Monthly Archives: September 2007

Free WordPress Theme: Crystal 1.0

I have decided to release a WordPress theme that I bought, and haven’t used for anything else out into the public, in hopes that it can be used by people in need of a nice, simple, effective, dark, two column WordPress theme.

Crystal WordPress Theme

Crystal is a two column, widget ready, WordPress 2.3 compatible theme that I am releasing under GPL, and so you are free to do with it as you please.

I have set it up to work well with the WP-PageNavi plugin, a plugin I highly recommend.

If you find any bugs and are able to fix them, please let me know, as increasing the quality of this, and any further themes I release, is always greatly appreciated. Also, please let me know if you decide to use Crystal, as I would love to highlight some of the blogs putting this design to good use.

Download Now | Demo

WordPress Theme Crystal Comments Area

Problogger Tax Deductions

Kelly Phillips Erb, from Tax Girl, recently did a post about tax deductions on And while it is true that tax information on the net doesn’t ever fit every situation, there are some great items on the list that I never even thought to deduct for my business.

Things like web hosting fees, web advertising, and prizes for contest giveaways. I am not sure if all this information is valid for Canada, which is where I live, but it is still a very interesting list.

Here is a snippet from her post:

The most popular question in response to my guest post on Problogger last time was invariably some form of “Can I deduct…?” It makes sense. Figuring out what constitutes income in the blogging world is pretty easy. But what constitutes a proper deduction is another story – and bloggers usually err on the side of not deducting enough (and not the other way around).

I know that I did a fair amount of deductions last year, as I really tried to get my business going. This year, I really scaled back on how much money I put into my business, but with tips and advice such as this, I might just have as many deductions as last year.

Heck, I could have saved myself more money last year had I known about all these. Definitely a post worth checking out on Increases Your AdSense Earnings

Over on AdesBlog, he writes about how you can use the MyBlogLog service to increase your AdSense revenue. He does this by using the statistics that the service provides to better target and position his advertising.

That is – some pages appear every day among the most viewed top 10 pages. In my case, 7 out of 10 are the same pages that appear as the most viewed pages every day.

What does that mean?

That means, MyBlogLog is begging you to make some changes to those pages. It’s asking you to optimize them for AdSense (or any other publisher program that you use). It’s saying “these pages have the highest traffic, but you are not making use of it”.

An interesting tip for those out there using the service, and something I might try on a variety of blogs, though at the same time, if you put too much advertising on your best pages, you might notice them getting shunned by the community at large, so please remember to balance your need to make money with the usability your users crave.

PageRank Update in Progress?

Well, it seems that some people are seeing a Google PageRank shuffle, and this always gets people overly excited. The conversation has been going on for a while now and some people are already fed up about the whole thing. There have already been two false “starts” with no result.

Are we actually getting a PageRank update? The next few days will tell. If Google does update, and you don’t get a rank this time around, it is never too late to start planning for the next update. Create content worth linking to, and create it often, and three to five months from now, you could see your PageRank take off.

Yaro is the one who tipped me off to this shuffle, and he says:

Like many webmasters, I always look at the PageRank of sites and it definitely impacts my opinion of them. I don’t think it’s an accurate measure, but it gets attention, and in today’s ad driven world wide web – that matters.

Watch, wait and listen everyone. If it is an update, are you excited or disappointed? I know for a fact, some of my sites might drop a bit since I haven’t been giving them the attention they deserve. I continually thought I would get back to them and make them great before this update, but as sometimes happens, life got in the way. Cross your fingers everyone…

Top Bloggers Above The Fold Ad Display

Over on there is a very interesting post looking at around half a dozen blogs and what percentage of their above the fold space is filled with advertising.

Blogging for money has become a million dollar business, top bloggers make thousands of dollars each month for paid reviews and displaying ads on their sites. I took screenshots of the visible portion of some of the top blogs and counted how much of that was paid space. The screenshots below are taken from a maximized Firefox window with three toolbars, at a resolution of 1280×1024.

Not surprisingly John Chow has the most advertising with more than a quarter of his screen real estate being advertising in one form or another, while Copyblogger, one of my favourite sites, comes in with the least in the list at just over ten percent. The other blogs listed in the project include, Problogger, Daily Blog Tips, Steve Pavlina, and ShoeMoney.

Two pieces of information that would make this project say so much more would be if they had both unique visitors and revenue information. Then they could correlate all the information and say once and for all if more advertising above the fold means more money per unique visitor.