Monthly Archives: August 2010

5 Tips to Being a Better Blog Manager

With so many blog networks out in the world, there need to be people to manage the blogs, and the bloggers, but how do you do it right? I have compiled a list of five tips to help you on becoming a better blog manager.  

1. Spend time developing your staff’s skills

As things continue to change, so will your blogs, and thus your business. Making sure your staff continues to use and develop their skills will allow you to keep a step ahead of your competition. This doesn’t mean you need to send them on courses, but giving time for independent study to learn something new, be it advertising, search engine optimization, or copyrighting, could greatly help your business in the long run.

2. Get to know what your staff actually does

One of the hardest things to do as a manager is pin down what your staff are actually doing. You have to remember though that what they produce or don’t produce greatly effects your bottom line. Making sure you keep tabs on their progress will create a better work environment and help your employees have proper expectations for what you would like done.

3. Get to know what your employees are really passionate about

Great blogs require passion, but many bloggers are just looking for a pay check and as such, they won’t be able to keep up a high level of energy about a subject. Positioning your assets correctly will lead to better growth in your company, or new avenues for growth you hadn’t originally considered. At Bloggy Network, we have created certain blogs because there was a niche that a writer really wanted to cover.

4. Provide regular feedback

Bloggers that work from home can feel very disconnected from the world, and thus their task. By providing regular feedback, you are helping them remain focused and setting certain expectations once again. This will increase their productivity or let them know where they have gone wrong, so they can do better next time. There aren’t really any true experts in the problogging world, as the career choice has not even been around long enough for anyone to claim that title. Problogging is a constantly evolving profession and so for every blogger, there is something new to be learned every day.

5. Give incentives

I know this seems a little strange, but even most real companies have incentives in place, and there is a reason. People need goals. We want to aim for something, and it makes us feel great to achieve it. By providing incentives, you open up a system where your employees feel rewarded for working harder, and if they attain such goals, it helps your companies bottom line. It is usually a win-win situation.

Understanding what it takes to be a manager can be of great importance to a new or established blog network, as it is a difficult job, and done incorrectly, blogs can fail. Of course, just like blogging, managing blogs, bloggers or a blog network is a learning experience, but these tips should help you down the right path.

PDF to ePub Converter

An EPUB is an electronic publication device. It allows people to purchase any desired readings they like online and they can read it on this gadget. The great thing about this device is that you can make the most out of the reading’s text. In other words if you have a hard time reading books because of their small font, all you have to do with the EPUB is zoom in or turn the text into re-flowable style(word wrap).

Now you have the chance to not only read online books but you can access any PDF file you download. The PDF to EPUB converter saves you a lot of time and effort by converting PDF files available to be formatted into your own electronic books reader. The great thing about this program is that the PDF still retains its original features, so you don’t have to worry about using a different program to read the file. In addition, the interface of the program is very intuitive. The design is so simple you can start converting PDF to EPUB right away.

The program features are very unique and allows you to save up on your EPUB’s memory space. Let’s say you only need to read the first couple of pages of the PDF file, you can set the number of pages that need to be converted into the EPUB just by selecting the specified pages. Also, if you are a multilingual reader, no need to worry about translating errors because the PDF to EPUB converter suits different languages, such as English, French, German, even Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

Working as a Problogger

My current job is Director of Communications at Bloggy Network. It is a career that took a long time to get to. Though long is rather relative. I have been working for Bloggy Network for nearly two years now, and I have learned so much, not only from doing the work, but also from my bosses, and the contacts I have made.

Networking

Networking is really the number one tip I would give to any would-be Problogger. Finding people that can help you in your journey is the key to success. It isn’t just enough to work hard, and write exceptional content, you also have to get people to read what you have written, give you pointers on how to do better, and talk about how great you are.

Without great contacts, there will be a plateau you will hit, and it will be very frustrating. I know what it is like, as I have been to that point before. It almost made me give up, but then I started having conversations with the people I admired online, and they helped me get past that point.

Time Management

Time management is another skill that all the top level Probloggers seem to have in common. They know that the more posts they do that appeal to their audience, the higher their stats will be. Part of my day is spent organizing a break down of time and duties that I will need to perform, both over the course of the day, the week, and the month. I strike things off my list, but don’t remove them, so that I have inspiration, and a sense of accomplishment.

Some might think I am wasting time by making lists and organizing my work, but I know for a fact that I am getting a considerably larger amount of work done than I was before. This preparation time can be very powerful, and almost as difficult as learning how to network properly, especially for those that aren’t natural organizers.

Filtering Data

Another trait that is important when working as a problogger is the ability to deal with massive quantities of data. For some probloggers, this might not be an issue, but as you grow either in a network, or on your own, you will find yourself covering more topics, or diversifying more and more. You will also be dealing with site statistics, different software, e-mail contacts, spam, advertising, and of course finding great stories for your blog.

You will have to be able to quickly filter out information that is not important, and move on. I was able to pick up this skill over time, thanks to reading through hundreds of feeds in Bloglines, in a set period of time.

and Many More…

Of course there are many other skills a person needs to become a Problogger, and the process can be filled with many roadblocks, but over the lifetime of this site, I will attempt to shed some light on my experiences in the world of blogging, as well as teach using the words of others. If you are wondering if Problogging is the job for you, continue to read eXtra For Every Person, and I will be covering more on what it takes, and what it is like to be a Problogger.

Text Link Ads

Text Link Ads

There are many different ways you can make money from your blog, and one of my favorites is Text Link Ads (ref link).

The system is simple enough. You add your site to their service, and based on the popularity of your site, advertisers buy links and you get paid half of what Text Link Ads brings in.

Advantages

The advantages of a system like Text Link Ads are three fold as you get a central website for advertisers to find such advertising opportunities, advertising on your site that isn’t intrusive, and a fairly high income from the ads, depending on numerous factors.

The central hub for advertisers to find advertising opportunities is why Text Link Ads takes a rather large cut of each sale. You could sell text links on your own blog, but an advertiser might never come to your site for such a thing, but they will check out Text Link Ads, if they are looking to buy text links.

Non-intrusive advertising will put those with ethics at ease. There are no pop-ups or other such annoyances with text links. They are just regular links. They sit quietly in whatever position you put them in, and people can click on them or ignore them.

You can earn a lot from the advertising revenue attached the advertisements that Text Link Ads sell, especially if your site is very popular. For a Google Page Rank 4 blog with a higher than one million Alexa ranking can easily earn ten dollars per link per month, and with the ability to have up to eight links, that could convert to eighty dollars you weren’t previously earning. Sites with higher Google Page Ranks and lower (better) Alexa ranks of course make more money per link. Some blogs listed currently make upwards of three hundred dollars per link, though that is quite rare. The average seems to be around the twenty-five dollar mark, which becomes two hundred dollars if all eight of your advertising spots are sold.

Disadvantages

No advertising system is without its disadvantages.

It won’t last forever because Google is a smart search engine company, and that is the largest disadvantages I see with Text Link Ads. With constant improvements to Google, the benefit to advertisers is going to continually be reduced, thus dropping the bottom out of such a system.

You might lose some of your Page Rank as it has been reported that Google penalizes sites that sell text links. This makes sense with the way Google works, as their Page Rank calculations are based on links and passing value through those links from one site to another, so really you are selling your Google Page Rank, and shouldn’t be surprised if your Page Rank goes down.

You may never sell a link. This is in part due to the huge user base on Text Link Ads, meaning much more competition. You have to stand out compared to other blogs in your niche, or advertisers will buy text links on their site, and not yours.

Is it for you?

Text Link Ads has to be one of the easiest advertising systems I have ever used. I picked where I wanted the links, and other than that, I didn’t have to worry about trying other positions, finding ways to maximize exposure, or other optimizations. The income generated off the links greatly outperformed AdSense on pretty much all of the sites I have tried it on. A word of warning though. If you want to use this system, keep yourself informed on what Google is doing in regards to text links, as it could greatly effect your site, and no amount of money is worth being knocked back down to a Page Rank of zero.

40+ Firefox Add-ons for High Speed Blogging

Mashable has a list of some great add-ons you can use with the Firefox web browser in order to blog faster and easier. Many of the items in the list are for specific blogging platforms like WordPress, LiveJournal and Blogger, but others are for dealing with photos, advertising, web development and search engine optimization.

Firefox works great on its own, but it’s the thousands of extensions that make it excel. We’ve pulled together more than 40 add-ons for Firefox that provide quick access to handy blogging tools. But whatever you do, don’t install them all at once.

Check out Mashable’s 40+ Firefox Add-ons for High Speed Blogging.