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The Blog Manager

Peter over at the Blog Studio has written a stimulating post titled The Blog Manager which puts into words some of the things that I’ve been considering recently. He’s wondering if perhaps a new type of job for bloggers is coming – one where an experienced blogger helps individual bloggers manage their sites. He explains it better than I do:

‘I think there’s a huge opportunity to manage these sites. The manager would earn a percentage of the increased revenue. It would have to be done tastefully, and with respect for the audience: ie no selling a crappy e-book just for the sake of the revenue. It’s not in the spirit of the program, and will just backfire anyways.

The manager would be responsible for managing traffic as well as revenue. White hat SEO would factor heavily. As could technical and style issues. The writer could be freed to just blog, or to think, or to whatever. The writer maintains ultimate authority, having to approve changes before they’re made. There is no risk to the writer.’

A blog manager would help other bloggers to reach their potential – as a coach and a mentor but perhaps also be in a hands on way. There could be a few logistical and trust issues involved in determining remuneration for the manager’s services – but I think it’s a legitimate suggestion and a service that many bloggers would sign up for. Would you?

There’s a Hole in My Blog? – Holistic Blogging

Old Rusted Bucket-1“Your blog will only ever be as good as it’s weakest component.”

Warning: Tangent Ahead

Imagine you’ve been given a task of hauling water from one place to another (over a long distance) – but that all you’ve been given to do the job is a rusty old bucket which has multiple holes in it. There are holes both low and high on the bucket which make transporting water a real challenge.

You’re given materials to patch some but not all of the holes in the bucket. Which one’s would you fix?

There are a number of ways of approaching this problem – you could attempt to patch the biggest holes first, you could patch those which are most prominent on the bucket etc…

But perhaps the smartest thing to do would be to make the priority of your repair work those holes which are lowest on the bucket.

The reasoning for this approach is that over time your bucket will only be able to hold as much water as the lowest hole on the bucket. Common sense really and a principle I want to suggest bloggers think about on their blogs.

Your blog will only ever be as good as its weakest component allows it to be.

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31 Days to Building a Better Blog – Day 29

We’re at day 29 of the 31 day project and it’s a bumper day (just two more days of links like these – get your submissions in quick). Here are today’s 11 submissions:

More on Blog Pay Rates

Duncan writes an excellent piece in response to the criticism of Weblogs Inc’s $4 per post pay rate that was revealed last week. I’ve similarly had quite a few comments here at Problogger on the issue in the past few days – many of them critical at Weblogs Inc. I’ve been trying to work out how to respond to the criticism myself (although I’m not in the habit of defending Jason – he’s a big boy). I think Duncan says it well:

‘You see, if I’d been asked by Jason Calacanis to write for Weblogs Inc 12-18 months ago for a gaureenteed $500 USD starting rate per month I’d be writing for Weblogs Inc., today and I probably wouldn’t be writing the Blog Herald. Sure, if he asked me today I’d be wanting more money because I’m now making more.

But it took me a very, very long time to get to $500 USD per month.

And the reality is that most bloggers will never get to see this sort of money, even if you don’t think its a lot of money.’

$4 per post or $500 per month doesn’t seem like a lot of money – but as Duncan says – it’s more than the majority of bloggers don’t earn this much from their blogging.

You might remember I ran a poll on Adsense earnings a few months back – it found that only 23% of those who responded to the question of how much they earned from Adsense earned more than $500.

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Getting inside your Blog Reader’s Mind

Peter has another worthwhile post at Ads On Blog on the topic of Optimum Placement of Google Ads where he suggests that bloggers consider five questions when they decide how to place ads on their blog. Here are the first three which I think are key:

’1. What is a user trying to accomplish by visiting my site?
2. What do they do when viewing a specific page?
3. Where is the focus of their attention likely to be?’

One of the traps that many bloggers fall into when placing Adsense ads is to just put them where everyone else does – but I think these sorts of questions are a better starting place. Understanding the thought processes and habits of your readers is actually a very helpful thing.

How do you do this? I have done a number of things to try to get inside the minds of some of my readers. Here’s a few suggestions:

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The Secret to Interactive Blogging – Expertise blended with Invitation

Rob Hof over at Business Week has stumbled upon one of the secrets of growing interactivity on a blog - it’s about not knowing all the answers. He notices that the posts with most comments on his blog are where he asks for help.

‘The tough thing for journalists, I think, is that we’re supposed to provide answers, not just pose questions. So what makes a really good story–insight into an issue or person or company, wrapped up in a tidy, complete package–is precisely what doesn’t work on a blog. People are more interested in responding to questions. Provide just answers, and, well, there’s nothing more to say….’

This is so true yet I’d not write off posts that provide answers altogether.

What I’ve discovered over the last couple of years is that people want a mixture of expertise but also room to speak from their own experience. I’ve tried in the past few months to create this type of space in the way I blog here at Problogger – blending posts that are are quite ‘How To’ in nature (with lots of tips and answers) with plenty of opportunities for readers to share their own expertise.

In a sense this was my motivation behind the 31 Day Project and my invitation for readers to submit their blog tip posts. The result is quite spectacular with around 160 reader submissions already in addition to my own 45 or so ‘expert’ pieces.

31 Days to Building a Better Blog – Day 28

As we approach the end of the 31 Day project I’m feeling a mixture of sadness that readers won’t be submitted their great blog tip posts every day – but also a little relief because the list of submissions is now getting quite massive (I think we’re now over 200 posts – including mine). Here are three more for today:

there is still a few days left to post your own blog tip on your blog and let me know the URL so I can link up.

Feedster 500 List – “Dead Wrong”

Jason Dowdell at Marketing Shift has a post where he analyses the Feedster top 500 list and finds that it is ‘dead wrong’.

‘Sites with RSS feeds and even some without are being considered blogs when they clearly aren’t. Blog search has a long way to go but that’s another story for another day.’

ProBlogger in the Press Page

Today I’ve added a ProBlogger In the Press page to this blog as a central place to list the mentions this blog has had in mainstream media (and some of the larger online news sources.