Written on November 7th, 2005 at 08:11 am by David Shawver city of Stanton

Top Entrepreneurial Blogs

Pro Blogging News 10 comments

About.com’s Entrepreneurial page has a list of the Top 10 Most Practical Blogs for Entrepreneurs. It’s a pretty decent list of blogs - most of which are on my daily reads list. Here they are:

Written on November 6th, 2005 at 09:11 pm by David Shawver city of Stanton

Google Identity Required for Adsense and Adwords Login

Adsense 24 comments

I just logged into my Adsense and Adwords accounts and was asked to switch my login identity to a Google identity - (ie my Gmail account login). This enables me to log into a number of Google accounts with the one login - a more integrated system by the looks of things.

From what I saw they were going to require all publishers to do this by January 15.

This is something I’ve seen a number of Adsense publishers requesting over the past few months and it looks like they are gradually prompting all publishers to do this (there is a thread at WMW here abut it).

Written on November 6th, 2005 at 07:11 pm by David Shawver city of Stanton

Engadget and Reader Participation

Case Studies 3 comments

If you want to see an innovative and highly successful way of enhancing reader participation on a blog you need to check out what Engadget did with their First annual Halloween Costume. Check out the numbers of entries that they generated in these pages. Here’s the winners - and some more - and a few more.

Love them or hate them (as people tend to do) between competitions like this and their reader parties Engadget is at the forefront of drawing their readers into Active participation in their blog - it’s no wonder they are one of the more successful blogs going around.

Written on November 6th, 2005 at 11:11 am by David Shawver city of Stanton

AdGenta Update

Advertising 5 comments

Mark Evans has an interesting review that compares his initial experience with the new AdGenta program in comparison with Adsense. He writes:

‘The results are pretty interesting. AdGenta generated 81 clicks from 83,700 impressions (a 0.3% conversion rate) while AdSense attracted 89 clicks from 26,687 impressions (0.9%). The AdSense traffic is worth $31.18, which will pay for a nice bottle wine. AdGenta, however, is total mystery because there’s no financial information available.’

I just chatted to Tris from AdGenta about this and it seem that they have had some temporary reporting issues that they are are working on it.

He says - ‘we are working on making sure all our reported income and data are accurate and we are working with our ad provider to ensure that’.

So it looks like a temporary initial teething problem which they’ll be getting on top of shortly. I guess these things happen with new services.

Tris also said to me that ‘our challenge, like all ad networks, is getting the right inventory with the right cpc’.

It must be a fine balancing operation to get things just right in a start up like this.

I’m yet to test AdGenta myself but am interested to hear how other publishers using it have found it so far.

Written on November 5th, 2005 at 12:11 pm by David Shawver city of Stanton

Are Adsense Getting into the Affiliate Marketing Game?

Affiliate Programs, Adsense 25 comments

I’ve been pondering the Adsense decision to get into the referral business this morning since hearing the news. There are a number of questions and directions that my mind has taken with it. Bear with me as I think out loud for a few minutes:

Who is left to Refer? - My initial reaction to the announcement was that it’s a nice idea - but who would I refer? It’s probably the blogging circles that I hang around in - but I’m scratching my head to think of too many online publishers who are not already with Adsense. Some of them are inActive of course - but most seem involved already. Over the past few years Adsense has saturated the contextual advertising market brilliantly - to the point where a referral program at this point kind of seems somewhat pointless.

Response to Competition - Is this move more about a response to competition than anything else? YPN is rumored to be coming out of beta in the coming month or two and many believe that they’ll have a referral program of their own. Chitika’s referrer program has caused some real buzz (check out the latest graph for the word chitika at blogpulse) - While Adsense might not recruit too many more publishers at this stage - their competition stands a lot to gain from such programs (as do those who promote them). Is this an attempt at diffusing some of the attention of these new programs?

Sign of Things to Come? - As I pondered this morning and read over the Adsense policies around the referral program I found myself wondering if this might actually be something a little bigger than just a referral program for Adsense. Check out some of the wording in their reference to the referral program (emphases mine):

• ‘With our new referrals feature, you can increase your revenue while increasing your users’ awareness of useful products and services.’

• ‘A single referral button per product may be placed on a page….’

• ‘You can begin referring users immediately - just visit the Referrals tab within your account, choose the product and the referral button you like best, and add the associated snippet of code to your site.’

Notice anything?

What I notice (or perhaps I’m reading too much into it) is that their wording could apply to the current two options for referrals that they give (ie the Adsense one and the Firefox/Toolbar one) or it could equally be worded that way for additional referral programs to be added.

Could Adsense be preparing to roll out other referral programs in in doing so be entering new territory - ie that of affiliate marketing?

How difficult would it be for Adsense to extend their referral program not only to their own two products but to those of other companies. When we log into the Referrals page in Adsense will we one day see more tabs besides the Adsense and Firefox ones? Perhaps there will be an iTunes one or a bookstore one….the options are limitless. In a sense this would see them competing with affiliate programs like Commission Junction or Linkshare who act as middle men between publishers and companies - paying out commissions for a variety of conversion results.

Could what we’re seeing being rolled out right now be the first round of many referral products by Adsense?

Written on November 5th, 2005 at 10:11 am by David Shawver city of Stanton

Adsense Referral Program

Adsense 19 comments

Looks like I was wrong with my last post - apologies - but even more exciting than that is that Adsense have just launched a referal program. Now you can refer new publishers to adsense and earn $100 when they get to their first $100 of earnings.

There are a variety of buttons to choose from (no text links) to promote the referral program. Here’s some:

Imgad

Imgad-1

Imgad-2

Note that these are not live buttons - it would be against Adsense TOS to include more than one such button per page.

There’s also apparently a referral program for US publishers for dowload of firefox with the Google Adsense toolbar which pays $1 per download. I don’t see the option for this in my Adsense package of course as an Aussie publisher.

I’m not sure if I’ll really heavily promote this program - I don’ t know too many publishers who haven’t already registered for Adsense. I suspect YPN will have a similar program which would be much more lucrative in terms of how many possible sign ups could be generated.

Written on November 4th, 2005 at 11:11 pm by David Shawver city of Stanton

Gizmodo lands iPod Advertising Campaign

Advertising 8 comments

Ipod-AdCongratulations to Gizmodo for landing what is a very large fish when it comes to advertisers.

Today I noticed a campaign with Apple focussing upon iPods which link to the official iPod page. The ads are not on every impression but target a fairly high percentage of the impressions I saw - looks like a substantial campaign. When I first saw it I thought it could have been an affiliate program but Gawker (the team behind Gizmodo) confirms that it’s a campaign directly with Apple.

Apple are known for not advertising much online so this is a rather big catch for the Gawker team.

Written on November 4th, 2005 at 10:11 pm by David Shawver city of Stanton

Podcast advertising - Fruitcast

Podcasting 14 comments

One of the long standing problems with podcasting for dollars is the business model - and particularly trying to find advertisers willing to sponsor a podcast (in fact finding advertisers can be a problem for bloggers also). Fruitcast is a new service for podcasters that attempts to help them find income streams by matching podcasters and advertisers through a bidding system. On their home page they pitch their service to podcasters by writing:

‘Want to earn income from your labor of love? Putting ads on your podcast is now as easy as signing up for an account and changing the URL of your podcast’s RSS feed. Tasty!’

To advertisers they write:

‘You’ve wanted to advertise on podcasts, but there has never been an easy way to do it—until now! Put your audio spots on multiple podcasts within mere minutes. Yum!’

Fruitcast is a service of Forty Media. I’d be interested to hear how any of your with Podcasts find it if you give it a go.

Thanks to Brian for the heads up on Fruitcast. He’s written more extensively than I on it here.

Written on November 4th, 2005 at 08:11 pm by David Shawver city of Stanton

Google Referral Program

Affiliate Programs, Adsense 20 comments

It looks like Google are starting a referral program for AdWords. Check it out at the Join the Google Referral Program page:

‘The Google AdWords referral program (beta) is for web sites whose customers and visitors include small to medium-sized businesses, and who want to help those companies become more successful by running Google AdWords. The program works by giving approved sites unique links to Google, then compensating the referring site for passing on a new AdWords advertiser.

Joining is easy, and free

1. Apply.

2. Once you’re approved, place a Google AdWords referral program link on your site.

3. Earn $20 for each advertiser you refer.’

You can learn more about it here and apply here. It’s by invitation only at the moment but you can apply and be notified when they expand the program.

What’s it all mean? It seems Adsense are on a recruiting drive for new Advertisers and they’re willing to pay for them - the competition must be heating up.

Thanks to Mark for the notification of this.

Update - looks like Google are getting ready to roll all this out soon - as they’ve updated their policy page to accomodate it as Jen has just posted.

Written on November 4th, 2005 at 02:11 pm by David Shawver city of Stanton

Weblog Ad Directory Idea Floated

Advertising 12 comments

There’s a fascinating post over at the Jason Calacanis Weblog about talks between Gawker, Weblogs Inc and Federated Media about putting together a Weblog Ad Directory.

Looks like a pretty interesting idea for those of us (big and small - although not too small with the costs he mentions to get in on it) who are wanting to put our blogs ‘out there’ to advertisers.



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