Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Ad Budget that is Reborn on New Years Morning

image We focus all of our attention on optimizing our sites, but sometimes it is not our sites performance that results in missing our Adsense earnings goals.  If you are looking at December results and thinking that you didn’t quite earn as much as you expected, don’t rush to change anything that you hadn’t already identified as broken.

Many advertisers have budgets that run out before the month of December ends.  Furthermore, those budgets are often not renewed until a few days into January.  To compound this type of thing, two other market activities kick in that can decrease your earnings.  Many advertisers simply stop spending ad money from about the 25th through about January 2nd.  If they have nothing to sell to holiday consumers, their money might get more bang for its buck when people that they are targeting come back online AFTER the holidays.

Plus, many companies and advertisers that do have consumers to target can move into the vacancies mentioned above and pay far less in Adsense money to run their own advertisements.  The supply of ads shrink and the bargain hunters move in.  Its classic economics, and it can account for decreases in Adsense earnings during December.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Google Crisis?

I found a very interesting article over on WebsiteMagazine.com today regarding Google's latest crisis. The new crisis involves Google Search users visiting parallel sites (non-Google affiliated ones at that). You see, it is great to have a search engine that delivers users to your own sites, but it can be worrisome if after they use your search engine they leave your sphere of influence and spend time and money on someone else's site. 


Apparently Google is having the most difficulty with price comparison and shopping sites. Sites like BizRate, Shopzilla and PriceGrabber make up the top three traffic and sales hacks that Google is concerned with at this point. 

It will be interesting to see what Google will do in response to this crisis. I feel like they have been kind of ignoring their search engine for the last few months and instead focusing on spamming the hell out of YouTube. Granted, I cold be wrong, but this just seems like something they should have been ready for. Oh well, I'm sure Google will figure this out in time for Valentines Day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Adsense Tips

There are a lot of folks out there who do their best to spread the word about Adsense optimization as well give tutorials in order to help users out. I recently surfed through YouTube to find some tips to share here and came across a great video made by the Australian Adsense team and posted on their YouTube channel "InsideAdsense".




In addition to offering great tips ranging from creating custom channels to tracking and measuring your results, the Adsense team delves into nearly every aspect in this video and others in their collection. I highly recommend checking out their channel over on YouTube to learn more tips and tricks in order to put an exclamation point on your earnings.

Keeping Tabs

I can't stress how important it is to keep tabs on your Adsense statistics, especially when you implement new SEO strategies, networks or anything for that matter. I recently began utilizing FeedBurners Buzzboost feature to better help publicize my blogs and have really enjoyed watching my traffic increase over the last couple of weeks. 


In addition to keeping tabs on your Adsense statistics, I highly recommend that when you implement a new strategy or tactic that you drop an email or comment to the Adsense tracking service to make them aware of any irregularities that might occur with clicks or page impressions. If you search the Blogosphere enough, you will find many horror stories about folks who have skipped that step and had accounts suspended for suspicious activity.

Personally, I suspect that Adsense tracking is tired of hearing from me, but I really don't want to risk my hard work earning clicks and impressions to go down the drain. In the end, it is up to you to keep track of your statistics (but that isn't going to keep me from lecturing you all to do so).

YouTube and Adsense

Whether you frequent YouTube or not, you may have noticed (heard) that Google now owns (actually since 2006) the popular user-upload site and has begun uploading their advertisements all over it. In addition to running a variety of Adsense advertisements, Google has offered users the ability to apply to become "partners". 


I am not terribly sure as to what becoming a YouTube "partner" entails, but I have seen that "partners" have videos ads placed on their videos as well as scattered across their channel and pages. 

Personally, I don't think that it is necessarily a bad thing. I think that it is a good opportunity for users and content producers to earn a bit of extra revenue for their hard work, but am curious as to how Google will view certain content on YouTube. I have heard that their will be a few search options for filtered and unfiltered content as well as some sort of re-rating for videos other than the 1-5 star format we are all so familiar with.

There are many popular YouTube channels that feature a variety of filterable material, but are quite popular and may suffer due to this new increase in homogeneity. Here is a quick video of a popular YouTube channel "thunderf00t". His channel deals in a variety of controversial issues and may be affected greatly by the new Google-run YouTube.



I don't know if I agree wholeheartedly with his "YouTube is dead" philosophy, but I think he makes a few good points about censorship and free speech. What are your opinions about this?

All Inclusive Vacations

Here we are again, another holiday with the airports jammed with weary travelers carrying fruitcakes and presents for loved ones. I don't know how many years it has been since I took a real vacation this time of year. Not that a trip to Mom and Dads or the in-laws isn't a "vacation", but I'm talking about an exotic location, exciting activities and just getting away from "it all". Having said that, I've been exploring some of the unique, all inclusive, SuperClubs vacation packages and am really liking what I am seeing.


Imagine being able to choose from a series of romantic vacations and packages at a Jamaica all inclusive resort. I would love to take my wife to a peaceful exotic locale and sip drinks oceanside watching the waves drift in lazily. One of my favorite aspects of the SuperClubs resort packages is the fact that you would never be troubled to find anything as the packages are all inclusive. Talk about being able to focus on having a great time with the family or special loved one!

In addition to great vacation packages, SuperClubs offers a variety of other packages including Caribbean weddings. These wedding packages include some incredible amenities as well as unbelievably gorgeous locations for that special day. If you have been considering taking a tropical vacation this holiday season or over the winter months, why not make it an all inclusive SuperClubs vacation? I think you will really like what you see!

Monday, December 08, 2008

FeedBurner BuzzBoost

Having spent a bit of time lately link building in order to raise traffic as well as Adsense clicks and page impressions, I wanted to take an opportunity to talk briefly about a great FeedBurner feature that can help your blog or site a number of ways; BuzzBost. BuzzBoost is a tool by FeedBurner which allows you to create a HTML code to share with other blogs and websites that, once embedded, will not only link your blog and posts, but hopefully drive traffic between sites stimulating your Adsense statistics.


I recently became aware of this program through a friend of mine and have begun putting the feature to use. I hope to see a nice traffic spike in the coming weeks, which will hopefully mean increased Adsense revenue generation (got to pay for that hosting service).



In the meantime, I would definitely suggest checking out the program which can be found under your FeedBurner feed account under the tab of "Publicize". The HTML code is easy to set up, you just have to select a couple of boxes to determine what information you would like displayed once the code is embedded. Once you save you will be given the code which can then be embedded onto a blog or website. If you get a chance, definitely check this one out!

Competitive Ad Filter

Google's Adsense program offers decent rewards to anyone who is dedicated enough to explore its intricacies (dashboard) and apply the knowledge of the sages (Adsense bloggers) in order to reap the benefits. Having said that, I wanted to take a minute or two today to mention the Competitive Ad Filter in the Setup menu. 


The Competitive Ad feature will enable an Adsense user to determine which ads they will run on their page. Granted, this sounds like the simplest of tasks, but it is actually quite involved, so hold on.

The best way to explain this whole "process" is to suggest you look at it first-hand from your Adsense account. Basically, log-in, select account setup and then competitive ad filter. Once you select the competitive ad filter you will be greeted by some text as well as a few examples of how to filter ads for your blogs. 



In addition to that tool, Adsense now offers an Ad Review Center where you can review the ads before they run on your page. Personally, I believe that the ad filter works well enough, but if you aren't in the mood o run the research and block domains on your own then the new review feature might be right up your alley. Either way, you are bound to have the ads you would prefer running about 90% of the time. 

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Reporting Traffic Spikes to Big Brother

Many people and businesses who use the Adsense program successfully utilize many of the setup and reporting options instead of just simply embedding code and hoping for the best. Having said that, I want to discuss, in brief, the importance of reporting traffic increases (spikes) to Google in order to not be reported as being a baron of suspicious activity. There are countless stories across the Blogosphere about people having their accounts suspended or given warnings for suspicious Adsense clicks and impressions.


The best way to combat the aforementioned pitfalls is simple. All one has to do is file a quick report via your Adsense dashboard informing Google that you have done something (added directories, networks or links) that will likely increase your page impressions and clicks. By filing this simple report, you can rest assured that your Adsense account will not be flagged as suspicious or given a warning. 

After putting in all the work of increasing your blogs traffic, the least you could do for yourself is submit this two second report to keep your account open and profitable.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

BlogMad Purchased


Having mentioned sometime last week that BlogMad, a popular traffic generator, was put up for sale, I wanted to provide an update. Apparently, sometime in the last few days, BlogMad was sold to Today.com. For those of you unfamiliar with Today.com, they are a pay-per-post site not all that dissimilar than Associated Content. 


In addition to purchasing the domain from BlogMad, it would appear that current members of the purchased site will have the ability to sign-up at Today.com just as anyone else. Unfortunately there aren't any special perks for former BlogMad members. 

I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it isn't too much of a surprise that the traffic generation sites are beginning their death throes. I mean, its all about organic traffic nowadays and site recognition. Besides, organizations like Google don't particularly like these types of sites and have been known to penalize users whose sole traffic generation efforts stem from sites like BlogMad. 

Anyway, the site was purchased by Today.com and the transfer will go down sometime on December 12th. BlogMad users have about 10 or so days to burn through their credits and find alternatives before the domain swap occurs. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Traffic Generators Dying Off

Recently, BlogMad announced that they will be closing their "doors" on Dec. 12, 2008 unless they are sold by that date. Apparently the traffic generation business just isn't what it used to be. For those of you unfamiliar with BlogMad, they are one of the better known traffic exchanges in the market and have been in business for several years. The traffic exchange offers their members views in exchange for viewing other blogs in their database. The system is a good source for instant traffic on blogs that are in development or looking to find niche traffic.



Many people aren't very large fans of traffic exchanges due to the lack of organic and focused traffic, but I would have to agree to disagree. I believe that traffic exchanges like BlogMad are great tools for unveiling a blog to a mass/global audience. I tend to roll-out my blogs on those networks to see if my design and content are able to catch a few "fish". After the "beta test", I will then focus on directories, networks, link exchanges and the like if I deem the site/blog viable.

In regards to Adsense, well, Adsense doesn't car for traffic exchanges as they are not truly viable page impressions. If you have used a traffic exchange you know exactly what I mean by that. In addition, I have heard that Adsense has penalized users of traffic exchanges in the past due to that same factor. 

Personally, I really enjoy BlogMad for the social networking aspect via the Shout Box and email functions. I have actually been able to generate a lot of traffic for my blog "Increasing My Blogs Traffic" via tips and techniques to get the most out of that service as well as similar services and other networks. 

Having used a number of different traffic generators and exchanges, I am sad to see that they are dying off slowly. I guess it is just the next stage of the Blogosphere's evolution. 

Intensive Keyword Focus

Having spoken a bit about different ways to strategize your Adsense program, I wanted to take a minute today to stress the importance of targeting your keywords to ensure "clickable" Adsense ads. As I've mentioned in the past, nobody is going to click on an advertisement for Sea World when they are reading articles on a blog about Adsense. I can't stress enough that it is important to stay on task when writing an article for your blog. In fact, if you don't have a particular keyword focus for your article (or your blog), you probably should back away from the keyboard and plan out a strategy.


In addition to crafting a keyword focus, it is important to update your Adsense preferences and setup from time to time to ensure that your ads are up to date and also working  with your blog and not against it. I mean, the ad may be relevant but if its color or size is off a strong keyword focus won't really matter. Who wants to click on an eyesore of an advertisement anyway? I know I wouldn't click on it and I doubt you would either.

In conclusion, if you are writing a blog article and are hoping to employ Adsense to earn some dough you may want to consider honing your keyword focus so you will have relevant advertisements on your page. Remember, relevant ads equal clicks and more revenue via the Adsense program.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Adsense Targeting Keywords

In our last post I mentioned a technique on keyword focusing strategies to implement on your blog that will help keep your Adsense making sense. I also mentioned last week a few instances where sometimes keyword targeting will backfire and place an ad on your blog that speaks opposite of your focus. The ad that I used as an example I found on a friends blog who wrote a post regarding his support of Barack Obama for President. Unfortunately (for his blog), the ad that he wound up with was an ad about a documentary that was anti-Obama. Personally, I thought that it was kind of funny, but I could see where it might make him and his blog look strange.


Sometimes a keyword focus isn't enough and you have to explore your Adsense menu and filter through the menus to find the "appropriate ads" link. I recommend doing this as soon as you select Adsense for your account, it can help keep awkward ads from popping up and making your readers say, "huh?" With any luck you might be able to grab some extra clicks this way too!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Google AdWords - Writing Effective Ads (Part 3)

In Part 1, I mentioned that Google only allows one exclamation point per ad. This is but one of many rules Google has, not to make it difficult for advertisers, but to protect the experience of the the user. I will use this post to summarize more of the AdWords Editorial Policies.



The first few policies I am going to hit concern the appearance of your ads. There must be correct spacing between words and words must be spelled correctly. Also, no “text speak” such as substituting “U” for “you.” ALL CAPS is also not allowed though you can capitalize the first letter of each word. Another no-no is repeating words for emphasis. Obviously, inappropriate language either in the ad or in the Display URL will get your ad rejected too.



The next few policies deal the content of your ads. First, don’t lie. If you are advertising a special offer, make sure it can be found on your site. Next, if you claim to be the best or #1, you have to back it up in the ad with third party verification. You can say “Voted #1 By ….” but you can’t say “Best Ice Cream in the World” Finally, if you claim to be better that your competition, you have to specifically back up your claim on your landing page. This can be done with a table, a chart, or simply bullet points showing how you are better.



If you simply keep in mind that the content of your add should be honest and should be what draws attention, you’ll do well.





Mary Jo

Internet Marketing Blog

600 Boyson Road, Suite 200

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402



Other topics of interest:

Cedar Rapids Website Design

webdesign's Mobile post sent by brettbum using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vertical Banner Ads

After retooling some of my other blogs this week, I wanted to mention how much better (I think) large vertical banner ads work in place of smaller rectangle ads. Granted, you're never going to get rich via Adsense, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to cover your hosting fees. I just feel like people are more likely to click an attractive and colorful image as opposed to a random text link about diet pills or something.


After working with some other folks on their Adsense ads, I have found that not only do they change often, two people can be looking at the same ad and have something entirely different on each of their screens. For example, I was viewing a large vertical banner image ad of Barack Obama while my friend was viewing the same page but a different ad in the banner in question. Personally, I thought that was pretty strange, I always thought (hoped) it was streamlined. 

Here is the advertisement in question on the blog Sanktastic;

BillQuick For Your Business



If you have been running a small business, you know the difficulty in utilizing countless applications to manage your business. Well, BQE Software Inc. has released their streamlining software BillQuick that will allow users to access multiple applications, including time management, billing and multiple management functions, from one application. Imagine being able to access nearly every aspect of your business via one application. That means, one password, one window instead of accessing multiple programs with multiple passwords to run your business.

In addition to all of the great aforementioned applications, BillQuick currently has a 30-Day Free Trial offer. If that isn't enough for you to give BillQuick a try, the developers even offer a free ROI Calculator to measure your business or personal investments to gauge how they are working for you/your business. In addition to streamlining your business, BillQuick also functions seamlessly with other popular applications and tools such as Intuit, QuickBooks and Palm Pilots etc. If you have been considering streamlining your business applications you should give BillQuick a look.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Firefox Extensions

Seeing as though Google Chrome has yet to release the inevitable mass of extensions, users ought to consider utilizing the stockpile that Firefox has available. In addition to their great Web Developer Toolbar, Firefox has a lot of other great extensions Chrome users might like to use in the meantime (and who know maybe even continue using long afterward).


Here is the extension information posted by Website Magazine;

YSlow: With over 8,500 downloads each week, YSlow is an immensely popular tool to help developers (and designers) analyze web page load times, letting them know why they are slow based on Yahoo's rules for high performance websites. Those using the extension can see a performance overview, HTTP/HTML summary, a list of components on the page and includes tools such as JSLint.

Server Switcher: An excellent extension for developers, Server Switcher is a navigational help tool. That means users can switch between sites on their development (platform hosting the temporary version you are currently working on) and live servers, so that changes can be immediately seen. I use this tool regularly at home. Features include support for subdirectories (as well as different ports and local files), multiple projects can be created, and the whole app can be launched with a keyboard shortcut.

SQL Injection: With all the fear surrounding SQL attacks the past few months, this extension might help to allay some fears. The component transforms checkboxes, radio buttons, and select elements in form fields to an input text, providing the ability to disable elements from the forms. This makes it much easier to test and identify SQL injection vulnerabilities.

Bugg.gd Error Search: bug.gd is the global error search engine. Everyone helps grow the database by providing their solutions to unsolved errors they run into. The goal is to ensure that no human ever has to research an error that has already been solved. Simply copy an error message and click a couple of buttons to start searching for a solution - you can't get much easier than that. Drastically reduced the number of network calls required, using the new XML-based bug.gd API.

Firebug 1.2.1: Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page.

Poster: A developer tool for interacting with web services and other web resources, Poster lets users make HTTP requests, set the entity body, and content type so you can interact with web services and inspect the results. Features include the ability to set request parameters, and save preferences for an individual session or permanently.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shout Boxes

If you've been utilizing social networking sites, you are undoubtedly familiar with the shout box or chat-room style formats that many social networking sites offer. These tools can be a great way to advertise your blogs and websites via conversation. The reason I say conversation is due to the fact that many people spam the chat rooms and shout boxes via copying and pasting their link into the text. This is spammy, do not do it!


If you are taking advantage of these tools you can sell your site to people vis good conversation and content to back it up. I mean, do you really want to generate traffic for a website that has bad content? No, you probably don't. Besides if that is the case you will likely tarnish the image of your site via the network. 

There are a lot of great social networking tools out there and you can increase your traffic and social networking skills via these sites and tools, just remember not to be spammy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

URL Submission

A common mistake when beginning to market a blog is failure to submit your blog to a variety of search engines. Oftentimes, bloggers obsess over Google and Google Page Rank that they forget about the other major search engines that employ spiders that would be just as happy to crawl your blog or site. 


As I mentioned, Google is only one of the main search engines that would love to index your site and send traffic in your general direction. The other two that I would highly recommend submitting your URL to are Yahoo and MSN

The submission process is quite simple and will only take a moment or two. You will not see instant results, but if you are generating good content, link exchanges and are taking quality care of your blog or site then the results will come in time. 

Remember, Google might be the big fish in the pond, but they aren't the only tasty one.

Friday, October 10, 2008

How To Blog Effectively Utilizing Keywords

Have you ever found yourself pondering how to go about creating a strong blog entry heavily focused on a keyword. There are many different ways to go about creating a quality blog entry doing so. Oftentimes we begin creating an article with a basic premise on mind, but can oftentimes wind up on a tangent that sends a keyword focus spiraling out of control. There are a handful of simple ways to stay on target and turn those tangents into other posts you may wish to link your current post to in the future.


If you are focusing on a broad topic, select a few keywords you would like to remain focused on and generate a strategy to work them in. This process can be as simple as writing the words on a sticky note and placing it up on your monitor to remind you just where you should be heading. Think of it as a GPS for your blog post. I know, this is feeling like English 101, but hey we need to stay on topic, that is a key to better blogging.

Another tip to staying on topic regarding keyword focus is to say to yourself, "Does this blog post maintain the overall focus of my blog, or am I getting off topic?"

If you find yourself consistently running off topic then it might be time to create a different blog for that topic. There is nothing wrong with expanding and taking o new direction, but just don't do it on one blog. If you are concerned with keywords then you should understand the importance of that quite well. 

Lastly, if you are just writing to write, then there is a good chance that your content isn't generating much interest. If you can write in an engaging style that brings in organic traffic who leave comments and feedback then you know your target is on. If your blog is a barren wasteland of copious amounts of text then it might be time to change your blogs focus and direction.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Increase Traffic and Visibility

Lately there has been an increased onus on generating additional traffic through conventional means (not through auto-surf services). There are several ways to generate additional traffic for your blog or website via a strong focus on keywords and alternative services.


Focusing on keywords is a no-brainer. If you are creating a new blog or website and haven't done some keyword research through Google, I strongly recommend you do so before moving any further with your blog or site. Remember, you and your site are at the mercy of Google so run a few searches on targeted keywords to see their availability as well as their frequency. If you are able to find a good keyword that relates to your overall topic, it is time to implement that word into your posts and saturate the search engine with it. This will improve your overall visibility as well as generate organic traffic toward your site.

In addition to keyword targeting, there are a variety of cool services and directories that will help to generate additional interest and traffic. Personally, I enjoy utilizing blog carnivals and a variety of directories due to their saturation of like-minded bloggers and sites. These resources are also a great way to network and utilize blogroll exchanges to help steer and funnel traffic between similar sites. 

Remember to always utilize social networking as well, word of mouth is a powerful tool and social networks like FaceBook, Myspace and Uterli are designed to do just that. Anyway, don't forget to have fun, because if you aren't enjoying yourself then you aren't a blogger.

Building Page Impressions

Page Impressions are one of the determining factors (aside from clicks) that determine revenue on Google's Adsense program. We all know that page impressions are only worth pennies on the dollar a day unless you have about a million or so. There are a few ways to improve your page impression numbers though and potentially increase your revenue ten-fold.


One of the best techniques is to utilize the Adsense Setup menu/tab and generate your own advertisements to place in your blog posts or sidebar. This way you have control to place better related as well as more "click-able" ads onto your page. 

Another decent technique is to increase your posts per page and then add different Adsense advertisements to the bottom of our sidebar thus increasing page impressions and earning a few more pennies. 

Granted, nobody ever got rich off of page impressions through Google Adsense, but there is no reason not to try to get enough to buy a coffee.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Building Links, Building Networks

It is no secret that the more social you are in the blogosphere, the more success you should have with page impressions and back links. Seeing as though Google Page Rank is nearly dead and buried, it is still important to build your networks via links to relevant sites. 


One of the most important aspects of building links is to generate additional traffic therefore generating more ad clicks and page impressions. One of my favorite ways to build up back links is to use different blog surfing services as well as blog carnivals.

Blog surfing networks like BlogExplosion and BlogMad are great for seeing different blogsites and gathering ideas and exploring potential solutions for questions you may have. In addition to offering ideas and solutions, surfing through these networks gives you the ability to network by leaving comments and links. If you have a niche blog, this is a great way to drum up business as well due to entry into a mass market. Remember, your blog will receive page impressions as well as clicks on these surfing networks from people who are like-minded and looking to build their networks as well.

As for blog carnivals, a lot of people are still not too familiar with the concept. Basically, you submit your blog to a "carnival" and they feature an article/post of your choosing and funnel traffic toward it. The carnivals are specialized in terms of content, so if you have a gaming site and submit it to the gaming carnival you are going to receive a lot of traffic. Once again, this increase of traffic will help generate interest in your site as well as more page impressions and clicks. 

With both of these network building solutions, it is important to notify Google Adsense that you are expecting a hike in traffic due to the following reasons. It might not be the best idea to inform Google that you are taking part in auto-surfs, but you definitely should if you are featuring your blog in a blog carnival

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Blogspot Sitemap Code For Google

If you are like me and have utilized Blogger's free templates, you may have had (or be having) difficulty formatting your blogspot blogs feed into a Google friendly sitemap. There is good news, it can be done, but not to the same level that a Wordpress template can be. 


When trying to create a sitemap using Google Webmaster Tools, you can actually use your Feedburner feed, however only 25 or 26 of the pages will be indexed. I know that is a bummer, but short of moving your blog over to Wordpress it is the best option I am aware of at this time. 

In order to format your sitemap correctly, you will have to add the code "atom.xml?orderby=updated" (without the "") after the given url. You may be tempted to add "rss.xml" assuming that the entire feed will be indexed. I assure you by adding "rss.xml" the script will cause an error message every time.

Save yourself the trouble and utilize the "atom.xml?orderby=updated" code, you'll be glad that you did. 

Build Up Your Links Enhance SEO

Search Engine Optimization is still a hot button issue and many new bloggers are sacrificing time spent on quality writing for time spent networking. Granted, networking is essential for any blogger, but so is producing quality content. What good is great visibility if your message is garbled?


Anyway, there are many ways to enhance your blog or websites standing quickly and easily. If you've spent a good deal of time surfing through various blog directories, you've no doubt seen a "blogroll" and quite possibly considered listed some blogs on one of your own. Well, not so fast. It is a great idea to have a blogroll featuring your favorite blogs and websites, but it is wise not to just link everyone and everything and here is why. 

Anyone who reads your blog for content (and that is most people who stay longer than 25-30 seconds) might be interested in visiting similar blogs and seeing what they have to offer. If I'm visiting this blog for Adsense Tips, I'm not going to want to visit a greeting card building blog. Although you might be social networking buddies with that sites owner, you owe your readers more than a dud link. 

Secondly, social networking with similar blogs through comments and blogroll exchanges can create a solid flow of traffic for both sites and improve their rankings quickly. It is important to make sure a blogroll exchange is working for both parties. I can't stress how important it is to update your content and and keep in touch through comments with others to whom you link. Not only is it just good manners, it can create a stronger more viable network and lead to future successes. 

Without harping on Page Rank (which has almost gone the way of Alexa ranking), if you are looking for a quick PR boost, exchanging blogrolls with higher ranked blogs can increase your ranking overnight (it helps to use googles webmaster tools and create sitemaps etc).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Adsense; Text VS Image Links

Following the current theme of Adsense Setup tips, I'd like to offer tips on selecting image ad units versus link ad units. Setting up either unit is quite easy and can be reached via the Adsense Setup tab followed by selecting the Adsense For Content icon. 


After selecting the Content icon, you are taken to a screen where you can choose from either an ad unit or a link unit. Personally, I prefer the ad unit (image ad only). You can select either of the three options, but you must keep in mind how a text or image ad will look on your blog. If you have a tech blog, you may want to run text whereas a sports blog may be more effective to pitch image ads on. Honestly though, it all depends on your layout. 

Once again, the ad is very easy to set up, just don't overlook customization of your color palette so the ad can flow seamlessly onto your page. 

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Adsense Setup

Earlier today we briefly discussed the importance of creating coordinated text advertisements that compliment your blog page. After taking a look at the Adsense Setup tab and the features therein, I though it might be beneficial to introduce readers to the Video Units feature which can be placed on your blog page and possibly earn additional revenue through a series of related videos.


Clicking on the Adsense Setup tab, you'll be given a series of additional tabs as well as 5 different options for text links and the like. At this point, we are going to develop Video Units (the fourth link from the top). 

Once you select the Video Units link, you'll see a series of boxes on the right hand side of the page that focus on the content of the videos as well as a design/skin setup menu. If you remember our chat earlier, you understand the importance of selecting a complimentary palette to supplement your blog page with. Moving on, after selecting a skin it is time to find some related content.

Lets face it, if someone who regularly reads your sports blog see an advertisement for Cooking with Emeril or info on Delta faucets all your credibility is going to fly out the window. Instead, take your time and use the filters to specify which channels are going to be placed on your blog and the content that they will contain. 

It is also very important to consider what type of parameters your blog has. After all, you don't want half of your videos un-viewable due to your margins and such. Personally, I recommend the vertical columns or small rectangular players. Currently I am using the column players in one of my blogs and am having decent success with it. Feel free to experiment and mix it up to see what works for your blog.

Utilize Your Adsense Color Palettes

Having surfed the blogosphere for ideas on Adsense placement and earnings potential, I was truly amazed to see how many bloggers who don't utilize the customizable color palettes offered by Adsense. Sometimes contrasting advertisements stand out and actually compliment the page, but sometimes they just look silly. 


For those who are unfamiliar with the color palette options, you should take this time to refresh yourself with a visit to the Adsense page and also the Adsense Setup Tab in the menu. From there, select Color Palettes and get to work. Oftentimes, when you create an advertisement, a complimentary palette will form and allow you to make edits.

DON"T ASSUME THEIR PALETTE IS ACCURATE FOR YOUR BLOG!

More often than not, their generated advertisements will not match very well and will look poorly placed. Instead, tweak the ads to match precisely. Not only will the ad look less hack, but if your readers enjoy your content they are likely to click the ad earning you additional revenue.


Get That Adsense Out of There! When is it Time to Remove Adsense?

There are times, when you will want to remove Adsense from a page or site, because you have a better converting advertisement on your site.

Say you are writing reviews about Dragon Naturally Speaking 10, the voice recognition software.  You run adsense for a while just to get a little extra money, whenever people click an adsense button to get related info or products.

But eventually, your site is performing well enough where you can convert people directly to the product via affiliate links or direct sales.  At this point adsense is taking away your more profitable sales, so you have to get rid of it and quick!

If you are using WordPress templates you can customize your pages to remove adsense on an individual page as opposed to removing it from all posts.  From my experience this is more likely to take place with products or subscriptions than it is to happen with topics like commercial collection agencies.

WordPress Templates Driving Google Search Page

I just heard a great monetization suggestion at the Birmingham WordCamp.  If you use WordPress, the software, you can establish a template (not a theme but a 'page template').  In that template you can re-code how that page looks and feels. 

In part you can re-code that to perform Google Search results on that page, keeping the results inline with your theme.  Google Search also shares some ad revenue with you for using their search and the ads that come up with them from Google.

Go do a Google search on the term orovo and you will see paid listings at the top of Google's search result.

image

Its a very interesting concept for using templates, a relatively new tool in WordPress that is rapidly turning WordPress into a full fledged CMS.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Adsense Tips For Better Blogging

We all know that creating great content is the key to successful blogging, but what about creating great Adsense revenue? Well, it is important to develop a plan derived from market data in order to successfully implement any campaign (especially Adsense). 


There are a number of
">bloggers and organizations who have determined different ways to enhance your revenue earnings, so this info isn't exactly the reinvention of the wheel, but if implemented correctly could mean all the difference in the world.

The first, is a basic "Heat Map", the darkest shading indicates the best place for Adsense ads versus the lighter shades which indicate the least effective.


The second image, focuses almost specifically on Blogger style blogs and sites and works on the same principle. 


My suggestion (take with a grain of salt), is not to go overly aggressive with spamming your blog with Adsense ads. Sure you can scrape up some decent revenue, but readers are not there to click on your ads, they are there for content. Always remember to write good articles, everything else should be secondary.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Adsense Tipsters

I'm pretty fascinated with all of the Adsense tippers out there who take their time to offer sound advice to both bloggers and entrepreneurs alike. Having watched several Adsense optimization videos over the course of the last couple of weeks, I can honestly say that the system works if you work it. I'm still fairly new to the system myself, but can see that hard work and dedication will be rewarded to those who earn it.


Having said that, I still find it hard to believe that some folks are raking in tens of thousands of dollars utilizing this simple free system. In fact, I've watched a number of videos at Youtube where people don't hesitate to throw out these bloated figures and wave money around like a cheesey cliched rap video. I'm really waiting to see someone with a gold chain around there neck with the Adsense or Google logo on it "all iced out".

Youtube should be taken with a grain of salt, but some of the videos are actually quite useful and can be used as excellent educational tools. I had mentioned Chris Pirillo's site as one of them in an earlier post, definitely give his site a look if you are interested in different tips and techniques to maximizing your Adsense bottom line.

High Energy Only 70 Calories

For well over ten years, Promax has been a pioneer and innovator in the nutritional supplement and energy bar industry. In addition to a number of popular powdered supplements and protein shakes, Promax has developed an amazing energy bar that combines great taste with incredible nutritional value at only 70 calories! The all natural energy bar comes in a variety of tasty flavors to satisfy all of your health conscious cravings. 


Whether you are looking for a quick pick-me-up after a workout or an in between meals snack, these high protein bars will not only energize you, but will leave you feeling satisfied. In fact, Promax's 70 calorie bars contain 5 grams of protein compared to half of that in other energy bars. In addition to being a great way to supplement your health conscious lifestyle, Promax's healthy snack bars fit nicely into a lunchbox. These high protein energy bars are just another tasty way to ensure your children are getting a healthy snack at school or during the bus ride home.

Adsense Optimization Tips

I've been running some searches on Adsense optimization and came across Chris Pirillo's site Chris.Pirillo.com. The site is a really great resource for those interested in Adsense tips, I also found this video on Youtube where Chris discusses different tips and interacts with a number of bloggers who are posing a variety of questions.




I found the video pretty interesting and also as I mentioned earlier, a great resource site for new bloggers and those trying to optimize their Adsense revenue.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Adsense Via Western Union

Google Adsense payments are now available via Western Union... in Panama. 


Cuurently, many Central and South American countries are still limited to paypal as the only method of payment. Google has been is currently devising new payment methods for the aforementioned country and looking for more solutions. Acknowledging the difficulty in maintaining compliance with local laws and tax regulation implemented by foreign governments, Google is jumping through the hoops as quickly as they can to speed up the process for "off-shore" Adsense earners. 

Google Adsense Blog maintains a forum for all those who have questions or concerns regarding payment questions and comments.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Adsense and Google Analytics

There are rumors floating around that Google Analytics may be in line to offer detailed statistics for Adsense Publishers. The detailed statistics will better explain how revenue was created as opposed to the crapshoot that is Adsense right now. Don't get me wrong, Adsense is a decent tool, but it can be incredibly and frustratingly vague at times. 


The new stats page will show how users interact with Google's Ads and how well they have performed over a fixed period. 

BlogOxy.com

For Blogger users, here is a blog marketing service that could be very useful.  (For WordPress users, you may have some better options in plugins and coding).

BlogOxy.com provides a blog marketing service that could help you generate more traffic. 

What Does BlogOxy.com do?

image

  1. So you write an article about on a health blog about diet pill reviews
  2. You run the script for this service on your site just below your posts.
  3. A reader then reads your article, comes to the end of the article and clicks a link to see similar posts.
  4. This opens a new window, and takes your reader to a blog article on diet pill reviews on a different blog running this same BlogOxy.com script (from the semantic text review of your article).
  5. Other readers on other blogs follow the same process and end up on your site looking at articles that relate to your own.

So basically, the service helps people find related articles to further explore topics.  WordPress users often use plugins to achieve a similar result, but typically only with articles in their own site.  That's good for keeping sites sticky, but not for bringing in fresh traffic.

There is definitely a trade off to consider with this service, but there could be some useful benefits to bringing in brand new readers and traffic.

Value of the Dollar Increasing Adsense Results

We mentioned the draught that could hit Adsense funds after the election this year in 2008.  Well there is an economic trend that might also make the Bump Up in Adsense earnings even better for people.  The value of the US dollar is increasing right now as oil prices decline and the US Federal government attempts to demonstrate security and confidence in financial markets.

With the value of the dollar increasing, that means that the proceeds from Adsense earnings can purchase more.  For website owners around the world outside of the United States that can mean an important increase in spending power resulting from Adsense earnings.  For Adsense recipients in the US, that change is not going to mean more spending power to buy more gas, or food or Amazon books, but if you are a webmaster in the Philippines or China it can be important for sure.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

PayPerPost Loses Pagerank the Old Fahsioned Way - Updates, Schmupdates

image For months if not a year or so PayPerPost has been talking about finally migrating away from a Google Pagerank based system.  They liked the idea so much that they start a brand new division and website around the concept called SocialSpark that has more whiz bang features and feel good, do good requirements to even get Matt Cutt's blessing at Google.

PayPerPost, itself, never stopped using Pagerank.  There were just some customers that used this functionality too much and wouldn't migrate away.  I'm not passing judgment on the need for the necessity to keeping making a buck or two, just saying . . .

Anyway this week when one of PayPerPost's partners ran an update on their own ranking system, PayPerPost's ability to track and monitor pagerank went invisible.

That's probably unfortunate timing as this also happens to be the week that PayPerPost is working to kick off PostieCon or Izeafest or whatever they are calling it this year.  I went to Postiecon last year and learned a great deal about the company, its people, and where they want to go.  Most of it was very very positive.

So anyway, this is likely putting a big monkey wrench into the cash cow that is/was PayPerPost.  It will likely be fixed soon, but nonetheless, it is somewhat ironic that it took a break in the system for them to actually get away from (even if for just a short break) PageRank.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Adsense Draught Will Hit After the Election

We've talked in the past about the opportune time for Adsense campaigns heading into the November 2008 election.  The next two months with the excellent opportunities for people to earn money through ads and advertising campaigns, but don't expect that money to last forever. Past local elections have seen major spikes in advertising online, this election is definitely following that path. That said the time period following the election is often times marked with a slowdown in Adsense conversions.

The election will take place the first week of November, and that will be followed like Christmas sales which do bring their own relative advertising Spike. Typically Adsense is not see as much of a spike during the Christmas season as you might expect with the exception of some keywords promoting the hottest new Christmas items. But once the shopping season is over sometime around the first to second week of December you can definitely expect a lull in Adsense advertising revenue. So before you go spending all of your Adsense earnings from October and November, consider banking a little bit for the slow days after the election and Christmas are over.

Once the election is over, and all the lawyers are paid off and sent home, all of those political hacks and junkies and organizers will all be trying to find new work and gainful employment. So you might consider optimizing for job boards covering different areas and especially big cities. If Barack Obama loses, I have a suspicion that there will be a lot of people looking for jobs in Chicago, and if he wins, there will probably be lots of people looking for jobs in DC...

Take Advantage of the Adsense Political Bonanza

This is a great time to ensure that you are optimizing your Adsense sites for politics. As you write your titles, your articles, or even create your pages, there is no better time to capitalize on Adsense earnings than right now when it comes to politics. In the United States, both political parties are exercising budgets larger than any campaign in the history of the country.

This campaign is likely to be the first political campaign that will cost well over $1 billion and much of that money is going into advertising. A significant amount of advertising is being spent through AdWords campaigns. That means if your site has anything to do with politics or as any tangent related to politics, you can likely benefit from some of those campaign dollars as people seek out more information, look for additional sites related to politics, and much more.

It's not too difficult, even for a person with extra thick eyeglasses to see the writing on the wall. That said, we definitely like to help bring this obvious thing into your consciousness that you can take advantage of the situation and earn a little extra money over the next couple of months. Now that the political conventions are over, we are in the home stretch when the most money will be spent overall.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Twitter Not Dead Yet


Recently, I posted about the uncertain future of the social networking website Twitter. Well, Twitter made news last week by being added to Mixx groups. Now Mixx users will now be able to import Twitter feeds into their group management page. What does all this mean, well in my eyes, it looks like Twitter might still be kicking even though it is in the final throes of death.


Personally, I think Twitter is a decent social networking tool, but it could definitely use a "refresh". As for Mixx, I'm not a member, but am interested in taking a look at features offered as well as this new feed option via Twitter. 


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Reflective Thoughts on Subvert and Profit - 3 Months of Profits

image It has been at least 3 months since I signed up for Subvert and Profit, a nice little social media marketing company that takes payments from advertisers looking to promote articles on Digg and StumbleUpon.  They then in turn pay users of Digg and StumbleUpon to vote for the articles that are to be advertised.

They actually have users vote on multiple articles so that the services targeted can not determine which articles are being promoted for paid reasons.

This is truly a subversion of Digg and StumbleUpon.

That said, I find Digg to be utterly without any merit or value.  I find no useful information on Digg and find even fewer useful conversations there, unless you find value in reading nasty snarky fan boy comments about the glories of Apple and the evil of everything else in the world.

StumbleUpon is a bit different.  I do find a slightly bit larger amount of potential in StumbleUpon, but again that potential is typically only realized by people that 'work' the system professionally, building up cliques of readers and followers, who get nothing for their effort of supporting someone on a pedestal.

The fallacy of social media is that it is socialism first, media second and added value primarily for the people at the top and never those people in the middle or the bottom.

To find benefit in too many social media platforms, you have to essentially get favors for nothing from your friends, readers and followers.

So when a company like Subvert and Profit comes along helping people essentially reward the people in the middle and the bottom with a little fundage, I do not mind the application of capitalism to a socialist system.  I do not see very many spammy topics float through Subvert and Profit.  Typically the articles promoted are actually very good, and the article creators are literally putting their money where there mouth is.  I've never seen spammy topics on goji juice or acne cure alls or one of those nasty survey links or made for affiliate landing pages.

Show Me the Money?

This is where Subvert and Profit is a little weak.  Their growth or maybe their advertisers sales may be a little low to keep up with their network of Subverters.

After 3 months or so, I've seen a bit more than $8 come in.

That's not a lot of money, and I have heard of people making a lot more. 

The issue in the system, actually seems to be that when they send you an assignment, you have to jump on it with inhuman lightening speed, before the job disappears before you have had a chance to do the thing.

More often than not, when I see an assignment in email, when I look on the site seconds later, it is already gone or filled.

Its not a lot of effort at all, so I continue and I usually use my funds to pay for my own advertising through the same system, but that's what I see so far.  I'm looking forward to watching the network continue to grow, but I think they need to lock down the assignments for people for just a little bit more time otherwise people will get too disgruntled.

Last Minute Steps to Meet Your EOM Adsense Quota

image It happens to everyone now and then.  The end of the month is two days away and you check your Adsense account only to learn that you're a few dollars short of meeting your goals such that you can be paid by Google. To make matters worse, it's a Saturday, a Saturday like today just before the end of the month when people typically don't read or visit websites quite as much as they do during the week.

So what do you do to bring in traffic to your website, & Generate conversions on Adsense to meet your quota?

The answer is relatively simple, it's all about content. If you need more light, you turn on more lights or put more light bulbs in your light fixtures.  If you need more traffic, you have to create more content!

You need to publish additional content, and you need to do it fast. If you've got some great articles banked or sandbagged now is the time to roll them out and publish. You need to publish them as soon as you can, and if you need to publish multiple articles, you need to publish them in a batch all at once.

The reason for the batch publishing, is that it will give Google enough time to index all the articles and give you the traffic juice that you need in order to convert to meet your goals. Don't trickle out articles all weekend long on blog, right up until the end deadline. That just confuses Google as it comes to look at your homepage and finds that the articles on the homepage continue to change and roll off the end. Blast them all up there at the beginning and then let them sit there until the month's end.

Once they're published, then you need to do a little additional work to give your article some juice.

You need to promote a couple of those articles, preferably those articles that have good captions or pictures to go with them, and if they have video that would be even better.

Go visit your most reliable and regular social media hangouts such as digg.com, Utterz.com your favorite forums, publish a couple articles on your Facebook page, and get out there and start talking to some of your other bloggers and friends. Comments on their blogs, you don't have to mention your articles, just remind them that you're out there and leave really good comments so that their readers will find you interesting and possibly research you a little bit more by visiting your site.

If you're a member of the blog surfing exchange, get out on those networks and start networking. Again visit some sites that you know invisible to sites that you don't only of some comments. It's not good enough to go to blog surfing exchange and just rack up points, the real points are in the comments you leave. That will generate you more contacts, and more visitors of substance that are more likely to convert can earn you some money then any of the points you get from the actual exchange. The poison exchange can't hurt, but the substances in the networking and a valuable context that you meet and pick up while you are out there looking around talking to people.

Advanced Users Tip

If you have experience with Google Adwords, you can also boost your incoming traffic, by kicking off a short and inexpensive Adwords campaign on some keywords, pushing people to your site or to a couple of you better, more recent and relative articles.

This isn't for the faint of heart, inexperienced or people with cheap budgets.  However, it does work and it is allowed by Google, even encouraged by Google!

What You Shouldn't Do to increase your Adsense earnings to meet your goal!

NEVER EVER DO THESE  THINGS

  • Never break the Google Adsense TOS
  • Never ask a friend or someone to click on an ad to boost you over the top
  • Don't pay for traffic to your site
  • Don't change your site layout, your adsense layout
  • Don't change your blog theme
  • Don't do anything major to your site that might upset its indexed positions.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blogworld 2008 - 1 Month and Counting!

If you are a blogger, you need to prepare to go to Blogworld in Las Vegas next month in Las Vegas.  It costs about $100 to get an exhibit hall pass, which is all you need if you have been before.

If this is your first time going, then you may want to spend some more money to attend the sessions.  That can cost a few hundred dollars, but if you have never been to one of these new media conferences or have never been to a WordCamp or PodCamp, then this can be a great investment in yourself, your site(s) and your future as a successful and profitable blogger.

Last year, I attended Blogworld during its first year, and I will be attending again this year as well.  I just got back last week from the New Media Expo in Vegas which focuses more on video and audio casting or podcasting.  There are some areas where these two conferences are redundant, but Blogworld is definitely for bloggers.  I'm not trying to airbrush over the value of this show, but it is focused on bloggers and if you are a blogger this is one show that you can't miss out on.

I won't miss it and hope to see you there!

The Adsense Lottery Ticket for Affiliate Marketers

Here's a great little video from Shawn Collins, founder of Affiliate Summit, describing among other things how he uses Adsense and how checking his Adsense account every day can feel like checking for the winning lottery ticket and more often than not finding it!

Adwords and Adsense can be a great tool for internet marketers whether they are working in affiliate marketing arbitrage covering everything from video games to real estate to car insurance and back again.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Could this be it for Twitter

There has been some speculation recently as to whether or not Twitter, a social networking engine, is on their way out. Fueling the speculation website magazine admin. who claims that Twitter is being "taken advantage of by spammers and others who have been able to leverage the network".

Apparently, there are people out there who have been utilizing Adjix (a url shortener) which wraps the linked page with your tweets and thus frames in advertising. Unfortunately services such as this will be the downfall of this legitimate networking tool. Currently Twitter is taking steps to ramp up spam security as well as suspending accounts. Unfortunately for Twitter, they are shifting resources from developing their service to protecting it which may ultimately be the downfall of the network.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Using Adwords for MLM Programs

The other day a friend of mine asked me for some advice about marketing their 'new website'.  The site was essentially one of these subdomain landing pages pushing the promotion of a multi level marketing program. 

The site in question offered $500 in gas rebates to be paid in $25 increments for the sign up of new referred members.

A new member must pay $199 to get this great benefit of $500 in rebates.  (ergo that's $200 paid out to have the opportunity of earning $25 commissions for referring people to also pay $200).

Now, this is one of those things that typically requires that you refer all your friends and family, who will likely not consider you as their favorite person after they shell out $200.  These things are always pitched by people who have recently become rich, bought a yacht and a second house in Vale and spent a lot of money on Vegas vacations, European vacations and any other vacation you can think of.  They rarely showcase the people that just lost $200 or more and wasted a bunch of time.

So when my friend asked for advice on marketing the site, my first response was that this looked like a pyramid scheme (although likely within the letter of the law) and that I wouldn't recommend investing any more money in it, and definitely wouldn't recommend trying to convince friends and family to jump on board either.

Anything short of that, I stated that if he really believed in this program, that he might consider using Adwords to market the site.  Who knows maybe my first impression was off and this is the greatest money making program since door to door bread loaf slicers.  At least advertising through adwords, would not upset all of his friends and family.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Adsense for Summer Slow Down Over

Well, fortunately with back to school and politics, the adsense slow down that typically happens every summer was very short and sweet this year.  Its over and many sites are back up to normal numbers.

Many more, even experienced no slow down at all this summer, hitting record months only to hit record months once again.  Its possible that the golden years of adsense for publishers might be on a temporary upswing.  Who knows maybe we'll be in publisher heaven soon like house cats provided new cat trees to lounge in, publishers might be able to once again swim in the adsense revenues.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Scrolling Adsense Ads, Does Anyone Scroll

So its been a few months now since Google Adsense added those silly little scroll buttons on their ads.  I have no idea who would ever look at an ad for say diet pills and think to themself,

"That's just not what I'm looking for in an advertisement.  Maybe I need to look further by scrolling for more ads!"

image

The concept just doesn't seem to make much sense.  That said, Google hasn't yanked the things.  Probably considers it to be something along the lines of 'no harm, no foul'.  I just can't understand why they even go to the energy of using them.  Plus, I have not found a metric or tool that can track whether or not anyone actually does click on the scroll button.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

MacSpeech

I recently made the move over to an iMac from a P.C. and am amazed at all the differences. Granted, transferring from Windows OS to Leopard is "interesting" enough, I've found that numerous applications that I took for granted are either lacking the same punch or are absent. However, I find blogging to be much simpler on the Mac due to all the editing programs and accessibility of keyboard shortcuts and command options. It has been a process trying to locate a satisfactory dictation program.

I had been considering picking up Dragon Naturally Speaking for my P.C. due to all the great reviews I've read over the last few months, but I was upset to see that it is unavailable for my new OS. After doing a bit of research, I was able to find a couple of great programs out there that are compatible for my new OS. Out of the two, I found one from Nuance, the developers of Dragon Naturally Speaking, entitled MacSpeech.


MacSpeech looks to be the frontrunner right now, so I'm going to take it for a test drive in the near future.



Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Adsense Makes Sense

By now we are all familiar with Google Adsense, but the question that continuously crops up is how does Adsense determine what advertisements make it onto your blog or website. Well, as of the moment, Adsense ads are selected primarily based upon text from your websites.


Google has been working on many ways to improve their targeting technology to better place ads with sites. One of the main obstacles arises when a site maintains a heavy focus on pictures and videos. It is extremely important to include enough text in your site so that Google can place pertinent ads to your page. 

Other ways to improve your ad targeting include, titling images correctly by providing ALT tags and utilizing captions for images and video.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blog Surfing Networks and Adsense

In general it is a no no (against the Adsense TOS) to utilize a Blog surfing network to generate traffic to your website that also happens to run adsense advertising on it.

Its not against the rules however to pay Google Adwords to sport advertising that will bring traffic to your website running Adsense advertising.

So while it may be be cheap and easy to start generating traffic to your site through one of the many Blog Surfing Exchanges, if that traffic in number is significantly higher than traffic to your site from all other sources the Adsense team will probably send you an email warning and maybe threaten to close or even close your Adsense account.

So if you receive a decent Adsense pay out on pages about your vacation to Disney world, you might consider running Adwords ads paying other sites a lower amount per click than what you earn on relative keywords like Orlando vacations.

So make sure your traffic levels are high, don't fear advertising with Google Adwords (just make sure you pay less than you earn) and consider dropping adsense advertising if you are running a traffic promotion to your sites.  When the promotion is over, then turn off the advertising on the surf exchanges (or turn it way down) and turn Adsense back on.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Those Deceiving Little Link Units from Adsense

Adsense offers up one product that really seems to have very few applications on a website other than possibly deceiving a web site viewer when Link Units are put in place.

Link units are a type of ad units that use contextual targeting to display a list of topics that are relevant to your page. Each topic, when clicked, brings the user to a page of related advertisements. You'll earn revenue for each valid user click on the ads on this resulting page. Link units come in a variety of unusual ad formats
Google Adsense

I have attempted to utilize these links from time to time acting in good faith that Google would not offer up a deceptive advertising product, but I have seen no situations where these particular products offer up a useful function.

The product at best lists several words in quasi menu form contextually related to the page they appear on.

As they are advertisements and not menus, this seems to be the first deception and results in their general lack of utility.

So if you have a site selling Nautica watches and you offer up one of these link units, someone clicking on the link might presumably find useful information but to throw up contextual words really rarely serves a purpose. 

This is likely why Adsense pushes their text and image ad units (the box looking ads) which have the option of including short phrases to explain why the contextual word should be clicked upon by a visitor.

So whenever you are considering putting link units in place, you are probably better off skipping this practice and either going instead with either other adsense ad units, nothing at all, or possibly some other advertising device.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Blogging for Gas Money!

Today I am on the road blogging my way through three states and using my blogging revenues to pay for my gas money as I go.  So far, I have spent about $56 in gas, and have earned close to $40 in the last hour blogging.

IMG_3594

I have about 80 miles and another 90 minutes to go.  The big questions are whether or not my air card cellular connection will hold out when I need it, and whether or not I will have to unplug the kids portable DVD player from the cigarette lighter so that I can recharge my laptop.

When I arrive at my destination, I will shut down the computer for a couple days, while I pack up my old house, load it into a moving truck and move it back across state lines.  During that trip, I'm not going to blog as much while I drive, but I will be able to bank some articles using my digital recorder and Dragon Naturally Speaking.

The real question will be, how tired will I be?

We have to pack up everything, load it up and do some repairs on the house to prep it for sale including installing carpet, vessel sinks, and maybe residing the house or getting it painted.

That's not going to leave me feeling terribly energized about writing, and so that's just one more good reason to get the writing done now!

Adsense – A Revenue Option for Small Clubs and Charitable Organizations

This week I have been doing some volunteer work for the Parent Teacher Organization that represents the school my children attend. I am setting up a website for the PTA, and I have been counseling them on their options of the setup including new revenue and fundraising options that will be available with their website.

This includes running adsense advertising on their site. As the website will likely generate a focused group of parents and possibly students looking for information, it is definitely possible that Adsense revenue could help them meet some of their budget and fundraising goals.

The trick is to balance out the types of advertising that might appear. Maintaining a tight filter for competitive advertising to screen out advertisements that are not appropriate for a PTA website would be very important for example. While ads for school supplies could be great, other ads for Orovo detox or diet pills may not be at all.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

EmailCashPro - Getting Paid to Read Emails

Here is a new service I learned about this week.  It seems to be designed so that users from Asia (as opposed to only Americans or English speaking countries) can engage in being paid to read emails that include advertisements in them.

  • EmailCashPro - This particular program is open to Asian bloggers and writers as well as those in the US!
      • http://www.emailcashpro.com

    This type of service is not necessarily one of my preferred ways of earning money, I prefer blogging, but it can be useful to study the method a bit and learn how marketers are using email these days. 

    If nothing else this can help improve your own copywriting skills also by studying the good and the bad.

    This is not the first such service, there are others here if you are interested.

    If you are a student or have lots of spare time, this could give you some extra money for textbooks or gas, but even then I still recommend blogging for earning a second or first income.

    Search Google as if You are Located Somewhere Else

    Here's a tool that could be useful from time to time.  Say you live in Canada, but you want to see what search results for the keyword 'ipods' would look like for a person that lives in the United States in Atlanta or in Australia or in Thailand for that matter.

    The Google Global Firefox Extension, enables you to quickly set up locations so that you can see the Google Search Engine result listings for many different areas based on the following items:

  • View paid and organic search results as they appear in different cities.
  • View paid and organic search results as they appear in different regions.
  • Open all results from countries, cities and regions in multiple tabs for easy comparison.
  • View paid and organic search results from a specific IP address.
  • View paid and organic search results from any US ZIP code.
  • View paid and organic search results from different language results pages.
  • Custom advanced saved searches.
  • Saturday, July 05, 2008

    Adsense Referrals Ending through Adsense - Will they be back under Double Click?

    This week most Adsense and Adwords users received an email indicating that Google would no longer run product referrals through their own systems.

    The question now becomes one of 'Will Google start a new product referral program through their newly acquired DoubleClick advertising company or will they just give up on referring people into their own advertising platform?'

    I've got a feeling that this may be the temporary end of this program for Google, but it might be something that pops back up with their competition from Microsoft.  In the meantime, I suspect there are going to be a lot of people trashing their pages and sites dedicated to educating new users to Adsense and Adwords like cheesy company logo shirts getting tossed out after you leave a company for a better job.

    Hello,

    Thank you for participating in the AdSense Referrals program.
    We’re writing to let you know that we will be retiring the AdSense Referrals program during the last week of August. We appreciate your patience during this transition and here are some alternative options to consider:

        * Google Affiliate Network: As part of the integration of DoubleClick, the DoubleClick Performics Affiliate Network will now operate as the Google Affiliate Network for advertisers targeting users located in the United States. Similar to the AdSense Referrals program, the Google Affiliate Network enables publishers to apply for advertiser programs and get paid based on advertiser-defined actions instead of clicks or impressions. For further details, please visit:
    www.google.com/ads/affiliatenetwork.
        * AdSense for content ads: If you have less than three AdSense for content ad units on a page, you may wish to replace the referral ad units with standard AFC ad units.

    If you currently use referral ads, either to promote Google products or offerings from AdWords advertisers, AdSense Referrals code will no longer display ads beginning the last week of August.
    We encourage you to take the following steps before the product is
    retired:

        * Remove the referral code from your site(s): Please take a moment to remove all referral code from your sites before the last week of August, so you can continue to effectively monetize your ad space.
        * Run and save all referrals reports on your desktop: Create and save all reports related to the referrals program on your desktop, so you continue to have access to your valuable campaign information

    Why is this happening?
    We're constantly looking for ways to improve AdSense by developing and supporting features which drive the best monetization results for our publishers. Sometimes, this requires retiring existing features so we can focus our efforts on the ones that will be most effective in the long term.  For this reason, we will be retiring the AdSense Referrals program. If you have any additional questions, please visit our Help Center:
    http://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/topic.py?topic=14882

    Sincerely.

    The Google AdSense Team

    Monday, June 30, 2008

    The Summer Adsense Earnings Dip is Here

    Every year internet advertising across the board takes a bit of a dip in the summer time and this is no different with Adsense.

    Things usually are their worst in July when people are on vacation, outside and spending less time online looking (or clicking) on advertisements.

    I have seen the slow down first hand come in over the last week or two and it probably will not relent until the back to school sales kick in towards the end of the summer.

    In the meantime, you would almost think that I was offering up bodystockings advertisements on a religious site.  The ad revenues have dissipated significantly, but they will be back, and usually come back stronger than ever.