The Portent Blog

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7 Mar, 2011

Generic link-building post designed to piss people off

By Ian Lurie

SEO is dead for [insert industry here]. It’s all [choose one: Black Hat SEOs, Google, Bing, gremlins]’s fault. All SEOs are liars, so don’t listen to what they say. Don’t bother arguing, because I’m a(n) [choose one: expert, guru, god, jedi] of [choose one: business, marketing, internet marketing, SEO, spouting manure]. This post inspired by… Read More

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4 Mar, 2011

Cash flow management tips for marketing agencies

By Ian Lurie

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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23 Feb, 2011

25 tips for building your own agency

By Ian Lurie

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

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21 Feb, 2011

Trash the web sites: What Gawker (probably) said

By Ian Lurie

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

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18 Feb, 2011

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

By Ian Lurie

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

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16 Feb, 2011

Groupon’s days are numbered

By Ian Lurie

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

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11 Feb, 2011

Companies need tension: Avoiding the ‘You Go’ effect

By Ian Lurie

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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9 Feb, 2011

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

By Ian Lurie

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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7 Feb, 2011

10 tips for Larry Page

By Ian Lurie

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

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24 Jan, 2011

4 exit strategies for marketing agency owners

By Ian Lurie

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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17 Jan, 2011

8 rules for CEOs

By Ian Lurie

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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11 Jan, 2011

Session ID query parameters: A quick list

By Ian Lurie

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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11 Jan, 2011

Can Quora drive traffic?

By Ian Lurie

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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7 Jan, 2011

9 things I want to learn in 2011

By Ian Lurie

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

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6 Jan, 2011

8 copywriting catastrophes and how to avoid them

By Ian Lurie

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

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