Categories Deleted – Content Moved Around

In my effort to re work this site from the ground up, I have moved all of the content that was within the Jokes and Personal categories to my personal blog, Jeffc.Me/blog. I have also gone through all of my content categories and have rearranged them, consolidated them and then deleted the ones which had 0 posts. This will help me regain focus instead of having a thousand different categories with less than 10 posts each.

I’m not sure how many links I have broken due to these moves so if you come across one, please let me know. I am now ready to begin working on the redesign of this site that I hope I’ll be able to publish before the end of this week.

Is Content The Only Thing That Matters

My experience in blogging as part of a blogging network is very limited but based on what I have experienced thus far, there is a very strong focus on creating content because the content drives traffic which in turn, drives advertising revenue. The question I have is this, is content the only thing that matters?

I’ve noticed publishing systems which have seen better days, publishing systems which are way out of date sometimes by over 4 version releases, things that are broken and after notifying the guy up above about the problem, the broken thing is still there after 7 days, front end designs which could really be improved to not only highlight what is going on on the website as a whole, but increase accessibility of the backlog of content these blogs provide. Hell, some of these sites don’t even have a proper archive setup. Does none of this matter?

I realize that most technically savvy people browse sites now a days through their favorite RSS reader, but people still come to the site itself and I don’t understand why more emphasis is placed on the frontend and backend of a particular site along with the content that is published on it.

Are any of the things I mentioned above money makers or potential increases in revenue if the improvements were to be done? I would think with an archive page, it would make it easier for people who actually visit the site to find stuff in the backlog. With a focus on community through a recent comments block, you tell visitors that people hang out here and actually discuss things, with a related posts block as well as an area which highlights 5 or so random posts, you give visitors a chance to see something ELSE that might catch their eye, keeping them on the site longer and perhaps turning them into a subscriber if they weren’t already.

As a blogger, I could just as easily do things on my own. But my own blog doesn’t rake in any money and I have no experience or desire to mess with adwords, adsense, sponsored posts, text ads, direct advertising, and all of those other methods of monetization. So I write for others. As I have found out, it is tough to write for sites which in the back of your mind, know they could be so much more than what they are or have been in the past but because of ownership and the way things work, things just don’t work that way.

I guess the bottom line which I have had to cope with is this. The blogs I write for are not mine. I am hired on to write content for the blog, not much else. I can give suggestions, critique, comments, or whatever else, but I must not make demands and just because I say something, doesn’t mean it will happen. Writing for someone is not like Burger King where you can have things your way. It’s their way or the highway. I respect that, considering it’s not my site, but I wish it wouldn’t boggle my mind how making improvements to a brand or website and trying to take the site to it’s fullest potential would be pushed aside because none of those things make money. Sure, they don’t make money DIRECTLY, but I think I could make a strong argument for changes like what I described above to make money INDIRECTLY.

Has anyone else here ever written for someone else? Either an individual or for a blogging network? I wonder if you have gone through the same situations as I listed above. If so, how did you deal with those?

Creating Opportunities Through Blogging

FoxBusiness Logo

Fox Business recently published an article highlighting some of the success stories of some of the big name bloggers out on the net right now such as Perez Hilton, Christian Lander of Stuffwhitepeoplelike fame, and Amit Chatwani to name a few. While reading the article, it was interesting to note the series of events which lead each individual to the spot where they now reside. This is one example:

Jessica Coen is one example of a modern-day, Lana Turner-style blogging success story. While living in Los Angeles after graduating from the University of Michigan, she started writing a personal blog that, through what she calls “the economy of linking,” got picked up by popular New York media blog

After performing editing duties for Gawker, it landed her positions at Vanity Fair and then New York magazine. If she wouldn’t of started the blog, chances are, she would of never have been discovered and would of ended up on a different path in life.

This article reminded me of how I have achieved a little success. I started to blog seriously back on Jun 2007, where I published my first article on this domain. Because of the blog, I ended up getting a contributing writer position for, one of the largest websites dealing with WordPress. My blog ended up becoming my resume. The resume being updated each time I hit the publish button.

This brings me to my next series of points. There are so many bloggers out there who are reaching the point of wondering why they blog. Lorelle Van Fossen of The BlogHerald does a good job covering this particular problem her post, Why Am I Doing This Blogging Thing? There are so many B-List, C-List, hell, even Z-List bloggers out there writing great content. That content takes time to write, time that in most cases is not being paid for. It was David Peralty of who told me,

No matter what, Bloggers at some point in time are going to want to monetize their site or get paid for their time.

When that time comes, there are a myriad of ways to monetize your site. Let’s go over a few.

  1. Google Adsense/Adwords – For as long as I have been blogging, this has been the primary method to make money. The problem? First off, depending on your niche or subject matter, the ads might not perform well. For example, if your a tech blogger, your audience is probably tech savvy and more likely to have FireFox installed with Ad Block Plus which will disable the ads from being shown. Not exactly the recipe to an income. Secondly, the Payout from Google is 100$. This means you have to make 100$ in Google Adsense Income before they will write and send a check to you. Unless you are receiving a ton of traffic, your chances of getting a check are slim to none.
  2. Affiliate Programs – Affiliate programs allow you to partner with a company or service such as and sell wares through their site. You act as a referrer and for each product someone buys through you, you get a certain percentage of the sale. I’ve heard from other bloggers that affiliate programs have been somewhat successful. These days, it’s hard to find an affiliate program which has a decent payback percentage amount. Bloggers generally have to sign up to multiple affiliate programs to turn a decent profit. Asides from that, you will also need to advertise your affiliates wares to entice folks to purchase them through you. Wouldn’t you rather concentrate on producing great content and not coming up with advertising pitches for your affiliate programs?
  3. Direct Advertising – Pretty popular on WordPress blogs, direct advertising is a way of selling a 125X125 image advertisement on your blog. I’ve seen advertisements as big as 300X300 pixels. The advertising is usually performed by the advertiser paying for an ad image to be displayed for a static price amount per month. This price could be anywhere between 15$ up to 50$ per month. Prices vary depending on the popularity of the site or blog in question.

There are many, many more ways to monetize your blog. Kontera links, sponsored ads, sponsored links, text ads, paid reviews, and ad networks. The problem with all of these is that, you won’t make any decent amount of income unless your site is a powerhouse of traffic. Here are some things I recommend doing if you really want to monetize your site or get paid for your time.

  1. Write For Someone Else – It’s worked for me and it can work for you as well. Use your blog as a personal training grounds. After you have a backlog of posts, what I call references, shoot off a couple emails to blog owners who are managing the big blogs which cover your subject matter. Point them to your most successful posts on your own blog and apply for a contributing writer position on their site. I like this process of being paid the most because I can concentrate on getting the content written and published while knowing that I have a set rate that will be coming into my paypal account at least once a month. I’m not a fan of the paid per post model.
  2. Join A Blogging Network – If your site is concentrating on a particular niche and you are still not over the hump in terms of the next level, consider submitting your blog to a network which covers your subject matter. An excellent example is the Grand Effect blogging network. Grand Effect is a blogging network which has gathered a number of smaller, more concentrated tech bloggers who are writing excellent content yet, they are not busting at the seems with traffic and therefor, can not net those good advertising deals. Being part of a blog network gives you strength in numbers. It also allows the network owner to successfully obtain bigger advertising deals.

To summarize this post, I wanted to vouch for the claims that were presented within the Fox Business article. Although I’m not able to replace my full time job with blogging which I seriously hope to do some day, you can definitely make it through all the noise and make a name for yourself. I’ve also presented ways to make money blogging without necessarily having to dive into all sorts of ad campaigns. As far as I’m concerned, if you concentrate on writing awesome content on your personal site, visitors and the bigger opportunities will come to you. But if the content is not there, then what other reason do I or others have to stop by your site?

Now it’s time for you to sound off. Are you making money from your blog? If not, are you making money writing online at all? Share your tips, strategies, or experiences in the comments.

My Apologies Feed Readers

For those of you that are subscribed to the RSS Feed, you may have noticed that I created 400 new posts the other day. Now, although I wish I could produce content at that rate, the fact of the matter is that, you received all of those new post messages due to me re-importing my WordPress content through the built in WordPress migration tools. Because I performed a redesign of the blog, I decided to reformat WordPress. If you don’t know what I am talking about, please read this article “Reformatting WordPress“.

At any rate, just wanted to extend an apology for making your feed reader go crazy, that shouldn’t happen again for quite some time.

Steve Spaldings 5 Types Of Bloggers


Steve Spalding has published a post on what he believes are the five different types of bloggers and the roles they play. They are as follows:

  1. Publisher
  2. Editor
  3. Journalist
  4. Tabloid Writers
  5. Forum Moderators

Steve goes on to say that he’s mainly talking about semi-professional and professional bloggers within these 5 points. I can attest to the fact that you don’t need to be professional in order to perform these roles. As a blogger, I’ve discovered on my own that bloggers are like small business owners, they wear many different hats. At the end of the article, Steve asks “What Do You Think A Blogger Is?

I think a blogger, no matter how you look at it, is part of something larger. A collection of people that as a whole, have a very loud voice. You may know this as the blogosphere. Each person in this blogosphere contributes a little or a lot of information, usually within a defined niche. Bloggers are generally more in touch with reality than your bigger news sites.

When you stop to think about just what exactly a blogger is, it’s too difficult to come to a single conclusion. Thankfully, the word Blogger pretty much sums everything up into one word.

QuickInsert Adds New Features

QuickInsert Logo

QuickInsert, the service that allows you to sell your content that I reviewed here ( Protect Or Sell Your Content Via QuickInsert ) has gone through a major upgrade. Here are the changes outlined by QuickInsert:


  1. You can now host a separate login form from your content anywhere on your pages.
  2. Emailing functionality – email all or some of your users on your Edit Users page of the control panel.
  3. Enhanced interface for the registration form – everything appears more fluid and more practical for users registering on your site

All in all, functionality across the entire control panel is easier than before. If you’re interested in managing and then selling your content, QuickInsert provides a good platform to start with.

A New Spin On Blog Spam

Lorell On WordPress Logo

According to Lorelle, blog spammers have developed a new technique of scraping a blogs content and then publishing it on their own blog. The new technique centers around the use of WordPress plugins that excel in scraping the content and then using software or other plugins to replace certain words with synonyms. The result? The same old same old.

Here is an example of some text from an article that Lorelle wrote.

Yesterday, I wrote an analogy of comparing blogging to dancing, and how it helps to know the steps, but I also addressed the issue of blogging in your native language compared to blogging in English.

Words carry a responsibility. They convey meaning. They reek with intent. Change a word and you change the meaning.

And here is the text scraped from the article, with certain words replaced with synonyms.

Yesterday, I wrote an faith of scrutiny blogging to dancing, and how it helps to undergo the steps, but I also addressed the supply of blogging in your autochthonous module compared to blogging in English.

Words circularize a responsibility. They intercommunicate meaning. They exudate with intent. Change a word and you modify the meaning.

I don’t know about you, but I have never, ever, heard of the word autochthonous before. Does it even exist? At any rate, if you compare the two excerpts, it’s clear that the second one is obviously some sort of spam. I realize their are people out their who write in this fashion as English is not their native language. However, since the text IS in English, it has to be noted that there is no way a human being would write something like that. It comes down to common sense.

In the end, this is a new technique that is netting the same results. Crappy look a like posts which don’t gain any value for the spammer, unless the trackback link makes it through the spam filter.

Near the end of the article, Lorelle goes on to discuss various aspects of copyright law and if this new spamming technique violates a bloggers copyrights. Here is a published quote on her blog from Jonathon

Fortunately, the law is very clear on this subject. Copyright is not merely the right to copy one’s own work, but a set of rights that includes the right to create derivative works…This right to create derivative works covers the right to create translations and any other work based on copyrightable portions of the original. Spinning, since it starts with a copyright-protected work and creates a new work based upon it, violates that right.

Fair use arguments fall equally flat in the eyes of the law. Spinning is not transformative as it is designed to replace the original, it offers no commentary or criticism, it is for commercial use, it can greatly harm the market for the original work and usually is unattributed. There is almost no fair use argument left for the spammers who modify the posts they scrape, leaving the door wide open for rightsholders to take action.

Interesting, but here is my point regarding this mess. You’re more likely to waste time and energy going after these sploggers than actually accomplishing anything worthwhile. Most of these sploggers are automated, meaning they can be tracked to a particular location, but the only thing you’ll find is a machine with a programmed set of instructions. The reality of the situation is that, spam, splogging, feed and content scraping are all part of the game known as blogging. It happens and there is no PRACTICAL solution to combat the problem.

Here are some tips to help you go up against a content scraper:

  1. Do as my friend Brad of has done and add a text link that says something like “By NAMEOFBLOG“. Because sploggers scrape the entire content of the post, this link will always be presented in the spammers post which will not only raise a red flag that the post was stolen, but will allow people to follow the link back to the source.
  2. Instead of publishing the FULL RSS FEED, switch to only publishing a PARTIAL FEED. I don’t like partial feeds and neither do alot of other people but it helps in dealing with the spam issue.
  3. If you notice a trackback URL on one of your posts, be sure to visit the blog the link points to. If the offending site has posts covering all sorts of topics with no rhyme or reason, chances are, it’s a spam blog. Instead of deleting the URL track back, submit it to Akistmet by selecting the SPAM it option within your commenting admin panel.

This post has inspired me to write up another article called, ‘What To Look For On A Blog You Suspect To Be A Splog‘. Look for that in the coming days.

What do you think of the issue of content scraping and splogging in general? If you’re a blogger, let me know how you do deal with issues and what you look for when deciding if a comment or trackback url is considered spammy.