Actually, that's commonly pronounced "bidness" here in beautiful Arkansas.
"I started my own bidness last year, so now I am a bidnessman," someone might say.
"School was rough today," you might hear a child say. "Man, the other kids were really giving me the bidness!"
Enough of that. Every now and again, it's important to take care of a little housecleaning here at The Natural State Hawg. So, I'll do that now. Don't worry -- it should be relatively painless and there's even an audience participation part of this post, so stay tuned.
The Super Blogger Award!
Theresa over at A Bumpy Path was handing out awards, and I couldn't resist the urge up one of the little darlings. So, I'm now the proud owner of the Super Blogger award. To be honest, Theresa's instructions on this award are fairly vague -- "If you're a regular visitor, help yourself."
So, I have helped myself to this award and I'm inviting all you regular readers (you know who you are) to do the same. I like that method of giving out awards as there are more than a few of them out there that have a lot of strings attached.
That's fine with me, of course, but I always appreciate a no-hassle award, and that's exactly what The Super Blogger award is. We have approached an award on another blog in which I'm heavily involved, The All Arkie Army, the same way. Handing someone an award and saying "good job" is a wonderful thing -- it's a sincere honor.
By the way, Theresa is one of the nicest bloggers out there. She is a member of the All Arkie Army and is one of those people who gave me a lot of encouragement, advice and technical tips when I started blogging about three months ago. Check out her blogs if you haven't already done so -- she runs A Bumpy Path and Eyebald.
Now, here's the audience participation part I mentioned earlier. I've been thinking about writing more paid posts, something I haven't done just a whole lot of in the past. Why? I spend a hell of a lot of time writing for and promoting this blog and the aforementioned All Arkie Army. It would be nice to make a little cash here and there.
Initially, I thought some passive advertising was the way to go, but Google AdSense simply isn't getting the job done. I mention Google AdSense because that's the only service that has actually made me any money (the rest of them have been duds).
Here's the breakdown on how rotten that service has been. I started running AdSense three months ago and, during that time, have recorded 40,899 page impressions (those ads have popped up on my blogs that many times), yet have only gotten 207 clicks. To date, then, I have made $79.49 -- I haven't even hit that $100 mark yet and I can't cash out until I do.
And, that's the most lucrative service I've tried. Here's the problem -- no one wants to click on the AdSense ads. I can't say I blame them. I rarely click on them, either, unless I'm dealing with a blogger that I really like and that individual has put up a fantastic post (kind of like a tip, see). Usually, however, I just ignore those ads and I'm sure that is what's happening on my blog.
So, my question to you good people is this -- does it seem cheap and mercenary to get more paid posts? Would that discourage people from visiting my blog? Are there better alternatives to making a little cash here and there than paid posts?
I'd love to hear some honest responses to those questions. I get a lot of traffic over here and I'd like that to continue. People stop in and comment and that makes blogging worthwhile.
A sort of apology to Entrecard visitors
If you want more traffic and don't have an Entrecard account, click right here and get one. Don't ask questions. Just do it. The amount of traffic you'll get will amaze you.
One thing about Entrecard is that you can only drop cards on 300 blogs per day. I've been passing 300 visitors through Entrecard lately, so I've not been able to reciprocate on some blogs. I do apologize for that. I've been a reciprocal dropper since I started at Entrecard, but the site has worked so well for me that I've not been able to return visits as often as I'd like.
If I don't pay your blog a visit, then, it's not because I don't like your blog -- I simply can't keep up with everyone right now.
Digg kind of sucks
I'm going to scale back on my participation in Digg as the site requires a lot of work for very little reward. These days, I get about 100 shouts from people wanting me to Digg their stuff. In return, I get about 20 to 30 Diggs (on a good day!) on my articles.
I'd rather use Entrecard for social marketing. It seems to work much better. If you put in some time on Entrecard, you will be rewarded with a lot of traffic. That's pretty well guaranteed.
I am impressed with Reddit, however. Danny over at the Mortgage and More Blog was kind enough to submit this post of mine to Reddit earlier tonight and I got about 90 visitors in around 3 hours. That's phenomenal and it beats the hell out of anything I've ever gotten through Digg. Maybe I should start spending some time over at Reddit.
Over the past couple of days, I've learned that writing about popular topics will absolutely drive search engine traffic to your blog. Over that All Arkie Army, I submitted this post about the tragic death of Anne Pressly, a morning anchor at KATV in Little Rock (you can read about the whole sordid mess by clicking right here and heading to the CNN story about it).
I should point out that I wrote my little blurb simply because Pressly was a very good person who fell victim to the raging crime problem in Little Rock. I didn't go searching for keywords that would drive traffic to the All Arkie Army -- I figured there were enough things floating around on the Internet about Pressly that my little post would get lost in the shuffle, in fact. However, that post did hit the search engines and the Army received a ton of traffic.
That probably won't happen very often as I ramble on about all kinds of random junk and not much of it is exactly popular. Regardless, I was schooled in what some good key words can do for you.
That's all, folks!