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How to Name Your Blog

I was just checking my News Aggregator and for some reason a month old post from Strange Brand came up titled Top Ten Tips for Corporate Naming. I have no idea why it took 6 weeks for it to appear in my aggregator but I’m glad it did because today I’ve been thinking a lot about names for blogs and projects that I’m working on.

The 10 tips on naming a business are pretty good value and are worth considering for naming your next blog also.

  1. Determine How Important the Name Really Is
  2. Stand Out
  3. Avoid Generic Surnames
  4. Avoid Descriptive Names
  5. Avoid Acronyms
  6. Avoid Faux Latin
  7. Avoid Faux Latin (Cont’d): -nt Names
  8. Avoid Spaceless Names
  9. Avoid “Tech Power Synergy” Names
  10. Find Examples to Emulate

James writes excellent material on each point.

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Blog Statistics Packages

A number of bloggers have recently asked me to write something about statistics packages – particularly to talk about the stats systems that I use and what features in them that I analyse.

I’m happy to do so but I’m not sure how unique my opinion will be. Perhaps it could make a good discussion – so consider this an ‘open mike’. What stats packages do you use on your blog? How do you use them? Which features do you look at most frequently? Share your thoughts in comments below.

My statistics habits

I use two statistics packages on most of my blogs. Both give me slightly different information – both have their strengths and weaknesses and working together give me a pretty decent understanding of what is going on in my blogs on a daily but also a longer term level.

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Weblogs Inc: $2,000 a day on Google Adsense – But Could it be More?

Jason Calacanis announces that Weblogs Inc has reached his target of $2,000 a day on Google Adsense:

‘It took us just over seven months (from September 2004 to April 2005) to go from $0 to $1,000, and about six weeks to go from $1,000 to $2,000. The increase was based on traffic gains and adding Google Adsense for RSS. We’re also involved in one other unannounced Google Adsense program that makes our sites a little more targeted (I can’t go into details on it, but it’s not having a huge impact).’

It’s interesting to watch him debating himself on whether to include ads inside content though.

‘Now, we didn’t do any more shifting of the ad position. I’m not willing—at least at this time—to wrap our content around the ad box…. it just looks really cheap (no offense to my friends who are doing it).

We spend a decent amount making out sites look good (we did a bad job and the start, now we’re kicking butt with things like www.divester.com and www.cinematical.com), and I just don’t want to destroy that for an extra $200-300 a day. Yes, I know that’s $6,000 to $9,000 a month and $72,000 to $108k a year, and that is a lot of of money, but you have to draw the line at some point. Actually, I think I may have just convinced myself to do it. :-)’

The emphasis is mine. I can’t find the post in his archives but I seem to remember a previous post that was a lot more adamant that they’d never consider such an approach – maybe it was in an interview or article.

I wonder if we should start a book on when they’ll start experimenting with in content ads for a bit of fun.

You see I think it could be more lucrative than the $200-$300 per day that Jason mentions it could be worth (which in itself would be a handy $108,000 per year). As I say in comments to Jason – my experience on ads inside content that are well positioned is that they can increase CTR by as much as 100%. There is not too many moves you can make that double your income in one move. Of course the 100% factor might be an overestimation in Weblogs Inc’s case as they have some well positioned ads already – but I’d guess it’ll go up by more than 10% – 15%.

Of course there is the ‘ugliness’ factor which I do agree with. However as I look at my stats – I can’t see any of my blogs that decreased their traffic since turning ‘ugly’. Maybe readers don’t mind so much as we might think? Interesting debate.

What do you think? What would you do if you were Jason?

Gizmodo.com Hits MTV

John Bradbury has just emailed me to let me know that he’s just seen (and posted about) an advertisement for Gawker Media blog Gizmodo on MTV.

Like John – I’ve not heard of a blog advertising itself on mainstream media like this. It’s quite the promotional campaign they’ve got going there over at Gawker.

Update: John has corrected his mistake – the ad was not for Gizmodo but for Gizmondo.

Feedburner enable Adsense Ads in RSS Feeds

Feedburner have just announced that they can add Adsense RSS ads to their publishers feeds if those publishers are already approved by Adsense.

I’m testing Adsense ads on one or two of my feeds (or will be when they start appearing) but you won’t see them on ProBlogger.net at this point because it is a WordPress Blog which is not supported by Adsense for feeds yet.

ProBlogger Coaching Services

Susannah has posted an interesting post on Getting a Big-Picture Person for your blog. She writes:

‘I was just sitting here feeling a bit dissatisified with myself and with this blog. How can I get more comments? How can I be better motivated to write more? How can I know what my readers really want from me?

And then it hit me: I need an editor.

Oh, not an editor in the traditional sense. I don’t need someone to check my spelling or grammar, or to make sure I’m libeling people. I take all that onto my own head. What I really need is someone who is interested in my focus, and who reads my blog and is tasked with thinking about things on a macro-level. Someone who can say, “Hey, you really missed the boat on that one,” or “I’m desperate to know more about X, Y, and Z.” In a sense I need a coach—a blog coach….’

I think a blog coach is a great idea and it is something I’m seriously considering getting more into myself. I’m probably not interested in coaching business bloggers – rather I’m thinking of starting a service for entrepreneurial bloggers.

I’ve spoken about this before but have not acted upon it for a few reasons. Firstly I’m heading overseas for a month shortly and don’t want to start something just before that, secondly I’ve got a couple of months to go on a non blog related project that takes two days per week of my time and thirdly because I’ve been trying to build up a little more credibility and a broader skill set to offer to potential coachees (is that a word?).

So – when I get back from OS in July – expect me to launch something new – a ProBlogger Coaching service. The details are forming in my mind but here is what I do know:

  1. ProBlogger.net will continue to run as a free blog (as it has been for the last few months).
  2. I won’t be taking on everyone who asks for coaching.
  3. I will be charging for the service.
  4. I am considering a variety of levels of coaching.

I am interested in what people think about such a service. I have a list of things I’ll offer potential clients that I’m not going to go public with yet – but I’m interested in what those of you as ProBloggers (beginners through to experienced) would be interested in being coached on.

Link Blogs

Steve Rubel has started a link blog. I’ve been wondering about doing something similar as there are so many stories that I see each day that I’d love to link to but don’t – for fear of cluttering things up too much here. Any thoughts friends?

Would you prefer it all together? A new blog? In my side bar? A bloglines blog? Interested in your opinions as it’s you who reads it.

Melbourne Blogger BBQ

Cameron Reilly and I have had a couple of breakfasts recently and both times we’ve talked about having a Melbourne bloggers get together. Of course with the busyness of life I’ve not done anything about it – but today Cameron has by posting a survey for Melbourne bloggers to respond to. He’s suggesting a Blogger BBQ.

So if you live in Melbourne (or country Victoria even) head over to the Cameron Reilly blog and fill in the survey he’s got running there to let him know your preferences.

Blogebrity – Creating Blogging Buzz in 3 Easy Lists

I’ve been watchign the Blogebrity Blog with interest this week – it’s been quite an amusing read and a great example of how a blog can get some big inbound links and a lot of buzz from the blogosphere with a little controversy, humor and by listing some big blogs as A-List Blogs, some almost as big blogs as B-List Blogs, some not so big blogs as C-List Blogs and a few million smaller blogs as not even making the C-List. On top of all the A,B and C listers linking to it to let their readers know about their own fame – it’s probably the millions of unnamed bloggers who will make this blog a successful with all their inbound links to it complaining about not making the list. See the full A, B and C lists here.

Whilst the validity of such lists will be debated til the cows come home – I give them an A for creating a buzz. Now it’ll be interesting to see what they do with the page rank and buzz they’ll build through the initial publicity.