round-up article - A magazine or newspaper article that discusses the pros and cons of several software programs in a category.
For example, every month, we see magazine article titles such as "Top Ten iPhone Games" or "The Best Business SaaS Sites".
Computer, business, and most trade magazines publish round-up articles that compare various software applications. It's good software marketing to have your software listed in these write-ups.
If a magazine or newspaper reader is about to buy the kind of software that's described in the article, then being reviewed in the article can result in an immediate sale. If users are thinking about making a purchase in the coming months, they'll tear out the article and file it for reference in the future.
You don't have to be awarded the most stars, or get the editors to recommend your program, for these articles to sell your software. You can have a three-star program with a comment like "solid basics, but lacks advanced features", and you might sell more copies than the five-star program. That's because many people don't want to pay for unnecessary features, or learn to use a complicated application.
If you want your software to be considered for round-up articles, you need to submit press releases to the editors. Regularly. Include full contact information (postal address and phone number, in addition to URL and email address) so the editors and software reviewers will know that you take yourself seriously. Present yourself as a long-term player in the software marketplace.
Success doesn't happen overnight, especially in mature software niches. It takes time for you to build your reputation with the editors and bloggers. That's why you should start now. Good brand name recognition can generate a lot of sales in the long term. Be sure to get your applications listed in round-up articles.
routing page - A web page that people encounter before they can get into your website.
Unlike a useless splash page, a routing page allows users to choose between valid options. For example, an education site might have a routing page that sends teachers to one content page, students to a second page, and parents to a third page. Or you may have, say, English and Italian language pages, and the routing page asks visitors to select their language preference.
By contrast, splash pages annoy website visitors by making them look at something unproductive, and by making them take action to get to your "real" website. The amount of action required - usually clicking a link that says "enter the website" - is exactly the amount of effort required to return to the search engine, to find your competitors' websites.
"Russell Rules - 11 Lessons on Leadership From the Twentieth Century's Greatest Winner" - A book by Bill Russell.
Bill Russell knows a lot about winning. He lead the Boston Celtics National Basketball Association (NBA) team to 11 championships in 13 years.
Winning in the long-term has almost nothing to do with luck or accident. Winning is about developing and using mental and emotional skill sets.
It's very unusual for a software developer to have all of the skills needed to make his or her business a success. A successful software vendor has to have imaginative ideas, well-honed analytical skills, the ability to design a rock-solid application, programming and testing skills, business management acumen, marketing instincts, and exceptional communication skills. From designing website art to negotiating contracts, software developers have to do it all.
It's important to know which tasks to do yourself, and which tasks to assign to outside experts. Interpersonal skills and communication skills are critical. It's complicated. And fun.
All of these topics are covered in Bill Russell's book. Buy it!
You can read my review of "Russell Rules" - the review that originally appeared in Al Harberg's Software Marketing Newsletter - by visiting this website's book review archive.
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