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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

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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.

SEO Strategy – Content or Links?

Blog Business World has a good post looking at two theories of search engine optimization – generating keyword rich content and good linking strategy. Is one more important than the other or do they work together?



‘Keyword rich content will get you part way to your destination atop the search engine results. If you are seeking to gain high search engine results for highly competitive keywords, content is perhaps not enough on its own. The King needs help.

Every King needs a Queen.

In this case, the Queen is in the form of links…’

Read more at Blog Business World

Google Does The Update: What’s New?

‘Google has (once again) updated its search algorithm, panicking webmasters everywhere. What will happen to those high rankings you’ve worked so hard to achieve? Wayne explains what you need to do to raise your score with search engines (and your site visitors) regardless of any software changes.

Google has finally updated its display of sites’ incoming links. Along with that incoming link update, Google has made public some changes in its vaunted Google PageRank. As always, misconceptions, conflicting theories, and webmaster panic are everywhere. It’s time to look past the mythology, forget the quick fixes, and ignore the latest hair pulling and teeth gnashing.’

Read more at Google Does The Update: What’s New?:

Watch Your Weblog – Legal Issues with Blogging

Computerworld has a good article on the legal issues that corporate bloggers face that is a must read for all Problogger. Here’s a taster:

‘As weblogs have multiplied, a number of legal issues have arisen, and regardless of whether your company sponsors its bloggers, it may be opening itself up to hidden liabilities. Here are some of the dangers of corporate blogging and precautions companies should consider.



Danger: Libel and trade libel. Bloggers who write anything negative or defamatory about a corporation or an individual are opening themselves and their companies up to the possibility of libel suits, says David Carr, an attorney and partner at London-based consulting firm Big Blog Co.

Precaution: Do your homework. If the blogger is going to make negative statements about a company’s or individual’s business activities, Carr says, “he’s really got to do his research and make sure what he’s saying can be proven to be true and not just believed to be true….”‘

Read more at Watch Your Weblog – Computerworld

Sharp Money – Making Money Online

Sharp Money is a blog about making money online which itself is an attempt at blogging for money.



‘With this blog, we will explore opportunities for making money on the web (without resorting to spam, spyware or other predatory practices). Of special interest, of course, will be generating money from blogging. We’ll also look at ebay, affiliate programs and anything else having to do with generating revenue on the web.’

Its still very embreonic by the looks of things but will be an interesting one to follow. They are running Google ads as an income stream (although none are showing at present on the front page – perhaps they need to set up some alternate ads).

Bloggers adopt a revenue stream more lucrative than panhandling

‘The odds of making a living by writing a blog are a lot like the odds of a garage band turning out a hit album: It can happen, but you better enjoy the music and hang on to your day job in the meantime.

Two years ago, the odds were even longer. The main source of income for bloggers was panhandling, for example, putting the ubiquitous PayPal or Amazon Honor System micropayment bug on your site, and periodically passing the metaphorical tip jar among the faithful for an electronic funds transfer. Even the most successful bloggers were barely making beer money, and were astonished when Libertarian Republican Andrew Sullivan announced his blog’s fund drive had earned enough, along with some ads for Amazon.com, to hire an assistant.

Since then the economics of blogging have shifted rapidly, thanks to a simple but brilliant idea called Blogads, which allows bloggers to outsource the equivalent of a newspaper’s business and advertising departments, and focus solely on writing. You report! You decide! Blogads sends check!’

Read more at Bloggers adopt a revenue stream more lucrative than panhandling

Spy Journal ProBlogs

Tim has emailed this week while I was taking a bit of a holiday in New Zealand to let me know of a mini problogging network that he’s started reading the tips here on Problogger. You can check his new blogs at:

He’s using Adsense as an income stream. He’s asked for some constructive criticism of his blogs as he’s still developing them and I’ll be shooting him off an email tonight with some of my suggestions – but drop by and say g’day (he’s an Aussie) and give your own encouragement and suggestions there on his blogs.