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Interview with…. Me

Having interviewed a Professional Blogger each week since relaunching this blog today I found out what it was like to be on the other side of the interview.

Susannah Gardner from Buzz Marketing with Blogs asked me about my mistakes and successes with blogging, about the tools that I use, about how I find readers and even asked me how much I earn (and I told her).

Of course wrote reams and reams of answers – so much so that she’s broken it into two posts. The first part of her interview is here and the second part will appear sometime tomorrow.

Jason Kottke Turns Professional Blogger

Well known blogger Jason Kottke has bitten the bullet and has decided to go Prowith his blogging. He’s quit his web design job and has decided to go the route of trying to raise money for his blogging from donations from readership.

‘I’m asking the regular readers of kottke.org (that’s you!) to become micropatrons of kottke.org by contributing a moderate sum of money to help enable me to edit/write/design/code the site for one year on a full-time basis. If you find kottke.org valuable in any way, please consider giving whatever you feel is appropriate.’

Jason is resisting the advertising route but is offering those who become micropatrons of Kottke the chance of winning gifts to the value of $4800 (I guess that is a form of indirect advertising – he does link to those who have given the gifts).

The donation method of funding a blog is not an easy road to go down – but with traffic like he gets he might just pull it off.

PodCasting

Do you listen to PodCasts? If so how many per week?

This is the question I’m asking in my inaugural ‘Poll of the Week‘ question – see side bar to vote.

You see I’m fascinated by new media like PodCasting and Vlogging – however I have a few reservations about them also which lead me to wonder how many people actually listen to them.

I regularly listen to a handful of podcasts and have done so now for a few months – but I’ve noticed a change in the past few weeks in my listening habits. I’m listening to less of them and am gravitating to the shorter ones. The main reason is that I just don’t have time to dedicate to some of the longer ones that are out there any more.

[Read more...]

Work Boxers is Launched

Workboxers

Big Money Tips has changed domain. All the goodness is now over at WorkBoxers! Huh? I’ll let Paul explain the name:

‘Well I wanted something that symbolizes a goal that many people strive for when reading the content on this site. I wanted to stay away from ‘money’ and ‘cash’ and I just pictured myself working at home in my boxers. So WorkBoxers came to mind.’

It works for me. I’m adding it to my RSS reader because Paul has a wealth of experience to share and produces beautifully designed blogs. I’m hoping he’ll post a little more regularly on the new domain though.

His first post is well worth checking out – it is titled ‘Making a Living of Adsense‘. The article starts with two myths:

Domain Names matter. Maybe back in the days, but domain names really have no bearing on how successful your site does. Assuming you are not using a domain name that Google doesn’t like, which is the case with my poker blog BetFest (soon to change).

This is the easy money. Wrong. And it won’t come fast either.’

Paul then goes on to ask if you should write for Advertisers or Readers (an excellent question), discusses getting started and then looks at ‘exit clicks’. I’m looking forward to the next installment of his series of posts.

Interview with Jon Gale of Mobile Tracker

I’ve had a lot of good feedback on the interviews with Professional Bloggers that I’ve been running lately so I’ll keep the ball going with this week’s one – this time I’m featuring a blogger I’ve admired a lot recently Jon Gales. Jon is one of the youngest Pro Bloggers that I’ve come across (only 20) but runs one of the best examples of a professional blog that I’ve seen – Mobile Tracker (a blog on all things Mobile Phone). Jon was featured last year in an article at Fortune which revealed that back then he was already earning more than $5,000 per month from Adsense. Looking at his traffic levels since that time you can expect that this is a figure that has continued to rise.

Here is what Jon had to say.



ProBlogger
– Jon, thanks for chatting with us, can you briefly tell us a little about yourself? Give us a quick sketch of your life.

Jon – I’m young (I’ll be 20 in a few days), on a break from college, and having a blast publishing online. There’s something about writing for an audience that excites me.

ProBlogger – How and when did you first discover and enter into blogging? Do you have or have you had involvement in other blogs or websites other than Mobile Tracker?

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Team Blogging the Only Profitable Way? Part II

Pete continues the discussion going over at pc4media on The Lone Blogger vs The Group, responding to my post and some comments left on it by lone bloggers who are making a living from blogging. He writes:

‘The key to building a business is building “processes” that are valuable, not “products” that are valuable. And if you are blogging and selling ads and you don’t have anyone helping you with anything, you have no processes. All you have is a product: your writing and your ability to sell. Jason Calacanis is building a business. Darren Rowse is making a living.

I certainly wasn’t implying in my earlier post that this was not possible. But, it certainly is not scalable. And although, you could make a living being a blogger, you certainly aren’t building a business if you are a lone operator. ‘

Again I partly agree with Pete but mainly disagree. Maybe its about definitions but in my mind what I’ve built or made so far is a business that makes me a living. I actually don’t see much distinction between my approach and Weblogs Inc except for the scale of our operations. Whilst Weblogs Inc has 70 blogs I have 17. Whilst they have many bloggers, I have 1. Whilst they split their profits between many, I take 100% of the takings. Whilst they have people negotiating advertising deals, I do that work myself (I should be able to make an announcement on a significant new one tomorrow).

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Team Blogging the Only Profitable Way?

pc4media is making some sense writing on Access to Inventory. Ad sales is Most Profitable when More Inventory is Accessible

‘No matter how good your writing is, if you don’t have a full time sales guy selling ad inventory, you aren’t making a living. And therefore, the more writers you have – the more inventory you have – the easier it is to sell the inventory. The more inventory you have – the more money you make – the more sales people you can hire. And the cycle continues. Pretty simple formula.

So, if you are blogging for profit and you aren’t playing on a team or teams or atleast have a sales team working for you, you won’t be blogging for profit very long.’

I see the sense behind such a statement but don’t completely agree. I’m a one man band, I don’t have anyone selling ads for me (except for me) and I am making a good living from my blogging.

Yes I could do better if I had a full time ad selling person and more people writing with me, however at this point that isn’t possible. I am hoping to expand things a little in the next 12 months but at this point am finding things are working out pretty well. I guess its each to their own and a medium where there is no one way to be successful.

Blog Advertising Articles Blog Advertising: Right for You?

I’m sorry for my absence this past few days, I’ve been speaking at a conference and also trying to keep up with posting on a couple of trade shows in the US that are related to a couple of my blogs. Things should return to normal here in the next day or two.

In the mean time – here are a few articles that I just noticed on Blog advertising.

- fulminator has a two part article on ‘The Blog as an Advertising Medium – Part 1 and Part 2

- Clickz has a feature titled – Blog Advertising: Right for You?

Meet the Trotts

There is a good article over at Yahoo news on Mena and Ben Trott from Six Apart:

‘Like so many other 20-somethings hoping to mine the Internet gold rush of the late 1990s, Mena Trott was thrown for a humbling loop by the dot-com bust, yet still craved stardom. Her unassuming husband, Ben, just wanted another computer programming gig in Silicon Valley’s depressed job market. The couple’s odd chemistry cooked up Six Apart Ltd., a startup that has helped popularize the “blogging” craze, with millions of people worldwide maintaining online personal journals that dissect everything from politics to poultry….

The revenue stream, which the Trotts declined to disclose, has enabled the privately held Six Apart to expand from just six employees in early 2004 to more than 70 with the LiveJournal acquisition, making the Trotts darlings of the blogosphere.’

Read more at Yahoo! News – Couple Build Startup Into Blog Powerhouse

My new Blog HQ

I’ve been thinking recently about actually finding an office to blog out of and when I saw this wonderful photo at Brand Autopsy it was like a dream come true and I knew immediately that this is what I should be looking for in my new Blog HQ!

Bloggers Grotto 1-1

Photo originally from Everything And/But Nothing: The Blogger’s Grotto