How to Measure & Track Marketing

I've been a part of dozens (maybe hundreds) of product launches  And in each of these cases I ask my team to put together a simple dashboard of a small set of metrics for our paid and free products that let me know the success of our efforts. For startup entrepreneurs, you can also track these metrics with Google analytics. Paid Product Metrics Customer Acquisition Cost / Cost Per Acquisition  The customer acquisition cost or cost per acquisition is the basic marketing cost to acquire a customer. For example, if it costs $1,000 on Google paid search to get 500 people to visit your site and five of those people purchase an item, your CAC is $200 ($1,000/5). CAC is a derivative of your cost per click (CPC) or the costs to drive a visitor to your app and your conversion rateIn many cases, before the sale is complete, you’ll also measure your cost per lead (CPL) as in-between step in order to collect data about the user to remarket to them.

See what other startup mentors have to say about marketing tactics.

Conversion Rate The conversion rate is measuring the percentage of people that interact with your product that eventually end up buying. The key here is to break down each step of the conversion funnel. For example: a) What percent of your site visitors bounce before taking any action? b) What percent of your app visitors register? c) What percent of your registered users add an item to cart or sign up for a free trial subscription? d) What percent of your carts/free trials convert into paid customers? Lifetime Value Lifetime value is the sum of all the payments you expect to receive from a customer over their lifetime interaction with your business.  LTV is most typically attributed to subscription businesses with predictable recurring revenue. However, LTV is also a function of average order value (AOV), where you have a commerce site that sells items individually; in this case the LTV is the sum of the total expected number of AOVs. Products like Netflix have low monthly cancellations and have a very high LTV with loyal customers that stay active for two years or more. In a growing tech business, you ideally want to have a ratio of 3:1 or greater of LTV/CAC. In these cases, your marketing efforts are meaningfully multiplied by the margin those customers will provide. Net Promoter Score The net promoter score is the most common measurement of the quality of the product experience. By asking this one question of your customers: “How likely is it that you would recommend [Company X] to a friend or colleague?” you derive a net negative or positive score that tells you how pleased people are with your service. Companies like SurveyMonkey have good free tools tomeasure your NPS. Free Product Metrics Traffic/Registered Users/Engagement The basic key performance indicators of any free digital products typically consist of:
  • Traffic: The number of unique visitors that use the product in a given period of time.
  • Registered users: The number of people that sign up to use the service that can be marketed to on an ongoing basis.
  • Engagement: The measurement of how much and often a user engages with a product, typically measured by “time on site/app” and “average visits”.
Viral Co-Efficient The viral co-efficient is my holy grail metric and the truest measure of how quickly your application will grow.  VCE attributes a number (typically a decimal) to a product to determine how many of its users drive additional adoption.  A VCE of 0.5 means each user drives the adoption of 0.5 additional users.  So your first 100 users, will drive an additional 100 users (the first 100 users drive an additional 50 users > those 50 users in turn drive 25 users > 12 users…). Any VCE of one or higher is incredibly powerful because in theory any set of users you get provides you a never-ending stream of new users. This metric is so critical because it’s the best predictor of growth, social-dating appTinder for example has an off-the-charts VCE. Cost Per Vistor Cost per visitor is similar to CPC addressed above. CPV is a simple way to look at the blended cost of driving visitors to your free product (search engine marketing, email, social). In many cases, you won’t have the budget to sustainably drive thousands or millions of visitors to a product that has no direct revenue associated with it. But at first it’s common to pay for some of these users in order to validate the value and viral nature of the product. Making sure you have low cost ways to drive traffic to your free application is critical when you first launch. Make it a habit to review these metrics on a daily or weekly basis, look at the trends month after month, and you and your business will benefit greatly.   This piece originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/accelerators/2014/06/04/jason-nazar-marketing-metrics-that-matter-most/

Lasix And Hypertension

What should the core values for our company Lasix and hypertension, be. Being a HUGE comic buff, I took this as the opportunity to frame our mission and values within the metaphor of an epic adventure. So here is the list of our core values, based on 10 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Superheros. (substitute "Superheros" for "Your StartUp Company")

Superheroes Never Give Up

Like Batman, you have to keep pressing on to the very last breath. Challenges are overcome by wholeheartedly committing to unrelenting persistence.

 

Superheroes Always Get the Job Done

There are no excuses if you don't save the girl from the burning house, lasix and hypertension. There are just results, not reasons, you either save the day or you don't. Gray area is for Kafka not comic hereos.

 

 

 

Superheroes Are the Best at What They Do

Flash is the fastest and we all know it. , aldactone lasix. Lasix and hypertension, If you're the back end developer, you are the best developer in the world, and everyone on your team knows it. Let great talent excel in areas where their superpowers are most needed.

 

 

Superheroes Are Crystal Clear of their Purpose

Captain Marvel may be a cheeseball, but he knows what he stands for. Startups die when they are not clear on their mission.

 

 

Superheroes Are NOT Flawless

Superheros have flaws, every member of your team will also. The goal is not perfection, it's the pursuit of perfection, lasix and hypertension.

 

 

Superheroes Do Not Seek Glory...But They Get it Anyway

Don't do it because you want the attention.
If you do it right, you'll get it anyway

 

 

 

Superheroes Help Others

Superheroes help people by solving problems. Startups should be obsessed NOT with themselves, but with how they are going to help other people and solve their issues.

 

 

 

Superheroes Can Do it By Themselves But Are More Powerful in Teams

You always have to have each other's back. Lasix and hypertension, Its you vs. Potential toxic side effect for lasix, the world and brining together your own team of superheroes, and the mutual respect, loyalty, and camaraderie of that team is vital.

 

Superheroes' True Strength Comes From Their Character

No matter how super you think you are, you're strength comes from your character not your talent. Be courageous, be respectful, be honorable, be selfless.

 

 

Superheroes Accomplish Huge Feats

The same effort it takes to start a lemonade stand or college club, is the same raw effort it takes to change the world. Your goal is not to build a product or get traffic... Your goal is to accomplish the most amazing feat imaginable, cats lasix. Make the Product, Save the World.

And here is a presentation I gave on the topic with the presentation:

Part 1

 

 .

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If Politicians Were More Like Entrepreneurs…

I've an avid student of american history and politics.  I was the student body president of two universities, worked on Capital Hill, and currently serving as the Entrepreneur in Residence for the City of Los Angeles.  My love politics is matched by my passion for building businesses.  And I often think our government would be much better if politicians acted more like entrepreneurs: The Reward Is The Outcome, Not the Position – The title of “Entrepreneur” has no value unless there are deeds and accomplishments to back it up.  Being a Congressman, Senator, Governor or President is not an accomplishment… accomplishing things is an accomplishment. When You’re Done Fundraising Build Something –Fundraising is a means to an end, not the end itself.  Once we’ve raised money from loyal supporters, it is our responsibility to build something of greater value.  Only then do we have the right to ask for more money. Fail Fast  Everyone is expected to fail. What matters is how we eventually accomplish great feats. Don’t dig your heels into a strategy that has no chance of success, that’s not principled… it’s petty.
Work Harder  How many elected officials work startup hours to make sure to pass legislation?  We’d be a greater country if politicians worked as diligently as engineers to solve difficult problems.
Risk = Reward – Nobody remembers the obstructionist. “It’s not the critic who counts…The credit belongs to the man in the arena…who does actually strive to do the deeds…who spends himself in a worthy cause.” – President Theodore Roosevelt
Money Runs Out – There is no blank check in business.  Capital is your lifeline and needs to be allocated thoughtfully and judiciously.  Cash resources are limited and when they’re gone, so is your endeavor.
Debt Works in Your Favor When You’re Growing – Debt can be an amazing instrument to tap when you’re scaling, and is the cheapest way to finance growth.  But when you’re flat or deflating, increasing debt often becomes the noose around a fragile neck. You Can’t Have Consumption Without Production – Builders, makers, manufactures and engineers should be overly rewarded for producing outsized value.  Don’t levy or hinder production, or there will just be less for everyone to consume. Have a Win-Win Mentality – The pie is growing.  More often than not, no one has to lose for you to win.  We can get everything we need by seeking a win for others. Your Vision Must Be Clear – Nobody wants to follow leaders who don’t know where they’re going.  If a 5th grader can’t clearly articulate your vision it’s too complicated or confused. Be Decisive – I can’t remember the last time an entrepreneur got to “abstain” or be counted as “not present” from making a decision.  Once you’ve decided on a course of action be clear in what you intend to accomplish and don’t waiver. People Feed Off Positive Energy and Optimism –How often do we hear members of political parties demean their opponents vs. praise them?  Entrepreneurs tend to befriend and learn from people of opposing views.  Our representatives should do the same.  No one will ever be inspired by pessimism. Under-Promise and Over-Deliver – Political campaigns are farces and fairytales.  Undelivered promises never improved anyone’s life.  Promise us less, and over-deliver on your commitments. Embrace Your Critics – There is something to learn from every critique.  Take the opportunity to engage with your critics.  You’ll be better for it, and have fewer detractors along the way. Love What You Do – Representing thousands or millions of people is an honor and opportunity that should be cherished.  Have a passion for the democratic process not disdain for its faults.  It’s the best imperfect government system invented yet. Know Your Customers – What do they need, what do they want and what do they most care about? The more in touch you are with your customer/constituent, the more you’ll be rewarded for serving them aptly. Execution Matters More Than Ideas – We get caught up in the dogma of our positions and ideas.  But any seemingly good idea, poorly executed, is worse than a half-baked idea with flawless execution. Competition Should be Encouraged – I’ve yet to visit a gerrymandered website.  We all eventually benefit from fair and fierce competition. Winning = Solving Problems – The more problems you solve the more customers or constituents you will have.  Focus on delivering achievable, practical improvements and you’ll be rewarded. Leaders Serve Their Customers, but Shouldn’t Always Think Like Them – No one ever became a leader by acting like everybody else.  We elect our officials and entrust them to make decisions on our behalf.  They should be the best of us and make the hard decisions for our benefit, even when we disagree. (and for the record Lex Luthor is a horrible role model for all Entrepreneurs & Elected Officials...) This article originally appeared on Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/10/15/what-politicians-should-learn-from-entrepreneurs/#61a394cbaec7

My 9 eBooks on Business & Leadership

Over the years at Docstoc, I took a variety of talks that I've given on various topics around Business & Leadership and we turned these into eBooks on Itunes.  They were edited by our head of content & my friend Rochelle Bailis.  You can get access to all these books here, & visit my Videos Page and you'll see my talks for many of these topics. How to Make the Right Business Decisions How to Start a Business 21 Simple Ways to Persuade People 7 Free Ways to Get Online Traffic 10 Strategies for Startup Success 21 Golden Rules of Entrepreneurship Bootstrapping Your Business How to Break Out of the Pack Grow & Track Your Startup Revenue  

Reprise: The Unintended Consequences of Startups (4 Years Later…)

Seven months ago I sold the company I founded in 2007; seemingly all’s well that ends well.  But, over the years I’ve been very vocal about the emotional highs and lows of running a startup, and the dark side people don’t talk about.  In 2009, still at the beginning of the journey, I wrote a post on my blog about my challenges at the time.  It struck a deep cord and hundreds of entrepreneurs shared their parallel emotional tolls and scarifies with me.  I’m including an abbreviated post below, this time with more than five years perspective and the coveted successful exit in hand. April 2009: The Unintended Consequences of Startups  There is only one way I can imagine running a startup, obsessively giving it everything you’ve got. In my opinion it’s what separates the winners from everyone else, and it’s the only way I’d ever be able to look back on this experience without regret. But that kind of dedication comes with a price. And anyone who has chosen a path of starting a business can tell you the unintended consequences of startups. For the past two years I’ve neglected my health, family and friends. For most of my adult life, I was about 165 pounds. I’m almost 210 pounds these days.  After we raised our first round of capital I regularly started staying in the office until 2 a.m. I found myself so physically and mentally spent by the weekend that I typically slept most the day on Saturday, before I went back to work on Sundays.  I was so inactive; I’m convinced now my muscles started to atrophy. It took me a while to admit that I was stressed out and even longer to realize I would turn to food to compensate for that stress. Over the past year, I’ve become a more solitary person with my thoughts and emotions than I’ve ever been, while increasingly becoming a public figure that’s known as an outgoing social networker and showman.  It’s a strange dichotomy. My family has been both incredibly supportive but also upset that I’ve seemingly disappeared. I have three older siblings, and we’re undeniably close.  But while they’re all proud of me, they disapprove of my unbalanced lifestyle.  My brother and I share opposing sides of a duplex; he’s literally a wall away from me.  But I can often go two weeks without seeing or talking to him.  My sisters are busy raising their kids, so they can relate a bit more.  But like so many others, our conversation often come back to them asking me, “Why don’t you ever want to talk about what’s going on in your life?” My father who I love dearly, isn’t only from another generation/country, he might as well be from another planet. He struggles the most to be supportive; I know he’s at least a little disappointed I didn’t practice law and take over the family real estate business.  A lot of what I do is to make him proud and prove to him that all his hard work for his children was not in vain.  He’s almost 80 and every time I see him I try and cherish the interactions, because I don’t know how many will be left. My lack of time affects me most in relation to my mom. My mother has been severely ill for the last six years. Due to mental illness that set in later in life, and a very early onset of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, she can’t hold a conversation, stand, eat or function at all without full time caregivers. She is the person that has done more for me than anyone else, and was always my biggest cheerleader.  I could leave the office every night at 8 p.m. and give her a hug and kiss, spend a half hour with her, but I don’t.  Our first office was across the street from her (not accidentally), and I’d walk over during the day to check on her. Since we moved further away, I typically go by to see her once or twice a week.  It’s a choice I’m not very proud of. Friends are a little bit easier, I’ve have the same ones since I was five. But for a long time they did stop calling me, knowing I always turned down plans for work.  I felt that if someone wasn’t at our startup with me on a daily basis, that it took too much effort to try and explain the intricacies and emotions of the experience. I think I’ve reached my breaking point, at least for now, and mostly in regards to my health.  Somehow I know my relationships will work out, but I often find myself feeling like I’m working at 40% of my capacity and energy, and I think it’s due in large part to poor physical habits. Starting and running a company is the joy of my life right now, and gives me a greater sense of purpose than anything I’ve done before. It’s come with a price though, and I know a lot of other folks like me are thinking through and struggling with issues of balance and the unintended consequences of pouring yourself into that which you love and defines you. Epilogue I had no idea I was embarking on an eight-year marathon and emotional roller coaster when we started Docstoc.  Startups are a dichotomy of taking control of your destiny while letting go of all other illusions of control.  I can unequivocally say it was worth the sacrifice, but I came out a different person on the other side. I eventually found peace in the wisdom, “Don’t struggle with the struggle”.  Struggle with the daily challenges you’ll inevitably have to face, but embrace the fact that struggle will be the consistent state you live in for the next many years.  Today, I may get to enjoy the outcome of our success, but the pain of the process is what’s forever shaped me as a person. There are few things in life that will push us, demand of us, beat us down or raise us up as much as starting a company.   This post originally appeared in the WSj: http://blogs.wsj.com/accelerators/2014/06/19/jason-nazar-the-unintended-consequences-of-startups/

The BIG Mistakes People Make at Work

Is what you’re doing at work today really the best thing for both your company and for you?  Spare a few moments to gain some work perspective.  You might discover you’re making some fatal mistakes, or even fourteen of them. Not Understanding the Company’s Goals: It’s everyone’s responsibility to understand the most critical goals for their company.  Even if you weren’t told what’s most important, it doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t figure it out. The more disconnected you are from these goals, the more you’ll be task managed. Doing what you’re told isn’t enough; we have to do what most needs to get done. Not Making Yourself Instrumental:  Ask yourself: “If I was fired tomorrow, would my company suffer any major disruption or difficulty?” Be honest.  If the answer is “No!” then you’re setting yourself up to be replaced.  You’re likely either not excelling at your role, or you’re working on the wrong objectives.   Job security means having responsibility for something important, and doing it exceptionally well.Not Having a Work Best Friend: Plenty ofresearch shows that having a “best friend at work” makes you happier, more positive and more likely to stay in your job. In fact, a landmark study revealed people who have a best friend at work are seven times as likely to be engaged in their job!  Yet, only about 30% of employees say they have a work best friend.  Get happy, find your WBFF. Being Yourself:  No one is the best professional they can be.  One trick to perform better is to emulate the habits of your professional heroes: how would Steve Jobs stay productive, how does Mark Cuban make decisions, how does Marissa Mayer handle phone calls, how does Magic Johnson conduct meetings, and how do they dress.  By playing the part of your mentors, you’ll settle into your own optimal work style, and become the best version of yourself.
Not Taking Enough Breaks:   The single biggest cost to businesses may be the “sitting-dead”: burnt-out employees achieving a fraction of their potential.   I always hated seeing my team goofing around, but I realized how important breaks are later on in my career.  Now I’d much rather have team members go on as-many-as-needed energizing breaks (outside the office) throughout the day, but then be 110% engaged and working until the job gets done.  Over-worked zombies infect everyone else, and leave you with an office of aimless employees. Putting Limits on Yourself:  We almost never accomplish more than we can imagine for ourselves.  Many people are fond of telling us what we can’t do, and sometimes these voices become our own limiting self-talk.  This doubt becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Go into work every day with the attitude you can get anything done.  Be something more tomorrow than the something less you were yesterday. The only limit of your potential is your imagination and effort. Forgetting the Customer:  People as important as your children, spouse, siblings and parents are spending their hard-earned money on your products or services. How much of your workday do you spend thinking about, talking to, or interacting with your customers?  Probably not enough.  Businesses that are disengaged from their customers tend to die untimely deaths.  Lead your day with a customer-centric focus and you’ll never go wrong.  (Tip: Read Tony Hsieh’s book on “Delivering Happiness” at Zappos.) Not Acting Like the Boss – I often encouraged my team members to come into work, and imagine you’re the CEO.  What’s the mindset you’d need if you were the leader and how would you act?  That’s the same sense of urgency and ownership you need to have a daily basis to excel in whatever your job function entails. Assuming No One is Judging Your Performance:  People are always talking about how you stack up as a team member.  You’re not fooling anyone; your managers and co-workers know what kind of job you’re doing.  Just because you haven’t gotten any critical feedback lately, doesn’t mean people think you’re doing a good job. Your own standards should be much higher than everyone else; judge your own performance daily and assume everyone else is as well.   (Tip: ask for written quarterly performance reviews, even if it isn’t company policy.) Not Being Likable: Ideally, all work environments would be pure meritocracies.  But we’re social organisms.  People like working with people they like to be around.  You get ahead, in part, by getting along.  Consider this scenario: Company management needs to do cutbacks. Given a choice between two relatively equal performers, guess which one gets the ax: the temperamental teammate or the affable employee? Taking It Too Personally: So much time and energy is wasted being upset. When faced with a conflict or critical feedback, our first instinct should be to ask: “How I can improve?”  Trust the intentions of the person giving the feedback.  Quite often it’s not a personal condemnation; they’re hopefully thinking about how to achieve the best outcome.  You may disagree with their conclusion or approach, but there’s always valuable feedback on how we can improve in any conflict or critique. Not Staying on Top of Your Industry: Dedicate half an hour each day to reading about the latest news and trends about your industry, whether you’re in tech or fashion or furniture. This will keep you current on the changes coming so you can bring new ideas and perspectives. As Stephen Covey teaches: Sharpen the Saw.
Forgetting the One Most Important Thing: What’s the one most important thing you can to accomplish today, this week, or this month to move the business forward most.  Write it down each day and hold yourself accountable to accomplishing that endeavor above all else.  Too often we devote our energy to mundane tasks like checking email or meetings that falsely let us feel productive.  We can get many things wrong, and still be doing a great job, if we get the most important things done right. (Tip: Watch more on The One Most Important Thing)
Relying on Career Employment: Career employment no longer exists for many of us.  You always have the skill set to get the next job.  Ask yourself: “If I got fired today, would I be able to find a comparable or better job within three months?” If the answer is no, you’re sorely unprepared for this modern economy.  In Reid Hoffman’s new book, “The Alliance,” he makes the case for a new loyalty pact between employer and employee.  The employer can count on a commitment from the employee of up to four years, and the employee can count on the employer to provide the opportunity and training to help them find their next better career opportunity.  Don’t let yourself get caught unprepared for your next voluntary or involuntary career move.   This article originally appeared on Forbes - http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2014/10/21/14-fatal-mistakes-youre-making-at-work-today/2/#33bc35015a22

The 7 “Free” Ways to Get Traffic on the Web

The 7 Ways to Get (unpaid) Traffic on the Web “If You Build It…They Will Come”, may work for historical baseball ghosts, but it’s not a strategy you can rely on when starting an internet company.Driving traffic to your website is a formula that can be reverse engineered. Other than paying for traffic with advertising, there are only so many ways to get people to show up at your door.

There are 7 Ways to Get Traffic on the Web, in no weighted order they are: 1.) Search Engines 2.) Referring Traffic / Press 3.) Social Media 4.) Online Partnerships / Distribution Deals 5.) Refreshing Content 6.) The Viral Loop / User Email 7.) Solve a Personal Compelling Need Search Engines – Google, Yahoo, MSN, ASK redirect billions of searches everyday.Search engines have the potential to drive millions of visitors to a given site.Wikipedia and About are two of the most popular sites on the web, but the majority of their traffic comes from referrals from search engines, not people going directly to their site.To make sure your site is optimized for search engine traffic: 1.) Each individual piece of content should have its own distinct URL(title tag), and a unique title (H1 tag) for the page that search engines can read and index.2.) Increase the production of your content.It’s a simple formula, go to Google and type in this query site:“name of your site.com”.The more pages indexed, the more traffic you will get. 3.) Get more websites linking to your various content pages.Once you get your pages indexed by search engines, you want them to show up as high as possible in the results.The two most important variables to make sure an individual piece of content ranks high in search results are 1) how many inbound links that page has from other websites and 2)the amount of traffic that page gets.

Helpful Resources about Search Engine Traffic: 68 Helpful SEO Tools

Referring Traffic / Press The web is interconnected, and traffic flows between sites that interlink.The more sites that link to you, the more sustainable traffic you build overtime. The type of sites that might link into you are blogs, traditional press online, forums or bulleting boards, or content rich sites that are focused on a similar topic.To make sure you maximize the potential for referring traffic:

1.) Create a target list of blogs that could cover your product or content. You can search Technorati to find the most popular blogs on the web across various categories.Make sure to reach out to bloggers personally and build a relationship.Leave comments on their posts, link to them from your site… do that and when you approach them to write about you, you’ll find a welcomed reception.2.) Make a list of 15 similar websites.Track all their online press in major publications such as the WSJ, NYTs, BusinessWeek Online, or more specific trade publications.Make a list of the journalists writing the articles, they’re easy to find on Linkedin and Facebook.Follow up with compliments on their writing and get some emails going back and forth, and then pitch your product or service.Helpful Resources about for Getting Referral Traffic: Top Blogs List (with email contacts)

Social Media - Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, Twitter.This is a separate segment of referring traffic that warrants its own category. These are sites that are set up to discover content on other sites across the web.These sites are typically geared towards more viral or humorous content, but they can be powerful sources for driving a significant amount of traffic. To make sure you maximize the potential for traffic from social media:

1.) Create content appropriate for these sites, each site has a slightly different slant on which type of content is most easily popularized. 2.) Engage in the community and make friends.Most of these sites are based on some type of voting or book-marking system.More community friends = more exposure = more traffic. 3.) Find a way to engage users in other content on your site.This traffic is mostly transitory and has few low pageviews/visit, so in order to maximize its potential, make sure to serve up lots of related content on each of the pages that receive traffic from social media.

Helpful Resources for Getting Social Media Traffic: The Social Media Manual and Promoting Yourself on Twitter (by geekpreneur)

Online Partnerships/Distribution Deals –These are harder to come by, but can pay off big dividends.The idea is to get other major sites to integrate some core functionality of your site into their own, as a value ad.One of the best examples was when social news aggregator Mixx.com landed its deal to have its links on all of CNN’s online articles, likely one of the main factors that helped their traffic skyrocket. To make sure you maximize the potential for traffic from partnership/distribution deals:

1.)Get the list of the Alexa or Compete most popular sites on the web, and scan through the list to find any and all web properties that have a crossover with your site.

2.)Widgets, Widgets, Widgets.Wherever possible build a simple, value add, easy to use widget that others can include on their blog or webiste, a la the docstocembed documents tool

3.)Be creative and persistent.This is the hardest category to give specific “how to” advice.These are typically custom deals that take some creativity on your part, relationship building, and a whole lot of patience.But fortune favors those who prevail.

Helpful Resources for Getting Traffic from Partnerships:: Web 2.0 Distribution Deals

Refreshing Content – I go back daily to sites like TechCrunch, GigaOm, Drudge Report, Huffington Post, WSJ, Neatorama,because they have topical, informative, biting, controversial content that is always refreshed. On the web, Content is King. Find ways to integrate refreshing content into the pages people visit most on your site, and you've given them a reason to come back for more. To make sure you maximize the potential for traffic from refreshing content:

1.) Don’t use your home page just as a static business card.Put new topical content that updates as often as possible on the home page so there is always something new and interesting to bring people back.

2.) Find ways to automatically generate refreshing content without having to manually edit and input it.For example, how can you show related content or automatically surface the content that is most topical and popular.

3.) If your site isn’t optimized for refreshing content, add that as a component.It might seem overly simple or it may seem to difficult to implement, but just do it, and over time returning traffic benefits will accrue.

Helpful Resources for Getting Traffic from Refreshing Content:: How to Write Great Blog Content from Problogger

Viral Loop - The viral loop is the process of turning users into marketers and thus exponentially increasing your traffic via your user base.For example, in 2003 I became the “chief marketer” for LinkedIN and proudly exported 1500+ Outlook contacts to LinkedIN and sent them ALL a message asking them to "join my network" to satiate my ego - I wanted to show off that I had "500+" connections. They turned 1 Registered User = 100 Registered Users, 100 Users = 1000 users. Turn your users into your marketers, it’s the more legit cousin of multi level marketing.

To make sure you maximize the potential for traffic from the Viral Loop

1.)Make sure you have a sign up process on your site.Give your users a compelling reason to share a link with friends or import their contacts and send a message.

2.)Awards, Points, Leader board, Recognition, Self-Promotion.Adults still like party games, there typically has to be some notoriety or self benefit involved to get others to promote your site for you.

3.)Have an easy call to action.Don’t put the onus on your users to do all the work.Sure, anyone can copy and paste a URL and send it out to dozens of folks, but how many ever will?Import your users’ contacts, and have easy tools for them to post and share links with friends and across the web.

4.)BONUS: set up auto-emails that go out based on all the users actions.Think of all the emails you get from Facebook, everytime one of your friends does something on the site.Those users aren’t intentionally sending you email, but the items them post, friends they add, events they host, all generate an email that shows up in your inbox and potentially drives you back to the site.

Helpful Resources for Getting Traffic from the Viral Loop: The Viral Coefficient

Solve a Compelling Personal Need – So this is kind of the general catch-all category for “just build a good site that people want to use”, but even this is more nuanced.People come back to sites that solve a personal compelling need.Most of the time, we’re either thinking about Money, Health, or Love (or some derivative).So gear your site around one of these compelling needs and make sure you solve a BIG problem.For example, Pricegrabber lets you find all the stuff you want at the lowest price.Dating sites are the modern day Yenta’s selling love.WebMD tells you what every possible symptom your suffering from could really be. To make sure you maximize the potential for traffic by solving a compelling personal need ask yourself:

1.)If you were the most popular site in your category, would it give someone a reason to come back to the site everyday?

2.)Am I directly dealing with making/saving money, related to health/fitness/symptom reduction, helping people find love/have sex/meet people, am I in the vanity business/do people come to my site for fame?

Conclusion

I don’t claim to have unearthed any amazing secrets to traffic generation.And for anyone in the business of building Internet companies or marketing online, this list of 7 should be very familiar.However, I know from personal experience, many entrepreneurs neglect to take a comprehensive approach to building traffic.

Each of these seven is a piece to the puzzle that makes up your entire user engagement.The goal is to analyze which of these seven areas you may be lacking in, apply attention and effort in these areas to help them grow, and keep working on improving the areas that already work for you.

Understanding Conversion: Landing Page Optimization

There are 6 critical components to make websites convert, & optimize landing pages:
  1. Have One Objective & One Objective Only
  2. Headlines (copy) Drive Actions
  3. Sell Benefits Not Features
  4. Have a Crystal Clear "Call to Action"
  5. Include Social Proof (press, testimonials, credibility...)
  6. Offer "Risk Free" or "100% Guarantee"
To See the Full Presentation [slideshare id=64086407&doc=landingpageconversion-7goldenrules1-160716164900]

SEO Metrics: How to Leverage Organic Search to Drive Traffic

I gave the following presentation about In-House SEO.  If you look at the 2nd half of the slides you'll find a set of key metrics that should be used to measure and track SEO, and the basic building blocks of how to leverage organic search to drive traffic to your website. Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 7.00.12 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 7.00.31 PM   [slideshare id=63860559&doc=inhouseseo-160709015343]

The Top 10 Types of Douchebags in Tech and How NOT to Be One

Whatever else I accomplish in life, I certainly hope I keep my non-douchebaggy status.  Treat each person you meet with respect, kindness and thoughtfulness.  It’s a standard we can all strive for, but some seem to fall extra short.  So here are my muses on the types of Douchebags you can run across in the tech world, and how not to be one. 1.) CEOs Whose Cockiness is Just Dickiness Who Are You: You bark orders at waiters and never say thank you or please.  Your sense of entitlement is only outweighed by your rudeness.  Some small measure of success has made you actually believe that you’re better than other people so you treat others like 2nd class citizens and tend to be a glad-handing sycophant by day and insecure sad little child by night. What’s the Remedy: This is a tough one.  Typically the only remedy is a visit by the Ghost of Christmas Future or your own financial demise.  Vito Corleone was feared but he was also loved.  Mark McCluskey (the police captain in The Godfater) was simply capped in the head.  Remember that the next time you give some waiter your attitude at an Italian joint.   2.) The Self Aggrandized Investor/Venture Capitalist Who Are You: Well Mr/Mrs Money Bags, you’re the person who only takes time to talk to someone when they are already a big shot.  You only hobnob at parties with CEOs who have had (& will have) multi-million/ billion dollar exits and treat the little guy like they're invisible.  You never take time to ask others questions and listening to the sound of your own voice is like masturbation… you get off on it, but really no one wants to be around you when it’s going on. What’s The Remedy: At social mixers make eye contact at least 20% of the time with people who approach you; temper negative feedback with some positive reinforcement on the struggles of trying to come up; don’t treat people differently based on the amount of money you think they can make you. 3.) The Uber-Annoying Service Provider Who Are You: You corner us at mixers and tell stories about all the great things you do and how wonderful you are, without having any idea if we need your help.  You’re persistent past the point of pestilent, and you have the tact and self awareness of a sledge-hammer tainted with cyanide. What’s The Remedy: Don’t bother asking yourself if people like you, they don’t.  Ask yourself if you’d want to spend 5 minutes with you, you wouldn't.  Being a service provider is one of the greatest professions and one that should engender a great deal of trust and always start and end with solving other people’s problems.  Don’t be that problem.   4.) The Ineffectual Executive Who Are You: In an 5 minute conversation you say the words Strategy, Strategic, & Strategizing over 3 dozen times.  “I bring a discipline of strategizing over strategic strategy”.  You take credit for items as absurd as the exploits of the Most Interesting Man in the World.  And you’re a big fan of the dropping the phrase “I’m not scared to roll up my sleeves” – who would ever be scared of that…. What’s the Remedy: Learn & apply any current marketable skills. 5.) Business Dolts Who Devalue Engineers Who Are You: You throw around the phrase “Code-Monkeys”.  You consider it a badge of honor that you’re too important to know the difference between AJAX and Windex.  You take no interest nor show any curiosity in how technical systems are built or maintained, and Engineering is the least valued/respected part of your organization. What’s the Remedy: Have a conversation a day with a techie for 30 straight days.  You’ll realize they’re smarter than you, more passionate about what they do, more engaged in their work and solve more interesting problems.  If you still want to dis on engineering after that at least you should have some more tech slang to give you street cred. 6.) Tech Snobs Who Look Down on Business Who Are You: Do you have a disdain for making money?  Are words like “Conversion, Sales, Revenue Optimization” dirty language at your parties?  Then you may be afflicted by the common disease known as Imtoocoolformyowngooditis.  It’s dumb to bite the hand the feeds you, and even more lame to spite it with disdain.  Sales and making money is the purest exchange of value, and without that no great tech invention would be a permanent fixture in our lives. What’s the Remedy: Don’t be too smart for your own good.  A students get great jobs, but hustling C students hire A students.  Take time to learn how business leaders are able to affect people both one on one and in masses and you’ll see how to unlock the true potential of your inventions. 7.) The WannaBe Board of Advisor Who Are You: You offer your board advisory skilz up repeatedly, but the only stock you have is in your brother-in-law’s startup up investment bank and a German foreign language film site that specializes in off color humor flicks.  You're a BIG fan of telling other how you can help them raise money and make connections.  And sometimes you even generously offer up your part time CEOs services, and tout how you do the same for 6 other companies simultaneously. What’s the Remedy: Don’t ever offer to be a Board of Advisor unless you're asked first.  If you’re services are actually in demand they will be sought out Casanova of Board Advising. 8.) Self-Entitled Social-Media HotShots Who Are You: Your license plate reads "SCLEXPT".  You spend all day teaching the most computer illiterate people how to create a facebook page and twitter loggin and you mock anyone who doesn’t spend 3 hours a day updating their FB status or tweeting photos of their lunch. You have about as much “expertise” as 24-hour online certified priests, but tout your un-knowledge like a peacock on parade. What’s the Remedy: Make somebody money.  I’m offering a $1000 bounty for the first social media expert that has ever made money with their social stream.  Here’s a tip: if you have more friends online than you do in real life, and they’re people you’ve never met, become more of an expert at forming real life relationships. 9.) The Wistful WouldhaveShouldhaveCouldhave ByStander Who Are You: Have you said this phrase in the last week “Oh, I so had that idea two years ago”.  Congratulations, as my dad would say “I’ll give you a shit medal”.  Are you really going to tell me you could have done a better job creating Groupon?  Oh yes that’s right you still live at home in your late 30s but are the captain of your weekend league ultimate frisbee team.  You may have been the first of your friends to create an online bulletin board, but let’s be honest, it was just to download porn.  Congratulations you still do that very well. What’s The Remedy: Stop talking and start doing. 10.) The Hatter Trolls Who Are You: You’re free time on work breaks, of which you take 15+ throughout the day because you hate what you do, is spent online talking shit about the accomplishments of others.  You feel better for knocking down others while never putting yourself up to the light of scrutiny.  You leave comments on blogs as Anonymous or MrBombastic.  And you don’t just relegate your hating to online forms but take every instance to talk shit behind someone’s back, while praising them to their face. What’s the Remedy: Drink Your Own Haterade.  Sure there is plenty to criticize, just look at season 5 of Happy Day.  But I personally think Jumping a Shark on waterskis and in a leather jacket is badass.  You don’t get to be cool by talking shit about others unless you are the creator of American Idol, have a British accent and launch the career of a portly Irish woman who sings I Dreamed a Dream like an angel from heaven.