I started PPC Ian back in October, 2009 with very high aspirations. I started planning my ascent to becoming the John Chow of pay per click from day one. With blogging fame in mind, I immediately knew I wanted Unique Blog Designs to design and build my blog. After all, Unique Blog Designs also designed the blogs of these famous Internet marketers (and so many more): John Chow, Jonathan Volk, Zac Johnson, and Yaro Starak. Moreover, I immediately had a ton of respect for UBD because they truly understand online marketing. Case in point: They created the amazing Squeeze Page WordPress Theme. I had very specific and high expectations from the beginning and UBD executed like crazy (I give them my absolute top recommendation)!
PPC Ian Works With Unique Blog Designs On Enhancements
Recently, PPC Ian has been on fire, thanks to all of you (I sincerely appreciate it). As such, I decided it was the absolute perfect time to work on some enhancements to my blog. When I was at SMX Advanced Seattle, I had the great opportunity to meet up with the Unique Blog Designs Team, specifically Matt Blancarte and Josh Mullineaux. It was great getting to meet these guys in person and planning the next round of revisions to PPC Ian. Today, I’d like to walk through UBD’s awesome work!
My Awesome New Blog Footer
As my top priority for UBD’s enhancements, I wanted a new footer. All the great blogs have slick, graphical footers. More than anything, I wanted a new footer to make the overall design of PPC Ian stand out. I wanted that flashy appeal that only comes with a professionally designed footer. I’m pleased to announce that Unique Blog Designs absolutely killed it when it comes to my new footer (just scroll to the bottom of this page and check it out for yourself).
Basically, we took my simple single row footer from before and totally pimped it out. My new footer features three columns with an additional row below containing my copyright information. In addition to some awesome graphical appeal, my new footer serves three main functions:
- It provides an easy way to sign up for my Feedburner Feed. Whether you want to sign up for my posts feed, my comments feed, or both, it’s super easy! Just enter your email and you’ll automatically receive new posts and/or comments directly to your email.
- It offers enhanced site navigation. As PPC Ian grows, I had been quickly running out of space to link to relevant pages in my old footer. Now, I have much more space and more comprehensive site navigation.
- Perhaps most excitingly, my new footer now offers a top commentators section. Your heard that right! If you’re one of my top five commentators, you will receive a link to your blog or website from my footer. This is a very powerful link as it appears on every page of my site (and is "real" in terms of SEO value). I’m a huge fan of blog commenting. There’s nothing I appreciate more than a great blog comment on PPC Ian. As such, I wanted to go above and beyond to reward my top commentators.
PPC Ian Now Supports Advertising
As my traffic grows, I’m starting to explore options to drive revenue from PPC Ian. The obvious place to start? I’m going after some select advertisers with opportunities to advertise via 125×125 banners in my right rail (under the "Ian Recommends" section). Right now, I have a few affiliate banners there. However, I have already signed up my first advertiser (one of my favorite companies in the space) and expect to sign a few more in the coming months. Want to advertise on PPC Ian? Please don’t hesitate to contact me about advertising opportunities.
I’m Determined To Grow My Email List
I’m sure you’ve read it over and over, especially if you frequent blogs about affiliate marketing: The power is in your list. From what I’ve experienced so far in my email marketing tests, this is absolutely true. As such, I’m totally focused on growing my email list. I originally started building my list by offering my free PPC eBook for simply signing up. Then, I took things to the next level by offering my free PPC Whitepaper by signing up for my new whitepaper series mailing list. Now, I have installed the Standout Comments plugin to gain more subscribers (both to my email list but also to my Feedburner feed). How? It’s super easy: When someone comments, I offer the opportunity to sign up for my lists!
PPC Ian Goes Mobile
As you probably know by now, I’m a corporate guy. I absolutely love managing gigantic pay per click campaigns in the corporate setting. I actually work in San Francisco but live on the SF Peninsula. As such, I’m commuting each and every day on Caltrain. What do I like to do on the train? You guessed it: I like to read (and comment) on online marketing blogs. It’s always so much easier when you have a great mobile theme. PPC Ian now has a slick new mobile theme to make it that much easier for you to read (and comment) on my blog on the go!
Trackbacks Now Work
I’m a huge fan of trackbacks. What is a trackback, you ask? It’s how blogs communicate with each other. When one blog links to another, the blog with the link will ping the other. If you have trackbacks enabled, the blog that got pinged will then automatically link back to the other blog. It’s basically a reciprocal link exchange automated. Moreover, it’s a great way for the user to find other relevant posts on other blogs. For a while, my trackbacks were not working due to formatting issues. Trackbacks are now integrated into my comments section and look really slick! Want to see an example? Check out the comments section of my new dot co post. While you’re at it, don’t forget to register your favorite dot co domains!
Graphical Links To Facebook and YouTube
I’m also pleased to announce that my right rail now offers some really slick graphical links to PPC Ian’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel. If you friend me on either Facebook or YouTube, I will be sure to friend you back (please email me if I forget).
One Change We Didn’t Make
As you can see, Matt really went all out and made a ton of awesome improvements. There’s one, however, that we tried but just couldn’t do. Can you guess? It’s changing the background color of my posts. We tried experimenting with lighter colors to make it easier to read, but decided to stay with black. Why? Any changes we made dramatically changed the look and feel of my blog and I just couldn’t stand to do that. I love my theme just how it is! I know what you’re thinking, it’s not a best practice to have white text on a black background. Well, it’s my firm belief that rules are meant to be broken!
I’d like to close out and thank Unique Blog Designs again! I can’t say enough great stuff about these guys. I know I will be doing business with them for years to come and would not trust my blog design to anyone else. Make sure to check out their Squeeze Theme and also Blog Theme Wars sites as well. I sincerely hope all of you enjoy the enhancements to PPC Ian!
Image of Unique Blog Designs Homepage © UniqueBlogDesigns.com
I love the enhancements – especially the top commentators, the bottom bar, and the mobile theme!
Matt Blancarte says
Wow, thank you so much for the amazing review! I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out, and it’s great that we were able to help you out to your satisfaction.
You’ve got an awesome blog going with solid strategy behind it. No doubt that you’ll continue to grow this blog to new levels of success!
Josh Mullineaux says
It was great meeting you in person and the design refresh looks great!
Thanks for the shout out!
Jeff Pan says
As a designer, the layout looks great! I personally think reading white text on black is much easier to read… Definitely gives your blog a unique look unseen elsewhere.
Looking forward to the next blog design, as well as upcoming posts on PPC.
Josh and Matt,
Thank you so much for the comments and kind words! It was a true pleasure and honor working with you guys on this project.
All the best,
Thanks so much for the comment and for visiting my blog! I truly appreciate it. It’s really great to hear from a designer that you actually prefer white text on a black background, that totally validates my strategy of going for that unique look. 🙂
All the best,
watch band of brother says
unique blog design provide a very clear themes and the color is really nice too
Dino Vedo says
Awesome new updates! Love the top commentators! Will definitely look forward to being one!!
Dino Vedo says
Oh and another thing. Might be a little late to consider, but just another suggestion that you might want to incorporate. On your home page, you only have 3 posts showing and they are the entire post, what if you just put short snippets of the blog posts, kind of like on my blog. I would think it would attract more readers on more of your blog posts… Plus you’d be able to show at least 5 or more easily…
Just a suggestion!
the Success Ladder says
Great article, thanks for sharing this. I have subscribed to your RSS feed and am looking forward to reading more from you.
Keep up the good work and don’t stop posting please.
Thanks so much for the comments! It’s great to see you on the Top Commentators! 🙂 Thanks for your suggestion on the abbreviated post view. I have seen that look on a lot of blogs these days (including yours) and must say I like it. I actually originally had 5 posts showing on my homepage, but cut it down to three because my posts tend to be long (in the 800-1,000 word range). As such, I wanted to keep the page short enough where users would be able to scroll all the way to the footer (and the site wouldn’t take forever to load). In terms of considering other views, it’s something to certainly think about for the future, but for now I couldn’t be happier with what I’ve got and it’s time to grow my traffic and post a ton of great content before any more UI updates. Thanks again, Dino, much appreciated!
All the best,
Addy@ Malaysia | Make Money Online says
Ian, nice improvement on the functionality of the make money blog. I am sure your lead building will go well.
Thanks so much for the comment and for visiting PPC Ian! I very much appreciate it!
All the best,
Your new blog design definitely looks better than before! Unique Blog Designs has done a great job at creating a great blog for you.
I agree that the footer area looks nice! I like how it has the reflected look to it and overall the whole theme looks really professional.
You actually have me thinking about looking into the standout comments plugin. I like how it gives your commentators the option to sign up for your email list and it is checked by default.
Anyways, great site and I will sign up for your list! Hope you do the same on my blog and also I will follow you on Twitter!
Thanks so much for the comment and for visiting PPC Ian! I really appreciate the positive feedback! Standout Comments is great and I definitely recommend it. It can do a lot, but I must say it can be a little quirky as well (it was not a simple install, on PPC Ian at least). I just signed up for your mailing list and eBook (can’t wait to read it) and am following you on Twitter too. Thanks again!
All the best,
Visually your blog is great but I find that after reading it for short time white on black is an eye strain. But because of the great content I’ll put up with that. Just wondered if the top commentators plugin was benefitting the site?
Just noticed that you have no top commentators. Have you not implemented this feature?
Thanks so much for the comments! Yes, the top commentators plugin is definitely benefiting my site! Since I implemented the plugin, I have gotten many more comments. Personally, I typically only comment on blogs that offer a top commentators list so I can totally relate. The plugin is working. At the beginning of each month it resets so for a brief period of time my top commentators section will show no comments. This is what most people do to entice continued commenting. Thanks again for visiting.
All the best,