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ProBlogger Newsletter Edition 1

I’ve just emailed out the inaugural ProBlogger.net Newsletter. If you signed up for it and didn’t receive anything it either means that you:

  1. subscribed with the wrong email address (spelling mistake)
  2. are blogging email from my server for some reason
  3. havn’t yet confirmed your willingness to receive it (after you subscribed you would have been sent an email asking you to confirm your desire to receive it – a double opt in program).

If you didn’t get it simply re-subscribe and you’ll get the next one. If you want to see the first one contact me and I’ll send it to you.

For those unsure if they want to get it the first email included:

  • a summary of the hot posts on ProBlogger this week
  • an earnings update (readers have asked for updates on how my own blogging is going – I give an indication of how I’m going)
  • a ProBlogger tip (that won’t appear on the site)
  • a note about some recent posts and a mini preview of a post that will go up later today

If you are one of the hundred or so subscribers let me know how you found the first newsletter in comments below. I wanted to keep it simple (ie its not a html email), reasonably short and as helpful as possible. Your feedback on how well I did will be received with thanks.

PS – sorry about the spelling mistake – I really don’t want readers to ‘bare’ anything….

Generating Traffic for your Blog – Think Ahead

In a great example of thinking ahead – Rogers Cadenhead registered the domain name BenedictXVI.com a couple of weeks ago.

‘Cadenhead, an author of 20 technology “how-to” books with titles like “Movable Type 3 Bible Desktop Edition” and “Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days,” said he registered the names for $12 each from Internet address seller Bulkregister.com.

“I couldn’t resist the chance to have some skin in the game. Someone else already has JohnPaulIII.com and JohnXXIV.com, but otherwise I put a chip down on every name of the past three centuries,” Cadenhead wrote on his Web log at Cadenhead.org.’

Source: Fla. Man Secured BenedictXVI.com Weeks Ago

In fact Rogers secured six domain names which that all could have corresponded with a new pope’s new chosen name.

This is a wonderful illustration of my previous advice to think ahead about not only what people are searching for now – but what they’ll be looking for in a few weeks or months time. This is what I was doing when I started Pope Watch – but Rogers certainly trumped us all with his move! Congratulations to him.

Donation Buttons on Blogs

Jeremy Wright has a good post answering the question – Why I Don’t Have a Donate Button? His answer:

‘Because: my users already donate to my well being by simply reading this blog and clicking on various ads. I already trade against my reader’s goodwill by displaying ads. To me, having a donate button on top of that is very … ucky. I’m already making money off of your attention, so making money off of your goodwill seems to be “double dipping” to me.’

Donate buttons are definitely a way of monetizing your blog that many bloggers utilize (to different levels of success – see Andrew Sullivan and Jason Kottke for two who have had some success with it). In my experience this approach only works in one of two situation (or a combination of both):

[Read more...]

Using Photos in your Posts

GnomesArieanna asks her readers if they are influenced by pictures in posts? She writes:

‘I notice quite often that I scan blog posts quite quickly to pick up on one of two things: keywords in the title or pictures. One or the other has to catch my eye to stop my scroll down the page.’

I’m a big believer in catching the attention of readers by whatever means is needed – picture, keyword, intriguing title, promise of free gifts (ok – not that one – yet).

I got to look at some Eyetools results for one of my blogs recently and was intrigued to see how pictures inside a longer article can actually help to draw readers eyes down the page. Very useful strategy.

It’s all part of making your blog scannable – drawing your reader in – grabbing their attention.

Do you use photos in posts? What’s your strategy? Do you think it works?

PS – why did I pick the above photo for this post? It was the first one I found in iPhoto – of a few of my mates who watch me blog all day.

Welcoming Dutch and German Readers

I think I might need to learn Dutch and German because some days I think this site is read (and linked to) by more bloggers speaking those languages than English.

It is actually a wonderful thing about blogging – forging relationships with people on the other side of the globe – now if only I knew what they were saying about me!

Gizmodo Gets a New Editor

Megablog – Gizmodo just added another editor to support the ‘senior’ editor – Joel Johnson.

mmmm – what I’d give for an editor/co-writer! One day.

Adsense Smart Pricing Explained

A few days ago I attempted to explain Adsense Ad Click Value Variations (or why sometimes clicks are worth a lot and other times they are not). A number of readers emailed or instant messaged to say that I’d forgotten to mention ‘Smart Pricing’ which many believe is another factor that impacts Adsense click values.

Smart Pricing is an attempt by Google to give Advertisers value for money and to guard against click fraud. One of the dangers of Adsense is that publishers set up temporary, trashy and/or un-authoritative pages of content on topics that they know attract high paying ads. Clicks on such pages (whether fraudulent or not) are not really good value for advertisers.

Smart Pricing sets a click value for each ad clicked based upon a variety of factors – none of which have been made public. There has been much speculation by publishers about what these factors might include – guesses as to what is included that I’ve seen in forums include: [Read more...]

Movable Type 3.16 Released

Six Apart has just released an upgrade to Movable Type – Movable Type 3.16.

The upgrade includes:

[Read more...]

Which Blogging Platform is Best?

Dave (a ProBlogger reader) asks:

I am trying to decide what software to use for a new blog. I have a little experience with blogger, but have looked a lot at WordPress and Moveable Type. But, I sure would appreciate what you think are the pros and cons and even a recommendation on the various blogging formats.

I thought I’d open it up for some discussion. What tool do you recommend and why?

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