Buying a Website

I’m advising a client who is buying a developed web site — content, domain name, all of it. It gets around 6k pageviews/month, so it’s not big, but he wants to make a partial living off its ad revenue. Super, let’s do this.

Ad Revenue GOOD (Hulk)

Yea, we all want ad revenue. So should we run Google AdSense ads and press the Easy Button, or make private ad deals by calling real people on the phone… doing it the old fashion way? The latter is going to be more lucrative. BUT you need to maintain relationships, invoice them, and take a paper check to the bank every month. So let’s do private ad deals. More work but more money.

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I Hate GoDaddy

Have I mentioned this before? Have I written about how the GoDaddy control panels are a Kafka-esque, spaghetti-like, flaming wheels-came-off-it mess?

Have I written before about how GoDaddy’s website and control panels are one gigantic, heaving, shrill, continuous upsell rivaled only by Cairo marketplace stall owners?

When I work on accounts hosted at GD, I sometimes spend more time fighting with and hunting through the various popup pages, menus, click-thru agreements and other insane GD crap than actually on making the website changes. True story.

Have I told you how much I hate GoDaddy?

Have I?

Have I?

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The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Site…

is this. That is to say, the Best Thing You Can Do For Your Site™ is get a nice writeup in a major daily. (Well, barring a nice writeup in a national outlet.)

The only thing Mona Lucero could have done better is cajole the Denver Post into adding her web site URL to the article, but those requests are difficult. If the reporter okays it, the editor may not.

I’d also like to qualify my point by adding getting in print like this is the best single thing you can do. I’d take six solid months of regular on-topic, useful blog posts over one newspaper writeup. In other words, if you’re going to go out and do one thing like get some press, don’t go to the church newsletter lady, get in your major daily paper like Mona did, or speak at your city’s annual business leadership forum or something.

(I’ve consulted with Mona on how to make photographs of her designs “in house”, so she can save money.)


Why I Don’t Want Your Password

(And Why You Shouldn’t Give it Out)

You want me to see your traffic, and you have Google Analytics (or some other reporting tool) tracking traffic on your site. Great! To save time and effort, you want to give me your login and password to go in and look. Totally understandable.

However, for professional reasons I’d rather have a legitimate sub-account login to see your Google Analytics traffic rather than have your master login and pw. Why? Two reasons: I don’t want to be responsible for changes/catastrophe to your GA account if something goes wrong down the road, and it’s just never a good idea to give out your password.

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Open Letter to Music Industry PR

Because of my two music sites RMMB and NWMB, I get a daily a ton of emails from music industry public relations people. The emails come from everybody — from the bigtime Atlantic Records to part-timers at Seattle’s tiny Light In The Attic Records.

When I get a PR from someone and it says the magic words “here is a song you can share with your readers” BING I’m 1000X more likely to put that on my music sites. Why? Because I can embed the song in the blog post. One click and you’re listening to the song.

It’s the first/only thing I scan for in PR emails. It offers so much more than the tired MySpace page link that takes someone off my site.

Sorry if that comes off that I can’t stand MySpace (I can’t) and think it’s tailored to 8-year-olds (I do).

What I’m trying to get accross is this: give me content, not links. If you’re writing press spam, think about what you’re writing. Keep it short and simple and give your audience what they want. Send a personal email every now and then, and start it with the recipient’s first name. Easy, thoughtful. You’d be amazed at what a simple REAL email means in a sea of mindless press email blasts.

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What Ad Sizes Should I Accept from Advertisers?

Any you want. My advice, however, is to stick to standard sizes because when advertisers come to you, often they’ll already have a standard size ready to go. That means you can just start running the ad and not worry about having a graphic artist/web dev squeeze stuff into your non-standard sizes, then have that approved by both parties. This has happened to me, and it’s a drag.

When potential advertisers say “what sizes can I run on your site?” I say “any of the industry-standard sizes Google themselves run.”


Keep Tabs on Your Competitors

I use Google Alerts to watch for news coming from competitors. It’s easy and it works.