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July 25th, 2014

Weekly Blog on blogging

I haven’t been doing much with blogging for the past few weeks.

It was the eternal battle of needing money yesterday versus building an income for the future.

And, unfortunately, the future was losing the war.

Getting to kids of to college in August was already a struggle.

But then my cell phone died.

I feel a little lost without my cell phone.

I didn’t know how addicted I was to the thing until it was gone.

One thing that I struggled, and I am still struggling with, is getting the advertisements to show up at the bottom of each post on MsCrookedHalo.

I was using Advertwhirl but it was giving me an error message that was clearly seen at the top of the website by every visitor.

It was so visually unappealing that I removed the plugin.

One thing that I am continuing to do is join every Facebook blogging group that I can find and following the rules on how to work them to my advantage.

This strategy is working well as I see my stats shoot up.

I think social engagement is the only way to get good stats on a personal blog.

My niche blogs seem to bring in organic traffic on their own.

I also decided how to do the categories on my personal blog.

And…I think I have glammed on the way to get on the youtube bandwagon.

I have had quite a few duh moments this month.

As I write this, I am reading a good post on entitled 15 Top Bloggers Reveal How They Make Money Blogging! in which he asks some top bloggers to name their 2 main ways to monetize their blogs.

If you have been blogging for awhile, the answers probably won’t surprise you.

 Hopefully, I will have more to report next week.

How’s your blogging week going?


July 4th, 2014

Good reads of the week

I’m always reading and always learning. These are just summaries of what I gleamed from the post. It was be best for you to click and read them on your own to get the full effect.

Hidden Blog Commenting Trick For Huge Traffic & Networking!

He recommends purchasing CommentLuv Premium, having a redirect Thank you page for first time commentors, keep the conversation going,

Promote Your Blog: 10 Steps to Ultimate Blog Promotion [My Personal Cheat Sheet]

Bookmark the sites that you use to promote, add social sharing buttons,

July 1st, 2014

How to remove 503 Temporarily Unavailable Error Code with Dreamhost

Last week was extremely stressful for me blog-wise.

The week that I not only decided to start writing more consistently on my book blog, I started getting a 503 Error Code.

“503 Service Unavailable The server is currently unavailable (because it is overloaded or down for maintenance). Generally, this is a temporary state.”


Being proactive, I attempted to do a search for solutions.


So, I contacted my hosting company, Dreamhost.

 “Thanks for contacting us. I apologize for the delayed response. A security mechanism caused your local IP to be blocked several times today. We’ve unblocked your IP. Please be aware that certain actions on your site can cause the Security protection to be activated. If you still have any other questions or need further assistance let us know.”

The timely response did fix it…temporarily.

I think that one of my problems is that weirdly enough my ISP comes up Chesterfield, MO while I am actually in VA.

I first noticed this when I did a google search and I kept having to change it back to Virginia.

Anywho, being as I have no clue how to fix that problem, I emailed my hosting company that I was still having the problem and then I did a search on the Dreamhost Wiki page and I am ever so glad that I did.

The solution itself was ever so simple.

Log in to Dreamhost.

Scroll down to the website in question.

Scroll over and click the “Edit” button.

Scroll down to Web Options.

Find Extra Web Security? and unclick the checkbox.

Scroll down to and click the Change Settings Button.

Go read an email or fix yourself a sandwich or something because it took a few minutes but eventually Viola!!

So far, so good.

It is highly recommended that the Extra Web Security be activated but what good does it do if it is blocking even the website owner.

As always, I hope that this helps someone out there from having to pull out his/her hair.

I, myself, may have a few new bald spots.

Because even as I write this post, I am having the same problem on this website.


June 27th, 2014

I read SITS this week

This week I decided to focus my reading on articles by the Sway Group (formerly known as SITS Girls).

As usual, I just give the gist of each post. I highly recommend that you visit each one to get the full effect.

Plus, useful information can often be found in the comments.

Maintaining A Low Bounce Rate

At the end of each post, have related posts. In the sidebar, have popular posts. Get rid of popups or at least limit them. Have great content. These tips are explained and expounded on the post.

How Healthy Is Your Blog? Evaluate and Get the Free Download Now

Most of my blogs have a clear brand. This blog, for example, is the anti-guru of blogging. Singedwings is readers of romance and/or erotica. Voucherlist is all about the Section 8 Housing program. Even the future blogs that I have in mind all have a target. The one that I struggle to brand is actually my personal blog, MsCrookedHalo, because, well, it is a personal blog. But, I agree, even my personal blog needs a focus so that people will know what to expect. Hmm.

5 Things To Make Your Blog Stand Out From Everyone Else

Start by having a nice header that sits above the fold and is not to big. Have a clutter free sidebar.

Write your truth with user friendly text.

Have decent photographs to go with the text.

Even if you don’t have one niche in your personal blog, you can have several niches within it.

Have your social media buttons prominently displayed.

Make your posts easy to share right from your blog.

11 Ways to Get Creative and Make Money with Your Sponsored Posts

This post is more along the lines of what to do if you have already been offered a sponsored post to write. I have been mulling over the idea of writing a post on where to get sponsored posts and the idea has morphed into a page. Goal is to have that written up by next week or at least begin in.

Creating a Budget for Your Blog in 2014

Do you take in consideration all that you need to blog. Computer? Internet? Hosting? Etc.

Your Daily Blogging Checklist for 2014 – Plus FREE Printable

A good checklist because blogging is more than simply writing a post.

Turn Your Blog Into a Business in 2014

Work with Brands. Write freelance. Write an eBook. Affiliate Marketing. Ads on your sidebar.

10 Web Design Elements All Blogs Should Include

Attention Grabbing Header. Complimentary Color Scheme. Reader Friendly Font. Easy Navigation. Mobile Friendly. Unique Author Profile. Subscription Options. Search Bar. Popular Posts. Use Footer.

How to Perfect Your About Me Page

Use your personality that matches your blog. Write about what the reader should expect to see on your blog. Add your contact information and social media links. Put in photos and information, especially if it is a personal blog. Put in links to your favorite posts. Add some fun facts.

5 simple SEO tips

Decide on a keyword before you start writing. Title your post with your keyword. Include your keyword in your images’ alt text and titles. Repeat the keyword a few times in the post. If linking to another post, use that post’s keyword as the anchor text. Do not keyword stuff.

6 Editing Tips to Make Your Writing Rock

Use spell-check. Keep track of homophones. Read one word at a time. Use an active voice. Step away from the post and come back with fresh eyes.

Video Tutorial: How to Make a Blog Button in PicMonkey

Written and video instructions.

How to Create Food Posts That Drive Thousands of Visits to Your Blog

High quality pictures. Step-by-step instructions. Write well. Add a personal touch. Make posts easy to find.

8 Tips for Optimizing Pinterest

Name your image to match your post. Include a description. Put web address on image. Add your twitter handle to title. Include keyword hashtags in title. Have a Pin It button on your site. Join a group Pin board. Pin your own material as well as other people’s stuff.

Google Plus Guide: 5 Easy Steps to Getting Started on Google+

Detailed instructions on how to use Google Plus.

How to use Facebook Interest Lists to Drive more Likes, Comments, and Shares

Awesome advice to use an Interest List to help discretely  promote your own stuff.

6 Top Tips For How to Make an Infographic

Know your topic and your audience. Research your data. Use the right graph, chart, or table. Make concise, organized point. Make it pretty. Promote it.

How To Balance Blogging And Family Time

Keep to a schedule (yeah, right! Lol.). Schedule time away from the computer. Let go of things that you cannot control. Set boundaries. Teach kids about working from home. Keep a notebook handy to jot notes or even write a post. Draft a post when you are feeling creative and edit it later. Divide your time between blogging tasks.

June 24th, 2014

Amazon Add To Cart Button

I recently started blogging more regularly on my book blog, which pretty much exclusively uses Amazon Associate for income.

While researching, I am across a comment that says that utilizing the Add To Cart feature should significantly increase my click through rate and, in turn, my earnings.

I also learned that if the customer uses the Add To Cart option then the 24 hour cookie clock is not in effect.

That’s right, I would get the affiliate sale whenever the customer actually pay.

The basic code is a simple copy/paste/replace.

Copy this code where you want the button to appear.

<form method=”GET” action=””> <input type=”hidden” name=”AssociateTag” value=”storeid-20″/> <input type=”hidden” name=”SubscriptionId” value=”[AWSAccessKeyId]”/> <input type=”hidden” name=”ASIN.1″ value=”B00003CWT6“/><br/> <input type=”hidden” name=”Quantity.1″ value=”1″/><br/> <input type=”image” name=”add” value=”Buy from” border=”0″ alt=”Buy from” src=””> </form>

 Replace the storeid with your Amazon Associate ID and replace the ASIN with the correct products number (both highlighted in pink above) and viola!

I am still working with the fine details of the button.

I would much rather it read Add To Cart on Amazon or something.

I would also like it to open a new tab when it adds the item to the customer’s cart.

And, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to get the thing to center.

Anyone know how to solve either of these problems?

June 20th, 2014

Good reads of the week

The Amazon Partner Program For Dummies

A butt-load of information on getting started with Associate Program.

Awesome case studies if you like that kind of thing like I do.

Can You Really Make Money Blogging?

Plans and strategies to have a profitable blog in 3 years.

How to Grow Your Email List Using Pinterest

How to lead your Pinterest pins to your opt-in funnel.

Why I Think You Should Break the Blogging Rules

Basically, don’t let blogging rule your life.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Money with the Amazon Affiliate Program

One of the world’s leading bloggers shares his basic Amazon income and strategies.

I did learn to put the link at the beginning and end of every post.

Top 10 Blog Myths… Debunked

If the gurus have you running scared from blogging, this list debunks the myths that you can’t live a comfortable lifestyle blogging.

5 Easy Ways To Liven Up Your Twitter Stream

Basically Twitter is a social network so be social.


June 6th, 2014

Read this week

BWR 026: Jeni Larson: How To Be a 7 Figure Blogger

Awesome podcast of how Jeni Larson left a successful corporate job to become a wildly successful self-employed blogger. Very inspiring.

My initial goals for starting a blog was that I don’t want a boss, employee, client, or customer.

Since listening to the podcast, I am setting some more goals.

Short term goals:

* income of $100 month

(That is less than $4/day.)

My mid term goal:

* income of $40,000/year

My long term goals:

* $1 million in a savings account

$1 million in an investment account

Personal goals:

* Only work, at most, 4 hours/day

* Put my kids through college with no student loan debt at graduation

* Provide retirement home for my parents

* Ability to give my friends money when hard times knock them down

* A house in every state in America

* Write a check with a whole lot of zeros to the charities that touch my heart

To accomplish these things, I basically need to keep doing the basics which are blogging frequently and reliably as well as keeping up the social aspects of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, and leaving comments on other blogs.

These actions have already seen a uptake in my blog numbers and my blog income.

Well, with the exception of SingedWings, which I have been completely slacking on…

Blogging & Procrastination – How To Stop Procrastinating & Start Your Blog Or Take Your Blog To The Next Level 

Good read that will help you procrastinate on what you are suppose to be doing instead of reading this article. Procrastinators for the win! Lol.

How To Raise Your Alexa Ranking (in a cool way)

I implemented the code. I’ll be doing a report soon on results.

[SEO] First Page Google Rankings – Fact Or Fiction???

In a word: Video. AKA, Youtube.

He does mention a net site,, that instantly share your video with 27 other video search engines. I’ll have to look into that and get back to you…if I ever get the courage to make another video.

How an 8-Figure Hosting Company Competes on Quality and Succeeds with Jason Cohen from WPEngine

Great words of wisdom on how to run a business.

From $34,000 in Debt to Traveling the World with Tal Gur [TDI087]

Another inspiring story of one who used blogging to pull himself out of debt and into financial freedom. Also mentions a neat little time organization tool to battle that pesky procrastination problem found here.

Using Niche Sites to Build a Passive Income with Jeff Fruhwirth [TDI088]

Niche sites are my new love. Much easier to earn with adsense than a personal blog.

Podcast 31: When to Stop Building and Start Scaling with Perrin as Co-host

Interesting podcast on when you should stop building new sites and just focus on the ones that you already have. I’ve been through this myself…in fact, going through it now with ideas for other niche sites…

What Is This “Right To Be Forgotten” Thing All About?

In England and other European countries, individuals and businesses are given the right to request that search engines to cost websites ranking if the link violates their privacy. Wonder how this is going to effect gossip blogs…

How to Retain at Least 95% of Your Organic Traffic After a Site Redesign

Most of these are common sense but make a good read if you are considering redesigning your website.

How to Add Staff Member Profile Pages in WordPress

I don’t have any other staff but myself but maybe one day…

If You Still Think You Can Ignore Video, This Post is NOT For You

I’m still doing my level best to ignore doing videos. Lol.

Social Media Not Converting? This Is What Does.

Maybe I missed the point as I didn’t actually see “what” converts. But the post did comfirm my belief that social media should be a funnel back to my blog rather than used a direct selling tool.

Instagram Tutorial – Getting Started With the Most Engaged Network of Our Time

Enhanced by ZemantaHm. Apparantly Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks. ~sigh~ It is still on my to-do list.

Google Admits Ranking Will Get Easier for Small Businesses But Here’s a Warning

After the last Google update, big businesses ruled the web. Supposedly with the most current update, it has now become a more even playing field. We’ll see….

June 1st, 2014

June 2014 Goals

Time to shoot for the stars.

Here are my publicly posted blogging goals for the month of June.

My personal goals are posted over on

Here are my blogging goals in order of stream of consciousness.

  • Post 1x per week on each blog
  • Complete Mailchimp for each blog
  • Complete 2 sponsored post/tweet jobs
  • 10 new Facebook Fans for each blog
  • 10 new Twitter Followers for each blog
  • Make an IG for each blog
  • Make a Pinterest board for each blog
  • Make a pin for each new post
  • 10 new Pinterest Followers for each blog
  • 1 new Email Subscriber for each blog
  • Leave 1 comment/week on blogs with each blog link
  • Sponsor 1 giveaway
  • Earn $1/day on Adsense
  • Earn $1/day on Project Wonderful (Affiliate link so they’ll know I sent you)
  • Earn $1/day on Amazon Associates
  • Follow the daily schedule I set for blogging.
  • Make one of those opt-in email capture popups for each blog.
  • Join 1 linkup/week per blog

Those are my goals for this month. Do you think that I missed anything?


May 30th, 2014

Read this week

DOFOLLOW BACKLINKS From PR8! Quick Steps Revealed!

Example and instructions on how he got a Pagerank 8 site DoFollow Link


May 27th, 2014

How to change categories on wordpress and atahualpa them

Hi all,

No, I haven’t gone back to my slovenly ways of doing nothing on this blog.

Most of the work that I did last week and continued into this week have been behind the scenes type of stuff.

Or stuff that I have failed at, such as updating my Google Analytics account. Who writes those instructions over there?!? FAIL!!!!!

If I ever figure it out, I’ll be sure to write a more comprehensive set of directions complete with my trademark photos. ~sigh~

One thing that I have done, and probably only the most observant of you have even noticed, is to update my post categories and add them to the header of this blog for easier navigation.

amablogger category change

It became a bit of a problem when even I couldn’t find what I was looking for…

This week, I am just going through and making sure that each post is in its appropriate category (or categories).

I figured someone out there would like a post on how to change the categories in wordpress in general and the atahualpa theme, specifically.

If you are not using the Atahualpa theme or just don’t need this information, scroll on down to the WordPress Category information.

You can have the categories appear in the header area, on your sidebar, in the footer, or all of the above.

To put them in the Atahualpa theme header, you must be logged into your blog.

Go down to Appearance and open up Atahulapa Theme Options.

Open Atahualpa

After opening the theme, click on Style and edit Header Area.

Atahualpa Header Area

In the Configure Header area, chose which way you want your category to display.

Atahualpa Configure

You have the choice of: %cat-right, %cat-center, or %cat-left.

Copy/paste or type your selection into the box.

Atahualpa Configure box

Scroll down and click Save Changes.

Visit your blog and see if it looks the way that you want.

Change the location in the selection box if you want to move it around and click Save Changes each time.

If you can’t see it (like in mine above), use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll over until you find it.

These are instructions for the Atahualpa theme, I don’t really know how this works in other themes because Atahualpa is currently the only theme that I use.

To change the categories in WordPress, however, should be pretty much universal.

On your blog’s dashboard, go to Posts and Select Categories.

WP Posts

From this page, you can create a new category, delete an unnecessary category, edit a category, or view a listing of posts currently under that category.

WP Categories

 Quick Edit always to simply change the category name and its accompanying slug.
To edit the entire category, click on the category title (for example, How To) or on the word Edit.
To view the listing of posts in the category, click on the number under the word Posts.
To see the posts themselves, click on the word View.
Deleting a category does not delete a post. It simply moves it to whatever your default category may be until you assign it otherwise.

I think that may just about cover it for this tutorial.
If I failed to answer any questions that you have on the subject, feel free to leave a message in the comments.


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