Letters to Stephen…

I got a couple of emails this week with some questions and comments, and I thought I’d address them here.

Adsense and Shopping Questions

This first email comes from Anthony of HustlerMoneyBlog. He writes:

Hi Stephen. Great blog. I was hoping you can show me how to put google ads like yours. I like it how you got your post around your adsense. Please show me the steps. Also, I see you have electronics goods below every post. Which aff. program did u sign up with? thanks.

Well, Anthony, a couple of good questions. Here’s the lowdown…

For the Adsense integration, I use a plugin called Adsense Deluxe. The plugin is easy to configure and once configured, it allows you to implant snippets of code that call your various adsense creatives. You can place these code snippets anywhere in your template, or in your posts like I do. You can turn the ads on and off at will using the control panel that comes with the plugin, and you can even upload new code to your creatives on the fly. You can also allow it to serve other advertising programs if you’re not an Adsense Junkie.

The key to my integration is how I’ve aligned my code. Typically, people read left to right, thus it would make sense to have the adsense to the left for maximum exposuure. Unfortunately, that would probably annoy people and wouldn’t give your readers a very enjoyable experience. They’d probably never come back. I chose to align to the right and wrap my text around it. I use a <div> tag to align my ad and wrap my text around it:

<div style=”float: right; margin: 5px;”><!–adsense#youradsensetagname–></div>

The two variables in the <div> tag control the alignment of the creative in my posts. The “float” aligns the creative to the left or to the right of the paragraph. The “margin” tag controls how much space I want around my adsense creative. You can see it in action above. Play with it and put it wherever you think will work for you. More details are found at the plugin’s download page.

As for the links to all those cool techie toys, they are provided by a company called Shopping.com (aff), a division of eBay. Shopping.com’s Affiliate Program is a pay per click publisher program that offers price comparison services for tons of products. I use this to offer real time pricing information at Futurelooks.

The program is available to technology websites with high quality content and at least 250,000 page views per month. I’m signed up through the TTZ Media Network, which provides independent customizations and support for their publishers. The reason I’m able to run it on my blog is because I already have the existing relationship built through Futurelooks. For an alternative, Chitka has become extremely popular. Give it a try. I’d love some feedback on it from people who have actually used it.

Hope that helps you out Anthony. Good luck!

Envious in Grand Prairie

My next email comes from Gerald Nelson, a retired 74 year old Music Conductor and Teacher from Grand Prairie. He writes.

Just found your site via John Chow. I have an idea that us Scandinavians (my last name is Nelson) will never keep pace with you Asians in the hi tech business. (-:

I am amazed and envious reading about you and Mr. Chow.

Thanks for the email Gerald! Please don’t be envious. In fact, I envy you for being brave enough to fly around in those Lazair Ultralights as a hobby. I’m afraid of heights 🙁

I have a friend with the last name “Nelson” and he’s doing pretty good keeping up with technology. He runs HardCoreWare plus a few other sites and does quite well for himself. You can catch up with your long lost “Techie” relative at his blog. Believe me, not all Asians are “High-Tech” 😉

Thanks for the emails Gerald and Anthony. If anyone has a question that I haven’t touched on in my blog entries, please feel free to send it to me via my contact page. I’ll do my best to answer it for you.