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It's commonly accepted in the online publishing world that internet users don't like ads. While 'hate' might be strong word, it's hard to argue that advertising is an internet user's best friend.
For publishers relying on ads to pay the bills, that usually means one thing: striking an appropriate balance. Enough ads to pay the bills, not so many ads that your users 'hate' you.
Digg, the popular content sharing website that lets users 'vote' for their favorite content on the web, is a favorite of online publishers. Get Digged enough and you might hit the Digg homepage, which can drive tens of thousands of visitors in short order.
Currently, there are two ways to Digg content: on the Digg website or through a button that publishers place on their web pages.
Nick Usborne has been a copywriter for thirty years, and worked on direct mail campaigns before moving exclusively online in 1997. He has just written a guide to optimising online sales by writing better copy.
He believes that this is an area where many e-commerce sites have plenty of room for improvement. In his new e-book, he talks about how websites could use proven sales copywriting techniques to improve their conversion rates.
I've been speaking to Nick about why he feels that some sites need better copy, and the challenges of online copywriting...
Is the internet going to be a godsend for traditional publishers or will it turn out to be a cruel hoax?
The answer to that depends on a lot of things, some of which are out of the control of publishers, such as the state of the economy and ad market.
As newspapers continue the struggle to adapt and survive in a digital world, just about everyone in the business is trying to figure out how to make journalism a profitable exercise in the 21st century, especially online.
Charging for content is back in vogue, but charging for valuable content that publishers have foolishly devalued through ad-supported business models that don't look so great today is a tough proposition.
Over the years, I've worked with many clients of all sizes and shapes. Many have been businesses that need help with their internet presence and ongoing internet strategy.
When the discussion turns to SEO, one of the most common misperceptions many clients have is that SEO is a destination; that you can do a few things and you'll reach the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Let's not let Time Warner off the hook too easily on its semi-paid content experiment. Some of what EVP John Squires announced to the press last week made a lot of sense, some of it was purposefully vague, and some of it needs translation.
Let's get to the translation first. Squires said TW will start to experiment with paid content because there "was too much ad inventory online." Translation: "Yes, we have an ad network in-house (Platform A) but it is not able to provide the CPMs we're looking for. We're having a hard time finding advertisers who will pay a reasonable amount of money beyond the home pages and story starts for most of our brands."
Times are tough and that's especially true for big media companies, including publishers like newspapers.
Advertisers are cutting back and that means that all online publishers are competing for a piece of a smaller pie. While traffic figures aren't the be all and end all of ad sales, traffic does matter.
No one can deny the phenomenal rise of Twitter over the past few months. But with a massive 750% growth rate within 12 months and hundreds of tweets every second, it means there is an awful lot of ‘noise’ being channelled through the medium.
So how can you make yourself heard through all this activity? What will make you stand out from everyone else? Although there’s no definitive rule, we’ve come up with ten tips to guide you in the right direction.
It's funny the difference a couple of years can make. Two years ago, the global economy was roaring along and everyone was excited about internet advertising.
Growth in spend was strong and many companies big and small saw unlimited potential in their future advertising revenues.
Playboy is the world's iconic 'male magazine' but it's had a hard time keeping its relationship with consumers and investors spicy.
The company's story resembles that of media businesses today: evolving markets have changed the game, brought new competition and eroded old competitive advantages.
While I often argue that social media marketing is an excellent way to build brand loyalty, it occurred to me recently that the benefits of such consumer commitment may not be immediately obvious to all marketers.
Clearly, customers who are engaged with a brand are less likely to leave for a competitor. That is the main perk of consumer loyalty but some marketers may question whether that is enough to justify the effort (and therefore budget) needed to build those relationships. After all, that cash could have been spent on developing a new customer base.