Author Archive

Everybody’s a publisher now

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I moved from the editorial side of the publishing business to the money side in 2000 and my timing couldn’t have been worse.

In my first month of selling advertising, it was my job to convince would-be advertisers why they should select my products as opposed to anybody else’s.

By the second month, I was answering a much more difficult question: Why they should advertise at all.

Even in 2000, at the height of the first internet bubble, marketers were figuring out how ...

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Sales of digital content improve thanks to some new tools

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As digital readers improve the online reading experience, people seem to be getting more comfortable with the idea of paying for online content. With that progress, what publishers need now is an effective and easy way to accept payment for content – whether they want to offer content on a metered, per-use or subscription basis.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire has, perhaps broken a barrier with the easiest access to online magazine subscriptions I’ve seen. That’s the strength of the Fire: it’s an ...

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The time has passed for revenue-enhancing digital products

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A small B2B media company contacted me to talk about enhancing revenue by adding some new digital products to its portfolio. The company already offers a digital edition, business directory, email newsletters, web-seminars and a number of other digital B2B staples. Non-monetized but just as important, it has a reasonable Twitter following, a large group on LinkedIn and a Facebook page that is basically just a placeholder.

I’m sure there are more products the company could implement. It doesn’t have any ...

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Advertisers will always go where the people are

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Alan Mutter, who calls himself the Newsosaur and whose opinions on the news business I deeply respect, points out that newspapers are now well into their sixth year of declines in advertising demand. In a recent blog post, he noted that annual newspaper sales hit $10.7 billion in 2006 – and now stand at $4.3 billion, about the same level as 1983. And they continue to drop.

While the drop in advertising isn’t new for newspapers, it hasn’t always ...

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So much to do that nothing gets done

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Many small business owners are not marketers. They’ll tell you as much.

People start their own business in order to do what they love and do well. Marketing becomes a necessary evil.

For many, writing is a chore. Or databases are a mystery. Or blogging takes too much time. Social media creates an uncomfortable blend between business and personal. Networking is superficial. Advertising is too expensive and doesn’t work quickly. Public relations is a crapshoot.

It’s altogether too time-consuming, too hard, too expensive. ...

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Privacy: It grows fainter and quainter

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In a recent workshop on social media for small business, one owner remarked that she didn’t want to start using Facebook for her business because she doesn’t want information about her personal life to be available to strangers online.

After an explanation that it’s now possible to keep business and personal lives separate on Facebook, I flippantly suggested that the era of privacy is over anyway.

Many people under the age of, say, 25, seem comfortable sharing every moment – for better ...

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Buy good equipment; take good care of it

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Call this Rule #1 for life. Maybe it’s not the most important rule; it’s not the Golden Rule or even the Rule of 72.

Let’s call it the Hard Goods Rule: Buy good equipment and take good care of it.

Nothing provides better affirmation and aids in a better outloook than moving through the details of the day with equipment that works easily, well and with the rarest of failure.

If you need to buy a printer for your ...

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Microsoft Internet Explorer: Power to the Peeps

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According to a report in B2B Magazine, the next edition of Microsoft Internet Explorer – IE9, to be released during 2011 – will include a feature that enables users to block 0nline tracking of their internet browsing by marketers.

Thank you Microsoft, for taking our privacy out of the hands of the calcified Congress, and putting it back where it belongs: with each of us. If you’re not careful, people might start to like you again.

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The worst of both worlds

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I had breakfast with an entrepreneur who is at that point where his young business ought to be gaining traction. But he’s bogged down in building the next generation of software that supports the business.

The problem is that he and the software developer – to whom he has given equity in exchange for the development work – disagree on their vision for the 2.0 version. They’ve been deadlocked for six months as competitors begin to pop up around them.

I suggested he ...

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