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6 figure blogging 6

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6 figure blogging 6

  1. 1. Six Figure BloggingSix Figure Blogging Class 6Transcript Andy: Welcome to our final call for Six Figure Blogging. This is the terrifying conclusion or exciting conclusion, one of those! So Darren, we wanted to finish up with week five right? Writing Quality Content (cont’d) Darren: That is right. I think from memory we were working through the writing quality content page. Andy: Right. 4. Make Your Blog Scannable Darren: For your blog and we got up to point four or five. I think we got through ‘make it scannable’. I’ll race through that a little bit but basically ‘make it scannable’ is about trying to make it visually able to be read very quickly to communicate your main points through lists, formatting, headings. Keep in mind here is that the limited time that people will spend on your site and so you want to communicate quickly. 5. Use Names Darren: Number five there is using names. This is something that I’ve found to be really important. I haven’t got the source of this statistic but it is one that stuck in my mind. 28% of Google searches are for product name. So 28% of people searching Google for a particular product, an additional 9% are searching for brand names and another 5% are searching for company names. So if you think about it, that is like 42% percent of people are searching the internet for names of products, companies or brands which is a significant© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 180http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  2. 2. Six Figure Blogging amount if you think about how many people are using the internet. Again, add to that the amount of people that want to search for people’s names. Andy: Right. Darren: And for the names of movies, for the names of sports, and for the names of events and you actually begin to see a trend there that names are actually vitally important as you think about your niche. Andy: Because that is often how people think is in what they already know. They may not know how to phrase the question to get the search results but they know what brand names or book titles or movie names or celebrities that are around the topic. Darren: That is vitally important. One that you put those names in your content but even more so like we talked about last week in your title. I would actually recommend that if you are going to write a post about a particular title then that particular name of a product then actually just the name of that product is the most effective way of getting picked up in search engines rather than the cryptic titles that we were talking about last week. If I am writing about a Canon E820D camera, then that is the first thing that I’ll have in my title. It will be right up at the top of my content as well in bold because I know that is what people are searching for. They’ll be searching for reviews of that. So often if it is a review of that that I am writing, then that title ‘Cannon E820D Review’, that is very effective. I find that most people coming to my site are actually looking for those particular names. So you want to be predicting what people are searching for in that way. 6. One Idea Per Post Darren: Number six there is one idea per post. This is partly about search engine optimization. The search engines get a little bit confused when you write one post that has three or four different ideas in it.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 181http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  3. 3. Six Figure Blogging So what I tend to do is break up my longer posts into a series of posts so that each post in that series is on a particular idea. If I am writing about how to find readers for your blog, I might do a series on how to find readers for your blog rather than just one with twenty different ways of finding readers for your blog. So if people are searching the internet for particular information within that series, they’ll find that post. It is also important for AdSense as well. If you are running textual advertising on your site and you have a page which has something with ten or so different ideas in it, it will actually confuse AdSense a little bit. So I find one idea per post works quite well. Andy: Yes, it is that whole idea of granularity where it is not just one website but posts which is one measure and then there are individual comments, and individual categories. It is the whole idea of granularity of the information. It is not just, “Go to my website but that you can go to this particular permalinked post for this particular topic.” 7. Break Longer Posts Into a Series of Short Posts Darren: That is right and the beauty, number seven there is break down your longer posts into a series. The other part of that is that it creates anticipation over time on your blog. So if you announce I am writing a series on ‘Finding Readers for Your Blog,’ I’ll know that that is going to get people coming back to my blog for as long as that series goes. It will actually create some anticipation and momentum around that. I did the 31 Days to a Better Blog series in August and that created so much anticipation and spin and buzz around the internet. I was quite amazed by it. So series of posts are really important. Topic: What is the Optimal Length for a Post? Participant: What have you found is the optimal length for a typical post?© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 182http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  4. 4. Six Figure Blogging Darren: I again, I think I mentioned it last week. Really I don’t have any set rules around that. I would encourage people to go for two hundred words or more just for search engine reasons. Probably the most important is about establishing a pattern on your blog so people come to expect the same types of posts whether that be the length or the voice that you are writing in. I would say over two hundred. Once you get into really long like you have to scroll down two or three pages to get to the end of the thing, the studies show that people will drop off as you go down. So I try and keep it probably up to a thousand words. Most of my posts would be probably around three or four hundred word mark, I would say. Participant: Ok and the second, I have three questions in a row here. The second one is how many words do you put in your RSS feed? Darren: I do an excerpt on mine because I found that a lot of people just scrape through my content straight on to their websites. Andy: Right. Darren: I actually don’t know how much that excerpt is but if you looked on Problogger RSS feed, you would be able to count it up. It is probably forty words or so. Andy: And depending on what tool you are using, you can also have the excerpt field. So it is not just grabbing the first fifty words of the post body but it is grabbing what you type in the excerpt. You can also do the ReMovable Type and TypePad, I think. Participant: Right, which brings up my third question which is, is it better to have shorter on the index page but then have goes into the whole article or the whole thing there on the index page? In other words, I use the Movable Type all excerpt tool, that kind of question.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 183http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  5. 5. Six Figure Blogging Darren: Yes, I tend to use the extended post feature on Movable Type and WordPress. So if I am writing a very long article, I’ll only put the first few paragraphs on the front page. Participant: Yes, ok. So as a rule, you have them go to two pages? Darren: Yes, usually after two or three paragraphs depending on how long those paragraphs are. Ideally I love people to be able to see when they come to my site, the first two post headings. Participant: Ok, part of the reason I ask this is as I’ve gone around and looked at the other blog networks. What I’ve come to see is that everybody is writing real short stuff. One paragraph and that is it. Darren: I see the advantage of that and I see why they are doing that but I personally think that if they are wanting search engines traffic, then they’ll need something longer than that to get enough content. So the search engines, I think, they like two or three hundred words ideally. Participant: I don’t disagree with you at all. The point I have is what you get when you pay bloggers by the post. Darren: That is exactly right. Participant: Ok thanks. Andy: And then my point of view on that is that you want to get people off your front page. If you want to think of the cold hard marketing bastard approach to this, we either want them to click on an ad or to go further into the site and then click on an ad. So the front page is going to have maybe six posts on it that all have different topics. So the contextual ads on that page aren’t going to be as focused around one particular post. But if you split that post, get the person on to the© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 184http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  6. 6. Six Figure Blogging permalinked page, the page for just that post, then the contextual ads, all that stuff, is going to make more sense in the context of the post. Darren: Exactly. Every time you get people to look at another page, you are one step closer to making them a loyal reader. Andy: Yes. Darren: So if every page you get them deeper into your site there are benefits to get. So you want to get people going into your categories exploring some of your key posts so that is why I highlight my key posts on my menus. Actually show people your best stuff and you’ll find that they’ll stay longer. They’ll look at more pages and then you got more chances of them coming back. 8. Write for the Long Term: ‘Evergreen’ Posts Darren: Number eight is write for the long term. I’ve given you a link to a post I write evergreen posts; there is a time related post. This is a key concept that I think a guy called Steven Spencer got me on to I’ve linked to in that post. I’ve linked you to there. It talks about how some posts that you write will have impact over a long period of time whereas others will be very time related. So when we did the Olympic games blog last year, we found that posts that we did on the events, particular events like the 100 meters men’s free style final, that got a lot of hits when that event was about to happen and just after it happened. I looked at my stats the other day on that blog and really no one has ever looked at that page since. But the page we wrote on Michael Felt, the swimmer, who may have been in that race actually are still getting hits today because people are interested in him in an ongoing way. So that is an evergreen post. It will slowly disappear and slowly become less popular overtime as Michael Felt becomes less popular. Every blog, every niche will have these time specific posts and it will have the evergreen ones. I’ve actually believe that both can be incredibly profitable. It is© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 185http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  7. 7. Six Figure Blogging about thinking through, how can I actually increase the longevity of my posts but also to make the most of those short shop posts, as well, the time related ones? That is really about writing for the long tail if you really want to use that technical term. 9. Quantity and Quality Darren: Number nine there is work on quantity as well as quality. Everyone is always talking about quality is key. You got to write great quality content. This is totally true. I totally buy into that but every post that you write is another doorway to your blog via RSS, via search engines and via potential link ups from other bloggers. I am constantly getting asked by bloggers, “Why am I not getting any readers to my blogs?” I go and look at their blog and they’ve got ten posts. So I really advise, set yourself some posting goals. One post a day for a year is 365 pages on your blog. Multiply that by two or three and you actually are starting to develop a blog over a year which has actually a significant amount of content on it. Andy: And something that I’ve noticed with your stuff Darren is, like on the camera site, a post could be an excerpt of a camera review from somewhere else versus a more extensive thing that is going to have more of an essay. Darren: That is right. What I tend to do, and I haven’t really talked about this publicly too much but what I do is the excerpt ones that I do from other people’s sites and usually they are sent to me by those site and are asking me to do it. What I do at the end of each one of those is link into my site to a page which is much more extensive on that camera. I add that excerpt to that page as well. So the excerpt from the page actually gets added to two pages on my site. One is just featuring that site’s review and another one is on that particular camera which will have overtime, ten or twenty different links to different sites on it with excerpts.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 186http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  8. 8. Six Figure Blogging So those pages are constantly changing in the search engines. We know that search engines like fresh content and so the actual camera page which has, it grows over time becomes more and more popular in search engines. Andy: Are you doing that with categories? Darren: Yes, I am. So you got to think about the quantity, actually you can use the same piece of information in a couple of different posts if you are clever about it too. 10. Learn Your Blog’s Rhythm Darren: Number ten is learn the rhythm of your blog. We talked about this last week. Check your stats and find out when your blog comes alive and then actually work with that and not against it. So my blogs come alive on a Monday or a Tuesday. I’ll write my announcement posts; I might write my big news on Mondays and Tuesdays and try and pre-empt to that traffic. We talked about that last week so I won’t go on about it. 11. Write Original Content Darren: Original content. While it is tempting to not leave a link to what others are doing and I see that temptation and I fall into that temptation too. The fastest way to grow your readership is to actually write original content or a least to present what you are doing, what others are writing in a creative and informative way that is actually useful to people. So many people will only ever link to what other people are writing and don’t actually add anything to it. That may go ok with search engines overtime but the only way to build your search engine traffic is to get links from other people. The only way people will link to you is if they find something original and useful there on your blog.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 187http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  9. 9. Six Figure Blogging 12. Link! Link! Link! Darren: Number twelve is link, link, link. Many bloggers are scared of sending their traffic to other blogs and they avoid it. I actually think that sending people away from your blog actually has a lot of benefits as well. It gives your readers quality content and the impression that you are well connected and that you are well read. It also builds relationships with other blogs which we all know will hopefully in time, bring back some links and bring back some traffic to you. I think it is really important to send people away from your blog in your writing as well. That is what blogging is about. 13. Stay On Topic Darren: Another one is stay on topic. It is very easy to get off and start talking about the movies you’ve seen and all those sorts of things. I actually really believe in creating a niche for your blog which is what this whole course has been about and staying with that niche. If you find yourself being tempted to write about other things, start another blog. Don’t just write about them on a very general niche. 14. Invite Participation Darren: Invite participation, ask questions, be conversational. Don’t present all the answers on a topic. I actually find that when you present half a case and invite readers to participate in writing your article, it can actually create a real buzz around a particular topic. Invite feedback, respond to the comments, all of these things help to create an interactive blog. An interactive blog is one that people will be attractive to. When someone surfs in for the first time and they see you’ve got posts with ten or twenty comments in them, they’ll want to participate. They’ll think that this is a happening place and so interaction is really important. I often say that you want to balance your expertise with invitation and humility.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 188http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  10. 10. Six Figure Blogging Andy: I like that. Darren: And don’t be a know it all. Don’t expertise and humility together and people will respond to that unless of course you’re writing a blog in a voice, “I am the expert” and that is the voice that you want to go for. I actually find people like the humility as well. 15. Predict Hot Topics Darren: Predict the hot topics. I’ve talked about this before. Ask yourself, “What is happening next week? What is happening next month? What is happening next year? And how can I write posts now to position myself for that?” So Apple Mac today upgraded their power books in their power Mac. Last week they upgraded their video iPod. They announced it. The people who would have gotten traffic around that would have been people who wrote about that a few weeks ago predicting what was going to happen and being picked up by the search engines for those keywords. 16. Write for the Search Engines Darren: Write for the search engines. You can spend your whole life thinking about SEO search engine optimization but it is really important to understand the basics of it at least and I’ve given you I think a couple of links there to some pages which you might find useful. We haven’t got time. We could probably run a whole ecourse on search engine optimization. Andy: Oh Yes. Darren: But really I would say, “Don’t get overwhelmed by it but learn some of the basic principles.” I’ve given you some links there. Basically you want keyword rich content, you want to interlink within your sites so you are building up your© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 189http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  11. 11. Six Figure Blogging Google juice from within your site but also you want links coming in from outside as much as possible. I’ll leave those articles for you to read yourself. If you got any questions about them, I’m happy to answer them later on. I think that is all I really have to say on writing for content. I’m glad we didn’t try and fit all that into last week. Andy: Yes, it would have been crazy. So that gets us through last week’s content. I want to break for questions and see if there are any lingering questions from the week five stuff which again was thinking about traffic, metrics, and measures, getting content and writing content. Topic: Content Appearing on Multiple Pages Participant: I’ve got a question. A few minutes ago Darren, you’ve made a comment that you said that you can use the same content on several different posts if you’re creative. Darren: Yes. Participant: Would you elaborate on that? Darren: Sure. What I am saying there is don’t, is not to just post the same thing twice under different titles because that will come up as duplicate content in Google. What I was meaning there is what I do is write the same, it is hard to illustrate it but so I’ll write a post saying, “Steve Digicam has reviewed this camera” and I’ll put a quote from that and then at the end of that I’ll write another little link saying “Read more about this camera at” and then I’ll link to another page on my site which has all collections of all the different reviews that I’ve collected. I’ll also include that excerpt on that so the excerpt, the quote that I’ve taken from Steve’s Digicam comes up on a post which is just about that review and it will also come up on another page for that particular camera which has a collection of quotes from different reviews.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 190http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  12. 12. Six Figure Blogging The quotes are appearing twice on my blog but the pages are very different from one another because one has just that quote and a link and the other page has lots of content on it. I don’t know if I explained that very clearly but that is my strategy at the moment and it seems to work really well. Andy: Yes, let me try and pile in on that. Part of it too is when you add a post to a blog, it shows up on the front page and then it also shows up at its own particular page, where it is the permalink, the one page for that particular post. You can also have that post show up on a category listing. So on the main page the, where those keywords fall is going to be different than where they fall on the individual post page versus the category post page versus the monthly archive. So it is the same unit, the same piece of the post from the database but it is being built four times, well five if you count the RSS feed. Again, it is all happening in different parts of the HTML. It could be that the post title appears in a headline, two tag on the front page, and the headline one tag on the individual page, and the headline three tag over here and it is the same keywords and the same content but is appearing in different string in the HTML. Darren: Does that make sense? Andy: So what Darren could be doing is he could make a category for just one of the Canon cameras so that way all of the posts about Canon cameras appear on one particular page. So he not only has the front page and the individual page but then a page just for Canon cameras which probably has the title of ‘Canon Camera Product Reviews’. So when people type that into Google, it is a powerful page because it is connected into all these different models of the Canon camera. Any other questions out there? Alright well do you want to launch into week six? Darren: Yes, let’s do that.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 191http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  13. 13. Six Figure Blogging Andy: Yes, week six is a lot of tying up all these different ends that we’ve been talking about over the past several weeks. We really want to be starting first with the idea of using newsletters and ezines and all of that jazz. Building Traffic with Newsletters and Ezines Darren: That is right. So we’ve got a post there on your side bar, under week six about newsletters. You might want to open that up. Why use newsletters? 1. Know Why You Are Writing a Newsletter Darren: Really there is a variety of different reasons and my first point there is if you are thinking about a newsletter on your blog, then you want to think about what is the reason for that? Why are you writing it? What is the purpose of that? I’ve listed there a variety of different purposes that you might want to have as your primary and secondary goals for using a newsletter. They are great for driving traffic to your blogs. My Problogger newsletter each week, I’ll do a summary of my hot posts for the week, the most popular posts which gives people a snapshot view of the five or so most popular posts on my blog that week which does drive significant traffic back to my blog. 2. Newsletter Generate Leads (and Sales) Darren: They have the ability to generate sales and consulting leads. If you’ve got a product that you are writing an ebook, for instance, this particular course, I announced it on my newsletter. I announced it actually as an exclusive announcement before I generated some sales and some leads. Some of you have probably signed up for that after seeing that on my newsletter. It can generate revenue.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 192http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  14. 14. Six Figure Blogging Topic: Figuring Out Your Most Popular Posts Participant: Can I break in for just one moment? Darren: Sure. Participant: I want to go back to a question to a point you said, “The most popular posts.” Do you have automated tools to do that? Darren: No, I simply just check my stats for the week. Participant: Does anybody know of any automated tools to do that? Andy: WordPress has, I think, a link tracker that can track which posts are being click on most often. But I don’t know if it is going to output something automated that you can pop into your newsletter or not. Participant: Ok. What I’d really love to have is something along the side of the most popular post of the week, most frequent commenter, highest rate of posts, those kinds of tool. Andy: Right. Those can happen on the actual blog but I’m suspicious that can happen in a newsletter because you send it out and it is in the inbox and you can’t update it in real time. Participant: Yes, I am just wondering if for the blog if those tools. Andy: Yes, I would look under, if you look in the plugins for different, like WordPress plugins or TypePad plugins, I know there is for at least the for most popular posts it is out there. Participant: Ok, right. Thank you. Andy: Sure.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 193http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  15. 15. Six Figure Blogging 3. Newsletters for Direct Income Through Affiliate Programs and Advertising Darren: Newsletters are great for direct income maker through advertising and through affiliate programs so it is the same way of generating sales. Some people use newsletter to actually generate a subscription revenue. It is not something that I have ever done myself but I know that some people are experimenting with charging for a newsletter. 4. Creating Community Darren: Creating community among your readers. This is something that I try and do on my Problogger site is to actually occasionally I’ll promote some of the other blogs, some of my reader’s blogs and create a discussion. They are great for making announcements, for boosting up your personal profile, upwelling readers to other products and other things that you might be wanting to sell. So newsletters can be used for a variety of different purposes and it is worth defining that upfront. Andy: Yes, I was also going to say that I think newsletters are often overlooked by bloggers. That they, I think a lot of bloggers say, “If you are not going to get it through our feed then screw you.” Where people still think in terms of the inbox. Yes, RSS is out there. It is going to be in the new Windows and it is already in the Mac. We are trying to get people in there and it is a training hurdle but I find that a newsletter, a weekly newsletter or biweekly or monthly is such a great way to really build a relationship because again, it is a little more intimate than just viewing it on a web page. When you are viewing your own email, it has a different mindset that you are receiving one on one communication. I find my newsletter really connects and builds that relationship over time. Along with the blog but the newsletter does that I think on an even warmer level.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 194http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  16. 16. Six Figure Blogging Darren: That is right. You want to take into consideration that it does take time and it does take effort. I find that I get a lot of emails straight after I sent my newsletters out from readers giving feedback. You don’t want to do it if you think it is going to be an easy thing. It takes time and effort but it is definitely worth while I my mind. Really what you are doing is your are getting permission from people to market to them. Andy: Right. That is I think the missing piece of a lot of blogging traffic is that people go in and you never get to talk to them again. Whereas if you can make your blog geared towards either getting people on an ad or converting them into a newsletter so you can then market to them overtime instead of just losing that traffic. Darren: That is right. Newsletter and Ezine Q & A Participant: A quick question. Do you do this automatically in terms of taking your post or is the whole process manual for you? Darren: On my one, it is quite a manual thing. Participant: That is what it sounded like, ok. Andy: You can do a slightly automatically process where depending on what blog tool you are using, you could set up TypePad or Movable Type or WordPress to make a separate template called, ‘Newsletter Cut and Paste’ and it is going to pop in maybe the HTML for your last five posts and then you can throw that into what you are using to edit your newsletter and chop it up. That is going to save you a little time but I mean, it is still cutting and pasting. Darren: I find that it takes me about a ten or fifteen minutes to write them now and read them over. It is not massive time but it does take a little while to learn how to do it.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 195http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  17. 17. Six Figure Blogging Andy: And after a while I really, when I’ve written my best newsletter is when I am focusing on entertaining my audience. I start writing it a week in advanced because I usually email practically stuff but then at the bottom, I have weird, quirky stuff as well and I really enjoy writing it. It becomes less of a chore when you know the people are going to be looking forward to it. 5. Choosing a Newsletter or Ezine Delivery System Darren: That is right. So you really want to pick a system for your newsletter that is an opt-in, opt-out system. I think in some parts of US now, that is law. You actually have to give your readers, you can only really pile a list of people to get your newsletters if they opt-into it. There are a variety of different systems out there. I use the WordPress plugin. So I use WordPress plugins for that which I find quite good. It is a very simple tool to use but there are a variety of others out there which costs anything from a couple of dollars per time right up to or free even right up to quite expensive products. I encourage you to shop around. Perhaps we can have some discussion at the end of some of the tools that people use. But opt-in and opt-out is essential in my mind. You don’t want people getting your email who don’t want to get it basically. The subscription page I find is really important. I’ve given you an example there of my Problogger one which isn’t probably the best example in the world. I looked at it this morning I thought I could find lots of ways of improving it. Really the elements that I try and putting into my subscription page is how to make it as easy as possible for people to subscribe. I don’t actually ask them for anymore information than the email address. I know a lot of newsletters collect a whole bit of information, name, age, gender, location, star sign, income and whatever it be. I actually find that I have a higher success rate if people just give me perhaps their first name and their email address so I can personalize the emails a little bit with their name. Different© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 196http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  18. 18. Six Figure Blogging people will have different standards on that. I don’t want to collect lots of data on my readers at this point. I think there are other ways to do that. So make it easy, make it clear upfront what the newsletters is about. There is nothing worse than signing up for one thing and getting another. So you want to tell your potential subscribers what they should expect and how they will benefit from signing up for your email. I highlight that it is a free and useful thing that I give tips and I’ll stick to that and I actually deliver on what I promised, I hope. 6. Where to Put Your Subscribe Form Darren: Now position your invitations strategically. On my Problogger blog, you’ll see at the top of my left hand menu there, there is a subscribe to Problogger Newsletter and they can just simply put in their email address in there or they can click on that and go to the subscription page. We talked about last week and the week before about the heat map, Google’s heat map and the top left hand corner is really important. So that is where I’ve put it. I also put in an invitation to subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of my posts. That is the place where people looking for something else to do. I find that that is quite an effective spot. Andy: And with your subscription page, also don’t forget your success page. Where something I started experimenting this week, I don’t have stats for it yet but I just added the ‘Thanks for subscribing’ page, I’ve added the link so that people can then add the blog to the My Yahoo! and MSN, Blog Line or Newsgator accounts. So don’t forget, when you get a success page as a thank you, you can then send them into the archives, you can then send them to your greatest hits of posts, you can send them to something else. Darren: Yes, that is great and that is something I need to work on obviously on my thank you page as well. Some people are now offering incentives for subscribers. I am having mixed thoughts about that. One it is a great way to get© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 197http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  19. 19. Six Figure Blogging people in but I am not really sure I want people to sign up for my newsletter who just want a prize. So you may want to play with that. I prefer people signing up who actually want the information because I know later on, I am going to have less headaches with those sorts of people. But incentives for subscriptions might be something that you might actually want to play around as well. 7. Use a Free Giveaway to Tease to Your Newsletter Andy: And instead of a prize, it could be an excerpt of something that you’ve done before. Like in my blog, I used an excerpt in my ebook which is now the book that is going to be published so it is not necessarily a kewpie doll but it is an extension of the knowledge that is already out there on the web blog. Darren: Yes, that is actually very smart. I’ll use that myself. Other Newsletter and Ezine Tips Darren: Writing your email newsletters really, I’ve listed there a variety of different hints for writing a newsletter. Most of them are actually quite similar to the list we went through last week and this week on writing for blogs. You establish a voice and a personality and stick to it. It is something we talked about already. Make it scannable, get to the point. And remind people that they subscribed. I actually find that overtime, people forget that they’ve subscribed to your blog and they may actually begin to think that you are spamming them. I occasionally get an email from a newsletter subscriber who I know has opted in saying, “You are spamming me; Stop spamming me.” So I find occasionally in my first paragraph I’ll say, “Thank you for subscribing to this blog. If you would like to unsubscribe, if you are not finding it helpful, you can do so by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.” Just that little reminder actually is enough for some people just to get over the fact that maybe you are spamming them. I think that is a courtesy that I give my readers.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 198http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  20. 20. Six Figure Blogging Andy: You might also want to check and see if like does the WordPress plugin check the IP address, Darren? Darren: No it doesn’t. Andy: Even alerts? Does it send you an email when people subscribe? Darren: Yes. Andy: Ok so you’ve got the IP address and the date and time, right? Darren: Yes, that is true, yes. Andy: So then you can save those emails. So if you ever need an audit trail for those people, you can say, “You subscribed on this date from this IP address with this email address.” Darren: That is useful information. Andy: Yes. Darren: Use your title and subject line really wisely. A lot of people, if you are like me, you’ll see a lot of your emails will just go straight to the trash bin. So that subject line becomes very important in intriguing people and peeking their interest. Be consistent with the frequency of your newsletters. If you promise a weekly one, then send a weekly one. If you promise a monthly one, do that also. Give subscribers value. This is something I really believe in. People love to get something for nothing. They love to feel like they are getting something exclusive. So I’ll often hold back tip bits from my blog and actually give them away as free tips or as previews of something that I am doing. I’ll give announcements of things I am going to do before I actually make them public on the blog. That type of thing actually creates some value to your readers.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 199http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  21. 21. Six Figure Blogging Otherwise you are just telling them to come to your blog. It is actually not really any use to them at all. You want to be transparent. If you are getting something out of a recommendation in your email, then it is probably best to be honest about that. Don’t hype things up. I am anti hype. Emails that just hype things up, I tend to unsubscribe from pretty quickly. You want to track your results if possible. A lot of the newsletter software tools that are out there will actually tell you how many people click-through in your email, or what things they click-through. The WordPress plugin does nothing like that, which is quite frustrating but it is easy to use in other ways. So tracking your results as we suggest with everything is important. Consider whether you send HTML or plain text newsletters. HTML ones are the ones where you can make things bold and you can put pictures in and actually make it look pretty. The downside of HTML emails is that they have some incompatibility issues with some email, clients and they also tend to get blocked by span filters a little bit more than the plain text ones. I use plain text on one of my newsletters and HTML in another. I find that the plain text is quite challenging because you need to think about your design and you have to use asterisks or space or whatever to actually get people to look at different parts but I actually enjoy that more. It is a bit of a challenge for me. Andy: I added a link at the bottom to ezezine.com which is a service run by one of my colleagues, Lisa Micklin. It is a spam free hosting of your newsletter and I know that she has weathered the white listing process that you have to deal with companies like AOL and all the other ips to get your particular newsletter white listed. So if you are interested and getting your ezines started on a small basis, I would check out easyezine.com. I think it is free up to the first five hundred addresses. She has also got a great ebook called, Start Your Ezine that takes what we’ve© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 200http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  22. 22. Six Figure Blogging talked about in the past twenty minutes and really expands it and makes it a comprehensive view of how you can use a newsletter. It is not just for blogs but for businesses in general. Darren: That is great. I’ll check that out myself. Andy: And Darren uses the plugin, I myself use a shopping cart to manage all of my newsletters so that way when people purchase, products and services, they are in the same database as the newsletters. You can go from a plugin, all the way up to having it integrated into your ecommerce system. So it just depends on how advanced your needs are right now. Darren: That is great and there are a lot of systems in between. I think I used one for a while called Opt In Pro which I know a lot of people use which is specific but it is probably like the EZEzine system by the looks of things. Andy: Yes, so any questions about the newsletters stuff or the experiences that people have had. I know a lot of people out in the call tonight have newsletters. If you have any advice to people that are starting newsletters, please let it roll. Tips for Formatting Plain-Text Ezines Maryam: I have a question. I’ve just switched from HTML to text using shopping cart and you are right, Darren, it is horrible. Any clues, formatting? I’ve gotten dropouts just because they are not receiving the pretty HTML anymore but my HTML is only getting through to about forty percent of my list. So the spam catchers got, you know, the greater proportion of it so I am getting more flow through using text but I am also getting complaints and lacking the time to do both. Any suggestions? Darren: I find it really hard. I have been trying using asterisks around heading and spaces between sections. I mean, it really is just challenging. I tend to sent it to myself first to see how it looks. Probably for me, I am lucky in that I started with a plain text one and so no one has that expectation of anything else. But I© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 201http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  23. 23. Six Figure Blogging just say over time you got to maybe even ask for some feedback from your readers as to which ones work. So I don’t really have too much advice on that one. Andy: Don’t forget about periods and colons. I find that if you have a lot of asterisks, it can overwhelm the visual scheme of the email. But if you have a headline and just put a period, space, a period, a space before each headline, it is going to bump it out a little bit but it is not as heavy as an asterisk. I know that is a total detail but that is something I found useful. Maryam: Thanks, that is great. Audri: This is Audri. I have a couple of points. We have a lot of newsletters. Some of them very large. A service that we use that we’ve been using now for about three years is wonderful is AWeber. Andy: Oh yes. Audri: They do all of the managing of everything and it just really works well. We’ve done a lot of testing on whether HTML, we did this about two or three years ago and the text just outperformed in anyway you want to look at it. We did get some complaints about not doing HTML but we get complaints about anything we do. If you have no subscribers, we published Scam Busters and we get complaints when we tell people about scam so we don’t get really upset when we get complains about some things sometimes because people will complain about everything. Our experience with just text is so the winner even though it is challenging. Andy: Great, thank you. Darren lets talk about hiring bloggers which is what you are doing right now. Maryam: Andy, I have a question. Andy: Yes?© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 202http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  24. 24. Six Figure Blogging Maryam: I am sorry, this is Maryam again. Andy: Hi Maryam: I have a short question. Now you send out occasionally you send out a text email but occasionally you have a HTML header. It is a nice graphic inserted in there and there is obvious formatting. What is your send ratio? What are you getting? Andy: You know what, I’ll look it up while we are talking. I think it is pretty good. I haven’t check in like two weeks. Maryam: You compared your HTML versus your plain text send outs on deliver rate? Andy: I haven’t notice much of a difference. Maryam: Ah. Andy: I don’t know if that is because of the host I am using or part of it is I am doing part of my HTML as a Cascading Style Sheet so it is not really weighting the email down as much. So I really, I am not, I don’t have any stats. I am going to check my stats right now while we are talking. Participant: Thanks. Andy: I’ll tell you in a couple of minutes. Hiring Bloggers Darren: Ok, so we are going to be talking about hiring bloggers now. I’ve found in the last six months that I’ve got to a feeling as to much I can actually write on my blogs myself. I’ve had exponential growth up until about the last six months when things are still growing in my blogging but the traffic that I’m getting, the amount of posts that I’ve done, really are slowing down now as I hit that feeling.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 203http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  25. 25. Six Figure Blogging So hiring bloggers, hiring others to do the work for you is actually something that I’ve begun to consider for myself and also in starting B5 Media. It is something that we’ve been working on a little bit recently as well. That advantages of including others in your work obviously are that you increase the quantity of contents that are going out there, you increase the variety of the expertise in the pool that you have and the skills as well. So now B5, we’ve got fifteen blogs running and I think they run by that ten people that have an incredible variety of expertise that I would never be able to blog on their topics. They have a really interesting skill base as well. Some of them are designers and coders which give other skills to our network as well. Also brings more people promoting your blog as well. So we’ve got ten people now linking to our system and bringing in across readers from their own blogs which is great. Downsides to Hiring Bloggers Darren: On the downside, there are also some obvious risks and cost that is associated with bringing others into your system. You loose control a little bit over the quality. The more bloggers you bring one, the harder it is to track how everyone going. You can run into issues of bloggers grandstanding and getting off track from what their view are from your blogging system. I know the Insta Blog Network last week had problems with one of their bloggers plagiarizing so there was some legal issues around that. You run the risk of that and one of their blogs was found pretty earlier on just copying stuff and not giving links back which is obviously was really bad for their PR in their first week or so. As you add more authors, you increase also the managerial role that you have to play. You need to be willing to become a manager and be willing to discipline your bloggers from time to time as well. So there are some costs and benefits associated with new readers but my personal experience is that the benefits generally outweigh the cost of it.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 204http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  26. 26. Six Figure Blogging When you are considering who to hire and how to hire, there are rights and wrongs but I’ve listed there a variety of different factors, that you want to keep in mind as you think about hiring bloggers. Selecting Bloggers to Hire Darren: Selection, so who should be chosen? I tend to go for people that I have a relationship with of some sort. Last June, or this June we went overseas for a month and I got a whole heap of guest bloggers added on to my blog. Trust and Relationship Darren: Out of that emerged some relationship with people. Now I’ve just hired someone in the last few weeks and that person is someone I’ve had blogging for me for a couple of months at first for free and we’ve developed some trust and a relationship. I would always recommend that you know the people at least at some level that you are hiring. Writing Ability Darren: You want to check out their ability to write. B5 at the moment, we are hiring bloggers. We actually look at the quality of their application as an indication of whether they can write distinctly or not. I have just been amazed by some of the terrible applications we’ve got that just show really poor writing skills. You want to check out their ability to write, you want to check out their longevity or their previous work, whether they’ve had blogs before or websites before or whether they are stuck at them. A lot of people will reply to write for you that have these huge ideas of making millions of dollars but they are not willing to stick it out over the long term. Time Commitment and Availability Darren: Do they have time to write? Have a look at some of the examples of their writing and their work. We ask the question, “Are these people entrepreneurial type of people? Are they creative type of people?” We don’t want© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 205http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  27. 27. Six Figure Blogging just people who are going to do links to other posts. We want people who have the ability to write original content and what voice will they write in? They are some of the questions we asked around selection. I’m sure there are a variety of other ones that we could ask as well. Content Ownership and Copyright Darren: One of the factors you want to consider is ownership. Who owns the content? This is something that all the networks are thinking through at the moment. There are a variety of different answers on this depending on which network you are talking to. Basically you want to establish with the bloggers that you hire upfront who owns that content and what happens when the relationship ends. Does the blogger own the content? Do you own their content outright? Does the blogger own it and at the end of the relationship, they take that content with them? Do you have some joint ownership system where perhaps you own the online content but they can produce it in a book form or they can produce it as an ebook? You want to establish the parameters of ownership of content right upfront. It is very important or else you might get yourself into all kinds of trouble later on. Compensation and Payment Darren: When it comes to payment options, again, there are so many different ways that networks are approaching this. Weblogs, Inc. I think pay on a per post basis. They have this fee but it is generally about four or five dollars per post is what they are paying people at the moment. Different people have different opinions on whether that is a lot or not much at all. If you look at a lot of their posts they are very short posts so maybe it is ok. If you are wanting people to write longer, original content, you might want to up that a bit. Some people go with a flat free with goals attached. So we’ll pay you a hundred dollars a month or a hundred dollars a week but you have to write x amounts of posts which is similar to that first one.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 206http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  28. 28. Six Figure Blogging Some people are using incentives and bonuses. I think the Gawker Network do this where if the blogger, the blog editor gets the blog to a certain traffic level, then they get a bonus on top of whatever flat fee they’ve got. Some blogs networks are going for a revenue share option. So at B5 we do that. We give bloggers about forty percent of the income from the blog plus the first one hundred dollars that the blog earns. So we’ve got a bit of a combination deal there going. Others contract people will write a certain amount of articles. Some people, I know the Fine Fools Network gives one hundred percent of any AdSense ads on the post that the person writes. So they got group blogs and a variety of different bloggers earning money off their own posts. Some people give a certain percent of the overall income of the blog depending upon how many posts their blog has done. So there are a variety of different options there. You really need to knock that out right upfront. I would suggest that flat fees are good in that the bloggers like to have a regular income but for your point of view, I would want to give them an incentive as well to do better and to write quality posts. So my personal preference is some steady income but also incentives or some combination of that. Another thing you’d want to establish right upfront is what are the duty that you are expecting of them? Blog networks just get the bloggers to post and that is all. They are just posting articles. Others will include comment moderation in that. Others will include publicity and some marketing. Others will even get their bloggers to manage their own advertising. You want to define right upfront what are you going to do and what is your blogger going to do? That may vary from blogger to blogger depending upon their skills.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 207http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  29. 29. Six Figure Blogging Exit Strategies Darren: Lastly, you’ll want to think about your exit strategies. Know right upfront who can end the relationship and how much notice they need to give and what happens to revenue after the blogger stops blogging for you. There would be nothing worse then actually a blogger leaving your blog on bad terms which actually in turn reflects purely upon your blog. I’ve seen a couple of examples of that. I think Peter Rojas from Engadget left what is it, Gizmodo. He took a lot of readers with him over into Engadget because things didn’t end very nicely there. So you want to think about some of those factors. I’m sure there are other factors as well. Do you have any others Andy to add to that list? Andy: No, I was just going to, it was about the ending the relationship with bloggers. I’ve just thought of a really good point and I just lost it. So keep talking, I’ll remember it. Non-Compete Agreements Darren: That is alright. One of the other things that a lot of blog networks will impose upon their bloggers is that they cannot write on the same topic elsewhere. Andy: That is what it was, a non-competing agreement. Thank you, that is what I was going to ask about. Darren: Yes, and that is something we are talking at the moment on B5 because some of our bloggers do write on a similar topic but is slightly different so you’ll want to think about that. There are some actual advantages of having them blog on similar topics because they actually bring in traffic across with them. But really it is a bit touch and go. I would say keep it as relational as possible. Make it a win-win situation.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 208http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  30. 30. Six Figure Blogging Other Types of Compensation Darren:One of the other things I will say is that a lot of bloggers will write for you for free as well or for just for you giving them links or rating their profile on your blog or giving them some free consulting or training in a particular area, or whatever it might be. Some bloggers will just blog for you because they want comradery and they actually want to connect with another blogger. So it maybe that you can work on a variety of different factors of payment, to use that term loosely. You are going to talk about in building a team, Andy? Andy: Yes, and we included examples of agreements at the end of that post as well (here and here). I added in the Weblogs, Inc. agreement that got leaked. I think it was a guy or gal that got all mad and posted the contract online and it was on there for like four hours and people went crazy. Other Team Members Andy: We are speeding towards the end of the course but I wanted to make sure we talked briefly about like Darren hiring bloggers is your are going to want to think about yes, hiring bloggers but also if you need to be assembling a team. If you are not a designer, you need to get a designer, system administrators, coders if you want some custom coding or if you need help with plugins and templates and all that jazz. I feel like an adult. I finally hired an accountant this week. So as you get more volume you are going to have to get staff to help you out. You may hire a professional PR person that can help you with the traditional PR stuff while you handle the online bloggy stuff. Sources for that are of course, Elance, Guru and those are, along with rentacoder.com are sources where you can post a project and then people bid on it. I posted on Elance as well as Rent a Coder and you get people from all over the© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 209http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  31. 31. Six Figure Blogging world bidding on a certain project. Usually the people, it is very, very inexpensive to get a project done as well as some of the people out there have been doing these projects on these sites for two or three years. If you need something done in php or if you need something done in a special language, there are people out there who can do it for you. As well as Craig’s List is the catch all for anybody needing anything will start a Craig’s List first. Don’t forget that you might need help as you assemble your blog network and you’re emerging media empire. Darren: Right. That is something I don’t really know any from those list so that is really useful. Ethics, Legal Matters and Free Speech Andy: Yes and we also talked about some lose ends, we want to make sure we talk about of course the grey area with liable in blogs and free speech. It is still being hammered out in many different jurisdictions in many different countries and Delaware, at court just ruled out that a anonymous commenter is protected speech and a place to keep up with that stuff is the Electronic Frontier Foundation at http://www.eff.org. They cover not just free speech issues but privacy online. They just released a crazy report about how in the United States printers, your color printer, prints out a code that people can track back to your particular computer. So it is a really great site to keep track of those particular around all the privacy, free speech, and liable because as blogging becomes more a mesh in the mainstream media, this is going to become more of an issue. All bloggers, journalist is a protected speech, you know thank God Judy Miller wasn’t a blogger or that would have been a whole ball of wax here in the States. Further Diversification: Niches and Sub-Niches and Other Media Formats Andy: Along with, Darren, you were talking about the niche, sub-niche thing and diversification too.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 210http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  32. 32. Six Figure Blogging Darren: Yes, I was just thinking last night one of the things I am seeing that some blog networks do now is rather than just developing a wide variety of niches, that is one way to grow your blog network is to just start a blogs on a variety of unconnected niches. A lot of the networks now seem to be moving towards developing many networks within a niche. So one way if you got a blog on scuba diving for instance, I’m not sure why we keep using this scuba diving one, you may actually think about a blog on scuba diving destinations or one on scuba diving equipment and actually develop your expertise across the niche with a variety of different blogs within that niche. That is effectively what I have done with my digital camera one and printer one and my camera phone one. They are all focusing on digital imaging rather than growing a blog network that has all disconnected topics. I am trying to focusing in on a larger one. So that may be another way to diversify. Andy: And you also talked about diversification by media too. Darren: Right. Andy: That it wasn’t just niche and sub-niche but you could take your niche and instead of diversifying the actual topic is diversify the media where the blog then becomes a course or a seminar or a book or you know a movie or something like that. It is a way of taking the content instead of broadening it past around niche is having it vertically stretched with media. Darren: That is right and I am seeing a lot of bloggers moving in that direction at the moment. I suspect you’ll see a lot of books and a lot of ebook in the next few months and years coming out of these particular niches that people are blogging on.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 211http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  33. 33. Six Figure Blogging The Future of Problogging Andy: And then finally we were talking about what we think is going to happen with this problogger and stuff. Darren: Yes in a year or two, I hesitate to predict what is going to happen. I think one thing that we will see is mini networks within networks happening. I know for a fact that that is coming on a few blog networks. The new advertising systems that are out there, the Chitika. The guys behind the Qumana blogging system came out with one last week call AdGenta. There are a variety of new advertising providers coming out there which are going to change the landscape quite a bit. Some of them have got some innovative things in the pipeline. Of course there will be new blogging tools and platform and everything but yes it is going to be a changing environment and I am really looking forward to see what people come up with in the blogging. Andy: Wow, I think we almost reached the end of the content Darren. Darren: Who would have thought? Remember: Keep it Fun Andy: I just want to reiterate that please remember that this is suppose to be fun stuff. I always tell people when they start blogging that if it is not fun, you are not going to do it. If you are going to resent your job, you know, just stay in a cubical. If you are going to do this and still resent your job, it is not going to be any fun. Any other final words Darren? Darren: Yes, I was commenting on Problogger this morning is one of the things I am seeing is that people over-expand too quickly. One little lesson I’ll say on blog is that they’ll start like fifty blogs and half of them haven’t been updated for two weeks. So one of the temptations with this is just to go crazy and start blog after blog after blog.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 212http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  34. 34. Six Figure Blogging My advice would be start one and as you have time and as the opportunity open up, start another and continue to add new contents and new blogs to your network but don’t go too quickly. Do the blogs that you are doing well and then add to them in that way. Topic: Seth Godin’s Squidoo Andy: Great. So go ahead with your question Maryam? Maryam: Yes a comment on Squidoo and what is going to happen out of this lensing effect? Andy: Yes, I am on the beta test for Squidoo right now. Maryam: How do I know about that? Andy: It is pretty darn slick. I am still trying to figure out, if you don’t know what we are talking about, you can go to sethgoden.com and go to his blog and he has released a new service called Squidoo and the whole idea. It is a blend of about.com, a blog, and a social network. I am so curious to see how it all shapes out. It is called Squidoo. It is in beta testing right now and it is the idea that everybody is an expert in something and that people can become lens makers and have lenses which are different views for blogs. I was excited to hear about that because I wrote in my ebook two years ago but it is really, I am curious to see how it all shapes out. It is really a pretty slick interface and visually, I was really blown away by it. Darren, did you have any input on Squidoo? Darren: Not really. They haven’t except me into their beta program and so you know, I don’t think it is much. Andy: Right it is the whole idea is that people are going to be able to become, register or show themselves as experts in a field and then somehow make money© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 213http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  35. 35. Six Figure Blogging off that. That is where it falls apart for me. I don’t know how the heck an income stream is going to be involved in this so I am curious to see how it all works out. This is the guy that built the whole Yahoo marketing thing so I am sure it is going to work somehow or another. Darren: Yes, it would be very interesting to watch. Maryam: Thanks Andy. Andy: Sure, any other questions out there? Topic: Choosing a Blog Platform Participant: As you, as one builds a blog network, I am curious about what tools you would recommend in terms of the blogging CMS platform? Darren: You are the tools man, Andy. Andy: Oh you mean which one to use? Participant: Yes. Andy: Oh yes, I suggest, I really am partial to WordPress simply because it is a very easy; it is easy to install; it is a free tool. If you use a host like TextDrive or Dreamhost, you can do a one click install. I’m actually working on a WordPress course right now where you could have a domain up and then the next day have a blog up in that domain. Granted, WordPress does have some idiosyncrasies with how it lays out all the templates. So it depends on how much, if you have access to a geek or are married to one or dating one, I always say, date a geek and get them to install that software for you and then dump them or if you are yourself a technically inclined person. If you are not, you might want to stick with TypePad until you develop things enough to hire some technicians to get in there but I am really partial to WordPress. I believe in the whole free software thing. Darren?© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 214http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  36. 36. Six Figure Blogging Participant: How much tie-in between your different blogs do you do? Andy: Myself, I don’t do any because mine are all separate topics right now. I got my personal blog which is all over the board. I’ve got the andywibbels.com which is use to be the Easy Bake blog and that is really just the public face to my business. I am working on two niche blogs right now but there are not going to be related. Participant: If you were doing related topics, what would you do? Andy: I would, well, that is a toughie. Movable Type allows you to, well actually WordPress does have what is called a multi user addition where you can manage more than one blog through the same installation. So you might check that out because then you can manage all of your five blogs from your network from one WordPress installation. That becomes a headache. I use a WordPress installation for every course that I do. I have some private blogs for part of what I am working on and I’ve got public ones. So I’ve probably got about twelve different WordPress installation across my server right now. They are all at different level of being upgraded so that is going to be a headache. It is that an intimating thing. As well as Movable Type, you can have multiple blogs quite easily. I work with two coaching companies right now and they are having, I think Susan Austin has probably about nine blogs across her entire network and it is managed with the same Movable Type interface. Then Andrea J. Lee and Tina Forsyth have I think six on their system. They are able to manage their empires through one tool. Darren: Is that through one domain name? Andy: The Movable Type installation is on one domain but it is building to different domain names. So all the domains are all pointing to the same physical machine but they are all being built in separate subfolders which then are mapped to the domains. Darren: Ok© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 215http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  37. 37. Six Figure Blogging Andy: This may not make any sense at all. I am totally all over the place. Participant: It makes sense to me because I’m good at technical discussion here for just a minute more. Andy: Yes. Participant: How much, in week two we talked a little bit about whether you should publicized your blog network or just quietly go develop it. And the point was made well publicizing the fact that you are doing one creates all kinds of incoming links which brings value yet I can see advantages to doing it quietly also. Andy: Right, you might consider keeping it under the hood for maybe the first month while you build that couple weeks worth of content. It is like Darren was saying, one network just blew up and it’s got fifty blogs but nobody is posting. You may want to say, “We are going to take this first month, cultivate the content, figure out what our keywords are.” Make sure everybody knows, you know, you need to be in these categories this many times a week or this many posts and build a content that way so that when people come to it, it is not like walking into an empty house. Participant: What about hosting on separate servers? Andy: Yes, that is something I might explore in the long run. I know Darren, you know that lady that has the finance, women’s finance site that it’s the same blogger but it is on different servers? Darren: Yes, that is right. The advantage of it is that it is search engine optimization related. I personally have most of mine on two different servers now. It is very hard to know what the difference is but most people would seem to argue that if you’ve got them on different servers, it is going to look like unconnected sites. So when you link between one to the other, it will be like any other sites linking to you which has its benefits.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 216http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  38. 38. Six Figure Blogging Ideally, you want to move them on to different servers but practically that has a higher logistical problems associated with it in keeping your head around different servers. Andy: Yes, I think it is more people who get hit to I can run twenty blogs from one, from my dream host account. Google will make that a stronger element. The whole, is it a diversification if IP addresses across the network of sites? Are these really separate sites? Are they on the same machine which might mean, they are from the same web host account.? So that I think it is going to become stronger. That along with what you were talking about Darren with the people using geographic location and the IP address too. Darren: That is right. Andy: So I don’t know if that answers the question but that is just a lot of talking around it. I hope the helps. Participant: Thank you. Andy: Sure. Any other questions? Darren: The time may have come Andy to say good-bye. Feedback From Participants Andy: Yes, well can we do some feedback real quick Darren? Darren: Sure. Andy: I want to take a maybe three or four minutes and just get some quick feedback on the course from people. This is the first round of the course and we are both stunned by the outcome and the response and it has been very, it has been a ball to do this course.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 217http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  39. 39. Six Figure Blogging So I would like to get some feedback from the participants on what worked, what didn’t, what would you suggest for the next round of the course, and that kind of thing? Participant: I would like to see in future seminars more interaction between users so we can see what other people are doing. I just felt a little isolated, is what I am saying. Andy: Ok great. Darren: So you think a discussion forum would be a better thing than a blog in that regard? With the blog, it could be a bit harder to follow the conversations of what was happening? Participant: I don’t like the comment system on those blogs actually. Andy: Great. Thank you. Tara: This is Tara. I like having the notes available ahead of time. That really helped a lot so I can put them in the word processor document and then add other notes so it is very helpful. I do agree if you can have a discussion forum where we could more easily write back and forth to folks. I think that would get people more involved in putting information out there and then responding. Also, there was a lot of information in this course and six weeks is definitely not enough but I know you are trying to balance cost with time but it was really comprehensive and outstanding and I really enjoyed it. Andy: Great. Thank you. Maryam: Hi, this is Maryam, piggy backing on to what Tara said, I think six weeks isn’t enough and think there should probably be a beginning and an advance and an maybe an intermediate course. So leveraging more level right along the way. Andy: That is right.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 218http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  40. 40. Six Figure Blogging Maryam: And also, I would really appreciate one of those, you know where they have the Webmeeting and everyone can see your desktop and you know like for instance, Darren could be showing us Chitika. I got a little lost in that discussion and I was following links and going, “Where the hell am I and oh, that looks like an interesting ad, Gee, do I need one of those?” And then I am off following things and I lose the mainstream. It would really be cool if we all have that capability. I don’t know if that is possible but for as many people as there are here. Andy: Yes, the probably would have been good to have a visual element that would help anchor the discussion because I know that if you are at home listening to a teleclass, your eyes can wonder all over the place. So if not having desktop sharing maybe having screen shots and or slides as well would have been helpful. Maryam: It is a Camtasia away. Andy: That is right. Thank you. Other feedback? Tom: I have some positive feedback. Andy: Fantastic, go for it. Tom: This is Tom from Scared Monkeys. We implemented a couple of the things you talked about in the early days and we paid for the course while the course was going along was with the changes we made. Andy: That is fantastic to hear. Darren: Can you write that down for us? Andy: Yes, we’ll start tomorrow on putting this together in a downloadable course so we are going to need testimonial from people so we’ll be soliciting those in the coming weeks. That is great.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 219http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  41. 41. Six Figure Blogging Participant: I want to second the point of having a beginner and an advanced class because I think that is where there is a bit of a separation that happened with some of the questions. I think, you know, with people who have been doing this for a bit, there are some topics that we could have flushed out a little more but than would have left a lot of people behind. Andy: Yes, I am thinking maybe like the beginner course would be people that haven’t made their blogs yet and the advanced would be you have active blog. That was something that Darren and I talked about was well do you tailor the course for people that are, some people take the course might not be building blogs during the course. So maybe have a beginner flavor that is before you start building it out and then the advanced flavor that is going to be people that are actively doing it. Participant: I agree with that. Farewell Andy: Great. And let’s take time for one more. We are about sixty minutes over so thank you for staying with us. But let’s get one more feedback or a comment or question? Great, let me open up the calls so we can all say good-bye. Hold on two seconds. Alright, so we can all be heard now. Darren, can you hear me? Darren: I can hear you. Andy: Ok, great. Everybody, thank you so much for joining us these past six weeks and again, we are going to get all this stuff out there. We’ve got learning guides being made and all that fancy stuff so that will be showing up in the next couple of weeks. Like I said, you are going to have access to this hopefully for the rest of your lives. It has been such a great journey. Darren? Darren: That is right. I would say anyone who is listening who is not live on the call to feel free to shoot us an email with your feedback as well. I’ve love to hear© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 220http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  42. 42. Six Figure Blogging that. Let’s keep the discussion going on the site if you’ve got more questions and advice for each other then we’ll continue that discussion. So thanks very much. Participant: Thank you very much. Andy: Thank you. Everybody have a great night.© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 221http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  43. 43. Six Figure BloggingSix Figure Blogging Class 6Worksheets (there were no worksheets for this session)© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 222http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0
  44. 44. Six Figure BloggingChange Log A list of versions, changes and revisions to this document: October 2005 Version 0.9 Released (Draft) November 2005 Version 1.0 Released© 2005 Andy Wibbels and Darren Rowse. All Rights Reserved. 223http://www.sixfigureblogging.com/v 1.0