Monthly Archives: October 2010

10 Definitive Ways to Know if You are a TentBlogger!

Although I’ve spent time detailing out here on the Definition of a TentBlogger and Digital Tentmakers I thought it would be nice to easily list out some characteristics of a TentBlogger specifically as well as some ways for you to know if you are one of us!

In fact, what many people have already realized is that they are already TentBloggers within their own right but have never called themselves that explicitly.

Well, here’s your chance! Here are 10 definitive ways to know that you are Digital Tentmaker and TentBlogger:

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One Reason I Knew that I Could Be a Full Time Blogger

[tentblogger-vimeo 16279421]

[This is part of the Escaping the 9-5: My Road to ProBlogging series. Like the quality of the screencast? I use the Screenflow app for it!]

This post was inspired by a simple question via DM on Twitter from Adam Smith (@jackalopekid):

I answered it quickly and thought that it would be a great video post to share with you guys.

[I love how Twitter can be used as both a tool for connection as well as a source of “instant” inspiration. Thanks for that Adam!]

Some additional food for thought as you guys consider blogging as a potential full time profession:

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God-Sized Movements Scare Me

Pretty much a no-brainer, right?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I recently launched a new blog, TentBlogger, where I’m beginning to see the beginnings of much more than just a blog about Digital Tentmakers and Digital Tentmaking; it’s about people who are passionate about making the most of every effort, including their time online with their blogs.

For those that had been hearing about this project for a while they can attest to the fact that I teetered back and forth on the launch date nearly every single week; I was nervous, excited, skeptical, and sometimes strange feelings of guilt and shame crept up.

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Make Money Blogging: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing works... when done well.

[This is a part of the Make Money Blogging Series.]

A large portion of many professional bloggers income is found in affiliate marketing and affiliate sales. Some full time bloggers have seen financial windfalls in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, per year through this very basic system.

Essentially, affiliate marketing is where you, the blogger, markets products or services for companies in exchange for a commission. The commissions and compensation can range from a few pennies (literally) per sale to hundreds of dollars and can be based on a percentage of the sale or a fixed rate.

Other affiliate programs are based on some type of action that is achieved through the blogger’s marketing efforts, like signing up for a newsletter, or passing through a number of webpages to a particular destination.

These affiliate business or affiliate networks provide the blogger a specific URL or “affiliate link” that connects the buyer to the store; this link recognizes your important role and relationship in this buying process and rewards you upon a completed purchase.

Here’s a great visual of how this practically happens:

A visual of how this all works.

Of course, what sets apart those that have a full time living off of this type of financial model are the ones that spend just as much time building strategy around their efforts as they do executing on it.

You could honestly spend most of your day (and some do!) building your campaigns, tracking clicks, conversions, and returns, and more. It’s an exciting world with tons of potential, even for the newer blogger.

Interested? Here are some more things to consider and learn about:

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3 Things That I’ve Never Done On Any of My Previous Blogs

[tentblogger-vimeo 16793948]

Today’s Live Broadcast was a fun one where I shared 3 (actually 4) things that I’ve never done before with a blog (but now I am with TentBlogger) and how it’s changing the way I’m developing the growth and success of it.

You’re going to want to review the broadcast (embedded above) for more detail, but I cover these things:

  • Focus on Design
  • Documentation
  • Content Architecture
  • Pacing Myself

In addition, I challenged the small group of listeners with two tasks for the remainder of the week:

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5 Tips on Creating an Effective and Fun Disclosure Policy

You must have one of these!

[All TentBloggers must have a Disclosure Policy, per the definition of a TentBlogger!]

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

Did you know that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) released guidelines for bloggers regarding endorsements and advertisements?

What this ultimately means is that if you’re making any money through your blog, in the many various ways that a blogger makes money, you will want to protect yourself and create something called a “Disclosure Policy” and make it publicly accessible via a link on your homepage (footer, header, or wherever) or another highly trafficked page.

But before you go and freak out please note that there’s a lot of fluidity in the interpretation of this law and they recognize that explicitly:

[The Guides] are administrative interpretations of the law intended to help advertisers comply with the Federal Trade Commission Act; they are not binding law themselves.

In any law enforcement action challenging the allegedly deceptive use of testimonials or endorsements, the Commission would have the burden of proving that the challenged conduct violates the FTC Act.

What this means is that it affords you the opportunity to address your blog community directly and in a way that is both personal and applicable to the context and the content that you’re creating. In other words, you can make it a bit more “fun,” if you wish.

Here are some ideas about how to do this:

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Make Money Blogging: Advertising Networks

[This is a part of the Make Money Blogging Series.]

A very close cousin of using direct advertising sales is the advertising networks that many bloggers opt to use instead of doing it themselves.

On the outside it looks nearly the same as the direct advertising sales model since it’s trading space (and other options) on your blog for advertising, but behind all that is a different beast altogether and the differences can be considerable.

Essentially an advertising network is an organization or service that connects advertisers to bloggers who want to sell advertising space.

Some people think of it as simply being the relational arm of your inventory so that you don’t have to go searching for buyers for your advertising spots and so that you do not necessarily have to spend the time, energy, and know-how to market yourself and your blog. This can be a good and bad thing, naturally.

Here are a list of things to consider as well as some examples of well-known advertising networks:

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It’s Not About Speed – It’s a Marathon and Not a Sprint

[tentblogger-vimeo 16210818]

[This is part of the Blogging Foundations Starter Kit Series. Like the quality of the screencast? I use the Screenflow app for it!]

Rest in the fact that there’s only so much that you can do to grow your blog and that history has proven herself over and over that a growth of your blog is one of of consistency and steadiness and not one of speed.

There’s honestly not really anything to rush either! It’s about steadiness, consistency, and not speed. It’s about a marathon race and not a sprint.

One of the lies that I buy into at times if feeling the pressure of others writing about something first or covering that particular piece of content better than me, or feeling like my competition is growing faster than I can with my limited amount of time, resources, and bandwidth.

Here’s the truth about that…

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Make Money Blogging: Direct Advertising Sales

Direct ad sales = mucho dinero.

[This is a part of the Make Money Blogging Series.]

This one is pretty obvious and you already see it being executed on everywhere you go.

If a blog has any traffic and any community to boot then direct advertising sales is something definitely to be considered, and is most likely the first place you want to start when beginning your adventure into monetizing (the art, craft, and strategy of making money off of) your blog.

Direct ad sales is simply trading space on your blog for another organization’s information, which is typically an image or text link. This image and/or text link could be advertising a particular product, service, business, or even another advertising service (which always makes me chuckle a bit).

The thing to remember with direct ad sales is that you are in control of advertising and thus keep 100% of the sales and revenue generated from the transaction. Keeping 100% of the profit is always a good thing to consider!

The space on your blog could be in your header (top part of your blog), footer (bottom part of your blog) or sidebar (very typical to see it here) or within the content of each blog post (very strategic). The size of the banner depends on the size of the available space provided as well as the number of advertisement slots that are being served.

Of course there are some advantages and disadvantages to this model as well as some other considerations. Here they are:

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