A Random Interview: Aspiring World-Changer, Alex Banaga

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It’s always fun to hear the stories of the millionaires and billionaires, the celebrities and VIPs. But everyone has a story to tell, even if you don’t have the shiniest car or thickest wallet–and this inspired me to talk to the “normal,” everyday people around me; to understand what they’ve been through, what their early years were like, what path they took. Like everyone, they’ve been through good times and bad times, tough times and easy times. And I wanted to help them tell their tales.

How to Build Your Own Profitable Company (An Interview With Dave Collins About Online Advertising and Marketing)

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What’s your first thought when you hear the phrase “online advertising”? If you’re like a lot of people, your gag reflex kicks in as you painfully recall memories of slimy ads pitching miracle weight loss drugs.

But there’s more to online advertising than digital snake-oil salesmen shoving flashing banner ads down your throat. It’s a way for New York Times best-selling authors to test their book titles. A feel-good doggy daycare company gets 90% of their business through Google AdWords. And someone like Dave Collins, founder of SoftwarePromotions, has made an entire business through helping people with their Google AdWords and online marketing needs.

How a Website Made $465,670 in Two Days (Or, the Psychology Behind the Humble Bundle)

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Advertising, Psychology

When was the last time you saw an advertisement? I’d bet it wasn’t too long ago. Was it on a website? A 30-second pre-roll before watching Modern Family on Hulu?

Enter the Humble Bundle, a site that uses some excellent advertising to entice customers to buy “indie” books, video games, and music. Started about two years ago by the ever-forward thinking Jeff Rosen, the Humble Bundle has been a massive, massive success. In total, the Humble Bundles have generated about $19,500,000 in total revenue. In a field littered with piracy, how were they able to generate so much revenue? Read on as I break down eight different ways the Humble Bundle website pushes you to happily give them money (often more than you expected).

Can You Create Your Own Business? (Pam Slim Book Review)

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Your alarm clock goes off at 7:15 in the morning. You begrudingly swat at it to turn it off. An hour later, you’re in your car and on the way to a job you’ve done for way too long. You get to work, stare at your computer for a few hours, and dream about living in Costa Rica until the clock hits 5 pm. Is this really the way you wanted to live? Do you really want to do this for the next 20 to 30 years?

Is All Attention Good Attention? (Or, How One TV Personality Increased Their Twitter Followers 20,000% in 24 Hours)

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There’s an old adage web marketers love to follow: “all attention is good attention.” In the marketing and advertising worlds, any attention to a brand is traditionally thought to help the brand out. After all, it brings the company into the spotlight, so more people hear about it and eventually buy their products… right?

We all know how dangerous assumptions can be. So, recently, I was able to test the aforementioned publicity theory.

Psychology Behind Cold Reading: Why are Psychics Always Right?

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Have you ever been to a psychic? If not, I’m sure you can point to a friend who has. Furthermore, I’m sure you have a friend who is an extreme believer in the power of psychics. Whether it’s foreseeing our future, telling us how a deceased loved one is handling the afterlife, or detailing the mistakes we’ve made in the past, psychics usually tell us things we want to hear (and believe are correct). Well, how did the psychics know this? This article breaks down all the details on the psychology behind psychics and cold reading.

Book Review: The 4 Hour-Body (Plus a Free Giveaway!)

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Bodybuilding, Nutrition

Although focusing on body/nutrition/fitness optimization, Tim’s book has important implications for learning anything. In essence, his message is: cut the fat and extra bull when trying to learn something new and you’ll be rewarded.

So, with that message in mind, let’s dive into Tim’s book. This book review will be a little different than the other ones you may have read. Additionally, below you’ll find a nice surprise — a content/giveaway I’m running.

The Power of Defaults: How One Small Change Impacts 10,000,000 People (Plus Twitter’s New Home Page!)

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Defaults are incredibly interesting. Behind every default choice on a major website, there’s an angry room of people yelling at each other. “Why can’t we move up the image two pixels?!” a Product Manager may say while pounding her fist on the table. “We should move the image down two pixels!!!” a Strategy Manager may counter. Then chimes in the VP of the Digital team, “why do we even need an image?”

For sites like Facebook and Twitter, defaults aren’t just interesting, they’re the lifeblood of the entire company. The things a user first sees when they navigate to a website channel the user’s behavior and their interaction with the site. In some instances, 95% of users don’t change or configure anything; they leave the page or application exactly how they found it.

Therefore, when Twitter launched their new homepage (their second homepage change in the past year), I was interested to examine the pages at a microscopic level: what changed, and what implications does this have for users navigating to twitter.com? Furthermore, an understanding of defaults may have dramatic effects on how you interact with pages online! Twitter isn’t the only company that does this: some of the most popular website you use–like Facebook, Google, ESPN, and Wikipedia–test defaults all the time.

How-To: Create Kick-Ass Facebook Ads and Grow Your Fan Page

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Advertising, Social Media, Tips & Tricks

Advertising is the lifeblood of online content websites. How does Google manage to stay in business? Online ads. Mashable? CNN? That random blog you frequent? The vast majority of online content is paid for by advertising. In this article, I show you how to create a Facebook Ads campaign from start to finish (including how I managed to blow through a few thousand dollars worth of ads in 72 hours!)