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7 Practical Tactics to Turn Your Blog Into a Sales Machine

Marketing Sherpa has an article with 7 Practical Tactics to Turn Your Blog Into a Sales Machine that might be useful to business bloggers wanting to increase the effectiveness of their blog to drive sales.

‘Call us cynics. Blogs may be hip and trendy, but they don’t do diddly-squat for most people’s businesses. After four years of research, MarketingSherpa reporters estimate only .03% of the 34.5 million existing blogs are driving sales or prospective customers to their bloggers. (That’s less than 1,000 that we’ve been able to find.) Want your blog to be the one that works? Discover seven practical secrets from a real estate blog that gets prospects to raise their hands and beg to be contacted.’

  • Tactic #1. Seed your blog posts with keywords
  • Tactic #2. Report exclusive news and insight
  • Tactic #3. You don’t need to blog daily
  • Tactic #4. Add easy contact links to every single post
  • Tactic #5. Jump on incoming leads super-swiftly
  • Tactic #6. Measure by qualified prospects, not total traffic
  • Tactic #7. Blog elsewhere

Read more details of this article at 7 Practical Tactics to Turn Your Blog Into a Sales Machine

ProBlogger Interview??

A few of your have emailed to ask where this week’s ProBlogger interview is. Good question friends – and one I’m asking to. Hopefully some of those who I’ve sent questions to will get something back to me shortly and we’ll keep learning from the Pros! Til then you’ll have to put up with my ramblings I guess.

By the way – who do you want to see me interview? Nominate the names of those ProBloggers or Web entrepreneurs that you’d like to see interviewed (with any questions you might have for them if you like) below in comments – I’ll see what I can do.

Seven Tips for Blogging Your Way to a New Job

Debbie Weil over at Marketing Profs writes a good article on Seven Tips for Blogging Your Way to a New Job. She writes quite an extensive aricle – but her main points are:

1. Start with a topic you’re passionate about
2. Concentrate on shorter, more frequent entries in your blog
3. Let your authentic voice emerge
4. Use correct grammar and syntax (no misspellings allowed)
5. Purposefully organize the content of your blog
6. Post a new entry at least once a week, preferably two or three times a week
7. Include your key contact information on your blog

Its a good list not only for bloggers looking for a job out of their blog – but for other bloggers whether they are blogging for money or not.

I’d especially echo her call for shorter and more frequent entries. Long rambling entries are a mistake that I see many beginner bloggers making the mistake of going with.

Of course this will depend upon the topic you choose – but in most cases people are not looking for major essays when they surf the internet – rather they are looking for specific information on a specific problem, opportunity or question. Often this can be provided very quickly in a short post. Keep it punchy, on a single topic and to the point.

Read Debbie’s full article at Seven Tips for Blogging Your Way to a New Job

Yahoo 360 – Blending Blogging and social networking

It looks like Yahoo! is getting further into the Blogging Business with their new venture to be released later this monty – Yahoo 360 – a service that combines a number of functions including blogging and social networking. Here’s how its explained at Yahoo News.

‘Yahoo Inc. is preparing to introduce a new service that blends several of its Web site’s popular features with two of the Internet’s fastest growing activities — blogging and social networking.

The hybrid service, called “Yahoo 360,” won’t be available until March 29, but the Sunnyvale-based company decided to announce the product late Tuesday after details were leaked to The Associated Press and other news outlets.

Yahoo is testing the service with a small group of employees, some of whom have been working on the project since last year when the product was operating under the code name “Mingle.”

The service is designed to enable Yahoo’s 165 million registered users to pull content from the Web site’s discussion groups, online photo albums and review section to plug into their own Web logs, or blogs, the Internet shorthand used to describe online personal journals….’

Read more at Yahoo! News – Yahoo Tests Blend of Blogging, Networking

Yahoo 360 sounds very much like Google’s attempt at social networking – Orkut which was an invitation only service only whereby members could invite others in a virus like manner.

Update: You can see the Yahoo 360 website here

What Could Yahoo! do to make you Switch?

The announcements today by Google Adsense of new features (see last three posts) seem to have been strategically timed to preempt the launch of Yahoo!’s new contextual ads for small publishers. It seems that Google might be trying to strengthen their relationship with publishers by giving them new payment options and revenue streams (things they’ve been asking for for some time now) in the hope of stopping them switching to whatever Yahoo! offers in the coming weeks and months.

This has got me thinking about what Yahoo! could offer to make Adsense publishers switch to their system and give it a try.

I thought I’d open it up for some discussion. Those of you who use Adsense – what would it take to get you to switch over to Yahoo!’s contextual ad system when its released? What features would you like to see that Adsense doesn’t have? Is it just about earning capacity or are other features important to you? Will you give it a go temporarily to see how it works or would you wait to see what others say about it? interested in your thoughts and ideas.

Adsense allows revealing of total income earned

Just looking over the new Adsense rules of use which were also released today and I noticed this in the confidentiality statement which SEEMS to indicate that we can now talk about the total of what we earn. It might be worth checking with Adsense before you do this publicly – but it seems to be a change.

‘Confidentiality. You agree not to disclose … (b) click-through rates or other statistics relating to Site performance in the Program provided to You by Google; and (c) any other information designated in writing by Google as “Confidential” or an equivalent designation. However, You may accurately disclose the amount of Google’s gross payments to You pursuant to the Program.Google Confidential Information does not include information that has become publicly known through no breach by You or Google, or information that has been (i) independently developed without access to Google Confidential Information, as evidenced in writing; (ii) rightfully received by You from a third party; or (iii) required to be disclosed by law or by a governmental authority.’

New Google Adsense Ad Links Launched

Google have also launched a new form of text advertising today – Adsense Ad Links where by readers of your pages are offered a list of topics that are relevant to your page which they can click to find relevant ads for that topic. Its a pretty interesting system that actually gives readers the chance to CHOOSE to see ads. I’m yet to try it out but will see what its like shortly.

‘Ad Links are a new form of text advertising that we’re offering to our AdSense publishers. Using the same contextual targeting algorithm that targets Google ads to your content pages, Ad Links units display a list of topics that are relevant to your page. Each topic, when clicked, brings the user to a page of related advertisements.

The result is advertisements that are closely targeted to the interests of your users. By selecting the topics through interaction with the ad unit, users are presented with useful information in the form of related advertisements. Their direct involvement with the evolution of the ad unit guarantees an interest in the ads that are presented.’

[Read more...]

Google Adsense Update Payment options

After months and months of lobbying by publishers Google Adsense have just announced changes to their payment system! Their site has just been updated with the new details. Now they offer checks to be sent in local currencies to 35 countries (listed below) and Electronic Funds Transfer to 15 countries (BETA).

For those receiving checks via mail they are also offering a Secured Express Delivery option that increases both the speed and security of delivery. Using this system will get your your check in 5-7 business days. This service will cost publishers if they choose it in many countries (ie in Australia it would cost me $24).

This is great news for publishers (of those countries included) and is long overdue. Funny how it comes out in the same week that Yahoo! seem to be on a publicity drive for their new contextual ad system for small publishers!

[Read more...]

How Much to Charge for Blog Ads

Over the past few days I’ve had a number of bloggers email asking for advice on how much to charge for advertising on their blogs. I thought I’d open the question up for some discussion.

How much would you charge for advertising on your site?

Of course the answer would vary depending upon traffic, topic, ad type – but let me throw out a couple of ‘hypotheticals’ – well they are actually real life examples from the readers emails.

a) an established site (blog and discussion forum) with 45,000 unique visitors per month (1500 per day) on a niche topic with loyal readership which is growing. How would you determine how much to charge for a banner (468 x 60) across the whole site?

b) a blog with a page rank of 5 with daily traffic levels of 500 unique visitors – mainly coming from Search Engines. How much would you charge for a text link high on the side bar with a title/link and a short description.

c) blog with 10,000 impressions per day looking to sell a variety of ads including the two above (banner and text) as well as skyscraper ads.

So how would you determine how much to charge for advertising? What factors would you consider, what is a reasonable rate to ask? I have my own ideas which I’ll be happy to share once we’ve had a bit of discussion – but I’m interested to know how others make these kinds of decisions. Feel free to contribute below as you feel you’d like.

Switching from Movable Type to WordPress

Jesse Ruderman has a great post on Switching from Movable Type to WordPress for those contemplating the switch. The article goes through some of the advantages and disadvantages of WordPress over Moveable type and talks you through some of the problems encountered in the move (along with some solutions and fixes). Very worthwhile post for those tweaking and upgrading the back end of your blog.