If you’re like me (a completely A.D.D. web geek) your attention span is probably really shor..
So short I couldn’t even finish writing that sentence…
If you’re like me (a completely A.D.D. web geek) your attention span is probably really shor..
So short I couldn’t even finish writing that sentence…
According to my last check on Wikipedia, fundamentalism is a “deep and totalistic commitment” to a belief… usually of religious or moral nature. But what I have seen in the SEO community far too often is a “holier than thou” thumping of the general SEO population, that is by nature, narrow.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have morals. I stick to my personal set of ethics, both in my personal and professional life. They might not be the same as your values, but that doesn’t mean they are wrong.
Last week I stumbled (social) on a very entertaining story (bait). So entertaining in fact, I thought I would share it with some friends (viral) not realizing it was written by an well known SEO (bad ass). The story was about a 13 year old who stole a credit card to play halo with hookers. Who doesn’t want to read about that? It’s HILARIOUS! So hilarious in fact, it ended up getting mainstream media coverage from the likes of Fox News and such.
The story did not claim it was actual news, or even true for that matter. It was an entertaining anecdote, and people ate it up. Except for a whole bunch of SEOs who reacted harshly to it. Reading the sphinn comments on the story really started to test my patience. It felt like I was hanging out with my neighbors who always try to save me and take me to their church… which I am not a fan of BTW if you are reading this Eric.
Sentiments like “Social Media is ruined forever” and “SEO sunk to a new low” are preachy, at best. Jill Whalen, you and me go way back from my days at HighRankings, and the last thing I want is for you to feel offended here… but I don’t want to go to the SEO Church of Link Morality or subscribe to somebody else’s code of ethics. Establish your own, that’s fine and respectable. Just don’t thump us with them. We can all decide own how we choose to operate.
There is no black and white. Everything is shades of gray. We all must way the risks and rewards for our own actions, and think laterally. Sure, there are times I do wish others would up their own set of personal or professional ethics, but I’m not going to be the one preaching it to them. I’ll do what I do, you do what you do. Just don’t tell me what to do and we’ll be cool. Cool?
Salaries for Corporate SEO Professionals vary drastically. So how do you know you’re getting paid what you deserve? Let’s explore a few ways to look at it, and at the end of this post, a one size fits all solution to bring to your higher ups for getting that raise!
First, let’s look at profitability. As a marketing guy, you probably have a pretty good idea how much is spent on promotions, and how much revenue your company generates from it. You might even be privy to information about fixed operating costs. In the best case scenario, your company even posts it profitability. If the company you work for is a cash cow, you can probably use profitability as a good selling point on getting an increased salary. ESPECIALLY if you can track it directly to your own individual efforts.
Let’s say your company nets 100 million annually, and you drive 30 million in profit while only spending a few million. There’s probably no good reason you should be making 50k yearly. If you work for a smaller company or a start up, chances are good you’re not producing hundreds or tens of millions in net revenue. In this case, check out the trends in your specific industry, and especially your company’s profit.
If there’s a big upside on the horizon, but little money going around at the moment, here’s your move: Sit tight at a lower salary for a while, but talk to your boss or CEO and plant the seed. Let them know you are OK with working at a lower salary temporarily, because you intend on helping to grow the company and to reap the benefits when that growth happens. From that point, track your performance (you should already be doing this anyways). If your company turns a corner and starts posting larger profits, and you have been doing more than your share, it’s probably a great time to remind your boss or CEO about your previous conversation and try to schedule a meeting.
Next, get a good idea about how much others who perform your specific job function earn, especially in your zip code. Salary.com is your friend. There are some awesome charts you can print out and keep on file. Use these on the big day when you approach your boss or CEO. I just performed a quick search on Web Promotion Specialist earnings in my zip code. Do the same for your exact title, or closest match.
As a rule of thumb, hiring managers are usually comfortable hiring new professionals in the 25% to 50% range according to Salary.com. If you want to demand more than that, you better know your stuff inside and out, have some concrete evidence or prior performance, and have a darn good sales pitch prepared. Oh, and people love pretty graphs and / or pie charts. Make some from your previous job(s) and keep them on file.
Another more risky technique of getting a raise is to feel out the market for YOU. Even in economically repressed times, there are always companies looking for web gurus. If your boss or CEO isn’t very receptive to chatting about your eventual raise, look for a job. Get an offer, and present it to your boss or CEO with the opportunity to match (provided you want to stay at your current job). If they cannot match, you can always jump ship to the next company willing to pay more.
But be careful, this is a higher risk technique. Both companies could look at your differently, possibly negatively, if you play hard ball. Do not use this technique if you think you can make headway in the politically correct way, or especially if you are somewhat easily replaced. Nobody want a high maintenance individualist on their team.
Even if there are valid reasons that you cannot have a pay increase, there’s always title. Getting a better title sometimes is easy if you pitch the company that you won’t cost any more. The better your title, the more likely your next job will pay better. Especially if the company you work for is not a start up. (side note: Titles at start ups, very small companies, or family businesses don’t usually carry the same weight from a hiring manager’s perspective. I can’t even count how many times I have interviewed CEOs from their own web design firm or music label who are looking for an entry level position.)
And finally, here is your one size fits all solution. 60% of the time, it works every time (thanks Anchor Man). But be forewarned, this magic formula will ONLY work if you can provide results. You MUST drive more volume than your current level. If you do, you have a raise. And without further ado, here is your formula.
Take your current salary, and cut it an half. Take your current performance metrics (hopefully sales volume or profitability) and devise a pay for performance monthly bonus structure, which sums up annually to half of your salary. Make sure you have a few versions of your bonus plan just in case your logic is disputed, make sure you have accurate reporting already in place. You want this plan to be bullet proof before you present it.
Here’s an example of the plan in action. Let’s just say you drove 100k in directly trackable profit for your company last year and you are currently paid 50k. Why not change your salary to 25k with a 25% profit share for volume you are pushing through your channels? This would show that your new plan would pay you exactly the same as last year.
Now here’s the kicker… If you drive 200k next year, your performance means you got an automatic raise to 75k. If you post a cool million, you just made yourself 275k. If that happens, and you used this method of negotiation, I’ll gladly accept checks for 10% of your earnings increase, made payable to Chris Hooley. No seriously, I’m OK with it. Email me. We’ll talk.
“I want my salary cut in half, and a fair bonus ONLY based on my performance” is not a hard pitch. For top level execs, it’s easy to swallow because you cut your fixed costs and only pay out if you are earning more. It’s a win-win situation.
Before you schedule your meeting, have those pretty graphs and charts printed out. Have your Salary.com info on hand. Look good, get plenty of rest, and put on your salesman hat (the one with the extra charm and wit). Be confident. Then go in and tell your boss you want a paycut, and that you only want to be paid if you provide results.
When I first got into SEO and SEM, my motivation was 1 part money and 5 parts making a name for myself. You probably already know my M.O. – I am THE Constant Self Promoter. Teachers called me disruptive, my peers called me an “attention whore” (along with a host of other profanities, depending on the day), my parents called me “driven”, “loud”, or “a ham”. It doesn’t matter what you call it, the fact is people who are like me, marketers, where born to attain the spotlight. And speaking at conferences is just one way people like me can validate themselves.
Let me just restate that and start another paragrach with it… Marketers where born to attain the spotlight. Now hold that thought.
In no particular order, here are the reasons SEOs love to speak at conferences:
From the time I wrote my first blog post till now, I’ve held a secret that I never told anybody. I wanted to speak at conferences too. Feels good to finally get that out. I wanted the stage, the notoriety, and the approval of my peers. I wanted people to know who I am. And I wanted to shape what they know about me, my talking smart into a microphone while people write stuff down.
In my quest to feed my alpha male ego, I went on to start numerous joke bands just so I could be on stage. I posted inflammatory comments on blogs and forums just to get people going. And I made a *lot* of noise at conferences while others polished their professionalism and furthered their careers right in front of me.
Oddly enough I never had the guts to pursue the whole speaking thing. I was like that awkward teenage boy who likes that one girl but is afraid to talk to her. I never put one ounce into attempting to land a speaking gig. I felt like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy when he explains his salesmanship to the waitress. “I pet the speaking gig, I love the speaking gig, I squish the speaking gig, AAAHHHHHH I killed it! I killed my speaking gig!”
Do you want to know the reason I never pursued it? Honestly, I think my frail alpha male ego couldn’t take the rejection if I didn’t make it. I was afraid to look like that guy who tried to do it and failed. So I went about my business, being loud and noticed, but in a different (albeit more idiotic) way. Plus, I spoke at this one seminar and even though I think I did pretty good, I didn’t like the nervous feeling. It actually wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be. But I did feel self important, which was cool I guess.
I’m seeing a lot of SEOs, especially a lot of new kids on the block, getting out there and getting known. I remember that feeling. But now, I’m at a different stage in my career. I’m no longer afraid to talk about my secret crush on the idea of speaking at conferences, because I actually don’t really care for the idea anymore. I’ll just leave that to the people who are already pretty darn good at it. My focus is a little different now.
My girlfriend feeds my ego. My job makes me money. I don’t need chicks anymore; I have the one I want. My ego is big enough already, and I don’t need free drinks. In fact, I’d be glad to buy one for you!
And for the record, let me be 100% clear about my intentions here… I JUST WANT TO PWN MY MARKETS.
Damn it feels good to be a self actualized web marketing gangsta! (and feel free to speak about this post at your next gig eh?)
You know the importance of themes, relevant content, and relevant website links. But do you understand the value of staying relevant offline, or even what that means?
Ask yourself this question: Are YOU really relevant?
Does your website properly reflect who YOU are, who your company IS? If the answer is no, you might be trying to rank for the wrong phrase. You might not be transparent. You might be faking it, and it’s only a matter of time before everybody, including Google, figures that out.
Google knows who I am. Lately, I haven’t been the crazy guy at conferences that many of you have come to know me as, because now I am a corporate SEO. I was relevant to conference junkie SEO types, with loud stunts and what not. Now I don’t even make the list, where less than a year ago I was a shoe in.
Why do YOU think that is? Is it because I don’t blog like I used to? Is it because I am no longer whoring all the blogs and forums? Is it because I am underground, or maybe even the exact opposite of that? Sold out?
The answer is simple. Lately my focus has been on my business, my corporate SEO gig, and my family. This is where I am relevant now. I rank for phrases that ARE relevant for me, and for my business. I’m not going to rank for SEO Blogger, SEO Blog, Captain Thundercock (yet) because I am currently more focused, thus relevant, in different areas.
The new key is transparency. 5 years ago links could be programmed or harvested rather easily, today you have to be who and what you are talking about. It’s easier that way anyways.
Don’t chase a false dream. You don’t wanna be that guy. Be the guy who IS what you SAY you are, even off-page, and the rest will be easier.
For y’all who didn’t know, NextStudent is having a web design contest worth $2,000 for the winner. I was thinking… (which hurt a little but I digress) this project is actually pretty web 2.0-ish. Think about it… Here’s some neat buzzwords and how the relate to NextStudent’s current web design project:
So hey do me a favor eh, tell some people about this contest. Especially if you think they’ll participate OR talk about it (especailly if they talk about it on their blogs and stuff, that’s always awesome)
The only thing that could possibly be more Irish for the SEM community is moving the SES to Boston… check that, I guess you could have it in IRELAND, but I digress…
NEW YORK FUCKIN’ CITY! S.E.S. Pub Crawl! St. Patrick’s Day!! I don’t know what YOUR plans are, but if you’re a REAL web marketer, you’re probably a party animal like the rest of us. If you’re a REAL party animal, you probably like pubs and pub crawls. If you REALLY like pubs or pub crawls, you’re probably Irish (and even if you aren’t you still pretend you are on St. Patty’s Day).
Here’s the deal, there is a prefect intersection of BAD ASS happening this Monday, in New York Fuckin’ City. I don’t know what YOUR plans are yet but drop them cuz the real bad asses in our industry will be doing ONE THING ONLY. And that’s whoopin’ it up, drinking green beer and Guinness (or Irish Whiskey if you’re extremely bad ass), and talking about how awesome Chris Hooley is during the S.E.S. Pub Crawl!
More details to come, but be ready mofos!
Web Marketing at NextStudent. For those who don’t already know, I am Chris Hooley, Corporate SEO, and the guy who runs the NextStudent Web Marketing Department. Just thought I’d get that part out of the way so this post didn’t seem so random…
It’s been a crazy year in Student Loan Land, with the big banks and federal government putting the shake down on student lenders (at the expense of students, and much to the chagrin of financial aid officers). Kids are going to have a tough time finding money to pay for school this upcoming semester because of the perfect storm of bad legislation, tough credit markets, and a virtually lifeless capital market. Big banks are looking at this as a boon, a perfect opportunity to swallow up market share. So they are spending MORE despite the fact that the loans are losing them lots of money right now. I’m even watching them trying to work their SEO, and (cough! choke) get social.
Imagine that, fighting off the big banks with deep pockets every day… Feels like Rocky vs. the steroid guy from Russia.
Well fortunately for NextStudent (and all borrowers who find out how great we are!) the Web Marketing Team is holding it down. We’re the big guys around here on the interwebs! We’ve been training like Sly Stallone and we’ll never give up! Get off my Google B of A. Keep up the Chase, Wells F. The web is My Citi!
Ok enough of the bad plays on words. It’s Saturday Night, I should save the bad jokes for my attempt at getting social (aka going to Santisi Bros. with some buddies).
The deal is, the webmarketing team at NextStudent is a powerhouse. We’re more than strong at all of our core competencies, we’re a collective ROCKY. You might be able to get some licks in, but we never give up and we are always on the top. The people I work with are some of the slickest, smartest, and most motivated people I’ve ever met. All aspects of our web marketing repertoire are handled by the best and the brightest. We’re corporate, we’re out there, and we’re helping define the edge that bigger guys can hardly even fathom. Good luck monetary monoliths. BRING IT ON!!!
Rocky – OUT!
Yahoo! – “chasing Google and frustrating users since 1998″ (TM)
I bought a premier flickr account and I haven’t been able to log in for MONTHS. Why? Because they switched log in systems, and nobody inside flickr is responding to my desperate pleas for help. I paid good money for my premier account, and I can’t even manage MY OWN PHOTOS. Photos that rank well in search engines for MY OWN NAME. I am helpless to remove some personal pictures that I no longer really want up there… photos that I paid to manage on their site.
You might ask “Chris, why did you take so long to blog about this? The most recent pictures are like 6 months old!” – You’re right. I forgot all about how mad I was about flickr until I decided to log into MyBlogLog account, which again prompted me to use a new log in that I don’t even have. Now I can’t get in there either.
Now I’m frustrated as hell trying to create a new Yahoo! ID, but my name is already taken (likely by some spam bot since there are only a handful of Chris Hooleys in the world). And once I settle on a user name that I don’t even want, I have no idea how to get those linked to my flickr and MyBlogLog accounts. It’s just stupid. And typical.
Hopefully somebody from Yahoo! reads this post and can get me some kind of help… but I doubt it.
In the meantime, my iGoogle, GMail, Adwords, Adsense, Optimizer, and bazillion other Google gadgets I am using are still working flawlessly. An I have Googlers calling me pretty frequently (even got a Googler visit coming soon) to make sure everything is still working. Just thought I’d throw that out there…
I’ve never actually been to Affiliate Summit. I’ve had a few people offer discounts to get into the event (I can’t for the life of me recall who was offering me passes, if you still exist HIT ME UP!) I’m still teetering on the edge here. Should I go? Should I bring my affiliate peeps?
As for the Elite Retreat, people already know I am a HUGE advocate of this event. If you are thinking of going and you need some info about it, feel free to contact me directly. I’ll gladly explain why I am such a huge fan and what it has done for me personally. If you are defintely going and you haven’t bought your tickets yet, hook a brother up and buy it through my affiliate link so I can make a few bucks!
Tired of all those pesky readers on your blog? Sick of all that annoying traffic? Had enough of building a community, getting links, or comments on your blog posts? Well I have a revolutionary solution! It’s simple, easy, and FAST! It’s a secret I’ve utilized on several occasions; EVERY time it resulted in a drop in traffic, subscribers, readers and all those other problems that come with owning a popular blog.
The secret? *looks both ways* sshhhhhh…. (it’s easy, just stop writing for a while). 60% of the time it works EVERY time!
Absolutely rocks. I’ve never put much effort into trying to get links to this site or rank it for anything, so my template was not SEO friendly. I just got sick of seeing bad title tags on my site but didn’t want to spend any time or effort editing PHP so I did a lil research and and found the answer.
The All In One SEO Pack is the bomb. SEO suggestion for the day: use it and love it. (if you don’t already)
That’s all I gotta say about that.
I like to think of Corporate America like it’s professional sports. Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance, and IT superstars are no different than professional athletes with year round free agency. Some demand a high salary, some are lunch pale hard workers who roll up their sleeves, some are loud and brash and can make or break any company depending on their mood.
Like Terrel Owens.
T.O. is one of the best receivers ever in the history of the NFL, but his constant demand for the spotlight and bad attitude when he’s losing was like a cancer to prior teams. He moves to another team that allows him to be himself and enables him to work the way he wants, and next thing you know he’s the role model in the locker room and he’s doing everything he can to help his team win. He’s a player that needs an organization to bend a little to make room for his ego, and rewards that organization if they do.
On the other hand you have an organization with strong and strict leadership that does not bend; the New England Patriots. They would NEVER hire T.O. because HE won’t bend to their will. But their system can make known malcontents (Randy Moss, Cory Dillon) successful and happy players who conform and become part of the team. And they win. Big time.
Corporate America is no different. Some organizations have such strong leadership, and such great vision, that employees work twice as hard to keep up the winning tradition. The scary thing is however, that some employees are so good at what they do that they can single handedly change a corporation and it’s future. And sometimes, there are employees who are cancer. It’s scary when you have a sueprstar like Terrel Owens who can propel your team to the highest highs, or crumble the foundation of the organization.
The question is how to handle something like that? Do you pamper him like Dallas (seems to be working, right?) or do you fire him and look for people who can conform? And think, do you want to face that guy on the field if you do let him go?
There’s some thinkbait for you execs and CEOs who have stars in your corporation. Is your team strong enough to do without your star? Can you afford to pamper your execs who deliver on a consistent basis? Is it even worth it? Do the rules change when somebody is that important? Is ANYBODY that important?
Today’s advice for you corporate climbers is short and sweet. Be a bulldozer with ballerina shoes. If you KNOW you are right, you KNOW your decision is best for your company (and yourself) then you can’t accept a “no” right? Problem is that egos, agendas, and personalities can sometimes cloud a company’s decision making ability. And as a good get-along-guy or get-along-girl (which is what you need to be to get anything done in executive management) you must understand how important it is to keep people happy… or better yet how to NOT piss people off. Sometimes you need to dance.
Sometimes it’s tough when your decisions face opposition. But when your decision is right, you need to push forward. There IS no “no”. Become a bulldozer with ballerina shoes. Dance around what you can, roll over if you have to, but push forward no matter what stands in your way.
There has to be a better way. I have dozens domains that I want to create sites out of. Free templates that I can edit myself. Access to tons of awesome writers. But creating the sites takes hours! Set up hosting, configure, upload files, configure, install database, configure, etc etc etc. It’s a pain in the arse. Then once the sites are up, they crash from too much traffic (third host in 6 months, all the same problem)
These sites don’t have enough income potential to spend big dollars hosting them, but if I launch them all and keep my writers pounding out awesome stuff and driving traffic eventually these sites will be worth the effort. But for now, no upsidedown-ski on hosting costs.
Anybody know a better, more efficient way to pound out lots of real wordpress blogs? I am not looking for splog software, I just want to build out my sites so I don’t have all my chickens in one basket so to speak.
“You know Tiger… you’re pretty good at Golf, but you suck at swimming. You need to practice swimming. You’re already good at golf anyways.”
-stupid person talking to Tiger Woods.
In SEO, business, and life in general, there are two ways of thinking about strengths versus weaknesses. One train of thought says to work on your weak points, the other is to work on the strengths. Both have valid logic behind them, but this chicken / egg controversy can have crippling effects on your plans if you aren’t careful.
I’m saying today, right here right now, that there is ONLY one way to look at this. Play to your strengths.
Let’s apply this to the world of SEO as an example.
On one hand we have a programmer; keen at logic and finding loopholes. You should be the person writing the bots, developing the dynamic content systems, analyzing the metrics, etc. You shouldn’t be writing that linkbait article or trying to force yourself to be to social butterfly online.
On the other hand; we have a writer or communicator. You should be the one creating social pieces, making buddies and networking, and using your programmer’s scripts to publish and push this content. You shouldn’t need to develop the scripts yourself.
Just think if famous football coach Bill Belicheck thought to manage his team by playing to his weaknesses. “I know Tom Brady can throw, but he sucks at tackling. He will be practicing at noseguard this week. Vince sucks at throwing, so he will be working with the quarterback coach.”
So what’s different about business? The answer is nothing. You are wasting your time if you are trying to spend all day trying to make everybody understand all aspects of your business. That’s your job when you are the boss. Your management team might need to work on their weaknesses, since they are working with your future superstars, but don’t distract your superstars from shining in THEIR jobs by giving them the same distractions! FOCUS!
Point black you play to your strengths and hire for your weaknesses. Let the strongest people work their magic. Let positions build themselves out of your people’s talent. Don’t waste everybody’s time by distracting those who are strong in certain areas.
Running a web marketing department in Corporate America is hard work! I’ve been here for about 15 minutes so far and I’ve already had to sign 4 documents! FOUR! I even have to READ these things before I sign them. I get paid to LEAD not to READ! Now granted, today is a light meeting day (only 3 scheduled) but seriously they better have bagels and / or donuts ready because all that listening and talking is gonna be SO HARD!
Decisions don’t just make themselves!
And now that I’m on the subject, let’s talk about these darn
parties conferences, dinner parties off-site meetings, and vacations business trips. Getting paid to have a drink and laugh discuss business with friends business partners and coworkers is really difficult. Really.
…uhm I hope you’re picking up the tongue in cheek tone of this message…
Honestly, the differences between upper management and professional services amazes me to this day. The more I climb up the ladder… the more I explain, communicate, decide, and delegate, and the less I actually do. It amazes me that I actually do less of the doing, but I become more important. Such a weird mind shift.
When I first started in web marketing, my job was to do EVERYTHING. I ran my own web design and marketing company, MCP Media. I had to learn it all, and get it all done myself. Nobody to delegate to. This was great training, because now I know at least a little of pretty much every aspect of web marketing, I even know a real lot about some key aspects.
As my career matures, I have become a mentor, a decision maker, a trainer, a coach, a motivator, and the guy who takes responsibility for others’ actions. But I do less actual work work… it’s so weird. At first I felt guilty about it. It was such an odd transition from being the only one I trusted to do any task to having everybody else do things I need done. I’d go home at the end of the day and I felt like I didn’t have my hands right in there for the entire day. It didn’t feel like work. But I still had no time to breath because I was busy pushing others to succeed and keeping things running.
Has anybody else felt this type of guilty feeling when learning to delegate instead of doing it all? Have you had difficulties in trusting others to get things done right? Have you been in that same quandary, you do less but you’re needed more and paid better? Do you spend all day meeting with people instead of designing, developing, number crunching, and things of that nature? Do you sign things all day?
I wanna hear from people who have experienced the same weird feelings I have about moving up the corporate ladder so I can assure myself that this type of feeling is more normal than I think.
A wise man once turned me on to the theory that all movies ever created can be categorized into 7 different plot types. This got me to thinking… perhaps there is some taxonomy that can be applied to every decision related to business, and maybe even life.
Suits and schmoozers listen up, this is for you. Corporate America, pay attention. Here are your instructions for the rest of your climb up the ladder…
Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.
Simple. But it isn’t always just black and white. No true leader can only lead. True, a leader must have the courage to hold the torch. But it’s more than that. A good leader must be smart enough to follow, and humble enough to get out of the way when it makes sense.
Just ask yourself, are your business decisions are based on fear instead of opportunity? Get out of the way. Do you fancy yourself a good leader, but you are losing ground? Follow. Got something burning inside? Lead.
People like to be led. People like to lead. People don’t like to be led by people who can’t lead, and people don’t like to lead people who can’t be led. Seems simple enough, right?
If you’re a true leader, lead me in the right direction and I’ll be right there following. If you are a follower, come follow me and I’ll push you as far as I can. If you are neither, just get out of the way and watch trails blaze.
Seattle here I come! The Search Marketing Expo starts tomorrow! I am headed to the airport as we speak.
And BTW I’ve got a new strategy for the drinkbait, stay tuned folks.
Being the guy in SEO known for drinks is more work than it sounds. Turning 30 and having a frikkin rager right after the fact doesn’t make it easier. Throw in a few days with raging Canadien women on an Arizona vacation who wanna drink like animals and you start to get the picture.
My liver hurts. Drinking has become a serious chore, and probably had something to do with me catching this cold that is kicking my butt right now.
That aside, I have had such a blast in the past few weeks. The recap is far overdue. For all you peeps in business or SEO who want to live life vicariously through another dude’s adventures, fasten your seat belt. Here’s the Hooley Party Train Recap!
Took the team out to the YardHouse in Phoenix to reward them for being so damn good. Had a few delicious micro brews and some greasy food and headed to Snoop Blawg‘s with Mind Party and Dumpsey to get my ass kicked in Wii Bowling. Proceeded to the Sand Bar to meet up with some friends and a lady, but was completely derailed when I met the most awesome chick on the planet. Blew off friends and said lady (I’m an ass) and laughed ass off with awesome chick for the entire night.
After hanging out with awesome chick, I decided I wanted to do it again and again (get your mind out of the gutter BTW- she’s a classy awesome chick and would not let me be sleazy even if I tried) so I convinced her to let me take her on a date to Sapporo‘s. We were having fun at the tepan yaki table when we noticed a sad looking girl sitting near us. She told us her friends blew her off and it was her birthday. Awesome chick and I decided to bring her into our circle of awesomeness. I decided to get a bottle of champaign to cheer the new girl up (class move right?). Then new girl says she used to be a stripper, but now she is in massage therapy, and handed me a business card with half naked people and asked me what I wanted for the champaign.
Awesome chick didn’t realize this hooker was basically trying to give me a BJ. I politely declined and proceeded to teach awesome chick about some hooker warning signs, at which point she pointed out that I actually bought a hooker champaign on our first date. Well when you put it like THAT! Man, I’m about as smooth as sandpaper!
Anyways, me and awesome chick spent the rest of the night laughing at each other and talking about kismet, and just being silly. The next day, I picked up Snoop Blawg, and we headed to New York Fuckin City for SES NY 2007.
Hung over. Tired. Long Flight. Mandatory meet and greet drinks with SEOs and vendors. I spent the whole flight thinking of how much more awesome New York City would be with awesome chick to laugh at / with. So, I got into the hotel, called awesome chick, and booked her some tix. I’m flying her out like a pimp!
Headed over to the first SEO party and met with with Neil, Cameron, Anheel, the dudes from Pepperjam, Savage, Loren (who could barely stand lol), Markus, Todd, the BOTW boys, and probably the dopest find of the night, Nic and Cher. They ended up joining our party train for the whole week, which increased our rage by a factor of 6!
We headed up to OldCastle to see what’s crackin at the Irish bars, and who do we see? A rockstar line up of awesomeness. I finally got to meet the Femozzers, who are a billion times hotter in person. (You guys wish you had hot pics like this to post above your little beds) Pimpin the bar was Boser, Todd, Cshel, Scott (who looks like a prettier Dave Naylor) and others. I bought them probably 16 shots of Jameson and pretty much fucked up everybody’s night (score!). I think Elisabeth and Guillaume where there too, I can’t quite remember, but it was good times. We called it a night at prolly 4AM and headed back to da hotel to get ready for the conferences (which started in a mere few hours)
Ok day starts off-there were hangovers, conferences, and learning. Now back to the party train…
After the conferences, we meet up with Andrea Schoemaker (who MAKES THE MOFUGGIN PARTY LIVE) Scotland, and Canada at the hotel bar. I’m pretty sure that’s when I finally saw Rae, and I’m pretty sure I made her and about 6 others including Dax, EO, etc. drink the hugest shot of Goldschlager ever. I did not puke, but I wanted to.
Then, the Google Party, which was the birth place of the PANK DRANKS! Me and Snoop Blawg tried our hardest only to drink beverages with umbrellas for the entire trip, but NYC had a shortage so we decided to only drink PANK DRANKS (pink drinks) or at least drink our beer through straws. Don’t ask why, just go with it.
UNITED NEGRO PIZZA FUND!
After that, we decided to walk down the street for some reason. This ended up being a LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE. Wow. Some dope ass bum runs up to us and asks “Hey would you guys like to donate to the UNITED NEGRO PIZZA FUND?”. I was like “HELL YEAH” and handed him the smallest bill I had in my wallet, which was actually a 20 cuz I blew my small bills on tips. Needless to say the guy was stoked and he tried to audition for me right on the spot, thinking I must have been a baller / rapper / producer. We got the second half of his flow on video, which can be seen on Andrea’s video montage of New York Fuckin City. They guy busted out a bunch of dope rhymes about YOURS TRULY. DOPE!!!
AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE
In the same walk down the street, we stumbled into the AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE MOVIE DEBUT AFTER PARTY! Sitting right there was Master Shake himself, who also makes an appearance in Andrea’s video. He gave us free soundtrack CDs and signed cards for us. Mine said “Chris, your friend Jeff completely is homo” because he heard me talking about how jealous Jeff would be. HILARIOUS! Man, that is one cool ass dude, and that was an UN FRIKKIN BELIEVABLE experience. BAWLAH!
Back to da CASTLE!
Ok this is where it gets messy. Oldcastle is our jam, so we headed back. Every frikkin SEO who’s blog I read was there. Shoemoney is out front with his gang smoking stogies, and inside is a clusterfuck of bad asses. We got messy drunk. At one point Dave Naylor tried to get tough with me, thinking he can grab my hat. I guess we got chin to chin barking at each other, but there was no contact. I grabbed my hat back and stood my ground, occasionally watching him out of the corner of my eye. I’m not good with public embarrassment.
I don’t remember all of it, but I know this much. We were raging so hard that by the end of the night we apparently looked like we were auditioning for Thriller walking down the streets of New York. Snoop was dragging his head against the wall to keep himself up, I was doing the gorilla in the middle of the street, and Nicola looked like a zombie because SHE GOT DRANK UNDER THE TABLE BY YOURS TRULY!
Ok this is getting repetitive. By now, I honestly did not want another drink. My body is mad at me, but I got business to take care of and a reputation to uphold. Until now, I have never drank more than 3 days in a row, but this conference is my chance to tighten bonds with pimps in my industry and pick drunken brains when their guard is down- so I keep going.
Oh wait, there were conferences and learning blah blah – ON TO THE PARTY TRAIN!
Andrea is waiting downstairs at the Webmaster Radio Free Drink Session, so me n’ Snoop head back down to the bar to say hello. She’s there with the now infamous JOE FRIKKIN WHYTE who was immediately absorbed into our party train. We drank again, but this time my body was pissed at me. Oh and BTW, I saw the ultimate hawtness herself IN THE FLESH! Lisa Barone, I love you baby please come home daddy misses you. (that’s what I sound like when I’m talking to my the Lisa shrine dol made out of human hair)
Chilling at Industry Brains‘ pimped out open bar party was cool, hanging with Joe Morin, finally meeting David Temple, drinking even more pink drinks, meeting come cool dudes from Cha Cha, but I had to go back and take a frikkin nap. No joke, I was turning into a baby pants. I actually went back to da hotel and snoozed for a bit.
After that, we headed to Times Square for some bar hopping, but didn’t get far after being introduced to the LUNCH BOX!!! Joe Whyte, it doesn’t matter if you tried to literally humped my butt in public, you made up for it with this one. This is my new favorite shot and was an instant classic with my friends. Before we went out, we absorbed our buddies from cha cha and webmaster radio, some of whom really wanted to go to the strip club. We did, it sucked, nuff said. Moving on…
Back to OldCastle!! (ugh, this is starting to hurt)
What can I say? More of the same. More pain, more liquor, more pics, but this time… more PEOPLE. The whole SEO scene was there. We drank again. But this time at least I finally hooked up with Michael Gray for a long overdue drink! Too bad my liver was punching itself in it’s liver at the time. It was also good to see the SEO Loser again and finally get a pic of the DrinkBait SEOLoser combo from PubCon in Vegas.
Woke up, conferences learning blah blah blah – BACK TO THE TRAIN ALREADY!
Today, awesome chick comes to NY! I feel giddy. Not sure if it is from liver poisoning or because I was excited to see awesome chick again, but nonetheless. My stomach was feeling funny. The day flew by, and finally awesome chick shows up in New York!
Our party crew absorbed another newcomer, Brian Alpert, and headed down to Times Square to show awesome chick the lights. Me and awesome chick immediately jumped into a rickshaw for a cheesy bike ride around the square. It was mushy and cute and we have a few awesome pics on her camera that she didn’t upload yet. From there we headed to The Spotlight, which was just opening. Amazing karaoke joint with crazy interactive systems that allow table to table web cam and 2.0 type communications. The food there is all made my “iron chef” cooks (here’s awesome chick with iron chef dude).
I was sick from the days of partying and not able to drink that well, but my excitement to be hanging out with awesome chick energized me a bit.
Then guess where… Back to frikkin Oldcastle
Ok, ok repetitive. Drinks, party, SEOs, pics, whoooo. You get the picture. Everybody loved awesome chick including 3 random dudes trying to flirt with her outside… then dude shouted out “Oh shit here’s her boyfriend” when I walked up. Had he not said that, the situation would have been way more normal. Like I care if she’s joking around with a bunch of dudes… I would have walked up and been 100% cool, but I guess awesome chick saw the fire in my eyes when that dude tried make it seem like something bad was going on. She grabbed me and pulled me back into the bar to chill me out.
Now I’m trying to be cool, and trying to figure out who those guys were. I was not even raging, just a lot of things happened all at once. Me and awesome chick sit down and to chill but my emotions are making my face red. Plus, we’re both a little tipsey so we decide to go back to the hotel.
On the way in, who do I see? Dave Naylor and that dude who was just trying to get a rise out of me. I’m trying to take care of awesome chick, and the dudes call me out. I’m like “Who the fuck are you” to that dude and he made a rude comment. Naylor tried to incite the situation, and for the first time in a long time I used my better judgment and focused on awesome chick instead of throwing down with those dudes. But I still wanna find out who that fucking guy was.
So I explained to awesome chick about who is who and how to operate in the conference bar scene, and we agreed it aint the best idea to feed the trolls. She was cool, no harm no foul. End drama, the rest is all fun again.
Next morning me awesome chick decide to head out for a street vendor bagel. We ended up buying a bus tour and went out in the freezing cold to see New York. It was fun touristy crap. We saw all the main attractions of Manhattan. Macy’s, Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Statue of Liberty, etc etc, TONS to see. Lots of inside jokes here, most of which awesome chick will censor me for… all I can say is it was awesome!
While in transit to see the Statue of Liberty, we noticed something strange. Lots of bad ass thugs and possible Wu-Tang Clan members apparently enjoy the monument. We thought nothing of it and continued to be stupid, and boarded the ferry. Once we got in, I thought for a second, maybe this isn’t the right ferry? I mentioned it to awesome chick and immediately some bag lady next to us ominously says “Get owff!”
Later that night, we met with some old friends. No more SEO stuff, no more conference stuff, just friends. We went bar hopping in the city trying out as many places as possible before retiring back at…
you guessed it, Oldcastle.
They almost kicked me out for not drinking and dozing off (I just couldn’t drink any longer, it was just too much). At least awesome chick was nice and patient with me. I was kinda grumpy from the lack of sleep and overboard consumption of alcohol and crappy food over the past few days.
Not much else happened after that, we all woke up WAAAY too early and headed to the airport.
A few days pass, all is normal. Work, eat, sleep, play with kid, etc. Until… my 30th birthday!
After getting back the SES New York, I realized something huge. Last week was probably one of the best weeks of my entire life. The SEO industry is amazing; so many cool people who genuinely want to help each other succeed. I’m still gathering all the pics from the craziness, and a long awesome update complete with pics, links, stories, and other awesome shizzle is on it’s way.
Props to NYC for being so dope.
Me and Snoop Blawg are headed up to NY on Monday for some SES action. Those of yall who want some dranks, put in your order right here and when I see you at the awesome parties that I’m probably not invited to, you’ll be sure to get your fav drink from one of the masters of SEO drinking.
Now taking orders beyaaatch!!
I’ve spent the past few years at NextStudent in a fishbowl type room to promote open communication. Just today, I moved into my own office. It’s pretty big, and pretty cool I guess. But it’s weird. I’ve been in here approximately 45 minutes (since being fully settled) and I have no meetings for the rest of the day. I am already having withdrawals from my team.
This is good because I think I needed it now that the team is so big, but it is gonna take some getting used to.
Back in the day before I was pimping SEO and online advertising, I was a web designer. I created a site for my friend Adam who is an Arizona Pool Builder (Owner of Acupulco Pools). At the time his company was a fraction of the size it is now; I think they are the biggest Fiberglass Pool Builder in Arizona now. The site has been a successful lead gen and catalog type tool for them. I gave him the hook up, basically working for peanuts to get a pretty decent site up.
Fast forward a few years, and I am in the market for a pool. My backyard is bare (new house, dirt backyard, you know the drill). He convinced me to let Acapulco Pools do my backyard and pool (I was thinking pebbletech at the time). I can’t tell you how much it cost me because I got the “We feel like we owe you for the business that your site generated” hook up… but I can say this: I AM ECSTATIC about how good these guys are.
These pools are 10x faster to install, they look just as good in a lanscape with cool decking, and from what I understand these pools are way easier to maintain. The teams they send out are fast and courteous and the backyard already is starting to look awesome. I’ll post pics once the yard is done so you can see what I am talking about.
Moral of the story, building websites for other people sometimes comes back and pays you back in ways you wouldn’t expect. I am stoked about my new pool and landscaping so far. My backyard is gonna be ROCKIN’ this summer!
There’s been some buzz at NextStudent about the proposed student loan taxes and related legislature coming down the pipe. For those who want to hear the inside scoop on the subject, I found a pretty cool site. Check out StudentLoanTax.org.
Take a stand against this thing- email your senator, congressman, etc. It’s going to make it harder for kids to get to school, it’s going to raise the cost of student loans for students, and it could hurt, mabe even eliminate, the industry I work in.
I recently received an offer to buy www.mcpmedia.com for 65k. It was my first REAL website, and the site that got me into SEO, web design, and all things web. It does have sentimental value, but I have not monetized the site for almost a year… with hundreds of leads not being sold or worked. It’s a shame really, but there’s more to it.
This domain, registered in 2002, has 51k backlinks according to Yahoo. Most of those are pretty darn old. It has a few DMOZ listings, and ranks really well for a ton of terms (mostly web design, dev, and SEO terms with the local modifiers AZ, Arizona, and Phoenix).
The site also recently spent almost 6 months at #1 on Yahoo! for the phrase “web design” (with no quotes) and at that time I was trying to overcharge and sell the domain for a million (dude’s gotta try!). It is ranking first page on Google for phrases like “web design quotes” which has to be worth something to somebody.
All of my email addresses for logins are mcpmedia.com. My IM handles are all mcpmedia. There are a few pages with really old links to other sites that I am interested in. If I sell it, I’ll lose some strong links, some history, and I’ll have a TON of work ahead of me…. screwing around with a ton of my online accounts. Also, my little brother sometimes grabs some of these leads to get his feet wet with project management and monetization of the web. It’s great learning for my little bro, which alone could make me want to hold on to this thing.
I dunno, what would you do? I don’t need the money, and I have been squatting on this thing for quite some time. For 250k it would be an easy decision for me, but I think the offer the guy made was pretty scientific. Somehow he made the offer just barely high enough for me to think about it…
I guess this is some REAL ThinkBait. Can anybody help sell me either way on why I SHOULD or SHOULD NOT sell this website? If so, I need some solid guidance.
Jeff (our technical specialist dude), and Jon (our link ninja), have really developed a special relationship. To celebrate their love, the NextStudent Newbies organized a little reception for them while they were out to lunch. Cake, decorations all over the office, a punch bowl, presents, bubbles, “secret lovers” on constant loop, it was really special.
Enjoy, this might be one of the funniest office pranks I’ve seen in some time.
Fast paced change has been the M.O. of the past few decades. As the internet expands and practically consumes media markets, those who once were the undercurrent have become the drivers.
The MTV generation is taking over. Major corporations are now being infiltrated by a nihilistic, voyeuristic, and sometimes brash new breed of executive management. Hackers, crackers, punks, and rappers are growing their roots into Corporate America, and it’s a hostile takeover.
Approaching life and business like a video game, Generation XY was programmed to collect coins. Arbitrage and market imbalances are no different than cracks or exploits in old school Nintendo and Atari games to these new execs. Movers and shakers in their mid to late 20′s liken replacing the old regime of Corporate America to the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s just another cultural shift to desensitized YTMs (Young Tech Males).
But this point of view isn’t just for the boys.
“It’s gone from ass kissing, to kiss my ass.” says Rae Hoffman, a well known Internet marketing consultant. “If you’re good at what you do, you can play by your own rules and not those set up by a prehistoric establishment. The teenager who spent ten hours a day trying to beat Bowser to save the princess is the same adult who will spend ten hours a day finding ways to beat a search engine. As a teenager, they were called a slacker. In today’s technology ruled world, they’re called your boss.”
“Wearing a suit is the new punk” said a Business Development Director for a multi-billion dollar corporation who chose to remain anonymous.
“Anybody can grab a skateboard, get some tats and a mohawk or die their hair black and pretend they are a rebel, but this takes balls. It’s the ultimate middle finger.”
Conservative old money entrepreneurs have been eyeing up this generation with envy for years. Initially considered a fad (see Hackers, 1995), the trend of leveraging technology by “power users” has turned into somewhat of a corporate shenanigan. In the late 90s, Corporate America began invading places like defcon to find the best and brightest “network security experts”. Many cyberpunks quickly found themselves at high paying corporate jobs, others saw jail time, while others faded into obscurity.
Embracing change and pushing that envelope is the core of the “Cold War Baby” generation. It’s no surprise that they are currently shaking up most formal institutions, especially Corporate America. Social activism and dark overtones powered much of the media they grew up consuming. Music like Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, and Gangsta Rap was the soundtrack, while movies like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Gleaming the Cube, Revenge of the Nerds, Boys N the Hood and The ‘Burbs were popular favorites.
It’s no wonder why this new type of executive has their middle finger up while creating the next neologisms.
The social and economic impact of “corporate punk” hasn’t been determined. At best, the rebellion is just social expression and their forward thinking nature will carry us past our predecessors. At worst, we will have a coup de tats of major distribution channels by 21st century digital graffiti writers.
At this point, all we can do is speculate, but we must embrace the change in the business world or we’ll end up dinosaurs losing ground to a possibly more evolved breed: The Corporate Punk.
You want a FREE link from an up and coming blogger just by telling the world why you love your job? Here’s how:
That’s it! If you like your job, tell the world, tell me where your post is, and I’ll send some traffic your way. Simple eh?
Far too often companies and employers get slammed because people feel a level of entitlement, and people like to whine. That mentality is anti-progress. Fact is, most companies were founded on some sort of passion, and working for a company that fosters that is something to be proud of.
I want my readership to hear about those companies that treat people well; companies that make their employees happy to come to work. If you love where you work, write a blog and let me know where that post is. I’ll be creating a list (that will hopefully grow to at least 100 posts) right here.
People need to know that not all companies are bad, and that work is not just a jobby job. Working for a good company can be a fulfilling way to reach your personal and professional goals.
BTW- you can’t be a blatant splog or a “dirty neighborhood” type. If it meets those two criteria, let people know why you love your job and I’ll link to your blog post!
The list of awesome companies and employees will begin here:
You wanna be on this list? Just write a quick post on your blog about why you love your job and let me know where it is! EASY!