What Well Over 10 Years Of Blogging & Consulting Have Taught Me

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you lived and lived well.”  That provides strong principles and values, a useful framework, to live by but is it a useful definition of purpose?  I offer a simpler take:

The purpose of life is to find your true purpose.

This article will explore my journey, not for the sake of mere self-indulgence but for the purpose of helping you on your own journey and perhaps getting to know each other better.  I hope that, by the end, you’ll realize just how valuable and accomplished you are.  If you’re at a crossroads in life, this may be the article for you.  If you have any thoughts to share, please don’t be shy.  This one will be quite the journey!

This epic collection of stories and scattered thoughts will cover a lot of things, including, but not limited to:

  • How writing can be a tool of self-discovery and self-improvement
  • What I’ve learned through running Y3B as a vehicle for consulting
  • Going beyond establishing expertise and credibility
  • Toxicity and the dangerous brand of knowledge (i.e. bad advice)
  • Why culture/personality fit trumps technical knowledge and experience

Tomorrow, on April 6th 2017, Y3B turns 11 years old and it will mark an over 20-year journey.  While I’ve dabbled in just about everything and worn many hats, writing and technology have always been passions.  The challenge is translating those passions that into what Mark Schaefer calls sustainable interests, a concept that I have long taught and believed in before the book “Known” was published.  That said, you really should read “Known” and check out the discussion groups on it.

known-book-mark-w-schaefer

I believe blogging is still one of the most powerful tools for those wishing to be known.  On a greater scale, if you wish to establish credibility and visibility, the written word is still one of the most compelling ways to do so.  Writing forces you to really think through your ideas in a way you may not do on a podcast and certainly not video, where you may be more preoccupied with production quality instead of the relevant, uniqueness, and importance of your message/stories.  Writing is easily the most powerful form of communication and it is something everyone should strive to improve upon, if for no other reason than to structure your ideas and self-identity better.

 

I’m Not A Blogger, This Is Not A Blog

When folks have asked me over the last few years what it is that I do, I never answer with blogging.  It’s not my focus or core competency.  I believe that calling yourself a blogger diminishes the value of what you do; furthermore, your blog should be a catalyst for bigger things.  The term “blogger” has become synonymous with hobby or passion, not profession or purpose.  That’s fine if your blog is truly a labor of love but, if it can be so much more, why wouldn’t you develop it as such?

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2013 In Review: Never Work.. Do What You LOVE!

Seeing how it’s been a very busy year for me and I haven’t done much writing on any of my sites (I know, shame on me), I figured I would share my 2013 In Review report with you all along with some advice for startups, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses alike.  The stats are not by any means stellar unless you consider that I have been posting to this blog about 1-3 times a month whereas in previous years I updated Yomar.me weekly, if not daily (it was quite a grind alongside everything else).  This year, I’ve been testing the waters further with audio and video..  I am enjoying myself much more, even though I love to write.

Interestingly enough, while I have scaled back social media efforts and blogging here, I have been posting more regularly to my Yogizilla-branded Tumblr and DuelPassOnline.com, where I mainly share fun geeky stuff like gaming and anime.  The response has been great, which has shown me that this marketing/business space is rather crowded and I really need to focus more on my roots: gaming and technology..  As well as creative writing.  Expect just that in 2014!

Now for the recap!  The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.  I hear the monkeys are trained properly, thus very little fecal matter has been transferred to the reports.  Good to know – poop is only good in controlled environments or with proper presentation..  Just ask Sony or Apple (sorry, I could not resist).

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,600 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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An Internet Buffet – Satire, SEO, and SoMe

Hello and welcome to my brand-spanking-new weekly blog and social media round-up, tentatively branded as the Weekly Internet Buffet!

NOTE:  Due to my work over at Geeky Antics Network Global (GANG) and HorsePLAY! LIVE, I will not be continuining my weekly round-up..  At least for now!

20131025-150541.jpg

Special thanks to DonasDays on BlogSpot for the neat image and San Faryna for the blog soup idea!

This is similar to what I have done before with the previous #supportathon and comment brigade campaigns but with a greater focus on curation. I believe that the most successful, accomplished, and fulfilled marketers embrace and live out the 3Cs of online business and conversions (a’la CRO, networking, and lead nurturing). Consumer, Curator, and Collaborator (more on that at another time). The 3Cs remind us that wearing different hats is okay and, more importantly, they help us appreciate the value in all [content] marketing.

With this ongoing initiative, I hope to support lesser-known thought leaders and content marketers while curating some useful, if not fun, tidbits from around the Internet. Of course, this will make it much easier for me to keep up with all the sites I maintain. Everyone wins!

In this manner, I hope we can become collaborators and support each other in more meaningful, consistent ways. So, without further ado, here are my picks for the week!

Stan Faryna is an old friend and I always admire his passion and poetic expression. Each of his pieces always seem to balance philosohical, philanthropic, and practical perspectives. In this continuation of the long-running Social Media DOHs series, Stan revisits favorite themes in value and self-promotion. His creative style will have you quite contemplative and perhaps introspective, too.

http://stanfaryna.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/self-promotion-value-and-other-social-media-dohs/#more-5274

Tim Haverford at NISM (National Institute for Social Media) Online shares five simple reasons why every professional should invest more time in their online presence. Truth be told, I usually skip list-based posts but this is a solid, concise article. For me, the main take-away here is protecting your brand. If you don’t build up your online reputation, someone else will.. And that also leaves your intellectual property at great risk!

http://nismonline.org/five-important-reasons-why-professionals-should-invest-more-time-in-their-online-presence/

Twitter IPO speculation has been quite pervasive in the last month or so and with good reason. No other social network has the global reach, cultural adaptability, and accessibility that Twitter does. My pal Christian Hollingsworth compares Twitter with Facebook and, clearly, we see his social media preference. I am with him, too!

What will the Twitter IPO bring or take away? It is really anyone’s guess. I just hope they have a sustainable revenue model in place. My concern is that Twitter will start to scale back features and kick third-party supporters in the balls, much like Facebook did when they went public…

http://smartboydesigns.com/speculation-surrounds-twitters-ipo/

Obligatory SEO-related content? Absolutely!

The next three links revolve around Google Hummingbird for the most part. First off, SearchEngineWatch (that’s right: not Moz) explains what “Not Provided” means in Google Analytics.. And how we, as small businesses and solopreneurs, can brace ourselves and adapt better.

http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2298881/What-Not-Provided-Google-Hummingbird-Mean-for-Small-Business-SEO

Queries/keywords Not Provided? No problem!

Note the evolution of SEO in just five years or so, as visually represented there. The HubSpot “Evolution of SEO” infographic is fantastic. In fact, if you struggle getting clients to see the value in your SEO services, this is a great tool. We see that a variety in content and creativity have more value now than ever before.

SEW reinforces what many of us veteran SEOs already knew and have advised for close to a decade: breadth of content is the key. This means casting a wider net while listening and measuring more. See what works for you and try new things. In short, keep content fresh and don’t force/spam niche or specializations just to rank up. Yes, that means you can’t just produce lists every day, though those have their place.

http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/what-programmatic-marketing-is-all-about-and-why-it-matters.html

Speaking of breadth of content, SEP sure has a wide variety of content. I trust the Search Engine People.. And Ruud Hein is also quite awesome and entertaining! I appreciate that they tackle all facets and tangent issues in SEO and Inbound Marketing. The above link will make a little sense of new marketing buzz words. WTF is programmatic marketing, anyway?

Back to this Not Provided business, KISSmetrics provides three great work-arounds for uncovering queries/sources which revolve around user behaviors, CPC/SEM, landing pages, and less traditional SEO tactics. Clearly, we can’t rely on Google or even Bing for our analytics and webmaster tools, so here are some ways we can be more self-sufficient and aware of how our content really performs.

http://blog.kissmetrics.com/unlock-keyword-not-provided/

“Recognize your influence. Recognize timing. Be intentional with your words.”

This powerful quote comes from former Navy enlistee and present-day Qualatech team leader/trainer, Matt Law. The next link goes to his article, which digs deeper into what leadership really means.. As well as the power our words really have!

Qualatech is an IT firm that seems to be very principle-driven.. In this article, they put the technical and tactical stuff aside to get to the root of what makes organizations thrive. While IT as a whole is struggling, this a Washington DC consulting firm thrives. My good friend James St. John pointed me to this article but I can see why Qualatech has thrived in what is a very saturated and underappreciated industry: they recognize the importance of true leadership, not mere management, and empowering others

http://www.qualatech.com/the-fishing-trip-that-started-qualatech

I love the narrative element here. A simple fishing trip becomes a life-changing event. The Navy Lieutenant could have easily served his own purposes and tell Matt to re-enlist but, instead, he tells him he has a greater purpose. Certainly, anyone that started an IT firm and stuck with it before the dot-com flops of the late nineties can tell you that was the way to go.

Sidebar: This article also makes a strong case for the power of storytelling and the influence the right words have.. And y’all know how passionate I am about such topics!

Today, Qualatech is a muliti-million-dollar operation and they continue to grow while others close doors and venture into more viable fields. I absolutely love this inspirational story. Thanks for sharing, James and Matt!

http://osakabentures.com/2013/10/startup-founders-who-give-back-in-listly/

There’s a quickie from another friend and collaborator of mine, Saul Fleischman. If you are looking to network with other startups and collaborate, add your name into the peer support list[ly] cited there. As Guy Kawasaki would say, it’s better to share a bigger pie than to desperately hold onto a tiny little slice. Saul is a big fan of give-and-take/reciprocation. He is also based out of Japan, which may be more convenient for those of us not in the Americas. Saul is as authentic as they come so, if you seek honesty and objectivity, he is your man!

…and now for something completely different…

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-satire.htm

Satire and irony may be two of the most misunderstood literary devices out there so, when my son asked for help with his lit project, I thought it would be prudent to make sure I explained things properly. WiseGeek is one of those sites I enjoy when I feel like brushing up on my knowledge, or just reminding myself that I am a geek, above all. This is an informative read, even if you do not consider yourself a writer.

Did you know there are three main types of satire (and apparently a fourth and fifth kind)?

These describe the tone and style of the satire, rather than the subject matter. Interestingly enough, all I could think of was political satire at first.. I am now informed!

Hope you all enjoyed this week’s picks!

If I missed your submissions, feel free to post on our SEO Facebook group or email me.

DragonBlogger.com Amazon Kindle Fire Contest (and Quick Net Tablet Comparison)

UPDATE: I may very well post my first YouTube video in a long time.. There, I’ll share my thoughts on the awesome DragonBlogger.com Kindle Fire Giveaway and the myriad of competing net tablets out there. WOOHOO!

…And here is the video, as promised!”

If your household is anything like mine, chances are everyone wants electronics for Christmas and it’s no secret that Internet tablets are all the rave right now. Thing is, the choice is tough with so many great options out there (are every point in the price spectrum, too). Fortunately, DragonBlogger.com has made the decision easier. Justin’s excitement for the Amazon Kindle Fire has extended into a full-blown Kindle Fire Giveaway targeted at bloggers and social media enthusiasts!

Currently, I blog to you from an iPad2 I won thanks to the wonderful folks over at Unbounce.com. I like the iPad2 but can’t wait for my Samsun Galaxy Tab to get here from Woot.com (then my wife, the resident Apple nut, can take this over. Like Justin G from DragonBlogger, I prefer Android tablets for their rich web browsing experience, Adobe Flash support, and more open platform.

The Amazon Kindle Fire is up there with my personal faves from Archos, Asus, and Samsung. It may lack the processing power and full-fledged Android Honeycomb OS but the price point makes it an excellent gift.. And a surprising performer for the price!

It seems everyone in my family wants one of these babies so winning one would rock… But with over 1000 entries currently in the run over at DragonBlogger.com and the process being a bit.. Involved.. I’m not holding my breath.

Last I checked, the Amazon Kindle Fire has built-in HDMI out but that’s just a bonus. With access to one of my favorite marketplaces, it’s a clear winner in my book. You get Amazon cloud, video streaming, ebooks, and more! If you get one of these tablets (I hope you win one too), spoil yourself with an Amazon Prime membership. It really pays for itself, especially if you order lots of stuff online like I do.

CORRECTION:  The Amazon Kindle Fire does not have an HDMI port unless you use an optional accessory.  It DOES, however, have a   Hi-Speed USB  (5-pin Micro-USB Type B) port.  I’m thinking it should support thumb drives and/or keyboard attachments with this port but, considering the Kindle Fire is running an older Android 2.3 Gingerbread custom build, that remains to be seen (at least first-hand).

If you can spend more, consider the Asus eeePad Transformer. The Android Honeycomb 3.1 and 3.2 Internet tablets are the closest thing to an online desktop experience, though it’s more akin to a netbook, for obvious reasons. With Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) out, the deals on Android 2.x and 3.x have started, though it won’t be until after the holidays that we will see the real price cuts.

I have also been impressed with the Archos products in terms of durability, touchscreen response, third-party support (read “Android marketplace access”), and features right out of the box. I got my son a ten-inch model and it is quite powerful, especially at the entry-level price. This Android 2.2 Internet tablet plays Adobe Flash, accesses almost the entire Android Market with around 88% compatibility with popular apps (yes, Ninja Jump and Angry Birds inclusive), and comes with neat features such as two USB supports, Bluetooth connectivity, and external storage support. This is impressive considering the top dogs do not come with all these features, at least not out of the box.

In spite of stiff competition, the Kindle Fire is poised to become a market value. At around $200, you get an INSANE amount of value that gives even the iPad2 some competition! Of course, if you can win an Amazon Kindle Fire by blogging, liking, sharing, and tweeting daily (as allowed), I’d say it is a safe bet you will NOT be disappointed – hurry, though, as the contest winners will be announced December 16th, 2011!

Enter the DragonBlogger.com Amazon Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Dragon Blogger Kindle Fire Giveaway Sponsors

These awesome sponsors made this giveaway possible and you should pay them a visit and thank them!

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Triberr Rocks, But Not For The Reasons Most Love It Or Hate It

So here I am doing my usual social media thing when I get mentioned on OsakaBentures.com via Disqus.

Before I go off on a tangent, I want to be clear.  I dig Saul and I appreciate that he sticks by his ideals and principles.  I just can’t agree with his views on Triberr, even if it’s the popular opinion (and I may get some tomatoes thrown at me), because it’s that sort of stuff that has made people hesitant or disdainful towards Triberr, IMHO.

Now allow me to rant about why I feel Triberr ROCKS but most people just “don’t get it”…

As I do my usual SEO schtick, I find tons of mis-representative content about Triberr.  Just Google “Triberr” – it’s rather overwhelming!  I’ll quote Nicole Crepeau’s Triberr article from Coherent Social Media:

In fact, there are things I love about Triberr:

I love the goal for which it was established: to give more exposure to smaller bloggers.

I love that being in Tribes can help keep your blog in front of your network and keep their’s in front of you.

I really like the new headline testing feature.

I like the way Triberr’s founders, Dino Dogan and Dan Cristo are ever present and responsive, and generally keep the discussion positive and professional–even when things have gotten a bit rough.

I like the fact that it’s working for people and increasing traffic to their blogs.

I like Dino’s thoughts about a union for bloggers, to enable bloggers to make a living at blogging.

There’s only one thing, actually, that I don’t like about Triberr:

I don’t like the auto-tweeting. 

I quote this not due to laziness but because I believe there’s no point in regurgitating what’s already out there on the blogosphere, especially when the aforementioned seems to be the consensus.  The automagical part is something folks either love or hate.  We get that.

No Triberr - From Coherent Social Media

"No Triberr.. BAD Triberr!" - Thanks Coherentia.com!

The problem with Triberr is not Triberr..  It’s YOU (shame on you!).  Okay, maybe not *you* specifically, but people that don’t use it in an ethical manner or at least manage expectations properly.

What we have here is an issue with semantics, framing, positioning, or whatever you want to call it.

I don’t get excited about the reach multiplier aspect.  I do SEO and I’ve seen how pure traffic is worthless unless you are engaging and have some decent concept about inbound marketing, authenticity, and conversions thereof.  You need to build trust, help others, and show you care before others do the same in return.

Now, what DOES excite me is what Dino Dogan has often told me in private and in public:

Triberr is the great equalizer.

Yes, I know, we have some a-listers in Triberr and they’re mostly good people.  Truth be told, I’d say 60-80% of the current users on Triberr would likely not be on there if there were not these sorts of social media and online marketing rockstars.   Some folks just want their link juice, so to speak.  In spite of those folks that draw in the fanboys, suits, and bean counters, I still believe in this vision: giving smaller bloggers and thought leaders a chance to find their own captive audience.

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OH NOES – I’m Breaking The Blogging Rules!

DISCLAIMER: If this is your first time visiting my blog, it may seem I am being dismissive or condescending. Not at all.. A lot of the stuff I’ve slacked on has great value but I know not to let it drive me batty. One step at a time.. This is meant to be a light-hearted, fun blog entry, poking fun at myself. Please take it with a grain of salt and thank you for visiting!

I am breaking some blogging rules, especially this week (you know me, I’m a bit of a rebel and a crazy *wink*):

  • I am only updating once this week (but that’s typical these days).
  • This particular blog entry won’t be “significant” by most standards.
  • There will be no “powerful call to action” here.
  • I am not fully leveraging my blog to “sell” or convert.. Though I probably should!
  • I have not added many info products nor have I created many upsell opportunities on my main blog.
  • I have not set up additional landing pages (just a couple) nor have I focused on opt-in rates and permissions marketing.
  • Monetizing efforts are minimal, at best, but it serves my personal goals right now.
  • Blogging schedule.. What’s that?

I’d like to call this…

Slowing down to speed up.  (a.k.a. quality over quantity)

…Others may call it cheating, being undisciplined, or a blogging felony. Fair enough. Everyone is entitled to their opinions!

Accomplice in Cheating Felony

Will you be my accomplice in cheating a little?

It’s been a very productive week but, unfortunately, I have not had as much creative time due to other projects.  I did put together a rather epic guest blog for UNbounce and I am working on some other guest blogs, including one that I am doing for my pal and fellow Online Entrepreneur and Business Consultant, Dave Gallant.  Still working away on some stuff for Dino Dogan, too.  (I’ve been working on my name-dropping skills as well – HA!)

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Are You A Serious Blogger Or A Hobbyist?

QUICK UPDATE:  My stock, YOMAR, is rising up on Empire Avenue – it’s strangely exciting to see how my social influence ranks throughout various communities.  Come visit me!

If you’ve been around the blogosphere enough, chances are you’ve come across blogs preaching the importance of planning out content, doing SEO, and monetizing your efforts. Most of the advice is sound. It makes sense to make blogging more worthwhile, if not lucrative. The first real step we bloggers should take is asking ourselves…

Am I a serious blogger or a hobbyist?

I’m surprised more people do not tackle this aspect of blogging. Rewards and success come in different flavors. Really, I’d say the longevity of your blog comes down to two things:

  • Sustainability. WordPress.com initiated postaday2011 and postaweek2011 as a way to create urgency for bloggers. Some “experts” will tell you should blog 3 times a week, if not daily, but can you keep this up? For how long?
  • Passion. Blogging is more of a selfish act and it should be.. BUT blogging solely about what interests others will bore you. Are you passionate about your subject matter or just following trends? You need a balance.

Blogging, like any business endeavor or project, can become a chore if you’re not focused on your goals and motivations. Product longevity depends on a number of factors so you have to consider what the heart of your “thing” is and how long that focus will work. You have to be honest with yourself here. Let’s look at the things you should consider before stepping things up with your blogging efforts (or not)… Continue reading