Your Own Product: How Much Value Do You Need To Deliver?

How much value do you need to deliver?

I’m a big observer of the internet, not the usual trends, but how online marketing moves. What’s working and what is not good enough anymore…

And I have one thing to tell you: The bar has been raised. Again.

If you have been crafting a kick-ass product for the last 6 months and you’re about to launch with a big splash, I recommend you take one last hard look at what’s going on out there. Stuff that use to be premium is now free, in exchange of a simple email address.

So, here is my question for the online marketer: Exactly how much value does your product needs to deliver in exchange for how much cash value?

For a second this thought will go through your mind: Shouldn’t we measure what we deliver? Aren’t we giving everything away for too little?

Well, what else are you going to think, the internet is already way too competitive, too fast and now you need to kick it up a notch. Again…

I wanted to write a post that will let you visualize how much value is being delivered out there, something that will give you an idea of how much creativity and hard work you need to put into the content you publish, free and paid. At the same time, look at the return on investment. So I took the weekend to think about it and try to land a meaningful post.

Staples Gives Me Half The Answer

I stopped by Staples this afternoon looking for a graph paper notebook, I wanted to get something kind of nice. Turns out they don’t have anything “kind of nice”. I got the impression that everything there revolved around how cheap can we build stuff and how cheap can we sell it for. Walked out empty handed, not the first time, but this time I felt like not going back in there ever again.

As a consumer (that tries to consume less everyday) I noticed that have also raised the bar, my expectations are different. Bottom line is that I want to feel good about myself when I give you my cash.

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Entrepreneurs: Blogging Requires Commitment. Are You Ready?

Entrepreneurs: Blogging Requires CommitmentWhat is your company’s blogging strategy?

That is one of the first questions I ask when talking to a client for the first time. I understand it’s not a simple question, specially if the company hasn’t been blogging yet.

Just to give you an idea, the answer involves things like how often are you planning to publish content, who is in charge of developing this content, what’s the plan for front-end interaction, how is it going to be distributed and where. That is of course, besides knowing exactly what is the business goal behind blogging and how it integrates with the rest of your marketing overall strategy.

It’s 2am in Santiago, Chile. I arrived yesterday at 1am after a 12-hour flight from Los Angeles that was originally delayed almost 24 hours. I’m finally in my room after a day of meetings and writing a huge proposal. After the February earthquake, I admit I’m not too thrilled about the 16th floor but at least it overlooks beautiful Las Condes business center, so I’ll focus on that.

I wrote and published a post before flying since I knew I wouldn’t have the time during my stay here. You know, I try to be consistent with that stuff and write at least once a week. It’s been almost 48 hours and I barely go back to my blog to see what’s up before crashing, I’m really half-way crashed as you can imagine. BUT, I see that my post has more than 200 Retweets and quite a few comments I haven’t reply too… I guess I’m not going to sleep yet.

Am I insane? Let me ask you this, if you just finished speaking in front of an audience and now you open for some Q&A time, people start expressing their thoughts on your subject and asking you questions, would you respond to them? or would you ignore them and just stay quiet?

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10 Tips To Drive Twitter Traffic To Your Blog

How to drive Twitter traffic to your Blog - SocialMouthsDo you wanna drive Twitter traffic to your blog like it’s 5pm in Los Angeles?

Okay, I understand this post is not for everybody. I wanted to write it anyway because I’ve had a few people ask about my own experience, so I decided to share some of the things I do.

Twitter can become your blog’s best friend when it comes to traffic. I’m not suggesting that you use it for that purpose only but, if you run a blog and feel like you could be getting a little more love from it, perhaps you should adjust your strategy and integrate some of these tips.

There are some basics that we are going to skip, like having a good descriptive bio, link to your blog, take advantage of the real estate on the background, etc.

I promise you two things with this post:

  • While I can’t promise specific results, I can tell you that if you follow this advice, you should be able to at least start moving the needle
  • And I will not use the word “Viral” =)

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Social Media: So, Are Numbers Important Or Not?

Are Numbers Important In Social Media?Followers, Likes, Retweets, Subscribers… Is any of this stuff important? I’m sure you’ve listened to both sides, “get more followers” and “numbers are not important”.

There is a lot of noise on both sides, people telling you that numbers are important are usually trying to sell you some kind of software and people telling you they’re not, have 50k followers and get retweeted like crazy. So which one is it?

I’m going to tell you when and why numbers are important, or not.

Let’s take it step by step…

Business Objectives

First of all, the most important thing is that you understand what your business objectives are and how they translate into online goals. That will make the difference and you will be able to determine if numbers, either high or low, are important for your business AND, if it’s relevant to display them on your site/blog.

Profit Anyone?

How do these numbers affect your bottom line? most likely not directly, having higher Retweets than your direct competitor means nothing on the front-end. Having a bigger influence over that same competitor could mean everything and Retweets, Likes and RSS subscribers could be part of that.

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Online Marketing is NOT a do-it-yourself thing, it’s not automatic and it’s not free

Online Marketing is NOT a do-it-yourself thing, it’s not automatic and it’s not freeWhile a headline like “Online Marketing is NOT a do-it-yourself thing, it’s not automatic and it’s not free” seems to be carrying a little frustation on my part, I actually want the content of this post to be a service to companies starting to take their business online.

Despite the economy, I think launching a business idea is easier than ever. We have the opportunity to test them at a low cost, we can measure results faster than ever and we can fail and move on to the next idea easier than ever. At the same time, this does NOT mean we can just throw anything out there with the hopes it sticks. Competition is brutal and the consumer is more educated and more demanding than ever.

Another aspect I love to point out to my clients is the fact that today, thanks to the internet, we have awesome technology opportunities that are no longer reserved for big companies. Small business also have access to them. On the flip side, there is a “Free” culture out there that is very easily confused by these small companies, as guerilla-style entrepreneurs with very limited budgets sometimes we tend to take on this kind of tools or services that are not necessarily the best option if we intend to… gee, I don’t know, HAVE A RETURN ON INVESTMENT!

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Email Marketing: 8 Ways To Grow Your List

Email Marketing: How To Grow Your List by SocialMouthsWhen you blog for business, one of the most important aspects is to grow your email list, if not the most important one…

Remember all those people saying that you should not pay attention at how many Twitter followers you have? Well, when it comes to your email subscribers you will want to count and focus on its grow because this is going to become the heart of your online business. This list is the start of what we call “Email Marketing“.

In this post we’ll review some of the methods you can use in order to increase that number of subscribers rather than focusing on the reasons why you need to grow your list. We’ll leave that for another post.

So here we go…

Sidebar Opt-in Box

The Opt-in Box on the sidebar is probably the most basic form of subscribing and while I suggest you follow some conventional practices so that people recognizes what it is, I also encourage you to be creative in order to make it stand out.

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Aggregation or Content Hijacking

Aggregation or Content Hijacking - by SocialMouthsUsually when other blogs post your content is a good thing, you increase your visibility, you get some extra traffic and depending on the blog, it could even be good for your search engine ranking.

But wait! There is also a negative side to it. There is a fine line between aggregation and just hijacking content. In this posts we’ll review two different real-life scenarios based on the same piece of content and we’ll discuss the etiquette for good honest aggregation, what not to do and how if affects the source.

We’ll take one of SocialMouths posts from just a few days ago: 13 Quick Tips To Write A Successful Post, a piece that was republished by a few blogs in different ways.

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8 Power Tools To Turn Your Blog Into A Profit Center

Turn Your Blog Into A Profit CenterTurning your blog into a profit center. It sound like a dream, right?

We’ll continue to talk more about these things here on SocialMouths, hopefully you can benefit from them.

In this post we’ll take a closer look at what I call a perfect setup for your online income powerhouse, in other words, the tools you need to run your blog as a business.

Notice that I don’t include advertising or affiliate programs as ways of blog revenue, it’s because I talk about blogging as part of a marketing strategy for business rather than becoming a full-time blogger.

One thing I will mention before diving into the list is that while none of these applications are free, they are very affordable. And since we’re already in the subject, I will also say that I do love the whole “Free” concept BUT (uuuh… the big “but”!), when we’re talking about our business, and I will assume we want to be successful at it, we should be open to invest.

So I’ll include the cost of each service and at the end of the post we’ll add it to see how much we need to spend in order to turn your blog into a true profit center.

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