘yes this is me.’

A new author page has been created.

How to Create Author pages for Multiple Pen Names

Creating an Author Page

You can now switch to different pen names via the drop down menu on the top right of the webpage. Your new author page will take up to 5 days to show up on Amazon, but in my experience has been quicker. Updates will show up almost immediately.

Author Central will add book manually or assist with further updates if you experience other problems.

With your new Author Page under a third pen name, you can add a photo, write a bio, add videos and add more books as you publish more.

Updates will show up immediately. It is a good idea to review your author pages periodically to ensure the bio is kept up to date. Customers can more easily discover your books as well as new titles.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Free Audio book from Audible The Shuttered Room

Feeling generous I am giving away 5 copies of my audiobook, the Shuttered Room on Rafflecopters. Just like my Charles J Harwood facebook page or tweet about the giveaway as shown on the sweepstake. The giveaway ends on June 22 2016 so don't miss out.

Free audiook the Shuttered Room from Audible
Audio books on Audible are worth around $25 or more, so audiobook lovers simply cannot afford to miss out. Even Audible members can save using their credits by getting this audiobook free. Don't miss out.

Simply like my facebook page provided on the link below or tweet about the giveaway.

Charles J Harwood Facebook Audible giveaway

Find out more about the Shuttered Room audio book on Audible

The Winners are Announced

Congratulations to the winners of this rafflecopters giveaway! Well done and thank you for entering. The winners have been notified. Look out for more giveaways on this site soon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Free Audio Book Giveaways by Charles J Harwood from Audible

Win a copy of my audio book the Shuttered Room free from Audible. Enter simply by posting a link on Twitter or like my Facebook page via Rafflecopters sweepstakes.

This fantastic giveaway is a must for audiobook lovers.
Read more about the Shuttered Room on Audible

Or visit the Charles J Harwood Audible page to learn more my other thrillers.

Enter this great prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Win my Audiobook
Charles J Harwood facebook page
Charles J Harwood twittepage

A quick review of the kidnap thriller up for grabs.

THE SHUTTERED ROOM

Little do they know their captive has a little secret.

Jessica Fraser would appear to have everything: money, a devoted husband, a lively son and a fulfilling career. But her life takes a nasty turn when she is taken hostage and incarcerated in an upstairs room by three thugs demanding a huge ransom from her rich father. In a bid to escape, she cuts a hole in the bedroom floor with a cutlery knife. From there, Jess observes the three of them going about their everyday business. That’s when she starts playing games with them. That’s when her spying pulls her into a treacherous psychological game with her abductors.

If only they knew what their hostage was up to. What would they do to her?



Look out also for other giveaways of my audiobooks which will be up for grabs from time to time. All are around 8 hours long and are worth $24 or (£16) each.

FALLING AWAKE

Insomnia can have the most sinister causes.

Gemma’s husband vanishes under mysterious circumstances leaving only a black contorted doodle and mysterious debts. But saving her home proves the least of her worries after Gemma earns urgent cash by performing routines for a mysterious chronic insomniac.

Voyeurism never hurt anybody.

The cause of his insomnia is another matter.

As the horrifying truth about her husband unfurls, Gemma’s paranoia about her voyeur takes its grip.

NORA

Her harsh brand of rehab hides a bitter secret.

Nancy is hurled into the world of celebrity when she finds herself performing a shoot for handsome but odious millionaire, Vince, as they walk from one of his nightclubs. But the seduction of this other world sours after Nancy learns the truth behind her fifteen minutes of fame.

That’s when Nancy is propelled into a nightmare where her alter ego is born.
Vince’s playboy lifestyle is about to be turned upside down. Hers will never be the same.

A HARD LESSON

Sarah thought she was teaching a schoolchild a little English.

How wrong she was.

Not only is her subject a full-grown thug, he is dyslexic, and part of a gang headed by a psychopath. And this psychopath doesn’t like people interfering with his business.

Soon, she will learn the meaning of treachery.

And fear.

These thrillers can also be found within my bumper audiobook Eclipse Quartet, 32 hours long.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Why I think Blogger is Better than Wordpress

Wordpress seems to be the platform to rave about. It’s the essential website design tool if you have a business, you are a celebrity or a media guru. But for those who simply want to share ideas and articles, I have found Blogger is much better. Here’s why.

Most of the features on Wordpress require you to sign up for a plan. Even the smallest thing such as the use of a font on your webpage.  The message comes up: ‘purchase to use Typekit fonts on your site’. In other words, you have to sign up for Wordpress’s premium plan which requires a yearly fee. I don’t want to pay to use a font when I have already paid to use Word.

Which is Better Wordpress or Blogger?
On Blogger, you can use any font you want for free.

On Wordpress, you can’t custom the background colors of your site for free. You have to sign up for a premium plan to do so. I didn’t know colors had to be purchased. Are they copyrighted?

On blogger, you can use any background color you like. You can even upload your own image if you want.

Website Themes on Wordpress

There are a limited number of themes you can use for free on Wordpress. Many of them cost £50 up to £300 or more. The choice is endless on Blogger. You can use any theme you want on Blogger for free. And many look better than those on Wordpress that require a fee.

It is also possible to design your own website for free by using HTML and uploading it onto Blogger’s Google Drive, the first 15GB of which are fee. In fact, for every Gmail account you create, you get another free 15GB free webspace on Google Drive. The average small to medium sized website does not need to purchase a lot of storage space from a webhosting service to create a fantastic website, as suggested by Wordpress advocates.

Furthermore, you cannot adjust the widths of the Wordpress site (well, I haven’t figured out how yet) so if you want to fit a plugin, widget, or feature, on your Wordpress webpage, it may not fit on your page because you cannot adjust the widths. Is this also a feature that requires a premium plan sign up?

Does Wordpress Allow Adsense Codes?

My biggest issue with Wordpress is that you cannot input Adsense easily. With blogger, the webmaster merely has to create original content and don’t abuse the system. After a few months, Adsense will approve you. Once approved by Adsense, you can easily place Adsense ads on Blogger.

In my quest to find how to insert Adsense codes into Wordpress, I surfed Youtube and tutorials. All have failed to prove that Adsense can easily be implemented on Wordpress. Some of the tricks worked, others didn’t. I am not even certain that Wordpress allows Adsense.

But, it is possible to put Adsense into Wordpress pages because some webmasters have managed to do so. Some people use the ‘widget’ feature in Wordpress to paste the HTML code from Adsense. Other people go to ‘plugins’ to do it (a little reminder here that you can’t have the plugin feature unless you have signed up for a Wordpress plan). In other words, you cannot use the plugin feature to insert Adsense to make a few pennies, unless you pay for the feature. The exercise defeats the object.

 In fact, there are a lot of features on Wordpress that are not free and, in my view, are not worth paying for.

Those who entitle YouTube clips and articles ‘How to Create a Website for Free with Wordpress’ often uses features on Wordpress that is not available on a free plan. So really, you cannot create a website that you really want for free on Wordpress.

Is Wordpress Free?

Wordpress is free, yes, so long as you don’t mind your site looking basic. Otherwise, you have to pay for features that are free on Blogger. Wordpress is mostly a locked door unless you sign up for a plan.

What I Think of Wordpress

For the business person, Wordpress might work out cheaper than using other platforms and paying for a website designer.

But for those who simply want to share articles, information, videos and images, many of the features on Wordpress demand a sign up for a plan to use basic features. These features are simply not worth paying for. And to make matters worse, Wordpress do not make it easy to garner a penny or two from Adsense.

Why Wordpress is Overrated

I have created a Wordpress website. At the moment it has few pages, and I am unlikely to add many more. But the experience of creating a Wordpress website has enabled me to make a comparison between Blogger and Wordpress.

Myths of Great Website Design

Finally, having a slick, professional looking website that compares to Apple or the Daily Mail is possible by using Wordpress. But a great looking website does not guarantee lots of traffic or subscribers. That comes down to interesting, original content, good use of SEO and marketing. So in fact, a fantastic-looking website created by using a WordPress theme might still have the sound of windrushes blowing through it.

This is why I prefer Blogger. It is low risk and mostly free. Every function on it is free, you can stick Adsense codes on easily, you can use any font you want, any theme you want, any colour you want and use any site width you want. And it has more features than Wordpress.