Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Can you make money by blogging?

Can you make money by blogging?

Creating a blog can be a fun hobby. But is it possible to make a living from it?
Mummy blogs, political blogs, prison blogs, anonymous police officer blogs, even school dinner blogs. The internet has provided a platform that the UK population has enthusiastically embraced.
But is this a way for would-be writers and hobbyists to make some real cash?

Making money by writing

Recently, I’ve looked at whether you can make money writing Mills and Boon or by self-publishing.
But maybe you don’t have the time, the imagination or the dedication to complete a whole book. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if you enjoy writing or you have a particular passion you want to share with the world, then a blog could be a good way to express that.
And if you can make a few quid at the same time, then so much the better.

How much can you make?

Without being too flippant, how long is a piece of string? Some bloggers are almost celebrities - just look at Guido Fawkes. His political gossip website is one of the most visited blogs and it’s filled with paid-for advertising.
Yet one blogger I spoke to has made just £120 in six years. So there’s quite a scale. But what about a blog that’s successful but hasn’t achieved the fame of the Guido Fawkes site?


Meet Erica Douglas. She began writing one of the first parenting blogs – LittleMummy - several years ago, as a hobby. Since then, she’s turned it into a successful business and launched other businesses off the back of that success.
Illness meant she had to leave her part-time job and her husband suggested that she turn her blog into a full-time occupation, to see if she could make money from her hobby.
“Within three months I was earning £500 a month from my parenting blog. I built it up from there.”
Erica has set up a business training people in blogging. You can see some of her free e-courses on her website. But she’s still making money from her original blog, despite having fewer hours to work on it.
“The mummy blog is earning £500-600 a month. Some months it earns over £1,500, it just depends. What I love is that it’s part-time hours and very flexible. I can be there for the school drop off and picking up, for the school plays.”
Before Erica’s success, the family was living on her husband’s salary as a bus driver and there wasn’t much spare cash. Now they can afford to move to a larger home and she treated her other half to his dream holiday for his 30th birthday. Blogging has made a real difference to the Douglas family.

Making money with Google Adsense

There are many different ways for bloggers to make money through their work. They might become affiliate marketers, who get paid for including links to other websites. They might sell a product or service off the back of their blog – that’s why so many companies set up their own blogs.
However, the simplest way for bloggers to earn money with a popular website is to sell advertising space. Some will agree advertising with specific companies and sponsors, but others just want to write and earn without the hassle of selling space on their site.
That’s why Google’s Adsense is such a popular option. In Google’s own words it’s “a free program that empowers online publishers to earn revenue by displaying relevant ads on a wide variety of online content”. Essentially, you hand the space over to Google, it publishes adverts that seem relevant to your content, and you earn a small amount every time someone clicks on one.
Bob Bardsley is a blogger who uses it on a variety of websites. His main website is a music review blog –Popsiculture, which carries advertising across the top. He also earns by linking to music at the iTunes store.
So, is it making him big money? Far from it. “I can't give exact figures, as Google's terms and conditions forbid it, but none of my sites generate huge profits. You can take a payment or withdrawal when you reach about £60 in revenue, and I've only ever made it to that total twice in about six years I think,” he says.
Ah. This is barely beer money. However, it turns out that it’s not all about the advertising revenue for Bob. “I'd say for bloggers, the best option to earn an income is to get freebies and paid-for articles sponsored by companies who send you their products to review, and usually keep.
“This seems to be what the big mummy bloggers do, and some of them seem to do pretty well out of it. Obviously sponsorship and paid-for articles put your editorial integrity under a bit of pressure, but the good ones put full disclosure notices on their posts, explaining that the product was free or the article paid for, but that the opinions expressed remain their own.”

Go ghostblogging

Fortunately, Bob does make a living through blogging and it’s more than £120 in six years. He ghostwrites blogs for companies and individuals who lack the time or skill to do so for themselves but want the audience.
[SPOTLIGHT]This is something I do myself and it can be a great way to make some extra cash without the hassle of running your own blog. Of course, you get none of the credit either, so this isn’t for everyone.
If you have a particular skill or knowledge base, consider pitching a blog to a relevant firm or company. The more specialist your knowledge, the more sellable it is.

Top tips for earning by blogging 

Erica’s blog became so successful that she began running courses for other aspiring parent bloggers. She soon realised that these classes were filling up with corporate clients and so launched a business teaching companies how to market through their blogs.
And this is where the real money is, but Erica still enjoys the flexibility she had when it was just one blog. She’s launched her new business with another mother and they employ parents. The whole company works flexibly, so everyone can balance their childcare around their work.
Erica really shows how the internet can allow you to realise your potential and earn money doing what you love. So what are her top tips for aspiring money-making bloggers?
Her main tip is to find a niche, so you won’t have to compete with too many existing blogs. She also warns bloggers to be in for the long haul:
“You need to be prepared for the fact it takes a good six months to build a solid site. One person I’m working with found their first advertiser within six weeks, but she’s far from the norm.”
Erica advises planning how you’ll make money from the start, rather than trying to tack on a way of earning money afterwards.
“Think about how you’ll monetise it early on. Will it be by selling products and services, advertising, affiliate marketing? Audiences can be tricky, you might build an audience who are just looking to be entertained and not buy anything.”
Despite that, she urges would-be bloggers to write about something they’re genuinely interested in: “Don’t just choose something based on money or you’ll give up after a few months.”
Have you ever written a blog? Did you make any money from it? Was it worth the effort? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.

How to Learn HTML5

Where should I start if I want learn HTML5?
Is there such a thing as 'HTML5'? Or is it more correct to say, I need to learn HTML + Javascript + CSS?
I'd like some recommendations on books + Websites
I did a google on 'HTML5 forums'... but didn't find any websites that looked credible


HTML5 is the newer version of HTML, but still is HTML.
Since HTML5, you can add audiovideo and some more tags to your source. But the general tags like DIVSPANAIMG, etc stay the same.
You want to learn HTML which also contains HTML5 tags. A good place to start (where I started) is W3schools ( ), just click HTML and on the left side you will find how to make your own html step by step. Where you can also start learning Javascript, CSS and PHP.
Another good link is:
by Niels

Honestly i don't expect there is an e-book. The HTML5 specification is still under development and far from ready. There are tutorials, blogs and lots of articles about it and yes browsers are busy implementing what they can (except IE is falling behind as often, but they'll catch up in IE9). But it's to early to start writing e-books about this subject.
EDIT: take at look at html5tutorial
EDIT2: Site of the Whatwg. This page shows the current working draft of HTML5
by Rob

Learn HTML5 in 5 Minutes! By Jennifer Marsman

A great tutorial - learn html5 in 5minutes. I personally don't think you can learn it in 5 minutes but it is extremely useful! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

[web dev]Pros and Cons of HTML5 & CSS3

In this highly competitive world, it is imperative to embrace new technology to survive the tough competition. One such technology is the combination of HTML5 and CSS3. It provides a number of benefits to developers and designers. Both these technologies provide many features which help to increase the efficiency of a site and make it yield better results. HTML or hyper text markup language is used to write web pages so as to make them compatible with the browsers. CSS is a style sheet language which helps in better presentation of a web page.

HTML5 is the latest version of HTTML and has a number of useful features which help to enhance the user experience. Let us discuss about the pros and cons of HTML5 and CSS3.HTML5, which is the latest version of HTML successfully, overcomes the limitations of HTML4. This new version has some wonderful features which help to extend the functionality of a site like never before. Although it is still not supported by all the browsers, but it is only a matter of time. Once that happens, it will change the way websites are created.


One of the features of HTML5 is that it has made the document declaration much easier. It can be done by using . Geo-Location API is another useful feature which helps to find the user's location. This feature can be highly beneficial for online businesses and can help them to keep track of their visitors. This feature is primarily useful for mobile users. This feature requires the user to provide the required permission to access the location.

This new version has also made the task of drawing convenient and better. With Canvas element you can draw functions and can easily create graphics, images and animations. Another wonderful feature is that it does not require any additional plug-in to incorporate any audio or video element in a web page. It also helps to store data offline. The files or web applications can be accessed even without internet connectivity.

No doubt HTML5 has some amazing features. But it also has some cons. First of all, it is not compatible with all browsers. This is the biggest drawback. Although most of its features are compatible with Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera but there are many versions of IE which does not support HTML5. If you consider the number of users using IE, you will realize that this can be potentially harmful. Secondly HTML5 is still under development. Hence it is prone to changes.

CSS3 has its own set of features. Its features help to enhance the aesthetic appeal as well as the functionality of a site. With Box Shadows you can add shadow effects to any element of the web page. The feature Multiple Backgrounds allows you to create multiple backgrounds for one element. Another feature is that it allows developers to select from multiple color options like RGB, CMYK or HSL. You can also get rounded corners without any extra efforts by using Border Radius property. With Border Image property, you can use an image for a border.

Like HTML5, CSS3 also has its share of problem areas. It is also not supported by some browsers. It makes it difficult to make even minor changes as CSS does not have variables. Also, CSS still requires some improvement to provide a proper layout.

Thus both HTML5 and CSS3 have their set of pros and cons. However, leaving aside the cons, if we focus on their features, it is a right combination to create an appealing and effective website. This is the reason why most of the PSD to CSS/HTML developers are making use of this combination.

[web dev] PHP vs

A comparison of PHP (Open Source) vs (Commercial), Performance, Cost, Scalability, Support and Complexity

There are hundreds of forum debates and articles on the Internet about whether PHP or is a better platform. Unfortunately, most opinions are biased and their preference is typically based on promoting one programming language over the other.
Also, if you pay attention to the dates on those articles and debates, you will see that most of the information is outdated and old. This is unfortunate — the debates are showing on top of search engines and the information is no longer valid. We need to consider that there are periodic major upgrades and improvements done to both PHP and platforms. 

Let me assure you that both programming languages are used in very large web applications and large successful web sites so there should not be any doubt to the ability of any of the above programming languages to handle a large web application project.

In this article:
Regarding performance, I'll explain what factors will effect performance and the result will prove that selecting one programming language over the other because of speed is pointless in most scenarios.

Regarding scalability, I'll explain what factors to consider when it comes to scalability and if programmed correctly, both programming languages are very scalable.

Regarding cost and support, since PHP is open source and commonly runs on an open source platform, LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), PHP wins over for providing the most cost effective solution and providing a large amount of resources and support. 

Regarding time to deployment (an additional concern for cost,) on average, it takes twice as much code writing to accomplish something with than PHP, so time to deployment is faster using PHP.
I'll go over each of the considerations and also provide my two cents below:

I. Scalability and Ease of Maintenance

Scalability and ease of maintenance have nothing to do with whether you select PHP or platform. Web Application scalability and ease of maintenance primarily depend on:
  • Programmers' experience
  • Using the best programming practices
  • Using a solid programming framework
  • Following programming guidelines and standards

II. Performance and Speed

There has been much debate about this subject and most of the debates have been biased and have been tailored to promote one of the programming languages instead of informing the audience.
There are so many other factors to consider when it comes to measuring web application speed, so the speed of any programming language should not have any noticeable effect on the speed and performance of most of the websites today. 

However, if the programming language needs to perform enormous tasks similar to the kind that sites such as Google or Yahoo do daily, then there should be a lot of consideration in selecting a very fast programming language for required enormous tasks — that is why Google and Yahoo use several programming languages (mostly open source), each selected to handle the tasks that the programming language is best at performing.

Below, I'm going to analyze the common and uncommon scenarios and explain which task is better than the other:
1st Common Scenario: 
One of the common tasks of any web application would be to access and query the database and output the result to the web server and then to the browser. So on this common scenario, all the programming language is doing is communicating / interfacing with the database server and web server. On this common scenario, the speed of the programming language has almost no affect on this process; the speed of this process relies on the database server, web server, client's web browser / computer and bandwidth.
When it comes to the main and common database servers, MySQL (now owned by Oracle), PostgreSQL, MSSQL and Oracle are all fighting for speed and performance. We keep seeing new features and better performance by all database servers in each version upgrade so I will say that the above database servers will all have a great performance if the database programmers use optimized and practical SQL queries and if needed, use the advanced features such as caching.
MySQL is used by Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo and recently on FIFA World Cup which received a huge audience around the World. So I would not question the capability of the MySQL database server.
Based on my research on a few online stats, as of this writing, the communication and interfacing between PHP and MySQL is faster than and MSSQL but it is not very noticeable.
2nd Common Scenario: 
One of the other common tasks of any web application would be to access the file system, find an image and send it to the web server. In this case, again, the programming language is doing very little — it is the Operating System and the file system that has the burden of communicating with the programming language. 

Based on my research on a few online stats, as of this writing, the Linux OS and ext4 (file system) performs better (IO) than Windows OS and NTFS (file system.) 

3rd Common Scenario: 
Most Linux / Unix servers are run very lean without any extra un-needed packages or GUI interfaces and therefore the OS uses a lot less CPU and RAM which provides more allocation to the database and web server.

Most windows servers run clunky and with many un-needed packages and GUI which will be using much more CPU and RAM.

Obviously, a LAMP platform will have an advantage over the platform because it will have more available resources.
4th Not Very Common Scenario: is usually written in C# (pronounced C Sharp) — generally speaking, as of this writing, C# is a faster programming language than PHP. (This may change as each programming language will come up with upgrades to fight for a better speed.) So if the programming language needs to run a 2,000,000 loop execution of a calculation, an written in C# will win over PHP. However, this is a very uncommon scenario, the most loop executions of a calculation would be in 100s and not 2,000,000s. And in this case, there should be other concerns about why someone needs to do a 2,000,000 loop calculation.
Additional items that can have an effect on performance but have nothing to do with which programming language is selected are:
  • Ability and knowledge of programmer(s) to optimize the code
  • Ability and knowledge of programmer(s) to write proper and optimized SQL queries.
  • Functionality required (some functions may take longer to execute in the platform and less time in PHP platform and vice versa.

III. Cost:

PHP, MySQL server, PostgreSQL server, Apache server, and Linux OS are all free and upgrades are also free. In addition, there is no additional licensing cost for having another hot standby server as a backup, or needing to run multiple servers for load balancing or server clustering.
LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) is also much more popular among hosting companies, and its popularity results in a lower monthly hosting cost for LAMP hosting compared to Windows hosting. and IIS are free if you purchase Windows OS. There is a substantial licensing cost for a Microsoft Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server and future upgrades. For example, Microsoft Server 2008 R2 Standard - 64-bit cost is about $1029 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition For Small Business cost approximately $1038.
The above licensing costs for Microsoft can substantially increase if the site becomes popular and there is a need to run the site on multiple servers or requires server features such as load balancing, server clustering or hot standby.

IV. Support and Resources

Since LAMP is open source, there is a vast amount of dedicated and friendly developers around the world who continuously make improvements and updates, and provide support for the platform. Additionally, there are more support resources and developers available for PHP and LAMP Platforms.
The reason why I mentioned the word "friendly," is because Open Source developers who contribute to the Open Source community are doing so not for financial gain. If you seek help with a functionality challenge and post a question on a PHP forum, you will receive useful information from friendly contributors. relies on an available number of developers at Microsoft for making improvements and updates. There are less support contributors available to solve challenges.

V. Time to Deploy

It takes a larger amount (more lines) of code to accomplish complex features and functionality with compared to PHP, adding more time to the development process.
Additionally, PHP is interpreted at the server, so when changing a functionality, no additional steps are required to see the changes. On the other hand, needs to be compiled each time the code is modified. Again, the development process is more time-consuming when using as opposed to PHP.

VI. Editors and Tools

PHP & MySQL is editor independent. PHP developers have access to an extensive number of editors.
Most programmers rely on Microsoft Visual Studio editor to help them develop .NET Applications. (Many developers love and swear by the Microsoft Visual Studio.)

It is a different style of programming — PHP and open source developers tend to use text editors such as VI, VIM, Notepad ++. 

VI and VIM are very advanced and independent editors, and the programmers who learn and use those editors to the fullest capabilities can perform very complex programming, in a fast, efficient and independent way. Those programmers have more control and flexibility, and when it comes to the need of using and integrating other essential platforms, such as JavaScript, Ajax, JQuery, etc., the PHP developers have a better advantage because of their familiarity with the open source environment and hand coding using VI or VIM editors.

VI. Platform Independent

PHP is platform independent and can run on any platform — Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, Windows. is built to run only on Windows platform.

VI. Which popular sites run on which platforms?

The following table lists the top, popular sites and the platform and languages they use.
Note: Please don't confuse C with C# (pronounced C Sharp) — they are completely different programming languages. is mostly programmed in C# (C Sharp) or Visual Basic and not C.
SiteUp SinceServer PlatformProgramming
Google.comNovember 1998LinuxC, Java, C++, PHP & MySQL
Facebook.comFebruary 2004LinuxPHP, MySQL and C++
YouTube.comFebruary 2005LinuxC, Java and MySQL
LinuxC++, C, Java, PHP & MySQL (owned by Microsoft)August
1995 (owned by Microsoft)August
LinuxPHP & MySQL
Linux & SolarisC++, Java, J2EE
LinuxPHP & MySQL

VII. Popularity

The LAMP platform is much more popular than the Windows platform. Based on Netcraft's July 2010 Web Server Survey of 205,714,253 sites, 112,945,968 (54.90%) are hosted on Apache and 53,217,620 (25.87%) are hosted on Windows; the rest are hosted on other platforms.

VII. Usability and Ease of Deployment

There are many misconceptions and misinformation about Linux being unfriendly.
This really depends on the experience and knowledge of the person setting up the platform.
However, I have to say that I'm very impressed with the new and improved versions of popular Linux distributions. These distributions of Linux such as Ubuntu, Red Hat, CentOS, openSUSE, and Fedora have done a great job providing ease of installation and deployment, as well as a simple and straight forward GUI interface that makes configuration and setting up of a Linux server very manageable.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, Microsoft Server has been going backward with usability, by making the server administration extremely clunky and filled with complex and un-needed features.
Research for this article was completed August 1, 2010; pricing and other information may change.

[web gaming] Java vs Flash

On the surface, Java is a lot more powerful than Flash. Flash, on the other hand, may be easier on beginners.

Java Pros:
- A powerful programming language and VM environment.
- Arguably faster rendering vs. Flash.
- Threading support.
- Excellent documentation (compared to Flash).

Java Cons:
- Performance on some systems/browsers isn't that great always.
- More dangerous (and treated as such by browsers).
- You really need to be a programmer to use it.
- You need a lot more "framework" to get rendering/input going.

Flash Pros:
- Designed specifically for graphics output (animations, movies, etc).
- Easy for beginners to venture into making games.
- Development-time visualization (time-line based development).
- Built-in, simple, resource management.
- AS3
- Supports 3D rendering (Flash Player 10+)

Flash Cons:
- Single threaded. No support for multithreading.
- Performance problems (inherent to Flash).
- Lackluster documentation.
- Terrible code editor (Adobe Flash CSx)
- Terrible debugging (Adobe Flash CSx)
- AS2. 'nuff said.
- A lot of quirks you need to get used to.

Once a wise man said - 
'From a programmer's perspective,I like Java better. From a designer's perspective, I like Flash better.    Personally, I hate both'. 

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