Google allows responsive AdSense officially.

responsiveThis could be great news for many bloggers, whose life rely on Google AdSense income. Yes, finally Google allows responsive AdSense. Google AdSense is the most popular online advertising platform.

Now, You you can generate responsive ad code in your Google Adsense Dashboard.

However, Google AdSense has very strict policy for its publishers. One of the most important rule is not to modify AdSense code or ads in any way. They do not tolerate this rule for any non-premium publishers, like you and me.
Since, Google is supporting the revolutionary responsive web-design technology it was important to allow compatible ads according website need. Till now it was very confusing to adopt the responsive ads due to no clear stand responsive AdSense code modification.

On one hand Google was promoting responsive web design, on another hand there was no easy way to implement AdSense on such site without modifying the code. This is why they allowed to modify AdSense code in certain way (This is a really good news. Isn’t it?).

Let’s discuss how to modify AdSense code in officially permitted way to make our site better for user experience.

How to modify AdSense for Responsive Ads and Website:

To adopt responsive AdSense you may modify AdSense code  in this way:

[gist id=5806371][/gist]

You will need to change the Publisher id and Ad slots (AAA, BBB, CCC, DDD, … ). If you don’t want to show any size of ads just remove that part of code.

Modifying Adsense codes are now allowed. but changing the layout or altering appearance and feature in anyways is not allowed. Also make sure only 3 Adsense for content and/or 3 link units are inserted in any html request.

Also note, Google do not allow floating/sticky ads.

Official Statement about Responsive Adsense:

Going forward, we will permit publishers to make modifications to the AdSense ad code so long as those modifications do not artificially inflate ad performance or harm advertisers and otherwise comply with our Terms and Conditions and program policies. This will enable you to try a range of techniques on your site such as:

  • Responsive design: Enabling publishers to create a single webpage that will adapt to the device on which it’s being viewed, whether it’s a laptop, smartphone or tablet, to maximize user experience.
  • A/B testing: Running a test by creating multiple versions of a page, comparing user behavior to see which page is the most effective.
  • Setting custom channels dynamically: Tracking performance of segments of users, sections of your site, or other behavior to maximize ad and user experience.
  • Ad tag minification: Enabling your site pages to load faster by reducing the amount of data to be transferred.

A/B spit testing is always a good option while working with AdSense. Considering the good part, Google at least confirmed that there is a way to implement Responsive AdSense on your Website. It is also possible that soon they allow more improvement and flexibility to the code implementation.

I warmly welcome your opinion about this topic and don’t forget to share this article if you like.

How to setup Microsoft Outlook custom domain for free email hosting?

If you are looking for a custom domain email on a reliable host for free, then Microsoft Outlook is the best free solution. Microsoft Outlook custom domain allow 50 accounts/domain for your personal or small business use. If you need more than 50 accounts per domain then you will have to signup Office 365, which is quite costly at the moment. If you want to be email provider then Microsoft Outlook for custom domain is also best choice. You may do this without spending a single penny.

IMPORTANT: Microsoft has stopped new signup for free email hosting. If you are looking for another free alternative then Zoho Mail could be an option. It offers 20 free email accounts. Check top 6 free and paid email hosting solutions. For those who already have a free account, should create as much as account they need in future. Since you will no longer be able create new accounts in near future.

Outlook.com no longer offers support for new custom domain sign ups. New customers looking to manage custom domains are encouraged to use Office 365, Microsoft’s premium online service, which also includes enterprise-class mail, collaboration and communication tools.

Thanks to “Raja” for reporting us.

Recently, Google has stopped offering Google Apps for free. They charges are pretty high for any type of organizations. Well, I will not compare between the two services in the topic, but just helping you to configure Microsoft Outlook custom domain for free email. But first discuss about the features what Microsoft offers for free.

  • Email hosting
  • Maps
  • Profiles
  • Photos
  • SkyDrive
  • Groups
  • Calender.

All services are free and can be offered from a custom domain or sub-domain.

Setup Microsoft Outlook custom domain for email hosting:

Step 1:

Go to https://domains.live.com/Signup/SignupDomain.aspx. Fill the domain name in the box. If you don’t have any domain and want to purchase then you may buy from any Microsoft partners or buy from GoDaddy, Name.com or Dreamhost are best in the segment.

outlook-custom-domain1

Don’t forget to check “Set up Outlook.com for my domain” in “Choose mail service for your domain” on the same page [As shown in the image above]. You may also change this setting later, but who want to do that!  Now click “Continue”.

Step 2:

In the next step, you will be ask to setup domain administrator. [A domain administrator will be responsible for all activity in the Outlook custom domain account]. I will recommend you to use an existing account or account from outside the custom domain. Check “Sign in with an existing Microsoft account” and hit continue to login existing account. You may also sign up for a new outlook.com account if you don’t have any.

outlook-custom-domain2

After logging in to account Microsoft will ask you to review the settings and accept agreement just hit “I Accept” after review it.

outlook-custom-domain-agg

Step 3: Verifying domain and set up MX record

To verify domain name you will need to goto your domain registrar and add some records.

Add a txt record which will be in v=msv1 t=example, and

MX record which will be in “example.msv1.invalid”. Note the “example” part will be same.

You may refer to your domain registrar help topics for any help in configuring TXT and MX record. Now you will have to wait for sometime, until DNS is propagating across the globe. It may take from few seconds to 48 hrs. After some time hit “Refresh” button in the yellow alert box. When your domain got verified the domain will be ready to use and you may create your first free custom email on outlook.com platform.

outlook-custom-domain-verification

Once the domain got verified you will see a green indicator and active status in the domain dashboard of your account. [As shown in the image below]

outlook-custom-domain-dashboard

Step 4: Create an email id with custom domain

Once your account is verified and active you may navigate to dashboard and click on the domain under which you want to create email/account. Their will be a form asking to fill some info. Just fill those and create your first email id with custom domain. the important thing is “Account name” in the form. it will be the email id and may have alphanumeric, periods, hyphens and underscore.

outlook-custom-domain-create-email

After creating the account you may ask user to login and accept terms and conditions. Also their will be an account reset question for your users, which will be asked at first login.

Benefits of Microsoft Outlook custom domain over Google Apps!

  1. Microsoft offers these apps for free.
  2. Up to 500 users 50 may be added just after signing up. (Now, you can’t get more than 50 accounts per domain)
  3. You may also offer your site visitors to sign up email ids with under your domain.
  4. Outlook.com offers unlimited storage. So, you will never required to delete mail.
  5. You may also offer maps, skydrive and other services from your domain/sub-domain

If you have any query or problem let me know by commenting below. Don’t forget to share this post on Google+, Twitter or Facebook, if you liked it.

Quick Tip: If you are now able to receive emails to your newly set up email accounts then make sure that there is no other MX records pointing to @ or the naked domain.

I have recently got a chance to log into someone else’s account and fix the issue. I successfully fixed the issue. It was the wrongly configured.

Please ask all types of Domain Setup, Web Hosting Setup and WordPress related questions to our forums

How to add “Google Tag Manager” to WordPress sites?

Google offers premium services to Webmasters and Bloggers for free like Google Analytics and Google Feedburner. Recently, Google has launched another revolutionary service called “Google Tag Manager” It will boost the page rendering time and increase Page-Speed score.

In the tutorial, we will discuss how to add Google Tag Manager to WordPress. But First of all thank for landing on BlogSynthesis.com. I hope you will have some nice time here.

Now come to the point and add the Google Tag manager to WordPress. I assumed that you have already have the GTM (Google Tag Manager) script. In this scenario We will play with the code.

How to add Google Tag Manager to Genesis Framework (on any child theme).

To add the script we will have to edit functions.php file of the child theme on Genesis Framework. But first of all we should have a backup of the file. Using a FTP client, like Filezilla, download the unedited function.php file from:

<WP DIR>/wp-content/themes/<CHILD THEME DIR>/functions.php

Now, Add the following code to your functions.php and save/upload.

/**
 * Add Add Google Tag Manager script on Genesis Framework
 *
 * @author Anand Kumar
 * @link http://www.blogsynthesis.com/add-google-tag-manager-to-wordpress/#genesis-framework
 *
 */

add_action('genesis_before', 'google_tag_manager');
function google_tag_manager() { ?>
<!-- Google Tag Manager -->
PASTE GOOGLE CODE MANAGER CODE HERE
<!-- End Google Tag Manager -->
<?php
}

How to add Google Tag Manager to Thesis Theme Framework v 1.8.x.

If you are a Thesis Theme user then add the following code to your custom_functions.php file.

/**
 * Add Add Google Tag Manager script on Thesis Theme Framework
 *
 * @author Anand Kumar
 * @link http://www.blogsynthesis.com/add-google-tag-manager-to-wordpress/#thesis-theme-framework
 *
 */

function limit_front_page() {
global $query_string;
?>
<!-- Google Tag Manager -->
PASTE GOOGLE CODE MANAGER CODE HERE
<!-- End Google Tag Manager -->
<?php
}
add_action('thesis_hook_before_html', 'limit_front_page');

To add the above code to Thesis 1.x you should navigate to “Thesis >> Custom file editor >> custom_functions.php (from drop-down menu)”

How to add Google Tag manager to any other theme by editing Theme file

To add Google Tag manager on other themes simply navigate to edit header.php and find the opening body tag. As shown in the screenshot below.

header.php twenty eleven theme

Add the code in a line after <body> as pointed in the image with red arrow.

To add the above code you should navigate to “Appearance >> Editor >> Template (on the right side) >> Header (header.php) ”

[Please understand this may vary from theme to theme. If you are facing any problem in adding to your blog. You may leave a comment below]

Don’t forget to have a keep a backup of original files. Failing to implement the code improperly will cause the broken theme or site.

The Anatomy of a blog: Typical blog structure.

We will discuss about the anatomy of a blog. Some common features and structure found in the most of the blogs. If you are going to start a blog then it is most beneficial to you to know the anatomy of a blog. Then think about the structure of your own blog.

Anatomy of a blog, Structure wise:

Header, Content area, Sidebars, Footer widgets and Footer are found across all blogs. Bloggers generally have navigation bar at the top as shown in the figure. But some blogs also have secondary sidebar.

Each part of the structure has its own importance like without a header which contents site name or logo it will be impossible for visitors to identify a blog. It will be something like a person without name.

The Header: The header contains either branding name or logo. It should have a beautiful logo which should be uniqe. If you are using plain text then the title should be bigger in font-size so visitor can easily recognize the blog.

Many sites also include a navigation bar or search box along with title or logo.

The Navigation: I have considered this as a sub-set of Header area and placed it inside the Header because many people integrate navigation along with title or logo of the site. The navigation helps users to find content easily. It helps a blog to arrange in a good manner. However some people adds navigation in a sidebar or both.

The Content Area: This is the place where users are mostly engaged and they arrived came to your blog for these content. It should be really clean to encourage the site engagement. Content Area contains the soul of a blog called posts and pages. As per requirement it also has social sharing buttons, related links some advertisements, comments or archives of the blog.

The Sidebar: Sidebar of a blog contains some call on action links like your twitter account or blogs’ brand page, some links of recommended articles, ads and a lot more. This area have a lot of potential.

Footer Widgets: If a blogger feels not all content is covered in the sidebar then he uses this area to share some more widgets or gadgets.

Footer or Footer credits: This is area contains a few valuable links and disclaimer like copyright notice. Some advertisement programs like Google Adsense asks to have share Privacy Policy, so this place is also used for link to privacy policy. ToS, About us and Sitemap links are another integrals of this area.

blog anatomyFigure 1: Anatomy of a blog

Anatomy of a blog, Feature wise:

Front Page: Front page is a special page designed for your homepage of your blog. e.g. yoast.com

Post body: Post body of a blog is conidered as the main content of a blog. It contains your published post and other information about the post like the name of the author, date publised, number of comments, a few social sharing buttons like tweet, facebook like and Google plus. A blogger may include more buttons according to his/her blog’s need.

Related or Popular Posts: This section is generally placed just after the post body. It is an useful tool to engage users to find other valuable articles withing the blog.

Archives: This is found on the all blog which is generally contains a number of post excerpt along with the title and a link to the blog. If a blogger do not have a customized “Front Page” for their blog, then they show archive page by default. Here is an screenshot of an archive of another blog called netrival.com.

Anatomy of a blog: Sample Archive Anatomy of a blog: Sample Archive

Tags and Categories: Tags and Categories are another best way to categorize blog posts so people can easily find right post of their interest. Depending on blogging platform it may have different name.

About the Author: Blogs have a sort bio about the author of the post or they may have a dedicated page on the blog sharing some information about the authors.

Comment: This is another common feature found in almost all blogs and a it is a good way to increase user engagement and feedback. Comments are placed below the post in chronological order and generally have a comment form for visitors to submit their comment easily.

RSS Feeds: RSS feed stands for RDF Site Summary and also dubbed as Really Simple Syndication which is an inbuilt feature of all blogging applications.

Newsletters: It is not an essential part of a blog but highly recommended and found on majority of blogs in blogosphere. It halps blog subscribes to send newsletter in form of email. It is generally sent automatically at regular interval of time. like daily, weekly.

I hope these information will help you to identify a blog and make aware about the anatomy of a blog. Next time we will discuss about the word “privacy”. Online privacy is very sensitive matter and we should know how to protect our online privacy, without affecting blogging.

Keep reading the series “How to Blog“.

Thanks!

How to blog: 5 most asked questions by newbies!

5 most asked questionsNow a days, Social media is one of the essential part of our life and thus blogging. It is one of the best place to share our views and opinion and now evolving as citizen journalism also . And not only this but blogging is also an effective way to make money online.

Here, We are a series of posts about “How to blog: Blogging tips for begineers“. These blogging tips will not only help you to make your blog better but also help you to understand how you can make money via blogging.

In this post we will discuss top 5 most asked questions by newbies, before signing up an account at sites like blogger.com and wordpress.com:

1. I want to start blogging, which platform I should choose?

Answer: If you don’t know anything about blogging then consider signing up wordpress.com or blogger.com. Both are good and have their own merits. You may google “WordPress vs Blogger” and find the difference between both. WordPress is good in terms of anti-spam, design, customization but the do not allow third party integration however they have plenty of good apps and features. On the other hand, blogger is good since they allow 3rd party application using javascript. So, you can easily monetize blogger based blogs, whereas WordPress do not allow javascript but they have their own advertising system which is recently launched.

2. What username or url I should choose for my blog?

Answer: Your blog url is your site’s identity which is not recommended to change after a few time. So, you should choose it carefully. Well, depending on the nature of your blog consider using some keyword rich url. It will provide you some free SEO without any extra effort. But don’t choose a really long url since it will be hard to remember.

3. What about custom domain, like example.com?

Answer: It will be really good to start your blog with your own domain name. However it costs a few dollars but surely it is worth to invest unless you want just a personal blog or trying to have online fun with your blog.

If you are serious about blogging consider to buy a domain name. It is easy to grab.

4. What about self hosted WordPress?

Answer: Self hosted wordpress is the best choice among any other option. If you can manage your WordPress or have someone who can do this for you (either free or paid) then you will have no better option than this. However you may ask some professional to manage your blog. It will be slightly costlier but provide you huge benefit. WordPress hosting starts from a few dollars per month and you can hire professional on hourly basis. On the same time, If you are interested in learning all the stuffs then their is a lot of online resources available.

5. If self hosted is best option then why you suggested WordPress.com or Blogger.com?

Answer: Of course we can’t compare WordPress.com or blogger.com with self hosted WordPress! But as I mentioned above we will need some good knowledge about the stuffs which could be technical or if you have any professional. If you are new to blogging like thing then probably you will feel comfortable with wordpress.com or blogger.com. This is why I suggested them.

It is also true that their will be a time when you will consider choosing self hosted WordPress. Their is slogan for that “Blogging starts from Blogspot and ends continues with WordPress”!

Since this is the first post of the series “How to blog: Blogging tips for begineers I hope it will help how to start your blog. If you have any question, I will be happy to answer them. Please consider sharing them. Thanks for your visit. Don’t forget to follow @BlogSynthesis on twitter for best blogging tips.

It’s simply my story. Do you know about me?

Hello all, thanks again for visiting the blog and your interest in my story, which is quite boring. This post is about computer, internet, blogging and me.

My story: Not a blogger these days!

When I was in school I saw my computer first time in my life. That was probably 1999. My school had two desktop PC with Pentium 3 processor, loaded with windows 95 or 98. I was probably of of the most loved student of my computer teacher not because of intelligence (I’m not) but for my interest in technology. I just learnt some DOS command and some basics of computer. Since that was not a part of formal school studies, so computer classes discontinued.

In 2002, I became aware about the word “Internet”. It was an interesting thing for me. Cyber cafe was new in my area, however the internet speed at cafe was too slow and I remembered the owner cum instructor was the first teacher who taught me about internet. And yes, Google was also the most important site that time. I paid Rs. 250 to the cyber cafe owner to teach me about internet. The package was nothing but 10-11 hrs internet surfing with some assistance. At that time the charge of the cybercafe was Rs. 25/hr. But it raised to Rs. 30/hr if their was a power failure and the cafe runs on generator.

He created an email Id on sify for me. Because of the easy signup. But later (in a few days) I moved to rediff.com and created [email protected] However I had no one who would send me mails but was very happy after creating my email id. Hmm, isn’t it silly. It brings me more close to computers and internet. After that I become a addict net surfer and in few months the cyber cafe instructor needed my help in searching some specific terms. These time spent on cybercafe boosted me to learn computers. This is why in 2004 I opted CSE as my trade in B.Tech.

In 2005 i bought my first computer which is (yes, still IS) HCL BeanStak and for a middle class family Rs. 43,000 was not less money. I have connected my PC to internet with Relicance LG RD3000 which was best at that time. But not enough for regular internet surfing. I had a computer, an internet connection and was college going student, the perfect match to be a blogger.

My Story as a blogger:

In the starting of my early blogging life, I was more concern about forums instead of blogging. My first purchased domain was anandinfoline.com which was purchased from Google Apps. Before that domain I had a few .co.cc domains which were free. I have still one which has Google Apps with 2000 free users (2000 isn’t a small number?). During this period I learnt the basics of adsense and signed up for that. AnandInfoline was my testing site and due to some Google Gadgets I was getting traffic to that site and making some money. In the first month I earned $35.31 and for me that was more than thousand rupee because it was in Dollars.

Later, I became a fan of Digital Inspiration and Problogger blog. I still do not miss any single topic of these two blogs. After having a custom domain blogger site, I bought my first webhosting which was on webhostingworld.net, yes, too cheap and worst too. This caused the first failure of my blogging life. then I reverted back to some more domain on blogger.com.

Yes, Blogger was limiting me but was making enough money to survive in this world (Still just surviving, 😉 ). In the last of 2010 I decided to a wordpress blog with some good hosting and fresh mind and it worked. The policy was simple “Different niche, on the behalf of different people, different way of earning”. Like I own some site, some by my brother and I am working for most of them. It makes me less authoritive but helps to play a balanced and safe game. Specially after Panda and new Google Algorithms.

Last year, I started NetRival.com which helped me a lot to run actually WordPress hosted blogs. I did know serious stuffs about self hosted blogs before netrival.com. My one of the most bad habit is stability and fluency. Even I know the importance of these factors in blogging, but many times I failed to create fluency all around the sites.

I believe this boring post will not help you a lot in how to blogging but help to understand about my story and me. This is the second post of blogsynthesis.com and I have just shared my story here I would like to here your’s story. Leave here by commenting or sharing on twitter. My twitter handle is @BlogSynthesis.

Thanks for reading my story,

Anand Kumar

Blogging Basics: What is a Blog?

blog worldWhat is a blog?

A blog is a kind of website, which updates regularly and mostly used to share information or personal experience. The term “Blog” is derived from “Web Log” in 1990s

According to Wikipedia:

“A blog (a portmanteau of the term web log) is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.”

Blog is not only a way to share information but a powerful tool and have ability to change someone’s life completely. It is sometimes citizen journalism and really a serious stuff. However it is flexible and can be used in any way the blogger wants. Their are a lot of people whose life get completely changed by their blogs. I have listed a few such sites below.

Here are some of the best example of various sites which have made millions of dollars and can you belive most of the blog was started by individuals.

  • The Huffington Post (Perfect example of News site, which is actually a blog. This blog was founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti, Now owned by AOL)
  • TechCrunch (One of the top Technology blog)
  • Mashable (Social Media blog. recently added more categories like entertainment and business)
  • Digital Inspiration (labnol.org, A single author blog founded and owned Amit Agarwal)

Why to blog?

Blogging is an easy way to share your personal feeling, documenting our life, sharing valuable information and archiving them. Not only this but their are a number of people who uses their ideas and information to make some money and for some of them it bring bread an butter.

As a Hobby and passion: Many people blog as a hobby. The simply love to blog. It is another truth if you are not passionate about blogging then you can’t blog. Blog is not just about writing and sharing content. It’s about how we present the content, It’s about the content is important to the author. If the author have no feeling about what he or she shared then it may be a big mistake. A blog post or the way we write need personal touch.

Digital Diary: Some people writes daily diary for documenting their memories. Since the technology has changed, a lot of people moved to blogging. Blogging allows them more flexibility and features. You may find a lot of examples on the web.

Sharing Information: Blogging is not just an hobby or a diary. It is also a very serious stuff. As a part of social media it not only shares feelings but also have power to change the world by spreading information in real time. Blogging has also played crucial role in recent. It is one of the best place to share information of any type. Depending on the nature of a blog it shares information in that niche. For example Matt Cutts who is Google Web Spam Head shares information regarding best practice of search engines.

Blogging for money:

Since, a blog share information and have some audience. This enables blogger to make money online. Money making blogs can sell ad space to show some advertisements or use some affiliate network to sell their product among their audience. For some people it is the only way to earn money. Any why it should not be, if it makes millions of dollars? Their are a numbers of such blogs.

Who blogs?

Since blogging requires no age, financial requirement or formal educational. So anyone can blog who have access to internet. WordPress and Blogger like services are also available free of cost. Their are more than hundred million blogs of any type which are published by various organization, corporates or individuals. According to requirement Govt. offices and corporates blogs for public notices. where as Individuals blogs to share their feeling, knowledge and their experience. Professionals blogs and share information regarding latest happening in their field or tutorials.

Technorati is one off the biggest online directory for blogs. It tracks at least 150 million blogs (by 2010).  I am sure you will find any type of blog in Google and Technorati.
Sadly, Technorati has retired the blog ranking directory. And the service is no longer available.

So, Why not you start your own blog? It is the time to get into blogging and understand blogging. Subscribe to BlogSynthesis and get regular updates directly into your inbox.

Introducing BlogSynthesis!

Hello WorldBlogSynthesis Blog introduction:

BlogSynthesis will be one stop blog about blogging and Internet Marketing. Our motive is to provide best article about blogging and Internet marketing and ultimately you will be able to earn more money online.

This blog is re-innovated knownblogger.com.

Well, The very first published post on BlogSynthesis.com was made on Vasant Panchami (or also called Sarasvati Puja), A festival of Hindus celebrating Sarasvati (The goddess of knowledge, art and music). You may say that I am a religious, which is somewhat true.

Who am I?

That’s me Anand Kumar. You may find me here and here. I write for a couple of blogs like NetRival. I am a tech lover and passionate about blogging I like to help people and you may easily find me on Bloggers Lounge, a Facebook group dedicated to Blogging and SEO.

Why this blog?

This blog is my dream. I have expected a lot from this blog and will work hard to make it possible. This blog will not only help you to start your blog but how to grow your network and not only this but some energy boosting tips to become a Known Blogger.

Here we will discuss blogging for everybody. I hope you will subscribe our newsletter to stay updated.

At last, I would like to say thanks to all of you early visitors, subscribers my friends and everybody who helped me directly or indirectly to found this blog. I hope you will leave a comment below or contact me via contact form. Follow me on twitter or like BlogSynthesis FaceBook page.

Thanks a lot,

Anand Kumar,
Founder BlogSynthesis.com

[This domain is the new cover of the old blog .com. We have made some major changes in the blog and re-introduced on September 17th, 2012]