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ProBlogger Labs Gets an Upgrade

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After a five week wait I got the call last night from my friendly Apple Mac sales guy to tell me that my new PowerMac had hit the shores of Australia and that it would be ready for me to pick it up this morning.
So this morning I trotted into the Apple store and took delivery of my new blogging toy tool.

I’ve spent a good part of the day today in set up and transferring mode. My Powerbook was operating at capacity and it’s been quite the task getting everything over, reinstalled and configured the way I need it. It’s amazing how I’ve taken for granted the workflow that I’ve established for my blogging. I’m also keenly aware of just how many sites I have to enter passwords to that I’d had set to automatically login for me.

Even to get this post up and running has been quite the task – getting the photo edited to a managable size meant installing Photoshop again, getting it online I had to re-install ecto (when meant finding the password – thanks Adrian from ecto for rescuing me).

But I’m getting there. I’ve still got 30 gig of files to transfer across but I think I’ll be back up and running with my normal blogging activities tomorrow now that email, web browsers, IM clients etc are all installed and working.

Now I just need to get used to using a full sized keyboard and mouse again (I quite liked my trackpad) and find a way to get my headset mike working so I can Skype chat and I’ll be cooking with gas.

As for the new system – I got a Power Mac G5 Dual 2 Hz with a 250 GB hard drive, 2.5 GB of memory, AirPort and Bluetooth with a 23 inch Cinema Display.

To say it’s zinging along at a rate of knots that leaves the Powerbook for dead is an understatement. The screen is a work of beauty. After working with 15 inches previously (and 12 before that) I’m in heaven. It’s quite amazing to see my blogs with more than just the header and first few lines of text showing and to also have IM and email windows open on the one screen. I’m already planning how to get myself another screen :-)

20 Type Challenge

Just got an email from the blogger behind It’s So Fantastic! who liked my 20 Types of Blog Posts post so much that she’s decided to start a 20 Types challenge where she’s going to take one ‘type’ of blog post each day for the next 20 days and post something that fits with it.

What a great idea – I wish I’d thought of it.

So if you’re battling bloggers block at the moment why not head over and join her in the challenge. I’d be really interested to see how people find the list adapts to their different niches.

PS: Thanks to whoever it was that put the 20 Types of Blog Posts post into del.icio.us – you’ve got me into the bottom half of the popular page – appreciate everyone’s support.

Start Writing the Middles of your Post – Battling Bloggers Block

Blog Tip 19. Start writing the Middle of your Post

If you’re anything like me, one of the hardest parts of writing a post is starting it. Introductions can be easy to get stuck on and so I often simply skip them completely and write the meat of the post first before going back to write the introduction. In a sense your introduction then becomes a conclusion…. at the start of your post.

This is how I was taught to write essays at school and think it applies quite nicely to longer blog posts. It’s especially good when you start out writing one thing and end up writing another!

Read the full bloggers block series

Google Firefox Referral Program goes International

Google have widened the availability of the Firefox referal program to now include international publishers. They announce it as follows on their What’s New page:

‘International publishers can now refer users to Firefox plus Google Toolbar through the AdSense referrals feature. As you connect your users with Firefox to improve their web browsing experience, you can generate earnings – up to US$1 for each new Firefox user who downloads and runs the product for the first time. To add a Firefox referral button to your site today, visit the ‘Referrals’ tab in your account.’

Thanks to all the readers who let us know about this news.

Blog Values – How Much is your Blog Worth?

Jeremy just emailed me a link to an interesting article by Om Malik at Business 2.0 exploring some of the recent sales of web publishers. Of particular interest to me is the analysis of what the acquisition price was on a per user of the sites sold (I’m presuming that it’s daily users/visitors – although I can’t see ‘user’ defined in the article). update: Jon tells us in comments below that he’s confirmed that these figures are monthly unique users.

They have an interesting table which present’s these figures. The last six sales in the list give (the full list goes back to 1999) acquisition prices per user as follows:

  • MarketWatch – $80
  • About.com – $22
  • Ask Jeeves – $44
  • MySpace – $36
  • Weblogs Inc. – $10

The average of these prices is $38 which later in the article they use to ‘value’ some other publishers including Slashdot’s owners, Gawker Media and Boing Boing.

While the $38 per user figure will probably be argued and it’s not really valid to apply it across the board like this (looking at my blogs I know for sure that different types of traffic to different sites generates vastly different amounts of income) – I thought it was an interesting way to look at things. I’m not taking the figure to seriously – but lets have some fun with it and play a ‘hypothetical game’:

The questions that come to mind when you see the $38 per visitor figure are:

‘how much is your blog worth?’ if you were to value it at $38 per unique visitor on a daily basis and ‘would you sell it for this figure?’

Here are my answers…

[Read more...]

20 Types of Blog Posts – Battling Bloggers Block

Blog Tip 18 - Change up your posting form – find new blog topics – In the same way that it’s easy to get ‘stuck’ in always posting in the same voice – it’s also possible to get stuck in always writing in the same form or genre.

Yesterday I decided to look through a the 500 blogs entered in Australia’s Best Blog Competition (I didn’t view them all but looked over at least 200). I was amazed by the talent out there. I also came away from the exercise struck by variety of different approaches that people take to blogging – especially with the form of posts that they write.

As I surfed I jotted down some of the different types of posts that I came across. Experiment with some of these and you might find it helps you in your battle with Bloggers Block. I came up with 20 types of posts – but am sure there are more. Feel free to suggest your own in comments below:

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New Perspectives inspire Fresh Content

Shawn emailed me to tell me about a post he’s written Bloggers Block where he simply moves his desk and finds that it gives him a fresh perspective.

Six Figure Blogging Course – Home Study Version Released

I’ve been getting emails every day for the past few weeks from people asking when the Home Study version of the Six Figure Blogging course that Andy Wibbels and I ran a couple of months back will be available. Well the time is here.

Andy’s been working his butt off on getting transcripts finished and putting it all online and we’re now really happy to be able to offer Six Figure Blogging for you to use at your own time and pace.

You can read the full details of the course, testimonials of participants of the live version and listen to the hour long free preview call here.

Enrolling in the course gives you access to six 1 hour calls where Andy and I tackle a different aspect of blogging for money in each one. It also gives you transcripts of each call (over 220 pages in total) with the links we mention. You also get some worksheets for each call to help you put into practice what you hear us talk about. You have access to all this indefinately.

We’ve decreased the price of the course to $245 (US$) as an introductory offer until midnight of 2 December (the full price of the live course was $325).

This equates to $41 per hour of the course (or $1.08 per page). It’s not a freebie but it’s full of information that has the potential to earn participants income from their blogs – so we feel the price is fair we feel it’s fair. The feedback we got from participants who did the course seems to fit with this also – in fact the main ‘critique’ we go from them was that there was too much information and that they would keep coming back to the calls over time to digest it all.

I’m not going to harp on about this course every second post – ProBlogger isn’t a blog about driving sales – but wanted to let readers know about the course as there were so many people asking and there has been such a high level of interest in the course.

Affiliate Program – If you want to enter the affiliate program for promoting the course you can enroll in it at Andy’s Blog. If you generate a sale you’ll earn 50% of the sale’s price.

There are a couple of comments of previous participants on the information but here are a couple more of extended ones:

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Change your Blogging Voice – Battling Bloggers Block

Blog Tip 17. Write in a different voice

It’s easy to get bored and stale with one tone of writing so it might be worth mixing it up occasionally and experimenting with a new voice.

While you don’t want to do this all the time (it’s important to establish a voice and develop some consistency in a blog) – it can be refreshing to do from time to time.

Write something in the third person, write a rant, inject some humor, write a fictional scenario etc. Change your voice or tone a little and you might just find it creates a bit of a spark in you (and your readers) that spawns a whole new aspect to your blog.

I noticed the impact of changing your voice a while back when I let loose with a little bit of a rant post – I got email from a couple of readers saying that they saw a different side of me when I did it – a bit of a change from the ‘nice/goodie goodie’ label I seem to get from time to time. I also found that it got me thinking in a different way – something that brought a bit of energy back into my blogging.

Read the rest of the battling bloggers block series