I guess before jumping in head first into this diatribe, we should understand the basics.
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder aka ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by significant difficulties either of inattention or hyperactivity and impulsiveness or a combination of the two. Some of the predominantly inattentive type symptoms, according to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health are;
Does this sound familiar or like someone you might know?
If it does, then you probably know someone with ADHD. I find myself, on occasion, with the inability to stay focused and maintain my course of action and direction with a single, specific task I am working on. This actually works to my benefit, believe it or not, because I find it very easy to work on many things all at once. I have no trouble multi-tasking and completing multiple projects or work related tasks all at one time. For most people this might sound like it is a far more difficult approach or even hard to conceive, but for me, it’s my normal daily routine. This is also probably the reason I have 4 monitors on my desk, instead of 1. I can multi-task on 4 monitors more easily and efficiently than 1 or 2 and have to continuously be changing or swapping what shows on my screens.
Let’s take this article as an example. This article took me about 2 hours to write, re-read, tweak, edit and post. During the time I was writing it, I had a conference call, took 4 calls from customers, returned a phone call from a voicemail that was left for me while I was on the phone, responded to 14 emails, wrote and sent 4 emails, answered 6 questions in the office, had a detailed technical server conversation with my system admin, walked my wife to her car, kicked the cleaning lady out of my office (she showed up 30 minutes early) and had 2 smoke breaks. Now this might sound like a crazy way to manage your day to day tasks, but for me, it’s the norm.
Frank Zappa may have said it best, “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
Let’s dive in and look at a “day in the life” of an ADHD online marketer and what it encompasses, or at least what my average day looks like.
My morning usually starts between 6:30 and 7:00 with a cup of coffee, a cigarette, taking the dog for a walk and then jumping right into my email. I usually spend about 15-20 minutes reviewing and responding to all of the emails I received overnight. I spend another 30-45 minutes doing my usual morning SEO review of our website and reviewing new inbound links, articles, comments and all the other baggage that goes along with my catching up before the day officially begins.
When I arrive at the office, I jump right in and review my voicemail messages that came in after I left, the previous day, and return any calls that need attention. I then jump into SEO, which consists of a morning review of Google Adwords, Analytics, review live website visitors and see where the majority of our current visitors are coming from and what they are reading or doing on our website. I then deal with reviewing the online email validation orders that were placed overnight and make sure I am up to speed with everything currently going on in the office. Mind you that this might sound somewhat normal but the way I manage the multiple tasks is not one at a time but rather all at once, at the same time.
The rest of my day involves writing, reviewing and/or editing blog articles written for our website, dealing with the 50+ different questions, that seem to arise on a daily basis, which encompass sales, support, advertising, marketing, infrastructure, technical issues and what’s for lunch questions and be the only person who can answer them. Beyond the multitude of customers I speak with on a daily basis, helping others best deal with customer inquiries and concerns and all the other “things” that come across my desk, I approve all executive decisions that go along with keeping this finely tuned machine, also known as Email Answers, running smoothly and efficiently.
Although our office may close at 5:00 and I leave by 6:00, my work continues when I get home. An hour or so break for dinner and I am back at it, in front of my 2 screens and trying to finish by 10:00, but some nights I am still sitting in front of my screens at midnight.
I take full responsibility for the online SEO and all online marketing that gets accomplished on a daily basis. Considering that 15 of my top 25 keywords holds a number 1 organic position in Google and 21 of my top 25 keyword phrases have a first page organic listing on Google, I think I am doing a pretty good, kick ass job at it, even though the way I deal with it is very unconventional.
Most onlookers would see this as some type of encrypted, insane, semi-structured chaos. Think about watching all eleven Star Trek movies, at the same time, be able to distinguish each movie on its own, the plot, characters, timeline and have full comprehension of each story line, all simultaneously. Got It? Now you have entered my world.
Most people think of ADHD as a handicap. ADHD often endows children and adults with gifts such as creativity, intuition, imagination, and a sense of adventure. Indeed, if you have ADHD, you are in very good company with the list of famous people below who either have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, or have many of the symptoms of this disorder that suggest they likely had it.
|Albert Einstein||Walt Disney||Nelson Rockefeller|
|Galileo||Charles Schwab||Thomas Edison|
|Mozart||Winston Churchill||John F. Kennedy|
|Leonardo da Vinci||Henry Ford||F. Scott Fitzgerald|
|Stephen Hawkings||Alexander Graham Bell||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
From the short list above, which has some of the most intelligent and remarkable ‘rainmakers’ this world has ever known, I feel like I am in some pretty good company. While most people would look at ADHD as a disability, I look at it as an advantage. Deep down inside, we’re all different. And because of that, we all have different talents, but when we recognize that our differences can be our strengths, it sheds a different light on things.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” – Henry David Thoreau
If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance you’re a business owner. And if you haven’t spent the past two decades under a rock, you may even have a website. But what has it done for you lately? If you answered “Nothing,” then it’s time to focus on fixing your website and marketing it better. Choose not to and you’ll miss out on some of the 273,785,413 North American internet users (according to Internet World Stats) online today. The majority of these users are probably not finding your website and most likely never will. All you need is a tiny percentage of these online users to find your website, and you’ll be golden. Once they do, you better be sure that your site is going to keep them there until they find what they came looking for, sign up as a lead or make a purchase. Of course, to do this successfully, time and time again, will require a common sense approach.
Evaluate Your Design
Is your website ugly as sin? Is it full of wonky code, poorly formatted text and blurry or skewed images? Does it take forever to load? If your site does more to drive visitors away than draw them in, you have a problem. No matter how well you implement and execute a marketing plan, it is bound to fail. Don’t invest in something that’s not working—take the time and fix it.
The best websites have layouts that are intuitive, making it easy for customers to find what they need. They incorporate colors and imagery that enhance the company’s brand. And the code—what’s going on behind the scenes—is clean, pristine and functional. While we’re at it, the design should be responsive as well. This means you’ve had it developed to interface with desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and mobile phones. According to a 2012 TechCrunch survey, mobile devices are now the dominant Internet platform.
Move on to Content
Your website may rival the Sistine Chapel in beauty, but if the content isn’t there, it’s still worthless. Consider the reasons customers surf and end up on your site. Some want to learn more about your business, while others are interested in making a purchase or enlisting your services. Still others are searching for information only you can provide. If they don’t find what they need, you’re in trouble—they’ll leave without saying a word.
Common sense dictates investing in quality content, not filler or gobbledygook. This means writing copy that is unique, relevant, informative, useful and easy to read. If this isn’t your strong suit, hire a professional. And while you should include a few keywords—those little gems Google uses to index your website in the search results—don’t overdo it. We’ll cover that later.
Play in Traffic
We’re not talking about cars in the street but about website visitors. There are several approaches you can take to attract them now that your design and content is up to snuff. A blog is one of the best ways to add the metaphorical meat today’s info-hungry consumers love. But don’t publish crap. Every post needs to be unique, informative, insightful and if possible, entertaining—better yet, all three. If you wouldn’t want to read it, your customers won’t either.
Social media is another approach you can take—and one that is almost essential in this day and age. After all, your clients may be spending a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter. Americans spend 27 percent of their total time online on social networking sites and social media produces double the marketing leads of pay per click campaigns, direct mail, telemarketing and trade shows.
Don’t forget email marketing. It’s still a tried and true tool for connecting with prospects and retaining customers. Again, content is key, and you must avoid the common errors that kill an email campaign.
Don’t Give into the Dark Side
Sure, SEO is important. Some estimate search engines generate 40 percent of online traffic, but it’s not the end-all-be-all of website marketing. The tools outlined above can actually add a great deal to your bottom line. In fact, you should really check out this article from our blog, “Unmasking the BIG Secrets of SEO,” before you even begin to obsess about ranking techniques. Unfortunately, many of you won’t—and the resulting penalties will hurt your business in the process.
What are some of the things you shouldn’t do if you elect to focus on Search Engine Optimization? First, don’t stuff keywords into your content—including title tags and meta descriptions. Not only will you render it virtually unreadable and piss off website visitors, but you’ll also enrage the search engine gods.
Don’t try to hide text. While visitors won’t see that white on white copy at the bottom of your site, you can bet the search engines will—and it won’t make them happy. You should also avoid copying content from other websites. In this case, imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery. It is plagiarism, and Google will penalize you for it, even if the law does not.
Finally, don’t pay for links to your website. Search engines hate this “black hat” practice. While Google looks at the number of links to your pages when determining rank, it also considers their quality. Link and article directories are always poor quality—the links they provide are as well. Don’t waste your time trying to be sneaky and think you’ll get one past the search engines, because you won’t and it will only hurt you in the long run.
Voltaire, the witty French philosopher and writer, once said, “Common sense is not so common.”
Spend just ten minutes examining the websites and marketing tactics of your not-so-good competitors and you’ll see he was correct in his assessment. Fortunately, you now know better—and your approach should prove it.
I am new to blogging and was given the task of writing a blog that discusses the reasons and benefits of blogging, and why it is so important for your business. The first thing I did was check out some of the millions of blogs that scatter the internet. There are blogs about music, cooking, photography, and a myriad of other topics that individual blog owners want to discuss. Many times these blogs are connected to a business and the blog serves a purpose to inform consumers and potential customers about the services they offer and how they can use these services to better their businesses.
So, I found myself asking, what should someone who owns a business write a blog article about? Write about how your business connects to what is going on in the world. If you run an event planning company, compare your services to a famous event like the Oscars and discuss how your company could replicate certain aspects. If you run an Auto Repair shop, write a blog about the newest hot car to hit the market and how your shop could service and enhance the features of the car. If you manage a marketing company, write a blog like this.
Writing a blog helps build your brand in so many ways. When a reader finds your blog through a simple search, your name resonates in their minds. This is a way to set your organization apart from the competition! I recognize many of my favorite brands from their blogs throughout the web. One blogger that I follow is “Copyranter” who writes for BuzzFeed about all things hilarious in advertising. On Twitter, Facebook, and other various websites I recognize posts from “Copyranter” and it serves as a sub conscious reminder to check out other blogs on Buzzfeed. Not only am I relating a blog to a brand but I am building trust between myself and that brand.
Companies spend tons of money on marketing every year but writing a blog is the best free advertising for your business. By posting a blog article at least once a week, your business will be indexed by the search engines, and this will help people find you, because of the fresh, unique content you write about. Not only do you get more search traffic to your site but you are helping people who may not have known what to search for, find your business by searching a few keywords that are in your blog. Helping others grow and expand their own organizations is an added benefit to posting helpful blog articles. These blog articles can then be linked to or re-posted many times all over the web through services like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn groups, and many other social media outlets.
All in all, the real question I have discovered is why not have a blog for your business? There are so many benefits and it is so easy to post and create a blog. You don’t have to make blogs a certain length or dedicate a chunk of time either, as long as you write about something that can help your business and others. Blogging can be fun too! It gives you a break from the norm to think, compare, and learn new things. You will even notice that you will think of topics to blog about just walking down the street, from a conversation, or a relationship. After learning all these benefits I find myself ready to get into the world of blogging and I am excited to learn more and help others improve their businesses!