Thursday, March 31, 2005

AdSense Integration On Business Blog

Added Google's AdSense ads to the profile area of this blog. While testing, I noticed that the Windows Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0+ browser did not render the ads for the NS&J forums nor this blog. Also noted that ads for BloggerForum.com were not displaying. This forum --> incTalk.com did render the ads properly, first time out. Not sure what the problem was for the other sites, but it corrected itself after a bit. The only discernible factor I could isolate -- NS&J Forums, BloggerForum, and this blog all use the word "Blog" quite a bit. But why only the Windows IE 6.0 browser?

ProBlogger.net recently ran a series of articles on AdSense and Blogging:

Other changes to this blog -- added a link for my personal blog Q's Wire... to the sidebar.

Finally, while surfing BlogExplosion member blogs, I have noticed that Google does not always know which ads to place on the blogs based on content. This is probably because BlogExplosion uses frames. The AdSense interface enables users to select whether or not blogs will be viewed in frames.

This blog was not submitted to BlogExplosion nor does it use frames.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

AdSense On News, Software, & Java

I recently joined Google's AdSense program and have placed ads on the News, Software, & Java Forum. As many of you know, there are restrictions as to the amount of information that one can divulge for this type of campaign, so reporting on this topic may be a little sketchy.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Affiliate Programs -- April Sweeps Research

I am gearing up for extensive research with regard to affiliate programs. I will be looking at several areas and hope to gain a lot of first hand knowledge through my own affiliate programs, and learn what works and what doesn't. I have made adjustments to several of my sites, including this blog. Some programs have been removed and others have been added.

You will note the freelance work program is no longer available on this blog because the reporting was very top level and there was no indication that anyone was clicking on the links. This program also did not report impression data, so it appeared to be of no value to me or the program partner.

This intensive look at affiliate programs will be conducted throughout the month of April so there may be one or two glitches. In the coming days, I may also add or delete more affiliates in an effort to glean the most knowledge about my audience and their clicking habits. I will be reporting statistics through out the course of the study and when over -- provide detailed explanation of what works and what doesn't with regard to this case study.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

More Advertising Rates...

My research continues into advertising rates used on the Internet. I found these rates on an Internet service I use.

For purposes of this research it is not important whose rates -- only what the rates are.

I have a query out as to how Ad Impressions are counted -- see this thread. There are no responses yet, but you can follow along if you like.

Yes, it appears my ad rates are a bargin. Not sure if this is a good thing.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Advertising & Affiliate Programs

I have been doing some research on advertising. The thing that advertisers and affiliates have in common -- both track the number of impressions an ad receives. Now that I have placed ads on each of my blogs, my affiliate program is reporting a lot of impressions (no sales).

I am relatively new to the advertising game and have had only one ad -- ran in October 2004. Terms like PPC and CPM are new to me.

Price Per Click - PPC
No Webopedia definition... I believe this is the premise on which Google's Adsense program works.


Cost Per Thousand or CPM quote - Webopedia
Abbreviated as CPM (the letter "M" in the abbreviation is the Roman numeral for one thousand). CPM is used by Internet marketers to price ad banners. Sites that sell advertising will guarantee an advertiser a certain number of impressions (number of times an ad banner is downloaded and presumably seen by visitors.), then set a rate based on that guarantee times the CPM rate. A Web site that has a CPM rate of $25 and guarantees advertisers 600,000 impressions will charge $15,000 ($25 x 600) for those advertisers' ad banner.

I want to ensure that my advertising rates are inline with current market rates. Based on some of the larger programs -- I am overpriced. According to the rate used in the definition example, I am inline if not cheap.

Scouring forums, I have learned that CPMs are between 10 - 29 cents per 1000 impressions, depending on the program. I also don't think you get a choice of ads. I am way to persnickety about what goes on my sites for this ad game.

Luckily for me neither my affiliate program nor my advertising agent prohibits the use of the other program in conjunction with their own so this is not an either or situation.

In summary -- you now know what I know about advertising. I will stay with my affiliate program for the time being, look for new ways to promote my sites, keep my advertising agent (BlogAds) and wonder why I never get any emails from my ad page. I plan on doing more research (Adsense will be one area) and in the meantime, I will not give up my daytime (hmmm) job... Software.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I Would Like To Be A Fan?

I started a thread yesterday, on the SitePoint forum, about Alexa. Here is the link --> Confused. After almost a year, today -- the Alexa provided summary for my site was finally changed from nothing to the following (they forgot a period):

I requested the update over a year ago, with the last submission, July 8, 2004, with the following details (pixel erased phone number):

Here is the screen grab of the directory listing on my domain of the info.txt file that Alexa requested (note date, some info erased security issue):

If I had known they were going to update today, I would have provided another summary as my focus has shifted a bit over the last 8 months. I am not sure where the words for their summary were obtained.

I am sure (yes I am being sarcastic) -- it is just coincidence the timing of all of this. Alexa has better things to do -- than worry about a software consultant sitting in the shadow of the Nation's Capital. No this is no big deal -- I too have other things to worry about. So why am I so snippy about it...? Because I have been investigating and things simply are not adding up. I don't cut corners and I don't manipulate my stats. I work hard and play fair.

I would like to create my own editorial mistakes... Okay, moving on...

Building an Audience With Forum Traffic...

A good way to build traffic to your site is through forums -- make sure you use a signature. The signature contains links to your sites. Informed responses or questions that require informed feedback are a good source of information and can generate a great deal of traffic to the sites listed in your signature. I have posted on this before... but I think it is very good advice.

My signature:
________________________
QiSoftware Blog :: Wired Pages :: NS&J Forums :: Q's Wire...

Some forums have limits on the number of links a signature may contain. Make sure you read the forum rules. NS&J does not. Read about BBCode to create your forum signature here --> BBCode Tutorial.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Blogger.com Offline -- March 24, 2005

Blogger will be offline, tomorrow, March 24, 2005 for 90 minutes starting at 10pm (PST). Read the --> Blogger Status Bulletin. To get general Blogger status information -- use this link --> Blogger Status.

This blog is located on my business domain qisoftware.com and I am not sure what if anything will be affected. My Blogspot demonstration blog may be affected to a greater extent. The announcement is not clear as to whether just the main blogger.com servers will be affected or the blogspot servers as well.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Can Blogging Pay the Bills?

Interesting poll currently running on ProBlogger about Adsense and blogging. Current tallies are on the right.

There is also an interesting article on the Blog Herald about whether blogging can become a full time job. I will keep my software consultancy.



Sunday, March 20, 2005

BlogExplosion Users Like Mozilla

It appears that Mozilla (Firefox) is winning the browser war amongst BlogExplosion users. BlogExplosion does not differentiate between Mozilla and Firefox.



This is a very small sampling of the hits to Q's Wire... via BlogExplosion. The latest figures from W3Schools Browser Stats as comparative analysis data:



Saturday, March 19, 2005

Affiliate Program -- Phantom Impression Hits

I continue to receive phantom impression hits for affiliates -- where I am using no graphics -- not even the 1x1 pixel graphic that registers the impression.

I discussed this problem in an earlier post here --> Affiliate Impressions.

I received 5 impressions yesterday, where I am using no graphics. Once again there are no graphics on the Wired Pages -- qisoftware.com site, so there should be no impressions. Noted for legal reasons.

What's even more interesting... the impressions are being recorded on a site (my business site qisoftware.com) where the affiliate link in question, is not available.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Affiliate Programs -- Forum Surprises...

There is an affiliate forum that I have been using since March 2004. I have always used a signature on my forum posts. To date I have about 39 posts, not a lot considering I have been a member for about a year. All of a sudden my signature is not available. Wonder why? I am starting to investigate affiliate oddities... What would this independent resource for affiliates have to lose by my questions? I would suggest that the database was corrupted but other signatures are still available. hmmm...

Screenshot of one such signature grabbed today....


Monday, March 14, 2005

Affiliate Programs... Intra-Day Activity

During the course of the day it appears that intra-day activity is reported only if the IP address that is also logged into the affiliate management program is also the IP address clicking on the links. Some activity may be reported after the reporting period has ended, but the only real time reports are those that occur because of the above reason.

I have often wondered why my hits don't show up in real time (not logged into the affiliate management program). This has happened too often for it not to be the case. There is no reason with the computing power now available, why these hits are not recorded and reported in real time, no matter who is clicking. Will be investing this further.

Affiliate Programs -- Do They Work?

I am trying a new experiment on my personal blog. I have added an airfares dialogue to the sidebar. How do I expect to do? Not sure. Yesterday when I was testing I recorded 21 click throughs, reported in real time. When I checked this morning -- I had the 21 click throughs and no more. I did have some traffic to Q's Wire... overnight. I also, have no click throughs for the current day's activities (real time). It appears I am the only one testing or curious about airline fares.

My one year anniversary is coming up since joining the affiliate program -- and I have never sold anything. My personal blog is one of my high traffic areas, so I am hoping to change that statistic.

How do people earn a living using affiliate programs? I am going to make it my business to find out what works and what doesn't. So far nothing I have done -- works.

I am going to document my findings, because I feel there are a lot of people curious about what works in this area. You can search for "Affiliate Programs" with the search tool on the sidebar, using "This Blog" as the pull menu option -- to read about my findings.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Gmail....

I did not receive a Gmail invite. Was I supposed to get one? I started my Blogger blog (this blog) June 1st of last year with QiSoftware as the username. Does Google automatically reserve the name if you sign up with Blogger.com? I am not sure, but I thought so.

Because I sometimes get emails to my business account (qisoftware.com) -- indicating I have sent emails to people I have no knowledge of, I decided to do some checking. I believe these "invalid emails" are phishing attempts -- and actually have nothing to do with a Gmail account, but it convinced me I should check accounts that maybe in existence that could look like someone was sending emails from me.

I checked to see if anyone was using qisoftware@gmail.com? I used this link to check --> Gmail Name Availability. I received a cryptic "Invalid request" in response.

Why have I not worried about a Gmail account before now? Because I have a lot of email accounts -- to the point, I can barely keep up with the daily collection of spam I receive. I thought one more email account was not something I really needed.

I am now -- curious. Could be a case of "you snooze you lose..." hmmm.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Too Formal...?

Deciding on a more informal approach. I have been rewording my main site over the past couple of days to reflect a more personal approach.

I thought it rather confusing to provide my sole proprietor status on my blog and then insist that "we" or "our" could provide this, this, or that. I am not sure if this is a by product of blogging or if I simply think it seems more approachable.

Coming from the world of large corporations and military contracts, I feel that I am often to formal for the current climate that exists in the world of technology. Bare with me while I experiment.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Tweaking...

Still tweaking my main site's layout. I really want to keep the CMS tool (Microsoft Publisher) that I currently use, so I am making every effort to eliminate all the problems.

This is not a major re-design, I don't have time for that right now -- just minor adjustments to ensure cross compatibility on as many platforms as possible. Let me know if you are having problems.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Content Management Solutions...

I have any number of projects going on right now so I will be away a bit. I am trying to come up with a solution for content management issues for these sites:

I currently use Microsoft Publisher to maintain the content for these sites. I am not a web designer so this system is great for me. It provides a great deal of convenience and ease in maintaining the sites.

The problem: the manner in which absolute page positions are used rather than relative positions -- throw off appearance factors on the Macintosh platform and other environments that use higher resolutions to render pages. In addition, font sizes look a bit odd on some platforms.

I am trying to come up with a solution for this problem along with a couple of other projects I am working on.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Movable Type -- Blogger Calendar...

Though I do not have a Movable Type blog, someone in one of my Yahoo! Groups was kind enough to provide me with the schema for the underlying data structure.

Because this data structure is similar to that employed by WordPress -- there is absolutely no problem in integrating the "calendar" with the Movable Type platform.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

February 2005 - Affiliate Report

My February 2005 affiliate report claims no sales, 5 click-throughs and 3117 impressions. All but 5 of the impressions are due to the affiliate image I placed on Q's Wire... on February 1, 2005. I have had 3340 unique visitors to Q's Wire... since January 27th and the image impressions appear to track correctly. What's not explained -- why there are 5 impressions for the month of February when I am not using any other graphics.

For those of you who may have tried to access my domain, qisoftware.com, this morning -- my server was down. Since several of my web host's sites were also down, I knew they were working the problem. This is highly unusual for my web host. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you, everything appears to working fine now.