Category Archives: blogging

So You Want To Be A Blogging Star?

The New York Times has written a fantastic article titled, “So you want to be a blogging star?” about the realities of the blogging world. It is the first article I have read that takes a realistic view of blogging and the potential to earn money from it. The NY Times has interviewed Mark Cuban, Xeni Jardin and Ted Dziuba about their views on how people can create a successful blog and how much money you really do earn from it, even when you have a large readership. It is a real wake up call for all those bloggers out there who are purely blogging because they think it will let them give up their day job.

Also, the article gives some great tips on the all important blog/life balance and how to prevent blogging from taking over ever single waking moment, which is what many of us have problems with. The tips on how to become a successful blogger seem so simple and yet, so few of us actually achieve the lofty status of a successful blogger.  I am going to try out their tips and see how I do.  Somehow I am thinking that it really is not as simple as they make it out to be.

A big kudos to the New York Times for one of the best articles about blogging I have seen in the mainstream press.  May it be the beginning of many more of them.

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Please, pretty please?

There must be something that you guys want me to blog about.  Surely,  I haven’t covered every single topic already on my blog.  Is there something you have been dying to know about me or just idly curious about?  Come on, don’t be shy, ask away and I promise I will answer your questions.

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Online Advertising 101

This post of mine first appeared on Aussie Bloggers. I have made some changes to that original post, mainly because I displayed at the time a devastating lack of knowledge about basic mathematics. You may note that whilst I write about online advertising that my blog contains not a single piece of it. I write from experience of being employed in the online advertising industry.

You have been blogging for a while now, built up a healthy amount of daily traffic, have probably brought your own domain name and now you want to run ads on your blog to make some money. There are hundreds of companies out there that supply advertising to blogs but if you know nothing about online advertising, then choosing a company that is going to offer real value for the space on your blog is almost impossible. In this post, I am going to give you the basics about online advertising to help make that choice a little easier.

Types of Online Advertising

There are two main types of advertising that appear on blogs; display and search. Display ads are those colourful boxes that you see littering almost every single page on the internet these days, whilst search ads are boxes of text, usually hosted by Google. Neither one is better than the other, but one type may be more suitable for your blog.

Firstly, you need to decide how much space you want to devote to advertising. If you don’t want your blog cluttered by advertising, then search ads are probably the best way to go. If you have more space on your site, you might decide that display is for you. Either way, you need to decide if having advertising on your site is going to alienate your readers and how much advertising is too much.

A word of advice: If you can’t tell where the advertising stops and your blog begins, you have gone too far.

Buy Types

Online advertising is sold using one of three main buy types;

CPM (cost per thousand): The advertiser pays a fixed amount per thousand impressions, an impression being a user seeing the ad.

CPC (cost per click): The advertiser pays a fixed amount per click, a click being a user clicking on the ad to visit the advertiser’s site.

CPA (cost per action): The advertiser pays a fixed amount per user action; the action can be an inquiry or lead, a sale, or any other kind of specified transaction.

The best buy type for bloggers would be CPM as you are paid for every single time the ad appears, however, the most common buy type offered is CPC. This is because it offers the best value for money for the advertiser as their ad gets shown to every user, but they only pay when someone clicks on it.

An increasingly large number of companies, such as Amazon, are now selling ads on a CPA buy, which means you only get paid if someone clicks on the ad on your blog and then buys something from that company. Good thing for the company, but not such a great deal for you.

How Much Money Will I Make?

Realistically, not that much. Yes, there are a lot of stories about people who are making an income from their blogs, but compared to the number of people blogging, these fortunate ones are very few and far between. Advertising is really not a great way to make money unless you have a massive amount of traffic coming to your blog. This is because advertising is designed to benefit the advertiser and not you, the humble blogger.

Most advertising is sold as CPC (cost per click) at roughly 20 cents a click. The average click through rate (number of clicks/number of impressions) for advertising is 0.05%. Therefore, if you serve 2,000 impressions a day, the most clicks you will get is 1, which will earn you a daily income of 20c. This is definitely not the type of income you would give up your day job for. To make it worse, blog readers are notoriously bad clickers, unless the ads are related to products and/or services that they are interested it. Therefore, there will be many days when you won’t even make 20c.

The trick to making money with advertising is to have a large traffic volume and to offer ads that will appeal to your readership, but not to make the advertising detract from the real reason people visiting, which is to read your blog. It is a fine tightrope to walk with many pitfalls and traps for inexperienced players. For those that can get the balance right, it can mean giving up your day job but for the rest of us, the best we can hope for is that it pays our hosting costs.

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The Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2008I stumbled across this today and thought, ‘why the hell not’. It is for women only (sorry guys) and despite being advertised on a mommy blog with a strong Christian bend to it, it is supposed to be for all female bloggers regardless of religious affiliation or parental status, but you do need to keep your “party post” family friendly. I am not sure how a childless agnostic dyke is going to go amongst this crowd, but what the hell, I am always up for some free traffic and some more fabulous readers like your good selves.

Click on the picture next to this post and come along and join the party!

Now to decide what to serve at this shindig and I guess I am going to have to tidy up this place before everyone comes around.

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Rainy Thursday in the city

It has been a wet and windy day here in Sydney.  I am sitting at my work desk watching the rain fall and dreading when I have to go out into it.  I am just loving having a desk right next to a window.  It gives me a feeling of space and I must admit I am a sticky beak, so I am loving doing some people watching during my work day.

Tonight, I am off to a GLBTI Bloggers Meetup at the Courthouse Hotel in Newtown.  I am really looking forward to meeting some queer bloggers.  I feel quite disconnected from the queer community, so it would be nice to make some ties into it.  Also, I really need to go out and expand my social network beyond my small circle of friends.  Previous Sydney Bloggers meetups have been great for getting me out of the house and meeting and talking to new people.  I just need to do more of it with various groups of people.

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NaBloPoMo Goes Monthly

NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) which has traditionally been held in November is changing its format.  It is now a monthly competition, but will still have its big month with heaps of prizes in November.  It is starting its monthly run in March, with the theme “Lists”.  The theme is totally optional, which is a good thing because I don’t think I could think of 31 things to write lists about.

I am going to join up for March at least.  It might give me the kick up the butt I need to start posting more regularly.

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Sydney Bloggers Meetup

On Thursday night I attended the Inaugural Meetup of the Sydney Bloggers Meetup Group at the Old Vienna Cafe at the QVB.  I am not ashamed to admit that I was mighty nervous walking up to that cafe, but I shouldn’t have been because everyone there was really friendly.  There was a great mixture of experience bloggers, novice bloggers and a couple of people who were thinking about starting up their own blogs.

In attendance was Ian (Therin of Andor), Greg (Professor Null), James, the other Andrew (although at this meeting he was the only Andrew), John, Neerav, Evan, Tim and his wife Carmen and Keza and Frances who were brand new to blogging.

We all had great conversation about blogging platform, niche blogging, what we blog about and admiring those who had reached the lofty heights of problogging.

The only downside of the evening was that there was a person there from a media group who tried to use our group as a way to find out which up and coming hot new websites and social networking groups her company should buy.  I really didn’t think that this was appropriate.  We were not there to be a free resource for her company.

The next meetup will be on the 14th Febuary at the Old Vienna Cafe at the QVB.  If you are interesting in coming, please register here.

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