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Archive for June, 2008

29
Jun

John Chow Noticed Me?

Ok so I know this isn’t something too terribly special. Today I look at my pending adverts and see John Chow staring right at me. I’m not even that big of a fan on his blog, but the fact that he is the leader in my niche, and that he chose to pay me to advertise on my Entrecard widget is pretty cool.

Chances are he chose my blog for one or two reasons. One, I only cost about 32-64 credits to advertise on, and two, I’m in the same niche as him. You’ll soon see him popping his card into my widget in the next few days.

I haven’t really talked that much about Entrecard. It’s something at least worth you looking into, but if you’re still unsure I’ll have some posts about it soon. It’s really one of those things, what is your situation, and where you stand with blogging.

28
Jun

My First Dollar

I would like to make my first dollar with the blog while I’m gone. How great of a boost would that be to come back with an advertiser waiting to pay to advertise on my blog? I guess technically, I’ve earned $150 via the video camera I won in the Noob’s contest for the post about his contest on my blog, but that’s a prize.

What I will sell for my first dollar. I will sell you a 125×125 ad on my blog. I will sell up to six of these. I will sell up to five blogroll links. I will even go as far as lowering the price of a paid plug. $10 gets you a post about almost anything on this blog. These prices are a once in a lifetime chance on this blog. Only a dollar for a 125×125 ad or link, and only $10 for a paid plug.

These deals will only be available until I return from vacation. The first six comments saying they will buy a 125×125 will get the spots, the first five blogroll comments will get those spots, and I will take as many paid plugs as are wanted. Obviously, they will be published in order over a certain length of time.

So why not? I’m getting some decent traffic on this blog, and I’m going to strive to make it better. This could be your chance to get some exposure for very little money.

26
Jun

Sticking With It

To make it in the blogging world, the biggest and most important factor of blogging itself is sticking with it. You could be doing everything possible to get views to your blog, and then just before your blog was about to take off, you quit. Starting is the hardest part. It may be fun to some people, but starting your first blog is the hard one.

It’s your first blog, you came in not knowing really what to expect. You may have thought that you wouldn’t get a slow start. That you had so many contacts out there that would be subscribing to your blog and reading your content. Maybe even a few active commenters. Even when all these old friends don’t seem to support you as they may once have, you have to keepĀ  going.

Then just as you think you may have done a few things right and your subscriber count starts to go up you start to relax. You stop going all over advertising your site. A few days later, your subscriber count drops, drops hard. and you will realize what I’m starting to see. It’s not easy.

I am sticking with it because I know what is to come. I know of the fun a blog with an active fan base, earning a healthy income every month, and the notoriety that comes with being a top blogger. If you quit when you have 20, 30, or more posts, what are you going to say? You spent around $100 minimum and you quit.

Stick with it. Try new techniques. Search for new blogs out there with new information that may help you get what it is you are hoping to achieve with your blog. If you are slowly starting to receive traffic and a small stream of income then you shouldn’t have any problems continuing. Realize you won’t be the next John Chow, but you may just be one of the next big dogs.

25
Jun

Make Money Your Money Multiply

I’ve got three blogs, and only one of them is really pulling in a constant stream of money. There are hundreds of ways to make money on the internet. Why not take the money you earn from blogging, and put it into something to multiply your earnings?

You have the noob trying to take his earnings from his make money blog and make money by buying and selling domain names. There is Neil no doubt using his earnings towards future facebook affiliate marketing campaigns. Lastly, there is Caroline who I believe is putting some earnings towards her new StumbleRush program which is a guide to using StumbleUpon.

All three of these prominent bloggers have put some, if not a lot of their earnings towards making more money online. The biggest example would be the owner of Entrecard. He $5,000 from the money he got for selling his blog, and hired coders to design the site. They are now pulling in several hundred daily.

You don’t have to go out there and create the next Entrecard, but you can certainly put it towards something to help you make more money. If not a new website, maybe put it towards advertising the launch of a new blog. There are hundreds of options. I am pursuing one one these hundreds with the earnings from my blog. Good luck.

23
Jun

Serious About Blogging? Smart Phones

Are you serious about becoming a big time blogger? What are you doing while you ride as a passenger in an automobile? What are you doing while you wait for your barber to be ready? Yes, I’m going this far, what are you doing while you are on the toilit? You should be blogging.

Now, I’m not saying that I blog on the toilit, but if you like to take your time, what’s stopping you? Cell phones are becoming better and better. The capabilities of some of the newer versions are astonishing. I just recently picked up my new Palm Centro and couldn’t believe what I could do. Besides actually going on the internet, taking pretty high quality videos (unless there is a lot of movement), and of course the full keyboard and touch screen, it has Microsoft Word. What do that mean? All that time that you spend in your life just sitting, waiting, you could turn productive on your phone.

Imagine this, you watch an hour of television everyday, and you make hundreds of dollars a month simply from that. You typed up your daily posts while waiting between commercials. You will still have to do the advertising, sales, and other blog upkeep, but you’d be doing the writing while watching tv.

If you are serious about blogging, the next time your plan expires why not put in a little money. My Palm Centro cost me $100 after rebates and with a two year contract that I would have already paid for anyways. Now I can turn my down time into writing up posts for you guys. I’ve yet to publish anything from my phone, but I do have a few nice articles typed up on there. It may be a bit more geared towards younger bloggers as typing on these tiny keys could take a lot more time for those of you who have troubles even texting.

22
Jun

StumbleUpon Vs. Digg Vs. Reddit

These are three of the top social bookmarking sites out there. Personally, I couldn’t really recommend one over the other without knowing many different things about you, your website, and your viewers. I suggest you experiment a little bit with each of these to discover which one is of real benefit to your site, and worth spending some of your valuable time mastering.

As you will learn by reading my blog over time, that I spent months as a freelance writer. I got paid per view, so it made me realize the importance of social bookmarking. You learned so much by experimenting with the many different bookmarking sites. Everything from time of submission to who submits it. There are so many variables that can affect your content that you submit, the biggest of which is obviously quality and interest, but many other things can affect it as well.

StumbleUpon was the first social bookmarking site I truly had success with receiving mass traffic from. My friends and fans from the freelance writing site I was a member of got together, added one another as friends on StumbleUpon and started to submit our daily content. We would send links to our articles to their Stumble bar and get some thumbs up votes from each other. As you may know, it only takes about fifteen or so thumbs up votes to actually start seeing numbers in the thousands for views. If you get one thousand views, you can only assume you will get way more than fifteen thumbs ups, and the increasing number of thumbs up will also increase how many people see your page.

StumbleUpon is a site for a few different kind of people. This is probably the most targeted traffic bookmarking site of them all. Users select what topics they are interested in and just continue to search for sites in that interest. They don’t pick and choose which websites to visit as the tool bar brings them to the site and they can either move on or rate the content. It is also for bloggers in just about any niche. You can establish a decent sized group of friends and you’ll get off to a quick start.

Digg is and always will be a techie site at heart. It has strayed away from computer related content, but the majority of the categories, and a large percentage of the users, are still there for the computer content. You can have great success publishing content that techies would like to read. You will be showing them content they want to read, and that they want to see on the front page. The users who will like this content are people who have high reputation on the site and will most likely be users whos Diggs count for more than an average Digg.

Reddit is a spin off of Digg. They focus their site on quality content by allowing you to only publish one new article on the site per hour. That way there aren’t as many people spamming up multiple links to their own sites in the same half hour. While it is not totally effective, it works. This is probably not a site for a blogger. It takes more time to get established into the community, and honestly, it’s not as effective even when you do get established. The site also focuses on high quality content. Your blog posts that you write, mostly from your head, in one sitting, and without proofreading, are not the high quality posts that will make it front page.

21
Jun

Comments

Comments are one of many factors in determining a blogs popularity. They have numerous benefits to both the commenter, and the author of the blog. By commenting on a blog, you can effect future posts that are more geared towards your needs.

There are several positive outcomes that can result from commenting on a blogs post. If you are in the same niche, you can try to add on to the bloggers knowledge by adding some information to what they have already discussed. Not only does this increase their knowledge, but helps put your own thoughts to words and show your knowledge to the blogger and anybody who reads the comments. If you comment on a blog you will also receive a backlink to your blog by filling in the URL. You will be noticed by the blogger, and he may even head over to your site. Lastly, in the event of future contests, you may even win simply because you are a long time reader.

Then there is the advantage for the blogger. Their blog appears popular because people are commenting on it. This can tell new visitors that the blog is a widely read blog, even if it isn’t it may give this impression. They will also encourage the blogger. Myself, and any other blogger out there included do not enjoy the feeling of publishing to nobody. We blog, at least partially, to share our knowledge and put our wisdom to words for your benefit. Comments can help us learn from you, they encourage us, and they make it more fun to blog.

To give a little extra incentive, anybody who reads this post can earn a free backlink to your blog. Simply post a comment. I will put you in an upcoming post to show my gratitude. Include the phrase ‘benefits of commenting’ in your comment that is at least two sentences long and you’ve got a backlink.

20
Jun

Want Views Fast? Try These Social Bookmarking Sites

I’ve said it before, but when your blog is just starting out, even the artificial bookmarking traffic can be beneficial in picking up a few subscribers. I’m not really into submitting my own articles to these sites, and usually wait for one of my readers if possible, but that doesn’t always happen. If you are in desperate need of traffic and subscribers you may want to look into these social bookmarking site.

Digg is one of the biggest out there. It started off as more of a techie computer geek site, but has since turned into a place for users to submit all kinds of content. If your blog is more of a computer oriented site you will have great success here. That, or sites with pretty amazing posts. Honestly, the posts on this blog aren’t really suited for Digg simply because it is regaurded as simply another spam addition to the site about getting rich. Not a surprise.

StumbleUpon is probably the easiest to use for several reasons. The biggest of which is, they don’t have to be caught by your title to be sent to your site. They only have to have the content area you submit it to in their interests to be sent to your page. This will have deadly effects on your bounce rate, but traffic is traffic. Basically any kind of content is suitable for StumbleUpon as long as you submit it in the correct category.

Reddit is a site very similar to Digg except they have a very strict limitation. You can only submit one page per hour last I checked. It is impossible to get to the front page without being a more recognized member on Reddit, or having killer content. Nonetheless, it’s good for capturing a few views, and depending upon your niche you may find great success with Reddit.

There are many negatives that come with adding your sites to social bookmarking sites, but you can outweight these with the possitives. All of these sites will become more effective as your account status is raised by constant quality additions to the site, as well as careful critiquing of content submitted by others.

19
Jun

Starting a Free Blog: Blogger Stats

If you choose to use Blogger over WordPress, one of the biggests cons to your choice is the stats. You won’t get the instantly updating stats of WordPress. Like any blogger, you will want to see how many views you are getting, and what keywords you’ve hit it big on. Google once again, has the solution.

Google Analytics is the accepted ‘universal’ stats system. The ability to set up accounts for potential advertisers to look at the stats is a huge feature. It can be the difference in landing the advertiser, or them being suspicious of fake numbers and passing your blog up.

There are many features that Google Analytics has that the default WordPress stats system doesn’t have. Some of the bigger features I like about it are the different breakdowns they will show you. They will show you which countries are viewing your content, which pages are being viewed, where each and every visitor is coming from (the page they were on before yours), and of course, search engine terms. They also keep track of the uniques versus page views, as there is a difference. WordPress will just show how many pages were loaded. You never know if your visitors are viewing one page and leaving, or if not that many people are going to your blog, but the few that do look at a lot of pages.

So sign up for your free Google account. Right after you are done setting up that account, click on the ‘my account’ and set up your Google Analytics stats system. It is pretty self explanitory. After you’ve done that, you may also like to add my blog to your iGoogle RSS reader.

18
Jun

FireFox 3

That’s right, FireFox 3 just launched today. They are actually attempting to set a world record for most downloads in a day. If you are using FireFox already, why not upgrade today? I just thought I’d share this, as my Google analytics shows that a large majority of my members use FireFox. FireFox is the fastest internet browser out there. They are far more superior than Internet Explorer. To support this I will outline a few reasons why I made the switch.

About six months ago I was using Internet Explorer 7. I’m using a desktop computer that is connected wirelessly to a network. While I realized it would be a little slower than the networks computer, I never thought it would be that slow. So one day I realized, everybody keeps talking about this FireFox browser, why not check it out? I tried it, an hour later I uninstalled IE7 from my computer.

When making the switch to FireFox, they will bring over all of your favorites. That way you don’t lose them. There is a cool feature where you can save all your login information, and all you have to do is enter a masterpassword when you open the browser, and they will be filled in for you as you go to these sites. A spell check is built into the browser. Everytime you have an error in a word, it will underline it for you. There are also hundreds, of thousands, of applications you can add. Personally I’ve gone with SEOQuake which gives information like Google Page Rank, Google Index, Alexa Rating, the age of the site, and many other things, Quick Note which lets me quickly open a note pad and save little bits of information I need, and there are several others I use as well.

So if you haven’t made the switch, now is the time. You don’t lose your favorites when upgrading, or switching. It’s worth a try, and it will speed up your interenet browsing by a noticeable amount.