Customize Google News – to a Point

I welcome the new customizable Google News – but have to admit that I’m not as excited about it as I first was when I heard about it. The changes that they’ve made don’t really change the way I’ll use the service. It all seems a little cosmetic to me – yes they allow me to have a bit more control over what is viewed on the page but it seems like largely the same features which can be moved around the page a little.

When they let me track RSS feeds like on MyYahoo! and when they allow me to track my News Alerts via RSS rather than via email or manually going to the page – thats when I’ll be excited. For now I still prefer using Topix which allows me to watch my selected news alerts via RSS. I’m sure Google will catch up eventually.

Increase Traffic to Your Blog from Search Engines – The Top 5 Tips

Tinu Abayomi-Paul post an article over at Search Engine Guide on how to Increase Traffic to Your Blog from Search Engines – The Top 5 Tips. Might be useful for some – although nothing really new here – you’ll find it all in my SEO archives too.

Getting Yahoo Traffic for your Blog

One of the constant frustrations that I’ve had with blogging over the years has been my inability to rank well in Yahoo’s search engine results. Despite the fact that Google seems to love some of my blogs – Yahoo has always been rather standoffish with them. It does seem to index my sites but it might as well not have as the percentage of traffic it sends is miniscule. This is until recently.

A few weeks ago I saw a number of bloggers talking about a technique that promised to get Yahoo indexing blogs better – so I gave it a go and have had some moderate success. Its still not traffic in the levels that Google sends (but I guess that would be hard as more people use Google to search the web) but its better than previous levels.

Really the strategy is simple and it involves signing up for a MyYahoo page and using the RSS Headlines feature. This feature allows you to track a variety of blogs via RSS. Simply add your own RSS feeds and it seems that Yahoo adds them to its own tracking system which must be linked to their indexing system.

Just a day after adding the feeds to my MyYahoo page I noticed an increase in my traffic from Yahoo. Since then as it has indexed more pages it seemingly is sending even more traffic across to some of my blogs.

No guarantees but Its worth a try if you’re looking for more traffic on your blog (and who isn’t).

Relevant links on this topic include:
How Yahoo’s Recent Facelift Can Mean More Traffic to Your Site
My Yahoo RSS Headlines Module – FAQs
My Yahoo RSS Upgrades Officially Live

Yahoo! Publisher Network

Anyone know what the Yahoo! Publisher Network is? Could it be the rumored competition for Adsense that seems to be being talked about more and more these past couple of weeks? What does Yahoo themselves have to say about Yahoo Publisher Network? Not a lot – but here is what they reveal:

‘To support the publishing community, Yahoo! will be introducing new products and services-including publishing tools, advertising products and access to our Yahoo! audience. Our products will leverage the Yahoo! network to provide the most value for small publishers. If you are interested in being notified when they launch, please provide your information below.’

Read more at Yahoo! Publisher Network

found via Research Buzz

Blogger Fight Club Proposal

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

A couple of posts ago in an update I suggested that perhaps we should lock Nick Denton and Jason Calacanis in a room together and let them have an all in brawl til they get their issues with one another off their chests. This comes after their latest spat over Gizmodo’s decision to accept an offer from Siemens for an all expenses trip to Germany for the CeBit show in return for posts on the blog. Follow the latest disagreement at Gizmodo sells out to Siemens, then Calacanis transparency policy and then My comment policy.

So after suggesting the fight club solution above I got to thinking – maybe we should have a debate?!? I mean there is already one going on – but how about we actually have a formal Pro Blogging debate between Nick and Jason?
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Tell me what you want, what you really really want…

I’ve been writing ProBlogger for almost 6 months now. There are 630 post in my archives on a vast array of topics including some tips that I wrote very early on that have probably not been read by many due to the fact that when I started I was my only reader.

I love writing this blog – its the first and last one in my stable of blogs that I write on every day. To be honest its probably the least profitable one that I do (there is no money in ads for blogging tools) but that doesn’t really worry me because its a labor of love – ProBlogger energizes me.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a number of people reflect back that things that I’ve written have been helpful to their professional blogging efforts – this is what this site is all about so I’m over the moon to have been a help. I’d like to get more of these emails and instant messages – not because it strokes my ego – but because I honestly would like to see Pro Blogging grow as an industry (probably the wrong choice of word).

So – in order for me to be more effective in equipping and encouraging you my wonderful readers, I’d like to hear from you. Tell me what YOU want out of ProBlogger. What are the types of tips and articles that you need to read more on? Help me help you by giving me some insight into the issues that you’re facing at present as a Professional Blogger?

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‘When to Post’ to your Blog II

Yesterday I wrote a little post on ‘When to Post’ to your Blog and have been really impressed with the advice and experiences that you as bloggers have left. I guess I did ask for your experiences but the wisdom shared was great. Obviously its a topic a lot of you have done some good thinking of. Thanks for sharing.

I guess as I look at the collective wisdom of us all we can say that its different strokes for different blogs. As I consider my different blogs this morning I realise that my posting rhythm is quite different from blog to blog. Here on ProBlogger I try to post through out the day – but always try to have something fresh up soon after I get up and just before I go to bed (basically these posts are for the US market). However on other blogs timing is not such a big issue and I post in blocks (ie I’ll put 6 posts up in 10 minutes) – the reasoning on this is that I’m not posting so much for readers who will read what I write shortly after I write it, but rather I’m posting for readers who will find my blog via a search engine.

In the comments of the previously post I particularly found Timothy Lee’s comments helpful and thought I’d elevate them into a main post (not that others words were not worthy – its just that his experiences were quite helpful). Timothy writes:

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What Google Never Told You about Making Money with Adsense – A Review

GooglecoversmallA couple of days ago I interviewed Interviewed web entrepreneur Joel Comm who authored the e-book What Google Never Told You About Making Money with Adsense (affiliate link).

Since that time I’ve had a number of emails from people asking for my opinion of the book as they are considering making a purchase of it so I thought I should give you a brief review here to help readers work out if its the book for them.

I should say right up front that I’ve been using Adsense for over 18 months now on my blogs and whilst I won’t pretend I know everything there is to know about the program, I would classify myself as an advanced user of the system. It makes up a significant part of my income from blogging.

So with this in mind I’ll say the following about Joels E-book:

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On ‘When to Post’ to your Blog

Just got a good email from Chris from Passive Digressive with some good questions in it. I’m about to duck out now so can’t reply to him at this moment – but thought I’d open up one of the questions for discussion to see what you my wonderful readers think. Feel free to answer it below in questions from your own perspective. Lets learn together. Chris writes:

‘I’m curious as to what you think about *when* to post.

Typically I’ve heard that it’s best to post near the beginning of the week to make it more likely that your post will be read. This implies that the blogosphere has a sort of weekly “pulse”. The closer to the weekend you post, the less likely your article will be read seriously. What are your thoughts on this?’

Over to your expert opinion fellow bloggers.

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How to write for the Big Blog Networks

The people at Gawker must get people offering to write for them all the time – Nick Denton suggests that rather than sending in a resume that the best way to get added to their stable of writers is to start your own blog. He writes:

‘Rather than attaching a resume, or clips, why not start your own blog? That’s pretty much the only indicator we look at. A personal blog shows commitment, a writer’s interest, and a modicum of technical competence, all of which are necessary qualifications.’

Read more at nickdenton: Writing for Gawker

On the other hand the people at WIN seem to be actively campaigning for bloggers at the moment and have a bit more of an open policy about recruiting bloggers – instead of starting a blog they ask for three examples of your writing. They explain further on their digital photography blog:

‘We are currently seeking bloggers in a number of different topical areas here at WIN. If you believe that you are the blogger for us, and you consider yourself a team person, then please send the following three sample posts that you would write for WIN:

1. feature a new announcement in the area you would like to write about—cite a press release, etcetera and include your own comments and observations regarding this news.

2. write a quick ‘how to’ on an area within your field of blogging interest.

3. write a post that is highly interactive and designed to engage your readers in an ongoing conversation with you and your other readers on your blog.’

Read more at Is Blogging Your Passion? – The Digital Photography Weblog