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Some of the biggest news in the blogging world over the last week was without a doubt Google’s announcement that on June 1st, they’re closing Google Reader. Paraphrasing their own words, the usage of Reader is smaller than ever, and Google want to focus on fewer products. I don’t believe the latter for a second, since new products like Google Keep are being spotted in the wild, and instead think it’s all about, well…money. Reader simply isn’t paying for itself.
Countless news articles have been written by the BBC, New York Times, the Verge and many other huge publications, all highlighting other services that people can be using instead. What people haven’t been writing about though is how this affects us as bloggers and what we can do about it (if anything). Here’s the jist of it: Reader’s closure is going to hit a lot of us very, very hard.
Way back in the day when I used to run PluginID, I took an afternoon out to make a few graphics for my blog sidebar which would feature my most popular blog posts. Though they did look attractive – and I quickly found other bloggers imitating the idea – I found myself constantly having to make new images any time I made a hit post.
With ViperChill, I was fortunate to have a plugin come with my theme called ‘Popular Posts’. It’s basically just a widget that you currently see in my sidebar (for now). When I designed Butterflyist for Andrea for the blogging case study project, we made sure she purchased a theme which had a similar plugin installed. Without them we would have been a little lost. Until now.
Update: It turns out that to set a price above $50 on Clickbank, they need to do it for you. So I’m just waiting for confirmation then the price will be increased. I expect it to be done 24 hours from now. This isn’t a post based on any marketing tactics or insights I have to share with you, so I’m going to keep it fairly brief, since I know you’re all busy. After Sunday, we’ll be raising the price of OptinSkin from $47 to $67. That’s pretty much 96 hours from now (and dropping) until the launch price disappears.
I had been pushed by a few people when I first announced the product to raise the price, but I wanted to keep it affordable and get it in the hands of people who really need the solution it offers. We’re closing in on 3,000 customers now, so I definitely think that’s happened.
When I introduced Ramsay as a new member of the ViperChill team, one of the things we asked you all to do was share some of the challenges you face when it comes to blogging. Though ViperChill isn’t solely focused on the blog medium, it’s an area we’ve both had a lot of success in, and something a large portion of you clearly care about — the post has resulted in over 400 comments since it went live.
Our plan was to use these problems to plan future content that addresses specific needs you have (and we’ll do that), but recently we had the idea to actually answer a lot of them, in public, and hopefully solve a lot of the dilemmas that the average blogger faces. Especially since we’ve both “been there and done that” and know how frustrating it can be when you really want to get going but have some hurdle in the way. I think we’ve solved that…
Note from Glen: This is a post by Ramsay, who was recently introduced as a new member of the ViperChill team. Last month I made an extra $5,000 by jumping on the phone with a long-term email client to close a deal. And at that moment I had an important business realization: I’d forgotten something vital. And I think almost every blogger is making the same mistake that I was. You see, blogging and internet marketing can be a really tiny industry sometimes.
There are a few big players who dictate how things are done and then everyone else follows for a while. But within that narrow spectrum of teaching and following there are vital business practices being overlooked. This is not another “how to make money by following this method” kind of post. By the end of it you won’t have a new gimmick to test and obsess over.
My analytical brain is always looking at different ways I can improve the conversions on my websites. From changing page titles, graphics used to entice people to give away email addresses and even the “Buy Now” buttons on sales pages, I know that small changes can have a big impact. There has been one thing though that in all honesty, I’ve really overlooked in my last few years online, and only now am I doing something about it.
It’s something that has dramatically increased revenues for online retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Shopzilla, and even greatly affected how many people use Google Maps. Fortunately it’s not something ubiquitous that only those with multi-million dollar budgets can implement, but a tactic that every single person reading this can benefit from: speeding up your website.
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.
On my 21st birthday I shared a list of 21 lessons I’ve learned during my short spell on earth. On my 22nd birthday I worked for weeks on a free 2 hour video course called Cloud Blueprint. And if there’s anyone really good at guessing, then you probably know that today is my 23rd birthday. I thought for a long time about what I wanted to share here. I knew that I didn’t want to share something “personal developmenty” and I already have a big marketing related announcement coming in the next few days, so I decided to do something else.