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Customize your Error 404 Page for Retaining Readership

SEO Chat has a good article on making your 404 error pages work for you to create increased traffic. Using these methods you can not only retain visitors to your site that have strayed out of your working pages but can also direct them into the areas of your site that you’d like them to head to.

‘Why do you need a 404 custom page? Well, what happens when someone requests a page on your site that does not exist? Have you ever noticed that some sites give you a very nice looking page when you mistype a URL, instead of that nasty 404 File Not Found? It is easy to create a 404 custom page in IIS and Apache.’

This is a technique I’m keen to explore in the new year – let us know in comment below how and if you’ve used these sorts of techniques.

Copyright and Blogs – 14 Guidelines

Copyright issues are becoming more and more important for bloggers as blogging is a medium where by it is so easy to borrow, steal, copy or duplicate another person’s content. I’ve blogged on numerous occasions about breaches of copyright that I’ve been on the end of.



So when I saw About.com had published 14 Copyright Tips for Bloggers my ears pricked up a little.

It is pretty basic stuff – but unfortunately ‘the basics’ are being ignored time and time again. The tips include guidelines for not infringing copyright but also tips on dealing with your own copyright being breeched. I’ll leave you with tip 14 from their list….

Don’t be overly scared by copyright. Most people do not experience copyright infringement allegations or problems, unless they are putting lots and lots of movies or MP3s on their website. Basic common sense will mostly be sufficient to avoid problems: Don’t copy too much and only copy where it is ‘fair’ – where you’re not competing with the owner’s market.’

Read more at 14 Copyright Tips for Bloggers

Should bloggers post a blog disclosure statement? – Survey

Jason Calacanis is conducting a Survey about disclosure statements on blogs and asks:

- ‘Should bloggers post a blog disclosure statement?’

- ‘Should bloggers accept money to blog about a product without disclosing it? (like Buzz Agents)’


- ‘Should bloggers accept money to blog about a product if they disclose they are being paid? (like that Canadian company Marc Canter works for)’

- ‘Would you feel more comfortable reading a blog that had an icon showing they subscribed to a blog ethics standard that said they would not mix editorial and advertising?’



Good questions which hopefully more than the 10 of us who have already answered will consider.

PS – Disclosure – Jason Calacanis is not paying me for this link up.

Small Businesses and Blogs

T.L. Pakii Pierce has a good post on Small Businesses and Blogging:

‘Blogs are your tools to creating this type of customer connection through content. You will build relationships that are founded on a great level of trust as you become the authority and source of information on your topic. Blogs promote repeat visits through relevant and frequent updates. You audience will want the latest information from you and the fact that you publish regularly is reason to return. If your content is of high value then your audience will keep returning. Your audience chooses to have relationship with you and your business time and again as they come back to you for solutions to help solve their problems….’

Christmas Greetings from ProBlogger

Well we’re a little ahead of the rest of the world here in Australia so Christmas has already come. Its shaping up to be a nice warm day with a BBQ/Roast lunch ahead and maybe even a swim in the pool (I know that seems all wrong for you northern hemisphere types – but its the way we do things down here).

So let me take a chance to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas.

I also want to thank the many probloggers who have been traveling the journey with me over the past couple of months here at Problogger. Its been nice to get to know many of you better and I’m looking forward to working with more of you in the new year.

I’ve got loads of ideas for Problogger and am looking forward to sharing more of them in the months ahead.

So have a great Christmas and we’ll get back to the problogging stuff shortly!

Online Advertising to Grow 30 Percent in 2005

ClickZ has another good article with a prediction about Online Advertising that should warm the hearts of ProBloggers everywhere.



‘Online advertising will grow by 30 percent next year from $7.8 billion in 2004 to $10.2 billion in 2005, a rate reminiscent of the late nineties when the medium was in its infancy, according to the Jack Myers 2005 Spending Forecast.

In contrast, Myers projects that overall advertising will grow at a more modest 4.8 percent from $181.5 billion in 2004 to $190.2 billion in 2005.

“Most offline advertising has reached a state of what I would call parity, where the major players are all spending roughly the same amount as their competitors,” Myers said. “Online is seen as the place to seek for a competitive advantage for a comparatively low amount of spending.”’



Read more at Myers: Online Advertising to Grow 30 Percent in ’05

Moveable Type announce Upgrade to combat Comment Spam

Six Apart have just announced the release of Movable Type 3.14 which they have developed to fix ‘the issue of extreme loads witnessed on servers under the strain of a massive spam attack.

Its a free upgrade for all MT3 users.

Seduction Blogging

Well it seems that one of the emerging focuses for blogging is ‘Seduction blogging’. Yep you heard it – blogs with seduction and dating tips. Check out the Seduction Lair’s reflections on Starting Your Own Seduction Blog:



‘Seduction blogging seems to be a growing trend online these days, which I’m more than happy to be a part of. One of the great things about blogging on this topic is that it really does help you keep focused on improving yourself, and it also opens a forum for constructive feedback by the internet audience. I know that my game has improved a great deal because of my association with this site. In just one year, I’ve racked up almost 700 individual posts all about dating and seduction related stuff.’

So far it doesn’t seem to have an income stream so I wouldn’t clasify it as a problogger blog – but it wouldn’t take much to take it in that direction. I can think of a few ways they could monetize this one!

Advertisers Target Ads to Keyword Searches of Bloggers’ Names

Rick over at Business Blog consulting observes a new trend in contextual advertising where Savvy Advertisers Target Ads to Keyword Searches of Bloggers’ Names:

‘Steve Rubel noted that IntelliSeek is targeting ads on Google to keyword searches of Steve Rubel. Some additional quick research shows the same goes for Nick Denton and Jason Calacanis.’

Like Rick – it seems no one has yet to pounce on the amazing opportunity of advertising under the name of Darren Rowse.

Surely it won’t be long…. any takers?….anyone?….errr…is this thing on?…..testing, 1, 2, 3…. anyone?

What to do When Someone Steals Your Blog’s Content – Blog Plagiarism

What do you do when a site blatantly steals your blog’s content? This is a growing problem for bloggers but thanks to tools like CopyScape its not hard to find them. The challenge comes when you want to do something about it.

A few days back I found a site which had copied (word for word) all 8 articles in my Adsense for Bloggers series of posts.

It especially concerns me as this is a site that not only gave no backlink to my articles or even a mention of who the original author was (they post it as if it is original content). They didn’t ask permision and were running the articles on a site that is commercial in nature and is making money off my own work.

So what should one do?

1. Contact the site concerned – First port of Call should always be to contact the webmaster concerned and politely explain to them that they are in breech of copyright and that you wish them to remove the content immediately. In 90% of cases where I’ve done this the content has been removed within 24 hours and there has usually been some sort of apology.

Unfortunately in this case no email address or contact details are on the site in question. You can try some random email addresses including [email protected] or [email protected]

2. Whois – Run a Whois check on the site concerned. There are numerous services around that do this – I use the CopyScape service and on the page in question got information on the site with details of the owner of it.Whilst it doesn’t tell much it does give one or two avenues for further action.

For example in this case it gives me a name of registrant of the site and an email address.

It also tells me who the site is registered through and who is now hosting the site.

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