Blogger Routines

BJ has decided that with the start of October comes the start of a new routine for her as a working blogger.

It’s got me thinking about the time in my own blogging journey that I made similar decisions to put a routine together in order to become more productive as a blogger.

I started by setting myself posting goals but also added a variety of others including:

– clearing inbox goals
– goals on how many other bloggers and contacts I wanted to network with each week
– setting time aside for non blogging projects
– setting time aside to read newspapers, magazines and other sites
– goals on starting new sites – adding features and tweaking ads on established ones etc

Out of the goals emerged a new routine that I developed to get the goals achieved.The result of this approach was that my blogging slipped into another gear – my blogs grew and I was slowly able to put more time aside to blog as the income increased.

So what is your blogging routine like? I write a day in the life of a ProBlogger which described mine back in April (its changed a bit since) but what is your blogging workflow/day like? You may or may not be full time – but share your routine.

Feedster Top 500 Stalls

Has anyone else noticed that the monthly Feedster Top 500 Blog List hasn’t been updated since it’s first incarnation in August?

Looking for a Company Name

I’m trying to think of a Company Name at the moment and am looking for ideas. It doesn’t have to relate to blogging, media, communications, online activities etc – but it can.

I’m out of creative juice – any ideas?

Outbound Links and their Impact Upon Your Blog

Late last night I was about to head to bed and was doing my last stats check (I have a little routine I go through at the end of the day) when I noticed on my ProBlogger stats two incoming referral links that caught my eye. They were from

They say that before a Tsunami that there are telltale signs of the onrush that is about to occur – and with Slashdot the signal of masses of traffic is about 15 minutes where a tiny trickle of visitors come over before the post with your link goes live on the front page.

Sure enough – 15 minutes after the first couple of visitors came an onrush of traffic to this post. Since that time around 40,000 visitors have passed through this blog.

Interestingly I noticed a couple of distinct differences between this time and the last time that ProBlogger was Slashdotted.

  • Last time despite getting very similar levels of traffic – the post in question was inundated with 91 or so posts – this time there has been very little response from Slashdotters (most of the comments on it came before the linkup).
  • Last time was a record level earning day from Adsense – this time there is a small rise in my daily earnings (it was double normal levels last time in comparison to a 5% increase today). This is despite ads being in the same sorts of positions on the blog.

Why the difference? Here’s my theory.

Last time when I was slashdotted it was to a post that had no outbound links in it at all. It was a post that was completely about my experiences. This time around the post being linked to had an outbound link in it in the first sentence and while it was about my experience – it gave readers an opportunity to leave my blog early on.

I track how people leave my site using MyBlogLog Stats (affiliate link – see my review here) and can see that around 25% of the visitors to ProBlogger left via the link in the first sentence.

Of course perhaps the Slashdot visitors were just not in the mood to comment or click ads or perhaps it was because there was some other reason – but to me this illustrates just how much outbound links can impact upon both the interactivity on your blog and Adsense ads.

I know of numerous Adsense publishers swear by not giving their readers any links to click on their sites unless they go to another page on the site or unless they have some money making ability.

I personally don’t mind other competing outbound links. Most of my blog have many of them and seem to do well – in fact I believe they are part of the reason my sites build traffic (a story for another day) – but I suspect if I took them all off today my Adsense CTR would go up and that I’d probably grow my page impressions. I guess it’s about making choices to do with your blog’s priorities.

VeriSign buys

Well there is plenty of money flowing around the blogging community today with VeriSign buying for a rumored $2-$5 million. is (or was) Dave Winer’s baby.

VeriSign explain their intentions for

“First, we want to see remain what it is, and maintain how it works for the long term. There’s enormous value for the ecosystem in realizing Dave’s original vision for his ping server: a free, standards-based service that is easy to use, and effective in signaling to the world at large that you’ve submitted new content into the system. Here are some attributes that we intend to preserve and extend for

1. Free
2. Open
3. Solid
4. Informative”

Found via Blog Herald, Scobleizer and Siliconbeat

Instablogs Launches

After a few server problems the newest blog network to launch – Instablogs – has gone live. They’ve launched with 46 blogs (unless I can’t count) on a large array of topics. They are billing themselves as ‘A News Organization based on Blogging’. It’s early days yet for them so I’m not interested in taking them apart too negatively – but in responding to their call for suggestions and feedback here are some of my initial impressions:

  • Content – Just over 50% of their first round of blogs have no posts – I’m surprised by this, I’ve never seen a blog network launch empty blogs before. A further 4 of their blogs have only one welcome post on them. The writing on the blogs I see with posts seems to largely be link driven (ie linking to an article with comments on that article). I’m yet to reach each active blog in full but so far I haven’t seen too much original content. I’m not knocking this style of blogging – just interested in which approach they are taking.
  • Topics – They have chosen a nice wide range of niches to explore. Quite a few are the ‘typical’ blog network topics (why change a winner formulae?) but some are exploring new-ish ground which will be interesting to follow.
  • Design – I like their clean design. A lesson I learned from Jason Calacanis though is that he found that WIN’s blogs do better when each blog has its own look/feel/brand. So far they are all looking pretty much the same with a few different colors in the headers. Of course this is challenging when you have 50 or so blogs – but something I suspect they’ll make some changes on this.
  • Bloggers – One thing I’m interested in is the anonymity of authors so far. I wonder whether this will change.
  • International – I’m excited by some of their internationally flavored blog topics.
  • Ads – To this point I’m not seeing any. I’m sure this will come in time.

It’s always interesting to see how different bloggers and networks choose to go about setting up. I’ll be watching Instablogs with real interest. They’ve obviously got some big ideas which I wish them all the best in.

Entrepreneurial Bloggers as Re-Arrangers

Today’s quote of the day (ok – so its quote of the week, month or year as I don’t do quotes of the day) comes from David V. Lorenzo:

‘Most successful entrepreneurs are great re-arrangers. They take something that has been useful somewhere else and rig it so that it is groundbreaking and disruptive to a completely different industry.’ found via Dane

This is what I see a lot of very talented bloggers doing at the moment. They are taking previously done ideas and putting a new spin on them.

Another trend that I’m seeing among bloggers that relates to this is the trend of bringing two different niches together into one blog.

  • Shoeblogs does this by blogging about ‘Shoes and Celebrities’.
  • Cooking Gadgets does this by blogging about ‘Gadgets and Cooking’.

These are just two of numerous that I’ve seen of late that do this. In fact I’ve stumbled upon about 5 others in the past 48 hours that are attempting to do it also.

The Alane By Day Project

alane by day is one of the more interesting blog projects that I’ve seen for a while. It’s difficult to describe – but really its an online space where business, blogging, entrepreneurial spirit and a whole heap of experts come together to help alane start up her set up her own architecture business in 82 days. Still confused? Here’s how they describe it:

‘Alane By Day is the real-time narrative of the step-by-step creation of Alane’s architecture practice in just 82 days. We’re using the blog format so everyone can see how it’s done. If you’re starting a business, this blog will help you; if you’ve already started a business, you can help this blog.’

Alane is the central character (not a fictional one) in the blog as it’s her business that they are starting up – but there are also a cast of 15 business experts and a 5 person design panel working with her. I’m finding it all a little hard to follow but something about the idea just fascinates me and I’m finding myself heading over to the blog numerous times per day to see how the 82 day project is going. They are already up to day 9 so it’s over 10%. It’s a fascinating and fresh project which might be worth following over the next couple of months.

Manolo hires Blogger

Six Figure blogger – Manolo the Shoeblogger has just hired his first blogger for his brides blog. Congratulations Manolo and congratulations to the new blogger – never teh bride.