Eyetools seeks expressions of interest in “Community of Learning”

Greg over at Eyetools Research gave me a call on Skype a few weeks ago to talk to me about blogging, Adsense and his wonderful Eyetools Research which I was fascinated in. If you haven’t checked out Eyetools can i recommend you head over to his blog and have a look because its not only fascinating – its also full of very useful information. In short Eyetools is a eyetrack testing tool that watches where people look when they read your blog and creates a wonderful heat map to graphically represent what the hot spots on your site are.

Greg generously ran an eyetool test on one of my blogs and I was very impressed with the results – it explained a number of things and taught me a few valuable lessons in positioning of ads, blog design and layout and the use of different formatting techniques.

Greg today posted that he’s seeking bloggers expressions of interest in a eyetracking “Community of Learning” for bloggers. Read more about what this means at his blog but take it from me that the types of things that Greg can tell you about their research would be well worth paying for and its a program I’m keen to explore more of myself.

Blogging Crushes – Get your Virtual Date Here

Do you have a Blogging Crush on another Blogger? Want to be set up on a ‘virtual date’?

I’m not talking a romantic crush – I’m talking about an admiration, an obsession, a fascination with another blogger. You love what they do but you wonder if they even know you exist! (sniff sniff)

They are at the top of your list of daily reads – you can’t get enough of their posts – you wake up in the morning thinking about them…. ok – maybe not the last one – but you know what I mean.

Who do you have a Blogging Crush on and what would you like to ask them?

If you could have a face to face meet up (a date) with any blogger who would it be and what two or three questions would you ask them?

Leave your answer in comments below and I’ll do my absolute best to get your questions answered. Who knows they might even notice you and a wonderful relationship might ensue.

10 DIY Blog platforms you may not have visited

Duncan over at the Blog Herald has a good post introducing readers to 10 DIY Blog platforms you may not have visited.

The list he compiles is filled with some interesting blogging tools that you might want to check out if you’re looking to start a new blog.

Hippy Shopper Launched

The team at Shiney Media in the UK have just launched another new Entrepreneurial blog – the Hippy Shopper – the UK’s first Green Consumer Blog.

Their News Release announcing the blog describes it as follows:

Published by the UK’s leading commercial weblog company, Shiny Media, and written by Stuff magazine‚s Managing Editor, Adam Vaughan, HippyShopper aims to enlighten and amuse its readers with green news stories from the UK and links to environmentally friendly sites around the world.

Its daily updates will:

Track the latest green gadgets
Tip readers off about what‚s coming in the organic food market
Give details of green exhibitions
Offer updates on eco-friendly health and beauty products
Give tips on how to recycle products

I love the concept – for a start its a blog with a message that will hopefully make a difference – but its also aiming to make a profit obviously. The main income stream on the Hippy Shopper so far is Adsense (green color scheme) – but I suspect it’ll be an ideal blog for some affiliate programs down the track.

One word of warning – don’t stare at their header too long – you could get a little freaked out and feel the need to smoke some funny grass or something.

WordPress Website’s Search Engine Spam

WordPress have been coming under a little scrutiny in the past 24 hours by who have questioned their hosting of 120,000 articles on their site on a variety of topics provided by a third party on some high paying keywords. You can check out some examples of these pages here and here. I’d noticed a few of these articles a few weeks back and wondered what WordPress was doing with them – not it all becomes clear! writes:

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Easy Bake Weblogs meets ProBlogger

This time next week you’re invited to phone into listen to a conversation between myself and Andy from Easy Bake Weblogs. I’ve listened to a couple of his previous interviews and they are good value (lets hope I can be as insightful, witty and worth the time as his previous guests!).

I hope you can drop by – details of how to get in on the conversation are at Easy Bake Weblogs Exclusive Interview: Darren Rowse from Pro Blogger.

If you can’t be there live the interview will be put up as a podcast for all to download later on.

Bloggers Adsense Earnings Poll Results

Learn more about the AdSense program

My apologies to readers for the wacky results of the last poll (about how much people earned from Adsense) that I’ve been running the past few weeks – it seems someone hacked a way around voting more than once and voted 400 times across all categories last night which totally messed up the results making them useless. It always astounds me how a small minority of internet users with too much time on their hands can ruin the hard work of others so effortlessly.

Whilst I never intended the results to be scientific or highly accurate I found them to be quite fascinating. Before the hack happened last night this is what they showed (I’m reconstructing this from memory and some notes I took yesterday of the results at that point so please forgive me for the up to date accuracy).

  • 33% earned under $30 per month
  • 16% earned between $30 and $99 per month
  • 11% earned between $100 and $499
  • 9% earned between $500 and $999
  • 4% earned between $1000 and $1499
  • 2% earned between $1500 and $2499
  • 4% earned between $2500 and $4999
  • 3% earned between $5000 and $9999
  • 1% earned over $10,000
  • 13% do not use Adsense
  • 4% did not wish to disclose their earnings

Here are a couple of graphs that help to visualize the break down.

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Interview with Michael Moncur

Michael Moncur is one of those web entrepreneurs that you talk to and realize that you’re just a baby when it comes to making money online.

A few months ago Michael left a comment on one of my posts and I knew instantly that this was a guy with some real wisdom when it comes to this career that many of us are in. I asked him a few questions about his experience and an email came back that got me really excited. In it Michael outlined his history of creating profitable websites over the past 10 years. Since then I’ve been an avid reader of his blog and quite often go to him for advice and to bounce ideas around. He’s not only wise but he’s also willing to help out a newbie like myself and I’m really grateful for the time he’s put aside to be interviewed here. I hope you enjoy what he has to say.

ProBlogger – Michael thanks so much for your time – can you briefly tell us a little about yourself – give us a quick sketch of your life.

Michael – I started out working in IT and technical support for a couple of local firms in the early 90s. At some point I was recruited to write a book about Novell NetWare 3.x. I had always enjoyed writing and since then I’ve written books on the MCSE program, JavaScript, DHTML, and MySQL. In 1998 I quit my last “real” job to work on freelance writing full time.

Meanwhile, I started a web site in 1994, and ten years later my web sites have started to take more of my time, and make more money, than books. Recently I’ve been happily converging these two careers by doing most of my writing online.

I’m an old-timer by Internet standards, which means over 30. I’ve watched the Web grow from a wacky, obscure geek thing (I told everyone it would never work) to the world-crushing phenomenon it is today, and it blows my mind to think about that.

I live in Salt Lake City, Utah with my wife, a dog, and two cats.

ProBlogger – You’ve been writing your website ‘The Quotations Page‘ since 1994 – can you tell us a little about how you started it? How has it evolved? When did you start monetizing the site? What are the main methods of generating an income from it that you use?

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Yahoo! 360 Reviewed

Steve at Micro Persuasion reviews Yahoo! 360 – it looks like an interesting tool but if Steve is right it probably wont be too useful for ProBloggers and Business Bloggers. Steve writes:

‘As compelling as Yahoo! 360 is for newbies, it has virtually zero application as a professional/business blogging tool. It’s far too simple. You can’t easily turn features on or off and it lacks trackbacks and customization. I guess we can’t expect it do everything that the big platforms do.’

Finding Readers with Headlines

Blog World has a good post on how to Attract Readers With Headlines.

‘Headlines matter. Actually for blogs, headlines or post titles are crucial. Survey after survey shows that people only scan what they read on the net and you have to grab their attention quickly. Not only that, but if the person is using an RSS reader they may only see that headline. Similarly if your page comes up in a search engine, the first thing people are going to see is the headline.’

Their tips include to:

  • write strong headlines
  • summarize don’t tease
  • use important words first