This is Something Personal

11-03-00 Lignano (Italy)

Do you know what’s missing here? Me, the real me.

Sounds crazy I know, but it’s true.
I spent the last few years sharing tons of valuable stuff that can help you to succeed online. I did it because I believed in it, because I wanted to help people and because the time was right. Now all the late comers joined the party and it seems to me that there’s nothing else to read online. “How to do this, what to to do to get the best out of that, or 1,000 tips to kick ass on this other thing…”

What’s missing is the personal perspective on things.

So, I think it’s time for me to change gears and share my experience from a different perspective.
Because when you need to find out ‘what’ or ‘how’ in order to do this or that, what do you do? You search on Google and you find all the answers.

From now on, you won’t find the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ here, I’ll leave that to Google. On my blog, you’ll find the ‘why’.

And you’ll find an absolutely unique ‘why’ because it’s going to always be from my experience, which is something that no one else will be able to tell you. That’s the new value that I’ll offer and share with you.

At times you might actually end up disagreeing with me, but hey…isn’t learning from each other the best part of a sincere discussion? It will be great to do this on a new and different level.

Every now and then, I might share an interesting post on what and how you should keep your eyes on things, but I’ll focus more on this new direction.

Love it? Hate it? Questions?

This is my digital living room and you are welcome here. Grab a drink and let’s talk.


P.S. If you like the new vibe, here’s my RSS feed and this is my newsletter. Let’s stay tuned.

Pathetic Outreach Strategy

Backlinks are good because they prove the usefulness of your site i.e. I write a good post and people link back to it sharing or giving credit to me on their blogs, etc.

‘Pathetic’ is the only word that, in my opinion, can describe the latest series of attempts of certain individuals to get backlinks.

They write you an email in which there’s no link to their personal sites/blogs or sites of organizations they work for, etc. (first red flag) At times they even write you claiming that they previously wrote you even if they never did (second red flag)…(yes, there are other red flags, but I think you get the picture).

The message they send you is basically a condensed mix of useless compliments with the only aim of praising you to get in return a post with a link to their/the content that they are trying to build authority for.

Over time I received several of these requests, but today I’m sharing this one from Mxxx Txxxxxxxx. He didn’t just do a great job in bothering me, polluting my email inbox and wasting my time, but apparently something also went wrong with the research he did on me (that I’m sure he did before contacting me, right Mxxx?) …because I don’t have a daughter (at least not yet)!

You’ll find the message below.

This is hilarious and sad at the same time. I’m sharing this to remind you to take distance from people like this who want to offer you similar services or shady guest posts. And yes, please make sure to do some good research before you try to get in touch with me. If you don’t know where to start, here’s an entire post that includes valuable tips on how to reach out to someone.


On Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 4:38 PM, Mxxx Txxxxxxxx wrote:

Dear Andrea,

This is Mxxx Txxxxxxxx, writer and website usability consultant – hope this e-mail finds you (and your daughter) well! I would like to begin by saying that I appreciate how unusual most of your posts are; your blog actually does seem to be different, and not another one of those websites that constantly speak about “7 Tools For Facebook.” If you know what I mean. 🙂
I’m getting in touch because I wanted to submit to you an article that I have recently written and which, in my opinion, will fit your readers very well. The piece was written entirely based on my own professional experience, and I would love to see it posted on your blog (at no costs to you.) I only ask that you allow me to include one in-content link from within the article, pointing to a very relevant website that I’m currently working on.

Title: How SEO Has Changed The Online World For The Worse
People are constantly speaking about the positive sides of SEO and how important it is for “MY” business, but not many people choose to address the negative influence it has had on the internet as a whole.

Length: close to 650 words .

Form: HTML file with necessary HTML tags.

Copyrights: 100% original and not published anywhere else.
I hope you like the idea Andrea? If so, please let me know and I will forward the article for your review. If you would like me to write on a different subject then that’s just as fine.
What do you think?
Talk to you soon,


Influencer Outreach Tips

Due to the increasing number of bad pitches that I keep receiving everyday, I decided to share a list of tips that you might want to keep in mind when you are getting in touch with me or any other blogger/influencer. Andrea

  1. When you are trying to pitch someone, please have a look if they have a page in which they provide information related to advertisement on their site. (Rates, policy, requirements, etc.).
  2. Check if the blog/site has the audience that you are really looking for (pitching a blogger without even paying attention to his/her audience is not a good move).
  3. Provide proper contact information about you, your company, the client you are representing (not just your website…).
  4. What are the benefits? (Simple… Make it clear).
  5. Keep it short and on topic. (Skip irrelevant details. People are spending their time reading your message).
  6. Don’t beg for backlinks.
  7. Don’t use pathetic tricks like “Just wanted to follow up on my last e-mail…” if you actually never wrote ‘that last e-mail’…
  8. If you are trying to reach people in the social media space it would be a good idea to at least have a social media presence. (Having a channel where people can join the conversation with you is a plus and an advantage for both. And I mean something more than a simple contact form on your site).
  9. Research before pitching. (Search on the blog/site for any post that might contain information about advertising/guest posting etc.).
  10. Personalize your message and be genuine (Nobody likes to receive an automated, cliche, cold message that you are probably sending out to hundreds of bloggers/influencers).
  11. Be polite (I don’t think I have to add anything to this… right?).
  12. Show that you know the person you are trying to reach. (Show that you’ve dug a bit deeper than finding the email address on their contact page).

Do you have additional tips that other people might find useful? Feel free to share them in the comments or tweet them @vascellari. Andrea

4 Steps to Reach your Target Audience

What are some of the first steps a business owner should take when creating his or her digital strategy? I shared 4 tips to better reach your target audience during an interview with Andrea Genovese of Wind Business Factor. The video is in Italian, but the original transcript has been translated into English below by my team at Enjoy!

The Experience of a Business Owner

When a business owner is going to use the web for the first time he or she should keep a few important things in mind. First and foremost, a business owner should no longer think of the web or “digital world” as something disconnected from the real one.

Today, the web is constantly evolving. And a consumer and a business owner can do business exactly as they would if they were downtown “IRL” (in real life).

First, the most important thing to understand is where you are as a business and where you would like to go. Therefore, at this initial starting point there is a need to create a digital strategy that will allow you to reach your goals.

Second, you should analyze the tactics that will be utilized to achieve your objectives and reach the finish line. After that, you could reach out for support from somebody who has experience in this arena. It could be a web agency like us at, it could be an external consultant, an online communicator who in a certain sense could help you move through these “first steps” of the digital world.

Before you start to do any of this, though, be silent and use these, one of the most important organs we have, your ears. You have to listen carefully in order to learn about what is happening in your niche market. You have to be attentive listeners and figure out the dynamics that are in your market, as well as to identify the needs of your consumers. Once you understand the current situation within your market, you should contribute to the conversation and become an active member who interacts with the digital communication dynamics that are already taking place in your field.

In summary, the 4 tips for creating digital strategy are:

  • Listen to what is happening within your niche market
  • Analyze the market dynamics
  • Evaluate the needs of your consumers
  • Contribute to the conversation and to the digital dynamics

If you’re interested in creating your digital strategy with us, feel free to contact us or go ahead and click here to fill out a “get started” form and we’ll help you get there!

Do You Need an Infographic?

Do you need an infographic? You might want to talk to these guys.
These are some nice graphical summaries that Daniel, Carla and Bauke created during my talk last week at the Switch Conference in Porto (Portugal). Their contact info is below, enjoy!

11-04 Porto (Portugal)

11-04 Porto (Portugal)

11-04 Porto (Portugal)

Daniel, Carla, Bauke and me in Porto

11-04 Porto (Portugal)

Digital Evolution at Switch 2011

Switch Conference 2011

This weekend I’ll be speaking at the 2011 edition of the Switch Conference in Porto (Portugal).

“Switch is a two-day event that gathers people with different background experiences to discuss technology, science, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation in a network-friendly environment.”

My presentation will focus on ‘Digital Evolution’. I will talk about why the need to constantly evolve in the digital space has become something that isn’t just important but necessary for anyone who wants to succeed. I’ll explain why we have to re-think of websites as ‘digital brains’ instead of a simple ‘online presence’ and I’ll give 5 practical tips on how to prevent and eventually overcome 5 of the most frequent causes of digital extinction that brands, organizations and at times also individuals are facing today.

I hope to see you there!


UPDATE: These are the slides of my presentation. Enjoy!

How Brands Can Survive & Thrive Online – Digital Evolution

Episode: VMC #341 – How Brands Can Survive & Thrive Online – Digital Evolution [right click to download the source file – ‘Save the link as…’, video-player available below]

Yesterday I was in Milan (Italy) to present at a special edition of Ignite Italia during the Forum della Comunicazione Digitale 2011 held at Palazzo Mezzanotte in Piazza Affari.

My talked was about “digital evolution” and how “digital species” – in this case websites & web properties of brands and organizations – need to adapt to environmental changes (new technologies, etc…) or else they will be wiped off the face of the world wide web.

Here’s the video and slides from my presentation. Enjoy!


Communications Report for December 20th 2010 –

Do you want to get these report-updates in real time? Subscribe to the live-report RSS feed! This feed includes only report related items. It’s not a substitute but a complement to my main RSS feed which still remains the official one that brings you all my blog posts.

Communications Report for December 20th 2010 –

Do you want to get these report-updates in real time? Subscribe to the live-report RSS feed! This feed includes only report related items. It’s not a substitute but a complement to my main RSS feed which still remains the official one that brings you all my blog posts.

A New Place for Communications Juice

Episode: VMC #229 – A New Place for Communications Juice
[right click to download the source file – ‘Save the link as…’, video-player available below]

Join & Like my Facebook Fan Page, from now on that’s the place where I’ll share all the most interesting news & insights that I find on strategic PR, marketing, social media and communications. See you there!

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Show Notes & Credits: Powered by, get all the communications juice on my Facebook Fan Page,,