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Email Newsletters for Bloggers

Wayne at Blog Business World has a helpful post on email newsletters today. One of his tips is to consider collecting subscribers to your newsletter not only on your site but also from offline sources:

‘Most e-mail newsletter subscriber efforts make the mistake of being entirely online in their marketing focus. Many more good quality names can be added through offline marketing as well. In fact, some of a business’s most profitable customers might arrive from one of many offline sign-up vehicles….

Trade shows create a tremendous newsletter recruitment point for adding subscribers. Many interested people will be delighted to join a company mailing list, especially if they have shown interest in the business’s products and services. Offering a prize, a special pricing discount, or similar incentive will also boost trade show driven e-mail subscription levels. The newsletter can supply much needed followup to trade show attendees, as an article can easily be written about the show itself. ‘

I’ve also written some tips on email newsletters which might be helpful if you’re considering an email newsletter.

Opinion on Pajamas Media

I’ve had quite a few people ask me what I think of the Pajamas Media launch that is approaching.

I don’t really have any comments to make at this stage except to say that it looks like an interesting concept and am looking forward to seeing how it goes. Wired has a feature on it today at Will Pajamas Media Wake Up Blogs?

They obviously have some big political bloggers behind it – however I’m not sure it will have much impact upon the average blogger. If you’re an A-lister blogging on politics you’d probably want to get a gig in it – but I suspect the rest of the wider blogging community will just blog on as usual.

I’m interested to hear what others think of it – especially those of you who participate in the political blogging arena.

Comment Spammers Sink to a New Low

I just saw something that made my stomach turn. A ‘comment’ left on this blog that read:

Help save the people in katrina! Donate

money to the red cross! :)

-Jakob

The link then went to viagra (no follow tags used).

That has to be one of the lowest examples of comment spam that I’ve come across.

She Knows Best Offers Personalized Help

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One of the most amusing but innovative things that I’ve seen on a blog in a while is what Arieanna is doing over at She Knows Best where she’s basically doing makeovers of guys.

Arieanna writes:

‘It doesn’t matter how inane your fashion dilemma, or how little you know about fashion. She Knows Best can help. And don’t worry about guys laughing at you. The reality is that not only does someone, somewhere, know even less, but it’s almost a certainty that other She Knows Best readers are facing the same dilemma as you are.’

William was the first guinea pig volunteer and asked Arieanna about whether, as a red head, he should wear pink. The results are amusing but helpful.

I think this is a cool idea that will grow traffic and hook readers into the site more. I always find that these types of memes are well worth the effort. The beauty of what Arieanna’s doing here is that she’s not only creating fun content that involves a reader – she’s using affiliate links in the process as her examples.

Very clever.

Chitika News and Tips

Chitika have updated their blog with some interesting tidbits:

- they’ll be releasing referrer buttons shortly

- they’ve pointed to a page that has a range of the types of products that they have stocks of ads for here

Also on Chitika eminimalls news – Alex has been writing some interesting Chitika eMiniMalls tips on his unofficial Chitika site. Two of the interesting ones are:

- Chitika Daily Keyword Rotation – this javascript code rotates different Chitika eMiniMalls keywords on different days of the week

- Chitika Keywords from Visitors’ Searches – this one will serve ads depending upon what people have come to your blog searching for. ie if they arrived on your blog after searching Google for ‘MP3 players’ you should get served ads for MP3 players.

I’ve not tried either of these tips – but they look useful.

Google Update Underway – Jagger 2 Update

Matt Cutts reports that another Google update (Jagger 2) is underway.

All the hardcore SEO types are speculating on what it all means over here. Seems to me this one won’t show any changes to your page rank – its all about your SERPs (search engine results pages) rankings.

Adsense Dumb Pricing

Jen has just posted information about Adsense that will be of interest to publishers using it across multiple sites. The crux of it being that Google’s ‘smart pricing’ can actually not only impact one of your sites but all of them. In short – if you have just one poorly converting site in your collection of sites it can drag down the performance of your other sites.

Jen reports on a conversation that an Adsense consultant had with a publisher who was considering switching to YPN. The consultant revealed a number of things including:

  • Smart pricing affects an entire account. It is not on a per page or per site basis.
  • One poorly converting site can result in smart pricing impacting an entire account, even sites completely unrelated to the poorly converting one.
  • Smart pricing is evaluated each week. So removing ads from sites you suspect are converting poorly could result in seeing an adjustment to a higher smart pricing percent in as little as a week.
  • Smart pricing is tracked with a 30 day cookie, so you could be rewarded for new conversions that saw the initial click from your site up to 29 days earlier.

I find this information both a bit disturbing (as someone with 20 sites that each perform at different levels) but also illuminating (it could explain why some of my sites seem to perform better and worse than others that I know who blog on similar topics). To me this just seems crazy – while I see the need for smart pricing on a site by site basis – I can’t work out what the sense of it is across different sites which will always perform at different levels in terms of traffic levels and conversions for advertisers for such a variety of reasons.

The frustrating thing that I find with Adsense is the lack of knowledge of what is going on behind the scenes. While I understand that they can’t reveal everything about their algorithms and processes (or they’ll be abused) I find that there are an increasing number of times when I feel completely confused and frustrated by them.

[Read more...]

Chitika eMiniMall Audit Complete

Chitika have completed their audit for their eMiniMalls (aff) month of September. I’ve just checked my figures and am happy to see that the audit has only decreased my earnings for the month by less than 10% (less than last month).

This should mean that those who earned over the minimum of $10 for September will receive their payment via PayPal in the next 24 hours or so (update: payments will be made 31 October). Those in countries without PayPal will get checks once their total hits $50.

One of the improvements that Chitika has been talking about recently has been a more seamless and quicker statistics package. I’m really looking forward to the day that they implement some of the following:

  • Real Time Stats (or at least stats that update throughout the day)
  • Real Time Auditing (the wait until the end of the month to see what you actually earned is something that many publishers will become frustrated with – if they could actually make this ‘real time’ so that publishers don’t see the difference between audited and un-audited figures they would probably do themselves some favors)
  • CTR, eCPM, click value (including some of these stats might be handy. Publishers can work them out for themselves – but it’d be nice to see at a glance how one’s sites are performing in these ways from day to day)
  • Dynamic Stats (ie to be able to view a month at a time, last 7 days etc would be handy – at the moment to know your september earnings for instance it has to be totaled by hand or copied and pasted into a spreadsheet)
  • CSV files (the ability to download an Excel file with a variety of different reports would be very handy)
  • Graphs (it’d be great to see visual representations of earnings and where they come from)
  • Channels (I’m predicting the week they implement channels will be the week I can increase my eMiniMall earnings by 10-20%)

These are just some of the things on my Chitika eMiniMalls wishlist when it comes to their statistics – what would you want when eMiniMalls come out of beta?

Apologies

Once again my apologies for ProBlogger being down off and on today. The server upgrade of a few days back still has some bugs which my host is endeavoring to sort out. Hopefully we’ll be back to normal again soon.