How to Improve Your Chitika Ads Performance

christmasAs I look towards the end of the year earnings across my blogs I’m particularly excited about the potential for my Chitika Ads. They continue to be my equal highest earner (with AdSense) and this will only increase over the coming weeks.

Chitika (aff) have been providing publishers with advertising options for over a year now and now offer a range of types of ads including:

What I like about this range of ad units is that between them there is bound to be a format (or more than one) that fits with the design of most blogs and websites.

Note – Keep in mind that Chitika ads are very much ‘product focussed’ and work best on sites that have a topic that is directly related to topic (for example gadgets and consumer electronics, clothes, home and garden, toys etc)

So how do you optimize Chitika ads?

Many of the principles that we talked about with AdSense ads in previous posts are also relevant for Chitika ads (particularly those on Positioning, Design) however there are a number of things that you can do to help with Chitika ad performance (I’ll particularly focus upon eMiniMalls and Relevant Product Units here). First lets take a look at the art of targeting Chitika Ads and the next post we’ll look at some other Chitika optimization techniques:

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5 Essential OSX Blogging Tools

Glenn Wolsey, writer for Macguide Magazine and author of expresses his views about the top applications for blogging on the Mac. – Thanks to Glenn for this guest post.

Blogging can be a hugely rewarding and satisfying hobby, or in some cases job. But it does have it’s tough times, especially when it comes to composing, publishing, and announcing your posts. Fortunately for those users on the Mac platform there are some great tools to streamline your blogging process – let’s take a look.

Step One. Collect News – NewsFire

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NewsFire is one of the best looking application on the Mac in my opinion. My RSS reader of choice, NewsFire is one of David Wants many applications, and in my opinion, his best.

NewsFire’s layout is very simple and easy to use, which allows you to streamline your RSS reading process and flick through hundreds of feeds seamlessly.

Step Two. Compose – Ecto

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Ecto is my most valuable blogging tool that I have, and it’s Darren Rowse’s too. Without this application blogging would take much longer, and be much harder. With all the small yet great features it will end up saving your hours of time, especially if you manage multiple blogs.

If you are not familiar with Ecto, it’s an application which allows you to compose blog posts locally, then save them as drafts to edit later. You can use Ecto while you offline so it’s a great way to store loads of material ready to post when your creative side doesn’t feel like coming outside.

Ecto also features some nice time saving features such as drag and drop image placement and uploading. While your editing your entry simply drag images from your machine into the text area, place them as you like, and when you hit publish the images will be uploaded to your server and placed just as you had them into your blog post.

For those lucky enough to be on an Intel Mac, there is a specific Intel build of Ecto you can download here.

Step Three. Resize Images – ImageShackle

Imageshackle 20060926113445

When I’m blogging I like to include images in posts. They can be very handy to help explain steps I’m explaining to the reader, and they make the post much more appealing for the “scanner” type reader.

Image Shackle lets you resize an image quickly, and is the easiest way to make your photos the right size.

Step Four. Announce – Pukka and Pingoat

The Goat

After you’ve written and published your blog post you need to get the word out. The first step is to go over to and ping your blog, Pingoat will ping around 30 different sites from one universal location, saving you time from traveling to all the sites and pinging yourself.

PukkaiconPukka is in my opinion the best tool to post to your account from OSX. Simply drag the URL of your post out of Safari (or your chosen web browser) onto the Pukka icon in the dock, add a title, description, and tags, and click done. Your link will be submitted to with a satisfying “ping” sound.

So there you have it, 5 Mac OSX application which will help you blog more quickly, more efficiently, and with more fun.

What blogging tools do you like to use? Let us know in the comments below.

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Speedlinking 17 November 2006

A few links from the last few days RSS feeds:

Introducing ChickAdvisor and Throng

Chick-AdvisorJeremy, Mark and I spent a pleasant evening tonight with the founders of ChickAdvisor (Ali and Alex de Bold). I’d not come across the site before but it’s an innovative and fun site for women looking for reviews and looking to review products, services, restaurants, deals etc – all for women (ie it’s advice FOR ‘chicks’ not ON how to understand them ‘chicks’ (although that’s a whole other niche).

While ChickAdvisor isn’t really a blog as such it does involve blogging and shares a lot of the same space. It’s a pretty interactive space with readers able to vote on each others reviews and add their opinions on what others have said.

ThrongWhile quite different in many ways – it sort of reminded me of another site that I’ve recently come across – Throng.

Throng is run by another husband wife team (Rachel and Regan Cunliffe – Rachel designed this blog) and is a community site that involves it’s readers in generating content around the topic of New Zealand TV shows.

Throng users get blogs, there are bookmarking features and a forum.

It’s nice to see these sorts of sites popping up around the blogging space and gaining traction. I suspect we’ll see more and more of this in the coming year or two – as blogging, social bookmarking, social media and more collide around different verticals.

The Most Important Thing a Semi-Problogger Should Remember

Reader-Quick-TipsThe following reader quick tip was submitted by Bald Man from baldness.

Let’s face it: Most of us aren’t Probloggers. Some of us don’t aspire to be. We’re students or home makers. We’ve got day jobs we love. For whatever reason, we’re semi-Probloggers. We’re not after a new career; we just want a little extra money on the side.

For us there is one rule to rule them all: Have fun. A successful blog is one to which you post regularly over the long haul. It is essential, therefore, to keep your blogging in perspective. If your blog adds stress to your life, then you won’t keep at it.

So, listen up, semi-Probloggers. When blogging for fun and profit, remember:

Fun first! (The profit will follow.)

Mesh Meetup

I had a great time at the Mesh meetup last night in Toronto.

It was great to meet a few old friends and a few new ones – putting a lot of names to faces including Tony from Deep Jive Interests, Sacha Chua, Stuart MacDonald, Mark Evans (whose office I’m writing this from at the moment), Rob Schaumer (who hugged me – because I in my previous post about the event I asked for hugs due to the coldness), Leesa Barnes, Vince Chan, Rob Hyndman, Yaro Starak and more.

Canadians are a friendly bunch!

Attending Underground Seminar in March 2007

Agent6A few months ago I received an email asking me to speak at a conference (Underground Seminar) in Washington DC in March next year. It was a little different to most other speaking opportunities that I receive in that it wasn’t actually for a blogging specific conference – but instead for an internet marketing crowd.

I’ve always been intrigued by the internet marketing scene – actually I’ve had a love hate relationship with it and have wondered how blogs can intersect with it.

As a result, after doing a little checking into it’s organizer I accepted the offer to speak for a couple of reasons:

  1. I love talking about blogging – any opportunity to do so is something I’ll take up
  2. I am interested in interacting with Internet Marketers and to see what I can learn from them
  3. I was already planning a US trip in 2007 and this fits well timing wise

I’m not going to sell this conference hard here at ProBlogger as it does have a slightly different focus to ‘blogging for money’ but I do think that it’ll be something some of you will be interested in – so you can check it out at Underground Seminar (aff).

A little info on the Seminar:

  • This is the third year that Yanik Silver has run the Underground Seminar. The last two sold out quickly and received great reviews.
  • There’s 67 seats available at early bird discounted rates
  • Yanik’s put together a list of speakers who are trying a variety of online entrepreneurial activities – ie it’s not just blogging but includes other successful internet entrepreneurs – Yanik’s added up the earnings of everyone speaking and collectively it was over $57M in the last 12 months. I feel like a small fry in this line up.

Having chatted to a couple of last year’s attendees and seeing a little video of the event I’m looking forward to being there.

Yanik is promoting me as ‘GoldBlogger’ – it’s a ‘spy’ theme.

Plenty more info at the Underground Seminar site. Yep – it’s a pretty long and hyped sales page but if you’re interested I’ll see you there! If it’s not your cup of tea – no worries at all. Just wanted to let people know the option.

How to Choose a Profitable Topic for AdSense

christmasThis post is part of the ‘Fine Tuning Your Blog for Christmas’ series. In reality this topic probably is a little late for THIS Christmas – but as I’ve been looking at AdSense optimization I thought I’d include it anyway for those of you looking to start a new blog that might be ready for next year.

Last week I was chatting with one reader who was asking for advice on a new blog that he was starting. He wanted to know if it had commercial viability – particularly if he used AdSense.

The idea for the new blog was good – however if he wanted to monetize it using AdSense I told him that it wouldn’t do too well – unless he had ALOT of traffic. The reason for this was his topic – Religion.

Now I don’t have anything against religion as a topic for a blog (I’ve written on Spirituality for many years myself) – however it’s a difficult topic to monetize with AdSense for two main reasons:

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Google, Yahoo, Microsoft adopt same Web index tool – Sitemaps

Quick news from today (thanks to Blaine for the tip):

“Search engine rivals Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are teaming up to make it easier for Web site owners to make sure their sites get included in the Web indexes, the companies are expected to announce Thursday.

The companies are adopting Google’s Sitemaps protocol, available since June 2005, that allows Web site owners to manually feed their pages to Google and to check whether their sites have been crawled. Web site owners have had to follow similar processes at each of the other major search engines separately.”

Read more at CNET

Looks like it’s going to become increasingly important to have Sitemaps set up on blogs.