Noah Kagan on approaching start-ups & SEO copywriting

5 May

Great video on how Noah Kagan approach (and went on to work for them). Amazing stuff.

The thinking behind Mint’s original marketing plan with Noah Kagan

Also a great post for blogging and link building

10 Easy copywriting tips for link building



27 Apr

1. Why isn’t TV interactive? When I watch a show, any show, I want to be able to participate in a chat, or leave a comment, that shows up on screen (this side bar, much like a small add that appears during your favorite show, can be hidden when requested). When I’m watching sports, I want to be able to connect with everyone else watching the game, and talk about stats, BS calls, or funny rumors. Please(Apple? Google?) make TV more interactive. I want TV more active (like the internet) and less passive (ie boring)

2. Wikipedia for schools. Every (most?) classrooms have a computer. I want wikipedia to have a filtered search engine for students. The filter can change based on the grade level, and the students will be able to have fun *gasp* looking up interesting material.  Also on Wikipedia for kids, the “random page” can be filtered by selecting various categories (such as “sports”, “entertainment”, “science”, etc.), then hitting random.

3. Kindle: The page numbers are terrible. Most of the time I only see percentage read, which makes it terrible for taking real notes or indexing a book. Also, I want to be able to copy and paste a page and have it directly send to my friends kindle.

A quick note on Title Tags

25 Apr

From a recent Hubspot Webinar on creating effective, SEO friendly title tags:

1. Use non brand related words

2. Go for descriptive niche and longtail words that will equal high conversion customers

3.  Less keywords per page the better. You want to create multiple pages that dominate great keywords, not a single page stuffed with dozens of keywords

4. Use a maximum of 6 to 7 keywords per title tag (also make it less than 71 characters)

5. Make each title page unique

Hope this helps!

The E-Myth Revisited

7 Feb

After reading the Four Hour Work Week 2? years ago, I slowly began going through the recommended reading and selecting titles of interest. From the list, I recently read the E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Business Don’t Work and What to Do About It. Below are my favorite quotes and responses to the ideas:

From page 13, Gerber explains the Fatal Assumption, which states “if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does technical work”

-I’ve seen this countless times before, but never thought that the reason many small business fall is because all the focus on is the technical work, which delays the expansion of the business. Gerber touches on this point later, when he divides the owner into the technician, the manager, and the entrepreneur. He states that the owner has to understand that these three positions must be valued and accounted for, although the emphasis on each occurs at different stages (infancy/technician, adolescence/manager, and maturity/entrepreneur).

“…my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more”

Start from a position of hunger, openness, and the courage to admit your own shortcomings. Then learn and expose yourself to the skills you want or need to know.

“Put another way, while the Entrepreneur dreams, The Manager frets, and The Technician ruminates”

Once you understand which one fits you, you can began to see what you need to accomplish in order to move through Gerber’s stages. The problem, or difficulty, lies in being honest with yourself.

“About building a business that works not because of you but without you”

Many might start loving their work, but as the book mentions, the business you start has the potential of turning into another job you hate. Except in this case you created the job you hate, which makes you feel even more miserable about having that job! The end goal should always be present when you start a business, and hopefully the goal isn’t to work 80 hours a week and lose self confidence over the course of the next _____ years.  Sure the heavy workload is important early on, but record what you know works for a specific position, so you can eventually have someone else do a task you dislike.

“The true product of a business is the business itself”

How well does your business run? Chances are that the product and appearance will reflect your operation, so Gerber insists that the business will have to be exceptional in order for your product to be valued.

“your business is not your life”

Create a system that works, and find people who can operate that system. Learn to remove yourself from certain positions so you can get back your life. This is easy to say, but think of how many people learn to identify so much with the success of their business. The point here might be to take an objective and disconnected look at your business, and learn to separate the performance of one with the value of the other. This of course is easier said (or typed) than done.

I could add another dozens quotes, but I’ll end the post with some questions Gerber states every small business owner should ask him or herself:

1. How can I get my business to work, but without me?

2.How can I get people to work, but without my constant interference?

3. How can I systematize my business in such a way that it could be replicated 5,000 times?

4. How can I own my business, and still be free of it?

5. How can I spend my time doing the work I love to do rather than the work I have to do?

Connecting experiences

30 Jan

My friends ask me where my future lies. When I answer honestly, I usually state that some degree of marketing will be present no matter where I go. At this, their face usually twists, and I now look like a scam artist waiting to trick them into buying a product they didn’t really want. This of course is only slightly better than telling people I graduate with a degree in psychology, which turns their calm persona into one of near shock with a mix of pity and mistrust. The sad part is, these two fields are easily intertwined (which is great for me, but bad for perception). Because of this,  I want to give a brief look at why social work (current position) is very similar to marketing (potential future position)

We love stories. We love telling them and we love hearing them. Marketers tell us stories on why their product is special. If they’re genuine, the product can be something special, and the customer will take pride in purchasing that product. If the story revolves around freedom, we buy the product because it aligns with what we value.   In essence, we bought the story (idea/value), which makes us love the product. Of course the product has to live up to minimal standards, but the important lies in aligning our personality with what the product represents.

In social work, the story we sell doesn’t have a concrete product, but rather an idea. The idea of change, of improvement and empowerment. So how do we do it? Not by charging in and telling everyone we represent change. Rather we tell stories, we relate and make connections. While the relationships are genuine, the change becomes present when we began believing each others story. Once we begin to integrate our story with theirs, our lives become momentarily intertwined and the idea of change can take fruition.

This approach is not meant to devalue the honest relationships social workers have with their clients, but to examine a broader perspective of marketing and what it can be used for.

Standing back

24 Jan

I have a problem. Well you have a problem. Alright we might have a problem.

The problem is perspective, and its something I’ll always be working on. I want to take a step back and see how many different games are being played, and which way they’re being play. This happens all the time, but the real world has a special way of perpetuating its existence.  Now I think the “real world” is exciting, but at the same time is seems to have no foundation, which creates anxiety, stress, and often, inaction. The subtle games we all play, whether consciously or unconsciously committed, have rules, and these rules are rarely explained. This is why I treasure authors like Robert Greene, who seek to deconstruct these interesting interactions of power, war, and seduction.

He recently gave a fantastic lecture at Yale, and in it he explains how “you can’t divorce the games that we have to play, what we have to learn in how to get along with other people, you can’t divorce that from our other forms of intelligence. This is very much who we are“. He explains that these interactions are very real, and extremely important. While one could see this as a negative thing, Greene asserts to enjoy and love the interaction, because they are at the core of our existence. We are the social animal, and we desperately need interaction. The consequence of this need results in very interesting relationships tied around loyalty, empathy, love, deceit, manipulation and so on. Again the talk can be found on his blog here. Well worth the listen

Here’s a list of his books:

48 Laws of Power

33 Strategies of War

Laws of Seduction

50th Law

Confronting failure and this blog

21 Jan

I’m not a perfectionist, but I can easily see how time will bring embarrassment when I look back at some of my posts. I thought about deleting a couple, or revising them, but I decided to leave them up to help document the process. It might be sloppy or might be amazing, but I want it to stay public because it will force me to produce better work. Having said this, I feel like down the road I will delete posts that are rather boring or sloppy, but right now I’m accepting that my future self will most likely be annoyed at my level of writing. For me, this is a part of the process, and part of strengthening a skill.

This does not mean I produce complete shit now hoping that my future work will somehow be better (there is effort involved).  It means that I accept my inexperience and accept that growth will result in practice. It’s a leap of faith, and it gets harder as you get older (and more secure/fearful).

This post was prompted by Charlie Hoehn’s  “The 5-month break comes to an end”

“One of the reasons I stopped writing on here was because I revisited my archives.  My beloved readers (that’s you!) have been kind enough to sing this site’s praises, but frankly, I was put off by quite a few of the things I’ve written.  It was kind of like reading an essay that you wrote back in middle school.  A part of you enjoys the naive enthusiasm, another part of you thinks “Christ, this can’t be me… Is it?  Damnit, my name is on this.”


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