Get Started

As many of you know, I haven't written a post in a while. I apologize. Rather than make excuses for my inaction, I would like to challenge you to do something. Anything. In the next 30 days, start something or start working toward something. It starts with an assumption. If I start learning how to trade stocks, maybe I can supplement my income in the future. If I start a blog, maybe I can publish a book in the future. If I start volunteering, maybe I'll meet some new people that can help me find a job. Whatever it is, get started. There is no better time than now. Take the excuses off the table. Most things worth doing don't require a whole lot of actual time or money. We, humans, tend to use those things as excuses. The legend has it that took Da Vinci 16 years to start, pause and ultimately finish the Mona Lisa. So, find your Mona Lisa, and get started painting it. And, if you don't hear from me, assume that I am working on things I care about more than blogging at the moment. Over the past 6-7 weeks, this lecture has motivated me. I hope it has the same effect on you. Video Credit: Laughing Squid and Clay...

65 Ways to Improve Your Internet Marketing for Under $65

When first venturing into the world of internet marketing, with the overwhelming jargon and rapid speed of change, many people just need a bit of direction and a helpful push to try something new. That's why I've created a list of 65 things you can do to improve your online marketing for under $65. They don't require a ton of time, talent or capital. Most of them are free, and anyone in a company can do them. Not just the marketing, PR, advertising types. Note: You don't have to do them all….today. Pick 2 or 3, and get started. It's About Creating a System It's the sum of all these parts that make up an internet marketing system that will help you be successful using the internet for business. Being relevant never hurt either. Future Plans for This List I plan to add links to related resources, but I wanted to get the list live, first. You can always Google anything you don't already know about. The List Research and listen to your customers Conduct a survey of past customers Ask your customers to review your products or services on popular web sites Ask a customer for a testimonial Figure out a new customer is worth. Use SpyFu to check on your competitors Do keyword research with Google Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator Improve your Web site's Page Titles Improve your Web site's Meta Descriptions Add more lists to your Web site. Get rid of the slow-loading Flash intro and “Enter Site” on your home page Add a form to your Web site. (free trial, request a quote, request...

Google’s Own SEO Report Card

Ever wonder what factors Google takes into account to rank a web page? Well, the Google Webmaster Blog just released a blog post with their own internal SEO report card for their own products. Check it out, and use the factors they evaluated to better your Web site's rankings.  If you're looking a Web site SEO Evaluation, email me at (craigrentmeester at gmail dot com) or click the link and fill out the form. They're free and full of...

A Call for Transparency in Blog Commenting

"Great article", says Making Money Online. "Loved your interesting story about whales", says Whale Expert AK. No one starts a blog without expecting some level of two-way dialogue to naturally happen. In fact, that's why most people start blogs — to share their ideas. Then, through powerful search algorithms, social recommendations and a necessary dash of self promotion to get the former started, there ideas begin to be heard. Then, once their ideas begin to be heard, some commenters  see opportunity to steal traffic, redirect eyeballs and turn a profit. The last part of the equation is fine with me, as long as there is value in the comments, and transparent motives. What amateur traffic stealers and link builders don't understand is that, like most things of value, there are mechanisms built in protect the innocent and defeat the selfish. In the case of blog commenting, that mechanism is the nofollow link placed inside of virtually link that is attached to a blog commenter's name. You've been notified. Unless you're expecting quality referral traffic from the link you attach to your name, or bullshit keyword phrase for that matter, it's not worth the effort to try to get around the system. Why not? Because it's automated on every popular bloggin platform. Another reason. OK. Any blogger that allows comments and is worried about their reputation is notified when their blog receives a comment, and is able to unpublish it. Social media is rewarding when it's used correctly, even if you're not a heavy content...

Observations from around the Blogosphere

I've been reading a lot of different blogs lately, and here are a few things I wanted to share. 1. Here are some good posts on why big marketing budgets are not necessary for marketing. – Andy Sernovitz on a nice, simple word of mouth marketing campaign by Old Navy. – Andrew Griffiths on how entrepreneurs can build successful businesses without an elaborate marketing plan. Take away = When in doubt, don't break the bank. 2. Suppress the urge to nitpick on the web. Bloggers are writers, not editors. And, most of don't blog for a living. I say that because over the past weeks  I have seen comments on message boards, ranging from Scoble to 37 Signals,  that are aimed at belittling the blogger's grammar or spelling — and that's it. No conversation. No interaction. No debate. Now, I am not going to preach the old rule that "if you can't say anything nice, then say nothing at all". However, this is social media. We can do better than trying to show off our prowess of the english language by nitpicking apart a contributor to the conversation. This second point is not meant to discourage participation or be a rant, but rather to inspire readers to post, share and debate in a more constructive. A tip of the hat. Thanks to Chris Brogan for featuring my seo e-book on his list of 20 free eBooks about social media.  Aaron Wall is also on this list. If you haven't read any of his posts, you can check him out here. By the way, I read Chris' eBook, Trust Economies....