Branding | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral - Part 4

Category Archives for "Branding"

Jason Calacanis Wants To Be The Next Mark Cuban

Yet another reason why Jason Calacanis is successful. He knows how to get attention and brand himself, just like Mark Cuban.

jason20C.jpgThe word is on the street that he’s going to try and take on Google and build a search engine.

So what’s the idea? It’s a cross between Wikipedia and Google. Calacanis’ new site will create more digestible search results for popular queries such as the names of Hollywood stars, and tech products. The pages will be seeded, initially, with content gathered automatically from the web and other sources. But they will be open to contributions by readers. Sounds like Wikipedia? Yes: except Calacanis will employ paid editors to oversee the pages.

C’mon, we all know nobody could pull this off. You’re not going to beat Google? So what is he really up to?

What Jason is doing is classic branding association. You associate yourself with the types of business/people/projects that you want to attract. The laws of attraction anyone? Anyone realize he works for a venture firm?

I gotta give Jason credit, again, he’s a big name, and it was going to be hard to get to the next level. This is a step in the right direction.

What about you? What’s your branding goals? Do you associate yourself with brands that help your cause? It can work.

More on this story at Techmeme.

Your Brand Is Defined By Your Audience Expectations

Is Mark Cuban right? Is a publisher’s decision to run a “low-quality” ad a brand killer? In other words, if you’re a TV station, and you run penis pill ads, are you killing your brand through this association? All for the quick buck?

Very interesting questions, and can go on multiple levels of media publishing, not just television.

zzzmkbhvg11.jpg

I would argue that this is really about expectations. I believe that television viewers “expect” to see penis pill ads and the like at 2am. Therefore, they’re ok with it.

What about the web? What about print? Radio?

What about your blog?

Ask yourself… What do your readers/listeners/viewers EXPECT from you?

Deviate from that expectation, and your brand will suffer.

You Want Short-Term Traffic, Or Long-Term Trust & Respect For Your Blog?

Here’s your Kukral blog tip o’ the day. You can’t fake or quick-hit your way into being a “big time blog”. There is no quick road other than to provide high-quality content consistently over time, while building respect and trust.

Here’s what you shouldn’t do, and I’m sorry to have to do this because I recently added this blog to my blogroll because I noticed it was everything I mentioned above. Yet now, it’s going down a path that won’t work for me.

Sorry Mark at 45n5.com, but you are losing me. Here’s why.

#1 Reason Your Blog Is Almost Off My Blogroll: Blog Attacks With No Merit

You attacked a respected industry person without merit. Now don’t get me wrong, attacking respected industry people is something I have done as well, and it works. However, you can ONLY do it when you’re right and can back up your case. What you’re claiming to Sam is crapola, and a very transparent attempt to get yourself some controversial traffic.

The problem is, again, controversial traffic is great, if you can back up your points, and you’re only concerned about short-term hits. If you want long-term readers, this is not the way to go.

45n5.jpg#2 Reason Your Blog Is Almost Off My Blogroll: Don’t Try To Fool Your Readers

You’re gaming your stats to try and fool me and your readers. So, all of a sudden your blog is ranked #1 in Alexa, you charge $10k for a Reviewme review, and you have 368k feed subscribers? We all know how to game those stats and that’s what you did. Your sitemeter stats show you have 73 visits a day.

I ask why? What do you gain by trying to fool readers into believing something that isn’t true? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that deception is successful marketing and branding, it’s not.

Advice: Decide What You Want Your Blog To Be & Stick With It

Then live with the consequences of your choice. I see what you’re doing. You’re trying to hyper-grow your readership though some of the oldest blog tricks in the book. Believe me, I know, because I’ve used them all, and they work, however, excessive over-use of them will define what your blog and you become.

Know what I’ve learned since having been blogging since 2001? Long term, that strategy won’t work, assuming you want to build a long-term brand and trust level in your community. Chose wisely is all I’m saying.

I’m hoping to keep you on my blogroll because until today your blog was winning with me. What’s it gonna be?

I’m An Affiliate Marketer & My Blog Has Affiliate Links. What Else Should You Expect?

Mark at 45n5 (what does 45n5 mean anyway?) is talking more about disclosure on his blog these days. It’s good conversation, but it got me thinking.

I’m a long-time full disclosure guy, having fought the PayPerPost battles and many other blog battles over the years and recently. So I get the need to disclose, heck, I even invented these blog honor badges.

Disclosure is all about deception and intent. If it is your intent to fool or deceive someone for your own personal gain, then you have bigger problems than disclosure, you have ethical issues you need to deal with. Some, like me, would also tell you to watch your karma.

The point is, disclosure is good, but not always necessary. Sure, I’ve used the (aff) before, but you know why? I have used it to specifcally draw attention to a an affiliate link so that my friends and readers would use it because it would be clear to that that it would help me. I do that all the time on blogs that I read.

For example, this is my personal blog. I’m an affiliate marketer. I’m also a blogger. I’m also a “self proclaimed expert” in the industry of which I practice.

So, should I blatently disclose when I have an affiliate link on this blog?

Or…

Should it just be expected that I promote affiliate links because “that’s what I do” and therefore it should be know I’m not trying to “get over” on anyone by tricking them?

So What’s The Difference?

Again, it comes back to intent, and throw in some earned trust. Do I intend on making some money from my blog? Yes. Do I intend to promote products that suck so I can make a buck maybe? No.

You will find affiliate links on this blog.

And when you see them, I hope that you’ll understand that they are there because that’s part of how I make my living, and frankly, why not? I’ve earned the trust on my name through years of experience and work in the industry. I am NOT trying to trick you.

When developing your own ideas about disclosure, be sure to think about what your readers expect from you, and how much they trust you first.

How to Monetize Your Blog – The Entrepreneur Magazine eBiz Show

I had the pleasure of appearing on the air with Chris Malta and Robin Cowie of the Entrepreneur Magazine eBiz Show the other day. We talked about how to monetize you blog. The show was broken up into three segments, which can be listened to here.

Segment 1 – Mp3 or read transcript.
Segment 2 – Mp3 or read transcript.
Segment 3 – Mp3 or read transcript.

Blogging is one of the biggest trends on the internet right now, but a blog can do more than give you an online voice. It can also generate significant revenue for your ebusiness. Joining us today is Jim Kukral, founder of BlogKits.com, to share different ways you can turn your blog into a serious income stream.

It was a huge honor to be on this show for so many reasons. First off, Chris Malta (CEO) and Robin Cowie (President) of Worldwide Brands are amazingly smart people who I admire. Secondly, I am an avid read of Entrepreneur magazine.

If you haven’t heard of WorldwideBrands.com, it’s The Internet’s recognized leader in EBiz Product Sourcing. They connect online sellers with highly qualified wholesale suppliers. They have a great product that I need to blog about soon as well.

Want To Monetize Your Blog? Start Thinking About “Fun”

Recently I launched a little thing called Kukral’s Top Bananas. Anyone can buy the top banana spot for $10.00, and upload a graphic and get a link.

I can hear you now saying, “Jim, are you nuts? What is this top banana stuff?”. Look, it’s all about having some fun and testing new ideas and finding new and creative ways to monetize blogs and get publicity and all that cool stuff.

But mostly, it’s just about having some fun. If it was about money, I’d charge way more than $10 measly bucks to become the Kukral top banana of the moment.

Our first top banana is listed below, or can be seen here. Thanks for participating.

Small Business Ideas Forum – Small business people come to share their knowledge, find help and encourage one another. A friendly place to discuss small business marketing, finance, employees, books, taxes, tech, you name it.

Do you concentrate on “fun”? Have a look at ZEfrank’s home page. See all the fun? He built his brand on it, in fact, his very first step to stardom was a fun little thing that showed him dancing like a moron.

People love fun. That’s one of the primary reasons people come to the Internet.

When was the last time you thought about doing something fun? Maybe it’s time?

Have you experimented with fun? Go ahead, share some examples of what you might have done here in the comments. I’d love to hear about it.

New York Times: Shmuly-Tube Tearing Down The Walls

Well, well, well. Shmuly made it into the New York Times, with a lead in on Techmeme today.

As Sam points out, “traditional walls between media, content and creation are crumbling all around us”. Yep, and this is further, real, proof of that.

No one would mistake the Ask a Jew guy for Lonelygirl15, but these days YouTube contributor Shmuel Tennenhaus is feeling like a hot commodity.

Mr. Tennenhaus, an aspiring comedy writer who gained a modest following on YouTube for his droll question-and-answer clips and other spots featuring his grandmother “Bubby,” is being wooed by the site’s competitors, including Metacafe, ManiaTV and others, with promises of guaranteed exposure, a share of advertising money, or both.

“It’s all very odd,” said Mr. Tennenhaus, speaking from Hallandale, Fla. His YouTube channel, Oneparkave, has logged roughly 32,000 visits and a few hundred subscribers since last fall. “My parents say I’m special, but I can’t imagine I’m the only guy they’re contacting.”

It’s not odd to me Shmuly. From the time we added you to our blogging list at ReveNews last year, I always knew you “had it”. The question is now, how far can you “take it”?

An Awesome Way To Start Your Week, Make Yourself Awesome!

If you’re new to the ADHD world of Jim Kukral and his many projects, then perhaps you didn’t know that I’m awesome. So awesome in fact, that I’m the co-founder of the Awesome Million, a website that lets anyone or anything become officially awesome, for free.

Me “Awesome Jim” and my business partner “Awesome Dave” are on a mission to help 1 million people, places or things prove their awesome-nicity. So far, over 1,000 awesome pages have been created, ranging from people, to websites, to just plain old wierd stuff. Here’s a few of my favorites.

» BumpZee.IsReallyAwesome.com
AwesomeMillion Member # 441

» bacon.IsReallyAwesome.com
AwesomeMillion Member # 359

» CrazyFrog.IsReallyAwesome.com
» AwesomeMillion Member # 237


» StarWarsKid.IsReallyAwesome.com
» AwesomeMillion Member # 108

And the list goes on and on.

Want to read more about this wacky idea? Here’s our info page.

Here’s a video of me and Dave talking about Awesome Million. Slightly entertaining.

Here’s me and Dave seeing who can eat a stack of crackers the fastest to the tune of Eye of the Tiger.

View all videos by us nutjobs here.

Finally, check out our national media coverage with photos!

What are you waiting for? Become Awesome today!

MyBlogLog Teeters On The Uncool Ledge, Will They Fall?

mybloglog.jpgIt doesn’t take much to become “uncool”. I’m telling you, one minute you can be the Fonz, and the next minute they catch you picking your nose and the Fonz becomes the dweeb. ‘Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyy!, Nerd!’

I’ve got a message for the crew at MyBlogLog. In case you missed the drama, here’s a recap over at Techmeme.

Summary: Shoemoney has been messing with security flaws in MyBlogLog and posting about them. MyBlogLog got fed up and banned his account, and now the backlash against MBL is beginning to build in the form of protests and removal of the code from some popular bloggers’ sites.

I Wrote About MyBlogLog & This Scenario Earlier This Year

Over at my blog at MarketinProfs.com, I wrote ‘You Can’t Just Be Cool, You Either Are, Or You Aren’t‘.

Don Dodge wrote… “Yahoo has acquired MyBlogLog reportedly for $10 million. Does anyone stop to do the math on these things? MyBlogLog started business in July…just 6 months ago, and they have 5 employees. They reportedly serve 45,000 blogs, have 33,000 registered users, and zero revenue. Valuing startups is an inexact science for sure, but there are some guidelines. Here are a few “back of the napkin” approaches without the benefit of any due diligence or facts.”

potsie.jpgDon certainly seems right. His argument makes a lot of sense from a financial standpoint (I guess), however, what Don is missing is one key factor that “numbers guys” can’t seem to buy into, and that is…

You can’t just be cool, you either are, or you aren’t.

MyBlogLog didn’t get acquired because of the money, it got acquired because Yahoo! knows cool when it sees it, and realized that no matter how much less $$$ they could spend on developing something similar, it would be extremely hard to reinvent cool. The challenge for Yahoo! now is to keep the cool bottled up and fresh.

The Moral Of This Story Is?

Banning Shoemoney is a big mistake, regardless if he deserved to banned or not. A mistake that could, and might just take MBL from being the Fonz and turning it into Potsie Weber.

Introducing: Ask The Blogger.com

For years now I’ve struggled with recommending tools, services or guides that I liked because I always worked for a company in a brand management type of role. That meant that I was unable to endorse Internet related products.

Sure, I could pass recommendations to friends and colleagues, but that was about it. Until now. I’ve recently launched my latest website called AskTheBlogger.com.

AskTheBlogger.com from Jim Kukral

AskTheBlogger.com is built for me to answer questions from anyone about anything Internet related. It doesn’t have to be blogging either. I’m most qualified to answer questions about anything related to making money online. ATB is also built to showcase my personal recommendations.

Let me give a HUGE shout out to the master Dave Taylor who has been running AskDaveTaylor.com for years and years and has been a huge inspiration to me. I know Dave will appreciate that imitiation is the best type of flattery, and as anyone can see, I’m not delving into his world of tech at all. ATB is totally different.

I should also mention Tim Carter at AskTheBuilder.com who has also made a huge impact on the way I work. Tim is THE master, and will one day go down as one of the pioneers in online monetization.

Quit Your Day JobWhat’s Different or Special About AskTheBlogger.com?

When I set out to build AskTheBlogger.com, I wanted to make it different and better. So I have been working on taking what I’ve learned over the years from blogging and online marketing and combining them together.

Specifically…

1. I’m hoping to solve problems for people. The best blogs or sites solve problems.

2. I’m writing it very conversational and direct from my voice as to keep it “bloggy”

3. I’m only recommending things that I’ve actually used, or that actually work. No snake oil here.

4. I’m adding a very personal touch to every blog entry. That means a custom recommendation graphic and I will be adding a custom video to each blog entry as well coming next week. You can view a sample of how one of these videos will look here in this question.

I hope you enjoy the site and maybe even find it inspiring. As always, contact me anytime (contact info on right).

Oh yeah, and do you have a question for the blogger? Ask away!