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May 26, 2005

Micro-ISV Tip #1: Google AdWords.

I had occasion today to interview Emily White, Google AdWords Manager, and she had some advice for micro-ISVs worth passing on. First off, Google (http://adwords.google.com ) has started a new program called JumpStart currently limited to U.S. advertisers who have not yet set up a Google Adwords campaign. Google staff will look at your site and build an AdWords campaign for you, and help you get your campaign working. It costs $299 USD, plus what you end up spending on Adwords, but once you start your campaign you get the $299 credited back to your AdWords campaign.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, if you’re like me and you’ve already set up with AdWords campaign and gotten nowhere with it, White says you can contact Google through the following link, and a Google staff person will work with you to reshape your AdWords campaign, suggestions the best ways to optimize it and your site. For Free. (When she said this, I had her repeat it because I wanted to be absolutely correct about this):

“We provide a service for advertisers who have a campaign and its not working as well as you like,” White said. “We call it in house Optimization. So if the advertiser emails us through the contact us form on our web site, and they say, ‘Hey, can you help me with my campaign, its not performing as well as I would like, here are my goals’, we will actually have an optimization specialist go into the account, evaluate it, and publish suggestions for that account, such as additional keywords they might want to add, or keywords they might want to delete, or add text that might work better for that industry.”

White continued, “So we currently provide services to help advertisers get back on track and that free actually, that’s not a paid-for product.”

You can find that link at the bottom of the Google AdWords Help Center page:https://adwords.google.com/support/?hl=en_US (look for the Contact Us link). And you can find out more about the JumpStart program at: http://services.google.com/marketing/links/jumpstart/jumpstart_more

One thing to mention: While how high your AdWord ads places in any particular search depends on your ad budget in part, what really matters is how relevant your adWord is to that search. Put another way, if you AdWords are on target, chances are very good that your listing in that search will be high because both AdWords and the main Google search engine use the same proprietary PageRank algorethems to judge how relevant you are to a given search.

A P.S. for the suspicious: I am in no way (other than being both a paying AdWords advertiser and in Google’s AdSense program) affiliated with Google.

If you found this post to be useful, please let me know.

May 24, 2005

environmentally out of the box

The temperature in Sonoma, CA is rising, and that means its time to refocus this blog! Seriously, I think that this blog will benefit from being a little less focused on MLP and a little more focused on what's going on in the world.

Hence this post to point you to a Good Read: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7773650/site/newsweek/

It's about an architect whose starting a long overdue revolution in the environmentalism vs. growth debate. Well worth the click.

May 19, 2005

Wrestling with demons

If you've been reading this blog the last few months, you're probably wondering where's the next update of MasterList Professional. Me too.

While I've been up to my ears in custom programming for corporate customers that's not the answer. Nor is my new book project. Nor even the cataclysmic Windows meltdown of my main Dev PC leading to the notebookization of my working environment.

It's hurt. And fear. And pain. You see, thanks to Fogbugz 4 every single bug report, inquiry and feature request in a super organizable easy to read format. All 285 of them since March 9 7:59 AM. It's depressing. In fact, after getting hammered on a daily - hourly - basis, all the bugs, blemishes and shortcomings in MLP have mounted up to be a 50 foot wall I'd find all sorts of excuses to avoid dealing with.

Then along comes a call yesterday from an IT manager at hospital who wants to buy copies of MLP for all here staff because it was exactly what they needed to be more productive. Wow. I was blown away. Here was someone who could not stop raving about my big blemished MLP. After the call, I realized 3 things:

1. My wounded ego had blown MLP's bugs and shortcomings way out of proportion.

2. This is what probably kills 20% of the first releases from micro-ISVs.

3. I can choose how I feel about these bugs and turn off the "perfection or nothing" way of thinking. Or put another way by Hunter Thompson (Back before he became a reality show of himself, and all shows end) "When the going gets tough, the tough turn pro.".

So, today I started doing what I should have done on March 10th, but I'm doing it! Expect 1.06 automatically showing up June 1. No fooling!


  • Who?
    Bob Walsh, (Author, managing partner of Safari Software, Inc. a micro-ISV)
    Exploring the intersection between Getting Things Done and building a micro-ISV.
    Live from Sonoma, California USA.
    Once or so a workday.
    Because there's a way to get everything done, I just know there is!
    Micro Internet Software Vendor, a self-funded startup company: See mymicroisv.com for information and resources.


  • Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality
    At Amazon.
    Buy as an ebook.
  • (begun Jan. 3, 2006)
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