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Last In Text Link Auction

Paul has an interesting article on Harvesting his High Page Rank. He has a travel site with a page rank of 5 that he sells text links on. However he has a novel approach to how to determine which link is first in the list – he auctions the top spot off using a ‘last in auction’. If you want to be on top spot you simply bid another $1 and you get top spot – til someone else bids another $1. Interesting system which appears to be working if you check out the long list of sponsors he’s got (currently 38). You can sign up for a link here. Paul explains the system:

‘My solution? A last-in auction. Whoever is willing to pay to be number 1 gets the slot — everyone else gets moved down. If someone doesn’t like being #2, they can pay again to be #1. The price doesn’t change, just $1 — It’s determination, not finances, that keeps a link at the top. And, as an added incentive, the #1 link is guaranteed to be on every page, #2 on down may or may not show, depending on how long the article is. How long does a dollar keep an advertiser on top? Five minutes or five days, depending on how long it takes for someone else to pay a dollar.’

I just bought a $1 link – interested to see if it brings any traffic.

Surfing the Wave after a Scoop

I love days like today. You get out of bed after a nice night’s sleep and the sun is shining, the birds are singing and you have a gem of a scoop waiting for you in your inbox from a reader of your blog giving you the story of the month (maybe year) exclusively.

I had to do a little background work but the story was right, a new DSLR camera from Canon – the Canon Rebel XT, and no one else had posted about it yet (most other sites are bound by agreements with the manufacturers and can’t post til tonight), so I posted it a couple of hours ago and am now enjoying watching the traffic flood in.

It’s quite exhilarating to see your traffic graph come alive – it just jumped from 350 visitors per hour to over 2000. This is going to be a fun day.

WordPress 1.5 – Latest Stable Release

World Press users might like to upgrade to the latest stable release of WP 1.5.

2005 Business Blogging Awards Results

Congratulations to Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless who have unofficially taken out the Best Overall Business Blog at the 2005 Business Blogging Awards (they are still tabulating the votes but the result is pretty clear). Thank you to all who have voted for ProBlogger your votes took us way out in front early but unfortunately we might have peaked too early and couldn’t keep up with Security Awareness in the past few days who had a couple of big surges in voting over the past two days to blow the rest of the competition out of the water.

They are a worthy winner of the award and our congratulation goes to Greg and his team for some fun competition. Congratulations also to Blog Business World, Slacker Manager, How to Save the World and Coyote Blog who each made this category one that was an honor to compete in.

Is Google Adsense Making Me Rich?

adsense.jpgJim at BlogKits asks if anyone would like to share their success or failures using Google Adsense to generate revenue for their blog? He writes – ‘I’m curious as to whether or not you have made it work, and to what level? Making just enough to make it worth it?’

This is a question I get asked every few days by entrepreneurial bloggers – it is a tricky question to answer because Adsense do not allow publishers to share details of how much they earn or how their ads perform. I am also hesitant to answer it because I was always taught not to talk about money or how much you earn. However I get asked it so many times that perhaps its worth writing a progress report of how Adsense is going for me – so let me share a little of my own experience without getting into specifics.

Rich?
Adsense has been a very worthwhile venture for me – it has not made me rich, however it could.
I started using it because I wanted to find a way to cover my ISP and hosting fees for my blog. I now make a good living from it. Whilst it is not my only source of income from blogging at present (I use affiliate programs, sponsorships, text ads to name a few of my other income streams) Adsense is currently the largest source of money from my blogs. I’m unable to go into specific dollar terms except to say that it pays my rent and is well on the way to giving me a deposit for a home.

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Blog Hangover

Have you ever woken up with a blog hangover? This morning I did after staying up til the wee hours of the morning blogging on a couple of my blogs where there are US trade shows underway on the topics.

In the past 20 hours there have been 27 new Camera Phones announced and I suspect that tonight will see a few more added to that number. I think I might go and have a mid afternoon nap.

Using Wordnet to Research Keywords

SEO Chat has a great little article on using a little online tool called Wordnet to research keywords and optimize sites for Search Engines. It gets a little technical but is helpful if you persist with it and play around with the tool.

Basically Wordnet gives you synonyms and hypernyms of your keywords – as they’d be seen by Search Engines. Its a really nice tool that is worth checking out (although can take a little time to get your head around it and find ways to utilize it well)

Author ‘randfish’ finishes by explaining how he uses it in his SEO techniques:

’1. Keyword Research- I want to check my terms in Wordnet to find related words, terms, etc. that searchers might use to find my site. It’s great for this and very simple….

2. On-Topic Site Architecture – The best sites for search engines start by describing a broad term and then going narrow. If you have a site about Real Estate, you can start with that topic, then have sub-topics about each hyponym and from each of those have their hyponyms….

3. On-Topic Links – You may not have realized how valuable a link from a type of site is. With real estate, for example, a link from a site on ‘property’ to the home page or a link from a page on ‘land’ to a deeper page is exactly the type of thing that would conceptually give you a SE on-topic boost….’

Interview with Glenn Fleishman

Glenn.Thumb.Mosk-1

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon one of the most helpful discussions (audio/visual link) I’d heard or read about Entrepreneurial Blogging for quite some time. It was by a guy named Glenn Fleishman who I’d actually read the blogs of numerous times but whom I’d never really heard speak about blogging before. I wrote up my impressions from his session at BBS and have found myself coming back to it numerous times since. I immediately knew that Glenn was someone that I’d like to feature on my weekly interviews and so approached him.

Glenn has gone above and beyond the call to do this interview and has put a lot of time and energy into his answers for which I’m grateful. This is an interview I’m very proud to post here and hope that you find it as helpful as I have to hear the experiences and advice of a Pro Blogger who has been making a living (at least part of one) online for some time now.

ProBlogger – Glenn can you briefly tell us a little about yourself how do you introduce yourself to new people?

Glenn – Sure. These days, I say I’m a journalist. I divide my about 30 to 40 percent writing for print, 30 to 40 percent writing for online (my own and others sites), and the remainder on projects like isbn.nu, a book-price comparison service I’ve run since 1999.

I’ve been lucky enough to follow my bliss. I started as a graphic designer, getting a degree in art as an undergrad at Yale in 1990, working for Kodak’s miraculous (and brief) Center for Creative Imaging in Maine from 1991 to 1993, and then getting into publishing as a managing editor of a small computer book firm.
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DPB signs Blog Sponsorship Deal

Sorry that posting has been slow today but I’ve been busy negotiating an advertising deal for Digital Photography Blog. The deal has just been signed which is a great relief. I’m not yet able to publicly comment upon who the advertiser is (except to say its one of the big digicam manufacturers) and will not be at liberty to discuss the financial side of the deal when it becomes public but I’m very pleased with the way it is shaping up.

The initial deal is for a short trial period with options to extend once performance is ascertained. It does not include me having to sell the products of this advertiser or to change my approach to writing content in any way shape or form. Its a bit of a dream come true.

It is nice to be able to report not only the deals of other blogs with major sponsorship deals but to be able to work on my own. Here’s hoping it all comes off well and the relationship can become ongoing. If it does I might be on the way to taking on a writer for the sites I’m currently running. Will update more as it goes public.

Update: Thanks for the comments already on this post – it seems to have peaked some interest. Without going into specifics of the deal I’m able to give a little more information as requested….
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My Readers my Valentines

Well my wonderful readers – its Valentines day here in Australia today and I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you of my undying love for you all (ok – it might not be love – but I do appreciate your support and hope you’ve enjoyed our time together lately).

Now I’m not expecting too many of you to send me Valentines Cards this year but if you’d like to do something nice for my blog this week perhaps you could head to the Business Blog Awards and cast a vote for ProBlogger.

Last night when I went to bed I was 8% in front – this morning just 6 hours later I’m down by 1% and thought it worth one more call for votes.

Vote or not – have a happy Valentines Day readers!