Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve begun to make a number of small changes to this blog. The goal is simple: to improve the reader experience for anyone visiting Mystery Money Man.
This is, of course, an ongoing effort. Over the past year, I’ve made improvements as I’ve become more proficient with the craft of blogging, and running a website. While I still have a lot to learn, it’s really important to me that navigating this blog is as pleasant and effortless as can be.
Today I’m sharing with you a few changes I’ve either made recently, or am in the process of implementing. I should also let you know that I welcome your feedback about anything related to this site, so please feel free to comment, drop me an email, or DM me over on Twitter anytime!
Recently, I took some time to browse through some of my posts, in order to get a better understanding of the reading experience. I did this both on the desktop and mobile versions of the site. I noticed that the placement of some of the advertisements interfere with the flow of the content, and its readability.
To date, the only advertising I’ve run on Mystery Money Man is via Google Adsense. The reason I do this is to help offset the costs of operating the site, ie. hosting fees & related expenses. I try to run my blog as a business, and negating the operating costs is one example of this. That said, I’m not happy with how some of the ad content appears on the site, so I’ve decided to make some changes.
As such, for the time being, I’ve removed the Adsense content altogether. I may reinstall ads at some point in the future, but minimally, and ONLY in areas that are away from the post content. For example, in the footer at the very bottom of the page.
SHOULD BLOGGERS DISPLAY ADS?
Bloggers often battle with the decision of whether or not to run ads. I fully respect those who opt out entirely, as it does allow for a clutter free reading experience on a well designed site. At the same time, I personally enjoy reading many blogs that display ads throughout their pages. In other words, ads are not something that have turned me off of a great website or blog.
For the time being, Mystery Money Man is ad-free. If and when they do return, I can assure you the presence will be minimal, and in a way that does not interfere from your reading experience!
IMPROVING PAGE LOAD SPEED
A key to making any web browsing experience effortless is to reduce the time that it takes for a web page to load. No one wants to sit idly, watching the blue ‘progress bar’ move ever so slowly across their browser, wondering if the page will eventually appear. During the life of my blog, I’ve taken several steps to improve site performance, including the removal of unnecessary plug ins, and by implementing a number of SEO tactics to achieve improved navigation.
Most recently, I’ve begun to re-size and compress the featured images on the site. While this means reduced clarity of some of the images, it should help to boost the page load speed, which I think is a tradeoff worth making.
AMAZON AFFILIATE RELATIONSHIP
I have a few affiliate relationships on the site. To be honest, with the exception of a few plugs for Booking.com, I have not focused on affiliate marketing. Long term this might change, as I identify more products and resources which I believe can really make a difference for people. I need to keep my focus on what’s most important, which is creating quality content which can inform and hopefully inspire.
On that note, I’ve decided to cancel my Amazon Affiliate relationship. While I occasionally buy products on Amazon, and I believe that online shopping can save families a lot of money, I don’t have a comfort level with encouraging others to spend on impulse.
Frugality lies at the foundation of this blog, after all. : )
Guest Posting Guidelines
Like many bloggers, I receive a lot of requests for guest posts (almost daily), and during the past year I’ve been thrilled to feature many wonderful writers on the blog! I plan to continue accepting guest posts, however I realize that I’ve never created a set of guidelines for prospective ‘posters’ to follow. It’s something I plan to add in the near future. This will undoubtedly improve the experience for the guest poster, while ensuring the content they’re sharing aligns closely with the values of this blog.
Revamped About/Bio Page
I will be re-writing the ABOUT page of this blog in the near future. The current bio was written before I launched Mystery Money Man. Since then, my vision/direction for the site has changed so much that it doesn’t feel as relevant today.
One of my dreams for Mystery Money Man is for it to become a true community, a destination where people know they can connect with other readers, contribute to the content and to the greater conversation. Longer term, this might involve introducing new formats such as a podcast, or other media. In the short term, I would like to provide new ways for readers to provide feedback, via polls and surveys for example. These could be embedded in the site, on social media, or included in my email updates to subscribers. Consider that a ‘coming soon’!
None of the changes I’ve announced above are incredibly significant on their own. Each one is a small step towards what I hope is a positive direction. My belief is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
It’s truly amazing what you can accomplish when you understand that the journey is a marathon, and not a sprint. It’s true with any large undertaking; your career development, side hustle, artistic endeavour, even your personal relationships.
Tale one step at a time. Keep on moving. Never surrender.