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ProBlogger Interview at Bloggertalks

Darrenrowse 300X250
For those interested – I did a quick interview over at Bloggertalks today.

In it I talk about Problogger, b5media, talk about my opinion of ‘paid posts’, make a few observations about the mistakes I see bloggers making, talk about niche blogging and talk a little about RSS feeds.

Participate in Carnivals – Reader Quick Tip

Reader-Quick-TipsThis reader ‘quick tip’ is from FMF from Free Money Finance

If I had to pick one tip to give new and aspiring bloggers, it would be this: participate in blog carnivals.

No, it’s not a new tip and it’s not particularly exciting, but it’s certainly effective. In particular, consider these benefits of blog carnivals:

1. They give you links from sites within your topic area. I submit to six carnivals every week on one of the various aspects of personal finance (saving money, debt reduction, investing, etc.) That provides my blog with six quality links per week — links that help develop and grow my blog’s credibility as well as provide some great SEO juice.

2. They deliver instant traffic. You probably won’t get an avalanche of visitors from a carnival, but if you participate in one on a popular blog and you submit a post many people find interesting, it could send you a couple hundred extra visits in a week. And some of those visitors turn into regular readers. Do this week after week and you start building up quite a following.

3. It’s easy. By using a site like Blog Carnival (www.blogcarnival.com), it takes me 20 minutes to find and submit to the six carnivals I participate in each week. That’s a small investment of time for the big payoffs noted above.

How to Optimize Your Blog for Christmas – The Complete Series

christmasA number of people have asked to see links to the complete series of posts on Fine Tuning Your Blog for Christmas in the one post – so here you have it – all 13 tips side by side. Enjoy:

Feedburner Review

Aaron has posted a good Review of Feedburner over at his blog which might be worth a read for those looking for an RSS feed solution.

Office Chairs Recommendations

P Aer L122A quick reader question:

What sort of chair do you sit at to blog from?

Over the last few months I’ve become increasingly aware that my chair (an office works special) is not working well for me and in the last week the result has been a back that is telling me that its ‘time for a new chair!’

So I’m shopping for a new office chair and am open to suggestions.

What kind do you use?

Do you subscribe to the ‘the more you pay the more you get’ theory?

Google’s Secret Display Advertising Network

John Chow has broken the story that Google has a ‘secret’ CPM advertising network called the ‘Google Display Advertising Network’ which is an invitation only impression based ad network for high profile advertisers and a select group of publishers.

It apparently lets publishers negotiate their own CPM (cost per thousand impressions) with Google with year long contracts. The ads are image and video ads.

Google already do run CPM ads in their AdSense system but John is reporting that the rates that he’s managed to negotiate on his ad units in this program make those ads the highest earning ads on his sites.

The program seems pretty basic at this stage – reports come in via email once a week with very little information – sounds like it could be some sort of beta test or at least a pretty embryonic new ad network – definitely one to watch though!

What should you do if your Google Ranking Falls and you lose all your traffic?

One of the most frightening things that can happen to a blogger making their living from blogging is when the traffic to their blogs dries up for one reason or another.

There are numerous reasons why this might happen ranging from being hacked, to having a server outage, to not backing up a blog and losing data etc

Another common reason for loosing traffic is when Google (or some other Search Engine) tweaks the way that they rank sites and your blog’s position for some (or all) keywords falls (or even disappears).

I’ve had a number of readers write to me in the last few weeks telling me that this has happened to them and in panic asking for advice.

Here is how I usually respond:

Firstly – I feel your pain
Suffering a major fall in traffic as a result of Google changing their ranking algorithm is not a pleasant thing and when you dig around a little you’ll find that most experienced webmasters have experienced it at one time or another. The first time it happened to me my traffic (and income) plummeted to a third of what it was in December of 2004. It hit me hard and almost knocked me out of blogging for money.

The second major hit that I’ve taken happened earlier this month when within the space of a couple of hours the traffic (and income) on my biggest blogs went to one tenth of normal levels and my blogs completely disappeared from Google’s index. Once again it was a fairly frightening experience (although I’d learnt a lot from last time it happened and have diversified my income quite a bit since).

What should you do when you lose your Google traffic?

OK – so you’re not alone – that might be a little comforting – but it doesn’t fix anything. What should you do? Here are a few things I advise out of my own experiences. This advice is written for people who have not being trying to game Google. If you engage in black hat SEO then it might be that you’ve been banned or penalized for doing so – I’m not aware of what you should do in this case. The following is probably more helpful for white hat SEO types who have had some bad luck:

1. Don’t Panic

I’ve seen a number of web masters completely lose it in the days following a loss of Google traffic. While I understand the temptation to panic – it doesn’t solve anything at all.

When I first lost traffic in Google back in 2004 my first reaction was to freak out and want to make big changes to my pages in an attempt to ‘fix’ things. The wise advice I received from experienced web masters was to calm down, take a day or two off and keep in mind that if I hadn’t been trying to game or trick Google that things would probably work out as in many cases traffic returns at some point as Google automatically re-corrects itself.

2. Wait

This is not easy to hear when your income seems to be falling through your fingers, but the main advice I was given two years ago was to not make any major changes to your blog for at least a month (maybe two). You might want to tweak things – but in many instances that I’ve come across Google does seem to reverse the de-indexing of quality sites that fall from their index (they seem to do updates in a series – adjusting things backwards and forwards along the way).

[Read more...]

Adsense Gift – Digital Photo Frame Picture

Two days ago I posted that Google are sending their top AdSense publishers digital photo frames.

Shawn Hogan has posted a picture of the one they sent him.

Googlesmallnf0

Blogging Quick Tips

Reader-Quick-Tips
A massive thank you to all those readers who submitted reader ‘quick tips’ which I used as guest posts while traveling over the last couple of weeks. Over 50 tips were submitted (in fact more have been submitted in the last few days) – unfortunately I wasn’t able to use all of them (although did get 20 of them up on the blog).

I’ll attempt to use a more in the coming weeks but in the mean time I’ve included links to the 20 posts that I used below for those of you asking for a complete list: