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ProBlogger French Interview

If you speak French you might be interested in this interview I did with InternetActu.net. The interview was conducted in English and then translated. I hope it translates well.

If you want to translate it back into English you might want to use Google’s translation tool which presents it like this. It’s not perfect but you get the gist.

ProBlogger Returns to ‘Normal’

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After 4 weeks of travelling around Turkey, the UK and Singapore V and I stumbled back into Melbourne this weekend.

Whilst the trip was amazing, it’s very nice to be back also to familiar sights, sounds, tastes and smells.

I’m still not quite on Melbourne time (jetlag is still taking its) toll. I’m probably a day or two away from resuming a regular posting here but will gradually get back into the rhythm.

Katie-Darren-1Meeting Shiny Media

A couple of days ago (what day is it anyway??) I was fortunate to meet with Ashley Norris and Katie Lee (pictured left) from Shiny Media in London. It was in my last hours in London and a fun way to ease myself back into ProBlogging world. Ashley and Katie both moblogged pictures of our booze up meeting here and here.

I’m really impressed by Shiny Media and hope that one day soon we can work on a project together. Their journalistic background is part of their real strength and they are also brilliant at getting the attention of the mainstream media with their PR – quite inspiring.

Guestblogging

I wanted to thank those of you who have left comments and sent emails in response to my request for feedback about the guestblogging here over the past month. Your thoughts have been greatly appreciated and I’ll do a little more thinking about them over the next few days. In the mean time there are three things I want to say:

1. I think the experiment was a success on a number of fronts. For starters it brought together a diverse group of bloggers who produced some interesting and high quality posts. Secondly it kept my blog ticking over (in fact the first two weeks it increased readership and the second two weeks it kept things at over 75% of what they were).

2. Having said this I also hear the feedback from many that they come to ProBlogger not to hear the voices of many but the voice of one. I feel humbled by it but for some reason many of you have found my thoughts to be helpful on the topic of ProBlogging – as a result in my absense a percentage of you have checked into the blog less whilst I’m away.

3. I’ve had a number of emails expressing concern over the idea that perhaps ProBlogger will permanently become a group blog. Whilst I’ve given it a little thought, after reading the feedback I’ve decided not to go with it. Instead I may invite single bloggers to join me from time to time for short periods, but except for holidays this blog will remain largely a single author blog. Sorry – you’re stuck with me!

Anyway – I’m back and I wanted to say hi.

I’ve been working on a few ideas for ProBlogger this past week that I’ll gradually share over the next month. I’ve come home feeling reasonably rested (although I had to go straight to a conference yesterday) and really keen to continue to improve what ProBlogger can offer. As always I’m open to your ideas about how to make it better.

Stay tuned for normal blogging shortly.

Ads: You can show them to guests only!

Posting a follow up to Nicole Simon’s Ads: You can post them later! I thought I would mention a common practice used by membership sites or other types of sites that require registration, such as message boards. You can easily show ads just to those who are not logged in, leaving those who are regular members without any ads at all.

Many publishers running AdSense on phpBB message boards use this technique, since you can use variables or different templates to give one set of users (ie. Guests) AdSense or other affiliate ads. Then you can specify that registered or logged in users (or even a specific group of registered users) do not see any ads at all. Or while guests might see 3 ad units and an Ad Link unit, registered users only see a single ad unit or an Ad Link unit.

You can also set up custom channels and track what registered users and guests are bringing in to your AdSense account. You might find guests are responsible for 85-90% of your AdSense income from that site, so it would make a great “feel good” community gesture to remove AdSense from those who are registered. And you can use an ad free environment as an incentive to encourage users to register, if you are striving for increased numbers of registrations.

Ads: You can show them later!

Many blogs have two audiences, sometimes equally divided, sometimes not: The daily readers and the visitors through links and search engines. But most of us treat those visitors the same – presenting them the same layout, and the same amount advertisement. Why?

If you analyze your earnings, you should see a difference between profit from your daily blog readers and visitors through links and search engines. It is because of their different focus in attention.

Daily readers ‘know’ your layout and will get very blind on advertisement. The other group is searching for something particular, and therefore is very open to contextual advertisement. Daily readers get annoyed by too much advertising (even when it is contextual), and the other group loves them.

But as you would like to earn money, there is no way to please the daily readers … or? There is. Think about it one second. What is the difference between both groups?

It is the amount of time since you published the article.

If your blog is listed good on search engines, it will at least take some hours to fetch your new article and often take a day to rank you. Your rank for an article slowly rises, so it is save to assume, that while your daily readers are through with your blog in a week, search engine and link traffic will start after a week.

So my suggestion is: Start showing advertisement if an article is more than some days old! This will need some programming you might not be able to do of your own, but someone can do for you.

Or: you can use such mechanism to display different ads based on the age of the post or gather more information how your website performs at the different times slots.

With this you get happy daily readers and still profits from your websites!

The Problogger guest blogging experiment: good or bad?

Perhaps my last post before Darren returns this coming week but a very easy question to the many wonderful Problogger readers out there, perhaps as means of feedback for Darren: The Guest Blogging Experiment at Problogger: Good or Bad?

From my perspective I’ve loved the freedom to write in the first person and ponder some interesting questions that I might have otherwise not raised at the Blog Herald, and I’ve enjoyed a lot of the contributions for other guest bloggers as well. Certainly one of the wonderful things Darren has going here at Problogger is the extremely strong “feedback” community if you like, in terms of those willing to leave comments. Whilst I’ve had some great comment threads at the Blog Herald I certainly can’t match the consistent commenting on nearly every post here at Problogger, and from the third party view point I think that’s a major aspect that for me makes this blog a must read..indeed on occasion (even from my own posts) I can learn more from the contribution of readers comments than I did from the initial post.

On the flip side I suppose there has been a lack of consistency without Darren’s guiding hand present here at Problogger. Some days have had more posts than others, and the quality or interest has varied for me personally.

Share your thoughts. Darren will be back in Bleak City (Melbourne) this week and I’m sure he’ll be interested in your thoughts. Indeed I have little doubt that he’ll reflect on it as well, but why not get the ball rolling.

Bloggers block

Do you suffer from blogger block? Are there just some days where it’s near impossible to post because there is little or nothing happening on your particular subject or niche? Share your thoughts.

Personally I suffer it at seemingly random times, random in only that I have no control over the timing, and the more niche the topic the more likely it will occur. In the early days the Blog Herald was actually really hard to write for, mainly because 2 years ago there wasn’t a lot of blogging news. Today it’s a fair bit easier, although some days a harder than others. Now that I write for 4 blogs (or 5 if you include my guest spot here) its even more interesting. Being able to fill in here (and I believe Darren will be back here next week) has been a challenge, mainly because sharing advice or linking to others is sometimes related to mood or inspiration, some days I can be inspired with ideas, others I just ain’t. Blogs like PVRSpot which I really enjoy writting have actually proven hard to write for because the topic is such a niche that there’s not a lot of news, where as The Search Engine Herald presents the challenge of what to actually post because there is so much news about. In a different field I’ve guest blogged at The Gadget Blog when Colbert was away and although there is lots of input I’ve struggled to know how to differentiate the content, which is the blogs aim. How do you deal with a lack, or flood of source material?

Blog count commercial contributions

A little bleg to the Pro-blogosphere. I’ve called for contributions for the next Blog Herald blog count for July here, but I need your help. What I also need is user figures for commercial services. Now I’m going to personally ask leading services for their figures, but I don’t think that alone some may give them to me (particularly SixApart). Why are blogging figures important you may well ask? well its important for all of us to know as “Pro” bloggers exactly how large our marketplace is. Only yesterday I read a report in the US Newspaper that quoted the number of blogs out there is 4 million. The more common figure is 10 million. The real truth is that it’s closer to 60 million. Compiling figures based on user numbers based on service and country helps us all to spread the word that blogging is a serious force on the internet, and that’s to the benefit of us all. The bigger we can prove we are the more advertisers will take an interest and the better the blog advertising marketplace will be for us all. The next blog count is so big that I’m probably going to have to put together a PDF with it all because it will be too much for a post, but what I desperately need is up to date commercial figures. So what I need you to do: email SixApart, Blogger, Spaces and other commercial services world wide and ask them for their user numbers, particularly if they can provide them by geographic area, and even if they can’t, the total number. By all means post them on your blog, but let me know in the mean time so I can include them in the next blog count. I know number counting is a bit old fashioned but being able to prove a bigger market place is for the net benifit of us all, and the report will be available to all.

Is Blogger the worst free blogging service?

I’ve got an interesting thread started at Blog Herald on an interesting topic that should be of interest to Probloggers: Is Blogger the worst free blogging service? that some readers might like to contribute to, but I’d like to add a little here. As a “Problogger” I’ve got to say that I’d NEVER set up a serious blog on a free service. Why? it’s a matter of control. If you are serious about blogging you’ll want to be sure that forever more you’ll have 100% control over your blog and will not be dependent on Google for your hosting. Every time I see a commercial or “Pro” blog launched that uses Blogger I cringe. Don’t get me wrong, personally I’ve always thought highly of Blogger and there is no argument that the service has played an important role in popularising blogs. But in business I wouldn’t risk my time and money on a third party where I’ve got no control over the hosting and future direction of a site, particularly if your site was on a blogspot.com domain. Using a free blogging service, even with Google behind it, is always a risk. I’ve got mixed responses on the actual service, as you’ll see from the post at the Blog Herald, but my advice: if you are serious about blogging you won’t host your blog on a free service.

BlogSpot Spam Blogs

Geektronica makes a few observations about the growing fat of BlogSpot:

I’ve been cruising the Blogspot world lately looking for cool stuff that the bigger geeklogs might have missed (and I found some cool knitting sites as a result last time I did this). What I’ve found, though, is that a large percentage (maybe up to a third) of all Blogspot blogs are spam-logs – sites created to increase the Google ranking of some other site (which is itself usually a Google-spamming site). The ultimate purpose of these spamlogs is usually to drive traffic to a commission-paying pharmacy, pr0n, or casino site.

I can’t wait until they start creating spam podcasts. Though I’m sure it is already underway. Idiots.