January 30, 2010

How you can Modify your XML Blogger Template to Make the most of your AdSense Ads

So you have found a really nice XML Blogger template that you want to use in your blog. You just have grown tired of your old worn out template that had been used by a lot of bloggers. You want your blog to have a unique look and you want it to grab the readers' attention. You've finally found a stunning design that you want to use in your blog.

But will it work? How do you use it? Will it support all the gadgets that you're using in your blog? What if the new template messes up your blog thoroughly, can you still go back to your old template?

Template designers are creative artists who make beautiful homepage designs that are pleasing to the eyes and that grab your attention. You need also to be concerned with the mechanics of the structure underneath the design. You are primarily interested in putting more and better ads in your blog so you have to check on the page elements inside the template to see if they meet your requirements.

To be able to understand the XML Blogger template, you need to have an adequate knowledge of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML). A lot of CSS and HTML tutorials are available in the Internet so search for them and learn how CSS and HTML are used to specify the look and feel of your web page.

Understand that all of the XML Blogger templates are adapted from the original standard developed by Blogger so they follow a consistent pattern set by Blogger when it designed the basic template. From the XML Blogger template's perspective, your blog's page basically consists of the header, the content portion which includes your post and the sidebars, and the footer where copyrights and other information about your blog are placed. The XML template describes how the elements of your blog's page will look and behave and it provides for an outline on how your web page is to be constructed.

The first rule that you must always remember when changing XML Blogger templates is to always save your old template in your computer before uploading your new template on the Edit HTML page of the Blogger Layout tool. You may already have added some modifications to your old template which you don't want to do all over again if you're going to use the same template as before.

Also, you might have some Google tools HTML code that you have manually included in the template that you want to be preserved so it is imperative that you save a copy of the latest status of your template in your computer. Then, if you soon find out that the new template will never work well with your blog, you can always upload your old template file and your blog will work fine as it had before.

When you make your first look at the Blogger XML template that you like, imagine already where you want to put your AdSense ads. Decide how big your ads are going to be and visually check the design if your size will fit in. If you're not sure if a 250 pixel ads can fit on the sidebar, download the template and look at the CSS code behind the template. The Blogger XML template provides for the width of the header and of the content part of your web page.

When changing the widths of the elements in your web page, always make sure that any change that you make is compensated with corresponding changes on the related elements. For example, if you change the left margin of the main content element, you have to make a corresponding change on the size of the right margin. You cannot just get some pixels from thin air. If you want to add more pixels just to one side of a pair of elements, then you have to add corresponding pixels to all elements that contain the particular element that you're changing.

You are allowed to place three AdSense for Contents ads and three AdSense link units on your page. You may also want to place Amazon products ads on your web page so there must be some extra space where you could place them. You would want your web page not to look boring so you may want to place a variety of ads designs on your web page. Is there for example a way by which you could place long ads directly after the header?

The original XML Blogger template provides for a means by which you could place long ads on the space directly below the header but it is turned off by default. You have to tweak the HTML code behind the template to turn it on. Look for the crosscolumn switch on the template and change this setting by removing it and thereby turning on this very valuable feature. This is the only way by which you can place 728 pixel wide banner AdSense ads on your web page.

You may want to place 250 pixel wide ads on your sidebar also so check how wide the sidebar is by looking for the width of the sidebar on the CSS style sheet included in the Blogger XML template. You don't just add pixels to the sidebar if they fall short of your requirements. You have to increase the overall width of the page by increasing the width of the element that contains both the sidebar and the content of the page. You need to maintain the proportion set by the original designer of the template.

If you will not be putting a menu bar on your web page don't choose a template that has a menu bar on them. I mistakenly used a template with a menu bar in it and I found that the menu bar is not easily removed so I just let it sit there but I did not set the links up so nothing happens when you click them. My CSS and HTML know-how somehow felt short to resolve this simple issue. But I know I would be able to resolve this in time.

In one template that I used, there was no blank line between the older and newer pager and the link to view the Atom feed of the blog. If this is true with your template, then you have to add a one em margin at the bottom of the pager element.

If you're using long banners and link lists on your blog, there is no automatic provision to place a blank line between them. They won't look good without that horizontal line in between so what you can do is to insert a text gadget with only blanks in them. This will make sure that a white space appears between the banners and link lists.

The XML Blogger template contains some legacy codes that today interfere in the printing of your web page. I found this out when I researched this issue a long time ago. There were some codes that were placed on the original template to account for how the different browsers display documents. But now, they interfere in the correct printing of the web page. So if you're having some problems with printing your web page, just remove all mentions of overflow: auto or overflow: hidden on the CSS code of your template.

There may be some copyright notice and links to the designer's web site at the bottom of your XML Blogger template. As per the provisions of the Creative Commons license, you can make changes on the template to suit your needs but you cannot remove any copyright notice or links to the web site of the template's designer. We have been given this wonderful opportunity to make use of a creative work done for us by these designers. The most we can do for them is to respect this provision and retain all text at the bottom of your XML Blogger template.

For you to be able to modify your XML Blogger template, you need to have a good enough knowledge of CSS and HTML. There is a lot of information on the Internet for learning these two vital web standards. You can more confidently change your Blogger XML template if you have gained an adequate know-how on both of these languages. I hope you have learned something on how you can modify your XML Blogger template so that you can fit in more ads on your blog.

Read my article on what you need to know and how you can use the XML Blogger templates in your blog at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/what-you-need-to-know-about-and-how-you.html.

Read my other article on how to use the law of thirds in composing your photographs at: http://sites.google.com/site/ournewapproach/how-to-use-the-law-of-thirds-in-framing-a-good-photo-shot.



What you need to Know About and How you can Use the XML Blogger Templates

There's a lot of Blogger XML templates that you can download and use for your Blogger blogs. However not all of them can be used as is. They don't come perfectly suited for your needs. Oftentimes, you have to tweak them to suit your particular requirements.

The templates come in XML files that include both Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) codes. XML stands for Extensible Mark-up Language and it is a standard way of defining the characteristics and properties of an object for use in exchanging information across the Internet. All Internet browsers know how to extract and use the contents of an XML file.

CSS is a language for specifying the properties of HTML elements in a web page. It is a powerful language for defining the characteristics and behaviors of similar HTML elements so that you don't have to repeat the formatting characteristics of an element every time it is used in the web page. HTML is a language for structuring the different elements that comprise the web page. It uses the CSS formatting elements to properly construct the web page inside an Internet browser.

It will be obvious that you need to be skilled in both CSS and HTML for you to be able to tweak the Blogger template to suit your requirements. However, you don't have to be an expert on both to be able to perform minor tweaking of the template. I do not consider myself an expert on CSS or HTML but I was able to change the code on my templates so I can put in more AdSense Ads on my web pages.

Blogger has standardized the contents of a Blogger blog and developed an application programming interface for assembling the contents of a blog page before sending it to the user. It gets the formatting information from the XML file and the contents from the data base of blog posts to prepare the page before sending it over to the Internet. Blogger has also developed a standard XML template that the template designers use as basis for customizing the appearance of a web page that uses the template.

A Blogger web page basically consists of the header, the body which includes the post contents and the sidebars, and the footer. HTML tags are used to position the elements on the page and CSS specifications are used for determining how and where exactly the elements should be placed. The HTML DIV tag is used to build the web page from top to bottom and from left to right.

The XML template is divided into two basic parts: the CSS codes for specifying how the page elements are to be displayed and the HTML code for building the page using the HTML DIV tag. The template is actually a special kind of HTML file that contains the formatting specifications and the outline of how the web page is to be constructed. Blogger looks at the display plan contained in the template and combines it with the post that the blog author has submitted to build the actual HTML page that will be sent to the user.

It used to be that only HTML was used to format and assemble the web pages with the content intermingled with the HTML codes. The HTML table tag was used to position the different elements of the document on the web page. However, it was soon found out that this was a very inefficient way of coding web pages.

CSS was invented to separate the formatting codes from the substantive content of the web page. Most of the formatting tags in HTML have been deprecated and integrated into the CSS for styling the appearance of the web pages on a site-wide basis. Basic formatting elements, however, still remains with HTML. But formatting with CSS was truly more powerful than what HTML can accomplish. Unlike the HTML table tag where you can only approximate the placement of the element on the page, CSS was able to pinpoint exactly with pixel measurement where the element should be placed.

HTML alone can still format and build a page but only to a limited extent. When you start studying HTML, you will undoubtedly have to go beyond the basics and finish with the study of CSS. I believe that bloggers should make a special effort to learn HTML and to master CSS formatting. This is the only way by which you can tweak the Blogger XML template so that you can precisely control how your web page will look when displayed on the Internet browser.

Before you can modify the XML template, you must already have designed an HTML page using the CSS specifications. This means that you can code a CSS style sheet and the HTML code that will use the style sheet to build the web page. Once you're comfortable doing this, then you can easily modify an XML template.

The most important thing that you have to know is where to find the CSS code that you need to change and how you are going to change it. For example, you should know where to look if you want to increase or decrease the width of the web page. If you want to insert a horizontal line between two elements, you should know what property of which element you should be changing.

There are a lot of different ways of coding the CSS style sheet so you cannot tell beforehand without looking at the actual style sheet where the changes should be made. Thankfully, with the Blogger XML template, everything is in their proper places since all Blogger templates are based on the standard template developed by Blogger.

The fastest way to learn the Blogger XML template is to get the codes of three templates and to compare each with the other two. By doing this, you will have a general idea of how the original template designed by Blogger looked like. All the XML templates that you can download from the Internet descended from the standard template developed by Blogger. After looking at some templates, you can develop an idea of how you can design a template of your own if you have the artistic skill to create a visually appealing home page.

One reason why you would want to change the template is if you want to include more elements in the page than what is provided for in the template. You may want for example to have more places where you could put advertisements on your web page. Another reason would be to remove some elements that you don't intend to use in your web page. If you have a really simple blog for example, you won't need to have a menu bar on top of the page. And if your template has that provision, you should know exactly what portion of the HTML code to comment out in the template.

There are also legacy codes that were placed on the template at a time when Internet browsers were still perfecting how they handle CSS Style specifications that today can cause problems when printing the page. There are also a few workarounds that you can do to address a few issues related to the use of Blogger's XML template. By researching on these issues using the search engines, you gain a lot of tips and tricks that you can adapt to more effectively tweak the Blogger XML template.

The basic procedure for using a new template is for you to prepare your site by removing first the gadgets that can cause problems for the new template like HTML codes and advertisements which you can easily add back later. Next, you backup your old template just in case the new template does not work out well with your contents. Then you download and unpack the new template on your computer.

Next, you need to sign in to Blogger and go the layout page where you would upload the XML template from your computer. You will then view how your pages look using the new template and make the necessary adjustments. Then you can add back the gadgets that you have removed before using the new template.

The Blogger layout tool can only be used for adding and removing gadgets on your pages. Most of the problems that would crop up require that you modify the code behind the page. This is where your knowledge of HTML and CSS would come in handy. Most of the templates do not exactly fit the particular needs of your web page. In these cases. you have to modify the CSS and HTML codes on the template.

These are some of the things that you need to know about the Blogger XML templates and how you can use them in your blogs.

Read my article on how you can modify your XML Blogger template to make the most of your AdSense ads at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-you-can-modify-your-xml-blogger.html.

Read my article on download, modify and use a free Blogger XML template in your blog and learn CSS and HTML along the way at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/02/download-modify-and-use-free-blogger.html.



January 27, 2010

How you can Access your DLink DIR-300 Wireless Router from the Internet

It can happen that someone in your house just called and told you he has a friend with him in your house who would like to access the Internet though your wireless Internet connection. However, you have setup your wireless router with access control so your child or your wife's visitor could not just easily connect to your wireless home network.

But there is a way by which you can access your DLink DIR-300 wireless router from the Internet. You might want to setup your wireless router so that you can access its web-based configuration interface from anywhere there is an Internet connection. DLink is providing free dynamic domain name service that can enable you to setup a virtual host that can be associated with your wireless router back home so that whenever someone uses that URL in the Internet, it will be referred back to your wireless router at home.

Servers that are hosting web pages on the Internet normally have fixed Internet Protocol addresses that the domain name servers around the world know about. Your Internet browser knows where these domain name servers are and it queries them first to know the Internet Protocol address of the page they are about to visit.

However, your Internet Protocol address is not normally fixed if you are a home Internet user. It changes every time and your Internet service provider just gives you one that is not being used at the moment whenever you turn on your DIR-300 wireless router. It would be impossible to access a web page with a constantly changing Internet Protocol address and that is why dynamic domain name service has been invented. It is a service that regularly updates the Internet Protocol address assigned to your wireless router.

To set up your wireless router at home so that it can be accessed from the Internet, you have to create a host name that can be used to refer to your DIR-300 at home at the DLink dynamic domain name service web site. You have to sign up for an account and after signing up, you can create a host name which you will use to refer to your wireless home connection. Then you will configure your wireless router to regularly check your Internet Protocol address and update the address associated with your DIR-300 at the DLink dynamic domain name service web site. Optionally, you can also setup your wireless router to enable remote configuration and use a port that is not normally used for serving content in the Internet.

Log on to your DLink DIR-300 wireless router and click on the Maintenance link at the top of the page. On the left hand portion of the page, click on DDNS Setting and on this page click on the link Sign up for DLink's free DDNS service. A new window will open and here, look for new users and click on the Start link. That will bring you to a new page where you would sign up for the service.

At this point, think of a good host name that you can use to refer to your wireless router at home. You would not want to get stuck on the DLink host name setup page agonizing over what name are you going to use for your DIR-300 wireless router so it would be best to have something ready before you go there.

Fill out all the blanks in the sign-up page and click on the Create Account link at the bottom of the page. For the Internet Protocol address, just copy the address that has been detected by the host name configuration page. Wait a little while then open a new window and sign in to your email account and look for the email message from DLink. Click on the link that you will find in the email message and you will be brought back to the DLink web site. You can close now the old DLink web site window that you used for signing up with the service.

Once your email address had been validated, your account is good to go so DLink will ask you to create a dynamic domain name service host name. Once your host name is accepted, you will now have a URL with which you can access your DLink DIR-300 wireless router in your house. The URL will be yourhostname.dlinkddns.com.

You can now log off at the DLink dynamic domain name service page and go back to your wireless router's web-based interface. Just log in again if you have been automatically logged out. Go back to where you were before you went to the DLink web site, that is, click on Maintenance at the top of the page then click on DDNS setting at the left hand portion of the page. At the lower part of the page, make sure that dlinkddns.com is selected on the first blank, enter your full URL on the host name blank, then enter the user name and password that you used to sign up with DLink's free dynamic domain name service.

Click on the button that says DDNS Account Testing and wait for the results. After a little while, it should say Successfully updated. If the update failed, re-check the data that you have entered and repeat the procedure until all errors are corrected. When you get the message successfully updated, it means that your DIR-300 wireless router is able to update your host name with whatever is the new Internet Protocol address that was given to you by your Internet service provider. Save the new configuration and wait a little while for the DIR-300 interface to come back.

Click on the Maintenance link at the top of the page and at the bottom of the page, choose any port number that you like, check the box that says Enable Remote Management and leave the IP Allowed to Access blank. Save the wireless router's configuration and open a new tab or window in your Internet browser. Type in the full URL of your host name at the address bar of the browser and press the enter key on your keyboard.

If you followed all the steps correctly, you would see the web-based configuration interface of your DIR-300 wireless router. If there is a problem, go back and repeat the procedure, making sure that you enter the correct information at every step. If you saw your wireless router's web interface, then you have configured your DIR-300 wireless router correctly for access anywhere in the Internet.

Log off of your wireless router's web based interface that you were accessing locally and close your Internet browser. Test again if you can access your wireless router using the URL of your host name. Call a friend and ask him to try to access your DIR-300 wireless router from his house. If he can access it, then you have successfully set up your DIR-300 for access from the Internet.

Read my article on how you can connect your friend's laptop with a wireless router that is setup with access control at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-connect-friends-laptop-computer.html.

Read an article on how you can turn your old desktop computer equipment into peripherals for your laptop at: http://sites.google.com/site/thetechnicaljournal/turn-your-old-desktop-equipment-into-peripherals-for-your-laptop

Read my other article on Internet Protocol addressing for setting up DHCP on your DLink DIR-300 wireless router at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/12/internet-protocol-addressing-for.html.



January 22, 2010

How to Connect a Laptop to your Access Protected Wireless Home Network

So you were able to successfully setup your wireless router to implement access control in your wireless home network thanks to the help of useful information that you were able to get from the Internet. Now comes a friend with his laptop computer who unfortunately could not make an Internet connection using your wireless network. You tell your friend politely that your wireless router is setup to control which computer will be able to use your Internet connection.

But how would you allow your friend's laptop computer to access your wireless network? Well, you have already made your own desktop and a few of your family's laptop computers to access your Internet connection so there won't be a problem to add your friend's laptop computer to the list of computers allowed to access your wireless network.

But since you really did not make an effort to memorize how the procedure is implemented, you wonder how you would be able to connect your friend's laptop computer now to your acces control protected wireless home network. You used some web sites from the Internet to guide you on how you included your family's computers to the list of those allowed to make use of your Internet connection. Unfortunately, you forgot to bookmark the links to those web sites so now you're at a loss on where to find a similar guidance to help you make your wireless network accessible to your friend's laptop computer.

So this article is just to refresh your memory on how you add a friend's laptop computer to the list of computers in your wireless router that are allowed to make an Internet connection using your home wireless network. There are basically three major steps that you need to take to ensure that your friend's laptop computer will be able to access your wireless network. You get the machine address of your friend's laptop computer, access your wireless router and add the machine address to the list of computers allowed to access your network, and you setup your friend's laptop computer with the name and password of your wireless network.

Get hold of your friend's laptop computer and open a command prompt window by typing the word command on the search box on top of the computer's start button. At the command prompt window, type the command ipconfig /all and press the enter key. Look for the information regarding the computer's wireless adapter and get its machine address. The command prompt calls this data the physical address of the wireless adapter and it contains six pairs of numbers and letters. Copy this data on a piece of paper so that you can refer to it in the next step.

Access your wireless router from your computer using the Internet Protocol address that you type on the address bar of your router. If your wireless router is a DLink DIR-300 router, then you need to type http://192.168.0.1 and press the enter key. Type in your user name and password to open the wireless router's setup pages. Look for the page where you type the machine addresses of your family's computers. In the DIR-300, you would need to click on the Advanced link at the top of the page and then click on Access Control on the sidebar.

Add the machine address of your friend's laptop computer to the list of computers allowed to access your wireless network. On the DLink DIR-300, don't forget to put a check mark beside the machine address that you have just added. Double check that you have entered the machine address correctly and then save the settings. You can now exit from your wireless router configuration interface.

Get hold of your friend's laptop computer and find where wireless network connection is setup. For Vista computers, open the control panel and click on the Network and Internet link. Click on the Connect to a network link and select the name of your wireless home network. Enter the password for your wireless network and go on completing the setup by following the flow of the setup wizard. Test if your friend's laptop computer can now access the Internet.

If there is a problem go back to your friend's laptop computer and check again if you have the correct physical address number. Compare the number with what is typed on the access control setup page of your wireless router. Correct the entry if you have mistyped the numbers and letters on the setup page. For DIR-300 wireless router, you should have included a colon between the pairs of numbers and letters.

So that is how you connect your friend's laptop computer to your access control protected wireless home network.

Read my other article on how to surf the Internet faster by using OpenDNS on your DLink DIR-300 wireless router at : http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/12/surf-internet-faster-by-using-opendns.html.

Read my article on how secure are your Windows passwords at: http://sites.google.com/site/ournewapproach/how-secure-is-your-windows-password.

Read my article on what you can do if your Vista password stops working and you have only one log on account in your laptop at: http://sites.google.com/site/ournewapproach/what-to-do-if-your-vista-password-stops-working-and-you-only-have-one-log-on-account.

Read my article on how you can access your DLink DIR-300 wireless router from the Internet at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-you-can-access-your-dlink-dir-300.html.  

Read my other article on how come your Vista laptop using a DLink DIR-300 wireless router cannot connect to the Internet at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-gateway-vista-laptop-using-dlink-dir.html.

Read an article on using sensible accessories to extend the useful life of your laptop at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/01/use-sensible-accessories-to-extend.html.

Read an article on how you can recover seamlessly from your laptop's hard disk crash at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-you-can-recover-seamlessly-from.html.

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January 21, 2010

Place a Link to your Feedburner Feed on your Blogger Blog to Get More AdSense Exposure

The use of feeds has been around for a long time already but it did really took off when XML came to the scene and standardized all data exchanges in the Internet. Feeds have evolved as a standard way of distributing content in the Internet by packaging the content and moving it expeditiously and accurately on the highways and byways of the Internet. And as long as the feeds follow an acceptable format, it can be read and displayed easily by Internet browsers or specially designed feed readers.

Feeds are a convenient way of distributing the contents of your blog to your readers without them having to actually visit your blog. Readers love to read content on their favorite feed readers as they are given only one location from where they can get updated on new contents on their favorite blogs.

If you are displaying AdSense ads on your blog and did not setup AdSense for your feeds, you stand to lose a great number of impressions and possible clicks on your AdSense ads. As a writer and content developer, I have come to accept the presence of feeds so rather than lose the chance to earn from ads on my blogs, I just decided to manage my feeds well and place AdSense ads on them. This way, even if my readers read my blog on their favorite feed readers, I still maintain a level of exposure for my AdSense ads.

There are web sites that enable readers to read blog contents using feeds and Internet browsers also enable the readers to subscribe to a blog feed, I have tried subscribing to my blog using my Mozilla Firefox browser but the feed that it displays does not include the AdSense ads that I have setup for my feeds. The same is true with the Internet Explorer browser which fails to show the AdSense ads on the feeds from my blogs.

So it is best to include a link in your blog to the AdSense enabled feeds generated by Google Feedburner. It would also be good practice to redirect your standard Blogger Atom feed to Feedburner so that anyone who will subscribe to your feed using the Atom feed generator will receive the feed with Google AdSense ads on them.

But before you can use AdSense ads on your feeds from your Blogger blogs, you have to convert the default feeds generated by Atom to the Google Feedburner format. This is actually done as a step in setting up AdSense ads on your feeds but you can also do it manually by visiting the Google Feedburner web site and entering the URL of your blog.

From the point of view of the readers, feeds are an alternative way of reading the contents of your blog. Feed creators like the Google Feedburner take the contents of your blog and format them in such a way that they will be readable by feed readers. There is technology behind feeds called RSS that makes everything run smoothly and without a glitch.

I have been writing articles for my blogs for quite a while and have not been paying any attention to the so-called feeds until I discovered that you can place AdSense ads on them. Only when I started setting up AdSense ads for my feeds did I really come to know what feeds are.

I discovered that my feeds needed to be converted into Google's Feedburner format before I would be able to place AdSense ads on them. And so I had to perform that step while I was setting up AdSense ads for my feeds. And since my Blogger blogs had a default feed generator called Atom, I had to connect it with Feedburner so I would be sure that all my feeds will appear with AdSense ads on them. Once I set this up by identifying my Feedburner feed URL on my Blogger blog settings, the feed's AdSense statistics started to appear on the AdSense reports.

Google has a feed reader called Google Reader and you can search for it and sign up to use its service using your Google email address. In Google Reader, you can subscribe to any blog as long as you know the URL of that blog.

I have been using Google Reader before I decided to put AdSense ads on my feeds and tried subscribing to my blogs to test what Google Reader can do. At that time, I was using Google Reader to take a look at the contents of my blogs without actually going to the URL addresses of my blogs. There was no AdSense ads displayed then so I can read my blog contents without any distractions from the ads that were displayed if I were to actually read my contents on my blogs. But now that I have placed AdSense ads on my feeds, I will have to contend with reading the contents of my blogs in Google Reader with advertisements on them.

So it would be best for your readers to subscribe to your feed using the Google Feedburner link that you can place conspicuously on your blog. You should also redirect the default Atom feed generator in your blog to the Google Feedburner generated feed by putting your Feedburner feed's URL on the Site Feed setting of your Blogger blog.

Read an article on how to get started with Google AdSense at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-to-get-started-with-google-adsense.html.

Read an article on how to add AdSense ads on your Blogger blog's feeds at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-add-adsense-ads-on-your-blogger.html.

Read an article on how to use feeds to promote your personal website or blog at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-use-feeds-to-promote-your.html.

Read an article on lessons learned on using AdSense on blogs and websites at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/03/lessons-learned-on-using-adsense-on.html.



January 14, 2010

How to Use Google Insights for Search to Help you Plan What Topics to Write on

Google Insights for Search is a planning tool that writers can use to find the relevant topics that the web community is building interest on. It presents the historical data on the interest shown by the Internet users as evidenced by searches made on the Google search engine. It also presents the top ten searches and the top ten rising searches for the term entered by the user.

Google Insights for Search operates on two modes. You can use it without you signing in which gives only the line and bar charts with no figures. To see the figures that the lines and bars represent, you have to sign in to Google Insights for Search with your Google email address. It is important to note that the figures shown on the charts are not absolute search numbers but a percentage of searches made on the term as compared with the total number of searches made.

Google Insights for Search presents four categories of information including worldwide interest over time, regional interest, the top ten searches as well as the top ten rising searches for the terms entered in the search box. Interest over time would be useful in planning the topics on what to write on. As a writer, you would not want to write on subjects that nobody would be interested in. So you should choose to write on topics that are on the uptrend for the coming year. You can sharpen your grasp on what the readers are looking for by looking at the top ten searches and the top ten rising searches. You would want to write about topics that are building huge interest in the Internet community.

If you want to know what the top searches and rising searches about the Internet are, just select the Internet as the filter category, leave the search term box blank and click on the search button. You can do the same for some of the other categories to find out whether searches for a particular category are going up or coming down. As of today, January 2010, for example interest in automotive is on the downtrend although by a very marginal rate.

You can compare the statistics for a few search terms by clicking on the add search term below the top search term box. AS many lines and bars as the number of items that you're comparing will then be shown on the results. For example, if you compare the desktop and laptop search terms, you will notice a declining trend on the desktop and a rising trend for the laptop. With this data on hand, you could probably decide to write more articles focusing on laptops rather than on the more general term computer.

You can filter the results four different ways such as by type of search, by geographical region, by time frame and by categories. By type of search filtering includes web search, image search, news search and product search. Choices for the time frame filter include from 2004 to present, last number of days or months this year, and for only the particular year from 2004 to the present.

You may at this point ask what the difference between Google Insights for Search and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Well, both of these tools are based on actual searches made on the Google search engine so naturally, they are both concerned with keywords used by the searchers. However, Google Insights for Search focus only on the topmost ten statistics while the Google Adwords Keyword Tool includes most of the searches made related to the keywords of interest to the researcher.

Google Insights for Search takes the winning statistics on the terms you entered and shows you the historical figures including the projection for the coming year. On the other hand, the Google Adwords Keyword Tool includes as many permutations it can make including the synonyms of the terms that the user has entered. But more importantly, the Google Adwords Keyword Tool provides data for advertisers and marketing professionals like average cost per click and how high advertiser competition is for the search term.

Google Insights for Search would really be of great help to the writer in choosing the general topics that she should be writing on. It gives a glimpse of what user interests are going up and what interests are on the wane. We could almost say that Google Insights for Search would really be useful for planning the subject matter strategy for the writer. The Google Adwords Keyword Tool would come in handy in the implementation stage as a tactical tool for selecting the actual keywords to use in the article.

There are so many uses that you can make of the Google Insights for Search. You could think of really creative questions by mixing and matching different keywords. It's a great way to get to know what information the users have been looking for and what would likely catch their fancy in the coming year. The more you know about your readers, the more focused your topics for articles would be. Search Google for the Google Insights for Search web site and try using it. You will be amazed at the unexpected realizations you're going to have.

Read my article on how to get started and use Google Analytics for your personal web site at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-get-started-and-use-google.html.

Read my article on get started with Google Webmaster Tools for your personal web site at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/01/get-started-and-use-google-webmaster.html.




January 13, 2010

How to Properly Delete a Page from your Personal Web Site

There is a proper and responsible way of how to delete a page from your personal web site that does not impact negatively on the surfing experience of your readers. You don't want your readers to be clicking on a URL on the Google search page results just to be told that the page cannot be found. That negligence on your part is simply not acceptable.

Removing a page from your personal web site is unlike deleting a file from your computer where you simply get rid of the files that you no longer need. Your page may have been indexed by search engines so you have to make sure that you will be able to remove the URL of your page from the index of the search engines.

Before deleting a page from your personal web site, be sure to check first if the URL of the page is in the index of the search engines. For Google, just go to the Google search page and type the word info followed by a colon and then followed by the URL of the web page that you are deleting. If the URL is indexed by Google, save the URL somewhere where you can get it back later. If not, then you can just go ahead and delete the web page.

After deleting the page, you can now request Google to remove the page's URL in the Google index. You do this step by making a page removal request within or outside of the Google Webmaster Tools. You can search Google for the web page where request for removal is made. You will need a Google email address if you will be requesting the removal outside of Google Webmaster Tools. It takes a number of days before the URL's data on the index are removed and you can monitor the status of your removal request.

If you would be including a page that has the same title and URL as the one that you have just deleted, you should delay posting the replacement article until after the old web page had been removed from the search engine's index. If the citations of the old page is still present at the search engine's index, then your article will be seen as duplicate and may still be indexed but the old citation may be the one that will be shown on the search engine's search results page. And when the user clicks on the old citation, she will be presented with a page not found result.

If you are making a big change on the page and you even plan to change the title, it would be better just to delete the whole page and replace it with a new one. We know that Google looks at the domain name when assessing the relevance of web page but I'm not sure if a search engine friendly file name is included in the assessment of page relevance. In any case, it would be best to have a file name that is consistent with the title of the page.

If you have already deleted a number of pages from your personal web site without saving the URLs of those pages and requesting that they be removed from the search engine's index, you may still be able to retrieve the URLs if you want to remove them from Google's index. I have made this mistake in the past and deleted a number of pages from one of my Blogger blogs. But when I tried subscribing to the feeds of that particular blog using the Google Reader, I found out that the web pages I deleted were still in Google's index. That gave me an opportunity to request for their removal.

So the lesson that I want to point out is that simply deleting a page from your personal web site is not a good and responsible practice. To prevent your readers from having to deal with page not found responses, make sure that you also remove the web page's citations on the index of the search engines.

Read an article on how you can permanently remove your web page from the Google search engine at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/11/how-you-can-permanently-remove-your-web.html.



January 7, 2010

How to Use the Magnifier and Narrator of your Vista Computer

Microsoft has included a host of ease of access features in the Vista operating system two of which are the Magnifier and the Narrator. This article shows how you can use the Magnifier and the Narrator features in your Vista computer.

The Magnifier when started opens a number of magnifier windows on top of your monitor depending of the number of windows that are open in your desktop. So as not to clutter the top portion of your desktop, ensure that you have only a few windows open in your desktop. Close those windows that you are not concerned with at the moment.

Using your mouse, hover over the portion of any window that you want magnified and you will see a magnified image of that particular portion of the window. This will be very useful if you are somewhat visually impaired and you want to read the text on the window that you are working on.

To start the Magnifier, open a few windows in your desktop then click on the Vista start button then click on All Programs. Click on Accessories then click on Ease of Use then click on Magnifier. Focus your eyes on the magnified windows at the top portion of your desktop as you move your mouse around the windows that you want magnified. To close Magnifier, click on File then Exit on the Magnifier control window.

The Narrator can read to you the text on an open window on your desktop. However, not all windows can be read by the Narrator. I have tried using it and what I found is that the Narrator is unable to read web pages on an Internet browser and even documents opened on Microsoft Word.

What you can do is to copy the text you're interested in from the browser or Microsoft Word window and paste it onto a blank Notepad window. If the Narrator is already activated, it will immediately read the text that you have pasted on the blank Notepad window. You can stop the Narrator from reading further by pressing the Control key on your keyboard or by just clicking on any space on the Notepad window.

To resume reading the text on the Notepad window, you can just click on the title bar of any open window and click again on the title bar of the Notepad window that the Narrator is reading. However, the Narrator will start reading again from the beginning of the text. The same effect can be achieved by pressing Insert then F7 or F8 on your keyboard.

Adobe Reader has its own narrator so if you want the text on Adobe Reader to be read, just click on View, hover your mouse on Read Out Loud, then click on Activate Read Out Loud. Click on View again, hover your mouse on Read Out Loud, then click on Read to End of Document. To stop the reading of the text aloud, repeat the procedure and click on either Pause or Stop. After you're done, repeat the procedure and click on Deactivate Read out Loud.

To use the Narrator in talking verbally with someone, just start the Narrator, then open a blank Notepad window and type the sentence that you want to say. Move the cursor to the beginning of the sentence using the left arrow key of your keyboard, move the cursor one line up using the up arrow on your keyboard, then move the cursor back to the beginning of the sentence using the down arrow key on your keyboard. Repeat the procedure for other sentences that you want to say.

You can also type a full paragraph and to begin reading it, just click on the title bar of any open window then click on the title bar of the Notepad window that you want to read. When you have many paragraphs already typed, just position the cursor on the beginning of the paragraph you want to read and press the Insert key and then F6 on your keyboard. You can press the control key on your keyboard anytime to stop the Narrator from reading anything on any window.

To start the Narrator, just click on the Vista start button then click on All Programs, then click on Accessories. Click on the Ease of Access and click on the Narrator. To close the Narrator, click on the Exit button on the Narrator window and click Yes on the confirmation window. You can control how fast the Narrator reads, how loud the voice is and how high or low the pitch of the voice is by clicking on the Voice Settings on the Narrator control window.

Even if you don't need to use the Magnifier and the Narrator features of your Vista computer, it pays to know how to use them for you'll never know when the time may come that you might need to help someone use them. The Magnifier and the Narrator features are indispensable tools to help the handicapped make better use of computers.

Read my article on how to use your Vista computer's desktop features at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-use-your-vista-computers-desktop.html.

Read my other article on how to do some useful tasks with your Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-do-some-useful-things-with-your.html

Read my other article on how to setup parental controls in your Vista laptop at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-setup-parental-controls-in-your.html

Read an article on working quickly and taking care of your Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/12/working-quickly-while-taking-care-of.html.



January 5, 2010

How to Do Some Useful Tasks with your Vista Computer

Microsoft has designed the Vista operating system to make it easy for the user to personalize a lot of different settings and perform various tasks easily and quickly. Here are some notes on how you can do some tasks with your Vista computer.

Make Mouse Pointer more Visible

Open your Vista computer's control panel and click on Ease of Access. On the right hand side of the control panel window, click on Change how your mouse works. On the table shown, click on the radio button beside Regular Black. Click on the Save button below and close the control panel window.

Brighten Display of your Vista Laptop

Open your Vista computer's control panel and click on Mobile PC. Click on Adjust screen brightness under the Windows Mobility Center. On the Display brightness slide, drag the upward pointing arrow all the way to the right using your mouse. close all opened windows.

Turn Off your Wireless Adapter

Open your Vista computer's control panel and click on Mobile PC. On the right hand side of the control panel window, click on Windows Mobility Center. On the Wireless Network slide, click on the Turn wireless off button. Close all opened windows.

Conserve Power on your Vista Laptop's Battery

Open your Vista computer's control panel and click on Change battery settings under Mobile PC. Select the Power Saver radio button on the Plans shown on the battery meter. Close the control panel window.

Know What Version of Vista your Computer is Using

Open your Vista computer's control panel and click on System and Maintenance. Click on Find which version of Windows you are using under the Welcome Center. Note the Vista version displayed then close the control panel window.

Check What Hardware Components are Included in your Computer

Open your Vista computer's control panel and click on Hardware and Sound. Click on View hardware and devices under Device Manager and click on the plus sign opposite the hardware category you're interested in. Note the specific hardware shown then close the Device Manager and the control panel windows.

Remove Unnecessary Files from your Vista Computer

As you use your Vista computer, some files are automatically created and not removed by the programs you're using. To remove these files and increase free space on your hard disk, click on your Vista computer's Start button, then click on All Programs then click on Accessories. Click on System Tools then click on Disk Cleanup. Select my files only on the small window that opens then click on OK to start the cleanup process.

Take a Snapshot of a Portion of your Desktop

Open the window you would like to take a snapshot of. Click on your Vista computer's start button then click on All Programs then click on Accessories. Click on Snipping Tool then drag your mouse around the area you would like to take snapshot of. Save the picture file on your Pictures folder by giving it a descriptive name.

Create a Restore Point for your Vista Computer's Settings

When you install software that you are unsure of performing correctly on your Vista computer, it's a good practice to create a restore point to which you can go back in case you're unable to uninstall the software completely. Open your Vista computer's control panel and click on System and Maintenance. Click on Backup and Restore Center and on the left hand portion, click on Create a restore point or change settings. Follow the instructions then close all opened windows when you're finished.

Undo Erroneous Changes on your Vista Computer's Settings

When you make a mistake on the settings of your Vista computer and you're at a loss on how to bring the settings back to where it was before, you can use System Restore to revert back the settings to what they were previously provided you have created a restore point beforehand. Open your Vista computer's control panel and click on System and Maintenance. Click on Backup and Restore Center and click on Use System Restore to fix problems and undo changes to windows. Follow the instructions then close all opened windows when you're finished.

You should note that these are not the only ways to do the tasks that need to be done. Microsoft has designed the Vista operating system in such a way that you could find the tools that you need from different locations. You can do some explorations on the control panel to know what the different settings are and how they work. But before doing that be sure that you have created a restore point just in case something unexpected happens and you want to revert back to the original settings.

Read an article on working quickly while taking care of your Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/12/working-quickly-while-taking-care-of.html.

Read an article on what to do if your Vista password stops working at: http://sites.google.com/site/ournewapproach/what-to-do-if-your-vista-password-stops-working-and-you-only-have-one-log-on-account.

Read an article on how to use the Google DNS to speed up Internet in your Vista laptop at: http://sites.google.com/site/ournewapproach/use-the-google-dns-service-to-speed-up-internet-on-your-vista-laptop.

Read my article on how to use the mobility and power features of your Vista laptop at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-use-mobility-and-power-features.html.

Read my article on how to use the magnifier and the narrator features of your vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-use-magnifier-and-narrator-of.html.




January 3, 2010

How to Use the Desktop Features of your Vista Computer

snapshot of vista computer desktop included in the article How to Use your Vista Computer's Desktop Features











Microsoft has radically changed the desktop look and feel in the Vista operating system and added a host of new features that were not found on the old XP operating system. Most noticeable would be the bold and colorful icons on the desktop and the new rounded and solid look of the Vista windows.

Of course you can't help but notice the new sidebar where you can add or remove a lot of interesting gadgets. But most interesting to notice also are the many changes Microsoft has made on the start menu and taskbar. Be sure you know how your Vista computer's desktop features work so you can use them when you feel the need to avail of the utility that they are offering.

The Vista start search tool provides an extensive search capability that encompasses both web pages and files on the computer. Typing a search term will initially display files containing the search term on their names as well as web pages that have the search term on their title or file names.

Pressing the enter key on your keyboard will open the highlighted document on the short list. Clicking on the search everywhere option will bring up a list of files that contain the search term either on their file names or inside the document. Clicking on the advanced search on the long list will bring up a form which you can fill out to locate the document that you are looking for.

This search feature comes in handy when the number of files in your folders has grown to a large number that you can't exactly remember the names of the files that you want to work on. Of course you don't want this to happen and when it does, it signals the need to reorganize the mother folder and create new folders where some of the files can be moved.

When the contents of my document folder reached more than five hundred items and before I have reorganized the folder, this search feature had become a really useful tool for me. I just have to type one word in the file name that I can remember and then I immediately find the file I am interested in. A nice feature of this search tool is that it displays the most recently worked on files first so you can be sure that the file you're looking for is near the top of the selections.

Beside the Vista start button to the right of the taskbar are two icons that can help you get out of the cluttered desktop to find a missing window that you want to work on. Use the show desktop to minimize all windows on the desktop so you can see and click any desktop icon that you want to work on. Use the switch between windows icon to display all the open windows in an orderly arrangement so that you can easily choose the open window that you're interested in.

Another very useful feature of the Vista taskbar is the quick launch toolbar which you can find just beside the Vista start button. You can put most of your frequently used programs in the quick launch toolbar so that you can save a number of start menu clicks and immediately bring up the program that you want to use.

To place an item in the Quick Launch Toolbar, just click on your Vista computer's start button and look for the program that you're interested in. Right click the program and then click on add to the quick launch toolbar option. To remove an item, just right click that item on the quick launch toolbar and click the delete option.

When you right click your Vista computer's taskbar, you are given a choice for arranging the open windows on your desktop. You can choose to put the windows in a cascading view or on top of each other or side by side of each other. From here, you can also enable or disable any toolbar or add another one as well view or change the properties of the taskbar.

Toward the right hand side of the taskbar are notification icons which you can also customize. Not frequently used items in the notification area are automatically hidden and you can use the arrow button to display or hide the other icons that are not visible.

Just because your Vista computer's desktop features are there does not mean you have to use them all. You just have to choose which ones would be most useful to you based on your knowledge of how you use your computer. For others that are not of immediate usefulness, just know that they are there so you can look for them when the time comes that you feel a need to use them.

Read this article so you can figure out how you can hear your microphone on your Vista computer's speakers: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2009/03/why-cant-my-voice-be-heard-on-speakers.html.

Read an article on working quickly while taking care of your Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/12/working-quickly-while-taking-care-of.html.

Read this article so you can know how you can increase the volume of you Vista computer's microphone: http://sites.google.com/site/thetechnicaljournal/how-to-increase-the-sound-pickup-of-your-vista-computer-s-microphone-2.