Those of you who use WordPress to run your blog (like me) and who are waiting to be accepted into the Adsense for RSS feeds program might have a bit of a wait. The word is that at this stage they are only accepting Blogger and MoveableType/TypePad blogs according to Matt from WordPress.
This is not really ProBlogging news but I couldn’t pass it up. Singaporean students are being encouraged to blog in the inaugural inter-school blogging championships. I wish they had this type of competition back when I was at school!
‘Nine junior colleges and 43 secondary schools will slug it out online in the Inter-school Blogging Championship organised by SingTel and the Ministry of Education (MOE).
Five student leaders from each school will help sustain and moderate the blogs from next month till August, during which their schoolmates are free to post messages on the blogs via the Internet or mobile phones. They can win more than $15,000 in cash and 3G mobile phones.
Entries must support the theme Voices of Singapore Teenagers. And it seems these voices are undeterred by fears of getting into trouble….’
In my recent post on Blogging in Formation – Lessons from a Goose I promised to write some posts on how to build blogging relationships. This will be the first of numerous posts on the topic.
Before I get straight into strategies about how to make contact with and build mutually beneficial connections with other bloggers let me suggest that a starting point is not about choosing who you want to connect with – but rather that its probably worth doing a little self analysis first. Ask yourself some of these questions:
- Do you have the time and energy to connect with other bloggers?
- Are you willing to be ignored, rejected and even abused by other bloggers?
- Are you willing to be annoyed by other bloggers that you don’t want to connect with?
- What are your motives for building relationships with others?
These questions sound a pretty negative place to start a series on relationships – but I think its important not only to talk about the warm fuzzy stuff of blogging but the cold hard reality that sometimes it can be a cruel environment and a lot of hard work. Blogging has a ‘light side’ but it also has a ‘dark side’ (use the force Luke) and its worth considering both.
Let me tackle each question in turn [Read more...]
Computer Toaster has a helpful article on selecting a Niche Market for Ecommerce (update: the link is now dead so I’ve deleted it) which whilst not written for bloggers has some useful tips on how you might go through such a process of choosing a niche for your next blog. It’s one of those ‘free articles’ – but one of the more useful ones I’ve seen recently if you’re looking for good basic information on this topic.
Update: the link in this post is now out of date – but on the same topic you may be interested to read my post – How to choose a niche topic for your blog.
Jacob asks Should New Blogs Have Ads? He has decided not to put ads on his new blogs for two main reasons:
- Not much money – it takes time to build readership and in the mean time it doesn’t really earn much
- Bring in the Audience – ads can put off a potential audience. When you’re working on establishing yourself you want to give your visitors as few reasons as possible not to come back
Both are legitimate arguments that are well worth taking into consideration when you start a new blog.
I however take another approach to Jacob:
Adrian at Be A Design Group has a good post on Search Engine Optimization Secrets which is a good, non hyped, well thought through and easy to read post full of good common sense Search Engine Optimization goodness. He gives five tips (and writes a bit on each):
- Don’t Fake Your Content.
- Avoid Flash
- Start a Blog
- Search Engine Optimization Isn’t Magic
- Link Management
If you’d like to see an amazing example of a ProBlogger who has used blogging to open up some amazing career opportunities take a look at this post by Jeff Jarvis who is quitting a job to take on some more amazing work – all of which he says have opened up for him as a result of his blogging:
‘Blogging has changed my career and opened all these doors. I’ve learned a tremendous amount (or think I have) about the future of the press thanks to the conversation I’ve had here with you all. So thank you. I will continue the conversation and continue learning and changing my old ideas about media until somebody pries my laptop off my cold, dead lap.’
Jeff is a wonderful example of someone making a career from blogging in a way that is not just about writing and selling ad space.
A few days ago I was moaning to a mate about the fact that despite thousands of inbound links and a page rank of 6 – ProBlogger.net is still yet to rank highly for many of it’s relevant search terms in Google – as a result I rarely get any traffic from Google on this blog. Even for a term like ‘Blog Tips’ (something I write about a lot) I only ranked around 60th on Google.
My friend asked a simple question that made me realize how blind a blogger can be when they stare at their own blog all day and lose objectivity. He asked:
‘What is in the title tags of your blog?’
As soon as he asked the question I knew how stupid I’d been. This is a question I often ask other bloggers but had not asked myself!
The title tags of my front page had been ‘ProBlogger: Helping Bloggers Earn Money’. A good descriptive term – but not including some of the key terms that I was wanting to get hits on – particularly ‘Blog Tips’.