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Archive for the 'Bloodhound SEO' Category

What happens in an internet minute? And how do you hope to push-market your way through it?

My take: You cannot successfully push-market into that cacophony. You must pull, because there is already way too much push. I’m thinking Eric Blackwell’s archives warrant your attention.

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  • 12 comments

    Blessed Are The Implementers, For They Will Inherit the Moniker “Unchained”

    I caught up on some much needed sleep yesterday, after the fifth BloodhoundBlog Unchained Conference, held in Anaheim, CA.  It is my hope that my partner Greg Swann celebrates his birthday, in relaxation and Splendor, before pondering the future of these conferences.  As the Godfather of the Unchained movement, Greg argued that the title of these conferences be “Unchained” rather than the “Unleashed” title I offered.  What Greg knew, and I understand now, is that Unchained suggests that the Bloodhound was never enslaved while unleashed suggests prior submission.

    If you missed our show in Anaheim, you missed the proof in the pudding.  I’ll give you an overview:

    Greg Swann led us off with a demonstration of his Chinese army; software which creates tens of thousands of unique webpages, with granular listing data.  Greg showed us how he can close the publishing gap, in less than an hour each week.  Greg continually invents new and exciting software, to stay one step ahead of the market competitors, who would try tho chain him.

    Scott Schang came to Unchained 2008 on, how he has described it, “his final few bucks”.  He took the ideas offered there, implemented them here, and created a business which employs a half-dozen people.  He shared his online business plan, his accomplishments and mistakes, and how he overcame market changes to stay relevant in the consumers’ eyes.  From borrowed bus fare to accomplished entrepreneur, in 40 months, Scott has a database of willing home buyers, numbering in the five figures—Scott is Unchained.

    Brian Summerfield, of the National Association of Realtors, came to take some body blows from the crew.  It was his motivation which impressed me; he transparently announced that he came to address us because he wants content for Realtor.org .  Mr. Summerfield invites constructive criticism of NAR on its forum.  Contact him if you have an opinion to offer.

    Bill Lyons, a serial entrepreneur, shared his latest creation for consumers, Revestor.com .  Revestor.com offers investors an IDX search with rental data.  Home buyers can search listings by net cash flow or capitalization rate.  Revestor.com is expected to be released right before Thanksgiving.

    Mark Madsen and Tony Sena reflect their Vegas heritage well.  Never content to seek the chains of employment, the pair created WannaNetwork.com as a business community alternative to Myspace.com.  That site inspired the wildly successful group blog, MortgageDaily.tv where Mark assembles some of the greatest mortgage minds across the country.  Mark and Tony attended Unchained 2009,  learned some valuable information and made invaluable contacts, to launch their latest venture, Shelter Realty.  Their presentation chronicled the steps they took to make this new business a force in the SERPs.  Both gentlemen embody the Unchained spirit.

    Eric Blackwell knows search engine optimization.  When we first met Eric, at Unchained Orlando, he was toiling away for a Louisville brokerage.  The contacts he made, along with some salesmanship skills he learned, set Eric up for the challenge of entrepreneurship.  Eric overcame a health scare to launch his own SEO consultancy; Eric on Search.  Today, Eric helps regional brokerages and high-producing agents, dominate the SERPS in their region.  While Eric is certainly the “rock star” of Unchained, he also demonstrated some of the things he learned, to wear the Unchained moniker.

    Trudy Smit was an Unchained first-timer and shared her project, Loan Interchange, an online marketing platform for loan origination and secondary notes marketing.  Her technology offers notes investors and opportunity to buy and sell, in a centralized location where participants are vetted.

    Finally, I led an ill-prepared session on email marketing.  I intended to share my video e-mail marketing campaigns, which helped me to achieve a higher conversion rate, but the hotel internet was too slow for a good performance.  Good entrepreneurs however, have plans– and contingent plans. Business never pans out the way you think it will so you must anticipate the problems you might have.  In a sense, I had chained myself to a presentation which relied upon an inflexible plan.  Our Unchained conferences teach lessons to everybody so my takeaway is that you must be prepared for any and all opportunities.  If luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, I was “unlucky” because I was unprepared.

    The Unchained philosophy is one of freedom–the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail.  We know that our world and industries are changing rapidly.  Old bosses are being replaced by new bosses and the Unchained practitioner will supplant all bosses, to chart her own course, serve her customers, and profit wildly.  We hope to continue to give you the tools you need, to profit wildly, and share the experiences of those who implemented the strategies they learned with us.

    Born Free and Determined to Stay That Way,

    Brian Brady

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  • 5 comments

    This morning, for a few hours…

    it was (theoretically) possible for you to “nuke” all of your competitors and remove them from Google’s index. For all of you who thought that your site was awesome and the other guys’ site was crap. You had your chance. Hat tip to the folks at Search Engine Land.

    The time has now passed and the security breach has now been fixed. Grin. And NO I did not harm ANY websites’ standing in Google in the making of this post. Nor do I encourage it. It may be illegal and is certainly immoral.

    That said, I defy anyone to truthfully say that my job is not interesting. (grin) I was on a coaching call with an SEO client when I read the post. Very hard to keep my mind focused. grin.

    But this begs the question…if you could vaporize your competitors from Google would you? and why?

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  • 14 comments

    Slow Real Estate Market: I’m not going to take it anymore!

    I haven’t been posting much at Bloodhound lately, or really for awhile.  Professionally, I did not make the progress last year I usually do.  I went backwards and was simply distracted by other things.  By this time last year, I was a very sick boy and it took until nearly Christmas to be back to having much energy or vitality.  But, it wasn’t time wasted.  From a personal standpoint, it confirmed what I already know, and that’s to just do the things that I want to do.  Since that’s pretty much how I’ve always lived, I looked at my life and decided it was perfect.

    So, about January, I had the energy to get back to speed on business.  My brokerage wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do.  It wasn’t doing much at all.  So, I decided to fix it.  I did some Ryan Hartman type of web marketing and got the leads flowing again.  In my market, a market that hasn’t seen over 150 homes sold annually since 2007, I was getting 2 to 5 real buyers per week asking to do business and sending me their contact information.  That was a good start.

    But, that wasn’t enough.  I’m the rural hound in this crowd.  We have a group of brokers really happy with their own little MLS system that doesn’t track much data.  It would look pretty 1992 to the rest of you.  So, by digging into it and looking at what was actually selling, I noticed that foreclosure sales, bank owned and short sales, had gone from a handful of percentage of the market to at least 20%.  Even more instructive, the number was growing quickly.

    While I had a bunch of buyers calling, I was having issues getting folks who could get loans and get deals done.  By dipping my toe in marketing foreclosures I found that most all of them were looking to spend cash.  And, in this resort market, most were wanting premium properties.  Awesome!  That solves the qualification problem

    So, I found out that lakechelanforeclosures.com and chelanforeclosures.com were available.  In a matter of a few days I had 5 of the top 10 spots on google searches for foreclosures in the area.  I now have a great bunch of buyers, new leads coming in looking for properties of all types in the area and deals getting done.

    It took about 6 weeks from the decision to change the outcome I was getting in my brokerage to  a complete turnaround in results.  I would love to tell you I thought of some new marketing secret.  I didn’t.  The mechanics of doing it can all be found in the pages of bloodhound.  I didn’t do anything new but set up a web site that catered to the happening part of my local market.  Since then, I have been working the leads.  If you’ve been looking at all the information on Bloodhound and wondering how effective it is, I can tell you yet again:  This stuff works.

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  • 7 comments

    Rainman house foreclosure

    Note to Zillow: You have, in my opinion, been scraping traffic and (either accidentally or on purpose- I cannot know) in the process getting tons of irrelevant traffic via SEO. You have also been APPARENTLY been charging your advertisers for those same views. (For those who wonder what I am talking about, go to their home page and scroll to the bottom. They currently are featuring the largest home in the US and something about one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Or you can Google “largest house in US Ira Rennert”.

    I have long had the thought that some of us bloggers ought to do a similar thing and drive you from the front page and ease my annoyance at your apparent practice. It has been bugging me for months. Clever? Maybe, but not something that I’d want a “partner” doing. (grin) Of course, I don’t “partner” with you, but you get the idea.

    The home in the beginning of the movie Rainman is actually located in Cincinnati. The East Walnut Hills home on Burnett Avenue was featured at the beginning of the movie and the owners are now facing foreclosure. It was once valued at $1.5 million.

    Let’s learn from the principle. It is one that Brian Brady taught us with Elliot Spitzers hired lover. These types of terms build TONS of irrelevant traffic because they are carried on the current media. It is a tactic that many SEO types use currently as well.

    We all see foreclosures all the time in this business. I wish the current owners as well as the bank who will apparently soon own the home a speedy dispatch and sale of the property to a new owner.

    To Zillow. Guys I hope you are not “milking” traffic to aid your profitability by billing CPM to unsuspecting advertisers who are losing because they are not getting relevant eyeballs in exchange for their dough. That is THEIR call and not mine. I wish you guys well and would be happy for you to join this conversation and set me straight. As I said above, I cannot judge intent. I can only look at what is, and what is seemingly apparent to me.

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  • 4 comments

    Video: Howling with Brian Brady in Phoenix in the dog days of summer

    Brian and I gave a three-hour presentation last Friday to a small group of top-producers at the Phoenix Association of Realtors. We asked Bloodhound Terry Melcher to help us set it up, and she packed the room with some of the most successful Realtors in Metropolitan Phoenix.

    Brian was in town to help me shoot promotional videos for BloodhoundRealty.com, and we made a video of the speaking event as well. Don’t pester Ryan for a BHB.TV channel: It’s our usual garage-band quality production.

    We cover a lot of ground in the 2.5 hours of video linked below, but there’s not a lot of cutting-edge stuff in there. If you’re new to our schtick, though, this might be a good short introduction to the BloodhoundBlog Unchained way of thinking.

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  • 1 comment

    BingHoo

    It’s official, Yahoo, the original search brand, is outsourcing its search function to Microsoft. I don’t think either Microsoft or Yahoo had a choice. It’s a shotgun marriage.

    Those work out all the time, right?

    Coming out with something that is noticeably better than Google’s Search experience is the only way anyone will  take significant search audience share from them, because despite all the hype around Tweets and FB, Search is still the fundamental App that makes the Web useful and people need a real reason to switch from what they like and are used to.

    Failing that (as Microsoft  has with every incremental redesign of their search offering, including Bing), Redmond probably figured why not buy a solid, if distant, second place?

    Yahoo knows how this works: A combination of loyalty and laziness is the only reason they still have enough users that Microsoft is even interested in this deal.

    So what does this mean for your SEM efforts?

    As Wired points out in a good take on this deal, “…by capturing one opposing army, (Microsoft) dramatically simplifies the battle lines and creates a two-sided conflict.”

    Google knows how to hit Microsoft where it hurts, most recently by forcing Microsoft to sacrifice its cash cow, Office, by making it available on line next year to counter Google Docs. So far, Microsoft has not been able to land an equally  solid punch on Google.

    That has to make Steve Ballmer’s forehead all purple with the veins popping out, like the evil aliens in the original Star Trek pilot. I don’t think I could work for Ballmer. I first saw those aliens when I was like 6, and I still have nightmares about them.

    ballmer-talosian

    ….but I digress…

    One way Steve could finally get some would be to introduce serious competition in contextual text ads, the Web advertising form that Google invented and the only ad model that works on the Web (Exhibit A: They made Google $5.5 Billion last Qtr.).

    Real competition from Microsoft in the form of lower costs per click could drive Adword prices down, which all by itself does nothing to take overall search audience share from Google, but it would hurt them where it counts — in the profits that Adwords generates.

    That would be good news for search advertisers, who would be reaching more people for less money,  and it would be a win-win for Microsoft — they would make more than they are making now on contextual search  and they could finally land a punch on Google.

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  • 5 comments

    Wanna Help SEO My 404? – CentralPaLiving.Com/404LotsaListingLeads

    I’ve been sitting on this idea for probably about a year now, and figured Unchained was the appropriate place to let it rip. So for those of you that were there, you know where I’m going with this.

    If you weren’t in Phoenix, please take a minute to visit Centralpaliving.Com/NoOneElseInYourMarketWillDoThisSoDontWorryAboutSharingItWithTheWorld

    What you’ll see is basically one of the better real estate marketing ideas I’ve ever had and the latest addition to the CentralPaLiving project.

    Once you get to the page, you might get the urge to thank me? Maybe you can do so by hitting CentralPaLiving.Com up with a juicy link from your own 404? Maybe do something like http://centralpaliving.com/(insertyournameorurlhere) so that you pop up when I do a google “links:” query?

    Thanks in advance for your thanks :) And thanks also to all the folks on the Scenius in Phoenix who helped turn a pretty good idea into the turbocharged video based squeeze page monster that it is now!

    Bonus! — A Screencast Demonstrating This Thing In Action!

    Free online screencasting tool
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  • 4 comments

    The Heart of Unchained

    Three days later and my head’s still not right.  Have you ever returned home from a few days away and felt like you needed another vacation in order to recover from your vacation?  You might say the Unchained Conference was like that… but you’d be off by a factor of 10.  Unchained was roughly 32 hours of fast-paced information downloaded without filter or pause in a two and a half day schedule.  Vacation?  I need an I.V. drip.

    You might also think, based on what I just wrote, it would be difficult to name the #1 highlight of the entire three days.  But you’d be wrong again. (You’re really not very good at this game. :) )  There were hundreds of moments to choose from and I’m gonna list a few, but there was a definite highlight – an apogee if you will.  It was during that moment I realized I was experiencing everything it means when we say the bloodhound way.

    In the kick-off class of the conference, yours truly was the instructor and I didn’t know what to expect.  The feel of this conference – the expectation – was very high-tech.  Yet I’m using terms like “old school” marketing and making a point of saying that all the shiny gizmos and gadgets handed out over the next three days  were just so much dust gatherers without a framework rooted in old fashioned sales and marketing.  To say I was a little anxious about kicking off an online conference with my offline message is like saying the Christians felt a little concerned about entering the lion’s den wearing nothing but butter-flavored bikinis.  I’ve never been so glad to be wrong.  Highlight of the class: we had two attendees benefit from the scenius of the group and nail down their niche, then go online to PURCHASE THEIR DOMAIN NAME AND LAUNCH THEMSELVES right there in class.  God bless people of action.

    Once the moments began to roll, they just never let up for three days:

    • Mark Green and his brilliant CRM class experienced one technical difficulty after another due to hotel bandwidth limitations, yet they never stopped finding ways to continue and learn.
    • Dave Smith shared his Tucson Real Estate WordPress blog secrets and opened our eyes to the near perfection blog site marketing can achieve.  Just mention “images” to the students in that class and watch a knowing smile grow across their face.
    • Greg Swann rapped (yes, I mean “rapped”) his own translation of Odes 3,26 by Horace and that wasn’t even the high point of his presentation!  The blessing of Greg is his absolute lack of secrecy or fear of competition.  He freely gave away so much code and single site knowledge that we had to mentally double-bag everything just to make it home.
    • If you were to ask him his niche, Brian Brady would tell you VA loans and that’s true enough.  He is, after all, America’s #1 Mortgage Broker.  But what he gave all of us was a hunting scope and the ability to hit targets in our own niches.  Duck season?  Rabbit season?  No, it’s New Client season… and there’s no limits.

    The great stuff just kept coming.  How does one even begin to describe Ryan Hartman?  I’ll tell you the truth: his ideas are so many steps ahead, the true gift was just getting to know the guy in person and discovering how cool he is.  Kelly Koehler once again dropped jaws with her system for catching a lot of fish using very small, very accurate ad bait.  And I haven’t even mentioned Brad Coy, Mark Madsen, Scott Cowan, Don Reedy and all the other scenius contributors.  It’s no exaggeration to say every time I sat down next to someone, another nugget of gold rolled into my lap.  Never mind that I finally met Geno Petro in person… he’s a walking, talking highlight reel all by himself!

    A lot of great stuff to choose from right?  But as I said in the beginning there was one moment, for me, that completely captured the bloodhound way.  It came during Eric Blackwell’s class.  “No surprise,” you say?  You’re right, shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody.  Eric is the star of this event.  His SEO knowledge makes him the high priest of online marketing, the Elvis Presley of Google’s rock and roll world.  From 8:00 in the morning till often times midnight Eric was surrounded by people looking for answers.  The only moments Eric had to himself were when he was on stage talking to the entire class.  Make no mistake about it: the room was full of online marketing real estate agents and when Eric spoke pencils flew.  (That’s not true actually.  When Eric spoke keypads on laptops flew… or whatever it is keypads do.  I’m guessing mine was the only pencil in the room.  I’m old school; did I mention that yet?)

    Eric did not disappoint and we all came away with cutting edge ideas on how to increase our SEO and thereby increase our business.  But the highpoint for me had nothing to do with “google juice” or “link love” or “ranking in the serps”.  The highlight came at the end of Eric’s class; when he shared a story with us.  I won’t retell the story here because it’s Eric’s story and I could never do it justice.  Besides, these experiences rightfully belong to those who’ve spent the money and made the effort to improve their business.  What I will tell you is this: there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.  Eric reached out and connected with us on a very personal level.  He was passionate and in turn touched the passion in our own hearts.  It had nothing to do with SEO… and everything.  In the end it was the high-tech guru – the SEO rock star – who exemplified everything you ever needed to know about skinnin’ cats.  It was Eric who connected with us on that personal, belly-to-belly level and in doing so revealed the heart of the bloodhound way.

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  • 2 comments

    Can a Little Mr. Roboto & Some Video Kill The SEO Star?

    Chris Johnson reached out to me last week by sending over a custom css file he had laying around for the totally uncustomized Thesis theme I had rolling on my personal site. I thanked him for the hand and did a little tweaking. Then he busted on me again a few days later for ignoring some really basic SEO rules o’ thumb. This time figured I’d save my reaction for BHB…

    Why didn’t I waste any effort makin’ pretty or SEO ing PropertunityKnocks.Com?

    The answer is really pretty simple: I’d spent the previous year or so working to generate leads via the web on another site by writing like crazy, looking for links, and doing crazy stuff with rss based plugins, but now I had a few secret weapons that were making lead generation a lot simpler.

    Here’s what they were.

    One of these. (A Pink One..Don’t Ask)
    And this.
    And of course…this and this.
    And most most importantly, This!. (Credit where credit is due.)

    And I used them twice a week, without fail, for a month or so. Consistently. Mondays and Thursday’s @ 9am, Mr. Roboto style.

    The result? Leads. Lots of em. Warm inbound phone calls with questions about the “Propertunities” I’d featured. Plenty to sustain me with a comfortable income and eventual repeat investor business for years to come. (The videos were all of REO listings.)

    But as is my usual MO I eventually got distracted, took another job, and gave up the Roboto video routine. And something weird but not totally unexpected happened. Even though I’d stopped taking videos and hijacking craigs list traffic, I was still getting phone calls weeks and now months later…”

    So when Chris reached out with some friendly criticism it seemed like the right time to stop ignoring PKnocks and get it going again.

    But do you think I went a little overboard?

    Could it be that PropertunityKnocks.Com is now a national real estate video blog?

    Take a look and tell me what you think. If you wanna join the fun, let me know and I’ll set you up with a page for your area and maybe give you access to feature some of your listings on the home page.

    Or, maybe you think this is a flawed idea somehow? Maybe it’s wrong to pull in all that content generated by others, even if Youtube does allow public “sharing”?

    I don’t know…

    Please let me know…
    _________________________________________________________
    By the way: I was going to call this post “Video Killed The SEO Star but figured it couldn’t be totally original. So when I g’d it, here’s what turned up on Zurbed.

    …And the fun video from that post. Ironic and telling in the end that my text based search is what turned this up?

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  • 5 comments

    Number1Expert – Again? R U Serious?

    In May of last year, Eric Bramlett shined the light on an apparent link building scheme that Trulia and Number1Expert had **apparently** **allegedly** been doing, having 3 links to Trulia via a little map widget installed on thousands of unsuspecting REALTORS’ sites created by N1E… Here’s the post that started the fun.

    I got the honor of creating the graphic for that post. (read: enjoyed it and would do it again) Despite our efforts to educate REALTORS, many / most of the links remained. Most REALTORS were too busy with their own lives to realize that N1E was using them to help the competition after charging the REALTOR to build their web presence.

    Fast forward to this morning. Now it’s my buddy Jon Karlen’s (insert hat tip) turn with the flashlight. He sends me an email, noting that a Florida REALTOR’s site now has a Homes.com map widget instead of Trulia. I do a little digging using the same technique that Eric Bramlett used… and VIOLA!, it appears to me that they have done this to many of the same Number1Expertsites…again. Yes it (Homes.com) is a sister company of N1E. (Dominion…appropriate parent company name, methinks) Yes, they only have 1 link. The rest is the same,no?. Am I missing something here? If you are a N1E customer, you are **likely** **apparently** feeding your competitors…yet again.

    (Inlookers: Yes, this is the same Trulia who insisted that they made no changes after dropping in the search engines…and they magically reappeared) TO BE CLEAR: I am NOT saying that this is cause and effect, but the timing? Interesting coincidence. My target here is Number1Expert, but no matter. I could have sworn that Trulia widgets were on those sites up until recently…(I will check).

    Note to Number1Expert customers:
    Yet again, link love from your site is apparently being used to feed your competitors. The first time “could” have been an accident….now? Ummm…OK…maybe it is an accident too.Your call. I am just here to point out where the links are going…not to draw conclusions as to WHY.

    Owning your own web presence also means defending your self against those who power your competition, at least in my view.

    Thoughts?

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  • 9 comments

    The Scenius.net scenes reader can tell if you’re working at your desktop web browser or on your iPhone…

    …and switch Cascading Style Sheets intelligently. What it needs are more shared scenes.

    Making a shared Scenius scene is work. Not a lot, but some. What do you get in return:

    • Added-value content for your blog and for any blog that echoes your scene
    • A quick way to promote news or ideas you think are important without writing full blog posts
    • By your links, you draw attention to your blog from other blogs in your content sphere
    • Your scene links back to your blog, so the more it echoes, the better for your SEO posture
    • When other blogs echo your shared scene, they are exposing your blog to their readers, which can lead to new readers — or new business

    Your weblog put you into the narrowcasting business, and that’s a great thing. Building a shared Scenius scene will put you into the broadcasting business, a boon that gains in benefits — for everyone — the more it echoes.

    What’s in it for me? With each scene, I’m taking a link back to BloodhoundBlog — a non-monetized weblog. In other words, I’m working for free, which is not at all unusual. You live in a world infested with sleazoid vendors, each one of whom wants to nick you for monthly fees for work you can easily do yourself. I will show you — for free — how to build yourself a broadcast platform that will benefit everyone involved, yourself the most.

    There are a few people working (behind the scenes as it were) on shared Scenes that will debut in the next few days. This is a bandwagon worth jumping on. Good for your readers. Good for the writers you feature. Good for the blogs echoing your shared scenes — and good for their readers. And good for you.

    Review the terms and conditions and let me know when you’re ready to get started on your own shared Scenius scene.

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  • 2 comments

    Unlocking the scenius of BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix, a hands-on, step-by-step, learn-by-doing guerrilla marketing boot camp

    This came in by email, but I’m answering it publicly because I expect the question is fairly common:

    I am a member of the Cyberprofessionals group. I was unable to attend the session in Orlando and therefore missed your presentation. I have read the materials about the upcoming event in Phoenix and I’m not entirely sure what it’s all about. From what I can see it’s going to be about blogging, and that’s great, but I have perhaps a more broad interest in social networking as well. I know some of the people involved may be experts in that. Could you give me some idea as to the time that is going to be devoted to each of the subject matters.

    For a start, let me say that everything I’m saying right now is subject to change. We have some of this ironed out in detail, but much is still to be determined. Moreover, we’re pretty flexible in the way we think. The world we live in upends itself entirely every 15 months or so, and we’re always prepared to turn on a dime. Even so, BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix is going to break out something like this:

    First, as I’ve said, the event is going to be a hands-on, step-by-step, learn-by-doing guerrilla marketing boot camp. Our students will be with us for 72 hours total, and out of that time, we could end up working 54 or more hours. We are going to take on every aspect of your marketing praxis, and we’re going to rebuild as much of it as we can in our time together. If you do the prep work your instructors are going to recommend, and if you come to Phoenix prepared to work, you’ll fly home exhausted but with a completely overhauled marketing profile — online, in the social graph, in print and face-to-face.

    That’s ambitious, but we can pull it off because we intend to work like no other marketing conference you’ve ever been to or heard about. You are literally going to do the actual work you are learning about — as you learn about it. It won’t be a matter of taking notes you’ll never act upon. You’re going to overhaul every aspect of your marketing in your classes. You may have details to deal with after class or when you get back home, but you’ll be doing the big jobs in Phoenix — in class, after class, all night if that’s what it takes.

    We’re working right now from a tentative calendar, itself subject to change. But for now, we’re thinking in terms of eight — or possibly as many as ten — three-hour “labs” — hands-on, step-by-step, learn-by-doing classes. Depending on where students shake out on the learning curve, we may have one track for the labs, or we might have two — a journeyman and a master track. Either way, labs will be broken into sections of no more than 25 students each. We’re going to cover a lot of material, and we want to make sure no one gets left behind.

    There will also be programs during the day for the whole group — keynote speakers, for example — plus adequate time to catch up on work that didn’t get finished in class. We’re building a “scenius” — a communal genius — and we anticipate that people will find the workgroups that are most effective in helping everyone learn together.

    Here are some of the topics we’ll be taking up in our labs:

    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Social Media Marketing
    • Web Programming for Marketing
    • Direct Mail/Direct Response Marketing
    • The Art of Salesmanship
    • Digital Art, Photography and Print Production

    The goal is for you to arrive in Phoenix with an overarching idea of the form you want your marketing to take. Then we’re going to work together to learn how to express those ideas in every conceivable form of marketing. This is not about blogging, and it’s not about social media marketing. What we’re talking about — what we’re always talking about — is blending online, print and personal marketing to make the sale.

    I can’t tell you who is going to be teaching what, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be teaching the Web Programming sections. So for the journeyman track, we might start with building a solid WordPress.org weblog, incorporating both good SEO practices and good contact-management tools. From there we might discuss automated and dynamic content generation, perhaps building tools with the Scenius technology we perfected last week. I’d like to cover engenu, too, since it’s the fastest, cleanest way ordinary people can produce custom web sites — and since you can easily teach it to your teammates when you get home. For the master class, we might go into customization of WordPress weblogs, as well as building custom forms for data collection or for semi-automated content generation. For a thrill, we might go into building custom “skins” for engenu sites.

    Now the interesting things is, if we did just that much — for three hours or for thirty hours — you might learn a lot, but it wouldn’t fit in all that well with the rest of your marketing. But imagine learning SEO in-depth from Eric Blackwell, then having the chance to implement what he just taught you on the weblog you’re building in my lab. Or applying the hackable CSS principles I’ll teach you when Cheryl Johnson is teaching you the straight dope on Cascading Style Sheets. Does color theory matter to your direct mail? Can you use a common copywriting theme to help your clients remember you when you come knocking on their doors?

    Here’s what will happen, if you come to Unchained with your whole mind: Everything that you learn will have an impact on everything else that you’re learning. The killer keywords you learn for SEM are killer keywords for your listing presentation, too. SMM matters, but all sales is social, even something as seemingly solitary as preparing a postcard campaign. We want to teach you the kinds of work we are doing in our own practices, but we also want to teach you how we work, how everything can become a scenius if you see how completely united are the seemingly different things you do to market your business.

    At a minimum, we want for you to go home having completely overhauled your marketing profile. But, if we can, we would like to send you home having overhauled yourself as a marketer.

    And here’s the unutterably coolest thing of all: We’re students, too. Each one of our instructors will be an expert in the topic for that lab. But none of us are experts on all of this. We’ll teach what we know, but we’ll be the hungriest dawgs of all when it comes to wolfing down what other people know. If we get the whole thing right — the whole overarching scenius of the thing — we’ll create an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.

    And when I lay it all out that way, I start to think we’re not charging enough. ;)

    Note this, though: After one day of ticket sales, we’re more than ten percent sold out. If you plan to join us, assert yourself. This is going to take a boatload of work on our part, and, for that reason alone, it’s an unrepeatable opportunity.

     
    P.S.: If you read the posts that Brian Brady and I put about BloodhoundBlog Unchained, you are watching us as we study and perfect the art of the Long-Copy Ad. Everything we do is marketing, and so everything we do presents us with the opportunity to get better as marketers. If you come to Phoenix and study hard, you’ll pick up this strand of thought or that thread of theory. On top of everything else you’ll learn, Brian and I want to teach you how to lash those threads into a stout rope that you can use to pull in all the business you can handle. That’s what marketing is for, after all…

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    BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix will be a hands-on overhaul of your online and offline marketing – enroll now to be sure you get a seat

    We’ve got the dates for BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix: April 28th to May 1st, 2009.

    We’ve got the location: The Radisson Phoenix Airport Hotel North, 427 North 44th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008.

    And we’ve got the game plan: A three-day Guerilla Marketing Boot Camp during which you’re going to completely revise your marketing profile — in class. We’re not going to tell you how we work. We’re not going to show you how we work. We’re going to work with you, hands-on, step-by-step as we overhaul your marketing strategy from the ground up.

    What are we missing? You. Skip ahead if you’re ready to register for the most intense real estate marketing conference you will ever attend.

    Got questions? Here are some BloodhoundBlog posts discussing Unchained in Orlando and anticipating the scenius to come in Phoenix:

    Want to know even more? Why not. We’re in the marketing business, after all.

    Who should come to BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix? If it’s part of your job to attract and convert new business, we have what you need. On BloodhoundBlog, we talk a lot about Social Media Marketing, but in our own businesses, we work with Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Direct Marketing and good old-fashioned belly-to-belly sales. We also work directly with internet-based tools from PHP to RSS to CSS — acronym soup.

    Why should you come? We’ll be going through every bit of this at BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix. Not lecturing as you race to keep up in your notes, but actually doing the work, hands-on, on your own marketing materials.

    How will you benefit? Not only will you completely overhaul your existing marketing profile, you’ll learn how to keep everything up-to-date going forward. Our belief is that our kind of broad-based marketing, done properly, should put your business beyond competition.

    Is BloodhoundBlog Unchained for everybody? Absolutely not. You don’t have to be a total geek to live in our world, but you have to have a geek gene or two. We’re going to cover a lot of highly-detailed ground very quickly. We want for you to have to strain to keep up, and we want for you to spend every spare minute refining your work. If your plan is to come to Phoenix to have a rowdy ol’ good time — do that. Just don’t come to Unchained. But do take note: If you know for sure that we’re teaching what you want to know, don’t dawdle. We have 75 seats available — total. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and it could be a year before we do this again. If you want to join us, enroll now.

    What’s next?

    Three quick steps. 1. Enroll for the conference. 2. Book your hotel room. 3. Arrange your transportation.

     
    Step 1: Enroll for the conference

    Fair warning: Unchained in Phoenix won’t be cheap. If you’re looking for the best possible deal, and if you qualify, joining the CyberProfessionals might be your best bet. And if you’ve entrusted us with your money before, either last May in Phoenix or in November in Orlando, we want to express our gratitude with a special Unchained Alumnus price. But whatever you end up paying, we’re going to make it worth your while and then some.

    Here’s how the prices break out. Just click on the appropriate button to make your payment:

    CyberProfessionals: $397


















    Unchained Alumnus: $497 (you must act on this offer before 01/01/09)


















    Early-Bird Price: $597 (you must act on this offer before 01/01/09)


















    Regular Price: $697 (after 12/31/08)


















    Here’s the thing: We know money’s not falling from the skies right now. If you need to make payment arrangements, let us know by email, and we’ll work something out.

    However: We reserve the right to decline your enrollment. We’ll be talking to you by email or phone to determine where you’re going to fit in our curriculum. If we determine that we’re not a good marriage, we’re going to refund your money and give your seat to someone else.

    Likewise, if you cancel before March 28th, 2009, we will refund your money in full. After that, we’re committed — so you’re committed.

     
    Step 2: Book your hotel room

    Even if you live in Phoenix, you have to stay at our hotel to enroll in BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix. Why? Because we’re building a scenius while we’re together, and it won’t work if we don’t all work together. You’re coming to Unchained to get away from your daily distractions. You’ll have time to take care of things by phone, but we need your full concentration on the course matter.

    Book your room using the code Bloodhound. You’ll pay double for the room if you don’t.

    You’ll be staying the nights of April 28th, April 29th and April 30th, 2009. You will be checking out on May 1st, 2009. Your room rate for your three nights should be $109 per night.

    Double-occupancy rooms with two queen-sized beds are available, so, if you like, you can arrange for a roommate among other Unchained students. Let us know by email if you need help lining up a roommate.

    Here’s who you call to make your reservations:

    Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport North
    427 North 44th Street , Phoenix AZ 85008
    Reservations: (888) 201-1718

     
    Step 3: Arrange your transportation

    Phoenix is an easy city to get into and out of. We are a hub city for US Airways, Southwest and Alaska. We are also serviced by dozens of other airlines.

    You will be flying into Phoenix Skyharbor Airport. Accept no substitutes.

    BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix will run from 5 pm on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 until 5 pm on Friday, May 1st, 2009.

    You will need to arrive no later than 3 pm MST on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009.

    You will need to depart no earlier than 7 pm MST on Friday, May 1st, 2009.

    The Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport North is located less than one mile north of Phoenix Skyharbor Airport. The hotel operates a shuttle bus to and from the airport, so you will not need to rent a car.

    That’s the drill for now. We’ll be in touch to talk to you about the curriculum and how to prepare for your classes. In the mean time, you might give a look to BloodhoundBlog’s archives or to Real Estate Weblogging 101. We’ll be covering all that and more in much greater depth, but it never hurts to study.

    We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!

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  • 1 comment

    Who wants to play the Scenius game? Rebuilding The Long List as a micro-blog

    All right, let’s play a little, shall we?

    One of the things that came out of our little scenius on Thanksgiving (which continues through today) was a better way of handling the job I used to do with The Long List of Odysseus Medal nominees. I’ve been ignoring that chore since last Spring, a plausible clue that I just might end up ignoring it forevermore. Even so, it was a good idea, and I learned a lot of cool stuff from the code I wrote to manage The Long List scroller that used to live in our sidebar.

    What I want to do for now is to implement another kind of sidebar scroller, this one more like a micro-blog of useful and informative posts — mostly marketing, but other matters of importance as well. There were people who used The Long List as their feed reader, and this should work even better in that regard.

    You can see it in our sidebar right now. It’s the scroller box headed “SCENIUS: SWITCHED-ON MARKETING” — with links to 50 highly-relevant weblog posts.

    If you want to play along with the development process, you can be a big help.

    How?

    Break this software:

    <!-- BEGIN Scenius -->
    <p><div style="display:block; width:95%;
    height:320px; overflow:auto; padding-left:6px;
    padding-right:6px; padding-top:3px;
    border:1px solid #a9a9a9; ">
    <?PHP $ch = curl_init();
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, 
    "http://scenius.bloodhoundblog.net/");
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
    curl_exec($ch); curl_close($ch); ?></div></p>
    <!-- END Scenius -->

    I’m serious. I want you to install that code in your sidebar and see if you can break it.

    There are two ways we know of that you might be able to break it.

    First, the PHP may not want to work for you. If that happens, I would love to see a screen shot in your email to me about what happened. So you know: I do not believe this will happen. We broke it every which way yesterday, and I think I have code that should work on any true Apache web server.

    The second way that this code could fail is that it might not look right. It should come into your sidebar as a well-behaved citizen. It should inherit your sidebar’s style sheets, and it should scroll top to bottom but not left to right. If it looks weird to you, I will want to see it.

    And what if you can’t break it?

    Leave it in your sidebar. You’ll be giving a lot of link love to real estate webloggers who deserve it, and you’ll look much more dynamic to search engines going forward. That’s a win-win-win, a Bloodhound kind of solution.

    There’s more to what we’re doing — more every day! — but most of it is arcane enough that we won’t be discussing it in depth until BloodhoundBlog Unchained. But it’s all like this: Good content plus good SEO plus good SEM plus good SMM plus good neighborliness.

    That a lot of good — good for your readers, good for the writer’s you’re linking to and good or you. Plus which, it’s slicker than whale snot — and we’ll teach you a ton of ways to make the underlying technology even slicker.

    If you don’t know how to get this into your sidebar, speak up. Otherwise, how about let’s see how this looks on your weblog?

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  • 41 comments

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