For sometime now well wishers have been informing me of a few things which make their surfing experience at this blog not too interesting. The most common complaints were:
Too many links
On the left and right sidebars of the homepage, I had placed text affiliate banner links from some blog posts so that people can easily find the resources they need to create a blog, monetize it and to do work from home activities. The subsidiary idea was also to make this page eye-catching.
Homepage slow loading
But the colourful banners made the page slow to load, what could make visitors quickly click off and go elsewhere. Moreover some visitors found the links distracting. They are on the site for information (mainly the blog posts) and having those bright things beside the posts could not make them concentrate much.
So for some time now I have been planning on removing those links. But the question was: since they are available elsewhere should I dump them or, since they are important for my blog visitors should I place them elsewhere no so conspicuous but still accessible where they will not be in anybody’s way? After due consideration I decided to leave the text links on the left bar intact and create the following blog post categories for the banner links (weren’t they the most distracting?):
- Affiliate networks: will contain banners from my affiliate networking companies
- Website resources: will hold banners concerning site creation and webhosting
- Traffic sources: will have information on search engines and traffic exchanges
- Submit sites for SEO: these will be text links dedicated to submission to web directories
I decided also to remove sign up forms for my Aweber and TrafficWave campaigns from down the site (a stupid place to place them since important matters on a site should follow the 3-click rule, which means that they should not be more than three clicks away from the top) and place them where they are easily visible to visitors who could get this resource to run their own campaigns and build their lists (remember: the money is in the list) or promote their offers, products or websites.
The google+ followers were also hidden somewhere down the page. I decided to bring them way up, to the right sidebar. Concerned are also the blogs that I follow, poll: how would you rank the site?, subscribe to follow by email, and subscribe to posts and comments. To be brought here were also the YouTube and the YouTube video bars.
But the most difficult decision to take concerned the “External News” and “Thought of the Day” category tabs. They didn’t really fit in with my blog theme but contained gems. Some of them were visited every day and had run up quite a count. The problem was not to lose the counts but to cut them off from people who come to the site because of them. But didn’t the Bible say that if a part of your body is troubling you, it’s better for you to cast it off? Don’t surgeons amputate a gangrenous foot because it poses danger to a patient’s life? It isn’t an easy decision to take but go the leg must if the whole body should be saved.
This is why you won’t find any thoughts of the day nor external news matters anymore on the site.
I began making these changes yesterday evening.
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