Connect with us


4 Tips to Clean Up Your Blog Sidebar



The pile of garbage made me sick.


As I drove by one of the largest landfills on earth during a steamy hot, humid day, the stench of putrefied flesh, disgusting sludge and nasty filth created a trash cocktail which made me wanna hurl.

Long, long ago in a universe far, far away, I lived in Staten Island, New York. Staten Island houses the Freshkills landfill. Imagine the whole of New York City dumping their trash in 1 spot. Now imagine inhaling this disturbing concoction. As I did whenever I drove through the central, west-side portion of SI.

I’m ashamed to say this. But my old blog sidebar mirrored Freshkills.

Old Blog Dump

I treated the sidebar on my old blog as a dumping ground. I trashed annoying ads here. I dumped wayward widgets here.

My readers could dumpster dive through the stunningly putrid sludge to mine…..crap. My old sidebar was filth.


Plain and simple. A hodgepodge of colors, widgets, ads, and pretty much the kitchen sink, all shoe-horned into my right hand blog real estate.

Of course, none of my readers touched that trash. Who would willingly dive head first into a terrifying trash heap in Freshkills? Who would wade through a stinking, festering canal in Bangkok to search for anything? Having lived in SI and traveled through Bangkok I’d say a NYC-supplied dump and BKK canal rival one another on the RBPI: Ryan Biddulph Pukability Index.

The Problem with Trashy Sidebars

Nobody in their right mind reaches into the trash to grab anything.

No reader in their right mind clicks on any ad or link from a trashy-looking, unprofessionally-designed blog sidebar.

G and D are the Scarlet letters of blog sidebars: Garbage Dump. Making this precious piece of blog real estate a dumping ground scares off readers and subscribers and yes, blogging business. Create an elegant, clean, crystal clear sidebar, like a Central Park West Penthouse. Not like a rat-infested sewer.

Taking out the Trash

My new blog sidebar presents a clean, tidy image. Like a museum.

My wife Kelli and I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City recently. The cleanliness and orderliness at the Met stunned me. Nothing out of place. Nothing ragged or tattered or dirty or rag tag. Just a Spartan level of orderliness.

The same type of orderliness you want to apply to your blog sidebar.

Readers feast on clean, clear blog sidebars. Calls to action? Taken. Ads are clicked on and images are ogled.

Selfies are digested. Bounce rates drop.

Take out the blog sidebar trash with these tips.

1: Prune Prodigiously to Align Intelligently

My old blog was a fine study in release.

Meaning, I released virtually every sidebar element not related to my niche after I cleaned blogging house.

Here’s your catch phrase: “If it ain’t relevant, remove the element.”

Trash anything that doesn’t fully align with your niche.

Example; when I built Blogging from Paradise I trashed virtually all elements from my sidebar. Because my old blog centered on the “make money online” niche. My new niche centered on “how to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.”

I deep-sixed all “make money online” widgets. To avoid confusing my readers. To send a clear message to my minions; this blog (and sidebar) are all about how to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.

2: Retch Test

Remember those hideous-looking websites of the early ’90’s? Those sites seemingly hellbent on portraying a Halloween themed brand, with bold blacks and neon greens and heavy fonts and ghoulish graphics? Amateur hour. I felt the urge to purge anytime I peeped these putrid websites.

They sure as hell didn’t patch the Retch Test.

Here’s what you do: look at your side and see if the design makes you want to puke. If the design goads you to bring up mom’s spaghetti, you need an overhaul.

Warning Signs

Using loud colors, jam-packing 435 ads into your sidebar, posting monstrously large ads on this valuable real estate and any other terrible tactic which is not easy on the eyes.

Of course, if you feel the need to violently vomit, you should take out the trash and replace with the tasteful.

3: White Space Is Your Friend

Caspar-Tize it!

I have an affinity for the ghost of cartoon lore. Try to work him into every 15th blog post. For good reason; white space is my friend.

White space has been good to me, blogging-wise. Using ample white space makes my content stand out. Like Olive Oil at a Weight Watcher’s convention. My posts and pages and sidebar ads and banners and links pop out like a cartoon thumb after it’s been bludgeoned like a hammer because I use mad (plenty of) white space on my blog.

Would you like readers to notice your sidebar? Give ’em contrast.

You can’t hear 1 person screaming bloody murder in Times Square when the ball drops but you can hear a mosquito buzzing by your ear in a Phnom Penh, Cambodia temple, during your nightly meditation. This is the power of contrast at work. Time Square is a noisy mess. Chaos. Can’t hear a damn thing The meditation hall is quiet, peaceful and orderly (there goes that word again). So you can contrast sounds to such an extent to actually hear a skeeter buzzing by your ear.

Transparency note; I’ve not been to Times Square on New Year’s Eve but have partaken in the maddening meld of chaos there on many a day, and yes, I have meditated in a Phnom Penh, Cambodia wat, where I’ve heard mosquitoes buzzing by my ear.

4: Personalize with Pictures

Selfie-ize your sidebar.

Post at least 1 selfie, or, face shot. Pictures are pretty. Pictures instantly clean up a trashy sidebar.

Readers want to connect a face with the name. Readers want to see the human behind the blog. Readers want no clutter; they want you.

After trashing the excess widgets to make room for selfies I bonded more powerfully with my readers.

Pictures are eye candy. My readers dig candy. I post enough selfies to just about induce a diabetic coma. Post at least 1 image of your smiling mug, guys. Class things up a bit.

Your Turn

Is your sidebar looking a little unkempt?

What tips can you add to this list?

Continue Reading


Why Trying to Learn Blogging through a Free Website Is a Massive Mistake



Go ahead. Try it. Try to learn blogging through Blogger. Give it a shot. Have you mastered Blogger after a few months? Maybe after a year? Good. Now that you are ready to be a serious blogger you can buy your domain and hosting and begin blogging on a WordPress dot org blog. Ouch! You are in trouble. Some basic blogging principles apply but blogging on wp dot org is a full 180 from blogging on a free platform like Blogger. The set up is light years different on dot org. Monetizing and branding potential? Limitless. Complete game changer, which rocks, but you realize you made a massive mistake learning blogging on Blogger.


Blogging on a free platform ain’t blogging!

Learning how to blog on a free blogging platform is like learning how to ride a Ducati by riding a kid’s bike with training wheels. Please re-read that statement. Totally different experience. WordPress dot org has so many more moving parts to learn and master that you see the skills you learned, honed and developed over your year on Blogger go into the cyber trash – largely – the moment you begin blogging on WordPress dot org. Sure the basics remain constant. Make friends. Create value. But all the sweet details, the difference makers, differ dramatically between both platforms.

Imagine if you learned how to blog on Blogger. After buying my course and listening to my advice, you quickly learn any serious, legitimate blogging course is fully designed to speak to WordPress dot org bloggers, not free platform bloggers. Blogging on free platforms is not even blogging because you do not own the domain and hosting. You are just a user on Blogger, not an actual blogger. But if you own your domain and hosting you can call yourself a blogger. Huge difference.

Can you see why learning on Blogger or other platforms is a major league error when it comes to blogging successfully? Virtually every serious blogger owns their domain and hosting and tailors their teaching to a self-hosted crowd. Back in the day, high school students actually spent time and energy learning Latin. Maybe this skill could have been beneficial hundreds of years ago, but 30 40 years ago, this was a foolish exploit, learning an outdated language, developing a skill no longer in demand, or useful. Learning on Blogger is similar because all ins and outs become useless and you need to learn about a whole new, robust, valued, professional platform in WordPress dot org.

Do not even bother guys. Learn blogging by buying your domain and hosting. Get on WordPress dot org immediately. Learn how to blog the right way. This way, you won’t waste precious minutes, hours, days, weeks and months learning how to blog on a platform that will take you nowhere of note. Even if you buy your domain, you give up so much branding, monetizing and pro blogging potential the moment you forego WordPress dot org and choose instead to blog on Blogger. People need to learn blogging on the proper platform. Why? Why not? Why would you avoid positioning yourself for future success? If you want to learn blogging, learn blogging on the proper platform. Go with a self-hosted, WordPress dot org blog or do not even bother.


Continue Reading


3 Ways the Sony Xperia 1 Mobile Device Can Make You a Better Blogger



How many times have you already looked at your mobile device or cell phone today? It’s probably already been close to 50+ if it’s early in the day. By the end of the day you will likely have already picked it up and looked at it more than a hundred times!

With all of this in mind, it’s crazy how much we are all using mobile devices to do more than just make phone calls and access emails.

For site owners and bloggers, cell phones can make a huge difference in the type of content we create, and may even allow us to run our businesses from anywhere.

As new technology and devices are coming out all the time, today seemed like a great opportunity to take a look at the Sony Xperia 1, which is loaded with all of the latest technology, tools, features, and security settings to make running your business and brand from anywhere easy.

1 – Access Everything From Anywhere

No matter if you are running a website, a blog or even an online business, you need to make sure your mobile device is not only fast running and loaded with all of the latest tech trends and features — but also so it’s running on a super fast wireless platform and operating system as well.

This is all possible through the use of a Sony Xperia 1, as it has one of the most powerful processors and operating systems out there, while also being associated with all of the top brand name mobile carriers and also having 4G LTE speed.

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
    The octa-core processor and 6GB of RAM deliver outstanding overall performance for opening and running applications, flipping through menus and more.
  • Android 9.0 Pie OS
    Adapts to you and the way you use your phone, learning your preferences as you go. Your experience gets better over time, and it keeps things running smoother and longer.
  • Compatible with GSM carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon
    It also works with GSM SIM kits, including Cricket Wireless, Tracfone, Net10, H2O, AT&T Prepaid, and Simple Mobile.*
  • 4G LTE speed
    This Sony Xperia cell phone provides fast web connection for downloading apps, streaming content, and staying connected on social media.

2 – Take Better Photos and Videos

If you want to be a successful blogger or someone worth following on social media, you are going to need some great visuals, photos and videos to grab the attention of others. In today’s day and age, there is no excuse for not having the highest of quality images or content. With the Sony Xperia 1, creating such type of high quality content has never been easier.

Take a look at the following benefits and features of the device when it comes to video and images.

  • 6.5″ 4K HDR OLED touch screen with 3840 x 1644 resolution
    The extra-large screen is matched with a slim body to comfortably fit in your hand. The 21:9 extended display ensures easier multitasking and immersive viewing. Gorilla Glass 6 resists shocks and scratches.
  • 12.0MP triple-lens camera system
    Offers 21:9 cinema ratio, 4K HDR movie recording, and 2x optical zoom to capture details without losing quality. Also includes an 8.0MP front-facing camera for self-portraits and videos.
  • Motion Eye
    Lets you capture slow-motion videos at up to 960 frames per second for staggering films.
  • BIONZ X image processing engine
    Powerful digital image processing produces even more vivid colors and ensure contrasts are high.
  • Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
    Keep your images free from motion blur with SteadyShot image stabilization.

3 – Cool Features and Extra Security

For anyone that is already using their mobile device to run their websites or online business, then you will already understand and appreciate the need for cool features and heavy a secure device that others can’t hack into. These are all elements that you will find in the Sony Xperia 1, as it’s loaded with the latest technology, features and fingerprint security settings.

You can take a look at each of these highlights in full detail below.

  • 128GB internal memory plus microSD slot
    This cell phone provides plenty of storage space for your contacts, music, apps and more. Expand your storage by up to 512GB by adding a microSD card (sold separately).
  • Sony’s audio expertise always by your side
    Hear music as the artist intended with high-resolution audio. DSEE HX™ improves the quality of low-resolution music files. The smart amplifier delivers a loud, rich sound through the speaker.
  • Your fingerprint keeps your phone secure
    Hold your finger on the fingerprint sensor to unlock your phone.
  • IP68 rating
    The phone is protected from dust and can also withstand being submerged in 4.92′ of static water for up to 30 minutes.

Running Your Site and Business from the Palm of Your Hands

When it comes to your mobile device, it’s no longer just about making phone calls and accessing the internet — it’s now about being able to do everything from anywhere.

This is exactly what site owners, bloggers and business owners are looking to accomplish when choosing a new mobile device or looking to make the upgrade to a new brand or technology.

If this happens to be the situation you are currently in, be sure to read through each of the tech specs and highlights mentioned above to learn more about the Sony Xperia 1.

Continue Reading


Advanced Blogging Tip: Have a Poor Link Memory



I create oodles of content daily. One tip to being prolific is to have a poor link memory. I forget what I published content-wise and link-wise to keep publishing content frequently. Do you know how most bloggers publish one blog post, include a link to a product and/or service, and keep checking the post again and again, to see how the link performs as far as clicks and conversions and sales and profits and money? I never do that. I have no time and energy to check how my links perform because I have a terrible link memory. I am always on to the next piece of content to create and the next link to place and the next person to help because I have a poor link memory. I forget links. This works perfectly for me; makes me super duper prolific.

Most bloggers attach to and cling to particular business links. What happens if you attach to a link? You give attention and energy to checking the link again and again instead of creating more content from a generous, prolific energy. How can you appear to be all over your niche if you check links regularly throughout the day and if you are not creating helpful, new pieces of content? You cannot be super successful if you are not prolific and you cannot be super prolific unless you have a poor link memory. Be generous, abundant and detached by forgetting links you place in posts; especially links pointing to business opportunities.

I link to my blogging course quite a bit but never get attached to any one link or blog post or guest post through which I link to it. Why? I have more fish to fry. I have more content to create and more bloggers to bond with and more folks to help and more bloggers to connect with and heck, after converting 50 more of my eBooks to paperback, I will have over 200 products about on Amazon, under the Blogging From Paradise umbrella. That is a lot of products to promote! We need to have a poor link memory to forget the prior link we promoted so we can move forward and promote more links, more content and greater blogging success. Envision yourself having an abundant mindset. What happens if you do not feel like anything seems short, scarce or running out? Being prolific is what happens. Being generous is easier if you are not burdened by any link to promote, to review and to assess regularly. I am not opposed to scanning metrics if doing so feels good and relaxing but most bloggers never take the time to assess their genuine feelings when it comes to how they feel promoting links.

I do. I am ruthless in assessing, observing, embracing and moving along my energies because watching your energy is the key to blogging success. Blogging from abundance, relaxation and trust leads to success while blogging from fear, scarcity, tension and anxiety leads to failure.

Which road do you prefer to take?

Continue Reading