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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!

Beer Blog

logo_tagline.gif The Brew Site is an interesting commercial blog focused upon Beer (sounds like my kind of blog!). They are basing their income stream at this stage around Adsense. I’ve done a little research into beer keywords and the ads should pay reasonably well and the topic is one which should attract a fair amount of visitors. There are probably a few other income streams that they could add into the mix to add a few dollars a day to the mix.

The design is clean and professional, the content genuinely helpful and the concept is great – I’ll be interested to see how they progress.

Blogs for Lawyers

Feedmelegal> has a good post on how blogs can be useful for lawyers.

‘How can lawyers benefit from the use of weblogs? Feedmelegal does not intend to repeat at length what has been written by others, but to summarise and to an extent build on the insightful thinking that has already emerged, as follows:

· given their ease of use, and in conjunction with webfeeds which drive new content into the global blogosphere, blogs enable lawyers to carve a visible niche for themselves in their chosen areas of expertise or specialism (how many lawyers out there are experts or specialised in particular fields but do not market the fact, properly or at all?);

· they can be used for multiple marketing purposes and the sharing of knowledge, from an individual lawyer’s blog, to a practice or industry group blog, to a firm blog;’

Read more at Weblogs: A Primer for Lawyers>

Blogging for Dollars – CFO Magazine – October Issue 2004 – CFO.com

It seems that articles about how executives are blogging are appearing every day now – here is another one – Blogging for Dollars

‘Once the domain of the disgruntled and demented, Web logs are being embraced by business executive…

In an earlier time, say 2000, managers at Microsoft didn’t appear to be such big fans of blogs. Actually, few corporate executives were. Back then, the personal Web pages gave a free and open voice to customers and ex-employees — too often, irate customers and disgruntled ex-employees. In some cases, corporations went to court to try to get business-bashing bloggers to cease and desist….

Things have changed. Blogs, once the domain of the malcontent, have gone mainstream, thanks in large part to the thousands of Web logs dedicated to celebrities and defunct TV shows (“Buffy” bloggers, you know who you are). In the process, business leaders have come to value what they once feared about Web logs: these online diaries provide an easy way to reach a large audience. Venture capitalists, for example, now use Web logs to uncover inventors and entrepreneurs with promising new ideas. Corporate directors, including those at enterprise resource planning giant SAP, have launched blogs to help them better communicate with stakeholders. And managers at some companies, including Sun Microsystems, use blogs (among other approaches) to talk to employees and let employees talk to one another.’ Read more at Blogging for Dollars

Study: Growth in Worldwide Ad Spend Led by Internet

Online expenditure on Advertising is expected to continue to rise according to this report:

‘U.K.-based media research firm ZenithOptimedia expects the growth of Internet ad expenditures to outpace other media worldwide, while advertiser confidence holds steady.

According to ZenithOptimedia’s quarterly global ad forecast, over the next two years, newspapers, magazines, radio and outdoor advertising are expected to lose about 0.1 percent of share each, while cinema will hold steady. Meanwhile, TV will gain 0.1 percent of share while the Internet adds 0.5 percent, according to the forecast.

Internet advertising has accounted for 3.5 percent of display advertising revenue this year, compared with 3.2 percent in 2003. ZenithOptimedia expects it to account for 3.7 percent in 2005 and 4.0 percent in 2006. By contrast, television leads other media in 2004 with a 37.6 percent share, followed by newspapers with 29.9 percent, magazines with 13.5 percent, radio with 8.8 percent, and outdoor with 5.3 percent. Global Internet advertising leads only cinema, which holds a 0.4 percent share.’

Read More at
Study: Growth in Worldwide Ad Spend Led by Internet

This is yet another pointer to the fact that blogs are positioned nicely to be an income earner – the big challenge is to find advertising tools that help turn potential advertisers in the direction of Bloggers as well as more established web sites.