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Malcolm Gladwell on Human Nature

IT Conversations have a good recording of Malcolm Gladwell talking about ‘Human Nature’ which is well worth the read. It doesn’t directly apply to bloggers but Malcolm’s stuff has always been influential in the way I approach my blogging.


‘Malcolm explores why we can’t trust people’s opinions — because we don’t have the language to express our feelings. His examples include the story of New Coke and how Coke’s market research misled them, and the development of Herman-Miller’s Aeron chair, the best-selling chair in the history of office chairs, which succeeded in spite of research that suggested it would fail.’

These Traffic Numbers Are Real

‘Mention “audit” to David Barlin, vice president of marketing for I/Pro, a company that verifies audience data for about 500 small and medium-sized websites, and he practically gushes.

“They’re exciting,” he said, not at all defensively. “Really.”

That’s because he and the company he works for see a potential gold mine in independently auditing the traffic for all the sites that are not Google, Yahoo or MSNBC — the tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of commercial websites dedicated to niche subjects like business-to-business, chemical engineering, software development and online publishing. Since fans of these types of sites rarely make it to the mass portals, advertisers have been clamoring for ways to reach them.

Of course, Yahoo is fine if you want to peddle mass consumer items like, say, camera phones, vacation getaways and the latest Hollywood offering. But if you want to sell a new type of chip, manufacture routers or market a B-to-B website, you need to go straight to the people most likely to buy your product. To figure out whether a certain site will give a sufficient return on advertising, however, requires accurate traffic forecasts, something that has been lacking.’

Read more at Wired News: These Traffic Numbers Are Real

Minkmedia Launches UK Blog Network

Minkmedia is the latest network of Blogs to launch. This one is based in the UK and describes itself as:

‘Mink Media is a nanonpublisher. We publishe a series of weblogs (five so far) aimed at a British audience.



A weblog is a topical website, new stuff appears at the top, and it updates frequently (more than once a day). People are excited about weblogs (or blogs)–we basically think they are fun to read.’

Mink Media is run by Azeem Azhar and Shehnaz Suterwalla

They are offering a few opportunities for advertisers to partner with them – either as a premium sponsor (privately arranging banner ads etc), via Blog Ads or text ads via Adbrite. They are also running Google ads and Amazon affiliateships which is a good idea until they build up a high enough readership to run more premium sponsorships.

They currently have two main blogs running – these being:

- Wanda Lust – a blog about Travel

- Honourabloe Fiend – a blog about politics in Britain

They are open to being approached by bloggers wanting to join their network and I’ve no doubt we’ll see them add new blogs to their two current ones shortly.

Betting on Tools that Power Blogs

BusinessWeek has an interesting article that talks about another option for making money from blogs – through the infrastructure that makes blogs possible. They write –

While Web log entreprenuers search for a viable business model, venture capitalists are backing companies that make it all possible

Ask David Sifry when his little San Francisco startup called Technorati will turn a profit, and he laughs contagiously. No, Technorati, which tracks Web logs, or blogs, and will soon offer blog searches, is a long way from turning a profit. But it has big-league venture-capital backers like Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Mobius Venture Capital, and they’re willing to wait as blog entrepreneurs cast around for a good business model.

It may take a while. Truth is, the fledgling blogging industry’s business model is closer to a question mark than a dollar sign. Sifry would be the first to admit that he’s part of an industry in flux. “This reminds me of the Web in 1994,” Sifry says. “It’s an ecosystem that’s evolving and just being built.”

PICKS AND SHOVELS. Plenty of people are part of the building process. Sifry estimates that about 12,000 new blogs pop online worldwide each day. On about 10 million blogs today, writers are posting about 400,000 new items per day. That’s more than 16,000 per hour. The interest is out there. The question is: How can money be made?’

The Holistic Approach to Search Engine Marketing

Top Hosts have a very interesting article on Holistic Search Engine Marketing which is well worth the read. They suggest a multilayered approach that includes:

- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

- Natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

- Website Conversion



‘The fact that these components are most effective when used in concert does not mean that each should not be tracked individually- of course they should. But do not be surprised when your returns on two or more of these disciplines used together are greater than the combined returns from the individual components used separately. And this presents a dilemma- a highly successful holistic SEM approach can make extracting exact ROI figures for each individual component difficult, since “the whole” has become “greater than the sum of its parts”. But as many savvy companies are discovering, this is a nice problem to have.’



Read more at The Holistic Approach to Search Engine Marketing

Internet Advertising Comes of Age

‘Volatility may no longer be the watchword of online advertising, according to DoubleClick’s third quarter serving trend report.

“What’s most surprising is it’s no longer surprising,” said Kathryn Koegel, DoubleClick’s director of research and industrial development, who chaired the survey. “With such a new medium, we have often grown accustomed to big changes quarter to quarter. Now we’re seeing signs that things are stabilizing. Online marketing is now reaching a kind of maturity.”

As a case in point, Koegel referred to rich media holding steady at 43 percent of total ads served for the third quarter, a level it has consistently held for most of 2004.

Click rates, too, remained stable for rich media and non-rich media alike. Rich media ads have stabilized at 1.17 percent, a full five times the rate for non-rich media ads. Overall, the average click rate was 0.62 percent for the third quarter, an uptick of 11 percent from the second quarter.’



Read more at After Years of Turbulence, Internet Advertising Comes of Age?

Fastclick Reviewed – Advertising suitable for high traffic Blogs



Fastclick
is a revenue stream that will be suitable for some highly trafficked blogs. We trailed it recently on our Olympics blog and found that with the levels of traffic that we generated at the height of the games that it out performed all other revenue streams on the site including Google.

They offer a range of ads – mainly paying on a per impression basis. Pay outs depend on the ad size, style and content but are generally very very small. As a result a blog with only a small amount of visitors would probably find it more hassle than its worth to register and run with.
[Read more...]

More detailed Adsense Statistics

Adsense Tracker is one of the most useful tools that any Adsense user could invest in. As the name suggests Adsense Tracker gives you statistics that Adsense does not even come close to giving you in their statistics/reporting package.

Track Click Throughs from Each Page – For example – have you ever wondered which pages on your blog are providing the click-throughs? Adsense only lets you track 50 channels – most of of us track categories but Adsense Tracker lets you track every page on your blog!

Now in my mind that is information that I’d pay for. Think about it. You’ve got 1000 pages on your blog. The clicks could be coming evenly from them all – or they could be coming predominantly from one or two pages. Wouldn’t it be useful to know which pages they were so that you could:
1. write more posts on those topics (or even start a new blog dedicated to them)
2. promote those pages more
[Read more...]

AdSense Per Click Payout Based On Natural Rankings

Interesting post over at Digital Point on Read more AdSense Per Click Payout Based On Natural Rankings. The basic question – does Google rankings for keywords have an impact on the rate at which ads on those keywords pay out at? The thread starts with this:

‘I’ve noticed something interesting with pretty much every site I run AdSense on. The better it ranks for it’s main keywords (which is what AdSense would be based on) in a natural search in Google, the higher the AdWords cost (and AdSense per click payout).

One site ranked around #25 in the SERPs for it’s keywords. AdSense paid roughly $0.10 per click. As it slowly moved up in natural rankings, so did the AdSense per click payout, until now it’s top 5 and it gets $1.50 per click on average (nothing else has changed).

Conversely, I have a site that did rank top 5 for something, and it was getting about $1.20 for AdSense. The rankings have dropped, and the AdSense per click payout mirrored that drop (now it’s averages $0.02 per click).’

TypePad Blogs to get Contextual Advertising

Kanoodle and Six Apart (makers of Typepad and Moveable Type blogging systems) are partnering together to offer Typepad bloggers the opportunity to run contextual ads to their site – and thereby add a revenue stream to their blogs. This is similar to what Blogger blogs can do with Adsense – however it seems that this new system will be a little more seamless and integrated into the Typepad blogs. It will be interesting to see how many TypePad bloggers utilise the system due to go live in the first quarter of next year. For more information see the following press relase.

[Read more...]