Ian Lurie 4 Mar, 2011

Cash flow management tips for marketing agencies

Unless you’re some huge, international conglomerate, you have cash flow problems. If you’re a huge, international conglomerate, then you’ve traded up to ‘liquidity crises’ and lay off 500 hapless employees when you’re in trouble. I don’t have experience with that. I do have experience with small agency cash flow. I guess these fit for any… Read More

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Ian Lurie 23 Feb, 2011

25 tips for building your own agency

These are the 25 tips I gave at my SearchFest presentation today. These are from the heart, based on my own personal screw-ups over a 16-year career (so far) running my own agency. Running your own agency is like wrestling with a s–t-covered bear. You may get mauled and eaten. You may win. But at… Read More


Ian Lurie 21 Feb, 2011

Trash the web sites: What Gawker (probably) said

Update: Read to the end for a graph that Rishil sent me, courtesy of Sitemeter. The data is hard to ignore: Gawker is literally designing themselves out of existence. Gawker. Media. Need I say more? They launched a new design for all their sites—LifeHacker, Gizmodo, etc.—a few weeks back. In doing so, they reduced their… Read More


Ian Lurie 18 Feb, 2011

11 signs you’re not ready to run your own company

So, you want to run your own company? Check this list first. If you fit more than 4 of these, you might want to wait a while. You still have some growing up to do: Your ego is bigger than you are. You just have to be the smartest person in the room. Uh-oh. That’s… Read More


Ian Lurie 16 Feb, 2011

Groupon’s days are numbered

Yesterday I wrote about how discounts are addictive, and can kill your business. The addictive nature of discounts is why I think Groupon should’ve sold to Google. Most of the businesses that use Groupon have no idea how to handle discounts as a marketing tool. So they fling deals out left and right. That leads… Read More


Ian Lurie 11 Feb, 2011

Companies need tension: Avoiding the ‘You Go’ effect

I had a discussion yesterday with Ed Lopit, one of the most insightful businessmen I know. That discussion led to this blog post. If you want to learn to master this stuff, talk to him I’ve been called a lotta things over the years. Most of them can’t be written on a PG blog. But… Read More

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Ian Lurie 9 Feb, 2011

Don’t be a literary prude: How to write with personality

I’m reading Writing with Style by John R. Trimble. If you want to learn to write with personality, this book’s a fantastic place to start. My favorite chapter so far is titled “Superstitions” and begins “This chapter concerns literary prudes.” In it, Trimble describes a few ‘rules’ for writing. I put rules in quotes because… Read More

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Ian Lurie 7 Feb, 2011

10 tips for Larry Page

Yo, Larry. I know we go way back. So I’ve got a bit of business advice for ya: Keep your eye on the ball. Google’s been all over the damned map: Wave, for heaven’s sake? Focus on what you do well: Making tons of stuff findable. Keep spam in check. Right now, your rankings are… Read More


Ian Lurie 24 Jan, 2011

4 exit strategies for marketing agency owners

I’m not a big ‘exit strategy’ kind of guy. I prefer to build a cool business that’s going to last, and keep at it. Hence my 16-year stint (thus far) at Portent. But there’s always someone asking me what my strategy is for getting out. So, here you go—created by the Portent-ites—4 exit strategies for… Read More

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Ian Lurie 17 Jan, 2011

8 rules for CEOs

At least once every day I consider replacing myself with a ‘real’ CEO. Then I could just be the nerd in the cave, writing and programming and SERPing and such. But Portent’s my baby, so it’s hard to let go. Here are the big 5 rules I’ve increasingly tried to work and live by. I… Read More

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Ian Lurie 11 Jan, 2011

Session ID query parameters: A quick list

Session ID make your URLs look like this: mysite.com?sessionid=ASDOFAnasdf;lawe0r9823049812-30481349745087 They’re bad: They’re ugly, and discourage clicks. They prevent your server from caching pages properly, because they cause thousands of duplicate pages. They kill you in organic search, because search engines find ‘em and then can’t figure out which page is real. And because people link… Read More

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Ian Lurie 11 Jan, 2011

Can Quora drive traffic?

I’m addicted to Quora. There, I’ve said it. I know some folks have doubts. I love StackOverflow too. But something about Quora has me on there, all the time, answering questions. I do have an ulterior motive: If I can get on there and help lots of people out, I can build an audience. If… Read More

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Ian Lurie 7 Jan, 2011

9 things I want to learn in 2011

I’m not a big New Year’s Resolutions kind of guy. My whole life is making lists and crossing things off of them. Why do that one more time each year? I do love to learn stuff though. Here’s my learning ‘to do’ list for the year. I want to learn: How to give a kick-ass… Read More


Ian Lurie 6 Jan, 2011

8 copywriting catastrophes and how to avoid them

I’m a creature of habit. And there are 8 stupid copywriting mistakes I make with amazing consistency. Here’s how I try to deal with them: 1. The camouflaged typo Ever use ‘form’ when you meant ‘from’? When you do, your computer snickers to itself and mutters something like Remember that time you cursed at me… Read More


Ian Lurie 3 Jan, 2011

2010 Trends to Ignore: How I did (not great)

Well, 2010 was interesting. On the down side: Kidney stones and the ER; a wasp attack; head explosions. On the up side: A fantastic year for my family; a great year for my company; a terrific team that’s kicking butt. But how’d I do with my predictions for 2010? Let’s see: Bing versus Google. I… Read More

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