Book of Tweets Now Free on Amazon Kindle

Book of TweetsIn honor of the launch of my new Kindle Book, the Book of Tweets is now free until Sunday, March 8th on Amazon.

The Book of Tweets is for all the entrepreneurs who ever asked me what they should talk about on Twitter. This information is specifically for tweets you can post on Twitter.

This book is a big smorgasbord of 1,001 Tweets. These include photo tweets, quotes, sayings, ideas, jokes, and other assorted tweets for a variety of businesses. Many of them I have used for my own business and for clients over the years.

I know that mentally the biggest challenge writing tweets is not the 140 character word count, but the time it takes to think of something new and creative every day. For most small business owners it is too much pressure to create something valuable and useful every day.

So what do they do? They resort to tweeting links and promoting products. While links and product promotion is a valuable part of your Twitter marketing strategy, it is not a strategy by itself.

In fact, sometimes it seems a bit lazy if that is all you do. Which reminds me of something that I need to mention here. I might be number on the lazy list when it comes to this type of Twitter marketing.

I have 40 different Twitter accounts. Many of them with thousands of followers. My main two Twitter accounts @andynathan and @smartatthestart have 67K and 35K followers respectively.

Yet, the massiveness of continually creating great tweets sometimes weighs on me. That is why I know this book is valuable. I would and do use it.

It is also something I want to change, and a large part of the reason I launched the Book of Tweets. I know that I can do better. I even know that with a little effort from both of us, we can achieve a heck of a lotta really cool stuff that engages prospects to learn more about your business.

Therefore, take the first step today by getting your free copy of the Book of Tweets below. It literally takes about a whole minute to receive your free copy this from Amazon, and is chocked full of great tweets and a surprise bonus inside. Ooh! Aah!


 

Get your free copy of the Book of Tweets


 

The only thing I ask for in exchange for giving the book for free is for you to please Retweet this to your network.

The History of eCommerce

Can you imagine a time before Amazon and eBay? This was a simple time when transactions actually occurred in stores. What was it like before we had Cyber Mondays?

While it is strange to think about, the history of ecommerce is older than you would expect, and young enough for most of us to remember a time when we could not buy any imaginable item in the world on Amazon.

However, the history of ecommerce mirrors the rise of the most powerful technology of the last fifty years: the Internet. Since the beginning of the foundations of the internet, enterprising professionals have looked at how to turn the internet into a profitable technology.

Here is the story of ecommerce from the early beginnings to current day infrastructure, and even beyond into the next few years.

arpanet first router Pre-World Wide Web

Some ecommerce buffs argue that online sales occurred as early as the 1960’s with electronic transactions through the Electronic Data Interchange. The problem with this early system was the lack of standardized formats to send and distribute information.

In fact, in an interesting twist it would take almost twenty years for ANSI to devise the universal standards for sharing documents in 1979.

A few short years later, the CompuServe Electronic Mall opened its doors. Remember that this was developed in 1984 almost a decade before Tim Berners-Lee coined the term “World Wide Web.”

…Talk about putting the horse before the cart. Before the internet as we know it existed, businesses were looking to sell online. Hmm!

If that was not enough to deter early ecommerce marketers, then how did sell products on the internet when commercial businesses were banned. Yep!

It might be hard to believe now, but the final piece of the puzzle was the when in 1991 the National Science Foundation reversed the Internet ban on commercial business.

Millions of entrepreneurs around the world give their eternal gratitude for lifting that ban.

The Birth of Amazon and Ebay…and premature Death of Pets.Com, CyberRebate.Com, and eToys.com

When the public became interested in the internet in the early to mid-1990’s, the first stalwarts in ecommerce followed shortly thereafter.

However, the dotcom era had a significant downside to it. Profits were not important, and investment dollars meant everything. Yeah! As any experience entrepreneur knows, that is always a winning formulafor disaster.

The excess of the era culminated with the huge budget TV ads for dotcom companies in the 2000 Super Bowl.

Despite the flawed ideas, this was the true birth of the modern ecommerce companies. When they finally learned how to become profitable, they created the model that many ecommerce companies use today for selling products. Some of these companies are now thriving empires.

Three Successful Dotcom Ecommerce Companies

Amazon - Amazon sold its first book in July 1995. Within a month, they were selling books in over 40 different states. Despite this early success, the company has had a history of financial difficulty. They did not turn a quarterly profit until 2001, and an annual profit until 2004. Last year the company brought in over $74 Billion in revenue with a profit of $274 Million.

Their reader review section for each book has become one of the fundamental elements of success for any ecommerce business.

first amazon website

(Initial Amazon Design- 1995)

EBay – Can you imagine going from selling a broken laser pointer for $14.83 to creating the largest online auction site in the world?

Founder Pierre Omidyar emailed the buyer to make sure they understood that the laser pointer was broken. The buyer famously responded, “I’m a collector of broken laser pointers.”

and that launched another episode of strange, but true tales of how the internet got started.

From that point on, the company grew with users buying and selling products on the site. Last year they had $16 Billion in sales with a net income of $2.86 Billion. The majority of their revenue comes from seller listing and transaction fees.

first ebay website

(Initial eBay Website-1995)

Dell – While eBay and Amazon both sell consumer and electronic goods, Dell was one of the first companies to sell solely electronic goods on their website. The website was initially an extension of the direct sales model that Michael Dell developed in the 1980’s.

In a bid to extend that position, Dell launched a static website in 1994. By 1996, the company started selling computers directly from the website. Within a year, they were selling over $1 million per day in computers. In 2013, they generated $3.6 Billion in revenue from their website.

first dell website

(Initial Dell Website-1996)

Post Dotcom Boom

After the dotcom boom at the beginning of the century, ecommerce would benefited from the increase in technology proficiency. Platform developers would help business owners create stores online.

A big break for online shopping came with the creation of ecommerce platforms. Businesses no longer had to pay developers to create websites from scratch. The out-of-the-box solutions significantly reduced the cost of starting an online.

Platforms like WordPress WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento made it easier than ever for businesses to create their own ecommerce platform to sell their goods online. Millions of sites around the world sell every type of product imaginable in the consumer space.


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The Future of Ecommerce

trunk club homepage

What would a conversation about the history of ecommerce be, if we did not allude to what is to come. Pretty Darn Boring!

The biggest change in ecommerce over the next few years will be a relentless focus on customization. As companies continue to collect information about their customers, they are just now beginning to have enough information to understand our personal preferences.

Therefore, expect larger companies like Amazon and eBay to start customizing your searches based on previous purchases. Then expect new online retailers-like Indochino and Trunk Club- to start selling specific, customized products online for their clientele.

Technology will affect how the industry works. Just as ecommerce was not possible without universal standards and the world wide web, the next generation of online retailers will lean heavily on up and coming technologies.

How will you participate in ecommerce?

The big question we have for you is what do you think was the greatest advancement in the history of ecommerce so far? How will you use it for improving upon your ecommerce store? Leave your answer in the comment section below.

Recording of My Interview on AM 560 Last Night on Blogging

I was on Getting Down to Business with Shalom Klein last night on AM 560 the Wind. We talked about how to target your social media and blogging methods to the right target market.

Key Points:

  • Spend thirty minutes every day on social media.
  • Use your smartphone to do some of the small social media work.
  • Target your social network use based on where your customers hang out. You do not need to be on every social network, just the ones that are right for your business.

Here is the link:

February 8th Getting Down to Business With Shalom Klein

I am the guest on the first segment of the show for February 8th, 2015. Rock on!

Here are the links also to my books that I mention last night.

Start Up Gap

101 Online Tools

Hope you enjoy the show! Also, keep a look out over the next few weeks for new posts on this blog about how to improve your blogging and social media skills. We have a number of great tools you can use that are coming out over the next few weeks.

6 Content Ideas to Add to Your Content Marketing Mix

So often when businesses think of their content marketing strategy they are limited in what they believe content can be. They think of blogs, videos, and white papers mostly. Some companies also discuss podcasts, email newsletters, and images.

However, content marketing is more comprehensive than the standard examples. Below we discuss a number of different content types that deserve some additional sway in your content marketing mix.

Some of the ideas listed below will even give a pop to your current content creation. If you need help, ask a content marketing agency to help you with the right content marketing strategy.

6 Content Marketing Types to Consider

Infographics-A content marketing agency can help you build your traffic using Infographics. One of my favorite infographic marketers is Quick Sprout and Kissmetrics founder Neil Patel.

His infographics are legendary and built his companies traffic and authority with his widespread use of the strategy. According to a blog post of his in August this year, he stated infographics “47 infographics generated 2,512,596 visitors and 41,142 backlinks from 3,741 unique domains. They also generated 41,359 tweets and 20,859 likes.”

Courtesy of: B2B Infographics

Any other questions about why infographics can help your business? Let me know in the comment area.

EBook- A close cousin to the white paper, EBooks certainly deserve their due. Over the years, few content forms have captured as many email leads as the mighty EBook.

It is not surprising why so many entrepreneurs continue to use this form of content marketing to build their list. It works!

Case Study- Another interesting form of content is the authority-building case study. Case studies provide insights into business decisions and ideas.

For example, the famous Harvard Case Studies are a collection of some of the best (and worst) business decisions in history.

The reason case studies like these work is because they tell a story about what could happen to your business in specific scenarios without having to s-p-e-l-l it out word for word.

The stories are a visual representation of the challenges many businesses face before using your services, and the case studies will answer their questions in a non-threatening manner.

Interview- If a case study does not sit right with your audience, maybe you will want to interview persons of interest to your audience.

The great thing about interviews is that this is a perfect medium to mix in with other forms of content. You can conduct the interview on Google Hangout or GoToWebinar, and then have a video of the entire webinar available afterwards.

You can then share the video on social media and transcribe the interview into a blog post or White Paper available for download.

Mobile Apps- While sometimes forgotten, mobile apps and software are forms of content. With the craze towards everything mobile over the past few years, this is the best time to jump on board this trend with a Mobile app. Mobile apps can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

Remember that some of the biggest companies in the world right now are using Mobile Apps to connect with clients.

Looking at my Android, I can check my bank account balance and activity from Bank of America and Chase, see how many stars I have on my StarBucks app, and then use my Geico app to pay my insurance bill and for proof of insurance for my car.

This is all content that directly converts into business for a company. With so much content now consumed on mobile devices, it is best to be proactive with content creation on this medium.

Surveys- Sometimes content helps you more than it helps the readers. A perfect example of this is the survey. Surveys should be no more than 5-10 minutes at most.

A good survey will ask for a few basic questions that help you understand how to improve your business, blog, or sales process.

They should provide some sort of insight that leaders need in order to help create more quality content in the future.

One thing to remember is that this is a listening tool. That means you should not respond defensively, and be prepared that not everyone will be 100% happy with everything you do.

User Generated- The final type of content is not so much a content type, but a suggestion. Sometimes the best content is user generated. For websites with an active user base, getting your core followers together to contribute to your website can be a blessing in disguise.

Every social network built the bulk of their business on user generated content. This means you have no excuse for not doing the same.

What is the best content for your business?

In the end, your business needs to determine which forms of content matters most to their audience. Test different strategies to see which content marketing types work best for your audience. Let us know what content type works best for your business by placing a comment in the section below.

Your Complete Conversion Rate Optimization Tutorial

“Why doesn’t our website work?” This is a question that is asked time and time again from a prospective client. They had a website up for over a year and it just was not bringing in business. While they were driving in a lot of traffic to the site, conversion rates were terrible. It was clear that they would need a digital marketing agency to find out what could be done about the situation.

Unfortunately, this story is all too common. Most businesses today know they need to be online. The challenge is not convincing them to get a website, but rather making sure they employ the best online marketing strategies. Increasing the performance of your website requires a lot of experience and testing.

The conversion rate optimization process takes time, and most businesses do not have a strategy in place to help them achieve their goals. That is why they will ask a question such as, “Why are our conversion rates so low?”

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