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A Question of Fonts

Today I had an email from a reader who suggested that the font of my new design might be a little hard to read – especially in large slabs of text. What do you think?

I’m taking an informal poll in comments below. I want to make reading this blog a natural and easy thing so if the font is hard on your eyes I’m more than willing to make some changes.

To see a post with lots of text look at this one as a test.

Let me know what you think and I’ll try and adapt the overall thoughts into my design.

Contextless ProBlogger Links

On my daily rounds of my RSS feeds I come across more articles than I can link to without spending most of my day on this blog. So I’ve decided to start doing some contextless link posts which are a collection of ProBlogger Links from around the web that have no explanation of what they contain except for their title. If it grabs you, click, if not, surf on (after voting for ProBlogger of course).

- Driving Traffic To Your Weblog
- Earn Money From Your Blog With Product Sales or Merchandising
- Business Blogging Success FAQ 1-8
- Click fraud looms as threat to search engine
- Google blogger: ‘I was terminated’

Combatting Comment Spam – Contraception for your Blog

In my ‘Questions for ProBloggers‘ post Rick asks:

‘How do you deal with comment spammers?’

Comment spam is an insidious problem which threatens to kill or at least overwhelm many blog projects. I detest it on many levels, partly because of the content of many spam comments (which go against my values), partly because the people who do it are exploiting the hard work of others to make a quick (and big) buck and largely because of the time that it can take to delete it.

So how do you stop comment spam? This is the question everyone is asking and one which I’m afraid there is no easy answer for. The only 100% way not to have comment spam is to take away the ability to leave comments on your posts. (For some strange reason this reminds me of the age old advice on how not to get pregnant….don’t have sex).
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Outward Links – Good for Blogs?

Wayne at Blog Business World writes a good article on the value of outbound links in Search Engine Optimization. As he observes there are both pros and cons in linking to other sites from your blog that are worth considering as you think about SEO. I personally come down on the side of the argument that is pro outbound link. I don’t have the technological knowledge Wayne has to argue my case but from anecdotal evidence I’ve found the strategy has really helped my blogs to rise through the Search Engine Rankings.

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Weblogs Inc earns $600 a day from Adsense

Weblogs Inc is said to earn $600 per day from Adsense. PaidContent writes:

Weblogs Inc., described as the largest publisher of professional blogs, was offered as an example of how AdSense benfits online publishers. According to the slide, Weblogs is averaging $600 a day in AdSense revenue and made $45,000 in the first four months; the blogging company added AdSense in late August 2004.’

At first I was actually a little surprised by the $600 figure – with 70 blogs (an average of $8.50 per day per blog) who do a total of 20 million monthly page views (they therefore earn 0.0009 cents per impressions. From my experience with the program I would have thought the figure would have been significantly higher than that.

However it is also worth noting that Adsense is not their main source of income. For example look at Engadget and you’ll see that the prime position ads are all private ads and Adsense advertising does not appear above the fold. I deduce (guess) that these ads are paying better than the Adsense ads would in those positions.

The strategy that I use in placing ads on my site is that I put the highest paying ads in the prime position. If an advertiser wants to pay more than Adsense can earn in a position I am willing to sell them that space and move Adsense to another spot – I presume that this is how Weblogs Inc operates also so we can guess that the $600 per day from Adsense is perhaps only the minority of their earnings.

About.com For Sale

Internet news reports on a NYT announcement that megablog, About.com, is for sale. The asking price is anything between $350-$500 million. Key bidders could include Google, Yahoo, AOL and Ask Jeeves.

‘About.com, the eight-year-old guide to the Web, is up for sale, according to the New York Times, with bids due on Tuesday….

About.com was founded in 1997 as The Mining Company on the original Yahoo model of a human-edited Web directory. About.com took the human bit a bit further, by installing “Guides” who were subject experts as hosts of approximately 700 different topic areas. It was renamed in 1999, and acquired by Primedia, a publisher of niche interest magazines, in 2000.

Primedia touts About.com as “the Internet’s largest creator of original content,” with over 1 million links and 250,00 articles — each one a potential vehicle for ads.’

Read more at About.com on The Block

When Money Motivates Blogging

Michael Buffington writes that he’s just started a new blog on the topic of Asbestos. He’s doing so not because he’s interested in it but largely because it pays good money. This type of blogging is becoming more and more popular as people realize the amount of money that Adsense ads can pay out if you create a quality site on certain topics and can generate good traffic levels. Michael writes:

‘The subject matter, while weighty and all that, is of little importance to me. It’s not that I don’t have opinions on asbestos and asbestos reform, because I do. The whole point of the site is to experiment with an idea. I built a tool that helps me aggregate topical news with the help of Google’s Alert system. So far it works wonderfully.

But there’s a second motive as well. Right now asbestos reform and asbestos related litigation is on fire. Lawyers are paying anywhere from $15-100 per click through on Google ads. The second part of this big experiment is to see if I can capture some of that click through revenue while still providing a somewhat valid service to people who might arrive by search results.’

I suspect that Michael will or has already received some criticism for this approach. I’ve not seen too many bloggers admit up front that they have little or no interest in the topic of their blog as explicitly as he does in his post. A friend just emailed me about it and asked my opinion. Here are a few thoughts:

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Business Blogging Awards – Mid Race Commentary

There is a week to go in the Business Blogging awards and Darren at Inside Blogging is encouraging us all to give it a bit more of a push.

I thought I’d do so by doing a commentary (horse racing style???). Here we go…

Business bloggers are under starters orders and in the gates waiting for the starters to give the light. There seems to be something of a holdup as one or two of the bloggers are a little restless – technical problems with voting are resolved – bloggers tense, sensing the light is imminent…. AND They’re off!!!

A flurry of posts are made announcing the start of the business blogging awards, bloggers beg, persuade, write nice things about each other hoping it will bring them votes, post buttons and banners on their site pointing readers to the awards and ask everyone they know including their great grandmothers to place a vote…..and a few begin to break away from the pack in some categories….

Best Marketing Blog

Best Marketing Blog is a neck and neck race as the marketers kick their campaigns into overdrive. Three blogs all sit within 3% of one another with the other three ready to make their move back in the pack. LSLogan and Seth’s Blog are both sitting on 28% with What’s Your Brand Mantra only a few votes back. Leading the charge from the rear is the Radiant Marketing Group followed by How to Blog for Fun & Profit and Decker Marketing. This is a race to watch and one I had a lot of trouble voting in as all five are on my daily reads – its like choosing your favorite child….

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Tsunami Blogging – What did we learn?

I really enjoyed reading Pete Blackshaw’s Marketing Through the Tsunami Lens article today where he examines some of the lessons learned and trends that have emerged as a result of the mass of blogging that happened around the Tsunami tragedy late last year and in the weeks that followed. He observes 6 key points and then gives key takeaways from each one. Here are some snippets of what he had to say on each point.

The rise of citizen’s media – Our world is becoming more transparent, and the blog-enabled “Web recorder” is archiving real-time consumer/citizen experiences and narratives. This includes experiences with products and services.

Rich media by default – We live in a rich-media, consumer-controlled surveillance culture. Rich media is changing the game. The same factors that historically made TV so persuasive and emotionally engaging are the core building blocks of the blogosphere.

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The importance of the Scoop in Blogging

This week is a very busy week for me. Both in my general life but also my blogging. In particularly the blogging side of things is pretty hectic as there is a trade show happening in Orlando where all the major digital camera manufacturers unveil their newest models for the year ahead. Last year saw 60 or more cameras released in a couple of weeks and the indications are that this year will be similar.

As the editor of a Digital Photography Blog this means life is about to get a little crazy. Press Releases are hitting my inbox every hour or so, I’m scanning the manufacturers sites for pre release information and mistakenly early released information for new cameras and accessories. Of course I’m not alone as all the other digital imaging sites are jostling for position to see who can be the first to post the breaking stories.

You see there is a few reasons why its good to be first.

1. Prestige – its great to be able to say you were first to post information on a new camera or that you broke the news on something that no one else knew about. This actually does your site some good in the PR stakes. Digicam enthusiasts respect you if you’ve got your finger on the pulse – plus it feels good.

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