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Everything posted by CDBurns

  1. Troy I am going to make your account on CBP an admin account and whenever you want to write on the site you can. I'm so deep into sneakers I don't follow up enough here but at least using CBP will allow you to share articles and content and create more backlinks. It's a WP site so I know it will be easy to navigate. Let me know if this is cool? In regard to boycotting Amazon, it was an unrealistic approach that I admire, but ultimately people have paid for Amazon Prime and they aren't going to stop using the platform just as much as we aren't going to stop using Amazon Associates for affiliate revenue. The best thing to do is to promote "buy and browse black".
  2. Strategies

    There has to be an active "remind the bloggers" part of this as well. Most info is found via search. I very rarely update CBP, but I will add info that is important and what happens is it gets indexed and searched. It shows up and is there for as long as the site is active. If someone writes me or tags me I will always add updates to CBP. I need a reminder because I'm off on my own war against Amazon right now in the sportswear biz, so I forget.
  3. Yep, Direct To Consumer. Because I cover shoes so much I have a grasp on that, but the information from there goes across categories. Nike delivered information that customers in the apps spend 3X as much as those browsing so the brand has every incentive to get as many people utilizing the app as possible. This is the same with all apps. The interesting thing that you wrote above is that the price isn't posted and you need prime. People rely so heavily on Amazon (and this speaks to your point) Amazon's push of Alexa translates into more search via voice. When people search and order via voice Amazon actually charges more on the transaction than they do if a person actually utilizes traditional search and shop options. Amazon is an amazing business study, but the most amazing study is the laziness of the American consumer who no longer wants to browse, or look for the best deal. In sneaker terms, which doesn't apply to books because Amazon is using a different strategy of taking on incredible losses to control the book atmosphere, Amazon dupes the customer. http://arch-usa.com/sports-shoes-on-amazon-are-not-cheap-a-case-for-browsing-before-buying/ It's impossible to boycott Amazon because they have so much capital available, books have become a loss leader for the company. All of that extra capital means that they can get an Alexa in every home in Kindles and they can ultimately move to a point where they no longer require a ONE click order, you can order via voice which is being touted as the next big search method in commerce. Black people still use cash when shopping and could save brick and mortar or Black owned bookstores, but they are so content to sit on Facebook and give away their power, that the few people you pull away will return because even my wife has an Amazon Prime account even after the amount of money I lost building my business on the platform... smh. Cheap trumps Building communities.
  4. This is happening with every company as they all attempt to control their DTC connection. Every company is creating apps that require sign up to gain benefits. Nike calls it the Consumer Direct Offense.
  5. LOL!!!!! I gotta make sure I'm checking in more. I didn't even realize you shared this Troy. Thanks as always. Mel, stop being goofy, lol. I was actually in my feelings about it. The Jelly Beans are flavored like Krispy Kreme donuts.
  6. In order, I like 1, 3. 6. 4, 2, and 5 I'm partial to blue and simplicity is elegant. 1 has a bold, standout element in the black BESTSELLER wording. 3 calls attention to AALBC and is very clean. 6 has that banner across it, which makes it seem more official. I hope this helps.
  7. @Mel Hopkins LinkedIn allows you to search for a specific company and send a message to that person. There isn't any political banter and if your profile is solid, people will connect to you. It's a great place to seek employment and because of that it is the most efficient form of social media next to blogging. Twitter actually comes in second for me because of the same ability to tag, retweet and connect to a person you are looking to align yourself with. With all of that said, the biggest driver of traffic to my website is search. Our job is to literally create so much content that Google includes our content in their search listings. Even with over 3000 social media followers combined I only get about 4% of my overall traffic from social. The majority of my traffic, which has seen a +600% increase since October 2016, is from direct links and search. AALBC is almost = in directing traffic to my sneaker website as both Twitter and Facebook.
  8. I'm adding this to the site asap. It's a great tool for authors who don't want to maintain their presence and hosting.
  9. You know it's funny. We have to use Amazon Affiliates and Amazon services because the consumer simply isn't willing to take 1-3 extra steps to find us. It's frustrating, but at least I'm really seeing the benefits of backing off of social media and working on the sight. Traffic is up considerably and growing month over month. It reminds me that in the end search still rules the day, but you knew that already. I will update you when I make a decision. Right now I'm driving the Lyft and working on the site. That's a big change over the last few years of big money. Everyday I consider opening the Amazon store back up. I haven't done it and I really am working hard to make something happen that replaces at least a fraction of the income from that channel. if I can just get 5% of the money I made there it would help. As always I will pop in and keep you posted.
  10. Now that is a very nice feature. The author's page looks great!!!! Thanks Troy. I'm looking at pulling all of my books from Amazon soon and creating all of the books as eBooks or reverting to Lightning Source and re-releasing the books. I will keep you updated so that you can change your affiliate links so they won't be dead. Thanks as always for all that you do. This is extraordinary work.
  11. Yeah Twitter will be purchased by Facebook probably. Snapchat just IPOd so they are obviously hot, but Facebook is launching a Snapchat styled service so that IPO could become worthless. It's interesting to watch. Linkedin is actually a more valuable service as a social media channel than any of the others. The work on my site is really eye opening. The rate of growth is incredible. About 600% over the last 12 months. I'm adding 1500-2000 Unique Visits per month and people are starting to comment on the site. I have more stories to tell about Amazon as well. I quit cold turkey. I don't have any kicks up on the platform and I'm making the decision to shut it down completely, but sales on my site aren't picking up although affiliate and ad revenue are picking up. Also Amazon removes the right for me to sell a host of brands once I downgrade my account from professional. It's a catch 22. They charge 39.99 a month for having nothing on the platform, but if you downgrade they remove your right to sell shoes. With so many people shifting to Amazon for everything, leaving the platform for the next 6 months means that I lose six figures, but I'm determined to fight. For the first time in 7 years I'm applying for jobs. It's sobering. I'm also driving Lyft, lol. On April 1st Amazon will either charge me 39.99 or I will downgrade and lose the right to sell shoes. Which would mean that I would have to get invoices from every brand before being able to sell on the platform again. It's crazy. The beautiful struggle continues.
  12. I still check in to Facebook because people continue to write me there as opposed to my websites, but my time on Facebook has dwindled. My time on Twitter has increased, but I've been able to connect to some heavy hitters and get a lot of information that helps shape my site. Twitter has become much more effective tool, and so has Linkedin. But I'm not writing much there either. I'm primarily using the sites as tools for growth. My website traffic is growing tremendously now that I focus on the site and creating information for the site. My search has improved and my return visits are up. I'm working on doing something similar for CBP but it's hard to find source content that I'm just as engaged with as I am with sneakers. Anyway, I figured I'd drop in stop lurking, lol. My lurking is a symptom of being dedicated to the website growth, so I know you understand. Keep fighting!
  13. What is Means to be Black

    Troy, this is the overall issue with using third party platforms. As I told you I went from making 30-50K a month with Amazon and one change in the system and now I'm driving Lyft as I redesign my website and build it in a way to garner some of the major money being floated around in the sneaker industry right now. People have integrated third party sites so thoroughly into their lives that it's very hard to overcome without considerable consumer education. The consumer/user is the only person that can stop the bleeding and unfortunately comfort and ease of use rules the day. I need to explain how I was wiped out, but I have done videos discussing how I was setting myself up, but I couldn't stop like a junkie and I eventually was forced into rehab. I probably already talked about this, but it has to be presented again. Amazon a month ago decided to make all items over 35.00 bucks require free shipping. If your items did not meet the requirements for how they wanted free shipping presented, your listings were removed. I went from having almost 1000 listings available on Amazon to zero listings showing up. I contributed slow sales to post holiday hangover and I didn't check my inventory. After a week of zero sales I looked into my dashboard and realized that the listings were Active but not active in the buying area. Every listing had to be deleted and recreated. This would take countless man hours and I realized that I'd waited too long to build my website up because I was mainlining Amazon so hard I was shooting up between my toes and in my dick; which I had been cutting off by using third party platforms to reach my customers all of these years. When you talk about being hijacked by Google, it's the same thing Amazon has done by mining data provided by third party sellers and then releasing their own private labels to sell what is hot. Amazon and Google are genius business models and pure capital engines. They exist as a medium providing no inventory of their own until they have mined the data to make sure that success is a certainty. Once they make the decision to replace you or change the rules, you are doomed if you haven't been building up your platform first. I commend you for taking the time to rebuild. It inspired my current work and while the benefits aren't 30000 a month, I will drive Lyft until I work through the process of garnering the revenue that is flowing through the sneaker biz at this moment. My website growth has been tremendous since I've started the work which shows that people are looking for information. In February of last year my ARCH site had 2000 Unique visits. This Feb 2017 my site got over 17,000 Unique visits. I'm selling a few shoes through the online store and the checks are coming faster from Adwords. Ultimately the goal is to garner media sponsorships from Verizon and other sites as I push the Uniques towards 100,000. You know like I know one endorsement could do this overnight, but more than likely like AALBC I will be working towards this on my own.
  14. What is Means to be Black

    Since I have a small record label I will say this, all of the music on YouTube is protected in some way. Some channels have it up and it hasn't been removed, but the "owner" of the video does not get paid, the person who owns the publishing gets paid. YouTube doesn't pay much at all as far as streaming goes. I can give you hard examples for streaming on all streaming services. Just ask me to give it to you. If a successful artists controls their YouTube they can do very well with YT streaming. I think YT is not bad at all. Troy you talk as if you didn't put Maxell tapes in and record the Quiet Storm off of the radio. Music has always been accessible in some format. The problem now is that like Mel said the Digital Laws are flimsy and the studios are taking advantage of the loopholes. That takes us back to controlling our own platforms. At least an artist can become a YT millionaire with enough followers. There is real opportunity there and while it isn't a level playing field, a person with dedication and consistency can earn subscribers and convert those subscribers especially in music which is a more social medium than books or business info. (Which is why you and I have a hard to getting subscribers and followers on any social platform.) I guess we live in a time that is great, but difficult. There is amazing opportunity, but serious consumer ignorance. Thankfully millennials are a lot more aware of how they consume and they are becoming more responsible which is what has allowed music artists to create Patreon and which also allows Bandcamp to flourish in an environment where streaming dominates. As always thanks for all of your work on the site. As you know all of that work is about search because people will barely visit it direct and that's what we are all relying on is being discoverable.
  15. What is Means to be Black

    You know I was never introduced to Camille until Talib Kweli introduced me to her via one of his songs like 20 years ago. I guess it's like most people don't know who John Kasandra is. Good stuff Troy.
  16. I would have said James Baldwin, August Wilson and Toni Morrison, but I haven't looked it up and I don't know if I'm right on Toni, lol. Time to hit the google!
  17. Amazon is being analyzed as a company that may potentially become a trillion dollar business. The giant is rolling downhill and everything in its path will be crushed. Macy's, The Limited, Sears and countless small retailers have disappeared and it is not going to get any better. We the people demand speed and convenience and those things are all that matters. Speed and convenience means that we are left to be on our phones and watching our shows. We don't need or want to walk or drive to visit stores if that store isn't connected to our phones in some way.
  18. I figured it would be easier to put the videos up. In the words of the Borg on Star Trek, resistance is futile. Amazon is a machine on track to do a trillion dollars. You can either get on the ship or face certain death unless you have a website that is garnering a ridiculous amount of traffic daily. I got so pissed about this I did an entire series scolding the consumer. It's a no win situation. No one is going to abandon Amazon and doing so there would have to be a machine in place that could keep people coming back and incorporate the ease of zero to one click buying and quite frankly black folks don't want to leave their credit card info with anyone except Amazon and Apple.
  19. I have long known everything you've written as an active marketplace store I've been dealing with this firsthand, but the reality is this isn't on the government to break up, it is simply a matter of the consumer deciding against what's comfortable. That's the only hope is that consumers wake up.
  20. They are listening. My wife and I were talking on the phone about houses in a certain area. She picked up her phone and on Facebook there was an ad for the area we were discussing. The same thing has happened to me on several occasions. I now use my browser to access my social media as opposed to the apps and I deleted the apps, but I'm sure they are still actively acquiring data. It's crazy.
  21. This discussion goes so much deeper. Amazon with the Echo is integrating itself so deeply into our lives that we don't even recognize that they are putting a listening device into our homes that allows us the ability to order with our voice, completely removing the barrier of "one click" which Amazon is famous for. By getting rid of this last barrier they become the perfect impulse buy business. It's to the extent now that people simply trust that Amazon has the best price and will buy items without researching anything. You can't compete and the tragic part of this is that to earn 1 million dollars Amazon needs a fraction of the people it takes Wal-Mart to make a million dollars. Amazon and companies like Facebook and Google kill jobs. They don't make a product and they sell a service so making money requires fewer people which in turns kills our economy in the long term and there is literally nothing we can do about it. Amazon is predicted to become a Trillion dollar business by 2025. They currently control over 50% of all online transactions. They are the most efficient company in history and they provide their shareholders zero dividends, yet people keep buying based on the potential and promise of Amazon. In the next few years they will begin to build brick and mortar locations and fully integrate themselves into every aspect of our lives and we are welcoming them in via Echo and keeping our credit card numbers on file. It's amazing... and I'm officially researching L2 and data companies way too much.
  22. Screw a budget and staff. You are right on point with what you're doing. It's all about the cosign. That FightMediocrity is amazing isn't it? If you simply found a different way of doing what he does, you'd kill it. Then again, you know what? This kid didn't even get a cosign, he ran YT ads and has a very catchy style. You simply need to review the "popular" books in a catchy way. I'm giving all of my time to YT and my site now. Sneaker Sites are now IPO'ing and selling for millions. I'm all in.
  23. As we both know all it takes is a consistent cosign from a person of status for your video or information to take off. 5500 is a huge number for a book, but when you realize that a 22 year old kid doing book reviews is a YouTube millionaire, you realize how crazy the entire social sharing system really is. It's awesome that she shared it, what should happen now and it would be great if it did, you should be more of a correspondent for the book topics. Just in case you don't know what I'm talking about with book reviews. Look up a channel on YouTube called FightMediocrity. I'm not linking it because the dude doesn't need anymore subscribers, lol. All he does is book reviews and he is making a killing. Nice job though on this!!!!