Category Archives: Community

Follow Up on The Design Critique

For those of you that keep a keen eye on this blog, you might have noticed a post about critiquing this blog over on Blogging Tips.

There were some amazing comments, including an analysis by Kevin Muldoon, Blogging Tips owner, and I feel really humbled by those that chose to participate.

Kevin drew a little flack from coming up with a set of criteria for entry, but I think that he handled it well, and I look forward to seeing which other blogs get put under the magnifying glass.

The biggest tip for this blog was to work on scaling back advertising, which I have already started, and work on moving items around to give the site a better flow. Many people seemed to enjoy the content, as well as the branding, but overall it seemed like there were many things people thought could be done better.

It is very humbling to have people put their opinion out there, and while I am still digesting some of what they said, I am definitely thinking about hunting down a great designer to take my current branding and help me take the design of this site to the next level. Don’t get me wrong, DesignDisease is absolutely amazing, and I will probably contact them first, but I think this site is ready for another slight design shift.

Originally posted on September 2, 2008 @ 9:45 pm

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.

Originally posted on August 4, 2008 @ 5:07 pm

Thanks to August Comment Creators

As part of my duties as co-host of PerfCast, I have to take part in various blogging related challenges, and for our first episode the challenge was to thank five people that have commented on this blog. There were definitely many more than five people commenting on this blog in August, but I wanted to thanks those that commented the most.

John Leschinski

What is really interesting to me is how many people on that list would be in my top comments contributed list month over month, and how few new people take the time to add to the conversation here.

I also want to give a big shout out to Tom, a friend of mine that was away camping for almost half the month, and a consistent voice here on XFEP.

An extra big thanks to everyone, old and new that has commented on XFEP recently and don’t forget to check out PerfCast tonight at 7pm EST on Talkshoe.

Originally posted on September 4, 2008 @ 5:25 pm

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 :

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

Originally posted on August 27, 2008 @ 2:25 pm

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?

Originally posted on July 26, 2008 @ 1:03 am