OK, I discovered a new interviewing technique.
You take VIPs to the very swanky Half Moon Bay Ritz (walking distance from our new house) and buy them Peach Mojitos. Not cheap for the expense budget (they cost $14 each, but are worth every dollar in the top secret information you get from business leaders). Then you take them out onto the back lawn, let them soak up the real estate (it’s stunning) and then you turn the camera on.
I’m gonna call it the Mojito Show. We don’t really care how it comes out cause we’re having too much fun.
Anyway, Jeremy Wright, president and co-founder of B5 Media (pictured above), just spent the day here at the Ritz and then at the house (which is in total disarray, hopefully Valleywag won’t get a picture of the house when it’s so messy).
What was fun was Don MacAskill, CEO and Chief Geek (can I get a title like that?) of SmugMug was vacationing at the Ritz with his wife (it’s their sixth anniversary, congratulations!) and saw my Google hat and wandered over. Later she took a nap and he snuck out to talk geek with us. I got that part on tape for my new show, hopefully it’ll come out (the mojitos might have affected the quality too much, but like I said, who cares, it’s Saturday and the mojitos were good!)
Anyway, I was trying to get Jeremy to tell me a bit about the secrets behind his B5 Media network. He wasn’t giving up the good stuff (at least on camera), but the stuff he gave up after his mojito was pretty interesting. He has about 100 bloggers in his network. Everyone from a gold medal swimmer to a group of scientists to a celebrity blog about Lindsay Lohan to someone who writes about RSS (who would read THAT? Heheh.)
OK, notice they all link to each other (look at the blog roll on the right side)? That’s the advantage to joining a blogging network: that gets them all more traffic. They get better Google rank that way, and they also share traffic. Jeremy told me that a good percentage of people who’ll visit one blog will visit other blogs.
Anyway, I learned that the celebrity blogs that B5 does are the most popular and are easy ways to earn traffic. I remember meeting Adriana Foley, the blogger who keeps 17 blogs, including the one on Linday Lohan. She actually says she hates doing the Lohan blog, but that’s what pays the bills so she does that to fund her other blogging.
Other things Wright shared after having his mojito? That Google Adsense advertising doesn’t pay bloggers as well as other advertising networks do. He says that most of the time Google only pays about $.50 per CPM (thousand page views). He says that B5 network is getting paid somewhere between $10 and $15 per CPM on most blogs. Has sponsors like Speedo.
He says his top bloggers are just now starting to earn enough to quit their day jobs ($1,000 to $4,000 per month) but that he hopes to be able to pay them a lot more soon.
Another advantage to joining a blogging network like Jeremy’s? The private chat rooms (hey, do you get to get blogging help from both a scientist and a gold-medal swimmer? Didn’t think so). He says the community that comes along with such a network is what keeps him excited working on behalf of the network.
As to Smugmug, Don told us both about how he has about 150,000 subscribers paying $40 a year to host photos on Smugmug. He raved about a bunch of features that Smugmug has over the other photo sharing services, but what caught my ear is the Google Map support that Smugmug has. That alone might get me to pay $40 a year.
Anyway, next Saturday we’re getting together at 2 p.m. at the firering at the Ritz. Several people have already RSVP’d. Bring $7 for parking and bring a jacket (it gets chilly outside). Anyone is invited although I might get you to drink an alcoholic drink and then turn on the camera and see what I can learn.
Oh, and, yes, there’s wifi at the Ritz. Next Saturday I’ll be the geek drinking the Mojitos. Oh, and we found out tonight that there’s a guy who plays bagpipes an hour before the sunset.
Hope your weekend is filled with Mojitos. See ya next Saturday! Disclaimer, I can’t buy everyone Mojitos, sorry.
Who else will be there? Oh, and Nick Douglas, you’re invited, we won’t have any security trying to keep you out. Just beware, I might hand you a mojito and put you on camera!