As embarrassing as it is to admit, this site was running on WordPress 1.5.2 up until earlier today. But now I’ve upgraded to WP 2.7.1, and I’ll be writing about the process here in the near future.
If you hadn’t noticed, WordPress 2.7 came out recently - and ahead of schedule from what I’ve heard. Personally, I love the slick, sexy 2.7, after being hugely disappointed with 2.5. It takes a bit of getting used to, what with the serious interface overhaul. Now WP 2.8 is on the books for development, and if you want to have a say in what features go in, please go see Automattic’s WP 2.8 features survey on Polldaddy.
For those of you that have been planning to move your blog but weren’t sure how to go about it, check out this 20-point checkliist at Performancing. While it is focused on WordPress, much of it applies to nearly any type of blog move.
In this case, the move was both from one host to another and from WordPress 1.5.2 to 2.2. The only really worrisome part of the move is porting the old database tables to the new ones. If you’re not comfortable with your mySqlAdmin (or similar) database control panel, I suggest you get someone to do this for you. Because WP 1.5.2 and 2.2 have slightly different database structures, this is a manual port, done table by table. This is the main place you could have problems afterwards.
There’ll be more of these “how to move your blog” posts at Performancing, with the intent to cover different scenarios. The big one coming up is for moving from Typepad to WordPress. There’ll be a couple of free plugins as part of that feature.
March marks two years since I first used AdSense. This has been a relatively good month, and if the trends it showed continue, then there’s hope for my own sites
I’m crossing my fingers that March’s trends for my sites continues. I also tend to be more productive in Spring and Summer than in Winter, so that should bode well.
These posts are way overdue, due to being so busy with blogging projects. So I’ve combined them into a single post with two summary sections.
Wow, is it February already? I was so busy catching up all the work I couldn’t finish in December and January that I’ve not being staying on top of my own sites all that much. Them’s the breaks when you contract.
I have a large series of articles scoped out for this weblog, but no time to finish them all. I do have one ready, about buying and selling websites, which will appear shortly after this milestones post. [Soon, soon.]
While I’m starting to get a better handle on finishing all my contract work, I’m still learning to be more efficient with my time. AdSense went up and down on a daily basis in February, and ended up sub-$50 because of the short month.
ReviewMe requests trickled in quite often in Feb for several of my blogs (about 5 or 6 sites now), but I’ve pretty much reassigned all of them to other bloggers who write for me. I think they deserve more than $5 per post, so I pass on the requests to reliable, objective bloggers. There are only two sites I’d write the review myself.
Text Link Ads continue to perform well for me. Sign up (affil link) if you want to give it a go. (You’ll want at least PR4 for your blog before joining. Not all blogging platforms are supported yet.) I cracked $350 in TLA for Feb, and March will be better. I’ll keep improving my websites and registering them with TLA. (You also have to maintain them even after you get sponsors. That’s one I’m struggling with, as the number of blogs I have with at least one sponsor is growing.)
My personal plan is to focus on what’s needed for TLA success, and maintain that, with an aim for at least $2000/mth (for all my registered sites) in TLA sponsorship, which I will give to my mother, as she plans to retire soon and will have little income. (She’s a business owner that’s struggled for a paltry salary for 27 years.)
Other endeavours that I hope to get into more prominently is domaining, as well as going back to writing for my own blogs more often. To support the latter, I’m switching all contract work to Mon-Fri only. Weekends are for me, with only a bit of writing late Sunday evening for Monday morning’s posts. It’s a transition process, but it’s a financial security blanket. Now that I’ve gained some knowledge on how to improve my own blogs, I plan to do so. I’ll be revealing a lot of these details on my Internet UltraGeek - Chasing Internet Success blog, once I start posting regularly. (Just once per week for now, while I sketch out some content.)
Once again, I’ve been so busy that this “milestones” post is an afterthought. As with 2005, December 2006 was a weaker month for pretty much everything, compared to October and especially November. Here is a brief summary of my blogging milestones, mostly in the area of revenue/ monetization.
As part of my New Year’s Resolution to be more productive and efficient than in December, I had to drop some blogs and consolidate some efforts. I don’t really lose money this way, as I wasn’t getting all my work done anyway. In fact, I earned about half what I should have in December because too much work made me feel guilty that one client project or another wasn’t getting done. As a result, even less work got done. Guilt is not good fuel for running a freelance business.
This past week, I either purchased or agreed to the purchase of 7 sites, to bring my tally to 8. Except in my eagerness, I ignored checking into a few things before forking over my money (or agreeing to barter freelance blogging work in one case). I figured that I’ve learned enough in the past 1.5 years of blogging that I can apply some plans to monetize these blogs.
For example, I purchased Songwriting Forums to supplement my low-traffic Sound Alchemy Online music blog, on the basis that the forum supposedly was receiving roughly 70,000 page views per month. It sounded high for a site with under 100 members, but forums do get higher pageview counts per visitor. Except when I looked under the hood of the statistics, I found that the of the 70,000 pageviews, about half of them belonged to a single IP address - that of the previous owner, I presume.
Still, 30,000 pageviews per month is nothing to sneeze at. Except traffic has dwindled. And the owner turned off the forum for two days, but with good intentions, in case a database backup was needed. That, plus the necessary domain transfer, seem to have affected daily pageviews even further, falling to all time lows since the site was orginally created in Jun 2006.
I still think I can do something with the song writing forum, but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve written any songs, and I’ll have to come up with some interesting and relevant forum content. Except that I don’t have any time. And I have the other 6 sites I bought this week. And that’s a story in itself. It runs on the Typepad weblog platform, which I really dislike immensely. But it generates static HTML pages with “.html” in the URL. So I can’t port everything to WordPress without losing all the PR (3-4).
What’s more, I had hoped to run Text-Link-Ads on the single PR4 site, but I found out after the purchase that Textpad isn’t supported yet. Since you shouldn’t run Google AdSense on this type of site, I’m left with few choices for monetizing 6 new sites. Affiliate programs could work, but I’m still learning how to do that. I haven’t made a single affiliate sale ever (referral signups not included).
So while the cost of most of these sites is bartered, I’ve spent or committed funds totalling in the early four digits for 8 sites in 5 months. That’s cash money I won’t have. One site does okay on Text-Link-Ads, which I’ve mentioned here previously. Half of it’s monthly revenue goes to paying for content. The other half will fund part of the cost of content for the other 6 sites. A moderator for the song writing forum will come out of my pocket.
I’m giving myself until June to show some revenue on the 7 new sites. If they don’t, I’ll probably sell them.
This is a summary of my personal and professional blogging activities, published with the intent of encouraging newbies to stick with it.
General: Despite my decrease in posting to my own sites, my revenue and traffic hasn’t been overly affected. That’s partly due to miniscule increases in Google PageRank (my hypothesis) and normal Oct-November boost. I’ll have to wait and see if it continues in December and into the new year. Though I do except to have one or more writers posting.
I have enough contracts now that it’s equivalent to a full-time writing job in terms of pay, almost mid-four figures monthly, in US$, which translates to a reasonable salary for a writer in Cdn$. It won’t pay for a house, not yet, but I’m planning to see if in late 2007, early 2008, I can use future savings to buy a condo so I can move back to Toronto.
Though I don’t want to count my proverbial chickens before they hatch, things are obviously better than when I was dry soup noodles for my meals and Mr. Freeze for dessert just a few years ago. I just have to learn to balance the immense workload, which requires every single bit of my task management, project management, diplomatic, and organizational skills. If there’s any interest in learning some of these techniques, drop me a comment, and I’ll try to put together a small, free ebook on my methods for January.
powered by performancing firefox
[Disclaimer: I am being paid for this review of ReviewMe, but am not obligated to write a positive review. Furthermore, I was one of the beta testers of the site.] ReviewMe is a brand new site that launched Nov 9/06 and is essentially similar to PayPerPost in that it’s a means for advertisers to have bloggers write about their products and services. Bloggers do get paid, and in the case of ReviewMe, they must disclose that they are being paid for the review. They are not obligated, however, to write a positive review. Morally, bloggers should be honest and thorough.
Signing up is easy - just enter your name and contact info. Bloggers in the US must enter their SSN (Social Security Number) or business tax id. Everyone else does not have to enter anything further. Payment to you can be by check or Paypal, so make sure you enter the proper email address.
Now you can enter your sites: name of site, URL, web feed URL (go for your Feedburner version, if you have one), up to six category tags, and a description. The ranking system is transparent and I assume it’s similar to Text Link Ads/ Feedvertising. That is, you have to have achieved a certain Google Page Rank (PR), some Alexa rank, a certain number of backlinks, etc.
You can only register six active sites, but there’s no limit to the number of reviews you can write per site - unlike PayPerPost, which only lets you write one review at a time and applies a different criteria to qualify sites. Minimum payout is $20, max is $200. (That’s after ReviewMe has already taken their 50% cut.) There’s no referral program yet like that of Text Link Ads. However, Andy Hagans, whose baby Reviewme is, tells me that there will be a referral program.
My stance on ReviewMe and paid product blogging: Generally speaking, I see nothing wrong with ReviewMe’s structure. It requires bloggers to be ethical about what they are doing, and is more ethical than, say, product placement in movies and TV shows. At least, if the product or service is relevant to the blog in question, then an honest review will be helpful to some readers. Back when I was publishing a monthly print entertainment magazine, we ran reviews of books, film and music. On occasion, we would review something - positive or negative - and the next month, there might be an ad for that item. (Lack of advertising ultimately killed the otherwise popular rag, which made its way to 3 continents on its own.) Though we never sought an ad in return for writing a review. Never. I always refused such offers. I see ReviewMe along similar lines. I might have otherwise reviewed the product or service anyway, and since I’m allowed to be honest (though I want to be constructive), what’s the harm?
What I am doing with any ReviewMe review revenue: I plan to donate fully 25% of gross earnings from all of my ReviewMe reviews on all of my registered sites to literacy programs. It’s not necessarily going to be lots of money, but if you are with a literacy organization and are prepared to prove it, you can apply for some of these funds. If I get no takers through this site, I will seek some out on my own and reveal all such donations here on this site after the fact. [Send email and details to rdash001 #at## yaho-dot-ca#]
This is a shortened version because once I again I lost a crapload of writing by mistakenly pressing delete in my fave editor. Although now I no longer have a fave. I’m taking a different approach to these milestones:
Overall, considering I have not been able to write for my own blogs like I used to (50+ posts per week) for several months, it’s uplifting to see that my average daily revenue is increasing. I also hit a monthly high in Google AdSense revenue as well as total revenue.
In summary, a god month - my best so far in problogging - and a sign of things to come.