Blogging Questions & Answers 1

By Daniel Scocco

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Welcome to the first edition of the “Blogging Questions & Answers.” I will kick it with 10 questions every Wednesday, so if your question was not answered today it will be next week. If the volume of questions increase I might change it to 20 questions answered each week.

You can ask your question either by leaving a comment on this post or via the contact form. Here we go!

1. Patrix asks:

Should we be worried about supplemental results? Mine seem to oscillate wildly and at times, remedial measures produce the opposite effects.

You should be worried if a large part of your content is in the supplemental index. Pages in the supplemental index get spidered less often, and they only appear in search results for very narrow search queries. If a large part of your content is in supplemental index you should run a check-up on your blog to ensure that it is not coming from duplicate content penalties or other problems that Google might find while indexing your blog.

You mentioned that remedial measures might produce the opposite effect. My advice would be to eliminate duplicate content, to improve the internal linking structure and and to keep working on quality backlinks.

2. Webd360 asks:

Was there a specific blog or person that inspired you to start blogging, or did you just find out about it and decided to give it a try?

Late in 2005 I already had a small blog running. I had my own domain, and it was using the Blogger platform. Basically I was posting articles that I used on my economics degree, and the traffic was minimal.

After a couple of months I came across an article titled “How to Make Money from Your Blog,” written by Steve Pavlina. After reading this article I said to myself, “Damn, I think I can do it.” That is how I started blogging seriously.

3. Aseem Kishore asks:

Did you feel your web site had the sandbox effect? Are there certain times after which your traffic suddenly increases (certain number of months, etc)?

Although I am pretty sure I passed through a “sandbox” period, I did not notice it. Mainly because I was not expecting organic traffic in the initial months, so it felt pretty natural.

I guess the only case where the sandbox effect would be noticeable is for a website that used some “shady” techniques and was held in the sandbox for a longer period. Should this website fix the problems it would suddenly receive a burst of organic traffic.

4. Health asks:

Can my site be sandboxed or punished in any way by search engines if it gets like 500 links in 1 day?

It depends on how old your site is, and on how many quality backlinks it already has. Getting 500 links in 1 day would not be a problem for an established or popular website. It could raise suspicion, however, if a site that got indexed yesterday by Googled suddenly receive these 500 links.

Overall I would not recommend mass buying links or directory submissions. If you still want to do it, however, do it gradually.

5. Fred asks:

How many daily visitors do you think you need to get in order to make decent money with Adsense?

It depends on three factors: what is the niche of the site, where the visitors are coming from, and what you consider to be decent.

The niche will affect how many cents or dollars you get per click. If your website is inside niche that pays well (college education, gambling, and so on) and your keywords are optimized, you could be getting as much as two or three dollars per click. That means that you would need less visitors to make a decent revenue from Adsense.

Where the visitors are coming from will influence the click-through rate (CTR), which is how often an average visitor clicks on the Adsense unit. Sites that get a large percentage of their traffic from search engines tend to perform better than sites that get mostly repeat visitors (because they become blind to the ads). The more organic (from search engines) traffic you have, the fewer visitors you will need to make a decent money with Adsense.

Finally, it depends on what you call decent. If you are aiming for $1,000 monthly from Adsense I think you would need around 3000 unique visitors daily (considering an average paying niche, average organic traffic and a not too aggressive ad positioning).

6. Costa Fong asks:

I see you have good sponsors to your blog. When will be a good time for a blog to get sponsors and how do you approach them?

Before approaching direct sponsors you need to make sure that you have some things in place, like a clean and professional looking design, a popular website, and a focused audience. There are no definite numbers here, but as a rule thumb I would say that you need at least a couple thousand daily visitors or RSS subscribers in order to offer a good exposure to the sponsors.

Once you have that in place you can start working on finding the advertisers. The first place is your blog itself. Write about the fact that you are offering sponsorships, and create an “Advertise Here” page with an overall description of the advertising options.

Initially it is probable that you will need to find the sponsors and not the other way around. Make a list of companies that have products related to your niche. Check companies that are already spending money with Google AdWords or other forms of online advertising. After that just contact them directly offering the sponsorship.

I’ve written a pretty detailed article on this topic titled “How to Find Advertisers for Your Website: The Ultimate Guide,” check it out for more information.

7. Warrior Blog asks:

It is more important to get just lots of traffic to your website or to get more comments on your website?

It depends on your objectives. If you are trying to build a community, for example, the number of comments would be important. People often use communities to test ideas, to exchange favors and to develop projects collaboratively.

If you are trying to build a popular website or to make money online, however, traffic is more important. Take a look at some very popular tech blogs like Engadget or Gizmodo. The have a very few readers commenting. Yet you probably know how much money they make…

8. engtech asks:

I’d love to see a getting started guide for blog monetization for people who have been running in “stealth” mode and already built up traffic, backlinks, search engine ranking, and a community.

This is topic for a whole article! A short advice would be to integrate the ads slowly and test the reactions from the readers (you probably knew that). Secondly, I would also focus the PPC ads towards older posts, so that your organic traffic is targeted and not your loyal readers.

9. Max asks:

How Long did it take till you had a good number of unique visitors per day?

If I remember correctly the traffic was slow for the first two months, and then it started picking up. Around the third month I was receiving 1,000 unique visitors daily, and that is a good number for me (at least it gave me motivation to keep working on the blog).

10. Ben asks:

Have there been any studies to find out which blogging platform is the best or is it all subjective? In other words, is WordPress better than movable type, blogger and the rest. Any place that has an objective list of the pros and cons of each? Does it really matter which platform you use?

Yes, there are many reviews and comparisons of the two platforms. Here are two examples:
http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=167839
http://www.webmaster-source.com/2007/07/03/wordpress-vs-movable-type/

The platform is somewhat important. Although there are some very popular blogs using Movable type, WordPress is becoming the de fact standard platform. That means that more people use it, more people create plugins and extensions for it, and more people offer support and help with it.

I would not think twice before choosing WordPress over Movable Type.



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22 Responses to “Blogging Questions & Answers 1”

  • redwall_hp

    Thanks for the link to my WordPress vs. Movable Type article.

  • Roseate

    Hi,

    This is a nice blog idea 🙂 ……Here is my question:

    Do you think it is important for bloggers to use PPC to advertise their blogs, as I feel like most of them do?! And do you use PPC?…..Is it an essential advertising method in your opinion?

    Thanks,

  • Sumesh

    Daniel, here’s my submission for the next issue:

    1) I’ve read lately that using /%postname%/ for URL is bad, and that it causes duplicate content. The argument is that WordPress serves posts for /postname/, /postname, and /postname/12322(or some other random number/name).
    Is there any .htaccess rules to prevent this, and redirect to /postname/index.php?

    2)I see you are using h1 for post titles on index also. However, is it safe to do so? Google guidelines indicate that there should be only one h1 tag per page. I am confused too, and is this a slip-up on your part, or purposeful?

  • Tejvan Pettinger

    To make money online, do you think it is more important to bring traffic through google and search engines or develop an RSS readership?

    Thanks.

  • 60 in 3

    In regards to Patrix question, what exactly are supplemental results? Am I missing something I should be paying attention to?

    Gal

  • Online Money

    What inspire you to write articles ?
    1. Is it for money
    2. Is it for passion
    3. Any other reason.

  • Patrix

    Thanks, Daniel for answering my question. I guess attracting quality back links is the key. For now, I’m just going to focus on content and not be too obsessive about my supplemental results. After all, I do just have a personal weblog 🙂

  • Karthik Kastury

    Hi Daniel,

    Here is my question for next week. How long did it take for you to make a decent income with your blog? Say more than 100$

  • Nefesco

    wOw! This FAQ is *INTUITIVE*! I found my questions and answers here! Thx lotz!

    1000 uniques a day seem to be a loooooong way to go for mi hehe :p

  • Travis

    I’ve got a question for next week: how effective are contests at driving traffic and getting links/attention, especially for new blogs?

  • Health

    thanks for answering my question!Yes the site is young ,had 80 backlinks and suddenly they were 600,when i checked the new links were all from one site,which was kind of strange so if i gets punished in any way it could be a very evil way to fight competition 😀 ,but those links are now gone and didnt effect my search engine visits,so i guess there is no problem 🙂

  • Daniel

    Fixed the link, thanks for the heads up.

  • John Wesley

    Funny to see that article by Steve Pavlina inspired you. It should called, “The Post that Launched a Million Blogs”. Reading that is the reason I started blogging too.

  • Keith Dsouza

    Nice start Daniel I particulalry liked the questions about Sandbox, hopefully you will get a question or two from me too 🙂

  • Technobuzz.net

    Gr8 answers and Gr8 start

  • Fred

    Thank you very much for answering my question!!

  • Nice from Thailand

    dead link on “How to Make Money from Your Blog” (2nd Q&A)

  • WarriorBlog

    Thanks for answering my question with an intelligent respond. That does make sense and I think I want to get more comments with the traffic I get with some small tweaks.

  • blogstheme.com

    Great answers! I love this kind of posts with A&Q. You are a pro ;).

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