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News Flash – Blogging Won’t be a Job by 2016!

Fast Company has posted on Six Jobs That Won’t Exist In 2016 and included on the list is ‘Bloggers’.

While it’s not really one of FC’s hardest hitting pieces a few scattered thoughts sprung to mind on seeing it (via Blog Herald):

  • I always chuckle a little when I see a magazine or newspaper declaring the death of a form of new media
  • At least we’re on the list as ‘jobs’ (however quickly we might be off it).
  • 2016 is a long way away. I know quite a few bloggers who would be very happy for their blogs to continue to earn what they now do for another 10 years – if they do there will be a retired bloggers village somewhere in the Bahamas.

On a semi serious note – I’ve no doubt that things will be a lot different in 2016 – if blogs do still exist they will have probably changed quite a lot (if the last few years of rapid change is anything to go by). Whether blogs (or blogging as a job) exists or don’t exist is not that important to me in some respects because whether they do or don’t people will be always be looking for content, entertainment, information, ideas, community, dialogue and the ability to have their say.

I guess the challenge is for those of us who want to be a part of the process of providing these sorts of things is to ride the wave and be willing to know where to invest our time, energy and resources along the way.

How To Lose Blog Readers

Chris Garrett posts a worthwhile post titled 10 Ways To Lose RSS Subscribers, each of which I’d say apply to losing any type of blog reader at all. Here’s his first one:

Hardly post and when you do it is to apologise for not posting – I don’t mind an irregular posting frequency providing when you do post it is something worthwhile and valuable. We all know people have other priorities in their lives, and an apology is obviously well meant, but please include the apology as a PS. on the end of a worthwhile post. And do not post three apologies in a row.’

Read the other 9 points

I’d sum it all up by simply saying that the way to gain readers is to ‘develop a useful blog’. I think if you give your readers something that they want or need and they’ll put up with almost any mistake you might make (massive generalization I know – but it’s what it comes down to to me).

AdSense CPM ad Facts

There’s a useful post over at the official AdSense blog titled CPM ads: Knowing the facts can pay off which busts some of the myths circulating out there about CPM ads (ie ads that you get paid for per impression rather than per click).

The main points in the post:

  • both text and image ads can be both CPC (cost per click) or CPM ads.
  • AdSense will run the ad that has the highest probability of earning the publisher the best price if it’s a choice between a CPC and a CPM ad on your blog
  • if you select ‘image only’ you do not guarantee to only get CPM ads
  • AdSense recommend you allow both image and text ads to get the best revenue potential (there might be reasons to go one way or the other though in my opinion – see below)
  • You only get CPM ads served to your site if an Advertiser has specifically targeted your site

The main reason I say that it can be worthwhile either choosing image or text ads is more to do with the aesthetics of the ads and how they fit into the design of your site. While you might earn more by allowing both image and text ads if it doesn’t fit with your design you might not want to go this way. For example – on some blogs image ads tend to dominate the design too much as you have no control over how they look. If your blog’s design is subtle and clean text ads might well be your best bet.

Squidoo Starts Paying Users

Logo-Squidoo6I just got an email from Squidoo (aff) saying that they’re moving into their next phase of actually paying their ‘lens-masters’. They also announced three new money making modules:

  1. They’ve added a new eBay module which allows people to promote eBay auctions and earn a commission on items sold (if bought by the person you refer.
  2. They’ve added an affiliate program so that if you refer a Squidoo user you’ll get $5 when they reach $15 of earnings themselves (thats why the above Squidoo link is an aff link).
  3. Lastly they’ve got a new partnership with CafePress with a new module for that.

They also announced earlier in the week on their blog that they’ve just past the 20,000 lens mark.

It will be interesting to watch what impact the ability to make money from Squidoo will have upon the number of people joining and the rate at which they post. I’ve posted previously that one of my lenses was among the most profitable (it’s down the list now) and my conclusion of finding that out was that if you’re dedicated (and smart) enough you could probably make some decent money from the program – but like anything, it’s a long term and hard work proposition.

AdSense add ‘Add New Channel’ Popup

One of the more annoying little things that I’ve always found with AdSense is that in the setting up of a new ad unit you do all the design aspects of it and then get to the point of adding a channel. IF you want to make a new channel for the ad you’re currently making you need to leave the process to do so and in doing so loose all your design settings.

This seems to have been changed in the last 24 hours because now when you get to the point of choosing a channel there is an option to ‘Add new channel’.

Adsense-Channel-Add

When you click this link it opens a popup box to allow you to do so without loosing all your previous information.

Adsense-Channel

I’m not sure when this was added but I don’t remember it there yesterday when I was making a new ad.

Thanks to Duncan for the email tip off.

Diversify Your Blogging Income with Secondary Money Earners

One of the lessons that I learned after a a year of blogging for an income was the danger of relying upon a single income source for your blog.

To that point I’d heavily focussed upon AdSense as a revenue stream on my blogs and was making what I thought was a reasonable level of income (enough to justify cutting back on other work a couple of days a week). I was incredibly optimistic about the growth of my blogs and was making all kinds of forecasts to my wife of the money that we’d be earning in a year’s time if the blogs continued to grow as they were.

The flaw in my ‘business’ (and I don’t think what I had back then truly was a business – but that’s a whole other debate) was that while things were on the up and up, it all hung largely on one company – Google.

Google was crucial to my income on two fronts:

  • They sent me traffic – I was lucky enough to have decent ranking in Google.
  • They gave me a way to earn money from the traffic with AdSense.

While I knew this at the time I was naively optimistic and made no real contingency plans for what I’d do if one or both of these elements was taken from me.

Of course in the lead up to Christmas 2004 when my AdSense earnings were approaching a level where I could go full time as a blogger the worst thing imaginable happened to me – I almost completely disappeared from the rankings at Google for each of my three (or was it four?) blogs.

My traffic dropped by two thirds and my income similarly disappeared. I learnt at that point the lesson that I talk about regularly here – diversification. I made a decision at that time to attempt to diversify in a number of ways.

  1. Firstly I’d attempt to build other types of traffic (largely through RSS, newsletters and building reader loyalty).
  2. Secondly I’d build new blogs on different domains (up to that point each blog was on the one domain) so that if one was hit by Google the others might stay strong
  3. Thirdly I’d find new income streams to supplement AdSense.

It’s this third point that I’d like to expand upon a little in this post.

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