Posts tagged with ‘Blogging’

Blog Income Strategy 101

Dave Winer claims he has earned over $2M from his blog, and not an ad in sight. Ever. Wow.

Dave clearly gets what the value of his blog is to his business: It proves his expertise to his market with every post.

I have talked before about how online content models are notoriously poor performers if the goal is to make money directly from the content via advertising or selling premium content. There are exceptions, sure, but on the whole, unless your blog is grabbing 2,000 sets of eyeballs a day or better (fraction of % of all blog sites on the web, by the way), advertising really isn’t going to make you rich.

But if you blog to prove your expertise, to provide value to your intended audience, to extend your brand and increase your visibility, then even a modest few hundred monthly visitors can turn into a valuable increase in your business.

Content proves expertise. Use your blog to engage your market and demonstrate what you know, and you’ll stay flush with paid work.

(NOTE: I was asked by a friend how I could afford to give away so much knowledge on my blog for free, if I hoped that people would pay me for my expertise? My answer is simple: General expertise is free. Applied expertise isn’t.)

Are You a Content Consumer or Creator?

The title probably says it all, but let me unpack the “why” behind the question.

Internet 101 time… The reason people get online is to find things. In a word, content. Whether it’s Google or YouTube or blogs or traditional media outlets, the web serves up content. Content is KING.

So. We all consume it. But how many of us produce or provide it?

Being a content provider is really about adding value. Participating in the information economy is the first step toward proving your expertise in your market. It’s also the most viral way of telling others about what you know and what you do.

ladder_3

Where are you on this ladder? Have you added a blog comment or a review lately? Have you started blogging or podcasting yet?

The ones at the top of this ladder know something you might not know yet: Content isn’t as hard to produce as you think, and the rewards are often quite large.

9 Low Cost Opportunities in 2009

Happy New Year! Some of you no doubt would like to put last year far behind, but if there was one word to sum up what this new year holds for all of us, in my opinion, it would be: OPPORTUNITY.

As a small business person, opportunity has always been found in the places where there is real need. In our case, those needs have centered on companies who are branding and creating marketing messages in various digital forms. We are so proud to have worked with such a great client roster during the past year, and hopefully met some pressing needs in web design, print design motion graphics design and video production. Thank you all for making last year such a fun one for us!

As a feeble thank you, here are 9 Low Cost Opportunities for Your Business in 2009.

  1. Determine the stress points of your customers, and develop legitimate marketing that positions your product or service as the immediate relief they seek. Acute economic stress can become a great motivator to solve a nagging problem.  Do you know what your product or service addresses in today’s buying climate?
  2. Down time during the first quarter? There is no better time to revisit your web site strategy and make sure it is really working for you. Some of our clients saw exponential growth occur in their business, simply by optimizing a few pages of text for search engines, or adding intelligent, descriptive video!
  3. Take advantage of the holes in your market left by competitors who couldn’t weather the recession. Many competitors are thankful when a business offers to step up and take over a client roster, to support their orphans instead of leaving them in a lurch.
  4. Position yourself as an expert in your market. Write articles. Take speaking engagements. BLOG! Much of the “getting to know and trust you” phase of new client development can be taken care of in this way.
  5. Twitter. Share valuable links to solid, relevant information aimed at people in your marketplace.
  6. Organize a small social event for people  in your client list who need to know each other.  Ask them to invite some of their best customers as well.
  7. Revamp your business card. It’s an inexpensive move that can have a transformative effect on your first impressions.
  8. Start a podcast to cover industry news, or tips and tricks, Q & A, how-to.  Offer the audio in a player on your site as well as a downloadable, and get your feed listed in a dozen or more podcast directories where people often look for information related to your area of expertise.
  9. Has the economic news spooked your customers and made them overly price sensitive?  Find ways to redefine your value in terms that make sense to them in this light.  An example: KFC started a video commercial campaign that more or less dared people to try to cook a 7 piece dinner with two sides for less than could be had in their stores.  No one was paying attention to the fact that it used to be an 8 peice deal for the same price, because the focus became the value of the deal they were offering, compared to the time and expense of making it yourself.

Well, from the team at Harkins Creative, we sincerely wish you a prosperous New Year full of ripe opportunities! Let us know how we can help.

Dream Twitter App for Windows Mobile

After trying out a handful of Twitter apps, I decided that there just isn’t one out there that does exactly what I want. Having been a part of a development team, and hearing users say we were missing the boat sometimes, I thought I would tell anyone interested what I’d like to see in a Twitter app for a Windows Mobile device. If you build it, let me know!

1) An immediately accessible line on my Today Page, where I could text my Tweet and get it live with no hassle, just like Twit Today (bravo on this, Dale Lane!)

2) A compact yet beautiful stream browser with avatars, an easy way to @ someone’s specific Tweet, and even integrate with TwitPic, like ceTwit, although the UI on that one needs a sprucing, imho.

3) The familiar “Older” button from the Twitter site, for going back in the stream a ways. Of all the apps I tested, NONE had this, and I cannot imagine that it would be that hard to do.

For mobile use, this is about all I really want. Account management, follow/unfollow, etc. is not all that important to me.

Thanks in advance!

(Update: I just found pocketwit and it has pretty much THE BEST interface design of all of them I found. Avatars, twitpic support with access to camera and image browser, GPS updating. And a Sa-weeet kinetic interface! Kudos and thanks!)

Video Comments on Blogs

I have to say that I have been for the idea of audio and video comments on blogs and social network sites since I first imagined them (and yes, it was long before Michael Arrington said he wanted them, and introduced them on his site. I’m not saying I was the first to think of them, though.). It was only a matter of time, and if my other development company hadn’t been so busy building even cooler audio and video social technologies, I might have gotten around to building it myself.

Many opinions, both FOR and AGAINST video comments, have run amok over the past few weeks. I have already said I like the idea, and despite what the SEO pundits say, I think they CAN be a good strategy for getting your site noticed.

But what interests me even more is the clear divide emerging between those that feel that the web is destined to be a multimedia playground, and those that would rather keep it text-based, at least when it comes to the “tried and true” activities of blogging, forums and wikis (as if they’ve been around long enough to be called ingrained!).

The web is supposed to do things. Commenting, by its interactive nature, fulfills the promise of new media, but to say that video commenting misses the boat is a little disingenuous, if you ask me.