How to Think of Small Business Ideas





Has a product or service ever hit the market and the first thing you thought was, “I totally could have made that!”



And you know what? You’re right. You could have.

But you didn’t, did you?

Someone else beat you to the punch. They come up with a business idea, they came up with a prototype, and then they followed through on building the business and promoting their product or service.

The reason you didn’t come up with it first is you weren’t ready. I firmly believe this. Starting a business takes a certain type of person, this is true, but it takes more than that. It’s all about coming up with the right idea and doing it at the right time. Here’s how you can come up your own ideas.

Be Patient

You can Google “Best Small Business Ideas” all you want. The sad fact is these pieces of content are going to have pretty much the same ideas. And every year, they’ll be updated with a few new items.



It’s not that all of these ideas are terrible, it’s just they aren’t unique. They aren’t specific to what you want to do. They aren’t your idea. And they’ve been done or are being done by other people who read the internet, which is everyone.

If you want to come up with an amazing idea for a small business, you need to be patient. Stop trying to overthink it.

Unless you’re a super genius, the chances of you coming up with something revolutionary are slim. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it is unlikely.

The best thing you can do as a budding entrepreneur is to be patient and wait for ideas to come to you as well as opportunities.

Let the Juices Flow

If you want to come up with ideas, you need to be creative and think outside of the box.

This starts with being a copycat. That’s right. I said. Be a copycat.

What I mean by this is you should look at what other successful people do and you should mimic that behavior. This starts with the written word. If you want to be an entrepreneur, if you want to be successful, you need to read. The average CEO is reading 4-5 books a month.

Aside from books, there are other outlets you should also consider. Podcasts, newspapers, and blogs can all have valuable information you can use to make yourself smarter and be more creative. And don’t forget folks, this is 2018, and you can visit this site, which is chock full of apps designed to help get those creative juices flowing in the right direction.

While I’m at, there are several habits that you can mimic besides being creative. The most successful people in the world get up early. How early? Before everyone else. They get up at 5 or six in the morning, meditate, exercise, eat a healthy breakfast, and they’re in the office before everyone else.



They know how to start the day. This early riser mindset gets them ready for anything life has to throw at them.

When you wake up and stumble into work half-asleep, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Get up, get your act together, and get ready to face the day with a smile and a winning attitude.

Keep a Journal

You would be surprised at just how much you can learn from yourself by keeping a journal. Write down everything that happens during your day, both your workday and your off days.

When I say everything, I mean everything. This includes the food you eat, the drinks you drink, and every detail. This shouldn’t take any more than twenty or thirty minutes a day.

After keeping your journal for a while, include goals for your day. Do you want to eat healthier, work out more, or come up with small business ideas, it can all start with a journal.

You should also write down your productivity goals. When are you finding yourself to be the most productive? Are you eating specific foods around this time? Is there a certain habit that helps you to be more efficient? A journal can help you find out.

As far as business ideas, this can give you the opportunity to write ideas down as they come to you. If you look back on previous ideas, you may be able to expand or flip the idea into something awesome.

Hang Out With Like-Minded People

I’m not telling you to stop hanging out with your friends and family. But you should look into meeting other entrepreneurs or people who are also looking for ideas for businesses.

Most cities have various meet-ups for professionals in different demographics. I’ve seen online events for everything from blogging to real estate.

Speaking of going online, social media is a great place to find and interact with other entrepreneurs. Social media also offers other opportunities. You can find Facebook groups and mastermind groups all over the web.

The Takeaway

Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. Creating something from nothing is one of the hardest things you will ever do. However, the reward makes all of your hard work worth your time.

But at the end of the day, you don’t have to create anything new. You can take something that already exists and make it better. You can take a product or service and make even more products and services that pair well.

Use your imagination. Be creative. And follow your passions. These are how every business gets off the ground.

Upselling in the Digital Age





Upselling is a vital part of marketing. The goal isn’t just to sell. It’s to keep on selling.



You want lots of customers. You want repeat customers. You want customers to keep coming back and looking for premium services or products.

It’s important that you are able to deliver.

What do I mean, exactly? Here are some examples.

Amazon

We all shop at Amazon. It has become as American as apple pie.

Want I want you to think about is how often you end up buying extras. Below the item you’re looking for, you’ve sure seen the section marked “frequently sold with this item” or “customers who bought this item also bought this item”.



This is upselling at its finest. It’s something every business should be trying to do. Think of it as a 2-for-1.

The customer comes to your store or website, finds the product or service, pays for it, and then the transaction is complete, possibly forever.

Sure. Many businesses start that way. But if you want yours to grow and continue to be successful, upselling needs to be a priority. If you’re a small company or even a mid-sized business, you can’t possibly compete with Amazon. But you don’t have to. You just need to find the method of upselling that works for your business.

Examples

How often do you go out for coffee? The average Amercian goes out multiple times a week just for coffee.

Many modern coffee shops use digital menu boards. Every time you want to add something, it is going to cost you something small, like twenty or thirty cents. So your basic cup of coffee ends up costing you an extra dollar. Everyone adds something to their menus items, costing them extra money.

It’s just change for individual orders, but these upsells help the coffee shop drastically increase profits on a daily basis.

Think back to the last time you bought a computer. Did you buy what you wanted to buy or did you end up upgrading to a better system? Did you pick up a premium keyword or mouse? Did you pay extra for an extended warranty?



All of these examples are upsells.

And they work!

New Businesses

If you have a new business, how do you upsell?

Honestly, don’t worry about it. You need to focus more on branding and marketing and creating the best product or service.

When you come up with a second product or service, that’s when you start looking for upsells.

Get the word out about this new product or service and make sure your upsells are ready on the website. Your employees should be trained to mention upsells, such as warranties and add-ons.

The Takeaway

Upsell. Then upsell some more.

You can do it without being pushy. Amazon does it every day, all day long.

It’s time for your business to grow.

Implement upselling opportunities into your marketing strategy to take your company to the next level.

Blogging and Alternative Income Streams





In one of my recent posts here on Shoemoney, I discussed blogging in detail. Specifically, how bloggers get paid.



It sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it? You live your life however you want, document the journey, and get paid for it.

Sure, this is great. And the reason it sounds like a dream is because it usually is.

Fortunately, there are other ways to make money that use your blog as a foundation. And here are a few ideas that have actually worked for people.

Freelance Writing

Do you think I started off as a marketing professional? No.



Do I have a degree in marketing? I don’t.

I started as a blogger, believe it or not. And once again, that blog had nothing to do with marketing or SEO. They came much, much later in the game.

I just wanted some pocket money. Mostly because I was poor. I applied for freelance writing gigs the same way everyone else does and I got lucky. My blog was enough to get me in the door. The content manager liked it so much she hired me with no portfolio to speak of, which was nice of her. <3

Freelance writing changed my life, gave me the freedom to explore new opportunities, and the money to chase my dreams without being afraid of failure. Even though it wasn’t on my own website, I was still able to get paid to blog.

My blog, to this day, doesn’t make much. Freelance writing is what truly next leveled my life.

Coaching

There are a lot of really smart people who are stuck in really crappy jobs. They don’t have the time, money, or resources to find alternatives to their current problem. This is where coaches come in.



And many coaches started with a blog talking about how they became successful. They give out quality information for free and if you want some one-on-one time with them, then you need to pay up.  Some of them still maintain their blogs and even YouTube channels to help bring in new clients. This helps to keep organic traffic and new people rolling into the site on a daily basis.

Some coaches even create their own products as an alternative income stream. They make courses and sell them online, hosting them on their own website or a site like Udemy.

Marketing

SEO and social media management are in-demand fields. Social media managers are expected to see 10% growth until 2026, which is higher than the national average. The pay is also not bad, with an average of around $50k a year.

SEO and content marketing related jobs have seen a sharp spike over the last year.

All of the experience you get from running your own blog can transfer into high-demand fields like these. The funny thing is that no one thinks about it when they first start their blog. They just say, “But I don’t have a portfolio!”

Yes, you do. If you built a blog from the ground up, took the DA to 50 in two years and have 20k hits a month, you have results. And that’s what hiring managers want to see.

Conclusion

The chances of you living the full-time blogging dream are pretty slim.

But if you can create a nice looking site with great content that has decent traffic, you may find yourself in a completely different field.

The best part is a lot of these jobs are remote, meaning you can work from home. That’s the real dream.

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How To Start a Blog – Beginner’s Guide for 2018 / 2019





So, you want to start a blog huh? Great idea! But…how the heck do you get started? There’s so much info out there on the web, and everyone’s telling you to do different things. Who do you listen to? Where’s the starting point? Damnit, maybe you should just forget it – it’s too confusing! Well, hold up. I used to be a blogging newbie too. I had the same problems. I started my blog (BloggingBasics101.com) way back in 2006, and I knew less than nothing about blogging. In fact it was only the week before I’d learnt what a blog was.



Now I know a ton about them, and my blog’s doing pretty well – I receive more than 300,000 unique visitors per month which makes me consider myself someone you could listen to and learn from when it comes to building your own blog. I’m not some sort of Guru, but I certainly do know the basics.

I promise it’ll be simple, relatively easy, and definitely easy to understand (no stupid jargon). Sound good?

Awesome, let’s move on.

Why you should create a blog and join the blogging community

So below, I’m going to outline exactly what you need to do to get started and set up your own personal blog. Before we dive in though, I really want to talk about WHY you should build a blog.

Note: If you already have a solid idea of the whys, then skip this and go right ahead with the guide.

  1. Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news. There are literally millions of blogs online (don’t worry, you can make yours stand out and get noticed!).
  2. It’s a great way to express yourself and also a fantastic way to share information with others.
  3. You become a better person and a better writer.
  4. The best reason? You can make money doing it!

I bet you already knew all of that, but it’s nice to be reminded.

One very last thing before we get started:

Creating your own blog can take a little while, probably up to 30 minutes. So grab yourself a coffee or juice (whatever you fancy) and let’s get stuck in. If you need any help during the set-up process, get in touch with me and I’ll help as best I can and answer any questions you might have).

 

Disclosure: This guide to starting your own blog contains some affiliate links. If you purchase a service through one of these links I may earn a small commission, this is at no extra cost to you.

The Steps Covered In This Blogging Guide

It’s nowhere near as difficult as setting up a website from scratch (there’s very little technical ability needed here). In fact, there’s no coding required by you. Good news, huh?

So, we made it. Phew. Better late than never! So, without further ado, let’s jump into step 1.



Step 1 – Choose your preferred blogging platform

Choosing where you want to build blog is pretty much the first thing you have to do. I’m going to take a leap and assume you’ve heard of WordPress, and this is the platform I advocate. It’s massive.

It’s by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world, with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways to design and layout your blog.

There are more than 82 million active users of WordPress = a lot, basically.

wordpress

There are other alternatives however, and they are listed below:

  • Blogger – Definitely the next best thing to WordPress.
  • Tumblr – Half social network, half blog. Interesting, and very simple to use.

Even though WordPress is bigger (and probably better) than those two, here are my reasons why you should still go with WordPress:

  1. Super easy set-up and is free to use
  2. Tons of free themes and layouts (I’m not kidding, there’s gazillions).
  3. There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck (you won’t, but it’s nice to have it there if you need it).
  4. Your blog will be insanely fast and it’ll also look Functionality and form – perfect!
  5. People can interact with you easily. Your content can be shared, commented on, and so on.

Here’s an article about different blogging platforms (including WordPress), give it a read:

 

Now, Step 2 (see, we’re moving fast now!)

Step 2 – Self-hosting or a free alternative?

Whoa, slow down there! This is the biggest decision you’ll have to make before we go any further. You need to decide whether to pay for your blog or grab a free one.

WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger all offer free blogs for anyone. Awesome, right? It’s perfect for those of us who aren’t super serious about blogging. But it does have downsides:

1) You won’t be able to get your OWN domain name

On a free blog, your blog’s web address (your URL) will be butt-ugly. Like, really ugly. In short, create a free blog with any other the above free blog services and it’ll look like this:

  • yourblog.wordpress.com
  • yourblog.blogspot.com
  • yourblog.tumblr.com

I know, ugly right?

2) Limits and more limits

There are some limits to free blogs. You can’t fully monetize it, and you don’t have the possibility to upload all those videos and images you want to show everyone – it’s all limited. Worse still, you won’t even have access to the free themes offered by WordPress.

3) You DON’T OWN your blog

It might sound silly at first, but you don’t actually own your blog. It’s hosted on someone else’s web property and they can delete it if they want so. They have done so in the past, and keep doing it in the future. Which means all your hard work on your blog, all those countless hours of writing blog posts might be vanished within seconds. Sad…



On the other hand, with a self-hosted blog on your own domain name – you are the REAL owner of your blog. You’ll be able to name your blog whatever you want, for example “YourName.com” or “YourAwesomeBlog.com. You can end it with .com, .co.uk, .net, .org, or virtually any other web suffix. Add to that unlimited bandwidth for videos, images and content plus the free themes and you have a winning combo.

So how much is hosting and a domain name? Not as much as you’re thinking, fortunately. It usually works out to about $5 to $10 per month, depending on your hosting provider which is less than a couple of coffees.

 

Step 3 – Start a blog on your own domain (if you chose self-hosting and a custom domain)

wordpress blogging platform

I’m going to push ahead based on the premise you’ve chosen WordPress, and if you haven’t, you should. Seriously, it’s the best.

If you’re still a little confused by what a self-hosted blog is, allow me to explain and how you can go about setting one up for yourself.

You’ll need to come up with a domain name you like and also choose a hosting company that can host your blog.

  • Domain: The domain is basically the URL of your website. Examples: google.com (Google.com is the domain), Facebook.com (Facebook.com is the domain). See? Simple!
  • Hosting: Hosting is basically the company that puts your website up on the internet so everyone else can see it. Everything will be saved on there. Think of it as a computer hard-drive on the internet where your blog will be saved.

Personally, I use iPage (for my blog domain and hosting), and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it. It’s probably one of the cheapest (less than $2.50 per month) hosting providers out there. A domain name will cost around $10-15 a year, but with iPage they throw that in for free :). Big smiles for that! They’re the providers I use for all of my blogs, including the one you’re reading right now.

If for any reason you don’t want to go with iPage, feel free to choose your own hosting company. Most, if not all of them, should have a “one-click” WordPress install solution on their admin panel.

That button will automatically install WordPress on your blog. Did I say it was simple or what?

All you need to do is sign up with iPage (or your chosen provider), choose your hosting plan and a domain name and look for the one-click WordPress install button on the admin panel.

WordPress essentials aren’t often needed, but I’d recommend whois privacy (that will keep all your personal details private) and definitely automated backups (this’ll save your website just in case anything fails or disappears, so you won’t lose any or very little of your blog).

I have a more in-depth tutorial on building a blog with iPage here.

 

Once WordPress is installed on your website, all you have to do to start blogging is go to your WP-Admin page usually www.yourblognamehere.com/wp-admin and start writing by adding a new post.

At the start, the layout looks confusing, but it gets very understandable quickly. Don’t worry!

Step 4 – Designing your WordPress blog

Now, the fun bit.

Let’s make your blog look exactly how you want it to. To choose a new theme, you can either head to Appearance > Themes and install a free WordPress theme or you can head to a premium theme website like ThemeForest.net and buy a theme for around $40.

I usually choose something that looks professional and pretty easy to customise. WordPress also has this awesome feature that allows you to change themes with just a few clicks. So if you start getting tired of your current blog template, you can just switch to another one without losing any precious content or images.

choose-blog-theme

Remember, your blog’s design should reflect both you and your personality, but also what the blog is about. There’s no point having a football-orientated theme if your blog is about tennis, understand?

On top of that, it should be easy to navigate if you want people to stick around. If it’s tricky and difficult to move around it, people won’t stay. Design is a subjective art; meaning everyone likes different things.

But no one likes ugly websites, and they especially hate websites that need a university degree to navigate. Make it easy for them.

Last step! Woo!

 

Step 5 – Useful Resources For Beginner Bloggers

Bloggers come to blogging arena with varying degrees of online and social media experience, but we’ve all made more than a few newbie mistakes – there’s always room for more learning and improvement, whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been blogging for years.

These articles may help you avoid some of the growing pains when it comes to your first blog – enjoy!:

And that’s it! I’m more than confident that your initial blog set up should now be finished and ready to go, and all that should have been really damn easy (unlike my first time, lucky you!).

If by some unfortunate circumstance you get stuck or have any questions for me about how to create a blog, just get in touch with me or leave a comment below. I’ll help you out with any problems.

Enjoy your new blog!

15 Local SEO Tips That Are Bound to Change Your Game





Did you know that 71% of people who use the internet look and confirm the location of a business before heading to it for the first time? Think of the last time you did? You might have been looking for the time a business opens or closes.



Local search is now as integral to our lives as toilet paper. We probably wouldn’t be able to navigate our world without it now.

So, if your local SEO game isn’t on, you probably want to pay attention to these relevant tips.

1. Start Outside the Internet

It’s weird, but when local journalists cover your business, you get a linkback on their online journal. Funny how that works, right?

But connecting to local news sources is one incredible way to show Google you’re a local star.

2. Get Scheming With Schema Markup

If you’re not using schema.org, you’re not telling Google enough information about your local business. Schema is an easy way to add additional information to your HTML and make your website tastier to Google.

It might seem late in the game, but a lot of your competitors probably have no clue what schema even is. If you don’t know how to do that, you can always hire a local SEO expert to add schema to your website.

3. Sign Up for Online Reviews

Reviews are now the biggest way consumers decide whether they are going to buy a product or patronize a business. Reviews are essentially social proof you’re good enough for the masses.



And Google pays attention to this. If you notice that someone is satisfied with your service, ask them to put a review up.

If they are dissatisfied, wipe their memory and start over. Or just don’t mention there’s a way to write reviews.

4. That Other Search Engine

Because people don’t often think about Bing or use it, SEOs are pretty guilty of not even touching it. But some people still use the search engine and it’s worth it to do a little bit of work to rank there.

That little bit of work just means getting listed on Bing Places for Business. It’s a really simple and easy way to get your business listed on Bing.

5. Google My Business, If You Please

Not only do customers trust your site better if you have an address, they’ll actually find your physical location and buy your things. Google knows this and they give every website the opportunity to list your address in their directory.

This gives you a whole page of information to display to potential customers who know where to look. You can give Google a description of your business, what category tags you’ll use, hours, and other great information.

6. Take a NAP

You want every one of your addresses across all websites to be consistent. For example, if your address is 1884 Barker St, you want every address out there to be abbreviated from street to “st.” This allows search engines to easily aggregate all mentions of your address.

This is a big part of your NAP strategy or your Name, Address, and Phone number.

7.  NAP Citations

There are sites out there that aggregate business data. They take your NAP and publish them for all to see. And you really do want to be seen, right?

Some of the top sites include Acxiom, Factual, Neustar, and Infogroup.

Also, get your NAP on less official sites like Yelp, Citysearch, and other places where people might look for reviews.



8. Local Backlinks, Anyone?

Your competition isn’t likely to give you a backlink. There are other businesses in your area who aren’t directly competing with you, right?

Why not network with these people? Get to know them. Maybe offer to guest post on their site?

You could get some valuable local backlinks from doing this. And really, it never hurts to ask.

9. Images Are Worth Something

Your Google business page isn’t just a place for words. You can add a picture too. This will make your listing stand out among the boring other people who don’t upload a photo or two.

Also, Google image search is a thing. If you put up images of your business anywhere and optimize for image search, you’ll get some traffic from Google image search.

10. Would You Like a Tour?

Virtual tours aren’t just for real estate listings anymore. You can pay a little bit of cash and get someone to visually map out your business. Then, if you post it to your business page and your website, customers can oggle your wares before they even set foot inside.

They may even be more likely to come check out your shop if they see what it’s like inside. This is especially important if your real storefront is non-descript.

11. Keep People There With Great Content

People aren’t going to spend much time on your site if all you have are sales listings or hours of operation. Give them something to look at while they’re there.

This means great content. A blog, a video section, anything to keep them browsing your site.

Not only will this show you as an expert in your field, it will signal to Google that your page is valuable and interesting to customers.

12. Spread That Link Juice

This is one of the most basic SEO tips I could put here. But you may not have heard it, so here goes.

You need to link internally between pages on your website. If one post goes viral but isn’t linked back to anything, your whole site won’t benefit. That’s how this works.

So, don’t isolate one page in all of your stuff. Make sure your website is a network in and of itself.

13. Have Actual Meetups

Creating a community around your business is a great way to increase sales and loyalty. But the reason I’m talking about community is more to benefit your online presence.

The more customers meet together, the more they’ll blab online about your business. Also, if you post about meetups on your site, Google will pick up on that and post it in their local events section.

Win-win.

Our Habits Make Us: Weekend Habits of Highly Successful People





If you’re feeling restless, demotivated, and sleepless, you might want to look at your screen habits. Patient.info recently did a survey of over 2,000 people. They found that people who binge-watch tv are three times more likely to feel depressed, anxious, sleepless and empty.



This was especially true of the 18-24-year-old crowd. But highly successful people will not be among those surveyed. Why? Because they spend their weekends wisely.

This doesn’t mean they’re workaholics. On the contrary, many habits of highly successful people have nothing to do with work.

So here’s a list of the most interesting weekend habits of highly successful people.

1. Unplug for 24 Hours

Fortunately, we don’t stone people for not doing this anymore. But an ancient practice might be useful for contemporary citizens.

I’m talking, of course, about the Sabbath. In Hebrew and Jewish culture and lore, God worked on creating the earth for six days. And on the seventh, he rested.

In honor of this day God modeled, the Hebrews practiced a day of total rest and worship. They even created a bunch of mundane laws to keep themselves and anyone in their gates from working on that day.

While we probably won’t follow laws that dictate how many steps we’ll take on our day of rest, we can follow the principle of the Jewish Sabbath. And that’s taking a day to unplug from the world.

Turn off your cell phones, your laptops, your tablets, and TV screens. If you need a 24-hours, a great metric is sunset to sunset, which the Jewish people still use to mark their Friday-Saturday Sabbath.

Instead of being inside, get out in nature. Find a park or a green space if you’re in a city. Find a trail if you’re out in the mountains.



You’ll be refreshed for the rest of the week and you’ll find that you sleep better and you’ll have a clearer mind.

2. Keep the Same Wake/Sleep Schedule

It’s tempting to sleep in on Saturday. You’ve been going hard all week. But unless you’re sick, you’ll side rail your schedule if you sleep in on your weekend days.

Instead, have something ready to do when you wake up on Saturday. That could be as simple as “go for a walk” or “go for a jog.”

Once Monday hits, you’ll still be in the habit of waking up for work. While everyone else is fighting the Monday blues, you’ll be rip-roaring, and ready to take on the world.

3. Actually Spend Time With Family and Friends

One other aspect of the Sabbath principle many people ignore is the community aspect. It’s great to spend time by yourself during your 24-hours of rest. But you’ll benefit even more if you participate in it with other people.

Encourage others to take a 24-hour break from technology with you. Then get them together for food and conversation.

If you’re friends with people who love to get outside, plan a hike or a walk or bike ride around the city.

4. Be Active

If you asked any of the high profile entrepreneurs what they do on the weekends, you’ll find that many of them are actually active people.

People like Vogue’s editor-in-chief play tennis. Richard Branson loves to kite surf. And the fourth richest person in India is a marathon runner.

Your mind responds to how fit your body is. We’ve even found that just taking a walk every day like Stephen King and many writers over the centuries have done gets the neurons firing.

5. Don’t Pack Your Day

Even during the week, star entrepreneur Tim Ferris recommends only having two goals or tasks for your day. He isn’t a fan of multi-tasking.

And really, our ability to concentrate or succeed diminishes the more we try to do at once. One bit of evidence comes from the effect of smartphones on our emotional and work-oriented intelligence.

We’ve found that even having your smartphone nearby in a bag where you could check it will reduce your brain power. You won’t concentrate nearly as well and you’ll end up distracted at some point anyway.

So, tether your cell phone. And reduce the number of things you have planned for the weekend. You’ll find it easier to relax when you need to and you’ll feel accomplished at the end of the weekend.

6. Be Still and Know

If every day of the week is get up and go until you drop at midnight, you’re doing life wrong. We’re not meant to put on the gas 24-7. Our brains just overload.



Guess who doesn’t get up and go until she drops. Oprah.

Oprah spends 20 minutes twice a day being still. Meditation increases immune function, decreases pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, stress, etc. You name it, meditation seems to improve it.

On the weekends, you can increase the amount of time you spend being still. Get maximum benefit out of meditation. You’ll see a ripple effect through your whole week.

7. JOMO Instead of FOMO

As entrepreneurs, we often capitalize on the fear of missing out. We want people to participate in our brand because they won’t experience something again.

Also as entrepreneurs, we often fall into the trap we’ve set for others. We fill our lives with events because we feel we’ll miss opportunities to connect.

Brandi Zuckerberg talks about the opposite. She says we should embrace missing out. She calls it JOMO or the joy of missing out.

We base too many of our decisions on fear. And when we do that, we add stress to our lives. Instead of being afraid of what we’re missing, focus on what we’re enjoying.

Decline invites to parties and feel good about it. Instead do something for yourself or for your family. And take joy in the doing.

8. Pay It Forward

If you’re successful, you’re blessed. No matter what you believe in this life, you are probably in the top 1% of the people in this world.

Giving back to others is the best way to celebrate your success. And you’ll quickly find that your life is more full of something to give than you think.

The first thing people often think of when they think of giving is money. But money isn’t always the best route.

73% of rich people give at least five hours of their time in volunteer activities a month. That’s not much. You could probably afford giving more time than you think.

Find a charity to get involved in. Go to your local food bank. Take your blessings and pay them forward.

9. Take the Weekend to Reflect

Bill Gates is one of the most successful people in the world. But even he sees value in reflection. He says that while success is great, failure is the best teacher.

So take some time and look back at your week. Figure out where you failed and write down how you can succeed next time.

10. Plan Out the Rest of Your Week

You’re more likely to accomplish something if you’ve decided to do it beforehand. You’re also more likely to accomplish something if you can imagine the positive outcome.

Spend an hour or two on Sunday evening planning out your week. Use Tim Ferris’ principle of making two major accomplishable goals a day — something like “contact Atlanta SEO Solutions and set up an SEO campaign; write a 2k word blog post.”

Schedule in time for exercise and time for meditation. Once you have it written down, you’re more likely to do it. And you won’t suffer from analysis paralysis once you’re there.

11. Plan Your Weekend Before the Weekend

Adventist universities schedule no classes after noon on Fridays. This gives students time to prepare for their weekend rest.

It’s an interesting practice and it seems to give students more time to do homework and do long weekend activities.

One thing you can take from this is the practice of preparing for the weekend. Jewish people do all their cleaning and cooking the evening before sunset Friday so they don’t have to cook or clean on Sabbath.

You don’t have to go that extreme, but if you’re going to take 24-hours to unplug, if you’re going to meditate or spend time with family or be active, it’s wise to plan. This way you will stick to your plan instead of binge-watching some new TV-show on Hulu.

If you can plan your weekend and use it wisely, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go on Monday. You’ll steam roll the week with success and then be ready to maximize your weekend again the next time around.

Lamborghini Rear Bumper Delete Mod – Good or Bad?





An interesting modding trend I see at Cars and Coffee is removing the rear bumper off your Lamborghini to show off the exhaust system. My question is, is this a good or bad thing?



In addition to the bumperless Lambo, I checked out some cool Ferraris, a bunch of Ford Bronco, and other cars.



Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!



Using The Tesla App To Control Your Model S 3 X





In this video, I show you how to use the Tesla iPhone or Android App to cool down your Tesla Mode S/3/X before your get into the car. It’s great for those hot summer days when you have to leave the dog in the car so you can meet some fellow internet marketers for a Dot Com Lunch. Just remember to place a note in the car window to let people know that the Tesla can keep your pet cool. Otherwise you may come back to a broken window.



Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!



Avoid These Top Internet Marketing Blunders





Internet marketing is a very fragile business because it’s very competitive, and takes a lot of patience. However, there are cool ways you can improve your marketing by researching your niche, and applying the strategies you learn at the same time. Over the years, whenever I start a blog, I’ll always research my niche and the top bloggers in my market to learn what I can from them. Since they have been in the business longer it helps me avoid the mistakes they have made along the way. Avoiding these mistakes will help me grow faster, and build my brand quickly. Next,



We have so many cool ways to market our blog which were NOT available before. For example, we have social media which will excel the rate of blog growth 10 fold. The top social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have enormous niche relevant visitors which can build momentum quickly to your content. However, the secret is to know how to use these networks, and avoid the common mistakes made by rookie bloggers. So, what have I decided to focus on today? Simple…

I searched for the biggest mistakes authority bloggers have made when starting out, and want to discuss them with you now. This is great for those just starting, or those who have been in the business for years. It’s never too late to tweak your style so you optimize your marketing and blog growth. Let’s get started and your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Growth Rate Failure

You’ve started a blog, and want to make sure it grows over the years, however fail to focus on the growth rate. This is one of the worst mistakes anyone can make in the industry because you won’t know what has worked or what has stagnant your growth. In blogging, you always want to make sure every decision you make will increase your brand, and growth over a certain time period. This is why it’s important to make sure you have the right tools in place which will give you a better overview of your growth rate. For example, you should always ask yourself these questions going forward.

  • How much has my blog grown over the last month?
  • What has optimized my blog growth?
  • What tools should I use to track growth?
  • How have I drove traffic to my blog in recent months?

Answering all these questions will help you implement the right strategy going forward making sure you keep growing. For example, ask yourself how much content should you be writing to keep your blog fresh because we all know how unattractive a blog with old content is…right?

I suggest you install Google analytics to your blog so you can trace where your visitors are going, and then can focus on those same avenues going forward. You’ll still want to try new things, however this way you can focus on what has been working at the same time.



Very Small Niche

It’s tough building your business in a very small niche. It’s even harder generating profit when you have a very small audience which is why it’s important target a big enough niche. Focusing on a wide enough niche will give you the leverage to try different things, and build a brand around a specific topic. For example, “make money online” is a huge niche, and I can keep narrowing it down even further. I can focus on keywords like:

  • Blogging
  • Advertising
  • Content marketing
  • eBooks
  • Social media
  • Etc

This will just give me the flexibility to try different things, and you won’t run out of ideas. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or even search to find cool markets which haven’t been tapped into. Then start to narrow down each topic by looking at sub-keywords and products which you can focus on. Many times I have head over to Amazon.com, and started looking at the best sellers within a niche. The fact that many people have been purchasing a specific product means it’s a very HOT niche. It’s important to think outside the box, and choose a niche which has a huge audience, and isn’t competitive.

If you head over to Google and type in some keywords, you’ll be able to find some awesome niches which haven’t been tapped into by a wide range of bloggers.

Not Marketing Enough

It doesn’t matter if you just started out, or have been in the business for a long time because you have to keep marketing. The thing many people don’t understand is times are much different now, and you have to battle others to get ahead in the line so use what’s available to you. The fact so many social media websites popped up is a good thing, but can work against you too. Let me explain this a bit better…

Years ago starting a blog, writing content and generating a following was easier. It was simply based on first come first serve, and the search engines didn’t have complicated algorithms as they do now. This meant you were ranked based on start date, and how many keywords you had in your content relevant to a search phrase. However, now you have over 200 rankings factors which determine your place within the SERP’s. Here are just some of them:

  • Content freshness
  • Depp linking
  • Domain authority
  • Page authority
  • Social signals
  • Internal linking
  • Keywords
  • LSI
  • Long-tail
  • And many others

Since things have gotten more complicated I encourage all of you to try different marketing avenues available to you. For example, start investing in banner advertising, CPC, content marketing and others. This will allow you to outshine your competition within your niche if necessary. A lot of this will obviously depend on your niche, and how many others are dominating within it, but choosing to actively market will increase the likelihood of conversions. Start by doing a quick search in Google, and creating a list of marketing platforms. This way you can start to try different ones and keeping track of the long term conversions.

Retention vs Acquisition

As a blogger you have to pay close attention to customer retention, and acquisition. For those of you NOT familiar with these two phrases, let’s take a quick look at each:

Acquisition: This is where you continue to grow your visitors by getting new customers.

Retention: This is where you hold on to the visitors you already have visiting your website.

It’s important you continue to do both, but more importantly focus on your existing customer or reader base. Why? If you start to lose readers, this means you have a deeper underlying problem. It means you have a problem with new content bring published or have LOST the quality of your product or services. No one wants to lose customers especially when they have been active readers of your blog for several years…right?



Here is my point….

One of the biggest blunders I’ve see bloggers make is NOT focus on acquisition and retention enough. They take visitors for granted thinking they’ll stick around forever once active readers of your blog. This mentality will get you in trouble in the long run because losing readers mean you are failing to do something important which you did when starting.

As a blog owner make sure you keep a close eye on why your blog grew, and going forward make sure you continue to focus on the same things.

Delaying to Grow or Blog

For my final point I want to discuss something very important. You have to make sure you blog and write content every day. We are at a time where we should be focusing on content marketing because this is what search engines and people are looking for. More people turn to the internet to find solutions to their problems, and they expect to find them when searching through Google, etc. As a matter of fact, Google has made this clear numerous times over the last few years. Let’s take a look at what they’ve done in recent years.

Algorithm Changes – You’ve seen more changes in the recent years then ever before. These are focused at bettering search results, removing poor quality sites, and those which use manipulation to rank keywords.

Ranking Factors – You’ve seen a huge change in what now ranks your content compared to before. For example, more emphasis is given to content, social signals, domain and page authority.

Bounce Rate – Google tracks user experience by looking at bounce rate differently. They time pages more accurately which will show them the quality of your content.

Internal Linking – More important now then ever before because a solid linking patterning increases the authority of other pages. Google looks for “total” authority instead of single page when ranking websites.

These are just some examples however you can imagine how many other factors matter when ranking your website. I recommend you have a solid content writing schedule so you can keep writing up-to-date content. Google has build their reputation by focusing on providing accurate information, and one way to achieve this is by writing content people actually want to read.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have a solid list of common blunders made by bloggers, it’s important you start implementing what you’ve learned above. Start by reading over this content one more time and making notes along the way so you understand the material. Many times, you’ll still continue to make the same mistakes because you haven’t understood what I’ve mentioned above. This can be avoided by readings the content above one more time, and writing out the fundamentals in point form.

The next time you write content you can start applying these strategies and always have a way to track statistics. The thing you should do is track what’s been working so you can continue to use those and avoid the ones which produce little results. Remember, in the final point I discussed the importance of retention and acquisition which should always be your ultimate focus. Keeping both these elements in mind will allow you to keep writing content to build a bigger following, and keep those who have already been loyal readers.

Here’s something else which I forgot to mention above that I’ll go over now…

Social media is a great way to keep building readership because it taps into a huge amount of people everyday. However, you have to know how to use certain networks. For example, find out how to use social media tools which allow you to focus people in your niche. In Twitter, I use a tool called hashtagify.com which gives you a list of the MOST popular #hashtags in your niche. You start by typing in your main keyword, and the tool will generate a table of popular #hashtags which you can then implement into your tweet. For those of you unaware: #hashtags are Twitters way to sort information being shared on their network, and it’s been a valuable way so far. Learn how to use different strategies for other networks so you can get your content found on social networks which will generate enormous traffic to your blog.

Remember, having a tracking tool which will tell you where your traffic is coming from so you can continue to use that avenue going forward for blog growth. At the same time, you should be focusing on blogger retention through existing content marketing, etc.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

How Much Money Can You Save Working from Home?





There are innumerable reasons why you might want to quit your day job. Maybe you’ve got a horrible boss who keeps “voluntelling” you to come in on the weekend to finish up those TPS reports, because that’d “be great.” Maybe you want to take matters into your own hands, take ownership over your own career, and enjoy the limitless income potential of entrepreneurship.



Maybe you want the freedom to work when and where you want, on your own terms, doing your own thing. You want to steer your own ship and have more time to spend with your family. These are all valid reasons. Another big reason? It’s not just about the possibility of more income; it’s also about how much money can you can save by working from home, being your own boss.

Thousands of Dollars

I recently came across an article by Maddi Salmon on Quartz at Work. She’s not even coming from the perspective of striking it out on your own and working from home full time. She’s just talking about telecommuting into her day job “a couple of days each week,” and even under these much more limited circumstances, she is able to save thousands of dollars every year.



And this got me thinking, as I hadn’t really worked out the math in my own situation. How much money am I saving as a professional freelance writer and blogger who runs his own business from home full-time? Every city is different and every individual is different, but I thought some of you may find it helpful to peer into a real-world example of someone who could be in a similar situation as you are.

Let’s Break It Down

I’m not going to dive into the added matter of writing off business expenses and other related considerations, as that’s a whole other can of worms. Let’s just talk strictly about the money saved when working from home as compared to working a more traditional job in a more traditional office.

First, there’s the commute. Right now, my total commute consists of rolling out of bed and walking down the stairs to my home office. Total commute time of less than 30 seconds for a total cost of nothing. Because of this, my wife and I are able to share a single vehicle. If I drove to work, we’d need a second car.

Conservatively, the costs involved with having that second car would include insurance, depreciation, gas, and maintenance. Here in Vancouver, that’d be about $1,800 a year in insurance, about $2,000 in annual depreciation, about a $60 tank of gas every week (so about $3,000 annually), and let’s say $500 in maintenance (it’s probably more than that). That’s about $7,300, not including the opportunity cost of the time I “waste” on a traditional commute.



Second, there’s daycare. Because I work from home full time, there’s always someone home to take care of my daughter. When my wife or my mom are around, I can work. When they’re not, I can be dad. If I worked outside the home, we’d likely have to invest in a nanny or daycare to some degree. In Vancouver, daycare (if you can even get a spot) is at least $1,200 a month, if not more.

Third, there’s food and coffee. Since I work from home, I typically brew up my own cup of coffee at a cost of about 25 to 50 cents. If I visited the local coffee joint almost daily working outside of home, I could easily spend $3 to $5 a cup. Multiply through by five days a week, 50 weeks a year, that’s an annual savings of about $900. For lunch, I can make my own meal at home for less than $5 pretty easily, while a meal out is at least $10. Conservatively, that’s an annual savings of over $1,000. Combined with coffee, we’re now looking at about $2,000 each year.

Fourth, we’ve got wardrobe. I work from home and very rarely actually meet with clients face-to-face. As a result, I spend almost nothing on work-related clothing. If I worked in an office, I’d have some upkeep to maintain. Dress shirts, ties, suit jackets, shoes, plus the increased wear and tear on essentials. This will vary widely from individual to individual, but you can easily spend $1,000 a year to maintain a professional appearance, if not much, much more.

Tallying It Up

Remember that these are very conservative estimates and it’s naturally going to vary a lot based on who and where you are. Maybe your commute costs are way more or maybe you can find much more affordable daycare in your area. But here are the rough numbers for my situation over the course of a typical year.

  • Commute: $7,300
  • Daycare: $14,400
  • Food/coffee: $2,000
  • Wardrobe: $1,000
  • Total: $24,700

Nearly $25,000 is hardly anything to sneeze at. That’s the equivalent of making about $100 more each workday or about $12 more an hour (based on a 40-hour week). When you put it this way, even if you take a temporary pay cut for quitting your “comfortable” day job to pursue online ventures from home, you could effectively still come out well ahead. And I’m not even factoring for all kinds of other potential savings and benefits.

Do the math. Working from home is worth it.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Is Blog Commenting Dead?





Let me tell you a little story about how I came to meet John Chow and how we’ve grown to become pretty good friends over the years. Heck, I even crashed at his guest house in Washington at one point.



Learning to Make Money Online

Even though I’d be writing online for years prior, I didn’t really turn that into professional blogging and freelance writing until 2006. I started learning about Internet marketing, online advertising, search engine optimization and all the rest of it. Coincidentally, it was also around that time that John decided to run his little experiment to see if it was possible to earn a full-time income from part-time blogging. We all know how that turned out for him.

At the time, I didn’t really know him, of course. I only knew *of* him, but we just so happened to have a mutual friend who I knew from one of the local car forums… who was also getting into blogging around the same time. It’s one of those perfect storm kind of scenarios. My friend said I should check out John’s blog for insight and tips and advice, and so I did.



Understandably, John Chow dot Com looks pretty different today than it did over a decade ago. Back then, John had a widget in the sidebar that would display the top five or top ten commentators on the site each month based purely on volume. The five people who left the most comments would be “featured” in the sidebar with the count resetting each month. The competition was understandably fierce, because while all links in the comments themselves were nofollow, the sidebar links were dofollow.

Release the Hounds!

So, I did what any self-respecting new blogger would do. I spammed the site so hard with so many comments for so long that I consistently showed up in that top commentator list almost every month. Looking back, my time was probably better spent and I’m not completely convinced how much of a positive impact it really had on my SEO, but the net result was I got on John’s radar, we met over Dot Com Pho, we co-authored a book, and the rest is history.

Which leads me all the way back to today and the current state of blog commenting on the web. Back then, some blogs (I think including mine, but I’m not 100% positive) allowed for dofollow links in the comments as a means of encouraging people to leave comments. This worked, to some degree, but it wasn’t long before commenting bots and spam services showed up to take advantage. Blog commenting for some dofollow SEO link juice very quickly became an undesirable practice.

Some people say that even if the links are nofollow, they carry some SEO value from anchor text and relevance. I’ll leave that up to debate another day. What I will say is that, particularly since pretty well all blog comments are nofollow across the board these days, link building through leaving comments on blogs isn’t really going to work. But this doesn’t mean that blog commenting is worthless.



A Penny for Your Thoughts

The state of blog commenting now is the same as it was when I was spamming this blog some 12 years ago. It’s ultimately about curating relationships, attracting attention, and establishing expertise. If I had not been so active commenting on John Chow dot Com back then, I may not have ever met John in person and I may not have connected with so many other people through that relationship as a result. It’s because of John that I’ve had the opportunity to work with people like Zac Johnson and Nate Whitehill. It’s because of those comments, to some degree, that I’m blogging here today.

So what does this really mean for you?

Keep commenting, but do it with a purpose. Do it because you actually want to engage with other human beings in meaningful conversation. Do it because you’re adding value to the discussion, asking good questions and providing answers and clarification to your fellow readers. Do it to be personal, genuine, and approachable, so people know you’re actually a real human being who may have something to offer them.

Be relevant, be worthwhile, and you just might get noticed by the right people too.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

The Whiter the Hat the Higher the Ranking





As an above-the-board white hat SEO, you don’t get to polish your badge every morning. You don’t get nickel-plated six-shooters. And you don’t get a pair of spurs.



But you can rest assured that all is well in the land of Google for your website. You won’t have any drops in ranking you intentionally created. And you’ll be able to sleep well at night knowing that if anything happens, it’s all Google’s fault.

But what does it mean to be a white hat SEO? How do you ensure your efforts are in line with Google’s policies?

Below you’ll find a few white hat SEO techniques that will increase the likelihood you won’t get a penalty from Google.

1. Focus on UX

SEOs tend to obsess over everything but user experience. And it’s a backward way to approach SEO.

Google, on the other hand, wants their users to have a great experience online. If the search results they provide don’t lead to a great experience, they’re failing at their job.

Thus, Google created a few filters to weed out bad user experience. And they don’t just detect junk code, but things like poor loading times, bounce-rates, etc.



Your goal as designer, should you choose to accept it, is to improve on customer loyalty and satisfaction. You do this through utility, pleasure in interaction, and ease of use.

To do this, you must first figure out what the user wants. This is called intent. Then you must figure out how to create navigational paths through your site that satisfy this intent.

After creating a user experience plan, you must test your site with actual users. Find a set of friends who would be willing to spend 20 minutes browsing through your site.

Give them tasks. If you run a storefront, ask them to “buy” something. If you run a blog, tell them to simply navigate from one blog to the next.

Then give them a quick survey.

2. Be Mobile

As an outdoorsman, I’m constantly frustrated with national and state land agencies. They build the worst websites sometimes. And then I’m constantly playing the “pinch and zoom” game with their sites cause they refuse to go mobile.

It’s tiresome, and my fingers get tired. Don’t tire out the fingers of your users.

This section could meld with user experience and it almost should go without saying, but you don’t know how often I come across non-mobile-friendly sites.

It makes your website seem out of date. And even if you have current information on your non-mobile-friendly site, I will still go looking for a date stamp somewhere to see if the information is current.



This has as much to do with SEO and ranking as it does with user experience and trust. If users don’t trust your site because it’s not mobile friendly and it feels out of date, how much more do you think Google will value your site?

They really won’t. Google has been doubling down on mobile for quite some time now because, guess what, Google makes and maintains a mobile operating system. They want people on mobile devices.

If you’re not mobile-friendly, your SERPs will tank. It’s that simple. Unless you’re the government, and for somereason that .gov domain protects them.

3. Schema For a Bonus

Google has an approved way of improving your HTML tags. It’s a Schema tool and seriously few people are actually making use of it.

It’s really simple to add HTML tags to your website. You simply go to Schema.org, nab the tags, and paste.

The tags you want will create an enhanced description in the search results. These are known as “Rich Snippets.”

These help users understand what kind of content they’re clicking on before they click. It can help your search result stand out. And if it stands out, gets more clicks, then Google might deign to rank you a bit higher.

Schema markup doesn’t just help users. It helps Google as well. It’s like putting a label on packed boxes for a moving company. They’ll know what’s inside the boxes and where to put them without having to go searching through your stuff.

4. Links, Links, and More Links

You might be yawning at this point. Links seem so old-hat by now. But us SEOs will never cease to harp on link-building until Google stops considering links (which will most likely be never).

The internet is a network, after all, and you’ve got to prove to Google you’re connected. Plus, if you’re not getting content linked back to, how do you know it’s even useful to anyone?

One of the best ways to get link-back is by building a small data-base of information on your site. Having a resource center for you niche will be highly useful for users as long as the content is fresh and up to date.

Anybody looking for specific information can quickly flip through your resources and link back to it in an article.

5. Claim Your Business Listing No Matter What

While we spend most of our time on the digital front, a physical location still sends a message of authenticity. Google lets anyone with a mailable physical address list their business.

You could use your home address and create a business listing on Google. And to boot, it makes you seem local. Google is going hyper-local and you might be able to improve your SERPs if you at least seem like a local business.

White hat SEO is really about organic results. Those who focus on white hat operate under the assumption that you can’t fool Google, so why not maximize with what’s above board.

The No-Collar Workforce: What’s Next for Man and Machine?





“In a properly automated and educated world, then, machines may prove to be the true humanizing influence. It may be that machines will do the work that makes life possible and that human beings will do all the other things that make life pleasant and worthwhile ”  -Issac Asimov



I’m obsessed with the idea of AI world domination. And not because I’m afraid our machines will decide to subjugate us, but because our machines will free up so much of our time.

But this all depends on how we decide to proceed. I am an optimist even though I often write fiction that features machines gone rogue. My stories are about the consequences should we decide to treat AI and sentient machines as objects.

I think it was Heinlein who proposed that a sentient machine would go mad if we simply put it in a box and gave it no autonomy. Thus, I’m happy we’ve begun to create machine learning algorithms.

Machines with brains we can mold and shape through training as we do with a human child will be invaluable in the future. We will teach a machine to take joy in its work so it does not rebel.



But again, I’m an optimist and we’re far from there yet with our machines. And we’re already setting trends with the no-collar workforce that may not be reversible in the future. Here are a few ways in which we might soon be interacting with increasingly autonomous machines in the workplace whether for good or for ill.

1. Tech Fluency Required

If you move to another country and they only speak their language, what will you have to do in order to get a job? Learn their language, of course.

As AI and machine learning integrate fully with current systems, we’re going to see a shift from a human-powered work force to a machine augmented workforce. And human will need to no only know how to interact with each other, but also interact with their machine “co-workers.”

In the film “HER” starring Joaquin Phoenix, the main character falls in love with an AI housed in his phone. HER is an intelligence on par with the main character at the beginning of the film but quickly evolves until one day it decides to “leave” and “ascend” with other AI like HER.

While this might be hyperbole, it’s the perfect metaphor for how AI and machine learning might challenge the humans they’re working alongside. This is where tech fluency and adaptation will be useful.

Workers will need to have a full understanding of the processes of automation, how to teach and train automated systems, and know how to adapt to the machine’s own evolving and honed operations.

And this may eventually become a specialized position within the company.



2. Machine Learning HR or MR

Machine resources may eventually become a department in its own right. Soon, we won’t be able to assume employees know how to work alongside the machines in their environment. And as machines become sentient, they will require both regulation and rights.

Now, I won’t get into the sticky ethical cave of machine rights, but I will say that eventually regulations will require that we consider the rights of machines. Our very perceptions will have to change.

In fact, last night my wife and I were watching a show and the main characters were reluctant to pull the plug on a rogue AI. My wife turned to me and said, “it’s just a machine.” I didn’t argue because I wanted to finish the show, but it made me realize how far we have to go before we see even sentient machines as beings.

Once machines have workplace rights, how will organizations reorganize? Will we hire machines to oversee machines? Or is that a path that would take us down the path of HER, a world where AI become so bored with our lower intelligence they depart for another world altogether?

Or will we build controls that manage machine learning and AI? Will they continue to be our workplace slaves and Machine Resources merely a slave driver? Will there be a monetary reward system?

All these questions are unknowns currently relegated to the world of science fiction, but will quite quickly become relevant to business leaders.

3. The Reaction

We’re already seeing a reaction to automation among blue collar workers. And we haven’t even implemented and fully integrated AI and machine learning.

It’s not unlike the rise of the automobile in the early 20th century. Thousands of craftsmen and workers who created and hand crafted buggies were being displaced by automobile factories.

Especially once Ford came along with his assembly line manufacturing process, it was all but over for the horse and buggy industry.

The rise of AI and machine learning won’t be much different. Only this time, it’s all the collared workers who will lose their jobs. From marketing design to manufacturing, AI and machine learning machines will take over.

Do not fear. Like the days of the automobile takeover, new jobs will arise. Yes, there will be unrest. People will riot. Some will suffer for a time. But those who adapt to the change will survive and rise above the rest.

Organic Traffic Has Nothing to Do with Pesticides





The word organic has always had a Cronenberg-esque quality in my mind. I imagine the intersection of machine and biology. And really, when talking about the internet, the word “organic” is apt.



Psychology and biology influence every aspect of our lives including how we interact with content online. We’re not machines. And while largely, we follow specific patterns, it’s still hard to predict when a piece of content will go viral and when one might flop.

A good example of this is the film John Carter. Everyone from the higher execs to the actors thought this film would be the next “Star Wars.” And that’s most likely where the true problem lay; when you’re too close to a project, it’s almost impossible to have an objective opinion.

John Carter is the forced content of an overly micro-managed content marketing plan. It’s the inability to trust your audience and your own instincts.

In the next few paragraphs, we’re going to talk about some fairly simple ways to earn organic traffic without “trying too hard” and ending up with a John Carter.

1. Hacking a Community

Mr. Robot taught me that hacking is more than code cracking. You can hack pretty much anything in this world because it’s mostly built with imperfect hands. You just need to find the weakness and exploit it until you’re in.



Like any social situation, you must know the rules of interaction before you begin hacking a community for organic traffic. And not all niches are suited for community hacking.

You first need an online community that represents your niche. You might immediately think of Reddit, and you would be halfway there. The only problem with Reddit is that most forums within Reddit expect you to remain anonymous.

But it’s a good place to begin and practice your online community skills. Because spamming is highly detested among most Redditors, you have to become a genuine community member before you ever mention a product or original piece of content.

Pay close attention to a community’s rules. Some places will tank your links if they detect original content. You have to be participating in conversations or sharing something interesting you “found.”

If you’re in the fashion industry and you’re looking for a great community to hack, try Lookbook. You must use excellent photography if you’re going to hack this community. And you must feature actual products users can find online.

It’s a boon for fashion-based retailers who want to increase their reach and build organic traffic. But be careful, communities like only want great looking products. Spamming communities like this with “custom t-shirts” and the like will only get you banned from the community.

2. Acquire and Migrate

Resistance is futile; assimilation inevitable. While you aren’t the borg roaming cyberspace in an unwieldy cube, you do have the ability to take over other websites (non-violently, of course) and assimilate them into your own site.



And it’s not as expensive as you might think. You can pick up an already established site with a moderate amount of traffic for as little as $2500. That’s a far cry from the million dollar sites you hear about all the time in case studies.

If you’re a bigger website, this isn’t a ton of cash. You might even spend this much on a smaller SEO campaign.

What Are the Benefits?

You can totally absorb all the traffic of the existing site. Even a smaller site will allow you to bring in a few thousand units of traffic a month if you’re lucky.

This is a huge boon for link building. You’ll take in all of the links the website had connected back to it. This means your network grows that much.

Double or even triple the amount of content on your site with minimal effort? Yes, please! Suddenly Google sees you as a much larger site with a ton more authority.

You now rank for a ton more keywords. This may seem common sense, but if you’ve just acquired a site that has at least a few well-ranked pages, you’ve just improved your site by a margin.

Depending on the deal, you may even be able to bring some social media accounts in with it. Now, how you court that audience of social media followers will be a tricky road. But if you do it right, you’ll have a whole new audience for your content as well.

And lastly, the golden ticket: a site-wide facelift in organic traffic and higher SERPs.

How Do I Know How Much to Spend on a Website

Hundreds of factors might affect how much someone decides to sell their website for. Emotions might be tied up in a site or it might include various extraneous parts like social media accounts or mailing lists.

Common wisdom dictates a price of 2x net annual income. You might even discuss a per-subscriber fee for mailing lists, which will increase the price of the site. And what you decide to pay will largely depend on how you perceive the value of the website.

Oddly, you want a medium trafficked site (10-20k monthly) that makes little to no income. This will let you grab the site for less money and still gain a sizeable amount of traffic.