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PubSub LinkRanks

PubSub LinkRanks are a useful tool that help to keep track of how different domains are being linked to by the blogosphere. They define them as:

‘LinkRanks are a measure of how many pages link to each particular site, with more weight given to fresher links and to links from a wider variety of pages.’

They help you keep track of what is hot in terms of topics/sites but are also useful for tracking your own domain.

For example they will keep track of how your domain is going over a month with a little graph. For example my livingroom.org.au domain has been pretty up and down this last month in terms of inward links and has ranked anywhere from 580th to 460th in the sites being tracked. Also helpful is their list of sites linking up to your domain.

Get a full description of how LinkRanks works here.

Making a Meal of Your Blog

The Washington Post has a basic article on how to blog. One of their sections is on posting regularly with a quote from Biz Stone:



‘When a blogger adds new material, it’s called a post. And good blogging demands frequent posting. Biz Stone, 30, Blogger senior specialist at Google (
www.bizstone.com), recommends you “post at least as much as you eat.” That’s “three times a day [with] some snacks,” he says. But that requires a lot of time. So perhaps more important is to make your posts worth people’s while. Jason Novak, 33, who’s hosted the Washington entertainment guide LifeInTheDistrict.com since 2001, says that “what brings [readers] back is that every time . . . there’s something good.” And “good” extends beyond volume, which means you’ll want to avoid the dreaded “blogorrhea” — aka incessant prattle about your jerk boss or second-rate love life.’

Read more at Start a Winning Blog (washingtonpost.com)

The Alpha Bloggers

Newsweek has an interesting article this week on the Alpha Bloggers (A list bloggers) – There is nothing too new in it although I was interested in this last paragraph – complete with a typical Doc Searls back hander swipe at a Probloggers.

‘And what do the alpha bloggers get in return? Certainly not riches. Though it’s possible to pick up a few hundred dollars if you enlist in the program that carries Google’s ad on your site, many A-listers don’t bother. “If you’re into blogs to make money, you’re into it for the wrong reasons,” says Searls. “Do you ask your back porch what its business plan is?” On the other hand, some alpha bloggers report better jobs, more lucrative consulting, speaking gigs and—if not groupies—a certain bit of glamour that comes from having people hang on your every word at the end-of-day reception at a tech conference.’

Call me stupid – but this is the second or third time I’ve heard the ‘back porch’ comment – and I’m still trying to work out what its Doc is on about.

Whilst I agree that blogging is so much more than making money – I don’t have an issue with people commercializing their blogs or even having making money as a motivating force for blogging. To me I look at it similarly to the way I see news papers, magazine and other traditional forms of media – most of which these days must have some way of sustaining themselves. Of course there are other motivations for starting newspapers and magazines – but we don’t complain that they are commercial also. Anyway – I think the debate about problogging is getting a bit old. Each to their own I say – lets just get on with blogging.

Read more of this article at MSNBC – The Alpha Bloggers

The Blogfather? Jason Calacanis expands family

Netimperative has an interesting interview with Jason Calacanis whom they label ‘the blogfather’.

‘The term ‘exponential growth’ seems almost an understatement when discussing blogs. But attempts to commercialise this new form remain thin on the ground. New Yorker Jason Calacanis, who has just launched his 62nd commercial blog, tells Alex Tanner how his Weblogs Inc aims to father the number one blog in every niche market there is.’

You couldn’t really find an outlining of Weblogs Inc’s strategy that was much clearer than the way it is laid out in this article….

‘”Clearly there is a weakness, in that any one blog can’t grow into that big a business” he says. “Our response to that weak point is to have 300-500 [blogs] in three years. We should hit 100 in our 4th or 5th quarter as a company, and that’s just fine by me.

“The only threat to us is that somebody comes in and puts all their energy into one blog and does it better. However, if we’re number 1, 2, or 3 in each market we’re in, we have a great business.”‘

Sound like world domination to you? In a sense what they are doing is taking that approach – they recognize that now is an opportune time to establish a foothold in the marketplace and that the window for doing so is closing all the time as new bloggers and competition enter the market every day.

Read more of the interview at Netimperative – The Blogfather? Calacanis expands family

Is Contextual Advertising Viable on a Blog?

There has been an increasing amount of debate recently over both the ethics and viability of blogging commercially. The focus of this post is not to enter into the question of ‘should bloggers add income streams to their blogs’ – rather I want to examine whether it is a financially viable alternative.

I know of many bloggers who have added contextual ads to their blogs expecting to make a fortune only to discover that it can be a lot harder than it looks – on the other hand I suspect there are a lot of bloggers out there who could actually make some reasonable money from their blogging without too many modifications if they just tried. Let me show you how….
[Read more...]

InsideBlogging – The Blog Inside InsideBlogging

Insidebloggingweb

Bloggers Darren Barefoot and Jeremy Wright have joined forces in a blogging consultancy relationship going by the name of ‘Inside Blogging’. Of course all good blog consultants can never have enough blogs so they’ve stared an InsideBlogging Blog to give readers the inside word on their new venture. Should be an interesting read – especially if they keep up their high quality linking policy (I found it because they referred to Problogger).

Another blog goes on the old News Aggregator!

2005 Australian Blogging Conference – more details released

The 2005 Australian Blogging Conference website has updated a few more details of the event to be held in Melbourne on either 18 or 25 February at a venue still to be confirmed.

The cost will be $150 for a full day including lunch and refreshments. Its a bit more than I was expecting but I guess if they are flying in a guest speaker they have some big costs to cover.

The schedule of the day covers the basic topics you’d expect – I was expecting a few electives or workshops to choose between but that is probably a bit optimistic if its just a small crowd coming. I’d of course like to see a session on blogging for dollars with some discussion around models for making money from blogs – but perhaps I’ll have to save up and go to one of the US conferences next year to get that kind of topic.

Still not sure if I’ll be going to the Aussie conference – I think its a good idea but I guess I’ll wait and see if the content/speakers are worth the $150 cost.

Should You Use Targeted Keywords in URLs

‘Should You Use Targeted Keywords In URLs?’ – This is actually a question I’ve been asked on numerous occassions by bloggers wanting to optimize their blogs for Search Engines. The theory is that if you are writing a blog about matchsticks that your ranking will be higher if you domain name has ‘matchsticks’ in the URL.

Nice theory – but does it work? Has anyone tested it?

It seems that now we can back the theory up with a test run by WebProNews who found that at least in the case of the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN that keywords in URL do help.

So how does this impact the way we blog? In my mind there are a number of take home messages in this:

1. Pick your domain name wisely when starting up a blog. I learned this the hard way with one of my blogs which I started on the run one day and later changed the focus of. I now have a blog with a domain name that barely relates to my site – DOH!

2. Try to configure your blog so that keywords of individual posts feature in the permalinks of each page. For example you’ll see that this blog uses the title of each individual post in the URL. When I swapped to this method of setting up my URLs I noticed a 30% increase in traffic inside of a week to my blogs – it really does work.

3. Keywords in URLs are not the be all and end all. I mentioned in point 1 that I have a blog that doesn’t have appropriate keywords in its URL – I should also mention here that that blog is my most highly visited blog and earns more than all of my other blogs put together. The message therefore is to take a balanced approach to Search Engine Optimization. Keywords in URLs are just one of many (some say hundreds) of factors in getting your blog ranked highly on google.

Web Design in 2005 – Predictions

I’ve been very aware since starting this blog that the design I’ve got here is terrible. One knows by looking at it that whilst I might make a living from blogging that my skills do not lie in the design area (I usually get someone else to do it). However this blog was started purely as an experiment and on the spur of the moment. As a result of the growing readership here I’ve decided that I’m going to do a design update in the month ahead – any volunteers wanting some free publicity for their design work are free to submit their ideas – but in the mean time I might check out this article from Forty Media that has a great article making some predictions about Web Design in 2005.

Some of the predictions they make include:

- Minimalism is out; detail is in.

- Retro/Swiss/Euro is out

- The pure 5-piece website (header, menu, sidebar, content, footer) has worn out its welcome; designers are more willing to vary from the standard.

- Color of the year – Brown. Lots of bold colors this year (maybe my color choice is ok after all?)

- Arial dominates as the body text typeface for the year; despite much disdain for this overused font, it provides some needed relief from the overuse of Verdana.

- The chronological aspect of blogs is downplayed; new ways to search content become popular.

Eight worst search optimization techniques

SEO Chat has another good article today outlining eight of the worst SEO techniques:

‘Some webmasters and SEO companies will use any means they can think of to get a high rank in search engine listings. That’s not always a good idea. Krissi Danielsson gives a detailed list of eight search engine optimization techniques you shouldn’t use, and why you shouldn’t use them.’



Read more at Eight worst search optimization techniques