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Blog Business Summit

The Blog Business Summit will be held between 24-25 January in 2005 in Seattle. It looks like a good gathering to get involved with if the founding board are anything to go by. It might be a bit out of reach of the average blogger at $795 for the two days but for US bloggers serious about exploring business blogging I suspect that the lessons learnt and the networking done would make it pay for itself pretty quickly.

‘The summit will be the gathering place for hundreds of entrepreneurs, marketing professionals, and current bloggers who want to leverage the latest in Web publishing tools and technologies.’

Hopefully we’ll see other such events held around the globe to make these types of gatherings accessible to us non US bloggers also in the years ahead. I’ll look forward to hearing about the conference via the web as the airfare to the US from Australia could be a bit of a killer.

The Stylephile

The Stylephile is a new commercial blog from the Variety stable of blogs that is focussing upon Shopping.

They’re posting on sales, openings and products/picks of the day.

At this stage their income stream is not overly evident – although the topic of the blog will definitely lend itself to all kinds of options including static advertising, contextual ads and affiliate programs.

Weblogs Inc. adds top execs

‘Touting itself now as “the world’s largest blog publisher,” Weblogs Inc. announced it has hired an editorial director and a vice president of sales and marketing. Judith Meskill, a communications consultant who writes a blog about social networking, will oversee the editorial side of the company. “We’re going to have 100 blogs by the end of this year (50 at present), and 300 in 2005. Judith’s ability to create systems for managing growth is going to be invaluable,” said Brian Alvey, a co-founder of Weblogs Inc. Also, Shawn Gold, former president of eUniverse — which used the Web and e-mail to distribute online greetings, games, cartoons, jokes and contests — signed on to head up business and content strategy, the company said.’

Read more at Weblogs Inc. adds top Execs

Shawn Collins on RSS: RSS & Blogs and Affiliate Marketing [MarketingStudies.net]

Here is an interesting interview with Shawn Collins (an affiliate program manager) on the topic of RSS & Blogs and Affiliate Marketing.

‘Since it’s increasingly challenging to reach the inbox of affiliates, with Spam filters, ISP black lists, abandoned email addresses, etc., I think RSS will emerge as the preferred tool for communicating with affiliates….

It makes all the sense in the world for affiliate programs to pursue and place increased value on blogs as affiliates. In general, contextual placement of ads is the best way to make money in affiliate marketing, especially if an affiliate has unique content, and they integrate text links into their content (i.e. making every instance of the word book link through an Amazon affiliate link).’

PS: Don’t know what Affiliate Marketing is? Read What is Affiliate Marketing?

Blogs a good buy for Advertisers

‘Advertisers including Paramount Pictures, The Wall Street Journal, and The Gap are successfully reaching niche audiences for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and a handful of bloggers are earning six-figure incomes from their blogs. Why aren’t more advertisers and bloggers getting together? Fear, ignorance and the knowledge that a lot of pioneers got shot.

With clickthrough rates in traditional online advertising dropping, inexpensive blog clickthroughs are as high as 5 percent. Blogs provide advertisers an excellent opportunity to reach a devoted audience niche for as little as $10 a week. Already, blogs like DailyKos which receives 15 million page views a month, get $9,000 a week for advertising and is sold out for weeks in advance.

Advertising on blogs is not like buying a minute on the Super Bowl says Henry Copeland, founder of Blogads, which matches advertisers with blogs. Successful blogs are edgy, have a sense of humor, and are recognized experts in a narrow niche. Blog audiences look at traditional ads, like “Click here, get 20% off,” and say “screw this, I’ve seen it everywhere,” Copeland says.’

Read more at Blogs a Good Buy for Advertisers but Fear and Ignorance keep media buyers away

Google Sees Brand-Advertising Opportunities

Those of you using Adsense might be interested in some of the upcoming changes and directions of the program being talked about by Google executives.

‘ After building its business through direct-response search listings, Google is likely to expand into brand advertising.

Speaking to investment analysts on the company’s first-ever earnings call last week, Google executives said its fledgling effort at distributing graphical ads was an important initiative for the company. Google has begun to test the display of graphical ads on Google Image search. For now, the graphic ads shown through AdSense are priced on a click basis. Display advertising is often sold on a cost-per-thousand-impressions basis. Stein said Google is unlikely to simply adopt CPM pricing, but could instead have a hybrid system that charges a flat fee for impressions on top of click charges.’

Read more at Google Sees Brand-Advertising Opportunities

The World of Contextual Advertising

Puneet Mehrotra has a good article introducing the The World of Contextual Advertising. He writes – ‘How much? Good question. I know of webpreneurs whose earnings range between $200 to $2,00,000 per month. Of course, it’s not child’s play. But no one said earning big bucks is a child’s play!…’

‘So what’s the next boom. Well the web pundits are saying it’s going to be behavioral advertising, where anonymous monitoring and tracking the content viewed, and length of visit are databased and analysed to predict an online behavioral pattern for the user. My say, well I doubt, complicated things seldom do well. And with most computers getting condomed by the day with firewalls and blockers and not to mention privacy violation litigation, I doubt if such a model would succeed. Well, that’s just my say, time will tell what will do well. But yes contextual advertising is definitely there to stay. Notepad is still the favorite editor, no application in the world has been able to replace it so far. SMS is still the favorite text-messaging tool. Bells and whistles might pretend to make noise but simplicity sings its own song.’

Read more at The World of Contextual Advertising : HindustanTimes.com:

[Read more...]

10 No-Cost Ways to Generate Site Traffic

‘No matter how cool your site or how fabulous your product, you’re not going to generate enough sales to make your business viable unless you can generate traffic. You have to get the word out about your site and give people a reason to visit it, or else you’ll go the way of the dinosaur.

The good news is, there are lots of ways to effectively advertise your site online and drive tons of qualified traffic to your site, all for free! And by qualified, I mean people who belong to your target market and who are most likely to buy the products or services you offer. These are the people you want coming to your site.

Without further ado, here’s our countdown of the top 10 traffic-generating tactics:

Traffic Generation Tactic #10: Use viral marketing strategies to “infect” people with the desire to learn more about your product. These days, viral marketing messages are spreading through the Web like wildfire. Viral marketing is any type of advertising that is self-perpetuating, compelling people to share it with others so that it spreads through a community like a virus—but a good one.’



Read more at 10 No-Cost Ways to Generate Site Traffic

The Impact of Blogs on PR

Steve from Micro Persuasion has kindly posted a presentation he did on the Impact of Blogs on PR. It is a well thought out presentation that covers the basics through to some good conclusions on the topic – complete with powerpoint slides and audio.

‘Bloggers are the leading force of change here. A blog is basically a web site owned by an individual or group that’s written with a human voice. They are easily discovered, usually organized chronologically, and written by people you can reach out and touch. It’s this last point – the social nature of blogs – that differentiates them from more staid corporate web sites.’

Read more at Micro Persuasion: Presentation on the Impact of Blogs on PR

BloggerCon – Making Money with Your Blog

Doc Searls has an interesting post on making money with blogs in preparation for a session on the topic at the next Blogger Con. He asks a lot of thought provoking questions and then puts forward an interesting case…

‘As you can see, I have a position here. I believe it’s far more important (and interesting) to make money because of our blogs, rather than with them; just as we make money because we have phones rather than with our phones.

There are exceptions. Some of us make money by selling on the phone. If that’s you, think about what trying to sell over your blog (instead of the phone) would do to your relationships with readers.

Of course, lots of people use advertising to defray the costs of blogging. And, to be frank, I really don’t care much if you have advertising on your blog, or if you make money that way. If that makes you happy, or makes you money, fine. I expect we’ll spend some time comparing various advertising options. But let’s also ask, How interesting is that, once you’re past describing whatever it takes to get going with Adsense or Blogads? It’s cool that they provide a service and an income stream. But I’d like to see us budget time for each of the potential topics we can cover.’

Read more at BloggerCon – Making Money Session