Category : Internet Business

Barnes & Noble is Dead

Barnes and Noble I s DeadThe year was 2010. Stephen Riggio, then CEO of Barnes & Noble, heralded the company’s entry into the epublishing world. In a breathless announcement, Riggio euphorically proclaimed that Barnes & Noble would top the 18 % mark in e-books “overnight.” Not to be outdone by his own enthusiasm, Riggio predicted that Barnes & Noble would earn better margins from e-books than print books. Its booksellers would become, in his words, “e-bookevangelists.”.
Beware of enterprises that require new jargon.
Today, even as I write, Barnes & Noble is burning and crashing. According to CNET, the company’s earnings slumped an astonishing 63 percent, from $150 million last year to $55.5 million this year.
Over the last quarter, Barnes & Noble watched in horror as Nook sales, their e-book division, plummeted 26 %, with losses of over $190 million. It was like watching Icarus fall out of the sky. Stephen Riggio’s dream of “overnight” success was so far off the mark, one had to wonder if he was high when he made his announcement two years ago.
Riggio wasn’t high. Nook is a great e-book reader. Anyone who has worked with Nook’s. epub files can tell you they are infinitely better than the cumbersome.mobi files used by Amazon’s Kindle. Epub files produce a nice, cleanly formatted page that looks just like a book. Mobi files look just like a mess. But, as every entrepreneur knows, better products do not necessarily lead to better sales. Where did Barnes & Noble go wrong?
Where B&N went wrong.
Barnes & Noble had a better product, a better reputation, and a farther reach than anyone else in the book selling business. The problem was that Riggio misjudged– very badly– how to handle the burgeoning business of self-publishing.

With the advent of epublishing, writers who could never hope to see their books in print could get their work to readers without the time-consuming, and usually fruitless, task of trying to snare an agent, followed by the even more frustrating job of trying to hook a publisher. With the elimination of pesky editors who demanded “show don’t tell” and required the proper use of apostrophes, everything that went on or between an e-book’s cybercovers was entirely up to the writer. To add icing to the cake, writers who epublished got to keep 70-80 % of their royalties.
This surge in self-publishing, owing in large part to e-books, represents not just people “living the dream,” but an enormous business opportunity for anyone with the ability to turn other people’s dreams into their hard cash. Barnes & Noble, with its gentlemanly rules of conduct and brick-and-mortar mentality, simply had no concept of how to corner the market.
The coup de grâce– Amazon’s KDP Select.KDP Select
Writers could put their e-books up for sale much as they did their used print books. Barnes & Noble did the same thing, but the difference– and this is crucial– was that if you enrolled in Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select program, you got to give your book away.
Writers quickly discovered that giving an e-book away for free was the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to build a readership. Books in popular genres could rack up 20,000 to 30,000 downloads in a single weekend.
Cottage industries have sprung up around the KDP Select phenomenon. Numerous websites will not only post which Kindle books are free on any given day, but will review them, and even send daily free titles to your inbox. There is no denying the appeal of getting something for nothing.
For writers, and for Amazon, it is a win-win situation, because free days are fantastic promotional tools. Invariably, free days lead to increased sales. And for those writers who simply must hold their precious darlings in their hands, Amazon also provides print-on-demand. Amazon’s CreateSpace took first place in the self-publishing world last year with 57,602 new titles. Amazon is happy. Writers are happy. Customers are happy. Everybody is happy.
Except Barnes & Noble. Which is dead.

Stephen Riggio, then CEO of Barnes & Noble, heralded the company’s entry into the epublishing world. Not to be outdone by his own enthusiasm, Riggio predicted that Barnes & Noble would earn better margins from e-books than print books. Over the last quarter, Barnes & Noble watched in horror as Nook sales, their e-book division, plummeted 26 %, with losses of over $190 million. Barnes & Noble, with its gentlemanly rules of conduct and brick-and-mortar mentality, simply had no concept of how to corner the market. Barnes & Noble did the same thing, but the difference– and this is crucial– was that if you enrolled in Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select program, you got to give your book away.

 

To Higher Profits in the New Year,

Alexander J. Kubicek

MPeMG

(412) 374-1558

(We ACTUALLY answer our own phones!)

www.MPeMG.com

Debbie Downer vs. Positive Paul – Don’t Be That Guy

Your Own Book CriticThe mind can be a writer’s harshest critic, and it never seems to shut up. You don’t need to pay attention to everything it says. In this post, we introduce three techniques to help you cope with self-criticism.
Best-selling thriller writer Ian Rankin writes a book a year. At a certain point, usually at the end of the first month, he is struck by “the fear.” He becomes convinced that all the work he’s done so far has been a waste of time, that this new book won’t be any good.

When he mentions this to his wife, she usually asks, “Are you on page 65?” He then realizes that he goes through this phase with every novel, always at the same point. Always around page 65.

Many writers, if not all, experience this kind of doubt about their work at some stage. And, as writing is such a lonely profession, they don’t all have someone with whom they can share their frustrations.

As an editor, some authors even come to me at these times. They’re looking for someone who can give them feedback, someone with experience who can reassure them that their work is worth pursuing after all and they’re not wasting their time.

To be honest, there’s not much I can do for them, but over the years I’ve come across some techniques that can help authors deal with that inner critic and get back to writing.

1. Choose which thoughts you listen to

It’s your mind’s job to keep questioning your actions. That worked well when we lived in caves. “Don’t go around that corner,” the mind would say, “you’ll get your head chewed off by a saber-toothed tiger.”.

Even now, when we no longer have saber-toothed tigers to worry about, the mind continues to look out for us. “Hmm,” it might ask, “are you sure you really want write this story?

In short, you can not control your thoughts, you can not stop them from entering your mind. You can decide which thoughts deserve your attention.

When your mind raises these doubts– your writing is terrible, no one will be interested in this story, or you should give up and find a job where you don’t even have to write your name– try to recognize this thought as nothing more than that: a thought. It’s just words. It’s just your mind doing its job.

Ask yourself, “Is this is a helpful thought?” If it’s not helpful, you can decide not to take this thought seriously and move on to the next one. Don’t worry, another one will be along again soon enough. Your mind likes to keep busy.

Novelist Dani Shapiro put it like this in an interview with Salon.com: “It helps to think of that inner censor as an annoying but beloved friend who has moved in for the duration. That friend is never going away. So you make peace with your inner censor. You say some version of, thanks very much for sharing, and then move on, past that censoring voice, and into your work.”.

2. Give your critical thoughts a name.

When your mind takes its job a little too seriously, there are times. It won’t shut up, and those thoughts become difficult to ignore. When that happens, it helps to take a little distance from them, and one way to do that is to give these unhelpful thoughts a name.

When Ian Rankin gets to the stage where he starts to doubt his story, he could say, “Oh, there are those Page 65 Thoughts again. Hi, Page 65 Thoughts, I’m only on page 62, you’ve arrived early this year.”.

You could also treat these thoughts like a character, and give it a voice. The Whiny Inner Critic, for example, who always shows up at the most inappropriate moment. Try to hear those thoughts in the voice of the character. A little too high-pitched perhaps, a bit nasal maybe, annoying.debbiedowner

Or you could imagine these thoughts as a story. The Tale of Self Doubt, where the basic premise appears engaging but becomes repetitive and tiresome after a while. It’s the kind of daytime movie that might first attract your attention as you flick through the TV channels, but only ends up a disappointment. Try another channel.

Giving these thoughts a name helps you to become aware of how often they occur and how much they distract you from your writing. Just recognizing your self-doubt will help you regain your focus.
Feel free to pick your own name for your critical thoughts, you’re a writer after all (regardless of what your mind says).

3. Realize how important writing is to you.

Sometimes, just sometimes, your mind is right. Your writing is bad. There will be days when you will write badly, very badly. You might even write a whole book that’s terrible.

But that shouldn’t stop you from writing.

Think about why you write, why it’s important to you, and try to remember these reasons when your mind is being overly critical, telling you that you’ll fail, that you’ll be rejected.

Love to writeDon’t let those thoughts of failure stop you. Because you might get hurt some time, you don’t give up on love just. And you shouldn’t give up on something you love. Keep writing. It takes a lot of work, and some of it might be terrible, but if you stop, no one will ever get a chance to see the good stuff.

In short, you can not control your thoughts, you can not stop them from entering your mind. When your mind raises these doubts– your writing is terrible, no one will be interested in this story, or you should give up and find a job where you don’t even have to write your name– try to recognize this thought as nothing more than that: a thought. If it’s not helpful, you can decide not to take this thought seriously and move on to the next one. When that happens, it helps to take a little distance from them, and one way to do that is to give these unhelpful thoughts a name.

You could also treat these thoughts like a character, and give it a voice. 🙂

 

 

Here’s to Your Book!

Alex, MPeMG

(412) 374-1558

[We answer our own phones!]

[Press Release] Pittsburgh Small Business Marketers: No Mistakes

Attention Pittsburgh Small Business marketers: Let’s agree to NOT make 2016 the year of online marketing mistakes

Strong online presenceAs most marketing professionals know, when it comes to growing businesses in the information age, there is nothing more important than building a strong online presence that presents a company, product or service professionally, authentically, and accurately. Countless studies show the attention span of online consumers is shorter than ever, so it is up to the marketer to present all the necessary information to consumers as effectively as possible.

Download your FREE 2016 Digital Marketing Roadmap here!

Regardless of this fact, small business owners and marketers often make common mistakes that can cause an exact opposite effect of an otherwise well-thought-out campaign. What are the best ways to avoid these mistakes? The best approach is to start small, and start local. Here are a few good starting places: Focus on getting a few excellent Google or Yelp reviews, compare your search rank to local competitors, and make sure your search results come up clean without spelling errors and present accurate information. As simple as following these steps may sound (and an overwhelming list of other strategies), business owners and marketers can still struggle to keep up. After all, the internet never sleeps and there’s often too much to do just to keep the doors to any business open.

This is where companies such as MatchPLUS eMarketing come in. Since launching in 2001, MatchPLUS has become a trusted partner among firms around Pittsburgh who are serious about streamlining online marketing methods and connecting with consumers in innovative and exciting new ways.MPeMG_color_transparent_300x155 (2)

MatchPLUS is currently offering a free report for companies interested in learning about other potential online marketing mistakes and how to avoid them. The report also details how companies can maximize their public image.

Those interested can contact MatchPLUS using the information below, or visit their website at http://mpemg.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MPeMG to learn more.

Contact:

Joseph M. Kubicek, co-founder and CEO, MatchPLUS eMarketing Group, jkubicek.mpemg@gmail.com or 412-215-3650.

What The H@ll is Digital Marketing?

In simplistic terms, digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media.

What the H*ll is digital marketing

Digital marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it involves the use of channels and methods that enable an organization to analyze marketing campaigns and understand what is working and what isn’t — typically in real-time.

Digital marketers monitor things like what is being viewed, how often and for how long, sales conversions, what content works and doesn’t work, etc. While the Internet is, perhaps, the channel most closely associated with digital marketing, others include wireless text messaging, mobile instant messaging, mobile apps, podcasts, electronic billboards, digital television and radio channels, etc

Why Digital Marketing Is Important

Digital media is so pervasive that consumers have access to information any place and any time they want it. When the messages people got about your products or services came from you and consisted of only what you wanted them to know, gone are the days. Digital media is an ever-growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what your company says about your brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc., are saying as well. And they are more likely to believe them than you. People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized and relevant, and offers tailored to their needs and preferences.

Manage Customer Relationships Across All Channels

Digital marketing and its associated channels are important– but not to the exclusion of all else. To do that, you need a consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels– Web, social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale, etc.
Challenges Facing Digital MarketersDigital Marketing across multiple channels

Proliferation of digital channels. Consumers use multiple digital channels and a variety of devices that use different protocols, interfaces and specifications– and they interact with those devices in different ways and for different purposes.
Intensifying competition. Digital channels are relatively cheap, compared with traditional media, making them within reach of practically every business of every size. As a result, it’s becoming a lot harder to capture consumers’ attention.
Exploding data volumes. Consumers leave behind a huge trail of data in digital channels. It’s extremely difficult to get a handle on all that data, as well as find the right data within exploding data volumes that can help you make the right decisions.

Digital Marketing is the way of engaging and acquiring new customers & current clients in an automated fashion.

A well oiled Digital Marketing/Management channel increases productivity while reducing your workload. The time that you save can be generated into acquiring even more clients into your already automated system of growing your business in new directions!

Either way, “Why not market digitally?”. It is LEAPS & BOUNDS more cost effective than traditional marketing!!

While the Internet is, perhaps, the channel most closely associated with digital marketing, others include wireless text messaging, mobile instant messaging, mobile apps, podcasts, electronic billboards, digital television and radio channels, etc
So, “Why Digital Marketing Is Important?”

Digital marketing and its associated channels are important– but not to the exclusion of all else. Digital channels are relatively cheap, compared with traditional media, making them within reach of practically every business of every size. Digital Marketing is the way of engaging and acquiring new customers with current clients in an automated fashion.

It is our PASSION to help you & your business, don’t be afraid to call, what’s the worst that could happen??

 

To Higher Profits,

Alexander J. Kubicek, CCAS

MatchPLUS eMarketing Group, LLC

(412) 215-3650

(We answer our own phones! =O)

There’s Digital Space JUST For Restaurants & Event Industries

It’s True: 64 % Of Mobile Restaurant Searchers Convert “Immediately Or Within An Hour”

Restaurants are consistently the top local and mobile search category according to considerable query log data from multiple sources. The Telmetrics-xAd study reinforces this.

Mobile Resataurants SearchThe study found that 95 percent of smartphone users conduct restaurant searches. It also found that 90 percent of these users “convert within the day,” meaning they go out to eat. Perhaps more striking is the fact that 64 percent were found to covert either “immediately” or “within one hour.” This is reminiscent of the 2010 statement by Microsoft-Bing that 70 percent of mobile search users complete a search-related task within an hour vs. one week on the PC.

Tablet and smartphone user behaviors are not the same, however. While that may now be common knowledge, the study documented some specific differences in the restaurants category:

    While 64 percent of smartphone restaurant searchers convert within an hour, just 44 percent of tablet owners do so

  •     In the context of restaurant search most smartphones are used “on the go” (outside the home) while tablets are used primarily in the home.
  •     Tablet users are more likely to look for reviews and menus; smartphone owners are more likely to look for directions or call restaurants
  • As indicated, the top activities among restaurant searchers varied by device. Among smartphone owners the hierarchy of activities was the following:

                 -Call a restaurant

                 –Look up directions

                 –Look up locations near me

  • Tablet owners were much more in “research mode” and were more likely to do the following:

                  –Look at ratings and reviews

                  –Find online coupons and promotions

                  –Research menu / specific food items

The study also discovered that more tablet and smartphone owners used mobile websites more often but considerably more time was spent with mobile apps. Accordingly, 70 percent of total time spent with restaurant content on mobile devices took place in apps. In other words, the mobile web saw greater reach but users were much more engaged with  mobile apps. This is a microcosm of larger mobile user behavior patterns.Yelp - Review Image

One of the more interesting findings — one that is positive for mobile advertisers — is that “3 out of 5” mobile restaurant seekers had no particular place in mind upon embarking on their research. In addition, 75 percent of study participants reported noticing mobile ads. So the capacity for marketers to influence mobile user behavior in this category would appear to be great.

Use of technology

One-quarter of consumers say technology options are important features that factor into their decision to choose a restaurant – and experts anticipate this will continue to grow.

    70% of smartphone users view restaurant menus on their phones at least a few times per year.

    34% of consumers say technology makes them dine out or order takeout or delivery more often.

6 in 10 chefs encourage consumers to take photos of their food and post it on social media – they consider it free advertising.

(To grab your FREE “Power of Online Directories” Cheat Sheet, visit: http://0s4.com/r/JPFCZV)

Restaurants are the most searched for local topic and the most popular industry to search for on mobile devices, with more than 80 percent of searchers looking for places to eat either on a mobile web browser or mobile app. In order to drive visibility through search results and drive sales, local and mobile optimization is a must for any restaurant.

                                                  Conclusion

Mobile Review ImageLocal and mobile consumers actively search out review and menu information before making a purchasing decision. Restaurants that make this information available to search engines like Yahoo! and Google to prominently display to searchers will be at an advantage compared to local competitors. For restaurants, dominating local and mobile search is about proving the information searchers want as easily and quickly as possible. Google and Yahoo! are helping restaurants do that, but restaurants need to be proactive in disseminating information, making it available to search engines, and eventually local searchers.

To Higher Profits in the New Year!

Alex, MPeMG

www.MPeMG.com

(412) 215-3650

We Answer Our Phones!

2016 Digital Trends Roadmap – Need to Know

The online marketing industry is volatile and complex, but an exciting one for anybody who stays up on modern trends. Each year, new hardware, new software, new companies, and new user preferences dictate a host of sweeping changes that either get adopted or ignored by the businesses of the world. Early adopters get a leg up on the competition, appealing to new markets or cementing their reputations as industry leaders, while those lagging behind miss out on a key opportunity to retain their positions.

2016 looks to be a great year for online marketing, and I anticipate it shaking up the game with these trends:

Video ads will start dominating. Video ads are certainly nothing new, with social channels like YouTube dedicated to hosting billions of videos and advertising platforms like Facebook and Bing alreadVideo Ads Imagey offering advertisers video options. Because Google is finally getting on board with in-SERP video advertising, 2016 is set to be different. It’s a sign that users are becoming more accepting of video ads online, and as that trend continues, expect to see more types of video ads popping up in more unexpected places. With Google’s ownership of YouTube, the possibilities are virtually limitless.

App indexing will lead to an explosion of apps. Google has offered app indexing for a while, but as the ranking possibilities for apps become more complex, 2016 will be the year more business owners realize the online visibility advantages of a dedicated app. A mobile-optimized site works wonders for appealiMobile App Explosion Imageng to the mobile crowd, but soon, apps will begin to replace them. Apps can do everything that websites can, except in more intuitive, convenient, accessible ways. We’re still several years away from apps completely replacing websites as a medium, but 2016 will be a pivotal year in app adoption from business owner’s perspectives.

Mobile will completely dominate desktop. 2015 was a big year for mobile– not only did Google announce that mobile traffic finally overtook desktop traffic in 10 different countries, it was also the year they released the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update to phase out sites not optimized for mobile. Apparently, you don’t have to have an optimized desktop site in addition to a mobile version– according to Google, a mobile-only site with no desktop counterpart is perfectly acceptable. This alone won’t be enough to drive down desktop traffic, but it’s clear what side of the fence Google’s on; they’re banking on desktop traffic fading away, meaning the smart money rests on mobile-focused online marketing.

Digital Assistant ImageDigital assistants will lead to a new kind of optimization. Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising are two highly popular strategies for getting your site seen by thousands of previously unknown visitors. The rise of digital assistants is going to lead to a new kind of optimization. Digital assistants like Siri and Cortana do utilize traditional search engines, but only when necessary to find information. The key to optimizing in this new format is to make sure your business information is easily accessible to these assistants, rather than trying to funnel people to your site specifically.

There are dozens of different virtual reality devices set to release in the next few years, some of which are dedicated for specific applications like video games, and others which are available for general use. Oculus Rift, arguably the most hyped VR device, is set to release in the first quarter of 2016. Oculus Rift and other VR devices will introduce an entire new medium of online advertising, with integration to popular social media platforms, video channels, and even forms of direct messaging.

Wearable technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) will pave new ground. Such devices will change the landscape of local marketing, and will do more to blur the lines between “online” marketing and “real” marketing.

Advertising will become more expensive. Competition in the online marketing world has increased dramatically over the course of the past few years. 2016 will see it increase even more. As the basic laws of economics suggest, an increase in demand is often accompanied by an increase in price, so all those new online marketing competitors will drive the prices for online advertising even higher. Realistically, online ads are pretty cheap, but the increases in price may drive some smaller companies out of the landscape.Advertising is Expensive Image

These trends aren’t the only ones that will emerge over the course of the next year, but they will be some of the most significant. There’s no guarantee exactly when or how these trends will manifest, as much of that is driven by consumer adoption, but it’s worth hedging your bets in at least a few of these tent pole technologies and strategies.

Each year, new hardware, new software, new companies, and new user preferences dictate a host of sweeping changes that either get adopted or ignored by the businesses of the world. Early adopters get a leg up on the competition, appealing to new markets or cementing their reputations as industry leaders, while those lagging behind miss out on a key opportunity to retain their positions.

Video ads are certainly nothing new, with social channels like YouTube dedicated to hosting billions of videos and advertising platforms like Facebook and Bing already offering advertisers video options. Oculus Rift and other VR devices will introduce an entire new medium of online advertising, with integration to popular social media platforms, video channels, and even forms of direct messaging. As the basic laws of economics suggest, an increase in demand is often accompanied by an increase in price, so all those new online marketing competitors will drive the prices for online advertising even higher.

 

To Higher Profits in the New Year!

Alex, MPeMG

www.MPeMG.com

(412) 215-3650

(We answer our phones!)

 

First Book Image

Congrats On Your First Book, Big Payoff

Writing a book is a BIG deal. 

Great, now that that’s out of the way, we can get started. Many aspiring authors (and people who don’t know that they have a story) have one great big thing in common…they are afraid that they don’t know how to write their book! This becomes a HUGE elephant on their back, so most authors tend to “put their book on the back burner” & that back burner gets shut off and eventually starts to look like a shelf to collect dust.

We want better things for you!  In 2011, over 200 Million Americans stated that they wish to write a book, but that they don’t know how or where to begin. That’s over 200 Million messages and stories that were never told. Or 200 Million “How To” books that were never able to teach people seeking that message.

The point is that publishing is 100% easier than it used to be. You’re probably thinking that, “We’re full of it,” but I can assure you that we’re not! 

We have published and promoted SEVERAL authors from scraps and thoughts all the way to #1 Best Sellers!Best Seller Red Carpet Image

You used to have to sit down at a type writer of computer for hours upon hours & years upon years write your content…not anymore! You used to have to go through countless editorial phases and departments, which would take months and sometimes years…not anymore! Once you got your content written & your book edited and formatted, you then had to wait for a publishing company to accept your manuscript, which could take years!

That sounds like A TON of work and waiting around when all you wanted to do was educate/help people…

My question to you is, “Why wait years when you could wait months?” Or, “Why sit and write for years when you just have to tell us your story and then be published?” The point is why wait? All you need to do is tell your story and we will take care of the rest! Just think, in a few months, you could not only have your dream book sitting in your hands, but also possibly be a Best Seller or a #1 Best Seller!! Pretty cool, huh?

Here are 11 Steps to get you started to writing your first Best Selling Book!

Writing a book is a big deal - frustrated baby1. Make a bullet-point list in Word / Pages of everything you can think of that you wish to include in the book. Don’t worry about organizing at  this point, just brainstorm.

2. Once you have a list of ideas or topics, you’ll probably find you have no idea how to organize them into any sort of order. This is normal.

3. Now drag and drop all your bullet points so they are listed under a heading called “Topics.”

4. Use multi-colored 3 x 5 cards and dedicate a separate color to each topic.

5. Lay all of the cards on a table and move the cards around, grouping by like-colors, until you’re satisfied with the order of topics. The different- colored cards will allow you to see where you have too much material in one topic or not enough in another. You’ll probably find that you have some cards that could be combined into one topic. Remember, you don’t need to have every topic point down at this  time, just the Core Points.Writing a book is a big deal - Index cards image

6. Once you’ve got your cards organized, figure out your chapter breaks and write the chapter and topic number on each card.

7. Stack your cards in sequence and go back to your computer. Drag and drop everything in the document into the proper order, adding chapter headings.

8. When you’ve got everything in order, you may recognize holes in topics that need more development. Better to learn this now, rather than later!

9. Once you’ve updated each individual topic document, be sure to cut and paste the changes into the main outline. 

10. At this point, you should have a solid, working outline. Depending upon your subject matter….you may gather bits of dialog, quotes, or images that you feel would be appropriate for your audience. You may consider creating a separate digital file where these “pieces” can be stored. If they were important enough to store, they may be valuable for your readers as well. 

11. Create a calendar to help keep track of your timeline. Consider formatting in a spreadsheet program (Excel or Numbers) because it allows you to create larger blocks that allow for writing notes & updates.

DigiPUB Solutions Image1Your book is a series of statements & inquiries leading the reader to a particular point that you are trying to convey. Many aspiring authors assume that you have to sit down and type for countless hours only to find that you have to start over again because your message does not make sense.

This discourages most authors and, sadly, they never realize their dream. This outline will not only speed the process along, but it will also help you stay focused and not veer away from your point.

Check Us Out, Couldn’t Hurt!

See Your At The Best Seller’s Ball!

Alex

MatchPLUS eMarketing Group, LLC

(412) 215-3650

(We Answer Our Phones!)

GoDaddy For Small Business During Super Bowl 50

CBS Super bowl 50 imageSince last week’s Super Bowl campaign announcements from Wix and Butterfinger, both Honda and PayPal have announced that they, too, will be joining Super Bowl 50’s advertiser lineup– while GoDaddy, a longtime Super Bowl brand, has decided to take the bench.

PayPal’s Debut Super Bowl Appearance
PayPal announced last week it would be airing its first-ever 45-second ad during the first quarter of Super Bowl 50. The brand did not release any details on the creative direction but did say the goal of the campaign would be to start a larger conversation around money.

“At the core of this campaign, our purpose is to introduce the world to PayPal’s vision for the future of money– to empower people and businesses to manage and move money securely, efficiently and affordably,” writes PayPal’s VP of global brand marketing, Greg Fisher.

Along with its Super Bowl ad campaign announcement, PayPal said it is launching its first major brand campaign as an independent company.PayPal Image Honda’s Super Bowl Campaign to Feature New Ridgeline Pickup Truck

After sitting out during this year’s game, Honda will re-up its status as a Super Bowl advertiser with a 60-second spot to air during the third quarter of next year’s game.2017-Honda-Ridgeline-Release-Date

Honda intends for its upcoming Super Bowl campaign to act as a launching pad for its all-new 2017 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck, with extended promotions across several platforms, screens and internet properties.

“Super Bowl 50 is the right time and the right venue to communicate Honda’s continued leadership in light trucks,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manger for Honda’s automobile division. “The multi-platform approach will enable Ridgeline to come out of the gate strong in 2016.”.

Like PayPal, Honda released no details on the brand’s creative strategy, but AdWeek reports the spot will be created by ad agency RPA.

GoDaddy Takes the Bench.
GoDaddy, a regular Super Bowl advertiser since 2005, said it would not be buying a spot in next year’s Super Bowl as part of its new branding initiative to focus on more personalized, data-driven marketing.

A GoDaddy spokesperson told Ad Age the time had come for the brand to move beyond the generic megaphone of a Super Bowl campaign to a more targeted strategy.

“We can ‘talk’ to the segment of the SB audience we want (very small business owners) and do it in a more personal and timely way,” said the GoDaddy spokesperson in an email to Ad Age.

After releasing its Super Bowl spot in advance of this year’s game, GoDaddy pulled its original campaign when it caused a backlash. The ad, which featured a puppy being sold to new owners, had many viewers criticizing the brand for making light of inhumane treatment toward animals.

Happy Holidays!

Alex, MPeMG

Special Thanks to CBS, GoDaddy, Wix, Butterfinger, Honda, and PayPal

No More Humbug Sales

Slow Holiday SalesWith the Thanksgiving weekend behind them and the big final rush of holiday shopping still to come, independent retailers & service providers have to get creative to bring customers in during the slowest part of the season.

The Shirt Box, a men’s clothing store in Farmington Hills, Michigan, is holding events like bourbon tastings and giving lessons on tying bow ties on weekends. The retailer also uses giveaways– co-owner Rod Brown is planning to offer free cufflinks when shoppers buy shirts with French cuffs, or scarves if they buy outerwear.

Brown tries to be innovative to get his customers to shop at his store on slower days.

“It’s make or break time for the independent retailers,” Brown says.

Small and independent stores usually can’t offer deep discounts like the national chain stores because the smaller players don’t have the big sales volume that would allow them to absorb thinner margins from the come-ons. They can offer customers something most of the large stores like discounters and big-box retailers can’t: a warmer, more emotional shopping experience.Slow sales for retailers

“A lot of the independent and smaller retailers actually have an advantage if they really leverage their strengths,” says Randy Allen, a lecturer in management at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Many smaller retailers are well acquainted with their regular customers, which gives them the ability to create a more personal atmosphere, Allen says. Those who serve shoppers mulled cider or other seasonal drinks or use cinnamon-scented candles give their stores a holiday feel. That get customers in the mood to spend, Allen says.

Smaller stores that provide gift boxes and free gift wrap, saving their customers time and money, are also going to get more business.

“That personal touch can make a big difference,” Allen says.

Batch Nashville, which sells food, clothing and other products made in the South, is getting through the slow time with Breakfast with Santa, extended shopping hours one evening and weekend tasting events that let customer sample different products. The Nashville, Tennessee-based company, which also has a big online business, is promoting in-store-only special items via email and social media, CEO Sam Davidson says.

“We’re making them feel like this is an experience item,” Davidson says.

Events like these were so successful last year that Davidson anticipates Batch Nashville won’t need to discount merchandise to draw shoppers later in the season. Because the special events are bringing shoppers in, he’s also optimistic that higher-priced items like leather goods and jewelry that it stocked for the holidays will sell well. The company also lures shoppers with services like free gift wrap and packing and shipping gift boxes.Slower Sales Period Sales

Rastelli Market Fresh, which operates food stores and caterers in Deptford and Marlton, New Jersey, has a lull in business between Thanksgiving and the last 10 days of the season, spokeswoman Andrea Carr says.

“You have to calibrate and calculate for that,” she says.

If customers know prices will be going up, they have a sense of urgency that encourages them to buy, Carr says. It also has product tastings and offers entertaining tips like how to pair wine with holiday dishes– motivating customers to do their shopping before the final days of the season.

Many smaller retailers are well acquainted with their regular customers, which gives them the ability to create a more personal atmosphere, Allen says. That get customers in the mood to spend, Allen says.

If customers know prices will be going up, they have a sense of urgency that encourages them to buy, Carr says. It also has product tastings and offers entertaining tips like how to pair wine with holiday dishes– motivating customers to do their shopping before the final days of the season.

Happy Holidays,

Alex, MPeMG

Your Reputation Management in One Blog

Reputation Management in one blogRemember the good old days of the internet? You know, the times when you could just stuff a ton of keywords into a blog post and sit back smirking, knowing that you ‘d kill the SERP almost immediately?

Those days are long gone, and we can thank creatures like pandas and hummingbirds for that.

But that doesn’t mean blogging, as a whole, is dead. In fact, it’s a vital part of a reputation management strategy. Each post you write has the potential to bump something nasty that’s written about you or your company.

But you will need to amend your strategies if you’ve been leaning on the techniques that worked during the Ye Olde Internet days. Here’s my plan.

Let’s consider a fictional company that’s been writing blog posts in order to combat an attack about customer service. How should this company blog? We’ll take it step by step.

A reputation management blogging schedule
Get ready to fill up your blogging schedule!

Step 1: Pick the Right Topic
Reputation management blogs tend to be keyword driven. Writing like this is a lot like working on a puzzle.

keywordsAs Quicksprout so eloquently puts it, successful web content isn’t about smashing in one specific term. It’s about substance. What is the underlying message you’re trying to convey? How are you trying to persuade or help or win over your readers?

Writing like this means thinking about people, not numbers. You’ll put yourself in the seat of the person who will read your blog, not the computer system that will serve up your blog.

How to Do It
Our fictional blogger needs to serve up posts that contain keywords about customer service. Those posts need to entertain or inform or educate. The blogger could consider:

An entry about the concept of customer service through the ages
A listicle about companies that assist with customer service complaints
An introduction and infographic based on a customer service survey conducted by the company
A research-driven analysis of how customers define good service
These aren’t your run-of-the-mill blog entries about great customer service at XYZ company. They’re in-depth ideas, spurred on by a keyword, and taken to the next level.

Step 2: Cover That Topic Completely
There are tons of articles out there about how long blog posts should be. The team at Buffer suggests, for example, that the ideal post length is about 1,600 words. While Medium says the best posts can be consumed in about seven minutes (which might be a handy little figure for people working up posts that include videos and infographics with few words).

These benchmarks can be helpful to consider, as they make it clear that short entries just won’t get the job done. But it’s important to remember we’re not striving for length. We’re looking for engagement.

I could easily make this post climb to the 3,000-word mark if I crammed in a ton of extraneous information about other blogs I’ve written or places I’ve gone in order to learn about blogging or the computer setup I’m using right now in order to write this blog entry. In theory, all of these little add-ons relate to the topic I’m writing about. But how much would they tell you about writing for reputation management purposes? Nothing at all.

An ideal blog will be just long enough to cover the topic completely, leaving a reader with no unanswered questions about that topic. And it won’t contain extra information that adds nothing to the knowledge profile.

How to Do It 

Our fictional blogger will need to:

Fully research the topic. What are the underlying metrics? What do others say about the issue? What do readers say in the comments section of other published blogs on that topic?
Outline the topic. What are the key points? What’s a must-know takeaway?
Write to the outline.
Edit for consistency.
Reread 24 hours later, before publishing, in order to determine that the above steps are complete.
Note that there are no steps in here about word count or reading time. Instead, the emphasis is on good writing, done well.

Connect for reputation management success
Are you blogging in order to reach this guy? Or are you blogging for a computer?

Step 3: Aspire to Engage and ConnectEgaging and connecting
The easy, slacker way to fill up a blog with content is to scrape it from another place or create gateway pages that contain duplicate content with just one or two keywords of difference. As Google makes clear, this content is considered thin. It doesn’t add value for a reader, and it doesn’t make for compelling or interesting consumption. It’s blogging for an algorithm, not a person.

A truly compelling post contains an opinion or research or analysis or all three of these things. It’s different from any other content floating around out there. It really does provide value.

How to Do It
Our fictional blogger will be on the lookout for extensive copy/paste techniques. If those writing fingers start to itch to steal content from somewhere else, or if the writer’s brain can’t come up with something new to say, there’s no reason to keep on blogging. Taking a walk, chatting with a friend, or nap can break the block and return the writer to productivity.

Tools like Copyscape can also be a vital part of the editing process. It’s time to head back in for revisions if the writer finds the content is almost entirely present in another place on the web.

Step 4: Repeat ONLY When You Can Recreate
How often should you blog? An in-depth analysis from Hubspot suggests businesses should blog early and often. Companies that publish more than 11 posts per month get a lot more traffic than those that publish less frequently.

But here’s the thing: With thin Google penalties very much in play, it makes sense to blog only when you can do so in a comprehensive and robust manner. You’ll need to make sure your blogs are spot on, every time, in order to reach and convince your potential readers. In my opinion, writing well once in a while is much better than writing poorly every day.

The company is emphasizing what Rand Fishkin calls 10x content, or content that is so amazing that it’s worth the wait, and that means Moz may not publish every day. And in an experiment to test traffic, there was no huge dip on days in which there was no new content.

If Moz can do it, so can you.

How to Do It
Our fictional blogger might set a calendar in which the blog is updated once per week, with data that’s truly epic and amazing and written over the course of an entire week. If that schedule works and the writer has more to say, an additional day could be added.

Getting Started
If you’ve been blogging every day, filling up your pages with thin content inspired by reputation management keywords, just stop. You’ll probably spend the same amount of time, but you’ll get much better results in return.
Start Here
Let’s consider a fictional company that’s been writing blog posts in order to combat an attack about customer service. There are tons of articles out there about how long blog posts should be. I could easily make this post climb to the 3,000-word mark if I crammed in a ton of extraneous information about other blogs I’ve written or places I’ve gone in order to learn about blogging or the computer setup I’m using right now in order to write this blog entry. The easy, slacker way to fill up a blog with content is to scrape it from another place or create gateway pages that contain duplicate content with just one or two keywords of difference. You’ll need to make sure your blogs are spot on, every time, in order to reach and convince your potential readers.

To Higher Profits,

Alex, MPeMG

Special Thanks To: GoGraphics.com for the images displayed.

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