Lessons I Have Learned From Being an Entrepreneur in 2009

I am totally ripping off Joanna Lord’s post. Oh well, she will get over it!

Be Transparent

We talk about transparency a lot in social media. But for me it seems to be one of those buzz words that really doesn’t sink in til you, um, actually start doing it! This year I took a leap of faith in many ways and started being more transparent in social media. For starters I quit trying to hide my disability (future post coming soon). I also started to tell real stories and not pander to the BS dialog that many trying to gain attention do. Now, if you interact with me on Twitter you are likely to get a genuine Joe Hall response, full of snark! Read more »

Starting Something New…

Not long ago my main laptop died. A river of swear words shot from my desk. I called support and they reassured me that they could have my baby back in working order in two weeks. TWO WEEKS!?? I have several other laptops that all run Linux, but, aren’t connected to the web for various reasons. Yep that’s right I was going to have to rough it off the grid for a whole two weeks.

At first I was really worried about my clients and how they were going to take the news. But I knew I had to tell them soon. So, I grabbed my netbook and hit up a wireless cafe. Their response was awesome. A few were rightfully upset that their projects were going to be delayed 2 weeks, but they were all understanding and I didn’t lose a single client! Sometimes polite brutal honesty really works well.

So now that I had contacted my clients I had to face the ugly reality that for the first time in close to 5 years I would be with out Internet access for longer than a week! What the hell was I going to do?? I ended up reading a few books and writing a bit. But, for the most part I did a lot of thinking. Read more »

Social Media Journalist Need To Show Some Responsibility

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Content is king, not an SEO after-thought.

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Terrorist, Google, Spammers, and Aggregators…

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Me sporting a pervert mustache calls out @1938media and @garyvee in my first ever web video!

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How To Hack Bookmarks Like A Pro

So the other day I came across a post from non other than the amazing Rhea Drysdale. Rhea is a real web tools guru she knows all sorts of tools and services that can put your productivity through the roof. One of the tricks that Rhea mentioned is Rae Hoffman’s approach to hacking bookmarks. Read more »

IM Spring Break is Going to Make You Pee Your Pants!

So, if you haven’t heard already, the fine folks over at IMBroadcast.com are hosting what some are calling the blow out internet marketing conference of the year.  IM Spring Break will be a hyper-networking/hyper-educational event. They are capping attendees to 200, which means that there will be very focused & intimate discussions revolving all aspects of internet marketing. Read more »

Help a Charity and Get MASSIVE Amounts Of Links

It’s the holiday season which means that its that time of year that I feel a bit generous (yes, just once a year, live with it). Here’s a great way that you can show your generosity by helping a charity in need and getting massive amounts of links for your good deed.

Here’s the secret: Give the charity of your choice a page on your web site. The vast majority of work that we do at jozsoft is web development for non-profits. From my experience there are LOTS of small non-profits and local charities that could greatly benefit from a web presence, however lack the funds required to make that presence a reality. If I could I would give away all my services for free to non-profits, but then I would be out of work and never finish with the TONS of them that need web help. Trust me they are out there, just start looking.
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Backlink Analysis Made Simple and Fun!

Product & Brand Research

WhosTalkin.com Video Demo 2

Google Profiles Has SEO Friendly Links!

I just made my profile using the new Google Profiles. It appears to me that the links found inside the profiles are SEO friendly! Check out the screen shot I took below using FireBug to look at the code.

Sceen Shot

Am I dreaming here??

Searching for Matt Cutts…

WhosTalkin.com is a social media search tool that allows users to search for conversations surrounding the topics that they care about most. Whether it be your favorite sport, favorite food, celebrity, or your company’s brand name; Whostalkin.com can help you join in on the conversations that you care about most.

Links are making people go crazy!

OK, I want to first start off by saying that this will be a short one because I am really busy today.

Lets start things off by pointing out a post at Michael Gray’s blog where he talks about Guy Kawasaki writing reviews for products that he has been given. This prompted the debate over the link aqquistion only for us all later to find out that Guy doesn’t really know that much about links to begin with!

Maybe Guy should take a look at Dave Snyder’s most recent post.

A local police department in Wisconsin opens up a criminal investigation after a woman links to their web site. The police department ordered a cease and desist of the link. The woman responded with a law suit against the city at large! Moral of the story here is what ever you do, don’t send any link juice to the Sheboygan Police Department (Oops!) What makes this get even more interesting is this article that describes this whole insanity. Scroll down to the bottom of the article and tell me if you see anything funny at the bottom right. :-)

Bloggers deserve real tips not stolen goods!

Allen Stern just wrote a post in response to a post that Seth Godin wrote. Both of these men are exploring ways to compensate content creators, such as bloggers. They both are recommending that users click on the ads that bloggers display. Godin calls this a form of tipping. As you can assume there are quite a few that aren’t very happy about this.

Apparently Seth Godin has never worked for real tips, and might have never really appreciated any tips that he might have given. Why you ask? Real tips display gratitude based on transference of wealth. Click ads does not transfer any wealth from the person making the “tip” to the content creator.

To better understand this point lets pretend that I am at my favorite Italian restaurant “Gianotti’s”. If I have enjoyed my meal (which I always do) and if I have enjoyed the service then I enjoy leaving a tip for the server. This transference of wealth from my wallet to the server is genuine display of gratitude, because I am giving MY money for a service that I appreciate.

However, following the teachings of Godin and Stern, I should reach over to the guy sitting at the table beside me, take his wallet out and steal a few bucks from him and use it to tip my server.

If you have ever worked for tips you know that this is not only wrong for the obvious reason but it also looks disingenuous because you obviously haven’t valued their work enough to tip them with your own money, instead in the case of internet ads, you have made a simple click that require no extra effort or expense.

But there is a much deeper dangerous side to this practice that we as internet marketers should be concerned with. Click fraud devalues ad cost. If you really want to help the blogger then you will only click on the ads that you find useful and relevant. Why? Because the very basis for PPC is relevancy and if advertisers see a rise in CTR with out a rise in conversions then they will drop PPC ads like a bad habit FAST! Nobody likes wasting money on marketing!

So the question that Stern asked is still left unanswered. “How do you compensate content creators?” Here’s an idea: If content creators feel their content is valuable enough to receive compensation then why not add a PayPal Donate button to their side bar. This way visitors can actually give a real tip. Or if you would rather you could always give the content creator a bit more publicity by mentioning their post in your blog or telling folks about it There are numerous ways to compensate content creators with out cheating advertisers at the same time.

Hitwise data misses the mark when it comes to Real Estate.

Not long ago, Marketing Pilgrim posted about some Hitwise data on real estate search terms and real estate web sites. As expected Realtor.com did very well ranking #1 as both the most visited real estate web site and the most used real estate search term. This wasn’t much of a surprise to those in the real estate industry. What surprised some (and still confuses me) is the list of most visited real estate web sites.

Hitwise Most Visited Real Estate Web Site Rankings
1. realtor.com – 9.08 percent
2. HomeGain – 2.44 percent
3. Yahoo Real Estate – 2.25 percent
4. RE/MAX real estate – 2.21 percent
5. Rent.com – 2.19 percent
6. Zillow – 2.06 percent
7. Apartments.com – 2 percent
8. Move.com – 1.91 percent
9. ZipRealty – 1.86 percent
10. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – 1.42 percent.

When I first saw that list I had this gut feeling that something was off. If any of you are familiar with my work in the past you know that I love crunching the numbers. So, lets take a look at what the numbers say:

zillow.com trulia.com remax.com century21.com

As I expected my analysis shows Zillow.com doing better than REMAX.com. And, even more interesting is Trulia.com doing better than remax.com as well! Trulia.com isn’t even listed on Hitwise’s report!

Confused? So am I. But, don’t worry, I will explain all of this and more in a future guest post at Wolf-Howl.com….stay tuned!