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Ask ProBlogger a Blogging Question

Blog-QuestionsOver the next few months I’d like to base as many posts as possible here at ProBlogger on real life questions and problems of readers.

As a result I’m opening the ProBlogger ‘question box’.

I can’t guarantee that I’ll answer them all – but I’ll attempt to get through as many as possible or to find others who are better qualified than I am to do so.

Anything related to blogging will have more chance of being answered – although you’re welcome to submit other questions that you think I might have anything to say on.

PS: If you don’t want your name/blog to be linked to your question feel free to ask it anonymously. Please submit the questions in comments below.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. silvino says:

    any tips for non-english bloggers?

    the basic may be the same. but practical details can be dramatically different. from SEO to advertising, or even copywriting techniques.

  2. Hi Darren! :-)
    I’m a “new” blogger and I’d like to receive some suggestions and help in order to make my blog better. I speak about information technology and similar topics, but I have few readers and even less comments: many posts are without comments.
    Could you “review” my blog? Perhaps you can use Inforum (my blog) as a “case study” for a blog post… :-)

    What do you think?

  3. netvalar says:

    I want to know how effective your video blog posts are and if it is something worth looking into doing for myself? What equipment I would need?

    Now off to look at Jana’s blog as it is in my niche sounds like.

  4. Chi Meng says:

    I’ve been reading several articles of people starting a new blog and they share their stories of success and failures. The articles gives many valuable advice about blog startups and dos and don’ts, what and how to write a blog, goals, mission … etc.
    But what about the technical side of building the site?

    For someone “out of the blue” who decides – I want to have a profit-driven blog – how can they begin if they don’t want to use avenues such as blogspot and such. If they can’t afford to hire a webdesigner/developer to build the initial site – and certainly they are not IT specialists, how in the world do they start?

    They either need to personally know a web designer or go back to school and learn web development.
    There is an initial cost involved to build a blog.
    Website firms charges minimum of $1000 to build a dynamic CMS site for new Blogs. I received an initial quote for $15,000 to build a CMS backbone for a Blog.

    It cost money to build this backbone – and if you have no clue how to do the scripting backend – you have to pay more money to hire someone to troubleshoot.
    So starting a blog – one would need to fork out $$$ to build the actual site. Unless you are fortunate to be related/or know a web developer (but still there is some cost involved for the time and energy spent).

    Can you shed some light as to the cost initiatives for someone with no IT background and how they would go about building the initial site?
    What are the drawbacks? Troubleshooting costs?

  5. David Lano says:

    Darren, thanks for this awesome opportunity! I’m fairly new to the blogosphere and just started a new blog a few weeks ago.

    I am curious to hear what your thoughts are, on where blogging will go in the next few years. Do you see any particular trends or patterns developing in how content is being shared or differences in the way conversations take place?

    Thanks!

    -David Lano

  6. Throwing my question in a little late, but where the heck do you find really really good blog designers!?!?! I need one badly and can’t seem to get one who can design a very Web 2.0 style blog! Thanks!

  7. Andrea says:

    Thought of some more – how do you handle negative criticism and/or incorrect assumptions about you?

  8. Andrea says:

    @Roni – look into Blogads and the BlogHer Ad network. :)

  9. Giada says:

    Oops, sorry for the double post. Thought it hadn’t registered my comment..

  10. Brian Auer says:

    Making money with programs like AdSense or Chitika is depressing and frustrating at best. At some point, I feel that blogs can outgrow their dependency on these services and shoot for “real advertisers” as a means of making money through blogging. I’ve been struggling with this one for months now, and I can’t seem to find any good resources that address it directly.

    At what point is it feasible to approach those “real advertisers”? Is there an approximate readership that may be useful as a guideline?

    How do we find those advertisers? Are there any good places to start looking, or is it a game of guess and check?

    HOW should those advertisers be approached? Should they be given a brochure? Do we talk about our stats, readership demographics, the site content?

    What about pricing? Are there any good ballpark price structures? What do we base rates on?

    And how should all of this be managed? What’s the best way to manage the accounts and the actual ads?

    I’m sure these bits and pieces are out there somewhere, but like I said, I haven’t seen them covered very well and in a coherent flow. I think a lot of people would be interested to learn about these same things.

    By the way, I’m open to being used as a supporting case study for an article or series in the event that you choose to write on these topics. ;)

  11. Nick says:

    Can you talk about advertising some? Do you actively seek advertisers? I assume that you might already recieve enough responses because of the popularity of your blog without having to go get advertisers. But is there a good way to find advertisers that will post ads and what should the rate for different types of ads be based on stats such as unique visitors and page views and such?
    thanks,
    nick

  12. Could you give some points about an effective landing page for any advertising that you are working outside your niche or blog

  13. Missy says:

    I’m a new blogger, hope this question isn’t too basic. I’ve seen a lot of emphasis placed on getting RSS subscribers. What’s the difference between subscribing via RSS and just adding a blog to your reader? I personally read about 30 blogs via my reader but don’t “subscribe” to any of them, and I’m not sure how that’s different. I’ve enjoyed perusing your site in recent weeks; it’s a great service — thanks.

  14. Armaan says:

    Like sponsoredreview , can i get the direct market place where i can bid sponsored directly to give me the offer?

  15. What do you think of premium content? What are the requirements to be succesful there?

  16. Dennis says:

    What is your level of expertise in the following:
    1. (x)HTML
    2. CSS
    3. SEO
    4. JavaScript
    5. PHP
    6. WordPress customization
    7. PhotoShop (or other graphic editor)

    thanks

  17. Dennis says:

    8. usability
    9. accessability
    10. principles of graphic design

  18. Dennis says:

    11. web security
    12. Mysql (or other server query language)
    13. 3d animation

  19. Gary Kelly says:

    I asked a question earlier re baby boomers but the comment was not approved. I’m sorry if the questions was too site specific and I apologize.

    I’m truly interested in hearing your response to my question however.

    How about if I ask the question this way?

    I have a (hypothetical) website where I focus on widgets and I’m wondering about keywords.

    The term widget returns 2.2 million google results and the term widgets returns 5.2 million google results.

    I know I should use both keywords but which one should I focus on? widget or widgets?

    Where do you think my chances would be best? Assuming ceteris paribus?

    Thanks.

  20. Darren/Skellie,

    Hello, I have a few fairly brief questions I believe many of us would like to know.

    1) Is it too late in the game to become a blogger?

    I understand there are many hundreds of niches, but it seems every niche now has a “big-boy” website within it. Unless you find something truly unique.

    2) A website in 90 days or less?

    A while back I heard rumors of a guy who can grab a domain name, and in any niche can have that site brining in $100 a week in Adsense. I have used adsense, and have been lukcy to get $1-$3 in 90 days a week..

    3) The Long run -

    I saw a while back you stated that 6% of global advertising was done on the WWW, and even more projected for the future. I can understand how having a big site, this would pay off for you, but us over here in the little pond who get maybe 100 visitors a day on a good day, doesn’t leave much room.

    4) Computer literate

    More and more people are becoming computer literate. People are learning not to click on the AdSense links, as they see them as just that, ads. I understand positioning and what not has a great deal of influence on these matters, and you can mask your affiliate link (why people think it’s funny to go through the link you provide but delete your code beats the heck out of me..). My question is, as the world becomes more and more pc literate, do you think there is going to be a type of advertisement that will keep up with it?

    Thanks guys!!!

  21. Lin says:

    Darren, I’ve been carefully reading through your series of articles on Guest Blogging. Your most recent one, “How To Recruit High Quality Guest Bloggers” leads me to the question:

    How to write a “Write For Us” page?

    Your guest blogger mentioned the importance of having a Write For Us page, but neglected to give any details as to what things to include in the page in order to make it clear that guest blogging is a win-win for both.

    Perhaps you can address that in an upcoming post. I’ll keep watching as I always do.

  22. Hi Darren,

    On the topic of social media -

    Using SU for an example – I noticed in your profile that you have only listed your interests in the area of blogging. So my main question is… do you have a strategy in mind when you set up your profile, not only on SU but on other social sites?

    1 – are you limiting your interests to blogging because you only want that profile associated with problogger? (do you have another profile for your digital media blog?)

    2 – do you only accept fans as friends if they blog about blogging or only submit articles on blogging?

    3 – do you only give the thumbs up or submit articles about blogging?

    4 – if yes to any of the above, are you doing this because it strengthens your SU ranking? Should we be doing the same….if our niche is sky diving, should we only be about sky diving and nothing else?

    Finally, If you do have a strategy on your profiles limited to blogging, do you suggest that we should limit our (using SU again as example) submits only to our niche area? and… if we have another blog in a different niche, should we set up a separate profile for each of our blogs?

    Exactly what % of your workday do you spend on social media Darren?? (seems like we could spend a large chunk each day on this)

    Thanks a lot Darren. I really appreciate all of the valuable information that you pass along to us.

  23. Josh Nelson says:

    How much of your day is devoted to marketing/promotion and how much to blogging? What is the split?

    Have you been able to generate significant traffic from social news sites other than digg, reddit and stumbleupon? Specifically, I’m wondering about mixx and propeller. Any experiences?

    Thanks Darren!

  24. Hi Darren, are you still taking questions?

    Here’s one that I’ve been bouncing around and now that I’ve seen it more than once I’m running it by you –

    I’ve come across 3 blogs to date that are new, have few comments (2 of the blogs have almost 0 comments, one has some comments), but they display the feedburner chicklet with what appears to be an inflated count. (blog one – 30,000+, blog two – 40,000+, blog three – 500+).

    I’m really curious if this is a new trend in an attempt to attract subscribers? I think it’s fairly obvious when you land on a blog that shows over 30,000 subscribers yet has 0 comments and also displays a copyright of 2005-2008 when the url was registered 2 days ago that something is up, but not everyone is going to investigate like I did.

    What do you think about this and how can it be so easy to game the feedburner chicklet count? Does this make you question a new blog that you come across, wondering if it really does have the subscribers that it displays in the feed widget?

    Thanks Darren!

  25. Glottrotter says:

    When a blog dies…

    Hi Darren,
    I started two blogs last year, now I’ve realised I just have time for one. What should I do with the other one? On the one hand I hate dead blogs, and I think I should delete it forever, on the other I think it might be still useful to somebody and it would make more sense to leave it there.

    Thanks

  26. In general, what would you say has the potential to generate the most revenue for a blog?

    Thanks!