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Yahoo to launch blog ad network Wednesday

It looks like Wednesday is the day that Yahoo will launch its Publishing Network if this article at CNET is right.

‘Yahoo is planning to launch on Wednesday an ad network for small Web publishers intended to strengthen its hand against rival Google, a source familiar with the plan told CNET News.com.’

Looks like we (and numerous other sites) were right.

Update – looks like it’s official now with the New York Times featuring an article about YPN. Initially it will be just 2000 sites that beta test the network with this being opened up at the end of the year to others. Looks like those of us not in the beta have another 5 months of Adsense and need not get so excited about YPN after all. No prizes for where the 2000 blogs will be from I’ll bet.

Strategic Blogging – Strategy

This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series.

We’re almost at the end of the strategic Blogging plan now – this is the second last post – phew!

You’ve analyzed your current position and have looked into the future to how you want your blog to be in each of the activities of your blogging – now you basically need to compare one with the other. How does your current reality and future vision compare? Do they match up? If they do you’re either a brilliant blogger, you’re lying or you’re not aiming high enough.

For most of us the current reality doesn’t match what we want to achieve.

What major changes do you need to make to get to your future vision?

Albert Einstein defined insanity as ‘doing the same old things the same old ways and expecting to get different results’ (paraphrased). The only way you’ll see changes in your blogging is if you change your approach. Which of your ‘activities’ needs to change? How?

You might find that some of your activities are doing well and don’t need too much changing – but the reality will be that we can all improve in all areas – and that in some areas more than others we might need a complete overhaul if we want to really achieve something. Make a list of the changes you need to make.

Once again I’ve included a diagram that hopefully illustrates how this might look (in a very over simplified form).

Strategic-Blogging-2

Read more of the Strategic Blogging Series.

The Age Old Debate – Excerpts of Full Posts in RSS Feeds

Marketing Sherpa has a good post with 7 tips on podcasthing, RSS and blogging that might be of interest to readers. Here’s one on RSS that I subscribe to:

‘#1. Don’t give it all away

Whether you’re promoting in a third-party RSS feed or using a feed yourself to get content from your site to users, the rules should be the same: entice them just enough to lure them to your site.

If your entire goal is to get people simply to read your feed, then fill it up with as much copy as you want, Lawrence says. But if you’re interested in actually driving traffic to your site, give just enough content to draw them further in.’

Of course this is NOT a tip that all bloggers subscribe to and I can just see the comments this post will probably get now – many bloggers feel that RSS should give full posts rather than just excerpts.

I guess it depends upon your goal. As the quote above indicates – if you’re just interested in having as many people read your content as possible and don’t mind if they never come to your blog and don’t mind if your content appears in full on other people’s sites then full posts in feeds will be for you. But if you’re interested in building a community and discussion around your posts and want to limit how much of your content appears else where then excerpts may be a good bet for you.

It’s an age old debate – perhaps its time for another round of opinion in comments below.

The Latest State of the Blogosphere

Sifry is doing another State of the Blogosphere series – the first of which looks at some overall growth figures of the Blogging community. Here’s his summary points:

‘Technorati was tracking over 14.2 Million weblogs, and over 1.3 billion links in July 2005

The blogosphere continues to double about every 5.5 months

A new blog is created about every second, there are over 80,000 created daily

About 55% of all blogs are active, and that has remained a consistent statistic for at least a year

About 13% of all blogs are updated at least weekl’

The posts later in the week will probably shed more light on the topic of the state of the blogging community – I’m especially interested in what they’ve got to say about the rise of fake blogs which in my anecdotal evidence seems to be an increasing problem.

Yahoo Publishing Network – Coming Soon

The rumors that the new Yahoo Publishing Network (a competitor to Google’s Adsense program) have been circulating the web of the past few days on a number of blogs and forums including Webmaster World, Thread Watch and at Jensense. It looks like an announcement could be imminent.

Fueling my own speculation is a comment left here at ProBlogger by Yahoo’s Josh Stomel a few minutes ago on an older post on YPN. Josh wrote:

I will tell you what..

YPN is going to be real real hot..

Get ready…


Now maybe I’m reading a bit much into it – but I wonder if Josh is just REALLY excited about something – something that perhaps is just days, if not hours away from being announced.

Hold onto your seats contextual advertisers publishers – you might just be in for some big news.

31 Days to Building a Better Blog – Day 2

Here are the latest tips that readers of ProBlogger have written in the last 24 hours as a contribution to the wider community’s learning on the topic of Blogging. It’s part of our 31 Days to Building a Better Blog Project. I hope you enjoy:

  • Syntagma wrote a post titled Blog Tips for August that tells the story of a new blog they are setting up.
  • Marlene suggested we take a look at an article over at Inc.com on The Top 10 Things You Should Know Before You Blog – an article written with some solid advice on blogging.
  • Markus has written a post titled Blog to Learn (it has an english version below the original) that gives some worthwhile experiences from his blogging experience on blogging about German Soccer.
  • Andy has submitted a report on keyword reseach (which I’m yet to read)

As I’ve said before – feel free to write your own Blog tips – just let me know via comments about your own post and I’ll link up to them for the duration of August.

Strategic Blogging – Issues, Present Position and Future Direction

This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series.

Issues

If we want to design a strategy to help us reach our goals we need to identify the areas in which we need to work. At this point in the strategic plan we take time to break down the task of blogging into activities or issues that we face.

What are your main activities?

The answer to this question will vary from blogger to blogger depending upon their focus and current approach to blogging – but they will probably include some of the following:

  • finding content
  • writing content
  • blog design
  • marketing and publicity
  • administration (monitoring comments, processing cheques, book keeping)
  • finding and managing advertisers
  • managing other authors
  • search engine optimization

[Read more...]

CarbWire For Sale

Anyone in the market to buy a successful blog might be interested in the sale of CarbWire – a blog (with a PR of 6) about everything Low Carb. Site Forums has the details of the sale for interested buyers:

Revenue details:

Google AdSense brings in several hundred dollars a month, $350 in June. This is primarily without updating, I can’t stress enough how more attention would make this site more popular/profitable. The click through rate is high, but thanks to TOS I can’t reveal that publicly. Because the ads are for food the CPC is relatively low.

Avg. monthly pageviews: 65,000

Traffic details:

See SiteMeter Traffic has been a steady 60-70K page views a month (about 30K unique), but is higher when there is fresh content. We have not been able to update the site often as other projects have taken up our time. If someone started posted regularly, every couple of days even, the traffic could easily balloon….

Read more at SitePoint Forums – CarbWire

Strategic Blogging – Vision and Goals

This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series.

Vision

Having answered questions about why we blog (mission) and setting some boundaries for our behavior in doing so (Values) it’s now time to be a little more concrete in our big picture thinking. Where are you headed with your blogging? More specifically:

What is your objective for your blogging in the next three years?

Now three years might seem a long way away (and perhaps one or two years might be a better time frame to set objectives for in the ever changing field of blogging) but look beyond the near future and ask yourself questions about vision.

We’re now narrowing down the mission that we have into some more measurable and specific things to aim for in the long term. Don’t get too specific (we’ll get there) but make it concrete.

For example – your mission might be to make a living from blogging but your vision for three years time might be to be a full time blogger that need not do any other work.

Make your objective/s (don’t come up with too many) big enough to be inspiring but realistic enough to be achievable. They should probably come out of or at least relate to your mission.

Take some time to plot some longer term objectives for your blogging.

Goals

For each objective that you’ve mentioned you now should be breaking things down into smaller achievable goals. Perhaps this strategic plan is a little pedantic here and adds too many steps (hence I’ve added Vision and Goals together) but the basics of what we’re doing with goal setting is breaking down the big picture into smaller achievable parts.

In setting goals you might like to ask:

How will we know we have achieved our objective (vision)?

For each objective there will probably be multiple goals that signal it has been reached. For example if the vision is to be working full time in blogging in 3 years the goals might be to ‘quit from current job’ (once a certain earning level from blogging is reached), be earning $XXXX per month regularly by a certain time.

In a sense we’re breaking down our objectives into bite sized parts that can be ticked off one at a time as they are reached as stepping stones to a larger vision.

Read the rest of the Strategic Blogging Series.