Tell me what you want, what you really really want

ProBlogger is entering into a time of change. I’m approaching my 500th post on the blog after a few months of writing and the time has come to up the anti and take things to the next level in terms of design, content and focus.

As part of this I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on how ProBlogger can better serve you in your commercial blogging ventures.
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The Entrepreneurial Blog Glenn Fleishman

Glenn Fleishman over at GlennLog has just posted a link to an audio (and visuals of his powerpoint) at Business Blogging Summit which currently really enjoying listening to. His main headings were.

  • Obsess
  • Exhaust
  • Report
  • Choose
  • Expand
  • Earn
  • Populate
  • Perform

Let me just mention a few points he makes within these topics that resonate with my experience in Entrepreneurial Blogging over the past 18 months. The following is a combo of Glenn’s thoughts which I’m adding to and giving a few examples of:

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The Benefits of having a country Top Level Domain

Lee Johnson has a good article pointing out some of the Benefits of having a country Top Level Domain ie a .uk, or .au domain name:

‘Most of the large search engines will give you a higher search ranking for a site that has the tld of the searchers country. For example, if someone from the United Kingdom is performing a search for widgets, a search engine will often rank higher than other sites selling the same product but only have a .com tld.

Having a country specific tld will also allow you to be included in a lot of great country directories that stipulate that your domain name has a certain tld. Getting your site into these directories can be a great way of improving your search engine website rankings as these are 1 way links from authority sites for your chosen subject. These kind of links are graded much higher than reciprocal linking…’

Lee goes on to share other benefits also. It is an interesting question and one that I’ve often considered. My main domain now hosts a number of blogs – and there have been some definite advantages of this approach. i do rank very well on but on the other side of things there are some costs worth considering of having a more localized URL.

If you’re blogging about a global topic the .au can cause problems both in search engines but also with ‘the look’ of the URL. I’ve had a number of people write off my blogs because they are not a .com or .net or .org. However overall my approach is that if you write good content, interact with other bloggers and optimize your blog well you should do ok no matter what its URL.

I’m interested in others opinions on why you have or haven’t gone for a more localized domain.

Make Money for Recommending Movable Type

It looks like Six Apart are moving toward an affiliate program where people recommending Movable Type will get a commission from anyone buying a license.

‘Many of you recommend Movable Type as the weblog platform of choice to your customers or clients. With our new reseller licenses, you’ll be able to make money each time you sell a copy of Movable Type. We’re planning to offer generous commissions for all of you who offer software and services on top of the Movable Type platform.’

There is no ETA on when the program will go live yet.

Source: Six Apart Professional Network Overview

Bloggers Sell Advertising Space on Ebay

The Mobile Technology Weblog is another blog that is using Ebay to help them earn an income from their blog by selling advertising space on it. They are currently up to $41 for a 120 x 90 banner (for a month) after a couple of days of the auction. I’m sure others have done this (I’ve definitely seen non blog type sites do it) but its a good idea and worth a try.

‘TJ and I came up with a pretty cool idea recently, which I think is unique – but I’m sure we’ll find someone who’ll claim it’s been done before :-)

Why not auction off advertising space on blogs on eBay? So I placed an ad this morning to sell off the ad space you can see on the top right of the blog for a month. You can see it – and bid on it! – here.

It’s a bit of a punt, but if it works, it could be a great way to connect advertisers with bloggers, which is what eBay does so well. And if it enables bloggers to be rewarded for their work, I’d be delighted.

If you’re a blogger reading this, I’d really appreciate a link to this post – the more people see it, the more likely it is to work and the more likely it is that it’ll start something big for all of us.’

I was actually pondering the other day whether an auction type version of BlogAds might be a viable method of selling ads. For example if instead of bloggers setting their prices (guessing at market value) and hoping that an advertiser comes and pays that much – if Blogads added the option to have an auction for your ad space. This way advertisers would have a little more say in the setting of the price as we as the blogger would find the true market value of our sites. Just an idea – one that I hope who ever uses it will give me 10% of the earnings from!

A Professional Bloggers Workflow

Tris has a great post over at Qumana Blog about Qumana and professional blogging. Ok its a bit of a sales pitch for Qumana (which I’ve heard some great things about – just wish they’d release a Mac version) but its an interesting glimpse into the workflow of a Professional Blogger who is actively writing on 10 or so blogs on a variety of topics.

I have an extremely similar workflow – I tend to use Ecto and Bloglines which I suspect works pretty similarly to the system Tris has up and running. I’d love to see a more integrated approach though in the future – imagine a tool like Ecto or Qumana that also tracked RSS! I know Bloglines has a blog feature but its pretty basic. I’m sure we’ll see developments in this direction one day.

After reading what Tris has to say you can come back here and read about my workflow in my A Day in the Life of a Problogger.

Staying Motivated with your Blogging – Work with Others

Susannah at Buzz Marketing has a great post on Staying Motivated with your blogging which is well worth the read. Regular posting is an essential part of blogging for profit – I know I can go a week or so without noticing too big a drop in earnings – but if you’re trying to build your readership and income regular and interesting posting is absolutely essential. Of course this takes discipline and motivation. Susannah has a good list to help you get motivated for the year of blogging ahead.

I do most of what she suggests in her list but another thing I’ve done a bit of lately is work with others on posts and projects.

I find that blogging can be a lonely process at times – for starters most of my friends think I’m crazy and give me the strangest look when I answer the ‘what do you do?’ question with ‘I’m a blogger’ – but I also find that blogging can be quite an isolating process – staring at your computer all day, researching, writing, reflecting etc. Whilst as an introvert I do enjoy time alone I also find that too much of it leaves me feeling rather lifeless and unmotivated.

Recently I’ve started initiating relationships with a number of others with the view to entering into some common partnerships. I find that when I do this it can be quite inspiring and energizing.

So find yourself a blogging partner – it might be another blogger, or it might just be one of those people that gives you one of ‘those’ looks when you mention the word ‘blogging’. You see someone who is new to the medium comes at it with a fresh approach, their own passions and interests and might just help you discover something new about blogging.

By the way – I’m seeking collaborators at the moment for blogging ideas and projects. I hope to have a bit more time this year to work with some of you – so if you have a project that you think might be mutually beneficial to us both let me know and we’ll see where our conversation leads us to.

Adam Curry to Launch Podcasting Network

Fortune reports that Adam Curry of MTV fame is planning to start up a podcasting network in the months ahead:

‘Later this winter Curry and partners plan to launch a podcasting network, offering an edited selection of the web’s best dispatches and tools for neophytes to create their own casts. Just as blogs have challenged mainstream media, Curry predicts that podcasts will take on radio and satellite. “With podcasting, people can tune out the world and listen to whatever they choose,” says Curry. “In a way we’re really looking at the dismantling of the monoculture,” he says. Guess it’s a good thing he’s not at MTV anymore.’

Read more at Technology – Podcasting: From MTV to MP3 – FORTUNE – Now you can wear your favorite blogs.

I just stumbled on another way you can make a few dollars from your blog – this time directly from your readers – its by starting your own clothing label! Ok – maybe not your own label but you can have your own T-Shirts. Check out which lets bloggers sell T-shirts without the hassle of having to make or send them and simply by letting others do all the hard work of inventory etc. I know there are other places you can do this online but this is one of the first I’ve see that is targeting bloggers! Its a service run by Dan Sherman.

‘Are you a blog reader? Show your fondness for the blogosphere by wearing your favorite blog on a t-shirt.

By wearing a blogTshirt, you not only show the world your awareness regarding the future of news delivery, but you also support your favorite bloggers. Each blog owner receives $10 per t-shirt purchased with their blog on it…..

Everybody wins. You get a cool t-shirt, bloggers earn money to support their nasty blogging habit and we here at can make enough money to retire to the Bahamas. (Don’t worry, we’ll keep blogging and making t-shirts.)’

So the question I have is this (and its not deep) what should the slogan be for ProBlogger’s T-shirt?!? I’ll take nominations below. If I use your nomination I’ll buy you a free T-Shirt.

I’m not sure how many of you my wonderful readers are going to rush out and buy a ProBlogger blog but I’m sure there are plenty of other blogs that this would work better with. At earning $10 per sale its worth a go if you have a lot of avid/obsessive fans reading your blog.

The 2005 Business Blogging Awards – Voting Time

Looks like voting is open in the The 2005 Business Blogging Awards and I’m surprised to find ProBlogger in the Best overall Blog category. i wasn’t sure what their definition of a ‘Business Blog’ was but perhaps I’m one after all. Anyway you can go here to vote and to surf through some excellent examples of business blogging a wide variety of topics. If you’re looking for the category we’re nominated in start scrolling and don’t stop til you stop. The best ‘overall’ blog is ‘underall’ the others….sorry – I couldn’t resist.

Update: Voting has been suspended due to some irregularities with the system – seems that votes were accumulating very quickly (ie one vote sometimes came up as multiple votes). Thanks for the 11,000 people who voted for me (joking). System should be back up again shortly.