To put aside SEO services, Social Media Campaigns, Pay Per Click services as well as other robust avenues to help attract customers and a fan-base, simplicity is still the best way to go about reaching to your customers. If you have a business looking to build bigger reputation and social standing, one of the best things you can to attain credibility in the perception of your customers is by having an 800 vanity number, to be reached by.
You may be thinking, and believe me we’ve worked with many clients who have thought this way you’re not alone, why would I need to offer phone services? It’s outdated technology, and why do they need to reach you by phone when you have everything you need on your Facebook, your Twitter, your website complete with an online shopping cart, and even an iOS/Android Application to boot? But that’s where you’re wrong. That’s where you overestimate the accessibility of Social Media, and their limits.
When you ask our friends at CustomTollFree about how they’ve faired in terms of business during the DotCom boom and now in the age of Social Media, it hasn’t been so much of a matter of survival as you’d think. It’s been business as usual. Why? Because the ability to connect with other customers is something that goes beyond the measure of profit margins and returns on investments, vanity 800 numbers have spanned industries and generations in ways marketing tools can’t even imagine. That direct connection is something you should never underestimate. To paint it in perspective, there’s a reason why customers still prefer getting direct mail delivered to their doorstep.
And if you act quickly, you can enjoy a deal like no other throughout now and the end of November. You can get an 800 Toll Free Number with Custom Toll Free at a killer 75% discount. And we’re not talking a single series of digits. You’ll have access to some incredible cutting-edge amenities exclusive to Custom Toll Free. You’ll have a tailored solution and advantage, not just in name but in practice.
Just type the promo code: BLKNovember all throughout November and get yourself an 800 vanity number at only a quarter of the costs. To say that this could even pay for itself, is an understatement.
Hey guys, what’s the difference between this:
One’s a music video and the other is an advertisement for ABSOLUT Vodka. Cool story bro. But wait…they’re one in the same. And that’s the point.
Here’s an interesting idea. Over the last few years musicians and musical platforms have found ways to become more and more social. As have businesses. With conventional means of making music becoming more and more mundane, predictable and to be honest only beneficial to the big name artists the radios flood our airwaves with repeated 3000-5000 spins a week ad nauseum. I’m fairly certain you’ve heard the argument around that there just isn’t any means of finding new music–especially legally.
There is a demand for a more “underground” and more organic wave of digital music. One for listeners looking to fill there ears with something new and the other for artists looking to branch out, make new fans and try new things. Production value doesn’t hurt either.
First off, you’ve got to let go of the fantasy world that you’re going to be talented, discovered by an impressed-tough-critic Simon Cowell-stereotype that Ryan Seacrest is so desperate to cast and make American Idol interesting. The industry doesn’t exactly work that way. If you’re an artist, you’re a business. While that may bring limitations, it can also bring freedoms. Instead of relying on a ridiculous amount of radio play and overexposure to the masses in the big spending game, artists can reinvent the wheel and do something awesome and edgy. Putting on a music or concert sponsored by a liquor or clothing company is perhaps the most common means of distributing content. Converse does a pretty good job with their “Three Artists. One Song” concept, forcing 3 different acts to converge on a whole new sound. Examples include, but are not limited to:
Merging Andre 3000, James Murphy and The Gorillaz
Kimbra, A-Trak and Mark Foster
Is it a music video or a shoe commercial? Or just internet marketing a bunch of cool kinds making cool sounds each wearing a pair of Chuck’s? It is what it is.
Other examples include Radiohead’s “name your price” marketing tactic from a few years back, one that their fans loved and still love, and Fortune Magazine hated on. Who do you think Thom Yorke cares to impress though?
Mos Def (now Yaasin Bey) promoted his release of album The Ecstatic through the sale of a t-shirt. And Flying Lotus’s critcally-acclaimed release Cosmogramma included a booklet inside the CD that you could fold a specific way and photograph to unlock a secret download of bonus tracks.
And the business has responded. Social media music engine Spotify began creating artist-specific apps. One of which helped to promote Matisyahu’s recent release, Spark Seeker. With this app, users had an exploration feature to unlock extra bonuses.
What have you hipsters done?!?!? These new discoveries and attempts don’t just add new music to our ears and new fans to the artists, but also serves to create a world of adventure and ways that we can all come together and do things differently.
And really, who cares if someone’s pouring an ABSOLUT cocktail within the 3 minute mark of the song for 5 minutes, who doesn’t like Little Dragon?
Isn’t that right, Hipster Spiderman?
Once a Philadelphia SEO firm with sights set upon going the distance, SEO Brand has taken its Search Engine Optimization expertise to a whole new level spanning globe, languages and industries seeking to step up their online presence. With creative solutions, a prided effort to get to know every business they come across SEO Brand stands out as a unique company driven by results and seeking solutions at every step. Not just by comparing the keyword density of the competitors but by a driving force that champions original content, finding what truly stands out regarding each and every client and giving them the assistance where they need it most.
And these efforts have not gone unnoticed. Upon maintaining a high ranking on Evan McCarmichael’s Top 100 SEO Experts list, SEO Brand has done it again with a #20 ranking on SERPs.com Top 100 SEO Agencies in the United States. Out of this balance of creativity and search engine knowledge, SEO Brand has shown consistent growth despite warding off the waves of recession after recession. This is due to solid business practice and a commitment to maintaining positive company-to-client relations.
Search engines will always have something up their sleeve. Times change and these engines are certainly sure to update and enhance their algorithms all the time. We recently saw it with Google’s Panda and Penguin update. In the anticipation and in the wake of these developments, SEO Brand always stays a step ahead. By keeping content consistent and never relying on the cheap gimmicks that these search engines aim to eliminate with their algorithm adjustments. That’s why SEO Brand has always been ban-hammer free for your business!
The business of SEO services is still about putting people in priority. By visiting our clients and providing consultations for their business, SEO Brand aims to ensure each and every client that better business is on the way. Not through shortcuts, but through the sharpening over every connection. If you don’t see your spot on the search page, you want to re-represent yourself and change the internet’s perception of your business or image, or you just think your business can do better let SEO Brand work for you, because the internet works for SEO Brand.
In Early 2011, WWE Superstar Zack Ryder could have very well been on the chopping block. Lost in the shuffle of dark matches it was slim pickings with television time coming fewer and farther between, only gaining opportunities as an enhancement talent… at the expense of his own image. It’s not like the spiked hair, intentional Long Island accent, bright orange tights, cheap sunglasses and urge to fist-pump to a music variety ranging from the Backstreet Boys to Bierber—literally—helped. Don’t get me started on his catchphrase—still annoying to this day. You would think he’d be a rip-off of Jersey Shore, but he actually had the gimmick before the show ever even aired.
He was relegated to the laughter of losing if that even received a reaction at all. No one was paying to see him, and no one really cared to watch him wrestle, even for free on the web-broadcasted program Superstars. For many who have dealt with such a situation, it’s just a matter of time before Vince McMahon calls it quit on the character to make room for other people’s pushes. Zack Ryder had no means of getting his character to connect with the crowds and a role that only attracted blind eyes and boots the face.
Then an opportunity came along. Not from a spot on the card or pay-per-view performance, considered way out of the question at that time, but from a Christmas gift given to him from his own parents. To help “pass the time” on the road and away from home, he was given a tiny camera to record some content and share with friends and YouTube. Little did he know about the lasting impact it would have. “Woo Woo Woo!” went from annoying catchphrase to a Social Media Phenomenon that captured a new culture, with one simple upload Zack Ryder launched his exclusive web-show The Z! True Long Island Story in what would become his means of character development and connection with the fans. The results were not only hilarious, openly mocking of the wrestling business, attaining an average audience of 100,000 unique views per episode and given through a sincere personal approach—they were amateur.
Upon uploading amateur video, Zack Ryder joined a long list of YouTube innovators who found success through the unlikeliest and most unattractive. Take for instance Bryan ODell, more commonly known today as BryanStars. In 2011, YouTube started a contest called Next Up—an initiative designed to “accelerate the growth of the next big YouTube stars.” With two friends and a Canon Vixia HF-10-high-definition camera, Odell and his signature blue Aeropostale hoodie put on a talk show interviewing rock acts originally from his parent’s house. The hits just kept coming and now BryanStars is blowing up. Now he’s on par with other YouTube celebrities such as Mystery Guitar Man, DeStorm, the ShayTards, Michelle Phan, Philip DeFranco among others.
As for Zack Ryder, fans of the YouTube series began to snowball in numbers through the seats of every show. While Ryder’s position on the card remained the same, chants of “We Want Ryder!” signs that read “Ryder or Riot!” could be seen at almost every broadcast made the company changed its tune. Ryder eventually got his television time–even winning a match with the help of Hugh Jackman—culminating into a United States Championship reign. WWE eventually upped the ante, creating a YouTube channel with its own original content. Now swept up in the haze of Social Media, RAW now spends as much time reminding us how many fans (or members of the “WWE Universe” as they put it) are tweeting, “touting” (it’s something new) and even Skyping with Charlie Sheen than they give Zack Ryder time in the ring—which is all he wanted ironically.
And though the original content on WWE’s YouTube page presents interesting new perspectives and content regarding the superstars, Zack Ryder’s show still gets the best reaction. The reason for this is because in the new age of branding, fans and followers alike have learned to love Amateur content because of its inherently genuine qualities. When you look through the variety shows, corporate campaigns and celebrity outreach runs rampant through YouTube but it’s always the amateur stars generating the traffic, subscriptions and comments across the board.
In summation, a fan subscribing to amateur content on YouTube feels closer to the content than a screaming audience in the front row of a concert. In a way, it gives them the feeling of being a part of the show themselves. And frankly, there is nothing more original and organic in terms of internet marketing than an amateur video. No agendas, no hidden ulterior motives and no mixed messages. And if it ever becomes, cool or trendy with packed stadiums fist-pumping and stocking up on T-shirts, there’s nothing better than being able to say you were there before it ever began.
And last but not least, a major in the world of marketing original content: it’s still all self-made. Meaning for you: more self-worth.
(special thanks to Bruce Wayne Stanley, Michael and Eric Cafiero.)
One of my favorite alternatives to coffee–and daily inspiration for my damn good writings—Copyblogger had an incredible article earlier today written by Beth Hayden about how Pinterest has changed the way we do business, even managing to uniquely throw Rush Limbaugh under the bus in a non-political fashion in the process. Whether you’re on the left, the right, the really far right, a Bill Maher, a Michael Moore, an Ann Coulter or Rupert Murdoch the premise begs the question, “are there actual, concrete steps you can take to make sure your boards and images grab the attention of the audience you’re trying to reach?”
The article relates “Pinning” to what Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, refers to as “tipping” or, “the forces that caused social phenomenon to… make the leap from small groups to big groups.” Among these factors, Gladwell defines as “stickiness”, is the quality of something being remembered and repeated through the minds and collective consciousness of people and consumers. Gladwell noted stickiness as a success factor in the way Sesame Street exploded in the 1970’s as a teaching tool among other things. What makes an idea “sticky” and capable of changing our perception is a series of a few elements:
And before I continue, I know what you’re thinking: The ShamWOW guy, Vince Offer also has a product called the Schticky. Doesn’t apply.
Ideas that are sticky are said to possess elements of simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, and the storytelling aspect to create connections. That’s the premise: I’ll spare you of the TED talk. Anyways, I’m not paid to Rush-bash. From a business perspective, he found a niche in the 90′s and flourished with wave upon wave of wealth. The success of his show’s rise through the 1990’s is undeniable. But he also egregiously called a Georgetown student a derogatory female term–which I’m really not in the mood to call my boss asking if I can say on this blog– in a recent broadcast on a public forum. I’m referring to AM radio, if you still use it. Yes, it still exists.
Though it wasn’t the most-controversial comment he said on his show, what he did on ESPN probably ruffled a few more feathers, he stepped into something sticky. And soon after he and his entire advertising department found themselves in a very sticky situation. Puns aside the outrage reached a boiling point all over the social media outlets. It was wall-to-wall, retweet-to-retweet, tumbl-on-tumbl madness. And even though Rush Limbaugh later apologized for his statements, it still stuck.
Liberal political newsite ThinkProgress.org wanted to do some damage to the other side. However, they felt that given Limbaugh’s exorbitant amount of advertisers combined with the fact that he’s said a bunch of other stuff to no avail. This outrage would get swept under the rug of the American Tag-Tweet-Poke Consciousness. So they created a Pinterest board designed to showcase and track all the consequential actions taken by Rush’s advertisers. And the list didn’t just stick: it went viral with countless advertisers following through on a domino effect-like pulling of sponsorships across the board, pun intended again. Rush lost over 140 companies, a significant amount of revenue that you could argue took over a decade of Clinton-bashing to build.
Politics aside, the point is that this wasn’t an action of a unilateral party or interest group attacking somebody they didn’t like. Though ThinkProgress and the parties responsible for Pinterest will probably not be invited to Mr. Limbaugh’s Christmas Party anytime soon, This was a collective practice no different than other episodes of Internet phenomena, it’s just Pinterest had a cool way of doing it. And likewise, other Pinterest campaigns can succeed and fail based on its own inherent stickiness.
Was it simple?
Was it unexpected?
Was it concrete/tangible?
Was it believable?
Did it inspire?
Was it a story that connected many in the masses?
The answer to all of these, unfortunately for the Rush Limbaugh show, was a resounding yes.
Here’s another example, this time without Pinterest that came across my desk this morning. WalMart in association with an advertising campaign for Energy Strips put on a contest announcing that whichever Walmart store could get the most likes for the month of July would get a visit from famous Miami-based rapper Pitbull. The contest caught the eye of SomethingAwful and BostonPhoenix Newspaper writer, David Thorpe, who then called for the internets to #ExilePitbull to a remote Walmart in the middle of nowhere. Namely Kodiak, AK. As of this writing the Walmart (#2711) in Kodiak has over 49,000 likes on Facebook. That’s more than 9 times the entire population of Kodiak and over 1000 times the amount of likes the Walmart in Pitbull’s hometown of Miami has.
So it looks like Kodiak is going to get a concert. The trolls won this time around. Pitbull, who has already joked about the matter on his official twitter, is now going to sport some bear repellent and head north to heat up the frontier! No marketing, no SEO services, no politics, no Pinteresting but just good old fashioned stickiness to do the job. It was all simple, unexpected, tangible, believable, and narrative in illustrating how the internet can do incredible things all in good fun. Jokes aside, could you imagine any other way a remote Walmart in the middle of Alaska could get almost 50,000 likes on a Facebook? Or a concert?
How do you introduce a new take on technology?
For decades, E3 has done an amazing job of doing so. As an old video game fanatic and admitted addict the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it’s more commonly known, always felt like some cybernetic Christmas for me. I’d log on to the IGNs, the Gametrailers and occasionally hit up the GamePro and Pokemon hotline respectively to see what cool stuff was coming to my anticipations. Whether it was a new console being announced and the endless trails of rumors regarding their capabilities, a new Mario game with some tricked-out new powers or the debut of a new technology similar to what Microsoft would Kinect with. So what did Developer-Santa drop down the media chimney this time around? A few insights into the upcoming installments to the Mario, Metal Gear, Halo and Tomb Raider series respectively, while no new console announcements came about—though heavily expected—the true surprise was something beyond console…rather something concept from the folks at Square Enix.
Now this is a shaky turf for Square to touch upon, because when it involves an announcement by Square, namely a new Final Fantasy game, it’s generally met by fans of three different schools of thought. (1) Will it be a remake of Final Fantasy VII? (2) Will it finally be entirely live action, finally transcending the turn-based tradition dating back to the NES days? And (3) PLEASE DON’T LET IT BE AN MMORPG!!! (massive-multiplayer online role playing game). Enter Agni’s Philosophy, a 5-minute trailer not of a game in development, but rather the idea of how a Final Fantasy game will play on a next-generation system. The trailer featured a fully-cinematic experience far too powerful for the likes of the Xbox360 and Playstation 3’s technical capabilities.
The contents of the trailer featured a female magician trying to protect her crystal-wielding master who is trying to summon some sort of magical entity before getting shot down by an AK-47 group of militants. She takes the crystal, runs down a rooftop and wrestles with a demonically possessed dog, while healing herself with a magically possessed soda bottle and attempting to summon the aforementioned dragon from the beginning of the trailer. It closes with her blood stained face staring to the clear skies before boarding the dragon toward new hopes as the credits roll. And now the rumors are rolling over what could be in store. As ComputerandVideoGames puts it, “ Bottom line: we’re on the cusp on an exciting step-change in video game visuals, that will shock all but the most jaded gamers out of their apathy toward the current raft of solid but so-so shooters and sequels. For our sanity, we’re trying to pretend it doesn’t exist, because once you’ve seen what the next-gen might provide, it’s pretty hard to go back.”
Maybe this could be a convergence of genres that creates a whole new experience for Final Fantasy and role playing fans alike. After all, it was Final Fantasy VII’s incredibly-written script combined with the full-motion video capabilities of the original Playstation that forever changed the landscape of video games with unbelievable playability and plot. That’s why every single thing Square creates is to this day compared to what VII accomplished: reinventing the video game experience.
What Square did was the exact opposite of confirming anything– which is sort of…what you’re supposed to do at E3, opting instead to raise questions in the minds of many. But in this day and age of advancing technologies, maybe there could be an economy not in meeting or shattering expectations but rather one equally as important in making ones. Take it a step further, beyond electronic entertainment and gaming. The fact that the top story of this event didn’t come from something we’ll be seeing on the shelves of stores but rather in our hearts and minds, can speak volumes to new business looking to shake things up with their development. It’s time to spread some wings toward the shades of different skies.
While designing content-management systems that may exceed Joomla’s present capabilities or a series of SEO services beyond the capabilities of Bing, Google and whatever madness Facebook and Apple are aligning to pull off, may seem unattractive to your SEO Company in the scope of instant gratification and return on investments but you should never deny yourself of the dream, especially if it ends up taking up taking your business toward new realities. In other words, you’re marketing shouldn’t always stay stuck in the product. Sometimes you got to sell the philosophy to summon the dragon.
Let’s assume it’s just the worst case scenario for you and your business. That spot on Google is just slipping away, and you’re reaching for it like the last beacon of brilliance in your life. It’s a failing relationship, melting down before your eyes as you watch her leave. Oh, it’s going to take a while to get over that one. She’s gone… Time to go sit around playing quick match on OKCupid hoping to get lucky again…
The Google Penguin update—seemingly more so than the previously aforementioned Panda update–has made its rounds in every day conversation. Making Rand Fishkin and his awesome Whiteboard more popular than that Luis Scola-lookalike dude UPS had on the Whiteboard with The Postal Service music in the background.
Rand even has even inspired a few memes and has been the voice of reason throughout this storm, much like the head meteorologist of your local news when you’re getting hit by hurricane. But reliable SEO experts will know that the Penguin update isn’t so much an evil Danny DeVito going after Ice Princesses and framing Batman for kidnapping, but rather a process that just recognizes and prioritizes better SEO. If anything, the Penguin isn’t wearing the black hat or possessing an annoying laugh. He’s actually on the side of honest search-engine optimization.
As Umbrella-wielding, Burgess Meredith-impersonating, Matt Cutts from Google’s Search Quality Team explains below:
“While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics,”
The implementation of the Penguin algorithm—as well as other bugs occurring in the development phase—had websites jump around in rank. While several of these sites soon recovered their ranking, other designers were forced into re-thinking their game plan, even opting to throw out the old SEO services playbook. Amit Singhal, proud and prominent member of the Google-gestapo, tweeted about overhearing a couple at the table next to him at Starbucks saying, “With Google Panda and Penguin our tricks don’t work.” (linkto: ) As noted by the tweet, Singhal kept to his silence though he should’ve told them they’re trying too hard…and maybe paying too much for coffee.
The Google Penguin update has shown much promise, first off by garnering something new called Link Juice. No, not something made by Breville that you can obtain at Bed Bath and Beyond for a nutritional new lifestyle, but rather a method that analyzes the page rank of the site that links to yours. So if you’re hiring some dude around $10/month for a few thousand backlinks, stop it. Stop it now. Another cool feature is the Latent Semantic Indexing which analyzes grammar and individuality within your content. What this does is analyze the grammar and cohesiveness within your proprietary content while penalizing sites that duplicate the content from other sites. And finally, much to the delight of White Hat SEO assassins, more emphasis gets placed on Natural Backlinks. As the Search Engine Journal states, “It levels the playing field and gives the good guys a fighting chance against spammers and fly by night marketers that aren’t above resorting to temporary gimmicks to pull in traffic.”
In other words, it’s very simple to get your page rank up. Cut down on the spamming and obvious practices done within your content designed to fool algorithms. The system is smarter and now able to detect you’re trying too hard. The purpose of Google—besides taking over the world—is to continue bringing up the most relevant results to the end user. In order to achieve this goal with greater accuracy, measures must be made and algorithms must be altered. The internet business can very well be a Darwin-esque dog-eat-dog, or penguin-eat-panda, kind of world. Especially in the realm Google rankings, the more organic, conscious and relevant content the better the ability to adapt. And adaptation is survival.
For a business or an individual being, Facebook is a useful feature to connecting with the world. From walls to timelines, SMS to Skype, statuses to Search Engine Optimization, pokes and Farmville, Facebook our means of communication, letting significant others know if they’re still significant and ways businesses can show they social side with better customer communication. On the international super-highway, it’s an I95, a chunnel, an autobahn and international space-station all rolled into one with Taco Bells at every turn.
A recent Oracle study released in December 2011 reports that 34% of American and Canadian consumer said they would never purchase a product online via Facebook. 10% said they would, 9% said they already have and 47% either didn’t have a Facebook or didn’t know it was possible. You can bet your bottom dollar that’s a bunch of business fall within that 47%. Which means many sales that could happen won’t even see the surface of day or thought. While the lack of knowledge in Facebook-based commerce is large, 23% of respondents reported to have liked a merchant on Facebook–30% in women and 17% for men. And one quarter of the consumers asked report that they look for coupons and special promotions. The numbers for Twitter are more promising however, 44% of users between the ages of 25-34 say they interact and tweet amongst friends and followers in regards to products they plan to buy, 30% in users between the ages of 35-44. And according to older data from April and May 2011, two-thirds of Twitter users reported that retailer feeds on social networks have influenced decision-making toward purchasing products from certain retailers.
What we’re creating here is the empowerment for anyone on the internet to shop, without even stepping into the store. We already invented a Black Friday-style day specifically geared toward online shopping. And it’s projected to get even bigger with 44% of consumers between the ages of 25-34 and 30% of those between 18-24 reported that they are using or soon to be using their mobile phone as a means of payment. And with smartphone and tablet technology, stores are stepping up to create an experience that eliminates the parking, the store, the shopping, and even the whipping out of the wallet to get the number and expiration date on the credit card.
But don’t think featuring sour business on Facebook is going to move more products. In fact you might only get a few pokes, likes, and posts on your wall from the annoying Facebook girl.
It’s wrong to expect any form of ROI to come to fruition with your Facebook business. But while the results are uncertain, the risk is quite slim. Facebook with good SEO services allows customers to find you as much as you find them without any pay-per-click advertising, expensive PR campaigns, or a dependable customer service staff.
That’s right. Also, Social Media outlets can also be used to bring charitable projects, personalized stories of your services and maybe even some Online Reputation Management straight to customers’ news feeds. It can all be done with just a few characters, a click, and a backlink to get some traffic. Who knows how much it’s going to help. What matters is how much it doesn’t cost.
Work-at-home opportunities are no vacations. There’s just no office, no overhead, and in some cases, nothing holding you back. You make the day. You make the night. Either 9-to-5’s or 5-to-9’s to connect with clientele on other sides. It’s your own business opportunity, biz opp, you drag the sun over the horizon, you play your own manager reminding yourself to smile to all customers, and the service and purpose are one. Stay-at-home businesses, whether in search engine marketing and product promotions among others, are business opportunity has a cut and dry definition and many times can be confused for a Franchise Opportunity.
The Federal Trade Commission mandates that the seller of a business opportunity provides an earnings claim and a promise to provide business assistance to the potential buyer. But the standards and practices of what business assistance entails falls under such a broad definitions. The seller serves as a mentor, not a boss. Think of it like a vending machine. The party buying the machines may receive assistance for setting up and finding locations that are ripe for new machines, but not much else. But then again, when you sell a brand, the brand has to be upheld in the creator’s image as much as possible.
For over 15 years, the Federal Trade Commission has tried to amend the 1978 Trade Regulation Rule of Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Franchising and Business Opportunity Ventures. …Really? That doesn’t just go back to before the age of internets, search engine optimization, that’s all the way back to the days of MC Hammer just going broke and dropping out of the rap game.
Effective March 2012, the rules have been revised to be broadened in scope with a new emphasis toward practicality. Also under the revision comes the expanded scope toward providing protection for business opportunities. Consumers have now been empowered to get more answers to their questions when purchasing a biz opp. The New Rule covers work-at-home opportunities like envelope-stuffing and craft assembly where the seller offers to buy back un-purchased or unsellable merchandise and services from the biz opp buyer. Also included are opportunities where sellers say they’ll help the buyer run the business with customers, accounts and locations to sell their products and services.
If the transaction falls within the rule, a seller has three key legal responsibilities:
Next comes the disclosure document. After a period of at least seven days, prospective buyers can sign a contract or pay money for a business opportunity, a one-page Disclosure Document listing 5 key pieces of information must be provided. On the document, the following disclosures must be made. Identifying Information listing your company’s name, business addresses and phone numbers is also to be included. The sales person’s name and the date of sale must also be included. Legal actions you have to disclose whether your company or certain key personnel have been the subject of civil or criminal actions involving misrepresentation, fraud, violation of laws or any unfair and deceptive practices. A cancellation or refund policy must be included. You have to check a box to say if you have a cancellation or refund policy. If so, you must attach a Disclosure Document. Earnings. You must check a box to say if you’ve stated-or implied- how much money a prospective buyer can earn. If you have, you must attach an Earnings Claim Statement to the Disclosure Document. References must be included, listing contact information for a minimum of 10 people who have bought business opportunities from your company.
And the most important rule of all, Avoid Illegal Practices. While it certainly does apply to common sense, there is a specific section stating how you must never contradict any information in your one-page Disclosure Document. This includes not misleading any buyers, informing them of exclusive territories regarding your service, and don’t tell them you’re offering them a job when it really is a business. I’ve seen a lot of people fall for that last one. Guilty. You’ve also got to keep certain records around and make them available to the FTC for the next three years. Like buyer’s signed disclosure receipts, all executed written contracts and substantiation for supporting your earnings claims.
A great biz opp can give you unparalleled and unprecendented levels of freedom and success. You’ll never look back at a 9-to-5 ever again. But then again, you can also be on your own, with a few drags in the desert and only so much water. Long story short, they’re going to teach you how to Dougie, but you still got to go out there with a swivel of the hips and say “errbody love me. errbody love me.”
Linking is traffic. Before Google revolutionized the way we search but not too far back to the Steve Jobs with shaggy hair and Oregon Trail days of the information age. A little before eBay and a little after Compuserve. Before Myspace and before Livejournal where we’d all gather and commute on IRC. Before World of Warcraft where all leveling was done through MUCKs and MUDs. The craft of web building and Search Engine Optimization services still primitive. In the infancy of it’s nature like the firing of a 1873 Winchester amidst the Wild West, something the world had not seen before. The internet could easily be spammed with pages throwing links all over the place. The internet unfolded unto it’s own world, and like all things human , she was vulnerable.
And then Google, Social Media, SEO Services, Keyword Analytics, Search Ratings, Like Buttons, Retweets, The Colbert Report, and Vitamin Water labels started happening. The internets have evolved since Al Gore claimed to have invented it. But as my personal mantra-book, Zen and The Art of Motorcycle, believes, the world is growing broader but not deeper. The internet is still a mess. And judging by the Nigerian Prince email I just got last night, there’s still spam, just smarter and more cynical means of doing it. But at the same time the brilliant have made use. There’s a bunch of great writers out there. There’s a bunch of great blogs and ways to help you become a better writer.
And on the surface it would seem that the writing alone would get you out there. Discovered by the masses and paraded upon the shelves of cyberspace. In this day and age, you can publish yourself, throw it all out there and spread ripples through the pond. Sometimes watching the reaction can be an experience. It can be fun watching the audiences expand. You get a sense that you’re doing something right. But is it the content? What happens when you’re just throwing the same stuff out there? And suddenly that same reaction begins to shrink? And the uniques stop happening like they used to.
And when the blog is a book in the trash and the only published comments on your blog are from spam sites that showcase malware and have received horrific search traffic ratings that end up being completely counter-productive to your Search Engine Optimization Efforts. There is no human interaction around your content. You have to put up some pay-per-click ads for Acai Berry Colon cleanse to make ends meet. Your writing is still presentable, but not seen. The business is a mess.
Let’s compare it to another mess. Music. The music business is a mess. It’s a mess that goes beyond the garbage shooting through your head phones, the sighs shared from the faces of the captive audience of those in traffic jams scanning from station-to-station for all they can find on the FM. Maybe there’s an 80′s song somewhere or one of those 2 Sublime songs everyone and their mothers, dentists and dentists mothers knows word-for-word. And then there’s that “oh no… don’t do it…” moment where you start considering settling for Drake. Not that Drake doesn’t have the talent, as seen by those mixtapes that shrugged off the wheelchaired Degrassi-typecast, but when you’ve heard “Headlines” 100 times in a given day playing on 3-4 stations at the same time something’s got to give…
Commercialism and art champions the claim of making cream of the crop accessible. Or has it? Some believe it’s made it’s own cream to control what rises and falls and maybe there’s a little truth to that as well. For instance, a while ago I found myself DJ-ing at a party with no real plan of what to play or anything. I just scratched it up and hit the crossfade on the fly because that’s how I roll. And then I just hit my zone like a drum circle at an Occupy meeting. I’m dropping 80s freestyle, some early Outkast, some Flying Lotus with that “Yes, I did…” look on my face as I saw my friend look at me, BIG, 2Pac and my personal favorite Tribe Called Quest.
And people had their heads nodding, feeling it, but no one was shaking it in the backyard as the bass of the J-Dilla-composed beats made magic with the lyricism of Q-Tip and the 5-Foot Freak. And then the regular crowd got near me…The kind that doesn’t care what kind of hip-hop they’re getting. The South Beach crowd that doesn’t know a Lupe Fiasco from a Soulja Boy. A Common from a Carlton Banks. You see this image below?
They wouldn’t get it. And trying to would be a complete waste of time. Don’t even try. So they talk to me, which I realized then-and-there that it’s extremely annoying to tell someone DJ-ing how to DJ, and they ask me if I could play some of that real rap music. Like Wiz Khalifa and Drake. The lady even had the nerve to ask me if I heard of them. The irony of all this being that I’m playing Mos Def on the system as she was asking me that. I just shrugged and said I’ll try to get to it, but I’m going to drop some Nas. She wasn’t feeling Nas.
I get off and the other person comes takes over. It’s all love, some people loved the set. Some people didn’t understand it. The next person just dropped some Lil Wayne, then some Trey Songz, I think T-Pain somewhere, “I’m on one” to satisfy the Rick Ross and Drake demand in one succession and I think there was a cha-cha-slide conducted somewhere. And people were bumping and fist-pumping. Maybe dancing, mostly jumping.
The difference between myself and the latter DJ was that the latter was linked. Though I didn’t understand or even care for why people would want to go out to a club and hear the same thing they hear over and over in their cars and at work, it was what they were linked to. It was what they wanted. served their purpose and turned on the part of the brain that feels like tonight is gonna be a good night. A good good night. Exactly by playing the song by the Black Eyed Peas.
The internet’s the same way. Whether you’re writing for 10 or 100,000 the passion will always remain. It’s who you know. It’s who you reach out to that gets those to reach out to you. Genuine connections aren’t collected by a hit counter on a site, the confirmation of a friend request on Facebook or a follow on Twitter. Website SEO doesn’t play matchmaker.
And inversely, the grade of original online content and/or your writing on these Internets can’t just be determined by views and sales. That’s why the next Shakespeare could already be happening around us as of this writing, but we’re too busy watching Nyan Cat.
It’s the nature of the internet. If people want to hear dubstepped remixes to 80′s TV show theme songs. They’re going to find dubstepped remixes of 80′s TV show themes. The Links have evolved and no longer are they created equal. Obsessions upon obsessions have distorted out views about getting traffic that we’ve forgotten what the internet was really about. Connecting. We begin to think about what we’re forgetting even though it’s right in your face. Too focussed on what you aren’t, what you’re not getting.
We forget to enjoy. Too focussed on what we aren’t and what we’re not getting. And dubstep remixes of Nyan Cat that we forget to enjoy. We forget to give ourselves a trusted name. We forget about doing something, and giving to other blogs, other writers and other businesses. Making organic online connections that work for you when you work for them. Online or offline, the only zen you find at the top of the mountain is the zen you bring up there.