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May 2
The BlogBurst Debate: Who Will Benefit?
BlogBurst Logo.gifI have a question for you.  Please post your answer below.

Question: Who will benefit from BlogBurst?

I think many bloggers will benefit from BlogBurst.  Would you object to a post from your blog appearing in a major newspaper or at a major news website, along with your name and URL - at no cost to you?  (I didn't think so.)  All you're doing if you sign up with BlogBurst is accessing one more potential source of incoming traffic to your blog.

The key benefit to BlogBurst, I think, is the exposure that you'll get.  People you never could have reached otherwise will come to your blog wanting to learn more, and they'll come trusting that your voice matters because they first heard it through BlogBurst.

The only possible drawback I see is that BlogBurst requires you to give them a full feed of your blog, without embedded ads.  To me, the benefits outweigh the potential costs.  Can't you just create one feed especially for BlogBurst and another that includes ads if you like?

Some bloggers worry that BlogBurst will make money off of their content without rewarding them at all.  You can follow some of the ongoing BlogBurst debate at ProBlogger and TechCrunch.

A few hours ago, BlogBurst's Dave Panos explained the service's plans at ProBlogger.  Listen to Dave:

"We have repeatedly said that we will have a blogger compensation track after we get out of the lighthouse period. Everyone needs to see how the system works before weighing in on the monetization approach for Publishers, Bloggers and Pluck. This is all in the spirit of cooperating to build a system where everybody can win. Second, all posts do provide full attribution back to the blogger, including their byline, a photo/icon, a link to their blog and a link to the specific post. That’s a lot of very valuable exposure — and the key ingredient."

Sounds very fair to me!  I think Aaron Brazell, Darren Rowse and Quick Online Tips would agree with me.

If you have a corporate blog, you should strongly consider joining the free BlogBurst program.  Give it a shot and you'll be surprised how much you may reap from letting BlogBurst sow your posts everywhere!

(Disclosure: I'm enrolled in BlogBurst, as are several other Know More Media authors, such as Jeff Carr, Razib Ahmed, Bill Belew, Marshall Sponder, and Maria Palma.)

So: Who do you think will benefit from BlogBurst?  It's okay to say "nobody" - but please defend your answer.

Apr15
How Hard Is It To Make Money Blogging?
Many people wonder how difficult or easy it is to make money from blogging.  The answer depends on many factors, but it mostly boils down to this: the more intelligently you use your blog, the more likely you are to make a profit from it.  It's nearly always possible to make your blog produce an excellent return on investment, at least in terms of your corporate reputation if not also in terms of real profits.

Andy Hagans writes at Performancing about the challenges of making money with a blog.  Andy's post responds to Guy Kawasaki's assertion that it's hard to monetize a blog well.  Says Andy, "the vast majority of people do not make much money from their blogs... and even if they do make a decent bit, if you amortize it over the hours they put, it's still likely they're effectively earning less than minimum wage while blogging."

I'm looking for a study that would inform us as to the validity of Andy's conclusion.  Do you know of any recent reports on the ease or difficulty of making money blogging?
Apr14
Business Blog Weekend Tidbits
Debbie Weil points to a PQ Media report on Web advertising forecasting amazing growth in the amount spent on blog, podcast and RSS ads.  We're talking about going from about $20 million in 2005 to about $50 million in 2006.  Ride the wave.

Dave Taylor talks about the current Bausch & Lomb contact lens crisis - wouldn't it be nice if B&L had an established corporate blog already?

The BBC reports on how many businesses are using blogs to improve their customer service and nip potential crises in the bud.

What goals do you have for your business blog?  Patrick Dodd has some excellent blogging strategy ideas.
Mar30
Blog Star Or Blog Galaxy - A Guest Post By Paul Chaney
Note by Easton: Many thanks to Paul Chaney for guest posting here.  It's Know More Media Guest Blogger Week and we're welcoming a variety of guest blogger opinions and insights on our network.

I have a friend, David Crockett, a Realtor from Mentor, Ohio, who has done something really evolutionary where business blogging is concerned. (No, he doesn't wear a coonskin cap btw.) He started a blog community for his area, Lake County, Ohio, using organizations in his locale as bloggers for the site (United Way, City of Mentor, etc.). This approach is not without precedent of course. Newspapers have been doing the very same thing for some time to bolster lagging subscription sales. What is unusual is that it is the first such site sponsored by a real estate agency.

A recent article in his local paper explained that David chose this route as opposed to creating a single company blog for a couple of reasons. First, Realtors, he said, won't take time to blog. Second, and this is the cool part, he likened it to locating a star in the universe, suggesting its much easier to find a "galaxy" of stars than a single one. With a new blog being created every second, you can understand his reasoning.

So, David began his own blog galaxy called Lake County Blog comprised of 20 or 30 blogs all under one URL. On each page of each blog there are branding elements leading to his website and MLS site.

His hope is that the site will continue to grow in numbers of contributors and visitors. Because David understands that the key to success from a marketing standpoint is to keep information updated and fresh, he has taken initiative to train bloggers and even provided them with an operations manual.

In the interest of full-disclosure, the company with which I serve as VP of Marketing, Blogging Systems, was the developer for the site. Regardless, I wouldn't be talking about this if I didn't think David was onto something worth duplicating. I suspect other Realtors will watch to see if his idea gets wings and, if so, will follow-suit. In fact, others already are.

My point here is this: In this ever-expanding cosmos called the blogosphere, it's easier to see a galaxy rather than a single star. Kudos to David for what amounts to a "brilliant" idea!
by Paul Chaney
Mar29
Chris Bubny: Should Realtors Have Real Estate Blogs?
Note by Easton: Thanks go out to to Chris Bubny for offering us this guest post on real estate blogging.  This week is Know More Media Guest Blogger Week.

Thanks to Easton for the flattering invitation to participate in Know More Media’s Guest Blogger Week. The chance to evangelize on blogs is always one I enjoy.

In another life, I’m a project manager and blog consultant for Blogging Systems, a company that provides turn-key community blog networks for the real estate and lending industries. I also administer Realty Blogging, A Network of Blogging Evangelists Writing on Effective Real Estate Blogging which Blogging Systems hosts.

I’d like to share an email I received from a realtor who was curious about whether or not starting a blog would help their business.

“Really need to get my business off the ground, the fees are killing me. Would a blog help, let me know. Thanks”

The answer is yes, a blog can help your business, but a blog is only as valuable as its blogger's efforts. I can’t imagine you had loads of anxious sellers and buyers banging on your door the day you got your Real Estate license. Just like anything else blogging requires time and effort. If handled with care a blog can be your online voice, a conversation, a unique marketing tool, an edge over your competition and an extension of your brand, but unless you take hold of the reins and steer it properly it won’t be anything but an inert dud. But fear not; there are so many tools and so much information readily available to help you in this new undertaking that success is but an effort away. As a Real Estate agent you’re inherently linked to the people of the community you serve. A blog presents you with an opportunity to reach out to that community and interact in a new fashion, manage customer relations, position yourself as the market expert, extend your brand and increase your online presence.

One challenge I often get from realtors is that they just don’t have the time to blog. Blogging Systems has a wonderful solution to their setback called Community Publisher. Community Publisher is an online, branded, hyper-local “newspaper like” blog hosted by realtors such as Lake County Blog presented by The Crockett Team. The content of the community blog is contributed by local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Education, local charities, etc. and as a result you’ve overcome the time issue. It’s a brilliant way to extend your brand and drive traffic to your website all the while providing an invaluable resource to your local area.

If you’re a Real Estate agent that is serious about their business and are willing and able to invest a little time and effort then I absolutely recommend starting your own blog.

by Chris Bubny

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