Close
Close

Blogs as Blogs or Websites?

Duncan points to a study by Nielsen Netratings that finds that 13% of blog visitors don’t know what a blog is and that 66% didn’t realize that the blog they were on was in fact a blog.

This does not surprise me in the least and connects with my experience of blogging for the last couple of years. It’s amazing how many people ask me what a blog is and then are amazed that they regularly visit a number of them when I point out some of the more popular ones.

Duncan asks – ‘is it really a bad thing that the majority of blog readers don’t actually realize they are reading blogs?’

I have two answers: [Read more…]

ProBlogger Slashdotted

Well I never expected that ProBlogger.net would get Slashdotted (it’s not unusual on some of my other blogs) – but tonight it happened. They linked to my post where I talked about my last Google Adsense cheque. Let me start by welcoming Slashdot readers. I hope you enjoy your stay.

As per usual with a Slashdotting there are a number of impacts upon a blog.

1. Traffic – Lots of it. Last hour was close to 4000 visitors. It being the weekend has curbed this.
2. Server Problems – So far so good. My host tells me its hardly a blip on the radar and everything is holding up very well.
3. New Readers – The influx of readers brings with it a variety of perks. Subscriptions to my free weekly newsletter are up and there are some positive comments being left across the site.
4. Slashdot readers on the whole are a great bunch – but the comments being left over at Slashdot itself are as per usual ‘mixed’ to say the least with a lot of misinformation and generalizations.

Let me try answer a few of the questions and comments quickly:

  • It is not against Google’s TOS to reveal your earnings. This changed a few months back. You are not allowed to reveal other details like Click Through Rate, Impressions etc – but income levels are fine.
  • Yes I do pay tax on my earnings. the Aussie Tax Office makes almost as much as I do from my blogs.
  • I do not use automated blogging tools to run my blogs. I work 8-12 hour days and have been at it for 2.5 years. In that time I’ve posted almost 12,000 posts on a variety of topics.
  • I do not make the majority of my income off this blog. Some of the comments cast doubt on the fact that I earn what I do because of low traffic of this site. I’ve always been totally honest about the fact that this site usually earns me very little. Most days it’s enough for a coffee or two. My earnings come from other blogs – some of which are linked to from this site – others which are not.
  • This is not a front for me putting the hard sell on readers. Whilst I’ve considered compiling some of what I’ve written into a book – at this stage I offer free advice to bloggers here. I figure I can earn a good living from what I do so I’m happy to give information away freely where I can.
  • A side note to those who complain about blogs being passe or don’t believe blogs should have ads. You might want to look at the site that is sending me all the traffic today. Slashdot is a blog – it has ads. It would be making significantly more than I am.
  • Yes I did earn between $10k and $20k in the month of May. If you want to know how much I suggest you start counting at $10k and stop counting a few hundred dollars short of the halfway point to $20k. As I said in the post everyone is coming in on – it was a particularly good month and June’s cheque won’t be quite as high (although July will be in the same region. I know a lot of commenters are doubting the figure – I’m not sure how to prove it and don’t feel I really have any need to. I know of quite a few other bloggers who earn well in excess of $10k per month. Whilst it’s not the norm by any means (and I’m realistic to my readers about this – most will never make that level of income) it’s not completely unusual and is becoming increasingly common.

If there are more questions that readers would like to check with me I’d be more than happy to answer them.

As a result of the many comments (and emails) which are doubting that I could earn what I’ve said I do and asking for proof I’ve decided to post a screen shot of my Adsense stats. I’ve blacked out some personal details and the details that I’m unable to share as a result of the rules that Google sets that forbid sharing of impressions, CTR, CPM etc.

You’ll see from the following that from 1 May – 31 May 2005 I earned $14,436.45. I know some will accuse me of doctoring this but this is all I’m giving you. I can’t think of any other way to prove what I earn and feel like I’ve stooped a little in doing it anyway. Hopefully in doing this I answer a few questions and dispell a few myths.

Picture-3

Right now though – I’m headed for bed!

WeblogsInc Network Hacked

WeblogsInc was hacked in the last few hours. ScottKidder.com has the news and screenshot.

Their sites now seem to be up and running again. Not a nice experience to go through I’m sure for the WeblogsInc team.

Yahoo! Health Expert Blogs

I wondered how long it would take for the Search Engines to get into blogging themselves as a commercial endeavor and it seems that Yahoo! have decided to get in on the act with Yahoo! Health Expert Blogs.

As Steve points out this is probably a strategy that they’ll roll out on a larger scale which could be seen as something of a threat to many entrepreneurial bloggers (especially the networks).

I always did wonder what the ethics were of a search engine having it’s own content sites to drive traffic to are – any thoughts?

Changes at Gizmodo

Megablog – Gizmodo – is going through some changes at the moment with the leaving of editor Joel Johnson who is leaving to pursue a freelance career and plans to find a new Gizmodo team (apply via that link).

It will be interesting to see how the changes impact the blog. Joel is a great blogger who has built Gizmodo up incredibly over the past couple of years. I wonder if the new team can build on his success.

Good luck Joel – it’s been a pleasure interacting with you over the past year or so – best of luck with the new ventures. Joel will be able to be contacted through his own site here (currently down as he’s moving servers).

Responding to Blogging Criticism

Thanks to Robert for linking up to ProBlogger.net while I slept last night. It’s always nice to get a positive link from a larger blogger who sends an influx of new readers into your blog.

It’s been an interesting week here at ProBlogger for this reason – after the exposure I had in the Aussie Press and a few link ups from bigger bloggers I’ve ridden the roller coaster ride of publicity. With it comes some amazing opportunities but also a few hard knocks.

I’ve been on the receiving end of a few critiques of my blogging style this week – some of which have been quite valid and helpful – others of which have been quite scathing and verging on personal attacks (and of course quite a few of these are anonymous as per usual).

So what is my response to an ‘unfair critique’? Firstly I’d say don’t ignore it – I like to see every critique/threat/attack as an opportunity to better your blog and to win over more readers. How do you do that? Over the past couple of years I’ve developed the following type of process in responding to them:

1. Take a deep breath and give yourself a little space from the criticism – One of the worst things you can do when getting a critical comment or email is to respond in the moment out of the anger, fear, confusion and hurt that you might feel as a result. Go for a walk around the block, have a coffee, ring a friend or just take a few minutes to cool down before responding. At times I’ve even left responding until the next day when I’m thinking clearer.

[Read more…]

Blogging Tools Compared

Susannah Gardner has written an article comparing blog tools that is a good read for anyone considering starting a new blog and wondering which platform is right for them. Accompanying the article is a very useful chart that compares the features of some of the more popular tables.

This is a chart I’ll be recommending clients take a look at.

Read more at Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool?

Google currency converter

Why didn’t anyone tell me about Google’s ability to do currency conversions before? I just learned about it at Geeky Info and think it’s a feature I’ll be using lots.

All you have to do is enter an amount that you want to convert into a normal Google search field and it’ll do a current conversion for you.

So to find out what one US dollar equals in Australian dollars (down to 8 decimal points!) you just enter:

1 USD in AUD

and here’s what you get when you ‘search’

Google-Currency-Conversion

Don’t know the country code? No problem try entering:

currency of Britain in Australian money

or 5 British pounds in Australian money

Handy stuff for a blogger wanting to convert their earnings into a local currency.

Google Page Rank Explained?

Many of ProBlogger.net readers are reporting in comments significant changes in their blog’s Google Page Rankings in this latest update. Those sites that are reporting the largest changes tend to be new sites (which is understandable) with older more mature blogs reporting only minor (if any) changes.

Every time Google updates like this I find my email inbox full of questions about Page Rank – questions like”

  • what is Page Rank?
  • why is it important?
  • how do I improve my blog’s Page Rank?
  • why isn’t my Page Rank changing?
  • how do I check my blog’s Page Rank?
  • why has my blog’s Page Rank gone down?
  • is Page Rank still relevant?

The questions are many and varied so I thought I’d attempt to answer a few (keeping in mind that on many of these questions no one (outside of Google’s inner circle) really knows the answer to some of them).

[Read more…]

T-Shirt Design Competition – Prize Review

I’ve decided that the $100 at Amazon first prize in my ‘design me a T-Shirt’ competition is just not good enough. So here’s what I’m going to do:

1. You’ll still get your $100 (USD) worth of products from Amazon
2. You’ll get the very first T-Shirt free (worth around $20)
3. I’ll offer you 1 hour of blog consultation free for your blog – you choose what you want me to work on (worth $60+)
4. I’ll link to your blog on my side bar for free for 1 month after the prize is announced (priceless – well not worthless)
5. I’ll highlight your blog in a ‘winners’ post (another not worthless give away)
6. I’ll add your blog to be the number one blog on my RSS feed which will mean I’ll check it multiple times per day and become your blog’s number 1 fan! (ok it’s not worth much – but you’ll get yourself a new dedicated reader)

So get your butt into gear, put your creative hat on and design me a T-Shirt! If you can’t do one yourself tell someone who can and split the prize with them.

I’ve had a few good entries so far, but I just know there are more creative design genius types out there. Show me what you’re made of. If you’re short on inspiration – head to the t-shirt page at cafepress.com for some ideas of what other T-shirts are popular.