Earlier, I was reading this post from Seth Godin:

Three Things You Need If You Want More Customers

In it, he breaks down in broad but simple terms the three things you need if you want more customers:

1. A group of possible customers you can identify and reach.
2. A group with a problem they want to solve using your solution.
3. A group with the desire and ability to spend money to solve that problem.

As thirty day challengers, the first thing we hear about in Ed Dale’s “Symphony of Four Parts” is the market research, and this ties into it beautifully.

We learn about identifying our market, refining our keywords/phrases with Market Samurai and narrowing things down to our “phrase that pays.” We look at the numbers and work within those numeric parameters to make sure our “phrase that pays” is viable.

Then, we build a blog or site around it and see if we can get ranked fairly quickly and get traffic.

Once we have the traffic, we can test to see if they will “convert” – or buy whatever we’re offering.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – and when it doesn’t work – I have to ask myself…why?

Sometimes, it’s easy to lose site of the customer…I like doing the research, looking at numbers – working within established parameters.  It’s all very logical, comfortable – numbers are so easy to define…  But I’ve come up with a couple of duds over the last six months.  And I think it’s because I get too into the science of it and forget all about the fact that I’m trying to turn a searcher into a satisfied customer.

Maybe I can get ranked…I can even get traffic – but in the case of my duds, I could have saved myself a lot of time had I simply filtered my “phrase that pays” through the three items above.

In both cases for me, I was able to satisfy number 1 – Market Samurai is AWESOME for that.

For numbers two and three, I think it just takes asking yourself those questions about your phrase, like this:

If my phrase is “how to report credit” AND the niche I’m trying to market to is “small businesses with in-house credit accounts who need to report their accounts to the credit bureaus, but don’t know how” – I just ask myself if my solution will help them – and if they have the desire and ability to spend money to solve the problem identified or implied by that phrase…

As it turns out – it will – and they do.

Now, If I was marketing on a local level only – I may not be able to get enough customers to support that business.  But because of the way we can leverage the internet, we can target and reach a large group of potential businesses who need to solve that problem.

And that spells success!

So – in YOUR efforts to build YOUR internet business, just remember to keep your customers in mind.  As you do your research and identify keywords/phrases with potential – filter them through the list of three things above.  You’ll likely save yourself some money, time and a lot of effort…

Hug your kids – as of the 14th of this month, I’ve got a NEW one to hug!

I got an e-mail from Ed Dale today – on one hand, it’s not about the thirty day challenge.  On the other hand, it kinda IS about the thirty day challenge – since he did say to spread the word – here is:

A Word From Ed…

What has made the Internet so wonderful has the ability to be so dangerous…

Stay with me – there is nothing to buy here and two things that will give you a sensible perspective on what the heck is going on.

First thing – A huge welcome to the thousands of Thirty Day Challengers that have joined over the last couple of weeks. You’re in the right place. If things do go to pot (and I don’t think they will – and trust me I’m not underestimating the challenges ahead) – One of the most successful product categories in the 1930’s were little “How-To” books.

The Thirty Day Challenge is the perfect place to do SOMETHING pro-active in your control to bring in extra cash…It’s proven over four years and thousands of successful challengers…

Please Please Please Watch And Listen To These Two Things

First – This Interview that Warren Buffett is a MUST WATCH. You can watch on the Blog or download it from iTunes

Warren Buffett Gets Real About The Current Economic Situation <http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=H4N9Z&m=1adl7_H_0fTtlH&b=Xv9GzR5yr1QtyMcUnHWQRg>

I am sitting in my Kitchen totally frustrated at my inability to be a good enough copywriter to get you to watch that video. Warren Buffett talks in a language anyone can understand. It’s so important. Watch It and get your friends to watch it.

Now To Number Two

John Mayer Provides The Solution To The Current Economic Situation

I’m serious.

Everyone is talking cut’s and layoff’s, shrinking and  circling the wagons…

Why don’t people read their darn history books!!!!

Sure – get rid of the excess (and my oh my has there been some excess – It makes me bloody angry that you and I are picking up the tab but that is whole other ball of wax)

But there is a fundemental of life – that is time immemorial

If your not growing – YOUR DYING

The companies that survived and thrived in the economic downturn created new products entered new markets, innovated and most importantly


This is going to be your secret weapon and this brings me to John Mayer.

John gave this lecture in Berkley this week and thanks to an alert Student in the front row and his trusty iPhone, this lecture on Songwriting and the creative process would have been lost.

And that would have been tragic.

Hang on Ed your saying, what has songwriting got to do with solving the economic situation…..

Well, how do I put it


I explain here and you get a download of this timeless lecture.

John Mayer And the Solution To Making Sure You Thrive TODAY <http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=H4N9Z&m=1adl7_H_0fTtlH&b=nSmN_KfW53LL6nB8LKf.wA>

I don’t think I have ever said this to you guys, but this is one time I would love you to pass this email on, Digg, Stumble, Blog and do Something to inject something positive in the toxic stream of Chicken Little Tweets and Friendfeeding that has occurred this week.

I’d appreciate it


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Sometimes success comes from the strangest places…

I had some success from applying the things I learned from this year’s thirty day challenge.  So did Stephen.  The most important thing was that – as a father and son, we found a project we could work on over part of his summer break – something that didn’t involve video games – something that could teach both of us some life skills and life lessons that don’t get taught in public school.

But so far, the most interesting thing to come out of the thirty day challenge is shaping up to be a nice little business I can run from home.  Let me explain…

First, my younger brother has operated a web-based business from his home for a few years now.  He used to work for a credit bureau – and because he is familiar with credit reporting processes, he is able to help small businesses sort out how to report credit and payment history information to the credit bureaus.

Over the past few months I’ve been sharing what Stephen and I learned, plus he’s been following along with our blog.  His biggest constraint is time.  He’d like to implement thirty day challenge strategies to expand his business – but he doesn’t have a lot of free time.  So, we’ve made an arrangement…I’ve analyzed his site, his competitors, done market and keyword research – and come up with a set of action steps to take that will propel him to better organic rankings and help him get a better return on his Adwords investment.

In return, I’m getting paid to be his search engine marketing consultant.  My latest proposal to him for the ongoing work was to barter for a MacBook Pro, I’m crossing my fingers for that to happen 🙂  I figure it’s really the tool I need going forward and it’s a complete write-off for him – win-win.

In addition to this project, another client has hired me to help with his search engine marketing efforts.

Have you ever heard of a pergola?

I hadn’t, I’d seen them – just never new what to call them.  When Justin and I first met, there were some problems with his website – it was beautiful, but not well optimized for search.  There were none of the usual on-page factors like title tags, description, keywords, etc.  We fixed some of those items before we even ended the first meeting – and then I went to work.

We talked about what it would take to improve his organic ranking – and also about how to get some fast traffic to his site.  He opted to crank up Adwords right away – and using Market Samurai, the Google Keyword tool, and the things I’ve learned about Adwords, it was pretty easy to get a campaign started for him.

We’re in the process of testing and tracking his Adwords campaign and also building backlinks to his site about pergola kits.

In both cases, I’ve been able to use the techniques I’ve learned from the thirty day challenge to help my clients reach their goals.  At first, I wasn’t sure if it “counted” as a 30DC success – after all, it’s not a niche/affiliate type of business.  But I’m able to charge a fair fee based on the work – and it all started with the thirty day challenge.

I owe a big thank you to Ed Dale, Dan Raine, Caro, Nez and the entire Thirty Day Challenge crew – because this looks like the start of something big.  Also thanks to my friends and teammates from the challenge including Sheryl & Cait, Jooles, Eric G. and Allison R – (Long live the Ed Dale Mankini!).

Last but not least, a big thank you goes out to my son Stephen, who kept me accountable (and kept me off the video games.)  🙂

P.S. – If you need some help with your niche, you can let me know in the comments below…

P.P.S – We’ll have an update about Stephen’s school fundraiser soon…

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WP Direct Content Software

Time to watch today’s videos: Approximately 46 minutes, if you include the podcast.

Additional time to complete today’s action steps: You could spend some time exploring the auto-posting feature available through WordPressDirect – maybe another 30 to 60 minutes.  Make sure you listen to the podcast and get the notes – there are some real nuggets in there…

Thirty Day Challenge Transcripts and Training are available below each video.  Today, there is also a podcast – with a PDF transcript available for download.


Day 23 Introduction Video – 30DC


Ummm…okay – I know this video mentions more ways to manage our PPC accounts – but I think we pretty much covered it over the past three lessons.  I mean, there’s more we can do with Google Adwords, but it’s beyond the scope of the thirty day challenge.  The next video is about WordPressDirect and the podcast is more of an overview of the methodology of the Thirty Day Challenge.


Autoposting Content on WordPressDirect


Today we learn a little bit more about the auto-posting feature available through WordPressDirect

WordPress Direct – Click here for the 30DC Special Offer if haven’t done so already.

WordPress Direct Support – Click here for all WordPress Direct support.


Podcast with Ed Dale and GuruBob

Here is a PDF transcript of the above audio file.


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ubiquity n : the state of being everywhere at once (or seeming to be everywhere at once)

I just happened to see a tweet from Ed Dale in his Friendfeed display on the Thirty Day Challenge training page a little while ago.  Since I was just starting my lunch, I did what he said to do:

“do a search on Ubiquity by Mozilla – very very very cool”

And Ed is right – it’s super-cool.  (Thank you for finding cool stuff to tweet about Ed)

From their site:

“The overall goals of Ubiquity are to explore how best to:

  • Empower users to control the web browser with language-based instructions. (With search, users type what they want to find. With Ubiquity, they type what they want to do.)
  • Enable on-demand, user-generated mashups with existing open Web APIs. (In other words, allowing everyone–not just Web developers–to remix the Web so it fits their needs, no matter what page they are on, or what they are doing.)
  • Use Trust networks and social constructs to balance security with ease of extensibility.
  • Extend the browser functionality easily.


The Ubiquity Add-on allows you map and insert maps anywhere; translate on-page; search amazon, google, wikipedia, yahoo, youtube, etc.; digg and twitter; lookup and insert yelp review; get the weather; syntax highlight any code you find; e-mail from your g-mail account, and a lot more.”

When you have a chance, you can learn more about it by clicking here

And you can get it by clicking here and scrolling down the page a bit.

(By the way, I just had to use Ubiquity to “define scrolling” just to make sure I was spelling it right – oh, and I used it to “define ubiquity” above too.  In both cases, I was able to avoid interrupting my workflow – and I think that is the point.)

One more thing – I started using Flock 2.0 beta today – so far, so good.  Ubiquity is working flawlessly.

Feel free to add your comments and/or share some “social love.”

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Well – it’s actually been a few days. Somebody has decided to put my “flexibility skills” to the test.

It started with my Dell Inspiron 8500 and a problem with the video card. At first, the display started to look funny. I thought it might be a virus – or a corrupted video driver.

Whether you know this by now or not. I have a full time job – normally 45 to 50+ hours a week. I’m a husband and father of 4 (with number 5 due in March/April 2009). I started this blog back in June, when my 10 year old son decided he wanted to take the Thirty Day Challenge with me this year. And, there’s always something to do around the house – my honey-do list just never quits.

Needless to say, I’m a busy guy. Oh – and I almost forgot that just a few days ago, I committed to an Immediate Edge project too. So, yeah – I have a lot of plates spinning. Normally, that’s okay – until my laptop decides to melt-down on me…

So, I finally tracked the problem down to the video card – it turns out they’re not exactly cheap – and because this computer is almost 5 years old – it might take several days to get one.

The problem? – I don’t have that kind of time. I just don’t – so, I’ve hi-jacked an HP pavilion laptop that the kids use sometimes. I had to take the hard-drive out of my Dell and put it in the HP. There are a few driver problems – for example, the audio still doesn’t work. But, I’m back up and running – I’ll watch 30DC training videos on our home desktop computer until I can track down the proper audio drivers for this laptop.

The moral of the story? – Never Give Up, Never Give Up – Never Give Up!

I felt like giving up last night – really, my other laptop looked like it was spitting out code from the Matrix. It was absolute gibberish and completely unusable. That laptop has everything on it – everything from work – all my internet marketing stuff – everything. Even with decent back-ups – it would be a complete pain in the neck to start over with new computer from scratch.

So – swapping the hard drive into this other laptop is a good short-term solution. It’s a setback – but you know what they say about setbacks?

Setbacks pave the way for comebacks. So be on the lookout…

P.S. to the SonicXtreme Team – sorry I missed our Skype call today and went MIA. I’ll try to contact you all over the next few days – now that I’m back up and running.

P.S.S. – @Ed Dale, if you’re reading this… I know, I know – I should pony up and get a Mac Book Pro – it really is next on my list of major purchases, really. I just have to get by with what I have for right now…

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stands for WOW!

Let me explain – a week ago, I wrote up this post: While I was sleeping…

In it, I was pretty excited that I’d gone from starting this site to over 500 visits in about 5 weeks. Not too shabby. Today, I took a look at my stats and decided I needed to write up something about it – and come up with a catchy headline. How do you think I did? Feel free to leave a comment below…

Speaking of below – below is a picture from my wordpress blog stats today. It represents the number of visitors who stop by on any given day. Another term for this is “traffic” and we’ll be learning about traffic soon enough from Ed Dale.

And I say this because – this year’s thirty Day Challenge is set to begin with a kick-off show on July 31st at 8PM Eastern time in the US. The place to go is http://www.ustream.tv/channel/thirty-day-challenge-tv

Then – the challenge begins – unleash the awesomeness!

While I’m waiting, imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning and saw this?

The Traffic Graph

The Traffic Graph

Okay, okay – so I took a day and dedicated it to the whole Ed Dale mankini phenomenon. This can’t always be about work – I’m just not wired that way. Things settled down and everyone had a chance to catch up – then this morning, there was a surge of traffic. It’s still happening as I write…

And me, being curious – and having a 10 year-old who is even more curious – I had to find out things like:

Where are they coming from?

Where Did They Come From?

Where Did They Come From?

You can see a lot of Google Reader views, also Friendfeed. Several visitors come from the Thirty Day Challenge forums, StumbleUpon and Twitter. One that I’m still scratching my head over – apogeonline.com – best I can tell, it’s a backlink from a Spanish website. Maybe I should set up a Spanish translation – hablo Espanol?

On to the next question – what did they like?

What did they like?

What did they like?

This one makes sense – the three most popular posts all revolve around getting set-up and/or caught up for the thirty day challenge. I’m a bit surprised about the “11 Things” post with 25 views – I finally finished and posted that one last night…

What were they looking for?

What Were They Looking For?

What Were They Looking For?

Well, isn’t that special? Ed Dale mankini, right at the top of the list. Things that make you go, hmmm…

Once everyone had had enough of this site – Where did they go?

Where did they go?

Where did they go?

Mostly, people clicked away to go get their Flock add-ons – which is kind of the point, right? I wanted this to add value to the already awesome training – hopefully, visitors like yourself are finding this to be a valuable place to visit. A few went on to the thirty day challenge site. Some of the links above also show some social bookmarking is happening – like digg, stumbleupon – don’t worry if you don’t know how to do that yet. We’ll be learning about social bookmarking soon enough too.

So – what does it mean?

What does it mean?

What does it mean?

In a nutshell, the number of visitors doubled in about a week. Nice.

As we go through this year’s thirty day challenge together and get to the point where we’re putting it all together, you’ll start to see traffic – and you’ll get excited about it – and hopefully this post gives you enough hope and encouragement to stick it out until you’re enjoying your own success.

Enjoy this year’s Thirty Day Challenge!

And if you are into it – take a moment to do a social bookmark or two…

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Today’s lesson is rather short – and pretty simple. However, I have added a few thoughts toward the end…Here’s the video from Ed…

Add Google Searches Using Subscribed Links

Ed uses the Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar to quickly navigate to his dashboard – you did install the toolbar, right?

If you didn’t, or if you missed any of the add-ons for Flock – you can click this link to get the Flock Add-ons, including the Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar. (It’s at the bottom of the post.)

From the toolbar, click on the “links” drop down menu – and click on the “Dashboard” link.

Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar - Dashboard Link

Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar - Dashboard Link

Once we’re at our dashboard, go over and click on “Add my expertise to your Google web searches”

Google Subscribed Links - Add Ed Dales Expertise

Google Subscribed Links - Add Ed Dale's Expertise

That will take us to the “Google Subscription Confirmation” page

Google Subscribed Links Page

Google Subscribed Links Page

and the subscribe button over to the right…


Google Subscribed Links - Subscribe Button

Now, if you’re already logged into Google – you’d go straight to this page. If not, it will prompt you for your Google log-in.

Google Subscribed Links - Log In

Google Subscribed Links - Log In

Go ahead and log in with your Google or Gmail log in, whichever one you use to access Google…

Before I go ahead and subscribe, let’s do a quick experiment. I have deliberately waited to go through most of the training steps until after I write up the post. There are a couple of reasons to do this. This allows me to go through it with “fresh” eyes to double check things like grammar, spelling – also to make sure links work. In this case, it also allows me to give you a “before and after” screen shot.

So – I’m going to do an “Ed Dale” ego search. Here’s what Google serves up for me:

Google Subscribed Links - Ed Dale Search-Before

Google Subscribed Links - Ed Dale Search-Before

Looks like it normally does – you know, because I search for Ed Dale on Google everyday. Doesn’t everybody?

Now, I’m going to go ahead and click on the “subscribe” button.

Google Subscribed Links - Subscribe Button

Google Subscribed Links - Subscribe Button

I’ve added Ed’s expertise to my Google searches. And if you clicked the button, so have you. What does that mean?

Well, in a nutshell – there are certain topics that Ed is an expert on. I think we can all agree on that. On the backend, he’s put a list together of search terms and web content that he likes – and submitted that list to Google. If you search for something and Google sees a match, the search results you see will be weighted with items matching Ed’s expertise.

In Ed’s example, a search for “Ed Dale” now turns up a result that Ed has “put his stamp on.” You can tell it’s a link he’s recommended because you’ll see his face on the link. When I do the same search, here’s what I see:

Google Subscribed Links - Ed Dale Search-After

Google Subscribed Links - Ed Dale Search-After

In this case, his recommendation points to the thirty day challenge. It makes sense for Ed to recommend that to people searching for him.

Let’s put on our “noticing caps” for a second – take a look at those results. I know, it’s a pain to do the scrolling – but bear with me, this is important. Notice what changed. The top three results are still the same – the link Ed is recommending jumped into the fourth position and bumped the next few search results down by one spot. In one sense, that’s not a huge change – but he was able to bring a specific site into our view, for a specific search term.

Here’s some trivia for all you uber-geeks. Maybe you’ve heard of this concept, maybe you haven’t – it’s called “The Long Tail.”

The Long Tail

The Long Tail

Statistically, (and I know this is intuitive) if you come up closer to number one in the organic search engine results – you’ll get more traffic. I’m sure we’ll talk about the importance of traffic soon enough.

Now – remember our “before” search? Guess what – in searching for Ed Dale (broad match not exact match) the thirty day challenge website didn’t come up in the top fifty results from Google. I double checked with a rank checking add-on for Firefox – even there, the thirty day challenge site came up at 34 in a search for Ed Dale.

Using this Google Subscribed Link technique brought the thirty day challenge site into position 4. In terms of traffic, what does that mean?

Whether it’s position 34 or 50 – a fraction of 1% of the traffic searching for Ed Dale would find the thirty day challenge website. At position 4, 5% to 10% of the traffic searching for Ed Dale (and subscribed to his links) would find the site.

You’re more likely to click on his recommendation for two reasons. 1) Because you’re already subscribed to Ed’s links and 2) Several studies show that the a listing with a picture gets more attention – and more clicks…

Think about what that could do for you in your niche. I know I’m thinking about what this could do for me in my niche. The trick here is to get people to “add my expertise to their Google searches.”

Who knows? If I do a good enough job of blogging along with this year’s thirty day challenge – maybe he’ll add this site to his subscribed link results…(hint, hint Ed 🙂 no pressure…)

Whether or not that happens, think about this…If you’re working towards becoming an expert, a guru, or an authority within your niche – you may be able to use this technique to provide your opinion within search results for people who “add your expertise to their Google searches.”

If you’re a veteran marketer – pick your jaw up off the floor.

What is being said here is this – you have an opportunity to change search results from Google – for people who subscribe to your recommended links. Like a lot of things, if used properly – you will be adding value for your subscribers. If you get spammy with it, people will simply unsubscribe.

This tool from Google gives you the power to influence Google search results – so – use it responsibly.

At this point, we’re subscribed to Ed’s links – I imagine we’ll learn how to set up our own Google Subscribed Links somewhere down the line….

Next up – the one I’ve been chomping at the bit to do – Friendfeed!!!

If this post made your day – even a little, please take a moment to spread the word…

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