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New Gawker Media Blogs Launch

Gawker Media today are releasing two new blogs (currently password protected but about to go live). They are Gridskipper, a travel related blog, and Lifehacker, a blog about software downloading and time saving.

Both of these new blogs already have corporate sponsorship (Sony for Lifehacker and Cheaptickets for Gridskipper).

MediaDailyNews writes: ‘Lifehacker will include software download recommendations and content about spam filters, virus killers, spyware, search engines, e-mail applications, Internet phones, and general productivity tips. It’s a counterpart to Gizmodo, Gawker Media’s blog that reviews consumer electronics, but will be written in a less snarky style than sister blogs Gawker, Defamer, and Wonkette, said Gawker Media Publisher Nick Denton….

‘In a statement on its Web site, Gridskipper proclaims itself “the decadent travel guide,” and describes its mission as: “Scouring the world for discount flights, chic hotels–and pretty people.” Andrew Krucoff, a former guest writer on Gawker and Fleshbot, will edit the site, which will focus on urban travel.’

Making chunks of change from Blogging

There is a good basic article over at Emerging Technology – Discover Magazine about how people are making money from their blogs. Its a good summary of the emerging trend of bloggers to monetize their blogs and largely focuses upon the Adsense method and whilst most ProBloggers won’t learn much from it it will probably wet the appetite of bloggers wanting to experiment with this growing desktop industry.

‘Why should we care about such small change? Because most of us, whether we recognize it or not, have a passion about something. Maybe you’re an armchair astronomer or a guy who restores 1964–65 Corvettes. Maybe you follow cricket religiously or know more about the Battle of Antietam than academic historians. Or maybe you can wire a home theater system in your sleep. That wisdom may be genuinely useful or interesting to other people, yet chances are you’ve never shared it with more than family and friends.

Now that expertise has a place to go. Bit by bit over the past 10 years, the Web has erected a global platform for personal wisdom. Services like AdSense—along with other advertising outfits, including one called Blogads, which focuses exclusively on blogs—are simply the final plank. You can now compose, design, publish, promote, and make money from your writing without ever leaving your desk.’

Read more at This is not a dream: You can make a chunk of change by writing a Web log

How to Research a Profitable Blog Topic

A while back when I asked you what you’d like to ask professional bloggers in my upcoming interview series MM asked:

‘I want to know what kind of research they did before they jumpstart a new blog. How do they gauge the “marketability” or earning potential of a new topic?’

I’ll ask the question when I start my interview series (first interview will be released this week) – but thought it was worth attempting an answer here also from my own perspective.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The best research that I’ve ever done on a topic for a potential blog is this…
[Read more...]

Search Engine Optimization for Blogger Blogs

Wayne has been posing hard til it hurts over at Search Engine Journal where he’s just written a series of excellent Seach Engine Optimization (SEO) posts on optimizing your Blogger Blog. It is a series in four parts (so far):

- Search Engine Optimization and Blogger Blogs Part One

- SEO & Blogger Part 2 – Search Engine Power of Blogs

- SEO & Blogger Part 3 – On Page Blog Optimization Techniques

- SEO & Blogger Part 4 – The Link Power of Blogs

The techniques that Wayne talks about and observations that he makes are good solid SEO strategies that are proven to work – not only on Blogger blogs but on other blogging formats and normal websites. It is easy to be overwhelmed by SEO strategy – I know when I first started looking into it I was totally confused but it is well worth doing a little research and having some of the basics in your mind as you blog. Don’t become obsessed by it – but be informed and where you can use the basics to enhance your chances of being ranked highly by the search engines.

Update: Wayne has also posted this series in full on his own blog at Optimization for Blogger Hosted Blogs

Third Party Blogging – Charge Out Rates

Today I received another email from a company wanting to know how much I would charge to write a blog for them. It seems to be a semi regular (and increasing request that I get). I’m very interested in developing and maintaining blogs for others but am at a bit of a loss as to know how much such a service is worth. I know a number of readers of this blog do this type of work and was wondering if you’d be kind enough to give the rest of us (or just me via email) a hint at what the going rate is for this type of work?

Do you work it out per hour, per post, per week, per visitors generated, per % of revenue generated or some combination of the above?

I know how much I can make from one of my blogs but how much would you charge to blog for someone else? Feel free to leave a comment below either anonymously or with your details or shoot me an email with anything (specific or general) you’d like.

Make Money off Your Blog

Washington Post has an article today about making money off a blog. Their tips are pretty predictable and basic and centre around Adsense, Blog ads, Affiliates, Donations and Merchandising. Nothing too new there but interesting to see another article about blogging (pro blogging at that) in a bigger news outlet. They write:

‘You pound on the keyboard each day, broadcasting your unalloyed truths to the world (or at least to friends and family) via your blog. Unfortunately, earning such singular authority demands serious time and energy, and what begins as a hobby can quickly start seeming like Job No. 2 — sans paycheck. But haven’t you heard? You can turn your Web log into a digital cash cow. Simply choose among these techniques (but keep in mind that it’s not all free money — come tax season, Uncle Sam gets his fair share).’

Read more at Make Money off Your Blog

Tell me what you want, what you really really want

ProBlogger is entering into a time of change. I’m approaching my 500th post on the blog after a few months of writing and the time has come to up the anti and take things to the next level in terms of design, content and focus.

As part of this I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on how ProBlogger can better serve you in your commercial blogging ventures.
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The Entrepreneurial Blog Glenn Fleishman

Glenn Fleishman over at GlennLog has just posted a link to an audio (and visuals of his powerpoint) at Business Blogging Summit which currently really enjoying listening to. His main headings were.

  • Obsess
  • Exhaust
  • Report
  • Choose
  • Expand
  • Earn
  • Populate
  • Perform

Let me just mention a few points he makes within these topics that resonate with my experience in Entrepreneurial Blogging over the past 18 months. The following is a combo of Glenn’s thoughts which I’m adding to and giving a few examples of:

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The Benefits of having a country Top Level Domain

Lee Johnson has a good article pointing out some of the Benefits of having a country Top Level Domain ie a .uk, or .au domain name:

‘Most of the large search engines will give you a higher search ranking for a site that has the tld of the searchers country. For example, if someone from the United Kingdom is performing a search for widgets, a search engine will often rank widgets.co.uk higher than other sites selling the same product but only have a .com tld.

Having a country specific tld will also allow you to be included in a lot of great country directories that stipulate that your domain name has a certain tld. Getting your site into these directories can be a great way of improving your search engine website rankings as these are 1 way links from authority sites for your chosen subject. These kind of links are graded much higher than reciprocal linking…’

Lee goes on to share other benefits also. It is an interesting question and one that I’ve often considered. My main livingroom.org.au domain now hosts a number of blogs – and there have been some definite advantages of this approach. i do rank very well on google.com.au but on the other side of things there are some costs worth considering of having a more localized URL.

If you’re blogging about a global topic the .au can cause problems both in search engines but also with ‘the look’ of the URL. I’ve had a number of people write off my blogs because they are not a .com or .net or .org. However overall my approach is that if you write good content, interact with other bloggers and optimize your blog well you should do ok no matter what its URL.

I’m interested in others opinions on why you have or haven’t gone for a more localized domain.