Written on October 11th, 2005 at 10:10 am by Darren Rowse

Does Yahoo Violate it’s Own Content Guidelines?

Yahoo Publishing Network 15 comments

Angela from the Work at Home Blog has an interesting experience to share with regards to applying to become a part of the Yahoo Publishers Network.

Angela has a number of sites - one of which is called Herpes Help - a site designed to educate and raise awareness around the topic of sexually transmitted diseases. This topic is one that Adsense serves ads to but which on applying to YPN she was told that her topic violated YPN’s content guidelines.

Angela followed up her rejection notice and asked for more information and was told that her site was unsuitable due to its ’sensitive material’.

I’m a little perplexed by Angela’s experience.

As I look over the topics not allowed in YPN’s guidelines I can’t really see what is wrong with her topic. One might argue that the topic is ‘Adult in Nature’ - but as someone who has worked as a youth worker for 10 years I can assure you that STD’s are not just for adults. The only other category that perhaps she ‘violates’ is the one that prohibits ‘Content related to human suffering or death’.

I guess STD’s fall into that category - but I would have thought that due to the educational nature of Angela’s site that this wouldn’t be a problem.

I decided to do a little digging into the Yahoo mega web of sites to see what I could find and was very interested to find that they too have an educational site on - yes you guessed it - Herpes. It is part of their ‘Yahoo Health’ section.

Picture 1-1Interestingly enough if you scroll down the page a little you’ll find a collection of links that looks remarkably like ads to me - all on the topic of Herpes.

It seems to me that they do accept advertisements on the topic and that they are more than willing to run them on their own sites. I wonder what advertisers would think if they saw YPN rejecting site’s where their message could be shown in a very relevant context?

So the question that I’d like to see the Yahoo Publisher Network answer for us is ‘are they in violation of their own content guidelines?’ Or have they made a mistake with Angela’s application or at least the way in which they processed it and responded to her? The only explanation I can see to this that might be true is that YPN might argue that these advertisers come from a different pool/system to the YPN ones.

There could be merit in this argument - but to me it doesn’t look too good that YPN are in the business of rejecting sites that seem to honestly be trying to be a service to the wider community on an important issue.

What do you think?

Written on October 11th, 2005 at 08:10 am by Darren Rowse

Verisign buys Moreover

Pro Blogging News 5 comments

PaidContent has news of another acquisition of new media by Verisign:

Moreover, the online news aggregation and business information service, is being bought out by Verisign, and the reported price is about $25 million. The sale has been in works for a long time and puts to rest all the money and management change the company has seen in about 7-8 years of its existence….’

Their update says that the figure is closer to $30 million and that Google actually put a late (too late) offer in at a higher figure.

Written on October 10th, 2005 at 11:10 pm by Darren Rowse

Why Reveal Your Blogging Income?

Pro Blogging News 32 comments

Dane Carlson emailed me an interesting question today which I thought might make an interesting discussion topic. He asks:

Other than to toot my own horn, what real incentive do I have to tell you whether or not I’m a six figure (or five figure, or four, or seven or whatever) blogger?

I can understand why you disclose parts of your income; it builds your credibility and stature in the “pro blogging” niche. But, what about Manolo from ShoeBlogs? What could he possibly have gained from the coverage?

As Dane says - I reveal my income from blogging (in part) because it helps to build my credibility as someone who writes and teaches about making money from blogs - after all who would trust someone to teach them something about a topic that they had not proven themselves in.

However others regularly reveal their blog earnings (I see posts doing this every few days) and I too have often wondered why? Perhaps some of the reasons might include:

  • Attention Getting/Exposure - there is little doubt that talking about money get the attention of others
  • Bragging Rights - I suspect that some do it just because they are proud of their achievement and want others to know
  • Transparency - maybe some do it because they want their readers to know that they make money from their readership
  • Inspiration - I know of some bloggers who do it partly because they want to inspire others to do the same

I’m sure these are not the only reasons bloggers reveal their income but am sure they cover some of the main ones.

The question of ‘why’ bloggers reveal their income is a good one - but perhaps as equally useful is to ask why bloggers shouldn’t reveal their income? Again there are probably numerous answers to this question (feel free to give yours below) but the main one that comes to mind to me is that in revealing your blog’s income you set yourself up for others to copy your blog’s topic and approach to blogging. This is a risk bloggers revealing their blogging success will take.

I’m interested to hear your opinions and experiences on this topic. Do you reveal your income? Why or why not?

Written on October 9th, 2005 at 08:10 am by Darren Rowse

Nick becomes Five Figure Blogger

Pro Blogging News 24 comments

Nick from Nicked Up has just emailed me to let me know that he’s been implementing the tips on this site with regards to Adsense and in doing so has doubled his income and become a five figure blogger.

‘With Darren’s tips I’ve taken my Google Adsense revenue to levels I never imagined making from blogs. I’ve earned more from advertising in the past 3 months than I had in the previous 6. Here is a chart of Google Adsense earnings for the past 12 months. ‘

Congratulations Nick! I’ll be around later in the day to collect my 10% commission.

I’ll finish this post with Nick’s advice for people wanting to do what he does:

‘If you come up with an idea, don’t be afraid to go with it. Get a site up and running. With domains registrations at $6/year (sometimes less) and some hosting packages in the $10-$20/year range you don’t have much to risk except your time and effort.’

Nick is so right - he’s articulating my philosophy exactly - give it a go!

Written on October 8th, 2005 at 05:10 pm by Darren Rowse

Google Adsense Tips for Forums

Adsense 10 comments

Forum Heat Map-761099

The official Adsense blog has just posted some useful tips for those of you with a Forum.

Forums are notoriously difficult to convert with Adsense so these tips might be quite useful. They’ve included with the tip a useful heat map which points out the ideal positions from their experience. As per usual the top left hand sidebar area is the hottest with horizontal ad units between the first two posts also being important.

They also advise allowing image ads.

The only other tip that I’d add to their list would be to try rotating the colors of your ads. This is a strategy that attempts to overcome ad blindness from repeat readers which is a big problem for forums.

Read more at Inside AdSense: Six AdSense optimization tips for forums

Written on October 8th, 2005 at 04:10 pm by Darren Rowse

Google Reader

Blogging Tools and Services 13 comments

Google has launched a News Reader called Google Reader which allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds and news sources. The interface seems pretty simple at a first look.

If this system is anything like Yahoo’s MyYahoo it might be worth subscribing to your own RSS feeds to make sure they are in the system.

Don’t forget to add enternetusers’s Feed to it too!

Update:

- Read a review of Google Reader at the RSS Weblog.
- Learn how to export your bloglines feeds to Google Reader.

Written on October 8th, 2005 at 02:10 am by Darren Rowse

Blogger Routines

Writing Content 15 comments

BJ has decided that with the start of October comes the start of a new routine for her as a working blogger.

It’s got me thinking about the time in my own blogging journey that I made similar decisions to put a routine together in order to become more productive as a blogger.

I started by setting myself posting goals but also added a variety of others including:

- clearing inbox goals
- goals on how many other bloggers and contacts I wanted to network with each week
- setting time aside for non blogging projects
- setting time aside to read newspapers, magazines and other sites
- goals on starting new sites - adding features and tweaking ads on established ones etc

Out of the goals emerged a new routine that I developed to get the goals achieved.The result of this approach was that my blogging slipped into another gear - my blogs grew and I was slowly able to put more time aside to blog as the income increased.

So what is your blogging routine like? I write a day in the life of a enternetusers which described mine back in April (its changed a bit since) but what is your blogging workflow/day like? You may or may not be full time - but share your routine.

Written on October 7th, 2005 at 08:10 pm by Darren Rowse

Feedster Top 500 Stalls

Blogging Tools and Services 11 comments

Has anyone else noticed that the monthly Feedster Top 500 Blog List hasn’t been updated since it’s first incarnation in August?

Written on October 7th, 2005 at 04:10 pm by Darren Rowse

Looking for a Company Name

enternetusers Site News 45 comments

I’m trying to think of a Company Name at the moment and am looking for ideas. It doesn’t have to relate to blogging, media, communications, online activities etc - but it can.

I’m out of creative juice - any ideas?

Written on October 7th, 2005 at 02:10 pm by Darren Rowse

Outbound Links and their Impact Upon Your Blog

Pro Blogging News 37 comments

Late last night I was about to head to bed and was doing my last stats check (I have a little routine I go through at the end of the day) when I noticed on my enternetusers stats two incoming referral links that caught my eye. They were from Slashdot.org.

They say that before a Tsunami that there are telltale signs of the onrush that is about to occur - and with Slashdot the signal of masses of traffic is about 15 minutes where a tiny trickle of visitors come over before the post with your link goes live on the front page.

Sure enough - 15 minutes after the first couple of visitors came an onrush of traffic to this post. Since that time around 40,000 visitors have passed through this blog.

Interestingly I noticed a couple of distinct differences between this time and the last time that enternetusers was Slashdotted.

  • Last time despite getting very similar levels of traffic - the post in question was inundated with 91 or so posts - this time there has been very little response from Slashdotters (most of the comments on it came before the linkup).
  • Last time was a record level earning day from Adsense - this time there is a small rise in my daily earnings (it was double normal levels last time in comparison to a 5% increase today). This is despite ads being in the same sorts of positions on the blog.

Why the difference? Here’s my theory.

Last time when I was slashdotted it was to a post that had no outbound links in it at all. It was a post that was completely about my experiences. This time around the post being linked to had an outbound link in it in the first sentence and while it was about my experience - it gave readers an opportunity to leave my blog early on.

I track how people leave my site using MyBlogLog Stats (affiliate link - see my review here) and can see that around 25% of the visitors to enternetusers left via the link in the first sentence.

Of course perhaps the Slashdot visitors were just not in the mood to comment or click ads or perhaps it was because there was some other reason - but to me this illustrates just how much outbound links can impact upon both the interactivity on your blog and Adsense ads.

I know of numerous Adsense publishers swear by not giving their readers any links to click on their sites unless they go to another page on the site or unless they have some money making ability.

I personally don’t mind other competing outbound links. Most of my blog have many of them and seem to do well - in fact I believe they are part of the reason my sites build traffic (a story for another day) - but I suspect if I took them all off today my Adsense CTR would go up and that I’d probably grow my page impressions. I guess it’s about making choices to do with your blog’s priorities.



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