31 Days to Building a Better Blog – Day 24

One is the loneliest number…. and today’s 31 Days to Building a Better Blog reader submissions illustrate it – there’s just one.

  • William submitted Bill Gates for President?

Submit your blog tip by writing them up on your blog and letting me know of your URL.

The Invisible Australian Blogger

Louisa Hearn writes a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald titled New kid on the blog and takes a look at the Feedster 500 list. It’s a good background piece on the list but I’m perplexed by this statement that finishes the article.

‘Nielsen is considering more regular research on the US blogging space as the market becomes increasingly influential, but revealed that Australian blogging activity remained too small to measure as yet with a handful of news blogging sites sitting “just below the radar”.’

Obviously Louisa didn’t do much digging into the list to spot the Aussies there. None of them use .au domain names but we’re there – four of us in fact.

Four doesn’t sound much – but statistically we’re over-represented on the list. There are four of us listed there by my count which is 0.8% of the list. Considering the size of Australian’s population (around 20 million) which is 0.3% of the world’s population I think Australian Bloggers do pretty well.

While I can see why Nielsen is not going to spend much time researching the Aussie blogging space, I think its probably got to do more with a smaller population than anything else. I’d actually love to see someone do the research into Australian Bloggers though – I suspect there are more out there than anyone would suspect – this is my hunch because I’m bumping into them every day.

I’m not arguing that every article on blogging that appears in the Australian media should mention examples of Australian bloggers. However I’m left wondering why a piece that specifically mentions how Australian bloggers are ‘under the radar’ fails to point out a few examples of where this is not the case.

End of Australian Blogging Soapbox Rant

Thanks to Duncan for the heads up on this article in the SMH.

Google Talk – First Impressions

My initial reactions to Google Talk – the new IM communication tool from Google.

1. No downloads for Mac Users

2. I can use it with Adium but its slowed my Powerbook to a crawl just chatting with one other person on it

3. I can’t use it to make voice calls

4. I have four Windows users msging me telling me they are going to stop using MSN Messenger and all other clients

5. It doesn’t access my Gmail contacts via Adium

If you want to try get me on it my id is darrenrowse at but I don’t think I’ll be using it too much. It doesn’t add anything to my life as a Mac user.

GoogleRumors Launched

ProBlogger Reader and professional blogger, Jon Gales from the very successful Mobile Tracker just let me know about his new blog GoogleRumors which fortunately for them has launched just before the launch of Google’s new communication too – Google Talk. The blog is doing serious traffic already and is one to watch.

I’ll be interested to see how long Google lets them serve Adsense ads on it if they start breaking stories that Google are not wanting to be public. Good luck with this one Jon – sounds like a great project.

Affiliate Programs – Commission Junction

This post is part of a series on Affiliate Programs for Blogs

Commission Junction is another affiliate program mega store (like clickbank) that offers thousands of products from different industries for you to get commissions from.

In a sense CJ is a middleman between you the affiliate and companies who have products to sell.

I’ve used Commission Junction for a year or so now and have never really had much success with it – partly because I’ve not found many products in it that quite fit with the topics that I write on and partly because I have found other programs (like Amazon) to be easier to add to my blogs.

In fact I’ve used Commission Junction so little in the past few months that today when I logged onto it I found that my account has been deactivated (I’ve since reactivated it).

Once you’ve applied to join Commission Junction you then need to apply to join some of the many programs that run within it. Each advertisers in the system has their own program and if you wish to promote their products you apply to do so. Once your application is approved you are then able to use links provided to promote their products.

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Adsense Optimization Case Study – BuzzMachine

Yesterday I mentioned that Jeff Jarvis has made the decision to add Ads to his Blog (BuzzMachine). After posting this I emailed Jeff to let him know that I’d be happy to give a few free tips on how to get the most out of his Adsense ads. I’m yet to hear back from him (I know he’s a busy guy – so I’m not offended) but as I thought about what I’d suggest to him I thought it might make an interesting case study post here at ProBlogger as part of the 31 Days Project.

So consider this an open letter of advice for Jeff – but also for the many other bloggers who have similar blogs. Jeff uses a fairly standard WordPress template so what I share here might be useful for others too. Feel free to add your suggestions and tips to the comments section below.

The first thing I would recommend that Jeff does is go and have a look at the advice the Adsense team give publishers at their optimization page. Of particular usefulness is the heat map that they give that shows hot zones for the best positioning of ads (see diagram below).

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What Is

Do you want to know what (a new and upcoming service of WordPress) is?

If so I recommend you head over to Lorelle’s blog and read What can you do with Looks like a great service – although perhaps a little further off going live than I thought when I heard about it a couple of days ago.

AdSense Policy Changes to Hit Comment Spammers?

Jen observes that Adsense have made a few changes of wording in their terms and conditions (mainly minor changes) and points out one that could be linked to an attempt to crackdown and penalize comment spammers. The wording that they’ve added is:

‘In addition, publishers may not bring unnatural attention to sites displaying ads through unsolicited mass emails or unwanted advertisements on third-party websites. These activities are strictly prohibited in order to avoid potential inflation of advertiser costs.’

‘unwanted advertisements on third-party websites’ – sounds like comment spam to me too. If it is comment spamming that they are talking about I’m right behind them. Of course the challenge is to go beyond changing a policy and enforcing it – time will tell if they have what it takes to tackle this on a larger scale than just the one off banning of publishers that we’re used to for breaches of policies.

31 Days to Building a Better Blog – Day 23

Time flies when you’re having fun – and blogging has been fun this past few weeks. I can hardly believe we’re up to day 23 of the 31 Day Project already! Here are the reader submitted posts from the past 24 hours:

Do you have a Blog Tip that might help your fellow bloggers? Write it up and let me know of the URL and I’ll link up tomorrow.