2007 | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral - Part 5

Yearly Archives: 2007

Your Blog Design Is Your Brand

What does your blog design say about you and your brand? I say everything.

I recently updated this theme to a more “classic” type theme that fits what I am. I’m a consultant/speaker/marketing guy who needed to show that. So when you visit this blog, you immediately get a feel for who I am and what I represent.

My friend Zac Johnson just updated his blog design to a more “super, money making affiliate” type of theme because that’s what his blog is all about. That’s what Zac is… he’s a super affiliate. Makes sense.

Your blog design is your brand.

As I’ve stated many times before, your brand, to me, is really the experience your customers/readers/viewers (whatever) have with you (MPDailyFix Blog). So if you’re a blogger, the experience is usually the ways a reader can interact with you, and that starts with your blog design.

For Zac’s blog, he’s chosen to go beyond what most bloggers in his space are doing. Instead of just having comments on blog posts, Zac is asking for participation. I think this is a very smart way to build traffic and loyal readers.

What Zac is doing is allowing his readers to tip him using my ScratchBack widget (shameless plug). The tip is $25 for a full-week spot on his sidebar. But here’s what’s different. From his blog post.

Join Zac’s Top Spots:
A cool new program from my good friend Jim Kukral. Jim’s all about having fun with marketing, so he came up with ScratchBack… which is a new fun way to “tip” sites, while getting a link back in return. I really like the concept, but I wanted to bring it a step further. In addition to giving Jim’s program some much deserved exposure, I wanted to offer something extra for my blog readers as well. You can buy (or “tip”) your way into my Top Spots for a small price of $25 a week. In addition to receiving a Top Spots Link, I’ll also send you a new Black MoneyReign t-shirt. Send me a pic of you wearing the shirt and I’ll add your pic and a link back to your site/blog url on my blog TopSpots page.

So what Zac has done really is…

  • Let all of his readers advertise on his site for a low-cost, not just the higher-priced advertisers
  • Enabled them to participate beyond just leaving comments
  • Giving them a Zac Johnson t-shirt in return, plus the opportunity for them to take a picture of themselves in the t-shirt to send back to him, which he’ll then post up in his photo section, driving more traffic to them

Zac’s current tip price is only $25 for a full week of space in his top spots. Considering he has over 1,000 rss readers alone and over 25,000 page views per month from over 13,000 unique visitors… that’s a pretty darn good deal in my book.

No Google Juice? No Tip For You?

Donna over at Seo-Scoop.com wrote a ponderous post today musing about why more people in the SEO industry aren’t more willing to advertise if no Google juice is involved.

I love Scratchback and the whole concept behind it (Scratchback is that widget to the right that says Are You In My TopSpots?). I might not be totally crazy about the nofollowed links, but hey, they are Google-friendly, so I’m doing the “right thing”, right? I understand people don’t want to pay a lot of money for G-friendly links – I get that. But when it’s difficult to practically give them away – what’s up with that???

She then asks the million dollar question (bold emphasis is mine)…

When did the concept of advertising disappear? Is it ONLY about link juice? Hey, I’m an SEO. I love link juice. It’s the nectar of the search heavens. But I also appreciate the idea of cheap, targeted traffic. Juice or no juice, what I want at the end of the day, is cheap, targeted traffic. You don’t?

You can read my thoughts on this topic in her comments.

Very interesting discussion to say the least.

Video Blog Or Web Show – What’s The Difference?

Today on the Video Ninjas radio show, Steve and I talked quite a bit about online videos and entertainment. Specifically, we talked about the difference between a “web show”, and a “video blog”. Not that it really matters what the difference is… I just like talking about it.

What’s A Video Blog?

A video blog, to me, is something like 1938media, or Chris Brogan’s Attention Upgrade. Samples below.

I consider these more “unedited streams of consciousness” where you turn on the camera and start talking. Usually you film yourself wherever you are at the moment, and usually you’re basically unscripted beyond a simple idea of what you want to say.

What’s A Web Show?

I think a web show is more like what Gary V is doing. Or what ZEfrank was doing with the show. A web show is somewhat, or fully scripted. In other words, you have a list of things you want to talk about, and you move through them one by one, either reading through a bulleted list of things or off a teleprompter. A web show is also usually shot on a single set location. Lastly, a web show usually includes more intro and title graphics.

Again, I don’t think that it really matters, nor do I wish to be the person who is snooty enough to want to own some type of classification on the difference. I simply am trying to point out what I see in the world of online video entertainment.

The Daily Flip will be more of a web show I think, based upon my own thoughts above.

I Use Technorati For One Thing Only: Brand Tracking

Today Technorati “relaunched” with a bunch of new stuff I guess. Like Allen, I’m still trying to figure out exactly what that stuff is and what problems it solves for me.

It seems they tried really hard today to explain what they’re doing, but they broke the cardinal rule of marketing. Which is…

Don’t tell me what you do, tell me how what you do solves problems for me.

Here’s how I use Technorati.

I log in and type my brand name and search for people mentioning my brand.

That’s it.

Am I missing something? Is there something else you can really do with it?

What problem does it solve for me?

And what’s with them ignoring video?

Online Videos Convert For My Marketing Consulting Business

I just finished writing up a piece over at ReveNews about how online video converts… well. I’m sure you’re getting the point I keep driving in, over and over, and over?

Online video is where it’s at. Check out this chart.

As I said at ReveNews…

So first look at the left pie chart on the left. 59% of the people surveyed admitted to having seen a video on the Internet. Not sure what planet the “I don’t know” 14% live on.

Now to the right. Of those 59% who watched an online video…

22% requested information, 18% went to a store, 15% made a purchase, 9% signed up for a trial, 3% ordered a subscription

Would you call those conversion goals? Would you kill for those off-the-chart conversion numbers? I sure as heck would!

Let me tell you a story about video conversion. I created these five simple videos with my home camera earlier this year. I shot them in my office, with lights I bought from the Home Depot for $50.

Each short video was done without a script, in one take, and took me about 10 minutes to shoot. Here’s one of those videos.

These simple videos promoting my online marketing consulting business consistently generate about 3-5 consulting phone calls A WEEK! No advertising at all.

People are finding my videos on YouTube. Yes, I said they are searching in YouTube and finding me, and then calling me (converting). The best part is, they call me and say, “Your video talked “to” me. I watched it and immediately felt that you understand my problems and could help me, so I called.”

Powerful? I think so.

Make a video today. You won’t regret it.

I Work In Bursts, How About You?

I’m what you would call a “burst” worker. Instead of planning out a bunch of ideas and scheduling them to be done on certain dates and in certain order, I instead aggregate a bunch of thoughts over time, then when I feel ready, I quickly push all of them into production and get them done as fast as possible with tweaking to come after.

I’m an Internet geek marketer with information overload.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

All in about 8-hours or so of working time. Tomorrow I may do nothing except catch up on RSS feeds and check email. This is how I work.

Now I know this is probably not the most productive way to get things done. A smart person probably plans out their tasks and goals and sets dates for them. I can understand how that can be much more productive.

How do you “get stuff done”? I’m interested to hear how other people accomplish their tasks. Maybe you’ll give everyone a tip we can all use. I’m open to change. :)

Link Sellers: Google Don’t Want Yo Money

Today, in what means to me that they REALLY mean business, Google decided that you can’t advertise with them if you’re trying to promote the selling of links that pass page rank.

Google continues to crack down on those text link advertising methods which don’t carry the “nofollow” attribute as a “machine-readable disclosure.” The latest move, triggered by communication between Google’s web spam team and the Google AdWords department, as Google’s Matt Cutts says, is to disallow the advertising for such PageRank-selling schemes via Google.

The assault on link brokers continues. Gotta give Google credit though… they are putting their money where their mouth is. Wait, does that make sense? I think so.

You Need 500,000 Viewers A Month To Quit Your Job & Be An Online Video Star!

That what an executive from Blip.tv said in an article at TVweek.com.

“There is a very good chance that people creating shows that reach 500,000 viewers a month or more will be able to go full-time,” Ms. Kaplan said. “I don’t know if you should quit your job, but if you reach 500,000 people a month or more, you will have opportunities to monetize it.”

Furthermore…

If a show has an audience of only 20,000 people per month, the creator should spend his or her time building an audience rather than finding a sponsor, she advised.

I find this type of analysis fascinating because this is what I do for a living. I help online businesses monetize.

So I tend to agree with the numbers talked about above. It is VERY difficult right now to monetize online video, but… it’s early in the game. VERY early. Give it a year or so and we’ll see many more “regular” people break out into the scene and start to earn from their video shows.

More great tidbits from the article…

On iJustine

Her video blog, TastyBlog Snack.com, averages between 30,000 and 100,000 viewers per video. Ms. Ezarik publishes two to three segments per week, generating less than $1,000 a month. She also works as a freelance graphic artist and a consultant on viral marketing.

On Gary V

Gary Vaynerchuk, host of WineLibrary.tv, draws 40,000 viewers each day to his unscripted, off-the-cuff show about wine. His online identity, as America’s un-snooty wine guy, has caught on by making knowledge about wine accessible to average Joes and Janes.

Finally, some great advice on how to make it as a video blogger.

How to Make It as a Video Blogger
A successful video blog needs to have three things.

First: The first is a topic that is sustainable, said Michael Hayes, senior VP of interactive at Initiative North America. “You can write on cats, but kitty cats aren’t too sustainable. But politics, at least this year, is sustainable, or entertainment news.”

Second: A video blog needs a revenue model—advertising, in most cases.

Third: But to attract ads, a blogger must have the third element—an audience. “You need to have enough traffic to generate eyeballs and interest,” he said. Mr. Hayes advises prospective bloggers to link up with a network of blogs, like the Huffington Post, or to start developing a reputation as a blogger by posting entries to sites such as About.com, which pay for expert commentary on various topics.

Here’s a link to the author of this excellent article.

Top 5 Reasons You Won’t You Start Doing Online Video

Everyone has an excuse for not wanting to do online video. Take my friend Kevin for example.

Kevin is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. But I can’t convince him to get himself on video. If you aren’t reading Kevin’s blog about his life in Santa Barbara, California, then you’re missing one of the funniest, sarcastic and clever blogs out there today.

The guy is a natural performer and entertainer, yet… no matter what I do, no matter what I say…I can’t get him to pick up a video camera of any type and film himself.

My fight with Kevin got me thinking about the reasons why people don’t start making online videos.

Here’s my short list of reasons why most people won’t do online videos…

#5 – I Don’t Know What To Say
Bad excuse. You write a blog don’t you? You express yourself through words, right? So picking up a camera is only a little different. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just start filming yourself. You don’t even have to show it anyone at first if you don’t want.

#4 – I Look Stupid On Camera
I’ll never understand this one. You look… like you look. You talk to people every day face-to-face, so why worry about people you don’t even see who are watching you? You do leave the house right? People do see you. Get over it.

#3 – It’s Too Hard To Figure Out How To Make Videos
The technology we have today makes it easier than ever. Try the Flip video camera, or try Seesmic, or try the new upload video tool at Magnify. You can spend about $30 for a webcam to get started.

#2 – I Don’t Know How To Write A Video Script
I don’t write scripts for my videos. I have an idea about something to say, and I turn on the camera and I say it. Yes, half the time my words come out not as good as they would on a written post, but I guarantee you my video posts are more effective because they are real. One trick I use is to simply bullet point out my thoughts on a piece of paper or a sticky note and paste it where I can see and go through point by point.

#1 – I’m Scared To Try It
This is the number one reason people tell me they don’t want to start making online videos. I believe it’s a combination of the things mentioned above, and believe me, I completely understand. When I first started doing videos over a year ago I was really critical of myself and was worried my videos would be stupid.

But you know what? After time I realized that what I’m doing is better, or as good, at 99% of the stuff that’s out there already. There are no mistakes right now in video world. Why? Because nobody (in the grand scheme of things) is really doing it yet. We are all pioneers in this thing.

Got anymore reasons why you don’t want to start doing online videos? Share them here.

Want Something Reviewed On The Daily Flip?

My new daily webshow called The Daily Flip begins airing next week. Here’s a page that talks more about what the show is going to be.

The Daily Flip

The Daily Flip will be short, daily videos that focus on the world I live and play in online. Things like…

* Online marketing news & analysis
* Reviews of books, websites, software, tools, etc…
* Rants
* Definitions of common industry terms
* Whatever else I can think of

I’ve already scripted out the first 20 or so shows, but I’m looking for more things to review or talk about. Want me to review your website, or service, or whatever on the show? Just contact me with your idea.

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