No we’re not talking about the popular table ball game here! If you look up Ping (Blogging) you’ll find Wikipedia defines it as:
In blogging, ping is an XML-RPC-based push mechanism by which a weblog notifies a server that its content has been updated.
So in simple terms when you add a new post to your WordPress blog WordPress can say ‘Hey, I’ve got new content over here!’. When you do this some of the sites you’ve pinged add your blog in their directory, some add you to their recently updated list of blogs and some search engines take it as a prompt to come and re-index your blog – all of which is good for generating traffic!
So pinging spreads the word that you’ve updated your blog but by default WordPress only pings one pinging service – Pingomatic. Now Pingomatic is a pinging service which then pings other websites and services so is not a bad thing but I tend to think the more services you ping the better for generating traffic to you blog.
I’d encourage you first to install a pinging plugin such as MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer as this will handle your pings for you and ensure you don’t flood anyone with pings and get yourself banned. If you’re editing a lot of posts at once it’s easy for excessive pings to get sent so a ping plugin will stop that.
Then once you’ve installed a ping plugin add some more sites to your ping list. Here’s the list I’m using at the moment:
You can make up your own list or Google ‘Ping List’ and copy and paste until you get a list that seems to work best for you.
So you have a blog but no idea how many people are reading it, where they’re coming from or how long they’re staying?
Google analytics is the free website statistics system that cam give you all those answers and more. Here’s how to set up a Google Analytics account, create a website profile and install the tracking code on WordPress.
Step 1 – Sign up for a free Google Analytics Account
If you don’t already have a Google Analytics account go to the Google Analytics site and create a new account. When you’re done log into your account and move to step 2.
Step 2 – Add a new website profile
Once logged into your Analytics account go to ‘Add website profile’. You should see a page similar to this:
You now need to select ‘Add a Profile for a new domain’ and enter the URL to your site and select a time zone then click finish. Google then shows you your tracking code including the tracking status information. In this status information you’ll see a Web Property ID. Make a note of this Web Property ID and click ‘save and finish’.
Step 3 – Install your tracking code on your WordPress blog
Now we have created a Google Analytics account and create a profile for your website we need to install the Google Analytics tracking code on your site so Google can track visits to your site. Google does give you a block of tracking code which you can paste into a WordPress template but there’s a plugin available to make it easier to do and stop us having to paste the code all over again if we change themes ever.
The plugin we want to install is Google Analytics for WordPress by Joost de Valk so log into your WordPress admin and go to plugins > add new and search for ‘google analytics for wordpress’ and install the plugin.
Wordpress Plugins Google AnalyticsOnce the plugin is installed you should get a ‘Google Analytics’ link in your WordPress settings. Click this and there’s an analytics profile box where you enter your UA code and click update analytics settings.
That’s it! – your WordPress blog vistors are now being tracked by Google Analytics. Once Google has received some data from your site you should be able to view your stats on your Google Analytics account.
Blogger ads are one great way of making your blog pay. If you’ve got some good traffic coming to your blog, whether in quantity or quality, then showing targeted ads to your audience can monetize your blog.
Here we look at a few ad plugins for WordPress that make it easy to integrate ads into your blog. The plugin you choose will depend to a degree on the type of ads you want to show. There’s Google Adsense ads which can show text and/or image ads on your blog. The ads that are displayed depend on the content of your blog as Google tries to match the ads displayed with the context of the page they’re being displayed on and you get paid for each ad that is clicked on.
Then there’s affilliate links and ads where you get paid a commission for each sale coming from an ad you displayed on your blog. These can be through a site such as ClickBank or directly from sites such as Ebay or Amazon.
All in One Adsense and YPN
All in One Adsense and YPN is a free, open source plugin for WordPress which automatically inserts Adsense ads or Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN) ads in to your blog posts. You can control all aspects of your ad’s display and position including optionally not showing ads in a post and how many ads to show on a page or in a post.
MaxBlogPress Max Banner Ads
Max Banner Ads allows you to add and rotate banners in your wordpress blog. You can place your banners in any position you want to on your blog and track those banners to find out how good they really are doing.
Advertising Manager also allows you to place Google Adsense and other ads on your WordPress blog and manage and optimize those ads. It automatically recognises many ad networks including Google Adsense, AdBrite, Commission Junction, OpenX, Yahoo PN and many other ad networks.
Advertising Manager provides a simple way to import your ads, widgets can be used to place ads in the sidebar and the displaying of ads can be limited by by author, category, tag, page type, and more.
That’s just a few plugins available to show your blogger ads – they’re free to use so if you don’t like one of them it’s relatively easy and painless to change to another advertising plugin.