Tag Archive | "Some"

Some terrible personal news

Cindy Cutts, my wife and best friend, passed away earlier this week. While I was traveling for work recently, Cindy went to visit her family in Omaha, Nebraska. On Sunday, while enjoying time with family, Cindy started having trouble breathing. Her family quickly called 911 and paramedics took Cindy to the hospital, but Cindy lost and never regained consciousness. She passed away on Monday.

Cindy didn’t want any callouts on my blog, so I always just referred to her as my wife. But I’d like to tell you something about her. She loved her family and her cats, Emmy and Ozzie. She danced in the Bay Area with a fantastic troupe of kick-ass women for years. She ran a half-marathon once and then decided that she never needed to do that again. She sang in show choir in high school and could still rock a karaoke room with an Adele song. She wrestled with anxiety and depression at times, as so many people do. We should all talk about mental health more to lessen the stigma for other people who think they’re alone when they’re not.

Cindy enjoyed falling asleep to Parks and Rec. She liked re-reading William Gibson’s novel Pattern Recognition. Cindy made quilts for her family and crocheted scarves. She kept me healthy and on track and moving in the right direction, and I paid her back with occasional head rubs. Cindy was whip smart, with a particular gift with languages, from French to Chinese. I tackled small details like paperwork and license plates and paying bills, but she was the one who looked at the big picture. Cindy was the person who said “Let’s go try this Google thing for a while.”

Cindy and I knew each other for 23 years and we were married for 18 years, which is no small thing. I’m unmanned and unmoored without her. I’m just going to tackle the details in front of me and count on time and family and friends to pull me back on course at some point.

If anyone wants to send flowers, the service is at Heafey-Hoffmann-Dworak-Cutler at 7805 W Center Rd in Omaha on Saturday, March 10th, starting at 3pm.

For the people who didn’t get to meet her, Cindy looked like a movie star:

Cindy movie star

She loved hanging with her family, like her sister and niece and nephew:

Cindy with her family

She had the best smile and amazing green eyes:

Cindy smiling

And her cat Ozzie adored her as much as I did:

Cindy and Ozzie

Please give your friends or family a hug for me. We never know how much time we have with someone, and sometimes it’s all too short.

Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

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SearchCap: Google expands reviews, disallows some negative reviews & top SEO columns

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google expands reviews, disallows some negative reviews & top SEO columns appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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Some of the Copyblogger Team’s Favorite Writing and Content Sites

Here at Copyblogger, we’ve always been in love with writers. So we thought it would be fun to wrap up the year with a collection of some favorite blogs and podcasts that teach writing, showcase writing, or help writers. This is very much a partial list — so if you have a favorite site that
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The post Some of the Copyblogger Team’s Favorite Writing and Content Sites appeared first on Copyblogger.


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15 Takeaways from Our Private Community (Plus Some Time-Savers for Writers)

Did you know we have a thriving private community of content marketers who get to sink their teeth into fresh, in-depth education every week? Well, we do — and this week we’re sharing insights from that community. On Monday, Jerod Morris recapped an epic answer he gave in one of our Authority Q&As recently. (As
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Take Courage: Get Some Entrepreneurial Bravery This Week on Copyblogger

Take Courage: Get Some Entrepreneurial Bravery This Week on Copyblogger

Hey there — welcome back to the Copyblogger Weekly!

I was recording a podcast interview this week, and during the conversation I realized how much of business comes down to “putting one foot in front of the other.”

From the outside, it tends to look like your favorite business owners or content marketers have everything figured out. Really, they’re doing the same thing you are — looking around to figure out the territory, making “best guesses” about how to move forward, then executing and watching for results.

Creating online means we’re always navigating unfamiliar waters — and that’s a great thing, even when it’s hard.

On Monday, it was so nice to hear from Raubi Perilli on The Digital Entrepreneur podcast, talking about listening to your instincts and finding your business passion. On Tuesday, I got a little riled up on my podcast, encouraging you to resist anyone telling you that it’s “too late” to add your voice to the world of podcasting — or any other content type.

And on Wednesday, Pamela Wilson’s post encourages you to embrace the uncertain path of the heroic entrepreneur. (Even if your superhero jammies are in the wash.)

Inspiration tends to work a lot better when it rides along with practical advice. In my Copyblogger article on Monday, I shared some thoughts on different models for niche education sites. On Tuesday, Kyle Fiehler gave us some specific strategies for crafting technical content, even if you’re not an expert.

Stay inspired, work hard, and create something amazing this week. I’ll catch up with you on Wednesday instead of Thursday next week, as we head into the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. See you then!

— Sonia Simone

Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital

Catch up on this week’s content

How to find and focus on the best niche4 Creative Models for Finding the Right Niche for Your Online Business

by Sonia Simone

Tips for top-notch technical contentStruggling to Write for Technical Experts? Try These 3 Powerful Content Marketing Practices

by Kyle Fiehler

How to become the hero of your story5 Ways to Embrace the Uncertain Path of a Heroic Entrepreneur

by Pamela Wilson

How to Start and Grow a Successful Membership Site (In Your Spare Time)How to Start and Grow a Successful Membership Site (In Your Spare Time)

by Sean Jackson

The Creative Entrepreneur: Living the DreamThe Creative Entrepreneur: Living the Dream

by Brian Gardner & Lauren Mancke

Is Your Intro Silently Killing Your Show?Is Your Intro Silently Killing Your Show?

by Jerod Morris & Jon Nastor

Why Trusting Your Instincts Can Lead You to Your PassionWhy Trusting Your Instincts Can Lead You to Your Passion

by Brian Clark & Jerod Morris

Have You Already Missed the Podcasting Gold Rush?Have You Already Missed the Podcasting Gold Rush?

by Sonia Simone

How the Author of ‘The Bestseller Code’ Jodie Archer Writes: Part TwoHow the Author of ‘The Bestseller Code’ Jodie Archer Writes: Part Two

by Kelton Reid

Steal Like an Entrepreneur, with Austin KleonSteal Like an Entrepreneur, with Austin Kleon

by Brian Clark

Brian Clark on The 7-Figure CEO PodcastBrian Clark on The 7-Figure CEO Podcast

by Caroline Early


Authority Q&A Call with Sonia Simone and Pamela Wilson

Friday, November 18

Join Authority members for the opportunity to get your content marketing and business questions answered by two people with almost 60 years of experience between them! No question is too small, and the more specific the better.

Join Authority to attend this session

The post Take Courage: Get Some Entrepreneurial Bravery This Week on Copyblogger appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Google Penguin 4.0 Rollback & Reversals? Some Think So.

As you know, Google finally pushed out Penguin 4.0 in late September and the recoveries and declines were fully rolled out in the first two weeks of October…

Search Engine Roundtable

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Google Algorithm Update Brewing? We Got Early Some Chatter.

I am seeing some really early signs from the SEO community chatter around a possible Google update. It is really early…

Search Engine Roundtable

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Here Is Some Google Engineer Sarcasm For You

One thing well known about the culture within Google is the heavy level of sarcasm and layers of jokes that go into the conversation there…

Search Engine Roundtable

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The 2015 Moz Annual Report: All the Facts and Then Some

Posted by SarahBird

Longstanding insomnia sufferers, rejoice! My Moz 2015 Annual Report is here. Check out 2012, 2013, and 2014 if you’re a glutton for punishment.

So much happens in a year — fantastic and terrible things — distilling it into one blog post is my annual albatross.

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Here’s me agonizing over what to write. It’s not always good to be king.

Alright. Enough wallowing in self pity.

Here’s how I’m organizing this post so you can jump around to whatever strikes your fancy:

Part 1: tl;dr 2015 was a strengthening year!

Part 2: Two 2015 strategic shifts

Part 3: Two invisible achievements

Part 4: The tough stuff

Part 5: Inside Moz HQ

Part 6: Performance (metrics vomit)

Part 7: The Series C and looking ahead

[Part 1]

tl;dr: 2015 was a strengthening year!

2015 was a strengthening year. We grew customers, revenue, and product offerings. We also began some major tech investments that will continue to pay off in the years ahead.

With all the product launches comes increased opportunity in 2016, and also increased complexity. In the year ahead, you’ll see Moz delivering much more personalized onboarding, re-working the brand to accommodate our product families, changing up our customer acquisition flow, and investing in technologies and practices to speed up product development.

[Part 2]

Two 2015 major strategic shifts

First, instead of a one-size-fits-all product, we’re offering many crafted customer experiences.

The most visible strategic change is the move away from cramming every feature into one product; instead, we’re offering products designed to help specific kinds of customers with their particular needs. Our community and customers are diverse. The solutions we offer should be too.

We started 2015 with Moz Pro, Moz Local and our API business. We’re ending the year with two new products under out belt, Moz Content and Followerwonk. Pro will continue to evolve in 2016 to focus on professional SEOs. Moz Local just launched a major upgrade to its offering, making it the most useful way to manage your local SEO. Content marketers will love Moz Content’s new features. And social fanatics will enjoy analyzing their followers and fans with Followerwonk.

Why did we back away from all-in-one? Well. We discovered that adding more features into a product isn’t always better. Sometimes it’s just more. We heard from customers that they valued certain parts of the product that solved their problem, but weren’t interested in the others.

More simply, we built one product that many different kinds of customers could get a little benefit from. Instead, we want to build many products that customers get a lot out of. Even more simply, we won’t give each of our customers identical plates of food with lots of small bites, only 30% of which each enjoys. We’re giving everyone a big plate of their favorite food. Yum.

Second, people sometimes really want to talk to other people. And that’s good.

We’ve also relaxed our religious fervor about keeping humans out of the sales and onboarding process. We prided ourselves for years on dogmatically proclaiming that only bad products need human intervention. “The product should sell itself and be obvious to use,” we insisted.

We [I] clung to this belief in the face of overwhelming feedback from our customers that they would love to have more interaction with Mozzers.

I’m finally ready to let go of my belief that wanting to speak with a human is a failure in the system. We should give our customers what they want. Guess what? They sometimes want sales people, and personal onboarding and training.

We will not resort to barfy tactics like high pressure sales, harassment, and limit self-service. But maybe, just maybe, the world isn’t so black and white as humans=bad, computers=good.

Expect more opportunities to engage with real, live, bona-fide Mozzers as part of your product experience, should you need us.


[Part 3]

Two invisible accomplishments

Not all of our big 2015 accomplishments are transparent to customers or the community. They’re important nonetheless.

The fance-pantsiest new engineering platform

We knew that to out-innovate our competitors and make marketing easier for our customers in this dynamic environment, we needed a step-function improvement in our ability to experiment and innovate.

We were inspired by compelling new development platforms built and tested at places like Google, Hubspot, and Twitter. They simplified the software development process without compromising security or performance.

RogerOS is our new engineering platform. It’s based on the Mesos kernel with a marathon wrapper. Moz Content was built 100% on it, so the two innovations incubated and launched together last year. More Moz services are starting to move to it.

I'm using technology.jpg

In the spirit of generosity, we open sourced a big chunk of our work and look forward to contributing more in the future. We’ve still got a lot of work to do to make the platform more robust and we’ll continue these efforts in 2016.

The platform is poised to deliver the step function increase in innovation. Because a bigger, more complex Moz shouldn’t mean slower.

Kissing bad architecture goodbye

Technical debt is the worst. Ugh. It’s demotivating for the team and siphons cycles away from innovation. It’s hard on customers because feature delivery stalls when you’re keeping a fragile system from imploding.

Our Moz Pro product was hobbled with some serious tech debt. The team spent months trying to keep it up. Customers were disappointed and the team was tired. We needed a plan to fix it that didn’t involve a highly risky 18-month rebuild.

technical debt is too damn high.jpg

Luckily, one of our engineers had an epiphany, and a bunch of other engineers worked very hard to turn that epiphany into a workable plan that delivered feature improvements (not just parity!) while retiring painful tech debt in seven months. That’s way, way better than the dreaded 18 month slog.

We have massively transformed the backend architecture for Moz Analytics. This frees up cycles for innovation and unlocks a bunch of latent potential in the data. It feels like we were running a race in a cast and crutches, and now finally our leg is free! We’re throwing those crutches to the sideline and sprinting. Here we come!

[Part 4]

The tough stuff

Have you noticed how many year-in-review posts skip the tough stuff? I don’t want to do that. After all, a lot of this year’s tough stuff become next year’s strategic initiative.

The marketing software space is getting crowded. It’s no secret that companies need to transform their marketing to match the new ways people discover, engage, and buy.

The spigot of investor cash has been flowing fast and free into marketing tech for last couple years. We’re definitely seeing more competition in the market.

To our competitors: We Salute You!

we salute you.gif

You keep good pressure on us to innovate and deliver a great experience for good value.

Moz is ahead in some areas and lagging in others. We’ve struggled to keep our link data reliable and we have to play catch up on the size and quality of our index. We’ve been very weak on keyword research, and will be remedying that in 2016. Our customer acquisition flow and brand is also way more complicated than it was a mere two months ago. We’ll be investing heavily in optimizing and improving this experience so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.

These challenges are non-trivial, and yet invigorating. We’ve got the best people on the planet at Moz and we’ve been making forward-thinking tech investments. It’s game on in 2016.

matrix invite the fight.gif

[Part 5]

Inside Moz HQ

Amidst all of the shifts and changes, some things remain constant.

TAGFEE remains our aspiration and our compass. As an organization, as people, we often have great integrity with our values. We also have moments of failure.

But what makes Moz special is not the absence of flaws, or the TAGFEE page on the website; it’s the genuine commitment to those values. The pursuit is relentless.

I don’t know anyone who is perfect. The people I admire most are those that strive for excellence when they fail; they pick themselves up and keep trying. They never give up the commitment to their values. Mozzers are like that.

We’ve got 192 Mozzers now, up from last year’s number of 149.

This year, we’ve done a lot of good work on teaching Mozzers learning about productive conflict, feedback, and inclusion in tech. We’re not done, but we’ve made an earnest start.

Our gender diversity numbers are still terrible, but at least we’re headed in the right direction. Overall, we’re 40% women, up from 37% last year. We’re up to 27% in engineering. 54% of non-engineering roles are women.

A lot of the work we’re doing to make the tech industry more inclusive doesn’t benefit Moz directly, but we’re still happy to do it. For example, we partner with lots of programs to bring middle and high school girls on tours of Moz HQ and encourage them to consider careers in STEM — maybe even start their own business someday. Several Moz engineers volunteer at coding schools, like ADA Academy, mentoring and welcoming underrepresented people to tech careers. We’re also partnering with Year Up to give underserved young adults meaningful careers.

Our charity match program continues to be one of my most proud parts of Moz. Last year we donated over $ 110k to charities that Mozzers are passionate about. We match every Mozzer donation 150%.

Our paid, PAID vacation program continues to be a high point for all Mozzers.

Last year, Moz spent over $ 400k on airfare, hotels, tours, food, boats, and life-changing, memory-making experiences for Mozzers.

That’s money well spent on lives well lived.

Lastly, we reached a milestone so wonderful, I’m having a hard time expressing how it makes me feel. Two Mozzers, who didn’t know each other when they started working here, fell in love and are getting married. We made a whole family!!!

[Part 6]

Performance (metrics vomit!)

2015 was a strong improvement over 2014 revenue growth rate. We finished the year at about ~$ 38 million in revenue. That’s a growth rate of 21.6%, compared to the 5.7% the year prior.

Moz Pro still drives the majority of revenue, and Moz Local has demonstrated impressive growth.

Product gross profit margin fared well this year at 76%. That’s basically holding steady from last year. If you throw non-product in there, overall gross profit margin is 73%.

Total Cost of Revenue (COR) went up a little bit from last year. Most of the cost driven by increases in the amounts we pay to our data aggregator partners for Moz Local. We expect this to grow even more in 2016 as Local becomes a bigger share of our product mix.

Total operating expenses came to $ 36.4 million dollars in 2015 (excluding CORs). The basic shape of that spend has remained pretty constant. The vast, vast majority of our company spend is people. No major shifts in spending trends from 2014 to 2015 other than increased 3rd Party Data.

As planned, our EBITDA loss increased from last year to -$ 3.1 million.

Cash burn was slightly above our 10% of revenue plan, but we were pretty darn close at 11%.

Adam shared a detailed reflection of changes and upgrades to Moz Pro in 2015. I encourage you to check it out. Those changes are attracting a slightly different customer. The number of new Moz Pro customers we’re acquiring is much lower than in previous years, but our average revenue per user is increasing. We’re also keeping customers longer. Obviously, we’d love to add tons of new Pro customers *and* increase Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). We’ll be putting energy into that in 2016.

Moz Local locations more than doubled in 2015. And we’re very excited to see how customers are enjoying the big Moz Local Insights release we released this week. It’s only been 24 hours, but initial response is very good.

Organic traffic grew in 2015 by 16.7%. We hit just shy of 16 million organic visits.

You can read a bunch about the community we host here on Moz.com from this post.

Our external communities continued to grow. We did, however, decide to stop investing in the LinkedIn group in 2015 in favor of Instagram.

[Part 7]

The Series C and looking ahead

I wrote last week about closing our Series C. (BTW, did you notice the public markets for SaaS companies nose-dived soon after? Phew! If you’re reading this, we love you Foundry!)

We made big investments and placed some big bets in 2015. It’s so exciting to see them start to bear fruit. In the next 12 months, you should see (1) more feature releases, (2) more personal interaction with the Moz team when buying and using our products, and (3) increased clarity on our brand and customer acquisition flows.

Thanks for sharing your feedback, sticking with us, and rooting for us. We’ll keep trying to make great stuff that helps you do your job better, and bring a smile to your day!

Okay. And that’s a wrap on your 2015 Annual Report. Peace out.

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Why Don’t Some Online Courses Sell?


Online courses are a great way to build a business. They’re also a great way to get better-qualified clients, or build an additional revenue stream by providing an alternative to your services.

But sometimes, things don’t go as planned. Your course isn’t selling as much as you’d like, or worse, it’s not selling at all.

There’s a methodical analysis you can perform to see if you can spot the problem. Of course, this is the same analysis you should perform before you create a course.

In this episode of Unemployable with Brian Clark, Brian discusses:

  • How to be absolutely sure what works
  • Why re-examining existing market demand is step one
  • How incorrect pricing can kill your sales and profits
  • What to do to increase your targeted reach
  • Copywriting techniques that work for courses
  • Testing demand with the MVP process
  • How split-testing reveals the truth

Click Here to Listen to

Unemployable with Brian Clark on iTunes

Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM

About the author


Rainmaker.FM is the premier digital commerce and content marketing podcast network. Get on-demand digital business and marketing advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

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