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Yes, Another Hip-Hop Thread, but not like that ...


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Chris I could see why you liked this article.  Talib thinks like us :-)


Yes the article was very interesting, of course I see parallels in what is doing as an artist and what I;m doing here with AALBC.com.  At the end of the independence is key. It took him a long time to come to that conclusions.


In my space I always understood this to be true, but in my case there were no alternatives to independence.  


It is worth mentioning Talibs site: Kweliclub.com of course I'll be inquiring about an affiliate program  ;)


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You know if we simply spent our time requesting affiliate links to a lot of these sites, that might be a pretty good strategy and if these people don't have affiliate programs it might be a good startup to create a tech company that supplies ads for these websites. Hmmmmm great ideas come from articles like these and discussion boards. 


I am surprised it took him almost 15 years to get to this point. Especially since he is one of the more "enlightened" emcees, but at least he got it together. What intrigued me the most is the discussion about Gravitas and Fat Beats handling the distribution of his vinyl and cds for that independent project. I think there is where the real gem is. Who is the independent distributor of African American books?


Oh, the video for Come Here is really interesting. I was wondering why there wasn't a "real" video. To hear that the people behind Miguel didn't want Miguel associated with a conscious emcee is crazy, but it doesn't surprise me at all. 


I definitely see the parallel in AALBC which is why as soon as I saw it, I immediately posted it here. I guess we are still at the same interaction after reading this, how do we get people to our sites? I have some new stats for you to analyze. Yesterday, I ended up interviewing Chris Cooper and Melinda Emerson on Paul C. Brunson's Mentor Monday Spreecast. I saw a significant increase in traffic on my website from this. I had an increase in my twitter followers and my site which usually has about 64% Direct traffic and 12% Social media fed traffic increased today to 22% Social Media with the majority of traffic from Twitter out of Social media. I also had an increase in Referring websites to 18% from around 15-16%. The interesting thing is Facebook's influence remained the same at about 1.27% before and after.


What is interesting is that all of this new traffic has not created any books sold, but it may in the future. However the people pretty much arrived on the page and exited to the same page. They didn't stay and browse the site or read any other articles/blog posts. It's not only that people aren't buying music or books, they simply aren't browsing the web either. We both have a lot of work to do.

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Hey Chris, most people who visit your site will not transact or engage, but you don't need all of them do so.  Yes they may do so in the future, as they become more familiar with your brand.  This is why we engage in the effort of attracting visitors.


It is interesting to compare our mix of traffic.  73% of my traffic is due to organic search, which is why I'm so vulnerable to Google search results.  This past October Google made an algorithm change that resulted in a doubling in traffic, from search, compared with the previous year. This is really good news for me, but I'm guarded as Google can take away just as easily as they give.


My referral from social is only 4%.  Now I get 8% of my traffic from other sites.  In other words, links from other sites, is responsible for twice the traffic I get from all of social media. It is not unusual for me to get more traffic from Wikipedia than I do from Facebook.  The rest of my traffic, 15%, is direct.


This is why I firmly believe we, collectively, can be much more successful by simply linking to each other's sites, commenting on other sites, and just actively recommending other sites.  This does NOT mean linking to someone's social media page, this means linking to their website!  I also believe we will be better served by linking to each other is because this worked better for us long before social media was invented.


I could very easily get rid of the, 4% of my traffic coming from social media, they do not convert as well as direct traffic or traffic from referrals.  In fact in 2015 I'm going to invest more effort with working other sites rather than social media.


I also agree that affiliate programs could help a great deal.  Affiliate programs, by their very design expands your reach and helps everyone profit.  This is a strategy that Amazon has exploited brilliantly.  But we have three major problems as they relate to affiliate programs;

  1. We simply won't use affiliate links
    For example, the vast majority of authors who send people to Amazon do NOT apply an affiliate links.  I have tried to explain the benefits of this to anyone who will listen, but even after explaining, most authors continue to link to Amazon with applying affiliate codes.  I find this too baffling to understand. I've written so much about this I've grown tired (see point #3).
  2. We are won't buy buy from indie websites
    Implementing an affiliate program can help, but we, as a people, have to be more willing to actually make the purchases.
  3. Indie sites don't have enough traffic
    Revenue generated from commissions earned from affiliate programs will be quite low as most sites don't have enough traffic to generate meaningful sales.  

All of the problems above can be easily addressed by indie sites working for closely with each other.  


I think it would also be helpful if we stopped giving social media so much free promotion and content, and just leave social media for people who want to boast, play games, and share celebrity gossip and funny videos.  


Chris if I could sit down with 10 other people who run websites and share the type of information you shared, off the cuff, we could all benefit.  But most webmasters sophisticated enough to do this won't, because we also are way too competitive with each other and way too supportive of those ready to bury us..

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Okay, I've been working on using my own book to implement a path to selling more books and building my brand. The book is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1502461757/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1502461757&linkCode=as2&tag=cbpub-20&linkId=TPEXFMTB65BAG7KW">One Hour To Wealth: Your Great Idea is Valuable...Get Up and Write It Down!</a>


In this book I talk about the path I took in moving away from bankruptcy and developing my shoe company. I also talk about everything we discuss. Every day, I spend 1 Hour building my CBP business. Why I'm bringing this up is because I've been analyzing my data and trying to best figure out how to aggregate the data. Since I realized that having three different Facebook pages only contributed 1.27% to my traffic for CBP and 2.14% for ARCH and 2.17% for ARCH Online Shop, I deleted my two "Fan" pages where there wasn't much interaction taking place. I hid my family on my primary Facebook page and now I only have the one Facebook page which no longer fractures my search in regard to Facebook.


I think I am going to take the time to order copies of my book and offer them signed through my website as opposed to only linking to Amazon since they aren't selling anyway. I will then begin to build affiliate links for my books. It may take a moment for me to figure this one out since it is tech intensive, but once again we are moving in a direction that is critical for the survival of independent artists and websites. What do you think?

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You know I checked your link to make sure there was an affiliate code.  It honestly was more habit than anything else.  I respect your gansta ;-)


Of course I think you are right Chris.  Unless something radically changes the survival of indie sites will never depend upon a Facebook or Amazon.  That however does not mean that we can not benefit from changes our tactics and strategies in how we engage those platforms.  Again successfully dealing with some of the biggest corporations planet Earth has even seen, can not be accomplished by individuals...


One baby step could be to simply get others to use Amazon's affiliate links.  Some really bright authors with good sales have used my affiliate code on their sites, to offset the cost of promotion.  There are a great number of possibilities.


Of course running ones own affiliate program.is the best solution.  I'm sure there is an off the shelf solution we could take advantage of but the real challenge would be getting other websites to participate.

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You're right and thank you for respecting my gangsta, lol! I guess the biggest issue is getting others to join in the conversation. I killed off my Tumblr and Facebook fan pages and it has freed up a ton of time in my day! 


I think I will drop my stats in here for you to analyze. Yesterday I told you that the majority of my traffic has always been direct. After "aggregating" my pages on Facebook and removing the random locations on social media that I had (Tumblr and Fancy) and only having Twitter and Facebook my Facebook Social Media engagement increased to - 8%. I feel an article coming on. Before  it didn't matter what I did, my Facebook engagement was about 1.27%. I realize that this is only one day, but if you aren't a star, which we already know, Facebook engagement is pretty pitiful on "Fan" pages. It behooves a person like me who is looking at developing my writing career to get rid of my fan page, until my personal page has 5000 visitors and I'm forced to begin a fan page because then the interaction would be better.


What I did find interesting is that through statcounter I can't see what keywords are triggering visits and I'm getting 20% of my visits from Search Engines right now. This article explains why Google took away the ability to monitor keywords: http://googleblog.blogspot.ie/2011/10/making-search-more-secure.html


I guess overall, we both know that we can write and write and write, but until another author joins in on this discussion, then we will be sharing info and building our knowledge, but basically standing still. That sucks.

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So much of what you and Troy talk about, Chris, is technical jargon and shop talk and involves professional expertise that goes over my head. I rarely feel qualified to join in your discussions.  Even after I read your long posts, I still don't know what you're talking about half the time... :blink:


I do know that one has to be totally committed to a book after one puts it out there, and if you aren't dedicated to that and all that  entails, then things won't happen.  Hopefully my dedication will kick in once i've recovered from the cabin fever that's afflicting me as I hibernate in the winter doldrums brought on by the snow and sub-zero temperatures that are blanketing the midwest and freezing my motivation.

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Cynique, perhaps this is why so few actually do any of the things Chris and I are complaining about--they don't get it.


I've complained about growing tired of trying to explain this to people, but it could be I'm just not doing a good enough job of explaining.  I call myself an educator now.  I need to figure out a way to communicate this to people without their eyes glazing over or getting lost.


Perhaps, if I can explain it to you, anyone can understand it (don't take that the wrong way I'm sure you know what I meant).


Did you read Tabil's article?  Did that make sense to you?


Did you read this article I wrote about what writers need to do to survive online.  Did that make sense to you?


If you take the time to review those articles and provide some feedback (I know that is asking a lot and I appreciate your time).  I will make it a priority to write up some of these concepts in a way you can understand it.  Maybe I'll write a short book about it. :-)

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Cynique, Troy is doing a good thing by asking if you understood the articles. If you get those then you are halfway there. I have written so many articles on marketing and sales for my sneaker company, that I did what Troy said he should do. I wrote a book about it. In that book in chapters 11, 12 and 13, I actually breakdown in Workshop format how to do everything that Troy and I are talking about.


What I never did though was take my own advice. I know I've shared these articles before, but I'm sharing them again because it talks about how last year I realized that I was doing a disservice to my fellow artists and small biz people by not getting the One Hour To Wealth book out there in the first link and the others go into more detail.






All of these articles only scratch the surface of what I've been writing on my ARCH website. Like I said though, I never pursued the writing because I've done so well with sneakers. But last August I knew if I was going to start getting the message that Troy and I have been sharing out there I had to prove that what I wrote works. Like I've said before, I know it works because I have the sneaker biz and I haven't worked for anyone or taught since 2012, but if I'm going to prove to people that I know what I'm saying, I have to make myself a brand. I say all of this to tell you that if you have Amazon Prime you can download it for free. I'd be interested in hearing what you think about it especially since you have a book/business that you could push.


Troy, I think you need to collect all of your articles and put them into print. I don't think it would be a short book, and I think that it is seriously needed. My book is both motivational and a manual, yours would be a lot more analytically based and direct to the point for writers; maybe this is what would get people to buy into it.


I will admit that how we are talking back and forth has jargon, but Cynique if you are using this message board you know everything we are saying. You know what it means to aggregate data. You know what Facebook is. You know what a blog is. You know what a website is. The only thing that may be a little cloudy are the stats, but in context you know stats provide: info. I think you get it because you are too smart not to. I think you are doing what a lot of people do and that is to say it's over your head so you don't have to deal with it, lol.

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You are right, Chris.  Here's the thing, guys. There is something we all know about, and that's demographics. And what is plain to me is that I am not your demographic.  Your target audience is aspiring, profit-driven writers who are, serious about their product and looking to find a formula to make what they write, sell.  What you offer these aggressive ambitious people are a litany of facts and figures and helpful hints all couched in long articles replete with charts and statistics and research. The gist of what you promise is that by utilzing all of the data you have provided, combined with the investment of a lot of hard work and savvy, an author will be on the way to achieving the goal of being a best selling writer!


The above does not coincide with my profile.  I wish it did, but to be frank, I don't feel like starting a blog or creating a web page or reading long articles, or doing anything else that requires hard work.  I am not hungry or driven.  I just want a magic genie to appear and provide me with 3 wishes, one of which I would  spend on making my little romantic suspense novel  sell itself if I blink my eyes 3 times.  ;)   The other 2 wishes would be that I could be 61 instead of 81 and that I would hit the lottery for millions of dollars.  :)

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And BOOM! I understand exactly. For the last 19 years I've placed writing on the backburner and I was just happy with having written 5 books (7 if you count the two sitting in my harddrive). What happened with me was that I was writing all of these articles for my shoe company and shoe store and I realized that even when I was losing money and failing I gave the shoe store and business all of my attention and effort. I have never given writing an honest chance at all.


I was like you. I just wanted people to find the books. One person would turn into three and then into 100 and then 10,000 and then 50,000 and then... you get the picture. My problem now is that all of the information that I've collected, all of the time that I've been watching books that weren't as good as advertised selling and people making a living from writing, has finally made me place all of that knowledge from shoes into books. It does take up all of your energy, so I don't blame you for being content with birthing the book. In all honesty, I don't know how long it will take for all of this info to create momentum, but I'm digging in. I will let you know how it goes from this end. If at the end of the year we both are in the same place, at least we will know we did it our way (and cue Sinatra, lol).

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My intent is not to compete with you, Chris.  Or is it to recommend a "do-nothing-wait-and-see" strategy.  It is simply to say that my "get-up-and-go" enthusiasm has "got-up-and gone". I am blase and world weary.  :(  To you I say: go for it!

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