Performancing Metrics

Archive for November, 2006

Small Businesses and Blogging

I currently have a client that I am helping do some development work for. I told him he should get into blogging, as his industry does not have really anyone talking about his niche and that could really help him in his marketing and search engine position. Being the technical person he is, he tilted his head and nodded. I assumed he could see the big picture like I could, but really he didn’t. I eventually noticed his blank stare and lack of excitement, and filled him in on why blogging could help his small business.

Over on the Church of the Customer Blog they have put up a post talking about why it is a great idea for most small business to look at blogging as a helpful tool.

They give seven points, and here are my favourite three:

1. They fan the flames of customer evangelism. Their personal nature helps humanize you and your organization.
4. They facilitate the spread of buzz. Honest, informative or thought-provoking posts about issues important to customers and prospects tend to be spread more often.
7. They help position you as a knowledgeable expert in your industry.

Check out the rest, as well as the details of what not to do once you start a blog for your small business at the Church of the Customer Blog.

Hopefully, my client does well with it. I am helping him compile a list of topics he can touch on, as well as tools at his disposal to promote his content and eventually with some luck, time and effort, start a community.

Categories: Blogging Tips

176 Newspapers Partner with Yahoo

The lines between online and traditional media looks to be blurred again as a group of seven newspaper chains representing 176 daily newspapers across the US are partnering with Yahoo to share content, advertising and technology.

In the first part of the deal you will see newspaper companies posting their employment classified ads on HotJobs, Yahoo’s job site as well as using HotJobs to promote the ads on their own sites.

The long-term goal is of course to have all the newspaper content tagged and optimized for indexing and searching by Yahoo.

This deal comes shortly after Google’s announcement of a deal with 50 major newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune.

Newspapers are having a hard time keeping up in our society, and partnering with Google and Yahoo might be a good move for them. While the effect on bloggers might not be transparent to most, I see this as the first step in getting traditional media used to how the web really works, and someday The Chicago Tribune might be grabbing your content for display in their publication.

Or, even more interesting in my eyes, this could be the death knell for newspapers as they slowly give up control to online companies able to monetize their content better. What do you think of such a deal?

Souce: The New York Times

Categories: General

How Does Paid Blogging Work?

One of the biggest questions I am always asked is how the whole paid blogging thing work? Where does the money come from to pay bloggers? How can people afford to pay bloggers to write?

Most people don’t see how there can be any return in investment they make, or that they could even monetize their own blogs and use that to start their own network. One of the best things about blogging is low barrier to enter, and getting bloggers really means you need to pay for a domain, hosting, and the writer/blogger’s time.

Deep Pockets
Usually to start paying bloggers you have to take from your own pockets. The deeper your pockets, the more likely you can be to eventually turn a profit, or if nothing else, pay some decent writers to create content for the blog or blogs. Sometimes it can take half a year or even a full year before a blog is established enough to begin equalizing out the difference between paying bloggers and what the site makes. Some sites never get to this point, and that should be understood before attempting to do this. Its only an investment if eventually the investor gets a return on the funds the poured into the blog.

Advertising Revenue
One of the main routes for paying bloggers is advertising revenue, but this can be a bit of the chicken and egg problem because advertising revenue does not come until a site has become established. Usually though after some time, a blog can pay for its writers via advertising revenue, and sometimes even turn a profit.

Revenue from Other Projects
The last way to pay for a blogger or two can be by taking revenue from other projects or sources. This is a lot like taking from your own pockets, but it is less risky. You only invest into the blog what you are making from another project, and as the blog matures, you can then take any profit made from the blog and invest it back into the initial service.

It usually takes a mix of the three to make sure that the blog runs safe and sound and get it off the ground, eventually advertising through one of the many services that are out there, mixed with a good Google Page Rank and some decent traffic can usually help make a blog have a reasonable cash flow.

When I explain it to people I talk to I tell them it is not really any different than a magazine. Writers are paid by publishers, publishers are paid by advertisers, and advertisers make money by getting the readers to buy their product. Hopefully, this can be a quick article that we all point people to, when they do that head tilt and nod when we tell them that we are paid to write on blogs, or wonder how paid blogging really works.

Categories: Blogging Tips

Automattic Enterprise Level WordPress

In what I would consider a predictable but dramatic shift, WordPress is going to attempt to appeal to Enterprise level clients thanks to a deal with KnowNow. This edition will be called the KnowNow WordPress Enterprise Edition and is based off WordPress MU, the multi-blog service, much like WordPress.com.

The new KnowNow WordPress Enterprise Edition will offer enterprises a comprehensive authoring solution that includes a powerful new platform for open communications and information management. With the addition of WordPress, KnowNow offers enterprises a platform to build their customer-facing presence in the blogosphere, or an internal platform behind their own firewall to support interactive employee communication. The solution enables authoring of content that leverages the RSS format, meaning enterprises can speed the delivery of critical information to employees, partners, or customers.

What does Automattic get from the deal? Well, they get to see their product compete gainst SixApart in the enterprise level, and any improvements that KnowNow makes on the WordPress software will be released back into the open source core products.

Sounds like an interesting, but good deal, all around.

Categories: WordPress News

Are Web Users Becoming More Click Savvy?

A survey by conducted by online advertisement outfit DoubleClick has came up with 30% of the respondents clicking on banner advertisements, but a whopping 60% don’t click, but instead visit the advertiser’s website much later by directly entering the URL.

The finding suggests that consumers prefer to reach sites on their own, rather than by linking through advertisements. “People are engaged in the content they’re looking at the time that they’re exposed to the ad, and they don’t want to navigate off the page,” said Rick Bruner, DoubleClick’s director of research.

The study specifically refers banner advertisements, and not text ads, though. I would be interested in learning whether this trend also extends to text ads, particularly those that display adverts according to the context of the site content. If so, then publishers had better look for other payout schemes aside from pay-per-click, or at least sign up with systems that let users monetize site traffic based on impressions.

[via NY Times]

Categories: Blogging News, Blogging Sense

Probloggers Better Diversify

Steve Rubel warns that before you jump into problogging you should understand that you are more likely to be one of the sixty million unpaid bloggers out there than the next Michael Arrington, and even Michael Arrington should look at diversifying where his money is coming from.

The pro bloggers that are doing this now, like Om Malik and Michael Arrington to name two, should diversify their revenue streams. This will include courting larger, more stable advertisers. But it goes further. They have a lot of knowledge and should begin to sell premium research reports on the industries they track.

He says this as a warning to those out there who don’t know that there will be an advertising slowdown at some point. Wise words indeed.

Categories: Blogging Tips

WordPress Podcast: Episode 10

An episode that links to a story on BloggingPro. How cool is that? Well, episode ten of the WordPress Podcast is finally here, and Charles pushes another great episode out.

The episode is now split into three parts, the first being news, the second being plugins and the third being feedback and other details. With me posting it now, there have already been over 500 listeners.

The news topics covered include:

1. The migration to Fuzzy Hosting is finished and it was mostly painless.
2. WordPress.com allows unlimited users on private blogs for $35US annually.
3. Blogging Pro beats me to an interview with Matt Mullenweg.
4. Digg.com blog now uses WordPress.
5. 7 essential WordPress hacks series at Tubetorial.com.

I am looking forward to Episode 11, and Charles, remember, if you ever need a hand…I am definetly interested, even if it’s just editing the “um’s” out of the audio. Check out Episode 10 on WP-Community and don’t forget to fill out the survey for a chance at at getting Mint, a popular statistics program.

Categories: WordPress News

Gravatar Still Dead: Time for a Replacement?

Gravatar is a service that links your e-mail address with an avatar image of your own choosing. It is very popular, and also a great way to find comments from people in a massive amount of comments. It is also a great way to express yourself through an image on other blogs.

A gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is quite simply an 80×80 pixel avatar image that follows you from weblog to weblog appearing beside your name when you comment on gravatar enabled sites. Avatars help identify your posts on web forums, so why not on weblogs?

Unfortunately, the service has not been “working” for quite some time. The last post on the Gravatar blog is around three weeks old, saying that the new servers and system should be up soon.

The pre-renders are complete, the mod_magnet script for lighttpd is done and tested, I’m just waiting on the setup of the new servers. Once setup is complete, I’ll get this sucker deployed, and we’ll see what happens. I’m still working on the Gravatar 2.0 admin site, I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for your continued patience.

For all I know, the site could be up and running later today, but I am pretty sick of waiting. I haven’t enabled Gravatars on BloggingPro yet because it ran too slow when it did work, and now it does not work correctly.

I know the service was created and ran out of the goodness of Tom Werner’s heart, but this is getting rediculous.

Other than getting people to adopt the service, why hasn’t someone created a newer/better gravatar type service? It is just an image hosting service basically. And with over a month since Tom posted that the new Gravatar service was “imminent”, we are all frustrated and tired of waiting.

Someone fill this niche please! Because it does not look like Tom is really passionate about doing it anymore. Again, I could be wrong, and the new service could launch today, but if you think you can do better, now would be the time to try because there are hundreds of frustrated people commenting on the rediculousness of the Gravatar developments.

Categories: General

WordPress Theme: Apple

A very festive three column theme, and with some minor tweaks, a theme I think could be very widely used comes Apple.

I’ve been eating apples so I thought I should make a theme based on the apple color scheme. Apple is a three-column, left sidebar WordPress theme. As you can see, I love it, so much that I’m using it for my own website.

It is really nice looking in its red, green and yellow tints. I highly recommend this theme.

Check it out at WPDesigner.com

Categories: WordPress Themes

Five Common Myths about Working From Home

Over on Panasonic Youth there is a post relating to the five most common myths about working from home. It is not entirely blog related, though most probloggers or even part time probloggers probably work from home. I am one of those people. I work from home currently, and I am really sick of people believing these myths are reality.

You have less distractions. The entire summer there was road construction right outside my house, with the constant beeping of dump trucks in reverse a solid three hours in the morning. Then there were the days were they were jackhammering and moving concrete – it literally shook my whole office, and I’m in the second floor. Family and friends think because you work from home that you can chat whenever and as long as they want, so there are awkward conversations where I’ve had to explain that I can’t be on the phone all afternoon. The type of distraction might be different, but there are still plenty of things to steal your attention.

You can work whenever you want. Maybe if you are a solo freelancer or working with just a few other people, this is true. If you have any sort of company structure, you probably have to be online and answering IM’s at least for a few dependable hours a day. Factor in keeping a schedule for family or social life, and you will probably want to maintain a rough 9 to 5 schedule even if you don’t have to. Yes, the schedule is much more flexible and I’ve done plenty of late night hacking, but you still need to consider your company or family needs.

Read the rest of the myths on Panasonic Youth.

Categories: Blogging Tips

Content


Receive the top stories from BloggingPro and the Splashpress Media network every week, right in your Inbox. Relevant and timely content is yours for FREE!