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Bloglines Problems

Is anyone else having issues with Bloglines today? I logged on this morning only to find that I could not access it at all. I thought maybe they were having issues and waited an hour or two only to find it still timing out. Now 10 hours later I’m still without it and starting to get a little edgy about it as I know others on my IM lists can see the site. My ISP says it must be a computer problem, but I’m not sure about that as I’ve done nothing to it since last night when I could access the site fine. Very strange.

I’m not sure what I’d do without Bloglines – I currently track 300+ feeds on it, it provides me with the content for my blogs, which my business revolves around. Maybe I’ll have to find a new news reader – anyone got any suggestions of one that works well with a Mac?

Update – Still no luck with Bloglines – its been 19 hours and counting. At least I’m not alone though.

Update II – We’re back online with Bloglines – phew….I think I might back up the feeds I follow – the threat of losing them has left me realising the importance of that list of sources – its actually an asset!

Google’s AdSense a bonanza for some Web sites

USA Today has an article on Adsense titled Google’s AdSense a bonanza for some Web sites which has a few interesting snippets that basically talk up the program. Here are a few grabs from it firstly on Chris Pirillo from Lockergnome:

‘Chris Pirillo, who has a following from his former role as a host on the now-defunct TechTV cable channel, says he’s clearing more than $10,000 a month.

Before AdSense, which began in March 2003, bloggers and other small Web publishers had fewer options to make money. They could put banner ads on their sites for a host of non-related products, or commission programs from Amazon and eBay. “It was a lot more work, and you didn’t get much of a return,” Pirillo says.

With AdSense, “You write content, publish it, and the money starts to pour in,” he says….

Next a grab from Jason Calacanis of Weblogs Inc:

In his first four months of Web publishing, AdSense brought in $45,000. Some of his blogs produce $3,000 a month. His best do “four figures,” Calacanis says, though he’s reluctant to fill in the exact numbers. “And that’s with zero marketing,” he says….

And lastly on the future entry of Yahoo into the small publisher market:

With pay-per-click ads, Google and Yahoo are locked in a bitter battle for advertiser dollars. But Yahoo doesn’t compete with AdSense for small publishers — yet. Yahoo says it will introduce an offering later this year.’

Read more at USATODAY.com – Google’s AdSense a bonanza for some Web sites

More Business UnderBloggers added

I just updated the nominations in the 2005 Business Underblogger Awards. We’re up to 51 nominations so far. In updating the nominations I discovered a few great professional bloggers that I’d never known of before on a really wide range of topics. Check them out and leave your nominations for Business Blogs that you like that fly under the radar and deserve more readership than they get on the nominations page.

Here are the latest nominations:

Open Xorce Crossing :: Ken’s Management Log Book :: Biz Book Nuggets :: What’s Next Blog :: Leaders Go First :: Blog for Fun and Profit :: Next Level Biz Tips :: Build a Better Blog :: WonderBranding :: VOIP Advice :: Decent Marketing :: Brand Autopsy :: Coach Ezines :: What Retirement :: Business of Life :: Legacy Matters :: Estate Legacy Blogs

See the full list of nominations here

Letting others Promote your Blog for you

Finding readers for your blog can be one of the hardest and most frustrating parts of blogging. You slave over your content, writing witty, clever, insightful, humorous posts and check your stats at the end of your day and barely anyone has taken any notice – it can be downright depressing. I’m always on the lookout for new and fresh ways to expose potential readers to blogs and love to check out how others do it.

One of the more innovative things I’ve seen recently is over at Idol Blog – particularly in their American Idol Section where they have just made public their American Idolblog Popularity Tracker.

The tracker is basically a poll about which contestant people like the most. The poll is reset every week and tracked back on the blog in graphical form. Up until now they’ve only run these popular polls in their own sidebars but now they are offering them via a javascript code to other bloggers and websites.

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Formatting images for SEO

One of the most commonly known Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips that go around has to do with the way you name and tag the images that you use on your site. Its fairly commonly accepted by most SEO experts that Google not only looks at the text on your blog in order to measure its worth but that Google’s spidering bots also take a look at the code you use in your image files.

Over the years SEO techniques have been developed to abuse this fact and webmasters have ‘stuffed’ their ‘alt tags’ with all kinds of keywords – however Google has found ways to combat this and treats such strategies as spamming their bots now – however it is still legitimate to put keywords in you image tags and I would recommend that you do (within reason).

If I’m writing on one of my technical blogs about a product and want to post a picture – I always make sure that the file name of the picture includes the name of the product (with-hyphens-between-words). The system I use (ecto) to publish my blog uploads photos automatically to set the file name as the ‘alt tags’ (which are the words that come up as your picture loads) and uploads the picture to its own URL with the file name in the actual URL. This ensures that when Google’s bot spiders through your site it sees your keywords an additional few times per picture.

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Blogging for Dollars Presentations at IIMA

Roland Tanglao’s presentation on Blogging for Dollars at IIMA this week looks like a pretty comprehensive presentation and one I’d have like to have heard and had a chance to interact with. Also presenting was Arieanna and Tris – both quality bloggers in their own right.

Sometimes I wish I lived in (or at least a little closer to) North America to be able to get along to these types of gatherings (but then again on wonderful Melbourne days like today I’m also quite glad to be where I am). Maybe its time for a ‘Blogging for Dollars’ workshop here to see who comes out to play.

Soldiers earning Money from Blogging

There is an interesting article in the Army Times about soldiers in Iraq who are turning to blogging to make a few dollars in their spare time whilst there.

‘Finding paid advertisers may be too time-consuming for soldiers in a combat zone, so several Internet companies sell advertising for bloggers. However, bloggers receive only a percentage of what the companies bring in from advertisers, but the companies do the sales legwork. Many of these companies will even provide bloggers with free server space.

Some soldiers are selling T-shirts, bumper stickers and hats on their sites. Some bloggers say so many readers ask what they can send to show their support, they have posted wish lists on their sites. Others have set up ways for readers to send them money.’

Read more at Some troops make money from blogs

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How Many Posts do you Need in your Archives to earn Money from Blogging?

Someone asked me just now -‘how many pages do I need on my blog for it to earn $XX.00s per day?’ Its a pretty common question and one that I’m going to tackle below – but first let me ponder another related question from Thomas who in my recent call for feedback on this blog asked:

‘Is there a direct and predictable relationship between the total income of a blog and the total number of blog posts?’

Its a good question and one I’m sure I’ve talked about before in my archives somewhere – but that I’m happy to write a little about again.

I’m going to generalize terribly here and give you a very short and blunt answer to your question Thomas – and I’ll expand upon it some more for those who want to journey with me some more on it.

The Short Answer – My generalized answer is ‘yes’ – I do believe that in most cases there is a relationship between the number of posts on a blog and the income that it currently generates.

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Michael Jackson Responsible for Blog Traffic Growth

Server-3Michael Jackson’s late appearance to court today brought a deluge of traffic to the Michael Jackson Trial Watch blog that we’ve been experimenting. It was quite amusing to watch the hits start rolling in as it got closer to him not showing and then especially as the deadline passed before he showed up wearing pajamas.

The experiment has been reasonably successful so far, although we’re only really seeing traffic from MSN search at this point – Google has shunned us thus far but we’re hoping that their next update will remedy this. As you can see from the stats above – the last three days have seen more and more interest in the site as the trial heats up and as the media whip things into more and more of a frenzy. I can’t imagine what it will escalate to if he’s found guilty at the trial’s end in a month or two.

Customize Google News – to a Point

I welcome the new customizable Google News – but have to admit that I’m not as excited about it as I first was when I heard about it. The changes that they’ve made don’t really change the way I’ll use the service. It all seems a little cosmetic to me – yes they allow me to have a bit more control over what is viewed on the page but it seems like largely the same features which can be moved around the page a little.

When they let me track RSS feeds like on MyYahoo! and when they allow me to track my News Alerts via RSS rather than via email or manually going to the page – thats when I’ll be excited. For now I still prefer using Topix which allows me to watch my selected news alerts via RSS. I’m sure Google will catch up eventually.