Friday, October 30, 2009

Make Your Blog Interactive - Add Comments to Your Sidebar

As we leap from blog to blog, we often marvel at the diverse amount of information displayed on various blogs, and are especially curious as to how various things were added.

In particular, we noticed that: several blogs contained a "Recent Comments" section on their side bars; and, that section enabled visitors to quickly see what others were saying. Visitors would easily respond for all to see,  and thus, an interactive environment was formed.

Then, we discovered the Blogger in Draft post:

that announced that Comments, and other items, could be easily placed on your Blogger Blog.

Since we added the "Recent Comments" gadget to this Blog, we have enjoyed an increased amount of commenting activity (as you can see on the right hand sidebar). Almost instantly, our Blog became interactive!

Besides Comments, you can add: Twitter updates, Picasa Photostream thumbnails, and  Recent Posts. After Clicking on the Link above, simply: 
  • Click on the "Add it now" link, 
  • Indicate your blog from the pulldown menu, and
  • Press the "Configure Gadget" arrow, which will allow you to specify how many comments to display, the overall height, and more.
Once added, you will need to go to your Blogger Dashboard's Layout Page, and move your newly added Comments gadget to your desired spot.

This is one feature that has helped us immensely, and we encourage you to give it a try!


Note: We only know how to accomplish this with Blogger, and not with WordPress. If anyone out there can help with WordPress, leave a comment!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Reminder: Buy a $14 Adgitize Ad Now and Save!

Just a quick post to remind everyone that the price of a 31 day monthly Adgitize ad will increase from $14 to $24 beginning Sunday, November 1st 2009.

However, its not too late to purchase a new ad at the current low price.

If you're not presently an Adgitize member, but have considered it, we encourage you to act Now and join before the price increases! Joining is easy, simply click on below, enroll, and submit your site.

At the same time, you should purchase an Ad, and receive the benefits of:
  • Being a Preferred Publisher,
  • Getting Additional Traffic, and
  • Earning Money!
After buying your first ad now at $14, you find that you will earn enough in a month to cover your advertising cost!

But Remember
Time's running out,
You gotta Act Now!

And, for those who are already Adgitize advertisers, you should seriously consider purchasing a second (or third) ad this month before your current ad expires. You can take advantage of this "Last Minute" saving by designing a new 125x125 gif, and submitting it.

We suggest that all ads be submitted by Thursday October 29th at the latest in order to give the Adgitize folks time to review and approve your purchase.

In a recent blog post, Cornyman as described the benefits of this in great detail, and it is an excellent read (Adgitize: HURRY and SAVE up to 12$ for your new ad!)

As Ken, Aldon, and others have stated in their comments, Adgitize is an wonderful tool for dedicated bloggers. Why, because you will be in excellent company. Everyone there has the same goals: to Blog, Attract Readership, and Earn Advertising Revenue.

If however, you are like us and want to "Wait and See" what the Pricing Structure does to Earnings, then make sure you work on replacing the Adgitizing visitors by participating in:
While we're not thrilled with the price increases, we continue to believe that everyone should belong to Adgitize because it is a great organization.

Let us know what you think!

JL ................

PS: Thanks to everyone who has read and responded to our previous post! It's great to see a dialog and hear everyone's opinions.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Adgitize: One Step Forward / Two Steps Back

In the Website/Blog management process, it seems that every time you think things are rosy and your environment is stable, an unpredictable obstacle blocks your way. Instead of being able to devote your time to enhancing your site and its content, you must stop, regroup, determine a course of action, and often start over. It always seems that we're taking:

One Step Forward, and
Two Steps Backward.

In a rather stunning blog post yesterday morning, Adgitize announced that it would be increasing monthly advertising rates from $14 to $24 a month beginning November 1st 2009.

This is a 71.43% increase in rates and is rather substantial for a service that is only 1 year old. Adgitize understands the magnitude of this increase and expects a number of publishers to be irate, complain, or leave. However, since they anticipate membership and ad publishing to quadruple next year, they need more money to handle this increased demand.

Like everyone else, we have embraced Adgitize as a low-cost Entrecard and advertizing solution to increasing readership. While we cannot critize Adgitize's action, it is necessary for us to re-evaluate the pros and cons of: staying or leaving this great company; and, paying the increased advertising prices.

On Leaving or Staying
  • The Pros: The only satisfaction of leaving is that we have made a statement. Other than that, nothing is gained.
  • The Cons: Should we leave, we would lose potential income and readership. During the past year, we have made many friends. Several have commented on our posts implying that folks are indeed reading our content and finding it interesting. In leaving, we would let these people down.
Conclusion: Leaving Adgitize accomplishes nothing. In the end, we would only be hurting ourselves. Thus, we will stay.

On Advertising
Our advertising situation is slightly different than most. For the past 2 months, we have been purchasing two ad spots which cost us $28 per month. Since rates haven't increased this month of October, we have renewed both which will expire in November. But, next month we need to decide whether to buy 2, 1, or no ads.

Our Adgitize Habits
We try to publish a new post every day and visit the maximum number of sites. Since points are awarded for Writing Articles and Clicking, we can pretty much count on receiving 200 points per day. This is appears to be the minimum number of points needed for earning $0.15 per day, and $0.24 after rates are increased.

Because we are advertisers, we receive 160 extra points for advertising (because we have 2 ad spots) and are on the Preferred Publishers List.

Additionally, we have earned additional points for both Ad and Page views which we attribute to advertising. The sum of these points contributes another 100-120 points per day.

In total, our daily points are around 460-470, which means that we earn approximately $0.63 daily. Translating this to the new payment schedule, we would receive $1.03 each day.

Should We Continue to Buy 2 Ads?
Purchasing 2 ads has only increased our total site visits by a little and our income has underperformed that of a single ad. Last month, we were about 8th on the Leaderboard but our income was slightly less than $20. We have not recruited any advertising members, so we don't receive any other affiliate income. Since ads run for 31 days, we are paying $0.9032 per day and receiving only $0.63/day. This is a daily loss of $0.2732 or $8.47 per month. When the new payment schedule becomes effective, two ads would cost $47/month which equals $1.5161 per day. For this, we would receive $1.03 per day, meaning we lose $0.4861/day or $15.07 monthly.

Our conclusion is that the loss of $15 monthly ($180/year) is not worth the benefit we receive in additional page view traffic or ad views.

Therefore, we will not purchase 2 ads in the future.

Should We Buy One Ad?
If we buy only 1 ad at the higher rates, our daily expense will be $0.7742. We will lose 50 points for the 2nd ad and a few page views. This will bring our total points to 370-400/day but we will still be a Preferred Publisher. In return, we will receive $0.86 per day, meaning that we will earn a profit of $0.0858 or $2.66 for the month.

But Will Everyone Continue to Advertise at the New Rate?
All of our calculations are based on the assumption that the number of advertisers remain the same as today. But since rates are increasing by over 71%, we believe that many Advertisers will drop out. Several factors reinforce this assumption:
  • Many Advertisers are located in the Asia/Pacific region,
  • Much of the world economies are suffering,
  • Money is tight,
  • Unemployment is high,
  • Taxes are being raised across the board, and
  • The Holidays are coming.
Because of these, we believe that probably 50% will not renew their ads at the higher rates in November. Last night, there were 203 advertisers. If half drop out, the estimated payouts that Adgitize states will then be cut to existing levels or lower. This means that those who are earning payouts of $14/month now will continue to be making only $14 in the future. That would translate into a $10/month loss. If this happens, more people will drop out and revenue will decline further.

So What Will We Do?
Based on the uncertainty of breaking even, we have concluded that our best option is to:

Buy NO Ads.

In doing this, we will drop down into the 2nd lowest tier of payouts. If we continue to Click and Write Articles, we will receive 200 points, which currently qualifies for payouts of $0.15/day or $4.65 per month. If advertising levels remain the same, then we could expect to receive $0.24/day or $7.44/month. Either way, Not Advertising is a NO RISK solution to earning a small bit of money.

How Will We Replace the Lost Traffic?
In one word: Entrecard! Although we have critized Entrecard for forcing members to display paid ads, their advertising network remains free of charge. By ramping up our EC Advertising campaigns and clicking on member banners, we will replace the 50-100 visits that we lose from Adgitize. This means that we, as Adgitize members, will continue to be awarded points for both Ad and Page views. With this replacement traffic, our Adgitize points may increase by another hundred, bringing our total points to 300/day and qualifying us for much higher payouts.

So What Should Have Adgitize Done?
To raise income flows, we believe that Adgitize should have CUT the monthly advertising fee from $14 to $10 per month. In doing this, members would be earning less, but Adgitize would be earning more. Why? Because we believe more people would find this attractive. New members would embrace the lower cost basis, and immediately begin to advertise. Existing members would also consider purchasing 2nd ads for their sites. So, all around, we believe this would have been the best alternative. (But, this is only our opinion).

To summarize, our course of action beginning November 2009 will be that of a "Wait and See". We will:
  • Stay with Adgitize,
  • Remain Calm and NOT become Mad,
  • Stop all Advertising on Adgitize,
  • Ramp Up Our Entrecard Campaigns,
  • Hope that All of You Continue to Follow Us,
  • Wait and See what Other Advertisers Do, and
  • Reconsider Our Decision in January or February 2010.
If you also worry about what to do regarding Adgitize advertising, or if you have a supporting or disagreeing opinion, feel free to write a comment and let us and Adgtize know. If you write a Post on your own, let us know what it is. And remember, we're all in this together and want Adgitize to succeed. As I said in the beginning, it's:

One Step Forward
Two Steps Backward.

Learn More
If you'd like to know more about Adgitize, please visit:
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