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November 17, 2008

A Hardcore Spanking, Web 2.0 Style

Filed as Guides with 8 comments

Getting punished never feels good, regardless of your age.

Years ago I was banned from Digg when I created a second account to praise my submissions. Not realizing that I was violating the TOS of the site, I was quickly ‘banned,’ my primary e-mail address unable to access Digg to this day.

Then came the Pay Per Post debacle. Sure I made some cash, but my blog tumbled from a Google PageRank of 5 to 1. And I don’t care what people say, it does make a difference. To date, I have yet to climb back to 5, even with traffic growth and good linkability.

The latest technology spanking came courtesy of Twitter. After underutilizing the service for quite some time, I went on a following blitz. Unbeknownst to me, there is a follow limit of 2,000 currently in place.

All of these situations could have been avoided had I done due diligence. Whether or not you agree with these policies, one thing is clear: I need to start reading the fine print!

I’m a big believer that early adopters of new technology get the worm, so I’m quick to pull the trigger. But I’m starting to think it makes more sense to do your research, have a plan to leverage the medium and let others act as guinea pigs.

What do you think?

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the corner with my dunce cap on.

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November 10, 2008

The Sinister Sibling of Paid Reviews

In May of 2005, the Blog Herald reported on the case of Travel Golf Media, a blog and review site that covers golf courses across the country. The company behind the site site, two of its bloggers and its owner, Robert Lewis, were being sued by a Las Vegas golf course owner Billy Watson for defamation after the site had posted a series of negative reviews.

Though disputes over negative reviews are common, what makes this one unique is allegations that the negative reviews were a form of retribution for an advertising arrangement that ended. In a ruling handed down last month, judge Jennifer Togliatti agreed and awarded the golf course and its owner, Billy Walters, a $9 million award for defamation.

Even as Pay-Per-Post and similar paid-review sites take a drumming in the blogging world, it is easy to forget that the concept of paid reviews are nothing new as is its sibling, review extortion, where the writer threatens to pen negative reviews of a service unless they are paid a certain amount of money.

However, where pay-per-review services are primarily an ethical issue for most bloggers, review extortion also raises serious legal problems, as the Lewis case points out, and is something that bloggers need to be aware of and avoid. read more

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September 24, 2008

Hiring Bloggers: Know Your Performance Numbers

Blogging JobsWhile attending the How to Hire a Professional Blogger For Your Business session at Blog World Expo, it was very interesting to learn that you have to know your performance numbers and how they work in order to really understand what it takes to make money as a hired blogger.

As part of this series on what you need to know about hiring a professional blogger and being hired, let’s look at what the pros had to say about performance numbers and metrics and what you need to know before you go pro.

Gregory Go of About.com Guide to Online Business made it clear to the crowded room about how the numbers drive payment and drives success when it comes to paying a blogger. “If you are looking to make money blogging for a company or blog network, you have to understand the metrics.”

Gregory listed three key web analytics that should be used to set a price for paying a blogger.

  1. Consistency – Word Count Metric: Number of posts per week or month published with a minimum word count per post.
  2. Internal Metrics: Numbers based upon direct interaction and actions such as comment count, feed or newsletter subscribers, and direct sales generated.
  3. External Metrics: Performance compared to the general Internet/blogosphere metrics. This includes page view counts and referrer or inbound links.

While few pay solely based upon one of these three metrics, most blogs and blog networks compensate bloggers based upon a combination of these numbers. read more

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Hiring Bloggers: Let Your Blog Speak Well of You

Blogging JobsOne of the topics covered in the How to Hire a Professional Blogger For Your Business session at Blog World Expo dealt with how important it is that your blog set an example if you want to be hired as a blogger. It was interesting to hear the speakers also add that if you want to hire bloggers, you better clean house as well.

The hour-long seminar featured Jim Turner of One By One Media Social Media and Professional Blogging Consultants, Gregory Go of About.com Guide to Online Business, Will Chen, editor of Wise Bread | Personal Finance and Frugal Living Forums, and Darren Rowse of . As part of this series on What Do Need to Know About Hiring a Professional Blogger and Being Hired, I want to address the issue of how to ensure your blog sets a good example and speaks well for you to help you be hired as a blogger and if you are interested in hiring bloggers.

Want Bloggers? Show Them You This is a Good Place to Blog

If you are looking to hire bloggers for your blog or blog network, you must set an inviting example.

Your blog or blog network must speak well of itself. It needs to be clean and clear in its content representation, with every element closely tied in with the overall theme and content including design, ads, blogrolls, graphics, pictures, titles, headings, and words. It needs to send a clear message of its purpose and goals.

A blog without a clear purpose sends a lot of messages to potential employees or freelancers. It says that you don’t know what you are doing. You want to send a clear message of your blog’s purpose so the blogger can evaluate the site and determine if they see a place for themselves in your blog. read more

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What Do Need to Know About Hiring a Professional Blogger and Being Hired

Blogging JobsThe How to Hire a Professional Blogger For Your Business session at Blog World Expo this past weekend in Las Vegas was incredible. It featured Jim Turner of One By One Media Social Media and Professional Blogging Consultants, Gregory Go of About.com Guide to Online Business, Will Chen, editor of Wise Bread | Personal Finance and Frugal Living Forums, and Darren Rowse of .

These expert bloggers are also business managers, managing the bloggers on their network and blogs. They have to hire, fire, put out fires, negotiate, guide, instruct, hunt, and deal with bloggers of all skill levels on a daily basis.

Blogging as an industry is still new. Blogging with hired-gun bloggers is also still new and a mine field for both employers and potential employees. There isn’t a lot of concrete information out there. There is a lot of guessing and little history to help both sides understand how this works.

The group conceded quickly that hiring bloggers isn’t the same as hiring writers for a magazine or website. Bloggers are a new group of employees and freelancers requiring special needs and attention as well as guidance.

Over the next few articles, I’m going to break down what they said to complement other articles I’ve written here on the subject of getting paid as a blogger. These include:
read more

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July 15, 2008

Blogging Jobs: How Much Are Bloggers Paid to Blog?

Blogging Jobs by Lorelle VanFossenAs we continue with this series on blogging jobs, it’s time to look at the income a blogger can make by blogging for pay.

The skills and qualities a company or blog owner is looking for from a blogger are extensive, far beyond just writing abilities. As with any freelance job, determining how to put a value on the time it really takes, and the costs associated with the time and production, is really hard when the real cost is in time, not materials. Bloggers should be paid for the time as well as their expertise and abilities. Are they? This is a problem that has been around for a very long time. How much is your time worth?

For many decades, professional editorial writers found a compromise on the time/value issue with payment by the word with a restriction on word count. I often was told, “We’ll pay you a dollar a word up to 1,000 words maximum.”

This meant the magazine, newspaper, newsletter, or other print publication had space for one thousand words that needed to be filled. Going over meant changing their magazine or newspaper design structure. Giving them less meant I’d be paid less, but somewhere in the middle was a compromise for both of us, usually in the form of me setting a minimum fee I was to be paid, no matter the word count, such as “I want $500 minimum for 700 words and a dollar a word thereafter.” If the article came it at 400 words, I would still be paid my minimum. If it crossed the 700 word mark, at which point I should have been paid $700 for a dollar a word, that’s when they have to start paying me the dollar a word rate. It wasn’t the best, but the companies felt like they were getting a deal and for the most part, I covered the minimum I needed to pay my rent and eat.

Here is a chart for the various traditional writer’s pay scale based upon a dollar amount per word. The more experience and expertise, the higher the fee per word.
read more

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