Blogging Fears – Disappearing from Search Engines

A couple of days ago I started a Blogging Fears mini-series and talked about Getting Hacked. Here’s another – Disappearing from the Search Engines

As many of you know I’ve been there – it sucks and has the ability to almost completely cripple a blog that relies upon SE traffic. If you’re relying heavily on search engine traffic for most of your posts – be warned – it could happen to you.

Advice: Diversify your blogging interests. Develop a variety of blogs on different topics and domains. Look at non blogging income streams or related blogging income such as consulting, books, speaking etc. Work on generating traffic from other non Search Engine sources like other sites and newsletters to loyal readers. Even consider keeping or getting a part time ‘real’ job until you know you can survive on your blogging income even if the Search Engines abandon you.

A day in the life of a ProBlogger

This has always been one of the most popular posts on ProBlogger so today I thought I’d update it with some new things that I do on an ‘average day’ as a ProBlogger (originally written November 2004 which will explain the old comments).

A number of people have asked me recently what a typical day of blogging looks like for me – I thought I’d share the basics. Of course what an actual day looks like differs from day to day depending on other commitments (I have other interests/work outside of blogging), the day of the week (weekends I try to get a life) and my mood (I’m an impulsive type).

7.00am – My wife’s (‘V’) alarm goes off. I attempt to ignore it. She hits ‘snooze’.

7.15am – The alarm goes off again – I shove V out of the bed in the direction of the shower and promptly fall back asleep.

7.45am – V returns to the bedroom and the hair dryer starts – sleep becomes impossible – and so my day begins.

8.30am – Having showered, eaten and seen V off to work I sit down at my powerbook with a fresh cup of coffee and begin my morning blogging routine (note that despite public perception to the contrary – this ProBlogger is usually fully dressed (not in pyjamas or boxer shorts) by the time most people are hitting their normal place of work (9am). Of course there are exceptions to every rule).
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Viral Advertising

MarketingSherpa has a great article on Viral Advertising which could be of interest to bloggers both in thinking about promoting their own blogs but also in providing adspace ON their blogs.

‘Viral advertising is the red hot tactic of 2005 … but the lack of practical how-to information on the tactic is astounding.

Viral ads are online promotional campaigns that (hopefully) spread “like a virus.” One minute nobody’s heard of it, next minute, it’s everywhere. The term’s been around for almost a decade now, and it’s been the online ad tactic de jour at least three times…’

The RSS Ads are Coming!

Dave Morgan over at Clickz has a great piece on RSS Advertising which he says is Coming Fast. He cites the experience of one of the testers (A VC) of the Overture experiment at Feedburner of contextual ads in RSS feeds which is quite positive for those of you wondering if it is a viable option. Dave’s comments were:

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How To Get RSS Subscribers for your Blog

T.L. Pakii has a great piece on How To Get Blog RSS Subscribers which is useful for anyone wanting to expand their RSS readership (an ever increasingly important way of finding readers for many bloggers).

One of his main points is that you should work on Educating your Demographic which makes a lot of sense as RSS remains a relatively new and often unknown technology:

‘Your demographic may be a bit behind on the technology curve so you may want to write about the value of RSS with your market. Write a free report for them to download and even offer a video tutorial that shows them how to use RSS after they read about the why of RSS. Making sure that your customers and prospects knows what RSS is and how to use it productively is a next step in increasing subscribers. An important point to realize is that that there is still a learning curve on blogs and more so on RSS. It’s getting easier for more and more people to engage and use these tools but you will do much better to take a lead role in educating those within your reach on the merits using RSS.’

Read more at How To Get Blog RSS Subscribers

TypePad and Blogger Compared

CNET has a comparative review of the TypePad and Blogger blog platforms. I think they made the right decision with their ratings.

‘We looked at the two top blogging services. Best known, and free, is Google Blogger. But you get what you pay for: Blogger is a basic blogging service that won’t overpower beginners with too many options or choices. For a small monthly fee, however, Six Apart TypePad provides the services we’d like to see offered within Blogger, such as mixed-media templates, built-in photo uploading, and guest accounts. Ironically, Blogger makes it much easier to host your blogs on your own domain; TypePad allows it but also requires a little extra work between you and your ISP.’

Introducing AllPosters and LinkShare

Regular readers will notice I’ve added two small banner ads at the top of this blog – one for AllPosters and the other for LinkShare.

I do this for two reasons which I will share with you:

1. I have used both of these programs to help monetize a number of my blogs. They are affiliate programs that can be quite effective depending upon the topic of your blog.

2. The banner ads above are affiliate links themselves for these programs and will earn me a small commission if you follow them, sign up and start using the programs.

There is no pressure for you to use the programs but if you do I hope they are as successful for you as they have been for me (and more).

Each one is suitable for different topics of sites. They will not be suitable for every blog.

The AllPosters affiliate program is excellent for blogs on people and personalities, its quite good for blogs on sport, music, movies, tv shows etc. I’ve only started using the program this past month but already am seeing that its one of the better performing affiliate programs that I’ve experimented with.

The LinkShare program has a pretty wide range of affiliate programs involved in it which would suit many of the topics that I know readers of this site write about. They have literally hundreds (if not thousands) of partners that offer a range of different products and services for you to link to.

Working at Home

Jeremy writes a post on Working @ Home that got me thinking about my own home office set up and some of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing to do so.

An opportunity came up for me to move out of home into an office with three other micro business owners – it was very tempting for a lot of reasons:

  1. the social interaction it would bring – blogging can be a lonely business
  2. the potential cross pollination of our businesses and opportunities it might bring
  3. social stigma attached to working at home – also the ability to bring a client to an office without worrying that they think you’re a two-bit substandard consultant working out of home because you can’t afford anything else
  4. he ability to have better boundaries between work and home life
  5. less distractions and the ability to concentrate more upon work without TVs, video games, kids etc
  6. shared resources/office equipment etc

Of course on the other side of things there are some distinct advantages of working at home like I do

  1. lower overhead costs
  2. less risk in working for self rather than having to worry if the other businesses would fall over
  3. being able to work from bed in boxer shorts til 2pm in the afternoon
  4. being more present in family life (I’m amazed how many dads now work at home and are present in the lives of their kids these days – this is very attractive to me – or will be when we try to start a family).

I have a love hate relationship with working from home and was tempted to move out and may still do it one day – however in the short term I think I’d rather put the money of hiring office space into buying a new house and other ventures.

Also read Tris on the same topic.

Why Google is Syndication Shy

Steve Rubel has a great post asking why Google is Syndication Shy – something I’ve often wondered. In comparison to Yahoo! and MSN they seem somewhat behind the eight-ball. Steve writes:

‘Google views syndication drastically differently than its competitors. On the Web Google is all about driving people away from their sites. Once they’ve shown them an Adwords ad they had their opportunity to collect a dollar, so why not give the users what they need and send them on their way. However, when it comes to syndicated feeds they use it as a tool to drive users to their services and that’s why they are syndication shy. Remember Autolinking? I rest my case.

Feeds may be Google’s greatest enemy. If Google did offer feeds that connected users with the information they are looking for from the Web they would miss the opportunity to advertise to them. What will remedy this? Google will incorporate contextual Adwords ads into these kinds of feeds, much like Overture has done. What’s taking so long? Beats me.’

I think Steve is correct in saying that contextual ads in RSS feeds will probably be the time that Google starts to be a bit more generous with syndication of services like Google News – but like Steve I’m also a little surprised by the length of time its taking to get such a system in place.

Interviewing ProBlogger

Just a quick reminder that I’m doing an interview with Andy in a couple of hours time that you’re welcome to listen in on live. Details are at Easy Bake Weblogs; Exclusive Interview: Darren Rowse from Pro Blogger. Drop in and say hi – it could be fun.

Update – We just did the interview – it was FUN! Thanks to Andy and his great listeners/readers. If you want to ask more questions after reading through my archives just let me know in comments below or via my contact form.

Andy tells me that the interview will be posted on his website for your download in the next day or two.