Otherwise Occupied

Moving Day today – will be otherwise occupied until late tonight – or tomorrow….

Talk among yourselves – consider this an ‘open mike’ – any topic goes (within reason).

Ask a question for others to answer – or answer a question that someone has posted here.

Have fun.

New York Times on Gawker

The New York Times Article on Nick Denton and Gawker has an array of interesting titbits in it that will make a good weekend read for any aspiring ProBloggers. Here are a few tasters that peaked my interest:

On Editors and their daily goals:

‘Each editor is under contract to post 12 times a day for a flat fee, Mr. Steele said. (Gawker has two editors and now posts 24 times a day.) It is best to have eight posts up before noon, if possible, to keep readers coming back, he said….

12 posts per day is a pretty high posting rate for a blog. We’ve had the ‘how frequently should you post‘ debate here from time to time and I’ve been interested by the fact that most people seem to argue for a ‘less is best’ approach for fear of overwhelming readers. Obviously there are multiple posting rhythms. Gawker does well in this because it generally posts shorter posts – so 12 isn’t as overwhelming as one might initially think.

[Read more…]

Blog Network News

Chrispian H. Burks is proposing a new Indie Blog Network and wants your opinions and feedback.

Duncan has registered Weblogs Empire as a domain and is blogging about his new network’s developments.

9 Rules Network has been busily adding blogs to their network this week – with a total of 22 blogs now involved.

Due to the increased talk of blogging networks I’ve added a Blog Network Category to this blog – this being the first post. I’m sure it will be a busy category over the coming year as new networks are born and push into new territory.

Nick Denton and Gawker Media are featured in the New York Times today in an article on his network.

ProBlogger Articles at WebProNews – Now with Comments

I’ve had a selection of my posts here at ProBlogger being posted at WebProNews for the last month or so. Overall this has been a pretty positive experience – I’ve found a number of new readers through it and have found that it has built a little credibility and profile.

One of the pieces of feedback that I got from readers was that they had no way of commenting on the articles that I’d written that were published there. This was especially frustrating for them because I often ask for comments directly in my posts.

So this week I took this feedback to the team at WPN and they have kindly provided a link back to my original post’s comments so that readers there can interact with the rest of us on each article (example).

Hopefully this will add to the experience of those who follow this blog through WPN (although remember that you only get ALL of my posts here at

What to Do When Rejected from Joining Adsense

If at first you don’t succeed – try try again…

In my regular reading of Adsense discussion forums I often read stories of people being declined acceptance into the program. Whilst Google do accept most applications to join they do have a number of rules that mean some sites won’t get accepted (their policies page has a list of things you may not include on your site including excessive profanity, violence, racial intolerance, pornography etc).

Often when people are rejected from joining Adsense they kick up a stink in forums and attack Google for being narrow minded censors (insert favorite excessive profanity here).

Whilst such a response is understandable the Tin Man has an interesting post illustrating that sometimes its worth politely questioning such a decision by Adsense and asking them to take another look at your application. In this case the answer was that Adsense had made a mistake and had reversed their decision.

I’ve seen this happen a number of times – on one occasion the applicant made a few minor changes to their blog before asking Google to reconsider (with reference and URLs of the changes made) – once again they were successful in this.

64% of Marketers are Interested in Advertising on Blogs

Interesting feature by Reuters today into Blogs and advertising with some hopeful news for entrepreneurial bloggers who are good/lucky/workaholic/well-connected enough to generate large levels of traffic:

Buczaczer expects a handful of blogs will develop an audience large enough to secure more substantial ad dollars this year. A wave of companies will also start blogs to create more immediate links to consumers in the near term, he said.

As many as 64 percent of marketers are interested in advertising on blogs, according to a Forrester Research study, though their investment would still be a fraction of the $14.7 billion expected to be spent on Internet ads this year.

Another 57 percent are looking to include marketing messages on RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds which allow a viewer to see instantly updating headlines from news, Web logs and other sites via a simple Internet browser.

Of course the average blogger won’t generate the traffic needed to attract A-list advertisers – however as bigger bloggers break through and prove the value of blogging as a way to convey an advertising message I suspect that we’ll see more opportunities for the medium sized blog to surf the advertising wave also.

Blogads 3.0 Beta

Henry has just posted an interesting post over at BlogAds about some of the changes they’ve been working on in BlogAds 3.0 (beta). For starters they are refining their application process and introducing the idea of ‘sponsor bloggers’ who bring new bloggers into the program and help them get going (and get 5% of that bloggers earnings as payment).

‘So, going forward, bloggers will join blogads on the invitation of current network members, bloggers who, in essence, have helped beta test the Blogads idea and build the network. These “beta” bloggers will evaluate, invite and guide new blogads sellers. New bloggers (theta?) will pay 30% of ad prices to participate in the network, rather than the 20% fee charged current blogads sellers. A sponsor blogger, only a handful at first, will get 5% of her sponsored bloggers’ revenues while she remains a sponsor. Essentially, sponsor bloggers will be rewarded for doing some of the work traditionally performed in corporate publishing by both an editor and staff in the HR department. (To be clear, this means identifying, recruiting and acculturating stars, not managing!) Sponsors are doing work they are far better qualified to perform than we. (Once acculturated, new bloggers will be able to invite bloggers too.) ‘

Sounds like an interesting development that is designed to not only take some of the load of the central administration of BlogAds but that gives bloggers themselves incentive to recruit and coach other bloggers which will in turn should grow the network – both in terms of bloggers and advertisers.

I like the sound of what Henry is proposing. My only question is around complexity. One of the risks of tiers or new levels of contributers to any network is that it necessarily brings some level of complexity with it (at least initially). If I’ve learned one thing since blogging its that the vast majority of bloggers like things simple.

Adsense has boomed with Bloggers because its largely a matter of selecting a few simple options and cutting and pasting some code. BlogAds has a similarly simple interface (although initially I did find it a little more complicated than Adsense) – lets hope that BlogAds 3.0 retains and even improves upon this simple process.

Where to Put Keywords on your Blog

Getting your blog ranked highly in Search Engines can be a complicated task – so can sifting through all the theories being espoused by SEO ‘experts’. Everyone has their theory. As a result I like it when people put together simple well thought out lists that even a non technical person like myself can get his head around at the end of a hard week’s blogging.

SEO and Online marketing have put together a helpful list of 8 places to put your keywords in your blog if you want the Search Engines to look favorably upon you. Being smart about using keywords (the words you want people to find your blog with in Search Engines) – is generally accepted as important factor in SEO.

Here’s the list (each point is expanded upon in their post):

1. Use Your Keywords in Text Links for ALL Links – Inbound and Outbound.
2. Use Your Keywords in the Page’s Title Tag.
3. Put Your Keyword in Your Description Tag.
4. Place Your Keywords in a Keywords Tag.
5. Make Sure You Use Your Keyword in Your Heading Tags.
6. Put Your Keywords in Bold Text in Several Places on the Page.
7. Use Your Keyword in Text Early – and Often.
8. Use Your Keywords in Alt Tags.

Adwords Advertisers Can Now Block Publishers Sites

Jensense announces that Adwords advertisers can now negative filter publisher sites – meaning that advertisers can now block an ad appearing on your blog by simply adding its URL to their campaign filter (in a similar way to publishers having the ability to block certain advertisers – seems only fair really). The feature is known as the Negative Site Feature (catchy name).

Whilst this is good news for advertisers and for publishers of high quality sites – Jen observes that:

‘publishers with less-than-quality sites could be hit, particularly if advertisers are opting out simply based on appearances rather than conversion data. Because some of those less-than-quality sites definitely do convert for some advertisers, even if the sites don’t appear as though they would convert very well, some publishers could filter them on looks alone while not even considering their ROI on these sites.’

All In all I think that its a good move – it could draw more advertisers into the system which means more demand for ads and higher click throughs. Of course if you have a poor performing blog it could have negative impact.

AOL Opens Blog Service to IM Users

Just spotted this news (perhaps its old and I missed it previously) that AOL are opening up their blogging tool to their Instant Messaging users. Not only this but they’ll be able to to submit posts to their blogs via instant messaging when logged in to the screen name associated with the blog they’re posting to.