Ears Burning? Vanity Check Blogging

Ever get a feeling someone is talking about you? My mum likes to use the phrase ‘my ears are burning – someone must be talking about me’.

One of the interesting things about having a blog or two (or twenty) is that people do talk about you from time to time. Sometimes its because they like something you say, other times its because they don’t. But its always nice to know if they are and what they’re saying because it takes your blogging into a new interactive zone. So how do you know when they’re talking about you? Is it just an Ear Burning sensation or can you be a little more sure than that.

Fortunately there are a few tools that you might like to use:
TrackBack – Probably the best way is to enable trackback on your blog – this will notify you if someone links to your posts.
Technorati – This tool is pretty cool – set up a watch list or manually check who is linking to your blog (example)
Bloglines – Set up a search feed on Bloglines with your name, your blog’s name etc. I do this and am amazed at the articles and posts that I come up in. Its actually alerted me a few times to being quoted in papers that I’d never have known about otherwise.
Referals – Stats – Check your stats to see where people are coming from. I like Sitemeter because it tells you the last 100 referrers.

I’m sure others of you use other methods – share your ‘Vanity Check’ tips in comments below.

Pro Blogger Qualities – Open Mike

What would be your top 5 qualities for a Pro Blogger to have (in order of preference)?

Discuss below in comments if you like or write about it on your own blog and leave a link below.

Google’s Record Earnings and the Blogger

With the recent reports of Google’s massive surge in profits ($369million) for the first quarter of 2005 I can’t help but wonder how much of it is due to bloggers like us.

Of course its a little arrogant of us to take all the credit – after-all they do have a few good income earners out there that are not blogging related – but a large part of their earnings is obviously from Adsense which is increasingly appearing on every second blog. This ABC News article says that most of the income is from text ads:

‘Google makes virtually all of its money from the text-based ads that are tied to online search requests. The company gets paid each time one of the links are clicked on Google’s home page or hundreds of other sites that display the ads.

The text-based ads, which are priced using an online auction system, are becoming more expensive. Advertisers bid an average of $1.75 per click in March, a 6 percent increase from February, according to Fathom Online, a research firm.’

Interesting. $1.75 per click is the average earning? I wonder how much of that $1.75 per click goes into the publisher’s pocket? If my 20 blogs are anything to go by we’re not getting much of it.

Of course no one really knows (outside of Google) what percentage goes to advertisers (or even if we all get the same revenue share as one another) but it does make you wonder how it gets split up – I wonder when the day will come when a Google employee is convinced to spill the beens and leak that kind of information.

Looking at my own Adsense stats for the first quarter – I’d say I’m doing ok. Whilst I didn’t have a six fold increase in what I earned from Google I did have a 300% increase in monthly earnings from January to March. Not a bad return (although the poor figures at the end of December make it look a little more impressive than it actually was).

In a semi related idea – wouldn’t it be fun if instead of paying cash to publishers that Google issued stock options!?

ProBlogger Taglines

Thanks for all those who submitted ideas for a new tagline for this blog. As a number of your advised – the ‘Helping Bloggers Earn Money’ line is probably worth keeping – it sums the site up in so many ways and to change it would be to go against my own advice to make it clear what you’re blog is about to new visitors.

Having said that – some of the suggestions were very good and I’ll use them in different ways. I’m thinking of putting a rotating quote from readers on the side bar at some stage – also some of them would make excellent T-Shirts (but would anyone want to buy one?). I thought I’d highlight the suggestions made here – for a bit of fun. Feel free to add more in comments.

Here they are:

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ProBlogger has left the Building

Monday is a public holiday here in Australia (and New Zealand) – its ANZAC day where we remember the troops that have died over the years from our countries in war. Its a pretty massive holiday here in Australia – getting bigger every year.

I’m headed down the coast with some friends for a couple of days – back on Sunday night in time to go to the football on Monday.

So talk amongst yourselves on some of the previous posts if you wish to get a ProBlogger fix while I’m gone. There will also be a couple of posts which I’ve already written go off over the next 48 hours to watch out for.

Otherwise – have a good weekend. The ProBlogger has left the building.

Does Professional Blogging = Non Interactive Blogging?

I’m always fascinated by the approach that different bloggers take when it comes to interacting with their readers and other blogs. I’m not going to name names but this week I’ve had a number of email correspondences with editors/owners of three medium to large blogs (bigger than any of mine) that have highlighted the variety of approaches that people take to this.

In each case I’d emailed them to notify them of stories that related to their blogs tipping them off to a development that I thought was relevant to their blogs – I included a short statement summing up the story and a link back to where I’d posted about it. I don’t normally do this with many bloggers – but all three ask for such tips on their blogs with links to contact forms or email addresses to help us to do so (I’ll qulaify now that none of these blogs are on the topic of blogging – its unlikely that anyone who regularly reads this blog has anything to do with any of these).

So how were my tips received?

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Google is Updating Page Rank – Future Page Rank Tool

The word on the street from those who watch such things is that Google are currently doing a Page Rank update. These things tend to take a day or two to sort themselves out but there are a few tools that can help you work out what your page rank might end up at. Here is one such tool from SEO Chat. [Read more…]

Guess the Blog Topic – Topic Revealed

The challenge was to Guess the Topic of the Blog simply by viewing the last month’s statistics.

The guesses began honing in on the right answer almost immediately with two bloggers actually suggesting the right topic within hours of the competition starting.

Congratulations to Jamie and PFBlog who both hit the nail on the head but suggesting the blog could be about American Idol.

The Blog in question is American Idol Blog which is part of the wider network of blogs dedicated to three idol shows (Australian Idol, American Idol and New Zealand Idol).

The idolblog phenomenon started back in November of 2003 when two friends of mine, Rachel and Regan, in New Zealand saw what happened when I started blogging about the first Australian Idol series on one of my personal blogs. My posts generated massive visitors as I did weekly opinion pieces on the show.

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Blog Networks and How they Split the Cash

Fascinating article over at on how editorial lines are blurring as bloggers’ salaries are tied to traffic. I’m not sure how I missed it when it first came out – but I’m glad Duncan mentioned it.

The article looks at a number of models that blog networks and multiple author blogs are using to pay authors and focuses upon the growing trend to tie payments to traffic levels.

Gawker has a complicated sounding system with a ‘per post’ payment and then a bonus system that is based upon traffic levels. The system rewards increases in traffic but sounds a little stressful for editors. One of Gawker Media’s writers comments on the system there:

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