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Archive for the ‘Advice for Bloggers’ Category

Featured Blogger: Sommer Poquette of Green and Clean Mom

by Paige Wilcox
Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Summed up by the Green and Clean Mom‘s own tagline, this blog is the prime spot to learn”how being ‘green’ can be sassy, sexy and fun!” As a environmentally conscious mother of two, blogger Sommer Poquette shares her passion and tips with other moms seeking ways to be more Eco-savvy in their lives. In addition to her blog, Sommer stays in touch with her readers via Facebook, and she frequently updates more than 9,000 followers on Twitter.

Sommer Poquette of Green and Clean Mom

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I started blogging in 2007 when my daughter was four months old. I had no idea what I was doing but I had a vision and went for it! I’ve learned a ton on my own through webinars, books, reading other blogs and attending conferences! It has been fabulous!

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst blogs of the same genre?

A: When I first started blogging, there weren’t too many “green” blogs out there! Now there are hundreds upon hundreds – if not thousands. Green and Clean Mom isn’t about judgement or being just “one shade of green,” but it is meant to be real and inspire, motivate and encourage readers wherever they are in their journey to be more eco-friendly.  I think that sets Green and Clean Mom apart from many blogs.

Q: What does your family think of your blogging?

A: They really like what I do, but I had to write a children’s book to explain it! Ha! Ha! At first they did not understand it but after all of these years, they’ve seen my passion and how I’ve turned it into a business  – they are supportive.

Q: Which blogger most inspires you to keep blogging?

A: Oh my! I’m not sure I can answer this question and limit my zillion page list to just one blogger! I attend many blogging conferences and read dozens of blogs and find so much inspiration from amazing women within the community. I think it is the community that inspires me the most, not just one blogger. (more…)

Get more quality views with Blogads video ads

by Nick Faber
Friday, May 20th, 2011

It’s no secret. As Digiday’s Mike Shields points out, this is a boomtime for video ads:

Here’s another indicator that the online video ad market is surging: twice as many video ads were served in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2010.

With our DIY system, you can add video to any Blogad unit by dropping a YouTube or Vimeo URL into our form.

That’s it.

You don’t have to deal with rich media costs, and there isn’t any more production work to do. And unlike other video ads, Blogads can boost your video count.

ClickZ calls the 2012 presidential race the “Video Election,” saying video “is poised to have a greater impact on the 2012 Presidential race than any election before it.”

One political advocacy group bought Blogads on 50 LBAN blogs and received over 3200 new views for their YouTube video.

Video advertising is red hot, so strike now and put your video in front of the influential blog readers of over 3500 blogs.

How One Blogger Quintupled Her Ad Revenue

by Nick Faber
Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Why did she do it?

“So that everyone else can learn just how great I already know you are.”

Last month, The Possessionista, the blogger who helps you replicate celebrity fashion, offered up an incredible deal that quintupled her monthly ad revenue. She thanked her loyal readers for their support using a Blogads feature available to all of our bloggers. Her “thank you” post, and accompanying discount offer, exposed her site to 35 new advertisers and potential repeat customers.

The Possessionista used this attractive "Thank You" image at the top of her post.

Her pitch? Offer affordable ad space to her readers, many of whom have blogs and small businesses of their own that they want to promote. For just $5 a month, her readers could purchase a 125×125 ad and reach her loyal fanbase of likeminded possessionistas. At that price, buying an ad was easy for first-time advertisers, and the way was paved for future buys.


How one blogger sold more than 50 ads in just three days

by susie
Monday, December 20th, 2010

“Hey small business owner! Let’s make some magic!”

Earlier this month, fashion and lifestyle blogger, Gala Darling, generated such a big buzz around new Blogads ad units that it tripled her monthly revenue! She did this by taking innovative steps that can work for your site, too.

Her pitch? Offer affordable ad space to small businesses including boutique owners, artisans, and Etsy shop owners. Gala’s site generates more than 1 million pageviews per month. The modestly 125×125 ads reach her loyal fanbase over the profitable days and weeks around the holidays. Gala Darliing priced the ads at $2 a day. That price is easy for any advertiser to understand and opens up a whole new tier of potential buyers.

Open 25 hours

Gala Darling extended discounted advertising rates to small business owners who read her blog

Her promotion? Making a dedicated blog post featuring a huge pink image, testimonial, and clear instructions about advertising. Gala put to use the knowledge that her readers “LOVE to buy handmade” and are “ALL Etsy addicts!” Her goal wasn’t necessarily to make a killing on the ad sales, but to expose these small business owners to the ease of online advertising and to help them find an interested audience. She even created a “Support Small Businesses” header for these ads, and changed her “Advertise here” link to say “Advertise your independent business here!”

In Gala’s words: “I created a space on my site designed exactly for people like you. You know that promotion is important—but it can be expensive. Allow me to remove that obstacle!”

“My aim was to make it INSANELY affordable, and I think some people are going to think I am nuts for pricing it so low… I don’t care, though! I know how hard it can be to find an audience which matches your own, and I want to make it easy for you to make a mint!”

It’s clear that Gala pulled out all the stops in order to make these advertisers feel encouraged and welcomed to utilize the precious real estate available.

The response? Over the course of three days, readers bought more than 50 ads.


Gala Darling's promotional post generated over 50 ad purchases over 3 days

How can this work for your blog?

Your readers are your biggest fans. They know the unique value your blog delivers. Get them to help you get the word out. If you haven’t done so yet, add one of our new ad units to your blog. There are sizes to fit every layout, from small squares to large marquees. Because ad spaces are not “one size fits all,” it is important to offer a range of options attracting a broad spectrum of advertisers to increase your revenue.

Promote your new spaces with a catchy blog post. Use images and testimonials to entice advertisers. Provide simple directions for first-time buyers. In Gala’s words, “remove the obstacle” between business owners with a small advertising budget and their audience.

Know your audience. If your readers love Etsy shops, direct this offer to Etsy shop owners. If you are located in an urban area, this is a great way to get businesses in your city excited. If you write for a food blog, extend an invitation to restaurant owners.

Make the offer too good to pass up. Try reducing your rates for a specified amount of time or provide a discount code. Share a testimonial from a former advertiser who can vouch for the success they achieved by advertising on your site.

Dust off your “Advertise Here” page and add some spice! It might seem like a minor detail, but adding aesthetics such as an attractive header, demographic information, and a snazzy sales pitch for your site could really secure the sale!

Congratulations to Gala Darling on her success! We hope other bloggers can learn from your experience.

A gift guide for bloggers and gadget enthusiasts

by susie
Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Too busy blogging (or buying ads) to pick out gifts?  Here are suggestions for the seasonal gift-hurl:


Agloves maintain connectivity between your fingertips and touch screen while keeping your hands warm.

How often do you find yourself waiting at the bus stop, sitting at a stoplight, or taking the dog out in chilly weather when *beep beep* you receive a text? You can’t very well take your hands out of their cozy gloves to respond. The answer to this scenario is Agloves! These gloves allow conductivity to pass from your fingers right to your digital device! Touch screens can’t even tell the difference between Agloves and bare fingers, so you no longer need to worry about frost bite.


Twournal compiles tweets into a book you can display in your home library

Twournal transforms Twitter’s tweeters’ tweets into tactile titles. This gift is great for the Tweeter who uses Twitter as a personal diary or the Tweeter who has always wanted their work to be printed.

bench cookie

Bench cookies are great for keeping laptops cool

Why spend over $20 on a cooling station for your laptop when you can buy the Bench Cookie? Bench cookies provide an adjustable gripped surface. Place four under a laptop to promote air circulation, which makes your machine safer and more energy efficient. As an extra bonus, these handy little discs are multi-taskers! When not under a laptop, these handy Oreo-like discs can be used for various home projects. Create a steady surface for your kitchen’s cutting board or incorporate them into your woodworking projects.

Etch A Sketch

The Etch A Sketch faceplate turns an ordinary iPad into a classic toy

Looking for a way to make your iPod feel more like a childhood toy? Affix the Headcase Etch A Sketch® faceplate to your iPod for that classic 1950s nostalgia. Also available for iPhone!

matias folding keyboard

The Matias Folding Keyboard fits into a laptop bag for easy travel

For laptop lovers who prefer a full sized keyboard, the Matias Folding Keyboard provides a great option for traveling bloggers. This slim peripheral has a number pad for efficient spreadsheet entry, volume controls, and is specially designed to reduce the long-term fatigue sometimes associated with prolonged keyboard use. Whether your recipient is an iPhone, iPad, Macbook, or PC laptop user, the Matias folding keyboard is a solid pick.


iBoo will scare up your favorite tunes

The blogger whose inspiration comes from pumping out tunes might be interested in the iBoo. Available in red, white, and blue, iBoo scares up your iPod’s library through a 9 W Subwoofer and 15 watts of total output. If your blogger does not sync with these Pac-Man reminiscent ghosts, check out the iPig or iPanda instead.

Prank Boxes

Hide your expensive gifts in one of these prank boxes

For those of you who have already found the perfect gift and want to present it with gusto, hide it in a prank gift box. The Prank Pack Fake Gift Boxes include two phony product boxes: The iArm (“Forearm Mount”) and a PetPetter (“Never touch your pets again!”). Simply insert your high priced gift in the box, wrap it up and stick it under the tree. Your sweetheart will never suspect the diamond ring you’ve hidden inside!

Larrys Holiday Blend

Add some pep to your day with some NC roasted organic fair trade coffee

Caffeine motivates the masses. There are plenty of fabulous local coffees available, but here are a couple of North Carolina brands that are near and dear to our hearts. Both Larry’s Beans and Counter Culture offer environmentally sustainable organic, fair trade, shade grown beans, so you can feel good about supporting these roasters while you get your coffee buzz on. Check out their online stores for seasonal flavors like Larry’s Rockin’ Holiday Blend and Counter Cultures 2010 Holiday Blend. And for coffee drinkers on the go, get them the Photojojo. This clever portable coffee mug poses as either a Nikon or Canon lens and keeps your coffee toasty warm for those cold commutes.


Finally, a mug for the shutterbug coffee enthusiast

For more fabulous gift ideas, check out these sources:
Techno Claus from Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood
Wired’s Gift Guide for Geeks on the Go
The Think Geek Holiday Gift Center
Mashable’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide

Book advertising on blogs

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Have you checked out our new page summing up how to promote your book online with ads on blogs?

Advertising on blogs with video from Youtube or Vimeo

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Advertisers can now insert Youtube or Vimeo videos directly into their Blogads and Adverposts.

You can see an example of a video blogad in the adstrip on the left. And if you’re on the front page of the blog, you can also see video in the Adverpost right below the first post.

Video advertising on blogs

To submit a video blogad, just click “video” on step 5 of the upload process on any upload form.

We’ve known for a long time that blog readers prefer to click on ads that contain interesting content rather than just raw promotions, so this seems like a logical next step.

Kristen Chase: what does it take to write a leading parenting blog?

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

One of the best things about working at Blogads.com is all the interesting bloggers we get to know and correspond with. (And send money to.) We’re going to do regular interviews with bloggers and share some of their insights about blogging with you.

To kick off, we traded thoughts with Kristen Chase, who blogs at Motherhooduncensored and CoolMom Picks. She’s celebrating her 5th anniversary as a blogger.

You can follow Kristen on Twitter @thatkristen and on Facebook here. (On Twitter, her 5,500 followers range from @bettycrocker to @todayshow.)

Kristen Chase

Kristen Chase

Q: When did you start blogging?

A: I began writing Motherhood Uncensored back in November 2005 – so happy 5-year blogaversary to me!

Q: What got you started?

A: I became completely obsessed with the blog of a fellow military wife and friend who had moved away and decided I’d start one of my very own that addressed the challenging aspects of motherhood.

Q: How did you decide on the name of your blog?

A: Well, the first 18 months of parenting kicked my butt and I found myself slightly bitter that no one had warned me it would be so hard. So I decided to write candidly (but also humorously) about the challenges I faced so that perhaps I could help other mothers out.

Q: What makes your blog unique compared to other blogs with similar content?

A: Look – every blog is unique because every person is different, but I think we gravitate to what we can relate to, or, conversely, what we somehow aspire to or that inspires us. When I began writing, I was a yankee living in the Deep South who wasn’t afraid to write about anything, and that fascinated people. Now, four kids later but back in the Deep South, I think it’s more about other moms feeling as though they can commiserate with me and my experiences. And maybe a little “boy I’m glad I’m not in her shoes” too – ha!

Q:  Your fourth child was born just a month ago — how are you able to keep blogging?

A: I figure since I’m not getting any sleep anyway, I might as well capitalize on it!

Q: How much time daily do you spend blogging?

A: Because blogging has now become a business for me, I spend much of my day doing something related to a blog – though unfortunately, it’s not actual writing, unless you count “answering emails” and “tweeting” as writing.

Q: How much do you correspond one-on-one with readers?

A: I do my best to reply to comments on my site, as well as return emails from readers, though I don’t really get too many of those. Much of the correspondence I have with readers happens on Twitter these days.

Q: Has your approach to blogging changed over time, or are you pretty much on course from where you started?

A: I admit that I’m much less uncensored than I was when I first started. No one knew about my blog and I was pretty anonymous. But now that I’ve added more kids, moved into a neighborhood with people who know how to use Google, and written a book, I’m much more careful about what I’m writing about. Maybe I need to change my blog name to “Motherhood Kinda Uncensored.”

Q: What does your mother-in-law think of your blog? 🙂

A: Well, my mother-in-law doesn’t read my blog! I’m not that brave. Or insane. Heh.

Q: What joys did you not expect when you started blogging? What pains?

A: If you had told me I’d be doing this full-time when I started five years ago, I would have laughed. But that’s the exciting part about self-publishing and life in general. You just don’t know where it’s going to take you. I’ve been fortunate to have had amazing experiences and to have met fantastic people.

Q: What is something your readers don’t know about you?

A: Well, I’m horrible with sayings and spelling. Let’s just say I use Google and a Dictionary a lot when I write my posts and find myself saying “Oh, so that’s how you [say/spell] it” more often than I probably should be admitting.

Q: What is your personal favorite blog post?

A: Oh man, it’s so hard to pick one, however I still love my post “Secret Agent Mom” from ages ago. A recent favorite is the post I wrote about having a 3-year-old. *language warnings*

Q: As your kids get older, what thoughts do you have about what their friends might think reading the blog 10 years from now?

Considering I wrote a book about sex and that’s what comes up when you Google me, the content on my blog is pretty tame. And quite frankly, I wish my mom had kept journals like this so that I could have read them. I view these stories as a gift to my kids, so when I’m not here, they’ll have something to look back on. And hopefully laugh about together. Even if it’s at my expense.

WANT TO ADVERTISE ON Motherhooduncensored? Here’s the order page. (Long-time buyers of blogads will notice that we’ve streamlined the order page.) And this week you can get a 50% discount (celebrating Kristen’s 5th birthday as a blogger and our new offer code discounts) by using the phrase “uncensored.”

Running multiple ad versions on blogs

by henrycopeland
Monday, November 22nd, 2010

We’ve always known that it’s impossible to predict what types of ads people are going to interact with.

Slight variations in an ad can drive a clickthru rate from .04 to .4%.

With this in mind, we’ve made a bunch of upgrades to ad versioning in the last year. This video sums up the functionality.

Grassroots ad sales for grassroots news pt II

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

We are extending to all bloggers our feature that pays bloggers who help sell ads on other blogs working with Blogads. Think of this as grassroots ad sales to support grassroots news.

Here’s the idea: the total commission on buys through hive order pages will rise to 40% from the current 30%. On any buy referred by a blogger through the hive order page, 14% will go to that blogger, 6% will go to the hive manager, and 20% will go to Blogads. So, for example, if a blogger refers an advertiser to the hive for a $3,000 purchase, that blogger will make an extra $420 above the revenue from the ad itself.

To get the commission, bloggers will use a specific URL when sending advertisers to the hive. If an advertiser doesn’t buy immediately but returns to the hive within a month, the referring blogger will still be commissioned.

This commission will compensate a proactive blogger for her hard work or connections. The sales effort could be as simple as putting an extra link to the hive order page in the blog’s nav bar or as full-throttle as sending a link out to contacts or writing a blog post extolling the virtues of advertising on the hive.

(On a related note, we’re lowering the commission for ads sold when buyers click on the “advertise here” on individual blogs, currently at 30%, to just 14%. We’re keeping less money because we do less work on these deals; we want more money to flow to the people who are doing most of the work.)

Why are we doing this?

Niche blogs are vital players in the media ecosystem and they MUST be funded. In a world in which algorithms and top-down solutions increasingly drive both content creation and advertising, we think this collaborative ad sales solution could a significant impact on the livelihoods of niche bloggers.

In both competing for eyeballs and ad dollars, blogs are up against giant competitors… not only the likes of the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN but content megafactories factories like Demand Media, AOL, and HuffingtonPost. There are now literally billions of pages online for readers to mine for information and for advertisers to use in promoting their goods and services.

Amid a Gobi-sized desert of generic media mediocrity, blogs have something special to offer both readers and advertisers: an oasis of human quality, a strong sense of connection with and among readers. For advertisers looking to elevate their brand and really connect with influential readers — as opposed to just getting clicks from random consumers — there’s nothing better.

We think that some niche bloggers will bring their passion for their niche and investment in its success to selling ads. Since nobody knows niche blogs better than the bloggers themselves, a self-organized group of bloggers seems like an ideal platform for selling those ads. Bloggers are often uniquely well-connected in their own communities of interest, whether in a given locale or a niche. In a sense, the blogger sales commissions is a continuation of the ideas — niche-focus, self-organization, DIY, bottom-up — that we started chewing on clear back in 2002, when we launched Blogads.

Many thanks to bloggers Craig Newmark, Matt Burden, Amy Langfield, Kari Chisholm, John Hawkins, and Ken Layne who have helped us with the concept.

Here’s our technical explanation of the functionality. Please let us know how we can improve it. And here’s a quick video overview.

Some background on hives: We currently support ~130 hives.

These range from the Liberal Blog Advertising Network (117 blogs, 100 million impressions a month), to Conservative blogs (90 blogs, 50 million impressions) to New York City blogs (26 blogs, 29 million impressions a month) Wine Bloggers (5 blogs, 195,000 impressions a month), Jewish Blogs (10 blogs, 2.5 million impressions a month), and Evangelical bloggers (11 blogs, 430,000 impressions a month).

We created hives (then called “mini-networks) in 2005 to try to stay sane; we had topped over 1000 blogs and couldn’t keep track of who was who. Rather than try to determine who, for example, was a liberal blog we turned this over to the bloggers to determine. So we let bloggers create their own hives and promote sales commonly. The hive adminstrator, for his or her troubles, would then get 5% of sales.

Over time, we’ve realized that the hive’s cataloging function the hives was the least of their utilities. The blogs in the hives, reading each other, linking to each other, e-mailing behind the scenes, have incredible power. We hope the new idea will extend this power even further and fuel new profitability for locale and niche blogging.

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