Friday, May 22, 2009

Best Blogging Platform?

When I graded my blog, one of the problems is that it is hosted on blogspot for free. Does anyone use a particular server that is cost effective?

I have also tried to write a parenting blog and for now, even when I get clicks, the pay is dismal. I have tried to look at google trends, but what topics pay more per click?

Does anyone understand what adsense smart pricing is?

I got my blog makeover, I filled it with unique content, pinged it, and again, the clicks are almost useless.

Any suggestions?

12 comments:

Ms Terri May 22, 2009 at 1:58 PM  

This is just my opinion, and some of these topics are controversial, so YMMV:

1. I use Blue Host (disclosure: that's an affiliate link). I paid $7.95/month, paying a year in advance, which included the domain registration (it's cheaper if you pay for more time in advance, more expensive if you pay for less). There are cheaper hosts, but I've been happy with them. I've had no problems at all.

2. I don't know what you mean by grading your blog, but in my opinion there is no stigma at all attached to blogging on blogspot -- except for someone who needs to project a corporate image, or who has set up their blog to sell something (say, a book) that might look snazzier under its own domain name. For everyone else, I think the main advantage of having a non-blogspot domain name is that it's easier to remember -- assuming you don't pick a crappy name like I did!

The only reason I went with self-hosting, rather than with blogspot, is because there were certain specific features on WordPress that I wanted to use.

If having your own domain name is important to you, the cheapest way by far to do that is to host a blogger blog under your own domain. Then all you are paying for is domain registration, which is about $10 a year or less.

3. My understanding of "smart pricing" is that Google charges advertisers less (and thus pays us bloggers less) for clicks which are not productive for them -- which don't "convert" to a sale or a sign-up or whatever it is the advertiser really wants. Exactly how Google calculates this is mysterious, but part of it has to do with the keywords people use to land on your site, and how focused your content is.

If you are getting any clicks at all, you're doing better than I am! My readers REALLY don't want to click on Google links (and I bet many of them have the ads blocked entirely and never even see them). I've had fewer than 1 click-through per 2,000 impressions. I recently took off the Google ads from the bottom of my posts because I figured if no one wants to click on them, they are just clutter. I left one in the sidebar for the heck of it.

I'm doing a bit better with Amazon, but still not breaking even on my hosting costs. I may try building an Amazon Store at some point.

4. My guess is that in order to really make money with Google, you have to have a blog which is focused on shopping, or on discussing a problem whose solution lies in buying things. That certainly leaves my blog out. There might be a way to do it with a parenting blog, but you might have to focus on the products you are buying as a new parent, or on the parenting problems you have had that you were able to solve by buying something -- and that might not be where your blogging interests really lie.

5. For now, I've put the idea of making money from my blog on the back burner and am treating it as a hobby. But if someone has been able to earn from their blogs and has some ideas, I'd love to hear about it!

Anonymous,  May 22, 2009 at 3:53 PM  

In Plain English (Melissan) maybe you should stick to your... blog you are not fooling anyone but yourself.

Poetic Shutterbug May 22, 2009 at 4:54 PM  

I use blogspot because I like the easy platform. I'm not very tech savvy so it works for me. I'm not exactly sure how google adsense is calculated. I make a few cents a day with it. I do however have Amazon affiliate links which work well. I spend more time advertising than I do writing :)

Laura May 22, 2009 at 5:05 PM  

I don't use google on either of my blogs, but I am using adjitize. Adjitize (affiliate link) is a great program - it pays you to do what you would do anyway - post new articles and draw more traffic to your site. If you want to really drum up traffic to your site, you can advertise for as little as $7 for one week, or $14 for 31 days. They give you extra "credit" so to speak when you buy advertising, and you can make that money back, plus more, each month. So, it can effectively be free advertising, plus $5 - ?? extra a month.

The great thing is that many of the blogs that use Adjitize also use Entrecard, so you can do your drops at the same time as you browse through the Adjitize blogs.

I joined it about a week ago, and found it so easy to use that I decided to go ahead and advertise. Just in a little over a day, my traffic on both blogs has gone up quite a bit.

As an advertiser, it takes me roughly 35 or 40 minutes to reach my max ad clicks for the day, along with being able to drop 50+ Entrecards.

If you don't already use Blogexplosion (affiliate link) then I would really suggest checking it out. It doesn't pay any money, but it is another great way to direct traffic to your blog.

Oh, and ignore the above commenter. Just consider how brave the source is in posting their name with their comment. Not.

Laura May 22, 2009 at 5:06 PM  

Oops, I took too long typing my response. I was referring to the Anonymous poster, not Poetic Shutterbug!

Phyl May 22, 2009 at 5:10 PM  

I'm just getting started, both with having a Google ad in the margin and both Amazon and Powell's affiliate boxes in the margins as well. I think I still need more readers before I can really assess how they're doing. The Adsense thingie made a big splash the first couple of days, and has since dropped to zero. (I suspect because it tends to feature the same ad when it's not sitting on a separate page of a particular post; it seems to have a "default" ad when the page shows several posts at once.)

It seems to me that the only way, really, to build up any bit of revenue is to build up traffic, and that takes time.

I'm gradually finding it happening. Very gradually. And it doesn't hurt, to put the right sort of titles and tags to help make posts searchable. I'm only just starting to learn the knack for that. (e.g. always putting the title and author of a book I'm reviewing both in the blog post title and as tags for the blog) I'm starting to see which posts get the most interest, and while I still post about whatever I want, I might tag certain posts in a very specific way.

I think, unless you're going to turn the blog into an outright "Buy buy buy" blog, it's going to take some time to build things up. That's the impression I'm getting.

Sherri May 23, 2009 at 7:12 AM  

Hi! I'm in the process of setting up my own self-hosted blog, too. I bought my domain name from GoDaddy for $7.95 for one year and I'm hosting it on Site5 for $4.87 a month. I found a lot of good tips for setting up a blog and monetizing it on http://www.writingforyourwealth.com/. For some reason the link is showing broken, but you can still veiw cached pages. Basically, she claims that hosting your own blog rather than using a "freebie" service is that is makes your blog look more professional and you would be more likely to be viewed as a topic authority. She explains that certain niches are more profitable than others, and you have to consider your audience. According to her, the most profitable blogs using Adsense are the ones that help people solve problems and give them information about products and services they are looking for. There's a ton of information out there about how to make money blogging, but it can be overwhelming to figure it all out! I'm trying to learn what I can from reading, then I'll learn the way I always do - from trial and error!

Jen May 23, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

I've been using HostGator for the past several months and I've had zero problems with it. I pay $11.95/mo and am able to host as many domains as I want with unlimited bandwidth. It's usually $9.95, but I wanted the extra privacy option.

They've also got a plan for $4.95/mo, but it was only for a single domain so it didn't work for me.

Personally, I still use WordPress for all of my blogs because I find it the most user-friendly, but I would have been able to use any of probably 30+ platforms with the click of a button through the host without any extra downloads. :)

As for Google...You'll get smartpriced if you have any site hooked up to your adsense account not performing well. It's a slow process with google, that's for sure. I've found that I do the best on my highly-specific niche blogs because the ads are a better quality. I'm only just now getting to the point where I'm getting more than a few pennies a day off all my sites. I'd being doing better if I focused more on adding new content, but it's still improving week over week.

In Plain English May 24, 2009 at 6:49 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
In Plain English May 24, 2009 at 6:51 AM  

Thanks everyone and thanks anonymous. Didn't know I was fooling anyone. Why the hate?

Mee mOe May 26, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

I haven't made much with Project Wonderful, I'v been signed up with them for a few months and I range around 4 cents up to 40 cents a day and that's with over a total of 15 ads running on 4 of my blogs. I still haven't made even hit even the $20 in those months, but its cool to see the sites that purhase my ad spots.

I been blogging, going on 4 yrs and I really try hard to join communities, blog directories, and other misc groups to get others to come to my blog,

I have joined at least around 200 communities such as blogexplosion, entrecard, digg, stumble, del.ic.ous, Reddit, social spark, bebo, wink, youtube, bloglog, blogcatalog, friendfeed, twitter, spottt, plurk, blogs on top, blog.com, mashable, others online, spicy page,all top, diigo, bloglines, blogtopsites, hey nounce, blog hop, top of blogs topBlogLists, blogarama, and myspace, facebook, etc, etc...

My traffic to my blogs are only good if I blog hop and leave comments on other other blogs, all the other communities and all the directories have not done very much for bring traffic. Blogging is a full time job as far as I am concerned, but I enjoy hopping around other blogs, it gives me ideas and knowledge.

lately I've been getting paid for answering surveys, and even that isn't much, but its more I ever made blogging.

If your interest, here is the link to one company I work for getting paid for surveys.

http://cashcrate.com/1319994

thanks for visiting, hope you have a great day

PS...I don't normally leave this long of a comment...;)

atorturedsoul May 29, 2009 at 8:17 PM  

I had my own host already (had it for 5+ years). I buy through Hosting Revolution and you can get a decent hosting package for $20 a year. From time to time, they run specials for lifetime hosting for around $40. I got in on one of those deals and I am set for life. I bought my domain through GoDaddy.

I am running nothing but Google ads and have had them for almost five weeks. I have made $7.59 in that time and my traffic isn't off the charts or anything. I average about 150 UV's a day. My site is rather niche, though. (Bipolar Disorder)

I think In Plain English is talking about WebsiteGrader.com. I used it and I am at an 82 and started at 12. It's come a long way but my old blog was a 97. My other blog is hosted on blogspot and it took a hit for that, too. I think the people at Website Grader just aren't too fond of Blogspot.

By the way, did anyone else notice that Google updated the PR recently? I went from a 0 to a 3. Stephanie's blogs are both 4's. (Congrats, Steph!)

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