Close
Close

Making Money from Blogs – BloggerCon III

I wish I were able to get to BloggerCon III – the Making Money session sounds particularly interesting as reported on PaidContent.org. Here are a few of the quotes that they quote that I find of most interest:

– “One sure way to make money — provide infrastructure to people like me.”
– to make money from Google, “try to be as small and niche-like as possible.”
– Dave Winer wants to know why we’re talking about nickels and dimes instead of the real money that can be made by creating business because of your blog, with people you meet through the blog, with ideas that bubble up through the blog? He says he flips hundreds of thousands of dollars through his blog.
– An author says he can make twice as much referring his book through Amazon then from the royalty.
– “If you want to make money from blogging maybe it’s not your personal blog that’s going to do it.”

Read more at PaidContent.org’s coverage of BloggerCon III

update – a few of other bloggers are also covering this session at:
- RConversation
- Roland Tanglao’s Weblog
- John Furrier

Ad Networks for your Blog

I was just reading a thread over at SitePoint Forums on where someone ask which is the Best Ad Network?

Someone answered with this list which I found really helpful. I’ve filled in the links of some of those mentioned.

Tier 1: Tribal Fusion, Fast Click, Burst, 24/7 Real Media
Tier 2: Casale, RealTechNetwork, Max Online, RightMedia, Rydium

Tier 3: BUDS, JoeTec, RealCastMedia, GorillaNation, ValueClick

Tier 4: FocusIN, EzzPublishers, BannerSpace, ClickXchange, Adtegrity, BraveNet, Undertone Network

Tier 5: ValueAd, CompactBanner, Adinfinity (same company), ClixGalore

They write in explaining the list – ‘based on rates, difficulty of becoming accepted, and quality of advertisements. Tiers 1 – 3 are, overall, good ad networks. Anything below three either means their ad quality, ease of entrance into their network, or questionable business in the past is in question.’



What ad providers have you tried? What additions or changes would you add to the above list?

Lessons Learned: AdSense

‘Brainy Betty’ over at the Adsense forum at Webmaster World has started a good thread on Lessons Learned with Adsense. She writes:



‘A year and a half later with AdSense and still going strong – here are my lessons learned: (What are yours?)

1. Graphic design: Provide clean pages and lots of them with a simple, 1 color (non-tiled, generally) background

2. Meta Tags: Use them! Make sure you don’t have 90 bijillion keywords. The fewer and more targeted the better. Put the title tag up on top first.

3. Content: Provide useful, necessary content. Get feedback from your visitors to find out what they are looking for; what they want, and create pages accordingly. The more descriptive text on each individual page, the better.

4. Ad Settings: Change them about once a month or so. Make large banners smaller; use verticals in some places, definitely change colors so people notice – especially repeat visitors who have ‘turned off’ the ads in their heads if they see them in the same place with the same colors and formats all the time…’

Read more from Betty and others at Lessons Learned: AdSense

Unique Titles for Each Page of your Blog

Good post over at Search Engine Roundtable on the importance Unique Titles for Each Page of your Site (Blog). I can’t agree with the post more – I have all my blogs set up this way (ie the title of my post becomes the title of my page) and noticed a huge difference in search engine referrals a few days after I made the change.

Some blogging systems are set up this way by default, but most require you to specify it and manually set it up this way. Also important is having your key words in the URL of your page. I incorporate the title (and therefore the keywords of my post) in my URLs and again noticed an increase in traffic after making this change a year or so back. Here’s an excerpt from the post mentioned above.



‘Each page should have a unique title – one that will attract clicks.

A title consisting of keywords separated by commas may not be the most appealing to surfers – it’s the title that appears as the clickable link in the SERPs. So make it about 8-9 words or less, including the main keyword phrase for the page and also a word or two that’s a variation or additional modifier, to target a little wider variety of phrases.’



Read more at Unique Titles for Each Web Page

update – also check out Permalinks, Key Feature Number One which is a post on the same topic that is well worth the read.

Why Weblogs work so good at site promotion

Sohosad has a good post on Why Weblogs work so good at site promotion. Complete with cool little pictures!

BlogAds: Is There Life after Nov. 2?

‘The outfit, which sells ads on Web logs, has enjoyed this year’s burst of interest in political sites, but it needs a post-election plan….

‘Copeland’s company sells ads to run on more than 500 blogs, including political specialists like InstaPundit and DailyKos. After Sept. 20, he says, business went through the roof. “Watching big corporate media suffer at the hands of 100 individual bloggers, I have to admit I was happy,” Copeland says. “There was a big traffic spike and a nice gush of ads.” By some estimates, DailyKos was pulling in $20,000 per month advertising at its peak. Copeland gets a 20% cut.

But can the blog business survive without a Presidential election and gaffes by mainstream media firing up the Internet masses? Skeptics wonder, particularly since some blog sites damaged their credibility when they jumped the gun and erroneously predicted Senator John Kerry would win the election.’



Read more at BlogAds: Is There Life after Nov. 2?

The Adsense Shuffle – Is it time for a Direct Debit Payment System?

With the arrival of September’s Adsense cheque today (its now November 4) I find myself doing what I like to call the ‘Adsense Shuffle’.

As a non US citizen cashing my cheque is becoming an increasingly difficult prospect. You see not only do I have to arrange for my cheque to be cashed, exchanged into Aussie dollars (which involves the filling in a number of forms) – cheques over $xxxx require further authentication which means the cheque has to be physically sent back to the US before they are cleared. Despite the planes that fly back to the US every day this extra process takes a further 6 weeks!

So the money that I earned on the first day of September is not likely to hit my bank account until the 18th December (if I’m lucky)!

Of course I’m getting used to it now – money still comes to me every month – but its amazing that a company with as many innovations and cutting edge technologies as Google can’t arrange for the people who are paying a lot of their bills to get their share of the profits a little quicker than 108 days after they earned them.

Of course I shouldn’t complain too much – my real gripe is with Amazon which only sends cheques quarterly. The money I earned from them on the first day of July won’t hit my bank account until 18th December also!

8 Year Old ProBlogger blogs for a Horse

_P1010024.jpg

8 year old Delaney is a ProBlogger. Her new blog – Horseshues.com is an attempt to buy her a horse (and teach her a few lessons in web design, business and creativity along the way).

The concept is simple – she takes old horseshoes and she decorates them and sells them from her blog for $15US. Its quite the little cottage industry.

The site uses PayPal to collect the income and has photos of each horseshoe for sale.

One of Delaney’s parents left a comment on Paul Allen’s Internet Entrepreneur blog saying that she has made enough in her first week of operations to pay them back their initial set up seeding investment in her project and that she is well on the way to buying her horse.

What a wonderful idea – not only will Delaney get a horse one day from her blog – but along the way she’s learning some really useful lessons and developing some wonderful skills.

The question is – if an 8 year old can do it – what is stopping the rest of us?

Paying bloggers: Participating in the conversation

There is a couple of interesting articles the last few days on the topic of blogging for dollars starting over at Red Herring Blog who is writing about Paying bloggers: Participating in the conversation. He’s got some helpful things to say on the topic and suggests a way forward:

‘Pay bloggers for feeds of their sites that are aggregated to topical blogs hosted by a sponsor. For example, if a snack food maker wants to have a blog, fill it with postings provided by food enthusiasts. Any number of companies are in the position to fulfill this role in the market. By hosting the comment sections for the aggregated blogs, these companies would provide sponsors the ability to participate in the conversation without necessarily intruding on the source blogs’ discussions.’

Then also at Raving Lunacy where the topic is Blogvertising is probably a zero sum game who seems to like the idea of blogging for money but can’t see it working. He writes:

‘One of the latest ideas floating around the blogsphere is getting paid for blogging. This idea was kicked of by a post by Marc Canter whose proposition is that there is this enormous pool of money out there that bloggers can get a slice of by promoting products. This is a silly idea and doomed to failure.

Do hits matter?

‘The problem with blogs that are only intended to attract traffic is that they can’t survive in the long-run. Traffic statistics keep bloggers going for a while, but the numbers eventually stabilise: there can only be a 100,000 most popular 100,000 websites. The world just doesn’t have enough internet users to support millions of traffic-seeking blogs.’

I just read an interesting article in The Age newspaper about blogging and the reliance upon hits to make it a profitable enterprise. Its a bit of a no brainer really – although I’d disagree that its ALL about hit levels. They write:

‘The few bloggers who try to transform hits into returns invariably focus on ad revenue. Unfortunately, ads cannot sustain millions of blogs, and never will. Some simple math makes this painfully clear. If five percent of a blog’s visitors contribute 25 cents in ad revenue each, it will take 100,000 visitors a month just to make $1250.’

Ok – thats good analysis – if you’re going to make reasonable money blogging about a topic that pays 25 cents per click you do need a lot of hits. However if you are blogging about a topic that pays 50 cents per hit – or even $2-$10 a hit you need a whole heap less traffic.

I have a number of blogs – some are obviously more profitable than others – some rely upon lots of traffic, others do not. Traffic obviously helps them all – increase it at any pay per click level and you’ll increase your earnings – but also be smart about your topics and income stream choices and you can also do pretty well with average hit levels.