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As good business people we have to assess our marketing strategies on a regular basis. I have already told you about our shift from print ads to Internet Marketing and that’s why we’re here. (This doesn’t mean we have completely stopped print advertising, it means we have found that our marketing dollars are better spent on-line).

In this web2.0 world, we also have to constantly assess our marketing accomplishments on-line. Which venues are producing money and have success and which ones take a lot of time with little to no ROI. It’s not easy to evaluate since a lot of our on-line time may not have tangible results, but it’s important to look back and be able to objectively make a decision of what to place more effort on and what to drop.

This weekend marked a major Milestone for Miamism, we had our 1 year bloggiversary (thanks Jay for the term). To think that I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years, and finally created our blog a year ago is unbelievable. We also received an e-mail from a reader that was perfect to mark our achievement and although I shared at Miamism, I hope you don’t mind that I am sharing here as well:

Dear friends, my name is Luis Falcon, one day and what seems like an eternity ago, I visited Miami on what was to be a weeks vacation, upon stepping off the bus (La Cubana from Jersey) I looked up at the blue skies and heard/saw parrots flying by, at that moment I realized, I would be in Miami for a while… I stayed 14 years. I worked for City of Miami Beach, News Café, Handy Van in Dade County, Miami Children’s Hospital and Club Nu (back in the day.) Me quise llenar como un baso llenándose de jugo en un día caliente! I could not get enough of that place

I currently work in NY and spend my days dreaming of coming HOME, I happened to stumble upon your website today as I was looking for real estate info and was so impressed I had to write you. I recently got married and have plans of moving next year. Reading your blog and comments today, have made me feel like I’ve know you since childhood.

NOW with every cent my wife and I save for our first home, moving forward I will anticipate the day when I contact you both and say, “Hey guys, you think you can find us a home please?”

Great website and talk too you soon.

Luis Falcon

Talk about our blogging goals defined with one single communication from Luis!! This past year, I have learned so much and wanted to share what has worked for us, in order to possibly reduce that learning curve for those thinking of starting now.

  • focus on your passion – you don’t have to be an incredible writer as long as you write what you are pasionate about. People will be attracted to your knowledge.
  • Show your personality – whether you are goofy or have a dry sense of humor, drop the formalities and put the inner you in writing (this is no easy task) – and if you are boring…..good luck there! 🙂
  • The hyper-local information has been a hit in our market, but make sure you do keep a balance between real estate related topics and local information.
  • Be consistent – you don’t have to write every day, but don’t go a week without writing. We post 3-5 times per week at Miamism and one of those days happens to be a goofy/fun day.
  • Read other blogs, comment, get involved in social networks (the wealth of information is priceless)
  • Identify your audience and write directly to them. The consumer will not always respond in comment form but they will contact you.
  • Make sure you have a call to action feature – whether it is a lead capture system, free reports….etc.
  • The more you write about a specific subject, the more business you will have in that arena – I.e. if you want to work foreclosures, write about them. If you don’t want to do foreclosures……don’t even mention them.
  • Have fun with it! Be creative, don’t be afraid to experiment.
  • Be patient – if you follow those guidelines, the business will come.

I’m sure others here have something to add to the list but I want to take this time to thank you guys for making this past year such a pleasure. I can honestly say that I feel like I’m part of something HUGE, a big achievement that only the “lucky ones” have chosen to be a part of, even though it was an open invitation to all. Give yourselves a pat on the back for being innovators and open your eyes to the next great thing…..I think it’s around the corner and I’m ready to embrace it.

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Matthew Rathbun

    June 2, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Congrats on your Bloggiversary! Your blog is one that I direct agents to when they ask what it should look like. Glad to hear that you are refining your skillset AND that you are so willing to share with everyone.

    I look forward to cheering you on at this time next year!

  2. Jennifer in Louisville

    June 2, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Happy Bloggiversary! (I’m going to have to borrow that term as well.) You’ve hit on the big 2 as far as I’m concerned: personality and have fun with it. Your personality absolutely needs to be in your blog. It will create interest from others, and help attract persons to your blog with whom you are likely to mesh well with. Its always a good thing to work with people that you like. And, you have to have fun with it. If you don’t find blogging enjoyable, it becomes a chore – and then before long, you just stop doing it altogether.

  3. Barry Cunningham

    June 2, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Congratualtions Ines…way to represent South Florida

  4. Ines

    June 2, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Thank you Matthew – sometimes I think back of my AR blogging days and I am so thankful that there was a good platform to experiment, to learn and to grow – I was happy to let go of the training wheels and to be able to still experiment and see the amount of business that we are getting from it. (and yes, I am always willing to share) even did a tutorial for RSS Pieces on google maps

    Jennifer – thanks! I also think it’s important to go step by step – I know I found my voice first then experimented with frequency and then subject. I think we will find that we grow as bloggers on a daily basis just as we grow as professionals

  5. Ines

    June 2, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Thank you Barry! I’m having a lot of fun! 😉

  6. Rudy from Trulia.com

    June 2, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Way to go Ines! Enjoy the Mojitos.

    Cheers.

    Rudy
    Social Media Guru at Trulia

  7. Ines

    June 2, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Hey Trulia man!! Thank you! remember these These Mojitos?

  8. Ken Smith

    June 2, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Ines that is a great letter to get from a visitor, and talk about perfect timing! Happy Bloggiversary!

  9. Eric Blackwell

    June 2, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Ines-

    #1: Congrats and enjoy the milestone!

    #2: Some online real estate friends and I were just remarking the other day about how much things can change in the course of a single year here on the internet. The last 12 months for me has been terrific as well.

    Best;

    Eric

  10. Ines

    June 2, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Ken – the timing could not have been better – I actually posted the letter first and then realized it was our bloggiversary. Funny thing is that Rick gets the same amount of credit I do when we’re out and about (he’s written 2 posts since the beginning) 🙂

    Eric – thank you and you make a great point. If things have changed this much in a year, where will we be a year from now? let’s check in June 2009 and find out.

  11. The Harriman Team

    June 2, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Happy bloggiversary, Ines! Your blog is what we want ours to look like when it grows up!

    All our best,

    Pat & Wayne

  12. Elaine Reese

    June 2, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Congrats on your blogiversary. I’ll celebrate mine next month. Everything you mention are the things I try to do as well so IMO your advice is right on. A special congrats on your reader’s letter. That’s a nice compliment to get, isn’t it. Thanks for sharing it.

  13. Ines

    June 2, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Pat & Wayne you guys are funny! hope your teenage years are not to rebellious! 🙂

    Elaine – I couldn’t keep that one to myself, it’s what we strive for isn’t it? Congrats to your almost bloggiversary as well.

  14. Ricardo Bueno

    June 2, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Reading your blog certainly does bring out the liveliness that is Miami and I’m sure that’s the reason people connect heavily with it! And though it could be a lot of work I’m sure emails like this make it all worth while, doesn’t it?

    Happy Anniversary Ines! Blog on!!!

  15. ines

    June 3, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Hi Ricardo – thank you! and it’s not difficult to bring our Miami’s “liveliness”, it really is a great place. Blog on my friend!

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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Business Marketing

Your business’ Yelp listing may be costing you more than you think

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The pay per click system Yelp uses sounds good in theory, but it may be hurting small businesses more than helping.

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Man browsing Yelp for his business listing in open office environment.

We all know Yelp – we’ve probably all used Yelp’s comment section to decide whether or not that business is worth giving our money to. What you might not know is how they are extorting the small businesses they partner with.

For starters, it’s helpful to understand that Yelp generates revenue through a pay per click (PPC) search model. This means whenever a user clicks on your advertisement, you pay Yelp a small fee. You never pay Yelp a cent if no one clicks on your ad.

In theory, this sounds great – if someone is seeking out your product or service and clicks on your ad, chances are you’re going to see some of that return. This is what makes paying $15, $50, or even $100 a click worth it.

In practice, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When setting up your Yelp account, you are able to plug in keywords that correspond with your business. For example, owner of San Francisco-based Headshots Inc. Dan St. Louis – former Yelp advertiser turned anti-Yelp advocate – plugged in keywords for his business, such as “corporate photographer” and “professional headshots”. When someone in the Bay Area searches one of those terms, they are likely to see Headshots Inc.’s Yelp ad.

You are also able to plug in keyword searches in which your ad will not appear. That sounds great too – no need to pay for ad clicks that will ultimately not bring in revenue for your business. In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan plugged in terms such as “affordable baby photography” and “affordable studio photography”, as his studio is quite high-end and would very likely turn off a user who is using the word “affordable” in their search.

How Yelp really cheats its small business partners is that it finds loopholes in your keyword input to place your ad in as many non-relevant searches as possible. This ensures that your ad is clicked more and, as a result, you have to pay them more without reaping any of the monetary benefits for your business.

If you plugged in “cheap photography” to your list of searches in which your ad will not appear, Yelp might still feature your ad for the “cheap photos” search. As if a small business owner has the time to enter in every single possible keyword someone might search!

In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan ended up paying $10k in total ad spend to Yelp with very little return. Needless to say, he is pissed.

So what does this mean for you if you use Yelp for your business? If you don’t want to completely opt out of Yelp’s shenanigans, try these 3 tips from Dan:

  1. Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
  2. Do your best to block the irrelevant keywords. It’s impossible to get them all, but the more you do the more money you will ultimately save.
  3. Keep an eye on the conversation rate on your profile – does more clicks mean more client inquiries? Make sure Yelp isn’t sending low-quality traffic to your profile.

Ultimately, it’s about protecting your small business. Yelp is the latest in big tech to be outted for manipulating individuals and small businesses to up their margins – a truly despicable act, if you ask me. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for ad spend, then either boycott Yelp or try these tips – your company may depend on it.

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