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The IM BluePrint http://theimblueprint.com Helping you reach your goals Thu, 31 Dec 2015 00:36:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Easy, New SEO Tactic that Will Make a Huge Difference http://theimblueprint.com/seo/easy-new-seo-tactic-that-will-make-a-huge-difference/ http://theimblueprint.com/seo/easy-new-seo-tactic-that-will-make-a-huge-difference/#comments Thu, 01 Aug 2013 14:24:34 +0000 Steve http://theimblueprint.com/?p=102 Aidan Booth and I work very closely together, especially with SEO tactics and techniques.  We meet weekly to review our own sites progress, evaluate tactics, put together or change plans, and to manage the teams that handle our clients’ outsourced SEO needs.   It was one of these meetings where we developed this technique.

It’s deceptively simple but will have an enormous impact on your SEO efforts or those of your outsourcers.

Aidan put together a blog post and a really FANTASTIC 26 minute video of the whole process right here.  There’s nothing to sign up for, nothing to purchase, just great free content.

Check out the material right here!

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Why Google is the WORST Kind of Evil http://theimblueprint.com/google/why-google-is-the-worst-kind-of-evil/ http://theimblueprint.com/google/why-google-is-the-worst-kind-of-evil/#comments Thu, 25 Jul 2013 12:10:14 +0000 Steve http://theimblueprint.com/?p=95 I am an unapologetic capitalist.  I think that most things are totally fine and fair in a company’s pursuit of making a profit.  If you screw your customers you’re not going to be around for very long, so the market really takes care of itself for the most part.  Don’t break the law, and have a decent set of ethics…and ALL else is fair game.

HOWEVER, hypocrisy from supposed “do gooder”  companies that are embarrassed and try to hide their efforts to make a profit drive me INSANE and I believe they’re the worst kind of Evil.

Three things have happened recently that, at first, appear unrelated.  A closer examination shows that the may very well be yet another hypocritical move by Google to present themselves as the “good guys” while breaking the rules it’s trying to enforce on others.  Let me explain.

Fact # 1 – A week ago, Google reported earnings to Wall Street.  They were NOT good.  Wall Street has certain expectations of public companies and Google missed those expectations on both the revenue and profit numbers.  Pretty much the WORST case scenario for any public company and it sent their stock down 5%.  Most of the “miss” was due to lagging advertising revenues (well..that’s really all they do that makes any money).

Fact #2 – Right around the time that their disappointing earnings came out, Google quietly started to change everyone’s inbox.  They suddenly created 2 new filters and categories (promotions and Social).  Without users’ consent, emails started disappearing from the main inbox and going into these other “inboxes”.  Unsurprisingly, it is now difficult to see “promotional” emails and emails from Facebook (a competitor…hmmm?).  It seems pretty random as to how they determine what promotions are.  Check it out if you’re starting to miss emails.  I only noticed it after not seeing a few very important ones…that were NOT promotions of any kind.  Of course, Google’s position on this is that they’re protecting peoples’ inboxes.  That the people have cried out for this protection and need them to censor emails.  It’s just odd that these emails seem to be from their competition…again, hmmmm… If it were only this, I’d probably let it go, but this brings us to:

Fact #3 – UNBELIEVABLY Google ads are now showing up as EMAILS! It’s unreal.  Let me show you a picture



They are inserting THEIR ads into YOUR email box.  Frankly, this is brazen even for Google.  It even gets worse.  These ads stay there until you click the “X” off to the right of them.  You have to actually acknowledge them and delete them to get rid of them.

This company has, at least, been consistent.  They continue to claim “do no evil” and try to take the moral high ground…all the while they’re simply being the worst kind of hypocrites.  Protecting your inbox…yeah right.


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Great post from our friend Aidan about keeping your motivation up! – After the Honeymoon! http://theimblueprint.com/cool-links-and-resources/great-post-from-our-friend-aidan-about-keeping-your-motivation-up-after-the-honeymoon/ http://theimblueprint.com/cool-links-and-resources/great-post-from-our-friend-aidan-about-keeping-your-motivation-up-after-the-honeymoon/#comments Tue, 23 Jul 2013 17:00:30 +0000 Steve http://theimblueprint.com/?p=91 It’s a constant source of concern for those of us who create training / info products and services…how to make sure people truly get the most out of what you offer them.

There’s always a “honeymoon” period where people first get involved with something and they are highly motivated, but, often…that motivation is tough to sustain.

We KNOW that it’s the folks that CAN sustain it…that are the successful ones, so Aidan has some great advice for doing just that.

Check out his post right here.

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How to Make $92,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 with PayPal While You Sleep and With NO Effort http://theimblueprint.com/cool-links-and-resources/how-to-make-92000000000000000000000000-with-paypal-while-you-sleep-and-with-no-effort/ http://theimblueprint.com/cool-links-and-resources/how-to-make-92000000000000000000000000-with-paypal-while-you-sleep-and-with-no-effort/#comments Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:51:53 +0000 Steve http://theimblueprint.com/?p=87 Tim and I are TOTALLY developing an information product to train you all on this amazing approach to making money with PayPal.

Stay tuned…you do NOT want to miss this!

Get more info here

PLEASE NOTE…I am kidding about us developing an info product.  Just trying to head off any mad emails!

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It’s Official – Internet Marketing is Now CREEPY! – Go Online Even After Death! http://theimblueprint.com/off-topic-saturday/its-official-internet-marketing-is-now-creepy-go-online-even-after-death/ http://theimblueprint.com/off-topic-saturday/its-official-internet-marketing-is-now-creepy-go-online-even-after-death/#comments Mon, 17 Jun 2013 19:20:54 +0000 Steve http://theimblueprint.com/?p=80 Well, I guess it was bound to happen.

Internet marketing and your online presence will now follow you onto death.

I’ve been reading more and more reports about people including QR codes on their tombstones. Typically, when scanned, these point to a web page that is about the deceased. It’s a way for the family to maintain a “presence” online and to celebrate the life and times of their loved ones. Rather than simply having a quick 2 or 3 lines, they can have a whole web site dedicated to the dearly departed. Here’s an example of one company doing this.

You all know where we’re headed now…right?  I mean, how far away can FacesofDeathBook be?  Do you “like” my headstone?  Check out this selfie of me in my coffin.  Checking in at memorial drive.  Yikes…scary stuff.

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A COMPLETELY New Opportunity for eCommerce Sites? http://theimblueprint.com/ecommerce/a-completely-new-opportunity-for-ecommerce-sites/ http://theimblueprint.com/ecommerce/a-completely-new-opportunity-for-ecommerce-sites/#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 11:59:25 +0000 Steve http://theimblueprint.com/?p=76 We have spent many years building niche eCommerce sites for retail customers and have largely avoided any B2B opportunities (example…selling packaging materials to any company that ships its own stuff…essentially selling to a business instead of a retail customer through your eCommerce site).  We’ve avoided these customers because the adoption rate of these types of customers has been pretty low.  However, that appears to be changing in a big way.

According to a recent study the B2B market is booming.  It only makes sense really.  As the overall retail usage of eCommerce sites increases, it’s only logical that those same folks would turn to eCommerce sites when they need to purchase things for their business.

I believe this represents a whole new growth area for people like us.  I know that we’re going to undertake a brainstorming project to consider building sites that ONLY serve the B2B market.  As you consider expanding your portfolio of eCommerce sites…don’t leave any B2B opportunities out!

Here is a link to the study by B2B magazine

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Penguin 2.0 – What the heck is happening here?? http://theimblueprint.com/seo/penguin-2-0-what-the-heck-is-happening-here/ http://theimblueprint.com/seo/penguin-2-0-what-the-heck-is-happening-here/#comments Sat, 08 Jun 2013 13:31:36 +0000 Steve http://theimblueprint.com/?p=73 I’ve gotten tons of questions about this.  There was much gloom and doom and gnashing of teeth as Matt Cutts told us that the sky was going to fall (again) with Penguin 2.0.

To me…it’s been a bit of a yawner.  Not really seeing too much from it, but, here’s the first bit of analysis that I’ve come across that really tries to dive deeply into what it could be and how it has affected one German site in particular.  Don’t worry about it being a German site, the data and analysis are valuable no matter where you are

Check it out here

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Off Topic Saturday – Nudity makes yet another thing better! http://theimblueprint.com/off-topic-saturday/off-topic-saturday-nudity-makes-yet-another-thing-better/ http://theimblueprint.com/off-topic-saturday/off-topic-saturday-nudity-makes-yet-another-thing-better/#comments Sat, 08 Jun 2013 13:18:54 +0000 Steve http://theimblueprint.com/?p=66 I have a LOT of interests and I’m hoping that they’re…of interest…to some of you!  To that end, I’m going to try to keep up with doing an “off topic saturday” post of things that I find particularly amusing or important.

My first one revolves around TV shows outside the US.  Because of things like iTunes, and the more global market, we now have access to the TV markets/shows of other countries.  I’m a nut for good entertainment, specifically TV and movies…and I’m here to tell you that the shows being produced outside the US are AMAZINGLY good.  I also believe that, due to the reasons I’ll discuss here, the shows often offer a much better viewing experience.  At the end of the post, I’ll offer up a batch of my favorites that you can see on iTunes.

Differences in the US and other TV markets:

  • Nudity – Yup…this is how I got away with that headline.  The shows outside the US aren’t porn or anything like that, but they have a MUCH more casual attitude towards nudity and even sex (less so than just simple nudity).  It simply makes things more realistic and doesn’t take you out of the plot or the moment.  Best example?  When a main character (female) is in a car accident and is rushed to the Emergency Room…in the US they are all working feverishly on her while she lays there in a lovely bra (if it’s past 9 pm) or just a sort of unbuttoned shirt.  It’s just so unrealistic…I’m constantly looking at a scene like that and saying…”ahh…well..they had to do that I guess..for the censors…looks so fake”.  Outside the US..they’d simply show the naked female’s body.  Full stop.  None of the children are harmed and the world doesn’t disintegrate into anarchy.  For me, it just makes the show seem more genuine and the characters more vulnerable and real.
  • Pacing – The US is all about “get in and get out” in 44 minutes so there’s 16 minutes of commercials.  We have a pace with our hour long programs, and the vast majority of them follow it to a “T”.  It normally doesn’t allow for anything to really develop on the slow burn.  We look for instant gratification and resolution at every turn.  Part of this problem is due to the next issue (format), but it’s also just sort of by design and it’s become the custom of the US’s TV writing.
  • Format – there are 2 formats available in the US: 22 minutes ad 44 minutes.  That’s about it.  ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING you do needs to be shoehorned into one of those formats.  Also, we have no mini series concept anymore.  Shows are just series and are either running with 10-20 episodes and multiple seasons…or they’re not on.  Special TV films or shows have also fallen out of fashion.  The perception is that a “made for TV movie” in the US is of poor quality.  That is FAR from the case outside the US.  When you’re not having to fit into the confines of the US market, you have (it seems) pretty much complete freedom over your format.  Mini series (3, 90 minute episodes and done)? Check, TV season made up of 3 shows each 90 minutes? check, Special event show 2 hours and done? check, 25 minutes, 50 minutes, 87 minutes?? check, check, check.  It’s whatever you want and whatever you think “fits”.  This also helps address the pacing issue.  When you release yourself from a box that you have to conform to, you can relax the pacing rules too.
  • Talent – Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Laurie, Martin Freeman, Judy Dench, Elizabeth Moss, Holly Hunter…you get the picture.  These are just the international well known doing TV series outside the US.  The caliber of acting is, in my opinion, simply BETTER overall than the US.

Some of my favorite TV outside the US – ALL available on itunes

  • The Bletchley Circle – What an AMAZING treat!  Set in 1950′s London, it’s about a group of women who were code breakers in WWII as they set out to solve a murder.  It’s 3 , 45 minute episodes and you wish it was a lot more.  Can you imagine pitching this concept in the US..err..no
  • Continuum – GREAT Scifi from Canada
  • Copper – NY cops in the late 1800′s – great stuff
  • Sherlock – THIS is CRAZY good from the BBC.  Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson…yes please.  3 episodes each “season” each like a movie
  • MI-5 – Britain’s FBI , don’t get too attached to the characters though…geeze…
  • Orphan Black – New scifi (sort of anyway) with an VERY talented actress playing the lead
  • Top of The Lake – New Zealand show, sort of a mini series, it was 6-7 episodes and it’s over.  With Holly Hunter and Elizabeth Moss.  Scenery, plot, acting (the unknown to me New Zealand actors were AWESOME), it has it all.
  • Being Human – The US redid this and the remake is good…but the original is better.  The first 3 seasons anyway.
  • The Secret of Crickley Hall – Just 3 episodes 1 hour each…a true mini series…a GREAT old fashioned ghost story…most excellent!
  • Wire in the Blood – My favorite for last – This is an older show that ran for 6 seasons.  Each season is 3-6 episodes and 90 minutes each.  It stars Robson Green who you rarely see in the US.  The slow burn pacing and non resolved issues (won’t spoil them) that are threads throughout the series are the hallmark of what makes TV outside the US so great.

There are SO many more, but enjoy these and let me know your favorites!

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FOR REAL – Case Study on Building Links http://theimblueprint.com/seo/for-real-case-study-on-building-links/ http://theimblueprint.com/seo/for-real-case-study-on-building-links/#comments Wed, 05 Jun 2013 16:41:12 +0000 Steve http://theimblueprint.com/?p=62 I get asked ALL the time…”but, how do I actually…for reals…build the darn links”

Came across this EXCELLENT case study for a blog, but, the process can be used for any site.  This is not new or some secret sauce…it’s just the for real, in the trenches link building.  Read this and do something very similar for any site you’re seo’ing…it works.

Check out the post here

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Every Internet Marketer Should Read This! http://theimblueprint.com/cool-links-and-resources/every-internet-marketer-should-read-this/ http://theimblueprint.com/cool-links-and-resources/every-internet-marketer-should-read-this/#comments Thu, 30 May 2013 11:27:15 +0000 Steve http://theimblueprint.com/?p=59 Mary Meeker is an analyst who puts together a “state of the union” address each year about the whole Internet. She always has incredibly insightful things to say, and the information she provides often gives a heads up about opportunities that we can take advantage of before they go mainstream. I make sure I spend quality time with it every single year.

Here are some take aways from this year

  • Facebook is the ONLY social media site used LESS in 2012 than in 2011
  • Smartphone users use their phones 150x per day
  • For total media consumption, print and radio are down to 20%, Mobile and Internet are up to 38% while TV remains flat at 42%
  • The bigger issue for media consumption is THIS though! – Even though Mobile and Internet make up 38% of the time spent consuming media, only 25% of the ad spend goes here.  AND the time spent here is going up…unlike TV which is flat at 42% and ad spend is flat at 43%.  Bottom line, we are THE GROWTH AREA OF THE WHOLE DARN UNIVERSE
  • Snapchat growth shows that “disappearing content” is huge
  • We are likely entering a new stage of computing , moving from mobile to wearable…very interesting
  • DropCam – The new “Youtube” and skype?

You really just need to spend a few minutes going through this.  Grab it here.

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