A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

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Archive for the ‘Favorites’ Category

Staying Focused and Getting Things Done

You probably spend a lot of time online, right?

I know I do.  Although I enjoy interacting with my three other employees and talking to a few clients, most of my time is spent at the computer.  I market my businesses and e-commerce sites online, I network online, I learn online.

And that’s just work.  When I’m not working, I’m checking the news online, I shop online, etc.  (You get the point.)

Given this, I constantly ask myself: “Am I actually getting things done?”

Is it just me?  Or do you ask yourself that too?  Before you answer that, imagine this…

When I was at a recent conference in Atlanta, one of the speakers asked the audience:  “How much time do you actually spend each day building and growing your business?  Be honest.”

(Now keep in mind that the audience was filled with hundreds of online marketers and business people.  They even admitted that they tend to work 10 to 12 hours per day.)

The answer?  Only about one-third said 1–2 hours or more!  And only two people in the entire audience said 4 hours or more each day.

I was one of those people.

So, when I noticed that only one other person had their hand up, I was tempted to take mine down.  After all, there were HUNDREDS of people in the room.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I am pretty strict with how I use my time.

So what do you think?  I’d love to hear your comments below.  Am I that unusual?  With so many potential distractions online, how much time per day do you actually spend building and growing your business?

I really want to hear back from you about this.

(After all, I’m teaching SEO and other Internet marketing courses.  If my students can barely find an hour per day to use it, I should probably be including training on how to stay focused and get things done.)

Using Social Media is not Social Media MARKETING

I have a bunch of friends and colleagues that work with social media, especially in the Charlotte area.  I greatly appreciate all their comments and forward thinking.  I have nothing against social media and use it daily myself.

However, just using social media does not make money.

I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, but it’s true.  Using social media is like using search engines.  It does not make you a consultant, trainer, or expert.  It simply makes you a user.

It seems more obvious when it comes to search engines, but for some reason people that use social media a lot seem to think they can charge money to show companies how to do what they do.

In contrast, there IS a great need for social media MARKETING.  That third word is the key.  With search engines, we use the paid placements and “natural” rankings to get more money, more clients, more positive attention, or whatever other goal is desired.  We also do this for clients.  Businesses pay for marketing.

Social media marketing has a similar potential, and maybe even more.  But this is very different than just using social media.  It is about getting results.  Lots of followers isn’t results.  Getting the right people to not just follow you but to take some sort of action is.

What really makes social media cool is that it can be used for more than just marketing.  It can be used for customer relations, public relations, and more.

But the part that excites me (and I think will excite most businesses) is the potential for social media MARKETING.  For years now, marketers have been learning how to use paid methods and organic methods to market themselves and/or their clients.

Similar to search, social media marketing has paid opportunities (think Facebook ads for example) and “organic” methods to get natural (free) attention.

I know that life is not just about money.  But if you do want to make money, it’s time to look beyond being a social media user and becoming a social media marketer.

There’s a big difference in my book.

How to Hire an SEO

I’ve been doing Internet Marketing including SEO since 2003.  In doing so, I often get asked “How do I Hire an SEO?”  The question can get asked any number of ways, such as…

* How do I outsource SEO?

* Who should I hire?

* What should I ask an SEO before I hire them?

* Do you have any students I can hire?

* Can you review these proposals before I hire an SEO?


How to Get an E-Commerce Website

Since my podcast on e-commerce, I’ve received a lot of questions on how to get started.  This especially came up in yesterday’s Blogging class.

There are two ways to do this.  You can get the parts you need and put them all together or hire someone to do it all.


1.  The program (back-end) you will use
These days, I recommend investigating Volusion or Magento Ecommerce.

2.  The design
Some programs offer free templates.  But if you are serious at all, you need to go hire a designer.  Mine is Jon Bolden.  The guy is awesome.

3.  Configure the program
No matter what program you use, you will need to setup shipping, sales tax, and your gateway/merchant account.  How you do this will depend on which program you use.

4.  Add your products
This is different for each program too.  It can be a ton of work.  Or it could be as simple as an import.  Do it yourself or hire someone.

5.  Market your site
This is the hard part.  Rewrite pages with SEO in mind, get links, etc.


If all of the above seems like a lot of work, you’re right.  But it’s the only “good” way to do it unless you have thousands of dollars to spend.

If you are ready to drop several thousand dollars or more on a vendor that will do most of the above, you can investigate JanMedia, FastPivot, or any number of other businesses that do so.

(I would still recommend you do most of the marketing yourself.  Marketing is not part of owning a e-commerce business, it is the e-commerce business.  Don’t out-source it.  It’s too important. – IMHO)


Honestly, I don’t have a lot of experience with the above e-commerce providers.  I do my own stuff.  So if anyone has good experience with one locally or elsewhere, please leave a comment below.

Please be sure to comment on why my students and colleagues should choose your business or a business you have used for building an e-commerce store.


Jason Keath – Interview about Charlotte WordCamp 2008

In case you have not heard, Jason Keath was the man behind the inaugural Charlotte WordCamp, which was held on Saturday, November 15, 2008.  The event seemed to be a huge success. 

So below is a brief interview I held with him on Monday, the first working day after the event…  

1.  Jason, when did the idea for holding a Charlotte WordCamp first come to you, and how did it all get started?

My first interest began around March. I commented on some blogs and approached some WP folks about Charlotte as a venue with little response. Which, in all honesty, is pretty fair considering the lack of these types of events in Charlotte in the past.


SEO – What to chase

My wife and I just spent 8 hours in the car driving from home (Charlotte, NC) to Florida.  Typically, this makes for an interesting time.  As you can imagine, I get bored easy and my wife just likes to relax – not a good combination.

This time was different.  Sandy had a laptop and earphones.  So she watched some girly movies.  I had my iPod Touch and listened to several quality SEO podcasters for several hours.  Occasionally we had pleasant conversation.  But overall, this arrangement kept me from pestering her.  Everyone was happy.

As a side benefit, it means I am more psyched than ever about SEO.  You see, many people think SEO is boring.  Honestly, it is.  Writing tags, editing pages, checking rankings, bla, bla, bla.

But after listening to some experts talk about the latest and greatest techniques for link building in particular, I’m excited once again.  These guys are brilliant and their ideas on how to use blogs, social media, and other sources was just awesome.

I’ve now got some great stuff to share with my colleagues and students in the upcoming weeks.  I’m also excited to get to work on several of our internal projects to make them even stronger.


While driving, I heard two great SEO illustrations that I want to share.  These are not really tips or techniques, but a mindset.

Two experts were discussing how to view SEO.  Unfortunately, many think of it as a battle between you and Google.  That’s not really true.  Your real competition is not Google, but the other sites (or businesses) competing for your key phrases.

To illustrate, if you are camping with a group of friends and a bear jumps out of the woods, do you need to run faster than the bear?  Not really.  You need to run faster than the others with you.

It’s an interesting way to look at it.  Don’t chase the algorithm.  Outrun your competition.  It’s almost always easier.


Because even though the algo has not changed much over the years, it is hard to chase it.  When you shoot an arrow at a flying object, you don’t aim for your target, you aim for where the target will be.

Do we know where the Google algorithm will be in 3 months, 6 months, one year?  We have some loose ideas, but not really.

So don’t chase the algorithm.  Outrun your competition.

And next time you go on a long trip, bring something to watch or listen to.  That’s today’s advice for SEO and a happy marriage.

New Media Expo 2008 Wrap-up

I attended the New Media Expo on August 14–16, 2008 in Las Vegas.

Below are links to the various posts I wrote regarding the conference…

Start here

Keynote addresses

Other sessions


Top 100 Twitter Users in Charlotte, NC

Who uses Twitter in Charlotte, North Carolina?

I’ve been following anyone I can find in the region and am trying to gather a “Top 100” list.

Today (8/11/08) I post my list with 77 names.  I’d like to reach 100.

Top 100 Twitter Users in Charlotte, NC

1. http://twitter.com/Charlotte_SEO – (me)
2. http://twitter.com/uttley – (Thanks for your help)
3. http://twitter.com/485sucks
4. http://twitter.com/93octane
5. http://twitter.com/abellmas
6. http://twitter.com/adambernstein
7. http://twitter.com/AdamPortrais
8. http://twitter.com/AlvinKreitman
9. http://twitter.com/andya
10. http://twitter.com/AnjanetteF
11. http://twitter.com/b2we
12. http://twitter.com/barnettwebsites
13. http://twitter.com/BMiller
14. http://twitter.com/BobbySisk
15. http://twitter.com/bradybone
16. http://twitter.com/brendan4
17. http://twitter.com/brianbaute *
18. http://twitter.com/browzmi
19. http://twitter.com/budesigns
20. http://twitter.com/carbonhouse
21. http://twitter.com/carolinabudgie
22. http://twitter.com/CarolinasMC
23. http://twitter.com/chrisharrington
24. http://twitter.com/cltblog
25. http://twitter.com/CLTcc
26. http://twitter.com/cltraffic – Charlotte Traffic updates
27. http://twitter.com/CoreyCreed (my personal account)
28. http://twitter.com/Dani08
29. http://twitter.com/DarrylParker
30. http://twitter.com/david28078
31. http://twitter.com/designcharlotte
32. http://twitter.com/dianeaurit
33. http://twitter.com/harringtonia
34. http://twitter.com/HuckC21 *
35. http://twitter.com/immi505
36. http://twitter.com/ironfroggy
37. http://twitter.com/jakrose
38. http://twitter.com/jayweisberger
39. http://twitter.com/JeffElder *
40. http://twitter.com/jhough42
41. http://twitter.com/jjtnall
42. http://twitter.com/jruckman
43. http://twitter.com/JustineCampbell
44. http://twitter.com/KaylaC *
45. http://twitter.com/Lifeinqueencity
46. http://twitter.com/lisahoffmann *
47. http://twitter.com/LisaPisa
48. http://twitter.com/MarkBoone
49. http://twitter.com/MarkMHarrison
50. http://twitter.com/mcgstudio
51. http://twitter.com/mcstover
52. http://twitter.com/mediadianne
53. http://twitter.com/MelissaMartin
54. http://twitter.com/MichelleBoudin
55. http://twitter.com/mtyndall
56. http://twitter.com/MyCreativeTeam *
57. http://twitter.com/pixelnated
58. http://twitter.com/realty
59. http://twitter.com/rmathieson
60. http://twitter.com/RoMustGo *
61. http://twitter.com/ronak
62. http://twitter.com/rosebeezy
63. http://twitter.com/sbazemore
64. http://twitter.com/ScottHartis
65. http://twitter.com/shannoncrisp
66. http://twitter.com/Shar
67. http://twitter.com/shrop *
68. http://twitter.com/sleuth
69. http://twitter.com/tcp
70. http://twitter.com/theobserver – Charlotte Observer Newspaper
71. http://twitter.com/underoak
72. http://twitter.com/usnwc
73. http://twitter.com/Vinnie
74. http://twitter.com/wcnc – WCNC Television
75. http://twitter.com/whatsupdoc
76. http://twitter.com/wx_charlotte – Charlotte Weather Report

* = Noteworthy Twitterers

NEW TO TWITTER?  I wrote an e-book on how to get started.  You can download it for free here.

ARE WE MISSING SOMEONE?  Post a comment.  We’ll update this list.

Generation V – What is it?

Heard of Generation X?  Generation Y?  What’s next?

Not Generation Z, but Generation V.  Why?

According to research by Gartner (the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company located in CT)…

Gen V stands for “Generation Virtual”.

“Organizations can target this group by providing socialization tools to customers and prospects depending on their purpose and the level of customer engagement.

“This group is not defined by age, gender, social demographic, or geography.  They are based on an increasing preference for the use of digital media channels to discover information, build knowledge and share insights.”

The newly coined Gen V has four levels of engagement…

CREATORS (0% to 3%) – These provide original content (like me).

CONTRIBUTORS (3% to 10%) – These are regular followers of the creators that add to the conversation.

OPPORTUNISTS (10% to 20%) – These add value to the conversation only while they are looking for something.

LURKERS (about 80%) – These are the spectators.  They don’t provide input.  But they benefit by what all the others are doing.

Gen V

Personally, I think the information is pretty insightful.  Marketing agencies in particular are constantly trying to analyze their target demographic, psycho-graphic, and other “graphics” in order to know where to advertise.

But those silos tend to not work as well on the web.  Google has tried to work with it through tools such as the Google Ad Planner, but Internet marketing doesn’t quite work that way.

The web savvy group tends to be very undefinable.  But one thing is for sure…  They are in charge.  Unlike radio, tv, magazines and other forms of “old media”, you cannot force your message onto this Generation V.  They will look for it when they are ready.

As I’ve stated before, it’s like the difference between hunting and farming.  The skilled online marketer works hard on what he can create and grow.  Then, those that are attracted to it will naturally come.

The Definition of SEO

Jeremy Schoemaker’s recent post on the definition of SEO has gotten a lot of attention this week.  In it, he endeavors to determine the definition of SEO by asking various famous search engine experts what the definition is.

It’s amazing how common the term SEO is, yet it is so difficult to define.  I reviewed all the definitions and came up with my own that I believe defines it clearly…