Everybody Writes – Book Interview


Everybody Writes is a go-to guide to attracting and retaining customers through stellar online communication, because in our content-driven world, every one of us is, in fact, a writer.


If you have a web site, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages. We are all writers.


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Web Hosting Basics for SMBs

Four Ways to Website In an influential May, 1960 New Yorker article, Do You Belong in Journalism? Abbott Joseph Liebling pointed out: “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” Today the Internet enables anyone to be a publisher, extending freedom of the press in ways that we’re still coming to grips with. Marketers are shifting their focus from high-end advertising and promotion (like Superbowl ads) to community building around trusted content sources. Your marketing plans must recognize that your audience is also busy publishing content. While this is clearly the case for most businesses, we live in a time where everyone has a homepage or some presence online. A URL to put on their business card. Online Real Estate. An online presence generally means a public website that carries your brand and provides information and/or services. … Continue reading


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Annual 2015: The best of Dr Mumbo

annual2015 (1)It’s been another year of glorious misfires and odd moments in the media and marketing industries. As ever Dr Mumbo was there to cast an eye over them all. Here’s ten of his best from 2015.

Zoo Weekly goes out in a blaze of glory – and a raised middle finger to its critics

RIP ZooBauer Media’s now defunct lads mag Zoo Weekly has gone out with a bang, a fortnight after the publisher announced the closure of the struggling title.

The cover features a raised middle finger. Inside, editor Shayne Bugden tells readers: “It’s for all the shouty killjoys who’ve spent years telling us – and you – that we’re horrible people because we like beautiful women and taking the piss out of just about anything.”

In the note, headlined “From the bloke who ruined Zoo”, he added: “I feel like the Tony Abbott of magazine publishing: a bloke who got a top job and f**ked it up before so much as three years had gone by.”

Network Ten star gets legless

Ten has been busy promoting its 2016 program slate today in the wake of its 2016 Upfronts.

However, a number of social media users have been noting that there’s something very wrong with this Network Ten publicity photo:

Matt Preston

Masterchef judge Matt Preston appears to have lost his legs in the photo, which Dr Mumbo can only assume was down to photoshop.

Ice kills Grant Denyer

It appears that 90s rapper turned reality show star Vanilla Ice is actually a fan of Australian Family Feud.

However, Dr Mumbo can’t help but feel his interest might be slightly narcissistic, as the link he pushed out was actually a video of pocket-sized host Grant Denyer freestyling a verse of his hit Ice Ice Baby.

grant denyer vanilla ice tweet

And it’s fair to say Denyer was pretty cool about it when he found out…Not.

Mia, do you sometimes feel like you’re running out of things to be outraged about?

Dr Mumbo has never quite understood why certain elements of the digital world feel so strongly about Mamamia founder Mia Freedman.

Nonetheless her grilling by Tom Gleeson’s on ABC’s The Weekly last night was something to behold.

The question: “Do you ever click on your own clickbait and think: ‘Why am I reading this shit?’” is a toughie.

The shorter the better

Shadow transport minister Anthony Albanese clearly doesn’t like the chairman of Sydney airport.

When the news that Max Moore-Wilton (aka “Max the axe”) was stepping down the former deputy PM issued the following media release:


Fairfax’s Melbourne Cup Sweepstake is fit for the knackers yard

Spot the balls up: Fairfax's Melbourne Cup guide

Spot the balls up: Fairfax’s Melbourne Cup guide

There are some things in Australia you just don’t mess up – and the sweepstake on the day of the Melbourne Cup is one of them.

Which is why there will probably be a stewards inquiry at Fairfax this morning as to how Max Presnell’s Melbourne Cup Sweep guide ended up being quite so lame.

Especially given it’s the one day of the year almost everyone takes an interest in the gee gees and publishers can expect a spike in sales.

While the form guide lists all the runners correctly, the tear-out part used in sweepstakes has two of the runners missing, two repeated and three with the wrong numbers.

Fairfax’s guide of who to poach from the Australian Financial Review

Ever wondered who the most read journalists on the Australian Financial Review’s website are?

Well wonder no more – thanks to an administrative bungle this table charting “Top authors by subscriber pageviews”, which was only meant to be shared with senior editors, was shared with all staff, and subsequently with Dr Mumbo via the back of a truck.

Top 25 journos

The worst PR moves in history

Locum Christmas cardWhile Dr Mumbo is not a fan of the lazy stealing of content from the Reddit hive mind, he can’t go past a recent thread on the worst PR moves in history.

You can see all 14,506 contributions in their full glory here.

And from that list, Dr Mumbo has selected some of his favourites:

1. The time the manufacturer of gasoline additive tetraethyl lead, Thomas Midgley Jnr, inhaled it at a press conference to prove it was safe – and was later diagnosed with lead poisoning which killed him

Woolies’ best apologies

Today’s furore around Woolworths’ Anzac Day campaign is not the first time the supermarket giant has been forced to issue an apology for a marketing mishap.

Here are four of Dr Mumbo’s favourites:

1. The time they patronised their followers with a very taxing Facebook quiz…

everyday rewards facebook

Finally – a secret club for businessmen who fear women flirting with them

Dr Mumbo was delighted to receive a piece of targeted Facebook advertising today from a new Sydney business networking group of which he had been previously unaware “Man Business – Man style events for business men”.man business women

Run at Village Coworking in North Sydney (who are also the registered owner of the URL), the group is quite something. As Man Business explains itself on Facebook:

“We are humble men, we find women flirting with us at networking events to get our business uncomfortable and a conflict with our values. We enjoy hanging out with other guys without the distraction of flirting women who blur lines between business and social. Guys just get it and make it easy to do”.

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Top Citi media analyst Justin Diddams to depart

Diddams departing Citigroup.

Diddams departing Citigroup.

One of Australia’s most respected media analysts Justin Diddams is to depart his role with Citi Bank.

The Australian Financial Review’s Street Talk column reports Diddams, who has been with the bank since 2010 will take some time off before pursuing a new venture in 2016.

Diddams is well regarded across the industry and advises clients including the REA Group and Network Ten.

Among this notes this year from Diddams was one of the most extensive analyses of the video streaming market which predicted Australia’s major TV networks will lose around 10 per cent of consumer viewing time in the next three years to streaming services, with Netflix projected to have 2.5m local users by 2018.

He did not respond to requests for comment.

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How Your Keyword Strategy is Failing You (And How to Fix It)

One day very soon, we’re all going to stop worrying about “keywords”.

And then we can all rejoice.






But until that happens, whenever “SEO” comes up, the next phrase muttered usually involves “keywords” and “rankings”.

This unhealthy obsession with “keyword + rankings” (that was a search operator joke) has long been misleading.

Historically, keywords gave us a fairly reliable way to measure progress in the otherwise abstract and confusing world of SEO. (Not to mention, the very real danger of cheap SEO providers.)

The problem is that today, keyword rankings are basically useless. Which means the way we’ve traditionally optimized and measured for them is basically useless as well.

Here’s why.

Why Your 2005 Keyword Strategy Doesn’t Work in 2015

Rightfully (or wrongfully), keyword rankings have been SEO KPI #1 for over a decade.

And back in the day, this made sense.

Search engines were more-or-less one dimensional, which made SEO a very straightforward process. Everyone, no matter who you were or where in the world you were searching from, would largely see the same exact search engine result pages (SERPs) when looking for a specific keyword.

In this environment, keyword rankings (as a metric) were very simple, reliable, and (I can’t believe I’m going to say this when referencing Google) transparent.

On top of that, analytics programs freely passed keyword referral data back to webmasters. Meaning you could see exactly which terms people used to arrive at your site.

By matching keyword positions or rankings with the referral data you were seeing in analytics, you could easily see the $money keywords – or which ones were driving success (in terms of traffic and conversions).

Unfortunately, none of this is true anymore.

So good thing you scanned over the last ~165 words anyway. 🙂

Something About Personalization

Today, everyone’s search engine result pages (SERPs) are being personalized based on your:

  1. Past browsing history
  2. Physical location
  3. Social media connections

Just to name a few. :/

That means the keyword rankings you’re seeing, instead of being static and universal like the good-ol-days, are completely personalized to you as an individual.

For example, look up a traditionally head (or super popular) keyphrase like, “Pizza” and you now get this:




Modern SERP’s pull from a variety of different sources (here you’ll see the huge prevalence and opportunity of local search emphasized), with traditional “organic” results pushed off a bit.

(This also means the role of “SEO” has evolved to include influential satellites like AdWords and Yelp. But that’s a topic for another day.)

The concept of keywords having one specific rank, and then benchmarking efforts against it, is today at best worthless, and at worst misleading.

But wait, there’s more!

Dude, Where’s My Keywords?

The second part of the keyword ranking equation was using referral data from your analytics to see how and where people are coming from.

With this info, then you could at least get an idea of (a) how people are looking for you and (b) how to use that information to do a better job of optimizing your site.

So even if keyword rankings are losing value, this referral data was extremely helpful in giving you clues to influential topics and keyphrases.

Now, SEO encompasses much more than just Google Search. Hoooooweeevverrr… Google Search is a virtual monopoly, meaning they can pretty much do whatever they’d like. Starting with, taking away almost all keyword referral data that gets passed to webmasters and site owners.

A few years ago, they moved to make all searches secure (except for ad clicks). Now in your analytics program, where you used to see the specific keywords sending you traffic under “organic”, you now see a [not provided] placeholder that accounts for the majority (~70-90%).

That means you can no longer see what keywords are sending you traffic from organic search….

… due to “privacy reasons”…

… but you can, however, pay them for it via AdWords.

How ironic. And convenient.

Keyphrases are still very important. Trouble is, we now have to infer or assume what keyphrases are popular and how to best optimize with huge gaps in verifiable data (and you know what they say about when you assume).

One of the easiest ways, is to simply alter our strategy a bit and focus on what we can control (our website) instead of what we can’t (keyword rankings).

The Simple Change to Update Your Strategy

If (a) keyword rankings are unreliable, and (b) keyword referral data is nonexistent, then… something needs to give.

Going forward, it’s easier to shift focus away from keywords (directly), to the performance of your landing and content pages instead (so you can indirectly assess topic performance).

Then reverse-engineer success based on topic – i.e. a broad set of long-tail keyphrases – instead of only one specific keyphrase. It’s messy, but practically easier (unless you’re interested in getting your PhD in SEO and analytics).

For example, one simple way is to take a look at your most popular content in Google Analytics from organic search:




Then cross-reference this information with some (remaining) query data in Google’s Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools):




And you can kinda get an idea of the long-tail keyphrases sending this page traffic (along with some position-related info – but let’s not over-emphasize this now, shall we?).

You can also use some paid tools, like Moz, to help track a certain number of keyphrases against specific landing pages:




In a way, this backwards process should actually benefit you by ensuring extra attention-to-detail when strategizing the information architecture of a site’s pages (and their respective keyphrases) in the first place.

The Holistic Future of Search Optimization

In today’s dynamic marketing landscape, SEO isn’t “SEO”.

Instead, SEO now takes a multi-faceted approach where you’re involving different disciplines (i.e. content, email, advertising, social), building a brand (i.e. investing in intangibles, not just conversions), and competing on multiple fronts (i.e. paid search positions, review & aggregation sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, beefing up your local listings, and more) – all at the same time.

Needless to say, this requires a lot of time, man (or woman – can’t accuse me of discrimination!) power, and sufficient investment.

The days of competing solely on (and overprioritizing) SEO are numbered.

But that’s not to say it’s any less important. In fact, search is only becoming more important and more influential in the buying process of customers.

Finding what you’re specifically looking for will always be priority #1 online. And that means search will be omnipresent and omnipotent because it’s so valuable (and profitable).

The trick will be to remain holistic and nimble as trends and platforms evolve.

About the Author: Brad Smith is the author of a BS-free SEO guide that shows you how to fix common mistakes while avoiding algorithm chasing. He’s a founding partner at Codeless Interactive, a digital marketing firm digital agency specializing in creating personalized customer experiences.

ABC News 24 boss Gaven Morris named ABC director of news replacing Kate Torney


The ABC has named Gaven Morris to replace Kate Torney as its director of news.

The move sees Morris take the reins of the public broadcaster’s 1,400 staff strong news division at a time when the broadcaster is in the process of looking for a replacement for managing director Mark Scott who is set to depart next year.

Morris, who has headed the ABC’s News 24 channel for the last three years, will take the role of director while head of news gathering Craig McMurtrie has also been named to the new role deputy director of ABC News.



ABC managing director Mark Scott welcomed the appointments, which came after a long and closely watched recruitment process.

“The ABC is the nation’s most trusted news gathering organisation and I am confident that in appointing Gaven and Craig it remains in reliable hands,” said Scott.

“Gaven comes to this role with a strong record in managing the complexity of large news rooms and, in particular, building news brands such as ABC News 24. He is well positioned to lead ABC News into its next chapter.”

Morris said that he was “pleased to be asked to lead ABC News’ team of dedicated staff and to serve the community by providing all Australians with an outstanding independent news service.

“In a changing media landscape, original and distinctive journalism is more important than ever. Craig and I look forward to leading the team.”

Before joining the ABC Morris previously work at Al Jazeera, CNN and Ten.

McMurtrie is an ABC veteran and was previously North American bureau chief and before that Canberra political editor.

Torney announced she would depart back in July to take up the role of CEO of the State Library of Victoria.

Nic Christensen 

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