Archive for the 'Case Studies' Category

The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2011

Best Blogs, Top Blogs, Top Blog Posts Of The Year, Top 10 ListThere are a lot of blogs out there that publish so much bland content that it’s refreshing to come across a collection of blogs that are interesting and intriguing.

Today’s post is a list of the Top 10 Blog Posts of 2011 published by The Exponential Growth Strategist, Dr Marc Dussault.

Listed in no particular order since each one has its own merit based on who you are and what your area of improvement (focus) is, this short list of the best blog posts of the year will inspire you to get started on your New Year’s Resolutions for 2012 right away!

Don’t forget 2012 is a leap year, that means you have an extra 24 hours to realise your dream(s)!

How To Find Hidden Assets In Your Business

Belief Builders and Credibility Creators

Can one idea be worth $50,000?

Why spruikers will never go away

Mentor or Motivator?

Facebook Wall Of Shame Infographic

The more you do, the more you can get done

From ‘Just A Job’ To Finding Your Calling

Cinemagraphs: “Stills” that move

2011 Australian Masters Games Gold Medallist

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Is Your Blog Bland?

Is your blog bland and boring like the one shown here on the left? Then there’s no wonder no one’s coming back! To get more people to read and subscribe to your blog, you need to make it visually enticing to match the intriguing content that adds value to the reader. Many writers forget that blogging is a VISUAL experience. With today’s visual media, you need to make sure you add pictures, diagrams, images, MindMaps and of course embed videos from YouTube.

A bland blog like this is created purely for SEO purposes and that won’t be worth much in the long run. Sure the immediate SEO effect will be there, but without HUMANS going to the pages, STAYING on the pages AND coming back, it will die a slow death within the indexes.

Don’t forget that when you launch a blog, you’re doing it for the end game – to have a loyal readership that wants to hear from you.

Make what you have to say exciting, appealing and attractive. Go from Bland To Brand!

Otherwise your blog will languish and all your effort will be for naught.

If you’re going to put in 90% of the effort (writing the content), why not go the extra 10% and get the REWARDS?

Just ask yourself one simple question…

“Would I read and come back to this blog?”

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Debt Consolidation

This is a brilliant concept! Create a beautiful graphic image that tells your story in a compelling and influential manner and invite people to post it on their blogs with a back link to your blog or website. This is absolute genius! What I especially like is that this ADDS VALUE to readers because it’s an important subject/issue. That’s the key for this to work. It has to educate and inform people and reveal something new or at the very least in a new way, as this does with the graphic elements.

Australia's Credit Card Debt
Source: DebtConsolidation.com.au

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Raw Data Is Valuable, In Fact It Can Save Lives!

This TED TALK by Tim Berners-Lee is another classic example of Antimimeticisomorphism in action. I won’t spoil the presentation for you except to say it’s amazing what smart people can do when they put their minds to it AND the data is available.

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How to get more people to read your blog

Everyone who publishes a blog wants more readers and subscribers. The key is to find interesting and intriguing posts to publish. Like for example, an Eastern Suburb Sydney Dentist, Dr Cary Fraser published this blog post that proves Tom Cruise does not have a perfect smile… C’mon admit it – you’re going to click on the hyperlink. That’s proof that this stuff works. Make it interesting and it will grow organically and automatically…

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Qantas Qomes Qlean

I have to state up front that I’m a Qantas Platinum Member and consider it one of the world’s top airlines. I think this is a great way to “come clean” about any mistakes, errors or shortcomings. The worst thing that can be done is – nothing.

Qantas Easter Message

Qantas Easter Message

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Sydney Blogger Gets On National TV

If you have any doubts people are reading you blog, today’s post should remove any doubt about the value of blogging about anything and everything that is relevant to your audience of suspects, prospects and clients. David Conroy of The Lone Drainer And Pronto, Sydney’s Premier Plumber in the Eastern suburbs has been blogging for about a year, he might not consider himself a blogging expert, but y’know what? David has mastered the art of blogging.

David’s got contributors to his blog from 6 countries with regular readers from more than a dozen countries… One of his recent blog posts about Sydney’s Desalination caught the attention of a journalist for Channel Nine who contacted him and interviewed him for a TV segment that aired last night. CLICK the hyperlink to watch the interview about the complaints about Sydney’s desalinated water.

If you’re not getting results like these, you should consider learning how to blog like an expert.

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Brisbane’s Paddington Pups Launches Dog Of The Month Contest

I recently blogged about Brisbane’s Paddington Pups who went from 0 sales to sold out in 3 weeks… Today’s post takes it one step further.

Hi Marc

I just wanted to say I love the Exponential Mindset and how well it works!  Small and easy to implement things for my business that have a huge impact.

Here is a great example I just experienced that you might want to share.

I was looking for a supplier of Dog calendars in November just gone so I could sell calendars to my clients who are all dog lovers.

I couldn’t find a supplier. I was so frustrated I decided to put together our own calendar for 2011 so I won’t have the same issue next year.

My husband is a professional photographer so know I can get great photos of my clients’ dogs. That’s when the Exponential Mindset comes in… I decided to implement Dog Of The Month where my husband would take the photos and the dog of the month for 2010 becomes the dog for that month in the 2011 wall calendar. By doing it this way, creates excitement and anticipation for next year’s calendar.

The dog who wins Paddington Pups Dog of the Month not only has to be a regular client but also must be a well behaved dog with its owners as raving fans of my business. This is my reward for them, a fun thing to do that everyone gets a kick out of!

You should know I am writing this to you in February before we have unveiled the dog of the month for March.

I want to let you know that already the buzz is huge. All my clients want to win! They all want to know who has won but most of all they want to know how their puppy or dog can win dog of the month.

The most interesting part is not however, the in-store competition and jealousy between the dog parents as you might think but the response from non-Paddington Pups clients.  In discussions with the mum of February’s Dog of The Month – Magic – the response she has received has been dramatic.

When Magic and her mum go to the local off leash park (a daily event) she has had people she has never spoken to before come up to her and say “Oh that’s Magic! Paddington Pups‘ Dog Of The Month!”

This happened on several occasions. Magic’s mum is blown away by the success of this ‘Marketing Tool’ as she refers to it.

Given that I have not been the one having the conversations with the people in the park I can’t say if they have dogs that come to Paddington Pups doggy daycare, are locals that come into the shop to purchase food or if they have read about Magic in the Pupdate (newsletter) or on our Paddington Pups Blog.  What I can tell you is that people are positively talking about my business in the local park where my potential clients go and congregate and talk about their dogs.

The pre-eminence this has created for my business is huge and we are only two months into the concept I can’t wait until the 2011 calendar is out.  The Calendar will serve as a constant reminder in people’s homes as well as the homes of all their family and closest friends. Who wouldn’t want to give a calendar as a gift if their dog or puppy was in it?!?!

Plus it gets even better as I have already managed to secure a sponsor for the calendar who is happy to contribute financially to add their branding. Did I mention it’s only February?!?!

I love the Exponential Mindset!

Thanks Marc for helping me think outside the cube and know how to twist it into profits that are fun!

Bree Robbins
Top Dog
Paddington Pups

Isn’t it amazing how one simple idea can become Exponential?

It of course has no end… Because once adopted, an Exponential Mindset keeps coming up with combinations…

  • The first calendar will be the Dog Of The Month
  • The second calendar will the Puppy Of The Month
  • The third calendar can be the Labrador Of The Month, Boxer, Beagle…

Of course it doesn’t end there…

  • The photos can be sold as large high resolution (quality) prints
  • Keychains, coffee mugs, etc. can be created for each winning dog or puppy.

With an Exponential Mindset, once you’ve CREATED the initial movement, momentum is not hard to maintain…!

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Engineer learns to blog like a pro

Blogs are an amazing development – allowing anyone to communicate openly, publicly and globally. The big screen movie, Julie & Julia is but one extreme example and I have to admit is a pretty good movie. Anyway, getting back on point – even Engineers can learn to blog. I mean that with all the respect and admiration I have for my fellow colleagues since I too am an engineer.

Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours in Melbourne has been in our Business Mastery Platinum Program for the past year and has produced some amazing results, but this latest one is definitely one I am really proud of…

An engineer blogging like a pro – who woudda thought?!?!

I mean take a look a Ray’s blog post about what’s so good about being an engineer. He’s used several of the tips I’ve talked about in previous blog posts on this and my other blogs.

For example, he optimises his blog’s SEO expertly for the keywords he knows his prospects are searching for and tells a story that people want to read even tell a few friends.

Go ahead and read his blog post and let him know how good it is by leaving a comment, he’ll really appreciate the encouragement.

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How To Get More People To Read Your Blog

Ever wonder why some blogs are really cool to read while others are a bore and waste of time? If you don’t have enough people COMING to your blog and REGISTERING to your blog, you might not have developed a ‘persona’ that is congruent and authentic that resonates with your audience.

It’s a skill that I teach in our Killer Kopywriting Workshops, a Platinum Program event that is usually closed to the public, but when you call Gulliver on 0401 923 582, IF seats are available, he might be able to get you in to the next one in Melbourne on Wednesday 28 January from 10 AM to 5 PM so you can fly in and out on the same day from inter-state without having to pay for a hotel room.

But that’s not why I’m writing to you today.

The persona that you create will determine who subscribes to your blog.

If you don’t create one, no one will come.*

A ‘persona’ is a manufactured identity that meets the approval of an audience that wants to hear more from that ‘persona’…

One extreme example is The Rich Jerk. He created this persona and people who are into that ‘persona’ will go to his site and register on his blog.

Another persona, more my style is Grammar Girl… She has GREAT advice and I think her branding is very professional. I always send people to my favorite post on apostrophes

So there you have it, create a persona and reap the rewards of a dedicated group of subscribers who will not only read your blog, but send people to it like I just did.

* If you don’t have a ‘persona’, then you need to have something else to get people to keep coming back, that is the subject of a future post – stay tuned and stay subscribed!

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Add Case Studies to Your Blog Posts

Blogging is not just about publishing a post, it’s about creating value for your reader. Case studies are a GREAT WAY to create value, by consolidating ONE KEY IDEA and making it dead easy for the reader to IMPLEMENT it in their business, website or blog.

Take this example – I published a post called “Keywords are key to blogging success” and then created a case study about it, which you can download for future reference.

Don’t you agree a PDF that you can easily and quickly access is more ‘valuable’ to you?

You’re welcome!

So there you have it – convert, transform and enhance your posts into case studies and see what happens to your readership and subscriptions!

There are a few more cases I’ve lined up for you – they’ll be ready in the next week or so.

Make sure you register either via RSS or e-mail so you don’t miss them!

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The Widgetbucks experiment

Following on from the Google war on pagerank, this SearchEngineJournal post got my attention.

I don’t get out much and had never heard of Widgetbucks - so I thougt I’d give it a try – see the new widget in the right-hand sidebar.

I’ll post our findings in the next few weeks.

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My blog’s cr&p – get into it!

Not quite, but you get the idea.

In an increasingly crowded media landscape, bloggers need to use their medium find their own ‘voice’ and position their offering:

  • to stand out
  • to attract and retain readers
  • personalise their content

Here’s an interesting case study of a brand that isn’t quite using reverse psychology but is more akin to highlighting their weaknesses (and in doing so, demonstrating their strengths).

‘Telling the truth’ sets the framework for the customer relationship that is based around honesty and trust. Isn’t this what your blog is trying to achieve?

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Slammed by the PageRank downgrade? 3 ideas to combat Google

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With Google’s recent crackdown on paid links, some say in an attempt to increase their takings from the advertising pie, a number of blogs that rely on Google for search engine traffic have been hit hard. If your blog falls into this category, then your choices are as follows:

  • Comply with Google – stop selling sponsored links + replace it with AdSense
  • Make your blog less Google-dependent for traffic

If you’re leaning towards the latter, here are three ideas to help Google do less evil:

  • Retain your audience by promoting your RSS feeds to them – people who subscribe will bypass the Google intermediary layer
  • Use your blog as the sharing mechanism it’s designed to be – through comments on other peoples’ blogs, trackbacks, pings, social bookmarking and blog communities like mybloglog, twitter etc
  • Get a good domain name that is generic enough that web users will naturally type-in the address e.g. realestate.com.au or podcast.com
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Marketing/PR hypothesis No.1: Personalise it

You have a new idea or product or service.

It’s cool but in its early form – a little edgy and raw.

But it’s got potential.

How do you get the word out?

Hypothesis No.1: Personalise it

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If you can’t be all things to all people, road test the idea with a few trusted friends. Cut it down to its raw elements and put it to them for comment.

Put a little spin on it to initiate eyeball engagement. Think of it this way: if your product was a book, what would the cover/title/book need to look like so that the potential reader grabs it off the shelf. Whether he/she ends up buying it will depend on the merits of the transaction – does the book give the reader what he/she needs/wants, but the point is you need to gather the audience before you can even start that spiel.

The AustralianBlogs experience
We thought we’d try our new idea on the inmates/housemates at the Silicon Beach House by individually labelling some beers we brought for Freelancer Friday. Small and hopefully unobtrusive but enough for Bronwen, Myles and Dave to ask the question we wanted them to: “So what’s BLOG.biz?”

Whether or not the new idea meets their needs will depend on how well we do our job in structuring our offering + whether they actually need what we offer….but last things first – let’s make them grab this little idea off the shelf for a closer look.

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The Concept

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The Yakka

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The Execution

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Myles Eftos (MadPilot Productions and PerthNorg) and Luke Evans (AustralianBlogs)

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Dave Gardner (Intilecta Corporation)

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Bronwen Clune (PerthNorg) and Luke Evans

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Bronwen Clune and Bronwen‘s beer

Beered in absentia: Richard Giles (Scouta) and Jordan Brock (Five Senses Coffee)

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The LinkedIn experience

I’ve been avoiding the Facebook and MySpace crowd since its inception – I didn’t want to be the thirty-something, dirty old man on the barstool of a teenie/twenty-sonething nightclub. However, about the time of the relaunch of AustralianBlogs (or thereabouts) Simone sent me a LinkedIn invitation. I must have signed up a little while ago as it’s fallen by the wayside like my hotmail account. So I gave i a whirl – accepted Simone’s kind invitation to link up and dusted off the resume. This time around, I pasted a link on this blog (as you can see on the top right-hand corner).

It’s terribly uncool to the digerati, I’m sure. LinkedIn’s up there with Amazon, eBay and Yahoo as the giants of the first go-around of the internet boom.

So I thought…PERFECT.

Positives

  • good for finding long lost friends
  • acts as an online business card or whitepages listing
  • might help personal ‘trustrank’
  • nice to see the track record

Negatives

  • a bit narcissistic – and you do feel like a tosser
  • privacy – you can’t control who sees your profile and what they do with it
  • can’t hide the bad bits – think of it as web cellulite

Overall, I’ve added 30-odd friends (real friends) and a couple of acquaintances from the blog world. Not bad. The greatest tangible benefit has really been hooking up with long-lost friends but I guess it’s been some help with any interested surfers looking to get involved with AustralianBlogs.

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Running this blog business like a business

This is a great post – I love the distinction between ‘Making money by investing time’ and ‘Making money by investing money’.

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A blog is like a box of chocolates – Lessons from the marketing challenge

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When we came up with the idea of blogging our attempts to raise some money for my boy’s childcare centre playground refurb, we thought it would be a laugh to see if we could come up with some unconventional marketing campaigns to flog what is well-worn fundraising stock (ie. the humble Freddo and his mate the koala).

Here is a quick summary of the ideas we tried:
- selling with humour
- selling with threats (albeit in good humour)
- selling via perceived shortages
- selling via lifestyle outcome (ie. “I want to get out of this place!” – see above image)

Here are some ideas which we didn’t get to try:
- selling via recommendation/sponsorship (“The Boss says ‘buy a Freddo!’ “)
- anti-selling (“Say no to smartarse marketing slogans – buy a Freddo $1″)
- Office lookalike competitions
- ‘Diet starts tomorrow’
- ’0.00003% fat-free’
- locating Freddos in the Ladies toilets

The final wash-up:
- nearly four boxes of 48 Freddos/Caramellos sold @$1 (still finishing up this final box)
- near-zero theft rate

Analysis:
- People chose our chocs over others because we gave them interesting content (that made them laugh…or in one case – tear it up in disgust)
- People were less likely to steal because they knew who was behind the Freddos (we had a substantially-lower level of theft compared to other choc fundraisers)
- The initial gimmicks got some great laughs
- People made up their mind about your offering pretty quickly
- People who bought at the start will more like continue to buy from you (and vice versa)
- We identified our customer-evangelists who were our highest spenders as well as spread ‘the word’
- Customers expected a new and funnier campaign daily. When they didn’t get one, they still bought (although they would give you a good-humoured serve)

How does this little exercise relate to blogging?

Is your blog like a box of Freddos? Is it a commodity or is there a high degree of differentiation compared to other blogs (or even other media?) Do you know if your readers are coming just for the content or the interaction? Do they see your blog as a means to pass the day or something they draw information for practical application? Based on this, how do you package your product? Do you dress it up with witty commentary, or do you focus on newsreader-like dissemination of the facts?

Answer these questions (as a start) and you will find that you’re on your way to building a group of sticky clientele that will keep on buying your virtual Freddos.

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Marketing Challenge no.1: Results (Day 7) BANNED!!

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Day 1 = 8 sold
Day 2 = 12 sold
Day 3 = 5 sold
Day 4 = 12 sold
Day 5 = 8 sold
Day 6 = 10 sold
Day 7 = 16 sold

Theft = 0

Eating into profits = 1
Left to sell = 24

Complaints = 1

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Marketing Challenge no.1: Results (Day 6)

readmybackside.jpg

Day 1 = 8 sold
Day 2 = 12 sold
Day 3 = 5 sold
Day 4 = 12 sold
Day 5 = 8 sold
Day 6 = 10 sold

Theft = 0 (after recount)

Eating into profits = 1
Left to sell = 40 (onto second box)

Complaints = 1

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