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Nick Denton Profile

Fortune Magazine has a profile piece on Nick Denton and his growing blogging ventures:

‘With nine sites launched in two years and 24% month-over-month aggregate traffic growth, the business outlook for Gawker’s mini-media empire seems promising. Denton won’t talk about the company’s financials, and he points out that even at 2.5 million unique visitors per month his sites are only just starting to “get the numbers that actually register with media buyers.” But he also makes the case that numbers aren’t everything. “It’s not just a numbers game. If it was, they’d all be advertising with Weather Bug,” he says referring to a popular Windows toolbar download.’

Read more at Gawker Grows Up

Blogging for Dollars: WebPro News

WebProNews has a good little article on Blogging for Dollars that picks up a few income streams available for bloggers wanting to make money from their blogging.

‘Blogging for dollars might sound like the latest game show or some new drinking game, but it’s the latest craze to hit the Internet. Bloggers began blogging for a number of reasons, but as the blog movement has increased in popularity, they have found ways to monetize their blogs and are seeing their commitment pay off’

Also read my article of the same name – Blogging for Dollars

Travel Blog

travel_blog.jpgTravel Blog is one of the best ProBlogging ideas I’ve seen for a while. They offer free blogs to travellers to update with their latest travelling stories and photos.

‘Travel Blog is a collection of travel journals, diaries, stories and photos from all around the world. The journals are added by real travellers, and recount real experiences and impressions from the places they visit. The site includes lots of features that help you keep family and friends back home up to date with your adventure.’

So how do they make money from their blogs? Adsense ads appear on most pages – and adsense ads for travel pay out pretty well from what I’ve heard and seen.

They also sell Travel Blog Journals on the side. I havn’t seen any affiliate ads yet on the site but suspect that they would do well to add some – especially ads for travel books (amazon), cheap flights etc.

Found via Seths Blog

A Short Course in SEO

SEO – A short Course is a useful article written about Search Engine Optimization that will help anyone seeking tips at how to Optimize their blog or website for Search Engines.

‘Anyone who does business on the internet today has heard of SEO (search engine optimization), and many have tried their hand at it themselves. Most find, however, that they don’t get much response from their efforts. This leads to a dilemma for a start-up business: Is there any way to capitalize on internet traffic without paying big bucks for a professional SEO?

The answer is, yes and no. As with anything in business, you can’t get something for nothing, and most people who own top listings for competitive search engine keywords have paid dearly for that privilege. However, there are some simple things that can help make your new website more friendly not only to search engines, but also to your customers:

1. Remember that your customers always come first! Make your site easy to use and easy to buy from, and you will win a loyal following. Simple, straightforward sites perform best all around. Clearly labeled navigation, informative page content, secure online purchasing and ease of ordering are some key elements to a successful website.’ Read more at SEO – A short Course.

Great Wines of North Carolina

Great Wines of North Carolina is another good example of a Blogger doing his thing by focussing upon a niche market. I’m not seeing too many obvious income streams on the blog – but its an interesting focus and one where he has a good change of capturing a large segment of the market that he’s writing about.

Brent explains his blogging strategy.

‘I aim to drive it to the top of the search engines for every major keyword associated with wine in North Carolina and the Yadkin Valley.

For example, when you type in “Raffaldini” as a search term on Google, I show up #2….someday this will overpower their site and show up #1…same with all the vineyards, and all the more common terms like “Yadkin Valley”, “North Carolina Wine”, etc… It will take some time…the funny thing is that I have not started yet! The rankings and traffic today are solely from my initial work, so watch and learn…I’ve done this a thousand times.

I’ll keep you posted as the progress unfolds. Last week traffic increased about 20%, every week it gets a little bit busier!’

If he indeed reaches his goal of dominating Search Engine results for his key words he’ll be in a great position to run some well paying private advertising of local wineries and perhaps run Adsense on his site (if there is a big enough stock of good ads).

Blogging Resources – Inc.com

Inc.com has a good list of blogging links including blogging tools and ‘how to’ guides.

The rise of Micropayments

Clickz has an interesting study into the rise of micropayments which might be of interest to some bloggers. My experience of blogging is that its hard to get much in the way of big payments in one’s income stream but that one way forward that many of us are exploring is to generate many small payments which all add up to something more substantial. If you could get each person who visits your site to pay (whether directly or via advertising) a few cents – over time it would add up. Micropayments in my opinion could be the way of the future and are a particularly relevant topic for ProBloggers. The article reads:

‘A study of 1,112 Americans aged 12 and older, conducted by Peppercoin and Ipsos-Reid, found 17 percent of survey respondents saying they’d use a non-cash form of payment (credit, debit or charge card) for purchases under $5. That percentage, according to the pollster, equates to some 37 million Americans.

The survey also found more than 14 million Americans made digital content purchases in the past year for less than $2. That represents a 350 percent increase over the previous year (2003 — 4 million; 2004 — 14 million). Of the 14 million people who purchased items costing under $2, approximately 1.4 million consumers purchased such items from five or more Web sites.

“In the physical world, we were surprised to see how much value and benefit consumers realize from using credit cards. They want to use them for their everyday purchases,” Perry Solomon, VP of strategy and co-founder of Peppercoin, told ClickZ Stats. “Specifically, they want to use them for the everyday purchases that they make many times a month, such as for coffee, fast food, vending and parking. This shows that consumers feel comfortable with the speed, convenience and security of electronic payments.”‘ Read more.

A day in the life of a Search Engine Optimiser

SEO Scoop has written up a day in the life of a search optimiser which gives some hints into what those SEO types do with their time. Its actually got some remarkably similar features to what my daily rhythm can look like as a blogger and will give you some food for thought if you’re interested in finding tools to bump up the search engine referrals to your blog.

It also might depress the hell out of you :-)

URL info – Analyze and Improve your Blog

URL info is one of the most useful tools for probloggers that I’ve recently stumbled upon.

It may not look overly sexy when you first surf into it but this simple page has 107 useful tools for you to analyze and improve your site. They describe it as follows:

URLinfo is a tool for handling web pages: finding information about it, translating it, finding related pages, etc. To use it, type a URL (web page address) into the box in the top frame. Then choose a tab (such as General or Cache), and click on the name of the specific tool you wish to use. The Translate and Search tabs require a bit more, but should be self-explanatory. Click on the [info] link at the end of any tab for details about it.

Some of the tools are more useful than others – but overall I think you’ll find plenty of information there to help you improve your blogging. Its a definite bookmarkable link!