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.
‘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, 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
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:
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….
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.
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.
Last week I asked the question – ‘Does Blog design Matter?’ I asked it because my own blog’s redesign was just around the corner and I was interested in the impact it would have upon my blog.
A number of people have asked me about the change and the impact that it has had on traffic levels to this blog.
It is probably too early to tell (its only been a few days) but the initial indications are that Blog Design does make a difference – at least it has to this blog. Here are some brief reflections on why:
1. Traffic levels have increased from an average of around 260 unique visitors per day to around 500 unique visitors per day (I’m yet to track this over a full week).
Robin Good has a good post on How To Make Money With Your Blog Site which outlines 13 or so ways that bloggers can make money from their blogging. His tips range from Google Adsense, to Amazon, to other advertising programs, to donations, through to premium content sponsorships and online guides and e-books.
This is one of the better ‘blogging for dollars’ type articles out there and mentions all the methods that are normally covered in such articles with some good examples and advice.
My similar article on the topic is here.
I’m pleased to post the following interview with one of the bloggers that I’ve admired for some time – Joel Johnson the editor of the incredibly popular Gawker Media blog, Gizmodo. At the time of posting this interview Gizmodo averages 153,334 unique visitors per day and ranks third on Truth Laid Bare’s traffic monitoring tracker. It is a leader in field of consumer electronics and gadgets and a blog that is widely regarded as one of the most successful money making blogs going around.
Joel recently got a big scoop and interviewed Bill Gates – so now I can say I interviewed a guy who interviewed Bill – which isn’t as impressive as written as it sounded in my head. Anyway – here is my chat with Joel.
ProBlogger – Thanks for your time Joel – Can you tell us a little about how and when you first discovered and got into blogging?
Joel – I first discovered blogging in the middle ’90s, when it was called ‘the web.’ I ran a website in the chronological weblog format in… 99? Maybe 2000. It was strikingly similar in format and tone to what I do on Gizmodo today, except that I paid money to write it, instead of being paid to keep it going.