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Tips on Selling T-Shirts on a Blog

After my post earlier in the week on making money by selling T-Shirts from your blog – a regular reader by the name of Chris (from Poker Geek and Jedi Scribe) sent me a message saying that he’d done ok out of T-Shirts himself and that they were definitely worth getting into as another income stream for your blog. Of course I wanted to know more and asked if he’d consider writing his tips up as a post. He kindly agreed so here is what he has to say on the topic of selling T-Shirts on your blog (by the way you can check out his latest T-Shirt here.

If your blog isn’t pulling in the hit count neccessary to make ad revenue that lucrative, it’s definitely a wise idea to consider something along the lines of t-shirt sales or other merchandise. Blogs that have smaller amounts of traffic (250-1000 hits a day) still can count on devoted readers who enjoy the content and won’t mind supporting the site for something in return

A few notes that I’ve learned: [Read more...]

More on Weblogs Inc’s Star Comment System

Jason Calacanis comments on my post on Weblogs Inc’s new Star Spam system and writes:

‘Darren: I have not given all the details on the system yet, but it does handle automated comment spam. Blogsmith (our blog platform) forces folks to validate every comment via email right now, so if you bomb us with 1,000 comment spams you have to click 1,000 emails. No one has done that yet. Also, if you get -1 Stars that email can never validate again—it’s blacklisted. All 75 of our blogs share the same black list so if you get banned on Engadget you’re banned on my blog or Autoblog as well. Was thinking we should let folks API into the Star System some day, so you could say “I trust Jason’s judgement and anyone he bans or rewards I will ban or reward.” Could be big.’

What $695 Buys You in Blogging

Looks like the real way to make money from blogging is to write a report on the topic of blogging (business blogging to be more specific) and then to charge $695 for it. That’s the approach that e-marketer are taking with their latest report

• What are the three main reasons blogs have not caught on with businesses?
• How many US businesses are currently blogging?
• How many plan to blog in the future?
• Should marketers tap into the blog market?
• How large is the blog audience?
• What are the dangers of blogging?
• And many more…

$695 for that? How many articles have I seen freely available on those topics – how many have I written myself! I gotta get into the report writing business.

found viaMicro Persuasion

Blog Power = Blog Clutter

Andy has a good post on ‘Blog Power’ which I think is a pretty spot on analysis of a tool that attempt to game Google and simply clutters the web with useless content. These sort of tools might bring you a little short term benefit but the risks are not worth it in my opinion. Be careful friends – if you’re wanting to build a long term, sustainable income from blogging – do it the honest open way. It might take time but you’ll build something that lasts and not sell you soul in the mean time.

Why Not to Join Blog Networks

Scrivs has just saved me some time and written a post that builds on my Examining the 9rules Network post (in which I gave reasons to enter into a network) – in it he gives some of the negatives of joining 9Rules (or any network for that matter).

So when is it NOT good to join a blog network like 9 Rules Network? Here are Scrivs reasons and a few comments from me.

  1. You don’t get 100% revenue – if you have a successful/profitable blog already it might not be worth joining.
  2. If the network looks bad, everyong looks bad – I picked up this a little in my post, but when you join a network you’re buying into the values, decisions and ethos of others. Whilst you retain your individuality you run the risk of being guilty by association. Remember that 9 Rules says you have to give 60 days notice to leave it. Whilst I doubt they will do anything to bring down the reputation of their bloggers its worth keeping this in mind.
  3. Design envy – there are some very nicely designed blogs in the network – how will yours look next to them?
  4. Some readers don’t want more people sitting at their lunch table – some of your readers might not like the extra attention being in the network might bring.

Good list – I probably feel more strongly about the first two than the second two.

What would you add to the list of why NOT to joining a network like 9Rules? I have two more:

[Read more...]

Blog ‘Issues’

Many of you obviously noticed that my blog has ‘issues’ this afternoon. Apologies for those who tried to access it but there were a few complications with the database around our server being upgraded. They all seem to have worked themselves out now and things will be back to normal (and even a little faster than usual hopefully).

Thanks to all those who emailed to let me know that the site was down – I appreciate the heads up. Now lets get back to some blogging.

Pro-Podcasters

BitPass have announced a service for helping PodCasters charge for their work via a subscription – enabling a new wave of professional podcasters to hit the airwaves:

‘BitPass Unplugged is a patent-pending, powerful new service that will allow podcasters ranging from hobbyists to mainstream media organizations to introduce à-la-carte and subscription pricing to podcasts. The service leverages the loyalty of a growing number of listeners who prefer to download music, audio blogs, radio shows and other content and have it transferred automatically to portable media devices for listening at the user’s convenience.’

Do you think people will be willing to pay to listen to a podcast? I seem to remember a lot of talk about subscription based blogging a year or two back and the general consensus being that people wouldn’t be willing to pay to read a blog as there were so many other options out there to read.

What do you think?

found via Blog Herald

What’s Right with Blogging?

My post last week on What’s Wrong with Blogging has proved to be the hottest post on ProBlogger this week. 45 people have left comments and trackbacks (so far) so its obviously hit a nerve. The discussion is ‘negative’ in nature as I’d asked for (although one or two couldn’t resist being positive) and I think its one of the more worthwhile discussions to have taken place on this blog this year.

I hope its stimulated some thinking that will help bloggers to improve their craft and perhaps given some blog tool developers some ideas about what people are looking for.

In the interest of balance and optimism its time for a discussion on ‘What’s Right with Blogging?’ I’d like to open up this post to all readers to share what they love about blogging. What makes it something that you invest time into? What distinguishes it positively from other forms of websites? What about it makes you purrrrrrr?

No negative comments will be tolerated (leave them on this one) – this should be a real blogging love fest!

Examining the 9rules Network

Scrivs has been writing some interesting information about the 9 Rules network and how it all operates. People want to know the ‘catch’ and Paul is doing his best to show that there is no catch.

There are not rules about having ads on your site, no rules about how many post you have to write, no rules that say the ownership of the content is anyone’s but the blogger. Interesting.

The main requirement is that you link back to the 9 Rules main page – which in turn links back to you.

Ok – so what IS the catch? Is there one? Where is this headed? What is the point?

I’m sure Paul will post more on this as it goes but here are a few things that come to mind as I ponder the 9 Rules Network.

How do the 9 Rules Network Owners gain?
Obviously there would be little point in starting a network if there wasn’t anything to gain from it – this is just human nature and good business sense. I don’t have an issue with people gaining things so lets not knock Paul and his gang for wanting to profit from this. But what is in it for them? Here are a few suggestions: [Read more...]

Fixing Comment Spam with Stars

Jason Calacanis posted a couple of days ago on Weblogs Inc’s new Comment Spam Fix – The Star System – which allows bloggers to award commenters ‘stars’ for productive comments. They have the new system up and working at TV Squad and it seems to be being received pretty well.

I’ve been reflecting on this new system for a couple of days and watching to see how it works. Here are some initial thoughts: [Read more...]