Monday, December 19, 2005

Is Blogging For You? Take This Quick Quiz

There's a new craze sweeping the world. It's called 'blogging' and a new blog is being created every few seconds. But what is it all about and should you join in?

**What The Hell Is A Blog Anyway?

The word 'blog' is a shortened version of 'web blog'. A 'web log' just means a log or diary-type entry on the web. So if you were away travelling on a round the world trip you might post a diary on a website so your friends and family could keep up to date with your progress. On this online diary, or 'web blog' you might also post photos for your friends and family to view.

And so - the BLOG was born. And it's really nothing more than that - a collection of thoughts and information from one individual to be read and seen by others.

**So What Makes A Blog Different To A Website?

A blog is more immediate and informal. A blog doesn't have a homepage as such - it just has blog entries or 'posts'. The author or 'blogger' makes regular posts into the blog that are archived as new ones are added.

The main difference between a website and a blog is that a blog is designed to be added to much more frequently than a website. Some blogs are added to by their authors once a day or more! But it has to be said that such bloggers are in the minority.

**Is Blogging For You?

Well, it provides you with a unique opportunity to keep in close contact with a specific group of people. The CEO of a company may choose to launch a blog to keep in touch with staff members and shareholders. As a business-owner you might want to start a blog to let your customers or suppliers know what is happening in your business.

Blogs are not for everyone, so here's a few key questions to ask yourself.

** Question 1

Do you want to keep in close contact, on a one-to-one basis with a specific group of individuals?

** Question 2

Do you have the time to add a new and valuable information to your blog at least once a week? (Or can you pay someone to do this on your behalf?)

** Question 3

Do you find that people are always coming to you wanting more information about your product or services and that maybe posting regular updates on the Internet about this might free up your time to be spent on other activities?

** Question 4

Are you offering information products or services that you can provide 'tasters' of in a blog?

If you find yourself answering yes to most of these question then you should seriously consider starting your very own blog.

It's A Gut Feel Thing

Ultimately the decision comes down to whether you have things to say to others on a one-to-one basis. Unlike many websites you see out there, a blog is very much a person-to-person experience. A corporate blog wouldn't really work unless you had a face and name that people could put to all the posts.

It's also worth noting that a blog can be a two-way communication tool. Most of the blog software available includes options for readers to be able to post comments in response to what has been written. This can be an excellent marketing and research tool for your business if handled in the right way.

Whatever you do - don't take the decision to start a blog lightly. It can be a big commitment and once you've started out on that road there's no going back. People will be regularly checking your blog after you've publicised it and the pressure is then on to deliver readable material on a regular basis.

Some Blogging Software To Consider

Typepad - very popular and comes with a free trial and upgrade options:

BlogHarbour - also comes with a free 30-day trial:

Blogger - the 'grand daddy' of blogging:

Happy blogging!

My blog:

About The Author

Michael Cheney is Author of The Website Marketing BibleTM. Take the Free 7-Part Course "Internet Marketing Made Easy" and get your free sampler of 'The Bible' here:

Sunday, December 18, 2005

AdSense Tips For Bloggers

If you have joined the blogging revolution that is sweeping the net, and you think you might want to make a little revenue – or a lot of revenue – from your blogging efforts, you need AdSense tips for bloggers. Blogging has opened up an entirely new way of how non-technical people interact with the Internet, and now, anyone can publish anything about any topic – without having a website – and anyone can profit without even having a product!

Adsense for blogs make perfect sense. Google’s advertising programs are designed to work with sites related to the keywords for the ads that are being presented. Each time you add content to your blog, the Google spiders gobble it up. The more you update, the more the Google spider visits your page. Ultimately, you move up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for the topics that you write about. You see where this is going. The higher your search ranking, the more traffic you receive, which ultimately leads to higher revenue from AdSense ads.

The beauty of blogs is their potential for rapid growth. If you become known as an expert in your area of expertise, word of mouth spreads quickly and your blog can become very popular. So it is vital that you always teach something with every blog entry. You want your readers to come back frequently and they will if they know they will learn something. Not only will your readers bookmark your blog and return often, but they will link to your blog enthusiastically as well. People in forums will refer to your blogs and discuss what they learned. Websites will link to you as a valuable resource. In short, an informative blog can grow very quickly if the information it provides is valuable.

It is important to write about specific topics, and sprinkle your blog entries with specific keywords to get the best results – and the highest revenue – with your Google AdSense ads. There is a method to the madness. Start your revenue generating blog by testing the waters.

Decide what area you would like to write about and then do some keyword research. Research is easy if you use Google’s keyword tools found at . The keyword tools are located in your Google AdWords account. Yes, you need a free AdWords account to be successful but you don’t have to fund it to use the keyword tools. Look for keywords related to your subject that are high paying. These are keywords where the bid amounts are high. Make a list of the top paying keywords, and use that list to determine what topics you will write about.

Remember, you want people to visit your blog time and time again, and build up a readership, make sure that your blog is well written and informative. Don’t just target keywords for the sake of targeting keywords – the writing needs to make sense! Writing valuable content is the first step to generating traffic to your blog, and traffic is needed to profit from AdSense ads!

You are allowed to use the AdSense ad units in two different places on each page. You can accomplish this in a couple of different ways. First, you can add the AdSense ad code to the template for your blog. This is done through the control panel for your blog, and some knowledge of HTML is needed. The other option is to paste the AdSense code directly in your blog post each time you submit a new post. You can use it once at the top and once at the bottom, or once after a few paragraphs of the post, and again after a few more paragraphs.

Get that code in there however you see fit – but then pay close attention to the results so you can see what is working and what isn’t. Tracking is everything if you want to make real money!

Of course, you need to advertise your blog as much as possible as well. Make sure that you provide Trackbacks to other people’s blogs as often as possible, and that you visit blogs, leave comments – and leave a link for your blog as well!

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About The Author is an AdSense marketing resource ( covering AdSense, AdWords, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Discuss this article in the AdSense Forums: