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Idiot Guest Post Blogger knows nothing about Fishing or Hunting annoys SEO Expert

By C. M. - September 19th 2017.

Okay, so on a daily basis I get requests from self-styled "freelance writers" who want to do a guest post on one of my 100+ blogs. (Yes, I have a lot of blogs - some of them are very popular too.)

Most of the time I delete such emails because they are a waste of time (they just want free advertising and are too cheap to pay for it). Sometimes when there is a chance they will actually buy advertising (actually pay for it), then I shall respond.

Sometimes, on rare occasions, I might even respond because they are proposing a topic I find to be interesting. My curiousity gets the better of me because I am truly interested to see what they have to say about a particular topic.

Six days ago a "freelance writer" contacted me asking to do a guest post on one of my blogs that is about a variety of "outdoorsy topics", including fishing, hunting, gardening, foraging, camping, DIY projects, off grid living, alternative energy, etc. The name of the website is Project Gridless.

So this writer contacts me and says he can write about the following topics:

1. Hunting and Fishing
2. Spotting Scopes
3. Shooting and Outdoor niche
I didn't really want to read the dribble he would be possibly be spewing about hunting, shooting or scopes - so I gave him some limited options of writing about fishing or a different outdoors topic.

So he chose the fishing option.

Today he got back to me with a horribly written article (containing a link to a website that sells rifle scopes, so it was obviously just advertising).

Now as someone who has shot rifles, including rifles with scopes, I was really disgusted by the vomit level quality of his writing. So annoyed I wrote the following response:


Hey Eric!
The post you sent is useless. The article basically only pretends to be a fishing article, but is just an article about rifle scopes.

Whoever wrote that article should be fired. It is not even well written and whomever wrote it evidently knows diddly squat about both fishing and rifle scopes. Whomever wrote it clearly had never adjusted the sight on a rifle scope before, and it showed in the writing that they knew nothing about the topic and were just spewing garbage. If you wrote that yourself, you should be ashamed to call yourself a freelance writer. It is pure vomit.

If you recall on Sept. 19th I recommended writing a fishing post on the following topics:

"fly fishing, fishing for trout, bass, or any kind of freshwater fish found in the Great Lakes"
I counted and while you did use the words fish or fishing 13 times, the article is much more about hunting with a rifle scope and contains the words hunt or hunting 14 times.
You mentioned fly fishing 0 times.
Trout 0 times.
Bass 0 times.
Great Lakes 0 times.
When you first wrote me back on September 19th you expressed an interest in writing about the following three topics:


1. Hunting and Fishing
2. Spotting Scopes
3. Shooting and Outdoor niche


Those topics suggested that you perhaps had some knowledge in those areas. Surveying the topics I determined we were only interested in topics about fishing or "general outdoors". That basically means hunting, scopes, and "shooting" is off limits for a topic.

However judging by the vomit you sent me, whoever wrote it knows sweet-****-all about both rifle scopes and fishing, and has no business writing about topics they are ignorant of.

If you want me to post an article about fishing, write an article about actual fishing - and it had better be a knowledgeable and well written article. No more vomit.


And after sending that email I was still so annoyed I felt this deserved an angry blog post.

My official opinion of "freelance writers" is that the vast majority of them are ignorant morons.

And "guest posts", as you may have already have guessed, are a complete waste of time unless the writer is willing to pay $$$ for the advertising privilege.

Sometimes in the past I have also written up an email response to these daily requests to do guest posts. Something like the following:

Dear Advertiser

Thank you for contacting me. I get at least a hundred of these "guest post" request emails per month. They are actually really annoying. So here is the thing: I have bills to pay and little free time to deal with annoying cheapskates. Unless you are willing to pay $$$ for the privilege of advertising on one or more of my websites then I ask that you don't waste my time. Any requests to get a "free guest post" will be deleted / marked as spam. I have no time for annoying people who cannot read instructions and don't understand that when running a business TIME = MONEY. Stop wasting my time unless you have money to pay for your advertising.

Call it a pet peeve if you want, but consider the following.

The average life expectancy of a Canadian is currently 82.14 years.

82.14 years x 364.25 days per year x 24 hours = 718,067.88 hours of life expectancy.

Since I am currently 38.5 years old, I have already used up 336,567 hours of my life expectancy. So I have already used up almost half of my allotment of hours, assuming that I don't die sooner somehow?

Why should I waste any hours of my remaining time answering emails from moronic cheapskates?

Have a nice day!

PS. I am contacting the company the moron Eric works for and am going to tell them to fire him. They should not be wasting their money on halfwits.

Reviewing a Google Adwords Campaign that has come to an end

Sept. 4th 2017.

Today I put an end to the longest running PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising campaign I have ever done.

It start in November 2013.

And ended September 4th 2017.

The campaign was a deliberately slow one - the focus was on quality clicks, not quantity.

The budget, $289.98 spread over almost 4 years. (Approx. 3.833 years.)

1307 clicks, averaging 22.1866 cents per click.

So it was a slow campaign, heavy on quality - with a strong focus on keeping the price of individual clicks low.

And it supported a thriving business, while simultaneously competing with a number of competitors who were trying to get a quantity of lesser quality clicks.

Annually, between the PPC and an active SEO campaign, the combined advertising brought in hundreds of clients per year.

Because it was a seasonal business the campaign was sometimes paused during winter, but as Spring approached the campaign would be resume and clients would start flooding in pre-ordering for Spring and Summer.

While the number of clicks did vary per year, on average the campaign had 341 clicks per year.

With overall number of clients per year somewhere in the 300 to 400 range.

So how much of that was clients who arrived via PPC and how many arrived via SEO?

Truth is, we don't know.

But since designSEO.ca did both the PPC and SEO advertising for the client, they were very happy with the results either way.

Basically what we did was stack the deck.

#1. We had a quality based PPC campaign that brought in potential clients who were far more likely to actually buy the service provided.

#2. We had an aggressive SEO campaign that put the client's websites at the top of the Google search results in multiple keyword categories.

#3. "We stacked the deck and cheated" - we bought a domain name that was very useful to the client and made it the #1 most useful website in Toronto for the type of people who would be purchasing the client's services. Ergo, build an useful website and the people will come.

Bonus - designSEO.ca now makes advertising profits off of the website we made, because we own the website, not the client, and their competitors now have to bid to advertise on our website.

The campaign has ended because the client has decided to retire / take a break from that business to focus on their family and a new baby. We wish them well!

Designer Hourly Rates Versus Package Rates

Years ago I used to be a freelance website designer and at the time I charged an hourly rate of $20. However since many clients would want a "package rate" I would need to quote a specific price for a job based on a time estimate of how much time I thought it would take to do the job, assuming they didn't ask for any changes which added up to extra time.

So for example if I thought a project might take 30, 40 or 50 hours I would quote them $600, $800 or $1000 respectively - bearing in mind that if a project goes overtime, I don't get paid anything extra. So if I quote 30 hours to complete a task and it takes 40 or 50, I don't get paid anything extra because it was my fault for not quoting a more accurate price.

So when a client then asks for a "discount rate" or $300 or $400 for a $600 job, think about how much I get paid per hour if the job goes overtime?

At $400 for 40 hours I am suddenly getting $10/hour, which is less than minimum wage in Ontario.

At $400 for 50 hours I am now getting $8/hour, which is ridiculous. I got paid that much when doing heavy labour in a welding shop 20 years ago. This shows you how much minimum wage has improved in the last 20 years.

At $300 for 40 hours I am now getting an awful $7.50/hour.

At $300 for 50 hours I would be getting a pathetic $6/hour.

So when a client asks for a discount rate, the proper response is:

"That is the discount rate."

Also I later jacked up my hourly rate to $25, then $30, and eventually to $35/hour - which is my current rate for doing website design.

Also I now explain to clients when they ask for a website design that we agree to the design of the website in advance and any "changes" they want to the website after it is completed is billed separately. I am not doing endless edits for people who cannot make up their mind about what shade of blue they want for their website.

"Oh, I don't like that new blue. Can you make it more like a sky blue, but like greyer?"

Yes. Yes, I can. But I am not changing it again unless you are paying me for my time.

Cheapskate Advertisers offering Discount Subscriptions

Meetup.com is a valuable place to advertise.
By C.M - June 2nd 2017.

Earlier today I received an email from a person wanting to become a sponsor for a Meetup group I manage.

However she wasn't offering money (the standard fee is $30 to sponsor a meetup group - some groups charge more), instead she was offering:

  • A discount on subscriptions for a publication she was selling - to meetup members - which means zero of that money goes towards the meetup group.
  • A monthly contribution to the meetup group based on the percentage of meetup members who sign up - which for a club with 2,427 members, which means at least 24 people would have to sign up to her publication just for the club to receive a 1% contribution.

Plus there would be no way for me to determine how many people signed up and I would have to take her word that she was telling the truth that only 23 people signed up and therefore that did not warrant her paying a single cent.

So the only way money goes into the club's coffers is IF people sign up for her publication and only IF she is honest about the number of people signing up and only IF she actually pays up as agreed upon.

As opposed to paying the $30 standard fee for 1 year of sponsorship.

So here was my response:

Hello Natalie!

The $30 is a standard advertising/administration fee - money paying for the meetup groups annual fee + paying for my time used to implement the sponsorship advertising by adding:

  • Link and image to the sponsors section.
  • Sending members a notice of a new sponsor.
  • Changing the layout template for events so that every new event mentions the sponsor at the bottom.

Your sponsorship will last one year for the fee discussed. After which you will be expected to renew the fee at a cost of $30.

Whether or not you get subscriptions, how you track subscriptions, how you report subscriptions, etc is all beyond my knowledge or control. I will have no idea of how many subscriptions you may or may not receive. There is no way for me to track the fidelity of such transactions and their reporting thereof. Therefore it makes logical sense that we take a hands off approach to that method and instead use a method that works: The standard fee.

Personal Note

As a parent, my time is precious to me. I do not give it away. Anyone who has children will understand this.

As such the standard fee is non-negotiable, because as a parent I don't waste my time with people unwilling to pay for service. If the service is worth money then it deserves to be paid, and any form of for-profit-advertising thus falls into category.

Have a nice day!

 It irks and annoys me that I have to even explain this.

Advertising = Money.

People should not be giving away advertising to another person unless that person falls into one of the following categories:

  1. You really love their product/service and you are being a Maven*. (A Maven is a person who freely promotes a product/service they already know and like. eg. I love Chocolate Milk and I enjoy promoting chocolate milk as a milk product.)
  2. The product or service or organization you are promoting is for a non-profit charity or proverbial good cause. eg. The TakeYourShot program for Princess Margaret Cancer Research.
  3. You are promoting the business / organization of a friend or family member. eg. Check out my friend's new compostable clothing / fashion line by visiting her Facebook page Havah Designs.
  4. Political Cause or Politician. I honestly cannot think of any politician I would endorse, so I will skip giving an example for this one.
Anything else, they should be paying you. Especially if you are going to be doing any of the following:

  • Using your time -which is valuable!
  • Using your money for their benefit. Because money = time = valuable.
  • Using any resources which cost money. Because resources = money = time = valuable.

I was listening to CBC Radio two days ago while the wife and I were out driving / shopping (we got a new air conditioner) and on the radio they were talking about how Ontario recently raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour - which will gradually phased in. It was a call in show, so people in Ontario were phoning in and talking about how the minimum wage increase would effect them.

At present the minimum wage is $11.40. The new minimum wage will become $14 per hour on January 1, 2018, and $15 per hour on January 1, 2019, followed by annual increases matching the rate of inflation.

One woman who works minimum wage part time 20 hours per week will be going from $228 per week to $280 per week, and eventually $300 per week. However for her the biggest change for her will be how she monetizes her time.

For example if she goes to Tim Hortons and buys $5 worth of coffee and food, at present that is almost an hour worth of work for her. If we do the math it is 26 minutes of her time spent away on coffee and food that she could make herself at home.

However with a $15 per hour minimum wage, suddenly that $5 is 20 minutes of her time instead. Suddenly having the option to buy coffee/food and let someone else do the work seems more reasonable.

Speaking for myself, I value my time to a higher standard. $30 per hour is the MINIMUM that I will work for. On a regular basis I am working for $40 per hour, $60 per hour or even $100 per hour - because I have a job which allows me to do so.

Because I am providing a valuable service and people are willing to pay $40 to $100 per hour for the services I provide.

Having that higher wage also affords me more free time - which is still valuable to me - which I can spend as I see fit with family, with friends, exercising, making artwork, writing, or even blogging about why time is valuable.

Which brings me back to the point I made to Natalie up above. I am a parent. I would rather spend an hour with my son than spend an hour doing work for free for some person who just wants free advertising and is apparently too cheap to pay for it.

And if you just spent an half hour reading this blog post and you have kids, you should by now realize the same thing. Your time is precious. Spend it wisely on the people and activities you love. Anybody else should have to pay for your time.

Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes

An unfortunate consequence of people trying to do Social Media Marketing and being clueless of what they should be doing and not doing means they end up wasting a lot of time on mistakes.

1. Don’t Jump Into Social Media Marketing Without A Plan!

Most companies might have experienced this and you could be one of them. The story goes like this: you decide to join the social network, make your profiles, load it with info, put great stuff out there to attract attention and then disappear. Within weeks of your ‘super’ launch your page is converted into a barren land with followers wondering what they are doing there and some people seeking answers and getting no replies. Your company's social media presence soon becomes a big flop.

So the first step is to actually have a social media marketing plan.

The plan should be such that it should build on your presence and not let it dwindle. Any plan would need:
  • Time investment
  • Strategy and goals
  • Team for interaction

2. Spamming

Another mistake people make is to throw links on the internet on all the social networks. Why post irrelevant links? Spam never works.

What you need to do instead is build relevant content and have meaningful links. Don't post fake stuff either. Everything you post should actually be USEFUL. Posting free tips for example is a great way to make useful content.

eg. 10 Tips on What NOT to do when doing Social Media Marketing.

3. Multiple Profiles On Social Sites

This is another trend where a company has more than one profiles on sites like Facebook and Twitter – all of which link to the main website. For one thing, it is just plain wasteful to spread out your resources and efforts like that! Put your efforts in one direction and get people, real people, to your company.

Another common problem connected to having multiple profiles is people who connect with other people who are just looking for numbers - they have zero intention in becoming a customer and are essentially fake followers, and instead their primary goal is to get you to follow their company too, just for the sake of ego building numbers. However, there’s no point building loads of fake followers who really aren’t interested in your work and are simply connecting to build ‘following’. Having more numbers doesn't actually attract customers through popularity. That is a false perception.

Thus having multiple profiles in the effort to get more followers also doesn't work. It is just a waste of time.

4. Very Little Interaction

In many cases, profiles have updates but no participation in conversation. Lack of conversation with your clients and followers decreases value of your social presence and you don’t build on valuable relationships.

What you should be doing:

Post comments, questions, ask for feedback, have polls (formal or informal), answer questions from potential clients, turn your online presence into a way to find out more about your customers and what they want.

5. No Real Followers

This is a big mistake – keeping an active page with lot of info but no real followers. This means you don’t really have virtual support and weakens the basis of your social existence. To avoid this, it’s important to build a slow and steady network of real people.

Some companies arguably don't even need Social Media and thus don't need a Twitter or Facebook account. They only want them for the sake of ego, but once they have them they neglect to use them - or if they do use them, they are trying to sell something that most people only need 1 time and there is no point in following a company that sells 1 time use widgets.

6. Bookmarking Randomly

Social bookmarking is important and useful. But if you are bookmarking all sites with back-links to your website, with no real relevance (or useful content), then it’s not going to work well for your business. You will just be wasting your time.

Lets say for example you use the website StumbleUpon to bookmark things you like, but you are bookmarking parts of your website which are essentially useless and boring. There is no point bookmarking those pages because other people are never going to bookmark those pages either.

Instead what you should be doing is only bookmarking the pages that are interesting, fascinating and have the potential to go viral. Topics that are useful, fantastic and so forth.

In theory you could also bookmark big sales, as people could end up sharing / bookmarking those pages so share the sale with their friends.

7. Automated Posting of Links

Another mistake is automated posting of back-links to your website. Of course, automation eases the load on your manual efforts, but a structure is needed and randomness doesn’t pay. You only look like just – another – spamming site!

Spamming doesn't work and can even get your site banned / red-flagged by Google. It doesn't matter whether a human posts the spam or it is a computer doing it, it still doesn't work / looks suspicious enough for Google to give you a red flag.

8. Less Visibility due to Low Activity

This is an interlinked factor where you seem media shy! There are various profiles that are extremely careful in a bid to be less aggressive and hence, end up going unnoticed. It’s important to be active and visible.

What you should instead be doing is posting regularly. Daily or Weekly works best.

9. Not Spending Wisely

Social media marketing is an affordable platform which is its greatest charm. Yet, not spending wisely in the bargain is what should not happen. You may spend too much on social media ads but nothing on hiring an SEO/SMO company to do your SMO work. Isn't that a bad choice? Why not make a balance and use your money wisely.

It makes way more sense to hire someone who actually knows what they are doing to garner the best results.

10. Your Target Customers

The most important is to know your target audience. Aiming in the dark may seem like you are working very hard, but in the end, results will suffer!

Thus knowing your target, knowing how to best "hit your target", and learning from your failed attempts to gain customers from your target audience.

BONUS TIP

Never use social media in a disgraceful / greedy way with respect to comment on social issues / tragedy.

eg. Using a recent school shooting or deaths to try and sell your line of widgets.

Why the Kingsway Theatre Manager is a Social Marketing Moron

Awhile ago, a local Toronto actress (a minor celebrity) went to the Kingsway Theatre (located at 3030 Bloor Street West, Toronto) to see a film - and was singled out because she was dark skinned and she was asked to leave her backpack with staff.

However the backpack contained her phone and other valuables. It was ostensibly her purse.

Now imagine if you were a black man and you went to a movie theatre - and you were told you were not allowed to take your wallet in to the movie theatre. Meanwhile white men are walking by, getting let in with their wallets just fine.

That is basically how ridiculous their demands were. Nobody in their right mind is going to hand over their wallet, car keys, cellphone, purse or other valuables - whether they are stored in a backpack or not.

Plus why target only black people carrying backpacks?

So then the manager gets there. (He is also the owner.)

Now a smart manager would realize that not letting people into the movie theatre because they have a backpack is a ridiculous and stupid policy, because many young people these days use backpacks like they would purses and satchels. They are basically fashion accessories that are handy for carrying your valuables in.

The problem is that movie theatres want people to buy popcorn and soda pop - they make most of their money off selling food, not the movie tickets themselves. They don't want people sneaking in extra food or drinks.

The manager's logic behind the policy - and the targeting of only black people - suggests that he believes that only black people sneak in food and drinks. So he only enforces it for people he suspects are not following the rules - primarily by judging them by their skin colour as to who he thinks might be sneaking food in.

So to them having a no backpacks policy makes a bit of sense - but they don't have the legal right to search people's backpacks - because they are not police and they also do not have a warrant. They also legally should not be telling people to abandon their belongings with staff, who frankly are paid minimum wage and just as likely to steal your phone, wallet, etc. And if not staff, what is to stop other patrons of the movie theatre to just steal other people's backpacks?

So yes, the manager. Rui Pereira.

He gets there and he is the dumb fellow who created the whole no backpacks policy in the first place. So he doubles down on the policy and calls the police, claiming that a black woman is threatening him (which she was not).

The police get there, they basically apologize for the woman and explain that they get called there regularly because the manager is a moron who calls the police constantly whenever there is anything that his little brain cannot comprehend that requires more social skills.

So the young woman leaves and she posts about her experience on social media.

And it goes VIRAL.

Seriously, Rui Pereira should be paying her for all the free advertising the Kingsway Theatre got after the whole thing went crazy viral on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Lots of white supremacists started going to the movie theatre thanks to this incident - that is not a good thing!

It also caused a slew of interesting reviews on Google Maps.

Lots of people posted 1 star reviews, basically condemning the Kingsway Theatre and its moronic manager Rui Pereira.

So what does Rui Pereira do?

Instead of deleting the Google Maps listing (which is what he should have done), he doubled down again and posted responses to all the people leaving negative reviews. Some of his responses were longer.

Example:

"Response from the owner3 months ago
The truth is astounding! You and your back pack will be much happier some where else. Do not come back.

The Kingsway is a licensed BAR with a movie theatre in it. Signs are clearly displayed that indicate NO OUTSIDE FOOD or DRINKS. Signs also clearly state NO BACKPACKS or LARGE BAGS in the auditoriums. If you are not willing to follow the rules a ticket will not be sold to you. There are no arguments and no abuse of the staff.

ps you and google go f**K yourself."

And he didn't do this just once or twice. Oh no.

Of 82 reviews (as of April 19th 2017), he has posted 27 responses in which he more or less swears at people (and at Google).

Which brought on responses like the following:

a month ago-
Just by reading the owners responses to people, I will NEVER patronize this place. I feel sorry for people that work for him."

On the list of things not to do, arguing with the general public on the very public Google Maps' business reviews - let alone cussing at them - is definitely a big no no.

Rui Pereira, Racist Theatre Manager
I would not be surprised if a year from now Rui Pereira ends up burning the Kingsway Theatre down so he can collect the insurance money. Or sells the property to someone else.

Plus there is the subtle racism. He only invokes the no backpack policy for black people or other people he doesn't like. White people apparently walk in with backpacks, purses, satchels, etc and get in to the movie theatre just fine.

So clearly the policy is only there so that Rui Pereira can openly discriminate against black people.

Judging by the reviews Rui Pereira also hates people in wheelchairs. The old theatre isn't particularly wheelchair friendly and according to at least 1 review he and his staff are deliberately rude to people in wheelchairs.

And when people social media learn that, they share it. Hence why this story went viral.

THE VIRAL MARKETING LESSON

In theory, if a less reputable (and highly unethical) company wanted to promote themselves and get lots of free press in the media and social media they could do the following:

#1. Hire a really racist prick to be the manager.

#2. Allow the racist manager to make various policies that allows him to discriminate / segregate people at his/her leisure.

#3. Set up a situation in which a minor celebrity goes to the business and is treated rudely by the racist prick manager.

#4. The celebrity then tweets on Twitter or posts on Facebook, and it goes crazy viral.

#5. The owner of the company investigates and fires the manager - for damaging the companies reputation. The owner then issues a public apology for ever hiring that manager in the first place, but by that point the company's infamy has already gone viral, and there is a 2nd viral wave when people learn the manager has been fired.

So yes. That would be highly unethical for a company to do, but the resulting infamy equals free marketing. Only the most unscrupulous and desperate of companies would pull that kind of nonsense.

Lets take for example United Airlines.

This is rather recent news, but the effect is similar.

What happened was (in case you haven't heard about this case) United Airlines sold out all the seats on a place and decided that they needed more seats so they could transfer more staff to a different location.

So they asked for volunteers to give up their seats and take a different flight later.

Nobody volunteered.

So instead they picked a random Asian man (a doctor who needed to be at a certain city by Monday so he could perform surgery) and decided to forcibly remove him from his seat. They physically assaulted him and dragged him from his seat because he refused to move, explaining that he had patients to get to.

So they dislocated his jaw, broke two of his teeth, gave him a concussion, and numerous other injuries.

He is now suing United Airlines for having employees assault him and for their idiotic policy of forcing people off a plane for no good reason.

He will no doubt win the lawsuit. I estimate he will get at least $4 million USD.

If United Airlines' lawyers are smart they will try to settle out of court, because if the judge decides the amount then the judge can also add Punitive Damages as an extra punishment to the airline.

To make matters worse, the CEO of United Airlines, Oscar Munoz, claimed that the Asian passenger was belligerent and violent - which was not true, as the whole incident was caught on video. That compounded problems and Oscar Munoz later had to backtrack on that, during which he admitted culpability (in legal terms this is like admitting that the company did something illegal and is guilty).

So that makes the lawsuit so much easier now. The video. The witnesses. Company staff who say they were just following orders. The CEO who tried to blame the victim and was proven he was a big fat liar.

All of this blew up in the media and on social media.

Let alone the stock price, which dropped over $10 in value, and even after posting strong earnings for the past quarter is still down $6 compared to where it was before the huge scandal.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM KINGSWAY THEATRE + UNITED AIRLINES?

#1. Don't insult your customers (past or present or future) on social media websites.

#2. Don't do it in emails either, as they can later get leaked to the press / social media.

#3. If your company has a policy that is bad for the company's public image, scrap the policy because it is bad for business overall.

#4. Fire all your staff who do racist/sexist stuff. Rui Pereira cannot be fired because he is the owner, but the idiot who picked the Asian doctor as a good person to be removed from the plane should definitely be fired.

#5. Do not have any policy that calls for assaulting customers and making the company open to lawsuits.

#6. When people post tonnes of negative reviews on Google Maps because you did something wrong, don't argue with them. Just delete the listing.

#7. The same goes with a Twitter account, Facebook page, etc that becomes bogged down by bad press. In those cases the person managing the account can also just deactivate it (and it can later be re-activated).

#8. Make a Plan, hire a social media consultant for all your online reputation management. Or in the case of a big scandal, hire a Public Relations consultant.

#9. Do not interact with the general public during a reputation scandal unless you absolutely have to. No Tweets is good Tweets.

#10. Learn from other people's social media marketing mistakes. A scandal can be turned into an opportunity if the company chooses to Do the Right Thing. If they do not, it only makes the scandal worse and they end up paying more for it in the long run.

The Online Gambling Industry and Advertising

The Business of Online Gambling is big business, and is invariably fraught with problems (often legal issues, but also connections to the mafia).

Disclaimer - We do not endorse gambling or advertising for the gambling industry.

Advertising for the gambling industry therefore is also big business, which means there are lots of money to be made by people who are unscrupulous and don't mind people developing gambling addictions and all the problems associated with gambling (higher crime rates, spousal abuse, child abuse, over drinking, etc).

The goal essentially with the online advertising end of the business is to legitimize their websites by getting reputable websites to link to them.

One way they do this is by contacting sports oriented websites and offer them a lot of money for advertising on their website. Typically $100 USD for 1 page of content is the going rate, but it can often be a lot more.

They then write and submit to the website's owner the content to place on the website. All the owner has to do is place the content, possibly create internal links, and receive payment via PayPal. For people who have never done advertising before, they will quickly realize it is the quickest $100 they have ever made - ignoring all the time and effort that went into making their website, which they have just tarnished their reputation by advertising gambling.

While it can help a person earn money, their website's reputation may forever be damaged.

In the example below is content produced for a sports website we own, but the content was never used. It was originally for a specific sport, but we have altered some of the words and changed it to Lacrosse instead (because so few people ever play Lacrosse).

Since we never posted the content, we see nothing wrong with changing a few of the words and reposting it here as an example of the kind of Black Hat SEO that should be frowned upon.

The red highlighted sections would be links if this article was used. The links go to various government websites, news articles, and of course the gambling website they are looking to promote. By including government / news / popular sports links in to the mixture of links, it creates the illusion that the links on the page are all to reputable sources. It is a Black Hat SEO technique used to escape the notice of Google. Google recognizes that there are links to reputable sports websites, government websites, and news articles about sports and/or gambling, and this tricks Google into thinking the new page of content is supporting something reputable, when in reality if someone actually reads the content they realize they are trying to trick people into losing their money on gambling websites.

Sometimes they will even add internal links within the article to further embed the idea that is article is part of the website's regular content.

Example One
Sports betting is of course a huge business in all countries of the world, and if you are a Canadian citizens and you have an interest in betting on one or more different types of sporting events, then you may be interested in learning more about the online sports betting environment. Before you start, check out this review for Canadians to see a wide variety of sporting games.

Anyway, it is not illegal for you to place sports bets and wagers online in Canada, however the laws surrounding sports betting sites clearly state that any gambling site based and location in Canada must hold a Government issued gambling license.

As there is a very good chance that any sports betting casino you come across online is going to not be based in Canada, you need to ensure any site you do sign up for and join does at least hold a valid gambling license in a recognized jurisdiction, for by doing so you will be afforded the full protection offered to customer of such sites by the licensing commission or licensing authority.

Many online betting casinos and sites have an automated system in place in regards to settling all winning bets placed at their respective sites, and as much you should never be waiting more than a minute or two to have your winning bets and wagers settled once the actual sporting event you have bet on has ended. Occasionally any very large bets that are struck and turn out to be winning ones may have to be settled manually, however this will not usually see you having to wait for a long period of time for your winning to reflect in your account.

If you have any problems or complaints with any sports betting site then you should first try and get the site itself to resolve those problems, however if that is not possible for whatever reason then you should escalate your complaint to the license issuer for that site. This is why betting online at betting sites and casinos that hold a recognized gambling license issued by one of the more respected gambling commissions will bear fruit, as those licensing commissions offer bettor a complaint service and they will step in and help when help is needed.

You may be used to picking out your sports bets and wagers in advance and will once you have selected them place those bets and wagers before a sporting event starts. However, many online sports betting sites will now allow you to access and utilize something known as a live in play betting market and this is a betting market that opens up and become accessible only once a sports event has started. In Play betting markets are proving very popular as they allow sports bettors to hedge bets placed before the sporting event started and bets can be placed on these IN Play betting markets right up until the dying minutes of that event. Soccer, hockey and basketball are among the most popular sports to bet on in Canada, but if you are a fan of lacrosse even a little bit, you’ll enjoy this article about rules and laws or lacrosse. Maybe it’ll get you big money, you never know.

Do not be under the impression that you are not going to be able to place every single type of bet that you can place in a land based betting venue if you choose to utilize an online sports betting site. There are no differences at online betting sites and casinos in regards to the type and variety of bets and wagers that you can place at such sites, and in fact you may find a few exclusive and new bets on offer at some sports betting sites.
 So above in Example One you see the examples I am talking about:
  • review for Canadians links to the gambling website. It is at the top so it has more prominence/value.
  • gambling license links to a government website about gambling licenses.
  • this article links to an internal page about Lacrosse rules and regulations.
  • land based betting venue links to a newspaper article about gambling.
 Example Two
If you thought the only way to get closer to the NFL, NHL, NBA, or CFL action was to increase the size of your HDTV, think again. Gambling online in Canada offers you way more legal thrills than you probably knew existed. By sports betting online, you can feel like you're smack down in the middle of the field, court, or ice. Read this comprehensive review because if you’re a fan of quality welcome bonuses, you’ll like this one.

Not every legit online sports betting site is open to Canadians. And not all of the ones that are open make it lucrative to place real money bets in the currency you want. The best sports betting sites for Canadians offer solid bonuses and allow you to deposit in Canadian dollars.

The sports betting sites Canada players can choose to play at will offer odds on the favorite and the underdog. If you're betting on the favorite, you typically need to wager more than C$110 to win C$100. You can also bet on point spreads, where you predict how much, for example, a hockey team will win or lose by. And the best online sports betting sites also feature prop bets, where you can bet on unpredictable things like which team will win the coin toss.

NFL, CFL, NBA, and NHL are some of the sports leagues you can make bets on through online gambling sites. With 32 teams to bet on and 17 weeks of games, the NFL, or National Football League, is one of the most popular and lucrative sports to get involved with, including NFL betting. Lacrosse, on the other hand, is not so popular as these other sports, but if you are a sports fan in general check out lacrosse rules and regulations and maybe you can try betting on lacrosse as well. You never know, maybe big money is waiting for you!

Anyway, there are all kinds of popular online betting sites Canada gambling fans can get their hands on. Each top website tries to hook in players in with promises of big betting bonuses and bigger payouts with every win; some even promise payouts on losses. Before you choose one Canada online sports betting site over another make sure you understand the incentives. Low juice Internet betting sites offer lower lines than you'd find at the competition.

For example, the industry standard money line is -110, but low juice sites offer lines of -105.

What that means is instead of having to lay down C$110 to win C$100, you'd only have to lay down C$105. But their odds on the underdog are usually not as good as the competition. Other online sports betting sites in Canada include cash back sites and deposit bonus sites.

Let's face it - if online sports betting Canada residents were offered the chance to bet on just CA league sports, sites probably wouldn't be that successful. Sure, Canadian Football League is exciting, but the season is fairly short, so there's not that much opportunity to rake in some real cash long-term.

Thankfully, the biggest and best online betting sites Canada players can enjoy on the Internet have access to markets for every game in every major league international sport. That includes MLB baseball, NBA Basketball, NFL football, the English Premier League Soccer, NCAA basketball, golf, tennis, lacrosse, and, in some cases, even darts and bowling. If the sport exists, Canadians can enjoy online sports betting!
In Example Two you see more of the same types of things:
  • Read this comprehensive review links to an online casino website, again, right at the top.
  • lacrosse rules and regulations is another internal link to create the illusion the content is part of the Lacrosse website's regular content.
  • Canadian Football League links to the CFL website, a reputable sports website.
  • NBA Basketball links to the NBA website, a reputable sports website.
THE BACKLASH OF A BAD REPUTATION

The problem however is what happens when Google eventually notices that your website is linking to gambling websites.

Google routinely downgrades websites that get a bad reputation for advertising anything disreputable such as gambling, xxx, contraband, illegal activity, etc.

Just in writing this article we had to be careful what keywords we are using to make sure what we write is family friendly, and while we do talk about gambling, we make it clear we do not endorse gambling or advertising for the gambling industry.

Once a website is downgraded it is very difficult to fix a bad reputation. It can be done, but it could potentially take years and a lot of money. Depending on the amount of money invested in the original website it might actually make more sense to just start over with a new website and a new brand name.

Because articles like the two examples shown above are designed to fly under Google's radar by masking themselves with government, newspaper and popular sports websites they can go unnoticed for a long time, but when Google does eventually notice the effect will be immediate.

Google could even potentially remove your entire website from their search database. The whole thing could just DISAPPEAR.

Your website would still exist, and appear in less popular search engines, but since Google is the search engine of choice for 90% of the world, if you are not in it you can expect your website's popularity to drop to 10% of whatever it used to be. Along with your profits.

So while quick money may seem like a good idea at the time, you will eventually regret taking it.

HOW TO SAVE YOUR REPUTATION

If you already took gambling money, and the gambling content has been up for two months or more, you should probably just take it down immediately. Hopefully Google has not noticed your website.

If the people advertising the gambling website contact you asking why you removed it, just say the following:

Sorry. We got an email from Google saying that we had to remove the article and links. They were threatening to ban our website from their search engine. We didn't have much choice.

And because it has been two months since you received the payment via PayPal, it is past the time that the advertiser can demand a refund via PayPal's dispute resolution process. You already rendered your advertising services, so you are under no obligation to give a refund.

This means that in theory, if you wanted to, you could take their money, leave their advertising up for 2 months, then take it down, and keep the money. And if they ever complain, copy/paste the reply up above regarding Google threatening to ban your website.

And there you go. That is how you stick it to the man and make money off the gambling industry. By ripping them off.

Gambling is for losers.

Guest Posts Do Not Equal Free Links, + How much to charge?

Or WHY YOU SHOULD BE CHARGING $30 EACH TIME SOMEONE ASKS FOR A LINK

Back in January of this year I wrote a post titled "Guest Posts, Free Links, and Why it is Bad for your Business".

In the post I explained the following key points in more detail:
  • Guest posts should contain zero links.
  • "Guest posts" that contain links are not "guest posts", they are advertising.
  • Giving away free links = charity that is hurting your business.
  • People should be paying for links, because links = advertising.
But I did not explain how much people should be charging for links when they accept a guest post.

The basic price = $30.

This is the minimum price you should be charging just for your time and effort of adding a guest post containing links to your website. You have to edit and format everything on the page, add images, add the link(s), and you deserve to be paid for your time, effort, and the value of the link advert.

If you are charging less than $30, then you are not getting paid enough for your time.

Plus guest posts are presumably permanent advertising. Until the website is eventually deleted, the advert will be there for years. So $30 is a bargain when you consider the duration it will be there.

The premium rate = $60.

This is when your website is more popular. You can demand the higher rate because of the following reasons:
  1. Your website is more popular and therefore worth more to advertisers.
  2. Your website is more exclusive. Less outgoing links means the few outgoing links there are are considered to be more valuable. (Thanks to Google's "less is more" algorithms.)
  3. You might also simply want to discourage advertisers by charging a heftier price, this then enforces the notion of value and exclusivity - while allowing you to present a website less bogged down by copious amounts of advertising.
The expensive rate = $100

This is when your website is super popular. It is probably your full time job working on this website / the business you have associated with it. Like above you benefit from the following factors:
  • Super Popular.
  • Super Exclusive.
  • Possible Brand Name Recognition.
The website in question probably also has a social media presence on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc - and therefore is worth more to advertisers if they can be promoted on those too.

The super expensive rate = $200 or more...

The sky is the limit when it comes to popularity. Some very expensive / super popular blogs might be charging $400 for a single blog post.

This is sometimes the result of being a niche topic, the pseudo-celebrity status of the writer of the website, or just the sheer ridiculous popularity of a particular website.

What about sponsored content?

Now not every website accepts guest posts. Some websites might prefer that they write / make their own content, but they are still accepting sponsors for said content.

An example of this is video blogger Hanna Hart - best known for her "My Drunk Kitchen" YouTube channel. In the video below she has a guest on her YouTube channel, Seth Rogen, who is promoting the animated film "Sausage Party".

At which point you have to wonder, how much was Hanna Hart paid to be sponsored by "Sausage Party"?  Good question.



Well...

Hanna's YouTube channel is insanely popular. Over 2.5 million subscribers.

She has hundreds of videos. So many I was unable to find an actual statistic.

And she has access to working with companies selling both food and alcohol, and evidently films about food or alcohol.

So clearly she can make lots of these videos for sponsored clients if she so wished, and presumably charging a lot for her services and time.

Never Annoy a SEO Expert

Here is a good SEO tip...

Not just for advertising your business, but also for life in general.

Never annoy or piss off a SEO expert.

Let us pretend for a moment that you are running your business, whatever it happens to be - for the sake of the sheer boring-ness of it, lets say you are an accountant.

And for whatever reason you get into a dispute with a SEO expert.

And the SEO expert knows:
  • Your Name
  • Where you live
  • Your occupation
If you manage to annoy or piss off the SEO expert they might decide to do the opposite of Reputation Management and instead deliberately ruin your reputation.

This happened to a recent potential client of mine. They pissed off a different SEO expert, who then proceeded to leave nasty comments all over the internet, post fake news stories about the person, making up all sorts of nasty stories about the person, and so forth.

And they didn't just post such things. They made links to those articles and comments, and SEO-ed them so that they would be boosted up in the search rankings. They used websites, social media, posted in directories, blogs, discussion forums - they honestly did a really good job of ruining his reputation. Respect.

The client then came looking for a different SEO expert in order to fix their now damaged reputation.

And I said:

"Honestly, it would be easier and cheaper for you to just legally change your name."

Well, they didn't like that idea.

So I quoted a price for what I felt would be required to write enough positive comments / articles to drown out / dilute all the bad ones, but honestly, it is not going to be cheap.

And the client didn't like that either. Too expensive. Can I do anything cheaper?

Nope. Not really.

Plus consider this.

What happens if the SEO expert who hates you simply goes back and does more damage? Again and again?

You could end up spending thousands of $$$ or even tens of thousands over many years trying to fix your reputation, and if the hater keeps posting more it will just be a constant battle that will never be won.

You could try to sue them in court, claiming defamation, but since the things are being posted online anonymously, you would never be able to prove who is saying the bad things about you, and it would never stop. Defamation is super hard to prove when the person posting it is anonymous.

So the best thing to do when it comes to Reputation Management is to never annoy someone who is internet savvy - and definitely don't piss anyone who is a SEO expert.

But if you do, we can help you. It won't be cheap. It will cost a lot and it may take years, but we can fix it for you.

Or alternatively, you could always legally change your name.

The client mentioned above is still mulling over what to do. They want to keep their name, but they are unwilling to pay the costs needed to fix this problem. If they do nothing their reputation will be permanently damaged.

Another option would be to move further away and switch careers. I imagine they don't like that option either.


Guest Posts, Free Links and Why it is Bad for your Business

Let's imagine you are emailed by someone asking to add a guest post to your website or blog.

They write the post and then insist that you include a link or two (or more...) in the post to websites that they own / work for by building advertising.

In other words they are looking for free advertising via free links.

While you gain content in this deal, your website ultimately loses because you are giving free links away and it damages the SEO quality of your website.

I don't have to imagine because it happened to me recently.

I posted the guest post, removed any links, and sent her the URL. I also explained that for that particular website it was $60 per link if she wanted any links added.

Her response:

Thanks a ton. Could you please add one clickable link to my site?

Beth

Hey Beth!

Certainly. Which link do you want added?

You can pay the $60 fee via PayPal or Interac Email Transfer.

I only want a clickable link to my website in the author bio. I would really appreciate if you do it without a fee. I am currently low on budget and cannot afford to pay for it.

I wrote the article with much of my efforts, I will consider it a kind favor from your side.

Beth

Hey Beth!

#1. I am running a business.

In order for my business to be successful I need clients to be able to find my website and contact me.

In order to find my website and contact me I need to ranked highly in Google searches.

If I am not ranked highly in Google then I need to spend more money on advertising.

My Google rank is dependent on having lots of quality links coming into my website and very few going out.

If I add a link leaving my website, my rankings go down and my business suffers financially.

If my rankings go down then I need to spend more money and time on advertising.

If someone pays for a link on my website, I take that money and spend it on advertising.

If I give a free link out, then I actually LOSE money because my business suffers and to fix the problem I have to spend money on advertising. So either way, in that scenario, I lose money.

#2. I am married and my wife has a baby on the way.

If I start running a business that is losing money because I am giving away free links to people, I go into financial ruin, my wife divorces me and I rarely get to see my child in the future. Not a guarantee, but why risk it by wasting time and money giving away free links?

While I like the idea of being nice to people, where are the benefits for me and my family? None. I would be losing money and that is money that should be spent on diapers / baby food / clothes.

#3. I am in the SEO business.

I know how the link business works.

Here is some free SEO advice. You will find it very useful for growing your website:

http://www.designseo.ca/SEO-Advice.html

Pay special attention to the SEO Checklist, as it is particularly important.

http://www.designseo.ca/SEO-Checklist.html

If you want free links check out WebRing, StumbleUpon and similar websites for sharing links.

You should also check out online newspaper style publications which allow authors to write articles for them and post links within those articles. eg. http://www.thecanadiandaily.ca/

Have a nice day!



So yeah...

In the future when people ask you for free links, send them a copy of this page and hopefully they will understand why they are wasting their time and yours asking.

Also for those who don't know, the character shown below is called "Link". Not Zelda. Zelda is the princess he is trying to rescue. Understand the difference? Good. Stop calling him Zelda. His name is LINK.

Link from Legend of Zelda

Festive and Holiday SEO vs PPC SEM

It is December 1st 2016 and there is only 24 days left til Christmas.

Black Friday, the 2nd busiest shopping day of the year, has already come and gone. The busiest day, Christmas Eve, will soon be upon us.

When it comes to the holiday season and spending your time and money on SEO, you might as well not even bother. Search Engine Optimization is designed for the long haul. It takes months for SEO to take effect. SEO does garner the best results, dollar for dollar - but the effects take time.

So don't bother. SEO simply takes too long and you are trying to advertise last minute. Anything you advertise in December won't see major results until months later. And that will be too late. Good for next year maybe, but not right now.

If you are trying to sell product NOW, during the Christmas rush, then your best bet is actually Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and that means paying Pay Per Click (PPC).

Lets say for example you are trying to sell a computer console game (eg. Skyrim Special Edition for PS4 = awesome game. I am hoping to get it for xmas myself.) and you want to be getting your customers to actually buy the product instead of just browsing, then you need to be focused on getting them to the checkout stage of purchasing.

This means you need to set up a PPC campaign wherein you only pay if the customer:
  • Clicks your ad.
  • Clicks a product for purchase.
  • Goes to the checkout.
Google Adwords is your best bet for getting all of that. And the great thing is that they have to do all three things before you pay a penny.

It doesn't guarantee that they actually buy the product. Half of them might change their mind and decide to shop elsewhere, but if you are offering a good sale price, free shipping, 1 day or 3 day shipping, then chances are likely they will purchase via your store. This is why you need to calculate how many people are making their way to the checkout and how many actually make a purchase. Once you know the percentage, then you can compare that to your profit margin and figure out how to maximize your returns and how much you can be bidding/spending on each sale.

Hot Tip - If your sale price beats the price of the same product being sold on Amazon.com, and still has a good profit margin, you are basically guaranteed to make money if you are offering comparable shipping to whatever Amazon is offering.

For example if Amazon is selling the same console game for $69 and after Fedex shipping and expenses you are making $35 off every sale at the same price, you can then lower your price to $59 (and be making $25 off every sale) to beat their sales price. You could be spending $1 or even more on paying for clicks, but if half the people who make it to checkout stage change their mind and don't make the purchase, then that doubles your marketing costs to $2 for every sale. But you are still making $23 off every sale.

All you need to do then is calculate how many products you have in stock and how many you want to sell RIGHT AWAY. If you have 1000 units of the game, you could make your daily advertising limit $2000 (which most likely won't end up being used right away, but it could theoretically happen).

If you manage to sell 200 units the first day (for a cost of $400 but a profit of $4600) you are already in the black. Then just lower your daily advertising limit to $1600.

Day 2, another 200 or so units sold.

Day 3, Day 4, Day 5. If you are doing well you sell out of units and might even order more from your distributor. Then you simply suspend your SEM PPC campaign and wait until your next shipment of 1000 units arrives. Also you laugh all the way to the bank because you just made $23,000 in 5 days. (The Fedex people are amused by you sending out 1000 small packages in 5 days, but they might start offering you a business discount in the future.)

And eventually the well runs dry. The Xmas shopping season is over.

So you recalculate your profit margins, change your prices, change your PPC bids, and continue selling products anyway at a smaller volume.

And wait anxiously for next year, trying to calculate which console games will be the big sellers and worth advertising.

Update, Jan. 2017.

I did get Skyrim Special Edition for PS4 for Xmas. Woot. Oh and it is beautiful. The graphics are amazing. Breathtaking. I already had the old PS3 version of the game, but I wanted to play the new one with the updated graphics and all the added mods, expansions, etc. Simply wonderful game to play.


Search Engine Algorithms

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is defined as the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search engine results (SERPS).

Generally, the earlier a site gains a position in the search results, or the higher it “ranks,” the more visitors will visit that website. SEO can also target several different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry specific vertical search engines.

Because Google is currently the world’s most popular search engine, webmasters generally concentrate their efforts in getting their website to rank as high as possible in the Google search results, followed by Yahoo search, and MSN (Live Search, Bing, etc).

Webmasters and content providers began optimizing sites for search engines as early as the mid 1990s, as the first search engines were indexing the Internet. Website owners started to recognize the value of having their sites highly ranked and visible in search engine results, creating an opportunity for both white hat and black hat SEO’s. Basic early versions of search engine algorithms usually relied on webmaster provided input such as the keyword meta tags on a web page.

Today SEO techniques can be classified into two broad categories:

1 – Techniques that search engines recommend as part of good design.

2 – Techniques of which search engines do not approve.

The search engines attempt to minimize the effect of the second as much as possible. The two terms commonly used today to classify these methods are white hat SEO, or black hat SEO.

* Black hat SEO attempts to improve rankings in ways that are disapproved of by the search engines, or involve deception. Tricking the search engine into ranking a site higher than it actually deserves, often only temporarily.

* White hat SEO is when a webmasters site development and optimization techniques conform to the search engines’ guidelines and involves no deception.

By 1997 search engines had realized webmasters were making efforts to rank higher in their search engines, and some webmasters were actually manipulating their website rankings in the search results by stuffing pages with excessive, hidden, or irrelevant keywords. Early search engines, such as Infoseek, started to adjust their algorithms in an effort to prevent webmasters from manipulating (spamming) rankings.

Two graduate students at Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed “backrub”, a search engine that relied on a mathematical algorithm to rate the prominence of web pages. Page and Brin later founded Google in 1998. Google attracted a loyal following among the growing number of Internet users, who liked its simplicity. Off page factors (such as PageRank and hyperlink analysis) were considered as well as on-page factors (such as keyword frequency, meta tags, headings, links and site structure) to enable Google to avoid the kind of search result manipulation seen in other search engines that only considered on page factors for their website ranking algorithm.

Over time Google would downplay the importance of certain factors, like meta tags because it was commonly used to stuff keywords in there that had little to do with the site's content.

By 2007, the major search engines had incorporated a wide range of undisclosed factors in their ranking algorithms to reduce this huge impact that webmaster link manipulation was having on their search result relevancy.

Google says it ranks sites using more than 200 different signals. The three leading search engines, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft’s Live Search, do not disclose the algorithms they use to rank website pages. They are essentially trade secrets, and are kept secret so SEO people cannot game the system once they know the most important factors - the really experienced ones know how to game the system regardless. The SEO Checklist on designSEO.ca for example shows 115 things people should be doing, but it doesn't cover all 200+ things that Google looks for.

Whether you are new at website design or an old pro you really should study this list of things to do, and not do, when using search engine optimization for high rankings to avoid search engines penalizing your website for search result manipulation. Just follow the rules on the Checklist and you will do well.

Remember SEO is not always an appropriate strategy for every website, and other Internet marketing and offline strategies can sometimes be much more effective, it all depends on the site operator’s goals. eg. A brand marketing campaign for example might be better suited to have a Social Media aspect.

Implementing the signs of a quality website should vastly improve your chances of being ranked higher in search engines such as MSN’s Live Search, Yahoo, and Google’s search results. If you intend to make a living from working online and are in for the long haul then designing a quality website that adheres to the search engine guidelines is a must.

Offline / Online Synergy Marketing

The "billboard" advertisement shown on the right is an example of Offline / Online Synergy Marketing.

Basically what you do is do something outrageous / funny as a marketing stunt, and then you photograph or film what you did and use it for your online social media campaign.

Your goal essentially is to do smart advertising that is offline, and then use that to ultimately market yourself online.

So for example if I were to do a marketing stunt on the streets of downtown Toronto, and then other people filmed it / photographed it, and then shared what they saw on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites then I have just done two things:

#1. I probably just gained a bunch of new clients / customers who saw the marketing stunt in person.

#2. I just gained word of mouth advertising via social media.

It is a Win-Win as far as advertising goes. The billboard above is for Copenhagen architects, and frankly I have no problem giving them kudos for their smart marketing campaign.

Below is some more examples of smart advertising which also garners social media attention:
















Marketing for Clients

Not every client is the same, and thus not every marketing campaign is the same either. It really depends on the methodology that the client wants. Some clients want different things. Below are some examples of different kinds of online marketing.

SEO, Search Engine Optimization (which is arguably the most effective at getting a good return on investment).

SEM (aka PPC), Search Engine Marketing via Pay Per Click.

SMO, Social Media Optimization (basically a form of Branding for the purposes of name recognition on social media).

VM, Viral Marketing - limited to unique, interesting, one time content.

Video Marketing (not to be confused with VM) - the goal is to make videos that useful to visitors to the website / youtube. They do not need to go viral or generate lots of views, the goal is to make useful videos that help clients, and in turn help generate sales.

VVM, Viral Video Marketing - the goal being to make one video go viral, which is unlikely because it is a numbers game and only a small percentage of attempts go viral. However VVM doesn't necessarily generate sales, because most people who end up watching the video are doing so because of amusement and have no interest in buying the product.
Branding, of which the primary purpose is name recognition, traffic is not the biggest concern - sales is.
Affiliate Marketing, requires people to take a commission on sales, which is often less than 0.5% of traffic or lower, depending on how good or shoddy a product is.

Or combinations of the above categories. Some clients may only want the first three things listed above, as having videos, branding or running affiliates is too much work and unnecessary for whatever they are advertising.

Note - I have (more or less) organized the above list in order of the most effective means of advertising down to the least effective means of advertising and building traffic. Some of the categories above may roughly tied in terms of effectiveness.


The Difference between Amateurs and Professionals

Saw this ad posted on craigslist a few days ago:
"Web Design Teacher Needed
We are presently looking for Web Design teachers
Be able to teach introduction to web design
Native English speaker/Fluent in English language.
Be able to teach evening and Saturdays
Good knowledge of Dreamweaver, word press"


I sent the following response:

"No self respecting professional website designer would be caught dead using Dreamweaver or Wordpress. Such things are for amateurs.
Any true website designer is hardcoding the site in HTML/javascript.
So basically what you are looking for is someone who is an amateur to teach how to be an amateur website designer. Wow. Good job."

Basically what it comes down to is that any one who is serious about website needs to learn how to hardcode a website from scratch. Any idiot can use Dreamweaver or Word Press - because those are WYSIWYGS (What You See Is What You Get), which are designed to be used by amateurs so that any idiot can design a basic looking website using the templates that are provided. To get a professionally designed website you need to be able to think outside the box, to be creative and design a chic / stylish website that engages the viewer.

It is a bit of question of amateur vs professional... to which I shall now invent a new saying:

"Who do you want as a dentist: An amateur or a professional? The results will be dramatically different."

10 More Things People say to Graphic Designers


Proper Response - "Yes, but it will take time and I will require a deposit in full based on a vague estimate. The total cost may be more than expected because you are only giving me a vague idea of time requirements. Also there may be additions charges if you want any revisions."


Proper Response - "In what way do you want it to POP?"


Proper Response - "Do you have a high quality high resolution image of your logo on your website?"


Proper Response - "Sure, but I will have to start charging by the hour."


Proper Response - "Yes, but it will probably be a complete redo based on what you've given me."


Proper Response - "Sorry, but I have other clients with money and I can't afford to help people who don't have any money."


Proper Response - "Nope. Beyond the initial 2 revisions promised in the agreement, any further revisions will be charged my hourly rate."


Proper Response - "Without any specifics to give a proper estimate, I would need to charge you my hourly rate."


Proper Response - "Yes, but I would need to charge you a consulting fee for any calls before 9 AM or after 5 PM."


Proper Response - "I didn't go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Ever heard of the saying 'Creativity is 1 per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration'?"

See the previous post:

10 Things People say to Graphic Designers

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