Written on May 11th, 2005 at 06:05 pm by David Shawver Stanton

Locum Blogging

Pro Blogging News 6 comments

Thank you to the many well wishers who have emailed to wish us luck and congratulations with our new home. It has been a very busy few days of moving but we’re finally in and beginning to feel like we’re ‘at home’. We need to find more places for our things and do some work on the house (its a Victorian so has some work to be done) - but overall the main pieces have fitted into place nicely - including an ADSL broadband connection which conveniently was connected the morning after we moved in (after being told it could take 10 working days).

So I’m back and blogging and attempting to catch up on the backlog of the past few days of being offline. All my other blogs have caught up and tomorrow I’ll get back into some ProBlogging.

One thought though as I get ready to go out tonight to a meeting:

I’ve been pondering my last post on ‘what to do when you go on holidays‘ post and one of the thoughts that has come to mind is setting up a ‘blog-locum’ service.

When I go to see my GP (doctor) and he’s away on holidays he gets a locum to stand in and see his patients for him.

I’m wondering if with the increase in enternetuserss if there will one day a need for a locum service for bloggers.

I’m envisaging a website where enternetuserss going away on holiday (or who are sick, on conferences etc) can go request a blogger for a certain length of time, at a certain posting frequency and on a certain topic.

Bloggers then can pitch for the work - perhaps with their fee or an offer of bartering of services (ie I’ll post 10 post for you if you do the same for me - or I’ll post for you if you design a logo for me etc).

The other way to do it would to have more of a matching service where a centralized person matches bloggers needs and services.

Just an idea that I thought might be fun to kick around. I’m not sure that there is enough of us needing such a service yet to justify a business plan etc - but what do you think about it? Would you ever consider getting a locum for your blog? Would you consider being a locum blogger?

PS - if anyone runs with this please let me know. I don’t have heaps of time at the moment to throw at it but would be interested in a partnership!

Written on May 10th, 2005 at 11:05 pm by David Shawver Stanton

Gawker Bloggers vs Journalists - Which Earns More?

Pro Blogging News 0 comments

In Gawker Bucks vs Journalists Buck TNL.net does some analysis on whether bloggers or journalists earn more. The analysis is based upon the NYT article on Gawker Media that we mentioned a couple of days ago and centers around an ‘earnings per word’ comparison.

Of course its a pretty simplistic comparison based only upon three Gawker blogs (with massive readership) but its a bit of fun to look at and might stimulate some interesting discussion.

Written on May 10th, 2005 at 05:05 pm by David Shawver Stanton

Introducing Geeky Info

Case Studies 7 comments

A mate of mine has recently started up a new blog by the name of Geeky Info which I’m sure some of you will find interesting. He’s not primarily doing it to make money (although I think it could be a profitable blog as it grows) but rather its a hobby - documenting his obsession with collecting geeky information. There are still a few Adsense tweaks to make on the site but its coming together quite well.

He’s covering everything from organizational software, to firefox, to security apps, to tablet pc technology. Its going to be one of my favorites for sure. I hope you enjoy it too.

Written on May 10th, 2005 at 11:05 am by David Shawver Stanton

Sole Practitioner Blogging - What to do When on Holidays?

enternetusers Site News 21 comments

One of the downsides of being a stay at home sole blogger is that on days when you can’t blog (because you are on holidays, sick or….moving house - your blogging can grind to a standstill.

Having just had a few very light days of blogging and today logging onto the internet I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the vast quantities of emails, comments to check for spam and questions, unread RSS feeds that just 36 hours without being online has meant. I’m still at least 24 hours away from resuming ‘normal’ blogging activities as I don’t have my office set up and will be relying upon dial up internet from home for up to another week (I’m currently sitting on the floor in my empty old house blogging with the broadband that is still there).

Professional blogging brings with it quite a lot of administrative tasks that accumulate very quickly - more quickly than you realize until you take a day or two off. I guess when I blog most days I am able to pace myself and gradually pick off each task one by one - but miss a day and you’re behind the eight-ball.

This leaves me feeling a little worried about the 4 week trip that I’m taking in June. If I’m overwhelmed by the admin of 36 hours of being online - imagine what happens after 28 days! Not to mention the apprehension of wondering what happens to a blog when you don’t post on it for a month…

So how am I preparing for my upcoming trip? Here is the strategy so far:

- Guest Blogging - I’m attempting to find a few bloggers to help out with some of my higher profile/most visited blogs. I’ll post about this in the next day or two but I’ve decided that on my bigger blogs that I’ll be paying for a couple of bloggers to keep things running. On the smaller blog I’ll be hoping for a few volunteers that’ll do it for the love of blogging and the links back to their blogs that they’ll get. Readers of enternetusers will be pleased to know that I’ve signed up a rather large and diverse group of bloggers to keep this blog ticking over.

- Advance Posting - On a few blogs I’ll have some posts written in advance - ready to be added when the date and time ticks over - this will keep the illusion of an up to date blog for casual readers. It won’t work on some of the more time sensitive news blogs - but on others it will work fine.

- Blogging from the Road - I’m planning to do a few blogging sessions from the road from net cafes and relatives places. Whilst I don’t want blogging to dominate my holiday I’m resigned to the fact that there are some things that guest bloggers can’t and shouldn’t be asked to do. This will include tasks like dealing with spam comments which come to my inbox. I’ll also attempt to fill in the gaps a little on some posting duties where I can’t find a guest blogger - I’d like to at least keep each blog with posting once or twice per week.

- Letting Go - There is of course going to need to be a relaxing of my standards of blogging. 25 posts per day isn’t a reality, responding to every email quickly isn’t either. I guess some of my blogs I’ll simply have a note that the blogger is on holidays.

What would you do if you couldn’t be online for a month but you wanted to keep your blogs ticking over and earning an income? Interested in your thoughts.

Written on May 9th, 2005 at 10:05 am by David Shawver Stanton

Otherwise Occupied

enternetusers Site News 7 comments

Moving Day today - will be otherwise occupied until late tonight - or tomorrow….

Talk among yourselves - consider this an ‘open mike’ - any topic goes (within reason).

Ask a question for others to answer - or answer a question that someone has posted here.

Have fun.

Written on May 8th, 2005 at 10:05 am by David Shawver Stanton

New York Times on Gawker

Blog Networks 2 comments

The New York Times Article on Nick Denton and Gawker has an array of interesting titbits in it that will make a good weekend read for any aspiring enternetuserss. Here are a few tasters that peaked my interest:

On Editors and their daily goals:

‘Each editor is under contract to post 12 times a day for a flat fee, Mr. Steele said. (Gawker has two editors and now posts 24 times a day.) It is best to have eight posts up before noon, if possible, to keep readers coming back, he said….

12 posts per day is a pretty high posting rate for a blog. We’ve had the ‘how frequently should you post‘ debate here from time to time and I’ve been interested by the fact that most people seem to argue for a ‘less is best’ approach for fear of overwhelming readers. Obviously there are multiple posting rhythms. Gawker does well in this because it generally posts shorter posts - so 12 isn’t as overwhelming as one might initially think.

On Editors and their earnings:

Site traffic is a particular obsession. Gawker draws just over a million unique visitors a month; Fleshbot, the most popular site, lures nearly twice that number, and Gizmodo, a site dedicated to gadgets, roughly 1.5 million. All editors can earn bonuses if they manage to generate spikes in traffic - say, with a link to the latest Paris Hilton crisis or Fred Durst’s anatomy….

The flat fee plus bonus model of paying editors seems to work reasonably well. It ensures a regular and secure income but provides incentive for bloggers to seek the big story and build traffic over time. Of course the pressure of building traffic can takes its toll on bloggers - I’ve talked to a couple of editors on different networks who love the incentive of a bonus - but who are constantly on edge about it.

Is it Profitable?:

When asked in the class if the company was in the black, his response was straightforward. “It is profitable,” Mr. Steele said. “We’re very small, have no overhead, no office space. Everybody works from home. And you heard what we pay our writers. Nick founded Gawker very specifically with the idea of starting a whole bunch of blogs in very niche topic areas, hire freelance writers to write each of them, hopefully draw a lot of eyeballs and then sell advertising around it. He had the idea that no one site would probably ever make a fortune. But if you have 10 sites each making $75,000 a year, then, O.K., maybe it’s not like Condé Nast money, but it’s a nice little business….”

Nick didn’t seem to want some of these stats and figures in the article - and argued that they were misquotes. Its fair enough I guess that they’d want to keep the money side of things private. I had to chuckle however - the article went a little ‘gossipy’ at this point - something I’m sure Nick and some of his editors are familiar with.

Posting Schedules:

‘Mr. Denton, who says that no one, least of all him, is becoming rich publishing blogs, would seem to agree with that notion. It’s not about the money, he said - or about corrupting the art of the blogger. “If someone is saying that we publish according to a routine of at least 12 posts a day and begin in the morning and if someone is sick we replace them, then I plead guilty,” he said. “We believe in regular posting schedules.”‘

This is interesting - 12 posts a day - and if someone is sick they replace them. Regularity of posting is something I’m also a big believer in. Whilst it can be hard as a sole blogger to keep up this sort of level it really is important and something I constantly argue for. Whilst I understand that it seems to go against the liquid, free and easy ethos of blogging - I think its necessary to have such a structure if you want to make what you do profitable. I know of a number of bloggers who want to make it big as bloggers but who blog in fits and starts - sometimes going weeks without a post and I wonder about their commitment to the core feature of a profitable blog - content.

How Many Blogs will They start?:

‘Mr. Denton says two more titles are planned for the short term, although he would not be specific about the particular consumer itches he’ll be scratching this time. Having covered everything from BlackBerries to Beltway gossip, it’s hard to imagine what else looms, but he said writers had already been lined up.

That will bring the number of titles to 14, and Mr. Denton indicated that 17 seemed a good stopping point, if for no other reason than that is the number of titles published by Condé Nast.’

Very interesting and a stark difference to the way that many other blog networks are going. Nick is obviously interested in building a smaller group of very profitable blogs than a large stable of many blogs with smaller readership. I really admire Nick’s approach in this area (although I differ on other areas of what he does - namely the porn) - he really does aim to live out the motto of niche bloggers of ‘being a big fish in a small pond’.

Read the full article at A Blog Revolution? Get a Grip - New York Times

Written on May 8th, 2005 at 10:05 am by David Shawver Stanton

Blog Network News

Blog Networks 3 comments

Chrispian H. Burks is proposing a new Indie Blog Network and wants your opinions and feedback.

Duncan has registered Weblogs Empire as a domain and is blogging about his new network’s developments.

9 Rules Network has been busily adding blogs to their network this week - with a total of 22 blogs now involved.

Due to the increased talk of blogging networks I’ve added a Blog Network Category to this blog - this being the first post. I’m sure it will be a busy category over the coming year as new networks are born and push into new territory.

Nick Denton and Gawker Media are featured in the New York Times today in an article on his network.

Written on May 8th, 2005 at 10:05 am by David Shawver Stanton

enternetusers Articles at WebProNews - Now with Comments

enternetusers Site News 0 comments

I’ve had a selection of my posts here at enternetusers being posted at WebProNews for the last month or so. Overall this has been a pretty positive experience - I’ve found a number of new readers through it and have found that it has built a little credibility and profile.

One of the pieces of feedback that I got from readers was that they had no way of commenting on the articles that I’d written that were published there. This was especially frustrating for them because I often ask for comments directly in my posts.

So this week I took this feedback to the team at WPN and they have kindly provided a link back to my original post’s comments so that readers there can interact with the rest of us on each article (example).

Hopefully this will add to the experience of those who follow this blog through WPN (although remember that you only get ALL of my posts here at enternetusers.net).

Written on May 8th, 2005 at 10:05 am by David Shawver Stanton

What to Do When Rejected from Joining Adsense

Adsense 0 comments

If at first you don’t succeed - try try again…

In my regular reading of Adsense discussion forums I often read stories of people being declined acceptance into the program. Whilst Google do accept most applications to join they do have a number of rules that mean some sites won’t get accepted (their policies page has a list of things you may not include on your site including excessive profanity, violence, racial intolerance, pornography etc).

Often when people are rejected from joining Adsense they kick up a stink in forums and attack Google for being narrow minded censors (insert favorite excessive profanity here).

Whilst such a response is understandable the Tin Man has an interesting post illustrating that sometimes its worth politely questioning such a decision by Adsense and asking them to take another look at your application. In this case the answer was that Adsense had made a mistake and had reversed their decision.

I’ve seen this happen a number of times - on one occasion the applicant made a few minor changes to their blog before asking Google to reconsider (with reference and URLs of the changes made) - once again they were successful in this.

Written on May 7th, 2005 at 04:05 pm by David Shawver Stanton

64% of Marketers are Interested in Advertising on Blogs

Advertising 10 comments

Interesting feature by Reuters today into Blogs and advertising with some hopeful news for entrepreneurial bloggers who are good/lucky/workaholic/well-connected enough to generate large levels of traffic:

Buczaczer expects a handful of blogs will develop an audience large enough to secure more substantial ad dollars this year. A wave of companies will also start blogs to create more immediate links to consumers in the near term, he said.

As many as 64 percent of marketers are interested in advertising on blogs, according to a Forrester Research study, though their investment would still be a fraction of the $14.7 billion expected to be spent on Internet ads this year.

Another 57 percent are looking to include marketing messages on RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds which allow a viewer to see instantly updating headlines from news, Web logs and other sites via a simple Internet browser.

Of course the average blogger won’t generate the traffic needed to attract A-list advertisers - however as bigger bloggers break through and prove the value of blogging as a way to convey an advertising message I suspect that we’ll see more opportunities for the medium sized blog to surf the advertising wave also.



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