Latest Posts on This Week in Blogging

Black Friday Deals for Bloggers in 2022 – A Wealth of Savings

Last Updated on July 22, 2020 by Jeremy

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Last Updated on November 23, 2022 by Jeremy

Disclaimer: This Week in Blogging uses demographic data, email opt-ins, and affiliate links to operate this site. Please review our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

The weekend of Black Friday through Cyber Monday is one of our favorite times of the year to be a blogger.

First, many bloggers (especially those with US-based audiences) are expected to see a surge in digital advertising spending over the course of the weekend (Jeremy's record was just under $80 in 2021 which he hopes to topple this year). Second, and more importantly for this article, there are a ton of deals available for bloggers who wish to upgrade their sites!

We've scoured the internet to find some of the best deals bloggers may be interested in and have put together this great guide to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for bloggers in 2022.

Please note: We will be frequently updating this guide over the course of the holiday weekend to capture new deals as they go live. As such, check back regularly as new deals may be added. We did our best to find all applicable terms and conditions when finding these deals, but note that a few were lacking in definitive end dates and all discount terms should be reviewed prior to purchase. Likewise, keep in mind that in many cases Black Friday deals are often for new subscribers in the first sale only. Those that require annual renewals may revert back to the original rate and that is worth confirming prior to your subscription end date.

How to Prepare for First Party Cookies and Ad Revenue Flux

Last Updated on November 28, 2022 by Jeremy

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Whether we like it or not, third-party cookies on Google products will be leaving us shortly (although the “when” element of this question remains to be seen- first it was 2023, now it appears to be at least 2024).

With this comes a lot of uncertainty about just what happens after that, as third-party cookies are used for so many things. For bloggers, one of the biggest uses of third-party cookies revolves around all things ad revenue, as these cookies are used for targeted advertising on our sites based on user's search history. The better the targeting, the higher ad rates you have historically achieved (and we're talking serious money here- my single best day was $83.90 RPM).

The shift to first-party data will change a lot of this, and ad services, like Google's exchange, are testing a variety of new targeting methods to help deliver ads to users while keeping their privacy in mind.

Naturally, this will impact earnings. Google tests have shown that there could be a collapse in ad revenues upwards of 60%, while others, like Mediavine, counter that first-party cookies will only impact Chrome traffic (as other browsers have already phased out 3rd party cookies) and that Chrome accounts for roughly 63% of market browser share outright (although it is 35-50% on our sites). So that 60% drop may be more like 20% to 40% for most of us once the dust settles.

The good news is that these figures are all based on cookies disappearing and no other solutions coming about. Ad networks, like Mediavine, are working hard on first-party solutions to help protect member revenue (and even improve it!) after the switch. The bad news is that the same may not be able to be said for those on other ad networks, as it will likely take time for everyone to settle on what is the “best” solution.

In this one, we wanted to mostly ignore what ad networks are doing for a minute and instead focus on what you can do as a blogger to be prepared for the first-party cookie switch. The solution to this revenue problem is on us as much as on our ad networks!

How to Minimize Spam to Your Facebook Group in a Few Steps

Last Updated on November 7, 2022 by Jeremy

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Oh Facebook spam, you are never-ending. This is especially true in popular Facebook groups where spammers and bots like to take advantage of loose entry rules to put their garbage in front of the eyes of thousands of users in just a few clicks.

But if you're suffering from Facebook group spam in your own group, don't worry! We've got some ideas on reducing spam postings significantly in just a few setting changes.

Note: This article describes how I manage spam in my 50k+ member Facebook group for our city blog. Your mileage may vary on whether some of these are necessary and how you may want to approach spam differently depending on your group setup. As such, treat this as a starting point for ideas and not a complete list of spam reduction techniques.

Does Upscaling AI for Images Work? Testing Popular Services

Last Updated on November 2, 2022 by Jeremy

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When I went on safari in Africa, I got a wealth of amazing photos with my rather expensive mirrorless camera and telephoto lens.

But perhaps the best photo of the ~10,000 shots my wife and I took was not on my professional camera, but rather on my cell phone. This shot could only have been taken on my phone as the subject of the shot, a lion standing on a rock a la the Lion King, was so close to our vehicle that my 150-600mm camera lens was far too tight to do the full scene justice (even the 50mm lens on my wife's camera was not wide enough as well).

But there was one problem- my phone's camera wasn't in the best mode when I got this shot.

Instead of being on the 104 MP camera mode, I was set on a ~9 MP camera setting as I played around with other modes before coming into this quick scene. The photo looks great even at this lower resolution, don't get me wrong, but when it comes to blowing up the image to larger file size for print, it wasn't perfect the way a 104 MP shot would've been.

So I wondered, can upscaling AI help me get a better photo after the fact, ultimately to print a larger photo for my house? This seemed like a great opportunity to test out several services!

Note: Side-by-side images used within the article may not be perfect overlaps. That being said, visible improvements (or lack thereof) are reflective of the final results even if the exact level of zoom is not perfect.

Niche Product Site Case Study #4 – Changing Targets

Last Updated on September 26, 2022 by Jeremy

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Welcome to the fourth entry into our niche product site case study series.

In this case study, we are tracking the performance of niche product sites I created between 2020 and 2022, what is working, what is not, income and traffic changes, and lessons learned along the way.

The first site we will look at is The Grape Pursuit, a wine blog I started in early 2020. The second site is Hipster Homesteaders, a home & garden plus food & beverage blog we started in late 2021 (where we merged two lagging product sites, a coffee blog and sous vide blog, into a broader umbrella branding to allow for more content to be produced with other topics).

While we are seeing some growth in the sites in a few categories, some stagnant areas have us changing our targets ever-so-slightly.

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