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Blogging for Dollars Seminar – Seeking Expressions of Interest

Recently I’ve met a number of Melbourne Bloggers who are interested in learning how to make a living from their blogging. I’m excited about this as it’d be nice to have a few local blogging buddies to get together with to share ideas – work together on projects and become friends with.

Most of those who want to get into Entrepreneurial Blogging are personal bloggers or are just starting out with adding Adsense or affiliate programs to their blogs and have been asking for tips and advice.

Rather than meeting each of them one on one or chatting via Instant Messenger I’m toying with the idea of running an introductory evening seminar into Entrepreneurial Blogging – (Blogging for Dollars).

This night would probably run for 2.5 – 3 hours (7pm – 9.30pm for instance) and it would be in a central location (probably in inner northern suburbs).

I would charge a small amount per person to attend to cover my preparation time. The amount of $50(ish) is in my mind for some reason – does that sound reasonable? I believe the content would be worth more than this in a business setting but want to make it accessible to the blogger just starting out who isn’t making much from their blogs yet.

The evening would be for those who already have an understanding of blogging (ie I wouldn’t be explaining the basics of ‘what is a blog’, ‘how do I post a post’ etc) but who are at the beginning of their journey of making money from their blogs.

Topics Covered Would include : [Read more…]

Avoiding Blog Burnout – Advanced Posting and Additional Authors

Duncan has posted on the topic of How to avoid blog burnout in one easy lesson where he suggest taking a break is a good way to sustain your blogging over a longer period of time. In particular he writes that taking a weekend off (or at least having a lighter weekend) might be a way to keep your blogging fire burning.

I agree with Duncan in this – I am a big believer in a day off – in theory anyway.

I remember reading a study into productivity a few years ago in which researchers looked at a variety of different cultures work patterns in order to discover what the most productive people’s work practices were. A number of factors emerged from the study – but the one that rings in my mind years later is that they found the most productive cultural groups were those that worked hard for 6 days per week and rested for one. The day off was devoted to rest, family, relaxation and rejuvination of body, mind and spirit.

I think this is an important approach for any worker – bloggers are no exception. Without taking a break blog boredom and writers block can easily set in.

The challenge for those of us making a living from blogs is that the medium is a 7 day per week, 365 day per year venture. Whilst traffic does tend to go down on weekends (as less people are at work surfing the net when they should be working) the weekend is actually an opportunity for traffic and earnings like any other day and regular posting on the weekends is one way to ensure the traffic keeps coming in.

So what is a Pro Blogger to do?

[Read more…]

Squarespace Review

Richard from Pharma Blawg has a good review of the blogging platform Squarespace and writes:

‘If you want to use all of Squarespace’s offerings, it’ll probably take a bit longer to learn than Typepad and Blogger, but in my view the extra time is well worth it. Equally, if all you want is a good looking blog without adding multiple modules (yes, Squarespace operates a modular system where you add different modules as you please), you’ll be able to get up and running very quickly. ‘

Read more about Squarespace at its official site

Mind Sharer – On Adsense

MindSharer has had some good Adsense related posts in the last few days that some might find helpful.

Adsense – Is the red hot text ad service cooling down?
How to get better targeted ad from Adsense?

Why Google is a Tactic not a Strategy

There is an interesting article over at SEO Chat titled – Why Google is a Tactic not a Strategy – which has some worthwhile advice in it.

‘The long and short of it, folks, is to plan your online marketing strategy so that no one tactic is responsible for supporting your business. The irony of the Web is that a lot of the tactics that don’t revolve around SEO actually help you with search engine positioning. Link placement, press release writing, content syndication and even offline marketing can all contribute to better placement in search engines.’

Wise words – don’t put all your eggs in the one basket – if if that basket has the potential to bring you a lot of goodness.

ProBlogger on WebProNews

Yesterday I was approached by Rich at WebProNews with the request that they be allowed to republish some of my content on their site. I was initially quite flattered by the offer as they feature some of my favorite bloggers including Steve Rubel, Wayne Hurlbert, Robert Scoble, Jeremy D. Zawodny, Andy Beal and more.

Once the flattery wore off (after all we’re all just blokes sitting in front of computers) and I gave it a little more objective thought I began to sort through a few costs and benefits of going with this approach. I emailed the five bloggers above for their opinion and ended up seeing it like this:

On the upside

  • Builds Profile – getting your name out there and building profile is probably the biggest benefit of this partnership. WebProNews is a widely read website with some quality contributers. The common theme in the advice that the bloggers I approached gave was that this was the best aspect of it.
  • Inbound Links – each article that they use of mine has a number of links back to the blog of the author and other projects that they are working on. This of course helps with SEO.
  • Google News – WebProNews gets picked up by Google News which again takes your posts to a larger audience and gives you further reach.

On the downside

  • Off site readership – One of the things that my blogging colleagues advised was that there is a risk that my readers might come to my blog less because they can read some of the main posts elsewhere.
  • Duplicate content – My main initial concern was that my content is being duplicated in more than one place. This is not looked upon well by Google.
  • Increased chance of those you’re writing about finding your posts – Steve replied to my email with the caution that what is written gives you a wider exposure which brings an increased chance that it will get found by those you write about or those that disagree with you which might bring criticism. I guess is the cost of increased traffic any of any variety…

[Read more…]

Bloglines is Down

If you’re having trouble logging into Bloglines tonight you’re not the only one. It looks like they are having some sort of database problems. Others reporting difficulties include:

to name just a few.

Unfortunately this is becoming more of a problem for Bloglines – its the second extended problem I’ve had in a few weeks. Perhaps its rapid growth is taking things a bit beyond what they can handle.

I’m going to do some serious looking for a non web based News Aggregator this week – I can’t afford to have my News Aggregator offline like this – it’s costing me money each time it goes down. What do other Mac users use to track RSS feeds? Interested in others experiences.

ProBlogger Email Newsletter Update

If you’ve signed up for the ProBlogger’s Email Newsletter in the past 36 hours you’re not alone. I’m really happy to say that there are already over 60 of you who’ve taken a step deeper into ProBlogger in this way. Scanning the list I see quite a few regular contributors to the comments of this blog as well as a couple of what I’d consider to be A-lister bloggers – overall the quality of those in the list is fantastic and I’m hoping we’re going to have a good time with it.

If you’re impatiently waiting for an newsletter to hit your inbox you’ve got a few more days to go as I will be sending the first ever one early next week.

As I said in the introductory post – the newsletter will be no more than a weekly one at this stage with highlights of the week that was on ProBlogger – a few special ‘members only’ tips – previews of ProBlogger news and down the track some competitions. Sign up in the sidebar to the left and join the growing numbers of readers who want to take their blogging to the next level with ProBlogger.

Free Advice and the Entrepreneurial Blogger

Jason Calacanis writes that by optimizing their Adsense ads Weblogs inc have just raised their daily Adsense earnings to $1400 per day (it was just $1000 per day a week or two back). He asks Adsense experts for advice on how to take it up a notch (he wants to get it to $2000 per day in the next couple of months) and offers a free dinner for those who are willing to help and whose advice works.

Paul takes offense at Jason’s post writing:

‘To me this is just insulting. The guy is making $1400/day (min.), which he equates to $511,000/year and wants free help to get to $730,000/year (min.) along with Amazon help. Does this seem strange to anyone else or am I missing something here? For helping him earn an extra $200k/year I can get a free dinner. Awesome.’

I have to say that I had some similar thoughts as I read Jason’s post – although I probably wouldn’t word it quite as strongly as Paul does.

I guess the question it leaves me wondering is – ‘At what point should someone start paying for the advice or sharing the benefits that they receive from the input from others?’

[Read more…]

Putting Google Adsense ads inside your Posts

Duncan wrote a helpful post on How to place Google Adsense ads next to your text – like he says in his post – one of the best positions I’ve found for Adsense ads is within or as near as possible to your content.

Whether you use this approach will of course depend upon the overall purposes of your blog (for instance I don’t do it as much here at ProBlogger – but do it more at Digital Photography Blog).

Duncan posts the code that he uses to get his ads into his text – I use a slightly different approach (add a “<” to the start of this code and a “>” to the end (and change the channel and publisher code to your own)… [Read more…]