Technorati Hacks

Steve at Micro Persuasion has a very useful post with Ten Technorati Hacks for anyone wanting to get more out of Technorati – which for a first time user can be a bit overwhelming yet is one of the most useful tools on the web for bloggers.

Welcome Today Show Viewers

Welcome to any Today Show Viewers that are visiting after the interview on this morning’s show.

If this is your first time to then let me give you a quick tour of the place. Grab a coffee and make yourself comfortable while I show you around.

Firstly, ProBlogger is a blog that is devoted to helping bloggers earn an income from blogging – here’s a couple of links to give you a little information about me and about this blog.

If you’re new to blogging you might find this ‘what is a blog? post and this one on how bloggers are making money from blogging.

I’ve also recently put together a page with my top 20 posts from the past year.

I’m actually writing this post before the interview so when I get back to the laptop later this morning I’ll update this page with any links that I mentioned in the interview and answer any questions that anyone might have. Feel free to leave a comment or question in the comments section below.

update: Well I’m home again after my first TV appearance – it was fun although a little strange sitting alone in a TV studio talking via sattelite to some unseen person – knowing millions were potentially watching/listening in.

Actually that sounds a lot like blogging – sitting along in front of a computer – writing to some unseen group of people…..

The interview itself was pretty short (about 5 minutes I’d guess). I’m not sure if there is any way to get it up online for overseas readers – but I’ll see what I can do – perhaps some more technically savy reader has the ability to convert it into a web friendly format. update – apparently there is video of the interview on the today show site if you’re willing to download Microsoft Media Player 10.

In terms of the links – Tracy mentioned the Bruce Willis blog (it hasn’t been updated for quite some time) and Barbara Streisand blog. I think that’s the all that was mentioned in terms of celebrity blogs.

Blogging for Dollars Experiment Pays Off

Warning: Heart Warming Story Ahead

I was just contacted via IM with a blogger (I’ll call him ‘Geoff’ – not his real name) who owns and blogs at a reasonably popular and established blog (not an A-lister but he runs a nice blog that gets about 3000 visitors per day).

Geoff told me that about two months ago that he’d started to experiment with putting a few income streams on his blog. He did it after seeing something that I’d written here. He said:

‘I did it with the hope of paying for my hosting costs and perhaps even buying myself an Apple ibook to blog on’.

Geoff started out experimenting with Adsense and Amazon and then on seeing some of my success with eMiniMalls added those in the past few weeks.

Around 9 weeks after starting his ‘experiment’ Geoff tells me that he’s just reached the $150 per day mark. His hosting costs for the year are covered and today he placed an order for a powerbook instead of an ibook.

He said:

‘I can not believe that I am on track for earning over $50,000 in the next year for writing on a topic that I would happily write about for free! Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that I could make money from blogging?? :-) ‘

He went on to say:

‘I’m SOOO happy Darren! But I can’t help but think of the opportunity that I missed over the last 2 years of blogging, imagine if I’d put the ads on earlier!!!’

It makes me wonder just how many ‘Geoffs’ there are out there. People who already have built blogs and sites that could quite easily have income streams added to them but who have just never considered it. While I know many bloggers choose not to do the ad thing and that many blogs don’t have the earning potential of Geoff’s (he’s luckily in a good niche – one that he’s keen for me not to mention for fear of copycats) there must be many others in a similar boat.

On the Today Show…. Tomorrow

MastheadAussie readers out there that get up early in the morning might like to turn on their televisions to channel 9 at around 6.45am tomorrow where they might just see a familiar (and bleary eyed) face being interviewed on the Today show about blogging.

Lucky I didn’t get the 6am spot!

PubSub Blog Category Lists

PubSub is starting to categorize bloggers into PubSub Lists. So far they only have four categories – Law, Fashion, PR and Librarians.

What lists would you like to see added? Feel free to add your suggestions in comments below – but perhaps more productive is to let them know – they’re looking for editors so put your hand up and get involved if your list isn’t there yet.

I’d like to see an Entrepreneurial/ProBlogger type list – just wish I had a bit more time to edit it.

found via Steve

Adsense of Tomorrow

Peter Forret dreams of a day when Adsense will roll out into all forms of media including:

  • Adsense for newspapers
  • Adsense for magazines
  • Adsense for books
  • Adsense for TV
  • Adsense for radio
  • Adsense for Wifi
  • Adsense for cinema
  • Adsense for movies
  • Adsense for video-on-demand
  • Adsense for ticketing
  • Adsense for billboards
  • Adsense for phone/GSM
  • Adsense for fax
  • Adsense for road traffic
  • Adsense for sport

While perhaps some of these are a little far fetched (what about Adsense for Milk Cartons?) it is an interesting concept to think about where Adsense could roll out advertisements for what must be an incredibly large inventory of advertisers.

Chitika add channels to eMiniMalls

I just logged into my Chitika eMiniMalls reports and found that they’ve finally gone live with their channels feature. They’ve also added some new columns to the stats that they report including CTR (click through rate) and Avg CPC (cost per click).

The CPC is a stat that Adsense have never given (it can be worked out by an easy calculation) but which will be handy. I suspect that their reporting will continue to improve over the coming weeks and months (ie they will probably get more dynamic over time and add more ability to check certain periods of time etc) – but so far so good! Channels is a massive step forward.

When you log into you stats you can view your channels all at once by clicking the date – or by channel by using the drop down menu.

If you haven’t already added the channel code to your Chitika codes it might be a good time – this way you’ll be able to work out what positions, design and keywords are working best.

To implement the channel code insert this mini bit of code into your ad unit

ch_sid = ‘xxxx’;

How do you use channels effectively?

The way I use them is to make every different ad unit on my blogs have a separate channel. ie the ad unit in my side bar has a challel code called ‘Problogger Side Menu’ – the ad unit on my individual posts pages has one called ‘Problogger Indiv Above Comments’ the one on my digicam site’s menu is called ‘DPB side menu’ etc.

This will enable me to track which ad on which blog performs best in terms of click value and CTR which in turn will teach me about what is the best position, design and keywords to target.

So now go experiment – and tell us all what you find!

update: It seems as though they’ve also added some new affiliate banner sizes to the 10 that were released last week. There are now 16 options including some larger banner and skyscraper options.

Making Titles Live Links

One of the first tips I was given when i started to blog that I’ve not talked about for a while here is to consider making the titles of your posts live links (permalinks).

These days most blogging software does this automatically for you – however today as I’ve surfed around the web I’ve seen quite a few blogs that do not do it. Instead they link to the individual pages on their blog with the word ‘permalink’.

I hope they’ll forgive me but let me give you a couple of examples on two of my favorite blogs – A View from Home and Micro Persuasion. You’ll see in both instances that if you put your cursor over their post titles that they are not live links and that they have the ‘permalink’ link to their individual pages.

Of course some bloggers are more traditional in their approach and like this approach (and I think there can be some valid reasons for doing so) – however in my experience – making the title of your post a live link can have some significant benefits.

The greatest of these benefits is that it helps with Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engines rank sites on many factors – but one of these is that the words used in links linking to a page carry a lot of weight in how that page is ranked for those terms. It is not just how other external sites link to you either – it is the way in which your site is interlinked that counts also.

Take for example Steve’s post ‘Go Behind the Scenes at Rocketboom‘. If he’d made the titles on his front page, category pages, date archive pages and even his individual pages live links he would probably rank higher in Google in a few times for the term ‘Rocketboom’ than he will by just linking to those pages with the word ‘permalink’.

You’ll see that I’ve used this system here at ProBlogger – everywhere there is a title it’s a live link.

Topix Starts Crawling Blogs has started crawling blogs. They announced yesterday on their Weblog that they’ve added 15,000 blogs to be crawled. This is significant news on two fronts.

Firstly it is yet another way to get your blog exposure. Similarly to being indexed by Google News if you can get into the index at you should get yourself some extra hits as it’s a pretty popular tool.

Secondly this will be useful for bloggers looking for sources of content. Topix offer RSS feeds for any keyword that you add to it so that if any newspaper that it follows has an article with the keyword you get it in your feed. Now it’ll automatically present you with results for blogs and papers. Very handy.

update – funnily enough this very post has been on the front page of Topix for the last 20 minutes or so and has been getting me quite a bit of traffic – illustrating the point I made.