From Ad Land to Inspiration

For an industry that is supposed to be at the forefront of promotion, the advertising and marketing industries do a relatively poor job of positioning and marketing themselves. Yet, if you work in these industries, it is essential to “keep up” with the latest efforts of the best minds in the business (locally if not globally) – which means relying on (of all things) – blogs that aggregate content on our behalf. There are a couple of Australian based sites that do this extremely well – Bannerblog and Duncan’s TV Ad Land.

 

Duncan Macleod recently moved this popular site over to a new domain – www.theinspirationroom.com (get the new feed here) and I asked him a few questions …   
 
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Duncan’s TV Ad Land was a popular site. Why the change?   
 

Duncan’s TV Ad Land was popular – but had become limited by it’s own branding. For one, it’s naming linked the site to me alone, and I needed to develop an approach that incorporated capacity for growth, including other writers and possibly allowing sale later on. To take it to the next level (increasing readership and income) I needed help from people with capital, contacts and connections to the creative industries. After a month of conversations I moved five blogs into one and then transferred them to The Inspiration Room, joining forces with a team with a significant business plan.

 

TIR_Crest_grey-on-whiteHave you found there are pitfalls with this type of rebranding?   
I was fully aware of the pitfalls of rebranding, having previously moved my blogs from Blogspot. Those include the loss of RSS subscribers, the sheer hard work required to update past posts, and a temporary setback in Google page rank, Alexa and Technorati ranking. However, with the use of redirection, I’ve been able to retain my place in the search engines. The main thing missing now is the number of links to images on the site. That could be a good thing for just now.

 

TIR_Crest_grey-on-whiteWhat would you do differently next time?    
What would I do differently next time? I’d set up my RSS feed with email subscription right from the start – much easier to migrate to a new address. I’d choose a domain name that wasn’t linked to my name.

 

TIR_Crest_grey-on-whiteThe Inspiration Room caters to an audience interested in advertising and marketing. Do you see it growing outside of this market?   
The Inspiration Room’s growing list of regular subscribers does tend to be from the advertising and marketing world. However an analysis of visitors to the site through search engines reveals that over half of the visitors come from outside that market – people interested in reading about advertising, looking for the name of the music used, treating advertising as an art form. With the increase of shows like The Gruen Transfer, we’re moving beyond the “Funniest TV commercials” approach in the general public.

 

TIR_Crest_grey-on-whiteThere is no discussion or comments allowed on the pieces you show. Is this a conscious decision?   
Discussion/comments is allowed on every post. However the front page is designed to show the first section of each post, to allow 10 posts to be loaded quickly. Some posts have had up to 210 comments. I’m looking into a way of making it clear that there’s more to the first post on the blog. However most visitors come via search engines directly to each post and never encounter this problem.

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One comment

  1. Hey Gavin,
    Thanks for interviewing Duncan it is great to hear the back story to the change of sites and just great to see bloggers interviewing bloggers. : )