6 Things We Learned From Marissa Mayer and Mark Zuckerberg at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013


Marissa Mayer and Michael Arrington Techcrunch Disrupt-2013

Day 3 of TechCrunch Disrupt 2013, the world’s largest hackathon, was quite electrifying. After being here for three days, you could definitely feel the energy spike (and security too) as two influential speakers were set to appear. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were the two special guests of the event.

Here are six things we learned from Mayer and Zuckerberg at TechCrunch Disrupt.

1. Yahoo Kept the Logo Redesign In-House

Michael Arrington, founder and former editor of TechCrunch, first question to Mayer was “What the f*** happened here?” referring to all the press feedback that was generated by the new logo, which was recently revealed. Mayer said she really liked the way the logo turned out.

Mayer said Yahoo prides itself as being the world’s largest startup. The attitude of the company is to be entrepreneurial, which is why they kept the redesign in-house and didn’t spend millions on the new design.

The reason for the change was due to the external and employee feedback the company was receiving. Mayer stated that the company would receive many emails and letters about the logo, requesting for a change.

She also mentioned that brands usually do small iterations of their logo over time and most are so minor that no one really notices. The company really wanted something that matched what they stand for, which is their great products and user experience.

When Zuckerberg was asked about the logo change, he quickly stated that while Yahoo’s logo had not changed much in 18 years, Facebook too has had the same logo for almost 10.

2. Zuckerberg and Mayer Want More Users

While Mayer made the announcement that Yahoo has officially passed 800 million users globally and also monthly active users are up 20 percent, it will take them three or more years to get where they want the company to be.

Zuckerberg stated that just because they have hit 1 billion users, they are far from done with the job they set out to do. His future hope is to get the 5 billion people without the Internet connected, which is the goal of his new project, Internet.org.

3. Yahoo is All About the Right People and the Right Product

Mayer was then asked of her time at Yahoo and the growth that has taken place, as the stock price has doubled in the 14 months since Mayer has been at the company. Arrington then asked, “How did you earn that?”

Mayer immediately stated “The smart investments I owe to my predecessors.” She also mentioned that the company has great people and the four things that create success. Those four things are:

  • The right people
  • The right product
  • Traffic
  • Revenue

4. Mobile is Where It’s Going…STILL!

In general, mobile was a huge theme throughout the conference and Mayer and Zuckerberg only solidified this more with their sessions. Zuckerberg, along with the six telecommunications and mobile companies are tasking themselves with building new technologies that will make it possible to get everyone in the world a smartphone, but make the data within those smartphones affordable, which would give other opportunities to create new business.

Mayer mentioned that mobile was one of Yahoo’s areas of growth, noting that 350 million monthly active users are on mobile, which increased since she became CEO in 2012.

5. PRISM Was a Sore Subject

Both Mayer and Zuckerberg were asked about the U.S. government in regards to the PRISM scandal. PRISM is a mass electronic data-mining program run by NSA (National Security Agency) since 2007.

When Mayer was asked “What are you doing to protect us from tyrannical governments?” she answered by saying that she was proud to be part of an organization that from the very beginning has been skeptical of and has been scrutinizing requests. She also mentioned that Yahoo has been pushing for more transparency.

Zuckerberg’s response to the same question was not as “friendly” as Mayer’s. He quickly stated that the government “blew it.” He mentioned that it’s the government’s job to protect our freedoms as well as the economy and companies, but they did a bad job at balancing those areas.

6. Mayer, Page and Zuckerberg all Have Superpowers

During Mayer’s interview, Arrington asked what her superpower was, in addition to other two other tech giants, Google CEO Larry Page and Zuckerberg.

At first, Mayer mentioned that she didn’t think she had one, but thought that while she didn’t know Zuckerberg very well, she thought his insight into people was his superpower and that Page’s was questioning the status quo.

Mayer later noted that if she was to have a superpower, she thought hers was the ability to empathize. She mentioned that when she came on board to Yahoo there was a lot of instability and Mayer had to immerse herself within the company in order to understand Yahoo’s employees and recognize where they were coming from.



When It Comes To Google, Microsoft’s Ballmer Is Still Fighting Old Battles With Old Tactics



I’ve watched Microsoft fight Google in search for a very long time. Bing has come a long way, and I’ve been pleased to see a strong competitor emerge. But Microsoft hasn’t actually hurt Google’s share. It’s only robbed from its partner, Yahoo. So how’s Microsoft going to beat Google? Comments from departing CEO Steve Ballmer suggest there are no new tactics in the playbook.

Ballmer spoke yesterday at Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting 2013, saying that, among other things that Google was a monopoly. That might sound scary if even Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt hasn’t admitted that.

But being a monopoly isn’t necessarily illegal, and Google was cleared of any wrong-doing in the search space by the US Federal Trade Commission last year. So what’s the plan? Complain or find another way to win?

If there is a fresh, innovative plan, I certainly didn’t find it in Ballmer’s comments. Below is a transcript of his discussion of competing with Google, which I’ve annotated with my own thoughts and observations.

Google Didn’t Get Search Share By Giving Away The Operating System

KEN COPLEY, Capital Executive: Hi. This is Ken Copley with Capital Executive. I realize this might be an off-the-wall question, but at a time when Microsoft was even more dominant in the market than it is today, Google strategically made a decision to attack you guys by giving away the operating system, calling it open source, and any way you cut it it’s been successful. They’ve garnered about, what, 79 percent of the market.

And right now they’re generating about 83 percent of their business in search-related advertising or search-related services. It’s a highly concentrated revenue stream, and I think when you get a highly concentrated revenue stream that creates a weakness or a vulnerability so to speak.

And I’m just wondering if you can talk about any kind of strategies that might be in play where you might take advantage of or attack that vulnerability within Google?

Ken’s a bit confused in his question. Google is indeed giving away the operating system, in terms of Android on mobile devices and Chrome OS on the desktop. But Google doesn’t have 79 percent of either of those markets. He seems to be referencing Google’s share of the US search market, which gets into that range by some estimates.

Getting to that share had nothing to do with giving away an operating system. Google does “give away” search, but it does that just like everyone else does and did before it. That includes Microsoft, which was in the search game before Google.

Google was successful because, primarily, it built a better product. It also gained most of its share without Android and without Chrome OS.

Microsoft Helped Kill The Search Competition

STEVE BALLMER: Well, first of all, we’re the only guys in the world trying. And that starts with a great product. We’ve invested in Bing, particularly in the United States, some of the new investment in Bing is to make it as good outside the United States as it is in the United States. And that requires more investment because you have to index more of the Web. You have to know more about local events and information, et cetera. So, number one, got to get the product right.

Sorry, there are plenty of companies trying to compete with Google — and winning. There’s a little company called Apple having a pretty big day today selling its latest phones. There’s Facebook, which still gets a chuckle out of the whole Google+ thing. Amazon’s not exactly sitting back and taking Android however Google wants to give it, either.

If you mean competing in search, yes, within the United States, Microsoft is the only large player fighting Google. Of course, that’s because, in part, Microsoft helped convince the US Department of Justice that it would be an excellent idea if Yahoo couldn’t cut a deal with Google to use some of Google’s ads but keep Yahoo’s own in-house search technology. That helped pave the way for you to step in a year later and make Yahoo abandon its search tech.

The promise was that Yahoo would just wrap up your Bing results and still do as well. The reality is Yahoo continues to die a slow death as a search player, with all its lifeblood flowing to Bing. That’s where your gains have come from.

So if there’s no other major player still trying in search, that’s because Microsoft helped turn a Google-Yahoo-Microsoft world into a Google-Microsoft one.

So When’s That Critical Mass Happen?

Number two, you sort of have to be at critical mass. This is a scale game because the market for advertising is auction-based economics. So if we have exactly the same quality of algorithms, but a lot less scale in search advertising, we will get less revenue per search than Google does, which means they have more money to pay for distribution on Samsung devices, or Apple.

Yes. Scale. That’s what Ballmer and now-departed Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz kept talking about when the Microsoft-Yahoo deal was announced in 2008. I’ve heard the word “scale” used so often as a mystical solution to all of Microsoft’s search problems that I think there should be a swear jar for it, if any Microsoft executive ever uses it again.

We’re five years into the deal with Microsoft and Yahoo that was supposed to produce the scale that would make everything better. If it can’t be done  five years, which is like 50 internet years, how much longer is needed? Or is it time to simply give up that argument?

Transparency On Distribution Deals?

Rumor has it that they probably pay each of those guys 1 to 2 to 3 billion a year for distributing their search product. So we have to generate volume in order to step up.

I sure wish this was transparent, that Google explained its deals in more detail. Heck, I think it goes to the consumer experience. It was part of what I wrote the FTC about, asking that it consider such deals be made more public. It didn’t seem to care. But maybe Ballmer, while he’s still CEO of Microsoft, could explain more about Microsoft’s own deals, to lead by example? I’ll get back to that….

Cleared Of Competitive Issues, In The US

I do believe that Google’s practices are worthy of discussion with competition authority, and we have certainly discussed them with competition authorities. I don’t think their practices are getting less meritorious of discussion. We’ve highlighted some of their bad practices in our advertising, in our discussions with regulators, the bundling that they’re doing with YouTube and Google Maps and some other things. Anyway, suffice it to say that I think they need pressure from competition authority. I think they need pressure in the marketplace.

Well, it’s over in the US. Google’s not doing anything wrong. We’re still waiting on the EU, which is likely to be tougher — but probably not that tougher.

You know what went wrong here? I could, and maybe will do, an entire piece on how Microsoft’s FairSearch.org attack dogs wasted the one good chance Microsoft had to try and stop Google. Who argues the crazy notion that a search engine should point to other search engines. Waste. Of. Time.

If Microsoft ever gets another chance, it’s all about the closed loop, how so much else that Google does produces data that reinforces its search position plus poses some anti-competitive conflicts. I laid it all out here before any FTC investigation even started. That closed loop has only gotten worse.

Your Own Devices Aren’t Key

I think with product, with investment, with scale. How do we get scale? The easiest place for us to get scale is on our own devices or on somebody with whom we are closely aligned.

Microsoft has shoved its own search engine at consumers through both its desktop and mobile operating systems since 1998. It hasn’t worked. People still go to Google. So skip the entire “we’ll just tap into Windows” pitch. Windows integration is helping keep Bing above water. It has never, and still doesn’t seem likely to, pull serious share away from Google.

Transparency On The Siri Deal?

We’re very pleased to be providing Bing results as part of the Siri offer now with Apple. And you might say, wow, that’s unusual. But we have made an investment that Apple hasn’t, and we found a way to partner with them and we’re excited about that in this dimension. So there’s a range of things that we’re doing. And I do believe that’s an important pressure point.

Congrats on that deal. Seriously. I like Bing. It was nice to see Bing has matured into a search engine that Apple would trust integrating so tightly into Bing. And so far, there’s been no Bing-gate over Apple dumping Google from Siri to match last year’s Map-gate, when Google Maps was dropped.

But how much was that deal? What are you paying, what are you getting? Maybe if Microsoft opened up about that, then we could get Google feeling some pressure to open up on the search deals it cuts. Consumers would win, because they’d better understand why some of the default decisions are being made for them.


And Is The Siri Deal Really Boosting Bing?

By the way, what is Microsoft really getting out of the Siri deal? On the surface, it sounds like a real win. But after digging into the actual implementation of Bing within Siri, the Bing branding is hardly noticeable. Bing ads don’t appear to show. People aren’t even sent to Bing at all.

If Siri’s driving scale, it appears to an outsider that it’s scale Microsoft’s not making anything substantial off of. Not yet, at least.

After 15 Years, “A Little Bit More Time”

That advertising marketplace right now, Google has pretty well defensed. But I think we’ve got a pretty good attack strategy. It will take a little bit more time, and a little bit more patience. I think it will have great economic return for our shareholders, and at the same time changes a lot of the competitive dynamics overall between our companies.

Microsoft has been doing its own search engine since 1998. MSN Search, remember? In 2005, it switched to using its own in-house search technology. In 2009, it made major rebrand into Bing. The deal with Yahoo kicked in a year later.

In short, Microsoft has been trying to win at search for between four to 15 years. Even the short end of that scale is a really long time.

I don’t think more time is going to change things, not in terms of gaining share that approaches Google.

If it’s about making more money off its existing search traffic, maybe Microsoft can ramp that up more quickly. But whether that means its search operations are paying for themselves, who knows? Microsoft doesn’t break those figures out.

Neither does Google, of course. But Google gets away from that because it’s clear that its search activities are fueling so much cash that Google can play with little things like trying to solve death.

Really, The Search Charms?

KEVIN TURNER: The one thing I would amplify there on the compete strategy was the Search charms that we’ve got in 8.1 are certainly an accelerator to Bing as well. So Qi touched on that when he was up here. We see a game changer both from a usability perspective and a search perspective in that particular piece of technology.

As I said above, the embed of search into Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, you name it, none of that has shifted search share into Microsoft’s favor. If anyone at Microsoft is still believing the operating system will knock down Google’s share, it’s wake-up time. It ain’t gonna happen.

Windows Phone Won’t Change Things

STEVE BALLMER: Let me just build on that with Windows Phone. I know we have small market share in phones. I’m not confused. But we have a high share of searches on Windows Phones. And it is a reminder, just take a look at the share Apple has of maps on their own phones, and I know they had all the celebrated hullabaloo, but if I remember the numbers correctly, about 65 percent of the map usage today on iPhones is Apple Maps.

So in a sense probably one of the best ways to get some share in search is to get some share in devices. Google happens to say let’s not have any profit be in the device. Let’s move it all into search. We and Apple kind of have a different view of the world. Amazon, I don’t know where they want to put market profit, they don’t seem to put the profit anywhere. And that’s not a shot, it’s just I can’t tell you what profit stream is important to them the way we can about us or Apple or Google.

Quick. What’s the only app that Google has decided is worth building for Windows Phone. The Google Search App.

Let’s assume that Windows Phone grows share, which is tough, but I’m actually rooting for Microsoft here. You can bet Google’s is going to work even harder to convert the relatively few people who don’t use its app or just go to Google directly.

Microsoft’s not going to get share in Windows Phone, because it doesn’t have share to give. It might get it from Apple, if it can convince Apple to dump Google out of Safari — then convince people who use Chrome on iOS to stop, because that’s tied into Google and….

Remember that whole closed loop thing? Yeah, that’s really hard to fight. And Microsoft is so very late to that game.

To Counter-Balance Google, A Smarter Microsoft Is Needed

But when Google is busy turning its entire shopping search engine into paid ads or withholding traffic data from non-advertisers perhaps to boost its ad sales, Ballmer is right that Microsoft is a major counter-balance to Google. And we need a counter-balance. But we need a smart counter-balance from Microsoft, not one that keeps reaching into a playbook that hasn’t worked.




Bing’s Page Zero Offers Deep Links & Shortcuts To Relevant Information Straight From The Search Box



Today, Bing released a detailed overview of its Page Zero experience, a new search feature that delivers deep links directly from the search box with shortcuts to relevant information associated with the search term.

According to the announcement, the new feature gives “best” auto-completion suggestions for a query, as well as displaying “rich information” related to the search term.

Bing says the Satori technology that powers the Page Zero experience delivers relevant search information in the same amount of time it takes to blink, giving users a “Faster way to search” both from the Bing homepage and search result pages.

To demonstrate how the new Page Zero feature displays the “most frequently searched for intents,” Bing provided an image of a search for “San Francisco Giants.”

Expanding on the intuitiveness of the Page Zero technology, Bing demonstrated how it recognizes a search for “Michelle Pf”  as a search on the actress Michelle Pfieffer and responds with relevant search topics such as “Video”, “Biography” and “Filmography”.

To show how Page Zero delivers the most popular intents associated with a search term, Bing used a search for the San Francisco airport as an example, highlighting the links to maps, weather, parking and arrivals for the airport.

Bing claims that its Page Zero experience is made possible by the search engine’s web index combined with its Satori graph technology, providing users with, “The most likely intents from thousands of intents expressed in billions of documents about billions of entities.”

Search Engine Land initially reported that Bing was testing this feature the first week of September, and covered the official release earlier this week, along other updates from Microsoft including the new Bing logo.



Reasons Why Companies Should Go For SEO Packages India


Every now and then, Google is coming up new updates, affecting the ranking of the site and thus, the traffic. The changing algorithms have laid heavy impact on business websites. Hence, businesses should ponder over the importance of ranking and traffic and should leave the website in hands of experts, who could analyze it on every ground and could bring in fruitful results.SEO experts need to make regular shift in their tactics to take the right move.

In such scenario, staying updated about Google algorithms and updates can be bit difficult. It is therefore said the companies should tie up with IT companies to offer them SEO support such that they could enjoy the advantages of best practices. Looking into the growing needs of these services, SEO companies should bring in SEO packages India, where they offer a set of services in form of packages at decent price to help organizations choose the best package, as per their need.

Google is continuously making changes in the SEO tactics and thus, those in practice few years back no long sustain now. Old tactics, such as keyword stuffing, article spinning, thin content, etc are no more useful. One needs to be very active in learning about the changing methodologies and maintaining the quality for better results. Once the website gets trapped in any of the Google update, it might be expensive as well as difficult to get back the same ranking. Hence, it is advisable to go for SEO packages India, wherein which SEO experts take care of recent trends and tactics to achieve good ranking as well as traffic.

When the services are availed in form of SEO packages India, the experts work continuously over the project to offer the best services. It ultimately brings in good results with good quality work such that the website shines on the search engine. These packages include a vast range of services, such as content marketing, link building, on-page and off-page optimization and several other practices that could boost the ranking. At the same time, analysts also monitor the progress and build up reports to analyze the improvements. The remarkable aspect of these services is that they are easily affordable suiting to the needs and budget of people of all income groups. SEO is a set of online marketing techniques that comprise not only technical analysis but also public relations with customer acquisition and retaining. It is a great investment that brings in good ROI.

How to Effectively Make Your Site Social Media-Friendly

By in Featured

03 2013 Friday


Featured Article Picture

Having a website has become something of a necessity for businesses these days, due to the global paradigm shift where more and more people are integrating online activities with their lives. Besides this fundamental reason of going where the market goes, there are also great benefits to having an official site for your business.

Starting a website is much cheaper than building and maintaining a brick-and-mortar store. There is no need to look for a good location, pay the lease, take into account overhead expenses, etc.

You can reach a much wider audience not limited by time or any borders, making market expansion much easier and opening up more room for growth. You also get to showcase your products, as well as important information about your business to customers, establishing your credibility while making it convenient for your target audience.

Social Media as a Conduit
Of course, there are still some truths in promoting an “offline” business that apply to the online world. Merely having a website does not guarantee profitability. You need to be able to show your expertise and uniqueness in the industry, and you need to establish a good relationship with your customers. The best way of pursuing these goals is through leveraging the power of social media.

Creating accounts for your business for social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is good, but these are just channels to your main website. Social media is simply a way for people to connect to your website to consume your content and eventually make purchases. You just have to make sure that your website has good social media integration.

Here are five ways to seamlessly incorporate both assets:

Killer Content

“Content is king” is a phrase that will never get old because content is exactly what people are looking for online, especially in social media. People are constantly sharing with their huge networks of family and friends all sorts of content that they deem interesting, whether it’s a news article, an opinion piece, a funny picture, or an inspiring video. Their connections, in turn, share it with their own networks, and so on. The number of people you can reach with killer content is astounding.

Therefore, you need to create content that will make the rounds within these social media channels through shares, retweets, pins, etc., and you need to be able to do it in a regular fashion. There is no guaranteed way to achieve this, but the best way is to simply create great content.

Social Content

Social media platforms are built with connecting people in mind, but you can follow their template with your website by allowing for some level of interaction with your website’s visitors. This can be done through a blog with a comments section, a forum where they can discuss your products/services, or a customer review feature where you let people send in their critiques of your business’ offerings. You can even let visitors leave comments on your content using their Facebook accounts for fuller integration.

By giving your customers a way to express their opinions, you also give them a sense of belonging with your company. They will feel that you care about what your customers think, establishing a stronger relationship in the process.

Eye-Catching Titles and Images

Some truly great content doesn’t reach its full potential, because of poor titles that don’t immediately grab people’s attention when browsing through their feeds. Other great content that tackles technical and/or multiple subjects are not being read, because of the lack of compelling pictures that break up the monotony of text.

• For titles, you want something that addresses a concern while being straight to the point. It has to fix your target audience’s gaze when they’re quickly scanning on their Smartphones or computers.

• For images, you want something that explains your points in a clearer fashion while maintaining the tone of your content, and more importantly, your brand is known for. You can actually just focus on creating content that is purely image-based (e.g. infographics) to simplify complex concepts and highlight important facts.

Social Buttons
Due to the fast-paced nature of today’s Information Age, people now expect a good level of convenience when surfing the Web. They want to be able to share things they like through their multiple social media accounts without having to deal with the relative hassle of opening up new windows or tabs and copying and pasting URLs. Social buttons are the answer to that problem, making it much easier for people to show their interest in a piece of content to the rest of the world.

These social buttons can also work in your favor, because they usually show the number of people who have expressed positive sentiments about particular content. Once these numbers climb, it can be even easier for people to take notice, because they will think the content is worth checking out, attributing it to the number of people who already did.

RSS Feeds
Rich Site Summary or RSS is nothing new, but it is a tool that has found even more use now that there is so much more content being produced and shared throughout the Internet. Use it to syndicate relevant content you have on your main website to microsites targeting more concentrated niches. This way, you don’t have to be publishing the same content on multiple sites.

While an official website serves as a foundation for creating an online presence, social media allows for even wider coverage for your business, and gets you even closer to your target audience. By integrating it with your website, you realize the full potential of doing business online.



Bing To Include Local Product Inventory In Search Results


Yesterday Microsoft and Local Corporation announced a deal in which the latter’s Krillion local product database will be provided to Bing for display in search results. Local Corp. will supply in-stock product data from a range of mostly national-local retailers.

The list of participating retailers includes BestBuy, Costco, Express, Fry’s, Home Depot, Kmart, Lowe’s, Nordstrom, Orchard Supply, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Rite Aid, Sears, Staples, Target, True Value and Wal-Mart. All of the indexed products from these stores — it’s not clear if this includes all in-store inventory — will be available on Bing.

Local Corp. bought local product inventory provider Krillion in early 2011. Through that acquisition Local inherited a potentially sweeping patent (8,032,427) that covers presentation of product inventory data online, for offline retailers.

Bing’s Bill Hankes said, “We think the addition of Local.com’s product data can help consumers by letting them know which brands and categories are in stores. The inclusion of this data, however, does not change the way in which Bing ranks results based on relevance.”

In a way that’s unfortunate because it would create incentives for retailers to get their inventory online.

Local Corp. offered the following statement to me in email: “We’re providing our entire dynamic shopping data set to them. We’ll be coming out with updated growth numbers for our platform (brands, categories, etc.) soon.”

Several years ago there were a number of startups competing to bring local product inventory online. The recession hit some of these startups and stalled their growth. There were also a number of acquisitions in the segment, including NearbyNow by JiWire, Milo by eBay and Killion by Local Corp. Most retailers have also been slow to put their inventory data online and small, independent retailers have done almost nothing in terms of getting their product data onto the internet.

Local product search engine Goodzer (which offers an API) has taken a different approach and crawls retail websites, matching products with store locations. And Yext has an offering that includes some product inventory syndication as part of its larger local data distribution network.

Google has a “in nearby stores” inventory filter in its Shopping Search but the company has not invested in deepening product inventory. The advent of indoor location will likely present a new opportunity to get product inventory data online.

It’s not clear what percentage of product queries are inventory related. However most products are purchased in local stores.

While e-commerce, and more recently m-commerce, has grown into the billions, online shopping remains a fraction of offline consumer spending (5.8 percent of total US retail). Recently I calculated that online-influenced offline spending (“O2O”) represented something approaching $2 trillion annually.



5 Keys to Building an Addictive Personal Brand



This made me want to dissect what it is that makes someone’s brand addictive:  Let’s start with a basic premise for creating an addictive personal brand.

Would you be missed if you were gone?

If you stopped writing, publishing or creating content, would the people who read notice? If they wouldn’t, you’re quite far off from creating an addictive brand.  Let’s talk about what it actually takes to create a brand that is truly addictive.  There are 5 foundational elements to an addictive brand.

1. Be Consistent

I recently read that Seth Godin published is 5000th blog post. That’s a lot of writing. For nearly 10 years he’s showed up every single day. In fact if a day went by when he didn’t publish, the blogosphere would probably start speculating that he’d been kidnapped or something. He’s conditioned us to expect something from him. And if those expectations aren’t met, we’d notice. We would miss him if he’s gone.

You don’t have to publish every single day to create an addictive brand, but you do have to be consistent. We become addicted to TV shows because we know they’ll be there every Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. If you’re sporadic about your publishing efforts, it’s unlikely you’ll create an addictive brand. Remember, you’re not Ashton Kutcher. Mortals like us have to actually do a bit more.  When you’re consistent you also have the opportunity to develop a substantial body of work. Let’s say you write the most amazing blog post and it sends you droves of traffic. But when people get to your site theres nothing else for them to read. You effectively missed the boat. To make your content as addictive as cocaine you need to give your audience their fix and that means having a big supply.


2. Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Some of the best writers on the web, Julien Smith, Justine Musk,  and James Altucher have worked to become masters of their craft for a very long time. They’re the kinds of people who are so good that we can’t ignore them. They’ve been willing to put their pen to paper and write. You won’t be a master of your craft when you start, but if you make it a point to practice you’ll eventually get there. And when you do, you’ll be so good they can’t ignore you. People will become addicted to your brand. They’ll always be wanting more.


3. Be Insanely Useful

This may be one of the most overlooked aspects of creating an addictive brand. Creating a personal brand that’s addictive is not about you at all. It’s about your audience. If you’re having trouble with this, check out my friend Alex Franzen’s new book 50 ways to say You’re Awesome. She’s a master of being useful while promoting her own work. In my mind there are 3 basic ways to be useful?


  • Change Behavior:  We’re all trying to change something about ourselves and our lives. If your content helps somebody to do that, they’ll always come back for more.
  • Deliver an Outcome: This isn’t always going to be possible. But one of the most useful questions you can ask yourself before publishing every single piece of content is “what’s the intended outcome for the reader?” My outcome with this post was to help you make your brand more addictive than it is right now.
  • Educate: This is another way to be insanely useful. All you have to do is look at the success of TED talks and it’s no secret that people are craving an opportunity to be educated. The guys over at ASAP Science realized this and built a Youtube channel that grew to  over 1 million subscribers in less than a year.


4. Be Interesting

As I’ve said before your brand must tell a compelling story if it’s going to  become addictive.  In many ways people who read blogs are voyeurs. Your job is to provide an escape from reality and take people on a journey. Expose them to a world of possibilities. People want to be entertained just as much as they want to be informed.


5. Be Audacious/Bold

Addictive brands are usually audacious and bold. They take a strong stand and understand how to use fascination triggers.

  •  My friend Meg Worden spent 2 years in a Federal Prison and it’s right there on her about page.  Her content is so addictive that I almost always stop what ever working on read it right away.
  • James Altucher bleeds on the page every single time he writes. He has just as many people who hate him as love him.

You must take a strong stand, have an opinion and be willing to alienate some people. If you try to be everything to everybody, you’ll become nothing to nobody.  Somebody I spoke with once said you personal brand is like an online dating profile. You want to 98% of the population not to be interested so you can build a relationship with the 2% of who will fall in love with you.