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Fasten Your Seat Belts…. The Next Two Weeks Could Get Bumpy!

The bags are packed, my new email set up seems to be working, the laptop, laptop spare battery, ipod and digicam are all charged, passport and tickets have been checked 20 times, ipod is full of tunes and video clips for the 21 hours flying time ahead and blogs have advance posts on them to cover the next two weeks of traveling.

I think I’m ready to leave for Toronto for 10 or so days of b5media meetings.

If you happen to be in Toronto (or close to it) there is going to be a Mesh meetup that I (and a few other b5 bods) will be attending at:

The Irish Embassy Pub
15 November – 6pm

What’s Going On at ProBlogger While I’m Gone?

While I’m away ProBlogger will continue to tick over. In fact it could be busier than normal (as is usual – my blog tends to improve when I go away and hand it over to others). As always – I’ve over prepared for my time away!

Here’s what you can expect over the next two weeks here at ProBlogger.

For starters there will be two series running at the same time (at least one post on each per day):

Reader-Quick-TipsI’ve been talking this up for the last couple of days and asking for reader submissions.

This series will be short, sharp and to the point ‘quick tips’ from readers on the topic of blogging. I’ve had 70 or so tips submitted (thanks everyone) and have had to cull the list down considerably in order not to overwhelm you all. I’ve tried to select tips on a variety of topics and from a variety of readers. Keep in mind that the tips come from readers of all levels of blogging experience – some will be more basic and advanced than others.

I’m hoping to compile all 70+ reader tips into the one resource when I get home – so if you’ve got a quick tip you want to contribute feel free to send it in (but do it according to the guidelines set out in this call for submissions or I will not be able to include your tip).

christmasThis is a 13 part series which covers an array of topics that will hopefully help entrepreneurial bloggers tweak their blogs in order to have a more profitable Holiday Period.

In the 13 parts we’ll take a look at a range of topics including:

  • Why you’d want to fine tune your blog for Christmas
  • AdSense Tips (a mini series of posts)
  • Chitika Tips (a mini series)
  • Affiliate Programs
  • Writing Content
  • SEO

Some of it will be familiar to long term readers but hopefully it’s a series that will provide helpful reminders and a little inspiration to get your blog in order for the end of the year. I hope you enjoy it.

Other Posts – I’ve also pre-written a few extra posts that will go up over the next couple of weeks and have a couple of other bloggers who have written a post each.

I’m sure I will also do a little blogging from Toronto – mainly covering any breaking news relevant to ProBlogging types.

All in all it’ll be a rather full couple of weeks here at ProBlogger with over 40 posts already queued and ready to go!

Please bear with me a little in terms of comment moderation. Obviously the 24 or so hours that I’m in transit (and the recovery sleeps) could mean that your comments get stuck for a little bit but I’ll ‘release’ them as soon as I can.

Thanks to ProBlogger Partners

This month ProBlogger welcomes four new partners through the Performancing Partners Ad network. Thanks to these partners I’m able to dedicate more time into the running of ProBlogger.

As a special thank you ProBlogger’s Partners I’d like to introduce each of them to you

Partnerserve-15 Star Affiliate Programs

Monetize Your Site. Earn More Revenue! Your leading source for top affiliate programs and resources.

5 Star Affiliate Programs Forums is a hive of activity when it comes to affiliate marketers. Their forums is a rich resource and a place to find new affiliate programs and learn how to use them.

Also check out their main page and blog.

Partnerserve-2Performancing Firefox Editor

Performancing for Firefox is a full featured blog editor that sits right in your Firefox browser and lets you post to your blog easily. You can drag and drop formatted text from the page you happen to be browsing, and take notes as well as post to your blog.

Performancing for Firefox was developed by Performancing.com, the worlds largest organization of professional bloggers.

Partnerserve-1Cyn.in

Partner with cyn.in and profit from every customer or partner that you refer to us

cyn.in (pronounced: ‘sign-in’) is an enterprise bliki service that allows teams, companies or communities to create, manage, organize, store, version, search through, collaborate & discuss upon, share and publish any kind of information or data. cyn.in can manage all your rich content, audio, video, images, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, drawings, archives and any type of files.

Partnerserve-3Presell Page Man

A service for getting your marketing pages (presell pages) hosted on established authority web sites.

Working with top experts in the fields of search engine-optimization and marketing industry as well as web publishers Presell Page Man created this new marketing brand dedicated to and only to creating and brokering your hosted marketing content to authority websites.

If you’d like to become a ProBlogger Partner get full details here.

Lisensa – Copyright Management Solution

Img-LogoA problem that I’m increasingly hearing bloggers voice is that they are finding other blogs (or splogs) blatantly ripping off their content in ways that violate their copyright (scraping, no attribution, republishing feeds and putting ads on them etc).

Lisensa is an interesting new service for bloggers calling itself a copyright management solution that is something between BlogBurst and Creative Commons.

They allow bloggers to set up a copyright licence that outlines the permissions that you’re willing to give other publishers and then allows you to set up a licence and charge other publishers for the privledge of republishing your content.

Img-Icons

Basically they are automating the conversation between the copyright holder and commercial purchaser of content.

Lisensa takes 10% of any earnings generated and there is no other fees for bloggers to pay.

It’s an interesting concept although I’m wondering how many people looking for content will actually have the honesty to use it. The thing I like about BlogBurst over this model is that they are actively seeking opportunities for republishing. Lisensa may do this down the track also but don’t really indicate that they will to this point.

found via TechCrunch

Reader ‘Quick Tips’ – Update

Reader-Quick-TipsYesterday, on a whim, I asked readers to submit their blogging ‘quick tips’ hoping to get a few quality short guest posts for the next couple of weeks here at ProBlogger while I’m traveling. I did expect quite a few submissions – however the response has exceeded my expectations.

As I write this I currently have just under 50 submissions on a wide variety of topics.

Submissions are still open – but please read the guidelines in the previous post before submitting. Particularly – be aware that I’m not asking for links to your previously written posts but asking you to submit actual new posts to be published on ProBlogger (ie this isn’t a group writing project).

I’m really impressed with the quality of tips that are coming in so far. Like Shawn says in comments on the last post – the cool thing about this is that while most of the tips are not exactly ‘new’, the cool this is ‘hearing new people say them in different ways’.

I said in my last post that I’ll only accept submissions until Monday and we’ll keep this timeframe on it (although I may do a second round at some point in the future).

While I’ve already got too many tips to use in the next two week break – I will attempt to use as many tips as possible even after I get back.

I’m also toying with the idea of compiling all of the tips submitted into a free resource for all readers to enjoy – I think many would find it helpful.

So keep your ‘quick tips’ coming in and thanks to everyone who is participating!

Placeless Office Tools

I’m always interested in how people manage their virtual offices as someone who has multiple partnerships with people all around the world.

Running a business with people you’ve not met (or rarely physically get together with) is definitely a challenge but the the large range of Web 2.0 type services always being released there are increasing amounts of ways to make it work – the only problem is the the large number of services available and working out which option to choose.

Gina at LifeHacker put together her Essential tools for the placeless office which is a nice compilation of her favorite tools in running LifeHacker with a team of editors who’ve never met. It’s a nice list.

I’d be interested to hear what tools others use to connect with coworkers?

Improving AdSense CTR with Video

Eches Blog has an interesting post on Improving CTR by using Video next to Adsense by pointing to a site that uses AdSense Ads like this next to YouTube video clips:

Picture 4-8

It’s a strategy that makes sense and I’ve long wondered why YouTube themselves (now owned by Google) have such poorly positioned AdSense ads (usually running up in the banner position).

I’m not convinced that ads next to video will be highly lucrative but on a page where there is video it does make sense to have it in the vicinity of the point of focus of the page (the video).

I guess the question to ask is whether AdSense allows such a placement?

The rule for images seems to be that there needs to be some visual barrier between ads and images to make it obvious that they are not one and the same thing – I suspect it’d be similar for Video – although a video does have different visual controls around it that do make it pretty obvious that they’re not the same thing.

I suspect that as video becomes more and more popular on blogs and websites that we’ll see more and more innovations with ads around videos.

Submit Your Blogging ‘Quick Tips’

Reader-Quick-TipsHave you learnt something about blogging that you’d like to quickly share with the rest of us?

Next week I’m heading to Toronto for b5media meetings and to meet my fellow management team for the first time – but while I’m gone I’d like to feature some ‘quick tips’ from readers as guest posts.

I’ve actually prepared a longer series of posts that will start next Monday or Tuesday but would love to intersperse it with a few short and quick blogging tips from you. They can be on any blogging related topic. For example:

  • blog tools you’ve found helpful
  • blog promotion tips
  • writing blog posts
  • blogging techniques
  • finding stories
  • SEO tips
  • how to get started etc

I won’t be able to publish everyone’s – but if you’ve got a quick tip to share I’d love to publish it with a link back to your blog. The tips need to be under 150 words in length (I told you they had to be quick) so no long essays or complicated posts please. Obviously the more helpful the better.

Send them to me via my contact form (at the bottom of that page) and include

  • your name
  • your blog’s name
  • your blog’s URL
  • your tip’s title
  • your ‘quick tip’ – (update: the actual post you want me to post – ie this isn’t a group writing project where I’ll just link to your posts – I’m after guest posts to go up on ProBlogger)

I may slightly edit tips (spelling, grammar and perhaps tweaking titles) but largely they’ll go in unedited so make sure you’re happy with it before sending.

If you’d rather share an anonymous quick tip then you’re welcome to do so also.

If you’ve got more than one – feel free to submit them (maximum of 3 at this point).

As I say – there will undoubtedly be more submissions than I can actually use so please don’t be offended if yours isn’t selected but I’ll try to use as many as I can over the two weeks that I’m away.

PS: Please see comments below for an answer about whether these should be new or previously posted tips.

PS II: I leave on Tuesday so will have to close off submissions on Monday. You can submit them after this but as I’ll be on the road I’ll be less likely to add new ones after that – unless I’m stuck in an airport or something and am looking for something to do.

ReviewMe Launches

Rmlogo 2
Yet another service has launched today that enables bloggers to write sponsored posts in return for a payment from advertisers. This one is called ReviewMe and has been talked about for a couple of weeks now in the wake of much of the controversy around PayPerPost.

Reviews cost advertisers a minimum of $40 but the cost is actually different for each blog’s statistics (ie Alexa ranking, Technorati ranking etc). The ReviewMe site says that bloggers will earn between $20 and $200 per post.

Bloggers are required to disclose that the reviews that they write are sponsored posts and they are not required to write positive reviews of advertisers products or services.

Review me is owned by Andy Hagans – a blogger who will be familiar to many ProBlogger readers.

While I’m still not a massive fan of sponsored posts (I can see a place for them when the products being reviewed are relevant to the topic of the blog – but many sponsored posts that I’ve seen bloggers posting using PPP are totally out of context of their blog’s topic) I think reviewMe seems like a better concept than the alternatives at this point.

PS: no this is not a paid review of ReviewMe – even though they’re offering some nice coin for reviews of their service.

Google to Test Audio Ads

News is emerging today that Google is planning on launching a beta of Audio Ads by the end of the year. It’s previously dabbled in print advertising but now look like they’re targeting radio according to a range of articles going around today. I wonder if they’ll also do some cross over into Podcasting using the same technology.