A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

iAd – Apple Dropped the Advertising Bomb on Google!

April 9th, 2010

With all the excitement and press going on about the iPad, you may have missed the big announcement yesterday.  But if you are involved in any way with Internet marketing, this is a HUGE one.  In my opinion, it is the biggest news we have heard this year in online marketing.

Apple has created it’s own advertising platform for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad.  It is called iAd.  This is not just a method for showing ads.  It is a full-blown advertising platform. 

This has the potential to be as big or bigger than Google AdWords!

Google-VS-AppleThink Google AdWords – for apps.

Does Google AdWords makes a lot of money?  Uh…  Yea!  Facts are, 98% of all revenue for Google comes from their AdWords advertising program.  In other words, it financially supports EVERYTHING Google does…  Google search, Gmail, Docs, Apps, Wave, Chrome, Blogger, Picasa, News, Books, Maps, Earth & Mars, Buzz, and everything else.

Google has a market value of 200 Billion USD!  Almost ALL of their money comes from Google AdWords.  It’s why Microsoft is promoting their search engine (Bing) so hard.  They want a piece of that huge money.

But Apple has taken a different approach.  Instead of gunning for advertising on SEARCH, they have built an entirely different advertising platform.  Their advertising platform will be for APPS, which is even bigger and more profitable than SEARCH.

IAdSteve Jobs thinks so. 
(He may be right.)

If you have not watched the Apple 4 Event yesterday, you need to – right now.  You will hear him speak very directly about how the future is mobile.  And on the mobile phone, it’s not about SEARCH, it’s about APPS.  (He’s right.)

Click here and go directly to the 45:00 mark.

In it, Steve Jobs does the math to show the opportunity for 1 BILLION ad impressions per day, using his new platform.  Why?  Google is known to perform 1 BILLION searches per day. 

Coincidence?  I doubt it.

With this new platform, instead of competing with Google AdWords, Apple has made their own platform that will be just as large and just as profitable.

Think Facebook or Twitter have an opportunity to monetize with Ads?  What Apple is doing will blow it away.  Keep watching the video and notice the interaction and video that is involved in the ad.  This thing is HUGE.

I’m not an Apple fan-boy.

For my regular readers, you know I’m not a big huge fan of Apple products.  However, I do love my iPod Touch.  (I also want an iPad.  They look cool.)

But this advertising platform will be the primary advertising tool for iPhones, iPods, and iPads.  It is a HUGE opportunity.  I strongly suggest that you start paying attention to this space if you have not already. 

If you are a blogger, content creator, online marketer, or sell anything online…  This is your chance.  Don’t blow it.

If you don’t have a simple iPhone app already, go make one immediately.  You can use a simple service such as Mobile Roady to get going quickly and cheaply.  Start getting users and be ready to either put ads on your app or get people to download your app by advertising it on other apps.

For those of us that look back longingly at the “good ole days” of getting very cheap advertising on Google AdWords (and Overture), this is your chance.  Get in early to this new platform and it will likely start out cheap.  Capitalize early, because it won’t last long.  Prices will rise fast.

Finally finished moving

April 2nd, 2010

Over the last few days we moved our office from Cornelius to Huntersville, NC.  We really enjoyed being with Andy Pipas at Pipas Chiropractor since June 2007.  But this opportunity was too good to pass up.

Our new location is about the same size but offers very high-end professional training rooms for no additional cost.  The main reason we moved was because it was too good to pass up.  (This place is REALLY nice!)  So now we’re here for a minimum of 15 months.

I can’t wait to share the pictures with all of you, but I can’t find my camera yet.  I’m pretty much unpacked, but it took several days to get everything moved and setup.  All four of us are now up and running.

At the same time as the move my designer got sick, my lead web guy went on vacation, we transferred our e-commerce sites to dedicated hosting, and I’ve been in discussions with two amazing businesses for projects that are extremely interesting.  (One is for an iPhone app and the other is for social media with a very large company.)  I’m also still trying to drive my current internal project with full force.

Today is Friday.  I’m very ready for the weekend.

(I’ll get some pictures posted of the new place soon.)

My StomperNet Review – What is StomperNet?

March 18th, 2010

StomperNet LogoWhat is StomperNet?

I’ve been getting that question for years.

StomperNet is often misunderstood.  In fact, some actually have some strong feelings against it, even though they have never experienced it.

So I’m writing this information to give the actual facts, as I know them.  The official StomperNet websites and web pages tend to be very long, scrolling copy.  So I’ll try to answer some questions here (briefly)…

What is StomperNet?  What do they offer?

As of March 2010, StomperNet is owned by Brad Fallon, a well-known Internet marketer.  He is well known not only for his success in e-commerce, but for having excellent connections with other high-end online marketers.

Primarily, they offer a StomperNet Membership* for $197 per month.  It gives you access to training, coaching, masterminds, & tools for Internet marketing.  It includes some level of access to over 20 very smart “faculty members” that have various backgrounds in online marketing.  (NOTE:  I’m not a member.)

StomperNet Live Pages 3StomperNet also offers a monthly magazine called “The Net Effect*.  It costs $50 per month and offers information on Internet marketing, catering mostly to those involved in e-commerce.  (NOTE:  I’m a subscriber.)

Thirdly, they have an annual event called “StomperNet Live*.  This year is the ninth one (SNL9) and it is being held in Atlanta on March 25 to 28, 2010.  It costs $197 to attend and includes one free month of the membership.  (NOTE:  I attended SNL7 last year as a guest.)

Lastly, they have various other side initiatives that you can buy into for additional costs.  For example, they are now offering something for marketing via mobile phone.  They also tend to promote and link to others products outside StomperNet.  These are known as Joint Venture partners (JV partners).

What Others Say about StomperNet

Many intelligent Internet marketers are very comfortable and familiar with talking about Aaron Wall of SEO Book, Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz, Brett Tabke of PubCon and WebmasterWorld, Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Strategies and SMX, and others.

Yet, when it comes to StomperNet, there is a different attitude and feel towards it.  It seems to be more of an insiders club.  Perhaps it is because of the way it is marketed.  I’m not sure.

Overall, there are plenty of opinions out there about StomperNet, especially from those that have never experienced it.  For example, I have heard local people in Charlotte complain that they are spammers and that they can’t be trusted.  That has not been my personal experience so far.

They have recently lowered the price considerably in an effort to be considered more mainstream.  But personally, I think the style of emails they send and the long form copy on their websites (although effective) tends to give them a certain reputation.

Among those that are actual members, the comments are very positive.

Is StomperNet Expensive?

It’s not as expensive as it used to be!  It used to cost about $800 per month.  That’s right, almost $10K per year.  But the price changed dramatically on September 9, 2009 (aka 09/09/09).

Even at $10K per year, many of the actual Stompers (that’s what they call StomperNet members) did not complain.  In attending the SNL7, some are clearly there as a hobby.  But many others are legitimate businesses owners getting good, practical advice in solid Internet marketing principles.  For them, the cost was well worth it, even before it dropped.

Personally, I have been reading The Net Effect for a year and a half.  Let’s face it, $50 per magazine each month is not cheap.  But because my business is primarily e-commerce, I still feel it is worth it.  I have not found any more practical info that will improve my business more that this magazine.  (Honest!)

As for StomperNet Live, the price is downright cheap.  Under $200 for a three-day conference on Internet marketing is very good.  The speakers and site reviews are excellent.  Hotels in Atlanta are not cheap.  But other than that, it’s definitely worth $197.

What is StomperNet Live like?

I attended SNL7 in March 2009.  Overall the event was enjoyable and enlightening.  Some of it seemed a little haphazard.  For example, some speakers seemed fairly unprepared and ran overtime often.  But it was still good.  Some have told me this year will not be that way due to a change in ownership.

I met some very interesting people.  In particular, I enjoyed meeting some other businesses that specialize in e-commerce locally here in Charlotte, NC.  We’ve stayed in touch ever since.

Who should try StomperNet?

It’s definitely not for everyone.  If you have a legitimate online business and want to take it to the next level, this may a great opportunity for you.

To be honest, the value is there.  It is.  The hard part is knowing if you have the time to absorb and use it.  After all, if you are going to shell out the cash for this info, you will want to make the time to practice and work on what you learn.

If you can make the time to work ON your business instead of IN your business, this is a great choice.

Then again, if you find Internet marketing interesting and want to come for fun (as a hobby), go for it.  But that’s not me.  This is not a hobby, it’s what I do to make money for a living.

Why I’m not a Stomper

As mentioned earlier, I do read The Net Effect.  I also have attended StomperNet Live.  But I am not a full StomperNet member.  Not yet, at least.

It’s not because there is not enough value.  There is.  I just have some other projects I am working on first.  As I’ve mentioned on other posts, I have some very significant projects that are taking much of my time right now.  So I have not bothered becoming a full blown StomperNet member.

As for StomperNet Live, I’m still undecided.  The timing is not good for me this year.  So if I can’t make it, I will definitely make the next one.

LINKS:  Here are the links to StomperNet, StomperNet Live, and The Net Effect.

NOTE:  Are you a Stomper?  Have opinions about StomperNet?
Got a question?  Leave it in the comments below.
I’d love you hear your thoughts.

* Note:  As a full FTC disclosure, some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  But the information is the honest truth as I know it.  If you know me, you know this is true.

Google – Something to think about

March 11th, 2010

I’m a big fan of Google.  But here’s a little three minute video that might make you wonder if they are starting to go too far.

What do you think?  Are they starting to go too far?

Thursday Night – Watch In-Person or Online

March 3rd, 2010

Thursday, March 4 at 6:30 PM I will be giving a free presentation titled…

“How to Get a LOT More Done Online – in less time”

Global_12815672As I mentioned before, it took me 2 years to gather the information for this presentation.  You can signup to attend in person here.

However, the organizer (Keith Schilling) has kindly volunteered to make the live Ustream available to all for free.  All you will need to do is click this link.  (Currently it is password protected.  It won’t be that evening.)

I sincerely hope you can attend in person.  But if not, please be near a computer Thursday, March 4 and click the link to watch live.

PS:  The 6:30 time may actually be for networking.  I think the actual presentation will start at 7:00 PM.  I’ll try to confirm that.

Spend 2 Days With Me. I’ll give you $200.

February 21st, 2010

I normally charge $100 per hour for Internet marketing consulting.  But this week, I’m doing something special.

I’m teaching a class on Thursday and Friday specifically about Google AdWords.  I know this stuff and I know how to make money with it.  I’ve been a certified Google AdWords Professional for several years.  I created my first account in 2002 and I still manage that same account and make money with it.

I honestly think that almost every business can make money by spending a specific and budgeted amount on Google AdWords.  I also firmly believe that almost all SEO work should start with a small amount of Google AdWords.  It’s the BEST Keyword Research in the world.  I show how in this class.

It will be held in the training room at our office and I sincerely hope you can make it.  So here’s my offer…

If you come spend 2 days with me learning how to build and/or refine your Google AdWords campaigns, I have two $100 Google AdWords coupons I will give you for free.  You can use them on new accounts.

After the class, you’ll know exactly how to turn them into even more money for your business.

There’s only one catch.  The class costs $299.  But even at that rate, once you get the $200 in coupons, you’re really paying less than $50 per day for training.

I guarrantee it will be worth it to you.  You can register here.

I am Going Dark

February 17th, 2010

For the next two months, we’re working on a new, big project here at Hippo.  So you won’t be hearing much from me.

I’ve got my entire team really focused on this new initiative.  We’ve got a lot of people involved and I need to stay focused to succeed.

As you can imagine, it involves a lot of Internet marketing and I really want us to hit this one out of the park.  So, I’m learning a lot as I go.  In fact, once I’m done I’ll probably teach a new class on the subject and show what we did, including the corresponding results.

Even though we are busy, I will still be doing…

Please check those out.

These Secrets took me 2 Years to Figure Out

February 17th, 2010

If you know me well, this won’t surprise you.

Unlike so many, I’m not a floundering marketer or business owner that bounces from one shiny object to another.  I own several e-commerce sites.  I teach and do SEO, Google AdWords, and many other forms of Internet marketing. 

I don’t chase every new thing and I don’t waste a lot of time in Social Media.

In fact, about two and a half years ago, I stopped taking clients.  Why?  I wanted to work more on the businesses and training programs.  I wanted to help my students more and build my own businesses.

Overall, it worked.

My businesses are growing.  And about 100 students have come through our training programs over the last two years or so.  I still keep in touch with many of them.  A lot of them are doing very, very well.  I love hearing from them.

(It’s amazing.  This Internet marketing stuff really works!  But you can’t just learn it. You have to DO it.)

So what’s next?

I’m not satisfied. 

Over these past two years, I know for a certainty that if I could get more done (even just 10% more) each week, I could grow my business more and help my students more.

In fact, let’s think about it another way…

If I could get just 10% more done each week, I could take 10% of the week off.  I could spend it with with my wife and other loved ones, doing the things I want to do.  (There’s life beyond SEO.  At least for me.)

Think about that.  Just 10% of 40 hours per week is a half day off every week!  Do you work 40 hours per week?  More?  Want a half day off to do anything you want? 

Become more efficient!  Get more done in less time.  That’s the key.

I want to share this.

So I did it.  I got more efficient.  How? 

1.  Better processes for getting things done.
2.  Better layout & organization of my work environment.
3.  Lots of miscellaneous tools and tips.
4.  A little piece of software I found.

I’m not kidding.  I’ve been working at this for two and a half years.  I’ve been making notes along the way.  I think I have it down, although it’s not perfect.  And I want to show you.

I’ll do so on March 4.  It’s a free event at downtown Charlotte and I hope to see you there.  More details here.

We Need a Charlotte Area Freelance Web Designer

February 16th, 2010

Here at Hippo Internet Marketing, we’re looking for a local web designer with e-commerce design experience.  (Technically, the Hippo Inc side of my business is in need, not the Internet marketing training side.)

We’re not looking to hire, and it’s not a big job.  However, we are doing more and more with Magento in particular.  So, we’d like to have someone local that we can call upon.  

What we need…

Although we have some specific work now, we are really hoping to find someone that we can call upon for years to come as things come up.

For now, we have a couple of specific projects in the pipeline.

One is pretty much done, but we could use a little more help with fine-tuning our product pages and creating more of a custom look for them.

The other site is in need of a new template overall.  We’re entering all the data quickly and will need someone to take the basic ideas we have and create a new overall design and implement it.

As time goes on, we may need some help with designing some of the content-heavy pages also.

Bottom line?  The work will be off and on, but if you are good, fairly quick, and offer a reasonable price, we may work together for a long, long time.

Requirements…

1.  Freelancers only please.  We’re not looking to hire a company, but a person that can be available to help us when we need them (within reason).

2.  You must have experience in working with Magento e-commerce.

NOTE:  We’re primarily looking for a designer, not a programmer.  We have a good programmer on board.  We need a designer, but with some Magento experience.

If you are interested…

Please drop an email to Corey@Hippo-Inc.com.

  • Include your basic contact information (or a link to it).
  • Include your history & experience in e-commerce web design.
  • Include examples of sites you’ve worked on (or a portfolio link)
  • Include your typical cost structure.

NOTE:  Please don’t bother calling me.  For those of you that know me, you know why.  If you don’t know me, you can learn why it’s no use calling me on March 4 here.

Apple iPad? Google ChromePad? What it means to SEO

February 3rd, 2010

IPadThe Apple iPad announcement was the biggest news of the year so far, hands down.  Some say it’s just a big iPod Touch.  Some think it’s the next big thing.  Others complain about the lack of features.

But let’s talk about the SEO & Internet Marketing implications.

Gtablet-lgBut first, let’s move beyond just talking about the poorly named iPad.  It’s barely been a week since the announcement and already we’re hearing rumblings about Google making something similar. 

Why not?  Google is turning Chrome into an OS and have already ventured into hardware with the Nexus One!  Check out the images and videos on this page and see what you think of them. 

Personally, I like the idea of having a slim, non-keyboard appliance to browse the Internet and check email on.  It would be a little easier to have something like this near the couch and perhaps even take with me on short non-work trips.  I welcome the idea.  After all, that’s what I use my iPod Touch for and I love it!

Let’s face it, the Internet is not just confined to a desktop or laptop anymore.  It is there.  But it’s also on our phones, our video games, and elsewhere.

SEOHow does this affect SEO?  How does it affect your Internet marketing plans and efforts?

This should not surprise you, but search will still be a major part of these methods of using the Internet.  But it may look different.  

Like Google does now, we will start to see much more than just ten links to web pages.  We’ll see links to videos, images, news, social media, etc.  We’ll see personalized results and localized results.  You’ll soon start to see different results on your laptop, your phone, and perhaps even your “pad”.

So your exact ranking for a particular phrase will become even less useful than it is now.  But SEO is not dead.  Do you SEO best practices.  Work your on-page factors and get your links.  But most importantly, just be the best at what you do.

If you’re still staring at PageRank and obsessing over your exact rankings, it’s time to move on.  Start improving your site and being the best at what you do, no matter what it is.  Write intelligently.  Make good content.  Have good prices.  Create quality video content.  Be the best. 

It’s not hard.  But it does take work.  Build a business, not just a search engine ranking.  It’s in your best interests long-term.