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Blogging Goals – Reader Submissions Part 1

200606051534

The submissions for the ‘Blogging Goals’ Group writing project have begun to flow in over night (29 already). Don’t forget that you can submit your posts (following the guidelines) up until Thursday this week. Here’s the first batch of submissions:

Please check them out – there are some great submissions already! I’m posting all reader submissions on the central page here.

Traffic Generation Programs

I am regularly asked by readers for my opinion on one variety or another of ‘traffic generation’ programs.

These programs come in all shapes and sizes – some are paid services whereby you pay money in return for a certain amount of impressions, others are traffic exchange programs where you agree to surf a certain number of pages in return for a corresponding number of impressions or where you agree to run certain ads in return for traffic (I’m sure there are many other variations also).

I’m always hesitant to make sweeping statements about a whole range of different services and am sure there is a real spectrum of these traffic programs out there but my main advice to readers asking about them is to be very careful – for a number of reasons.

Traffic Generation Programs Put Ad Revenue at Risk
The main reason to avoid (or at least be careful) about signing up for traffic generation programs is if you are wanting to monetize your blog with advertising. Most Ad networks these days have some sort of clause in their terms of service where they talk about excluding certain types of traffic. They quite often put it in terms of ‘paid to surf’ or programs where readers come to your site with some sort of incentive to surf there (either them getting traffic in return, getting paid, getting a voucher etc).

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Blog Goals – Group Writing Project

200606051534I’ve written on a number of occasions on the topic of developing goals for a blog over the past few months.

I’ve also written on a number of occasions about making some of your blogging goals public as a way of adding accountability and motivation to reach them. I find that when I write something on my blog about what I want to do that I’m much more likely to actually follow through on it.

Each time I’ve written these things I’ve had readers write to tell me their blogging goals and even to suggest that we create a space where people can post them. As a result I thought ‘blogging goals’ might be a good topic for another ProBlogger group writing project (the last one was on Habits of Effective Blogging).

So this week I’d like to invite you to write a post on your blogging goals as part of a group writing project.

To participate, here is the process to follow:

1. Write a post on blogging goals

  • Be as creative as you’d like – take it in any direction you want from writing a long list of your own blogging goals, through to sharing just one or two of them.
  • You can write it in any form you like (last time we had poems, rants, humorous posts etc).
  • Consider calling your post something a little different to ‘blogging goals’ as last time we had 80 submissions, most of which had similar titles. Your title is a key to making people come and read your post.
  • Ideally it’d be great if you could write it on your actual blog but if it’s completely inappropriate to do so I’ll post them again on ProBlogger on a ‘page’ (not a post) with a link back to your blog.

2. Let me Know about your post

  • Once you’ve posted your post simply let me know about it by sending me an email via my contact form.
  • Make sure you include your name (as you want it to appear in my list), your post title and the URL to your post (not just to your blog’s front page).
  • Submissions must be received by me the the end of Thursday 8 June (as long as it’s still Thursday where you send it from I’ll accept it).

3. I will post 2 links to your post

  • In the day or two after you let me know about your post I’ll post a link to it in two places. Firstly there will be a daily (ish) list of the submissions from the last 24 hours. Secondly there will be a central list of all submissions for the project so we can see everything on one page. From what I could tell last time – people did visit the posts that were submitted – some bloggers seemed to get more traffic than others depending upon what day they submitted and a little on how their title read.
  • I’ll post my final list of submissions on Friday.

4. Surf Surf Surf

  • This is where you take over. Surf the submissions received. Leave comments, make connections with other ProBlogger readers and enjoy reading what others have to say.

5. Link Link Link

  • There is no formal ‘judging’ as this is not a competition. Instead – I encourage you to surf through the submissions at the end of the week and announce your own winners on your own blog. Name a top 5 or so and share the link love.
  • Probably the best part of the last group project was the amount of inter-linking I saw happening between participating bloggers as a result of their posts. It was obvious that people found new blogs through it and that the benefits of participating was way beyond getting a link from me but flowed on to a lot of new connections and links between other bloggers.

PS: if you want to use the blog goals graphic above you’re welcome to do so.

More Site Graphs

I thought I’d have a little more fun with the website graphs and have plotted some competing sites against each other:

First Google (left) vs Yahoo (right) – very interesting to see how simple Google keep their homepage in comparison to Yahoo

GoogleYahoo

Secondly the battle of the tech blogs – Engadget (left) vs Gizmodo (right)

EngadgetGizmodo

And lastly a little friendly inter-blog network rivalry – 9rules (left) vs b5media’s (right) home pages – of course 9 rule’s has the prettier one :-)

9-RulesB5-Media

Adbrite Loading Problems

I want to apologize to those readers who have been complaining of loading problems with ProBlogger of late. I’ve had a number of issues to deal with and think that I’m slowly identifying the problems.

One of the issues was that i was running Google Analytics on my blog which as an external script seemed to slow things down a little, perhaps in combination with a couple of other external scripts. I’ve stopped using it – not that I was really checking it much anyway as I found it to be too heavy a stats program.

But the main problem seemed to be revolving around AdBrite ads. The loading of pages seemed to intermittently stop when it got to the point where the AdBrite ads should have been showing our b5media ads. It would pause loading while it tried to run them meaning that everything after them in the source code would not load (ie 90% of my blog as my Adbrite ads were in the left hand sidebar – some blogs with the same problem would at least have content showing as they have right hand sidebars). It would then load the rest of the page (sometimes taking up to a few minutes) without the ads which should have shown. I’ve noticed this happening for a week or two but the last few days it’s worsened.

I’ve noticed the same loading problem on my other blogs with Adbrite ads on them also. (update: I’m seeing the same loading issues on lots of blogs with adbrite including Gawker). Has anyone else or is it just some of us? One thought I had was that maybe it’s a browser problem (I’m using Firefox 1.5.0.4) – but the same issue seems to be happening for me with IE and Safari.

I’m not sure what the problem is – I’m seeing the same thing happen on our other b5 blogs today also. It doesn’t happen all of the time but enough to give me and quite a few of you a pain in the neck. If this is happening to every Adbrite publisher today there must be ALOT of blogs not loading properly!

We’ll be looking further into it as Adbrite do bring in a good income to our blogs but in the mean time I’ve removed them temporarily from my sidebar and have contacted Adbrite regarding it.

Update: I’ve just noticed that Isolf.com has the news that Adbrite have announced an upcoming down time of their server while they upgrade in a couple of days time. I’m not sure if this is in connection to these problems.

How to Blog on Slow News Days

Andy Merrett has a post on how to Blog on slow news days where he gives a few options of what to do on days when there is very little happening in your niche:

  • Do nothing
  • Post opinion / forum / consumer views
  • Stray from your niche
  • Revisit old news
  • Publish an article you’ve written in advance

He writes more on each one – head over and add what you do in his comments.

ProBlogger as a graph

I like a pretty picture so when I saw Websites as graphs – an HTML DOM Visualizer Applet I just had to have a play with it.

Here’s ProBlogger as a graph:

Problogger-Graph

  • blue: for links (the A tag)
  • red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
  • green: for the DIV tag
  • violet: for images (the IMG tag)
  • yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
  • orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
  • black: the HTML tag, the root node
  • gray: all other tags

Just a bit of fun for the weekend.

Found via Weblog Tools Collection

Lawyers Send Anticipatory Cease and Desist Letters to Bloggers over World Cup

I’ve known a few bloggers to get cease and desist letters from lawyers from time to time but today I saw a first – a preemptive one to Boing Boing around the anticipation that BB will stream FIFA World Cup matches.

Now there’s a great way to engage the blogging community!

I wonder how they decided which blogs to send that letter to and how many other bloggers might have received them.

found via blog herald

Update – Apparently the lawyers, Baker and McKenzie, have been sending out the same sort of letter to a variety of other web sites and ISPs according to Paid Content’s links pointing here, here, here and here.

54 Ways to Get Traffic to Your Blog

Seth writes 54 ways to get traffic to your blog.

What do you agree or disagree with? What would you add?