Just Heather

Live Blogging Session #4

Shawn Smith, Netstuffers & IndyMojo

Making Money Formula
Blog + Engaged Users = Money

Growth of Media: Advertising is contracting, but it is still in power
Internet advertising is out there and you can be a part of it!

How Online Advertising Works

Types of Advertising
Most Common: Banner ads

  • Mostly unobtrusive—no worse or better than ads in newspapers
  • Easy to install or maintain
  • Easy to track—you know exactly how many times someone has clicked on an ad
  • Can be built into the layout of your site so it isn’t bothering people
  • Dynamic or Static
  • Widely available
  • Regulated a bit by IAB
  • Con—can be turned off by a user’s browser

Other kinds of online ads:

  • Text links
  • Sponsored Sections
  • Interstitials—breaks into the page a user is heading towards and presents a full page ad
  • Peel Aways
  • Backgrounds—MySpace takeovers are a good example
  • Sponsored Articles—product reviews, etc. (Transparency is key; people should know it is paid content.)
  • Vertical Markets—allowing a company to sponsor a particular section of your website; created pages on your site that are run by a company as opposed to actual website content
  • Pop-Ups—everyone now knows pop-ups are evil

Ad Networks
Gorilla Nation, Quigo, AdBrite, Yahoo, Vibrant, Google, Value Click
You serve their ads—ad networks are middle men:
+Easy to Setup
+Automatic (Kinda)—when you setup a position on your website and they serve the ads to you.
+Lots of Choices
+Great Start

-If users don’t interact, you don’t earn
-take a lot of effort
-low value

As Terminology/Models
CPC – cost per click:
+Based on click through average, so sites with little traffic can still earn
+Most networks still use CPC model
-Earnings are spotty and depend heavily on placement and content
-Awful for discussion forums or comment boards
-Advertisers love them—feel like their getting something out of it
-Needs effort to earn a lot of money

CPM – cost per thousand impressions
+Good for sites with lots of traffic
+Low risk, little effort
+Good for brand awareness
-Little guarantee of success for advertisers (works best for companies that are interested in branding)
-hard to find networks that use it

CPA – cost per action
+very high payout for little response
+advertisers see the ROI for this as very high and are often open to negotiations
-viewed as annoying by some users
-lose banner space in the hopes that someone follows through

eCPM – average

How to Make Money
Do it yourself—you can do much better than ad networks (use them to fill space when you haven’t sold advertising)
To Attract National, you’ll need many uniques
To attract local, you have to have a local niche
To attract both, know your audience.

Key Selling Stats and Terms
Location of your viewers
Unique visitors
Pageviews per user (how many pages are your visitors seeing when they come?)
Time on Site
ROI—can you guarantee a good return on investment because your users are engaged?

Track your users for yourself
Ask information via optional profile questions when people register
Items of interest: age, job status, relationship status, education level, race, favorite brands, sex
Gives you marketability with potential advertisers
Opens the door to targeted ads

Additional Selling Points
User Loyalty
User level of engagement
Consistent Exposure
Tracking clicks and hits

If something isn’t performing well, be honest with your advertisers. Come up with ideas that may help.

Know Your Potential Client
National vs. Local—start with local ads until your traffic is high enough to dive into the national realm
Relevancy to your content
Timely or brand building—is it an event promotion or just brand awareness?
Big pockets or little pockets? Be aware of the budget for the clients you approach

Be prepared to hear “Prove It”—share stats, provide Google Analytic screen shots, offer a free trial

Due Diligence
You’ll have to put in the time and effort, but you’ll see a return.

Live Blogging Session #3

Marcia Taylor, Newstex

Blurring of Mass Media:
Mainstream journalists who vblog
Bloggers have moved to media outlets
Corporations are blogging
Twitter is breaking news before CNN.
Blogs are now mainstream.
Newspapers are now providing more material on their blogs than in their print medium.

Syndication—when things have a life outside of itself.
Blogs –>RSS, Email newsletters, ???

Types of Syndication
Free or Bartered—no monetary payment, but blogs can find benefit from added exposure
Ad-Supported—paid a percentage of revenue from the websites where your content appears
Licensed—distributed with copyright, licensing, royalties

The rest of this session was basically a sales presentation on her company. This is where I zoned out and played on Twitter & Facebook instead. Why can’t I remember to click Uno when I’m playing on Facebook? I am never going to win this game.

Live Blogging Session #2

James Paden

What do Analytics tell us?
Visitors: unique, location, loyalty
Traffic sources: websites, keywords
Pages: views, times on page, bounce/exit rate (learn what pages are most engaging)
Goals: conversion rates, funnel
Usage: clicks, scrolling, mouse tracking (current technolgy allows you to track what users clicked on, where they move their mouse, what they looked at)

Bounce/Exit Rate—how many people leave before reading another post. (60% to 80% bounce rates are common, 20% to 40% is outstanding.)

Don’t worry about hits—look at page views and unique visitors.

Why Use it
Write more targeted, engaging content
Measure marketing effectiveness

Google Analytics
Free—if you don’t use this, install it now! It can’t backtrack, only analyzes since installation.
Industry standard
Advanced Segmentation
Limisted Customizability
No User-Identifiable Information
Social Media Metrics Plugin

Analyzing Data
If less than half your traffic comes from search engines, learn about driving search traffic.

Goals—setup specific things you want to track (Google allows 4 goals)

Free & Paid options
Real Time Stats
User-Identifiable information—allows you to track individual users; you can track how specific visitors use your site
Fancy/Rich interface
Woopra: Live chat with visitors
Clicky: Visitor tagging

Hit Traffic
Paid, 60-day trial
keyword tracking
to-do list
blogger/typepad integration

Crazy Egg
Click Heatmap & Overlays—tracks exactly where on a page people clicked

Click Tale
Interaction tracking
session videos— watch exactly how a user used a website

Chart Beat
Realtime dashboard
Analytics, interation and marketing

WordPress Stats
Won’t tell you anything more than Google analytics, but it’s a nice built-in basic solution

Publically available
traffic stats
low reliability for small sites (guesstimates some)
Useful for comparing to competitors

I asked: Is there any software that provides data on internal searches so you can track what people are looking for within your site?
A. Google analytics can do this if you provide it with your local search page and the search query.

With a few minutes to spare, he’s going into some advanced analytics examples. It’s fascinating, but visual. Also, since I’m new the concept of analytics there’s no way I can cover it properly.

Session #1

Douglass Karr, DKNewMedia

Confession: I ducked out of my originally chosen session when I realized it wasn’t what I needed. I’m sure it’s great for a lot of the people in the room, but it was more basic than I had anticipated. That means I missed the first quarter of this session, but I’m jumping in where we are. I learned more in the first 2 minutes after arrival than I did in 15 minutes of the the session. Yes, I chose wisely, my friend.

Search Engines are Dumb
You are your words!
Search engines find you via keywords.

*Wordle* Tool to see if your blog is on topic.

SEO is a process, not an event. It is a strategy that constantly changes.
Keywords change over time, but if you are already established as an authority on a topic your blog will evolve organically to fit.

There are different ways of saying the same things over and over.

One topic per post—don’t write posts that are all over the place, stick to one main idea.

Analytics: Find What Drives Business
Critical component that is not in your analytics—the people who are finding your search results and not clicking through
Understand what drives search before people even get to your results
Beware of keywords—some keywords drive traffic but not business (measuring conversions is critical)
Pay attention to which authors are driving traffic and/or conversions
Referring sources—pay attention to which of your efforts are driving traffic and conversions
Setting Goes

Ignite Old Content
Don’t just move foward…move back!
Go back and edit old posts—a post may be dead to your regular readers, but search engines still read it and rank based on updates
You can change the post title, but leave the slug the same—never change a url!

It’s Not Easy
Starting a blog is easy, but creating an effective blog that people use is not.
Most blogs are abandoned; most business blogs suck
Don’t just post or rehash press releases

Don’t believe that isn’t going to work—people are searching for you, your products or your services…be there!