Is Branding Dead?

image of rock climber

Sure, there are still some iconic brands. Apple, Nike, Coke.

But those are giant companies. They go by different rules.

For the rest of us mortals, does the traditional idea of a brand — an iconic emotional shortcut that lets customers identify with a product — make any sense anymore?

Won’t smart, lean, agile little companies eat the big, lazy brands up?

After all, a village business doesn’t need a brand, right?

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The Complete Newbie’s Guide to Marketing

baby

Think it’s the lack of advanced techniques that’s been holding you back?

Think your blog isn’t finding readers because you don’t have the coolest plugins? Or that your sales page doesn’t convert because you couldn’t afford the 1,999 Secrets of Ninja Marketing Masters product that got released last month?

Think the secret to successful marketing and running a profitable online business is some piece of Jedi mastery that you would need to study for years to learn?

Not even close.

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Finding Your Village of Customers

Godin calls it a tribe. Kevin Kelly calls them your 1000 True Fans. Hugh MacLeod calls it a global microbrand.

Everywhere you look, you might notice a new kind of flexible, smart small business. They serve a relatively small number of people. Big businesses drool over their profit margins and adaptability. Their customers are knocked out by what they do and how they do it.

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The Dark Side of Authority

troll dolls

If you’ve seen our thoughts on authority, you know about the benefits of developing yourself as a credible authority online. Respect, trust, business success, traffic, links. All the good stuff we want.

But there’s a downside.

Whether your blog is large or small, you’ve dealt with these unpleasant creatures. The ones who, for whatever reason, get their enjoyment out of what they can knock down, rather than what they can build.

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Is Writing Obsolete?

quill pen

The written word is having a tough time.

It’s not just that literacy rates are surprisingly bad. (One source maintains that half of American adults can’t read an eighth grade-level book.) But even among people who can read, fewer and fewer want to read.

If you’re a passionate reader (as I am), this might bring you to the brink of despair.

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How to Win Over New Kinds of Readers

making new friends

Ever notice that your content tends to really resonate with some people, and others don’t have any interest at all?

You might shrug your shoulders and just decide “that’s the way things are,” but in fact, educational psychology shows that there are four distinct ways of taking in information. Each of us naturally tends to speak most effectively to one type, leaving the other three out in the cold.

By getting a basic understanding of those four types, you can actually shape your content to connect with a greater range of people. You’ll radically increase your fan base, and also make a more powerful connection with the readers you have today.

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