Archive for the 'marketing + advertising' Category

Is it really free?

I’ve always loved this cartoon:


The caption says “It’s free, but they sell your information.”

CAN-SPAM allows P.O. Boxes

I run a marketing company today… and it surprises me how many times I get questions from our partners about CAN-SPAM.

It’s 2011. The law was passed in December 2003. The FTC released “new rules” to clarify parts of the regulation in 2008. Lawyers that specialize in marketing should know the law… but sadly many of them still don’t know it that well… (can you say Google?)

So, just to set the record straight: CAN-SPAM does allow a marketer to use a P.O. Box in the unsubscribe footer in an email marketing message.

Don’t believe me? See what the FTC has to say about it here. See #4. Couldn’t be more clear.


Disclaimer: I know CAN-SPAM well, but I’m not a lawyer, and I’m sure not your lawyer. Consult with them before you start marketing via email.

David Ogilvy’s Rules on How to Write Potent Copy

I recently read Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy, and thought it was an awesome book about the advertising business, A true classic.

Ogilvy’s rules on How to Write Potent Copy:

On Headlines:

  1. The headline is the most important part of the ad; it is what gets the reader’s attention and what makes them keep reading. Invite readers and do not say anything to exclude any readers.
  2. Every headline should appeal to the interest of the consumer.
  3. Try to put news in the headline. The words new and free are the most powerful words that can appear in the headline.
  4. There are several other words that are effective: How to, Suddenly, Now, Announcing, Improvement, etc. Headlines can also include emotional words.
  5. Five times as many people read the headlines and the body.
  6. Include a promise in the headlines, and longer headlines sell more than short headlines.
  7. If the headlines make the consumer curious, they will more likely read the body.
  8. Do not try to write tricky headlines, be simple and to the point.
  9. Do not use negatives in the headlines.
  10. Always make the headlines have a meaning.

On Body Copy:

  1. Write the body as if you were recommending the product to a stranger.
  2. Do not try to impress the reader with big words, be simple and concise with the body.

David Ogilvy’s Rules on How to Keep Clients

I recently read Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy, and thought it was an awesome book about the advertising business, A true classic

Ogilvy hated the idea of firing people the produced good work, but in the advertising field it was necessary when the advertising failed the client, and the client fired the agency (happens all the time today too)

So here are Ogilvy’s rules on How to Keep Clients:

  1. Appoint the best people possible to each account, and do not let executives go after accounts, it makes them greedy.
  2. Avoid hiring unstable executives who are hard for people to get along with.
  3. Avoid taking clients who change agencies on a regular basis.
  4. Keep contact between the agency and the client on all levels of the business.

He also added these bits to the above four rules: Never join two clients in one ad.  Never keep a client who has reduced the quality of their product.

David Ogilvy’s Rules for Selecting New Clients

I recently read Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy, and thought it was an awesome book about the advertising business, A true classic

According to Ogilvy, the first clients are the hardest to get, but after you get a reputation of doing good work, companies start to seek you.

Ogilvy’s Rules for Selecting New Clients:

  1. Only advertise products which you are proud to be associated with, never advertise a product that you don’t respect and don’t like.
  2. Never advertise for a company that you feel has better advertising than you can offer.
  3. Never advertise for a company that has had failing sales for a long period of time. This normally means that the advertising will not help the sales.
  4. Make sure that the client understands that the advertising agency has to make money as well; don’t make the client money while losing money from your own company.
  5. Question any account that would not be very profitable. If it gives you a chance to show off your skills to other potential clients, then take the account.
  6. Always find the motive for the client switching agencies, if he was let go from the previous agency, find out why.
  7. Do not take clients that put little importance in advertising.
  8. Never advertise for a product that is not yet on the market.
  9. Never take associations as clients.
  10. Only give in to the demand that a person be hired if you get the account if you feel that the person is capable of doing good work for your company

And lastly, if a company publicly announces the companies which it is considering to do their advertising, do not try to get the account, if you do not get it, you will publicly be known for being inferior to the successful company in some way.

David Ogilvy’s Rules on How To Build Great Campaigns

I recently read Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy.

Here are his rules on…

How To Build Great Campaigns:

  1. What you say is more important than how you say it.
  2. Unless your campaign is built around a great idea, it will flop.
  3. Give the facts. (The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything.)
  4. You cannot bore people into buying.
  5. Be well-mannered, but don’t clown. (You should try to charm the consumer into buying.)
  6. Make your advertising contemporary.
  7. Committees can criticize advertisements, but they cannot write them.
  8. If you are lucky enough to write a good advertisement, repeat it until it stops pulling.
  9. Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your own family to read.
  10. The image and the brand. (Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.)
  11. Don’t be a copy-cat.

David Ogilvy’s Rules on How To Be A Good Client

I recently read Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy, and thought it was an awesome book about the advertising business, even if it was written in the 60s by a man who started an agency in 1952.

Here are his rules on…

How To Be A Good Client:

  1. Emancipate your agency from fear.
  2. Select the right agency in the first place.
  3. Brief your agency very thoroughly indeed.
  4. Do not compete with your agency in the creative area.
  5. Coddle the goose who lays the golden egg. (provide enough time and resources to do the job well.)
  6. Don’t strain your advertising through too many layers.
  7. Make sure your agency makes a profit.
  8. Don’t haggle with your agency.
  9. Be candid and encourage candor.
  10. Set high standards.
  11. Test everything.
  12. Hurry. (Profit is a function of time.)
  13. Don’t waste time on problem babies (Back your successes and abandon  your losses.)
  14. Tolerate genius.
  15. Don’t under spend. (The surest way to overspend on advertising is not to spend enough to do the job properly.)

Fifteen Mac Applications for Affiliates and Affiliate Marketers

Here’s a quick list of applications I use on my Mac all the time as an affiliate marketer. Hope you find some use from these apps. I do:

  • BBEdit – is a catch all text editor for me. I use it for everything, from taking notes when talking to affiliates and advertisers, to debugging HTML, to writing PHP code. Truly the best money I’ve ever invested, and I’m not a developer at all anymore… but I’m hooked on BBEdit for sure. Super powerful multi-file find/replace (even using GREP patterns)… syntax coloring when looking at HTML and more (or in my case PHP)… if it’s related to text… you name it and I bet you BBEdit’s got it. If you’re too cheap to pony up to BBEdit, get TextWrangler for free. It’s not BBEdit, but has enough of the good stuff to be a lot better than TextEdit.
  • HTTP Client – bills itself as “A Mac OS X Leopard developer tool for debugging HTTP services by graphically creating & inspecting complex HTTP messages.” I love this program, because, while I’m technically savvy enough to understand the terminal and the concepts behind the power of curl and other programs, I really don’t want to have to learn those tools just to test a few things, or figure out what redirects are really involved in some of the tracking links I’m looking at, etc… I use it as a digital Sherlock Holmes type of application for the most part, following redirects so I can really find out who is involved in the different levels of online advertising: for example who owns an offer, and who are they running it through. Very handy.
  • Interarchy – My FTP client of choice. I’ve used Interarchy for about 10 years now, I guess. Back then it was called Anarchy, and it’s only gotten better with age. I use it to download lots of files from my remote servers on a schedule, so I have them when I get into the office. I use it to edit files on the server (combined with BBEdit, above, that is). I use it to download entire websites, when I want to keep a copy of them locally. I also use it to mirror certain directories on my compupter, and sync them up with a remote directory, so I’ve always got a backup of my most important stuff in one place.
  • JungleDisk – Remote backup, cheap and blindly easy. I signed up for this service after I lost my hard drive on my laptop the third time. Man, talk about easy remote backups of your important files. I now have it installed on all of my computers (my office iMac, my MacBook Pro, the wife’s MacBook, and our Mac Mini (that we use as a media center)). It’s brain-dead backups are super simple to set up, but more importantly, if I’m on one machine, and need a file from another machine, because I backup files once an hour on all of the computers, I can always find what I need, just by accessing the backups through my JungleDisk powered “network drive” that sits on my desktop.
  • AdiumX – This Instant Messenger client for Mac OS X, is like iChat without the hassle, and with 4 more cylinders. Adium supports all of the major IM services (AIM, MSN, YahooIM, GTalk, ICQ, MobileMe, Facebook, MySpace, and more) and puts them all on steriods, while keeping them in once place. It’s super configurable, and totally customizable, with oodles and oodles of custom “Extras” built by the community of users that use it. Get it, and take iChat out of your dock. You’ll thank me later.
  • NetNewsWire – The Best Damn RSS Reader for Mac. Period. I’ve used NetNewsWire since it was in early early beta, and have tried all of the other RSS Readers, and have always come back to NNW. I even paid for it back before the developer, Brent Simmons, sold it to NewsGator. Thanks to NewsGator syncing, I can read my feeds on my laptop, desktop or iPhone, and never get out of sync, or have to “re-read” a bunch of stuff I’ve already read. I use this to keep up with news in general, and with offers and blog posts coming from Shawn Collins, Jay Weintraub, or Sam Harrelson, or from networks like ClickBooth, etc…
  • Launchbar – I user LaunchBar to get to everything on my Mac without having to go find it. It’s an application launcher, address book interface, and more. Install it, configure it, and hit “command+space” to find someone’s contact info, launch an application, or find a file. Super time-saver.
  • ServerSiren – Need to keep track of whether your servers are up or not? ServerSiren does this for you, and tells you about it in your menubar. Totally a life saver that one time your server goes down.
  • MUMenu – This is a brain-dead simple to use menu bar that will check MacUpdate once a day for you, and tell you what software you have that is out of date, and let you get the update for it really easily.
  • LittleSnitch – Tells me when an application is trying to access something over the internet that maybe I don’t want it to, and let’s me stop it dead in its tracks. Great application for keeping your Mac from revealing too much information without telling you it’s going to do that.
  • VLC – Great for when you want to wind down a little bit. This media player supports everything Quicktime doesn’t, and looks great doing it. Also get Flip4Mac while your at it. It let’s Quicktime play .WMV files. Comes in handy for watching those video clips your uncle or cousin sends you that you know they’re going to ask you about when you see them next.
  • ImageWell – Need a way to quickly edit an image, upload it to a server, and give you the HTML code to put it into a blog post, etc? ImageWell does that and more. I use this app every day.
  • A Better Finder Rename – Ever need to rename a whole bunch of files quickly? ABFR has been around forever, and makes this a painless task. It can pretty much rename files using any method you want, including searching for patterns in file names, and replacing parts of the names using different patterns. Love it!
  • MAMP – A quick and painless way to set up Apache, MySQL and PHP on a Mac. Gives me a super configurable and easily installed lightweight development environment on my machine, so when I can’t get to the server, or don’t want to, I can do some work. If you don’t write code, you don’t need this.
  • SnapzProX – Best Mac OS screenshot and screen recording application out there. Only one thing it doesn’t do, Full Page screenshots. For that, I use Little Snapper which also creates a nice iPhoto like library of all of your screen shots.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a sweet deal on Mac software, check out MacUpdate’s latest MUPromo where you can get $500 worth of software for $49, including Parallels and Tech Tool Pro.

Feedback Loops and Whitelists

Email marketers often ask me two questions:

“where is a list of all of the feedback loops (commonly called FBLs)” and “where can I get whitelisted?”

In general ISPs will give an email sender feedback on their sending practices, in the standard Abuse Feedback Reporting Format (ARF) but not always.

So here’s a list that I’ll try to update as I find new or corrected sources:

Feedback Loops (FBL):

White Lists:

Keep in mind that due to the sheer volume of requests, it can take days or weeks, or sometimes even months to get approved for a FBL account at any given ISP or to get whitelisted. And in some cases, ISPs just stop taking applications at any given time to catch up on the backlog…

The following ISPs don’t provide FBLs or White Lists that I know of, but you can check these pages to find out how to follow up with them if your mail is getting blocked:

SenderScore

And lastly, every commercial or bulk mail sender should be SenderScore Certified. Do that here: http://www.returnpath.net/commercialsender/certification/

New Media Douchebags

Classic:

Inbound Leads Are Priceless

Love this video:

Facebook isn’t Media

The next time someone asks you about “monetizing social media” or asks “what about Facebook, do you have a way for us to make money with Facebook?”, send them this article:

P&G Ad Man: “I Don’t Want To Buy Any More Banners On Facebook.”
Nicholas Carlson | November 17, 2008 5:15 PM
Procter & Gamble spends more than $300 million a year advertising its soaps and foods. If Facebook’s going to be an ad-supported business, it needs some of that money.

Too bad then, that Procter & Gamble’s GM for interactive marketing and innovation, Ted McConnell,” just told a conference: “I really don’t want to buy any more banner ads on Facebook.”

“I have a reaction to [Facebook] as a consumer advocate and an advertiser: What in heaven’s name made you think you could monetize the real estate in which somebody is breaking up with their girlfriend?”

McConnell says branded Facebook applications could work, but that mostly, he rejects the idea that Facebook is social “media”:

“Who said this is media? Media is something you can buy and sell. Media contains inventory. Media contains blank spaces. Consumers weren’t trying to generate media. They were trying to talk to somebody. So it just seems a bit arrogant. … We hijack their own conversations, their own thoughts and feelings, and try to monetize it.”

Facebook won’t be able to win over ad buyers like McConnell with its new “engagement ads.” Advertisers want to be seen as providing new functionality on the social network; they don’t want to pay extra for users to comment on their banners.

Here’s what Facebook should do instead. First, extend Facebook Connect to online retail stores. Second, analyze users’ spending behavior and activity on Facebook, make that data anonymous and sell it to marketers. Third, turn on personal ads and charge more than the New York Times does — about $48/week.

How to post a job for free on LinkedIn

I use LinkedIn to advertise open positions in my company, but, I do it for free, instead of paying for them (we also use Craigslist and the University of Texas Access website for former graduates, since we’re in Austin). All of these options are free. Craigslist and UT Access are great sources of candidates. LinkedIn can be a good source for mid-senior level candidates, but more importantly, it’s a way of advertising your company’s growth or success to your peers, colleagues and associates. When people see your job ad, they usually think something like “Great, John’s company is hiring and growing… that’s awesome!” Posting a job on LinkedIn also gets me back in touch with people I haven’t had a chance or need to talk to in a while, which is an added bonus… as a sales person, there are reasons to talk to people that might be able to bring me business or vice-versa, but I might not be as good at keeping in touch as I should be all the time.

LinkedIn redesigned their website sometime in the past 6 months, and I found myself needing to post a job listing to send to my connections on LinkedIn last week. The old design made it easy to find with a “don’t want to pay now, send your job listing to your connections” call to action ad on the job posting page. With the new design I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to post a job listing for free. So this quick guide is for all of you looking to send a free job posting on LinkedIn to your connections:

1. Login to your account.
2. In the menubar at the top click on “jobs -> post a job”. This takes to you the “Compose a job” section of the “Hiring and Recruiting” section of LinkedIn.

3. Then “compose” the job you want listed.

4. Click “Save Draft” or “Next” it doesn’t matter* (hitting “Next” will save your job posting as a draft)

*I’m assuming it doesn’t matter, you just have to then make sure you don’t actually pay for the job posting on the next page if you click “Next”

5. Click on the “Manage Jobs” tab in the “Hiring and Recruiting” section (you should be there still)

6. On the right, click on “Distribute” next to the job you just posted as a draft.

7. From there, just select your connections and send the posting. Note: You are limited to a certain number of connections, so if you have more than that limit that you want to send the job to, you might have to do these last two steps (6 and 7) a couple of times to get your job sent out to all of your connections.

One note: if you have a lot of connections that aren’t in the same city as you’re hiring, and the job requires living in that city, or relocating… make sure you note that in your job posting. There’s nothing like having to disqualify the high-quality resumes you’ll get from LInkedIn because you didn’t take time to add that piece of information to the job posting.

Hope that helps. Good luck finding the right candidate through LinkedIn.

And yes, we’re hiring a Marketing Manager at my company: UnsubCentral. If you’re interested, or know someone in Austin that might be, contact us through this Craiglist posting, or my LinkedIn profile, if we’re connected.

Thanks!

The Truth in Ad Sales

Priceless:

[hat tip Sam Harrleson]

Letter to the Tree Killing AT&T

Dear AT&T:

I just got my first paper bill for my Apple iPhone.

63 pages.

63 pages of billing for a cell phone.

63 pages of billing for a cell phone that I bought a month ago. 63 pages of paper that came in an oversized envelope that must have weighed a pound… or at least half a pound. It weighed as much as my 9 month’s old shitty diapers for sure.

90% of that 63 pages was dedicated to listing every data connection my iPhone made in the past 30 days.

90% of the bill was dedicated to telling me how much data each connection downloaded.

Let me be clear: I am paying for an “unlimited data” plan. In fact… “unlimited data” is the only way you can buy an iPhone.

Why in God’s name would anyone want to see all of the data connections on their bill AT&T?

“… Bueller? … Bueller? …”

That’s right. They wouldn’t.

So why are they listed?

Please AT&T. Next month, send me a bill with one line item:

Apple iPhone Unlimited Data Plan: $40.

And save the planet some trees, and yourself a shit load of postage money.

ps. Apple: Call AT&T on your spiffy new iPhone and tell them how you’re trying to be a more environmentally friendly computer maker, and that you’d appreciate it if they’d do their part, please.

AppleTV Delayed

Shit. My AppleTV was supposed to ship by Wednesday of this week. Now Apple has gone a delayed the shipment until “mid-March” because they aren’t ready. Shit. I hate it when a company pre-announces stuff. It sets expectations that usually can’t be met. Hope this doesn’t happen to the iPhone. Under-promise and over-deliver is always my motto.

Are Spammers Spoofing Your Newsletter?

Neil Schwartzman of Return Path just posted this article: Are Spammers Spoofing Your Newsletter?. If you’re a publisher, and you send out email, definitely read that article… very insightful… and anyone with a domain should go through the trouble of setting up their SPF headers… please.

Whoops

This is precisely why I got out of the ad network business. Whoops.

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I just ordered an Apple TV

Yes, I did it. I ordered an Apple TV. Want to know why?

Because I’m an Apple dork, and to be honest with you, I’m really not happy with the lack of content available on “standard” HD cable channels, and I’m going to pay another $50/month to get HD movie channels. I’m also tired of storing lots of DVDs in the living room near the TV, so, I’m planning on ripping all of the DVDs I want to watch (including the kids DVDs) and putting them on the Apple TV.

Despite what Robert Scoble said about 720p signals, the Apple TV will be more than capable for what I’m looking for (and it doesn’t matter that he is buying one too. He still shouldn’t be complaining about the specs for the Apple TV. Apple has built something that’ll see more Macs, I think, and more Airports, ad more music and video through the iTunes store. That’s why they built it too, I think, and I applaud them for that.):

What I’m looking for is “easy”.

I want to easily watch my Video Podcasts (Scoble Show, GeekBriefTV, RocketBoom, etc…) while I’m doing other stuff on my laptop at home. About the only time I watch those video podcasts right now, is when I’m on a plane, and that’s only about four times a month. While watching video podcasts on my iPod greatly helps me pass the time on the plane, it also interferes with work that I might want to get done, and there is still more content being produced than I have time to watch on my plane trips.

I want to easily watch movies from the comfort of my couch. I don’t want to have to get up to change the DVD in the DVD player. Sometimes I want to just be a fat lazy ass and grab the remote and browse my collection.

I want to be able to put on music when I want to just “turn off the TV” and play with my kids, and I’ve found having children focused music, or even jazz or classical music, playing in the background really helps the kids (2 years old and 3 months old) play better longer… that music in the background helps them fell more comfortable I think… probably because we play them music before they go to sleep each night. If I can get the music to stream from my iMac to the TV anytime I want it, that means I’ll have mosic in the living room whenever I want it, without having to deal with “what’s in the CD changer?” types of questions and then changing the set from “adult” music to “kid music”. Nothing like hitting play to find the CD changer has nothing but Metallica and Nine Inch Nails in it, when you’re looking for Anne Murray’s children’s albums.

Lastly, I want it to work. Apple products have a habit of “just working”. Sure, every once in a while they have technical malfuntions like the disks going bad, or RAM getting flaked, but, Apple has always fixed my technical problems in 3 or 4 days (max) and I’ve never been dissatisfied by their expertise and customer service. I have a strong feeling this thing will “just work” and I also realize I’ll be upgrading this bad boy once they come out with the 80GB version and then the 120GB version, etc.

I’m totally looking forward to it showing up at our front door. It’ll make the perfect birthday present for my wife.

update:And you should totally go read Ethan’s mini-review of the Apple TV here if you’re thinking about buying one of these. He saw them at MacWorld.

How to Attract Links and Increase Web Traffic

How to Attract Links and Increase Web Traffic – The Ultimate Guide … wow, tell me about it. Great list of links to read about increasing traffic and links.

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Running an Ethical Ad Business

Running an Ethical Ad Business – Great post by Angie McKaig, and a good personal story from “the trenches” of a small publisher. Keep at it Angie!

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The top 12 sins of Marketing Gurus

The top 12 sins of Marketing Gurus (and their books)

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CAN-SPAM

My new job deals with email and CAN-SPAM, so I need to become an expert on CAN-SPAM pretty quickly. If you want to read the law, as I do, here’s a link to a page where you can find the actual act, a summary of the law, and here’s another page with a good overview of the law.

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One Lucky Advertiser

My friend Mike Orren is offering a crazy promotion to drum up some advertising dollars. And the crazy thing about it is that it just might work.

If you’re a Dallas area advertiser looking for a great way to reach people in the DFW Metroplex, you should take a look at PegasusNews and TexasGigs.com. This promotion would be a great way to stay in front of a truly passionate audience for a long time.

Adsense Tools

Top 10 Adsense Tools – cool overlooked AdSense tools

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transparent Scott

This post: Dear Mike, from Scott Johnson is a great example of transparency… which we’ve sort of stopped talking about in the blogosphere… can’t wait to see Ookles launch Scott!

I love Rocketboom

After spending greater than 5 hours on a plane today, I gotta say this:

I LOVE ROCKETBOOM!

Yes. I do.

I started watching Rocketboom very infrequently about a year ago, then I bought an iPod Video (after losing my iPod nano) and that made it easy to watch videos when I was on the road traveling.

Right now, I’ve got a good 30 episodes of Rocketboom in iTunes that hadn’t been watched as of this morning… but I’ve watched 10 or so of them on my flights… love it, love it, love it. (I really only watch Rocketboom, or listen to podcasts in general for that matter, when I’m on a flight or in the car for longer than 5 minutes – no I don’t drive and watch Rocketboom on my iPod at the same time)

Thanks Amanda and Peter. Keep it up!

Oh, and I loved the TRM advertisements you made… very cool and fun. Think they’d sell me one? Who do I call? I need an ATM for the kitchen… I’ll put it right next to the microwave.

Love it when you use the word “verily” makes me think of Emily Bronte.

Well Designed URLs

Well Designed URLs are Beautiful! – totally agreed.

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Google Ads in Print

This is the first example I’ve seen of Google Ads in Print – it’s pretty easy to tell that Google is making money off the phone calls for sure… those 800 numbers are specifically tied to this ad, and are calling “pay per call” ads. I wonder if they’re also making money off people that type in the URL directly to a browser? And I don’t get what the Sun-Times is thinking other than the fact that this might help them shore up ad revenue a little in the short term while the courts figure out how much money their old bosses stole from them.

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The Art of Schmoozing

The Art of Schmoozing — Can I just shout this out loud now: “I LOVE READING GUY KAWASAKI!!!” … ok, got that off my chest… This post from Guy is one great example of why I wish I could work for the man. In fact, if I could afford to, I’d work for Guy with no pay, just to learn from the man.

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Blogtimize!

Blogtimize! – from Google. Look for mass change on blogs as far as ad placement over the next week or two… here included probably.

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Need Representation?

If you’re building or launching a new website, and want someone to sell the ads for you (that is, to represent your site) you might want to look at this list: ABC’s of ad networks. Not 100% comprehensive by anymeans (there are plenty of niche networks out there like Active Athlete Media and the Travel Ad Network – just two good examples) but it’s a good list to start with.

160 Highest Paying Search Terms

160 Highest Paying Search Terms – good list.

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Always be ready to pitch

I learned something this week about pitching your business idea to an Angel: “One of the rules I’ve learned about being an entrepreneur is that you have to always be ready to pitch” from Scott’s Accomplishment of the Week post.

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Deconstructnig the Newspaper

Deconstructnig the Newspaper – yes, yes, and more yes. Newspapers should really think about the way they operate their businesses if they want to be relevant in the next 10 years.

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Dell Customer Service …

I’ve been tempted by the Dell pricepoint on some of their larger LCD monitors, but in this post, Jeremy details one example of why I won’t buy Dell just because they’re cheap. They’re cheap for a reason folks. Enough bad stories like this one, and less and less people will buy Dell, too…

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Local online advertising alternative

If you own a retail store, and are looking for a smart local online advertising alternative, you might look at StepUp. It’s like ShopLocal, but as I user, I personally find it more useable… too bad they only have one store in Austin listed in the system, as I’d really like to find a way ot find what I want locally instead of driving to two or three different places to find what I’m looking for (I’m really tired of doing that).

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Bored?

If you’re bored, or having a bad day, go play with entertainmentanytime.com – lots of fun.

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11 Techniques to Increase Page Views on Your Blog

11 Techniques to Increase Page Views on Your Blog

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Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

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Men’s Brains vs. Women’s Brains

Your Brain on Shopping – a great little read on the differences between Men’s brains and women’s brains when it comes to shopping.

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Should you be blogging?

Does Your Company Belong in the Blogosphere? – From the HBS.

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Urchin is Free

Google: Start acting like a real business or you’re doomed – I’ve sort of wondered all day what sort of impact Google’s announcement about making Urchin free would have… this is one example of what that reaction looks like… I also think that you have to remember: You get what you pay for. So if free analytics is your bag, don’t go looking for it to do more than give you free analytics…

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If you could change one thing

– lots of good little tips that have big payoffs

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Press Paid to Write Good News

Press Paid to Write Good News – This is preposterous. And really, really sad.

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Something Rotten in AdSense

Something Rotten in AdSense

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Blogs as marketing tools: BNL

I just want to point out how good a weblog can be as a marketing tool, with this example: The BNL Blog from none other than the Bare Naked Ladies, the band.

Reading the BNL Blog, which they’re writing while they’re recording their newest album, is totally getting me pumped up about the new album.

Examples:

From 10/21/2005:

We’re just finishing up our 3rd bed for today… Nice. We did Kev’s song first. After lunch we did “What a Letdown”… which totally friggin’ rocked. We’re just finishing up some fixes on “I Can, I Will, and I Do”. We’ve put all the songs into an iTunes playlist, and Steve just keeps pressing random to decide what we do next. So far it’s been pretty good. We’re all heading up to the house to get into the hot tub. Tomorrow I think we’re going to go for some lead vocals on the group of beds we have thus far. I’m always nervous about singing… always. It may be one of the only things I sweat about.

That’s total transparency, and a little exciting to read.

From 10/20:

By the way, Ed’s right, his scarf does look kind of dumb. Right now he’s across the table from me singing his heart out, but I can’t stop staring at his scarf.

… as well as a pretty good explanation of why ticket prices are what they are on tour, that feels pretty darned honest.

and:

Day 2 of recording. I have ambitions of a 3 song day today. We got the first one, and we’re about to break for lunch. A couple of 3 song days would put us in a really good position for the start of the tour. We’d like to get all the beds done before we break for the tour. It is an absolute pleasure to be working with Susan again. The weather here is great. It’s one of those crisp fall days. The leaves are all gold and red, you can see your breath… nice. I got a new scarf. I thought the guys would tease me mercilessly about it, but nobody’s said a word! Scarves are the new black. I wore my scarf for this last take. I think it made the take. Actually, I was just cold.

Reading their entries as they make these latest recordings has me looking forward to spending money on their new album…

That’s marketing by blog, and it should be a case-study. Each member of the band is getting in on the action, letting me learn a little more about who they are individually, as well as pumping me up for the new album by letting me be part of the experience.

I love it!

Budding Film Maker?

Here are a few links to good resources for the budding film maker:

RonDexter.com – no nonsense answers to questions about film making
The Complete EEJIT’S Guide to Film Making
No Budget Video – the making of…
Beginners Guide To Digital Video Production

Seen originally here: http://www.andyt13.com/movies.htm

How to Buy RSS Advertising

How to Buy RSS Advertising: Parts I and II.

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Google AdWords Info

I, Cringley: October 6, 2005: Meeting Over a Cup of Java: Some Thoughts on What’s Behind This Week’s Sun/Google Announcement, Plus a Promised AdWords Update read through, to the comments on Google’s Adwords… good info to file away.

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