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Category Archives for "Online Publishing"

Creating Passive Income Sharing What You Know With Susan Bratton

I had the pleasure of sitting down and doing a podcast with ultra-famous, fabulous, podcaster and new media mogul Susan Bratton at the last Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas. If you have never heard of Susan and DishyMix, shame on you! You need to be subscribed to her blog and the podcast and everything she does. Because not only does she have the best guests on her show, she is also a big-time player in the Internet marketing space.

We talked about my upcoming book. We talked about my second upcoming book, and we talked about Prfessor.com as well. Plus a litany of other things. Great interview, and I was truly honored to be on her podcast in the company of so many other big names in the business.


Tim (her husband) takes a great picture eh?

Here’s some more about Susan (below). And be sure to listen to her interview with keynote speaker Dr. Robert Cialdini here.

Susan Bratton is the co-founder and CEO of Personal Life Media, Inc., a multimedia lifestyle brand providing entertaining and authentic personal content to socially conscious adults. (click here for The Story) Personal Life Media produces 40 weekly audio shows (podcasts) and companion blogs and is a publisher of direct-to-consumer online information products. The company provides automated platforms for podcast and information product publishing to serve experts who deliver motivational programs, talk shows, virtual workshops, downloadable training systems and support programs via blogs, web audio, video and ebooks.

Renowned for her impressive breadth of business relationships in the media, marketing and Web 2.0 world, she treasures talented individuals with unique perspectives about digital marketing, which she ably showcases in her weekly podcast and blog, “DishyMix: Success Secrets from Famous Media and Internet Executives.” She is the creator of “Talk Show Tips: 72 Secret ‘Master Host’ Techniques,” a system to teach anyone who conducts interviews (podcasters, radio and TV hosts and info product marketers) how to prepare, produce and promote their work.

Make Millions Using The Web Publisher Model, Learn How

Over at my coaching site, TheBizWebCoach.com ($1.00 Trial), I’m constantly interviewing the movers and shakers and experts in the online marketing world. Here’s another interview you will enjoy. Please leave a comment.

Ever wanted to be a successful web publisher? You know, where you have a website or blog or newsletter that has millions and millions of readers and page views… and you make money off the ads?

That’s a web publishing model, and one of the people that’s been doing it right for years and years is Steve Hall of Adrants.com.

Listen to the podcast with Steve here.

Steve Hall of Adrants.com knows his stuff when it comes to making money online as a publisher. Adrants is read by hundreds of thousands of readers every week, and his mailing list, and rss list is huge!

This interview asks Steve how he started his Web publishing business, and how he has made it so successful. Learn Steve’s tips and tricks for finding advertisers and traffic, and understand how to successfully promote your niche site to new readers.

If you ever wanted to learn how to make money as a publisher online, this is the interview for you!

An Author’s Guide To Online Book Promotion

bookmarketingI keep bringing expert self-publishing and book marketing people on because, well, it’s relevant to me and I like to educate people about how it can be done. So here’s another interview with a person who wants to help you promote your book. Penny from http://www.amarketingexpert.com/.

Penny gives some amazing information and tips about book marketing. We talk specifically about what authors can do to begin to promote their books. We also talk about the future importance of web video when trying to promote your book.

If you’re writing a book, self-published, or not, and even an ebook, you need to listen to this podcast.

Here are the show notes.

What are the most important things an author needs to do to promote their book?
Gotta start with a website at least. Talking about what the book can do for the reader, not about the book.
Start navigating social networking sites like Facebook and make a Squidoo profile.
You’ll be surprised at online networking opportunities.
It’s like moving into a new neighborhood. Find out who is there and where stuff is. Explore.
Never try to do it all at once. Start somewhere.
99% of media finds their experts online. Is your book online?
You can’t just build a website or social profile and forget about it. It’s work.
You should have a blog. It’s a great way to express thoughts about your book and let the community know about you. Also a great thing for the search engines.
It’s much easier to sell something to somebody who’s already interested. That’s what a blog and website can do for you.
One the secrets of getting your website better exposure is to have high-quality, high-traffic incoming links.
It’s a lot of work, but the payoff can be enormous.
Future books in your niche are easy to sell in your community.
Should authors experiment with web video? It has a huge stickiness factor.

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How To Become A YouTube Partner?

Did you know that YouTube offers a partner program that you can apply to join? If you become a partner you get special features like being able to modify your YouTube channel page with custom graphics and colors. You’ll also be able to share in the profits on advertisements that YouTube serves on your videos. Watch the video below for more details, and hey, subscribe to my YouTube channel page.

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A Press Release Should Tell A Story

Great write up here outlining why press releases as we know them should die a slow death.

Press releases are nearly useless. They typically start with a tremendous amount of top-spin, they contain pat-on-the-back phrases and meaningless quotes. Often they will contain quotes from C-level executives praising their customer focus. They often contain praise from analysts, (who are almost always paid or have a customer relationship.) And so on…

Press releases are created by committees, edited by lawyers, and then sent out at great expense through Businesswire or PRnewswire to reach the digital and physical trash bins of tens of thousands of journalists.

This madness has to end. It is wasted time and effort by hundreds of thousands of professionals.

man_reading_paper.JPGAgreed.

A good press release tells a story. Plain and simple. If I’m a journalist, or a blogger, whatever, I want the release to give me the angle… to give me the story. Let’s face it, and I know this will make some journalists angry, but many of them are lazy and they simply want the story hand fed to them, with accompanying facts and figures.

A good release does that. It’s not about “launching a new company” or “we just passed 1 million sales”. Nobody cares about that stuff.

Instead, what does your new company do that solves a problem for a reader? What does it really mean to the industry that you’re in that you just passed 1 million in sales?

Online public relations is changing. I fully expect to see a more robust way to get your news releases into the hands and minds of the people who want it.

The question is… what exactly is that format going to be? If I had my choice, a release would look like this.

Headline

Video – No longer than 2-minute clip explaining press release

Summary paragraph

Quotes from executives/owners, etc…

Fact and figures and sources

Story ideas

Contact information

In that example, a journalist could then take all the pieces they needed and formulate a story from the pieces parts.

More here, and here.

Why I Fired Billionaire Mark Cuban & What Hollywood Doesn’t Understand About Marketing 2.0

It was an extremely tough decision to write this. I mean, who wants to cheese off a billionaire? And frankly, I’m worried that many will read this and take it as me trying to create link-bait, or whatever.

I have to have full-disclosure; I have a history of baiting Mr. Cuban. So take that in stride when you read this blog post. However, that bait actually did bring about my ability to work out a testing deal with him (which you will read about below), so I suppose you could say it worked to my advantage.

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I can honestly tell you that I’m haven’t written this for publicity, or to be mean spirited at all. Sure, the headline is probably the best link-bait headline I’ve ever constructed, except for the fact that it’s true, but I can implicitly say that there’s a lesson learned from my experience and I felt it needed to be shared.

That all being said, Jim, did you really fire Mark Cuban?

Well, yeah. The short story is this. Last fall I contacted Mark about a blog post he wrote where he asked for creative ideas for how to “sell more tickets” to movies online. He got back to me (and the network I used to own) and put me in touch with the movie studio he owns called Magnolia Pictures with the instructions to make a test work.

I sold a plan to them, and that was to setup a test of selling movie tickets to Magnolia Pictures movies on blogs, through affiliate marketing techniques. For example, a blogger would earn a few bucks if they could refer a reader to buy a ticket for a movie online.

The whole concept is pretty simple right? Magnolia Pictures makes smaller independent films, you know, the kind that live and die based on their buzz because they simply don’t have the huge Hollywood marketing budgets to get the word out. So it made perfect sense to let bloggers, who were already talking about these films, attempt to sell a few tickets and be compensated for it if they wished. (Note: we’re not talking about writing fake content for cash.)

For example, they had a movie called Jesus Camp that generated thousands of pages of blog fodder for them, and what did they get out of it besides some links to the movie home page? Nada, zip, zilch.

So the “test” was on. We all agreed to run the test to see if the technology would work. It did. Through the month of December 2006 we ran CPA banner creatives on a handful of movie-related blogs, including one of the biggest in the industry, across millions of impressions.

As I mentioned, the technology worked perfectly of course, the problem with “the test” was that the future success of the initiative was setup to fail without the rest of the plan being put in place at some point.

So What Was The Problem Then?

The problem was in the definition of “the test”. For us, it was very clear that the technology part of the test was easy to accomplish, and we did. That wasn’t what we pitched though. We pitched a complete solution to managing the affiliate program, which in essence was going to be a large community of bloggers and web citizens who weren’t going to be affiliates, but rather customer evangelists and uber content producers.

Too bad money got in the way, because they believed in the plan somewhat, yet didn’t want to pull the trigger.

Anyone in the affiliate marketing business knows the golden rule. You can’t just throw up a program and expect it to just work, right? Right. To be fair, I’m pretty sure that Mark realizes this, I mean, you don’t get to be that successful by not knowing one of the basic rules of business, which is effort=success. I mean, the guy is extremely smart.

Our long-term business plan was solid, and I believe it was exactly what needed to be done, and from our initial conversations with Mark and the gang at Magnolia Pictures, it was something we all agreed would work. However, we were asked to follow through with our plan to create this program (after the technology test), we were asked if we could do it for almost nothing monetarily.

Here Comes The Firing Part

I have to admit, I thought about it for a day. The lure of being on Mark Cuban’s blogroll and circle of influence was attractive, however, the obvious answer was there was no way we could commit unpaid resources to the project in “hopes” of it working, even with the possible shout-outs we might get, but weren’t even guaranteed.

So that was that, we had to fire Mark Cuban. Not because he doesn’t get it; it’s not that at all. He simply didn’t want to pay for it.

A Huge Missed Opportunity For Small Budget Hollywood?

I’m certainly no movie business guru. I don’t read the trades, or know much about the actual business of marketing movies, except for watching Entourage. So there is of course a chance that I’ve got this completely wrong, and I’m stupid. I’m sure you’ll correct me if so.

However, what I do know is online marketing, customer evangelism, user generated content, passion, attention, and blogging, and specifically how to combine all of those to be successful, regardless of the industry.

That being said, let’s look at the issues facing a small movie studio like Magnolia Pictures.

1. They don’t have the huge marketing budgets that large studios have.
2. They aren’t usually able to get the huge stars in their films who can carry a picture almost by themselves.
3. Their movies don’t usually get released nationwide, or even on multiple theatres.

So… how do they overcome those problems? Have they REALLY tried?

What are the big, or small, movie studios doing to market their movies besides throwing cash at a wall of media and hoping the reach enough eyeballs?

My solution was simple, and it involved bringing the bloggers and movie fans together to evangelize and promote the movies through social media and video sharing sites like Magnify.net, all processed through an “affiliate” channel that allowed “fans” to help sell tickets to movies online and get commissions from their indirect efforts.

It was building a community of fans and bloggers based around Magnolia’s small, yet powerfully charged films. In other words, simply tapping into their minds and the tools they are already using to spread the word.

If you don’t have a huge budget to promote the movie, what’s a better way than to enable your viewers to be part of the conversation and promotion?

Opportunity missed, perhaps.

Is Hollywood missing the marketing 2.0 boat? I think so. Can small movie studios like Magnolia Pictures continue to survive and thrive without marketing 2.0? I’m not sure they can.

You can view the original PowerPoint presentation presented to Magnolia here.

Will Scratchback Amaze You? Or Will It Bomb?

My programmer I contracted who built Scratchback.com said to me the other day…

“What you’ve created here is either going to be huge and help millions of people with websites have fun and make money online, or it’ll bomb.”

He’s right. And the not knowing how it will be perceived scares the crap out of me and also motivates me.

The more I stare at my web publishing Frankenstein, the more I keep asking myself if it’s too simple to really catch on and work. When you work on something for so long you can begin to lose real perspective on it… clouding your brain with doubts.

sb_beta.png

Honestly though, my biggest fear in releasing Scratchback is also what I think will be its greatest strength.

That it’s simple and fun. Maybe too simple?

No giant marketplaces that make things confusing. No controlling system that only allows you to price based upon someone else’s criteria. No fancy frills or complicated coding or processes to get started. No paid reviews that could possibly bring in the integrity of your website or blog.

None of that stuff.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough as the first beta approaches. I’m cutting off the beta signup list by the end of the week. I’ve gotten way more test users than I could possibly ever use for the first beta, which will only be a handful of testers anyway. I’m even considering only releasing the second beta test sample to those are signed up and making the general public wait for a few months.

Yes, I said a few months, or maybe more. I really want this system to grow slowly so we can work out the kinks and make it a robust, stable solution that runs on auto-pilot for everyone.

There’s still time to get into the beta list. If you want in, sign up now.

I leave you with this. Don’t EVER give up on your passion. I have not, and I cannot wait to show you what I’ve created.

How To Get Publicity With Hardly Any Money?

Another amazing Marketingsherpa piece. A MUST read if you’re struggling with promoting your blog or product.

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SUMMARY: If you need to promote a product or service and you’re on a limited budget, then our latest Case Study is right up your alley. (Small publishing houses and budding authors take special note.)

Find out how a writer started a newsletter to publicize her series of financial planning books and then took a personalized approach to entice bloggers dedicated to the same topic to write reviews and link back to her site. Includes how to measure ROI from each of those mentions.

Here is the breakdown, more details on the article.

-> Strategy #1. Revamp homepage

-> Strategy #2. Start email newsletter

-> Step #3. Solicit reviews from financial bloggers

-> Step #4. Set up Google Alerts to track mentions/reviews

-> Step #5. Send handwritten note thanking reviewers

Here’s Why Auctionads Doesn’t Work For My Blog

I can’t use Auctionads.com on this blog because it’s not contextual and there’s no relevant match for my blog. See, I write about all kinds of online marketing stuff like online video, affiliate marketing, search, branding, etc…

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When you create an Auctionads ad, you are required to specify a keyword that helps you deliver a related ad. Makes a lot of sense, I get it. The problem is… what the heck do I put in for this blog?

For example, let’s try some tests. If I put in “online marketing”, I get this ad. Relevant?


If I put in “online videos”, I get this ad. Relevant?


Now, I “could” put in something like “blogging”, and then I start to actually see stuff?


Or I have to get real niche and guess what my readers might like and put in something like “business magazines”. Did that work?


I have nothing against Auctionads. No offense Shoemoney. I just don’t see how it works for this particular blog. When is someone going to invent a contextual referral system? Calling Jeff Doak.

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