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Meeting Cameron Reilly

This morning I spent a couple of hours with Blogger and Podcaster Cameron Reilly.

Meeting face to face with other bloggers is always an interesting experience but to do it with a podcaster added a new slightly surreal element.

Not only have I been reading what he writes daily for months now – I’ve also been listening to him for quite some time, I was quite familiar with not only his ideas but also his voice – weird.

Anyway – once I got of over that (it took all of four seconds and a gulp of coffee) I had a really enjoyable time. Conversation topics were diverse and productive. We talked about potential Podcasts and the idea of a Melbourne Blogger’s Meet Up which I’ll get to work on after Easter.

What I appreciated most about our time was connecting with someone who has a similar desire to see the new mediums that we work in become something that is not just about making a quick dollar – but has the potential to be about making a difference in the world we live in. I’ve long believed that Podcasting and Blogging can be change agents and life giving mediums. It was great to find someone else with a similar vision for medium – not just interested in building a business or a career – but interested in using the opportunities and developing tools before him to play a part in creating a better world.

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Add an ‘About’ Page to Your Blog

One of the ways you can make your blog more engaging for readers is to consider adding a feature that I’ve noticed that some bloggers are increasingly avoiding using – an About page.

About Pages: Two of the most viewed pages on my blog here are my About ProBlogger and About Darren pages – this gives me some indication that people reading this blog are a little curious about what this blog is about and who is writing it. This is the case on most of my blogs.

I can only speak for myself – but one of the things that frustrates me about many blogs is that they lack much in the way of information about the author/s of them. For some blogs this is more important than others (and its a personal preference thing about how much authors choose to reveal of who they are) but I find pages without an About page can be quite frustrating.

Why have an About Page?

There are a number of advantages of About pages that bloggers should consider. [Read more...]

Introducing The Wealthy Blogger

Jeremy from Ensight today announced the launch of a new blog he and a buddy have been working on – its The Wealthy Blogger - a blog about Money Management. Its a good example of a niche topic that aims to provide good helpful advice whilst providing its owners with a growing source of their own income.

Jeremy engaged my services with a little Adsense placement consulting so am interested to see how it will perform. They seem to be off to a good start if the numbers of comments on each post are anything to go by.

Interview with Professional Blogger – Paul Scrivens

Paul Scrivens-1I still remember the day when a friend told me to head over to the 9rules network of blogs to check out the design and style of blogging that was going on there. I surfed in and immediately found myself drooling over a clean and nicely laid out design and reading the content of someone who seemed to really know his stuff.

I’ve often gone back to 9rules and in more recent times have found myself drawn to its owners latest blog – Work Boxers – a blog not dissimilar to ProBlogger in some ways that is dedicated to one blogger’s lessons learnt whilst blogging for money. The Blogger I’m talking about is Paul Scrivens. Paul is also one of the guys behind Business Logs and the author and owner of the recently sold CSS Vault. I respect his work and have learnt a lot off him already since finding his blogs and hope that you find this interview with him helpful in your own blogging enterprises.

ProBlogger – Paul thanks for your time – can you briefly tell us a little about yourself (ie how would you introduce who you are and what you do when you meet a new group of people).

Paul – I am a 24 year old kid who likes to play with new methods of making money on the web. Since there are so many ways to do so I am still wondering around the landscape trying to find the best mix possible. I am not a workaholic or someone that is overly obsessed with his work. I just love doing what I do and hope to continue doing so while also

helping others do the same.

ProBlogger – How long have you been involved in online ventures? How and when did you first discover and enter into blogging? What sites/projects/blogs are you currently involved in?

Paul – I started blogging around June 2003, but didn’t start to make money online till January 2004 when I implemented Google Adsense on Whitespace. Being a web designer I had been reading web design blogs for the longest time, but felt none of them said the things that I wanted to say and so I decided to start my own.

Currently I am involved with all the sites in the 9rules Network.

ProBlogger – Can you give us an idea about how much you earn directly from your blogging activities?

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Monkey Bar Blogging

Side Monkeybar-1

I’d like to take a moment to make a ProBlogger Public Service Announcement.

Its actually something that I’ve been considering doing for a while now because I’ve had two worrying incidents happen in the past week that have left me somewhat concerned.

The latest of these incidents happened two days ago when I received an excited email from a new ProBlogger reader (I have his permission to share this with you without using his name) who was writing to tell me that he’d just ‘turned Professional’ as a blogger and quit his job to go full time with blogging.

His email was written in an excited tone and was full of grand visions of blogs that would make lots of money. Not only was he excited but his partner was also as they had been reading numerous stories of bloggers making their riches from the medium over the past week. They have two little kids and he was excited to be able to stay home with his family to write each day and be able to provide an income for his family.

The email left me with a sinking feeling in my guts as I considered the decision that this guy had made to quit his secure job to become a Professional blogger. You see he’d only started his first blog a week ago – the day he handed in his resignation.

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Random Blog Tip – Write Content

The title above might seem like a no brainer but I’ve had a few bloggers send me their blogs to review recently that could actually learn a thing or two by taking this simple advice.

Search Engines like text. They also like outbound links – but more than that they like actual content on your site. It is about getting the balance between links and content right.

I’ve noticed with a few of the blogs that have been sent to me lately that they are almost all links with very little (if any in some posts) actual static text.

Whilst from time to time I have posted some ‘contextless links’ posts which just contained three or four links without commentary I would strongly encourage bloggers not to do this with every post if you want to get indexed well by search engines.

Ethics and Blogging: Attribution where due

Duncan has started what looks to be a very worthwhile series of posts over at the Blog Herald on Ethics and Blogging – something that we all need to be continually challenged on. His first post is on giving Attribution where due or crediting your sources – something i ranked on a while back. Here’s a bit of what Duncan had to say.

‘Providing attribution is an ethical consideration all bloggers should consider. Many of you reading this already will, but you may be surprised how many don’t, and the higher up the blogosphere you go, the worse it gets. Think of it this way: you put your heart and soul into a post and half a day later, somebody posts nearly exactly the same thing, you cant prove the link but its more than coincidence, and you’re either heartbroken or angry. You don’t like it happening to you, so be ethical and don’t do it to others, you might be surprised: many bloggers like to see who is linking to their posts, they may well see yours and then all of a sudden you’ve got a link back…see the picture: do the right thing and good things may come from it.’

Write in a Granular style – One Topic Per Post

Robert has a good simple tip on how to make your posts easier to pass around for your readers and suggests you write in a granular style. To put it most simply.

‘Make one post contain one idea, or set of links.’

I agree with Robert although can think of times when you might want to include a few grains or ideas in one post. Some bloggers build their whole style around having multiple ideas in one post – however I personally generally find these blogs difficult to link up to and read. I’d much rather see one post, on one topic, with one heading that describes that post.

This is especially important for your readers who use RSS to read your blog and who either just look at your titles or who select to only see excerpts (the first few lines) of your post.

I would also add that it helps with the search engine optimization of your post if the search engine’s bot only finds one topic in each post rather than numerous.

Getting Better Adsense Ads – Stopping ads for Blogging Services

One of the most common problems that bloggers using Adsense have is that they constantly find that they are served with ads for blogging products and services. Whilst this might not be a big problem for a blogger writing on the topic of blogging (I don’t mind too much here at ProBlogger) – it can be terribly frustrating if you’re writing on a niche topic that has nothing to do with Blogging. For one ads on blogging don’t pay very well but secondly if you have another topic and you have ads for blogging your readers are not likely to click on them as they are not relevant.

ALJ at Chatquah & Galoshes has the same problem and posts about Getting Better Adsense Ads. They come up with the following solution – block some or all of the following URLs from serving ads to your site using the ‘Competitive Ad Filter’ feature that Adsense supplies.

ALJ says it got rid of a about 30-50% of the offending ads – not perfect but an improvement.

I’d also suggest that you scour your page for any words or code that contains anything to do with blogging as it will trigger the ads. Don’t just look at your actual text, also see what is in the code behind it, your URL, picture names – everything. Especially what is at the top of your blog as most people believe the first few paragraphs often trigger the ads.

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Yahoo buys Flickr – Confirmed

FlickrBlog confirms the rumors that everyone has been talking about recently – Yahoo! has bought Flickr:

‘Holy smokes, SOMEBODY out there is bad at keeping secrets!! Yes! We can finally confirm that Yahoo has made a definitive agreement to acquire Flickr and us, Ludicorp. Smack the tattlers and pop the champagne corks!

Woohoo! What does this mean? It means that we’ll no longer have to draw straws to see who gets paid, schedule conjugal visits between trips to the colo….wait! That’s not what you want to know. This is what you want to know:’

Congratulations flickr – another example of an innovative web based development being bought up by the big guys.

Found via Kris Krug