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$10,000 per Day – Interview

A couple of months ago I wrote a post titled Do Ugly Blogs Convert Better? which was based upon the revelation that a Canadian dating site by the name of ‘Plenty of Fish‘ was reportedly earning more than $10,000 a day via AdSense and affiliate programs.

$10,000 a day – that’s $3.65 million per year….

Richard Giles and Duncan Riley have interviewed the creator of Plenty of Fish, Marcus Frind on a fascinating podcast here.

Despite growing many times over in the last year he’s still a one man band competing with companies with big money and loads of employees. Quite an inspiring story.

Skypecasts Coming

TechCrunch has news of a new service that Skype will offer – Skypecasts which will be a free service that allows ‘live, moderated Skype conversations of up to 100 people. The host may controls mute, eject and “microphone pass”. Skypecasts may be prescheduled and promoted via html snippets’.

I can see lots of possibilities for bloggers with a service like that. For starters it could be very useful for us at b5 to get all our bloggers on the one call for communication and community building but it could also be an interesting way to do live podcastlike gatherings. It’d also be a worthwhile service for people doing online courses if they could make it password protected in some way so that only paying listeners could access the call.

Google Updating?

I’m not sure exactly what’s going on but I suspect that Google is doing some tweaking/updating at present as I’ve had a number of bloggers emailing to report that they are seeing greater shifts than normal in their SERPs (the position of their site for certain keywords in Google). There also seems to be quite a bit of discussion going on in a variety of threads at WMW (more than the normal level anyway). It could be one of Google’s normal minor updates or maybe something bigger is brewing.

I’ve also talked to a few Australian bloggers in the last few days who have noticed significant changes in google.com.au’s results and some UK based publishers who are noticing google.co.uk changes – perhaps what we’re seeing is the results of localized updates.

My own sites are a little higher than normal in terms of Google referrals but it could just be a seasonal thing. Time will tell.

Comment Spammers Harvesting Genuine Commenter’s Details

Comment spammers are getting trickier.

Today I had a comment which I thought was from a regular reader of ProBlogger. It had their name, their email, their URL but the comment was a link to a parked domain with just ads on it and the IP address was not the person who the comment claimed to be from.

Spammers are harvesting genuine comment leaver’s details and using them to leave comment spam with them in an attempt to get past bloggers.

So rather than just scanning comments and allowing anything from familiar names you might want to take a closer look at what the comments are actually saying.

Happy Birthday 9rules Network

9R Rounded WhiteA big congratulations to the team at 9rules Network for 1 year of building blog community and raising the bar when it comes to quality blogs working together! As a network these guys have had a year of highs and lows (as any start up does) but they’ve come through it stronger, more beautiful and pushing creative boundaries.

See the celebrations and leave your congratulations in their core team’s 1 year anniversary posts at:

Well done 9rules – I raise my coffee cup to you on this morning and wish you well for many more years of blogging!

Yahoo Publisher Network Terminates More Publisher Accounts

This morning I’ve had an email from a very disgruntled YPN publisher who has received a phone call from YPN saying that their account has been terminated because they have used MySpace to send traffic to their ‘legitimate’ website which has YPN. The thrust of the reason given to them for the termination was that the traffic being sent was not of a ‘high enough quality’.

Looking at the forums on the topic it seems that this publisher is not alone.

This could be a second round of such terminations. A couple of months ago I reported a batch of publishers having their accounts terminated for having too much international traffic.

update: Jen has more comprehensive news of this development with some interesting commentary at MySpace.com and Yahoo Publisher Network apparently don’t mix

Four Figure Blogging

Ben at College Startup is writing a useful series of posts on ‘How to Become a four figure blogger’.

So far he’s put together 2 parts (read them at part 1 and part 2). Here are a couple of key quotes from the series so far with a few of my own comments on each:

“If you have any hope of earning $1,000 a year from your blog you’re going to need traffic. You don’t need much, I am on track to earn over $1,000 a year and I am averaging well below 500 unique visits a day.”

This is stating the obvious but is a key point. Traffic is essential if you want to develop a blog that makes money (unless you’re going to get into some click fraud scheme). A blog doesn’t just make money – it needs people viewing it, interacting with it and participating in it. As traffic grows the potential it has to earn an income also rises.

“People don’t want to click on advertisements in your sidebar. Strategically placing affiliate links within posts gets a much better conversion rate. I’m not the only person who has discovered this – any professional blogger will tell you the same thing. People are much more likely to click on a link within a post than they are to click an obvious advertisement on your sidebar.”

Ben is talking about ‘affiliate programs’ here and not ‘advertising’. A common misconception that many new bloggers have is that once they have traffic all they have to do is put affiliate program buttons in their sidebar and the money will start rolling in. While it is possible to earn some money from such an approach Ben is correct in saying that links within content to affiliate programs are much more effective than sidebars.

This technique is often referred to as ‘deep linking’ and it works best when the links in your posts are genuine, relevant, transparent and helpful to your readers.

I’m looking forward to the rest of Ben’s four figure blogging series.

Making Money While Others Do the Work

Over the weekend I made close to $1000 more than my normal level of earnings without doing anything different at all.

In fact I didn’t intend to make the money and for 24 hours or so I didn’t even know anything abnormal was happening.

How can this be so? Let me explain….

12 or so months ago I discovered an e-book that related to one of the niches that I blog in (I’m not going to name it as I don’t have the author’s permission to talk about their strategy). The e-book was a quality product and was quite relevant to my blog’s topic and so after buying it myself and reading it I began to promote it on my blog. I used a variety of strategies including a review of the book, linking to it prominently from my blog and by working with the author of the e-book to promote it with some articles that they wrote for me.

The results of this were that over time I referred significant traffic to the sales page of this e-book.

Some of those who I referred purchased the e-book (and earned me a commission each time) while others (the majority) just signed up for free taster products and free email newsletters that the author provided. The key was that the author of the e-book captured (with permission through an opt-in program) the email details of many of my referrals.

In the early days I didn’t earn a lot from this program (probably around $25 per week) but it was a nice little bonus.

Over the last 12 months the author of the e-book has produced a number of other e-products ranging from free tasters through to more expensive membership programs. He’s really grown in reputation in the niche and instead of branching out into numerous different topics he’s going deep into the one he started with – producing an array of products that all relate to one another.

The great thing for me as one of his affiliates is that each person I’ve referred to him over the last 12 months earns me an income on any purchase that they make not only the first time they purchase something but ANYtime they purchase something for as long as he continues to produce products.

[Read more...]

Australian AdSense publishers Get EFT at last

I just had an email from AdSense telling me that they’ve just enabled EFT direct deposit payments to ALL Australian AdSense publishers. They had previously made this available to some publishers but I’m assured it’s now an open thing. The set up process takes a few steps but once it’s done it’ll cut down a few trips to the bank and delays in cashing cheques.