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News network to pay ‘citizen journalists’

John just pointed me to an interesting article on how GetLocalNews.com is moving towards a revenue sharing model with its thousands of volunteer writers.

GetLocalNews.com, a nationwide network of 6,000 local news sites, is planning to share its advertising revenue with thousands of volunteer writers.

The idea is to reward and motivate contributors whose stories and photos generate the most traffic, which in turn fuels ad revenue, said Edgar Canon, chief executive of the San Francisco company. He hopes the quality of contributions improves, too….

Now the company will pay writers half the net ad sales their stories garner, Canon said. That figure is based on each story’s “page views,” or the number of times visitors view its Web page. Canon expects it to work out to about $2 to $5 per 1,000 page views. The company will send checks quarterly to all writers that rack up $25 or more in payments, he said.’

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Download MP3 Interview with ProBlogger

Andy over at Easy Bake Weblogs has just posted an audio file of the interview that he did with me last week. So if you want to hear my Aussie accent and learn a little bit more about my blogging strategy download it and let me know what you think. It goes for about 40 minutes in total.

Andy and his listeners ask questions like:

– what would you do differently if you were to start it all again
– is there too much competition for new bloggers to start niche blogs?
– what traffic volume do you need before using ads?
– which is better, individual blogging or writing for a network of blogs?
– what is the biggest mistake of beginner bloggers?

We talked heaps about Adsense.

See a full running sheet of what the interview covered here.

Hope you can understand me – my phone line wasn’t the best and I have a cold.

Blogging Fears – Death

I’d like to continue my Blogging Fears series by talking for a moment about Death.

OK – ‘death’ is probably not a topic you were expecting me to cover in at ProBlogger (I hope this is not too morbid) but the past week I’ve actually been wondering what would happen to my Blogging assets if I were to die?

I know there would be international mourning among my readers and a great pilgrimage to Melbourne for my Funeral (streamed live on the net) but what about my blogs? It seems such a waste for me to have worked for all this time on my blogs and for them to stop running and stop earning an income for those that I love when I go.

Advice: Perhaps it would be a responsible thing to do to add my blogs to my will and to make arrangements for someone to look after them for my lovely wife who is rather clueless about blogging. Like any income earning asset, your blog is something to think about the future of beyond your life time (btw – if anyone wants to leave me theirs in their will – let me know!).

Have you considered adding your blog to your will? What provisions have you made (if any) for your blogs if you were to die or become incapacitated?

This is another part of my ‘Blogging Fears’ series where previous posts have been Getting Hacked and Disappearing from Search Engines.

Welcome to the wide world of the podosphere

Podcasting and Blogging got a little attention in the Age today with an article titled Welcome to the wide world of the podosphere featuring comments from fellow Australian Bloggers and Podcasters Cameron Reilly and Duncan Riley.

What To Do When Your Blog Drops in Google’s Rankings

Search Engine Journal has a good post on What To Do When Your Established Site Drops in Rankings and gives this advice:

‘All I can say is that many have suggested the same advice in the WebmasterWorld thread. Brett Tabke, the founder of WebmasterWorld, suggested to do “NOTHING”. He said, “The worst thing you could do, would be to go make a bunch of changes. Just let the algo work itself out.” A senior member said that he “made the mistake of making many changes after taking the hit, many months later no where to be found.” ‘

I totally agree with this advice out of my own experience of disappearing from Google late last year. The temptation was to make some major changes at that time but I decided to stick it out and just keep working on some of the basics including writing good content, making the coding of my site validate, building relationships with other sites in the hope that I’d get a few extra incoming links.

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Weblogs Inc Seeks More Bloggers

Looking for a blogging job (part time)? Weblogs Inc are looking for more bloggers – particularly on the topic of Digital Cameras and Software Downloads.

Thanks to the many readers who have let me know about this knowing I blog about Digital Cameras. I’ve actually already emailed them expressing my interest but they are not interested in taking on a blogger who has a ‘competing blog’ on the same topic. This is understandable although I was interested in the possibilities of exploring what a creative partnership on a niche topic might look like.

Hopefully one of my readers out there gets the job/s – simply email Jason and the guys at Engadget with a few sample posts to show what you’re made of.

Trash Princesses Embrace New Media

Paris Hilton is podcasting and Pamela Anderson has a blog.

This can only end in a scandal.

MSN Spaces and Advertising

I find it interesting to see that MSN Spaces is now adding advertising to their blogger’s blogs. In a way if makes sense – they have 4.5 million users, even if it was just the users themselves who saw the ads thats significant exposure – let alone all the readers.

I’m surprised however not to see much reaction from bloggers about this yet. When I first heard the news I thought that there might be a bit of an outcry from MSN spaces users who resisted the idea of MSN using their blogs to make money for themselves without giving them anything but a free space to write. Perhaps I’ve missed these sorts of blogger’s posts – has anyone seen any? Update: in digging around I’ve now found a few but not as many as i’d have expected.

I’m also a little intrigued by MSN’s business model in comparison to Blogger’s (owned by Google) who used to have their Adsense ads on every free Blogger blog but who removed these ads about 18 months ago for some reason. I’ve always wondered why they removed these ads – Did they just not work? Were bloggers protesting too much? Do the search boxes that they now put on blogger blogs pay more? Or do they hope that every blogger in their program will add their own Adsense ads and blog better and smarter if they give them the chance to earn a share of the revenue.

I’ll be interested to see how this strategy goes for MSN Spaces and am especially interested to see if they offer a paid version where bloggers can opt out of the ads or even a system of sharing revenue on advertising with bloggers using some sort of system like Adsense.

The advantages of Different Types of Traffic

WorkBoxers writes a great post comparing Search Engine Traffic to Daily Visitors, Which Is Better? I agree with Scrivs again on this one – its a ‘both’ thing – both types of readers have their value to your blog. You can successfully target either one exclusively or even both depending upon what the goal of your site is.

Targeting Search Engine Readers – For example when we ran the Olympics blog last year we were not really too interested in loyal daily readers (apart from the two weeks of the game themselves) – we did have a few of them but the vast majority of the 2 million readers we got that month came in via Google. Whilst the loyal readers were great and added something special to the site they were in the minority and not our main focus. As Scrivs say its the SE readers that most believe click on ads more than loyal readers so this group of readers can be quite rewarding.

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Pay Per Click Advertising Costs Increase by 9% in March

This article is good news for those of us who are publishers for pay per click advertising programs like Google’s Adsense with advertisers paying 9% more for keywords than they were earlier in the year.

‘PRICES FOR PAID SEARCH LISTINGS rebounded in March, rising 9 percent to an average of $1.75 a click, according to the most recent Fathom Online Keyword Price Index, released today.

The average cost of keywords–which had fallen during the first two months of the year, after rising steadily from September through the holidays–now exceeds last December’s $1.70 by about 3 percent. Matt McMahon, Fathom Online’s executive vice president-corporate development, attributed the upswing in keyword pricing to seasonal shifts in ad spending.

While some industries’ keywords went up in price more than others, none of the categories tracked by Fathom Online fell last month. Telecom/wireless terms gained the most ground, growing by 23 percent to 95 cents a click–although this figure is less than the $1.09 per click that the category garnered last year….’

Read more at Search Advertising Costs Surge In March