Before I tell you the answer to this question, a story:

For about a week, my wireless access at home has been behaving very strangely. I normally browse the web via wireless when at home – it’s just way quicker: videos load faster, workflow is better, I don’t have to think about monthly 3G data caps…you know all the usual reasons.

Anyway, for as long as I can remember, my wireless connection has been fine. Then about a week ago, I got a new mobile phone, and could I connect to the web via my wireless route? Nope.

So I tried my old phone. Same problem.

Since then, I’ve tried everything. (Well, nearly everything 🙂 ).

I fiddled with the settings on my router. I repositioned the router’s aerial. I’ll spare you the rest of the details, as it’s all way too nerdy for this post (& we’ve both got better things to do with our lives after all).

And then, tonight, I got it working.

It was a simple solution: a newly-installed wireless TV repeater I’d set up around the house was having a fight with my wireless router. And the router was losing.

So how did I figure it all out, and why didn’t I give up?

Second answer first: I didn’t give up, because I’d seen it working before (this is the second-most important lesson of this blog post).

And finally, then, how did I figure it?

Simple: I tested everything. And that’s the same most overlooked thing that it’s so easy not to bother with in marketing.

Online marketing isn’t successful so much because of great design, buzz, traffic or brand. Though, all these things are required.

The bottom line is, are you testing what you are doing?

I know, it’s not glamorous. Tell me about it.

Staring at numbers, looking at traffic going from one part of your sales funnel to another…these, and more, aren’t exactly the sexist things to be focusing on in your marketing.

But if you do focus on getting this bit right, then you can move way ahead of the competition.

Remember, as Avinash Kaushik says (read "Web Analytics, an Hour a Day"), so aptly says to the PR/advertising execs:

"Your opinion doesn’t matter. What the data says does." (my paraphrase).

So there you go.

Always Be Closing?


But also:

Always Be Testing.

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I love being an early adopter where I can; the trouble is, it usually means more work.

Take today, for example: A student at my school wanted to interview me for the Leaver’s Year Book.

So, I had a great idea: why not record the interview, and then use some mp3 -> speech software to write the text rather than having to transcribe it.

In my Googling, I found this amazing service called SpinVox.

The idea is that you record your blog as speech via a phone number, and then SpinVox automatically changes it into text.

There’s obviously got to be a cost to this – and that’s perfectly reasonable, as it’s an amazing idea. Think of the possibilities for three-way phone calls, and so on.

How does it cope in practice?

Here’s my first result:

“Well this is the first lot entry. I’ve done via my mobile phone. I’m actually speaking it rather than writing it. Using an application called SpinVox. So let’s see how it does.”

It should’ve read:

“Well this is the first blog entry I’ve done via my mobile phone. I’m actually speaking it rather than writing it. Using an application called SpinVox. So let’s see how it does.”

HOW’S THAT?!!!!!

Bear in mind I was in a building with thick walls & the signal wasn’t brilliant (3 orange bars at best rather than green bars in terms of signal strength).

So, will I be using it to do blogs? You BET I will!

Give it a try & let me know how you get on.

PS: If anyone can get it to integrate with their (self-hosted) WordPress blog successfully, let me know, as I have some unresolved technical issues with the remote publishing backend that comes with WordPress (& I also tried some plugins which allow for remote blogging via email, but none worked 🙁 ).

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