Showing posts with label Zemanta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zemanta. Show all posts

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Conveyor Belt Blogging

Over the past few days I seem to have resorted to what can be called conveyor belt blogging.

I have a private webpage that has links to sites and news sources I visit often. And so I have a list of places I go to for technology news and commentaries.

This is the conveyor belt concept.

You open up a news source. You open up an article or blog post. Even before you have read it, based just on the headline and summary you create your own headline and jot down a few comments. You start work on a new blog post. You insert the headline and hyperlink to it. You grab key sentences and phrases to quote in your own blog post. By the time you are done reading you should have more comments. Those comments are the meat of the blog post.

Then you use Zemanta to add related articles, the image. Google's Blogger helps with labels and products to advertise (although noone has bought anything at my blog yet .... I am blaming it on the ongoing recession).

You can produce one blog post every 10 or 15 minutes. You can do it all day long if you enjoy reading as much I do. This is a great way to work out your mind. I can just feel it. I can feel my mind muscles building up.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Twitter Acquires Tweetie: The Drama

New York Times, April 9: Twitter Acquires Atebits, Maker of Tweetie
Fred Wilson, an investor at Union Square Ventures and a longtime Twitter board member, stoked those fears in a blog post in which he wrote that many third-party Twitter services, including mobile clients like Tweetie’s, are features that Twitter should offer itself......Twitter, which raised $100 million in September, has the cash to go on a shopping spree..... the most popular mobile Twitter client
Evan Williams, April 9: Evan William's Message To Twitter Developers
“It’s a question of what should be left up to the ecosystem and what should be created on the platform.” Twitter will continue to buy or develop apps and features it needs, even if third-party developers already provide them, Mr. Williams said.
Fred Wilson, April 7: The Twitter Platform's Inflection Point
Netizen, April 7: Twitter Needs To Eat Into Its Ecosystem

When Fred wrote his blog post, it was one blogger blogging away: The Twitter Platform's Inflection Point. That is what he has said, and of course I believe him. He vastly underestimated the reaction. The Silicon Alley Insider called it a "bombshell." UK's Telegraph was talking about it. GigaOm was all excited. There was a post on TechCrunch about it. There was some major buzz at several lesser blogs.

I really appreciated Zemanta - one of Fred's portfolio companies - during this drama. I put out my echo blog post within hours, and Zemanta gave me a good idea of all the dust Fred's blog post had raised: Twitter Needs To Eat Into Its Ecosystem.

Of course Twitter acquired Summize a long time ago, so it is not like Tweetie is Twitter's very first acquisition.

I have said to Fred the 2010s will be his best decade yet as a VC. I have said that in his comments sections.

He was offended - rightly so - by some of the things that got said about him by inference on TechCrunch back in December, basically that he was an investor in the social game Farmville, which is a scam game, hence the term scamville. (Anu Shukla Has Found The New Frontier In Advertising) That is like saying FourSquare is designed to help burglars rob your homes. By the way that is also something TechCrunch said. (Location! Location! Location!)

I am all for free speech, but Farmville and FourSquare just so happen to be cutting edge web properties. You can't be the top tech blog if you don't realize that. Traffic levels can not take long to vanish.

Farmville is the media savior, it is not the iPad, and FourSquare is the next Twitter, that cutting edge. (The iPad Is No Laptop Killer)

What I have also said to Fred is expect nastier things said about you in the future. It is the nature of being a public figure of sorts. It is like Hillary said about her husband in 1991 towards the end of an event, "He still does not realize they can't leave until he does." The Gotham Gal might have something to say.

It is a man bit dog impulse of the media. They will sometimes say it even where is no man around, no dog around.

Fred's entire family blogs. There is a section on my BlogRoll called Fred's Family. It has been up for months.

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Blogger + Amazon = Wonderful Things

Blogger (service)Image via Wikipedia
One of the things I have done during the final weeks of 2009 is to make a serious attempt at blogging as a secondary career in 2010.

There are three components: content, traffic, and monetization. Unless you have great content, there is no reason for people to come to your blog. You can have great content, but unless you get your word out there, you are not going to get traffic. You can have top notch content, and thousands of visitors per day, but unless you actively take steps to monetize, you are not going to make any money from your blog.

There are five layers to monetization.
  1. Google AdSense. This will make you little to no money starting out. 
  2. Blog post ads. Text link ads. Try Sponsored Reviews, Blogsvertise, LinkWorth, and InfoLinks.
  3. Affiliate Marketing. Try Amazon Affiliate.
    NEW YORK - MAY 06:  Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (R) ...

  4. Using Aweber software to collect emails to sell eBooks and online courses to. 
  5. Corporate blog. Say if your blog is an instrument that helps you raise money for your tech startup. 

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase
Image representing AWeber Communications as de...
The list is a spectrum. Item 1 makes you the least money, item 5 the most. And there is a gradation in between. In 2009 I did a lot of 1 and 2, mostly 2. And I had been gearing to focus more on 3 in 2010. I had mentally picked Amazon as the affiliate program to focus on. My reasoning was the same as why I picked Blogger as my blogging platform years ago. 10 years from now Google will still be there. I guess Amazon will be there 10 years from now. And they sell millions of items. I might try out other affiliate programs later on, but Amazon liked a good one to start with.

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
And so I was thinking I was going to start embedding links to Amazon products in my blog posts. That kind of embedding is the best way to do affiliate marketing in the first place. That was the impression I had from reading around the blogs of the pros. And then Sunday afternoon I discover after logging into the Amazon website that Amazon had integrated with Blogger and now embedding links to Amazon products in your blog posts was almost as easy as using Zemanta to jazz up your posts. Perfect timing. Just when I was waking up to affiliate marketing for my blog, Amazon and Google gang up to do this for me. This makes life so much easier for me going into 2010. Thank you Amazon. Thank you Blogger.
Accidental Post To Google's Blogger Buzz

December 16, 2009: Amazon Associates And Google Blogger Now Integrated
Bloggers highlight the relevant text and the Amazon Product Finder will search Amazon’s millions of products and recommend the ones that are most closely associated with the text ....... Bloggers can then insert a link or image to that product which includes their Associates ID, enabling them to earn up to 15% in referral fees from Amazon....... Bloggers will also be able to show dynamic content in their blog sidebar using a new set of integrated Sidebar gadgets, such as gadgets for MP3 clips from the Amazon DRM-free music store, an Amazon Deals gadget, and an Amazon Search box.
Well, I have had the Amazon search box at my blog for months now. You could do that long before this integration happened.

How have you been monetizing your blog? Please share in the comments section below. 

The Pro-Blogger's Daily Routine
This Blog's Alexa Rank Is Up Substantially
Bill Gates Drove Up Traffic To This Blog
Seth Godin And Blog Traffic
TechCrunch Has Linked To A Blog That Stole My Material
7 Ways To Make Money Blogging
15 Ways To Boost Traffic To Your Blog
How To Become A Professional Blogger
The Big Money Is Not In Blogging 

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

PayCheckr: Bringing Money Into Blogging?

Allan showed up in the comments section of my blog post New York Times, Don't Die, Live. I replied. Then we switched to email. Now we are scheduled for a three way chat session tomorrow morning, him, me and someone from his team.

Right now I don't have a solid grasp as to the vision of this particular team, or how well they are going to execute, but the idea itself is a trailblazer. It is about time something like this got done.

Some questions that have popped up in my mind:
  1. Who turns a blog into a password protected blog? Would that be a separate service?
  2. Who will go seek the advertisers? If readers opt to pay for 99 cents or less through viewing ads, who makes sure to get those advertisers?
  3. Can you get all the credit card options and still get paid only through PayPal as a blogger?
  4. What would be PayCheckr's cut? A percentage? What percentage?
Just like Disqus takes care of everything to do with your blog's comments sections and Zemanta takes care of all your links, tags and images, PayCheckr should attempt to take care of all details to do with monetizing your no-longer-free blog. It could grow fast.

Netizen: The First Blog To Place The PayCheckr Button
The PayCheckr Promise
PayCheckr Potential
PayCheckr: Bringing Money Into Blogging?
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Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Small Hiatus

Moved into a new place, and Time Warner took its time to reconnect us. A former roomie - former as of June 30, he moved to Chicago for two months - put down first floor when he should have said second; in Britain it is ground floor and first floor, in America it is first, second; background radiation from British colonialism - and so the Time Warner guy who showed up last Thursday left saying sorry, wrong address, can't do it. Granted there is free wifi, but as of two days back, looks like neighbors found out and started blocking us out. But I have had daily or more blog posts. How? Well, the shared wifi had been on someone else' laptop. And I found out fast I have forgotten my Facebook password. The last two blog posts have been the scheduled type. Just in time. The Time Warner guy who connected me to the world today was duly served warmed up Indian sweets: lalmohan!

The small hiatus explains the absence of Zemanta from my blog posts since July 1.

In The News
  1. Oh Crap! My Parents Joined Facebook Time
  2. Why Are Southerners So Fat?
  3. The Outsider: Where Is Sarah Palin Going Next?
  4. What Does Life-Extending Drug Mean for Humans?
  5. After California: Which States Are in the Most Peril?
  6. Obama: Getting Down to the Hard Choices
  7. Brüno's Sacha Baron Cohen: More Than a Comedian
  8. Yes, I Suck: Self-Help Through Negative Thinking
  9. Scientists Create Human Sperm from Stem Cells
  10. Google's Chrome: Taking Aim at Microsoft — and the iPhone
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fred Wilson

Larry Ellison
JP Rangaswami, Utterly Confused Of Calcutta
JP Rangaswami, Utterly Confused Of Calcutta (2)

I got excited about Geocities when it came along back in the days. You mean I can have my own homepage? To this day my Geocities homepage is the first page I go to when I go online ea

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

ch day. When I jump to Twitter, Facebook, Gmail or Google Search, it is from my Geocities homepage. I was saddened to learn a few weeks back that Yahoo plans to shut down Geocities by the end of the year. I think that is a bad decision on the part of Yahoo.

I have been excited about Twitter most of this year.

Monetizing Twitter: A Few Ideas

I got taken by Disqus and Zemanta a few months back. They have taken my blogging to a whole different level. There is no blogging without Disqus and Zemanta as far as I am concerned.

Before Disqus came along, blog comments sections were a wasteland. Now it has becom

Image representing Disqus as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

e valuable real estate. The blog comments sections are microblogging territory just like Twitter. They are a better way to meet new people who might share your interests than even Twitter. And Disqus is the reigning monarch there. And it is one of those things where having the first mover advantage makes all the difference. Twitter has had that in its turf.

A few months back I came across a blog called A venture capitalist with a blog, and not a ghostwritten blog, or a blog because it was cool to have a blog. This was a guy who was really into blogging. This was no vanity blogger. This was a genuine blogger who also happened to be a venture capitalist. At that point I did not know of what stature.

Recently I started reading that blog regularly and commenting in the comments sectio

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

ns. The blogger/VC replied to some of my comments, and even left a comment at my own blog.

I am a Deaniac from 2004. I moved to NYC summer of 2005. Howard Dean got to know me through DFNYC. I have been fast friends with the MeetUp CEO Scott for a few years now. And I am eFriends with Joe Trippi. Today I learned Fred Wilson is also associated with MeetUp.

Scott 2.0, 2.0
Social Networking: Where The Internet Comes Down From The Clouds
NY Internet Week: NYTM Showcase

Image representing Meetup as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

I have been honored to have exchanged a few emails with Fred Wilson this past week.

MeetUp is a Web 5.0 company. I could argue Geocities was a 2.0 company before that term got coined. Twitter needs no introduction, soon Disqus and Zemanta will not either.

NY Tech MeetUp Mailing List Web 5.0 Controversy
Web 5.0 Is Da Bomb
Competing For the Web 3.0 Definition

Mine is a 3.0 company. The semantic web is 2.1 as far as I am concerned.

JyotiConnect Inc.
Damien Mallen In Town

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Friday, June 12, 2009

15 Ways To Boost Traffic To Your Blog

  1. Put your blog's address down as your email signature.
  2. Collect names and email addresses of everyone you know. These are people who can recognize your name and face. There are no other requirements. Reconnect with all of them. Send out one liner emails. More than one line and they might miss out on your punch line, the signature.
  3. Become active and popular at Twitter: How To Increase Your Following On Twitter. Anyone can end up with 20,000 followers. Anyone.
  4. Every time you put out a new blog post, promptly feed it to your Twitter stream.
  5. Sometimes feed the same blog post to your Twitter stream twice, with a few hours' gap.
  6. You must give your visitors the option to subscribe to your blog's RSS feed. You must give them the option to subscribe with their email addresses. You can do both for free with Feedburner. That mailing list is key. They say, in the long run, that is the best kind of readership.
  7. Read other blogs. Leave meaningful comments in their comments sections. Link to blog posts by others from your blog posts. That works great if they have the trackback thing. Zemanta makes it easy to link to blog posts by others. I got quite some traffic from the Google Wave Developer Blog that way. I have a feeling this post will get me a lot of valuable trackback traffic: Mashable Did It.
  8. Engage those who leave comments in your comments sections. I recommend Disqus.
  9. Find your passion. Find your niche. You discover your passion as the topic you blog about the most. Your niche is what Google Analytics tells you it is. If you are lucky, there is an overlap.
  10. Once you find your niche, you have to work very hard to occupy it. There should be at least one word, one phrase - not your name - that when you google up, your blog shows up on the very first page. Work at it. You can do it. In the short run most of your traffic will come from the referring sites. But in the long run, if you are meant to be a professional blogger, most of your traffic will come from the search engines. That is why it is very important you discover and occupy your niche. You can have several sub niches, but you need one or two very well defined niches that you occupy.
  11. Find a group or two to belong to in your niche. Do a search on Google Groups. Find one with a large enough membership. You have to be an active member of a virtual community or two of people who share your passion. That will bring you traffic. Some groups I have signed up for: Google Wave API, Wave Protocol, Android Beginners, Android Developers.Of course every message by you is going to carry your signature.
  12. Say hello to Arianna at the Huffington Post. When she puts out a blog post, read it, and say something mesmerizing in the comments section.
  13. Remember, every page hit counts. Just like every cent counts. Google makes its billions in cents, not dollars. You are going to 100,000 visits a month one visit at a time. Every visit counts. Every click counts.
  14. Writing top quality, regular content is the number one thing to do to boost your traffic.
  15. But that alone will not cut it. You have to go out there and network feverishly in your part of the blogosphere. You have to read blog posts by others, engage them in their comments sections. Ending up on other bloggers' blogrolls boosts your blog's PageRank. High rank means more show up in search results means more traffic.

How To Become A Professional Blogger
Netizen Is No Spam Blog
Best Way To Increase Traffic To Your Blog
Google: Tweet Me Baby One More Time
Taking The Number 2 Spot On Google Search For Donut Android
Hitting Number 4 For Google Search Results on Cupcake Android
The Big Money Is Not In Blogging
Google Analytics Says I Am Paul Krugman Friend, Cupcake Android Expert
What Does Your Resume Look Like Today?
Content Is Queen, Marketing Is Princess
Content Is Queen
Blogging: Monkey Business?
Blogging = Learning + Teaching + Churning + Entertaining
Spamming Om Malik
Digg Button, Twitter Button For Your Blog Posts
Blogging Several Times A Day
Blogging Tips
A Blogger Is Also An Editor
Blog Daily
Where Have You Placed Your Ads?
Sites That Pay You To Blog

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How To Become A Professional Blogger

Create A Blog

Get a blog for free at Blogger. Some people also use WordPress and quite like it. Think of Disqus and Zemanta as part of the blog creation process. You don't get extra points for those, and both are free. The same applies to Google Analytics. There is no excuse not to have it.

Blog Daily

Unless you can create good, original, regular content, you are not a blogger. Go do something else. Or blog as a hobby. Do not try to pass for a professional blogger. Maybe you have a day job.

Traffic Is Key

All revenue you generate from your blog is in direct proportion to your blog's traffic. It is almost certain you will not start with a huge traffic for your blog unless you are Oprah, and that is okay. It is not where you start, it is where you end up.

Content Creation
  • There is the stuff you write.
  • There are photos you post.
  • There are images - say from Zemanta - and videos - say from YouTube - that you integrate into your blog posts.
  • There are websites and news articles you link to.
A blogger is a writer, but also an editor. Links are not sly, they are integral to your blog posts. The stuff you write has to be the center of what you do, but stuff you write can't be the only thing you present.

Boosting Traffic
  • Referring Sites
  • Direct Traffic
  • Search Engines
Mark Penn, Hillary 2008 campaign manager, says in his famous Wall Street Journal article that at 100,000 unique visits per month, a blogger hits 75K in income. There is a suggestion that there is a direct correlation between how much traffic you get and how much you make as a blogger.

That comes to about 3,300 uniques per day. You might start out at 50 a day. You have to set goals. How about 200 per day? How about 300? 500? How about 1,000 uniques per day? It is very hard to move from 50 to 300. It is like a rocket taking off. A lot of fuel gets burnt during phase one. You can't give up along the way. Trying to get to 500 uniques per day is also where a lot of the learning takes place. So think of that early stage as the education part, not the income part. The money comes later, when you go up in page hits.

Seek Out Revenue Sources

You can get all the traffic in the world and still not have monetized your blog. In that case, you don't make any money. Monetization is key, it is conscious effort. And this talk should have been part of the first paragraph. Here are a few sources, there are several other good ones.
There is a reason why several of them require that you have been blogging for a while. If your blog has been up less than three months, stick to the dollars and cents from Google AdSense, mostly cents.

By the way, just yesterday I made about $13 each from each of these blog post ads, I worked about five minutes on each.
How To Blog Daily

What is your primary passion in life? That should be the primary passion at your blog. If you are lucky, that will also end up being your blog's niche in the market. What is your niche? Google Analytics will help you determine that. What keywords do people use at the search engines to end up at your blog? Which of your blog posts have received the most traffic? Which referring sites have generated the most traffic for you?

50% of your blog posts should be about your passion/niche. 25% can be about anything and everything that you might fancy. That is how you end up with tech bloggers waxing eloquent about politics, in the same breath. 25% can be about you and can read like journal entries. Does it have to be 50-25-25? Not really. 53-26-21 would be fine too. I am just suggesting. 60-20-20 might be better, 70-15-15 might be better still.

Every time you get a blog post idea, write it down. Better still, start a blog post, write down the idea in the subject line like you are about to write a full blog post, and save it as a draft for later.

Do You Have To Blog Daily

Not really. You could put out two great blog posts per week and still do fine. There are some successful bloggers who do that. But guess what they do for many other hours? They visit other great blogs, read their posts, participate in their comments sections, make friends, network in their part of the blogosphere.

But if your goal is to become a full time professional blogger, blogging daily is not the goal, that is the minimum. Eventually you are going to have to blog several times a day. So how often you blog depends on what you want out of the blogging experience.

More On Boosting Traffic

Creating great content, boosting traffic, and seeking out revenue sources are topics you will keep learning about for as long as you keep blogging. Those are the fundamentals. At each new traffic level, your perspective changes slightly.

Starting out you have to try out anything and everything. You have to experiment a lot to find out what is right for you, what works for you.

Blogging is not for everybody, but it is for many people. I happen to think it can be a wonderful secondary career. I think of it this way. Blogging is a fundamental skill for the knowledge worker. So if you think of it as a secondary career, you are more likely to keep polishing your blogging skills, which would be a great thing for your primary career. And if you are the entrepreneur type, you better believe it that every cent counts. Google makes its billions in cents not dollars.

Netizen Is No Spam Blog
Best Way To Increase Traffic To Your Blog
Google: Tweet Me Baby One More Time
Taking The Number 2 Spot On Google Search For Donut Android
Hitting Number 4 For Google Search Results on Cupcake Android
The Big Money Is Not In Blogging
Google Analytics Says I Am Paul Krugman Friend, Cupcake Android Expert
What Does Your Resume Look Like Today?
Content Is Queen, Marketing Is Princess
Content Is Queen
Blogging: Monkey Business?
Blogging = Learning + Teaching + Churning + Entertaining
Spamming Om Malik

Digg Button, Twitter Button For Your Blog Posts
Blogging Several Times A Day
Blogging Tips
A Blogger Is Also An Editor
Blog Daily
Where Have You Placed Your Ads?
Sites That Pay You To Blog

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