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Hi there! I’m really grateful that you chose to pop through and see what BenSpark.com is all about. I’m also grateful to Ted Murphy and the folks at IZEA for believing in me and my blog. If you are a regular reader and you have not yet read the article please go and read the full New York Times Article.

The article states that I get compensation to recruit bloggers and teach them how to improve their blogs. That is not entirely the way it is. I am an IZEA Insider, as such I am compensated $1500 a year to go to blogger conferences and be an ambassador of IZEA. I do try to recruit bloggers to the IZEA properties because I believe very much in what they are doing, they empower small time bloggers like me to make a little extra with their blogs.

As for the teaching bloggers to improve their blogs, that is a little something extra that I try and do for my IZEA Insiders Crew so that they learn how to use SocialSpark more effectively. I am not compensated for that I do it because the better the network of bloggers are the better advertisers we can attract.

I call those posts SocialSpark Saturdays. I also received $1500 for having the largest crew of bloggers in my IZEA Insider crew. I actively recruit bloggers to my crew and welcome each and every one of them. I’ve created a blog specifically for that crew where I try and spotlight different bloggers on the crew. My goal is to interview each and every one of my 1000+ members. I love finding out about other bloggers and what makes them tick.

You might want to check through my Photo-A-Day images. I’ve been doing this for over 4 years and each photo tells a story. I can go back to April 9, 2005 and visually appreciate every day since. At my 1000th photo-a-day I explained how I was able to do so many photos with… a photo.

Read More About Photo-A-Day.

Here are my sets
2005, 2006, 2007 (pre-flickr) 2007, 2008, 2009. I have taken my best photos and made calendars the past two years. My 2008 and 2009 calendars were also fundraisers for charities.

I love kayaking and had a kayaking blog for a while but found ti to be more of a seasonal thing, I do have 5 videos that I made while kayaking and one more on the way from my latest trip this past Saturday. The Roger Williams Paddle Trail trip.

I also love food and making crazy things so occasionally I post some fun things I’ve made like – Fry Sauce, ‘Grilled’ Peanut Butter & Pickle Sandwiches and Average Betty’s Hoffapenos.

And I love my Family. I write most often about my family. My wife Allison and my daughter Eva.

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15 Responses to “Welcome NY Times Readers”

  1. Hey Drew – congrats on getting coverage in the NY Times! That is so cool! You’re really doing a great job with your blogs and your Insider Crew! :)
    .-= Lisa Marie Mary´s last blog ..Greenpeace Activists Hang Banner on Mt. Rushmore =-.

  2. Drew says:

    Thanks very much Lisa Marie Mary,
    The New York Times article was a blast to do. I’m certainly not as big time as everyone else mentioned but I did get a mention so that was fun. I’m loving the insider crew so much. We’re having a good time.

  3. MLDina says:

    Congratulations Mr. I’m Now a Famous Blogger! Hitting the big time in print, huh?

    NY Times readers- subscribe to this blog, it’s one of my favorites!

  4. Drew says:

    Dina,
    I’m still quite the small fry, I mean all the haters aren’t even picking on me yet. LOL. Not even a blip on the radar because picking on me would bring no one traffic. :-)

  5. Madhu Saxena says:

    Hey Drew – congrats on getting coverage in the NY Times its really cool dude.

  6. Mona says:

    Hi Ben,
    Found you through the NYTimes article and i really congratulate you on being covered.
    But i have certain questions regarding sponsored conversations(or paid posts). Most of the ‘paid review’ such as payperpost,review,sponsoredreviews etc have a mandatory clause that ‘Nofollow’ tag must not be used. Now, this goes straight against Google’s guidelines.
    I have seen few of my blogger friends doing paid reviews for earning some extra money but later regretting when Google found that out and punished them by simply degrading their webpages on every keyword they were scoring high. They have admitted their organic traffic(mainly comprising of Google) drying up in a couple of days from the moment Google finds the paid reviewers.
    What do you think of this(i mean, your suggestion on this) and how one should balance between the two(doing paid reviews and keeping Google happy).

    Btw, have ever come across a situation when Google killed the organic traffic to your blog due to paid product review.

  7. Dude, that is awesome! Congratulations! Any coverage like that is impressive but the NYT…watch out lol!

  8. Drew says:

    Mona,

    GREAT Question! Thanks very much for venturing over to this blog to ask. Here are the no-follow situations with the IZEA Properties.

    You are correct there is a mention in the TOS of PayPerPost V3.0 that states that you cannot add non-follow to links in a sponsored post. Only if the advertiser chooses no-follow when they create the link in the opportunity. So it is up to the blogger to choose opps that are no-follow.

    For PayPerPost V4.0 the blogger can choose to accept links of no-follow or do follow or either. I have mine set to No-Follow and have only gotten two opps on that platform.

    For SocialSpark There is a specific code of ethics for bloggers. In the code of Ethics it states “Each sponsored link in SocialSpark automatically carries the “no-follow” attribute so as not to affect search engine rankings. This is designed to protect bloggers and advertisers from search engine penalties based on paid linking. Bloggers and Advertisers participating in the marketplace agree not to circumvent this practice and manually remove the “no-follow” attribute.”

    Personally I take only those posts I know I can talk about without any conflict. I make sure I choose only those with the no follow tags and I also use SocialSpark as my primary means of earning money online.

    Google has never killed my traffic but they did take away my PR5 and busted me to zero back in my newbie days. I attribute that more to experimentation with PayU2Splog then PayPerPost.

    As far as how to do paid blogging and keep Google Happy join SocialSpark and take those opps. Join PayPerPost V4.0 and only accept No-Follow posts. And blog your passions.

  9. Mona says:

    great explanation..thanks…two doubts more(hope you won’t mind)
    – It’s great to see that you only prefer nofollow tag paid review but don’t you think that advertisers are highly reluctant to choosing a blogger that won’t benefit them with a backlink. With my experience(and a couple of my blogger friends), i have rarely come across a situation where advertisers really chose to use nofollow tag.
    This way, can any blog expect a decent earnings(min. $300) consistently doing paid reviews.

    – I have not heard of Socialspark so much. Is that a competitor to Payperpost or reveiwme etc ? It will be great and motivating to hear about your success(how much are you able to earn) with SocialSpark as a blogger.
    Thanks

  10. Drew says:

    Mona,

    $300 daily, weekly, monthly? It can all be done but it depends on how you go about doing it. If you want to be truly an ethical blogger and disclose everything and include no-follow then probably you can earn the $300 monthly if you really work at it. If you want to make the money daily then blog about everything and cloud the world with more spam, that can be done too.

    Ethical Advertisers will use the no-follow tags. Once they see that traffic can still come from a no-follow link and organic growth can happen.

    SocialSpark is part of IZEA the parent company of PayPerPost. Not a competitor but a different option for better higher quality ethical bloggers.

    I honestly do not earn as much anymore because I make sure that I am a more ethical blogger. Back when I started I blogged about anything and everything and didn’t care about the no-follow and so many things that I just didn’t know about but soon learned. Now I do a little blogging here and there and earn a bit at a time. My main focus is consistently blogging and helping other bloggers. If you join SocialSpark I’d love it if you joined my crew! The “I’m Not A Famous Blogger” Crew.

  11. Mona says:

    Thanks so much…I look forward to coming back here again…and look at SocialSpark as well

  12. Drew says:

    Mona,
    You are welcome. Come by anytime.

  13. […] is what I wrote on BenSpark.com regarding the […]

  14. Karsun says:

    Congrats on making what I consider the big time!! :)
    .-= Karsun´s last blog ..Armani Exchange Denim =-.

  15. Drew says:

    Thanks Karsun,
    Still figure that “Not a Famous” is appropriate. :-)

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