How to Add Google AdSense to Your Blog

When you’ve had a blog or website for a while, plenty of content and visitors, one of the options you have it to monetize it is displaying ads. You care about your site and your content, and you should care about the ads you choose to show on your website. Google AdSense offers a way to display relevant ads, and it also gives you control over the look and the position of these ads.

In this article, we’ll show you how to use AdSense.

What is Google AdSense

It is a program run by Google that allows bloggers and website owners to serve automatic text, image, video, or interactive media advertisements, that are targeted to site content and audience.

This program is a great way to monetize your blog, it is easy to set up, and it just works. After you sign up for this program, you copy and paste a piece of code on your site, and Google starts serving the highest paying ads on your website.

Get started with Google AdSense

Most people running a website already have what’s necessary to get started with it. Here are the three things you need to get started:

  1. A Google account – If you have a Gmail account or use any other Google service, you already have one. If you don’t, you can sign up for a Gmail account, it’s free and easy.
  2. Original content – Any content from your website or blog created from scratch. This is one of the main requirements this program has.
  3. Phone number and postal address – The phone number and address associated with your bank account is needed to receive payments from AdSense.

Add Google AdSense to your website

Once you know you’ve met the requirements above, the next step is to sign up for a Google AdSense account.

Once you create an account, log in to Google AdSense and go to the menu labeled MyAds. In there, you can create ads, choose the size, the style and also filter the type of ads you want to serve on your website.

After creating your ads and customizing them, you’ll be able to copy a script to paste on the areas of your website where you want these ads to appear.

The Google AdSense website also includes other tools to help you set up your ads and to track its performance. This site will also show you your earnings once your ads are displayed on your site.

If you need further help with Google AdSense, we invite you to visit Google AdSense’s resource site, it has a link and lots of information to help you make the most out of your Google AdSense account.

If you need help setting up Google AdSense in your site(s) or need help with website/WordPress development, please let us know.

How to Start a Blog

Starting a blog is a great way to share your interests, your knowledge and your opinion on. A blog can also be something you use to write things you’ve learned or are learning, and it’s healthy too. Don’t worry too much about not having specific topics to write about, create your blog and start writing. In this post, we show you how to start a blog.

There are many ways to start and launch a blog. The easiest option is to have your blog hosted by a company like WordPress or Squarespace. There are other services but these are two of the most popular choices as they are both reliable and easy to use. Another option is to blog on a platform where all you need to do is write and nothing else. Platforms like Medium allow you to do this and many people do prefer that. However, I think having your own blog is still important and necessary.

The domain name

The first thing you need to do is register a domain name in case you don’t have one already.

Domain names help identify one or more IP addresses which are numbers used to identify a computer on a network. For example, the domain name ontechies.com represents an IP address. Domain names are used in URLs to identify particular Web pages. For example, in the following URL the domain name is ontechies.com.

http://ontechies.com/2015/09/12/how-to-choose-the-perfect-tablet/

Every domain name has a suffix that indicates which top-level domain (TLD) it belongs to. There are only a limited number of such domains. For example:

  • com – commercial business
  • gov – government agencies
  • net – network organizations
  • edu – educational institutions
  • org – non-commercial organizations
  • more…

While there are many places where you can find a domain name, one of my favorites for its simplicity and speed when searching is domize.com. This tool allows you to type a domain name (anything without spaces) and it will show you if it is available for purchase. For obvious reasons, it is better to find a domain name that is easy to remember. Once you find an available domain name, click the link to buy it or go directly to one of many registrars out there. For simplicity, reliability and price, we recommend you use GoDaddy. It is easy to use and their prices are competitive.

The blog

If you don’t want to go trough the trouble of doing all of this, both WordPress and Squarespace have the option to buy a domain name from them. But wanted to show you how you can find and buy a domain name in case you want to have more control over it, or end up using a different blogging platform.

To start your blog, let’s assume you decide on WordPress as the platform, and we highly recommend it. WordPress is what this blog uses and many, many more. WordPress offers an open source version which you can download and host it on any server you want. It also offers a hosted version, which allows you to start right away, it’s free and it is the easiest and overall the best way to start.

Head over to WordPress.com and find the link to create a blog. It should be very visible. WordPress enhanced its sign up process and it helps you go through the steps of signing up and creating your blog.

Once you finish with the sign-up process you will have a basic blog. Below is a screen shot of what WordPress dashboard looks like:

wp_dashboard

On the left column you’ll find access to all features and options WordPress.com offers. There are a few areas you would want to get familiar with as you will spend most of your time there. The Site Stats under Dashboard and the Posts section. In the beginning, you’ll spend some time on Appearance and Settings.

Posts and stats

The Stats section under the Dashboard offers more than just basic stats for your blog. In this section you’ll see summaries on your blog traffic, referrers, top posts and pages, search engine terms, clicks, and total number of posts, categories, tags, followers and shares.

The Posts section is the one you’ll end up using the most. This is where you can access all blog posts you have written and also where you can start new posts. The Add New post screen is very self-explanatory, it has an editor with many editing and styling options, and sections where you can add categories, format, tags, etc. It is also from this page where you can publish your post immediately, or set a schedule so it can be published later.

Appearance

In this section you can search, preview and install both free and premium themes. One thing you need to know is that with the WordPress.com hosted solution, you are limited to the functionality they offer and you cannot install any plugins. While this might be a deal breaker to many, most people wanting to setup their first blog are probably better off without extra plugins, at least in the beginning. As of today, I still have my personal blog hosted using WordPress.com without third-party plugins and it works for me. If you want to use any of the many plugins available for WordPress, you are going to need to download WordPress from here and host it yourself. If you decide to do this, one of the WordPress hosting companies we recommend is DreamHost.

Widgets and Menus

This section provides you with a lot of options to change the layout and functionality of your blog. Depending on the theme you chose, you’ll have different sections available to place widgets which are small bits of packaged code that offer functionality to your page. For example, there are widgets to display Categories, Search, Twitter Timeline, Tag Cloud, etc. The screen shot below shows you what this sections looks like, the widgets available and the sections in the blog where I can display these widgets.

WordPress widgets

 

To use any of these widgets, you drag them into one of the sections available for your theme and then click on the arrow pointing down to open the widget’s options. The screen shot above shows the Search and Recent Posts widget located in the Sidebar section of the blog with the options visible. This should give you an idea on how it works.

The Menu section lets you setup a menu and again, depending on the theme you select, you’ll have different options to display menus. For example, some themes are setup in a way to display different menus on the header and maybe the footer area of your blog.

WordPress menus

As the image above shows, you have many options to add items to your menu. You can add pages you’ve created by checking the box and then click on Add to Menu. Following the same steps you can add links to posts, custom links, link to categories, etc to your menu.

Settings

This section has options to change different settings as shown in the screen shot below. This is where you will change the title of your blog, timezone, language, comment’s options, follower settings, and sharing settings among other things.

WordPress settings

 

There are many things more that WordPress offers. You don’t have to learn everything now, just start writing posts and get familiar with the platform.

 

12 Online Tools to Spy on Your Competitors

When you start to plan the creation of your website for your business, startup or blog, one of the things I recommend is to check these online tools to help you understand more about your competitors and how they are handling their online resources. The goal is to have a better understanding of who your competitor’s clients are, and the things they are doing online that are working and not.

Good artists copy, great artists steal. – Pablo Picasso

One of the things to keep in mind is that you should not worry too much about what your competitors are doing. Use these tools merely to see what they are doing and is actually working for them. It is important not to follow your competitor’s too closely, it is vital that your personal or corporate brand is if not unique, at least different. I recommend you read Different by Youngme Moon, it’s a book about the importance of being different.

Below are the 5 online tools to help you spy on your competitors (and yourself):

Find competitor’s sites offering similar services and products

These are online tools that help you find out about other sites that provide related services and/or products to yours or whatever website you enter in their search box. For example, if you enter wordpress.com, you might get a list and some details about sites like Blogger, Livejournal, Typepad, etc. You get the idea right?

Similar Sites: similarsites.com

Xmarks: xmarks.com

Find Similar Sites: findsimilarsites.com

Get insights for any competitor’s website or app

These are online tools that provide you with a lot of details about any web application. Some of these details might include the following:

  • Referrals
  • Traffic from search, social and display ads
  • Audience
  • Similar Sites
  • Mobile Apps
  • Web Server
  • Nameserver Providers
  • Email Services
  • Hosting Providers
  • Frameworks
  • JavaScript Libraries
  • CDN Providers
  • Etc…

The amount of details you get for a specific website or app depends on whether you use their free or paid version. However, even the free versions of these tools provide plenty of details and valuable information. Enjoy!

SimilarWeb: similarweb.com

BuiltWith: builtwith.com

Get your competitor’s keywords and backlinks

These services allow you to track different competitors’ backlinks, keywords, and Ads. They show you a lot of valuable competitive data. The following online tools are probably some of my favorites as they help me get the competitive data that I am interested in 😉

Monitor Backlinks: monitorbacklinks.com

SpyFu: spyfu.com

Link Prospector: linkprospector.citationlabs.com

Ontolo: ontolo.com

Get details on your competitor’s mentions

These services are fantastic and they can be time wasters. Be careful. The following services allow you to track mentions of your competitor’s keywords, websites, social media accounts, etc… Of course, you SHOULD use them to track mentions of your own website and social media accounts too.

Google Alerts: google.com/alerts

SocialMention: socialmention.com

The Takeaway

It is worth to mention that most of the companies above offer their services for free or have a free trial version you can try before you are ready to invest money in their tool. These are definitely useful tools to use when building your site, your links, Ads, etc… It gives you a good picture of what your competitors are using and doing. If you are not ready to invest your time and money on these tools, it is OK, you can still get most of the information these tools provide for free. However, the time commitment to get this information without these tools is enormous. Please consider that when you make your decision on whether or not you should use these tools.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have any feedback or insights about using any of the tools above? Do you know of any other tools that can give you the same type of details and valuable information? Please share it with everyone by posting the information in the comment’s section below.

How To Snapchat

Snapchat has quickly become one of the most-used applications among young people- specifically teenagers. One of the reasons I believe Snapchat has become so popular is due to the strong desire to create and share that has drastically grown within today’s society. There’s something about the application’s spontaneity and visual display that makes it all the more fun. Although Snapchat can seem a bit confusing and difficult to understand at first, you’ll come to comprehend the application more and more by reading this simple guide of the basics of Snapchat.

This is a guide on how to Snapchat. It describes step-by-step what you need to do to install and learn how to Snapchat.

Registering/Creating your Snapchat Account

The very first step to understanding Snapchat requires you to actually download the application onto your iOS or Android device. Here’s how to do it for each of the devices:

  • Android Devices: Download the app from the Google Play Store.
  • iOS Devices: Download the app from the iTunes App Store.

Once you have downloaded the app, it’s time to set it up! Here’s how to do that on your device:

  1. When you first open the application, you will automatically be taken to the Welcome Screen. Here, tap “SIGN UP”.
  2. Then tap “Email Address” and enter a valid email address. You’re  going to want to type in a valid email address just in case you ever forget your password.
  3. Tap “Password” and enter a password that is a minimum 8 characters.
  4. Once you’ve done that, choose a username. Keep in mind that this username will be your identity on Snapchat and that you won’t ever be able to change it.
  5. Here, you have the option of verifying your phone number. This would come in handy if you ever forget your password. Do keep in mind that you can always verify your phone another time if you wish.
  6. You’re basically done! Just prove that you’re a human being and then you have created your very own Snapchat account.

Settings

Snapchat has a large variety of setting options that are accessible via the settings gear icon located on the profile page. This profile page can be accessed by swiping down while at the main camera screen.Setting Wheel

  • Display Names: To create or change your display name, this is what you have to do:Tap the settings gear icon located on the profile page.
    1. Tap on “Name” under the “My Account” section.
    2. Type in the name and tap “Save” once done.
  • Privacy Settings: You are given the option to decide who can send you Snaps and see your stories. By default, only the friends you add can send you Snaps. Here’s how to change that:
    1. Tap the settings gear icon located on the profile page.
    2. Tap on “Send Me Snaps” or “View My Story” depending on what setting you would like to modify.
    3. Here, you are given the options of “Everyone”, “My Friends” and “Customize” (the “Customize” setting only applies to who can view your stories)
  • Additional Services: To change more settings and features that are set by default, this is what you have to do:Tap the settings gear icon located on the profile page.
    1. Tap on “Manage” under “Additional Services”.Additional Services
    2. Here, you can modify any of the following: Filters, Front-Facing Flash, Replay, Special Text, Power Save Mode, and # of Best Friends
    3. If you would like to enable theGeofilters, you have to allowSnapchat to access your location. Here’s how to do this foriOS and Android devices:
      • iOS Devices: Settings – Privacy – Location Services (Snapchat)
      • Android Devices: Settings – Location – Turn on

Snaps

Snaps are a very important feature of Snapchat, hence the name. Snaps refer to the picture/video messages that you are able to share with people in real-time. These Snaps are a maximum of 10 seconds and disappear once viewed, unless the person viewing it screenshots it. This is what adds to the spontaneity that people love about Snapchat. You are also given the option to save your photo/video Snap in your phone’s photo gallery before you send it to someone. To save your photo/video Snap before sending it to someone, simply tap on the box with the + plus on it located towards the bottom left-hand corner.Camera Screen

  • Create & Send Snaps: To take a photo Snap, tap the center circle button once. To record a video Snap, press and hold the center circle for as long as you want your Snap to be (with the maximum length being 10 seconds). To delete your Snap, tap the “X” button located in the top left-hand corner.
  • Drawing & Adding Caption: To draw on your Snap, tap the pen icon located in the top right-hand corner. Simply slide up and down to choose the color that you wish. Then, set the timer by tapping on the timer icon located in the bottom left-hand corner and select the amount of seconds that you’d like your Snap to last. Lastly, to add a caption tap the middle of the screen and enter text. If you’d like the text to be larger, tap on the larger “T” at the top right corner and zoom in and out to decide how big you want the text to be. (If you aren’t seeing the “T” option, then go back and read what I wrote earlier under “Additional Settings” located below the “Settings” section.)
  • View Snaps: To view a Snap that has been sent to you, tap on it once. The number in the circle shown at the top right-hand corner is the total length of Snap(s). If multiple Snaps are sent to you from the same friend, it’s viewed as a “stacked flipbook”. Tap once to skip to the next Snap or swipe downwards to exit the current Snap. To view the various Snaps individually, swipe right on the friend’s name and it will take you into the chat. Here, tap on the individual Snaps to view.

Filters

One of the things that differentiates Snapchat’s filters to others is the unique feature of Geofilters that Snapchat has. Geofilters are a great way to share where you are through filter overlays. The fun thing about these Geofilters is the different designs change from place-to-place. To learn how to enable these filter overlays, go to the “Settings” section that I’ve written above and look under the “Additional Services” section.

Chat & Video Chat

The chat feature is one of the more recently added features of Snapchat. Here’s how Snapchat’s chat works:

  • Chat: To chat with someone, swipe right on the person’s name in your Snapchat inbox. If you want to save any of the messages, make sure to tap the message or screenshot it.
  • Video Chat: When you and a friend are chatting and are Video Chatboth present, the yellow icon will turn blue. Simply press and hold to immediately send live video to the other person. When your friend also presses and holds the blue icon at the same time, you both go into a two-way video chat.

Stories

Stories are a cool feature that put Snaps together to create a story. To create a story, you just have to choose to add Snaps to your Snapchat story. Just like typical story-telling, there’s a beginning, middle, and end.

Here’s how to post a story:

  1. Take a Snap.
  2. Tap the Stories icon on the bottom left of the screen. This icon looks like a box with a + sign on it.

Here’s how to see who’s viewed your Story:

  1. Tap to the right of “My Story”.
  2. Tap on the Snap.
  3. Swipe up on the screen to see who’s viewed and screenshotted your Snap.
  4. Swipe down to exit once done.

Here’s how to delete your Story:

  1. Tap to the right of “My Story”.
  2. Tap on the Snap that you wish to delete.
  3. Tap on the “X” located at the bottom of the screen to delete the Snap.

Here’s how to view your friends’ stories: 

  1. Swipe left while on the camera screen.
  2. Tap your friend’s name to view their story. If you wish to skip to the next Snap, simply tap. If you Snapcodeswish to exit the Snapchat story, swipe down.

Friends

Adding friends on Snapchat just got a lot cooler. Snapcodes are unique, scannable codes that allows you to add friends way easier. Located at the center of your Profile Screen, you scan your friend’s Snapcode via the Snapchat camera. You can also screenshot a Snapcode and use the “Add by Snapcode” feature located on the “Add Friends” page. When someone adds you on Snapchat, you’ll see a yellow ghost icon at the top of your Snapchat camera screen. You are also given the option to add friends on your contacts list by going to your Profile. If you have read up until this point you probably know how to Snapchat now, happy chatting!

A huge thank you to Snapchat Support for being an important source of my information.

 

How To Pinterest

Pinterest-logoPinterest is a particularly visual pinboard that allows you to gather and categorize images or pins into different groups or boards. One of the reasons many people love Pinterest is because it can be used in a variety of ways for many different kinds of people, with many different kinds of interests. If you’re still figuring Pinterest out, just keep reading, this is a detailed guide on how to Pinterest. You’ll find out what Pinterest is and how you work it! Sigue leyendo