So You Want to Make Money? Syndication, Monetization and Affiliate Programs for your Blog #beabloggers

bea bloggersA bunch of panelists in this session, all moderated by Scott Fox of clickmillionaires.com. Lots of ideas on how to monetize a blog in this session. Here are some highlights:

Ron Hogan, founder of beatrice.com

He gave the “Big picture”

won’t make a lot doing a bloom blog. You can make “beer money” – small amounts of money.

Thinks that most categories are already covered, and people gravitate towards established blogs

Rita Arens – senior editor of blogher.com

charge for reading time – at blogger book club, they pay for reviews. There are over 250,000 books published each year, and all those authors are looking for attention.

Have to use disclosures – say if someone sent you the book.

Thea James – co-founder of The Book Smugglers

sweat the small stuff: they use the blogads network for ads. Mostly book ads that are tailored to their content.

also use affiliate programs like Amazon Affiliates.

Sarah Pitre – founder of Forever Young Adult

build community through social media to drive visitors and page views.

started a store – tshirts, stickers – made them a decent amount of money.

Also found a company that sponsors them. They get server space and help them build a community.

Amazon Affiliates – people feel comfortable with Amazon, and have probably used them – so it’s an accepted link. An independent bookstore like Powell’s isn’t as well known, so people might not feel as comfortable clicking that link.

Other thoughts (don’t remember who said what here):

They don’t use Google Adsense for the most part

claim that you don’t have control over content

claim that you don’t have design control

me – none of those were correct … but whatever :-)

another panelist corrected that (thanks!)

No one’s making money through syndication (no one on stage, anyway).

If you blog for someone else (i.e., Huffington Post) – you are building an audience for someone else. If you quite and start blogging somewhere else, you won’t necessarily ba able to take that audience with you.

Attracting traffic:

Stumbleupon – can work well. Try to stand out.

Blogging Today: What do you need to know and what’s next #BEABloggers

bea bloggersQ&A discussion session

Relationship between publishers and bloggers:

  • feels that publishers know what blogs are and what book bloggers do
  • what kinds of arrangements can publishers help with for book bloggers

Ethics of the relationship

  • expectation – getting a book for free

Does book blogging actually influence book sales?

  • they write about things they love – so their review or share is seen as authentic
  • a way to show the book is gathering interest before it’s publishers (advanced copies)
  • Goodreads guy – thinks yes, they do
  • it’s the beginnings of a grassroots campaign
  • bloggers tend to drive word-of-mouth, which drives traditional media to mention it, which then drives book sales

Do you use social media?

  • Facebook. One person thinks it reaches more people but is less effective
  • Twitter is the key for another person – it drives a lot of traffic, as does Stumbleupon

How to engage community?

  • write for a reader who doesn’t always read book blogs
  • i.e., if there’s a blog with a ton of polls and contests and etc and then an occasional post on-topic, the blog looks like it’s for someone involved in the community

Facebook – very image-focused. Don’t just do a post – add an image to it (more people will click)

How to engage a community that you already have?

  • only post when you feel inspired
  • another person has a rhythm to her blog (certain types of posts on certain days)

How did you develop your own voice on a blog?

  • one panelist was an earlier blogger
  • Just be yourself – you WILL have your own voice

How are ebooks changing what you do?

  • people don’t really care – a book’s a book. It depends…
  • harder for one blog blogger to review an ebook – harder to flip back and forth, etc.
  • much more convenient for travel
  • not the same experience

Anonymity and ebook reading:

  • you can download something and read it, and no one knows what you’re reading

Blogging code of conduct?

  • has more problems on Facebook Page rather than her blog
  • has problems with plagiarism … some bloggers really don’t understand plagiarism, citations, and fair use (me talking)

Making a living from blogging?

  • the blog goes along with the career – one helps the other
  • gets a lot of contacts from the blog

Do blogs have a lifespan?

  • depends.

Share posts on Facebook to Gain More Readers

sharingI’m working on a new ALA Library Technology Report (more on that later this year), and discovered something cool while checking my library’s analytics.

Want to get more people reading your library blog posts? Here’s one handy way to do it – share that post on your library’s Facebook Page. Here’s what happened when I did that with one of my library’s blog posts.

So … I have a blog on my library’s website that I started in January. It’s the Digital Branch blog (I figured I’m the Branch manager, so I should have a branch manager blog. I write about web geekish stuff related to the library’s digital branch that our customers might find interesting).

One of those blogposts has gathered more pageviews that all the other digital branch blogposts combined – a post about Pinterest. So far, Google Analytics shows 137 pageviews for that post. Not too bad! I wanted more comments (because we’re working on a pilot project for a Pinterest account), so I decided to share the post on our library’s Facebook Page.

On our Facebook Page, use Facebook Insights to drill down to an individual post (really cool that you can narrow down that far!). Here are the stats for that particular Facebook post:

  • a Reach of 969 (the number of unique people who saw the post)
  • 68 Engaged Users (the number of unique people who have clicked on your post)
  • 23 were “Talking About This” (the number of unique people who have created a story from your page post. This means they commented, shared, or Liked the post, which then creates a post on their Facebook profile for their facebook friends to see).

So of my blog post’s 137 pageviews, 68 of them, or 50%, came directly from sharing that post on our Facebook Page (Google Analytics further backs that up by showing an “Entrance” number of 70 views on that post, meaning that 70 people came directly to that post from someplace other than my library’s website – i.e., from Facebook to the blogpost).

Simple stuff – write a blogpost, then share it out using Twitter and Facebook. Ask people to comment, and they will (I received comments on the blogpost, on the Facebook post, and in Twitter). And you just might get more readers in the process.

Pic by Britta Bohlinger

Turn Your Blog Readers into Die-Hard Fans

Great post by Jonathan Cooper over on the Thesis Statement blog7 Critical Ways to Turn Readers Into Die-Hard Fans.

We’re library workers – we get that to succeed, we need to connect with our readers, and we know how to do that in the print world pretty well. How about connecting with your library blog readers?

Here’s Jonathan’s 7 ideas:

  1. Respond to every comment.
  2. Comment on your readers blogs
  3. Find influential readers
  4. Send your readers a quick “thank you” email
  5. Reader Hall of Fame (or a “reader of the month” mention. Cool thought!)
  6. Surprise your readers
  7. Give away free stuff (ok, we sorta kinda already do that, don’t we?)

Go read the rest of Jonathan’s blog post to get the details. While you’re reading it, think about this – these ideas work for your Twitter and Facebook accounts, too. Give them a try!

image by Bigstock

Most Popular Posts and Videos of 2011

Here’s a list of some of my most popular content from 2011, including blog posts, videos, photos, and presentations. I hope you enjoy poking through this list, and more importantly, following along – reading, watching, viewing, etc – in 2012!

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2011:

Most Popular Videos of 2011:

  • i-microphone for the iphone – the Edutige EIM-001 (embedded below) – me testing out an iPhone microphone. Viewed 5574 times and counting, mainly because the US distributor put a link to my video on their website.
  • Testing out my RØDE VideoMic Pro – me testing out another microphone. Viewed 2617 times – proper use of keywords put my video in the first page of hits for “RØDE VideoMic Pro.”
  • Morphwiz – an iPad Music Creation App – me playing with an iPad synthesizer. Viewed 2134 times. Proper use of keywords and tags is the culprit again – this video appears in the first page of hits for “Morphwiz.”
  • OK, and my most popular video ever –  Learning Blues Harp – viewed 63,469 times since 2007. Embarrassingly enough, I’m pretty certain it gets hit so much (and then gets some nasty comments) is because of my poor use of keywords! When I titled the video “Learning Blues harp,” I really meant “I’m just starting to learn blues harp.” Everyone else apparently clicks on the video, thinking “I’m going to learn HOW TO PLAY blues harp from an expert!” Oops.

 

Most Popular Presentation of 2011:

Most popular photos of 2011:

From Flickr: viewed 289 times…

… and my personal favorite from 2011 in Flickr – my family. Viewed only 16 times, which is actually sorta amazing:

And my most popular pic in Instagram from 2011 (I’m davidleeking on instagram – Instagram is VERY COOL):

Here’s to a great 2011, and to an even better 2012!