Category Archives: Community

BloggingTips Readers Critique Xfep

Kevin Muldoon, owner and editor of BloggingTips has added a new feature called Blog Critiques to his site where the readers will critique blogs in return for some small prizes. The idea of the event is more to inspire creativity, teach each other, and help out bloggers, and I hope people will keep that initial idea alive as they help Kevin fine tune many blogs.

The first blog up for the critiquing process is this one: Reader Blog Critique : Xfep.com.

Kevin asked me what main issues I wanted people to cover, and so I gave him my insecure list of questions.

Please, if you have any opinions on this blog, jump on over to BloggingTips, and leave a comment. You have a chance at one in three $10 prizes, or a domain registered at eNom.

Thanks again to Kevin and everyone that comments over on BloggingTips.

Related Blogs

My Top 10 Commentors Thus Far

I wanted to write up a quick shout-out to the great people that have commented on this blog since its inception and since I recently added the My Top Commentators plugin from Daily Blog Tips, it is fairly easy to see who has contributed the most to this blog.

1.) WTL – 62 Comments
2.) Kevin Muldoon – 46 Comments
3.) Mark – 39 Comments
4.) Steven Snell – 26 Comments
5.) Jeffro – 23 Comments
6.) Kiltak – 20 Comments
7.) Bill – 15 Comments
8.) Chris Garrett – 14 Comments
9.) knupNET – 12 Comments
10.) Tay – 12 Comments

If you haven’t visited their sites, I ask that you please take a quick minute and look at them. If you are disappointed you didn’t make this list, and who wouldn’t be (*that was sarcasm*), then start leaving some more relevant comments, and next time I look at my top commentors, I will be able to link to you.

Thanks again to all of you that take the time to voice your opinions on this blog. Without you, there wouldn’t be any reason for me to continue doing what I do here.

Also, note that comment counts and placements are not entirely correct as people have used multiple e-mail addresses when leaving comments here, and the plugin doesn’t take that into account.

Blog Advertising Difficulties: Blog Network Doesn’t Mean Big Money

There is a great set of posts and videos going around right now talking about advertising and blogs, and I wanted to chime in with my two cents.

Aaron Brazell started me thinking about this thanks to a video on his blog Technosailor about blog consolidation.

Then I saw a post on Inquisitr talking about what Aaron said and Duncan added his own thoughts and opinions on bringing blogs together under one flag to sell advertising as a group.

These are both people that I highly respect, and who probably have more knowledge about the business of blogging than I do, but in this area, I don’t think they know what the heck they are talking about.

I am the co-founder of Grand Effect, a great blog network, with great blogs, written by great bloggers. We were all independent and came together for the purpose of passing traffic to each other, as well as a bit of link juice and of course banding together for network wide advertising sales.

I assumed because there would be a great deal of higher quality, focused blogs that we could get some high advertising rates, and when you bring our traffic together, we have a fair bit of page views, but still the advertisers aren’t running to our doors. I’ve shopped around the network a bit to some companies trying to gauge their response, and so far it has been a really lukewarm response.

We just don’t have the five or ten million page views that the big brands are looking for, or a tight enough demographic or the required star/networking power to make those big deals with friendly companies. We also aren’t high enough currently on the thought leader chain in the blogosphere for certain brands, making things even more frustrating as we work hard to show how powerful our brands have become.

While we have a lot to offer an advertiser that can come in with a three to five dollar CPM rate, we haven’t been able to secure that yet across the network of nine sites, and so bringing together a few blogs under a banner is definitely not enough to entice companies to sign up and tap into that combined traffic.

Also, I have found that the more page views that you bring together, the lower these companies want their overall CPM rates to be. So while a 50,000 page view blog might be able to sell some advertising space for a consistent $2 CPM, or $100 per advertising spot per month, a 500,000 page view blog, won’t instantly get $1000 for the same advertising positions.

Everyone also seems to be forgetting the time and effort that needs to go into selling these companies on buying advertising from you. This can take an immense amount of time depending on the company and it can also be difficult when the coalition is young and thus the brand everyone is flying is unknown. I always thought 9rules should have done something to help its membership make money through a network advertising service, but I realize now, in working with Grand Effect, that it just takes so much time.

You either have to develop an advertising platform, use one that already exists (thus giving them a cut) or do things manually. Development costs a fair bit of time and/or money. Using one that already exists can be frustrating because it might not have the features you want, and they’ll want their cut. Doing things manually can take huge amounts of time, and lends itself to mistakes.

How does everyone expect to manage network wide advertisements? Who will take the lead to create relationships with companies and sell them on advertising positions, and does this person get extra money? Who will handle the receiving and disbursement of advertising payments?

The information that the others have put up don’t really cover the important questions, instead lingering on about other less important things like freedom of creative control on your own blogs, and trying to quickly pull everyone under your wing in hopes of selling big advertising blocks.

Too many unanswered questions. I think people are going to jump in with both feet, only to find themselves disappointed. Doesn’t anyone plan things out properly in the blogosphere anymore?

I am No Longer a Community Manager

As of Friday, I am no longer the Community Manager at PicApp. While the idea of the job was amazing, the end result just didn’t fit what I was looking for. I still think PicApp is a great product, and I wish them all the success in the world, but I felt more like another marketing arm for the company than a true community manager.

In the end, I felt that I wasn’t able to continue to work towards my personal goals with regards to networking, building my reputation and brand, while also doing what was required of me at PicApp.

I really believe that a lot of my issues probably stem from misunderstandings and communication issues that come with working remotely for a company with strong goals, and a very talented team. Even though I was only there a short time, I already know that I am going to miss their energy, determination and drive.

I know that in the future bloggers will be hearing much more from PicApp, and also from me.

Where Blogging Can Take You

Deb, a good friend of mine online, has recently announced her own Community Manager position with BlogTalkRadio, which only furthers how I feel about blogging as a career and the transferrable skills that come with it.

I’ve been saying for some time now as blogging reaches the main stream more full time, salaried gigs are going to open up. Corporations will want bloggers and social networking gurus on staff to help spread the word about their products and services. David and I are both proof of that.

Deb Ng is going to be great in the new position, an BlogTalkRadio couldn’t have picked a better person. This has meant changing her freelance blogging routine, but other than losing some of the great content she produced, I couldn’t be happier for her.

Other companies might want to take note of this, and start talking to some talented bloggers before your competition offers them a career first!