Markethive Groups The Champion of the Cottage Industry
noun: cottage industry; plural noun: cottage industries
a business or manufacturing activity carried on in a person's home.
Like Facebook, Groups is a more focused culture gathering to have topic discussions based on the Groups theme.
Unlike Facebook, Groups is the center of all the tools of the system. Let’s start with the blogging platform.
The Group blogging platform is a unique platform published to from the group members who choose to publish to that platform. The Markethive blog system also utilizes plugins so that content can be directed to one or more WordPress blogs.
This allows you to build a team of marketers all working together for a common cause contributing content for the Markethive blog platforms and WordPress distribution (reach).
SEO Backlinks management is another group function where the group organization utilizes the Backlinks system to build white hat links for specific campaigns.
Co-op Advertising Campaigns Financing: Press releases, Youtube video ads, Facebook Ads, Google ads can easily be financed with an internal co-op campaign.
Membership Management Reports: As Admin, you can review activity reports for the members in your group. Login activity, blogging in the group, Backlink activity, Massaging responsiveness, etc. Allow decisions based on activity to determine ejecting non responsive members.
Rotators: Used to distribute traffic coming to the Group blogs, or Co-op traffic to designated sites or capture pages. Or distributed traffic for any reason. Similar to the Co-op campaign is the ability to acquire leads, customers or distributor in a co-op function and distribute the leads, customers, etc. accordingly.
Asset Map: A management system whereas displays the relational connections between, capture pages, profile pages, blogs, social networks, press releases etc.
Group Messaging: Communication with your group members is well managed with the group function messaging system.
Replicating PDF documents:
A Markethive group is like a Cottage Industry. You can use Groups to build a startup business, a professional service, a power network marketing team, nothing like it before, like building a startup service with no overhead. This is the promise of the new Market Network (contrasted to the old Social Networks) That is exactly what Markethive is.
Case in point: Chris Corey, Annette Schwindt, Stephen Hodgkiss and I have formed a new corporation called Wavefour Inc. This corporation is negotiating a marketing campaign with a new client that is hiring us to run an agent acquisition, reach, Craigslist, capture page campaign, having the potential to create over $500k for us when we reach target. This is exactly why we built Markethive, a market environment designed to incubate, support and enable small, moderate and large business.
And Markethive Groups is the epicenter of all of this. Welcome to the new Market Network of the future. Markethive!
When Out Bound Marketing and I separated our ways for good!
In 1996 or there about, I was approached by a well-known marketer, David D’Arcangelo. We were associates at that time in the Network Marketing business and we both lived in San Diego. He pitched me on a new deal he felt was a considerable advantage in the industry, had an organization begun (He has a large sphere of influence from his radio shows). He was proposing he run major ads in papers like USA Today, etc. and round robin the incoming leads to the new distributors. He felt that he and I could work together on this and build a sound solution for the ‘rank and file” recruits. With his name and advertising and the advantage I had because I owned a big marketing system (which came to be known as Veretekk).
I enrolled about 10 people based on this agreement and we scheduled our first tele bridged conference call. My wife Annette (my girlfriend at the time) and I were excited before the call began. On the call nothing was said about a Co-op distribution round robin. What did transpire, was David took control of the call from me, then quickly introduced his friend John Green and pitched the leads John Green was selling from CuttingEdgeMedia (This is my recollection). John Green and David claimed they were awesome pre interviewed leads and cost $20 each.
Annette immediately expressed her anger that we had been baited and switched, and the call was a disaster. I was also angered as I have always found buying leads a foolish pursuit. Ho9wever, this time< I wanted to use these leads to conduct a real survey.
I paid for 100 leads, about $2000 for the 100 super hot, pre interviewed hot ready to join my business leads. I also bought the USA Today white pages on CD Rom as a control subject.
I spent 4 weeks and tracked the results in an Excel Spread sheet. I called every lead in that database. I called everyday of the week. At 3 different times for each lead at 10am, 2pm, and 6pm. I also called Saturdays at 12 noon and 8 pm in their time zone until I actually talked to someone.
Of the John Greene leads 80% of the list was contacted. 20% never answered or numbers were disconnected or wrong numbers. Of the remaining 80% I was able to talk to 80% said very nasty profanity at me, demanded I remove them from the list, and were extremely angered and some threatened me with legal action. Even when I explained I was doing “lead” research, told them who sold them and that they were supposedly interviewed.
Not one was interviewed. Either they called me a liar or the provider a liar or said they had no recollection of being interviewed. There were 2 out of the 100 who expressed some interest in the business, but further calls were never answered and nothing ever came from these halfhearted interests.
USA Today leads
In sharp contrast I must report on the 100 names and phones numbers I pulled from the USA Today white pages disk as a control to the research. Of the 100 I called on the same routine, 97% connected. Not one of them expressed anger, called me names or hung up on me. Most of them were still not interested, but I did get 12 very interested to join and 3 actually did join.
This is Outbound Marketing
This technique to cold call is a daunting process even back in the days, even for professionals. Today it is virtually a total waste of time. When people do answer and don’t know who you are 96% just hang up. The others usually take some time to insult you. It is over. Outbound marketing is now a total waste of time and money.
It is time to understand Inbound Marketing
So I have produced this blog and video for the Dummies out there. It is Inbound Marketing for Dummies. If you are ever going to find success, you are going to have to embrace, understand and intitiate the process called Inbound Marketing.
You are in luck, because Markethive is one of the top state of the art, “Inbound Marketing” platforms in the world and it is the only one that is free!
Inbound Marketing For Dummies
By now you probably heard some of the buzz about inbound marketing. But just what exactly is it?
Inbound marketing is like marketing with a magnet vs. a megaphone. Its marketing based on quality content, that attracts a steady stream of qualified leads.
At this point and time outbound marketing has completely lost it edge. Did you know that the average person sees anywhere from 3000 to 20,000 outbound advertisements per day? No wonder no one is paying any attention.
Shouting at your audience with a megaphone is no longer the most cost-effective or productive way of marketing your business, Inbound Marketing is. The cool part is that inbound marketing methods are almost always less time-consuming and less expensive than traditional lead generation methods.
Not only are they cheaper but they are more effective. Inbound leads are eight times more likely to become customers, and close at a much higher rate. In fact while outbound marketing has an average closing rate of 1.7%, inbound marketing has an astounding closing rate of 14.6%.
All that savings means the companies that Focus primarily on inbound marketing, typically spend 62% less per lead than companies that don't. So how does it work?
Think of it like a giant funnel, prospects come in at the top, happy customers come out the bottom. Today 88% of consumers are conducting their own product research online before making a purchase.
Therefore the key to being found and trusted on the web is generating relevant content to what people are searching for. This is the first part of our inbound marketing funnel. Once you have their attention we need to capture their information.
Generally this is done with more awesome content in the form of digital media such as free offers, articles, case studies, videos, free services and more. The next part of our marketing funnel is where we create an automated system, by which we turn these qualified leads which came in from our offers into Happy paying customers, who refer more new customers because of all the awesome content you're putting up.
At Markethive we deliver inbound marketing methods such as SEO, Broadcasting, Capture Pages, Social Media, massive reach, Work Groups, Co-op Advertising videos, and so much more, to establish you as the authority in your industry, and create a client magnet that will generate a constant stream of qualified leads just for you. Let us help you to establish an online presence, attract new leads, and convert prospects all on autopilot.
Most people didn’t notice last month when a 35-person company in San Francisco called HoneyBook announced a $22 million Series B*.
What was unusual about the deal is that nearly all the best-known Silicon Valley VCs competed for it. That’s because HoneyBook is a prime example of an important new category of digital company that combines the best elements of networks like Facebook with marketplaces like Airbnb — what we call a market network.
Market networks will produce a new class of unicorn companies and impact how millions of service professionals will work and earn their living.
What Is A Market Network?
“Marketplaces” provide transactions among multiple buyers and multiple sellers — like eBay, Etsy, Uber and LendingClub.
“Networks” provide profiles that project a person’s identity, then lets them communicate in a 360-degree pattern with other people in the network. Think Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
What’s unique about market networks is that they:
Combine the main elements of both networks and marketplaces
Use SaaS workflow software to focus action around longer-term projects, not just a quick transaction
Promote the service provider as a differentiated individual, helping to build long-term relationships
An example will help: Let’s go back to HoneyBook, a market network for the events industry.
An event planner builds a profile on HoneyBook.com. That profile serves as her professional home on the web. She uses the HoneyBook SaaS workflow to send self-branded proposals to clients and sign contracts digitally.
She then connects to that project the other professionals she works with, like florists and photographers. They also get profiles on HoneyBook, and everyone can team up to service a client, send each other proposals, sign contracts and get paid by everyone else.
This many-to-many transaction pattern is key. HoneyBook is an N-sided marketplace — transactions happen in a 360-degree pattern like a network. That makes HoneyBook both a marketplace and network.
A market network often starts by enhancing a network of professionals that exists offline. Many of them have been transacting with each other for years using fax, checks, overnight packages and phone calls.
By moving these connections and transactions into software, a market network makes it significantly easier for professionals to operate their businesses and clients to get better service.
We’ve Seen This Before
AngelList is also a market network*. I don’t know if it was the first, but Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi deserve a lot of credit for pioneering the model in 2010.
On AngelList, the pattern is similar. The startup CEO can complete her fundraising paperwork through the AngelList SaaS workflow, and everyone in the network can share deals, hire employees and find customers in a 360-degree pattern.
Joist is another good example. Based in Toronto, it provides a market network for the home remodel and construction industry. Houzz is also in that space, with broader reach and a different approach*. DotLoop in Cincinnati shows the same pattern for the residential real estate brokerage industry.
Looking at AngelList, Joist, Houzz, DotLoop and HoneyBook, the market network pattern is visible.
Six Attributes Of A Successful Market Network
Market networks target more complex services. In the last six years, the tech industry has obsessed over on-demand labor marketplaces for quick transactions of simple services. Companies like Uber, Mechanical Turk, Thumbtack, Luxe and many others make it efficient to buy simple services whose quality is judged objectively. Their success is based on commodifying the people on both sides of the marketplace.
However, the highest value services — like event planning and home remodeling — are neither simple nor objectively judged. They are more involved and longer term. Market networks are designed for these types of services.
People matter. With complex services, each client is unique, and the professional they get matters. Would you hand over your wedding to just anyone? Or your home remodel? The people on both sides of those equations are not interchangeable like they are with Lyft or Uber. Each person brings unique opinions, expertise and relationships to the transaction. A market network is designed to acknowledge that as a core tenet — and provide a solution.
Collaboration happens around a project. For most complex services, multiple professionals collaborate among themselves — and with a client — over a period of time. The SaaS at the center of market networks focuses the action on a project that can take days or years to complete.
Market networks help build long-term relationships. Market networks bring a career’s worth of professional connections online and make them more useful. For years, social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook have helped build long-term relationships. However, until market networks, they hadn’t been used for commerce and transactions.
Referrals flow freely. In these industries, referrals are gold, for both the client and the service professional. The market network software is designed to make referrals simple and more frequent.
Market networks increase transaction velocity and satisfaction. By putting the network of professionals and clients into software, the market network increases transaction velocity for everyone. It increases the close rate on proposals and expedites payment. The software also increases customer satisfaction scores, reduces miscommunication and makes the work pleasing and beautiful. Never underestimate pleasing and beautiful.
Social Networks Were The Last 10 Years. Market Networks Will Be The Next 10.
First we had communication networks, like telephones and email. Then we had social networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn. Now we have market networks, like HoneyBook, AngelList, Houzz, DotLoop and Joist.
You can imagine a market network for every industry where professionals are not interchangeable: law, travel, real estate, media production, architecture, investment banking, personal finance, construction, management consulting and more. Each market network will have different attributes that make it work in each vertical, but the principles will remain the same.
Over time, nearly all independent professionals and their clients will conduct business through the market network of their industry. We’re just seeing the beginning of it now.
Market networks will have a massive positive impact on how millions of people work and live, and how hundreds of millions of people buy better services.
I hope more entrepreneurs will set their sights on building these businesses. It’s time. They are hard products to get right, but the payoff is potentially massive.
If you would like to learn more about LinkedIn, and you have a spare hour of time, tonight is the best way to come away with a better understanding of this powerful network.
I will be presenting the Executive Overview of all six of the LinkedIn Workshops I have taught in the last 10 months. Profile Optimization, LinkedIn Search and Invitations, Privacy and Settings, LinkedIn Groups, Automated Marketing using LeadOutcome, Email Best Practices.
This is the best way to get an A-Z overview of LinkedIn. See you there at 7:00pm EST!
Years ago Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, made a very profound observation:
“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
Yet the marketing function is broad, challenging, and often misunderstood, especially at the small to mid-market level. The Fortune 500 and savvy mid-market consumer products companies approach the marketing function from a fundamentally different angle from that of most small to mid-market companies:
They start with market research and devise a focused, comprehensive strategy to penetrate their market, build their brand, and win mindshare before they enter a market.
The typical small to mid-market company is focused on sales, a tactical function of the marketing process, and gives little thought to researching the market, building a brand, and winning mindshare. When you consider the mindset of the typical small to mid-market CEO, this makes sense; most were very-skilled and well-trained engineers, salespeople, or finance people prior to starting their own company or taking over the top role.
Winning Mindshare Starts with Positioning Strategy
If you believe in Drucker’s observation, then the most important part of marketing strategy, the positioning and branding strategy, should be owned by the CEO of a small to mid-market company. It’s simply too important to delegate to a consultant or tactical marketer.
Positioning and branding can be complicated, so to get started, think about the one thing you’d like your product/service/company to be known for – the mindshare that you’d like to own.
To win mindshare and influence your market, follow these steps at the highest level:
Determine the mindshare you want to win.
Create a brand strategy that embodies the mindshare you seek to own.
Use a systematic approach for all your marketing and sales activities.
Tools for Creating Your Strategy
This short article isn’t meant to trivialize these tasks; all three can be very challenging for a mid-market company. It’s simply meant to give CEOs and marketers in small to mid-market companies some direction when it comes to long term growth strategy.
If you’re a CEO of a small to mid-market company, our new eBook written with our ShortTrack CEO partners goes into greater depth on how to influence your market (it’s concept 3 in the book). Download it here. Currently it’s complimentary.
Hooked: How To Make Habit-Forming Products, And When To Stop Flapping
We now know that Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen decided to take down his hugely popular—and habit-forming—game, Flappy Bird because he had a moral pang about the game’s addictive potential. There was speculation about legal problems, or coping with the stress of overnight success, but it seems that he has done what many large tech companies have avoided—taken responsibility for the misuse of his product.
Tweeting as @dongatory a a couple of weeks ago, Dong replied to an obsessed fan, “People are overusing my app 🙁 .” The following day, in a series of four surprising tweets, he announced, “I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.” (Emphasis mine.)
All of this is familiar territory to behavior design consultant and author Nir Eyal (who also contributes in these pages.) His new book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, is a step-by-step guide to do intentionally what Dong seems to have done intuitively. In its simplest terms, Hooked describes how to convert the “external triggers” that make a person engage with a product into “internal triggers” that bring that person back to it again and again.
Games, like Flappy Bird are perfect examples of this mechanism, but an easy way for non-gamers to grasp this phenomena is to consider the catchiness of pop songs. When your first hear a song on the radio, you are responding to the “external trigger” of its transmission over the airwaves (or internet as the case may now be.) But when you find yourself involuntarily singing that song in the shower, it has become its own “internal trigger” in your brain. It’s like a client side app where all of the data required to recreate the experience is preloaded into your browser (i.e., your brain!)
Making products habit-forming, and the behavior design that makes it possible, has gone from being a nice-to-have to a need-to-have in the ultra-competitive world of apps and digital services. There are so many things screaming for users’ attention that only the things that they whisper to themselves about have a chance of sticking around for a while.
A research report back in 2011 by Localytics showed that 26% of typical users download an app and open it just once. The important corollary to this disheartening pattern is that another 26% will download an app and use it 10 or more times—often enough for it to become part of their routine. The difference between these two kinds of users—and how to convert the first kind into the second kind—is the focus of Eyal’s “Hook” method.
The Hook consists of four parts that must be combined in sequence to convert an externally motivated engagement with a product into one that is internally motivated and habitual. “Through consecutive hook cycles,” Eyal writes, “successful products reach their ultimate goal of unprompted user engagement, bringing users back repeatedly without costly advertising or aggressive messaging.”
Eyal stands on the shoulders of giants in putting together what is essentially an open source framework for user psychology. This framework draws upon the work of contemporaries like BJ Fogg, Dan Ariely, Charles Duhigg and Daniel Kahneman but also the inventor of behaviorism in psychology, B.F. Skinner. Eyal got an MBA at Stanford and now teaches there, and his debt to Stanford behavior design researcher and educator BJ Fogg in particular is evident.
But there are important differences in their approach. The Fogg behavior model applies equally well to one-time and repeat actions and for actions you want to motivate as well as actions you want to avoid motivating. Eyal focuses on just one of these quadrants—those actions that you want to turn into habits. But as we shall see, Eyal uses Skinner and others to expand upon what helps us to internalize actions and repeat them.
The essence of Fogg’s approach is to consider a person’s amount of motivation to do something compared with how easy it is to do. You don’t have to be tremendously motivated to do some thing easy, like click “like” on Facebook, but if a product requires an investment of time and/or money, like having your DNA tested by 23andMe, you need a compelling reason. The easier 23andMe can make that process, by requiring less information or lowering the price, the less pressing my reasons have to be to want to follow through. Importantly, no matter how easy an action is, or how motivated a person is, no action will happen without the presence of trigger adjacent in space and time to the means of completing the action.
The first step in Eyal’s hook model is this trigger. He sees the hook as an iterative process which begins with external triggers that after a series of cycles convert into internal triggers. How this conversion occurs is at the heart of what makes this method supremely useful to growth hackers and others involved in engineering the viral aspects of products. Getting back to the example of Flappy Bird above, Eyal points out that “Negative emotions frequently serve as internal triggers.” So the repeated epic failures that a new player experiences with that game make them angry at themselves. This anger is indeed the energy that propels the player to play again.
The second part of the hook is the action itself. The easier it is do something, the more users will do it. Eyal charts the growth of user-generated content from services like Blogger, which require you to actually create original content, to Pinterest, which reduces the participatory action down to the selection of what on the web to “pin.” Guess which one grew faster? There are many dimensions to ease, well-documented by Fogg in his six “elements of simplicity,” than range from amounts of time, money and effort required to levels of mental complexity, social acceptability and habitual familiarity. This is important because increasing your user’s ability to do something is far more within your control than boosting their internal motivation. Human psychology is not a uniform surface that can be wholly controlled by turning a couple of knobs, of course. Eyal emphasizes observed patterns of behavior that can be used as heuristics to increase the likelihood of a given action. We sometimes infer value from scarcity or assume form the presence of a sale tag that something is a bargain.
The third part of Eyal’s method takes advantage of these inconsistencies in how humans evaluate situations to excite our motivational instincts. It is important that product reward the actions that it triggers, but critically, if these rewards are variable we are far more likely to get sucked in. Decades of brain research has concluded that we are more motivated by the anticipation of reward than by the reward itself. In Flappy Bird, most of the time you fail, but the possibility that you could get a high score (or any score at all!) deepens the hook. The trigger is our self-inflicted anger, but playing holds out the reward of self-mastery. Eyal cites Pinterest as an example of the variable rewards of the “hunt.” Finally, when a friend “likes” your high score update on Facebook or follows your board on Pinterest you experience social satisfaction, rewards of the “tribe.” In Eyal’s model, the hook is a series of cycles and just as the triggers go from external to internal, so too can the rewards range from self to hunt or tribe. As described above, both Flappy Bird and Pinterest successfully utilize multiple types of rewards—but always with some degree of variability.
Finally, for the habit to really take hold, the user has to invest into it. The pictures you take with Instagram constitute your investment in the platform. Not only does the threat of losing this body of work keep you from switching to other photo apps, but your social engagement with others on the platform reinforce this continuity as well. By getting us to put ourselves into a product its designers are using our own narcissism to increase our perceived value of their product. Dan Ariely of Duke University, and author of Predictably Irrational and other books, calls this the “Ikea Effect,” where our time spent with the ubiquitous Allen wrench makes our hearts fonder of the (possibly flawed!) end result. The other aspect of this is that since we are all creatures of habit, our investment in a habit becomes a form of inertia that makes it increasingly unlikely that we will engage in the cognitive dissonance of a new solution to our need.
Hooked is a very useful book for anyone involved in designing, managing and marketing products. It does suffer a bit from a duality of purpose that sometimes stretches the tone of the writing between earnest explication of the fascinations of human behavior to an practical boosterism for how to use of the techniques behind these phenomena. Behavior design is clearly a rising discipline with great effectiveness to help engineer beneficial habits, but it also can—and is—being abused for manipulative purposes.
In the sixth chapter of the book, Eyal discusses these manipulations, but I think he skirts around the morality issues as well as the economics that make companies overlook them. The Candy Crush Saga game is a good example of how his formulation fails to capture all the moral nuance of the problem. According to his Manipulation Matrix, King, the maker of Candy Crush Saga, is an Entertainer because although their product does not (materially) improve the user’s life, the makers of the game would happily use it themselves. So, really, how bad can it be?
Consider this: Candy Crush is a very habit-forming time-waster for the majority of its users, but a soul-destroying addiction for a distinct minority (perhaps larger, however, than the 1% Eyal refers to as a rule of thumb for user addiction.) The makers of the game may be immune to the game’s addictive potential, so their use of it doesn’t necessarily constitute a guarantee of innocuousness. But here’s the economic aspect: because consumers are unwilling to pay for casual games, the makers of these games must construct manipulative habits that make players seek rewards that are most easily attained through in-app purchases. For “normal” players, these payments may just be the way that they pay to play the game instead of a flat rate up-front or a subscription, and there is nothing morally wrong with getting paid for your product (obviously!) But for “addicted” players these payments may be completely out of scale with any estimate of the value of a casual game experience. King reportedly makes almost $1 million A DAY from Candy Crush, all from in app purchases. My guess is that there is a long tail going on with a relative few players being responsible for a disproportionate share of that revenue.
Understanding these potentially conflicting motivations is important for product designers of all kinds, and I believe it is a subject of intense interest to Eyal. Habit-formation is no longer a nice-to-have but a need-to-have aspect of making a successful product. This makes the temptations of manipulation all the more dangerous. We all now need to abide by the superhero credo, that with great power comes great responsibility. Habit-hacking is indeed a superpower, time to put on the capes!
A blog is basically an online journal wherein you can digitally pen down your thoughts, ideas, opinions and practically anything that you want people to read. Blogs come in different styles, formats, and settings, depending on the preference of the user. Many blogging sites, offer built in features such as hyperlink, straight texts, pictures etc. Some blogging sites, even allow you to put video and mp3's on your blogs.
Instead of writing texts, some bloggers choose to make their blogs more audio friendly, by using spoken word entries. This is called audio blogging.
Basically a blog contains these features:
Title – which allows you to label your post
Body – this is the content of your post
Trackback – other sites can be linked back to your blog
Permanent link – every article that you write has a URL
Comments – this allow readers to post comments on your blog.
One of the advantages of blogging, is that it is made of only a few templates. Unlike, other websites that is made up of numerous individual pages. This make it easier for blog users to create new pages, because it already has a fix setting that include: slots for title, body of the post, category, etc.
This is especially useful for first time users, since they can start blogging right away. They can chose from a number of templates that blogging websites provide.
Anyone who wants to start a blog can do so by becoming a member of a blogging website of their choice. Once they've become members, they automatically become a part of that particular blogging community. They can browse through other bloggers pages, and link them back to their own blogs. They can also make comments on other members' blogs.
Blogging is not just limited to personal usage. There are a lot of blogs that follow a theme such as: sports, politics, philosophy, social commentary, etc. These blogs espouse on their specific themes. This way blogging becomes a medium in which people can share their knowledge and opinions about a variety of themes and topics.
Some bloggers even use their blogs as a means to advertise. Some authors advertise their books on their blogs. While other bloggers, use their blogs to shed light to currents issues, events, news and catastrophes.
Nowadays in education, blogs also play an important part. Professors use blogging to document the lessons that they have discussed and taught. This way, students who have missed classes, can easily catch up with their assignments.
A lot of entrepreneurs benefit from blogging by promoting their businesses on their blogs, with millions and millions of people logging onto the net every day, blogging has become a lucrative move. Some bloggers who run online businesses promote their merchandise online. While others profit through advertisement.
But by far, the most popular blog type is the one that takes the form of a personal journal. This is the kind that is usually used by first time bloggers. Individuals who want to document the daily struggle of their everyday lives, poems, rants, opinions, find that blogging offers them a medium in which to express themselves.
Bloggers usually communicate within themselves. This is one of the appeals of blogging. It creates a community of people sharing their ideas, thoughts, and comments with each other.
Blogs varying in topics, themes, and set-ups, can be found in blog directories. First time users who want to get an idea of what the blogging world is all about can browse through a number of blogs using these directories. This way they'd get an idea of what these blogging communities are like.
Blogging is popular all over the world. Blog is short for the term weblog. There are no rules when it comes to blogging. Bloggers have the freedom to express themselves however way they want, and the best thing about blogging, is that most blogging sites are free.
There are numerous blogging websites to choose from in the net. This give first time users the option of joining a blogging community that appeals to their interests.
Just search any blogging directory and you'd get a listing of a lot of blogging sites that are available on the net. It's easy to search a blogging directory, because it is organized according to category. This way you would get exactly what you are after. Blogging is really for everyone. It is fun, simple and easy.
MarketHive Inbound Marketing Tools for Entrepreneurs
MarketHive is a social networking site designed for entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, MarketHive isn't only a social networking website, in addition, it includes a blogging platform, plus some very effective online marketing tools to allow entrepreneurs to be successful marketing their Internet business, services and products.
Below you will find some of the marketing tools you will receive once you sign up for Markethive:
• E-mail Broadcasting
• Blogging Platform
• Capture Pages
• One Click Lead Generation System
• Conference Room and a whole lot more
You might be curious about how much actually does MarketHive charge for these amazing online marketing tools, well the answer really is these Internet marketing tools are totally free of charge for life, no strings attached. Basically these online marketing tools would cost you hundreds of dollars per month, not at MarketHive. This is the good news for the beginner as well as the veteran Internet marketer.
I’ll say it: the days of outbound marketing are over.
The "Wolf of Wall Street" mentality of harassing customers over the phone, sending spamy emails, and going door-to-door to close deals has become much less effective in recent years. Customers have access to so much information every day, they’ve become increasingly resentful of marketing intrusions. The rise of blocking tools such as caller id, spam folders and ad blockers is not coincidence.
Inbound marketing is the new normal. That’s the idea that if you provide value to customers first, they will respond by returning that value back and doing business with you.
To get a peak under the hood inbound marketing, and get tips on how others can use it, I had a chance to chat with A.J. Agrawal – an entrepreneur who built his business, Alumnify, around it. A.J. is a fellow contributor at Entrepreneur as well as at Forbes, Huffington Post, and others.
Here’s an edited version of our e-mail interview:
Why begin with universities?
We started there because we saw a strong decrease year after year in alumni engagement. Right now, alumni engagement is at an all time low – under 10 percent. It was obvious that institutions were struggling to adjust to the new ways their alumni were communicating and engaging. So we saw the opportunity.
For about 85 years, alumni engagement was pretty steady. Then all of a sudden, in the 90’s it began to fall drastically. In panic mode, many schools chose to double down on the outbound marketing tactics that worked in the past: cold calls, snail mail, and increased email addresses. They also deployed better data tacking and software to help optimize open email rates as well as make the giving process easier for graduates.
But these strategies had no effect (or even a negative effect on engagement) because they were built on an overall strategy that was broken. So we decided we would build inbound marketing solutions to provide value to alumni first.
How do you begin inbound practices?
First, make sure you know what inbound marketing is. At its core, inbound is anything that provides a tremendous amount of value to your target customer without asking anything from them in return. There are tons of ways to do this and the best part is that most of the major strategies can be done for minimal cost.
One thing we recommend to companies we work with us is to start by getting a blog set up and to have someone be responsible for publishing regular content. One of the nice things about inbound marketing is that it requires companies to build major assets for their business. Your content library is a huge asset and will eventually help your SEO, and pull in more customers to your website.
Other popular inbound strategies include webinars, eBooks, infographics, mobile apps built to help your customers, and optimizing your social media.
Each business is different, so the strategy depends on factors including audience, industry, and expertise. Like most things, the hardest part is just getting started. Once you find an inbound strategy that starts to work, it becomes much easier to fine tune and expand on your traction.
Do you avoid outbound strategies?
Not at all. While inbound is definitely the future, some customers still respond well to outbound strategies. Even as an inbound company, we still cold call customers and send promotional emails once in a while — but as part of a complete plan.
When thinking about the brand I want for Alumnify, I don’t want prospects and customers avoiding our phone calls. The image of a customer seeing an Alumnify Team Member calling them and saying “Not these people again” is my worst nightmare. And it should be any entrepreneur’s nightmare too.
Instead, I believe that the key to getting customers to love us is to provide value without asking for anything in return. For example, we have a free inbound marketing email list we just launched yesterday with weekly tips and webinars. And I’m always happy to help any fellow entrepreneur hammer out an inbound strategy. That type of approach may take more work in the short run, but it’ll also help build a much better brand to our customers in the long run.
According to one marketing automation expert David Raab, nearly 70 percent of marketers are not happy with their marketing automation software. Clearly, there is much room for improvement in this industry, despite the enormous potential benefits that can be achieved.
One area of particular promise is "predictive intelligence". Marketing automation software that embraces this type of model will provide better results for customers and those results will improve over time due to the machine learning aspect of this type of software model.
True AI or artificial intelligence really exists only in the world of science fiction, but we can already see how technology like Google's "rank brain" are being implemented at a very high level into their search algorithms.
This post is not intended as a treatise on the subject, but only to highlight the development that will inevitably take place in marketing automation to a more predictive and machine learning type model that incorporates elements of artificial intelligence.
So, what would this type of marketing automation software look like, how would it work, and what could it do for clients using the software?
As an example, it is a common marketing strategy to ask the client to start with an avatar of what their ideal customer looks like. A software with AI elements would be able to examine a company's current database of customers, and analyze all demographic data as well as social media profiles of all current customers. It would then perform a detailed and sophisticated search across various websites and social media, and recommend an exhaustive list of potential prospects.
This analysis would be based on similarities with current customers, and would also recommend the best way to connect with them which would most likely yield the best results.
This is a highly sophisticated method of marketing automation that does not currently exist. The ability of this type of software to target potential prospects with laser-like accuracy will likely turn the marketing automation market on its head.
The company that comes out with this kind of predictive analysis model may dominate the industry for years to come, and prove to be a highly sought after commodity, even at a fairly high price. It is also equally likely that the downward price pressure of open sourcing may prove to significantly lower costs for the consumer.
It is clear that forward thinking companies such as Google are investing in the future by relying heavily on automation in a wide variety of markets. Look at the investment Google has made in self-driving cars, for example. Uber drivers may become a thing of the past in the not too distant future.
Consider what Perry Marshall a well-known marketing expert had to say about automation in a recent email.
"2003-2009 was the age of PPC.
2010-2016 has been the age of Social Media.
2017 and beyond will be the age of Artificial Intelligence
Now mind you, this “Artificial Intelligence” is not self-aware. It’s not HAL 9000 reading your lips as you talk outside the spaceship like in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Not yet anyway.
But don’t underestimate this AI.
I have clients who are taking AI to deep levels, re-inventing the future as we speak. You won’t fully see the results of what they’re doing for another year or two.
But let’s just say that talking to machines like Alexa and Siri is only the tip of the iceberg.
The key to success in 2017-2020…especially in AdWords…is OWNING some of that Automation.
Automation is a rack-the-shotgun, 95/5, winners and losers phenomenon. "
Prophetic words of wisdom, no doubt, from the marketing and AdWords expert.
Watch for those technologies that claim this type of predictive AI model to emerge and lead the industry by wide margins in the years to come.
Take a look at these three leading-edge marketing automation technologies you can use today.
Markethive – (free) – dramatically increases your reach on the Internet by using cooperative blog syndication technology, and much more
Social Lead Generator – auto-join and auto-post to open and closed Facebook groups, dramatically expand your Twitter followers, and more.
Linked Group Messenger – Increase your LinkedIn invitation rate and grow a very large group of 1st level connections on LinkedIn. Especially helpful to avoid the LinkedIn "idk" limit.
Of course, I will keep you informed of these trends, and help you to stay on top of these significant technologies.
What a long strange trip it's been to arrive at the Internet of today! It's hard to imagine it has been 25 years ago, (August 6th 1991), that Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web (WWW), put the first web page online. It was about the World Wide Web project. You can visit the original website, (actually, more of a web page with hyperlinks), at this address.
Quite primitive by today's standards, but remarkable in it's day. The interconnected vast Internet had quite humble beginnings. Some would argue that it was actually in 1989 the proposal for html and the first client / server transaction took place. Regardless of the which way you look at it, our world has not been the same since.
It is quite easy for millenials who did not grow up in an analog world to take the Internet for granted. I think about my grandfather who was born in 1888, and grew up with gas lanterns, no electricity and no cars, how it must have been for him to see man on the moon. Similarly, this interconnected smart-phone enabled world we now live in is quite remarkable.
Similarly, this interconnected smart-phone enabled world we now live in is really quite remarkable. Sometimes it all seems a little Dick Tracy-like to me, almost to the level of Star Trek technology.
To all those who grew up in the digital age, I advise you to be grateful for those who pioneered this technological age in which we now live. men such as Samual Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Marconi, Tesla, Tim-Berners Leed, Vint Cerf, and countless others who collectively developed and strove to perfect the technology that it is so easy to take for granted today.
Who knows what the Internet will look like in another 25 years? It stretches the limits of imagination to think of it.