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Trying FeedBurner Total Stats Pro on View from the Isle

headerlogo.jpgYeah, I admit it, I’m a metrics junky.  Which is good, since I am the chief blogger for Elytics.com writing on the web metrics blog.  Regardless, I’m also a huge fan of FeedBurner.  I admit I check my FeedBurner stats throughout the day, especially when one of my articles has been picked up by several other blogs.  In spite of being a metrics junky and really wanting to know what content is popular on my blog I resisted trying Total Stats PRO–Burning Questions – The Official FeedBurner Weblog - FeedBurner – FeedBurner Total Stats PRO.  Why?  I’m cost conscious.  I really try to keep my business overhead low.  Then it hit me, as a blog consultant/pro blogger/syndicated writer I really should look into this.  I already set up all my clients with FeedBurner from day one–learning from my own mistake–and I tell my clients check your FeedBurner and other stats to figure out what content is most popular and use this to help guide your content decisions.  It makes logical sense, then, that I should try it myself and see if it’s worth $5/month.  So, over the next 15 days I’ll be checking my stats with Total Stats PRO.  I’ll probably do an initial assessment later today, then one in a few days, etc.
 
As professional bloggers our content is both our calling card and our gravy train.  It’s how we earn our money.  There’s no point in writing tons of articles on topic x if those aren’t as popular as topic y, especially if you’re writing for a client.  There will always be a certain number of articles that you write or publish, things like press releases, that aren’t glamorous and don’t get a lot of attention, but are essential regardless.  Then there are the articles which both you and your client intend to be interesting to a wider audience, those are the articles that I’m talking about.  That’s the important information that I hope FeedBurner can now provide me.  If so, $5/month could be a paltry price to pay to be able to effectively target the content published on a blog by blog basis.  Here’s hoping!
 
I will post charts, tables, etc as appropriate to give you a feel for what I’m seeing.  Because great data poorly presented, is almost as useless as not having it at all.
 
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Tris Hussey is a professional blogger and blog consultant, the Chief Blogging Officer for Qumana Software, and Managing Director of Qumana Services.  He can be reached at tris AT qumana DOT com or tris AT trishussey DOT com.
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Simple steps to a 10 minute podcast

CanadaPodcasts.caSo you want to catch the podcasting craze, eh?  Not sure where to start?  I found this via Nicole’s Useful Sounds blogEric Rice — How to build a 10 minute podcast.  Very simple and straight forward.  Here’s the basic plan:
 
00:10 date/promo/tease/banter/ad
00:20 theme music/intro
00:60 preview
00:30 ad/promo
05:00 small stories/top story
00:30 IDENTIFY
02:00 feedback/secondary stories
00:15 thank sponsor
00:15 outro
Now go out there and kick some ass!
 
But this is my favourite piece of advice:
QUICK TIP: Stressed about saying ‘um’ and ‘ahh’? Don’t be. You’re human. Relax. Just don’t do it in the intro to your show. You should never, ever, ever, ever have a reason to hesitate when you are saying your name and your show. It’s an absolute! Practice saying, “Hello, my name is ____, and welcome to _____, the show about ______ and _____!”
Seriously don’t worry about the ums and ahhs.  Just relax.  And I agree, practice your intro.  A lot.  Do it over and over until you really like the way it comes out, or you’re comfortable enough you can do it with out faltering.
 
Beyond that all you need is a basic microphone and software like Audacity–open-source and free–and you could be the next podcasting sensation!

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Blogging Domain Name Brand Mantra

Darren asks, ‘What’s in A Blog Name?‘. He’s right, a name is a very important piece of becoming a successful blog. Think branding…it’s all about branding. Certain names and words flow off the tounge and are more memorable than others.

I’ve been reading Darren’s blog before it was ProBlogger.net. What was it? Um, something like blog.livingroom.com.au, I think. Get the point? That name sucked. Sorry Darren, I think you knew that. That’s no way to build a brand name. I think Darren can prove that his traffic and general reputation grew by leaps and bounds when he moved to ProBlogger.net. The design helped too :) Of course, it can be done, but it’s much harder.

So as a serious blogger…if you want to be serious, and taken seriously, you have to stop using those unbrandable blog domains like supercooldude.blogspot.com. The time has come to drop $8.95 at GoDaddy and get your own domain name. Or, for the sake of this shameless promotional entry, you could use one of mine below.

I’m currently looking to either sell or develop the following domain names. If you are interested in either offer, please email me at [email protected]

www.hotelblog.com
I’m looking for a writer who wants to take it and make it into a network blog about hotels. I’m willing to pay up to 75% of all revenue it generates to the right person who can make it a success. I’d host it, and provide the MT blog software and setup. I’d also do the design and any tech stuff. All this person would have to do is write, well… and often.

I also have these domains I’d like to do something with. Either sell them or develop them. Have an idea? Make an offer? Let me know.

News-blog.com
College-blog.com
Career-blog.com
Business-blog.com
Blogbucks.com
Blog-shop.com
Biz-blog.com

Blog Business Summit II Aug 17-19, San Francisco

Just announced today the Blog Business Summit will be August 17-19 in San Francisco.  I’m not sure if I will be attending–I will be at Gnomedex later this month though–but it was a great time in January.  BBS was the break out conference for me and Susie.  BBS was where both of our blogs got attention for our event blogging.  So, if nothing else for new pro bloggers, a conference like BBS, Gnomedex, or BlogHER. is the perfect place to network, meet other probloggers and, if you’re lucky, get some attention.  Oh yeah, have some fun too. ;-).
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HolidayBlogger

- Bags Packed – check
- Film Purchased – check
- Passport Read – check
- Ready for some Sun – check
- 54 Guest Bloggers lined up – check, check, check, check….

The time has come friends where I check out of ProBlogging and slip into some serious HolidayBlogging (or HolidayNonBlogging as the case will be).

As I’ve previously posted – Problogger has some great guest bloggers to keep things running here (as well as some more great ones to run my other sites) so I’m feeling pretty relaxed on that front.

As I’ve told my guest bloggers I’ll be checking in every now and again just to check email – so if there is something very urgent you can still contact me via the contact form on this site – but I’ll not guarantee replying as my aim is to spend more time swimming, eating, gazing into my wife’s eyes, reading (books) etc than sitting in an internet cafe.

Some of you have asked where I’m headed – I haven’t really published too many details to this point because I didn’t want to disappoint people wanting to meet up (it’s not that I don’t want to meet you – but our time is limited). I guess its now ok to mention it as I’m virtually gone as you read this.

We’ll be heading to London for a couple of days with family, then off to Turkey for just under 3 weeks, back to London for a few days (I’ve teed up a couple of interesting meetings for these days) and then its home via Singapore for a couple of nights. We’ll be home July 3rd when I’ll attempt to resume my ‘normal’ blogging rhythm and wade through the thousands of emails that I know will be waiting for me.

So without further ado – I’m outta here. Have a good month!

Choosing the Perfect Blog (and Domain) Name

People often ask me what I’d do differently if I was starting my blogging from scratch – one of the big things would be around choosing better names and domain names for a few of my blogs. One of the problems with accidentally becoming a Pro Blogger like I did was that things evolved without much strategy for the first year or two as I experimented.

Ryan has a good post on choosing The Perfect Name for your blog/domain name:

‘As I mentioned the perfect name is easy to remember, sounds and looks good. But more importantly than these three is a name that is suiting. There is no such thing as the perfect name in the initial stages. It takes time and growth before a name can become perfect. So it is our job to look at all the aspects so we can ensure we have a strong, and at least “near perfect” name in the future…’

He then goes on to suggest four factors to consider in your decision. I concur with his thoughts. A name can become something that really lifts a blog to the next level.

I strongly advise new bloggers to think up front about the implications of starting news blogs some of these questions:

- what happens if this blog is very successful? Will the domain/subdomain/directory that I start this blog on look professional down the track?
- does the domain name include my main keywords? (helps heaps with SEO)
- is the domain memorable?

What other factors are worth considering in your opinion when it comes to choosing a domain/blog name?

Interview with ‘Make Easy Money with Google’ Author

Rick has an Interview with Eric Giguere the author of Make Easy Money with Google. Here’s just one of the questions and answers:

’4) How much money can one expect to make doing this? and how much time do I have to put into it?

Ah, there’s the rub. As I say in the introduction, I didn’t title this book “Make Oodles and Oodles of Money with Google”. Some sites do make a lot of money. But those sites have been around for a long time and have developed a steady stream of traffic. Realistically, I would expect most people using AdSense make from $25-$250 a month with it, probably most of them on the lower end. So it’s not a lot of money. But there’s always potential there to make more if you can get the traffic up. Which I think is directly proportional to how much time you spend working on the site. But you can certainly create a site that pays for itself without a lot of hassle. And don’t forget there may be tax advantages – you’re running a business now, after all, and you can maybe deduct certain expenses that you couldn’t before. (Like I say in the book, see a tax professional for proper advice.)’

Looks like an interesting read – I’ll be interested to see how much of what Eric covers is ‘new’ information and not the standard tips that can be found for free online. If anyone buys it – let us know what you think – I’d love to publish a review.

Blog Conferences

The 2nd Blog Business Summit has been announced – it’s just a few months away in August this year. I followed the last one closely online and would have loved to get to it partly for a number of the sessions which I really enjoyed but mainly because so many bloggers that I enjoy readers were there.

One of my goals for the next 12 months of blogging is to attend at least one conference (a challenge for an Aussie because of the cost of airfares). Blog Business Summit was one event I was interested in, so was Gnomedex 5.0 ( was close to going but it clashed with our holiday)….

So my question to you dear reader – which conference/s would you you rank as a ‘must attend’ for a ProBlogger? Which ones are you planning on attending in the next 12 months? Which have you been to previously that were worthwhile?

I’m not limiting it just to blog conferences – but any web related event that you think would be worthwhile?

Easy Bake Weblogs meets How to Blog For Fun and Profit

Andy Wibbels over at Easy Bake Weblogs has just posted an audio file of his interview with blogger Thomas L. Pierce from How to Blog for Fun and Profit. I don’t have time to listen to it before I take off but by the looks of the topics covered it is probably a worthwhile download.

Cancer NewsWatch

Cary just emailed me to let me know about a new blog he’s set up. We were chatting the other day and he told me the sad news of his wife’s battle with cancer. I suggested he and/or she start a blog to cover the journey and to give them a space to talk out what they learn. I suggested it might also be a good way to connect with others on the journey.

Out of this conversation Cary started the Cancer NewsWatch Blog. He’s written some very nice words about me and his decision to start it here.

Cancer NewsWatch is a commercial blog with Adsense ads. I hope that it not only pays for itself but more importantly provides a place of wholeness and healing for the many people around the world suffering with Cancer. All the best with it Cary.