Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Meme's - huh?

Memes (pronounced "meems")

I often see them referenced to. What the hell are they?

Here is one descriptive that begins to crack the thick ice surrounding the meaning:

What is a meme?
"A meme is a set of actions or questions, in the form of a theme, that one addresses or
focuses upon. It can be an idea like flickr, where people post pictures as part of their content. Memes get created by someone, anyone to be precise, and then get moved onto the next participant through an invitation." source: The Reasoner: meme

What is tagging for a meme?
"Tagging someone for a meme means exactly what it says; you’re tagging someone else to do the same meme on their website. It’s like the tagging game you play in real life. After you’ve finished doing the meme, you tag a specific number of other people to perform the same meme; usually, that number of people you tag is exactly the same as listed in the previous meme from which you yourself were tagged. " source: The Reasoner: meme

Why participate in a meme?
"The main point of an online blog meme is the content and replication; someone adds value to the meme through their participation, and in turn their own site gets more valuable and interesting content. They get more people to chip in also." source: The Reasoner: meme

Examples of Memes (from Mementionary)

* Jingles: advertising slogans set to an engaging melody
* Earworms: songs that one can't stop humming or thinking.
* Jokes: or at least those jokes popularly considered funny.
* Proverbs and aphorisms: for example: "You can't keep a good man down".
* Children's culture: games, activities and taunts typical for different age groups.
* Chain letters: "You must send this message to five other people, or something bad will happen to you."
* Conspiracy theories
* Fashions: especially clothing styles such as blue jeans.
many more examples
from Mementionary

Well, what a "meme" is - is not clear yet? Here is a video that helps (I find it is sort of an infection of ideas a little like the whisper game where you start with a phrase and people whisper it around a circle)

Internet memes

Know Your Meme: Magibon

A comment about Magibon is "Her WTF factor is off the charts" Is this clear as mud yet? What do you say?

Greg Cryns
All About Paso Robles

Monday, December 29, 2008

Link building through directories

I've done niche marketing but I've never been totally happy with my traffic counts even after I've done a lot of SEO on a particular niche. I am not sure why some of my sites do very well getting targeted visitors and others don't perform much at all.

I want to do more niche marketing now, but I want to learn new techniques.

I suspect that in the not doing enough work attracting inbound links from similar (and good) sites. Honestly, that is a ton of work I'd rather not do, but unless I find something else that works, I will need to get more incoming links.

One way to obtain incoming links is by joining good website directories. Here is a guest article about how to pick which directories can help you.

Link Building 101 - How to Evaluate the Power of Directories
by Amy Nutt

It's extremely important to be able to evaluate the power of a directory for link building. Especially when you consider that the power of a directory listing is much more complicated than just looking at the PR of the directory homepage.

Hence, the goal of this post is to train the average SEO enthusiast how to quickly and effectively evaluate the power of general directories through link analysis and evaluation. The post is going to focus on the power of general directories because they are much more prevalent than niche directories; which obviously are powerful if your in the same niche. At the end of the day, there are hundreds of directories (both paid and free) that you can submit too, so you need to know how to quickly evaluate the power of these directories in order to make the most out of your time and money. Efficiency is key!

Without much further ado, here's a list of the 7 most important criteria to look for when evaluating the power of general directories:

1.) Check the PR of the directory: Although PR isn't everything; this is hands-down the fastest and easiest way to judge the power of any directory. As a general rule of thumb, any directory at PR 5 or above has good authority, while anything below a PR 3 has low authority.

2.) Check whether domain ranks in Google: This important test identifies if the directory has been penalized by Google. Simply go to Google and type in the directory domain name (without spaces); they should appear #1 unless the domain is targeting highly competitive keywords (should still be on first page). If they don't appear at all and Google suggests a different search term, then they have been penalized by Google.

3.) Indexability and last time cached: This quick check-up is to determine how often the Google bots are indexing the sub-page's content. Just go to Google, and enter a cache query. For a directory sub-page, a good cache date would be within 1-2 weeks, but no longer than 1 month. A higher frequency of cache dates indicate that the site is more powerful and authoritative.

4.) Number (and quality) of inbound links: Is a fairly simple measure of the overall power and authority associated with the directory. The higher the better. Being listed in DMOZ wouldn't hurt either :)

5.) Number of outbound links and PR of sub-pages: When choosing a category to submit too, relevancy is the most important factor to consider. But oftentimes, a submission could go in several categories. In these cases, in order to choose the best sub-page or category to submit too, you need to look at the sub-page's PR and also the number of outbound links. One of the most telling signs of an authority directory is if they have PR sub-pages, because Google loves to take the second level PR away from directories.

So, if you find a directory sub-page of PR 3 or higher: the directory is carrying a good amount of power, authority and Google credibility. The second point to consider is the number of outbound links on the sub-page. In many cases there will be so many listings that you won't even get on the first sub-page of your selected category. You need to keep this in mind when deciding which category to submit too. You want to submit to the sub-page that has a low number of outbound links to ensure that your link gets the most link juice available.

6.) Does the directory have sitewide links in Google?: When you search for the directory's domain name do they have sitewide links under their listing? If yes, this signifies that the directory has high authority in Google's eyes.

7.) Check appearances at public events and industry conventions: The theory behind this test is simple; if the directory owners can afford to advertise in key industry events (SES and SMX for example) then they obviously have a long-term strategy and are an authority. Obviously this rule isn't set in stone, but being at these events is a pretty clear indication of a powerful directory.

There's also one more test, but it takes more time as it's a bit more advanced because it can be time intensive. The anchor text test is a great way to determine the power of a directory by measuring the link juice that the directory passes on to your anchor text. Here's how to execute the anchor text text:

- First you need to find a unique anchor text within a sub-category (that isn't mentioned on the site's homepage)
- Next, check to see how that site ranks for that specific keyword(s) in the SERP's

This test doesn't take into consideration the other link building efforts of the Toronto SEO client, but it is an effective way to attempt to measure the link juice being sent from the directory to your site (or client's site). The hardest part is finding the unique anchor text, because most of these anchors would most likely be targeting their site's competitive keywords, which would be mentioned on the homepage. But this isn't always the case, hence why the anchor text test can be very useful when you are trying to gauge the power of a link within a directory.

Another thing to keep in mind with the power of directory submissions is the featured listing or premiere listing option that enables your listing to be placed at the top of your desired sub-category for some extra dough. Is it worth it? Personally, I don't see much value in these type of listings unless the sub-page has PR and a lot of outbound links. In this case, a regular submission wouldn't get you on the first page of the category, so it would be worth paying an extra $20 or so because without it, your link won't be getting the same "juice" as it would be if placed on that desired subpage with PR.

Remember to keep this quick checklist in mind when considering which directories to submit too, and also be sure to check out the last part of this series which will cover potential downfalls and other mistakes to avoid when making directory submissions.

Toronto SEO company offers search engine optimization and search engine marketing solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Photo by Coyote DeGroot

Greg Cryns

Scentsy - a hot way to make money in 2009 with candles
All About Paso Robles

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are you talking too much?

It is so easy to fall into the trap of loving the sound of your own voice and simply talking too much.

As a business owner, salesman or manager you need to make sure to give your prospects and clients ample time to express themselves.

Do you find yourself saying any of these?

1. Now pay attention.

2. You really need to hear this.

3. Listen.....

4. Look....

If you use any of those statements, you may have an inability to attract and hold the attention of clients and your subordinates at work. It may be high time to reconsider what you are saying and give yourself a listening tune-up.

Here are some thoughts that come to my mind on the subject of listening.

Do your clients and customers often ask you to repeat what you said?

Are you tempted to interrupt people while they are talking to you?

Do you sometimes finish a statement for a client or team member just to save time? Finishing statements for people will diminish their desire to communicate with you.

Are you thinking of responses during the communication process? If so, you may be losing a sale.

How often do you use the work "I" in your sentences? Think about that the next time you talk. It may surprise you how often the "I" word pops up. People are
not that interested in what you have to say. They are more interested in what they have to say.

When we talk at people and not to people, it is like
talking to ourselves.

Be careful about your preconceived notions and thoughts. We all have them but that does not make them a good idea in your life.

Tip: think about what it was like before you learned what you know now through long hours of study and experience.

Photo by Sarah L

Greg Cryns
Wahm Search Engine
Scentsy - a hot business idea

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Don't be afraid of social media

Guest post by my friend Jill Whalen. I've been following Jill on the web for many years. She taught me to build websites with good content and not to be concerned with tactics to influence search engines. Essentially, Jill says design your pages for your visitors, not for the search engines.

++Scared of Social Media? You May Already Be a Pro!++

I'll admit it. I used to be scared of social media. I didn't know what it was, nor did I want to. I'm rarely an early adopter

So when I first started hearing of social media, and more specifically, social media marketing, I hoped it would just go away. I mean, the phrase "social media" didn't even exist when I was first learning SEO in the '90s. In fact, a search last week on Google's 2001 index (which was available only during October) showed that in 2001 Google had about 1,460 listings for the phrase "social media" and the resulting pages weren't about social media as we think of it today. The more specific phrase "social media marketing" showed zero results in the 2001 Google index – meaning it hadn't even been coined as a phrase.

A search in today's Google index shows about 19,100,000 results for the phrase "social media" and approximately 1,630,000 Google results for "social media marketing." It's safe to conclude that social media and its use as an online marketing strategy are here to stay, and are growing by leaps and bounds. If you're marketing websites, scary as it may sound, you need to learn about social media.

Don't be afraid!

Here's the thing – there's actually nothing to be afraid of! In fact, you may already be using it without realizing it. What makes it confusing is that everyone has their own definition of it. I was confused a few years ago when a friend asked if I wanted to speak on a panel about social media. In true crotchety old-woman style, I told him that I knew 'nuthin 'bout that newfangled social media thingamabob.

My friend looked at me as if I was crazy and said, "Jill, you are the queen of social media marketing!" Of course, I argued that he didn't know what he was talking about, and blah blah blah. But he did know what he was talking about, even though it took me a few months to come around. (Yeah, I'm slow!)

I don't remember what triggered it, but one day I woke up and realized that social media is nothing more than online communities where people interact with one another. Like a chat room. Or a forum. Or an email discussion list. Holy cow! I had been participating in stuff like that since the early '90s! In fact, just about the only marketing I did for years was based on participating in online communities. From my old parenting chatroom and forums in the '90s to my later SEO newsletter discussions, forums and blogs, and every other online thing I do. I've been a social media geek since day one, but never knew it!

Just be yourself!

The reason it took so long for it to sink in was that I never set out to use social media (or the online communities in which I participate) for the goal of gaining clients or branding myself as an expert. But that's exactly what happened; not as some sort of calculated plan, but simply because I was being myself and letting my passion for SEO show through.

My first clients came from chat rooms and email discussion lists. Today, many of them come from this newsletter or our forum – all of which would be considered social media. I visit those places and participate in them because I enjoy them and like to hang out with like-minded individuals. Plus, I never tire of answering SEO questions. Certainly, I could never have consistently cranked out these newsletters since 2000 if I didn't get some personal satisfaction out of it.

Social media marketing works, but only if you have an authentic voice. You can't fake authenticity. You can try, but real people and real voices are what succeed in the social media world. The key is to go into it without any expectations of what you may get out of it. Have fun and you'll be surprised at what may come from it. People like to do business with those they know, and social media is one way of getting others to know you.

Even Web 2.0 is not as scary as it sounds!

There's no need to be afraid of newer social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter either. Other than their funky Web 2.0 names and cool appearance, they are no different from old-fashioned chatrooms and forums. It's true that they are not for everyone and may or may not be a good vehicle in which to market your company. But it can't hurt to give them a test run. The worst that will happen is you'll become addicted! Or maybe you really won't like it at all. If you find it's not for you, then stop using it. Alternatively, have someone else in your company who's more familiar with online communities test it out on your behalf. While you may need to provide them with some guidelines, don't be afraid to allow them to let their personality shine through.

The main thing I want you to take away from this article is that social media marketing is just a new twist on an old tactic. It’s not scary, and it’s not very different from many of the other forms of online marketing you're probably already using.

Jill Whalen offers search engine optimization services and is CEO at High Rankings. and co-founder of Search Engine Marketing New England (SEMNE).

Greg Cryns

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A brief example of a niche marketing technique

Do you have a marketing plan? Do you have an advertising plan? Do you understand that marketing is not exactly advertising?

Here are some thoughts I have on internet marketing as opposed to internet advertising.

Buying a banner or text ad on a web page is advertising. You want to be sure you are finding your target market when you place an ad on the Internet.

Let's assume for a moment that you sell mattresses for a living.

So, if you sell mattresses then you need to find out who needs a new mattress. That person would be in your target market.

You may want to appeal to people who have had herniated discs fusion surgery. If I had disc surgery I may not know how a mattress can help me.

Or you also be interested in people who have an allergy. How many people equate allergies to mattersses?

Perhaps you want to do some social networking to make people who have bad backs aware of your product?

So, your internet marketing plan probably does not want to include using Adwords for the keyword "mattress". You would be better off to search Google's keyword tool for key phrases people use to find a mattress that fits their needs. Try searching "mattress for" (with the quotes included).

There you would find that 2,400 people searched for "mattress for back pain" in November 2008.

You found one important search phrase that people who experience back pain may use to locate and buy a mattress. This is a technique used by people who do niche marketing.

Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to write a nice article employing the search term "matress for back pain" and put it up on a web page that a search engine will pick up and present to someone?

Greg Cryns
Work At Home Profiles

Monday, December 22, 2008

Seasons Greetings (political)

To All My Democrat Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Republican Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Photo credit: Josh Calebwray

Follow your passion

Picture (overlooking Morrow Bay in Central California) by Greg Cryns

Someone called me yesterday. I invited her to call after I saw a post she made on Twitter.

Most of the people who call me want to sell me something. She did not want that.

In fact, I don't think she knew exactly why she called me. Just following her hunch, I think.

We chatted for a few minutes. She told me is in direct sales. I asked her if she was really cut out to sell a product.


"I don't think so," she said.

I asked her what she really wanted to do. Immediately her voice brightened. She sounded excited. "I know what I want to do!" she exclaimed. She went on to tell me she had a passion about something but she did not tell me exactly what it was.

My advice to her was to drop her direct sales business even though she "loved" the product. I advised her to set up a blog and post somethine every day for at least 30 days.

Some people don't have a passion for business per se. Making money is not what it is all about in my opinion. But I do believe that if you have a true passion and work hard at it, the money will follow, usually.

I think she may do that. We will see. Do you think that was good advice?

greg cryns
Watch me try to nail down a good refinance rate on my mortgage

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Opportunity is all around us

I've been a fan of Guy Kawasaki
since I stumbled across a video of Guy giving a speech about his early days at Apple computer.

Guy described how he made his "$3.5 billion mistake" when he turned down the offer from a fledgling company known as Yahoo to be its CEO. Guy said their offices were too far from home and he wanted more time with his family. He didn't know at the time, of course, what would happen to Yahoo.

I've heard many people saying that a good opportunity is a rare commodity. I don't agree. I think great opportunities are all around us all day long especially if you stay tuned to what is happening on the Internet and use the Internet to create a career for yourself.

I guess it depends on what you would call a "great opportunity." For some people it means making "massive amounts of money." If I could get a $1 Million salary for a job standing on a highway holding one of those signs at a construction site that tells drivers when to drive on, then I have taken advantage of a great opportunity?

Is becoming a stock broker who makes $5 million a year a great opportunity? Perhaps so, to some. Not for me.

If I could get a novel published I would consider that a great opportunity. It opens a door for me. Or maybe getting recognized by some powerful people about a blog entry I made. Perhaps opportunity is not at all about making money.

Opportunity is everywhere. Keep your eyes and ears open.

If you are a blogger, here is an opportunity for you to read a real gem posted by Problogger today. Read it and be enlightened:

Greg Cryns
Work at home Profiles

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mom's letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find any more free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog. If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,

P.S. One more thing..you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa for many years to come.

Merry Christmas!
Work At Home Profiles

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to put your video on YouTube

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to add a video to YouTube.com

Possibilities with examples:

1. share your videos with family members
conversation with my daugher, Liana

2. share your videos with friends and acquaintances
my visit to Christmas Vine St in Paso Robles, CA 2008

3. share your videos through your blog or website
I put this video on my Paso Robles website

4. show people what you know in your niche (business videos)
my favorite real estate agent

5. advertise your business
my son, Noah, heads up his recording studio and writes jingles and songs like THIS

6. just because they are so cool
our hummingbird feeder

Here is a good tutorial by http://www.beyourownit.com

Greg Cryns

Work at Home Profiles membership site just $3.77 per month

All About Paso Robles (my home town)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Leadership and coaching

Guest post by my son, Greg Cryns, who is a soccer coach and strength expert


by Greg W. C. Cryns

We were all sitting behind the bleachers during half time of the semi-final match at the premier youth soccer tournament, the Dallas Cup. After playing the entire half without getting a shot off, we were down 2-0 and very pessimistic about our chances of winning. We were being made to look foolish in front of a large crowd, we felt the pressure to make something happen or our dream of winning the tournament would be squandered away for the last time. When my coach, Bret Hall, stepped in front of us, he could immediately tell that we were scared, and new that it was negatively affecting our game. (Bret Hall is now the assistant coach of the US Women's National Team)

Before we could get a word in he snapped, “You think this is pressure? This isn’t pressure. Try having three kids and not know if you are going to be able to make enough money to feed them, or keep the house warm in January. That’s pressure!” Within a matter of minutes, all our fears of losing the game subsided and we began the 2nd half replacing our fear of losing with a new feeling, Inspiration to do the best we could.

He was never the best X and O’s coach, but he always new how to get the best out of us. He was a great motivator. He always had a way of connecting the game to a bigger picture and life lesson. He was knowledgeable, approachable, dependable, accountable, respectful, and truly cared about the lives and welfare of the players on the team. No matter the situation, it seemed there was a life lesson to be learned. He was a teacher that never stopped teaching. He was a great Leader!


My coach was very inspirational in his teachings. He wasn’t always talking, but when he did, people listened. It was agreed that he possessed a vast knowledge of the game, but that is not the reason why people listened. Every player on the team listened because we were aware of his total commitment and effort to the team’s welfare. He genuinely cared for us and it was apparent in his effort, performance, and enthusiasm. His enthusiasm was a product of the joy he received from helping us improve. However, it was also important for us to know that his enthusiasm was real. False enthusiasm is common in sports and I believe it is easily detected. We understood that his heart and soul were in the team 100 percent of the time. Being a dedicated leader can be most fulfilling in this respect because of the position and ability to change lives and make a difference.

A leader cannot be 100 percent “all in” until he puts the team’s welfare ahead of his own personal desires. This can be extremely difficult to accomplish for most leaders. Few people are willing to sacrifice personal time and family time for the sake of the team. The secret is in the ability to find a workable balance between freedom and discipline. I think it can take a very long time, even a lifetime for some leaders to find this balance. A coach, however, must remember what leadership is all about: helping others to achieve their own greatness by helping the organization to succeed. Leadership is not for the selfish or egotistical. Leaders must continuously be exploring for ways to improve themselves so that they may improve others.

Being a leader, you must be able to lead yourself before you lead others. A great leader must also walk down the same road in which he is leading the team. There is no more powerful tool for inspiration and leadership than personal example. The teacher must be able to communicate effectively with enthusiasm, and personal example can be the best form of communication. A leader can possess all the knowledge in the world, but his deeds are what count the most, much more than words.

A great coach will not copy other people’s philosophies and styles. Although a certain style might work for some, a great coach is concerned with making it work better. It is easy to be influenced by other leader’s accomplishments, but your own experiences are more valuable than anything you can read in an article. It can be a sign of strength to acknowledge honest differences in leadership, but coaches should never underestimate the value of their personal experiences. Great leaders must have enough faith in themselves to stay firm in their beliefs during times of adversity. Leaders should not hastily sell their old ways for new popularly accepted systems.

A great leader is able to paint a big picture connecting daily tasks with important life lessons. Daily practices become much more meaningful when the lesson transcends the sport. Great coaches set goals that are higher than the ones at hand. They are able to create a belief in their philosophy and project a vision of success that the team can embrace.

Leadership and coaching involves much more than just telling people what to do. It’s not about being tough, assertive, and dictatorial. Great leaders have a set of attributes that set them apart from average people. Character may be the most important attribute a leader can have. I am not just talking about having charismatic energy or a fun style of teaching. Great leaders do the right thing all the time. Great character is noticeable in a leader’s consistency, dependability, accountability, decisions, courage, discipline, and fairness. The most important aspect of character, however, is love and respect for themselves and others. I believe all these facets are fundamental for successful leadership.

Photo by Michael

Work At Home Profiles

Results of Twitter message

Yesterday, 12/16/08/, as an experiment to find out how far a Twitter post will connect with my followers, I sent out this message four times:

"HOW MANY FOLLOWERS SEE YOUR POST? - IF you READ THIS POST please notify me in a message, date and time - I update later - thanks! "

1st post 5:17 AM PST
2nd post 7:00 AM PST
3rd post 3:00 PM PST
4th post 11:00 PM PST

I received nine (9) direct responses and 15 email message responses from people who said they saw the message. That is 24 total responses.

I have approximately 950 followers. This says that 2.5% of the people who follow me sent a response.

What does this mean? I'm not sure. The variables are many.

They were sent on a Tuesday. Would I get a better response on another day?

They were sent near Christmas day. Is that a factor?

I think it is fair to say that not all who saw the message decided to take action. I wonder how many simply did not have the time or energy to respond. I wonder if the people who do follow me think I post too much that does not interest or concern them?

I would like to see some more people do the same experiment. Statistics lie and liars use statistics, right?

At the core of the experiment is to find out how powerful, or not, is Twitter in getting out our messages.

What do you think?

greg cryns

Work At Home Profiles

Wahm Search Engine

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today I will test Twitter to try to find out how many people actually see and read my Twitter posts.

I will post this message at different times during the day:

HOW MANY FOLLOWERS SEE YOUR POST? - IF you READ THIS POST please notify me in a message, date and time - I update later - thanks!

My Twitter followers are nearing 1,000. I don't know of any other method to find out how many people actually see my posts.

Do you know any?

greg cryns

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Living Christmas Tree (video)

Here is a video of our living Christmas tree. Can you hear my Chicago accent? I firmly believe that the change we will witness in the near future will be profound. Perhaps living Christmas trees will be part of that change?

I made this video 1/2 hour before I posted this entry. I used the FlipVideo camera. Very nice for its size and price.

Do I have to follow you on Twitter?

Cartoon by Hubspot

click the picture to enlarge

Personally, I follow most of the people who follow me.

Hey, check out my new videos of Paso Robles. They trucked in snow for the youngsters to sled on. :)

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

(refusing to say "happy holidays")

Saturday, December 13, 2008

3 Step system to become a guru - Terry Dean

(image taken from the video described below)

I did not know who Terry Dean was until today. How did I miss him? I don't know. What woke me up is the video linked below. In that video he said he mentored guru Jimmy Brown (a fellow I greatly admire).

Terry boils down the journey to becoming a guru to three basic steps.

3 Step system to become a guru - from a Terry Dean presentation

1. FAIL a bunch of times - "I suggest you do that as quickly as possible."

2. You accidentally discover something that works by TESTING

3. Tell everybody about your genius, but your forget about Step 1 - but you don't tell anyone about your failures

How to become an expert. You write a book! "It doesn't even have to be a good book."

1. create a basic outline of what you want to write
2. make a working title that will likely be changed later
3. write down some basic points that you want tot talk about
4. start writing and don't quit writing until you are done
5. write quickly without deleting "Write it ALL until you don't want to write any more."

Here is the video I took these notes from.

Terry Dean's website

"Pretty websites win awards. Plain websites with good copy make money."
~ Terry Dean

Greg Cryns

Scentsy - a warm and lasting gift

Work At Home Profiles

Friday, December 12, 2008

An unusual Christmas gift

Here is a wonderful idea on how to give a meaningful and lasting gift to your loved ones.

Rochelle wrote this article showing us how to write as a gift.

Check it out here: http://www.workathomeprofiles.com/work-at-home-tips/write-gift.shtml

Writing is an extremely important component on the Internet. Whatever you do on the web (service, products, communications), it is essential to be able to communicate in writing to achieve success.

I think that writing your gift would serve as a great practice tool for you.

What do you think?

Photo by spotted sparrow

greg cryns

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Office clutter

Do you have a “read someday” pile in your office? Every day I bring paper into my office that I am sure I will want to “read someday.” Problem is that I seldom get around to reading it.

Another name for this is CLUTTER.

Magazines, newspapers, memos tend to clutter up your office.

More clutter:

Aged-out stuff – cough drops, dried out pens, old calculators

Parts to things long gone – printer accessories, computer cables from computer equipment tossed long ago,

Seminar sludge – all of those things that seemed cool when you attended the seminar but which now look (and are) quite useless, important notes from seminars (hah!)

Convention freebies – those things you put into the plastic bags you get for free at conventions, brochures, crumpled photocopies, samples, stacks of business cards

Pencil/pen holders – what do you keep in them? In mine I see a kitchen knife, a tire pressure gauge, a staple remover, a nail clipper and, yes, some pens and pencils too!

"Things I am working on" - folders and piles “in limbo” projects whose time has come and gone a long time ago

Keys you can’t identify – I am sure I sold that car a few years ago

Golf balls – I gave up that insidious sport years ago but I still have these little round white objects with dimples and little company logos on them

Stack of really valuable CDs – I don’t know what the hell is on them any more, but I am sure I will get to them some day, uh-huh

I read about someone who found a five-year-old uncashed insurance refund check for $800 within the five years' worth of old magazines on top of a desk.

I need to get rid of this CLUTTER. I will do so. After I finish writing this blog post. I will. Why don't you believe me?

Photo by: Immortally Yours

Greg Cryns

Scentsy - a warm and lasting gift

Work At Home Profiles

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Three Keys to a Recession-Proof Business

We are all concerned about the economy, of course. There are some common sense steps you can take to continue your business success. My friend, Marcia Yudkin, presents three ideas here:

Three Keys to a Recession-Proof Business

by Marcia Yudkin

“It’s the economy.” Are you putting up with a drop in
revenues because of the economic downturn? In fact, a
worldwide financial crisis does not have to send your own
business into a discouraging spiral. Smart business owners
and managers minimize the damage from a business slowdown
with three crucial strategies.

1. Diversify. Beware of depending too much on one, two or
three clients. Never allow your prosperity to get tied too
closely to the fortunes of a very few others – no matter
how stable and healthy these organizations seem. If they
suddenly hit the skids or if they just get sold and their
leadership or direction changes, you could be in deep
trouble. Protect yourself by keeping at least four active
clients at all times.

The same goes for your product line and promotions, where
an overly narrow focus also puts you at risk. Some years
ago, I had a financial planning expert whose whole
marketing funnel depended on beating the estate tax. When
Congress suddenly changed the estate tax, he had to
recreate his business.

If you sell services, you can hedge your bets for a bad
economy by developing information products, which offer a
low-risk, low-commitment way for new customers to get to
know, then trust your company. If you sell expensive
products, you can hedge your bets by offering services as
well, such as consulting and seminars, so interested
prospects can get value from your firm in more than one

2. Stay in touch. Don’t let your customer database lapse or
go out of date! (Some businesses just toss paperwork into a
shoebox.) Former clients may not need your services right
now, but don’t let them forget about you. Send something
meaningful and relevant to previous customers twice a year.
Postcards are perfect for this – they have just enough
space for a tip, a tool or an inspirational case study.
Keep in mind that it costs five times as much to obtain a
new customer as it does to sell more to an existing one.

3. Never shut down the marketing pipeline. Create regular
marketing activities that reach out to new customers and
keep these going, regardless of whether you’re so busy you
can’t stand it or waiting for the phone to ring. That way,
you’ll never have to try to get traction from a dead stop.

According to a study by the American Business Press, in
past recessions companies that maintained their advertising
had increased their sales four times more two years later
than companies that had cut their advertising because of
the economic downturn.

I once asked a client of mine who closed down her business
to retire how long it took after she halted all of her
marketing before the calls stopped. Six months, she said.
Too often I’ve seen business owners become complacent about
how well word of mouth was working for them. One day they’d
wake up and realize referrals had dried up, and they’d have
to begin creating a marketing pipeline, which might not
start yielding new clients for months. In both good times
and bad, you must therefore market to keep sales humming.

Master marketer Marcia Yudkin, author of 6 Steps to Free
Publicity and 10 other books, has been selling information
in one form or another since 1981. This article is
excerpted from her report, “33 Keys to Thriving During a
Recession,” which is available as a free download from
www.yudkin.com/recess.htm .

Greg Cryns

Wahm Search Engine

Monday, December 8, 2008

Page rank - another reason to use the Google toolbar

Google's Page Rank system is often misunderstood.

Getting a high Page Rank does not mean that the website will be guaranteed a good position in Google search results.

But it does mean something. It means that Google trusts your site to some extent. You may have a little trust or a lot of trust. A PR 1, for example, means that Google is just getting to know your site. A PR 6 means that Google likes your site quite well.

My experience is that the higher the PR the longer the site has been on the Internet. I've also noticed that sites with more visitors will eventually get a better PR. I'm not sure how Google knows how many visitors the site gets, but this seems to be true.

There are a lot of "seems" with Google. The guys at Google don't want us to know too much because they want their search results to be as pristine as possible without outside meddling.

I use the Google Toolbar for convenience in searching, but I tend to notice the PR graphic that goes with the Toolbar more often. When I visit a website I want to know if I can trust it too. If Google trusts it, then I am more likely to trust it too.

Does that make sense?

greg cryns

Online business: never burn bridges

Here is a piece of advice that is the result of many years experience in many types of businesses.


You just never know what that lost contact may have done for you in the future.

Remember this: if someone has a good experience, they may tell one or two people, if you are lucky. Most likely, they will not tell anyone.

If someone has a bad experience with you, they are likely to tell 10 or more people.

Greg Cryns

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/calgreg


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Beware of TV internet marketing scams

This morning, Saturday, I skimmed the TV channels. An ad about how to make money on the Internet caught my eye.

So I watched as a few beautiful and buxom women told me how they were fabulously successful in a short time by ordering and following Jeff Paul's Shortcuts to Internet Millions.

Then up popped Jeff himself to tell me that he gives seminars that people cross the country and pay $10,000 to attend. I assumed he was giving them Internet lessons as well, though it is possible he was selling stocks and bonds there.

Jeff then showed me some pictures of his multi-CD product that would be mailed to me if I called in to the phone number shown at the bottom of the TV screen and gave him my credit card info to spend
just $39 for the "shortcuts" .

After that came the testimonials of men and women, old and young, black and white who said they used Jeff's system to make
UP TO $100,000 per week. My opinion only since I have never seen or used Jeff's product, I think that is how Jeff covers himself when people make little or no money using his system. The big UP TO caveat screams.

I am not saying this is a scam. I am sure Jeff sends out what he said he will send. He knows what I know, though. It is easy to put up a bunch of websites but not so easy to get traffic to see the sites. So, this is probably not a blatant scam, but rather an incredibly overstated outcome of possibility that many people will rush to their phones to buy.

The TV ad must cost thousands of dollars. Since I've seen the ad before, Jeff must be making some cold hard cash. More power to him. Probably a lot less power to those who buy it.

Here are some resources to see what other people say about this system. But you need to be careful. Very often you will find that people appear critical about an info product on the Internet but they are either affiliates of that product and turn the tables on you once you start to read what you think is a negative comment judging by the headlines such as "Does XYZ infoproduct suck?"

In fact, it is now very difficult to get honest opinions about info products even after a hard search.

Having said that, if you are looking for opinions on hotels (and other local businesses) you can turn up some real gems. Here are a few opinions of a motel in my home town of Paso Robles, CA. found in Google's local search box (the one with the Google map balloons that is so prevalent):

The room smelled like vomit and there was hair in the bed.."

Disgusting! Horrible! Very rude! in this "hotel" room. more like a prision cell. when you pull into the drive way you are instantaneously disappointed."

"There is no pool. The staff is rude, they broke into my room after one knock to ask about cleaning service. I told the guy I was fine and he stood there watching me in my underwear for way too long. He did not speak one word of English. VERY expensive. VERY dirty. Rooms smell horrible, philthy bathrooms, construction debris everywhere. Nothing good at all. Truly the worst hotel I have ever seen. We cancelled along with three other couples that we weren't even traveling with. "

"Black and pink mold in bathroom. Room either too hot or too cold. "

Opinions are a dime a dozen, but sometimes a bad opinion is worth a lot more than that to you.

Scentsy - a warm and lasting gift

Work At Home Profiles

Greg Cryns

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Recession opportunities - full speed ahead

Picture by Greg Cryns (me) - I took this picture last week when we visited the Chicago area. This is the first McDonald's after Ray Kroc bought it from the McDonald's brothers in California. I used to ride my bike to this restaurant and marvel at the wrapped hamburgers.

What does "recession" mean? The dictionary says it is "a contraction phase of the business cycle, or "a period of reduced economic activity."

Ok. I can handle that and so can you.

In fact, I get a strong feeling that we internet marketers are in the
right place at the right time. My Adsense income spiked up yesterday. I strongly recommend that you to investigate alternative ways to make money if you are selling products that people can do without (luxury items). People will always need insurance, food and health services and good, solid information. They do not necessarily need a new television or cell phone.

If you are not using Adsense to create income then give me a call.
My phone: 805-226-8354. I am happy to spend some time with you discussing Adsense and other internet marketing opportunities.

Other opportunities include coaching, basic services (VA, article writing), IT skills, website creation.

Here is a very nice article by Marcia Yudkin. My respect for Marcia is very high. I've watched her business evolve over the years.


Four Tactics for Drumming Up Business During a Recession

by Marcia Yudkin

Recession? Hah!

That’s the attitude you’ll have when you know how to bring
new customers in, despite all your competitors wailing
about being dead in the water. People and companies have
not completely stopped spending. They’re just much more
selective and risk-averse in what they buy.

If you use these four smart recession-fighting strategies,
you’ll emerge from the recession just fine.

Four Recession-Be-Darned Marketing Tactics

1. Have a risk-free introductory offer. For example,
1AutomationWiz.com, the online shopping cart I use, offers
a free 30-day trial. You sign up, set up the cart and can
use it for real transactions without having to pay until
the 30th day. (By then, you’re hooked!) As a variation on
this theme, Changing Course initially charges just $13.55
shipping on its $297 Fast Track Your Dream program. They
ship the materials, then begin charging the program fee on
day 30. The buyer can ship everything back before day 30,
then not be charged. For a non-monthly service, you can get
the customer’s credit card information or check up front,
but promise not to charge the card or to return the check
if the customer isn’t happy.

2. Develop and sell information products. Information
products offer a low-risk, low-commitment way for new
customers to get to know, then trust a vendor company. You
can sell them to do-it-yourselfers who might not spring for
full service as well as to regular customers who want to
learn about a new topic area. Not only do the information
products provide an additional stream of revenue during the
recession, they will continue to do so after the economy
picks up again (as it inevitably will) with no additional
work. To get products ready for sale within weeks, start
small, as with short downloadable reports or audio
recordings of expert interviews.

3. Catch their pulse. What do your customers need most
right now? Put your ear to the ground. Listen in on your
target market’s complaints, questions and wishes where they
hang out on email discussion lists and web-based forums.
Based on what you hear, add a new product or service or
twist an existing one so it clearly connects with their
concerns. Let’s say that on the financial forums you see
more questions than usual from couples nearing retirement
or parents with more than one child in college. You could
quickly create seminars, reports or telephone hotline hours
specifically for those groups.

4. Pursue publicity. Getting media coverage can be as quick
as picking up the phone and calling the news desk of your
metropolitan newspaper or TV station to explain why you’re
the local angle to today’s big story. Invest a little time
to understand what constitutes newsworthiness in the eyes
of the media, and pitch your company or yourself in pitch
letters and press releases. During a recession, you may
have a better shot at earning 15 priceless minutes of fame
because competitors may have scaled back on the retainer
for their PR firm. Find a cost-effective compromise between
writing your own releases and hiring someone to do it for
you by Googling “press release makeover service.”

Close your ears to those running around complaining that
the sky is falling, and instead get to work implementing
these recession-smart strategies. You’ll look back on the
era of gloom and doom with a smile on your face and a nice
fat bankroll in your pocket.

Master marketer Marcia Yudkin, author of 6 Steps to Free
Publicity and 10 other books, has been selling information
in one form or another since 1981. This article is
excerpted from her report, “33 Keys to Thriving During a
Recession,” which is available as a free download from
www.yudkin.com/recess.htm .

Greg Cryns

Scentsy - a warm and lasting gift

Work At Home Profiles

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Do you have your BIO ready?

I received an email from a new friend of mine who is trying hard to understand the web and to connect with people on the web. One of my posts spoke about having a full bio ready to send to people who ask about you.


Hey Greg,

As I have already mentioned to you, I am really pretty clueless when it comes to on line marketing. I stumble around trying to get some stability on my feet in this business, but it is like most things that one dares to do, even knowing that one really doesn't know anything, is by trial and error.

I would love to write a bio about myself, as humble as it would turn out to be, but where should I publish it?

Frank (fictional name)

Dear Frank,

Who is Frank? I mean, really? Is he a businessman, an entrepreneur, a loving father, a restauranteur, a champion blogger, an exercise fanatic? Is he a guy who is focused on something interesting? Who exactly is Frank?

Publishing your bio. I would not push "publishing" your bio at this juncture. You need to refine it and rewrite it a few times before making a permanent decision. Have someone who does not know you read it and criticize the bio.

Always remember you are writing for THEM not YOU. My youngest brother always talks about his job, his problems, his dreams. Frankly, I think my brother needs to grow up. What people care about is themselves. But if you talk ABOUT yourself to much you put your audience into a temporary coma.

Almost every social network has an "About Me" page. Some, like Twitter, call it a "Profile" page.

I recommend that you sign up for as many social networks as you find. Below is a list to start with. Keep in mind that you will probably work Twitter, Ryze and Facebook the most. I would pick MySpace for my 4th at this time, but you don't really have time for more than one, with an occasional look-in at Ryze and Facebook.

Some people will contact you after reading your bio but mostly they just want to sell you something. I would take about 10 minutes a WEEK for each social network to respond to emails. Remember, don't try to sell them anything in the response but direct them to your BLOG.

At Twitter you have only 140 characters to state your Profile. The others have a lot more space for your full Bio. I would ask your contacts at Twitter and the others how they write their Bios.

Some will respond. Then send them a "thank you" and solidify the meeting. See if you can get the birthdays of the intriguing people and send them a card (though it's difficult to tell which ones will be worth the effort, figure 1 out of 10 if you are lucky).

I would not make my Bio more than 3 or 4 paragraphs, and make sure you say something interesting like "I own a chain of restaurants".

greg (who fully understands that he needs to take his own advice more often)

< /snip >

Give a Sensty wickless candle for a gift and they will remember you over and over:

Wahm Search Engine: http://www.wahmsearchengine.com

Page rank SEO examined

Page Rank is a good thing to obtain for many reasons. Mainly it shows that Google trusts the site and, less often, the PAGE inside the site. In the old days SEO meant getting your main page at the top.

Frankly, I think anything below #3 in the results is quite ineffective. So, you need to get in the top 3. It can be done, but.....

Page rank is very important to get search phrases to the top of a Google page results for specific not very competitive key phrases.

Thus, we can't expect my business blog to get PR for "social network marketing" unless it was "social network marketing for the quick and the curious" that would be called a longtail search

This phrase "what question shouild I ask a compnay before become an affiliate" that was searched and resulted in a #3 Google search result yesterday and one visit to this blog so far (notice the misspellings of "shouls" and "company" in the phrase; interesting I still get the #3 rank for the correct spelling of "company" but drops to #5 if "should" is spelled correctly )

"best place to advertise right now" got this blog a #1 today.

also #1 for "email address for kimberly palmer, us news online" I think it is fair to say that this phrase will not be searched too often, but I expect my interview with Kimberly Palmer to get a lot of play in the future since Kimberly works for a large company (US News & World Report) and she is also a well known social marketing rep for them.

By the way, did you know that YouTube.com is now the #2 used search engine now?

greg cryns