Where have all the advertising dollars gone?

A few days ago, I was reading a pretty interesting article about the circulation, and ad revenue for the New York Times.  Granted, the article was a few years old, but what it showed was that those who read The New York Times print issue only comprises 10% of their total audience.  Not a huge surprise considering the drastic shift of media from print to online, but things get more interesting …

While 90% of their audience is reading the New York Times online, NYtimes.com advertisers only contributes to 10% of their total revenue.

Wait…what?

Nearly perfectly inverse economics.  So the medium in which only 10% of their audience is using to access their content generates 90% of their revenue?  So Print isn’t dying?!?!?!?  Well… not so fast.

While the preferred method of accessing the content is clearly online, the advertising dollars are slow to follow.  This means that there’s a gaping hole of opportunity to hop on all of the advertising revenue that will trickle from print to online.  If the shift in ad dollars is anything as drastic as it was for the shift in media itself, it will be more like a flood, not so much a trickle.

One more thing to note:  According to Forbes Magazine — 65 Billion Dollars will be shifting from print to online this year.  65 Billion dollars…

eDirectory Releases Version 7.4

Annandale, Virginia – March 25rd, 2010 - In one of the most anticipated released in past years, Arca Solutions, the developers of eDirectory ,will unleash version 7.4 this Wednesday, March 24th, and will provide its’ users a slew of rich features based on feedback from our clients over the past several months.

eDirectory version 7.4 will provider its’ iPhone app users with a multi-language platform, as well as the ability to handle ratings.  Perhaps one of the most notable additions will be a graphical library of 14 new graphical themes to better suit the theme of your online directory including those designed for online magazine publications, medical, law and hotel directories as well as online buyers’ guides.  With a new Site Manager (SiteMGR) interface, users will also be able to choose payment gateways, search by promotional code on transaction searches, and much more.

Other features to note are the ability to maintenance mode, as well as new search query options on both the eDirectory results’ page and transaction searches and newly integrated username real time validation on add account forms.

eDirectory is a division of Arca Solutions, Inc, a digital media company headquartered in the Washington, DC metro area

eDirectory 7.3 Launches

eDirectory has recently launched version 7.3, and with it come a variety of new interface features based on the feedback by our customers.

The most notable aspect of eDirectory’s release is the iPhone application, and the ability for site owners to now publish their site to over 23 million iPhone users.  Another source of search traffic and advertising revenue, coupled with Apple recently capturing their 1 billionth app download makes this feature most appealing to customers, and prospective customers alike.

In an effort to expand site owner’s demographic reach, all sites can now be translated into both Italian and German.While users only saw five levels, or subcategories deep on listings in the system before, they now have this same level of depth in both the events and classifieds section, giving users an arena for more organized and targeted echelon of content.  Other notable interface changes include a preview button for each listing template, as well as a new HTML editor with more robust features.  On the advertising end of the sitemanager system,  owners cna set up global banners, throughout the entire site and aren’t limited to posting them section by section.  Additionally, Ad Sense settings now give users the ability to choose whether users ads are only text, only video, or a random selection of both.

Finally, more minor and subtle features include verification pop ups when edits are made on the back end of the system to prevent erroneous corrections , as well as the ability to modify the layout or appearance of invoices sent through the system.

Technology doesn’t care about us

“There is a trillion, not a billion, a trillion dollars in ad revenue that is going to leak down to all the hyper,local super nichey-niche-niche opportunities.”

For a little over a year, I had the opportunity to work for an Online B2B Publishing company. One of the most significant things I took away from my time there was the ongoing battle of print vs online media. Now to be fair, it’s not so much a battle as much as a transition at this point.  If you haven’t read some of the whitepapers in the resources sections such as “Selling a Directory” and  “Online Directories:  The Next Big Media Vehicle for Advertising Agencies,” both address the print and online media battle, but nothing quite as blunt, direct, but insightful as Gary Varnerchuk did in this video:

$70,000 blogging and reviewing 6 blocks worth of street food?  I briefly discussed the importance and value of developing an online directory with a niche focus, but midtownlunch.com has taken this to a whole new level.  As great as it was to hear about the success Zach Brooks has had with a directory-esque site such as this, Gary brings great insight into the opportunities that are arising, and will arise in online media with the departure of print publications.  If you’re interested in further discussing this, or other ideas you may have for a similar directory, don’t hesitate to call me.

eDirectory to Attend SMX East

Annandale, Virginia – September 30th, 2009 - eDirectory, the online directory software solution, will be both exhibiting their products and services, as well as giving a theater presentation at Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East in New York City on October 5th & 6th.

SMX, the search engine conference from Third Door Media, covers topics around search marketing such as SEO, paid search advertising, local & mobile search, social media and more. With a platform designed to maximize advertising revenue, coupled with new features that help drive search traffic to its users directories, eDirectory will exhibiting their newest version, 7.0.15.

In addition to their presence on the show floor, eDirectory, among several other companies such as Bing, will be making a theater presentation On Tuesday, October 5th at 12:20PM EST. The presentation, entitled “Implementing an Online Directory: Strategies for Increasing Search Traffic” will be presented by eDirectory CEO, James Chubb.

“We are very excited to be a part of the SMX Expo, ” said James Chubb, “It’s a must attend event for internet marketing professionals, and we look forward to sharing traffic building strategies and customer success stories,” he added.

eDirectory will be promoting its most recent release which includes social media integration, advanced search features, and integration with Amazon Simple Pay. To learn more about eDirectory, go to eDirectory.com or visit us at booth #328 at SMX East, October 5th and 6th.

eDirectory is a division of Arca Solutions, Inc, a digital media company headquartered in the Washington, DC metro area.

eDirectory at SMX East

eDirectory will be attending Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East on October 5th & 6th.  In addition to exhibiting alongside of companies like Bing, at&t, iContact and others, eDirectory will be giving a theater presentation on Tuesday, October 6th.  The session, entitled “Implementing an Online Directory: Strategies for Increasing Search Traffic,” will be presented by eDirectory’s CEO, James Chubb.   If you’re attending the show, be sure to visit us at booth #328 to learn more about our products and services.

eDirectory 7.0.15 now Live

The latest version of the leading online directory software solution is now live.  From improved site manager features to expanded social bookmarking settings, eDirectory’s latest version reflects feedback from our clients over the last several months.  Here is a list of the more notable changes:
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  • New Social Bookmarking - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
  • New Browse by Location layout: clean and organized.
  • Advanced Search box can be closed
  • The user can choose to show or hide the map on the results pages.
  • The site manager can enable/disable the google maps feature.
  • A color selector was added in the listing templates section, so now the site manager can choose the colors easily.
  • The site manager can choose the listing levels that will have promotions.
  • The site manager can refresh the Statistic Reports at any time.
  • eDirectory now works with Amazon Simple Pay payment gateway. This new gateway works with Amazon Simple Pay Standard and Amazon Simple Pay Subscriptions (the recurring can be monthly or yearly).
  • The charset was changed from ISO 8859-1 to UTF-8.

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PS.: If you’re a current client and have some suggestions on features we should include in our next release, I’d love to hear from you.  Please email me at  jared . elder @ edirectory . com

Visit eDirectory at SES San Jose, California Aug 11th & 12th

If you are on the west coast, come visit us at Search Engine Stratagies Expo in San Jose.    The eDirectory booth is #422.   Passes to the exhibition hall are free if ordered in advance, and just $50 at the door.   The conference program should be good as well.   If you are interested in signing up for the full conference, contact Owen Zhu at owen . zhu @eDirectory dot com to get the eDirectory discount on registration.  Also send Owen a note if you would like to set a time to discuss a project with a project manager.

We look forward to meeting you in person!

Becoming an Online Reseller

A lot of people know that they want to start an online company.  One of the easiest ways is to become a reseller.  The reason is that another company has done all of the hard work in the development, testing, branding, and creating the product.  The main challenge in this scenario  is to find a product that will make you money.

Your first step, obviously, is to find a source.  You can search the Internet for products, attend trade shows or find niche magazines.  If a company doesn’t have a reseller program, you can contact them to make your pitch.  Often, you may find that they would be more than happy to have another salesperson working on their behalf.

Once you have located a product to resell, you should understand how wide your audience is. Is this a product that can bring in a large volume of business?  Researching the competition, also,  is important during this stage.  Find out if there is something that you can do better than the rest – whether it’s with the price, the features, better service or some other area.

In finding a product, don’t get too caught up in the fact that you may not be a subject matter expert in the field.  Most companies will help get you trained and can give you the right tools so that you’re a success.  Additionally, you don’t need to have a great amount of passion for the product itself.  Instead, you should have a passion for the business and sales that it can possibly bring.

The ultimate attributes that you should seek when becoming a reseller are if the product is in demand; how high are the start-up costs and if the company can support you in becoming successful.

Don’t Make Me Think – Using Common Sense in Web Design

When creating your website, you should take into account what is going on today.  You may not have noticed that there are very distinct things that web designers do in order to make the web pages look modern, appealing and easy to use.  What is the key for today?  Simplicity.

Fortunately, web design evolves as everything else does and today web sites are better than ever.  More designers have more experience and finally understand how to create something better than they did even a few years ago.

Even if you don’t have the experience, you should make sure that you pay attention to the features that all great designs have.  They are:
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  • A Clean Layout
  • A Site That Goes Below the Fold (people know how to scroll)
  • A Reduction of Three Dimensional Effects
  • The Use of a Plain Background or Soft Colors Such as Grey
  • No Strong Colors
  • Clean Spaces and No Crowding the Site With Design
  • Big Easy to Read Text
  • An Orientation Towards the Center
  • The Content is Designed vs. a Designed Page
  • Few Icons – It is Clutter and Confuses People

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These are easy things to keep in mind even if you’re not an expert.  One of the best books that I’ve read and continue to use as a guide include:  Don’t Make Me Think:  A Common Sense Approach to Web Usablity by Steve Krug.   His book points out that too many small businesses, unnecessarily, create cluttered sites and, thereby, force people to think.

When you have an online business, it is critical for you to remember that people came to your site because they have a problem to solve.  If they don’t think that they have landed a possible solution within a few seconds, they will hit the back button quickly.   Make sure that your site doesn’t cause needless headaches by following the guidelines listed above and you stand a shot at increasing sales!