Online Marketing by an Undergraduate

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making sense of marketing one post at a time

Finding Something to Love in a Job

Stephen King recounts in “On Writing” how he knew his son was not meant to play the saxophone because his son played only during the times the instructor assigned. His son didn’t love the sax.

The old adage is do what you love and you’ll find success (in some way). That stance scares me. What if people think what I like is worthless? How will I make a living? Or will I have the fortitude to see my interest get recognized.

With qualification, the message becomes more relevant. Having taken a job that pays the bill – or provides some spending money on the side — I can find something within any job that I love and I can do it. It doesn’t have to be part of my job description, but by doing it I will find contentment and joy.

How about you? Have you found something you love within the framework of something you don’t?

Filed under: Uncategorized

Relevance vs. Remembrance: Why Bloggers Stay Relevant Now But Won’t Be Remembered Later

The key to becoming a famous and respected blog author is to have frequently updated content relevant to a target audience. But that will only make you relevant to your audience. To be remembered for a long time, for much longer than a lifetime – a publisher of knowledge must go beyond the concerns of the day, and find truths that unite humanity. 

The best example of this difference in approach is in mathematics. In his lifetime, Leonard Euler produced 24,000 pages of original work. He published a third of all mathematics in the eighteenth century. The word prolific comes to mind. Heard of him? Unless you have read any history of mathematics, probably not.

Let’s take another example, Isaac Newton. You know him. His fame came from a two year period between 1665 and 1666 when, away from school, he invented calculus – a revolution in thought. Nothing I can say will do justice to the influence of calculus. And he did have that thing about gravity. Moving on.

Why does the world celebrate Newton while only a handful do the same for Euler? The difference was their work.

To be remembered takes penetrating levels of human experience that go beyond a specific time period. Frequent, relevant content – the hallmark of good blogging, is predestined to disappear when the relevant time period passes. Additionally, frequent content demands production for the moment – the opportunity to think deeply is limited and the rewards for that thinking are even more limited. The ideas within blogs are perishable.

Blogging then, is perfect for commerce. At its highest level, business exists to satisfy the wants of the people. The best blogs give people what they want in a timely fashion. It’s no surprise Euler loved teaching, he loved people.

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I Screwed Up

Yesterday, I had my first big Tippingpoint Labs internship screw up. I had to put together a chart for a presentation, and I messed up my data. Not a big deal – but I didn’t know I screwed up until my boss called me in to say, “WTF is that?”

I treated the project like I was back in school, doing it to get a grade to move onto the next job. But this is real life, and I love it for its consequences. The stakes weren’t high but the experience reminded me why I double check my work before I email it in. Because when winning the client is on the line, when I hit the send button I better deliver.

How have you screwed up? More importantly, what did you learn from it?

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3 Ingredients to Social Media Channel Success

At Tippingpoint Labs, we ask the big questions. What drives a social media channel’s success? What gets it from the beginning of its evolution to sustainability? How does one social media channel fit into the social media universe, and what does that mean for business? I am proud to help see this research project through.

This is a simple view of where success originates.

  1. The value of the medium – What’s the volume of the blog readership? The podcast listening? This ingredient constrains the number of visitors to the channel based on the medium of communication.
  2. Presence of Relevant and Quality Content – How successful is the channel at not only publishing quality content, but featuring the quality content in a way that brings a person back again and again.
  3. Community Infrastructure – How well does the channel’s structure support sharing and engaging? Channels can really build and solidify their user base here by making the community experience as important as the content. On the flip side, a weak community infrastructure makes a channel an easy target from poaching by the competition.

This is where my thinking is at the beginning. It will probably change. What’s yours?

Filed under: Uncategorized

Writing Process: As Personal As Finished Product

When I write my first draft, I have only an idea of my goal.  Only when my thoughts are out do I begin to see the connections. I look for the main theme and supporting themes. I try to cut supporting themes.

While I explore with my first draft, I focus, prune, and organize with later drafts. Through this process, I understand how my thoughts tie together.

By communicating with you, I better understand me. This is my discovery process.  What is your process? How does writing help you?

Filed under: Uncategorized

Write With Clarity: Read Copyblogger

You want to broaden your reach and become a community resource? Clearer prose will achieve your goals without resorting to fancy tricks. Copyblogger will help you.

Fascination

Good, plain writing fascinates me. “How can I get my point across in as few words as possible?” compels me when I write. Finding Copyblogger was a stroke of good fortune.

Avoid the Superficial

Want to create remarkable content? Even inbound marketing thought leader Hubspot tells readers to create quirky, creative, experimental, and innovative content as the best way to do it. Quirky content will attract attention, but quirky is a fad. Instead, invest in your craft.  Writing with clarity is more difficult than being quirky, but is a surer path to longevity.

Inspiration

Good writing takes discipline – and motivation. Copyblogger provides that motivation.

You’re reading my blog. It occupies a small bungalow in the blogosphere. Conclusion: you like reading blogs. Copyblogger is a blog, and the perfect medium to motivate you.

Two of my favorite posts for inspiration are Writing Copy Even Your Grandma Will Love by Chris Garrett, and Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 Tips for Writing Well by Brian Clark . Garrett urges writers to use plain, understandable english words. Writing for the long tail does not excuse jargon. Jargon is sloppy language in places where people did not think hard enough for the real english word. In the Hemingway post, Clark advises we write with strong, vigorous prose. Emulate Hemingway. Take Clark’s advice one step further. Read Hemingway. Let his cadence fill your writing ear.

The First Rule of Sales

Sell yourself. Make people want to read you whether you write about inbound marketing or worms in the dirt. Draw people in you never thought would like you. Broaden your reach.

Write plainly and vigorously. The rest will take care of itself.

Filed under: Blogging Education, , , , , ,

Commence the Tippingpoint Group Blog

Hey Guys,
 
Here’s the first post on the group blog. I started it really just to try this feature out. I think it’s a simple way to build a small community within Posterous. On the other hand, if every contributor gets every group post, I wonder if the group will start feeling spammy. Here’s to experimenting!
 
Jason

Posted via email from All things at the Tippingpoint

Filed under: Uncategorized

Second Shot: Posting on WordPress with Posterous

The Basics: I opened my email editor, put my blog post title in the subject line, and started typing

The Mistake: Addressing my first email wordpress@posterous.com

The Correction: blog@posterous.com

Have you tried Posterous? It seems like it has potential has a photostreaming lifestream (whatever that is).

Thanks for checking out this blurb.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Prezi Presentation: Check it Out!

One day, Powerpoint presentations will be a thing of the past. Here is a presentation I gave today in my anthropology class using the Prezi platform. With Prezi, you put your material on a map and use their software to move around, allowing you to present in a non linear fashion. That is the highest of the high level of what you can do with this presentation software, and if my presentation below in any way intrigues, I suggest going to prezi.com to explore more.

Anthropology Prezi Presentation: Check it out!

Filed under: Prezi, ,

Stop Adding to the Noise and Start Adding to the Conversation

This past Monday, Andrew Davis of Tippingpoint Labs explains in a fabulous post why Twitter will struggle to monetize their site. While Andrew identifies the increase in talking and decrease in listening, Chris Donaldson of pimpyourmarketing.com shows us the benefits of approaching other bloggers in our space as complements, not competitors. I will drive the analysis home by suggesting three ways to stop talking and to bring the noise down and the value up.

Andrew humorously exposes the changing community dynamic from one of listening to one of talking. He can’t take the noise, and with a heavy heart, he breaks up with Twitter. Let’s put the noise Andrew is talking about into context:

Twitter daily visitors last 12 months

From January 2009 to May 2009, daily traffic at twitter.com went from less than one and a half million daily unique visitors to almost three million.

The flood of Twitterers makes attention more difficult to come by. People talk to get noticed rather than listen to add value. No wonder Andrew is disillusioned.

But what if we do more  listening than talking? What if, like Chris suggests, instead of looking at bloggers as competitors, we look at them as complements? The benefits: we open our mind to new ideas, we foster a sub community within our larger field, and in so doing increase our sophistication as writers and idea people and produce a much richer dialog among our peers. We stop trying to be the voice and we allow ourselves to find our voice.

If you have lost your way, it’s ok. You can follow these three steps to stop adding to the noise and to start adding value.

  1. Step back from the struggle to be heard and lay the foundation for your long term growth. Connect with bloggers more deeply. Post thoughtful comments on their blogs and highlight the superior value they are contributing when possible. Your openness will reward you with greater intellectual and social satisfaction.
  2. Do your best to understand your audience at a granular level. Tippingpoint Labs is an excellent model – they help their clients build digital personas of their audience to identify the content most relevant to them.
  3. Appreciate yourself, deeply. Go beyond just understanding your place in the blogging community, and take time to think about why you are different, special, and unique. You are a wonderful person, and when you figure out why, pore that individuality into your writing. Make people stop in their tracks with your humanity.

How well do you understand you?

Filed under: Twitter Overload, , , , , ,

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