Monday, September 24, 2012

When Should You Start Selling from Your Blog?

How do you know when your audience is ready to buy from you?

Should you wait to “monetize”?

How big does your audience need to be?

These are common questions and the answers have been debated over the years. I am going to share an answer I gave George from the Man Up Blog during his blog critique.

George spent some time in the dating world, sometimes called the “pick up artist” niche. This is shy dudes learning to pick up the ladies mostly, but obviously the market caters to all genders and tastes.

It’s pretty obvious what people want from dating advice, but moving away from that into a broader (and less defined) hook of helping men with mindset techniques and self development tools was giving George some interesting challenges. He knows he can help, and he knows how valuable the offered outcome is, but how does he communicate his value so clearly so he can gather an audience who wants to buy what he has to offer? When does he know he has it right?

First, Define Your USP

If you have read much of this blog you will have seen me give quite a bit of advice around defining what you do and who for. You need a unique selling proposition, positioning, uniqueness, hook, or whatever you want to call it.

You need to know who you help, what with and how. You need to be able to communicate why someone would want to work with you rather than go with the other options available to them.

While you might not get there right away, it is worth thinking about what that might be and testing out some ideas. That’s going to take some work but the effort pays off and reduces some friction so you can build momentum.

You need this unique and beneficial hook if you are going to get networking contacts, get people to join your list, or just get people to take notice of what you are doing. When you see someone struggle to get subscribers it is often because nobody knows the answer to “what’s in it for me?“. For example, George had “Awesome newsletter” to describe his opt-in form, rather than describing what the reader would get for signing up in an attractive way.

In George’s case we had some ideas but we realised one of the main ways George helps men is to gain confidence. It might not be where George ends up but it is a good place to start. While George can help someone get a complete overhaul, that is too big a picture to define a nice specific hook around.

Monetization versus Product Launches

When it comes to making money from blogging, in most cases you can go with “monetization” or you can market a business.

Monetization is the “media” type play where your blog is an online magazine (or maybe more like radio). It’s about building an audience, content, traffic, and making money off it. Usually this involves ads, maybe affiliate offers, but it is more about getting enough traffic that the ad space is worth enough financially and also attractive enough that advertisers want to appear in front of your audience.

You can put ads on your blog from day one, but don’t expect anyone to buy those ads, or to make any money from adsense and other automated services, until your traffic is high. In the order of around a thousand page views a day upwards unless your niche is particularly valuable.

Affiliate offers can be a good way to work out what your audience is willing to buy and at which price points, but obviously it is not going to ever perfectly match what people want from you.

A business is more than having a revenue source. It is a planned undertaking that is there for the longer term, has a real business model, is less about trying out tactics and more about building something substantial. That’s where launching products and services come into play, but interesting enough, it can actually be harder to make money off advertising than having your own deals.

Selling a product or a service is not about having masses of subscribers or millions of page views, it is about putting the right offer in front of the right people at the right price and at the right time. A freelance designer probably can’t handle more than a handful of clients at any one time so what good would a million visitors a day do her?

The Vital Difference Between an Offer and Selling

You might still be wondering when it is time to try a launch. Don’t worry, we will get there.

One thing I think is vital but missing from most of these conversations is … You need to know when to sell, and when to pitch.

There is a difference between having a product or service on offer and actively pitching it.

Pitching your product or service uses up goodwill with your audience. Go to far and your audience will disengage or abandon you completely. You have to keep up the valuable content and keep the pitches down to a minimum, particularly early on. But that said, you can put things up on offer without making constant sales pitches.

My advice is that you can have a consulting call offer on your blog from the day you launch. You don’t even have to draw attention to it. Having it exist has a value.


It sets the scene. Having the offer there tells people you are in business and that your time and expertise has a value. You can even give free calls, but you can honestly tell people that ordinarily that call has a certain price.

If you don’t show that you mean business then people will not have the opportunity to send you money, and might at worst discount your advice as not worth anything. People don’t tend to give a lot of perceived value to free, so from that perspective alone it is worth putting a price on it.

Giving a price to your advice also allows you to filter. Not everyone is going to be a good fit for you, and some people do try to take advantage. Should someone want to “pick your brain” when you are busy, distracted, or just not interested, you can point them to your offer.

In George’s case he can offer one to one coaching calls to help men gain confidence in certain areas of their lives.

Get Deeper Insights and Get Paid

Consulting and coaching is an excellent way to deepen the insight you can get from readers and speed up the whole process.

You can really help people, get paid, plus all the while be gathering crucial research into what your audience most wants to know.

Most of my best content and product ideas come out of the coaching and Q&A calls I do. People ask me questions and I answer them, but the topics rattle around my head and later come out as articles.

A really cool added benefit is while people might tell you they are interested in something, when they buy your consulting the audience is taking action – they tell you with the best vote possible … their dollars. When people take you up on your consulting or coaching you know your audience wants what is in your head (no matter how you package it) and you even get a rough idea of how much that information is worth to them.

Should You Wait?

George told me he had been waiting until he had a critical mass of audience engagement before offering a product for sale. I told him not to wait, but it is worth understanding what the options are.

Coincidentally, while I was writing up this blog critique case study I was listening to today’s Third Tribe Q&A call with Sonia Simone and Brian Clark. Brian brought up his concept of a “Minimum Viable Audience” – the tipping point where your audience is large enough and you know enough about what they want from their feedback that you can successfully launch your product.

Copyblogger waited a long time before offering products. They had a massive audience of engaged readers, so when Teaching Sells came out they knew exactly what that audience wanted and gave it to them. It was a huge success, and still is.

That was a different time though. Audience tolerance for bloggers offering products for sale has transformed over the last few years.

There is another point in favour of having something for sale early on also. Sonia mentioned that if you don’t let people know you are in business then people can forget and then get annoyed when you sell stuff. This is an experience I had for a while where people thought of me as a “free guy” because of my free content, ebooks, seminars, and so on – even though by blog was about business.

So how should you progress? Should you wait or should you offer something now?

My advice is to follow these steps:

  1. Offer consulting or coaching (especially if you can make it very easy to see what people are going to get, like my critique service).
  2. Gain insights from the audience, surveys, metrics, questions, testing content ideas and from the private calls.
  3. Do a test launch of a contained product to a small group – what we often call a Minimum Viable Product.
  4. Expand the product based on the feedback you get from the test group.
  5. Roll out to the public.
This allows you to move forward or pull the plug at any stage without risking too much time, money or goodwill.

What do you think? Have you held off selling products or services? Do you rather blogs wait to offer items for sale? What do you think about George’s blog? Please share your thoughts in the comments … 


Mark Donegan

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A “CataBlog” Could Be Your Key To Affiliate Profits

Article courtesy guest blogger Alan Bechtold, one of my favorite people in online publishing and Internet marketing.

Here’s a unique way to sell all kinds of affiliate products on a blog and provide valuable information to your readers that will leave them eager to tell everyone they know about you. You’ll build a profitable business and there’s a good chance you could get lots of cool free stuff doing it.

It’s not complicated: Just write reviews. What’s different here is the kind of reviews I suggest you write.

Just find excellent affiliate offers that would appeal to your audience and, instead of the usual puffy-soft “this-is-the-best-thing-since-the-invention-of-sex” review you see so often, actually get each product you’re going to sell and review it yourself.

This sounds possibly expensive. It could get that way, depending on the price point of the products you choose to sell. Remember, however – you’re an affiliate. You should be able to get at least your commission as a discount. Most producers of information products will have little problem providing you with a free copy, if you stress that you’ll be adding them to your “catablog,” turning that one review copy into additional sales if you like what you see.

Don’t be shy. Ask for review copies or units of whatever it is they sell that you would like to review. Review or advance copies of books, music, movies – even clothing and hard goods – are the norm in the retail and publishing world.

If they won’t give you a free review copy, you might want to ask yourself why they’re not willing to let you do an honest review and shy away. Worst-case scenario, they will ask you to send back whatever they provide after you’ve done your review.

Next – really use the product. Run it through its paces, whatever it is. Take notes about how you really feel about it. Then write an honest review, focusing not only on the quality of the product but other possible ways it could benefit your readers. Include things to avoid trying with it, possibly even a tip or two for your readers to help them get the most out of it.

If there are flaws, point them out. Then add any ways you see that those flaws could be circumvented or turned to the buyer’s advantage.

Your readers will love this, even if these reviews are the only thing you post on your blog. They’ll regularly turn to you for guidance before they buy – and they’ll send their friends they care about.

Publishers and producers of the products you review will love it, too. Eventually, they’ll start sending you free products whenever they have something new coming out, even if you don’t ask for them and don’t always write a positive review. Often, these pleasant surprises will land on your doorstep ahead of when they’re available to the public.

Add your affiliate link to every review you publish, good, bad or indifferent and your blog will make money. Keep it up and you’ll also start getting free stuff like it’s Christmas all year along.



C. John Wilder Frank Chapman Paul Chisholm David B. Snow, Jr. Tomeo Kanbayashi

How to “Evolve” Your Income and Build Your Business the Charles Darwin Way

One of the principle ideas of Smart Passive Income is that small changes can add up to big wins. For example adding an opt-in form to your About Page or simply finding the optimal price for your product

These smart changes take just a few minutes but can lead to big time results. 

Identifying the small tweaks that yield huge rewards is an extremely powerful idea, which is why I’m happy to host a guest post by Tyler Tervooren of Advanced Riskology and creator of The Bootstrapper Guild, who explores this idea and applies it to earning more money.

I’ve known of Tyler for a long time, but over the past couple of years we’ve become much better acquainted with each other through a fantasy football league and although we’re competitors during the NFL season, he’s definitely a top-notch player and friend in my book. 

Please enjoy this incredibly powerful post from Tyler…

Everyone knows Charles Darwin’s theory: “survival of the fittest.” But most people understand it incorrectly. When we think of the fittest, we think of someone or something that’s superior right now. Whoever’s the biggest, strongest, and fastest wins.

But that’s not really what Darwin meant. Well, at least it’s not all he meant.

What Darwin was really talking about is the ability to adapt to change. If you’re able to take anything thrown at you and come out stronger, then you’ll survive in the long run.

I’m kind of a scrawny guy. If you stood a bodybuilder next to me, you’d estimate correctly that he could kick my ass in a heartbeat. But if you threw the two of us in a pool with cinder-blocks tied to our feet, that doesn’t matter anymore. Whoever grows a pair of gills first is now the real winner. Whoever adapts.

And so it is with life and money. It’s hard work to succeed over the long run; you have to adapt quickly when things aren’t working. If you’re a freelancer, this can literally be the difference between eating filet mignon next month or working like a dog to afford the “good” ramen.


Earning more money and enjoying your work is all about adaptation—the faster you do it and the more you commit to it, the better you become.

How to Evolve Your Income the Charles Darwin Way

In the natural world, we don’t have much control over evolution—it just sort of happens. But if you want to increase your income, you’re going to have to work at it. This means experimenting with different ideas that may or may not turn out the way you want them to and constantly testing and improving.

The ultimate goal is to find the smallest change with the greatest effect. In scientific terms, the “minimum effective dose.” Easier said than done. Often, the evolution you need to make to increase your income is one or two steps removed from the problem itself.

Let me give you an example. Think about someone trying to lose weight. The obvious solution is to eat less and exercise more, but how often does that actually work? That plan goes fine for about a week until you’re crazy hungry and your friend offers you some pie. The real solution is not to try to eat less pie, but to surround yourself with people who won’t offer it to you in the first place.

When it comes to evolving your income, you have to get creative and look beyond the surface. Let’s look at a business that made a minor change that drastically increased their speed of growth.

How “Putting it on an iPad” Created a $10 Million Business

Shopkeep is a little Internet startup that caters to local businesses looking for a simpler way to handle payments than a cash register and complicated sales systems.

For two years, the development team worked to build a solution that would make handling money easy for people who ran bakeries, coffee shops, corner stores, and other retail shops. And they created a great solution! Anyone who wanted to use their service could run their program from a Mac or PC to handle any kind of sale, and it was all managed and stored in the cloud.

But when Amy, one of the founders, described the early days to me, her words were, “We were doing ok, signing up a modest amount of customers…”

“Ok” and “modest” aren’t exactly words you’d use to describe a home run, right? But they had a great service, so what was wrong?

Talking to one their customers—a coffee shop owner—they learned that what was really needed was something even smaller and even simpler. The answer, to them, was obvious—an iPad app. Simple, completely portable. And creating it would be easy because the hard work was already done.

Evolution Logic

A month later they released it and the numbers started rapidly improving. Just a few months ago, they were given $2 million in financing to expand. When you put the numbers together, that makes Shopkeep about a $10 million company.

The pivot worked. And because small shop owners talk to each other, their customers do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to selling their new service.

I can personally vouch that the change worked, too; I’d never seen an iPad cash register before, but now I’ve seen three cafes in my neighborhood switch to their system in just the last few months.

Shopkeep found a way to take all the hard work they’d already done and move it to a new platform.

What small change can you make to capitalize on all the hard work you’ve already done? How can you adapt?

How a Yoga Enthusiast Added Six Figures to Her Business by Adapting to Change

Rachel Cook started her career in yoga like most others do—as an enthusiast. But the way she built her yoga empire was through a series of adaptations much different than most yoga professionals.

When she’d had enough of her corporate job (helping small businesses grow) she knew she wanted to do something with yoga. She could take a lot of training courses, become an instructor, and eventually open her own studio. But that would take forever and she didn’t even want to run a studio.

So instead, she adapted in a way that made more sense for her. She took the years of business advising she’d already done and focused in on other yoga instructors (who are great at what they do, but notoriously bad at running businesses).

This shift wasn’t just a shortcut, it also played on the unique experience she already had—no additional skills required. Taking the valuable skills and experience you already have and re-positioning them is a key factor to increasing your income quickly. There is absolutely no need to start over.

Pretty soon, Rachel was flying all over the country to meet with clients. Rachel had a serious business as the “yogipreneur” built around helping yoga instructors grow their studios.

Then she had twins and was faced with a difficult choice. Should she:

  • Keep going at this pace and miss out on seeing her kids grow up? Or,
  • Scale back and sacrifice her career to be “Mom?”

But Rachel saw this as a false dichotomy. Rather than choose to give something up, why not just evolve? She picked option three: move her business online where she could scale up, work from home, and spend time with her kids.

And this evolution hasn’t just benefited her with more time and a potential six-figure jump in income this year, it’s helped her clients who now have easier access to her and pay less for the service. Win/win.

Yoga Enthusiast Adaptation

One reason so many people think they have to start over is because the skills they’re using at work aren’t making them happy or they don’t feel “passionate” about what they’re doing. Nonsense. What this really means is that the skills you have aren’t being applied in the right places. You’ll feel plenty passionate when you adapt them into work that actually excites you.

Rachel used the momentum behind her to evolve into bigger and better things. Adapting doesn’t always mean completely changing direction. Just a small change can make a huge difference.

Chargify makes a great example of this point, too.

A 600% Increase in Income…Overnight

When Chargify opened in 2009, they had a grand idea that would change the way businesses made money; rather than rely on selling something new every month, now they could easily sell subscriptions and make money every month. It’s a full-scale business, but the lesson they learned applies to increasing your income no matter who you are or what you do for a living.

Chargify opened strong and had thousands of people sign up for their service. But there was a problem; everyone was signing up for free accounts and never upgrading. They were losing money!

Chargify Example

Well, you can’t get away with losing money for long, so Chargify made the difficult choice to change one small thing in their business and stop doing work for free. The backlash from customers and even the press was fierce.

But what happened next is far more interesting: They started making money. All of a sudden, paying customers started to show up. From Michael Klett, co-founder:

“Ending our freemium model increased our revenue by nearly 600%, almost overnight.  We lost some customers, but there was a large segment of our customer-base that wanted to pay us because of the value we brought to their business.”

And there was another added benefit: The number of customer complaints fell dramatically. Apparently, when you’re running a real business you’re more concerned about growing it than complaining about details.

Chargify Example - WIN!

Today, Chargify is profitable and growing. But if they hadn’t adapted when they did, there might not be a Chargify at all.

How to Evolve Your Own Income – 3 Incredibly Important Questions

So how do you put this concept of adaptation to work in your own life? How do you increase your income by making a small change to how you work?

The answer is that, to get good results, you have to ask good questions. And you have to ask them before you make changes. Specifically, you need to be able to answer these three questions:

1.     What problem needs to be fixed?
2.     What’s the right adaptation to make?
3.     How do I know the change is working?

Let’s say you’re a freelancer who makes cupcake deliveries to your neighborhood (a real business in my home town). Things are okay, but business could be a lot better.

Let’s answer those three questions for your confection venture.

1. How do I know it’s time to make a change?

This is going to start out vague, but then get a lot more specific. Obviously you want to change something because you’re not making enough money, but you need to zero in on why you might not be making enough money.

You think about it for a minute and come up with a few ideas:

  1. Ingredients are too expensive, but you don’t want to charge more and lose customers.
  2. Customers are too sporadic. You can’t plan out how much money you’re going to make.
  3. Delivery is too expensive and is eating up all your profit.

These are all things that could change (and probably should). Now you need to figure out exactly what to do about these problems.

2. What’s the right adaptation to make?

There’s no way to answer this question without testing. Since you don’t have a crystal ball, the best solution is to make a list of each thing you might change. Then—and this is very important—put them in order from easiest to most difficult, and start testing them one-by-one.

How could your confection service attack the problems you just listed?

1. Ingredients are too expensive.

  • Buy cheaper ingredients and charge the same price.
  • Charge more.
  • Buy cheaper ingredients and charge more.
  • Find a way to attract more customers and start buying in bulk to get lower prices for the same ingredients.

2. Customers are too sporadic.

  • Ask for re-orders at the same time you make a delivery.
  • Create coupons that give an incentive for quick re-orders.
  • Start a subscription service and charge customers monthly.

3. Delivery is too expensive.

  • Charge a delivery fee.
  • Lump all deliveries together and only deliver on specific days.
  • Cancel your auto insurance and use Zipcar for deliveries.
  • Deliver by bicycle.

Now you have a list of action steps you can take to make real changes to how you work. Start with the simplest changes—the ones you can implement right away—and work your way down the list as necessary.

3. How do I know the change is working?

This is where things fall apart if you’re not careful. It’s easy to get excited and make changes, but there are two things you need to do to make sure you know with complete certainty which ones are actually working and which ones are wasting your time.

  1. Test only one thing at a time. If you make multiple changes at once, it’s incredibly difficult to tell what’s affecting what. When you make one change at a time, you know it either worked or it didn’t.
  2. Set a goal and a deadline for each change. Without these two things in place, it’s almost impossible to declare success or failure. When you have a goal, you either reached it or you didn’t. When you have a deadline, you either made it or you missed it. There’s no excuses—”Well, it looks like it’s making things better,” or “Maybe if I just give it a little bit longer…”

When you put these objectives in place, you can quickly test small changes and either keep them or dump them before moving onto the next one. There’s no guesswork.

Declare success or failure, and then begin the next test. Do this consistently and the successful adaptations start to compound. This is how you systematically improve your income.

The Bottom Line

When you try to increase your income, you’re not going to fail because you didn’t try hard enough. You’ll only fail if you’re not willing to adapt your plan when it isn’t working.

If you accept that you can’t run a business on autopilot forever and adjust to changes as needed, you can get through nearly any hardship. If you accept that uncertainty is part of the game and embrace it, then you’ll see problems early and react to them rather than bury your head in the sand.

Most importantly, you won’t lose hope and quit trying because you’ll know that just a few little changes can make an incredible difference.

Evolve early. Evolve often. Repeat. You’ll be glad you did.

What are 3 adaptations you can test this week to start increasing your income? List them in the comments below.

Do-It-Yourself entrepreneur Tyler Tervooren writes at Advanced Riskology, a site dedicated to living a better life through risk-taking. He’s also the creator of The Bootstrapper Guild, a program for DIY entrepreneurs to start their first micro-business.

Thanks for reading!
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Qingping Kong Roger Corbett George Paz Arthur F. Ryan Matthew K. Rose

Week In Review: PJ CEOs & Media Buying

This week in review covers high school millionaires, gaming the mobile system, advanced lead generation techniques and much more!

Original Post: Week In Review: PJ CEOs & Media Buying

© - A Blog about Making Money Online, 2011.

Want to Learn To Make Money Online?


Thomas J. Engibous James D. Taiclet, Jr. John McFarlane Robert L. Long Franck Riboud

Pitching Search Marketing In Traditional Marketing Terms

For those selling search marketing to customers, especially those customers new to the concept of search marketing, it’s often useful to pitch search marketing services in terms the customer already understands.

A lot search marketing theory and practice is borrowed and adapted from direct marketing. Direct marketing concepts have been around since the 60s, and may be more readily understood by some customers than some of the arcane terminology sometimes associated with SEO/SEM.

Here are some ideas on how to link search marketing and direct marketing concepts.

1. Targeting & Segmentation

A central theme of direct marketing is targeting.

On broadcast television, advertisers show the one advertisement to many people, and hope it will be relevant to a small fraction of that audience. Most television advertising messages are wasted on people who aren't interested in those messages. It’s a scattergun, largely untargeted approach.

Search marketing, a form of direct marketing, is targeted. Search marketers target their audience based on the specific keywords the audience use.

Search marketing is concerned with the most likely prospects - a small fraction of the total audience. Further, if we analyse the visitor behavior of people using specific keyword terms post-click, we can find out who are the hottest prospects amongst that narrowly defined group.

The widely accepted 20-80 rule says that 20% of your customers create 80% of your business. An example might be "luxury vacations France", as opposed to "vacations France". If we have higher margins on luxury travel, then segmenting to focus on the frequent luxury travel buyer, as opposed to a less frequent economy buyer whom we still might sell to, but at lower margins, might be more in line with business objectives. Defining, and refining, keyword terms can help us segment the target market.

2. Focus

Once you get a search visitor to your site, what happens next?

They start reading. Such a specific audience requires focused, detailed information, and a *lot* of it, or they will click back.

It is a mistake to pitch to an "average" audience at this point i.e. to lose focus. If we’ve done our job correctly, and segmented our visitors using specific keyword terms, we already know they are interested in what we offer.

To use our travel example above, the visitor who typed in “luxury vacations in France” wants to hear all about luxury vacations in France. They are unlikely to want a pitch about how wonderful France, as a country, is, as the keyword term suggests they’ve already made their mind up about destination. Therefore, a simplistic, generalized message selling French tourism is less likely to work.

Genuine buyers - who will spend thousands on such vacations - will want a lot of detail about luxury travel in France, as this is unlikely to be a trivial purchase they make often. That generally means offering long, detailed articles, not short ones. It means many options, not few. It means focusing on luxury travel, and not general travel.

Simple, but many marketers get this wrong. They go for the click, but don’t focus enough on the level of detail required by hot prospects i.e. someone most likely to buy.

3. Engagement

One advantage of the web is that we can spend a lot of time getting a message across once a hot prospect has landed on a site. This is not the case on radio. Radio placements only have seconds to get the message across. Likewise, television slots are commonly measured in 15 and 30 second blocks.

On the web, we can engage a visitor for long periods of time. The message becomes as long as the customer is prepared to hear it.

4. Personalized

The keyword tells you a lot about visitor intent. “Luxury travel France” is a highly targeted term that suggests a lot about the visitor i.e. their level of spend and tastes. If we build keyword lists and themes associated with this term, we can personalize the sales message using various landing pages that talk specifically to the needs of the visitor. Examples might include “Five Star Hotels”, “Luxury Car Hire”, “Best Restaurants In Paris”, and so on. Each time they click a link, or reveal a bit more about themselves,we can start to personalize the message. Personalized marketing works well because the message is something the prospect is willing to hear. It’s specifically about them.

We can personalize the journey through the site, configuring customized pathways so we can market one-to-one. We see this at work on Amazon notes your search and order history and prompts you with suggestions based on that history. One-to-many marketing approaches, as used in newspapers, on radio and on television typically aren’t focused and lack personalization. They may work well for products with broad appeal, but work less well for defined niches.

5. Active Response

We’re not just interested in views, impressions, or reach. We want the visitor to actively respond. We want them to take a desired, measurable action. This may involve filling out a form, using a coupon, giving us an email address, and/or making a purchase.

Active response helps make search marketing spends directly accountable and measurable.

6. Accountable

People either visit via a search term, or they don’t.

Whilst there can be some advantage in brand awareness i.e. a PPC ad that appears high on the page, but is only clicked a fraction of the time, the real value is in the click-thru. This is, of course, measurable, as the activity will show up in the site statistics, and can be traced back to the originating search engine.

Compare this with radio, television or print. It’s difficult to know where the customer came from, as their interaction may be difficult to link back to the advertising campaign.

Search marketing is also immediately measurable.

7. Testable

Some keyword terms work, some do not. Some keyword terms only work when combined with landing page X, but not landing page Y. By “work” we tend to mean “achieves a measurable business outcome”.

Different combinations can be tried and compared against one another. Keywords can be tested using PPC. Once we’ve determined what the most effective keywords are in terms of achieving measurable business outcomes, we can flow these through to our SEO campaign. We can do the reverse, too. Use terms that work in our SEO campaigns to underpin our PPC campaigns.

This process is measureable, repeatable and ongoing. Language has near infinite variety. There are many different ways to describe things, and the landing pages can be configured and written in near infinite ways, too. We track using software tools to help determine patterns of behaviour, so we can keep feeding this back into our strategy in order to refine and optimize. We broaden keyword research in order to capture the significant percentage of search phrases that are unique.

Further Reading:



Frank Chapman Paul Chisholm David B. Snow, Jr. Tomeo Kanbayashi Chung Mong-Koo

Unmasking the Biggest Tyrant in Blogging

Note from Glen: This is the first post in ViperChill history that isn’t written by me. That’s all I need to say for now…

In the early 90′s my recently divorced mother started dating a man with a horrible son who wore sweater vests and would trash the kitchen in his sleep. Soon our parents fell in love, got married and Mom and I moved on over to their house; a house of learned doctors.

I’ll never forget seeing his ugly face on the front lawn as we pulled up in their drive. I decided right then and there that I was going to bury him alive. But something strange happened.

Soon we realized that we shared the same favorite dinosaur (Velociraptor) and that by nailing our bunk beds together we could create so much extra room to do activities. That boy and I became best friends.

His name was Glen Allsopp.

Well, actually, that is the plot to Step Brothers with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. I’ve never really met Glen but because that sounded so boring I thought I’d borrow a more interesting storyline.

It was either that or the one where he and I met while staying in a mansion that had a wardrobe which would transport us into a magical snow world where we ruled as young princes with a pet lion.

Okay, so what’s the real deal here?

The real deal is that I’m the guy called the Blog Tyrant and that intro was an attempt at humor.

The true story is that earlier this year I was in Bali having a holiday with all my emails turned off on my iPhone and in Gmail. It’s an advanced marketing technique many entrepreneurs will be familiar with called “turtling” where you block out the world and hope it all just goes away for a while.

After a week though I had to check Twitter and noticed a message from Glen saying just “Nudge…” and had no idea what he was talking about.

Two weeks later I sent him an unrelated email and he replied by saying, “Reply to my other email”.

Ah, what the heck are you talking about Allsopp?

Oh crud!

I forgot to add my Blog Tyrant email address back into Gmail and as such I’d ignored (for almost two weeks) an email from Glen asking me to be the first ever non-Glen person to write for ViperChill.

I’m pretty sure he thought I was ignoring him and now I’m pretty sure you all think I’m crazy as bat poo. Perfect.

Unmasking the Blog Tyrant

For all of you who have been to Blog Tyrant or seen my posts on Copyblogger, Problogger, Smart Passive Income, etc. you’ll know that I’ve done it all anonymously.

For almost two years now I’ve written articles, replied to comments and made friends with my readers as the Blog Tyrant.

And it’s worked astoundingly well.

By a stroke of genius luck I’ve managed to create a loyal community of amazing human beings who leave comments, email me, share my content and increase levels of awesomeness.

Being anonymous has also created quite a bit of buzz around the place. Other bloggers would mention me in mysterious tones and help to generate a sense of intrigue.

But after a while I started to notice that it felt weird to have my readers call me “Tyrant” or “BT” when we had actually become really good friends. I decided that it was time to show my face so that we could take the relationship to the next level. Any success I’ve had as the Blog Tyrant has been thanks to this brilliant group of people – I at least owe them a photo and a name.

So when Glen asked me to join the ViperChill team I asked him how he felt about me revealing my identity as my first post. He replied that he’d been hoping I’d say that!

*Internet jumping high five*

Name: Ramsay (I’ve been told it means Sheep Island or Sword of the people. You decide.)

Age: 26.

Location: South Australia.

Occupation: Blogger, online marketer, aspiring video game addict.

Likes: Walks on the beach, kittens, girls (my fiance) with a sense of humor.

To all my long time readers: it’s nice to finally meet you properly… across the internet… in a blog post.

To all of Glen’s long time readers: thanks for reading this far.

I’m the kind of person who stays up all night worrying about Government conspiracies so showing my face and name online was a big deal for me.

The reason I went anonymous in the first place, however, was because I thought it would be easier to sell the blog down the line if no name was attached to it. After all, I’ve sold several other blogs for around $20,000 doing something similar.

About a year into it, however, I realized that my readers meant too much to me and that I wasn’t going to sell Blog Tyrant like the others.

And now I find myself paranoid for a different reason: I’m dreading the thought that you’ll prefer the anonymous scepter to my human mug.

Who am I?
I really don’t like sugar coating anything so I’ll keep it brief.

I’m just a 26 year old guy who decided early on that an office job wasn’t for me. I’ve sold several blogs for good sums of money, work from home full time and run several internet businesses.

Am I rich? Nope. But I work from home (or Chinatown on my laptop), play tennis with my brother during the day and travel overseas at least once a year. And because I don’t want give away all the mystery, I’m going to leave things there.

So what’s next?
Glen has got some pretty massive things planned for ViperChill so when he asked me to write I said, “how high?”.

And when he told me that he’d be interested in teaming up on some of my projects as well I was so excited that I told him how bad I am at executing witty sayings.

In all seriousness, I really believe in the ViperChill blogging philosophy and when Glen says that people are going to get their information from less and less sources I know I want to be part of that small group.

Usually when you read a ViperChill article you know it is going to change the way you do business. I can’t promise that my articles are going to be anywhere near that level but I can promise I’ll try and give you a few things to think about.

Interruption from Glen

If you’ve been following ViperChill for a long time then you’ll know I’ve never accepted a single guest post on this site; that’s in over two years of writing here. It’s not because I don’t think other people have valuable things to say, it’s just that you can get other content styles in other places, and I wanted ViperChill to stand out in an industry where there is a lot of generic, repeated information.

I mentioned in my Future of Blogging post that a lot of my research was done because I want to continue to grow the readership of this blog and more importantly the impact that it has on our current readers. Hundreds of people have been able to make a living online thanks to this website, and I want to get that into the thousands.

It made sense for me that to continue pumping out high-quality articles but on a more regular basis, I should bring somebody else on board to help with that. I could produce a lot more of my own posts than I do, but the last thing I want is to write for the sake of writing. I have been thinking about this for a long time, and chatted with Pat Flynn about it almost a year ago, so it’s not a decision I’ve rushed into. Once I made the decision to bring in another writer, it was easy to rush to Ramsay, and see if he would be interested in the opportunity.

Besides the obvious quality of him being able to produce great content, I like Ramsay because he’s young and unlike a lot of people who write about this stuff, he has actually had a lot of success online in a number of different verticals. This makes him a perfect fit to give advice on an array of different subjects. He’s really been there and done that, and together I think we can both help you all to do a hell of a lot more online.

We actually agreed to do this almost two months ago, but we’ve spent a lot of time discussing the future of our individual businesses and getting to know each other, to make sure that working together more would be a good fit. I already related to his ‘hidden’ approach – my first link from Google’s Matt Cutts when I was 17 was to ViperChill, but to an alter ego I had for myself named Dave – which was my first inkling we would be a good match.

It has actually been quiet freaky to see how many things we agree on and what our predictions for the future of the web look like, so I’m excited to see what success stories come from you the readers, now that we’re teaming up. His arrival brings our small but thriving company to four, with Jason in Shanghai, Graeme now living in San Francisco, myself in Singapore and Ramsay in Australia.

Welcome to the team, Ramsay.

Back to you…

Will you “unmask” too? It might be worth your while…

Lastly, and most importantly, I’m here to help you. I attempt to reply to every single email, comment and Tweet that I get and I hope that I always will. I care about people a lot more than I care about success or money.

So, in the spirit of today’s unmasking I’d love it if you’d drop a comment, introduce yourself and tell me and Glen what your biggest blogging problems, fears or frustrations are. (Glen: Feel free to post links in the actual comment text — just make sure you tell us a bit about yourself first)

I really believe that the best blog posts are the ones that solve problems so I’m going to use your comments on this post to form the basis of epic future articles. And if your comment gets chosen I’ll give you a shout out and a link in future posts.

Introduce away…

Edit: There seems to be some confusion in the comments so I just wanted to clarify. The site is not being opened for guest posts. Ramsay is now officially a member of the team, and will be contributing to the site on a regular basis. This is his ‘welcome’ to the audience — thanks to all of you who have left comments so far. It’s awesome to hear from you all!


Masahiro Sakane Terry Leahy John W. Thompson Graham Mackay Mikael Lilius

The Top #Nifty50 Women in Technology on Twitter for 2012

A year ago, the #Nifty50 honored 50 remarkable men and women on Twitter. This year, colleague Cheryl Burgess and I changed things up a bit, opening the award to nominations but focusing specifically on outstanding men and women who work for technology companies and are active on social media.

#Nifty50 Top Women in Technology on Twitter for 2012These women are executives, thought leaders, bloggers, authors and role models for younger women with an interest in technology. Not only leaders in their professional lives, nearly all these women use their social profiles to express their passions outside the workplace, which range from NASCAR, art, travel, billiards, wine and music to community service, politics and, of course, family.

Among the women profiled below, Emily Gonzales notes that “women in tech are doing really cool things,” while Padmasree Warrior is “passionate about helping women in tech.” True, and important, which is why this year’s #Nifty50 is focused on the technology field.

We’ve also expanded the focus of the #Nifty50 this year to include an element of social good—the #Nifty50 Kids project. Although the idea captured the imagination and interest of several brand-name organizations, the timeframe was just too tight this year to line up sponsorship. That will be our top focus for next year.

2013 #Nifty50 Women and Men of Twitter - LogosNext year, Cheryl and I tentatively plan to honor #Nifty50 Women and Men Writers, including bloggers, journalists, authors, and PR professionals.  As with this year, we will be asking our community to nominate their favorite leaders in this field.

This year, we’re pleased to honor 50 women (below) and 50 men (in an upcoming post on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog) who are among the top social media connectors and engagers in the technology world, representing technology vendors as well as related venture capital (VC), advisory and analyst firms. These are the leaders in the information and communications technology sector who truly “get” social media and social business.

We’re proud to acknowledge these 50 women from 41 different organizations as the top #Nifty50 women of technology on Twitter for 2012.

Stacey AceveroStacey Acevero

Stacey is flat-out awesome: Social Media Manager for Vocus/PRWeb as well as serving her country as a U.S. Air Force auxiliary 2nd Lieutenant and Mission Scanner. She’s a self-described “social media nerd” who loves “NASCAR, steak, rock music and XBOX360 .” ‘Nuff said.

Abby BaileyAbby Bailey

Based in Minneapolis, Abby is Senior Manager Creative Services at Best Buy, and also Board President at FamilyWise, a non-profit organization that provides programs for families that encourage self-determination, self-sufficiency, and healthy family lifestyles.

Cindy BatesCindy Bates

Active across social networks, Cindy leads Microsoft’s small- to midsized-business sales and marketing efforts as Vice President U.S. SMB and Distribution. The 10-year Microsoft veteran is also a graduate of Harvard Business School.

Susan BeebeSusan Beebe

Austin, Texas-based Susan Beebe works in Corporate Communications – Social Media Management at Dell. Calling herself Dell’s “first listener,” Susan also welcomes the opportunity to “learn from others and develop things; including new projects, especially those that improve the world and deliver on the promise of ‘social good.’”

Valerie BiancoValerie Bianco

Now a Business Information Analyst at The Mint Partnership, Valerie has an extensive background in the architecture and engineering industry. She currently lives in Newport Beach (been there), once worked for a pizza company (done that) and is a graduate of San Diego State University (love that town).

Meghan BiroMeghan Biro

As the CEO and Founder at TalentCulture Consulting Group, Meghan connects talent with technology companies as well as being an accomplished speaker and author. She also hosts the talent chat (#TChat) on Twitter Wednesdays from 7-8pm eastern time.

Linda BoffLinda Boff

New York-based Linda Boff, Executive Director Global Digital Marketing at GE, is “passionate about all things digital, specifically new digital media and concepts that fuse design and technology.” She was named B2B Magazine’s 2012 Digital Marketer of Year.

Liz BonillaLiz Bonilla

Senior Manager Social Media and Community at Dell, Liz is a strategic marketing professional with over 10 years of proven success who lives in Austin, Texas. And congrats on being a new mom!

Liz BrennerLiz Brenner

Living, working and tweeting out of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Liz is Senior Director, Talent Marketing at SAP. Her background includes stints in management consulting and the energy industry. Liz also writes the Lead With Intuition blog.

Sandy CarterSandy Carter

As the Vice President of Social Business and Collaboration Solutions Sales and Evangelism at IBM, Sandy Carter plays an integral role in driving the company’s Social Business initiative. Sandy is an active thought leader in helping businesses transition into an era of social business, as well as the award-winning author of two best-selling books: The New Language of Business: SOA & Web 2.0, and The New Language of Marketing 2.0: How to Use ANGELS to Energize Your Market. She also explores the many nuances of social marketing on her blog Social Media to Social Business. A self-described “social media evangelist,” Sandy’s work blogging and tweeting for IBM has led to 27 different awards, and is one of IBM’s top bloggers.

Blair ChristieBlair Christie

Blair is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Government Affairs at Cisco in Silicon Valley. Her integrated marketing and communications organization is responsible for positioning Cisco’s growth strategy and cultivating opportunities in new and existing markets through market and customer insight, corporate positioning, branding, and advertising.

Beth ComstockBeth Comstock

Another New Yorker, Beth leads GE’s growth efforts including sales, marketing and communications and innovation platforms. Prior to being named GE’s first Chief Marketing officer in more than 20 years, she held a succession of roles at GE, NBC (including President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal), CBS and Turner Broadcasting.

Carrie CorbinCarrie Corbin

Carrie Corbin leads the employment brand initiatives, recruitment marketing & media strategy as Associate Director – Strategic Staffing & Talent Attraction at AT&T. Carrie played a key role in launching the enterprise-wide integration of social & mobile recruiting, breaking some of the traditional boundaries of HR in the process. She has been named one of the top people to follow in Social Media Recruiting, and has been quoted in publications such as The New York Post & Workforce Today. Carrie is also active in community work, including work with tornado relief and local sports charities.

Colette CoteColette Cote

From Darien, Connecticut, Collete leads Corporate External Communications at Pitney Bowes Inc. as well as serving on the Board of Directors at Person-to-Person, Inc. Her varied background includes corporate roles (B2B and B2C), agencies, non-profits and startups. She’s a rock star on Twitter and also speaks French.

Lisa CramerLisa Cramer

Lisa Cramer is President & Co-Founder of LeadLife Solutions in Atlanta, a provider of on-demand lead management software that generates, scores and nurtures leads for B2B marketers. LeadLife  is designed to increase qualified leads while shortening sales cycles and decreasing the cost of sales. Lisa also recently authored a guest post here on web analytics and lead scoring.

Elyse DeVriesElyse DeVries

Chicago-based technology marketer Elyse DeVries most recently worked as Marketing Manager, Demand Generation at The SAVO Group, and prior to that did stints as Marketing Manager, Social Media at Alterian (owner of the former Techrigy SM2 social media monitoring product) and Marketing Specialist, ERP USA at Comarch. And she’s amazing.

April DunfordApril Dunford

Based in Toronto, April is currently Vice President Marketing, Enterprise Products at telecom services provider Huawei. She previously worked in marketing roles at Nortel, DataMirror Corporation and IBM. A marketer who’s an engineer by training (I can relate to that), April has a broad range of marketing experience that encompasses messaging, media relations, lead generation, email marketing, content marketing, social media, analyst relations and sales enablement.

Ale EspinosaAle Espinosa

A graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, Ale now lives in Los Angeles and works as Senior. Director, Marketing, Communications & PR at EndPlay, Inc. EndPlay is a leading provider of SaaS content management, engagement and monetization solutions delivered in the cloud. Ale is, in her words, a wine & art enthusiast at night, beach girl over the weekends, and music-lover every single second.

Laura FittonLaura Fitton

Boston’s amazing Laura Fitton is an inbound marketing evangelist for HubSpot, founder of @oneforty, and co-author of the best-selling Twitter For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)). Laura is credited with convincing Guy Kawasaki and thousands of tech execs that Twitter would have real business value, has lectured at HBS and MIT-Sloan, and has been quoted in dozens of national publications including BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal.

Deb FreyDeb Frey

Deb is Vice President of the DaVinci Institute, a non-profit organization near Denver, Colorado, responsible for Member Relations, event planning and marketing director for the DaVinci Institute. She teaches one-on-one classes to small businesses on Twitter, and when she has “a few extra moments,” serves as a contributing editor to the Impact Lab, a DaVinci Institute blog billed as “a laboratory of the future human experience.”

Jeanette GibsonJeanette Gibson

Jeanette leads the Social & Digital Marketing team at Cisco. Our group is responsible for setting the strategy for the company’s global digital brand presence on, social web sites and mobile. Before joining Cisco in 1998, Jeanette helped launch push-technology pioneer PointCast, and worked at public relations agency Copithorne & Bellows.

Emily GonzalesEmily Gonzales

Emily is Chief Technology Officer at Bookigee, an early-stage startup that builds online analytics and marketing applications for the Book Publishing Industry, in Miami. Her Twitter profile notes that “women in tech are doing really cool things” (which is why Cheryl and I chose to honor 50 of the top women in technology on Twitter here).

Christine HerronChristine Herron

Christine Herron is a Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur. She is currently a Director with Intel Capital and a Venture Advisor at 500 Startups. Previously, Christine was a Principal with First Round Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm, where she worked with companies such as BillFloat, Double Verify, Get Satisfaction, Mint, and Xobni.

Alex HisakaAlex Hisaka

San Francisco-based Alex Hisaka is Growth Builder at, part of the family. She gains valuable insight about your audience through Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and social media marketing. She also rocks on Twitter and shares her thoughts on The Fresh and Only.

Ilene KaminskyIlene Kaminsky

Ilene is a “content creationist” whose background includes stints as Director of Marketing and Director of Strategic Development at IBM, Alliance Director at eGain Communications, and Managing Director at Lumina Consulting. She also writes the Techronicity blog.

Katie KeatingKatie Keating

Based in Los Angeles, Katie is the social business manager for IBM Cloud Computing, which involves running the @IBMCloud Twitter handle and other social media venues for IBM Cloud, as well as overseeing a global team of IBM cloud community managers. Before joining IBM she worked with Fleishman-Hillard and the Dallas Museum of Art.

Margaret Anderson KelliherMargaret A. Kelliher

Margaret serves as president and CEO of The Minnesota High Tech Foundation, which provides leadership on science, technology, engineering and match (STEM) education in Minnesota and works with high-tech businesses in the state on talent pipeline issues. She’s also a former speaker of Minnesota state house of representatives and a Harvard grad.

Katrina KlierKatrina Klier

New York-based Katrina is the Senior Director / VP Worldwide Digital Marketing for Microsoft. In her role as Chief Digital Officer for the OEM division, she leads the digital brand and marketing functions worldwide, and has delivered strategy, plans and results for partner, B2B and B2C marketing. She’s a self-described fashionista and blogger.

Lisa LarterLisa Larter

Splitting time between Ottawa, Canada and Naples, Florida, Lisa is owner of Parlez Wireless as well as a sought-after social media strategist and speaker. Lisa was raised by a single mom in the small town of Haliburton, Ontario, Canada. Though a high school dropout, she became a self-taught sales guru and worked her way up the corporate ladder in sales for a Fortune 500 company before starting her own company.

Ann LewnesAnn Lewnes

As senior vice president of global marketing at Adobe in the San Francsico Bay area, Ann Lewnes is responsible for the company’s brand and integrated marketing efforts worldwide. Before joining Adobe in 2006, Ann was vice president of sales and marketing at Intel Corporation. In 2010, she was honored with a “Changing The Game” Award by the Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) and in 2011 Ann was named a “Woman of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Monica Liming-HuMonica Liming-Hu

With her background in International Management and Marketing at AT&T, Monica Liming-Hu has been a stalwart of the marketing world for the better part of the past two decades. More recently, she has focused a great deal of her attention on sustainability, whether in business or the environment—or both. Monica gives the credit for this shift toward developing a strong corporate conscience to her two daughters and their encouragement to “go green.” Outside of the active realm of social marketing, Monica writes fiction under two separate pen names, and often frequents writer’s conferences and workshops. Her thoughts on writing and the creative process can be found on her blog Positive Reverie.

Marissa MayerMarissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer has come a long way from her childhood home in Wausau, Wisconsin. A Stanford grad with two degrees in computer science, Marissa is known for long tenure at Google, where she was the company’s first female engineer and later served in different VP roles.  She was recently named CEO of Yahoo!, making her the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company and one of just 20 female CEOs in that group. She’s actually the second woman from Wisconsin to lead Yahoo! as Carol Bartz was also a cheesehead. And Marissa announced in July that she is going to be a mom—congrats!

Kelly MeadeKelly Meade

Kelly is a Public Cloud Solutions Rep at IBM in Dallas, responsible for IBM Cloud Services and Offerings in the Eastern U.S. Originally from Iowa, Kelly’s loves include her family, traveling and reality TV. You can check out her video profile on the IBM site here.

Erin Mulligan NelsonErin Mulligan Nelson

Erin is the Chief Marketing Officer for Bazaarvoice, a brand engagement and social data integration platform, in Austin, Texas. Before joining Bazaarvoice in November 2010, Erin served as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Dell Inc. Her background also includes positions with Procter & Gamble, A.T. Kearney and PepsiCo.

Ory OkollohOry Okolloh

Ory is Policy Manager Africa for Google in Nairobi, and co-founder of Mzalendo/Ushahidi. Ushahidi, which means “testimony” in Swahili, is building a platform that crowdsources crisis information, allowing anyone to submit crisis information through text messaging using a mobile phone, email or web form. She’s former editor of Global Voices and a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Paige ONeillPaige ONeill

Based in the San Francisco area, Paige is Vice President of Marketing at Aprimo, a fast-growing Saas marketing automation software company acquired by Teradata in January of 2011. Her responsibilities include communications, demand generation, web/seo/ppc, events, customer marketing and social media. She also blogs at Social Media Paige.

Lee Anne OrangeLee Anne Orange

Lee Anne has served as Special Projects Manager at AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology, in Washington DC, since 1999. For a year prior to that, in her own words, she “bounced around the association for a while. Started in Statistics Department and moved to Administration (HR) for 5 years. Then I was recruited to work in the Exhibitions Department. Been there ever since.”

Maria PergolinoMaria Pergolino

Senior Director of Marketing at marketing automation software provider Marketo, Maria writes for several marketing blogs, and is a frequent contributor to Marketo’s award winning blog, Modern B2B Marketing. She’s a frequent presenter at industry conferences, author of guides to B2B social media and lead scoring, and a past judge of the Stevie, BMA B2 and B2BTOTY awards.

Janine PopickJanine Popick

Janine is founder and CEO of VerticalResponse, a leading provider of email marketing, social media marketing & event marketing for small businesses based in the San Francisco area, and writes the popular email marketing blog. Before starting VerticalResponse in 2001, Janine worked with NBC Internet, and FileMaker.

Maria PoveromoMaria Poveromo

Maria leads Adobe’s Global Marketing Social Media program and Center of Excellence. She established the organizational framework and strategic direction for social media activities across the company. With her team, Maria directs a cross-functional social media council to foster knowledge sharing across different groups. She’s passionate about her family, balancing work and home life and advancing the role of women the technology industry.

Kishau RogersKishau Rogers

A technology innovator and engaging Twitterer based in Richmond, Virginia, Kishau Rogers the founder and President of Websmith Group, a company that provides web based software systems for healthcare and research organizations. She holds a Computer Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her expertise includes software and database development, data analysis and computer modeling/simulation technology.

Kathy SacksKathy Sacks

As VP Communications at Infusionsoft in Phoenix, Kathy leads a team dedicated to spread awareness of the company’s next-generation email marketing software. She is is responsible for defining and managing Infusionsoft’s communications strategies, including planning and execution, public affairs and media relations. She’s also the founding editor of bizSanDiego Magazine and ran her own PR firm from 2005 to 2008.

Gina TrapaniGina Trapani

San Diego-based Gina is the creator of ThinkUp, a social media insights engine, and Todo.txt apps, a text-based task manager. She hosts In Beta, a podcast about open source, web-based, mobile and social apps, and This Week in Google, a web show which covers the latest news about the cloud and Google. She’s also the founder of Lifehacker and author of four tech books, and blogs at Smarterware.

Ellen ValentineEllen Valentine

Ellen is Evangelist at digital marketing software developer Silverpop in Atlanta, where she writes and speaks about marketing including marketing automation and email marketing. She holds a computer science degree from Penn State University and her background includes positions with Evergreen Direct Marketing, Applied Software and CIO Partners of Atlanta.

Czarina WalkerCzarina Walker

Czarina is Founder and CEO at InfiniEDGE Software in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a custom software developer of mobile apps and provider of UI design services and web development services for industry and government clients. Before founding InfiniEDGE, she served on the board of the Ascension Chamber of Commerce and worked with IBM and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Angelina WardAngelina Ward

Angelina is Director of Social Media and Content for LexisNexis in Atlanta. Her duties include establishing a social media framework and standards for revising company guidelines and policy, creating and lead training workshops for internal employees on strategic social media communications, and overseeing day-to-day operations of social media communications including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.

Padmasree WarriorPadmasree Warrior

As Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Cisco, Padmasree helps define the company’s technology strategy and works closely with the senior executive team and Board of Directors to drive innovation across the company. She has more than a million followers on Twitter and as her bio notes, she is “passionate about helping women in tech.” Unquestionably nifty.

Courtney WileyCourtney Wiley

Courtney is Director of Digital Marketing Strategy & Innovation at Oracle in Dallas. Her thought-leadership writing has been published in places like,,,, and, and she speaks at national conferences. Courtney is also an SMU grad and mom of a Junior Olympian.

Bryony ZasmanBryony Zasman

Bryony is co-founder and Vice President at ZOOMcatalog, a provider of B2B cloud catalog management and distribution for print catalog dependent industries, based in Denver. She holds a marketing degree from the University of Colorado.

Meryl ZdatnyMerryl Zdatny

Merryl is the Senior Product Marketing Manager, Identity Solutions at Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group in New York. The objective of this group is to “give the right people access to the right information – where and when they need it.” Prior to Verizon, she worked in marketing roles at technology and art-related enterprises. She describes her educational background as “Marketing, Art History, Billiards at The University of Texas at Austin.” Interesting mix, but the degree in billiards is particularly impressive.

There you have it, the #Nifty50 Women of Twitter for 2012. As with last year, to keep it to 50, we had to leave off some deserving names and excellent nominations—it was a tough call. But next year will have a different focus and some of those names will no doubt resurface.

Watch next month for the top #Nifty50 Men in Technology on Twitter for 2012 on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog.

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Nigel Northridge John A. Allison IV Sean Boyd Thomas J. Engibous James D. Taiclet, Jr.