These are the three Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising services I have used so far and how they have worked out.
I posted an article last week about adCenter but wanted to include it again to show how it fits into the big picture.
Until the end of July (That’s today!) Microsoft adCenter and Sitemeter.com are running a joint promotion. When you sign up for adCenter at this link you will receive $50 in free clicks in a text ad keyword campaign and an upgrade to the premium Sitemeter account. AdCenter requires a separate $5 setup fee so you end up with $45 in free ad clicks.
Yahoo Search Marketing
I have to give credit to John Cow or Chow (Which is it? Does anyone really know?) for posting this link that takes you to promotional offer of $75 in free PPC search ads. You have to pay a $5 deposit to activate your account but, unlike Microsoft adCenter, the $5 is applied to your account and can be spent in your ad campaign so you end up with an $80 keyword ad campaign for $5.
<Bidvertise is a text ad PPC program as well and is offering $20 in free clicks to new advertisers. While the other two programs are keyword search campaigns (When someone uses one of the keywords you chose, your ad appears in the right sidebar of the search page ala Google.), with Bidvertise you chose a category of websites you want your ad to be shown in. Bidvertise then rotates your ad through their network of pre-positioned ad blocks similar to Google AdSense units.
I can’t encourage you enough to jump in and invest in your blog but, even more so, invest in yourself. If you have never run a PPC campaign you will learn more from this than any $9.95 ebook. Besides, with these three offers combined, you can put together a $150 PPC ad campaign for $10! I did.
I track my stats very closely and I know that the ads are working on this blog. (Week 4 stats come out Thursday!) I have received quite a few readers that have chosen to stay and several have become feed subscribers. In fact it’s entirely possible that you came here from one of these ads.
My cost per click is averaging 37 cents but even if it were 50 cents that would equal 300 new visitors for $10 or 3.3 cents apiece. That’s a deal I’ll take.
These are the three Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising services I have used so far and how they have worked out.
Labels: Super Cheap Advertising
Blog Noid that is.
One of my dad’s favorite sayings has always been, “Avoid the Noid!” Whenever he would catch us goofing off instead of working on a chore or school work he would say, “Avoid the Noid!”
It seems the Noid was a cartoon character used in an ad campaign for Dominoes Pizza back in the ‘80s. The Noid would try to do everything in his power to ruin the pizza before it got delivered. Dad of course turned this into the Noid being the guy who always tries to distract you from your work.
Something I have known in my heart for years has really come to light since I’ve been working on this blog; There is most certainly a Blog Noid and he hates me. It seems to be his hearts desire that I not post here consistently.
I know it’s he who tells my cat to sit on my keyboard and makes the phone ring when I’m in the middle of writing a thoughtful post. He makes my laptop get so hot it burns the tops of my thighs and makes my favorite song of all time (I’m not telling.) come on the radio. (Yes, I still listen to the radio. I don’t own an ipod, I hate earbuds. Will you stop distracting me, please?) What was I saying? Oh yeah, yeah, Blog Noid. I remember.
How do I get my posts done, you might ask? Honestly, they just kind of come together at the last minute. I actually carry a spiral notebook (Wal-Mart, 10 cents.) and pen around with me all the time and write down bits and pieces when I think of them. When I feel like I’ve probably thought an idea to death I type it up, sometimes straight into the Blogger text editor (Extremely frustrating device by itself.) and publish the post.
Of course, this last minute writing style has led to more than one near disastrous post, but for the most part it has allowed me to sneak past Mr. Noid.
How do you avoid the Blog Noid?
Congratulations to the winners of our Weekend Comment Contest!
Each winner will receive an invitation for the hottest new Web2.0 software, Pownce. And the winners are:
Becky from Just a Girl in Short Shorts Talking About Whatever
Ellithy from Agloco
Rhys from The Gospel According to Rhys
Danielle from Pink Internet Marketing
John from Disassociated
Congratulations to all of the winners!
If you are a contest winner and haven't heard from me already just send e an email at email@example.com and we'll get you fixed right up.
If you were a “Dot Com Mogul” with a huge following but things were starting to get a little stale, what would you do?
What if you were to create a nemesis, an interloper that burst onto the scene seemingly from nowhere?
If you were to create this alter ego, wouldn’t you then publicly acknowledge him and then fire zingers at one another?
Perhaps you would run a contest on your blog to give away some useless item like a USB drink cooler and then let your rival win it! Then your rival could use it as a prize for their own contest. Heck, you might even let your rival be a guest poster on your blog.
Of course, you’d be certain to post links back and forth between sites to keep stoking the rivalry so your readers would bounce back and forth to see the responses.
Think of the revenue a site with that level of instant success would generate.
Personally, I feel like I am being abusive to my readers and taking them for granted when I put this stuff on my blog but, fortunately for me, you guys seem to be pretty understanding and forgiving. Thank you!
Besides, there's always the chance that you want to build up your blog as well. If so, jump on the train.
Step 1: Highlight the links below, right click, then click “View selection source”
Step 2: Paste the “Say No To Pagerank” list into your blog or site
Step 3: Update your list daily to reflect the new websites and blogs that join in
***SAY NO TO PAGERANK, YES TO LIFE WEBMASTERS LIST***
Buzz Marketing Blog
Young Entrepreneurs Blog
No Nonsense Business Advice
Sell your blog
Madkane Humor Blog
Find New Leads
UK SEO Directory
Bikinifigur: Abnehmen ohne Hunger
Bob Meets World
BlueJar Webmasters Guide
All Sux Dot Com
The Next Post
Tom Wilson Google Blog
a few loose screws
Clickon Web Design
What Simply Works
Affiliate profit center
Internet Marketing Blueprints
Cash 4 blogging
How To Build a website blog
The Block Party
Ezinet Global Marketing
Best Online Earning Strategies
Online Security Authority
That’s what i’m talking about
Web Urbanist Media and Art
Blogging at Flixya
He Said What
Things That Are Fun
Classic Rock News
Elee Marketing Guide
Viral and Buzz
Azzfan - Make Extra Money
Your favorite blogger
Master Resell Rights
The Online Business Blog
Net Frontier Marketing
Jean Ghalo Blog
Affiliate Master Tools
The Day of a Mum
Hin's Photo Blog
Hin's Tech Corner
*** LIST ENDS HERE *** UPDATED DAILY ***
We all know how important getting link backs is and with this chain, you can get the ball rolling! You don’t have to be an established blogger to take part in this chain.
Here are the rules:
1. Copy this post from the point where it says “Start Copy Here” to the point where it says “End Copy Here”
2. Add yourself and 5 of your favorite bloggers to the end of the list.
3. Post this on your blog
The Prize Blog Enkay Blog Ms. Danielle Cash For Comments BetShopBoy JohnCow Mr. Gary Lee Jon Lee Dosh Dosh Some Make Money The King Kong Blog RomanDock Michael Kwan Ed Lau Jane May Sam Breadstone Samanathon AdSense Tracker Pink Internet Marketing Redhead Rants Just a Girl In Short Shorts Your Name Here
You guys have fun with these. Now you have something to do during Blogathon!
Do you need more traffic to your site? If your answer is NO, go away, I hate you. If, however, you are like the other normal people, listen up.
Get your site featured at Fechr.com (Pronounced - Feature). Fechr.com is a website promotion outfit that is guaranteed to boost your traffic flow by featuring one new site every 24 hours on the front page. Features are free for now but that will only last until the site traffic grows enough to justify charging.
To take advantage of this opportunity to boost traffic to your own blog you must write a blog post or give it a mention with a link and then fill out the form on the Fechr site to submit your entry. Free features are randomly chosen but they will notify you by email when it's coming up so you can alert you hosting company for the extra traffic. Sit back and wait for the hits!
It's Saturday again and there's alot going on this weekend. I wanted to take this oppertunity to alert my new subscribers that this is when I do the things a blogger has to do to build up their site such as reviews and plugs. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
While you're surfing around this weekend be sure to support the bloggers who are participating in Blogathon 2007. any of the Blogathon bloggers will be offering prizes and incintives to their supporters and sponsors. If nothing else, stop in and give them a shout of encouragement. I'll be hanging out over at Blogs We Luv when I can, so stop by and say Hi!
As long as you're here you might as well leave a comment on one of this weekend's posts to get in the drawing for a Pownce invitation. You don't want to be the only person on your blogblock without Pownce!
I wanted to give a BIG THANK YOU! to Enkay from Enkay Blog for the Pownce invitations we're giving away this weekend. Be sure and check out his blog. He's got some great information and tips. Thanks again, Enkay.
That's right, it's time for the first contest here at the AdSense Tracker Blog. I scored a few Pownce invitations and I'm going to pass them along to 5 lucky readers this weekend.
What is Pownce?
From the Pownce website:
Pownce is a way to send messages, files, links, and events to your friends. You'll create a network of the people you know and then you can share stuff with all of them, just a few of them, or even just one other person really fast.
How Do I Get In?
At least to start, we're only opening up the site to a few people who can invite their friends. Soon, we'll let some more people in.
What Exactly Can I Send?
Right now, there are four basic things you can send: messages, links, files, and events.
You might send an event out to a dozen of your friends letting them know you're hosting a party this Friday. They could easily get the event details you entered, respond with questions or comments and then quickly rsvp.
Say you had a great photo you wanted to share with all of your friends. Just add the file and all of your friends will get it right away. They'll be able to reply and tell you if it's cool. You could even post songs you recorded in your home studio to share with your friends.
How Do I Win?
Winning is simple. I'm not going to be like the Cow Man and make you jump through all kind of hoops like digging and stumbling or fumbling or any of that crazy stuff to win yourself one of these coveted invites, No sirree. All you have to do is leave a LEGITIMATE comment on this post or any post AFTER this one this weekend. If you decide to fave me that would be wonderful but not required. (I fave back, if you were wondering.)
"What is a legitimate comment?", you might ask. Simple. A comment that actually has something to do with the post. "Me too", "Ditto", "Comment" and such will not count. If the judge (Me) doesn't think they are legit, they get dumped. Each comment is an entry and you may comment multiple times but repetitive or redundant comments will be deleted. The contest will end at 12:01am Central Monday. At that time I will put all of the entries into a container and draw 5 winners!
Good Luck and get to commenting!
Having trouble deciding what to do with those extra Google Dollars you've made off your AdSense ads? Your problems are over!
It's time for the great Blogathon 2007! It all gets started at 9:00am Eastern 6:00am Pacific tommorrow morning.
What is Blogathon you ask?
Blogathon 2007 is 579 bloggers posting every 30 minutes for 24 hours to raise money for their favorite charities through sponsorship pledges. As a reader all you have to do is pick a blog or several blogs that you want to support and then make a pledge to their charity and/or make encouraging comments during the blogathon. You can find a list of participating bloggers and the charity they are blogging for here.
This year I'll be supporting Mike & Tish over at BlogsWeLuv.com who are blogging for the Glaucoma Foundation. As a bonus, for every $5 of your donation you get a chance at a $25 Amazon.com gift card as well as some other prizes they will be giving away throughout the 'thon. This is a worthwhile cause and deserves everyone’s help.
Even if you can't stay with your chosen bloggers the entire time, at least swing by and give a shout of encouragement.
Something to think about before you go out this evening to spend money.
This was part of a post I'm working on about advertising methods I have been using but the offer is about to expire and I wanted you to have this opportunity.
Until the end of July Microsoft adCenter and Sitemeter.com are running a joint promotion. When you sign up with Microsoft adCenter (Cost$5.00) you receive $50 in free ad clicks and get upgraded to the paid version of Sitemeter for one year. You must first have a free Sitemeter account and not already be a Microsoft adCenter customer. Othe than that it is open to anyone.
I highly recommend taking advantage of this offer if for no other reason than the experience of running a text ad Pay Per Click campaign. For the $5 account fee you get to go inside the control panel and play with all of the tools to set up an ad campaign including checking keyword search frequency and demographics. Then you get to implement you campaign with your preset spending limit (Mine is $50.) and sit back and let it work.
When the free $50 is spent either shut it down or set another budget and continue. The things I have already learned about the back side of keyword PPC advertising has been well worth the $5 and I got $50 in clicks plus a Sitemeter upgrade. Score!
This is NOT an affiliate promotion from this blog. I make nothing from this.
Here we are at the beginning of week four and time to review the stats for last week like we do every Thursday. This week’s stats produced a couple of surprises that I’m proud of as well as some disappointment. I am very proud to report that as of this post, you guys have helped this blog break into the top 325,000 at Technorati with an authority level of 20!
What happened this week?
This week I joined in on a couple of memes; the John Cow Feed Train and the Blog Tip meme. (Thanks Danielle!). This week I concentrated on networking within social communities, primarily My Blog Log and Blog Catalog. This networking effort seems to be paying off in new traffic and loyal readers/subscribers.
While I don’t have the specific numbers for you, (They are actually getting to big too keep up with.) I can say the social networking sites are referring the most traffic, about 70%.
Hits / Subscribers / Revenue
This Week – 276 / 22 / $1.25
Last Week – 135 / 16 / $1.80
So Far – 448 / 22 / $3.05
While the revenue figures are obviously disappointing, the traffic numbers are fantastic. I have some theories why the revenue seems to be lacking and I will explore those in a later post. Google stops in at least every three days (HI GOOGLE!) so I have to be certain not to violate the TOS. I can, however say that my content obviously pulls in some low paying ads and I don’t know what I can do to change it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
All I can say is that the entire success this blog has experienced is due to your loyal support. Thank You Soooo Much!!!
I also want to thank BrownBaron for the thoughtful plug.
Tag, I'm It
I was tagged by Danielle for the Blogging Tips link train. So I have in my list, and I have added myself.
The basic premise - copy and paste the list below and then read through each and put a star next to those you like. Then add yourself to the list with your own tip for bloggers.
- Look, read, and learn. - Neon Scent *****
- Be, EXCELLENT to each other. - Bush Mackel *****
- Don’t let money change ya! - The Random Forest ****
- Always reply to your comments. - Chattie Kat *****
- Spell check is your friend. - Things By Mike **
- Be the blog. -http://www.meandmydrum.com/*
- Blog about your passions. - Pink Hat SEO*
- Write to your readers. - AdSense Tracker
This should be a pretty interesting, eclectic listing of tips by the time it is done. :)
If you are one of those people that has to try out all of the latest beta tests but have a hard time getting invitations, I have a site for you.
Invite Share is a central clearing house for invites to all the coolest beta programs (Pownce, Joost, 8apps. Moola, Spock, etc.). After you sign up simply choose the beta program you would like to receive an invitation to and get on the list. If you are one of the fortunate individuals who have some extra invites, bring them along. They are your currency. The members that give away more invitations move higher up the list to receive invitations. The word is that Invite Share has been having a few hiccups and growing pains but it is getting pretty good overall reviews.
So, you’re surfing along and you come across a beautiful color palette you would like to use on a site you’re working on, what do you do?
If you have Photoshop you can fire it up, let it load, and use it to capture the colors or, you can use this simple color picker tool I found on AdesBlog.
The beauty of this tool is its simplicity. It sits in your tool tray until you need it, then click it, capture the desired colors, right click and it’s back in the tray. Simple.
The color picker gives you the colors as HTML, RGB, C++, VB and Delphi codes and with the library feature you can store your colors and convert from one color to another.
The full version of this tool is available for download for less tan $10, however, I’ve been playing with the free trial version for about a week and it seems pretty cool.
By posting this review I have qualified for a PR 7 link, but all opinions expressed are truly mine.
One of the many reasons people come to the blogosphere to read is the raw unfiltered content available, however, this author edited environment is often a two edged sword.
We, as readers, want the authors to be creative and entertaining, serving up information and instruction in the form of cutting edge, witty posts that tickle our fancy so that we can consider ourselves clever by linking to them in our own posts, hoping our readers will think us creative and entertaining for sharing with them. (“I love reading your blog. You always link to the coolest articles.”)
We readers are such a fickle lot. We cry in unison, “You’re so creative. We want more posts like that really cute one that made you famous.” But let that blogger write a couple of money posts, a meme or, God forbid, go to far with a post and see how quickly we leave derogatory comments, offer “constructive criticism” and hit the delete button on the feed reader.
The past several days have seen this scenario played out on what has become one of my favorite blogs. A creative and instructive metaphor post about blogging caught fire around the blogosphere. This was followed up by a creative and instructive metaphor post about blogging that, while not as cute, kept the train rolling. These posts were followed a few days later by a creative and instructive metaphor post about blogging and the crowd booed because she went too far.
I don’t write this post as a defense of Bloggrrl. She doesn’t need it. I’m simply asking if maybe we don’t expect too much sometimes. While feedback is an integral part of the blog environment and expressing your opinion is expected, I think sometimes we should consider our reactions as much as we want the blog authors to consider their posts.
Now, flame away.
No really, why?
Millions of people seem to want to blog, literally, millions. An entire cottage industry has blossomed from this widespread desire. Yet, think of how many blogs you’ve surfed through that had only five or six posts, or even fewer, with nothing added in the last week or month. When I come across those blogs I instantly look for a link or hit the “back” button. I almost never stop to read the post. I think it makes me feel sad. I look at it kind of like an abandoned pet. I know if I stay I’ll just want to help it. (I know, I know.)
Some people, I believe, start a blog because someone told them it was a cutting edge cool thing to do. (Think celebrities and politicians.) Almost all of those fade away into a slow quiet death. I can see some underling being tasked with clicking the delete button. (There’s that abandoned pet image again with the boss making his assistant take the dog to the Humane Society.)
I wonder though if the blogosphere might be like Hollywood, where wannabes flock by the bus load to put it out there and hope to be discovered. I guess if every waiter in L.A. can call themselves an actor, everyone with a username and password, can call themselves a blogger. Your chances of making it are about the same.
The real question I’m pondering is what is it inside some of us that makes us sit around on a Saturday afternoon stressing about getting our post uploaded before all of the evening traffic starts?
If you started reading this hoping to find a clever conclusion with a tidy answer, I don’t have one. Do you?
Joe from Arsenal Marketing wrote a very nice review of this blog as part of the “I Review” project. This is my reciprocal review.
The Arsenal Marketing blog is a networking and exposure arm of the larger company (You guessed it.) Arsenal Marketing a Web 2.0 marketing company for businesses and professionals and the site is geared toward that niche.
This is a relatively new blog and, as such, there isn’t a lot of content yet. However, what his posts are missing in quantity is more than compensated for in quality. This clean, well organized design with smooth lines and muted colors made for a comfortable read of all of the helpful information and suggestions for the online and offline professional.
The only complaint I had with my experience at Arsenal Marketing came when I tried to leave a comment. The format requires you to go through a registration process and receive a username and password with email confirmation before you may leave your comment. (A real pain). I could see this process almost eliminating comment from new readers.
Overall I found Arsenal Marketing to be a professional blog with some useful information. Of course, these are only my opinions. See for yourself.
If you would like to exchange reviews with this me leave a comment and we’ll talk.
It's meme time. This one was started by the Cow Man and it's very easy.
The idea is simple: You want readers and you want link backs too because that's all us bloggers want, it's more precious than milk for some
So how does it work?
Simple! You just copy the list down below on your blog, hence creating link backs for your blogging friends and then click the RSS feed link to subscribe to all of them. Then you add yourself and up to 5 other bloggers and their feeds to the end of the list before you publish it on your own blog. Show your friends some link love
Just imagine if just 10 people would do this and then 10 more after them. That would get your blog 100 extra link backs and 100 extra feed subscribers!
- Subscribe to JohnCowdotCom
- Subscribe to BobmeetsWorld
- Subscribe to LifeisRisky
- Subscribe to TheKingKongBlog
- Subscribe to My New Hustle
- Subscribe to GadgetTastic
- Subscribe to Life of Browie
- Subscribe to Disregard Me
- Subscribe to Everybody Go To
- Subscribe to Brian Vaughan
- Subscribe to Fuery
- Subscribe to Sam Breadstone
- Subscribe to Christy’s Coffee Break
- Subscribe to Behind The Page
- Subscribe to Shine With Grace
- Subscribe to A Great Pleasure
- Subscribe to Slingshot Thoughts
- Subscribe to TheNextPost
- Subscribe to Writer’s Reviews
- Subscribe to Ordinary Folk
- Subscribe to Brown Thoughts
- Subscribe to Me and My Drum
- Subscribe to NoDirectOn (not: NoDirection)
- Subscribe to Revellian.com
- Subscribe to A Nice Place In The Sun
- Subscribe to Polliwog’s Pond
- Subscribe to Family WebWatch
- Subscribe to Blogging Tips
- Subscribe to Pink Internet Marketing
- Subscribe to Bush Mackel
- Subscribe to TechCorner
- Subscribe to Listikal
The Extended List
- Subscribe to AdSense Tracker
- Subscribe to Bloggrrl
- Subscribe to Arsenal Marketing
- Subscribe to A Cowboys Wife
My Bad. I know I hyped this next post but.... I screwed up again. I had a big plug all typed up for the big Blogathon for The Glaucoma Foundation. You see, the problem is that happens next weekend. Kinda blew the surprise for next Friday's post.
Oh well, go about your regularly scheduled lives for now. Sorry for the build up.
“My name is Ad Tracker.”
“Hi, Ad Tracker”
“I have dual issues. I am addicted to lists and I am a compulsive planner.”
I actually sat down and wrote out a weekly schedule for this blog and ALMOST POSTED IT!?!? Thank God for proof reading!
I mean it sounded like I was the program director for Podunk Radio.
“…and that’s it for the farm report, now on to our ‘Motivational Monday’ article and don’t forget tomorrow is ‘Techie Tuesday’ with all of those tips and tricks to help you surf the interweb and do the google."
Yes, those are actual titles that I almost posted here. I’m such a sad case. It sounded good when I was writing it. It just scares me that it almost got through.
Anyway, I did want to let my subscribers know that I’m trying to set aside Saturday mornings for my revenue and traffic generating posts. You know the ones we all have to do. The sponsored posts, memes and search engine posts. If I could wave my magic wand and create 1,000 hits a day I would but I can’t so I have to work at it. I decided that if I’m going to post that stuff I’ll do it then and get it off the top of the page quickly. I hope you understand and just blow past it if its not your cup of tea.
This has nothing to do with my reviews which will be posted later in the day on Saturday and will enjoy plenty of time above the fold.
Stay tuned for today’s real post. I’ve got something great for you to do tomorrow!
What could that be? We’ll have to see…
What happened this week?
This week the blog was submitted to thirteen more directories, started receiving traffic from submitted articles, received two very nice reviews here and here, got a link posted at the top of a list on John Cow, registered on two more social networking sites, received a hit form a Google search and generated revenue!
Where did the traffic come from? (Traffic will be expressed in HITS not page views.)
Social Networking Sites (MBL, Yahoo 360, Blog Catalog) – 54
Blog Directories – 10
Submitted Articles – 4
Response to Comments Left on Other Blogs – 25
Direct Links From Other Blogs – 13
Search Engine – 1
Hits / Subscribers / Revenue
This Week ------- 135 / 15 / $ 0.00
Last Week ------ 37 / 4 /1.80
So Far ------- 172 / 15 / $ 1.80
Social networking is where it’s at. The 54 hits expressed in this report is only the direct traffic from these sites and doesn’t reflect return visits or hits as a result of connections made through those networks.
Overall I’m happy with the performance so far. (Actually I’m a little surprised.) I thank you all and hope you find enough good stuff here to keep you coming back. If you like what you see, tell a friend!
I am going to open the vault and show you this secret step-by-step process for not making a penny and becoming a Total Loser on MyBlogLog or any other social networking site.
- Find the most revealing yet not-quite-porn picture of a bikini model and make it your avatar.
- Choose a user name like “Tlk2Me”.
- Cram every AdSense unit and endorsement button Google will allow right at the top of your ‘blog’.
- Be certain that your posts are about how many thousands of dollars you can teach me to earn and that they are written in almost indecipherable English.
- Most importantly, spend any available leisure time trolling the member pages, joining every single community and making every single person a contact while leaving messages like, “You have good website. You come see my website at ‘http:/insertsomerediculouslylongURLhere’. You make me contact. Thanx”
Just follow these simple steps and you too can join the growing crowd of annoying losers. And you didn’t even have to download a free eBook.
My real post will be later today but for now I need to return some link love.
John Cow is helping to make me famoooos.
AllSux.com and ArsenalMarketing.com both gave me nice reviews.
MeAndMyDrum gave me a great unsollicited plug.
The world famous fairy tale writer BlogGrrl stopped by and left an encouraging comment.
Thank You All!
POLL RESULTS ABOUT THE LAYOUT:
Love It - 2
It's OK - 2
Not So Much - 1
Sucks! - 2
The interesting thing is there were over 90 visitors during the time the poll was running. It looks to me like that poll received a resounding "I Don't Care" vote. That sounds like a good topic for a post one day. I've got another post later. Until then, talk among yourselves.:)
or, What Not to Do
Following Pro Blogger’s suggestion (He is talking just to me isn’t he?), this is a list formatted post. My list is of the four biggest mistakes I feel like I have already made. I’ll address my remedy for these errors in future posts.
- 1. Using a free platform – I really think this creates a handicap for a blogger if for no other reason than other bloggers just don’t take you as seriously as someone who has made the investment in a URL and hosting. You have to work that much harder to prove yourself as sincere. (And this isn’t even addressing the fact that once your blog is established you are in a trap because you can’t take it with you.)
2. Choosing an “unfriendly” moniker – Similar to the ‘free platform’ issue above, an unfriendly moniker makes it more difficult to get people to accept you as a serious blogger. I know when another blogger sees the name Ad Tracker in their comments they immediately think, “Oh man, not another spammer!”
3. Choosing a template that is appealing to me – As I study other blogs that I admire and envy, I find they have one thing in common. They are clean and white. I went for personal expression and I think that was a mistake.
4. Following the “Learn As You Go” plan – This one is deep enough it needs sub-categories.
a. No formal, and very little informal, webmaster training – The fact that I’m having to figure out my coding and design issues by trial and error makes even creating a post very time consuming and sometimes frustrating.
b. Business blogs are different from personal blogs – I’ve run personal blogs for my friends to read but running one for a business is a completely different approach.
c. Not fully learning about monetization – Coming into this project, I thought AdSense was all there was to monetizing a blog. Talk about being a babe in the woods. (Not that I think I’m a babe or something, oh, never mind…) The fact is I’m still learning all of the avenues of making money online and exploring a few. (Future Post Idea!) Because of this learning process, I have to modify my layout almost daily and I don’t think the inconsistency is a good thing.
In case you're wondering, when I started this list it was 'Three Mistakes'. The scary part is that these are only the mistakes I’ve figured out so far and it’s still early. That’s my opinion, what’s yours?
eMom has recently completed her second group How-To Writing Project. If you haven’t seen it yet you must check it out. It is an absolute wealth of blogging, SEO and general monetization tips.
While I was working my way through the project, I came across one article that I found particularly useful entitled “Non-Techies Intro to Site SEO” (Talk about speaking to me!) written by Susan over at Life Is Risky. It made me wish I used Wordpress.
After reading that article I had to check out the rest of her Life Is Risky blog and came across this post about a review contest she is running. This contest is basically a link exchange scheme made popular by John Cow, John Chow and many others and not unlike the “I Review” movement started by this site. The contest Grand Prize is $50 and hey, $50 would make this project suddenly profitable! I couldn’t resist, so here goes.
Needless to say I was impressed with the site and although she is having some hiccups from a recent server migration, her site is well presented in a clean and easy to read format. While she has to pay the bills with a few endorsements (Paying the bills, what a concept!), they are sprinkled lightly through the blog, are actually useful and are written so that it doesn’t seem like you’re reading commercials. I found that the majority of her posts that I was able to access were concise, informative and entertaining with a friendly conversational tone. She instructs without sounding like an instructor.
Full Disclosure: While this review was encouraged by a contest, the opinions are mine and I am a subscriber to the site. I would have been happy to share this blog with my readers with or without the contest. The only way to know if this blog melts your butter is to check it yourself. Enjoy.
While surfing through blogs the other day I came across AllSux.wordpress.com. I assumed by the URL it probably wasn't something up my alley. I was wrong! This is a site with tons of SEO and marketing content, but what makes it special is this site has a Google PR5! I checked it out and it's true.
All of that is well and good, but here's what really caught my eye; he is offering the opportunity to earn a PR-5 DoFollow link. The steps to earn this valuable link are very simple and can be found here. Basically you just have to add a couple of sites to your BlogRoll. (I earned mine before I started writing this post.) You can also earn a PR-4 DoFollow link by reviewing one of his other sites, AllSux.com or WebUrbanist.com. That is the purpose of this post.
For my review I chose AllSux.com primarily because I just didn't really care for the urban arty feel of WebUrbanist.
Don't think about the name. This site has quite a bit of commentary directed at many sources. Sometimes it has a "Screaming at the Giants" feel to it but, if you look deeper you'll find that AllSux.com is a series of simple experiments to test his ability to manipulate the internet through these posts. The great thing is, if read closely, he shares the results of these tests. I found the concept to be fascinating and educational.
The request for review asked that I link to a specific post on AllSux.com that I found particularly interesting. I know it's weird but my favorite post, of the one's I've read, would have to be his bio post. I just found it funny. Definitely a blog that deserves a deeper read.
With all of the buzz about the new Google Page Ranks coming out soon, do yourself and your blog a favor by going over to AllSux.wordpress.com and earning your PR-5 link.
Every blogger wants traffic. I spend tons of time doing things to try to generate visits to this site and you probably do the same for your blog. We can do all of this stuff untill the cows come home, but if those of us willing to put some effort into developing traffic flow were to form a loose cooperative, we could all benefit from the experience.
The concept is that each blogger set aside one or two posts a week for a serious, honest, well thought out review of another blog, that blogger in return would write a review of the reviewing blog. The reviews would be arranged in advance between bloggers.
You would write a blog post about the idea (linking to this post please ;-) and install an "I Review" button on your sidebar that links to your post. Someone interested in exchanging reviews would contact you through comments or email and request a review. You would evaluate the other site and decide to accept the invitation or not. If so, you return contact and make an agreement to write reciprocal reviews. We could call this the "I Review Movement".
As the writer of a review you should remember that what goes around has a habit of coming back around. If you can't write a nice review of the requesting blog, do not accept the invitation. All reviews should be honest and constructive, not rude, nitpicky or slashing. This is someone's project we're talking about here.
If you agree to have another blogger write a review of your blog, you must be prepared for an honest assessment of your work. We're all adults here. (We are aren't we?) If you can't take it don't ask for it.
The Purpose For The Project
The primary reason for "I Review" is not to sit around in an echo chamber telling each other how pretty we are. It is to bring traffic to our blogs through a cooperative community effort. Think of not only the great contacts you would make and the aditional visitors you would get but also all of those wonderful backlinks.
I made up a few buttons for anyone that would like one. Feel free to change them to match your site.
The majority of the changeover is done ... for now anyway. I know it doesn't look much different but believe me it is.
I am SOOOOO SORRY!!! During the process of the change I discovered that I had set my comment control to "blogger members only". What a Doof! That's corrected now. Also, I changed my comment setting to DoFollow and added a cool badge to show it. This means that your comment will actually be counted as a link back to you. I'm working on another blog post to better explain this but, take it from me, this is a good thing.
So, comment away and vote on the poll to let me know what you think especially if you don't like it.
I'm sorry for the disorganization this morning. I'm working on improving the layout of the site. Everything should be good by this afternoon or early evening. Thanks for your patience.
I just read a post over at SusanSuarez.com that I had to respond to. Susan’s position is that blog posts should be short and pithy, more casual in nature than article style posts which are long and boring.
While I would agree with her for posts on a personal diary type blog with a conversational tone, but when I take the time to visit a serious blog I’m looking for something I didn’t already know and that usually requires a fair amount of information.
Granted, long articles take more time to read but just like a newspaper article, you know within the first paragraph or two whether it’s something you’re interested in. If it is, read it through and soak up the content, Stumble It, Digg It and/or Favorite It. If not skip it.
I have to say that fortunately for the blogging community, Susan doesn’t take her own advice very often.;-)
"Confidentiality. You agree not to disclose Google Confidential Information without Google's prior written consent. "Google Confidential Information" includes without limitation:
(b) click-through rates or other statistics relating to Site performance in the Program provided to You by Google; and (c) any other information designated in writing by Google as "Confidential" or an equivalent designation. However, You may accurately disclose the amount of Google’s gross payments to You pursuant to the
Since this is the first report. Let’s establish the ground rules for these reports and the ensuing conversations.
1. I will not discuss any data that will get me in trouble with the big “g”. (See above.) I really feel that this can be handled in generalities that do not violate the Google AdSense Terms of Service yet communicate the important facts.
2. You may feel free to request information; however, I will only answer your request in a manner that I feel is within the TOS.
3. Please keep in mind that this is supposed to be a community experiment. Feel free to comment with critiques or suggestions but please be niceJ In setting up this project I have made an agreement with you to accept and apply your suggestions as possible in exchange for supplying you with the results of the changes.
That’s all I can think of right now. I’ll come back to this if I need to in the future.
This blog came into existence on July 5th and has had content ads in place since the 6th. I have posted about some of the things I’ve done to increase traffic flow during that time. I’m pleased to report that, while my figures are not outstanding, the blog has picked up a few regular readers and seems to be improving. According to my sitemeter.com reports the site received it’s first hit on Sunday the 9th, with daily traffic peeking at 17 on Monday with 37 hits and 3 subscribers for the week ended at midnight yesterday. I’m a bit disappointed to report that Google does not owe me a cent.
What has been going on?I would have to say; overall the first week’s stats are not a total disappointment. I’m not thrilled with the $0 revenue but solving that problem is what this project is all about isn’t it? I don’t know if I need to try to make changes to the site or to the ads or to just be patient. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to participate.
Days 1-3 were spent making posts and beginning to lay out a strategy for the project. Sunday (Day 4) I joined MyBlogLog which has brought a lot of traffic (24 hits; THANK YOU!). Monday (Day 5) is discussed in detail here. In summery, I spent $5.40 at bla.st (See widget on sidebar) to place my ad card high on their site for a year (8 hits so far), submitted the site to at least 10 directories and countless search engines. Tuesday was spent researching for my post and Wednesday was spent submitting articles for publication and on personal business. I have also spent an enormous amount time this week tweaking my blog, adding buttons & widgets, and playing with other mods and hacks.
Week 1 Stats:
Subscribers – 3
Hits – 37
Revenue - $0
Fellow blogger wealthbuildingguru stopped by my MyBlogLog page and left me a nice comment with an interesting question; "Which AdSense tracker software are you using?". I'm sure he didn't realize that his simple question would inspire an entire post topic but he did.
The fact is I hadn't thought about that topic. Well, OK. I had thought about it and I felt I had it covered with the tools I was using. (I'll get into those further down.) The truth is that Andy's simple question made my heart jump into my throat. I suddenly felt like a silly little girl trying to operate a website in a room full of serious adults. Then I decided that the thing to do was attack the issue head on and develop an informative post on the topic. I have spent several hours researching this and will post that information in a separately so that it can be submitted without this editorial explanation.
I recently decided to do some serious research on tracking software for my Google AdSense program and was a little bit surprised with the results.
There are several nice looking products out there, some of which are available for free as open source programs and they are numerous. A simple Google search for "free adsense tracking software" will keep you busy for hours. Some are for sale with a free trial or a money back guaranty, but the most popular software I found was AdSense Gold (Aff. Link). It has been reviewed and endorsed by some very reputable internet personalities such as Chris Garrett at Performancing.com and Darren Rowse at ProBlogger.com. This article is not a review of AdSense Gold so I am not going to go into all of the details, but it does seem to be a robust program that gives you the ability to dissect your traffic and click-through data from every angle thereby maximizing the advertising potential of your site. In fact the only real problems with it at all seem to be that it costs $97 and that the website looks like one of those "snake oil" scams complete with the whole, "I'm going to give you all of my secrets so you can make a fortune if you just buy this program from me!" thing. (A real turn off.)
There is however a problem with all of these options if you are one of the many bloggers hosting your Google AdSense ads on blogger.com or any of the other free blog hosts. You will find that all third party software programs require files to be loaded on the server. This issue alone excludes them from use on your free blog.
For those bloggers using a free platform, the question becomes, "How do I track my AdSense ads?". Rest easy dear friends. There is a solution. Granted, it's not as slick or simple as one of those cool self contained programs, and this method will not produce quite as much data, but it is free and it will work and it's not overly complicated.
The first thing you have to do is take advantage of the channels option when you set up your ad designs. It is a very simple process to complete. After you have chosen the size and colors of the add block, you will be asked to "Choose Ad Channels". Click "add new channel" and enter a name for this new channel. I prefer to use a name that describes the ad or referral link, such as "Top Banner", "Right Wide Tower", "FF Referral", etc. This way I can easily recognize each ad block or referral in my reports and gauge it's performance. If you have multiple sites, be sure to include a site prefix in each name. ("Dogs Right Link Box", Cats Left Referral Button") For proper tracking, it is necessary to go through this process for each ad unit, link box, referral button, or text link.
I also like to set up an account for each site over at Sitemeter.com. One benefit to having the sitemeter account is that it reports in real time instead of having to wait until the next day for your hit count.
Now you have the ability to see exactly which ad units and referral links are performing and which are not by checking your AdSense report with channels. You can monitor the flow of traffic through your site(s) including the referring URL, keywords used, and tons more through Google Analytics. You have a source for real time hit data with sitemeter. All of which was free.
With these three tools in place you should be able to generate all of the data you need to manage a successful Google Adsense experience. If you do not yet have an AdSense account you may create one by clicking on the "Sign Up For AdSense" link located directly under my profile.
I have got to work on my time management skills. I spent a large part of the day today submitting the site to directories and search engine sites. I have two major hurdles to overcome while trying to get work done online and I'm not sure which is worse. I tend to get distracted while researching suggestions on other sites. I find myself "chasing rabbits" or following links around to content on other topics I find interesting. I get distracted studying the way others have their blogs set up. A few of the blogs I've been especially impressed with are ProBlogger.net, eMomsAtHome.com , SusanSuarez.com and JohnChow.com. All of these blogs are different in appearance yet share one key factor; they are full of useful information. That is exactly what I'm wanting to achieve here. I believe readers will stumble through almost any design and color palette if they want to read the content, content, content.
As you can see I get distracted easily. I was in the middle of writing a post about my difficulty maintaining focus and started talking about some of the great sites I've been visiting. Duh!
OK! Back on topic. The other big obstacle I've been having difficulty with is my lack of proficiency and expertise as a web developer. I find myself fighting with the site template for what seems like hours just to get a button or widget to line up the way I want it to. I know that I'm somewhat handicapped by this blogger template, but for the purpose of this exercise, I want to keep my expenses as close to zero as possible. Fortunately for me (us?) there are countless site development resources on line for free. If you have no knowledge of HTML and are baffled when you look at source code, don't be ashamed. I can totally recommend HTMLGoodies.com. This site has tutorials or "primers" for every level of experience, from the total newbie to the seasoned pro. I feel like it's important to know what your HTML editor is doing behind the scenes. I'm sure there man, many more tools available out there and I will probably put together a post on that topic after more research.
I know you're asking yourself, "What did she actually accomplish today?". Well, I'll have you know that I was productive today. I got the blog submitted to Blog Dumps, UmmYeah.com directory, Globe of Blogs, Blogarama, Technorati, Blog Search and DMOZ. I also installed widgets for Technorati, Stumble Upon, Reddit and this awesome tool blow from Free Web Submission. Simply enter your URL and email address in the box below and click submit to have your site submitted to 20 search engines, then, if you want to, you can go to the the Free Web Submission site and manually submit your site to 30 more. (I didn't.) Be sure to enter a valid email address because you will receive a few confirmation emails that require validation.
In the course of submitting this site to directories I came across MyBlogLog.com. It's kind of a social networking/website directory site. Anyway, after joining the site my discipline fell apart and I started exploring. I came across a really great post by Susan Suarez about a relatively new advertising site called bla.st.
Bla.st has some very attractive features for anyone but especially someone on a budjet. First of all you can put your add up for FREE. The most unusual thing about bla.st is that all of the ads are business cards so they are totally visual. (A unique concept, yet simple.) The second attractive feature is that the advertisers pay on a per day basis. Placement of the ad is ranked by the amount of money per day the advertiser bid, but the bids I saw were rarely higher than 15 cents a day for a top spot. As a matter of fact, you could have a very good placement for less than 5 cents a day.
So far, so good, but it get's better. Bla.st has a program that alows you to earn advertising money for helping to give them exposure. (Isn't that what we're all looking for?) If you wright a blog article and submit it to bla.st, upon aproval, they will add 2 cents per day to your card. If you add a link to your site they will add 1 cent per day. Sorry, only one upgrade is allowed per card. Bla.st also has a referral program. You participate by placing the widget, like you see on the right side of my page, on your site. The widget will display ad cards from the catagory you select and you receive 50% of the revenue generated from your site. Of course, at 1 or 2 cents a day or less that won't be much now, but if this thing takes off like I think it will the prices should go up.
It certainly looks like something worth trying.
Without a plan, the greatest idea is doomed to failure.
The Idea - First, one must establish a goal for their project.
The idea of the AdSense Tracker Blog is very straightforward. I will set up a blog with relevant AdSense ads placed on it by Google. I will strictly abide by Google's AdSense Terms of Service. I will do everything in my power to maximize both the traffic to the site as well as the amount of revenue I can gain from that traffic. The goal is to find out if Google AdSense advertising is actually profitable for an average person with a limited amount of website publishing skill. The hook is that I will share all of the information about my success or failure that I possibly can while not violating the rules. By doing this, I hope to cut through so much of the hype about "AdSense Goldmines", or build one. Either way, I'm going to do all of the work and we will all share equally in the gained knowledge and experience. I haven't decided yet how long this project will run. I think my minimum is about six months but probably more like a year. I suppose it really depends on my level of success!
The Plan - Then they must determine how best to achieve that goal.
The plan for this project is multi-faceted, very labor intensive and time consuming, at least to start with. I plan to make relative posts regularly, trying not to skip more than one day between them. I plan to spend time every evening, as possible, submitting the site to every directory I can find. I also plan to submit articles to content publishing sites. (I'm not wild about giving my work away, but I guess that's what I'm doing here, isn't it?) As soon as the site is established (one or two more posts) I will begin to become active in forums and other networking venues. I plan to take advantage of every method of free advertising I can come up with. I also plan to take suggestions and critiques from you. I consider this a group project and look forward to the ideas and input I receive from people with a different perspective.
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The Project - Finally, they must implement the plan.
The implementation of the plan has already begun. You're reading it. After one more strong post I'll start the submission process. I expect to start some random traffic after this post or the next. The hardest part of any difficult project is always getting started. I'm a little concerned about the amount of effort necessary to make this project a success, but I also look forward to the challenge. I'm also excited about the possibility of generating a little extra income. If nothing else, I expect to gain a tremendous amount of knowledge and understanding about the advertising side of the internet.
Join me for the ride!
Here we are on day two. No hits yet, but that is to be expected. I see that the Google AdSense ads are already content appropriate. I expected that to take a couple of days. I expect to have to make at least three or four posts before I start to see any traffic. I've started the site with a banner across the top and a wide skyscraper on the right side. I think it looks attractive to match the ad units to the site. I know the site looks kind of girly but I like it. I may play with that part as well later on to see if it make a difference in how many clicks the site receives.
Here we go. I can't wait to get started on this project. The idea is to track the performance of the adsense ads on this site and post the results here. I plan for my posts to be as specific as possible and yet stay within Google's rules and regulations. You and I together will use this blog as a test base to track variances in performance of different sizes, styles and appearances of ad units. Google does not allow a site to request activity on it's ads, however if you came here, you know how this system works. If you decide that adsense might work on your site as well, you can click the link on the right hand side of the page that says, "Sign up for Adsense" and go straight to the sign-up process. It is super-simple and , yes, I get a referral fee from Google if your ads perform well, but it doesn't effect your money at all.