Why I’m Quitting RSS

Why I’m Quitting RSS

Back when I started in the digital marketing space in 2009, RSS feeds were all the rage. Before that, I started blogging around 2003/2004 and when RSS became popular it was hands down the best way to spread your content online. I remember focusing so hard on that RSS subscribers number because that was the way you built an audience and could get your content to them. Remember, this was before Twitter even existed and when Facebook was still in its very nascent stages (I still can’t believe I have been on Facebook for almost 12 years as of this year).

RSS was fantastic back in the day, but I believe that its utility has finally run out. With the death of Google Reader and the rise of social networks across the world as well as the growth of messaging apps like Slack, people now receive the content that they want to read via other channels than an automated email that’s not formatted well and feels like it doesn’t belong there.

So, as of today I’ve killed the RSS feed on this site and here’s what I’m replacing it with. Read more about Why I’m Quitting RSS

SEO Packages Need To Die

SEO Packages Need To Die

I’m sick of SEO packages. You know the kind, where you get an email asking you to send them a proposal for what you would do for their company and what your packages and pricing are. I’m tired of companies that offer things like “10 blog posts for $150.”

Why?

This is old school small scale thinking. If you want 10 blog posts for $150 and your hourly rate is $30 per hour, write a blog post every 30 minutes for 5 hours. I bet the quality will be a lot higher than paying someone random to do it for you. Marketing “packages” don’t work. Marketing that works isn’t a product that is plug and play for every business. Depending on your business and who your customers are, and your current stage of company, different channels are going to work better or worse for you to actually get you results.

I’ll give a lot of businesses asking for packages the benefit of the doubt because they don’t know what else to call them, but the language underlying it signals to me that they view marketing consulting as transactional – I give you this and I get that. I’m sorry, but that’s not how marketing works. That’s not even how business works! If business were that easy, everyone would run their own business.

Read more about SEO Packages Need To Die

Does A Startup Really Need The .Com Of Their Brand Name?

Does A Startup Really Need The .Com Of Their Brand Name?

Recently Paul Graham, a VC and entrepreneur whom I very much respect, wrote a post called Change Your Name in which he argued that a startup should seriously think about changing their name if they are not able to get the “.com” TLD for their brand name. Graham also stated some statistics that are meant to make us think that his position is mostly irrefutable. He said:

100% of the top 20 YC companies by valuation have the .com of their name. 94% of the top 50 do. But only 66% of companies in the current batch have the .com of their name. Which suggests there are lessons ahead for most of the rest, one way or another.

I’d argue that having the .com domain is not the most important thing (and I don’t think that’s what Graham was saying). What’s more important, in my opinion, is consistency. In fact, I’d even argue that not having the .com is missing the forest for the trees. Let’s dig in. Read more about Does A Startup Really Need The .Com Of Their Brand Name?

Lessons Learned Scaling The HotPads Marketing Team

Lessons Learned Scaling The HotPads Marketing Team

A little over a year ago, I joined HotPads.com as their online marketing manager. I was the first marketer at HotPads in a while, hence the team was me and I was doing everything (though nothing super well). One year later, I have a team of eight marketers (including myself) spanning SEO, email, and content. We’re […]

The Difference Between Agency and Inhouse Marketing

The Difference Between Agency and Inhouse Marketing

Last October, as many of you know, I made the move from search marketing agency Distilled to become the Online Marketing Manager at hotpads.com, the nationwide rentals brand of the Zillow Rental Network. I’ve been at the job for four months now, and a recent conversation with Jonathon Colman (another Bay Area transplant) has made […]

If I Did Marketing for Foursquare I Would…

If I Did Marketing for Foursquare I Would…

I love new businesses. I love technology that connects the world. I also hate seeing companies who change the world languish and not reach their full potential. FourSquare is one of those businesses for me. I’ve thought for a while now about what I would do if I was Head of Online Marketing for Foursquare. […]

Why I Write on Medium

Why I Write on Medium

Hi my name is John and I write on Medium, and I like it. Before I start this post I feel the need to make that confession. Medium, if you don’t know, is the current darling of writing online. It’s the brain child of Evan Williams, the man behind Blogger and Twitter. Medium is currently […]

Let’s Not Freak Out About Hummingbird and Not Provided

Let’s Not Freak Out About Hummingbird and Not Provided

The past week in search marketing has given everyone a lot to talk about. 100% (not provided) for keywords. Hummingbird, the rewrite of the algorithm. It seems like it’s cool to talk about Hummingbird, Google’s latest name for their algorithm. Here’s the unfortunate truth about Hummingbird and (not provided): none of us really know what […]