Archive for the ‘spoke media’ category

Word On The Street:An Open Letter To Web Future Guys From Us Regular Cool User Guys

February 24, 2006

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I’m not a tech guy.

I’m just a regular dude with a music background and an interest in new media. I read with interest those folks who obviously know a lot more than me about whats going on.

But these folks sometimes seem to miss something kinda important.

Me.

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The 9rules Guide:How Not To Kick Your Girlfriend Out Of The Band

February 16, 2006

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Some people don’t take rejection well.

One day I came from 16 hours of work and found my apartment empty except for my Playstation2. It seemed my girlfriend had moved in with my cousin and they ‘freed’ my belongings.

After endless bickering I finally took my girlfriend’s name and picture and had it printed on 144 T-shirts with the word WHORE underneath in big bold letters.

I then had the newspaper guy drop them off at every apartment in her new complex.

As she learned, there is a wrong way of kicking people out of your band, your life or your network. 9rules is today’s case study of the wrong way.

Let’s examine what not to do:

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Just when you thought it was over…

January 21, 2006

war

Like I said, I don’t really do blog network news but the war between some 9rules folks and Cowboy of Spoke Media fame has started again.

For those of you not keeping up here is the deal this time.

9rules (after realizing that design and quality does not always mean profits) has cast their lot with Sam Sugar to create a sex blog network.

Well, Cowboy decides to launch a sex blog network as well. He calls it sexblogsinc.com (the originality is overwhelming).

 Sam Sugar thought it was interesting enough to post that there was a competing network stealing his idea and the owner was a former 9rules guy.

Cowboy has a fit and whines about it on his site.

Here’s the deal. As someone who has had actual ideas stolen the notion of someone stealing the idea of a sex blog network is weak. Sex blogs ain’t exactly new. Though it’s not listed in the media kitNick Denton has had a very profitable sex blog for years. He even sometimes calls himself a porn publisher.

Now getting upset because someone posted a private email is something I can understand. But the whining about is a bit much. Cowboy’s post about it is very histronic and…gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that.). But it seems to be a given that if you are a Spoke Media guy you have to whine.

Of course before the weekend is out I expect the guys to all kiss and make up. I just hope it will be videotaped and posted on their respective new networks.

A Guide To Monetizing Your Blog Network

January 19, 2006

Few things are as unrefreshing as looking at a list of blog networks and seeing a bunch of the same old thing. I personally think it’s part Andy Hagan and Chris Garrett’s fault. (O.K., maybe not) But people are not creating real networks. They are creating infomercials. That may bring you a little change from folks when it’s late night and they’re bored, but it does not, in any form of the word, make you, what the brother’s on the street call “f*ck you money.” (That’s when you have enough money that in case anyone asks you to do anything for pay you can say ‘f*ck you”.)

So I was looking over Spoke-Media’s sites yesterday for my Save This Network feature and I was impressed. They get it. It’s not the kind of sites I would visit or hang around but that’s the point.

If you have never visited, it’s 4 sites which feel like it’s run by drunken women. It’s like a private party (except for some cat named CJ who whines like he’s a belongs on The View, but those types go to parties,too).

Almost everything about the sites are perfect, in my eyes. It’s focused. Has features to keep you coming back (horospoke, indeed!) and has it’s targeted audience. It’s not dull (by a long shot) and they know their Brand.

But they seem to have a problem that most new networks are having. They have not figured out yet how to monitize their content. It got me so frustrated in fact seeing the affiliate ads that I decided to once and for all tell everyone within the sound of this keyboard how to really make money. This may end up being kinda long (since it’s important) so grab some Java, sit your ass down and take notes.

[note: this is for blog networks and real blogs. If you are just building blogs only to create revenue this will be a waste of your time and my effort]

success

1. Take every network generated ad off of your site.

I am serious. All the google adsense, amazon, and other ad networks. Get rid of all the affiliate programs and all of that crap. Take it off. I am serious.

Why?

First, blogs are different than websites. Blogs are personal. If you are truly building a Blog Network each and every aspect of it should reflect it’s writers. You are not building a site (or sites) to sell other peoples wares. You are creating a vibe, an attitude, a religion which people come to read and/or participate in and be entertained by.

Most ad-networks, along with not being a smart way of maximizing your network income, decide who will be advertising on your site. We don’t like that.

2.Learn Your Audience

If you are an Eminem fan you like to wear hooded sweatshirts, baggy jeans and hightop tennis shoes. I also know that if you dress like that but have never heard his music, if you did, you would probably like it.

Wal-Mart knows that if you buy Campbell’s Soup and Camel cigarettes, you will also probably buy original Crest toothpaste.

People are their brands.

Serious marketers collect information and have it’s customers down to almost every individual trait.

If you are serious about building a real network brand you will learn everything you can about your audience. You are doing them a favor by collecting it. It helps you find the things they really desire. Armed with this information you are ready to attack.

3.Think Small

There are 500,000 business created in the US every month. They all want the same thing. To get more people to love their crap enough to buy it.

Most business in the US are small businesses. None of them have enough money to really advertise in the way that they want. They know they have to reach customers any way they can. They have to do this. And That. To even stay in the game.

That’s where you come in. You know your audience. You know what they want. You also have influence over them because the people who come to your site trust you.

Now you can’t just call Nike and say “The folks who read my blog love cool tennis shoes and you should advertise on my blog.”  But who you can call are the abundant number of small sneaker companies trying to get a foothold in the consumers mind.

Now maybe they can’t pay you big money but they can pay you more than any ad-network.

4.Forget Clickthroughs and Hits and Unique Visitors

You are not selling a certain number of visitors. You want a specific kind of visitor. People who get it. People who love your site. And that’s what you are selling to advertisers.(Of course you might want to tell them how many people actually visit your site.) You sell the influence you have over your audience and the targeted reasearch you have on them. 

5.Advertise Different

Put together a real campaign. Think of something you and the advertiser could do which will really make them stand out in a crowd. Don’t sell banner ads. No. You are the fucking future. You tell the folks at Generate that you will set up a contest where the winner gets a Yayo Lamp if he find the 3 lamps they make out of cloth. You make a couple of hundred bucks, Generate is introduced to a whole new audience who actually had to look through the entire online catalog and your audience has fun and it makes you look cool.

O.K., I’m getting tired of typing. And I’m losing my passion for the subject. But I hope you understand what I am trying to say here. There is no reason you cannot be making real money on your site. There are literally too many people trying to reach targetted audiences.

Make something special. Do the hard work of telling the advertisers about it. And they will pay you.