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Something for My Friends

I’m sorry, sorry, sorry. I’ve been incredibly busy lately. Building customer base, supplying renovated websites for new customers, building new websites, doing small business consulting, coaching on RFP process for one of my clients. Man it has been taxing.

Unfortunately it has kept me from a couple of projects that I wanted to take on and share with all of y’all here. Please forgive me.
I have webinars and conference calls the rest of the afternoon and I just finished up building two PPC campaigns for a client. I just don’t have the free time that I wold like [Note to self, work on increasing free time].

Having said all that, I got an email that was just so dang funny I had to share it right away. I hope that you enjoy it.

Dog For Sale
big-dawg

Free to good home. Excellent guard dog. Owner cannot afford to feed him anymore, as there
are no more drug pushers, thieves, murderers, or molesters left in the neighborhood for him to eat.
Most of them knew Jethro only by his street name,
‘Holy Shit.’

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acer-whsNot sure how many people were paying attention to my tweets during the last 3/4 of the month of September, but if you were, you know that I had a catastrophic FAIL of my main work computer.  It happened on 9/8 (after Microsoft’s ‘Super Tuesday’ update) and totally blew out my Windows Vista OS.

Luckily, I have a backup computer that I was able to put to use so that I could still do work.  As a web developer, SEO expert, and Internet Marketer being down your main computer is not a good thing at all but at least I could limp along as get critical jobs done.

My main computer is almost all the way put back together (after TWO COMPLETE CLEAN INSTALLS of Windows Vista) but I still am putting software that is critical to my work [as well as my mental health] back on my computer.

I am bound and determined not to EVER suffer this kind of business interruption again.  One of the biggest cogs in the machine that I am building to prevent this kind of work interruption and headache is to implement Windows Home Server.  If you don’t know what it is, stick around, I’ll let you know what it is in spades.  Also one of my hopes is to put together a series of posts that will take you from box to up and running – protecting your entire network – in simple easy to follow terms.

I’m so happy — I can’t wait to dig in and get this thing set up. :-)

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A Lesson of Two Wolves

2wolves

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

“One is Evil –  It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other is Good –  It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

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… as soon as you have a chance share with your audience what kept you away.

busy_person150Man have I been busy for the last 8 days.  It all started when my computer blew up… oh darn it isn’t 8 days it’s NINE!  Nine whole days of pedal to the metal, playing catch up after a catastrophic disintegration of my hard drive. Which is the reason that I haven’t been able to blog.

It could have been much worse… I could have lost all the data (which was backed up on Carbonite) but that isn’t what happened.  It was on MSFT’s ‘super Tuesday’.  They upgraded my operating system automatically, something that I’ve let them do hundreds and hundreds of times.  It seems that this time, it created a small problem.  It stopped my DreamWeaver CS4 installation from being able to transfer files.  That’s not good for someone who makes there living creating and maintaining websites.

My solution was a simple one, simply undo the upgrade using the restore point that is automatically created when the upgrade happens.  That didn’t work at all.  In fact what I got was a hard disk with an inoperable operating system on it.  Two hours on the phone with Microsoft tech support (Indian call center of course) yielded only a couple of trips of the minute had around the clock face, nothing else.

So I spend the next couple of days purchasing a new 1TB drive, installing Vista and upgrading it to Service Pack 2, then the slow process of reinstalling all my applications.  That wouldn’t be so bad, if I didn’t have crushing deadlines on 5 sites that were set to be live and advertised in a big email marketing campaign. I had to put my head down and start blasting out some work.

infusionsoft-white-48px_biggerIt also happens that at the same time I was implementing a very cool, all inclusive small business CRM/email marketing/customer follow-up system called Infusionsoft.  You can get a free trial – but realistically, it is so complex and powerful you need to have a consultant set you up or you need to dedicate some serious time to learning what it can do and implementing it.  I working on getting certified as a ‘professional consultant’ for the product so that I can offer help to my client base.

Now that you know what kept me away from posting, let me show you some of the stuff that I was doing for clients – here are the websites that I was building and connecting to Infusionsoft along with some description of what the websites are about:

Career-Confidential-smallerCareer Confidential [www.Career-Confidential.com] – this is the main ‘hub’ site for an ecommerce information site dedicated to providing help for jobseekers.  The main page displays the featured products and there is page that collects email addresses in exchange for an insider report on carrying out a winning job search.  There is a blog attached to the site as well as an affiliate program.  The affiliate program is easy to sign up for and the payouts are pretty good – check it out.

how-to-60How to Get Into Medical Sales System [www.HowToGetIntoMedicalSales.com] – this is a sales site that explains the benefits of a complete system dedicated to helping sales professionals from most any industry make the transition into medical sales.  The system was put together by Peggy McKee, the Medical Sales Recruiter, leveraging her more than 20,000 hours of recruiting in the medical sales industry to give jobseekers the edge in their job search.

audioX60Medical Sales Audio Conferences [www.MedicalSalesAudioConferences.com] – this is a sales site that advertises medical sales audio conferences that have been hosted by Peggy McKee.  The first of the products sold at the site is a set of two prerecorded conferences that total over 3 hours of insider advice covering a wide variety of topics revolving around medical sales.

30-60-90-2w-CDX60The 30/60/90 Day Sales Plan w/ Audio Coaching [www.306090DaySalesPlan.com] – this is new sales page that explains the benefits of the 30/60/90 day sales plan in the interview process and offers templates along with 30 minutes of audio coaching.

30-60-90-X60The 30/60/90 Day Sales Plan Template Worksheets [www.306090DaySalesPlan.com] – this is new sales page that explains the benefits of the 30/60/90 day sales plan in the interview process along with template worksheets, priced more economically than the audio coaching version for people on a very tight budget.

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seoI’ve decided that I’m going to start a series on search engine optimization.  In it I’ll be giving step-by-step instruction on how you can use the same techniques and tricks to get your own websites to the top of major search engine result pages.

We’ll go over a ton of topics in great detail.  I’ll use video, other blogs, and written material all to give you the same basic set of skills that professional SEO specialists use to get their client sites ranked at the top.

Not sure how long I will keep this content free.  I’m thinking that I might turn it into premium content once it is finished.  It should be a fun project for me and should be very useful content for anyone that has a website or needs an online presence.

If you’d like to leave a question or comment about a specific topic in SEO that you’d like me to cover, just jot it down in the comment section.

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flask

Social Media Experiment on Cooperative Writing

I’m going to layout the background of the experiment and it is rather long, if you would rather just skip to the guidelines and start having fun.

Background

Yesterday was a fun day for me on the Internet (not so much in real life, but that’s another story for another time.) I got a chance to participate in a round table discussion radio show on “how to be found on the Internet”. The show is a weekly show hosted by Bill Boorman and it’s called READY FOR LIFT OFF! covering various subjects related to careers, recruiting and such. I’ve participated in online radio shows before, in fact I participate rather regularly on the Recruiting Animal Show with my friend the Recruiting Animal (@animal on Twitter.) Bill has an altogether different style of hosting than Animal, but the show was still quite enjoyable.

One statement that Bill made during the show, as we were discussing blogs, really bugged me. Even though I didn’t say anything at the time, I guess it bubbled down into my subconscious mind. I say that because it bubbled up about the time I was ready for bed. The statement that Bill made was that he felt that the best blogs are the ones that have the most comments on them (or something similar to that maybe not in those exact words), the blogs that are controversial. I thought to myself ‘poppycock’ – the number of comments on a blog has nothing to do with whether or not it is enjoyed by the reader, useful, well written, or heavily trafficked. So that thought jut stayed with me.

Later in the day I ready a tweet by Stephanie Lloyd (@StehanieALloyd who happens to also live in Atlanta) about a blog contest that she has a post entered in. Her post is “Just stop it. You don’t get to use Twitter anymore.” I don’t know all the rules of the contest, but from Stephanie’s tweet I gather the winner is going to be the one that has the most comments.

There it was again, someone who was attributing ‘value’ or ‘worthiness’ to the number of comments that a post has. So I started thinking what if I could show these people with whom I completely disagree, that there yardstick for measuring a post’s value was wrong. It flashed through my mind that I could make any number of controversial posts that would whip the audience into a frenzy. I could post about the healthcare reform bill, Obama’s choice of radicals, socialists, and communists as ‘Czars’ or special advisers. I could post about the soaring national debt, the economic down-turn, the inefficacy of the stimulus package or the TARP fund. Any of those subjects would definitely draw attention and more than likely cause heated debate – since the country and my audience are probably split down the middle on either side of any and all of those issues. But my intention wasn’t to start a big brew-ha-ha, I wanted to do something positive. I also thought it would be cool if I could leverage social media while doing it.

Purpose

That’s when it came to me, why not run a social media experiment that would be positive & cooperative and at the same time try to do something that would generate hundreds (and maybe multiple hundreds) of comments.

So here’s the idea let’s write a story, using the guidelines below. When we are finished we should have a very interesting story, written cooperatively by hundreds of people. I hope that it will be fun and very entertaining. I also hope that it creates lots of new friendships and deepens relationships. The fact that it will generate lots and lots of comments (at least I hope that it will, otherwise I’ll have egg on my face) is not what will bring the value to the post, but the positiveness of it. And the resulting, entertaining, wild roller-coaster ride of a story that will undoubtedly come out of it. so the experiment should show that value is not in the number of comments, the the community that is built by them and the conversation that occurs during them. Much better than starting a shouting match, don’t you think? check out the guidelines below and get commenting.

Guidelines

1) First commentor starts us off – write the beginning of a story (any subject, setting, characters, etc all your choice) with one sentence, no longer than 50 words.

2) Next commentor, copies comment above, adds another sentence, no longer than 50 words.

3) Next commentor, repeats the process.

3.5) You may comment multiple times, but not consecutively.

4) You may include hyperlinks (which will be active and indexable since I use ‘Do Follow’ – read more about ‘Do Follow’)

5) If the story gets to long to fit in the comments section, I’ll makes some accommodations to keep things going.

At some point in the future, after we have all had lots of fun, I’ll publish the full story along with some stats as the ‘results’ of the experiment.

Hope this sounds like fun and that you will participate. Let’s see how many people we can get to participate, how many comments we can generate, and what a great story we can write together. So go ahead and comment below.

PS – feel free to use the ‘Share this button’ to Digg the story or share it with friends by email.

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billboorman-020I have a new friend who lives in the UK, Bill Boorman (@BillBoorman). Bill is a recruiter trainer (we have that in common) and a heck of a nice guy.  He mentions me in an article that he just wrote lamenting his poor SEO skills and SERP (search engine results page) ranking.

Bill has a really good number of followers and quite a few first level connections on LinkedIn.  His main issue is that he writes great content (in his opinion as well as others’) on his blog but doesn’t think he is ‘getting found’ by enough readers.  It is a question of traffic… he wants more.

There are lots of ways to increase your traffic.  One of the best ways in my opinion, is to rank well for search terms related to your particular niche.  To do that you can employ a do-it-yourself methodology for you can hire a professional.  My thought is that you should hire a professional.  I have made a pretty good argument for hiring a professional on my business blog: SEO for Hire.  Another good friend of mine Erin Kennedy, a certified professional resume writer, makes a good point in one of her recent blog articles about hiring a professional resume writer… different field, but same principle.

It boils down to this Bill, you can spend a lot of your own productive time trying to get SEO right for your site, or you can hire a pro.  Best choice is the latter.

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I saw a great post on branding your email over on RecruitingBloggers.com.  My friend the Recruiting Animal (@animal on Twitter) rusn the site which has a multitude of recruiting based bloggers who contribute there.

This particular article was written by CindyKraft (@CFOCoach), check out her blog here.  Cindy did an excellent job of explaining what needs to be in an email signature.  Seeing the post gave me an idea for writing this post.  See, since I’m a lazy guy I have no compunction whatsoever at ripping off great post ideas and running with them.

After reading Cindy’s psot I thought the only way that I might improve upon it would be to add a visual – and perhaps give an explanation of what components I put into my signature.  so here goes:

email-siggy

I send email from Outlook, always in HTML.  That gives me the ability to have live hyperlinks in my email.  The components of my signature are pretty complicated.  First I should pause for a minute to give credit where credit is due.  I stole the idea for the signature from my friend Jim Durbin (@SMHeadHunter) who is heavy duty into social media marketing, thanks Jim.

So here are my components:

  • Logo - contributes to branding.  I do SEO which should get you ‘Seen Online by Everyone’ – this is a visual that will get you to recognize me and my brand.
  • Full Name – hyperlinked to an up-to-date online resume.
  • Title – lets you know who you are dealing with (ego gratification for me ;o)
  • Affiliate Program – hyperlinked to my affiliate program description.  I share the wealth.  YES, I’m in business to make money, but you can earn too!
  • LinkedIn Profile – a quick click and you can connect to more than 15MM people
  • Office Phone – hyperlinked to Jaxtr which can let them call me for free with just a click
  • Website - hyperlinked to my email capture squeeze page

If you don’t know how to do this or you don’t have time, I can put them together for you.  Rates are negotiable (depending upon the size of your staff/number of sigs you need)  Get in touch with me through my business blog at http://WebsitesThatDriveSales.com/blog/

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google_girl

Do you want to get to the top of Google?

Almost everyone does, but few people know how. Remember there are only 10 slots of the first page of Google for any term, but someone’s website is gonna be there, it might as well be you.

I can help you get there, if you hire me [ see my business website Internet Marketing SEO at WebsitesThatDriveSales.com and the SEO for Hire page explains pretty well what I can do for you. Let's just say that ALL of my clients enjoy a number of the #1 rankings on Google for keywords related to their businesses.

But some of you guys might not be cash flush at this time. You might want to do your own work on getting ranked. That's what this post is about, the work that YOU can do. So here is a simple step by step guide to the most important thing you can do to start getting yourself ranked highly:

Step One - Get a blog and start making posts. (if you don't have one, or don't know why you need one, read this post on the value of blogs.)

Step Two - When you blog, you have to have links; not just any links, but links that will help you.

You need to link to blog posts that are related by subject matter to that your keywords. Notice I said blog posts, not just 'websites' or articles. Putting a link to a website like MSN, Yahoo, CNN, or MSNBC might be helpful to your reader, but it won't be helpful to you.

When you link to a blog post on another blog (not just a page on the blog, but an actual blog post itself) you will generate a trackback to your post. That means you, by the simple act of making your post create a BACKLINK to your own site. That is almost impossible to do any other way.

Backlinks are one of the most important things you can do to drive your website's ranking. Blogging is the fastest easiest way to create backlinks to your site. For instance if I was and executive resume writer and I were writing an article on executive resume branding, I might include a link to this article on RecruitingBloggers.com about updating your resume.

Step Three - Find blogs that don't use 'no follow' and make thoughtful comments on them, using your important keyword phrases as 'your name' and the URL of the webpage that you want to promote that keyword for as the 'website'.

If you don't know how to find out whether a blog is using 'no follow' then you need to read my blog post on sniffing out no follow blogs. It goes without saying, you should NOT use 'no follow' on your own blog. Read the article to find out how to fix the nasty 'no follow' default installation of WordPress.

Step Four - Find other blogs related to yours and get on their blog roll (even if they use 'no follow') as this is a tremendous way to get backlinks.

HOWEVER, you need to make sure that these blogs are using your keyword as the anchor text for you blogroll listing. You don't want just a listing on your name (unless that is your keyword) or abbreviations.

Getting on blogrolls is a cooperative effort, so expect to reciprocate. In fact the best strategy is to put your target blog on your own blogroll first, before asking for reciprocal action from them. Notice that it doesn't matter if these blogs use 'no follow' or not, but they SHOULD be related to your niche in the marketplace. [check out this article on getting the most out of your blogroll]

Conclusion - Take a bit of time and look at the links that I have included in this article. Analyze how I include blog posts as links that are still helpful to the reader, but accomplish my primary goal of generating backlinks.

Follow these four steps and you will be miles and miles ahead of almost everyone on the internet.

Hope you find this useful. Feel free to add to the conversation by leaving a comment with your own ideas. Also sharing with a friend is a nice thing to do. :-)

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Golf – Greatest Game on Earth

It’s also the funniest.  I laugh my butt off every time I watch this.  I hope that you enjoy it.  If you like it, share it with a friend.

 

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