Posts Tagged blogathon

Final Day of the Blogathon

Posted by on Monday, 31 May, 2010

It’s May 31, and I have been posting for a month, along with the other posters who now have many more posts on their blogs. I actually have 40 posts up for May, and this post will be 41. Why? When you’ve got a newer blog up, you have to put more articles up in the beginning to get some traffic going. Visit the other blogs here.

There are a lot more news articles than I was anticipating. The original design decision was to have evergreen articles on green business topics. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was such a significant event that I ended up writing a lot of articles about that, as the disaster is still ongoing. Lots more upcoming on that, including issues with the dispersants, the start of the hurricane season, burning off the oil, and even the remote possibility that the government nukes the well to close off the leak. Much of this information is not being released to the public, such as how much oil is leaking and what chemicals and methods are being used to clean it up, although university sources explain the basic concepts involved in cleaning up an oil spill.

The goal of this site is also to serve as a source of income for me. That is the reason why there are ads here. I write for Demand Studios, and I do not have another job at the moment. Demand pays better than the fast food and retail jobs, and probably a lot of lower level office work. I decided to write articles for lump sum payments for clients, since it does not seem worthwhile to do revenue share at a site that I don’t own the rights and 100% of the revenue at. This changes if a site has huge exposure – I’ve written a bit more recently at Daily Kos, which does not provide any compensation, since that site is Page Rank 8.

Page Rank? That is the method that Google uses to track your site’s popularity, supposedly they release the new information every three months or so. As of the last update this site is PR 0, a jump from 0 to 3 or 4 on the next update is not uncommon from what I hear. As for what happens when you get PR 8 on a blog? Darren Rowse runs a site where he writes articles, including what you can realistically expect. The first link on this page goes to a Wall Street Journal article where Darren is interviewed. WSJ is behind a paywall, so you might not be able to read this link without a subscription. In my opinion it is worthwhile to subscribe to the WSJ, you will probably receive a positive return from it. This article lists a site called Monga Bay, which is an environmental blog. From the WSJ article, Monga Bay was making around $200,000 a year from Adsense alone in 2008, might even be higher now. Of course, the site owner, Rhett Butler, wrote several thousand good articles, they are a lot better than the article I did on the Pac Man frog, which is the most similar to that blog’s style I think.

Darren Rowse is reminding you that you should not expect to make $200,000 a year from ads on your blog, and people who do so work long hours without a guarantee of a reward. Could you write several thousand well researched articles over a year, without knowing if you will receive anything? If you’re working another job, this is in addition to your other job and family responsibilities. I do expect this to take that long. From what I hear Google gradually raises the reputation of sites the longer they are up, since that establishes credibility. You also have to pay for hosting going this route. Right now it is a few dollars a month, but a site that gets millions of visitors is going to cost a lot more, although ads should cover the cost if you design your site to do so. I like having my own WordPress blog on a hosted server, since the articles do not have to be approved by anyone else before going out, and the ads and links can go in any format I want. The side effect, of course, is that these articles are not professionally edited. The website design is a WordPress theme, I like the way it looks although I don’t know how to create it and there are other blogs with the exact same theme appearance. For example, check out the original theme designer’s page. Note, the designer, Gauson, claims that part of the reason for this design is to raise awareness about the Australian bush fires. We also have issues with wild fire here in California and global warming will only increase the likelihood of these fires, they used to primarily occur here in the fall but now they are happening year round.

Blogathon Haiku

Posted by on Tuesday, 25 May, 2010

Hmm, so we’re doing poetry today? Ah, guess it was yesterday, I’ll do one today anyway. This should set a record for shortest post ever.

Oil in the Gulf
Tar balls on the shore
Bad news for BP

Don’t forget to check out the Blogathon Headquarters and see everyone else who’s participating.

The May 2010 Blogathon

Posted by on Sunday, 16 May, 2010

And I’m halfway through it now. I’ll be posting every day during this month, as part of a blogathon event which is being hosted by Word Count. The link contains lists to everyone else who is posting this time around, and there are now more than a hundred participants.

Why participate in a blogathon? Several reasons. There will be prizes awarded, and many of them are geared toward making the blog posters better writers. I could definitely use that help. I didn’t study journalism, communication, English, or one of the other fields that trains students to become professional writers. I studied business, specifically cost accounting. Nobody was hiring cost accountants when I graduated so I had to find other work, and writing work is available.

Also trying to build my site up more. I do intend to use this site as a portfolio to apply for writing contracts, although that is not its main goal. After realizing that many employers wish to have writers write for free for them, or keep 90% of the profits or something similarly unreasonable, I wondered what value the employer brings to the table. CPAs, pharmacists, and other professionals will not hire workers under the kinds of terms that media and journalism, as well as political, organizations commonly offer. I am glad the federal government is cracking down on unpaid internships now, as it was becoming abusive. The challenge with writing online is mostly promotional, setting up a quick WordPress blog and putting up some Adsense banners isn’t that hard. The tricky part is getting blog traffic and readers. The main requirement here is that you’ve got to know how the search engines operate, and it helps to be able to write about many different subjects quickly. Why quickly? It’s not cost effective to spend 20 hours to write an article unless you’re getting paid hundreds of bucks for it, so a lot of these posts go up in an hour or less. Better to stick to a topic you know, for me that’s finance or chemistry, for you it may be something else.