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YPN Limit maximum number of Ad Units Per Page to 3

YPN have today announced policy changes - the main change being that you are now only allowed to place a maximum of three YPN ad units on any single page at a time. This is the same maximum that AdSense allows on a page at any given time (unless you have special permission to do more).

AdSense ‘Custom Placement Packs’ Program

I’m hearing tonight from a few bloggers that they’ve received an email from AdSense asking them if they’d like to be involved in a new program that they are running called ‘Custom Placement Packs’.

This seems to be a program that clusters similar sites together to be sold to advertisers as a package. It is based around 300 x 250 pixel rectangle image and text ad units.

To be involved publishers who receive these emails are asked to place the rectangle image/text ad units above the fold and utilize the new ‘ad placement feature’ which labels ad slots.

Update – more discussion on this at digital point and webmaster world.

Here’s the email AdSense have been approaching sites with:

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Which Blogging Platform Do You Use and Why? – Open Mike

I get a lot of questions from people just getting into blogging about which blog platform to choose. I have my own preferences and opinions but try to be objective with my answer. I usually point people to my blogging for beginners post on blog platforms for starters – but I’m aware that even that is skewed by my own experiences of blogging.

So – I’d like to be able to give a more independent set of reflections to my readers also and would love for you to share which blogging platform you use and recommend. Here’s a few questions that you might like to answer in comments below (or feel free to write a post about it on your blog and leave the link below so others can find it).

  • Which Blog Platform do you Use?
  • Why do you use it?
  • What do you love about it?
  • What do you wish they’d improve?
  • What type of blogger would benefit from using it?

I’m looking forward to reading your responses.

Is this Advertising Agency Hiring Comment Spammers?

Just came across this ad (via Dave) on Craigslist which is somewhat concerning. Does it read like they’re looking for a comment spammer to anyone else? Here’s how the ad reads in case it’s removed:

Contract Writing Position for Blogging Campaign
We are an advertising agency that is looking for somebody to work from 2/14 – 2/26 as part of a viral marketing campaign. The job will essentially consist of contributing to a variety of blogs and message boards. Candidates should write well and have the ability to think creatively on their feet. An interest in music and technology is a big plus.

Though this should be a fun job, it is important that the candidate understand the objectives of the campaign, work hard, and go about blogging in a very efficient and organized manner. Tracking when and where comments have been posted is just as important as the comments themselves. It is a full-time position, $10/hour for the tenure of the contract. You will be working at our midtown office location.

Please send a resume as well as writing samples that illustrate creativity.

The ideal candidate would have experience with:

-Blogging
-Viral marketing
-Web marketing
-Excel

Those that are successful in this role will have contract opportunities in the future. We are looking to start interviewing next week.

This is a contract / Freelance position.

Candidate must be located in or have easy access to NY City.

Please email resume and writing samples to:

[email protected]

To be considered, you must include “Blogger” in the subject of the email.

So we’ve got a viral marketing campaign that is based around blogs and message boards – where applicants need to be able to track where comments have been left…..

It’s not quite comment spam – but how close to the line is it?

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AdSense Referrals Payment Changes are Official – And there’s a $2000 Bonus!

The AdSense/AdWords Referrals changes that I reported here yesterday are official with an announcement today on the AdSense Blog. Not only can you now earn up o $255 for an AdSense referral – you can also earn a $2000 bonus for referring 25 publishers who earn over $100 within a 180 day period.

There’s also a bonus for referring 20 advertisers to AdWords who spend more than $100 in a 180 day period. That bonus is $600.

The full details of AdSense and AdWords Referrals are:

  • When a publisher who signed up for Google AdSense through your referral earns their first $5 within 180 days of sign-up, you will be credited with $5.
  • When that same publisher earns $100 within 180 days of sign-up and is eligible for payment, you will be credited with an additional $250.
  • If, in any 180-day period, you refer 25 publishers who each earn more than $100 within 180 days of their respective sign-ups and are all eligible for payout, you will be awarded a $2,000 bonus (bonus payouts are limited to 1 per year).

AdWords Referrals:

  • When an advertiser you refer spends $5 within 90 days of sign-up (in addition to the $5 sign-up fee) you will be credited with $5.
  • When that same advertiser spends $100 within 90 days of sign-up, you will be credited with an additional $40.
  • If, in any 180 day period, you refer 20 advertisers who each spend more than $100 within 90 days of their respective sign-ups, you will be awarded a $600 bonus (bonus payments are limited to 1 per year).

There is also a recursive nature to this. If you’ve referred publishers previously that are yet to reach one of the earning thresholds then you will still be paid out when they reach that mark.

“These rules will also apply to users that you have already referred but who have not yet reached one of the new earning/spend thresholds. For example, if you referred an AdSense publisher who has currently earned $2.00, you will be paid $5.00 if that publisher reaches the $5.00 mark. But, if you have referred an AdSense publisher who has already earned $10.00, you will not be paid $5.00 retroactively for that referral reaching the $5.00 mark. However, should that publisher eventually reach the $100.00 earnings mark within 180 days, you will be paid $250.00.”

This is a much better system than they previously had. Over the last 12 months I’d previously signed up many hundreds of referrals but only a handful had ever converted. At least with this system those using referrals will make a little something out of most referrals and there is some very nice incentive to send more than ever.

Now – if only they’d allow a little more flexibility in how we could use their links. I’d love to be able to use 3 per product per page and to be able to use them as html text for starters.

PS: looking over the AdSense Referrals setup pages there is another change being rolled out too. There’s no more Picasa referrals options to put on your site. No official word on this or whether those of us promoting it have to remove code from our sites yet.

How John Chow Made $3,440.66 Last Month from His Blog

I love reading posts where other Pro Bloggers talk about their earnings. It’s really exciting and inspiring to see how others make their living from blogs and is always a great source of ideas.

John Chow (you might know him from his AdSense advertising here on ProBlogger where he says ‘I love Darren Rowse – very clever) has given some insight into his January earnings at Making Money From A Blog – January 2007 - as with most bloggers who go full time John’s experienced growth from a number of avenues over the past few months.

The main reason he’s been able to keep increasing his earnings have not been traffic increases (they’ve been up and down a little) but as a result of his diversification of income streams. He’s increased his focus upon direct ad sales (banner ads, text ads) and has also been experimenting with a variety of affiliate programs and ad networks.

There comes a point for most blogs where traffic does tend to stagnate a little (particularly at this time of year) and the main way to increase earnings is to ad income streams or optimize current ones. I suspect John’s also getting better at his ad placement and design too.

The only danger for bloggers diversifying is that they can end up with more ads than content. I don’t think John’s at this point – but there is always a temptation to go a little too far with ad placement and numbers.

PS: the only question I have for John is ‘where’s the Chitika (aff) figures’ in his earnings? I know he has them on every individual page – but there’s nothing about them in the post.

My own experience with Chitika on a blog like John’s (and ProBloggeR) is that it tends not to perform too well as it’s not directly product related. I took them off ProBlogger pretty quickly and left them on the sites where they worked best.

Update: Oops – John doesn’t use Chitika – as is pointed out in comments below they look like Chitika ads but are in fact his own type of ad.

More Details on the New AdSense/AdWords Referral Payments – Two Tiered System

Here’s an update on the previous post about AdSense changing their AdSense/AdWords referral payment system. It’s looking like a promising two tiered system.

More reports are coming in now that different AdSense offices around the world are confirming changes in their referrals payments. Here’s the translation of a response from the Danish office:

“Thank you for the email. I’m happy to say that we’ve now changed the payment model for referrals so you’ll earn more from now on. You’ll, as it has happened, get $5 when a user you’ve signed up earns $5. When the user has earned $100 and complies with the general terms of service for referrals you’ll get additionally $250 on top of the $5 – total $255. This is brand new and we’re right now updating our help center with this information.”

Hat Tip to Stefan.

I’m yet to see this officially on any AdSense sites but it’s pretty good news for bloggers – the $5 for $5 is great because many publishers never get to $100 in the 180 days that AdSense allows – the $250 almost looks too good to be true and I’ll be interested to see if it is and if so what the time limit is on it.

Looking at my own stats I’d say that the payments are retrospective to some point – perhaps the last few weeks.

The Biggest Question Any Blogger Must Answer

So in your quest for blogging awesomeness, you may have had a chance to reflect on things and ask yourself a few questions.

  • What can I do to grow my blog?
  • Should I try that next marketing trick?
  • What will my next post be about?
  • How does Darren produce as much as he does?

But there’s one question that you might not be asking — that might be the most important one you, or any blogger could ask him (or her)self. Assuming that you’re a blogger who is interested in creating a blog that is read, well regarded, and well trafficked, there’s only one question that should preoccupy your mind at all times.

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