Arieanna goes Pro

arieanna.jpgArieanna is becoming a ProBlogger this week. She’s put in her resignation and starting out on this new exciting path of blogging and consulting. She writes:

‘So, here is a wrap up of some of what I’ll be doing. I’ll continue to write on all of our blogs, and maybe add a few more to the “Blogaholics Network.” I’m going to ramp up the services offered by our ‘official’ company name: Blogaholics Consulting. Our consulting site will continue to be Blogging Help. Some of the services that I’ll be offering include:

  • blog writing on pretty much any topic
  • blog setup
  • SEO with blogs
  • training sessions (blog intro, blogging basics, listening to the blogosphere)
  • public speaking
  • event blogging
  • media purchases for blogs’

I’ve really admired Arieanna’s approach to blogging in the past few months since discovering her work at Blogaholics and Blogging Help and in the past few weeks have engaged her services Digital Photography Blog to sell me some advertising. So far she’s put together an advertising kit (pdf) that has already found me one potential advertiser.

So if you need a pro blogger for one of your sites – need some consulting work done – or just want to know what it takes to ‘Go Pro’ Arieanna might be something for you to get to know.

Arguments for getting rid of comments

James has a good post with some Arguments for getting rid of comments (he’s going to do another balancing one tomorrow on why comments are essential features for blogs). I’ve heard each of them before except for this one:

‘The more comments you have the less links you’ll get – Comments lose you ranking

I’m quite serious about this. Do you really think that Dave Winer would get so many links if he allowed comments of his site? To take this down to a smaller (and perhaps more important) level, say there’s a writer who you’re really into who posts some really interesting material but doesn’t allow comments, if you want to respond then you’ve gotta do it on your blog, which gives you more links, a wider audience and…’

It’s an interesting argument and one I’d not really thought about before. There is some sense in it – rather than have the conversation on your own blog – not allowing comments forces people to take it to theirs with links back to you. On the opposing side I think you’d find that a lesser percentage of people would do this than leave comments – thus in taking this approach you might build your own blog’s ranking a little but you kill the potential conversations you might have.

I’m a massive fan of comments and value the learning that I do from interacting with my readers.

Building Blogging Relationships – Availability and Accessibility

Two weeks ago I started a series on Building Blogging Relationships with Blogging in Formation and a post on Attitude – this week I’m going to pick up and finish the series with a few more posts.

I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago about relationships – particularly about his singleness. He’d been in a relationship for 4 years until six months ago when it unfortunately ended. As we chatted he reflected how that in the 4 years of relationship he’d become quite an insular and ‘coupley’ (his word) person. He didn’t go out to places where single people hung out and he’d spent less time with single friends. The challenge he faces is to ‘get out there and meet someone’ (his words). This means going to places that he’s not gone before, getting out of his comfort zone and meeting new people.

It strikes me that in order to build relationships with other bloggers that you need to put yourself in a position where it’ll be possible to meet them. Many of us as bloggers can become quite comfortable in the blogging cliques that we belong to – we know a handful other bloggers that have a similar interest to us and are quite content to let this be our ‘network’.

Whilst this might be fine – I wonder if we limit our potential by such an insular approach – do we run the risk of becoming a little stale? Perhaps meeting some new bloggers might bring a freshness to our blogging?

When I started I decided to get out of the rut I was in as a blogger in only interacting with a select group of other bloggers. Here is two things I did to meet some new people: [Read more...]

Choosing a Topic for your Adsense Blog

Do you remember Michael Buffington who back in Febuary started a grand experiment in blogging for dollars by starting the Asbestos Blog – a blog designed for the one intention of making money from a blog with a topic which is always touted as attracting high paying Adsense Ads?

Stephen Baker from Business Week Blog does a follow up post on the grand experiment and tracks how it fared after the initial burst of traffic from those attacking Michael for blatantly using his blog to chase a quick buck. Stephen writes:

‘Check out his site today and you see that the last post was in mid March. Buffington has backburnered it. Turns out that blogging for bucks, he says, “was really hard work.” That might be the most useful lesson his experiment leaves behind. In the initial burst of publicity, he was picked up by Slashdot and traffic rocketed. But as the weeks wore on, he was spending lots and lots of time trying to be the definitive guide to things asbestos, and traffic trailed off.

“There aren’t that many people who want to visit an asbestos site,” he says.’

It’s a good lesson for all Pro Bloggers wanting to explore niche blogging and illustrates that when choosing a topic it’s important to look for high paying keywords.

Also worth considering are factors like:

  • Will you be able to sustain writing on your chosen topic in the long term – are you interested enough in the topic to write on it every day?
  • Is there a market for your content (ie do people search for it?)
  • How many others are writing on the topic? (high paying ads tend to have a lot of competition which makes it hard to get highly ranked in Search Engines.

How Important are Blog Categories?

Paul Chaney asks if Categories are important to a blog?

‘How important are categories when it comes to blogging? For example, popular blog platform Blogger doesn’t even offer them, something I think is a flaw in their design.

In my opinion, categories are very important and for a number of reasons. First of all,

they’re useful to the reader. Categories serve as the means of navigation on a blog.

Secondly, they are important from a search engine standpoint. uses a folksonomy called “tags” for organizing the way it returns search queries. The site looks at blog categories as tags. Without categories, you’ll have to use a special piece of HTML code – which you may wish to use anyway – for tagging purposes….’

So how important are categories to your blogging strategy?

Google Page Rank Gone?

Discussion forums around the web today are buzzing with talk of major problems (or are they just changes) at Google. Earlier in the day Google’s cache server was down and more recently people have started noticing Page Rank has disappeared on many sites – including Google itself.

Of course this has caused a lot of discussion and rumors – ranging from Google scrapping Page Rank, to Google having some sort of melt down, to changes about to be rolled out to Page Rank.

They say ‘no news is good news’ – but I’m suspecting that changes like these put the SEO industry into a spin as they try to work out what’s going on.

Stay tuned for future reports on this issue as they come to hand.

Update: It’s been over 24 hours now and some are starting to panic. Check out some of the following discussion forums for the latest speculation:

- Webmaster World
- SEO Chat
- Cre8aSite
- Search Engine World
- Digital Point
- Web Workshop
- SEO Guy
- SitePoint

Update II – PR seems to have returned today over two days after it went away. No news yet as to what the issue was.

ProBlogger Network Guest Blogging Developments

I’ve been quiet today here at ProBlogger because I’ve spent the day getting my blogs ready for me not being around for 4 weeks in June.

As I mentioned a week or so back – I am attempting to put at least one guest blogger on each of my blogs to keep them ticking over whilst I’m away. The response to my call for bloggers has been quite amazing to say the least. There are over 40 bloggers involved across my mini network and they are some wonderful people. I’m actually quite excited by some of the conversations that potentially could emerge during June – not only here at but on all of the blogs – I almost wish I could stay home and read them all…. almost.

There are still a few slots for those of you who missed my initial call for bloggers or for those of you who have been wondering if you should do it. If you’re interested in any of the following blogs please contact me as soon as possible and I’ll add you as an author. I’ll put them in the order of what is more urgent to me.

Printer Blog – one position still available
Camera Phone Zone – one positions still available
Laptop Blog – positions now filled
Robotics Blog – positions now filled
PDA Blog – positions now filled
UAV Blog – one position still available
Pharmaceutical News – positions now filled
[Read more...]

Volvo’s $60,000 Sponsorship of AutoBlog Podcast

Business Week reports that Volvo are buying into a $60,000 sponsorship with Weblogs Inc’s new Autoblog podcast. This sponsorship will be for the first six months of this new podcast and is the biggest podcast sponsorship that I’ve noticed so far.

Should Bloggers Learn about Change Management?

The debate continues over full feeds or excerpt feeds. Robert Scoble is de-listing Chris Pirillo and Chris Pirillo tells him (in an indirect way – along with everyone else who has de-listed him) to kiss his ASCII.

I run 20 blogs which between then have thousands of RSS subscribers – all who’ve signed up to feeds that are unashamedly excerpts (they always have been). In two years I’ve had just a handful of complaints about my excerpt feeds. Today I started to wonder why this is – when others seem to be under attack.

Part of it is probably that Chris has a lot more subscribers than I do – the more there are the more individuals that there are kicking up a stink.

Another reason that I suspect is coming into play here for Chris and others making the switch from full feeds to excerpts is that they’re changing things mid stream. In my experience this is always a problem and is something that needs some change management.

[Read more...]

Adsense ‘Choose Your Own Ad’ Feature Being Tested Further

change-ads-adsense.jpgIt looks like Google are testing on a wider level the features I noticed back in October on one of their test bed sites.

1871 Media has noticed ads that allow readers of your blog to change the ads viewed to ones of a new topic.

It’s surprising on some levels that such an approach would ever work – as a web user I’m not sure I’d ever as a site to show me different ads – but obviously they’ve found this approach to be somewhat successful because they’ve been testing it for 8 months now!

I guess this shows that contextual text ads are becoming a more accepted part of the web and that some users are actually proactively using them to find the information that they seek.

In some ways this new feature is an extension of their ‘adlinks’ format which also gives readers an opportunity to choose to see a page full of ads on a topic. I’ve been using this format on most of my blogs for a few months now and have found it to be quite effective on some of my sites – largely depending upon where they are positioned and the topic of the blog.