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Track AdSense Clicks With Google Analytics

Shawn from Digital Point has developed a piece of javascript that will allow those AdSense publishers who use Google’s Analytics to Track their AdSense Clicks. The stats it gives should shed a bit more light on what pages convert best for Adsense clicks, what sources of traffic click ads more etc.

SEO Book has developed one also. The advantage of it’s one is that it works with Firefox whereas Shawn’s only works with IE.

Take Questions – Battling Bloggers Block

Question

7. Take Questions

This is a basic tip that can help you to identify the needs of your readers – simply ask them.

Once again this isn’t rocket science – but it’s amazing what results when you do it.

Start a Question File – I get questions on most of my blogs every day or two from readers wanting information on the topics I cover. Collect questions like this and put them in a file for one of those days when you can’t come up with a topic to write about.

Call for Questions – If you don’t get asked questions by readers normally give them permission to ask you questions. I tend not to do this much these days because the questions tend to come faster than I can answer them at the best of times – but when I first started blogging I actively sought questions with an ‘ask a question’ link on my blog. Of course if you do this you’d better be willing to answer them. In the early days I also occasionally would go as far as asking specific readers for questions by picking a few from my newsletter and emailing them the offer for me to do a free short consulting job for them as long as I could blog about my answers to their questions.

Ask Your Own Questions – If readers still don’t ask questions – ask some yourself! Some of the best discussions I’ve ever seen on a blog have been the result of the blogger themselves admitting a lack of knowledge on a topic and asking for help.

Creating an environment for questions and answers can really bring your blog alive – especially if you can create a culture where bloggers feel comfortable to ask even the simplest of questions and where bloggers get into the habit of answering the questions of each other instead of just leaving it all up to you.

Read the full Bloggers Block Series

Google Click-to-Call Advertising

Google are testing a new form of advertising in some parts of the USA – it’s called Click to Call. And is where readers click on a little green phone icon on text ads and Google will arrange a call for you. Advertisers must be paying on a ‘pay per call’ basis. Here’s how Google explains it:

‘We’re testing a new product that gives you a free and fast way to speak directly to the advertiser you found on a Google search results page – over the phone.

Here’s how it works: When you click the phone icon, you can enter your phone number. Once you click ‘Connect For Free,’ Google calls the number you provided. When you pick up, you hear ringing on the other end as Google connects you to the other party. Then, chat away on our dime.

We won’t share your telephone number with anyone, including the advertiser. When you’re connected with the advertiser, your number is blocked so the advertiser can’t see it. In addition, we’ll delete the number from our servers after a short period of time.’

Read more at Google Click-to-Call

The Click to Call ads are only reported to be showing in some parts of the US at this stage in Google’s search results (and not on publishers pages) but if this takes off I guess we can expect to see green little icons on our sites. See the Screen Shot below to see what the ads look like.

[Read more...]

Google Page Rank Changes Reported

There are a few murmurings around the web today that Google might be making some adjustments to Page Rank again.

Some are saying that it could just be a partial rollback on the most recent update (that it could have been too extreme) while others say it’s another update in it’s own right. I’m not sure – it seems a little too soon after the last one for it to be a full update but one never knows with Google – some sites are definitely reporting changes but it’s not widespread yet.

You might like to keep an eye on the Page Rank of your page using the Page Rank Prediction tool I have on this previous post. It’s showing a few small adjustments on some of my blogs both up and down on one or two data centers but nothing major yet.

Another couple of days and we’ll know more.

Other posts on Page Rank include:

- Google Page Rank Explained

- Is Google Page Rank Still Relevant

- Page Rank Explained

Start with a Need – Battling Bloggers Block

6. Start with a Need

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given by the person who taught me to public speak many years ago was to identify a need that those who are listening to you might have and to use this as the starting point for a post.

People buy into what you are communicating if they have a felt need that they feel you might be able to help them with.

Starting with a need not only helps your audience or readership but that it can also help in the writing process. I’m much more motivated to write if I’m communicating on something I need to learn about myself or something that I’ve found an answer to.

So when you’re looking for that elusive topic to write about (this is after all often the hardest part of getting past bloggers block) ask yourself some questions to help you get in touch with the needs of readers in your niche:

  • What questions do I get asked most of all?
  • When I first started exploring this topic what was my biggest question or need?
  • What is my biggest current need in the area that I’m blogging about?
  • What words do people come to my blog having typed into search engines (you can get this from most stats packages) and what does this tell me about what people need?

Once you’ve identified the need you’re well on the way to writing a useful original post that should be popular with your readership – if you can find something worthwhile to say about it that is!

Read the rest of the Battling Bloggers Block Series

The Silly Season Kicks Off

Has anyone else noticed that in the last few days things seem to have taken off in terms of traffic?

I can only really put it down to it being just over a month to go until Christmas but the past 48 hours have seen a nice bump in traffic across most of my blogs – especially those which are product related. Of course the corresponding jumps in earnings are there in both Adsense and eMiniMalls with the later achieving a record day for me yesterday in direct earnings (they’ve steadily improved for me since the large slump on 16 November due to design changes).

I noticed yesterday that my referral earnings for the eMinimalls referrals program also went up which makes me wonder if others are experiencing bumps in traffic over the past few days also. This is what happened for me also in the days before the US Thanksgiving holiday – they tend to continue to rise until the day or two before Christmas – when they generally die for a few weeks.

How have your traffic levels been over the past few days?

Combine Two Disconnected Ideas – Battling Bloggers Block

This is part 5 in the Battling Bloggers Block Series

5. Combine Two Disconnected Ideas

Regular readers will know that I like a Tangent – I love to take everyday situations, ideas and experiences that have no relation to blogging and find ways to combine make them illustrate a point.

Some of the best inventions and scientific discoveries come out of this type of thinking – bringing together two ideas that have not previously been connected to form something new and fresh.

Of course this type of thinking doesn’t just happen – it takes practice to be able to see the world this way.

Edward De Bono has many creative thinking techniques that help people develop this type of thinking. I’m not completely sure which of his books I read it in – but I seem to remember him suggesting free thinking brainstorming around a question like:

‘Think of as many uses as possible for a fork’

The challenge was to come up with as many answers as possible (no answer was too silly) in a short period of time. The answers are useless (unless you’re in the cutlery manufacturing business) but the thinking processes are valuable as you begin to learn the power of creative thinking and thinking outside the box when it comes to everyday objects.

This is the type of thinking that was behind some of my older entries on blogging like a goose, talking about blogging and parenting, blogging and marriage, starting the Blogger Idol meme, and blogging and Travelator users and their techniques (among others). Now it might just have been me who enjoyed the challenge of writing these posts – but I found them fun ways to talk about things I’d talked about many times before – with a twist.

OSM gets back in it’s PJs

Pajamas Media became Open Source Media and today are becoming Pajamas Media again. The ‘other’ Open Source Media responds.

What a saga.

Feedster Top 500 Updates

Feedster have updated their Top 500 Blogs page and have added tags into the mix. So now blogs have tags next to them which makes it a much more useful list. So now the problogger entry looks like this:

If you click on the ‘blogging’ tag you get taken to a list of the top blogs with that tag. This new feature responds to the call of many who critiqued the last update of the list (August) saying a more useful list would be one with categories of some kind.

Also new is the drop down list that you get giving you options to subscribe to the feeds of these blogs via different services when you put your cursor over the XML button.

Now all I need to do is work out how to add my photo to it. I’ve tried to add my picture about 15 times now and don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

update: Scott – the guy who puts the top 500 together – has written about the new features and thinking behind the changes here