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Round 5 Q&A Part 2

Written by Tyme White on October 23, 2006

Round 5 is almost here. I wrote a series of site improvement tips. Time is ticking but there are a couple of loose ends (stray questions) I received. Let’s go through them:

I submitted in a previous round, should I submit my site again?

Sure, what do you have to lose?

Will I be told why my site was not admitted?

This depends completely on how many sites submit, how many sites are accepted and how much time I have after Round 5. I would like to let people know but I don’t want ot make any promises.

How will I know if my site is accepted?

We make an announcement of the sites accepted on this blog so watch this space.

How long does it take to find out if my site was accepted?

No promises on that one. It depends on how many sites were submitted. I’ll try and post updates to let people know what is going on.

I have more than one site. Can I submit them all?

You sure can. πŸ™‚

Do you really visit all the sites that submit?

I sure do. Sometimes more than once.

How will I know if you visited my site?

Honestly, I’m the sneaky one of the bunch. Mike and Scrivs might let you see a referral from 9rules but not me. I’ll try to be good this time and leave a referral or something.

How exactly do I submit my site?

Watch this space – we’ll make an announcement tomorrow.

If you have other questions, seriously, now is the time to ask. πŸ™‚

Try to know and understand your target audience

Written by Tyme White on October 19, 2006

If your site covers specific topics and your goal is to have people read your blog, then one would assume you have a target audience. Do you know who your target audience is?

I often see writers decide they want to write about something (for example, technology) because he or she is passionate on the topic. That’s great. They look at the competition and make their plans. The problem is usually they do not decide who their target audience is. They write then pray traffic will eventually come.

I have a similar situation with Ping Six. As Community Director (actually this started when I was a member) I can no longer do what I’ve always done – talk about writing and writers. That leaves me with a problem – what the heck do I write about over there? For months I debated the issue (which is why there are a lack of updates) but there is a bigger problem: the site has an audience so if I write something way off topic I could irk those readers. The dilemma: do what I want or do what they want? Well, if you know me at all you know how that’s going to go. πŸ™‚

I decided I’m going to do something very different. I’m going to do series of articles on business related topics specifically geared towards online sites/companies. This gives me the opportunity to give 9rules members some additional exposure. Not too far off topic because I am still talking about online “stuff” and technology. Having answered the “what” part, let’s answer the rest:

Who: 25-50, mostly male (that’s the way it’s always been for me), most likely geeky but would like to introduce newbies to these topics to foster online growth.
Why: They want to learn about (and strategies for) online ventures.
When: Updated a couple of times a week. No promises for daily updates.

What purpose did this serve:

1) Knowing my audience will be mostly male, don’t have a site that is too “girly” looking.
2) Again, mostly male audience so I need to write things that balance the mostly male audience with my female ways.
3) Age group: let’s me narrow down topics and make sure I’m covering things of interest for the age range.

Get my point? There are many things that can be drawn by this but knowing your target audience helps you fill their needs. Of course you’ll have readers that do not fit your target audience and you may notice you missed your target audience completely so depending on the nature of the site, you might have to revisit that. Knowing my target audience I can also set goals (try to gain more female readers).

Before you go there, yes, there will be times when you don’t care who the target audience is. For example, when I relaunch my personal site the goal is not to gain traffic but for me to articulate my thoughts. No one has to read it…as long as I’m pleased with what I write, I’m happy. πŸ™‚ However, if you want to monetize your site then you should definitely have a target audience.

Toyota Logo Removed!

Written by Mike Rundle on October 19, 2006

As of yesterday the logo atop the website was removed. I don’t know if it’s down permanently or whether they’re removing it from their ad campaigns, but I’m really, really happy with the outcome. As I just mentioned at Business Logs I don’t have a legal team, I don’t have a fancy office, and I sure as hell don’t have (or want!) gigantic multi-national companies as clients, but I do have email, I do have my blog, and I do have 9rules, and I think the combination of those three is pretty darn powerful.

A big thanks to everybody for participating in the mashup contest, reading the entries, linking, digging, or just being on the sidelines and giving us support.

Traffic doesn’t mean opportunity

Written by Tyme White on October 17, 2006

Amy of Mom Advice shared some awesome news with 9rulers the other day. See, she’s had a string of great opportunities come her way lately. Here is a bit of what she said:

  • I’m the latest spokesperson for Cascade. Yeah, like that stuff that cleans your dishes Cascade. They contacted me a while back about providing tips to use in their promotional material which just went out to a bunch of news outlets. It was a one time thing, but they said there’s a good chance they’ll use me again.
  • I’m in the current issue of All You magazine that you should run out and buy right now at your local Walmart. I’m on pg. 84 in an article on mom’s that earn a living at home. I’m the hot one. smile
  • I’ve been invited to two movie screenings in LA and NY so far. One involving Tom Hanks. (She didn’t go)
  • I’ve had inquiries from two different TV shows on being a guest.
  • I was approached by venture capitalists about a potential “acquisition”. I have no interest in selling, but it’s nice to feel desirable.
  • Despite all of this incredible things, the best thing that’s happened was when I was approached in a parking like by a woman I didn’t know. She asked if I was the Amy who ran MomAdvice and said she wanted to personally thank me. She said she visits all the time, reads all the articles, and has improved her life greatly as a direct result. I cried.

I read her experiences, smiled a big smile because I’m so happy for her and kept on reading. Then I came to:

Has my traffic skyrocketed? No. Do I now keep warm at night wrapped in a blanket of money? No.

That’s when I smiled because Amy gets it:

But that’s ok because these experiences are ones that money can’t buy. When they get older, I’ll be able to tell my kids that mommy was in magazines, on TV, and was invited to meet movie stars.

I asked her if she’d mind if I shared her experiences (obviously she doesn’t mind), went surfing and the next site I came too (non-9rules member) had so much crap on the site it slowed it down to a crawl. So my tip:

In your greed need to know information about your readers don’t load your site down with unnecessary duplicating stuff. As you can see loads of traffic doesn’t necessarily bring the opportunities.

We Have Influence So Says I

Written by Scrivs on October 16, 2006

Michael Zhang has posted a three question interview of me on his site and in it I say:

We have a very large influence on a portion of the web and we could have easily used that influence to make a lot of money…

That sounds like CEO-speak to me and the first commentor agrees with me. Am I wrong though? Don’t we have a very large influence over a portion of the web? Well of course I am right as long as I don’t tell you what portion of the web that is and that it only involves five people. Can’t say I lied though.

Anyways, if you want to get a small insight into what makes 9rules run hardware and software wise check it out. And be sure to scope the pic.