ryancaldwell – Performancing http://performancing.com Tue, 13 Feb 2018 03:14:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Get Free, High-Quality Content Custom Written For Your Blog http://performancing.com/get_free__high-quality_content_custom_written_for_your_blog/ http://performancing.com/get_free__high-quality_content_custom_written_for_your_blog/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2009 13:42:33 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2374 I’m a big fan of guest posting high-quality content on high-quality blogs. Guest articles are one of those win-win transactions that take place all the time on the Internet without the transaction of money. The writer of the article gets the benefit of exposure and branding (assuming the article is good). The blog owner gets […]

The post Get Free, High-Quality Content Custom Written For Your Blog appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
I’m a big fan of guest posting high-quality content on high-quality blogs. Guest articles are one of those win-win transactions that take place all the time on the Internet without the transaction of money. The writer of the article gets the benefit of exposure and branding (assuming the article is good). The blog owner gets the benefit of a unique perspective and interesting content that wouldn’t otherwise be seen by his or her readers.

I’m offering to do 10 free guest posts over the next month for high-quality blogs (as determined by me). Every guest post that gets done will be custom written by me and I will strive for professional quality. Here are some samples of my guest posts from the past:

If you are interested, please contact me at the following email address ryan@college-startup.com so that I can look over your blog.

The post Get Free, High-Quality Content Custom Written For Your Blog appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/get_free__high-quality_content_custom_written_for_your_blog/feed/ 4
Finalists Announced In The Blogger Appreciation Awards http://performancing.com/finalists_announced_in_the_blogger_appreciation_awards/ http://performancing.com/finalists_announced_in_the_blogger_appreciation_awards/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2009 23:17:57 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2373 The 30 finalists have been announced for the Blogger Appreciation Awards contest. These 30 bloggers were selected out of thousands of nominations after they had survived a semi-finalist round in which the judges initially narrowed the field down to 200. These blogs were selected for their compelling content and active readerships: the two aspects of […]

The post Finalists Announced In The Blogger Appreciation Awards appeared first on Performancing.

]]>

The 30 finalists have been announced for the Blogger Appreciation Awards contest. These 30 bloggers were selected out of thousands of nominations after they had survived a semi-finalist round in which the judges initially narrowed the field down to 200. These blogs were selected for their compelling content and active readerships: the two aspects of a great blog.

If you’d like to show your appreciation for one of the finalist bloggers, please make sure to participate by voting at the The Blogger Appreciation Awards voting page.

The finalists are:

The post Finalists Announced In The Blogger Appreciation Awards appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/finalists_announced_in_the_blogger_appreciation_awards/feed/ 7
Blogger Appreciation Contest – Call For Nominations http://performancing.com/blogger_appreciation_contest_-_call_for_nominations/ http://performancing.com/blogger_appreciation_contest_-_call_for_nominations/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2009 21:42:18 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2371 Bloggers pour their heart and soul into their blogs and often get very little in return. As a whole, I think it’s safe to say that we’re an under-appreciated group who work very hard and what we do. Most of us blog for free and the only thing that keeps us going is the thrill […]

The post Blogger Appreciation Contest – Call For Nominations appeared first on Performancing.

]]>

Bloggers pour their heart and soul into their blogs and often get very little in return. As a whole, I think it’s safe to say that we’re an under-appreciated group who work very hard and what we do. Most of us blog for free and the only thing that keeps us going is the thrill of interacting with our readers or the rare time when we break a big news story or get recognized by other blogs for an insightful commentary.

But the fact is that even the most popular bloggers barely make enough money to scrape by. There are really only a handful of people who actually make a full wage off blogging.

Cell Phones .org thinks that bloggers don’t get enough appreciation and for that reason they are running a Bloggers Appreciation Contest. The contest will reward the three winners with some really cool prizes:

First Prize: a full year’s worth of your cell phone bill (up to $1000)
Second Prize: free cell phone (does not include plan)
Third Prize: $100 gift certificate to use at Cell Phones .org

Nominations for the contest will be accepted until February 28th 2009. Blogs that have been nominated will then ask their readers to show their appreciation by voting for them over the next few weeks. Voting will be held from March 1st until March 17th. Each visitor can vote once per day during the voting period.

To nominate your blog or any other blog, go to the Cell Phones.org nomination page.

The post Blogger Appreciation Contest – Call For Nominations appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/blogger_appreciation_contest_-_call_for_nominations/feed/ 7
Free Social Media Buttons For Your Blog http://performancing.com/free_social_media_buttons_for_your_blog/ http://performancing.com/free_social_media_buttons_for_your_blog/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2009 15:57:47 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2372 Have you ever wanted options when it comes to the social media buttons you put on your blog or website? I know I have. Normally I wade through oceans of junk in a Google Image search to find the ones that I really love. Then they all need to be edited down to size. And […]

The post Free Social Media Buttons For Your Blog appeared first on Performancing.

]]>

Have you ever wanted options when it comes to the social media buttons you put on your blog or website? I know I have. Normally I wade through oceans of junk in a Google Image search to find the ones that I really love. Then they all need to be edited down to size. And sometimes I can’t even find ones that match.

Well, the good news is that my friends Randa and Char have addressed this problem with their new site MySocialButtons.com which offers some really unique, interesting and high-quality social media buttons that are free to use. And the good news is that since they come from the same designers, you can find buttons for multiple social media sites that match each other. Once you’ve found the style you like, you can normally find the same style for the other sites.

Here are three of my favorite social media buttons from MySocialButtons.com –

facebook button twitter bird button stumble upon button

The post Free Social Media Buttons For Your Blog appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/free_social_media_buttons_for_your_blog/feed/ 4
A Request For Google’s Webmaster Tools – Fight spamlink hacking head-on http://performancing.com/a_request_for_google_s_webmaster_tools_-_fight_spamlink_hacking_head-on/ http://performancing.com/a_request_for_google_s_webmaster_tools_-_fight_spamlink_hacking_head-on/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2009 12:00:52 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2370 For at least the last six months, one of my blogs has been hacked and I didn’t know about it. For all I know, it is still hacked. As Aaron Wall pointed out over at SEO Blog, there is a sophisticated new method of link cloaking that hackers are using where only GoogleBot sees the […]

The post A Request For Google’s Webmaster Tools – Fight spamlink hacking head-on appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
For at least the last six months, one of my blogs has been hacked and I didn’t know about it. For all I know, it is still hacked.

As Aaron Wall pointed out over at SEO Blog, there is a sophisticated new method of link cloaking that hackers are using where only GoogleBot sees the hacker’s spammy xanax links.

I had guessed that my site was hacked around last August because the site was de-indexed from Google. However, I went to Google’s webmaster tools at the time to look at “What Google Sees” and didn’t see any spammy keywords. Then, I checked all the files on my webserver and didn’t find any obvious changes. Then I scanned the database for common spam hacker tactics. Nothing. So as a last resort, I simply deleted all the WP files off the server and re-installed a fresh installation of WP.

In the past, this methodology has solved all my spamhacks. But not this time. And to this day I still don’t know if I’ve solved the problem. What I do know is that the site has actually been hacked because now when I go to Webmaster Tools “What Google Sees” and look at the cache of pages on my site, I see lots of spammy phrases.

So, 6 months later, I’ve gone ahead and rechecked everything. I’ve run the Exploit Scanner plugin and it doesn’t see a problem. I’ve looked through the theme files, including functions.php and still don’t see the issue.

What makes the problem especially tough to identify is the cloaking aspect. Because it’s impossible to test whether you’ve fixed the issue in real time. Instead, you are left waiting for the next time Google caches a page on your site.

So here’s the request for Google’s Webmaster Tools…

Let’s tackle spamlink hacking head on. Let’s make Webmaster Central’s Webmaster Tools really, really useful by meeting these specs:

  • Provide immediate email notifications if spamlink hacking is detected on a site.
  • Because of the cloaking issue, allow a webmaster to request an immediate site review (just like you do for initial site authentication)
  • Provide webmasters a robust toolkit of actions that they can take to remove the specific spamlink hack that’s detected on their site.

The fact of the matter is that spamlink hacking has gotten too sophisticated for even the average webmaster to keep up with. With widely distributed CMS software like WordPress and sophisticated attack methods, web security is not as simple as it used to be. It’s time for Google to help us out. And this post is my plea for help

The post A Request For Google’s Webmaster Tools – Fight spamlink hacking head-on appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/a_request_for_google_s_webmaster_tools_-_fight_spamlink_hacking_head-on/feed/ 6
Gawker Media: No Time For Subtlety In A Troubled Economy http://performancing.com/gawker_media___no_time_for_subtlety_in_a_troubled_economy/ http://performancing.com/gawker_media___no_time_for_subtlety_in_a_troubled_economy/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2009 18:39:31 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2369 It can’t be a coincidence that in the last week Gawker Media properties have blatantly stolen the titles and ideas proposed in two articles that appeared on my web properties early this year. And surely it’s not a coincidence that both of those articles appeared on the front page of Digg. You see, I can’t […]

The post Gawker Media: No Time For Subtlety In A Troubled Economy appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
It can’t be a coincidence that in the last week Gawker Media properties have blatantly stolen the titles and ideas proposed in two articles that appeared on my web properties early this year. And surely it’s not a coincidence that both of those articles appeared on the front page of Digg.

You see, I can’t help but think that Gawker Media has clearly instructed it’s writers to go into the backlogs of successful front page Digg stories, and to start copying concepts.

To be honest, this is not a new thing. Everyone studies the backlogs of Digg to learn and adapt. However, what is new is the blatant copying of titles and concepts that Gawker seems to be using:

Compare:

http://www.ridelust.com/10-cars-that-are-guaranteed-to-get-you-laid-on-a-budget/
http://jalopnik.com/5139493/the-top-11-cars-of-2009-most-likely-to-get-you-laid

and

http://www.businesspundit.com/give-windows-7-away-for-free
http://gizmodo.com/5141443/why-microsoft-should-give-windows-7-away

Now, if it happened to me twice in one week, I can only infer that it’s the new Gawker strategy: no time for subtlety in a bad economy.

The post Gawker Media: No Time For Subtlety In A Troubled Economy appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/gawker_media___no_time_for_subtlety_in_a_troubled_economy/feed/ 3
Performancing Blog Awards 2007 Winners http://performancing.com/performancing_blog_awards_2007_winners/ http://performancing.com/performancing_blog_awards_2007_winners/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2009 15:18:01 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2280 The Performancing Blog Awards recognize excellence in blogging. With help from our readers, Performancing chose 28 awards categories (one half of our collective brain wishes we could have done more, the other half wishes we had done less;-) and nominated six candidates per category. With over 61,000 votes in one week of voting (Readers’ Choice) […]

The post Performancing Blog Awards 2007 Winners appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
The Performancing Blog Awards recognize excellence in blogging. With help from our readers, Performancing chose 28 awards categories (one half of our collective brain wishes we could have done more, the other half wishes we had done less;-) and nominated six candidates per category.

With over 61,000 votes in one week of voting (Readers’ Choice) and ongoing behind the scenes deliberation (Editors’ Choice) we’ve selected the winners of this year’s Performancing Blog Awards.

In some cases, the Readers and the Editors selected the same winners. However, more often than not, the Readers and Editors selected different winners. In those cases, it’s for you to decide who made the better choice;-)

While putting these awards together was a labor of love (and I mean labor in both senses of the term!) it was well worth the effort. What we have here is a solid collection of the best blogs in the world in some of the most important categories there are. It was no easy feat, but we sure hope you like the final product:


The Best Overall Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: Zen Habits

Zen Habits entered the blogosphere by storm, offering up a unique and fresh perspective on life, health, productivity and finance. It has not only gained the admiration of professional bloggers but also managed to gain a huge readership outside the average blog reading demographic. This can be partly attributed to to the fact that, with a clear and captivating writing style, Zen Habits offers smart and productive people an alternative, simpler way to live their lives.

Runner Up: Mashable

Voting results: Best Overall Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: TechCrunch

Everyone in the industry hangs on TechCrunch’s every word. While the site has it’s ups and it’s downs, there’s no denying the fact that the writers at TechCrunch put out an incredibly large amount of exceptional content day in and day out.

Runner Up: Ars Technica


The Most Influential Blogger of 2007

Readers’ Choice: Darren Rowse (ProBlogger)

In what turned out to be the closest poll of this year’s Performancing Awards (only five votes separated first and second place), Darren Rowse pulled out the victory. Darren has been a pioneer of the problogging world and is consistently looked to as a role model for blogging consistency and success. His ability to continually generate new and useful ideas never ceases to amaze us.

Runner Up: Seth Godin (Seth’s Blog)

Voting results: Most Influential Blogger Poll

Editors’ Choice: Brian Clark (CopyBlogger)

The best bloggers will all tell you the same thing: the key to a successful blog is writing attention grabbing headlines and copy. And no one has influenced the art of copywriting like Brian Clark. His blog CopyBlogger has made the blogging community stronger with tips on writing engaging posts and headlines, and it’s safe to say we’d see less engaging content without Brian’s huge influence.

Runner Up: Darren Rowse (ProBlogger)


The Best Blog Design of 2007

Readers’ Choice: Copyblogger (designed by Chris Pearson)

The reader’s spoke loud and clear on this one. Connoisseurs of WordPress themes know that Copyblogger was not only one of the most widely adopted WordPress theme of 2007. But even more importantly, it’s got ultra-optimized code (e.g. the left sidebar shows up in the source code after the middle content) and beautiful typography. Name recognition certainly helped on this one, but it’s pretty clear that users of the Copyblogger theme love it, and that’s all that matters.

Runner Up: Veerle’s Blog 2.0

Voting results: Best Blog Design Poll

Editors’ Choice: Pearsonified

It’s a shame Chris Pearson doesn’t blog a little more often, but the infrequent posts don’t take anything away from the awesome design at Pearsonified. Chris Pearson is one of the best WordPress designers working today, and it shows with his personal site.

Runner Up: Veerle’s Blog 2.0


The Best Blog Typography of 2007

Readers’ Choice: Freelance Switch

Freelance Switch features big, thick headline fonts and font layout that’s easy on the eyes. It’s easy to see why the readers’ picked this one (no pun intended, of course).

Runner Up: Graphic Exchange

Voting results: Best Blog Typography Poll

Editors’ Choice: Freelance Switch

In our opinion, Freelance Switch has set a new standard for great typography. Blog Designers take note.

Runner Up: 4-Hour Work Week


The Best Blog Name of 2007

Readers’ Choice: John Cow

Playing off the popularity of blogging rockstar John Chow, John Cow has become a household name. And the cow metaphor is priceless.

Runner Up: Get Rich Slowly

Voting results: The Best Blog Name Poll

Editors’ Choice: Velveteen Rabbi

We just couldn’t resist. The most beautiful play-on-words we’ve seen in a long time.

Runner Up: John Cow


The Best New Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: Freelance Switch

Freelance Switch managed to burst onto the scene and gather an amazing, dedicated crowd in a very short amount of time. In the world of freelancing, Freelance Switch is now the big kahuna.

Runner Up: Snarfd

Voting results: The Best New Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Snarfd

While we certainly love Freelance Switch, for this award we wanted to pick the blog with the widest appeal…the one that keeps drawing us back…like addicts. And Snarfd is it.

Runner Up: Freelance Switch


The Best Blog Community of 2007

Readers’ Choice: Freelance Writing Jobs

Freelance Writing Jobs has a passionate community of freelance writers, and they sure have spoken this time.

Runner Up: Twitter

Voting results: The Best Blog Community Poll

Editors’ Choice: Metafilter

A vibrant community blog where the comments are often better than the posts. Our Editor’s were tightly split between Metafilter and Twitter, though, so definitely give the microblogging runner-up a shot.

Runner Up: Twitter


The Most Improved Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: Mashable

Just take a look at the 3 year Alexa graph and you’ll see that our readers are quite the omniscient crew.

Runner Up: Get Rich Slowly

Voting results: The Most Improved Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: DoshDosh

The originality and quality of posts at DoshDosh have just continued to go up since Maki launched it back in November of 2006. And we couldn’t resist the draw of anime… just too cool.

Runner Up: Get Rich Slowly


The Best Blogs You’ve Never Heard Of 2007

Readers’ Choice: The Astonishing Adventures of Lord Likely

An original, quirky blog chosen by some original and quirky readers;-)

Runner Up: Bluehat SEO

Voting results: The Best Blogs You’ve Never Heard Of Poll

Editors’ Choice: Dear Rockers

We love the concept of this site: resolve your music-stealing guilt by writing letters to rockers and sending them $5. Not sure if it gets you off the hook, but the letters are sure fun to read.

Runner Up: Wise Living Journal


The Best Use of a Corporate Blog in 2007

Readers’ Choice: Prosper’s Official Blog

Prosper is a group blog run by its users. We’d love to see more corporations go in this direction, instead of weaving the typical corporate spin.

Runner Up: Southwest Airlines

Voting results: The Best Use of a Corporate Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Matt Cutts/Google Guy

Sure, we know the official line. But this year Matt was caught between a rock and a hard place trying to justify how his employee Google gets to link to their own partners editorially while the rest of us get penalized (thanks to graywolf for this insight). Matt deserves mad props for taking one for the Corp.

Runner Up: Dreamhost


The Best Blog Podcast in 2007

Readers’ Choice: Freelance Switch

The guys at Freelance Switch put together a quality operation, topped off with a popular audio podcast.

Runner Up: CalacanisCast

Voting results: The Best Blog Podcast Poll

Editors’ Choice: On The Pod

We can’t say enough good things about what Duncan Riley is doing with On The Pod. As an operating principle, Duncan tries to introduce the listener to lesser known people with important things to say…if only Google would do the same thing with their semantic analysis;-) On The Pod works as a podcast because it not only introduces you to new ideas and new people, but also because it’s great conversation that covers topics that stretch beyond tech and blogging.

Runner Up: Random Bits


The Best Video Blog in 2007

Readers’ Choice: Daily Idea

Daily Idea didn’t start until the 2nd half of 2007, but it has already acquired a massive following, thanks in part to it’s regular mix of humor and tips.

Runner Up: The PopCrunch Show

Voting results: The Best Video Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: 1938 Media

When 1938 Media started out, we were skeptical…and sometimes put-off. But collectively we’ve become fond of Lauren’s passion, candor and (even when he doesn’t intend it) dry humor. 1938 Media is unlike anything else out there…but that’s not why we like it. We like it because it’s got value…real value.

Runner Up: Ask a Ninja


The Best Writing/Blogging Blog in 2007

Readers’ Choice: Copyblogger

When it comes to writing copy and blogging, the place to start is Copyblogger. Hands down.

Runner Up: Freelance Writing Jobs

Voting results: The Best Writing/Blogging Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Daily Blog Tips

This might surprise a lot of you, and many of you might object, but in 2007 we found ourselves soaking up Daily Blog Tips. Simple, straightforward, practical tips that every blogger can use.

Runner Up: Pro Blogger


The Best Science/Technology Blog in 2007

Readers’ Choice: Pharyngula

In terms of community response and total traffic, there is no doubt that Pharyngula is the most influential science blog on the planet.

Runner Up: Bad Astronomy

Voting results: The Best Science/Technology Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Ars Technica

Ars Technica is always on top of every tech story, with thorough analysis. The blog is constantly on the front page of Digg, and for good reason. We believe that, hands down, no question, Ars Technica is the most interesting and sophisticated technology site out there. It’s also a real candidate for best website on the ‘net.

Runner Up: Pharyngula


The Most Controversial Blog in 2007

Readers’ Choice: John Chow

Speaking of controversy, anyone else think this vote was rigged? Over 99% of the votes were submitted for John Chow. The crazy thing is that an IP analysis doesn’t reveal any obvious screwing around. Controversy? No controversy? John Chow’s the winner.

Runner Up: Pharyngula

Voting results: The Most Controversial Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: 1938 Media

Loren Feldman has never been one to shy away from controversy and 2007 was no exception.

Runner Up: Perez Hilton


The Best SEO Blog in 2007

Readers’ Choice: SEOmoz Blog

SEOMoz is the company that every aspiring white-hat SEO looks up to. Rand Fishkin and gang have managed to create something very special and signs are that they’ll keep it up despite last year’s organizational changes.

Runner Up: Seo Book Blog

Voting results: The Best SEO Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Seo Book Blog

Aaron Wall runs one of the most thought provoking blogs out there. He’s always at the leading edge of SEO and it’s a good idea to think deeply about what he is saying, whether it’s SEO he’s discussing or something else altogether.

Runner Up: Graywolf’s SEO Blog


The Best Celeb/Style Blog in 2007

Readers’ Choice: Go Fug Yourself

Go Fug Yourself strikes the perfect balance between fashion and celebrity, taking a snarky attitude towards both. While giving props to the stars with good fashion, the Fuggers are at their best when they rip into the poor style and lifestyle decisions that celebs make.

Runner Up: Perez Hilton

Voting results: The Best Celeb/Style Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Oh No They Didn’t

As a group blog, Oh No They Didn’t often manages to break news before TMZ, Perez Hilton or any of the billions of other celeb blogs out there. And because it’s a community, ONTD covers a much wider variety of news…in other words, it doesn’t get old with the same joke, over and over and over.

Runner Up: WWTDD


The Best Business/Money Blogs in 2007

Readers’ Choice: The Simple Dollar

The Simple Dollar is a crowd favorite, giving simple, practical financial advice for the average person in today’s modern world (you know, the kind who actually have real jobs and not enough time in the day). It’s no coincidence that The Simple Dollar has over 23,000 feed subscribers.

Runner Up: Get Rich Slowly

Voting results: The Best Business/Money Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: The Simple Dollar

The Simple Dollar is a great read for anyone interested in personal finance, but it’s also a great read for someone looking for a blueprint on how to explode into a niche extremely quickly. The site is only a little over a year old, but Trent Hamm has quickly established himself as one of the premier bloggers around period, not just in the personal finance community.

Runner Up: Get Rich Slowly


The Best Photo Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: I Can Has Cheezburger?

I Can Has Cheezburger has been one of the most successful viral experiments of all time. And it’s no wonder. With a perfect mixture of cute animal pictures and funny captions, this blog is going to be a mainstay of Internet folklore for years to come.

Runner Up: Stuck in Customs

Voting results: The Best Business/Money Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Photopreneur

Photopreneur is a great resource for the amateur photographer looking to make a little extra cash with their work. Wins for community and operating principle.

Runner Up: Daily Dose of Imagery


The Best Sports Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: True Hoop

True Hoop features the best coverage of NBA basketball on the Internet. Now with ESPN, Henry Abbott built True Hoop from the ground up just like the rest of us…

Runner Up: Sunday Morning QB

Voting results: The Best Sports Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Joe Posnanski’s Blog

Joe Posnanski (a Kansas City sports writer) started blogging this year to promote a book he had written, and he very quickly created something special. One of the best blogs we’ve ever read on any topic.

Runner Up: Fire Joe Morgan


The Best Blog WebHost of 2007

Readers’ Choice: WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the easiest to use, most configurable, hosted blogging solution out there. And WordPress.com users love the variety of themes available to them. A tightly nit community has emerged between its users.

Runner Up: Blogger

Voting results: The Best Blog WebHost Poll

Editors’ Choice: Mosso

While Mosso is not in everyone’s price range, it is a massively scalable web hosting solution and currently hosts some of our Editor’s sites, some of which get as many as 500k pageviews per day. For high-traffic blogs that don’t want to run a dedicated server, we think it’s a steal for only $100 a month.

Runner Up: A Small Orange


The Best Family and Parenting Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: Parent Hacks

Real tips from real parents for real kids. Parent Hacks is a great community blog where parents help each other with parenting.

Runner Up: Ask Moxie

Voting results: The Best Family and Parenting Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Dooce

Dooce pretty much singlehandedly created the entire “Mommy blogging” genre, and while the site has certainly changed over time it is still a great read.

Runner Up: Amalah


The Best Political Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: Daily Kos

Daily Kos is the grassroots voice of the progressive left and allows anyone to contribute, with the best content featured on the front page. It is one of the most popular group blogs on the Internet and has made tangible political impact.

Runner Up: Huffington Post

Voting results: The Best Political Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Huffington Post

An excellent all around blog that puts out an incredible amount of good content drawing from a large pool of talent. A great example of what a well funded blog can be.

Runner Up: Firedoglake


The Best Food/Health Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: The Girl Who Ate Everything & 101 Cookbooks (tie)

It was a tie. That means they are both worth your time…and they are…really. Especially if you like food.

Runner Up: The Food Pornographer

Voting results: The Best Food/Health Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: 101 Cookbooks

If you are up for exploring in the kitchen it is tough to find a site better suited for the task.

Runner Up: The Food Pornographer


The Funniest Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: The Sneeze

Everyone who runs across the blog tags it an instant classic. So do we. Don’t miss out on the “Steve don’t eat it” posts. Classic rofl comedy.

Runner Up: Waiter Rant

Voting results: The Funniest Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Violent Acres

There aren’t many blogs we could honestly recommend going through the archives and reading every single entry, but this is one. But if that is too much for you, just check out her most popular posts. You won’t be sorry you did.

Runner Up: The Dilbert Blog


The Best Travel Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: The Cranky Flier

If there are travel pundits, The Cranky Flier is one of the best. With snarky, critical and sometimes humorous comments about the airline and travel industries, The Cranky Flier is a crowd pleaser.

Runner Up: Travel Rants

Voting results: The Best Travel Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Gridskipper

Gawker’s travel blog is one of the leaders in the niche, and delivers the excellence and originality you’d expect from a Gawker property.

Runner Up: Gadling


The Best Education Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: Study Hacks

Cal Newport offers simple tips aimed at demystifying the secrets of successful college students. Based on our polls, his readers find the tips useful and worth voting for.

Runner Up: Teaching Generation Z

Voting results: The Best Education Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Eduwonk

Eduwonk is an excellent site that features heavy discussion and analysis on issues facing the American educational system.

Runner Up: HackCollege


The Best Entertainment Blog of 2007

Readers’ Choice: /film

/Film is a movie lovers blog. In addition to your standard Hollywood movie news, the site also covers cult movies and directors. An emphasis is placed on scifi and fantasy movies.

Runner Up: Television Without Pity

Voting results: The Best Entertainment Blog Poll

Editors’ Choice: Firstshowing.net

Firstshowings.net is a very slick and comprehensive site that is always on top of the movie industry.

Runner Up: Stereogum


A huge thanks to Randa Clay for her wonderful design services (Randa created the awesome award images)!

The post Performancing Blog Awards 2007 Winners appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/performancing_blog_awards_2007_winners/feed/ 42
YouTube Monetizes Music Videos With In-Video Buy-Now Option For Apple’s iTunes http://performancing.com/youtube_monetizes_music_videos_with_in-video_buy-now_option_for_apple_s_itunes/ http://performancing.com/youtube_monetizes_music_videos_with_in-video_buy-now_option_for_apple_s_itunes/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2009 10:05:22 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2368 Today I was watching Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up video over at YouTube and guess what popped up: So you were wondering how YouTube was going to monetize? Seems like iTunes integration is a sign of things to come. Think about it. If people are watching a YouTube video that’s associated with some […]

The post YouTube Monetizes Music Videos With In-Video Buy-Now Option For Apple’s iTunes appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Today I was watching Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up video over at YouTube and guess what popped up:

So you were wondering how YouTube was going to monetize? Seems like iTunes integration is a sign of things to come. Think about it. If people are watching a YouTube video that’s associated with some product, it makes sense to give users the option of buying that product. Since many of the videos on YouTube are available for purchase at iTunes, this seems like a great partnership.

I imagine we’ll be seeing more partnerships like this from YouTube in the future. Imagine the option of buying the specific tools needed for a project from Amazon.com in a video about How To Install A Door Frame. Or, what about the option of immediately buying the exact product featured in a music video product placement.

In any case, the possibilities are limitless, and you could ask for a better compulsive buying scenario. It’s just like putting handbags, jewelry and shoes at the front of a Target store.

Note: My friend Andrew tells me that it looks like Google is auto-detecting the audio and that this is all automated.

Ryan Caldwell blogs his thoughts on culture and the Internet at Thrive and is a co-founder of Web Site Host Review.

The post YouTube Monetizes Music Videos With In-Video Buy-Now Option For Apple’s iTunes appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/youtube_monetizes_music_videos_with_in-video_buy-now_option_for_apple_s_itunes/feed/ 29
Understanding Mobile Search – Go Local or Go Home http://performancing.com/understanding_mobile_search_-_go_local_or_go_home/ http://performancing.com/understanding_mobile_search_-_go_local_or_go_home/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2009 11:47:19 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2367 By now, most people are familiar with SEO for global search. The basic idea is to build quality content, choose strategical keyphrases, and get editorial links from authority sites with strategical anchor text. Very straightforward. Many people make lots of money off global search. But global search has also become a slow-growth industry. It is […]

The post Understanding Mobile Search – Go Local or Go Home appeared first on Performancing.

]]>

By now, most people are familiar with SEO for global search. The basic idea is to build quality content, choose strategical keyphrases, and get editorial links from authority sites with strategical anchor text. Very straightforward. Many people make lots of money off global search.

But global search has also become a slow-growth industry. It is the type of searching people do in front of their computers.

The growth industry for search is found in mobile search (there are almost 3x as many mobile phones in use as compared to computers) . Mobile search is the term used to refer to the very particular kind of searching people do on their mobile devices. Sure, it is true that many mobile devices allow for global search, but the type of information people are looking for while using their mobile phones is quite different than the type of information they are looking for when sitting in front of their computers. The difference comes down to two words: Local Search.

Mobile search is all about local search. It’s about being a regional authority; a primary source of information for people using their mobile phones to find local information.

For many, mobile search is an enigma; a mystery. Admittedly, I have had trouble understanding it in the past. Thankfully, Cell Phones.Org has put together a fantastic introduction to Mobile Search. They go over all the fundamentals of mobile search, from why it matters all the way to how you can optimize your site for mobile search users.

For more information on mobile search, check out these resources:

The post Understanding Mobile Search – Go Local or Go Home appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/understanding_mobile_search_-_go_local_or_go_home/feed/ 3
Semantic Variance Redux http://performancing.com/semantic_variance_redux/ http://performancing.com/semantic_variance_redux/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2008 15:50:16 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2366 Semantic Variance is a concept that (I think) I coined to refer to simple idea of not repeating exact phrases over and over. Where do we repeat the same phrases over and over? I can think of four common places: 1. In the title of our article 2. In the body of our text 3. […]

The post Semantic Variance Redux appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Semantic Variance is a concept that (I think) I coined to refer to simple idea of not repeating exact phrases over and over. Where do we repeat the same phrases over and over? I can think of four common places:

1. In the title of our article
2. In the body of our text
3. In the anchor text of the internal links within our site
4. In the anchor text of the external links to our site

Let’s look at a concrete example to get my point across more clearly. I’ll use a page on The Dog Guide to show you what I’m talking about.

Take a look at this article on the Affenpinscher breed. So the first thing to note about this page is that the title tag is not well optimized:

Affenpinschers: A guide to dogs and puppies of the Affenpinscher breed

Take note of how we repeat the singular and plural forms of the breed name: Affenpinschers and Affenpinscher. All indications are that Google sees this as keyword duplication and diminishes the value of the second instance. It turns out that since the Affenpinscher breed has a nickname, The Affen, it would be much better to reshape this title to replace one instance of Affenpinscher with Affen. Remember, the intention of SEO is not to cater towards Google but to cater towards the user. Many users will know the nickname of this breed, and we shouldn’t leave them out. Here’s a possible alternative title tag:

Affenpinscher Breed Information – A guide to Affen dogs and puppies

Not only is it better, but it’s a little shorter and gets an additional two keywords in as a bonus (“information” and “Affen”). As a general rule, you should always try to keep your titles as precise as possible while still casting a wide, relevant keyword net.

Ok. So we’ve taken a look at keyword duplication and semantic variance in HTML titles. Now let’s take a look at keyword variance in the body of text.

I did a quick search on the singular “Affenpinscher” and found 13 results. Then I did a search on the nickname and found 5 results. This isn’t terrible, to be honest. You definitely want to weight the keywords towards the official breed name. But one thing I did notice is that for every instance of “Affenpinscher” there was an opportunity to capture a longer search phrase. However, I only find a handful of instances where that is done:

Affenpinscher Skills
Affenpinscher Personality
Affenpinscher puppy
Affenpinscher Photos

A quick glance at google’s keyword tool reveals numerous other phrase combinations that have been neglected:

affenpinscher rescue
affenpinscher breed
affenpinscher breeders
affenpinscher info
affenpinscher information
affenpinscher temperament
etc. etc.

Since 9 of the 13 uses of Affenpinscher do not combine to make a longer phrase, there is opportunity for growth on this page.

Ok. We’ve taken a look at the HTML title and the use of keywords in the body of the text. Now let’s take a look at internal links on your site.

An internal link is any link from a different page on your website to the one you are focusing on. If every time The Dog Guide site was to link to it’s Affenpinscher page with the word “Affenpinscher” it would not only be wasting opportunity, it just might be hurting it’s search placement.

Look again at those keyword combinations I listed above. Those serve not only as recommended keywords to use in the text of the article, but also as phrases to use in the anchor text when linking to the page. In fact, if you have a the phrases both on the page and then in links to the page, you basically have the magic recipe for long tail ranking.

So, you should be intentional about following up the semantic variance that you place in the text with semantic variance in the links you place to the article. I should bring up one note of warning here: if you rely almost exclusively on Related Posts plugins to do your inter-linking for you, you are pretty much guaranteed to be committing the sin of keyphrase over-duplication where more than 90% of the links coming into your page are exact matches. The same goes for sidebar links.

There isn’t much more that needs to be said about external linking. Just be intentional when choosing the anchor text of an external link to match phrases on the page you are linking into. And don’t always use the same phrase. If you are targeting a 2 word phrase, then why not build a bunch of anchor text with 3 word phrases that contain the 2 word phrase you are targeting. Then you will be killing two birds with one stone.

Ok. So that’s it. I firmly believe in this stuff. I hope you can use it. I may be wrong. But at the end of the day, it’s all about trying your best to give as many users the information they are looking for. Google will take care of the rest.

The post Semantic Variance Redux appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/semantic_variance_redux/feed/ 3
Make Progress Everyday http://performancing.com/make_progress_everyday/ http://performancing.com/make_progress_everyday/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2008 13:21:57 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2365 There isn’t going to be much brilliance to this post. It’s not going to blow you away. It’s not going to offer a panacea for Utopian automatons (like me). But really, it’s the most precise and useful way that I’ve found to proceed with my online endeavors in a bad economy. Make progress every day. […]

The post Make Progress Everyday appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
There isn’t going to be much brilliance to this post. It’s not going to blow you away. It’s not going to offer a panacea for Utopian automatons (like me).

But really, it’s the most precise and useful way that I’ve found to proceed with my online endeavors in a bad economy.

Make progress every day.

What does this mean in concrete terms? Well, it means spending a little more time making things happen and a little less time absorbing information. It means that you stop reading, and start doing. It means that you identify 1 or 2 simple goals and accomplish them. It means that you stop putting out fires for a day, and instead move things forward.

It means doing that guest post you’ve been planning to do for 2 months. It means networking with someone new for the first time in 6 months. It means sucking up your pride and asking for help when you need it.

The last three weeks have been the most productive of my life. Why? Because every day I’ve been waking up and rather than looking at stats and revenue sheets, or chatting on AIM, I’ve been starting my day by getting at least one substantial thing completed. That may sound insignificant. But I’ve probably gotten more done in the last 3 weeks than the entire 3 months prior.

As the economic situation gets worse, the people and companies that will survive are the ones who are fundamentally productive. So do what you can to identify the things people need and want, and make them. Every day.

The post Make Progress Everyday appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/make_progress_everyday/feed/ 8
The “King Of The Hill” Approach To Maintaining Authority http://performancing.com/the__king_of_the_hill__approach_to_maintaining_authority/ http://performancing.com/the__king_of_the_hill__approach_to_maintaining_authority/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2008 13:19:55 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2364 One strategy (intentional or not) that I’ve noticed coming out of established and powerful blogs is to speak dismissively and/or condescendingly about posts on lesser blogs. Take this recent post from The Truth About Cars where the author takes a two pronged approach. He ridicules the content of the post without directly criticizing it, implying […]

The post The “King Of The Hill” Approach To Maintaining Authority appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
One strategy (intentional or not) that I’ve noticed coming out of established and powerful blogs is to speak dismissively and/or condescendingly about posts on lesser blogs.

Take this recent post from The Truth About Cars where the author takes a two pronged approach.

  1. He ridicules the content of the post without directly criticizing it, implying that it is riddled with fallacies, and…
  2. He flatters his readership by effectively saying “but I don’t need to point out the problems, because even you can…”

Now, I’m not advocating this strategy, but I did want to point out that it is effective on a psychological level. It’s the “king of the hill” approach – you stay at the top of the hill by knocking your oncoming competitors down the hill. It works on your readers because it re-affirms what they already believe in their minds: that you are smarter than the other guys.

But notice how little work it takes.

As an authority, you don’t really have to offer reasoned criticism. You leave that to your readers. And by passing the buck to your readers, you establish several things. First, you establish tribalistic triumphalism – even the lowest of us (not the leader, but even the readers) are smarter than the other guy’s leader. Second, you establish superiority as a leader by not dignifying your competitor with a reasoned response. Third, you establish trust with your readers by entrusting them with the glorious task of defeating your competitor.

So let me ask: do you think this is a good strategy or could it backfire?

The post The “King Of The Hill” Approach To Maintaining Authority appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/the__king_of_the_hill__approach_to_maintaining_authority/feed/ 3
Pro Blogging Tip of the Day: Capture Search By Using Price/Cost Related Terms http://performancing.com/pro_blogging_tip_of_the_day___capture_search_by_using_price_cost_related_terms/ http://performancing.com/pro_blogging_tip_of_the_day___capture_search_by_using_price_cost_related_terms/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2008 11:23:58 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2363 There are a few fundamental rules for making big money online. Here is the number one rule in my book: The most profitable traffic is search traffic. Search traffic normally consists of people who are looking for something specific. A large chunk of searchers are looking to buy something. You make money online from people […]

The post Pro Blogging Tip of the Day: Capture Search By Using Price/Cost Related Terms appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
There are a few fundamental rules for making big money online. Here is the number one rule in my book:

The most profitable traffic is search traffic.

Search traffic normally consists of people who are looking for something specific. A large chunk of searchers are looking to buy something. You make money online from people willing to pay money. Searchers who are looking to buy something are ready to spend, and thus their behavior is more conducive to earning you money (whether through a CPC click or an affiliate order).

So, let’s say that your site has no trouble bringing in some good search traffic. And let’s say that 5-10% of those searchers consist of shoppers. What can you do?

Increase the ratio of shoppers to non-shoppers by including shopping related keywords.

Let’s say that you write a daily product review on your blog. You should make sure that the product review includes words and phrases like cost, price, review, quality, discount, deal, cheapest, free, where to buy, sale and others.

Shoppers tend to concentrate on price and are almost always looking for two things: 1) a review of the product’s quality and 2) what to expect to pay (or where to get the best deal).

You can increase the profit on your website by giving shoppers the kind of information they are looking for – price and quality related.

The post Pro Blogging Tip of the Day: Capture Search By Using Price/Cost Related Terms appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/pro_blogging_tip_of_the_day___capture_search_by_using_price_cost_related_terms/feed/ 6
The Linkerati: A new feature in The Hive http://performancing.com/the_linkerati___a_new_feature_in_the_hive/ Sat, 20 Sep 2008 14:57:30 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2362 The Internet is a maddeningly social place. Interestingly, the more social you are, the more you succeed. This social environment we call the Internet is not a zero sum game: everyone can benefit and grow. The good news is that a place like Performancing’s Hive network offers the perfect venue for mutually benefitial collaboration. Just […]

The post The Linkerati: A new feature in The Hive appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
The Internet is a maddeningly social place. Interestingly, the more social you are, the more you succeed. This social environment we call the Internet is not a zero sum game: everyone can benefit and grow.

The good news is that a place like Performancing’s Hive network offers the perfect venue for mutually benefitial collaboration.

Just today we’ve launched a new feature called “The Linkerati” designed to help our community in two ways. First, we are able to highlight our best content to each other. By highlighting our best content, we give each other ideas for topics to post about on our own blogs. Second, when a Hive member decides to post about another member’s content, we are participating in a 100% ethical, organic, white hat method of building links.

It’s a win-win situation. Bloggers get topics to blog about. And bloggers get links. The best content gets rewarded because it is more likely to get linked to.

So, if you have good content on your blog, but not enough links, or if you’re looking for interesting content to blog about, The Hive’s new Linkerati feature could be the perfect place to hang out.

The post The Linkerati: A new feature in The Hive appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
The Old & Crusty Method To Building Links http://performancing.com/the_old__crusty_method_to_building_links/ http://performancing.com/the_old__crusty_method_to_building_links/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2008 10:06:40 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2361 My friend Dee Barizo gave me a great suggestion the other day. See, I have this problem. I have a 3 year old website that is stagnating, despite some truly great, cream of the crop content in it’s niche (I don’t say this lightly: I’ve hired an expert who’s creating a killer resource). So I […]

The post The Old & Crusty Method To Building Links appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
My friend Dee Barizo gave me a great suggestion the other day. See, I have this problem. I have a 3 year old website that is stagnating, despite some truly great, cream of the crop content in it’s niche (I don’t say this lightly: I’ve hired an expert who’s creating a killer resource).

So I went to Dee because he’s got an amazing eye for how to effectively build links that actually affect search engine results. What was his suggestion to my problem? Well, he said that in many niches, it doesn’t work to do traditional link baiting. Not because the content doesn’t match, but because people in that niche rarely link out. In other words, within each niche there tends to be a link culture.

Get to know the link culture within your niche!

Dee pointed out that in this particular niche that I’m looking at, the search engine results are dominated by the old and crusty sites. You know, the ones that were built in the 1990s and are still running on html rather than some modern CMS. The problem is that these old and crusty sites tend to have a few things in common:

1) They do not have blogs, and thus are not actively in the business of linking
2) They either do not have link pages or they haven’t updated their link pages in years (or maybe even decades)

The Solution

If your niche is dominated by old and crusty sites, your best bet is to email them asking whether they take guest articles. Then, take some of your best content, rework it a bit, and send it off with a few links back to your site.

Take note: many of the old & crusty sites are run by actual experts, so you’ll need to make sure that you are offering them something that is truly valuable.

The post The Old & Crusty Method To Building Links appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/the_old__crusty_method_to_building_links/feed/ 3
Exclusive: Is b5 Media about to face a mass exodus of bloggers? http://performancing.com/exclusive____is_b5_media_about_to_face_a_mass_exodus_of_bloggers/ http://performancing.com/exclusive____is_b5_media_about_to_face_a_mass_exodus_of_bloggers/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2008 12:49:50 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2360 Performancing has verified reports with multiple sources that there is rapidly increasing tension between b5 media’s management and its bloggers. As more details emerge, we will bring them to you here. Two months ago b5 cut over 80 blogs from its networks citing poor performance. Now there appears to be dissension among the ranks as […]

The post Exclusive: Is b5 Media about to face a mass exodus of bloggers? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Performancing has verified reports with multiple sources that there is rapidly increasing tension between b5 media’s management and its bloggers. As more details emerge, we will bring them to you here.

Two months ago b5 cut over 80 blogs from its networks citing poor performance. Now there appears to be dissension among the ranks as people in the know are reporting the likelihood of a major pay cut coming for almost all b5 bloggers.

As this news spreads, we’re hearing reports of a planned mass exodus coming up among b5Media editors and bloggers which will only get worse once news goes fully public.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. Pretty ironic when you consider b5’s very public plea to save KnowMoreMedia a couple of months back. The real question: Who will save b5?


A Note of Clarification: My primary motivation in posting this news was to protect blogger interests. In my world, the two most important things are human beings and the truth. If bloggers are going to get shafted, then I wanted to do what I can to affect change. However, it has come to my attention that the new payment model coming out of b5 Media is designed to more accurately reward performance. If this is the case, and if it is a fair model, then I would heartily endorse the new system. I have always believed that there needs to be a delicate balance between sustainable business policies and worker interests. b5 should be able to modify their business model so that it rewards good workers. My only remaining concern is this: the new system should enable the best bloggers to make more money rather than exclusively rewarding management with the high-life.


Full Disclosure for the interest of Jeremy Wright of b5 Media

Since Jeremy pointed it out, I’ll make the supposed conflict of interest very clear: b5 sells advertising on one of my sites, PopCrunch.

Big freakin’ deal. It has absolutely nothing to do with the news I reported. A classic case of obfuscation.

The post Exclusive: Is b5 Media about to face a mass exodus of bloggers? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/exclusive____is_b5_media_about_to_face_a_mass_exodus_of_bloggers/feed/ 36
Do you have trouble staying disciplined? http://performancing.com/do_you_have_trouble_staying_disciplined/ http://performancing.com/do_you_have_trouble_staying_disciplined/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2008 11:37:41 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2359 The single biggest hurdle to online success is lack of discipline. In my experience online, there has been one glaring issue that “work from home” employees encounter: lack of consistency and discipline. Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, when you work from home, the temptation is to put work off until later […]

The post Do you have trouble staying disciplined? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
The single biggest hurdle to online success is lack of discipline.

In my experience online, there has been one glaring issue that “work from home” employees encounter: lack of consistency and discipline. Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, when you work from home, the temptation is to put work off until later … to sleep in … to read the political blogs … to watch the pMetrics live stat ticker for hours and hours … to justify the one, no two, no three games of Madden 2009.

More than anything else, I think that freelance workers on the web have to struggle with the lack of structure that working from home introduces. It’s this reason that so many online employers pay on a performance basis rather than a salary basis. But even performance based pay doesn’t solve the problem completely because it fails to account for loss of momentum (i.e. if you start a project and your new employee works for 3 weeks and then decides to work intermittently for the next 3 weeks, your plan to monetize the new site suddenly takes a back seat, and you start losing money. Sure, you can let the employee go, but then you’ve got to reinvest time in replacing the person, regaining momentum for the site, etc.)

When I hire a new full time salaried employee, as I’ve done five times in the last four months, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way of managing the new work-from-home situation is to closely monitor productivity. I hate micromanaging, but after employing dozens of full time employees, I’ve noticed a clear and distinct pattern. It doesn’t hold for everyone, but I’ve found that most work from home, full-time employees, left to their own devices, end up putting about 3-5 hours in on any given work day, when they are being paid for an 8 hour work day. Because of this natural human tendency, the only recourse I have is to repeat my expectations a few times, set minimum performance standards along with incentives, and if that doesn’t work, start applying pressure by voicing my disappointment and potential consequences.

I hate voicing my disappointment. It creates a negative work environment. I also hate setting minimum performance standards. My preference is to set performance incentives that motivate an employee to go above and beyond the call of duty. But that doesn’t often work. Rather, as most of us can understand, the incentive of sleeping-in or playing video games in the middle of the day often wins out.

The post Do you have trouble staying disciplined? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/do_you_have_trouble_staying_disciplined/feed/ 9
Using MSN’s A-List To Blog On Recurring Themes http://performancing.com/using_msn_s_a-list_to_blog_on_recurring_themes/ http://performancing.com/using_msn_s_a-list_to_blog_on_recurring_themes/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2008 15:03:23 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2358 I’ve been monitoring MSN’s A-list for a while. And I think that all bloggers should consider using it as a compliment to Google Trends. MSN’s A-list is basically a blog where MSN posts links to specific searches in their search engine. Big deal right? Well, the thing about A-list is that most of the links […]

The post Using MSN’s A-List To Blog On Recurring Themes appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
I’ve been monitoring MSN’s A-list for a while. And I think that all bloggers should consider using it as a compliment to Google Trends.

MSN’s A-list is basically a blog where MSN posts links to specific searches in their search engine. Big deal right? Well, the thing about A-list is that most of the links are for very popular, specific phrases. Many of these phrases are not one time events, but phrases that will be just as relevant next year as this year. So unlike Google Trends which mostly captures topics that fade with time, MSN’s A-List captures many topics that will recur on a cyclic basis.

Blogging Tip: Create posts that use the same phrases that MSN A-List uses for their links.

By doing this, you will be positioning your blog to gain search traffic in the future. Hopefully for a long time.

Let’s take a look at today’s A-list and how you can use it to create content on your blog.

I see the following searches linked:

Sarah Palin and vetting
Background checks
Research your house history
“Murder Houses”
Seller disclosure rules by state
Credit checks
Better Business Bureau
Neighborhood crime statistics
Local school information
Rotten neighborhoods
Federal gun background check requirements
Online encyclopedias

Now if I were a blogger, I’d take this list and work up a list of titles that incorporate these phrases:

Sarah Palin, Vetting and The Truth: Even if she was vetted, it’s the impression that counts
Background Checks 101: Which organizations are most likely to dig up dirt on your past?
Why You Should Research Your House History Before Purchasing
What exactly are “Murder Houses”?
How to find seller disclosure rules by state
Credit Checks Matter: What you need to know

etc.
etc.
etc.

The post Using MSN’s A-List To Blog On Recurring Themes appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/using_msn_s_a-list_to_blog_on_recurring_themes/feed/ 2
Interview With Brian Pipa of Teenormous http://performancing.com/interview_with_brian_pipa_of_teenormous/ http://performancing.com/interview_with_brian_pipa_of_teenormous/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2008 10:40:46 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2357 Brian Pipa of the massively popular blog Candy Addict set out to do something I’ve only dreamed of doing: he’s created an amazing online tool that people will not only love but that will also end up being very profitable. It’s called Teenormous. Here’s a bold prediction: Teenormous will be be a household Internet name […]

The post Interview With Brian Pipa of Teenormous appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Brian Pipa of the massively popular blog Candy Addict set out to do something I’ve only dreamed of doing: he’s created an amazing online tool that people will not only love but that will also end up being very profitable. It’s called Teenormous.

Here’s a bold prediction: Teenormous will be be a household Internet name in less than a year and within a few years will be a staple in the top 1000 Alexa sites. I feel that confident about the quality of this project.

Here’s my interview with Brian.

Tell us a bit about the history behind Teenormous?

I’ve always loved t-shirts. Once my candy blog, Candy Addict, took off, I noticed that my top performing affiliate “ad” on Candy Addict was for candy t-shirts. It far surpassed every other affiliate month over month. That got me thinking… maybe I should create a t-shirt site.

I started poking around and found loads of t-shirt blogs, and I didn’t feel like stepping into a crowded niche. About the same time, my buddy Tom Davies was having some success with his GiftHat site. We started talking about communities and how we could create a t-shirt site/community. Eventually, the idea for Teenormous became clear.

That was about two years ago. During that time, Candy Addict took off, GiftHat was going strong, and Tom had his first child. We didn’t *really* get started coding til January of 2008 and even then, we both have real day jobs and families so it was hard to find time to code.

What was the biggest challenge in moving the project from concept to completion?

Completion? We are nowhere near done. 🙂 One of the biggest problems is deciding when you’re done, or done *enough*. Launching the site even though it’s not nearly feature complete is hard to do. We have a bajillion ideas and plans for the site but if we waited for all the ideas to be implemented, we’d never launch at all. We finally whittled down all of the features to a bare minimum so we could launch. We settled on Teenomrous as a kick-butt search engine to begin with. That will be the basis for all the great features to come.

The other challenge is just finding time to code. If Tom and I didn’t have “real” 9-5 jobs, we could have had this done in no time. Trying to squeeze coding time in between the job, the wife’s demands, the parties my 7-year old daughter must go to, etc. is rough.

How do you plan to monetize Teenormous?

We’ve come up with a number of ways to monetize the site. I can’t give away all of them, but the main one is traffic plus affiliates. We’re taking the retailmenot.com approach. I read an interview with them that said that only 40% of their links are affiliates but because they are the market leader, it doesn’t matter, they still make plenty of money.

We will index ALL great/cool t-shirts sites (not just affiliate sites) and a percentage of the sites will have affiliate programs that kick some money back to us for each sale. Even though all of the clicks won’t make money, we will be the goto site for t-shirt searching, so the volume of traffic will make up for not monetizing every click.

I love the large number of t-shirts that you have indexed and the quality of your search results. How much work was it developing the search algorithm?

We used an open source search/indexing engine but we (Tom) really tweaked the settings all to heck to work for us and it has worked flawlessly. The search is much better than either of us expected. The one thing we have over the competion is complex filtering of your results. Say you get 88 Nintendo t-shirts. After the initial search, you can filter that down to something like blue Nintendo t-shirts for guys that cost less than $20.

The searches come back in order of relevancy. The first page of results should be right on the money and the further you go in the results the less they are relevant (but they ARE still relevant). We have come up with a way to make the results even more accurate (incredibly accurate) and we’re working to get that out soon.

Can you give us a glimpse of some the upcoming features you’ve been alluding to in various places around the net?

We already have something coded to keep all tees in the system up-to-date. We’ll be rolling that out in the next week or so. That will keep all of our info current and fresh. Tagging and user accounts/logins are also on the way.

We will also soon have a portion of the site for “charitees”… t-shirts from non-profits like the American Red Cross – http://www.redcross.org/. We want to help match up giving people with charities with great t-shirts. We’re also tossing around some other ideas for ways to give.

We have a couple more things planned that are unique and innovative and should make a big splash when we release them.

In my completely honest opinion, Teenormous is clearly the best t-shirt search engine, on almost all accounts (functionality, search accuracy, filters, etc.). But you are going up against a new competitor who probably has a marketing advantage (in virtue of the owners’ name recognition). How do you plan to handle this enormous hurdle?

We did all the heavy lifting of making the searching rock solid since it will be the foundation for the rest of the features we’re planning. As Google has proven, if you can provide a clear advantage in search capabilities you can knock out even proven or well-known competitors, even with a simpler interface. Just ask Alta Vista – http://www.altavista.com/.

Do you have any tips for bloggers who might want to try their hand at an online project outside the world of blogging?

Take what you know or what you’ve learned through blogging and apply it. Solve a problem/need you have and chances are, it will be useful to others too.

The post Interview With Brian Pipa of Teenormous appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/interview_with_brian_pipa_of_teenormous/feed/ 1
Performancing Hive Testimonials http://performancing.com/performancing_hive_testimonials/ http://performancing.com/performancing_hive_testimonials/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2008 18:51:13 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2356 I’m a huge fan of Performancing Hive. It’s the only place online where I’ve found a deep, long lasting community of friends who not only share amazingly helpful tips, but who are also willing to listen and provide moral support. Sure we all care about getting those secret tips that will make us better. But […]

The post Performancing Hive Testimonials appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
I’m a huge fan of Performancing Hive. It’s the only place online where I’ve found a deep, long lasting community of friends who not only share amazingly helpful tips, but who are also willing to listen and provide moral support.

Sure we all care about getting those secret tips that will make us better. But to highlight the depth and strength of community found at The Hive, let me tell you something you may not know about me. I struggle on a daily basis with depression. And the one online community where I’ve found people concerned enough and willing to listen and show support is the Hive. The community is that strong.

That’s how I feel about The Hive. Let’s see what others say:

Peformancing Hive allows me to network and brainstorm with my favorite bloggers without being spammed with links to smarmy affiliate programs and ebooks. We share traffic and monetization strategies, promote blogs and posts, and offer tips for better, more productive blogging. Plus, the Hivers are darn nice people.

– Deborah Ng, Freelance Writing Jobs


Early on in my blogging career I realized that being part of a good community and having a knowledgeable network of business buddies would be very influential to my success. I didn’t quite realize how much though

I invested some time in trying to meet and get to know other bloggers, webmasters and marketers online. I found popular webmaster forums to be a good start but they were filled with too many people who didn’t really understand the business and spread information. Learning and networking with these people can do more damage than good.

Then one day it all changed I was introduced to Ryan Caldwell of Performancing.com who told me about Hive. I immediately joined and found myself surrounded by serious bloggers and internet marketers.

While I was already making good headway with my own little blogging empire this little network has given me further leverage when you are surrounded by knowledgeable people that knowledge will rub off as long as you are ready to absorb it.

I have learned a lot from the many successful and talented bloggers and by getting to know them it has opened up a wealth of opportunities. I’ve got to know top diggers, top marketers and very successful bloggers that would have previously seemed out of reach.

You learn little nuggets here and there that all add up to something very valuable. More recently I jumped in and tried out PMetrics (a performancing creation) after it was recommended by a Hive member and it’s the best stats program I’ve ever seen.

Right now I’m looking at the live traffic spy feature to see visitors arriving from Reddit and hoping that any minute a flood of Digg traffic will come. Finger crossed.

Chris Tew, Web TV Hub


You could read the 10 best blogs on online business every morning and live in a state of awe at what some people can accomplish.

Or you could be a part of a down-to-earth, no-nonsense community that helps you get things done.

Are you day-dreaming, or are you building your business? See you at the Hive.

– Ahmed Bilal, Soccerlens


Besides being the place to meet and mingle with some of the best bloggers, Hive offers a place where your opinions feel valuable and you learn from every thread started.

Thanks to being a member of Hive, I have learned a ton of new tips and tricks to reach a different level of successful blogging and have also picked up some custom web design projects.

– Katy from imbloggingthat.com


During a dry spell between jobs, my contacts on Performancing Hive are where I was able to find the work that I needed. They are always there to help me with my writing, finding new opportunities, and continue to be a great source of information. Members definitely live up to the name of the site, as they act in the collective interest of the members, which in my experience, is something of a rarity in forums these days.

– David Peralty (xfep.com)


Being able to mingle with some of the greatest brains in the industry is an amazing opportunity. Because of this, the Hive has became an incubator for many powerful and successful ideas.

– Andrew McCloud, Programmer


I have been learning valuable lessons about blogging since the first time I logged into the Hive. The networking and social media marketing opportunities are well worth joining for. I am always confident that I can ask questions, seek advice or begin a discussion in the knowledge that responses will be quick, well thought out, supportive and often humorous as well! It’s great to be part of such a professional online community.

Tracey Grady


Performancing Hive is an excellent place to network with and learn from devoted professionals, as well as a cosy place to just hang around. I’m happy to be a part of Hive, sharing my experience when I can. The fact that it is a pay service is actually making it stronger and more manageable, which is a good thing for the Hive community and its members.

Thord Daniel Hedengren


HIVE Performancing forum shows up in my group start list everytime I open a new browser window .. and I read the “what’s new” posts before I even check my adsense or gmail! I have a great respect for everybody in the forum who participates, and hope that I have earned a little respect back with my own contributions and random ramblings (well, I try ). There are not too many forums out there that you can honestly say “Today I learned something new” but, it’s true.

It’s like hanging out at the water cooler at work. If you hang out and talk to people who are successful (online) and doing the same thing you are doing (trying to become successful online) .. it’s only natural that you will pick up a few things that you will not find at, say your local cafe internet shop or Tim Hortons! At HIVE .. it is like we are all in this game together .. we are all trying to succeed online and with the help of friends it just seems a little easier.

– HART from PetLvr.com


Thanks to the Hive, I now know another side of blogging that I didn’t know existed. The business side of blogging is an entirely different world when compared with blogging as a hobby. The hive has helped me realize what it takes to become a successful blogger in terms of monetization. The hive has also served as an awesome think tank for bloggers as a number of post ideas have come from the forum. All in all, a tight knit community of bloggers who core focus is centered on succeeding. The hive is just what the doctor ordered.

– Jeff from Jeffro2pt0.com


Of all my current online activities, my membership in the Hive is one that I consider to be among the most valuable and the best use of my time. All the colleagues I have come to know through the Hive are genuinely helpful and interested in contributing to the success of fellow members. Not only have I made valuable contacts and gotten some great design gigs, I have also learned a great deal from hanging out in the Hive. I highly recommend joining to anyone who is serious about being a successful blogger.

Randa Clay


Besides having a cool name, Hive is a great place to network, ask questions, and learn from other bloggers in a wide variety of niches – including food, web design, and celebrity.

Also, freelance workers can benefit too. At first, I only knew a few people but one of them introduced me to another Hive member. That referral got me one of my highest paying contracts.

– NetMoneyJournal

The post Performancing Hive Testimonials appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/performancing_hive_testimonials/feed/ 3
The So-Called Sandbox is Page-Level NOT Site-Level http://performancing.com/the_so-called_sandbox_is_page-level_not_site-level/ http://performancing.com/the_so-called_sandbox_is_page-level_not_site-level/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2008 17:22:13 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2355 For those of you who do not know, the Google Sandbox is widely thought of as a probationary period for new websites during which time your site has to really struggle to show up in Google’s search results. Many people deny that the Google Sandbox even exists. I’d like to argue that the Sandbox, defined […]

The post The So-Called Sandbox is Page-Level NOT Site-Level appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
For those of you who do not know, the Google Sandbox is widely thought of as a probationary period for new websites during which time your site has to really struggle to show up in Google’s search results. Many people deny that the Google Sandbox even exists.

I’d like to argue that the Sandbox, defined as a probationary period for new sites, does not exist. However, I do think that there is a buffering algorithm put in place by modern search engines. In my experience, this buffering algorithm is applied on a page-by-page basis, and even old websites, with plenty of backlinks, can suddenly find many of their pages diminished in the search results, simply due to a loss of page-level authority.

What’s my evidence?

I have several websites that have between 20 and 50 total pages. These websites are not under any obvious manual penalty. However, of the 20 to 50 pages, only 1 or 2 of the pages gets search traffic.

You might suggest that this is accidental. But there is a common pattern. The 1 or 2 pages were each promoted as linkbait. They each received numerous natural links (ranging from 3 to 141). And 6-9 months after being promoted as linkbait, they still draw in dozens of searches each day. The other articles on the site receive ZERO searches each day.

Possible counter evidence

On some of my websites, a new article will show up high in the search results within minutes of first publishing the article. This seems to indicate that modern search engines bias towards sites that meet an authority criteria and bias against sites that fail to meet that criteria. In other words, Sandboxing takes place at a domain level.

I think this is wrong. Instead, you should think of strength/authority as being a page level value. The homepage of any website has a certain strength/authority value and it is often the strongest of any page on the site. When a new article is posted on a homepage with high strength/authority, that strength gets transferred to the new article.

If a site has a very weak homepage, then you will not see the transfer of authority from the homepage to the new article. In fact, if you’ve done some linkbait articles, it could turn out that your linkbait articles have more authority than your homepage. Keep in mind that some of the authority from your linkbait articles will leak into your homepage, so the more linkbait you do, the better it is for your homepage. But if you’ve only done a few, it’s still quite possible that your homepage is weak.

More counter evidence

I’ve had websites whose articles showed up high in the serps, and then accidentally the home page lost thousands backlinks. Within a month, almost all search referrals stopped… it was almost like a retro-sandbox … except the search referrals coming into linkbait articles. You see, the linkbait articles had independent authority that wasn’t fully removed when the homepage lost it’s authority.

Conclusion

If you like the Sandboxing metaphor for understanding the way search engines list your articles in their results, the most important thing to remember is that Sandboxing analysis takes place for each page on your site… including your homepage. By building up the natural backlinks to articles on your site, you transfer authority throughout your site, including to your homepage. The more authority coming into your site from a variety of angles (articles, category pages, homepage) the stronger your index pages will be, and the stronger your index pages, the more quickly new articles will show up high in the search results.

The post The So-Called Sandbox is Page-Level NOT Site-Level appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/the_so-called_sandbox_is_page-level_not_site-level/feed/ 1
Using Information Architecture To Plan A New Website http://performancing.com/using_information_architecture_to_plan_a_new_website/ http://performancing.com/using_information_architecture_to_plan_a_new_website/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2008 16:53:19 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2354 Most people start a blog and only later start confronting the organizational structure. Obviously, content is king… so it definitely is important to create content. But I want to suggest that your content will be a lot more effective, and flow more easily, if you take the time up front to organize your site’s conceptual […]

The post Using Information Architecture To Plan A New Website appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Most people start a blog and only later start confronting the organizational structure. Obviously, content is king… so it definitely is important to create content.

But I want to suggest that your content will be a lot more effective, and flow more easily, if you take the time up front to organize your site’s conceptual structure and match it to navigational structure. This is called information architecture.

When you create “sections” of your site, you also create editorial expectations. Let’s say that you have a “How-To” section. Simply having a major section of your site titled “How To” will serve as an encouragement and reminder to produce how-to articles.

Over at the SeaWaves blog I wrote an article describing a specific instance of information architecture. It’s worth a look for a concrete example.

But here, I’d just like to describe the basic process of Information Architecture.

Step 1: Define the broad topic of your site

Step 2: Define 5-10 general categories that are collectively comprehensive enough to cover any topic you might write about. These will serve as the major sections of your site.

Step 3: For each general category, define one level of sub-categories

Step 4: Define relationships between information in the various general categories (some categories will have stronger relationships than others)

Step 5: Define relationships between information in the various sub-categories (intra and inter)

Step 6: Populate each category with content so that you can test the relationships you’ve defined

Questions To Ask Yourself When Planning A New Site/strong>

A) How will I highlight content throughout my site?
B) How will I show readers additional relevant information?
C) How can I make the categories on my site more than just content aggregators?
D) How can I present information to readers in the most captivating way possible?
E) How can I make navigation between sections as natural and smooth as possible?
F) How can I algorithmically relate information between categories in a useful way?

The post Using Information Architecture To Plan A New Website appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/using_information_architecture_to_plan_a_new_website/feed/ 3
The Secrets of Digg Success – August’s Social Media Bootcamp http://performancing.com/the_secrets_of_digg_success_-_august_s_social_media_bootcamp/ http://performancing.com/the_secrets_of_digg_success_-_august_s_social_media_bootcamp/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2008 01:20:09 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2351 Thousands of people each day waste their time submitting stories to Digg without a plan. Some of the stories are great, but get lost. Some of the stories are mediocre, and should never have been submitted in the first place (like digging a hole to China). One Wednesday, August 20th at 1pm Eastern, Performancing Hive […]

The post The Secrets of Digg Success – August’s Social Media Bootcamp appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Thousands of people each day waste their time submitting stories to Digg without a plan. Some of the stories are great, but get lost. Some of the stories are mediocre, and should never have been submitted in the first place (like digging a hole to China).

One Wednesday, August 20th at 1pm Eastern, Performancing Hive members will be holding a live chat to discuss the secrets of Digg success. We’ll cover content strategies, promotional strategies, and perhaps just as importantly, withholding strategies. At the end of the bootcamp, you’ll have a crystal clear sense of what it takes to use Digg effectively as a social media platform.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Ryan

The post The Secrets of Digg Success – August’s Social Media Bootcamp appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/the_secrets_of_digg_success_-_august_s_social_media_bootcamp/feed/ 8
The Nitrous Theme For WordPress: Performancing’s August 2008 Theme http://performancing.com/the_nitrous_theme_for_wordpress___performancing_s_august_2008_theme/ http://performancing.com/the_nitrous_theme_for_wordpress___performancing_s_august_2008_theme/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2008 02:25:25 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2353 Our most popular free theme releases of the past have been Brian Gardner designed themes (yes, the Brian Gardner of Revolution fame). So all WordPress theme conoisseurs will be glad to know that this month we’re releasing Brian’s latest theme, Nitrous. Besides it’s ultra-clean look, perhaps the coolest feature of Nitrous is the way it […]

The post The Nitrous Theme For WordPress: Performancing’s August 2008 Theme appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Our most popular free theme releases of the past have been Brian Gardner designed themes (yes, the Brian Gardner of Revolution fame). So all WordPress theme conoisseurs will be glad to know that this month we’re releasing Brian’s latest theme, Nitrous.

Besides it’s ultra-clean look, perhaps the coolest feature of Nitrous is the way it can auto-generate drop-down navigational menus using your WordPress pages and sub-pages. This allows you to give your readers lots of navigational options, without cluttering up the nav bar.

Nitrous comes with a built-in header image, but this can easily be swapped out to fit the theme of your blog.

Click here to see what Nitrous looks like on a live blog.
Click here to download the Nitrous theme.

The post The Nitrous Theme For WordPress: Performancing’s August 2008 Theme appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/the_nitrous_theme_for_wordpress___performancing_s_august_2008_theme/feed/ 4
PerformancingAds Now Offers Javascript Solution for Blogger Users http://performancing.com/performancingads_now_offers_javascript_solution_for_blogger_users/ http://performancing.com/performancingads_now_offers_javascript_solution_for_blogger_users/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2008 04:08:39 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2352 Due to popular demand, PerformancingAds has created a javascript solution for easy installation. This solution will indeed work on platforms such as Blogger. Here’s the code: (make sure to replace REGION_ID with your actual region ID) Again, Replace REGION_ID with actual region ID

The post PerformancingAds Now Offers Javascript Solution for Blogger Users appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Due to popular demand, PerformancingAds has created a javascript solution for easy installation. This solution will indeed work on platforms such as Blogger.

Here’s the code: (make sure to replace REGION_ID with your actual region ID)

Again, Replace REGION_ID with actual region ID

The post PerformancingAds Now Offers Javascript Solution for Blogger Users appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/performancingads_now_offers_javascript_solution_for_blogger_users/feed/ 6