Thursday, November 30, 2006

Blogtipping - Round 1

Since it is now (almost) the first of the month it is time to go blogtipping. What is blogtipping? Blogtipping is a form of blogging carnival run by Easton from BusinessBlogWire and occurs on the first of every month. It involves posting 3 things you like about 3 different blogs and also posting one thing about each that you feel could be improved. On with the blogtipping...

As most new bloggers I have found ProBlogger to be a great source for learning all I can about blogging so why not give Darren some credit for all that he does for us new bloggers.

  1. The layout on ProBlogger is one of a kind and really provides for easy navigation, even for first time visitors.
  2. Keeps readers more involved than most other blogs by having them submit reader tips
  3. His posts about the newest blogging news are some of the easiest to read and very informative.

    Tip: Who am I to tell him what to do, but the one thing I would change on ProBlogger is to link to all of the other blogs he works on. I think with some digging one could find them all but I would make them a little more prominent and easier to find.
In return for their help and introducing me to blog tipping, Casual Keystrokes!
  1. The header is awesome. Love the photo and the text styles.
  2. Good concept for a blog. Couple your "work" blog with a similarly-named blog providing a more personal look at the author and their personality.
  3. Great sidebar graphics. Loved the swirled designs in front of the section titles and good category names.

    Tip: Tweak the Adsense ads following your post. They just blend a bit too that I hardly notice them and scan right over them.
The Pensblog is actually a competitor to my Pens Insider blog but I like what the author is doing.
  1. Nice graphics for each game. Provide an "at-a-glance" look at who the Penguins are playing and what channel they are on.
  2. Stats section in the sidebar is a good idea and, again, lets readers see just what they are looking for without having to dig through the archives of the site.
  3. Great links section in sidebar. Provides a good resource for other hockey fans to find other sites with what they are looking for.

    Tip: Adding a custom header to the site might give the site the pop it needs to stand out from the nearly all black template.
Hope everyone enjoyed taking a look at the blogs I tipped this month and invite everyone to join in on the fun.

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Modifying Adsense Ads for the Holidays

Adsense is one of the biggest sources of revenue many bloggers have making prober positioning and design key, especially during the holiday season. Poor positioning is making some bloggers lose potential revenue they could have earned if the ad had been in just the right spot. Designing ads also plays some role in how many clicks your ads will receive. Here are some tips to make your Adsense ads perform better, especially for the holidays.

When you are positioning Adsense ads on your website there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. First, keep ads "above the fold." This means to position most of your ads on the top of your page so readers can see them without having to scroll. Second, avoid putting them in the sidebar. Although this is a place ads just seem to "fit," ads placed in the sidebar have historically poor performance. The best way to position ads is close to or within the content of your site. The content is why readers came to your site and it is what they will be looking at the most so take advantage of it.

Integrating your ads into your site is as much of an art as it is trial and error. Much of your ad placement and design will be dependent on trying something and monitoring it's click through rate and value. There are, however, some tips you can use to make your adventure easier.

One of the best techniques for drawing attention to your ads is to place them near pictures. To be within Adsense terms of service you must have a border to separate the two. This concept works because graphics and photos are significant eye grabbers on your site. Putting ads near these spots will likely lead to a greater amount of clicks. Another approach is to match the ads with your color scheme so they become more of a content extension rather than appearing as ads.

Final words of wisdom: Keep your options open to moving the ads around. You will likely not find the perfect layout the first time around so keep adjusting them until you get just what you are looking for.

Preparing Your Blog for the Holidays

Today is the last day of November which means Christmas is only 25 days away. It is now crunch time for getting your blog in the festive spirit. This series of posts will provide helpful tips on what you can do to make your blog ready for the holidays.

  1. Traffic - Christmas season is shopping season. Internet sales have been steadily growing and you can tap into this by preparing your blog. In the weeks leading up to Christmas shoppers will be browsing the net looking for the best deals and ideas for gifts so prepare accordingly. If you run a product oriented site expect a higher jump than others. Some bloggers may experience staggering jumps while others may have a simple traffic increase daily leading up to Christmas. Some might experience no traffic boost at all.

  2. Interests - Your readers interests and mood have likely changed this time of year as well. The investigative nature of their minds will be researching the best gifts and deals on products and readers will probably be more inclined to click on your ads. This is a perfect reason to post gift ideas and reviews as well as where they can find good deals with some well placed affiliate links. Many good gift ideas and reviews can be found on Associated Content.

  3. Advertising - Competition between rival companies run the highest during the holiday season and you can use this to your advantage. Many companies will be willing to offer you more to put an ad on your blog, especially if it is prepared for increased traffic or is a Christmas or product blog.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

How Much Is Your Blog Worth?

In case you are curious to find the actual monetary value of your blog, try this website. All you have to do is put in the URL of your blog and it will spit back a value of your blog. Of course the number is only a general estimation but in the month+ I have been blogging on this blog my value has gone from around $60 to almost $4000. This value has no meaning beyond what it tells you but it is an interesting statistic to keep an eye on.

The value is generated by using figures from the Weblogs Inc. deal with AOL and Technorati statistics, including back-links, etc. There is also a cool little HTML code you can put on your blog so others can see just what it is worth.

My blog is worth $3,951.78.
How much is your blog worth?

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Google's Been Keeping a Secret

As first reported by John Chow and since reported by Darren Rowse, Google has a top secret advertising program called Google Display Advertising Network. Google is already the dominating force behind Internet advertising but this previously secret program was created in an effort to expand their reach even further. The program targets large Fortune 1000 companies as an effort to attract more main stream advertisers.

The companies are more interested in building a name online rather than directly marketing a specific service or product. The program is so secret that, when asked, Google will not confirm it's existence. John reports that the only way into the program is by direct invitation. There is now way to "sign up" for the program that chooses high profile advertisers and only select publishers.

John also states in the post that it is his highest earn Google ad. From the sounds of things this will be a program to keep an eye on as more and more high profile advertisers and publishers join the network.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Update - Google Audio Ads Links

After I wrote my previous article I found some more interesting stories about the program that I think are great reads for determining how the program will work and how effective it will be:

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Tip: Comment Quickly

Commenting on other blogs is a great way for others to discover your blog, but posting late in a conversation helps very little. Instead, start the conversation by being one of the first readers to post and more people will see your link as it will be prominently displayed towards the top of the comments section of the post. Not only is posting on other blogs a great way to drive traffic to your own blog but it is also a great way to let others know who is reading their blog(s).

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Google Audio Ads Slated for 2006 Release

It is crunch time for Google Audio Ads. According to sources, Google is still planning on releasing Audio Ads before the end of the year. Audio Ads is a new venture for Google, who has stuck to online advertising as its main venture. These new ads will be purchased through Adwords and played to targeted radio station and listeners around the country. This is their first venture into radio advertising and they should receive quite a response once the program is released.

Pricing is going to be an interesting statistic to look at when Audio Ads are released. If the ads are conservatively priced you will likely hear a flood of the ads on your local radio station. Another thing that everyone will be looking at is format, just how will the ads sound, etc.? Whether the program is released before the end of the year may be another story. Others had previously reported it was going to be released earlier this year with the supposed release date having come and gone with no announcement.

This new program will provide an easy way to enter radio advertising for those who felt overcome by the media previously.

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Update - Adsense Does Gifts

As an update to a post I made a few days ago, Darren Rowse from ProBlogger has posted an image of this years gift. If you receive a gift from Google and Adsense add a comment to either this post or the original Adsense Does Gifts post.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Tip: Prepare Your Blog For The Holiday Rush

Today was Cyber Monday, the online equivalent of Black Friday. E-commerce sites prepare their sites in advance to handle the additional traffic and you should as well. Since it is now "shopping season" it is a good idea to modify your site for the holidays.

Some good ideas include creating posts about the top products for the holidays and some of your personal favorites. Then link to your affiliate sites which sell the products. The posts will both apply to the topic and help you earn a little extra dough. Also, consider modifying your theme a bit for the season. Some options include adding festive images, changing colors, or changing font styles.

Many affiliate and advertising programs also offer Christmas banners. If your program has such an offer, consider replacing your current banners temporarily with the holiday banners. Not only do the different banners change to look of your site but they also draw the attention of your audience with familiar holiday colors.

Christmas season is a great time to create a new look for your blog and to make it more appealing for your audience.

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Tip: Understand the Purpose of Your Website

The purpose of most company websites and blogs is to market their product or service. What business often overlook, however, is that websites are like offline resources in that they too must be advertised. Advertising for businesses online is becoming increasingly more mainstream as ads shift away from offline advertising such as television, radio, and print.

Advertising a business website can be a daunting task for many users unfamiliar with the media. There is however, a solution. There are companies which specialize in business advertising and actually improving the impact your website has for your business. Some go so far as to increase your sites SEO (Search Engine Optimization - To be addressed in a later post) as well as to manage your online advertising.

If you are new to running a website and are looking for results now, using a company to run your ads may be your best option while you learn the ropes of running a website for a business.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Tip: Pre-posting is Your Friend

Pre-posting, at least that is what I have nicknamed it, is setting Wordpress to automatically post your blog at a specified time in the future. Pre-posting has some unique advantages to offer. First, pre-posting allows you to blog in the morning which is the best time to blog without actually being at your computer to post. All you have to do is write the post ahead of time, then set the blog to post whenever you choose.

You can also set your blog to pre-post while you are on vacation. This allows your blog to remain updated without needing or having access to a computer. Pre-posting is advantageous to your blog because it allows you to post at the optimal times and while you are away from your computer, giving you freedom from your computer while making your blog both constantly updated and increasing your revenue.

To pre-post, type a post in Wordpress as you would normally, then find the "Post Timestamp" section in the right post-options section of the screen. Check the "edit timestamp" box and choose any time in the future when you want the post to be put on your blog.

Remember, morning posts typically generate more traffic and higher Adsense revenue.

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Who Knew? Adsense Does Gifts

Apparently, unbeknownst to me, Adsense gives gifts to it's top advertisers. The gifts aren't breaking their bank account but they are a nice reminder that some companies do care. Granted, the people getting the gifts are the ones who made the program work in the first place, but it is still a nice idea.

This year, the gift is a digital photo frame. Each year the gift is something different. Last year it was a pack of Google embossed gadgets and the year before it was a glowing radio. The gift is a nice gesture to those who make enough to qualify. The exact amount it takes to qualify is unknown but one user averages $2000-$3000 a month and receives the gift.

The little Christmas present offers something more for you to aim for, that is if making thousands of dollars a month from your websites advertising isn't enough. The gift provides some a sense of achievement showing them they made it into the big times of online advertising revenue. Congrats to all those who receive the gifts this year and best of luck to everyone in aiming high with the goals and aspirations you have for your web site.

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Tip: Blog in the Morning

If possible, post to your blogs in the morning or earlier in the day. By posting in the morning you can likely get more traffic with each post and earn more with your adsense clicks. When you create a new post and ping blog services your post is put at the top of the list and is then bumped down as newer posts are added. At night, your post may be on the page longer because fewer blogs are being updated but fewer people are searching for posts during this time as well.

Instead, post in the morning and ping your blog to as many places as possible. By doing this far more people will see your post and the rest of your blog. This increase in views earlier in the day has another benefit beyond simple traffic numbers. Adsense ads are run with the highest payout running each day until their quota is reached. What does this mean for you? Increasing traffic in the morning gets you more clicks on higher paying ads which ultimately leads to more money in your virtual pocket.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Tip: Have Content Before You Launch Your Blog

I like many other bloggers made the mistake of promoting my blog before I had more than one post, before I had a theme for my site, and before any of my site was really done. I launched because I thought money is out there to be made and viewers will stick with my site even if it is still under construction. Simply put, they don't.

If you want people who view your blog to come back again and again make sure you have your site done before you go to the far reaches of the web touting just how good it is. Write some well thought out posts that people will enjoy for a few weeks before you want to actually start promoting the site. The idea behind loading your site with content before launch is to give the reader something to dig their teeth into. Let them know what your blog is about, not by telling them but by showing them.

The launch of any site, big or small should be well thought out with the reader in mind.

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How to get started with Wordpress

Since I too am somewhat new to using Wordpress I figured I would post what helped me out the most. If you just purchased a domain name and hosting I recommend watching this video put together by Rachel Cunliffe from cre8d design. The video covers everything from doing initial setup with Wordpress to installing it to your web site and some information on basic customization. It is a great resource for getting started blogging and is set to be followed up by another more in depth video that hasn't been released yet.

Another site to check out is Tubetorial. Although not completely dedicated to Wordpress basics they have some useful information, especially their 7 essential hacks. It provides 7 things everyone should do to their blog to make it more receptive for both traffic and search engines.

Still looking for more, try the Wordpress How To's. Wordpress' database of articles is fairly broad and far reaching although the biggest problem I have run into is that the articles talk over the beginner with language most people won't understand. The best option you have is to try the Wordpress How To's first and if they either don't have what you are looking for or the article is hard to understand, try Googling the topic and see what you come up with.

The best learning experience I have had is to play around with Wordpress. Before you get anything on the site that you are worried of losing, tinker with the program and see what happens. You will find this to be one of the best learning experiences you can find. Personally I just mess with a template to make it more "mine" and if something I do doesn't work or I don't like the results I investigate how to make it work or look how I want it to.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

The value of a blog...

Some downplay the actual importance and value of blogs while others tout the sheer volume of traffic and potential blogs and other new media ventures have. While I fall mainly into the optimistic side I have some skepticism as well. In my eyes it is never good to jump into anything without doing proper research and market analysis but after looking at everything I have I am starting become more and more convinced of the value of new media.

An interesting read I found the other day was on The Jason Calacanis Weblog. In the post Jason discusses one blog he has looked at extensively and just how much it is worth, estimated at least. The estimated value he came up with for Lifehacker was 400k-1 million dollars a year. This number puts its selling value at 2-4 million.

All these huge numbers have got me thinking how much my blogs could be work, eventually. Lifehacker is a blog of about 7M pages which is an astounding number but attainable with the hard work of authors and management. I think this figure shows the true value of not only blogging but having an interesting in-demand niche topic and the writing to back up the number of views you will receive. Above all else, good writing has a draw that nothing else is able to provide a website. Sure, getting plugs on other blogs don't hurt either.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

A quick update...

Because of the holidays and a new baby I haven't been doing much "active blogging" the past few days but now that things are settling down I will be getting back into the swing of things soon enough. I have been doing some brainstorming during the break and came up with a mental plan of action to take in the near future. Here's the run down of ideas that have come to mind.

  1. Launch - Perhaps the most important time table and plan I came up with was a plan for launch. There are many different aspects to this plan but the pre-launch plan should go into effect this weekend. The plan is to announce the actual details of the project publicly for the first time this weekend. Once the plans are "in the open," we will direct visitors to the pre-launch sites. The sites will be at the same addresses as the end product but will be displaying only our about pages and jobs links as well as an introduction to what the site will be. These pages may be edited slightly before the actual live stage of the site but will more than likely remain unchanged.

  2. Bloggers - Although most of the information about my projects has and will remain secret until this weekend, one thing should be known, it is a multiple blogger project. By multiple I mean many. I have started preliminary advertising of the new positions by very non-descript forum posts but by next week I will begin actively advertising the positions on forums, to other bloggers, and on job message boards, including those specifically dedicated to blogging jobs. I am waiting on a few things before I begin advertising. The first is having an actual website to direct interested bloggers to. The second is the actual paperwork and payment systems I should have set up before anyone begins to work.

  3. Advertising - Active advertising will be starting in the next few weeks. Nothing definite is in line but I think I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I have some good marketing ideas in my head and I am going to begin the process of getting them ready this weekend along some more business related things. The advertising will likely be touting the concepts behind the companies as well as stating the release date. This advertising is a little "jumping the gun" but it will go a long was in establishing a name on the internet before we go live on June 1, 2007.

  4. Management - As it stands now I am the only so called "management" on board with the project right now. This is not due to lack of interest but rather lack of advertising on my part. I am going to try to run everything on my own for the most part for the simple reason of keeping costs down. Once revenue begins to build I will likely look into bringing some others on board with me but for now you can call me CEO and every other name in the business-book 0f acronyms with little-no meaning.
This is not an all inclusive list as much of the actual brainstorming was done with more specific information I can't really get into just yet but this should give everyone who is interested an idea about just what I've been up to.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beginning the Lauch

Although the actual launch date of my new venture is months away, today was the first day I actively promoted and recruited for the websites. Responses are good right now and many more responses should be on the way tonight and tomorrow. The responses are good and the active recruiting is actually a big step. Although I am not quite ready to announce the projects in the open an announcement should be ready for this weekend.

This recruitment includes several different positions I am needing to fill and once the project is announced many more jobs will be included. If you are interested in contacting me know about any openings with project X and project Y please email me at kris AT

Today I was also able to post to my blogs several times and do a bit of research into some of the technical aspects of blogging. I started to research templates some more for my new blogs on Wordpress and made a little headway. Although I am far from the end point, working on the pages little by little is slowly getting the project finished.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Using Content Writing to Make Money With Your Blog

When you first start your blog it can be hard to come up with topics that will keep users coming back to your blog and generate income at the same time. There is an easy solution to overcoming this problem and it comes in the form of content writing. Content writing, also know as freelance writing, is the publishing of full articles online for money. There are several freelancing sites but the best site to pair with your blog is Associated Content (aff.).

Associated Content is a website which offers content producers (authors) money for their articles. The pay is about $10 per every 500-word article. Although this amount isn't the most you could make for your time, content writing has unlimited potential for future income. With Associated Content you can write on just about any topic and receive a nice amount for your time commitment. But this is not where the articles money earning potential ends. Write about or post the article onto your blog and make more money by garnering more traffic and page views.

The best way to combine blogging and content writing is to write an article for your blog that is between 400 and 500 words, then submit it to AC as well. You can even add a link to your blog in each of the articles giving your blogs more links and a higher likelihood of being seen. Writing for Associated Content is a great option for bloggers looking to increase their blogging revenue and their traffic.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

More and More Ideas

I know that I "cyber-promised" to post some more tips today but I was busy doing a few other things that are a bit more time sensitive. Tomorrow I have some free time so I should have a chance to post something more topic specific. In fact I just thought of a perfect topic that will fit more than one project I am working on. Today was mainly spent scouring the internet and blogs looking for ideas to make my blog more attractive to readers. Some of tips were already known but I did come up with quite a few new ideas as well.

I am currently in the process of looking for a graphic designer because I am a bit overwhelmed with all of the ideas and quite frankly don't have time to get them all done in time for them to go live before summer (aka free time) arrives. The launch date of one of the sites should be in April sometime and the other site will launch in May/June depending in progress. Also, I am starting to help fellow entrepreneurs with their blogs and am doing some blog consulting. I will be the first to admit I don't know everything about blogging and web site design but I do know more than some and these are the people I am able to help right away.

I am taking on these projects quickly, probably quicker than I should but as long as I remain organized and manage my time the projects should turn out just as I have planned. This organization includes using Google Calender and Google To-Do-List on the Google homepage to stay on track. I am also going to purchase some organizational items for my workspace and some extra computer hardware to handle all the work I have to do. I am actually going to include some posts about organizing and managing your time as well since they are so integral to running a blog like a business.

If you are interested in Blog Consulting, I am currently available to help for a low hourly or project rate. To those who have questions for me about anything I have written or about blogging in general I would be more than happy to answer them via email.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Back To Work With Late Night Blogging

If you have noticed my absence the past few days it was because we were busy welcoming our healthy daughter into the world. At 1:42 am Friday morning we welcomed Kayleigh Grace Peterson-Karkoski into the world. She weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and was 22 inches long.

Baby, Mother and Father are all resting at home and look forward to all the joy she has brought into our lives thus far and the continued joy we will recieve every day from here on out. Last but not least we thank God for all his blessings making the birth as joyful and pain-free as possible and for giving us the gift of a healthy baby girl.

I am now getting back to work both blogging and with some other projects and am going to be making some pages in both style and content. I am going to take a slightly different style with this blog and begin to integrate some more "How to..." style posts into the blog as well as some friendly reminders and tips. I have been getting flooded with how do I start and what should I do emails so I think it is time I start adressing this a little more heavily with my posts. Don't worry I will continue to post about my blogging updates but I will expand my posting to include more of these posts in addition to the old style as well.

Changes are also going to resume on a few other projects as well, including some updates on my other blogs. I have begun the process of building up for my new site and tommorrow will likely be busy with inquiries. A new project actually came into my head today and after searching some domains a bit I found just the domain I was looking for so I snatched it up. The topic this newest domain is on goes to much of why blogging started and why it has been gaining influence. If all goes well both projects should be highly successful as both present new and radical ideas that have yet to be created just yet. The newest site is also a bit more time dependent so it will likely recieve a bit more attention once I have the "backbone" of my code written.

As for tonight, I am so tired from the whole labor/delivery and sleeping in a broken recliner thing that I am speeding through all of my blogs providing an update for loyal readers wondering where the heck I had gone.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Starting with Wordpress

Since I last talked about my plans I have been quite busy with several different blogging tasks. First and foremost, I have begun to write/edit a template for both of my newest blogs. One is an actual new project while the other is for a blog I will be moving from Blogger Beta. The process is slow but steady and it will be done soon enough. Personally I have found it easiest to print out the actual code, highlight the parts that need modified, then actually look them up and edit them. This helps me keep my code a bit straighter in my head but do whatever works for you. If all goes well the one or both of the sites will be at least preliminarily done the week after the Thanksgiving holiday.

I have also been busy with more business related aspects of my blogging venture. I have been doing some paid posting for a few reasons. First, I need the money for me and my family and right now this takes precedence over everything else. Second, with my planned move to my own hosting and domains I will keep the other blogs open and just post opportunities on them to raise some funds. After I get the prelim templates done I am going to take some time to focus on laying out a detailed plan for exactly what I am going to do next as well as to write some articles for the launch of the websites. To top all of this off, I have been registering with more advertisers and paid posting companies so I can raise as much funding as possible before the proposed launch in June.

I am looking forward to restarting school next semester since I get to start taking computer classes. These should allow me to not only dedicate more of my own time to the websites but also to bid for projects to get my name out there. As I continue on this road I get more and more excited the more involved I get. Although my earnings may not reflect it, I am gaining some notoriety around the blogging world and the requests for advice have been pouring in the last few days. Helping others make my new project that much more exciting and I look forward to continuing to strive toward my goals.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Importance of Pinging

Pinging is a process which lets other web sites know that your blog or website has been updated. This action often leads to an increased amount of traffic as your blog is listed on various recently updated lists. You can manually ping individual web sites or use a one click process to ping many different sites. Such sites include and By entering your sites information on either of these sites you can instantly ping many different blog directories.

You only need to ping when you add a new post or edit your site. The ping should result in a large influx of traffic. Personally I over doubled my hits just by pinging on the two previously listed sites whenever I update my blog. To ping, just go to the above web address and follow the directions. You will generally have to enter the title of your site, the sites URL, the URL of your feed, and select the sites you want to ping. My philosophy: the more the merrier. Once all of your information is entered just click ping and your work is done.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

The Newest Plan

I have finally found a solution to the dilemna I have been facing of late. The dilemna of launching a major project on a new and unfamiliar is a bit daunting and hard to handle in the month and a half I had remaining before the launch date. I was reluctent to push the lauch date back because I was so excited about the lauch but I have decided that this is the best idea for the project. The new, tentative lauch will be on June1, 2007. This time frame is key for multiple reasons.

First, I am going to move some of my blogs to their own domains, hosting, and run them on Wordpress. Doing this will give me some hands on experience with the program I have yet to use extensively and should give me enough time to learn the ins and outs of most of the program. Secondly, this will allow me to build up a base audience to work with and who can help me spread the news when the time is right in June. Pushing the date back will also allow me to write press releases, articles, and find advertisers and fellow bloggers to promote the new launch. Finally, having aditional time will provide me with enough time to raise finances and prepare for the launch.

The advantages to postponing far outweigh the negatives and this is by far the best solution I have found so far. I am going to begin the process of creating my first fully functional Wordpress blog this week with a potential launch of sometime after Thanksgiving. On an end note, here is a fitting quote from Thomas Jefferson: "Delay is preferable to error."

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

After Much Consideration...

After lots and lots of thinking about everything I have done thus far I have decided it is time to move up to the big time. I am alluding to the project that I have been discussing for over a week. The project is going to be huge and funding and time are my biggest constraints. Because of these problems and my excitement to get it underway as soon as possible I have put the contract up for bids. Even though I would like to create and run the project on my own this just isn't logical for business and personal reasons.

I did install Wordpress on the new blog today and will try to run it on my own. The bidding was sort of put out as a last resort in the off chance I can't learn Wordpress in the next few weeks. I also hope to write a press release for the new business as well as some other essential documents I will need before launch.

As long as I find a good coder to create the template and other codes or learn to create the code myself the launch in January 2007 should stick. I am going to look into the business aspects of the launch such as press coverage and advertisers. Posting will continue throughout the process and if someone wants to inquire or bid on the project feel free to contact me.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Indefinite Postponement

Despite my best attempts to get everything organized and ready for the as yet unannounced new project everything is not going to be ready in time. The reasons are multiple and new ones crop up everyday. Pushing the launch date back was mainly due to technical reasons.

First, the transition to Wordpress was not as simple and easy as I had hoped. It is like another language when compared to Blogger and is going to take some time to get used to. I also haven't had time to get a template for the site anywhere near done, although today I was able to make some progress with it. Secondly, I haven't finalized any advertising and revenue sources. Third, the documents I need to write for the launch of the sites aren't ready yet.

All of these factors have combined to make this new project a bit harder than I initially had planned. I am now going to aim for a live, fully functional site sometime in January. In the meantime I am going to begin to utilize some paid posting opportunities like Pay Per Post and Blogitive to supply funding for the new site. Also, I will continue to post daily or near-daily updates until the site is live at what point the blog will become a whole new animal!

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Further Progress

Today I began to form the code for my new project. As I announced earlier, the project is on wordpress but it is not going to be in the format of a blog. I also went ahead and purchase For now I am just redirecting the address to the Pens Insider blog on blogspot because I am focusing all of my extra time outside of posting to working on the new project.

Tomorrow will be a key day in the new product. If it goes well the announcement date will remain as announced. If I run into any snags I am going to push it back until it is ready to go live. I am still getting some information back about the new site so until this is all in the site will be unable to begin opperation.

On a semi-related note, I have changed into the Management Information Systems/Software Engineering core of classes so creating and editing website information should continue to get easier.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Getting Closer

Everyday puts me a little closer to my end goal. After hitting some snags the debut of the newest project is going to be held off until next weekend. The project is going to be using Wordpress as the main site and I have purchased two domains so far for the project. Today I worked on getting used to the new domains and I started to look for a Wordpress template for the site.

This weekend is going to be spent on getting more of the backbone parts of the new venture so when next weekend and the "live" stage rolls around everything will go as smooth as possible. This project is a massive undertaking and will likely make waves once it is fully operational. This is not another blog but something much greater.

Since the site isn't going to be ready this weekend I will announce what the project is this Sunday, one week before the launch of a new chapter of my blogging career.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Step In The Right Direction

Today was a productive day for more reason than one. First, I created a business plan, outline, and to do list for my blogs. The need for this was overwhelming since now I have even more motivation to get my plans done even quicker. The plan is by no means permanent or complete but it can serve as a nice guide for where I want to be in a few months.

I got one of my blogs to the point I want it to be at for a while. It actually has a finished look to it while not being too overpowering. I am also going to sign up for hosting and my first domain name tommorrow and hope to have the preliminary site up by this weekend. Eventually all of my blogs will shift to their own domains and I will use the blogspot blogs to generate some revenue through advertising programs like payperpost and blogitive.

A big announcement will be made this weekend so stay tuned for daily hints leading up to the announcement of my new domain and new project.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Major Overhaul Coming

After looking at many different resources online I am going to conduct a major overhaul on all of my sites. Although I am not nearly as experienced as I would like with blogging and image editing, I am going to attempt to create new and better layouts and ad placements on all of my websites. Within the next month I should be moving over to my own domains and hosting which will allow me with ultimate editing and flexibility. So keep your eyes out for changes and if you visit any of the sites and they don't look like they should it is probably because I am in the middle of editing them.

I did get a few things done since my last post. Tops on this list was the replacement of my adbrite ads. They seem to be working again so unless something further happens they will remain on my blogs. I also got my feet wet with a program called GIMP that is a sort of free photo shop. I created my first header for one of my blogs just to get used to the controls but I haven't figured out how to upload it yet. By the end of Thurday I should, hopefully, have this first header up as well as some minor tinkering with my posts.

Tommorrow I will write a post about monitoring Adsense on your desktop and a quick recap of my advertising plan.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Temporarily Removing Adbrite Ads

I had to remove the Adbrite ads for at least today. They were acting up and not loading so they were doing me no good. I think the problem is related to the upgrading of Adbrite but I'm not sure. Tonight I am hoping to be able to create and add a template to at least one of my blogs as well as start commenting on some other similar blogs so I can get a nice boost in traffic.

On a quick traffic note, this blog has become my most popular blog as well as my biggest money generator. Even though the blogging for money scene is crowded I seem to be fitting in just fine so far.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

More Frequent Posting

For the past week I have made sure to update each blog at least once a day. I am now going to aim at boosting this number this week to about 2 each. Some days might be more, others less but that is what I am going to aim for. Why am I doing this you may ask? Well there are a few different reasons:

  1. Content Having adequate content updated daily is what keeps readers returning more than once daily. They will check in more frequently if they know more will be posted. This means more pageviews, potential ads, and in the end more readers.

  2. Tags Using Technorati tags is a great way to drive traffic to your site, but only adding them once daily provides limited impact. Posting multiple times across many tags allows more viewers to see your blog. In my experience tags have given me a signifigant boost in traffic but once they are bumped of their front page their effect is negligible and keeping them on top provides a nice boost.

  3. Advertisements Posting more often gets more viewers to your pages. The effect, beyond greater page views? More page impressions, ads being displayed, and most likely, more click thrus. What this means? More money in your virtual pocket.

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My Blogs Are Brite...

Adbrite that is. Today most of what I did was changing my side blog ads over to adbrite ads as well as putting adsense content blocks on the top of each blog. If this trial works I will keep it but from the very limited time I have had them updated the response (click thrus) has been positive to say the least. I am also going to sort of test Q ads on every other post to see how those work out for me.

Today I also researched quite a bit on web addresses and transferring from Blogger to Wordpress when I am ready to expand to my own domains. Right now you can't transfer from Blogger Beta to Wordpress so I am wonder whether to switch now or continue on Blogger until they add the transfer feature. I am going to look into it a bit more before a make a final decision.

Also today, I messed around with graphic designing some more including score modules for the Pens Insider blog and some headers for all of my blogs. I think with some time and experimenting with the HTML I should be able to make the template look just how I want them to. As for when I will have everything fine tuned, I am aiming for next weekend but with the due date of my child getting closer and closer a temporary hiatus from blogging is imminent.

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Using Q Ads On My Blogs

One of the biggest changes of the past few days was finding and implementing new, more directed advertisements. One program I found to use is called Q ads and the reason I like it so much is its easy implementation and ability to be put within posts.

The first thing you will want to do is visit the Q ads site and download the toolbar button for whatever browser it is that you use. Once it is installed you will want to register for a client name so the revenue the ads generate goes to you instead of Q ads in general. Once this is done you are ready to put the ads in you posts. To do this just click the Q ads button while you are posting. A screen will load and all you have to do is enter relevant keywords, select a size (I like 364 X 75), and enter your client name. If everything looks good just click OK and the ad should appear in your post.

I haven't had the ads for long enough to determine their true value for generating revenue. One of the disadvantages I have noticed is the inability of the ads to be customized so they fit in with the color scheme of your blog. They stand out because they are white box links but this is not enough a deterrent for me to give up on the program all together. If you use Q ads let me know how your experience has been and how the program works for you.

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Designing and Implementing Graphics

Designing graphics kind of came naturally to me, and no I am not talking about Photoshop either. My technique uses Microsoft Word and Paint. Sure, they aren't the most advanced of programs but they are all the better quality I need for my blogs and I don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars to buy a program I will use sporadically at best.

I figured if I can make graphics that look good for personal use my not use them on my blogs as well. The first graphic I made was for my hockey blog but I soon hope to expand and make custom headers for each of my blogs so they look more unique and stand out among the crowd. Sometime soon I will write a few tutorials covering where to find images, how to make graphics, and some unrelated ones on tagging posts and implementing advertisements.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

More Advertising Changes

Well as a sort of continued post from yesterday, I have continued to adjust my advertisements. In the week or so that I have been serious about blogging I have come to understand a lot of things. After crunching some numbers on my four blogs I have found some interesting things out.

  1. Google link units are easier to impliment and also draw more traffic than their traditional units.
  2. Adbrite, to this point, is the most profitable advertising source
    • Note: I haven't tried every advertising type by every company so this is just my experience as it stands right now.
  3. Modifying advertisements and tracking the difference in clicks is key to being successful at advertising placement.
Those are a few of the lessons I've learned so far and tonight I will continue to play around with adding the new ads to all of my blogs. After this post I will have updated all of my blogs at least once today (My personal goal). I am going to make a part 3 about my advertising modifications in the morning after I have a chance to do some more experimenting with different options on each of my blogs.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New advertisements

In the last day or so I have been looking for the best advertisers to use on my website. I found the best recommendations from Gayla at Mom Gadget who was able to point me in the right direction. Today I got signed up for what seems like the most promising of all the opportunites, ClickBooth. The site has a lot of different advertisers including some very big names. This afternoon I hope to edit my sideblog a little bit on all of my blogs and get the ads to where I think they can optimize the click through rate.

On a side note, by the end of this weekend I hope to have my newest blog up and it will probably be the most important. I have some BIG plans in store for the next few weeks and if all goes well you should start seeing some big changes begining this weekend.

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