Yahoo! Buzz Rank Top 20 Blogs Search Engine Referrals

Yahoo! did an interesting dig around their Buzz Index and looked at the top 20 blogs at Technorati and how they rank with each other in terms of which blogs receive the most visitors via search.

The findings showed that the lead blog on Technorati (Boing Boing) was actually 14th most search for in the list while Fark (which was 5th at Technorati) got the most search visitors. So Boing Boing relies upon more loyal readers than Fark…. or so we can assume these figures i guess.

This would actually be an interesting study to see rolled out over a larger number of blogs also.

Get all the details of who ranked where here.

found via Steve Rubel

Blogging Pro Changes Hands

John Hesch has posted his last post at Blogging Pro – one of my daily reads.

Whilst I’m confident it’s in good hands the new owner Jacob Gower it is a little sad to see John go as he’s become a part of my daily rhythm. All the best John – I’ll be following on with your developments at your personal blog.

Syndicating Your Blog in Offline Media

A journalist yesterday asked me if anyone had ever asked to syndicate any of my blogs in any other form of media (newspapers or magazines). I answered that I’ve had a few requests from online media outlets to syndicate some of what I write (which I have allowed in some cases and disallowed in others). Apart from that I’ve only ever had one off requests for an article or essay that I’ve published on my blog to be republished in books, newsletters etc. In terms of a regular syndication I’ve never been approached.

It is something that I’ve daydreamed about though.

It’s often struck me that the content that we write as bloggers could have more than the one use that we also tend to use it for (putting it on our blogs). In fact for many of us it’s ideal for other mediums such as newspapers and magazines.

It makes sense on some levels to use the same content in more than one place, especially if their is reward (either financially or not) in both places.

I seem to have some recollection on some blogger somewhere having this approach – but their name and situation alludes me. Have you heard of anyone who has their blogging republished in a hard copy somewhere on a regular basis?

I know of journalists who blog and bloggers who write special features for magazines – but syndication is another kettle of fish (who puts fish in kettles anyway!?).

Perhaps it would be worth exploring this further – making contact with some publications that could benefit from the writing I do on various topics. I’ve often thought that much of what I write here at ProBlogger would be well suited to a ‘blog tips’ column in a tech section of a newspaper or computer magazine. Any editors out there interested?

Blog Feedback Settings in Movable Type 3.2

I’ve recently been considering moving my last remaining Movable Type blogs over to WordPress 1.5 – however I think I might hold off a little and see what MT 3.2 turns out like.

They are in ‘talk it up’ mode at the moment at Six Apart but I have to say that some of the new features look helpful. Today Anil talks a little about their Blog Feedback Settings which after the past few weeks of comment spam hell that I’ve had on both my MT and WP blogs look helpful. The ability to flip a switch and turn off comments and trackbacks all together is something that would be nice to have as a back up – especially when you know you’ll be away from your blogs for a few days (or weeks).

I’m still not convinced about MT 3.2 but am watching with interest. The main thing it has as an advantage over WP in my books is that you can control multiple blogs through one interface. With WP if you want to install a plug in on all your blogs it’s a pretty manual task – especially if you have 15 or so to get through.

How Many Blogs to Focus Upon?

Paul wrote a week or so ago about his decision to scale back his blogs to those which are most profitable in a post titled One site or one hundred sites?:

‘a couple of weeks ago I sat down and made a spreadsheet of all my sites and where my revenue was coming from. I found that over 90% of my revenue was coming from two sites. That left me with two options:

1. Drop the non-performing sites. These sites obviously have the potential to be successful otherwise I wouldn’t have started them, but they also take time.

2. Work more on the non-performing sites. This requires that I spend less time on the sites that are performing.

I chose the first option because it’s much easier working on two sites opposed to twelve sites.’

It’s an interesting piece and an issue I’ve been wrestling with a bit of late. As I look at my 20 or so blogs there is a huge difference in earning capacity between the highest and lowest earning blogs.

When I first started rolling out new blogs in greater numbers about 12 months ago I remember promising myself that I would cull the ones that did not perform. What I was doing was putting the feelers out there to find which worked and which did not. The ones that worked I’d work more on, the ones that did not I’ll let die.

It’s a nice theory but in practice I’m not sure I’ve really seen it work for a number of reasons.

1. I’m a hoarder – This was evident when I sorted through the boxes that I keep under my desk before we moved house a couple of months ago. They were filled with all kinds of sentimental and ‘useful’ (well they might be one day) bits and pieces from my past. I find it hard to let go of anything that ‘might’ one day work – this includes my blogs.

I have a number of poor performing blogs that I hold onto with the hope that they might hit it big one day. The thing is that they actually could hit it big – but how long is it feasible to wait before I turn my attention to other ventures?

2. It takes time for blogs to take off – The reason I have this hoarding approach is because on a couple of occasions I did hold onto blogs that in time did take off. One that is currently seeing increases in traffic is my laptop review blog which I started last October but which has only really begun to grow significantly in traffic over the past couple of months. It’s still not massive but the signs are there that it could be significant down the track.

In fact this is the story for most of my blogs. The first 6 to 12 months can show few signs of growth (particularly if you’re using a completely new domain) and then out of the blue can come success….sometimes. It’s a hit and miss game.

So I find myself living in a bit of a quandary at times – torn between ruthlessly culling or selling off my slow growers and playing the waiting game for that burst of traffic that may never come.

Luckily for me, I am in a position to be able to play the waiting game to a point – I have some blogs that have already risen to a level of paying me enough to be able to put time into the slow burners. However I often find myself wondering what would happen if I was to take the time that I spend on the low profit blogs I write each day and put it into my profitable ones or even put it into new ventures – some of which could be cash cows. Am I being wise in the way I spend my time?

How long would (do) you sit on a non earning blog before giving up?

Interview with Ashley Norris – Shiny Media

As I mentioned in my ‘I’m home’ post – I was fortunately to catch up with two talented ProBloggers whilst I was in London – Ashley Norris and Katie Lee from Shiny Media. Ashley and I have been emailing for sometime now as Shiny have been a blogging enterprise that I’ve been following for a while now – and so the chance for a face to face catch up was too good to pass up. I came away from out time together having had both a very pleasant afternoon – but also feeling as though I’d just met a couple of fellow travellers who knew both the ups and downs of the ProBlogging journey (a rare feeling).

So I’m really happy to present this interview with ProBlogger – Ashley Norris.

ProBlogger – Thanks for your time Ashley – can you tell us a little about yourself and Shiny Media? What is it, how did it come into being, who is behind it etc?

Ashley – It was set up by three freelance technology journalists (myself, Chris Price and Katie Lee) around two years ago. Egged on by Neil McIntosh at The Guardian newspaper (who is the Godfather of British commercial blogging), we launched a gadget blog for the UK and Europe called Tech Digest. For the first six months or so we didn’t take it very seriously. Then the adsense money started rolling, we became aware of what Nick Denton was doing at Gawker and people started talking to us about buying the blog, so we thought we’d explore what else we could do. We then started Shiny Shiny, which at that time was the first gadget blog written for women and aimed at women. Since then we have launched the fashion blogs Shoewawa and The Bag lady, techy blogs Games Digest and Mobile Digest, ethical consumer guide HippyShoper and now the online auction freak show that is Bayraider.

ProBlogger – How do you decide what topics to write blogs on? Do you start with a topic and then find a blogger, or with a blogger first? Is it about finding something commercially viable or something that is a passion or an interest of someone and building a commercial blog around it? [Read more…]

What Caught My Eye in RSS

As I slowly make my way through the 10,000+ unread RSS feeds that have accumulated in my Bloglines account over the past month a number os posts have caught my attention which I thought I’d highlight here. Some of them have been mentioned by my guest bloggers but there’s no harm in doubling up:

– Jensense announced New Horizonal Ad Links ad units added for AdSense publishers – my initial reaction is that it’s always nice to have more options, but that they seem a little ugly on first look. I’ll have to have a think about where they could be useful on my blogs.

– Jen also did two interesting posts on Yahoo’s contextual advertising system which is under testing. In one post she compared the relevancy of Yahoo’s ads and Googles and in the other post she noticed the length of descriptions that advertisers get on the Yahoo system.

– Typepad have been rolling out changes including comment moderation, new themes and the ability to ad ads to their blog to help cover their subscription fees.

– Tris (and many others) talked about the move from Apple which could take podcasting to the next level – adding built in support for podcasting in iTunes. I have to say that when I heard this whilst away I couldn’t wait to get home to play with it with my newly acquired iPod.

– Microsoft are recruiting bloggers on a variety of topics including fashion, food, style, music, sports, technology and television.

– There is an interesting post over at The Watchmaker Project about the emerging 9Rules network.

– Whilst we’re on the topic – the redesigned 9Rules Network (they do redesigns more than I post!) opened itself up for a second round of proposals to join it’s network. It’ll be interesting to see who joins in the next batch.

– The Blog Herald has a great list of Blog Networks.

– Mick Stanic points to a good article on Australian Business Blogging in the SMH.

BlogKits went on Hiatus as Jim Kukrai has taken over at ReveNews.

– Joel Comm has released an updated version of his e-book – Google Adsense Secrets (affiliate link) which is now something like double the size with loads more information. See my review of the 1st edition here.

– Andy has a good audio interview with Blog Herald and Weblog Empire owner Duncan Riley.

– Brad at WebJunkie writes a good post on Selling a Website out of his experience of recently selling Blog Catalog. It’s a good read that would be valuable next time you’re in the position to sell up.

– Define Blog posts some tips on How to me more Productive in your blogging. I’ll second the idea of using ‘away’ on your IM. But I’m not sure about not having food handy – fruit and nut chocolate is my secret blogging weapon!

Ok – that’s just some of what caught my eye. What else did I miss?

Posting Frequency Observations

One of the things that going away and not checking your RSS feeds for a month can do for you is help identify who is blogging how much.

I generally clear my bloglines account every day. As a result I don’t notice from day to day which of my 350 or so feeds are updating frequently.

Being away for four weeks has left me confronting 7000+ unread items (many of which I won’t read). However in scanning through them I’m surprised to see how little some of my favorite bloggers are posting. In 30 days some of them posted less than 5 times.

I won’t embarrass anyone by naming names – however some of them are pretty prominent and in my ‘must read’ list.

On the other hand I also observed that some of the bloggers that I follow are even more prolific at posting than I am – with literally hundreds of posts over the 30 or so days.

I don’t really have a point to make – just an observation that I’ll file away to think through later on.

How often have you posted in the past 30 days?

Adsense now allows Click Fraud Reporting

Jensense has a bit of a scoop – she’s been asked by Google to announce a new feature that enables people to report a publisher who is committing click fraud:

‘If you know of a publisher engaging in click fraud, you can now report them anonymously by clicking the “Ads by Google” on that publisher’s site, and then including the term “invalid clicks” in the comment field. And if you do not wish to stay anonymous, you can include your email address as well.’

Read more at Reporting publisher click fraud to Google just got easier

This comes on the tail of Google allowing people to report Adsense spam.

Google are definitely taking things up a notch when it comes to cleaning up their system which has obviously been abused by many for some time now.

I applaud them for their efforts but get a little nervous about them also and wonder how many times these tools will be used by competing publishers in the hope of gaining a competitive edge over another site.

I have confidence that the Adsense people will be able to weed out this type of behavior of course – but I’m still a little nervous about it.