Category: Blog News (page 1 of 2)

New blog design now live!

After months of putting it off and changing things, my new blog design is finally live for all to see. I posted all the way back in February of 2008 that I was working on a blog design and back then it had a very different feel. Since then not only did I tweak the design, I also started from scratch with a new look a few months back.

The new design, as you can see, features the personal branding logo I created for my business cards. Having this logo on both my cards, and my blog will help people associate with me easier, and strengthen my personal brand overall.The design as a whole has a very similar layout to my previous theme, showing the information I deem most important in an effective yet traditional way. One area I am particularly pleased with is the subscription box, which features a number of links on how to stay updated with the blog and me. In addition to the subscription box, the first left column is a nice touch, which not only puts a face to the name, but also provides a super quick glance at what services I provide, along with links to see my work.

Upon launching the design I realised I had forgotten to edit the comments section, so this is something I need to work on quickly. This is my first attempt at coding a WordPress theme, so I’m happy with how it looks. Be sure to let me know your thoughts.

Finally running WordPress 2.7

I seem to have a really bad habit of keeping my WordPress installation up to date, but I have finally updated my blog to the very latest version of the WordPress blogging platform. I have installed 2.7 on a number of other blogs I operate but for some reason or another never got round to updating my personal blog here at ChrisBrandrick.com.

wordpress_logo

I now have, and I am glad I did, as 2.7 is such a joy to use in comparison to previous versions, it has so many little details which really do contribute to the overall user experience. So take note from my tardiness and be sure to upgrade your installation today, you won’t regret it!

Update: I did of course mean to say 2.7.1. I am running the latest version, which is 2.7.1! Thanks to Darren Singleton (via email) and Zander Chance for pointing this post error out to me!

My New Page Rank

Over the last week or so the current round of Google page rank (PR) updates have been rolled out. And ChrisBrandrick.com went from a 0 to a page rank of 4.

For those of you unfamiliar with page rank, it is Google’s method of rating the importance of a website within the web as a whole. So for example a site with more presence and links will supposedly be ranked higher than those without. Google explains Page Rank like so:

PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important”.

Now many debate that the Google Page Rank may not be as important as it once was, especially to advertisers, but it still holds value and is a small indication as to whether your site is making an impact on the web. With this in mind, I’m celebrating the fact, so for the month of August advertising on ChrisBrandrick.com is only $10. $10 gets you one months exposure on the right sidebar in the available 125×125 spot. Interested? Just drop me an email at chrisbrandrick@gmail.com or leave a comment.

Running on WordPress 2.5

It may have taken longer than it should, but ChrisBrandrick.com is finally running on the stable release of WordPress 2.5. I mentioned in a previous post that the latest version of the popular blogging platform was on the way, and now, as you may have read on other blogs, it finally has arrived.

After having the new version installed for over a day now, I have familiarised myself with the new layout and although it is a very different it has several neat new features which overall make the back end experience all the more a pleasure to use. If you haven’t upgraded, be sure to do so now.

Contact Page Added

This seems crazy, but today it hit me that I didn’t have a contact page on my blog! So as you can now see in the menu above a contact page has been added, and on it you can either contact me via email or via instant message on MSN if I am online.

I am not 100% sure as to whether the MSN IM add on functions correctly, but for those of you interested in checking it out you can create your own on the Windows Live site.

Trying Kontera

Kontera is an advertising service which displays in-text links via a custom technology called ContentLink. Kontera Content Link (once installed) will scan your blog pages for contextually relevant keywords and then automatically turn those into links to advertisers, thus earning you the blog owner money.

I decided to give Kontera a try as not only do I plan to monetize this blog fully before the year is out, but also because an additional level of customization was available via Karol Krizka’s Kontera plugin for WordPress. This plugin will allow you to pick and choose which blog posts you will allow Kontera ads to display on, so say for example you are publishing a paid review or an article and you do not want it to have Kontera ads on it, you simply select not to when posting. This allows great flexibility and gives you control over where ads appear.

Having Kontera installed will hopefully bring in some welcome income and all at no additional effort.

Working on a redesign.

Recently I have been working on a redesign for my blog, mainly because I feel it’s about time I got a personalized look and a unique design to help strengthen my online identity and brand. I have made several designs and mocks in photoshop but haven’t really hit the nail on the head yet with the look I want to go for.

When the time is right I will no doubt show the mock designs, and of course the design I plan to go with here on the blog. In terms of avatarcolours I will be using blues, greys and blacks, and for branding I will continue to build upon using my personalized avatar, be it in advertising, emails and around the site. As for coding the design from a psd to a valid WordPress theme I am still on the look out for somebody to complete this task, and despite me having a few people/companies in mind I am always open to suggestions, so either drop a comment below or contact me.

Getting a custom design for my blog was one of my goals for 2008, and now having made a start on visualizing how I want it to look, I am feeling very confident on reaching this goal.

Winning Wednesdays at ChrisBrandrick.com

Throughout the whole month of February every Wednesday here at ChrisBrandrick.com will be a Winning Wednesday.

What is a winning wednesday you ask? Well, on every wednesday throughout february I will be giving away a prize, the details of the prize will be revealed on the winning wednesday itself, and the chance to win lasts only 24 hours, as the draw will take place at or around midnight. All you have to do to be entered into the weekly draw is subscribe to my RSS feed via email. Current email subscribers will automatically be entered, and if you subscribe now you will be automatically entered into every winning wednesday this month! So with four chances to win, this month is one to watch on ChrisBrandrick.com

See you on wednesday for this first prize draw!

Free review offer over

Just a quick update to inform you all that my offer for free reviews is now over. Many thanks to all of the blogs that requested a review! Be sure to keep checking (or subscribe) to ChrisBrandrick.com for more reviews.

Free Blog Reviews – Last Few Days

Back in December I posted that in till the end of January I will be offering free blog reviews here at ChrisBrandrick.com, well that offer is almost up, so if you want your blog reviewed for free, be sure to check out my offer as it expires in only three days.

I have received over 50 requests for reviews so far, so keep them coming. I consider this free blogging offer to be a success, considering the amount of requests I received, these reviews provide not only content but possible backlinks and writing experience for me. Please remember that not all blogs will get reviewed, but over the next few months a majority of those 50 will be. 

Only a few days remain, so get your free review now.