Written on September 27th, 2004 at 08:09 am by Darren Rowse

Revenue Generation Ideas for your Blog

Other Income Streams 1 comment

Oristus has posted a fantastic list of Revenue Generation Ideas for your blog. It is one of the most comprehensive lists I’ve seen so far on the topic and covers everything from Premium Content Offerings through to Classifieds through to RSS Ads and RSS Premium Feeds. Here is one of the more creative ideas that would definately suit some specialist blogs:

Help People Online / Consulting: Provide real-time consulting advice to people. Allow people to pay to access the brains behind the web site, newsletter, or forum. Google does something like this with Google Answers. If a web site owner is an expert, that owner can do ad hoc consultation. This can be done via email, forums, IM, blog comments, webcams, or WebEx (disclaimer: I own stock). The idea is to provide help to people via the web and ask them to pay for it.’

Read more at Oristus :: Money Honey: The List of Revenue Generation Ideas Also Check out our Blogging for Dollars post.

Written on September 26th, 2004 at 08:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Submit your Blogging Tips

Miscellaneous Blog Tips 3 comments

Whilst I’ve been blogging for close to two years now and am fortunate enough to earn a full time (ish) living from my blogging activities I by no means know everything there is to know about Blogging. Whilst I’ve written over 100 tips so far on this blog there are a lot more areas I’d like to see covered and I believe you and other readers like you could really add to the information I’m collecting here.

I’d love to learn from you and your experience and am always looking for Blog Tips to publish. I’d love to publish and/or link to (on your own blog) your tips on any of the following topics:

- Review a blogging tool or platform
- Share the story of your site in relation to earning revenue
- General blogging tips about writing content
- Tips on Search Engine Optimization or blog promotion
- Tips on Blog design
- Reviews of advertising or affiliate systems that you’ve tried and tips on how to get the most out of them.

Feel free to pitch any other ideas that you might have. In return for your tips or review I will link back to your blog/s and do all i can to promote you and your site. The posts you submit do not have to be exclusively published on this blog but they must be your original work.

To submit a tip simply email me with your tip or a link to one you’ve already written using my contact form.

Written on September 26th, 2004 at 08:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Getting your blog to the top of the Search Engines

Search Engine Optimization 0 comments

Search Engine News Journal has posted 10 great tips to get your blog ranked at the top of the Search Engines. I really like their approach because they acknowledge that it takes time to get your blog high up the rankings. I also like this tip about ‘titles’:

‘Create a killer Title tag. Title tags are critical because they’re given a lot of weight with all of the search engines. You must put your keyword phrases into this tag and not waste space with extra words. Do not use the Title tag to display only your company name, or to simply say “Home Page.” Think of this tag more as a “Title Keyword Tag” and create it accordingly. It should reflect exactly what your page is about, using the keyword phrases people might be using at a search engine to find your company.’

Read more at Search Engine News Journal - Ten Tips to the Top of the Search Engines and read more about how titles are everything.

Written on September 26th, 2004 at 08:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Tips to Increase CTR on Google Adsense

Adsense 3 comments

Webmaster Articles has a good post about increasing your CTR (click through rate) on Adsense. They write some good posts - similar to some of what I’ve written in my Adsense for Bloggers Tips. Here is one that they write that I’ve found to work very well for me also.

“#2 Blend the background and border to match the page’s background.  You don’t want to trick visitors into clicking, but you don’t want them deadened by banner blindness either.”
Read more at Google Adsense: Tips to Increase CTR

Written on September 26th, 2004 at 04:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Add Categories to your Blogger Blog

Miscellaneous Blog Tips 10 comments

With Movabletype and many other platforms categories enable a wonderful way of organizing your blog. Each post in this blog is allocated to a category (or more than one) which means readers only interested in one topic (Adsense for example) can easily find every article on the site focusing upon it. In effect you can end up with many targeted mini blogs within the bounds of your full blog with categories.

One of the frustrating aspects of using the Blogger blogging platform is their lack of a categories feature. It is one of the reasons that I gave Blogger away shortly after starting my first blog.

Spide it Grasp it Enjoy it has just posted a tip/hack on how to add categories to your Blogger blog. I’ve not tested it but it looks pretty simple to install and could prove to be a very useful feature. Let me know below how you find it if you give it a go.

Written on September 26th, 2004 at 04:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Blog Referal Statistics as an SEO Tool

Search Engine Optimization 0 comments

SEO Scoop suggests that your blog’s log files (or stats package - especially key word referrers) are a great tool for optimizing your site for search engines. This is good news because one of the most useful SEO tools that you have at your disposal is right at your fingertips! They write:

“The log files from your web site traffic can be an important aspect of your SEO research. You can find an amazing amount of information embedded within the logs. For example, today I noticed seven search terms that are doing very well in Yahoo that I was unaware of. These are terms I had not thought of and had not optimized for, but people are flowing into the site using those terms. In addition, Yahoo is outranking Google in terms of traffic for the site I am talking about.”

I check my referrals from Google regularly to see how people are finding my site. As written above you can be quite surprised at how people stumble upon your site. I remember about a year ago I noticed that I was getting a lot of hits to my blog from people searching for ‘Australian Idol’ (an Aussie TV show). I’d written a post about the show and not really thought any more about it until I saw all the hits I was getting to it. As a result I became a regular writer about the show and then this year have been involved with the owners of Idol Blog who watched my success last year.

So the lesson is simply to watch how people are finding your blog and if the opportunity exists write more on the topic!

Written on September 26th, 2004 at 03:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Advertising in your RSS Feed

RSS 0 comments

One of the disadvantages of RSS reeds and the increasing numbers of people reading blogs via News Aggregators is that those bloggers running advertising on their blogs can only expose their readers to ads when those readers actually surf to the blog in question. Banner ads, amazon individual ads and ads like Google’s adsense don’t translate too well (at all) through RSS. There has been quite a bit of attention recently given to finding ways to incorporate advertising into RSS feeds in recent times to get around this problem. Moreover Technologies have just announced (see press release below) that they can now deliver such ads through RSS. Of course the revenue from these ads doesn’t seem to end up in the hands of the blogger or webmaster running the sites but in Moreover’s hands - but maybe one day we’ll see a system like Adsense (or maybe Adsense will incorporate it) that will enable contextual ads through RSS. Until then it might be worth considering ways in which you can actually draw your readers to your site from RSS.

Moreover Press Release

Moreover Technologies Announces Intelligent Delivery of Contextual Advertising In Free RSS News Feeds



Delivery to RSS news readers respects users need for high-quality aggregated news while serving relevant advertising

San Francisco, CA September 21, 2004 - Moreover Technologies, the premier provider of aggregated online current awareness and business information, today announced the availability of free RSS (Rich Site Summary) aggregated news feeds supported by contextual advertising ideally suited for individuals that rely on RSS news readers to track breaking online news.

Advantages of Aggregation

With the continued explosion of online news, content aggregation is becoming the most popular delivery model because it saves time, compared to manually acquiring content from individual publications, and ensures a comprehensive view into news by topic, not publication. As proof of this, a recent Nielsen//NetRatings report, Top 20 Online Current Events & Global News Destinations, confirmed that Q2 2004 was the first time an aggregated news source, Yahoo! News, was more visited than any individual news publication site such as CNN.com and USAToday.com.

“It’s clear that the aggregated news model is rapidly becoming the preferred method of online consumer news consumption,” said Jim Pitkow, chief executive officer and president of Moreover Technologies. “Moreover is the behind-the-scenes leader in aggregated news delivery, powering billions of aggregated headlines each month through our distribution network.”

By quickly aggregating content from thousands of the most relevant and reliable online sources, Moreover free RSS news feeds provide a convenient view into breaking news and current awareness. News articles are aggregated from an expansive list of publications contained in the consumer version of the Moreover CI-Metabase, including premium international and regional news sites, corporate websites, government press pages, and discussion boards.

Intelligent Advertising Delivery

Delivering contextual advertising through RSS news feeds presents some unique challenges. RSS feeds are most often viewed in a reader program that retrieves articles on a regular time interval and displays them sequentially, much like email. By working closely with the developers of leading RSS readers, Moreover is able to intelligently deliver contextual advertisements through RSS without filling a news folder with advertisements every time a feed is refreshed.

“As a pioneer in utilizing XML and a co-author of the RSS 1.0 standard, we’ve been extremely careful to ensure that the rights of end users are respected,” said Jim Pitkow, chief executive officer and president of Moreover Technologies. “By intelligently understanding how contextual advertising is delivered and displayed in various RSS readers, Moreover is able to provide the highest-quality aggregated news without spamming a feed with useless advertisements.”

Availability

A complete listing of Moreover free RSS news feeds and links to compatible RSS news readers can be found online at www.moreover.com/rss. Moreover also offers free advertising supported news feeds for display on non-commercial websites in JavaScript format at www.FeedDirect.com.

For corporations or users that require more robust news solutions without contextual advertising, Moreover offers the Connected Intelligence™ line of current awareness solutions. More information on Connected Intelligence™ can be found online at: http://www.moreover.com.

Written on September 26th, 2004 at 02:09 pm by Darren Rowse

GreyMatter Blog Publishing Platform Review

Blogging Tools and Services 0 comments

Business Blog Consulting has a good review of the Grey Matter Blog Publishing platform that is really worth a read if you’re thinking through which is the best blogging platform for you. Rick describes Grey Matter in this way:

“It’s a server-side, PERL-based platform, like Movable Type, which means, among other things, it requires rebuilds of the archives when you make significant changes to the templates. Joni tells how this process early on crashed her then mom-and-pop web host’s servers and she was polited asked to take her web site elsewhere. (Bad blogger! Yikes!) Also, GreyMatter is no longer being Actively developed by its principal developer, although there remains an Active, die-hard community of plug-in and hack makers. It is also not so easy to install for novices. For those reasons, Joni suggests it’s better for those who like playing around with the underside of the tools and maybe not ideal for most corporate blog installations.”




Joni Mueller then goes on to review Grey Matter in what is one of the most comprehensive reviews I’ve seen of it. She starts off by writing:

“GreyMatter was one of the first Perl-driven blogging tools out there. That was back when the choices were Livejournal, Blogger and GreyMatter. The difference with GreyMatter was of course its power. At that time, it offered things that the other blog tools did not….”

Read the rest of the review at GreyMatter Blog Publishing Platform Review

Weblogs.about.com also has a good review of GreyMatter and writes:

“If you want a free, Perl-based blogging system, then Greymatter may be something you wish to check out. However, if you start longing for additional features that are not currently supported, you might have to wait a long time to get them - if at all. Otherwise, you’ll have to hunt - or beg someone - for hacks and mods.

Pros

• It is opensource (free!) and fully customizable.

• It can be used for personal, business, educational, and organizational purposes.

• It supports several useful features such as multiple authors, bookmarklets, comments, etc.

Cons

• Installation may prove to be challenging for “non-techie” users as technical knowledge is needed.

• Since the system runs on Perl, the “rebuilding” process when you edit or update can be slow.

• There is no existing RSS/Atom support.”

Read more of this review of GreyMatter.

CGI Resource also has a number of users mini reviews of GreyMatter that you might like to consider also.

Written on September 25th, 2004 at 11:09 pm by Darren Rowse

More Search Engine Optimization tips for your Blog

Search Engine Optimization, Blog Promotion 0 comments

There is a lot of articles out there about how to optimize your blog for search engines - Google in-particularly - but this one has some pretty handy tips on SEO and promoting your blog. The key one really is to find ways to get others to link to your site - using the keywords you are targeting on your search engine.

Of course this isn’t always easy - I get emails every day from people asking me to link to them, sometimes for reciprocal links, but 99% of the time they go straight to the trash bin. People WILL link to you if you write quality content and treat them with respect and genuineness. It is also worth thinking a little creatively about this also - if you can actually provide other sites and bloggers with a service that will benefit their blog whilst still giving you a link (with your targeted wording) you can do quite well. This is why our ‘mini medal table’ at our recent Olympics Blog was so successful. We provided bloggers with a free medal table that was updated live with medals won - but the table contained around 12 links back to our site using keywords that we’d chosen such as ‘Medal Table’ which linked to our medal table page. This page was hugely successful during the games - it ranked #1 on google and because it was one of the most searched for terms those weeks we generated hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Anyway - here is the first few tips in the article:

“So do you have a product, or web service? Do you want to find ways to Search Engine Optimize your site? If you didn’t already, I suggest you do the following (or hire someone who you trust to do it for you):

Write to Active blog authors. Tell them about your product, in a personal manner – to do so, you must spent around 5 minutes per blogmaster to compose a standard, personalized email. Do not spam people, as this will backfire.

Look into newsgroups and answer questions in an area where your product can help. Do not simply advertise your product in a new thread, but re-use existing ones to solve problems. Does someone ask “How can I see where my visitors come from?” and you offer statistic software, answer.

On the web site (the landing page) be straight-forward and honest about your product. Be upfront about the pricing, unless you offer your service for free. Use the inverted pyramid style of writing: most important things first, details later. Prepare a page where one can read for 30 seconds, or 30 minutes, depending on which level of detail one is looking for. Links which lead into a deeper structure are helpful. But make sure you restrict your main navigation to 10 or so important items. (Have you ever been to a product site and clicked on more than a few links?) If necessary, cluster links and break them up into two or three individual sections.”



Read more at SEO 2004

Written on September 25th, 2004 at 06:09 pm by Darren Rowse

eComXpo - Affiliate Marketing Event

Affiliate Programs 0 comments

eComXpo is an online event for Affiliate Marketers that might be worth enternetuserss participating in. They are planning over 100 presentations spread over 3 days.



“eComXpo is a bunch of folks’ attempt to create a “big-tent” event for the affiliate marketing industry: a single, independent venue where all involved in this industry can educate, be educated, meet, and have fun.

Because it’s being held completely online, the hassles and costs of physical events are avoided. Besides providing enormous flexibility for attendees and exhibitors, it means that this event can be attended by just about anybody, by any organization, big or small.

We expect to make a formal announcement around the first of October.”

Read more at ReveNews: eComXpo




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