Written on December 16th, 2005 at 09:12 am by Darren Rowse

Google AdSense Webinar

Adsense 7 comments

If you’re interested in learning how to use some of the newest Google AdSense features you might like to sign up for their latest Webinar at - Google WebEx Enterprise Site. it’s being run on Wednesday 21 December at 9am Pacific Standard Time (GMT-08.00).

They’ll be looking at the referrals program, onsite advertiser sign up and section targeting among other things.

Written on December 16th, 2005 at 05:12 am by Darren Rowse

YPN - First Impression Review

Yahoo Publishing Network 15 comments

One of the benefits of moving enternetusers into the b5media network is that I have access to YPN now as b5 is a US company. I’ve just added switched my AdSense ads over to YPN to give it a test (as we’ve done with a number of our blogs). It’s too early to see any of the stats but the switch was reasonably painless.

Why did I change? The main reason was curiosity. As I’ve said before, I don’t make a lot from the ads on enternetusers (although it has been a bit higher in the past month or so it is still less than 1% of my daily earnings) so it’s not directly about the money - rather it’s an experiment that I’d like to share here and something I hope to learn from for the time that YPN goes live to international publishers and when I can sign up for my personal blogs.

I’ve changed a couple of the ad sizes as YPN has less options on this front, but have largely kept things exactly as they were before. The only other disadvantage of YPN is that they don’t have an Adlinks equivalent which means the strip of Adlinks that ran between my header boxes and the rest of content are now gone. This is a bit of a downer for me as they were the second best performing ad on this site (but I’ll take a little hit for the sake of the experiment).

So far the ads are very irrelevant but I’ve heard it can take a day or two for YPN to get a handle on what a site is about. The YPN back-end interface is easy to understand and a pleasure to use. Reports seem pretty comprehensive.

Results from the other b5 blogs that we’ve switched to YPN are interesting so far. We’ve seen a definite decrease in CTR (largely due to poorer ad relevancy as far as I can tell) but a quite remarkable increase in Click Value on most blogs we’ve tested it on so far. This has led to most of the blogs having a similar overall income to when they were with AdSense with a couple having higher than normal earnings. It’s too early to tell whether our initial results are going to stay at these levels but the indications so far are that YPN has potential.

I suspect that YPN has less ads in their stock to serve to ads at this early stage of it’s life. They are after-all still in beta so hopefully this will improve and lead to more relevant ads and a higher click through rate. Ad relevancy is something to keep in mind with any ad system as it will not only directly correlate with CTR and overall performance but has the ability to add to or detract from your blog.

At present the ads YPN are serving here are about Real Estate, Graphic Art Designs and Accounting packages - while I’ll give them a day or two to settle I doubt I’ll leave them up for long unless they start serving relevant ads as they disrupt the vibe of the page too much. AdSense on the other hand was serving highly relevant ads on blog software, advertising systems etc. This was probably partly due to some advertisers directly targeting my site.

My advice to bloggers trying to work out whether to go with YPN is as always to test and track. Some blogs will definitely benefit from YPN’s higher click value. If you have a blog on topics where there are lots of ads you could do very well. However other blogs will not do as well and it may be in your best interests to stay with AdSense or other options. The key is to be tracking the performance of whatever system you’re using currently and then when you swap over to track YPN using their channels system.

So here at enternetusers I had AdSense set up in a way where I could see how each ad unit performed with it’s own channel and now with YPN I have the same channels so I can do direct comparisons. This will enable me to make an informed decision about which one performs best.

Time will tell the story though so I’ll give it a few days to see what happens.

Written on December 16th, 2005 at 12:12 am by Darren Rowse

Study finds Stand Alone RSS Ads Do Better

RSS 18 comments

Jeremy just forwarded me this article on Clickz that shows ads in RSS that are an entry by themselves (ie the ad itself is a stand alone post) perform nine times better than RSS ads attached to other posts. They can generate CTR up to 7% (much better than any RSS ad I’ve ever had).

Good results if you want to take this approach - but my immediate question is that if you start putting posts into your RSS feeds that are just ads do you risk alienating your readers? I’ve seen a few publishers using this technique recently and the ads definitely interrupt the flow of an RSS feed. Interested in your thoughts?

The other finding in the study mentioned was that RSS ads put in every second post seem to perform better than putting ads in every post.

I have to say that my own RSS Ad experience using Adsense to provide the ads has been less than spectacular. They don’t even keep me in coffee.

What do you think about these findings? Do you use RSS ads? Would you consider using them as stand alone posts?

Written on December 15th, 2005 at 10:12 pm by Darren Rowse

Yahoo! Currently Updating Index

Search Engine Optimization 6 comments

It looks like Yahoo! are doing an Update at the moment. I tend not to get a lot of traffic from them but it’s always interesting to see what impact their updates have.

Yahoo invites your feedback on the update on their blog.

Thanks to Hagrin for the tip.

Written on December 15th, 2005 at 10:12 pm by Darren Rowse

Blogger Web Comments for Firefox

Blogging Tools and Services 4 comments

Google have just launched a Firefox extension (called Blogger Web Comments for Firefox) that allows websurfers to view what people are wrlting about those pages on their blogs.

It is based on two other Google products, Blogger and Blog Search.

When you surf to a page which people have blogged about the comments/posts others have made on their blogs come up in a window in the bottom right hand corner of Firefox.

Here’s how it looks on enternetusers where there is currently 1 ‘of many’ comments.

Picture 1

You can also hit the little arrow in the top right of the popup window to show more comments and make it look like this:

Picture 4

If I click on the ‘make money online’ link it takes me to the blog post where the comment was made (is that a splog?).

If I click the ‘many’ link it goes to this blog search results page

If I click the ‘Add comment’ it takes me to a Blogger Login window (below) where I can login and make a comment if I have a blogger account.

Picture 2

Here’s where I make the comment once I’ve logged in. You’ll see in the lower right hand corner that I’m given a choice of which Blogger blog I want to post it to. I don’t actually have any live ones any more - I did have a few in the early days so really the ‘add a comment’ feature is pretty useless to me.

Picture 3-1

So really what we’ve got here is an extension that is tying together two Google products, namely Blogger and Blog Search. It’s a nifty tool to find information (ie blog search follows all different platforms of blogs which is useful) but the commenting feature will be pretty useless unless you’re a Blogspot/Blogger user. They do say in their FAQ that they hope to add other platforms in future to use the ‘add comments’ feature.

You can learn more about ‘Blogger Web Comments’ at their FAQ page.

update: After about 10 minutes of using the plugin I’m starting to find it annoying already. Maybe I’ll get used to it but I can see it could become quite distracting as so many of the pages I read are blogs and blogs will obviously feature very highly as commented pages - the little blue box is just always there in the corner of my eye.

Written on December 15th, 2005 at 09:12 pm by Darren Rowse

Google Adsense Gift Picture

Adsense 15 comments

Adsense-Christmas-Gift-1

Thanks to Grant for emailing me a picture of the AdSense Christmas Gift for some publishers. (Click to enlarge). It is a:

  • carrying case with embossed google logo. zipper closure
  • wireless mini mouse, with scroll wheel
  • usb charger for mouse with retractable cord
  • usb 4 port hub
  • usb gooseneck led light
  • 128mb usb flash drive with wrist strap
  • headset with retractable cord. has two plugs (one for mic and one for earbud) so it is for a computer, not a mobile phone.

Written on December 15th, 2005 at 11:12 am by Darren Rowse

How pictures can sell your post (and your product)

Writing Content, Blog Design 24 comments

ArieannafoleyNext up in the 12 Days of Christmas Series is a blog tip from Pro Blogger Arieanna Foley - a (blogger who has at last count) involvement in over 16 blogs (actually it’s probably more than that now she’s a channel editor at b5) on a wide range of topics. She blogs for herself at Blogaholics and for b5 at the popular Cooking Gadgets and She Knows Best. She’s also our Entertainment Channel editor. Here’s her tip on using images in posts.

Although I give due credit to the amazing Rhys Alexander on the importance of “Writing Gooder“, but a blog post is not all about what you say or how you say it. Face it, there are hundreds of things that just slip past us, well written or not.

Here’s the problem: your reader has a very very short attention span. You might get just a portion of a second of their attention, in which you need to grab hold of them to keep reading. I have honestly unsubscribed from some blogs not because I was bored of them, but I honestly didn’t have the time to read their posts. They were long and unscannable - I’m sorry - I love them, but I read 400 blogs, and I need shortcuts.

We all know of certain techniques to improve these Attention Techniques. Good blog design, catchy titles, shorter posts, text techniques, and breaking up long paragraphs.

Well, I’m here to tell you another trick that can not only smack your readers across the face to get their attention, but also help you make money.

Let me give you an example. You just saw me above doing a few things. Using fairly short paragraphs, and where not possible, more bolding. Why, because I know you won’t read this. I could be telling you the meaning of life, and you’d probably miss it. Many good pieces of work go unnoticed in the same way.

Now, what if I had given the same chunk of text above as this:

J0384170-2“Well, I’m here to tell you another trick that can not only smack your readers across the face to get their attention, but also help you make money.

Let me give you an example. You just saw me above doing a few things. Using fairly short paragraphs, and where380156 6537 not possible, more bolding. Why, because I know you won’t read this. I could be telling you the meaning of life, and you’d probably miss it. Many good pieces of work go unnoticed in the same way. ”

Does that grab your attention? The point proves itself easily. When you are being scanned at an alarmingly fast rate in an RSS reader you have only one chance to slow that motion down. Images do that for you.

Now, how do images make you money?

Simple! When you grab those images from some sort of affiliate program, like Amazon. Think that’s out of your reach? Never. Whether you write about products or not, Amazon is a treasure trove of information, resources, and images.

There are books on just about any topic - you can just stick one in your post, related or not, to get that attention. If you can find something related, go for it.

Some tricks:

  • always use the picture only.
  • wrap it in your text, if at all possible.
  • sizes can be modified, so do what feels right for the length of your post.
  • don’t limit yourself to just books - Amazon.com has great products in almost any range
  • think of your market - if you are writing on stocks, what do you think your demographic might be interested in? Think complimentary products

So, remember, images are not just about making your point - images are about making sure someone pays attention to your point. And maybe picking up a few sales here and there.

Written on December 15th, 2005 at 09:12 am by Darren Rowse

Google Adsense Gift Pack Arrives

Adsense 11 comments

It seems that the Google Adsense Present has started arriving for some of their bigger publishers. The description of it by one forum participant is:

- marooon carrying case with embossed google logo. zipper closure
- wireless mini mouse, with scroll wheel
- usb charger for mouse with retractable cord
- usb 4 port hub
- usb gooseneck led light
- 128mb usb flash drive with wrist strap
- headset with retractable cord. has two plugs (one for mic and one for earbud) so it is for a computer, not a mobile phone.

Congratulations to Stefan who ‘guessed’ it in the comments on my competition post. Now if I could only find the prize…

There’s no word on what the figure you need to earn to get the pack is. Some publishers are reporting that they got a New Years Card instead. If anyone’s got one so far send me a picture and I’ll post it here.

also via Google Send me Expensive Christmas Present and google gift arrived

Written on December 15th, 2005 at 07:12 am by Darren Rowse

Amazon earnings up 100%

Affiliate Programs 20 comments

Just logged into my Amazon Affiliate program account (which I reviewed here to check the daily stats and it looks like December is going to be a bumper month with a lot of Christmas shopping going on. While it doesn’t come close to comparing to other income streams earnings on my account are up from around $10 per day to over $60 per day.

It looks like all the deep linking I did within posts (see point 4 here) a couple of months ago is paying off. It’s a time consuming thing but well worth the effort. Earnings are up by just under 100% for the same period last year.

Of course all it needs is for a $2000 camera to be sold and the daily earnings can be up as much as $150.

How are others going with their affiliate programs in the lead up to Christmas?

Written on December 15th, 2005 at 12:12 am by Darren Rowse

Six Figure Bloggers Becoming More Common

Adsense 28 comments

The latest Poll of the week has been up for 36 hours and has already had 549 responses (by the time this post goes live it’ll probably be closer to 600).

The question is ‘Last Month, how much did you make from AdSense?‘ and the results so far are causing a fair bit of comment around the wider blogging community. The graph below fits with my own personal experience in dealing with AdSense publishers.

I haven’t included those who responded with ‘I don’t use AdSense’ in this graph (there are 15% of responses at this point who responded this way) but I will include them in the final results in another 5 or so days.

Picture 3

There are obviously a lot of bloggers at the bottom end making less than 34 cents per day with AdSense (27% of those who responded) with a further 10% making under the $1 per day mark. This is very important to keep in mind if you’re just getting into blogging with dollar signs in your eyes. Drink in these figures and give yourself a reality check if this is you. While there are some nice earnings in this mix the vast majority of respondents are not getting rich from blogging.

Having said this (I do like to create a realistic picture so please forgive me for putting a downer on this) what I’m fascinated by is the growing number of bloggers in the upper categories.

Previously when I’ve done this type of survey I’ve struggled to find many earning over six figures in a year, but this indicates that there are an increasing number of bloggers around who might just be in this category (assuming their November figures are representative of their yearly ones). 18 bloggers so far are on track for $120,000 years from AdSense if this is the case.

Keep in mind this is only AdSense figures and some bloggers these days have swapped to other income streams.

I’ll hold off on making too many comments too early on these results. If you haven’t voted yet please consider joining in. Participating is totally anonymous, I’m not tracking who is voting for what - rather I’m hoping this and the following polls will give us a snapshot of the pro blogging community. Spread the word among your blogging buddies and get them to stop by to add their own experience into the mix.



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