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May 2010

Do You NaBloPoMo?

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Are you a member of NaBloPoMo? It stands for National Blog Posting Month and is a group of people (now over 16,000 strong) who have committed to update their blogs once a day for an entire month. Each month has its own topic, giving you an editorial calendar to work off if you’re stumped for ideas!

The whole thing started off as spin-off of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which encourages authors to write an entire novel during the month of November. NaBloPoMo has been around for a couple of years and they found that people wanted to continue the event through the entire year. It is something you can drop into any month of the year, though November is still the biggest month, and is the only month when members donate prizes that are then given out randomly to other members who posted every day in November.

The theme for June is NOW. If you’re planning on blogging every day in June you can join in on their blogroll and add an HTML badge to your page. They’ve got categories for every topic and industry, so every blog is eligible.

Let us know if you are participating!

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Tips For Getting Your Blog Listed in Google News!

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Want more readers? Doesn’t everyone! One solution that can pay off immensely is getting your blog listed in Google News. Google news is constantly updated with latest stories that have a news hook. If you get your blog listed, it will provide you with good exposure and coverage, and will also boost targeted traffic to your site.

Here are the top tips for getting your blog picked up by Google News:

  • Create an About Us Page:
    This is a must for Google News. Talk about the organization of your company and the goal of your site. You need to have at LEAST two bloggers on your site, who blog frequently.

  • Create a Contact Us Page;
    Another must. Provide clear and concise (and legitimate) contacct information!

  • Create Original/Fresh Content:
    Google News likes to new original and new content, along with news related posts.

  • Define Your Industry:
    Your Homepage/Logo should clearly state what industry segment you cover (enterainment, sports, finance, etc.).

  • Format Your Posts Properly:
    Your post must include author name, date of publication, and should be well-categorized (easy for a blog!) The title should not exceed the limit of 25 words. Article URL’s should be unique and look static.

  • Post Frequently:
    You want to shoot for three updates a day, minimum. The whole point of being in Google News is to have timely information and this requires frequent posts!

  • Don’t Write Too Short:
    Too short of posts (less than 200 characters) seem to be filtered out.

Once you’re ready, submit your blog for inclusion!

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Blogs & Social Media Sites Land in Top 1000 Sites List

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Google came out with their Top 1000 Sites list this week, and I have to admit that I’m not surprised Facebook landed at #1! There were some other blogging and social networking sites that made it into the top 20 – including WordPress, BlogSpot, and Twitter. And of course there are a variety of blogs that make it onto the list, albeit somewhat further down. Take a look at the list and see if you rank within!

Other news and tips across the blogosphere this week (May 28th):

Copyblogger: How to Monetize Your Site Without Causing an Audience Revolt
There are so many bloggers out there with very large audiences who find themselves incapable or unwilling to monetize by launching a product. Learn how to avoid this issue, prepare your audience for your prices, and learn how to charge higher prices for your products.

Daily Blogging Tips: 10 Ways to Convert Your Blog Visitors Into Dedicated Readers
Do you want your blog to grow, increase your readership and subscriber numbers, have your content constantly spread, and make more money? Then you need to convert your blog visitors into dedicated readers.

ProBlogger: How to Pitch Bloggers – Make it a Win/Win/Win Situation
Tips for companies or individuals pitching to bloggers to link to their products, services, events, sites

ReadWriteWeb: Facebook Rolls Back Some Key Privacy Changes
Facebook has rolled back some of the biggest and most controversial changes to the site’s privacy settings made since December.

Mashable: Google Buzz Adds Reshare Option
Google Buzz is releasing the “Reshare” option update to the social aggregation platform.

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC

Is There ROI In Location Based Marketing?

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Justin-McHood-Head

Justin McHood

If you are a business, is it time for you to start paying attention to location based marketing applications like Foursquare and Gowalla?
Maybe.

As adoption velocity of social applications appears to be increasing at an increasing rate, chances are that you will be hearing more about companies using applications like Foursquare in innovative ways to answer the basic marketing questions:

  • What makes people come to my store and buy something?
  • What makes them buy more when they are in my store?
  • What makes them come back and buy again once they have left?

And when developing a strategy around these basic marketing questions, it may make a lot of sense to start utilizing location based marketing services to your advantage.

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Registration is Open for BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2010!

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Join us at the world’s largest social media conference where you can learn and/or fine-tune your social media marketing skills – from THE most successful new media content creators!

Register by July 15th and receive the early bird pricing!

As a marketing professional in this ever-changing, social media-centered environment, you need to stay on top of the latest in new media best practices. The good news is there is an event – with a top-notch, comprehensive educational program – that’s designed to help you accomplish your goals.

BlogWorld & New Media Expo should be on your calendar this fall if:

  • You are looking for new ways to reach your customers and grow your business in this challenging economy

  • You are a small business owner or corporate marketer considering using social media
  • You are an experienced marketing pro looking to take your social media strategies to a new level

BlogWorld & New Media Expo features the Social Media Business Summit, an exclusive 3-Day Conference with 150 educational sessions, 200+ speakers and more than 100 exhibiting companies showing the latest blogging and new media tools on the market. 

Whether you can only fly in for a day, or you’re here all week, BlogWorld & New Media Expo offers several conference packages to help you maximize your time in Las Vegas.

Early Bird Pricing (through July 15th) [Click here to learn about each package]:
Full Access Pass: $600
Weekend Pass: $300
Thursday Only Pass: $300
Exhibits Only Pass: $25

5 Tips For Selling Your Blog

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I recently sold one of my personal blogs and didn’t realize, until it was over, how difficult it would be to let go! I decided to sell for a variety of reasons – the amount of work going into the blog wasn’t corresponding to enough pay, and although I adore the topic, I was starting to feel burned out writing about it on a daily basis. Sure, I probably could have monetized the blog more effectively, but I couldn’t commit to that time and decided it was now or never.

Throughout the sale I did some research, learned a ton, and so I thought I would share my top 5 tips for selling a blog:

  • Be Realistic:
    This is a hard one, or at least it was for me! I mean, I wrote on this blog daily for two years. I had a Google PageRank of 4. That should be worth something, right? Well, in the blogging world – not really. When you’re selling a blog most times the buyer looks only at the amount of profit your site obtains. And that’s not last year’s spike in income – it is today’s profit. In the bricks and mortar world, most companies will sell for 2-3 years of the total net income, but online I found that it’s only 1 year. That was a little hard to digest!

    And those website value calculators? A buyer could really care less!

  • Gather Documentation:
    No matter how you sell your site (an auction website or broker), you will need a variety of documentation – the most important being your traffic and your income. You are going to need at least three months history of your statistics including traffic, unique visitors, bounce rate, etc. You will also need to put together a P&L for the last year (or more) that provides proof of payments from your various income sources (ad sales, Google AdSense, blogads, whatever). Get everything together beforehand so you can show documentation when asked.

  • Own Your URL:
    This wasn’t an issue for me, but I’ve seen people try to sell out their LiveJournal and Blogspot accounts, and it’s pretty touchy … You are much better off owning your own domain and paying to host it. Your blog needs to be a real web property. What I mean by this is that it needs to be a real domain, on hosting you are paying for.

  • Be Available:
    Be available to your potential buyers during the sales process and after. You may need to answer questions, provide additional documentation, and of course you’ll need to transfer all the data in a timely fashion after the sale.

  • Offer Additional Elements:
    With the sale of my blog, I also offered up the Facebook and Twitter account (with 2500 followers) I had developed for the site. I’m not sure if this influenced the price (I doubt it did) but it may be a good factor if you don’t have a huge amount of traffic on your blog. Your social media efforts and development will only enhance the sale and prove that you were vested in building an audience for the blog.

I’m proud of the way the transaction went, even though I had to swallow my ego and accept a reasonable offer (far below my initial expectations).

What tips do you have for selling a blog?

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC

Twitter Bans Third Party In-Stream Ads

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Whether or not you hate in-stream ads, Twitter is banning many of them. Twitter announced today that plans to edit its terms of service for developers and will prohibit third-party advertising networks and developers from inserting ads into a user’s stream.

This will severely affect several companies that created their business around in-stream ads (including Ad.ly, 140 Proof, and the newly launched Tweetup)

So what’s their reasoning? They say they want to value the user experience:

Why are we prohibiting these kinds of ads? First, third party ad networks are not necessarily looking to preserve the unique user experience Twitter has created. They may optimize for either market share or short-term revenue at the expense of the long-term health of the Twitter platform. For example, a third party ad network may seek to maximize ad impressions and click through rates even if it leads to a net decrease in Twitter use due to user dissatisfaction.

Secondly, the basis for building a lasting advertising network that benefits users should be innovation, not near-term monetization. Twitter is uniquely dependent on and responsible for the long-term health and value of the platform. Accordingly, a necessary focus of Promoted Tweets is to explore ways to create value for our users. Third party ad networks may be optimized for near-term monetization at the expense of innovating or creating the best user experience. We believe it is our responsibility to encourage creative product development and to curb practices that compromise innovation.

Companies can continue to place ads in their application as long as it’s not in the stream … not that it will help those who created their revenue generation model based on placing ads in-stream.

And users can continue to input their own ads in-stream. Check out these Ways to make money with Twitter ads for a list of companies that should be in business … until Twitter makes more changes.

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Monetization Monday: Google Reveals AdSense Revenue Share

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If you have a blog, there’s a good chance you’ve got a Google AdSense block somewhere on your site. AdSense has long been a way to help monetize your site with contextual ads. But it’s always been vague as to how your income is determined.

This morning, Google revealed exactly how much they take as their share from AdSense sales “in the spirit of greater transparency.” According to the release placed on their blog, they take:

  • 32% of content ads (the publisher gets the remaining 68%)

  • 49% of search ads (the publisher gets the remaining 51%)

The content ads are those placed alongside web content, while AdSense for search allows publishers to place a custom Google search engine on their site and obtain revenue from ads shown in the results.

And what does Google do with their cut? They use the money for “continued investment in AdSense — including the development of new technologies, products and features that help maximize the earnings you generate from these ads.

Do you think this is a fair share? Do you use any other contextual ad services?

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Start Your Blog Now, The Internet Is Running Out of Room!

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Get your blog started now because the internet is running out of space! The regulator in charge of assigning IP addresses, under a standard called IPv4, is now reaching its limit of IP addresses. Another standard, IPv6, is capable of providing a near-infinite number of addresses but it has not been widely incorporated. It seems that this will need to be addressed quickly because experts report that capacity will be reached late next year. [More at Read Write Web: The Internet Is Running Out of Room]

Other news and tips across the blogosphere this week (May 21st):

Daily Blogging Tips: 6 Ways to be Kind To Your Readers
Kindness can go a long way, regardless of what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to build a popular blog, well, you might wanna be kind to your readers, as this will improve the chances of them coming back and becoming part of your community.

Mashable: Add Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Info to Your Gmail Contacts
The Gist Gadget basically lets you find out way more about the people in your inbox, directly from Gmail.

TechCrunch: Twitter For iPhone Launches
Twitter removed Tweetie 2 from the App Store this week to make room for the newly rebranded “Twitter for iPhone.”

Image Credit: SXC

Top Ways to Use URL Shorteners & Why to Use Them!

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Everyone who is on Twitter knows about URL Shorteners. When you tweet, your goal is to pack as much info into that 140 characters as possible, so why would you want to waste it on a lengthy URL? Many websites and blogs have put together a naming process that includes the title of their article (to assist with SEO), but that could very well take up more than your available space to Tweet! So, although URL shorteners were around before Twitter and other social media websites, they now became a necessity. It’s pretty much standard that you’re not going to see a full website URL when you glance at your Twitter stream.

But are they good for anything else? Absolutely. Whether you prefer bit.ly or tinyurl or even the new goo.gl shorteners, they have other uses than paring down your characters for social networking – although that’s still the way that most of us will use them!

Top Ways to Use URL Shorteners:

  • Customize Your Extension:
    Many of the URL shorteners allow you to choose your own extension (assuming it is still available) in place of the random string of characters. If it’s something that you want your users to easily remember, or if it is a URL you will be using frequently (home page of your blog perhaps?) – try to obtain that quickly.

    [Shorteners That Allow Customization: bit.ly, tr.im, cli.gs, snurl, budURL, tinyURL, Doiop]
  • Compile and Track Data:
    Several of the URL shorteners track data for you! You can gather the amount of times your URL has been clicked, geographic location, inbound links, and more. This gives you additional information than just seeing referring links from Twitter on your Google Analytics.

    [Shorteners That Track Data: bit.ly, tr.im, cli.gs, snurl, budURL, kl.am, zi.ma]
  • Get Promoted:
    Some of the URL Shorteners actually promote the top clicked links – so you could get some free visitors and readers to your website! It’s not a given, but could be beneficial all the same.

    [Shorteners That Promote Links: bit.ly (popular links on Twitter), kl.am (popular links on their website), Snurl (shows interesting ones on Browse Snips)]

What is your favorite URL Shortener?

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

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