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Month: March 2009

Eliminate Duplicate URLs – Get the Scoop on the Canonical Tag

by Kate Trgovac Back in February, all the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask) agreed to recognize the syntax of the "canonical tag". …

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April 9 – Planners Unite – Toronto

We have two complimentary tickets to this event for OneDegree readers … details at the end. Interested in marketing strategy? Come on out to Planners…

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Using Affiliate Marketing for Low-Risk Market Research

Barometer
Maintaining your presence in the marketplace is paramount during a recession. After all, with fewer consumer dollars in circulation, every one that you capture is that much more important.

Of course, with fewer consumer dollars circulating, it’s equally important that you maximize the return on your marketing spend. So wouldn’t it be great if you had a barometer for what works in the marketplace? And a way to test new strategies before rolling them out across all your acquisition channels?

If you have an affiliate program, it can be both that barometer and testing ground. First, an affiliate program can be treated as a microcosm of your entire business. After all, through your affiliate program you advertise, acquire new
customers, and conduct transactions based on the performance of those
customers.

More importantly, the performance-based model of affiliate marketing (that lets you pay only for results) offers you a controlled environment in which to test out new campaigns and strategies. The intelligence that comes out of your affiliate program, then, can be invaluable in helping you reach targets and stay ahead of market trends.

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5 Lessons from SXSWi

South by Southwest Interactive festival is one of the largest technology events of the year. Over 6500 registrants meet to discuss web technologies and the communities those technologies are meant to support. The registrants are a mix of technologists, bloggers, podcasters, social media marketers, PR folks, designers and developers, all of whom descend upon Austin, Texas, for five days. 

SXSW Bag Pickup
SXSW Bag Pick-Up

The festival offers many lessons, tips and tricks, best practices and predictions for the future.
Below are 5 Lessons I Learned at SXSWi.

1. Have good shoes. Zappos.com is "Powered by Service." 

Zappos.com sees extraordinary customer as its norm. CEO Tony Hsieh understands that to succeed online, Zappos has to compete with the offline retail environment where customers try shoes on. As a result, Zappos offers free shipping and free return shipping for all its products.

In Tony Hsieh's opening remarks, he reveals how good deeds such as free shipping can help you leverage the power of your audience to massively extend your brand.
Listen to a podcast of Tony Hsieh's opening remarks at SXSWi.

2. Libre is different than gratis. Chris Anderson gives it away.

Guy Kawasaki's interview with Chris Anderson helps set the record straight on some of the notions in Anderson's upcoming book FREE. One of the basic premises is that free as in "gratis–no price" is different than free as in "libre–freedom."

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How to Create Sustainable Content: Part 3

Day planner
It’s all about planning

Most people start blogs and newsletters brimming over with enthusiasm, then lose momentum. In many cases, they’ve quickly used up most of their great ideas. That’s why you need a plan.

Attention spans are short, especially online. So keep your content brief. Do not cram all your best concepts into the first few posts or issues. Spread out your topics to build interest and loyalty.

You’ll need to consider how often to publish. This will depend on the time you want to spend and how often your readers want to hear from you.

Frequency builds recognition and engagement. But if the high quality of content is not maintained, you risk turning off readers and undermining your reputation. Quality trumps quantity.

Once you have a rough idea of your publishing frequency, write a list of topics you’d like to cover and place them in an editorial calendar. You should not be a slave to this schedule, but you’ll be thrilled to see it when you’ve been side-tracked by other pressing concerns.

Of course, you’ll need to be prepared to change course immediately when something relevant happens or a shiny new idea pops into your mind.

To develop your editorial calendar, start with seasonal items. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, you might spend the early months of the year advising prospective sellers on how to prepare their home for sale in the spring, when buyers start shopping.

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