Written on March 11th, 2007 at 05:03 pm by Darren Rowse

Speedlinking - 11 March 2007

Miscellaneous Blog Tips 14 comments

  • Alex writes Technorati 100: What’s Hot in the Blogosphere - a detailed analysis of what type of blogs are dominating Technorati’s top 100.
  • natnit shares 5 steps to spice up your free blog
  • Shoemoney posts an email from someone trying to extort money from him as an AdSense publisher by threatening to close down his AdSense account. I got the same email asking me for $250 a month (woohooo - I beat Shoemoney by $50 a month). I guess I need to watch out for ’special robots’….

Written on March 11th, 2007 at 12:03 pm by Darren Rowse

How to Make Money

Blogging for Dollars 1 comment

“How do I make money your way Darren?”

This was a question I was asked today by a seminar that I was attending recently so I thought I’d put together a little list of links that might be useful in answering the ‘how to make money from blogging’ question that I get asked more and more.

By no means is this all that I’ve written about the topic of making money - but I thought it might be useful for this particular person.

Written on March 10th, 2007 at 09:03 am by Darren Rowse

Alexa Selling T-Shirts with Your Domain Name on Them

Pro Blogging News 34 comments

Brian has just emailed me to let me know about a new feature that Alexa have just added to their site whereby they are selling T-Shirts with a website’s web ranking on them.

When you go to your blog’s Alexa ranking page (here’s mine) and scroll down you’ll see at little area like this:

Alexa-T-Shirts

Click on the ‘More Tees’ link and you’re taken to a page with a variety of other T-Shirt options like this (click to enlarge the thumbnail below):

Alexa-T-Shirts-1

Click one of the T-shirts and you’re taken to a Zazzle page with the ability to buy your own T-Shirt where you can customize your T-shirt and then buy it for $16.45.

Alexa-T-Shirts-2

Ok - so two responses spring to mind:

1. Cool! This could be a bit of fun and while the T-Shirts that they offer are not the coolest designs I’ve seen they could be adapted with a site logo etc to make them better.

2. Are Alexa making money from our domains? Brian who sent the email alerting me to this was anything but happy about it. Personally, I’m not sure how many people are going to be ordering these T-Shirts except for sit owners themselves - but I wonder if perhaps others might share Brian’s concerns.

Written on March 10th, 2007 at 01:03 am by Darren Rowse

The Balancing Act of Where to Pitch Your Content

Writing Content 22 comments

Balancing-ActYesterday I posted about how it’s often the simple posts aimed at the basics that get most attention on a blog.

The challenge with this is that for those blogging on established blogs with longer term and more advanced readers suddenly posting a lot of posts at a beginner level can actually mean you run the risk of alienating your regular readers.

However if you don’t post entry level posts you run the risk of alienating newer readers who are just at an early stage of learning about your niche.

A real juggling act can be needed as a result. So what to do?

Here’s a little advice for longer term bloggers on how to get the balance right.

  • Interlink to the basics - if your blog has a lot of content that is pitched at a beginner level in your archives - make it a regular practice to link to it in your current and more advanced posts (as it is relevant to do so). In this way newer readers will be driven deeper into your blog to be educated on the basics which will help them understand your more advanced work. This will also help you with search engine ranking for those basic posts that you’ve written.
  • Beginners areas - assemble an area on your blog that is dedicated to the beginner or novice in your topic. In a sense this is what I did with my blogging for beginners series which I highlight in my menu here at enternetusers. Alternatively you could start up a ‘beginners’ category for your blog which you direct first time readers to.
  • Periodic beginner posts - while you might be a little fearful of turning off your more advanced readers by doing it too much, periodic posts that cover the basics of your topic is something you will want to consider doing. If every post was targeted at the novice you might get in trouble - but to integrate an occasional one (while keeping up your more advanced content also) probably will be OK with your loyal readers.
  • Involve longer term readers - loyal readers giving you grief about too many basic posts? Why not invite them to participate in teaching the beginners. One way to show them the need for what you’re doing is to give them a job and help them feel that they’re doing something useful in helping those with less knowledge than themselves.
  • Advanced areas - beginners areas work well - but you might also like to consider special areas for your longer term and more loyal readers to find content and interact with one another. Perhaps you could start a forum for them or start a category of posts directly for them to subscribe to with an RSS feed.

BalancingKeep Your Ear to the Ground - One of the keys to getting the balance right of where to pitch your content is to be very in tune with your readership.

Listen to the comments that they leave, the questions that they’re asking, the comments that they write on their own blogs about you and even go out of your way with newer and longer term readers to see how satisfied they are by shooting them an email.

On Pleasing Everyone - The other tip that comes to mind is to make peace with the fact that you’ll never please everyone. The reality is that as your blog grows older you’ll win fans who find that what you’re writing is just where they are at but also come across readers who will critique you for being too advanced or too entry level.

While you can use some of the above strategies to attempt to cate for both groups - you can’t spend your whole life pandering to the needs of 100% of your audience. Don’t use this as an excuse not to keep improving what you do - but don’t fall into the trap of trying to keep every single reader happy - it’s a no win situation.

Written on March 9th, 2007 at 03:03 pm by Darren Rowse

What I learned Today about Being the Victim of Spam

Miscellaneous Blog Tips 27 comments

SpamAfter being the victim of a Spammer hijacking my newsletter for their own purposes earlier today there are a few lessons that I’ve learned:

1. People Hate Spam

No really - they HATE it. The hatred and anger that has ended up in my inbox today from recipients of the email that the spammer sent out with my email as the reply address has been quite amazing.

While I ‘hate’ spam I realize that my own feelings toward it are mild in comparison to some.

I’ve been called some of the most despicable names and have been threatened in ways you can only imagine as a result of this attack.

I’ve never been tempted to be a spammer but this has given me a new insight into both the damage it can do, the anger that it causes and the things that it triggers in people.

2. Don’t do Nothing

As soon as I realized what was happening I posted a post to both of the blogs concerned (here at PB and at DPS) explaining the situation.

I also sent an email to each person who emailed me to complain about the spam - even to those who were most abusive (I’m up to 500 so far). The email quickly and politely explained the situation and empathized with them getting the email.

It turns out that it was lucky that I did as I’ve heard from a number of those who were spammed that they were reporting me to a variety of blacklist services until they saw my posts and emails.

A handful of those who emailed me continued to abuse me for it - but in the main the feedback from my explanations was positive.

3. Good Things Can Come from Bad Circumstances

- the irony is that because the spammer hijacked an email that actually contained good information about my site and because I acted quickly to explain the situation to those concerned that I’ve actually found a number of new readers for my blog at DPS. A number of those impacted have already contacted me to thank me for my response and tell me that they’ve subscribed to my newsletter (the one that was used by spammers).

I’m yet to see what damage was really done today - tomorrow will be yet another day of mopping up as the majority of those impacted will no doubt wake up to the email in their inbox - however it is sometimes through the times of trial that you learn most about yourself and what you do.

Written on March 9th, 2007 at 12:03 pm by Darren Rowse

How to Promote a Blog

Blog Promotion 3 comments

If there’s a question that I get asked more than any other it’s about how to promote a blog.

Here’s some of the most popular posts that I’ve written on the topic of promoting blogs:

Written on March 9th, 2007 at 09:03 am by Darren Rowse

Spam Emails from enternetusers

enternetusers Site News 15 comments

Just a short note to let those who may have received spam from a enternetusers.net email address today that this was not actually sent by me.

A spammer who is using a legitimate email that I sent from one of my other blogs as a cover for his ads then sent the email from a enternetusers.net email address.

You can read full details of what they did here. My apologies to those who were sent this email - I understand that you are upset by it but it is not something that I had any control over and is not something I am connect with what so ever.

Written on March 9th, 2007 at 05:03 am by Darren Rowse

How Simple Posts Can Find Your Blog Readers

Miscellaneous Blog Tips 26 comments

One of the semi regular tasks that I set myself is to analyze the questions that readers are asking to find my blogs. I use a simple method that I’ve outlined previously that utilizes 103bees metrics.

Today it struck me afresh just how many of the visitors coming into my blogs are looking for the answers to incredibly simple questions.

People don’t arrive at enternetusers having asked about the complexities of blogging - they come asking ‘what is a blog’ or ‘how to start a blog’.

Sometimes as bloggers there it feels like there is a pressure to need to come up with complex and deep posts on our topic of interest. While there’s nothing wrong with this type of post (and a blogger does need to extend themselves into deeper issues to really serve their readership) it’s worth remembering that sometimes it’s the simple post that will serve you best when it comes to finding new readers via the search engines (and via other sources of traffic also).

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” - Leonardo DaVinci

Written on March 9th, 2007 at 02:03 am by Darren Rowse

Do You Read Paid Review Posts?

Pro Blogging News 85 comments

It’s been months since programs like PayPerPost and ReviewMe launched - offering bloggers money to review products, sites and services.

In that time there’s been a lot of controversy around the ethics of paid reviews and whether disclosure should be compulsory or not. I don’t really want to get into that again here - but I do have a question.

  • When you see a paid review on a blog do you read it?
  • If you read it - do you give it any more or less authority or credibility than a non paid review?

I’m asking the question(s) without any agenda - but out of my own experience of seeing more and more blogs writing paid reviews (some blogs are doing them daily and are making good money doing so).

My own experience is that while I don’t ethically have a problem with a paid review as long as it’s clearly disclosed - that I can’t remember too many times when I’ve read them beyond the first paragraph.

Perhaps I am not a typical blog reader and have become a little hardened in my old age - but I’d really love to hear of other people’s experiences. Do you read paid reviews?

I’d also like to ask a question or three to those doing paid reviews:

  • What type of response (positive or negative) have you had from readers to your reviews?
  • Do you find comments on paid reviews are higher or lower than your other posts?

Again - I’m only asking this out of a genuine interest. While I’ve not gotten into the paid review game myself because it doesn’t quite fit with my style of blogging I’d love to hear from others who have - particularly around the questions of whether you feel the reviews have impacted the quality of the interactions you’re having with readers.

Written on March 8th, 2007 at 02:03 pm by Darren Rowse

10 Simple Ways Authors Can Help to Increase Sales at Amazon.com

Miscellaneous Blog Tips 5 comments

An increasing number of bloggers are landing deals with publishers and writing books and one of the crucial aspects of a book’s success can be how it goes at Amazon.

Chris Webb has put together a list of 10 Simple Ways Authors Can Help to Increase Sales at Amazon.com which makes a lot of sense.

Authors who are bloggers have the added bonus of already having loyal readers to help keep the positive vibes in Amazon reviews going.



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