Making Pay Per Click Pay Big Dividends

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By Hector E. Cisneros

The chief specialist cognac of business of Mol...
The chief specialist cognac of business of Moldova. The beginning of 70th years. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There's no question  pay per click Internet advertising is an effective means of garnering leads and finding prospects for many companies. However, large numbers of small businesses have found they've yet to crack the code needed to make pay per click profitable. Pay per click has many elements and it has often been compared to art rather than science.  In this article, we'll explore the ins and outs of pay per click and teach you how to hedge your bets so that pay per click pays big dividends for your business.

It All Starts With Research

If you're planning to engage in pay per click advertising, you need to start with a plan. You'll need to research and understand your unique selling proposition, your ideal customer profile/s and you'll need to know what hot button keywords people are keying in when they search for your products.

Your ideal customer profile and your selling proposition need to come from your internal research, where you've taken the time to analyze your customer base in order to determine why customers are buying from you. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to ask your existing customers via a survey what they're keying in when they search for your products. Once you have an idea of what they're typing in a search, you need to go to Google’s keywords you're interested in. This keyword tool will also show you other possible phrases you may want to consider.

Key Words/Phrases are Important

Keyword not provided
Keyword not provided (Photo credit: bloeise)
My partner, Carl Weiss, always says a Google search is like a question and your Landing Page needs to be the perfect answer. So in pay per click, the keyword that people type in is the question they're asking and your pay per click keyword purchase ad needs to be the answer. What I'm saying  is not only do you have to bid on the right keywords in your pay per click auction; your ad also has to have the right keywords in it as well! If a person types in "oranges from Florida" and your ad says "navel oranges from California," they may just skip over your ad and click on another one that has the word "Florida"in it. 

Negative Keywords are Important, Too

Negative keywords also matter in that these phrases will improve your click-through and purchase rates. They can also lower your cost and increase your ROI. A negative keyword is a word or phrase you don’t want people keying in to find your product or service. If we continue to follow our preview example, a negative keyword phrase could be “the history of orange growing in Florida.”

Your Ad Copy Can Make or Break the Deal

Ad copy is always extremely important. If your ad copy doesn't motivate a person to click on it, winning a bid position means nothing. Your ad copy needs to include the keywords along with a clear and enticing offer. It also needs to be competitive in terms of price versus your competitions'. (Having a great ad and a lousy price will not make your cash register jingle.) If there are any inconsistencies in the ad it will fail. Also, if the ad is different than the content listed on the Landing Page it will fail.

What Does the Competitions' Ad Copy Look Like?

Your competition also matters. If they're advertising a very similar product at a lower price, they'll get most of the conversions.  If their position on the page is better than yours, they'll usually win. If  they're on Page One with a higher price and you're at the bottom of Page One with a lower price they'll still probably win.

Paid Position is Important

Your physical position on the page of Google search is very important. You want to shoot for position three, four or five, if possible. If your budget doesn't allows for buying these positions, then go for position four, five and six. If your budget doesn't afford you  showing up "above the fold" on page one of Google search, then realize you'll get fewer clicks and often lower quality clicks than those who can afford to pay for position three, four or five.

A/B Testing is Extremely Important

One of the most common mistakes business owners make is not testing their ads to see how well they work. Oftentimes, they'll come up with a concept, plug it into AdWords and assume  this is the best that they can do. The reality is the exact opposite. I can’t tell you how many times I've created several ads, had a winner in mind only to find out  my test proved that a different ad was the better performer. Sure, after you've created and running these kinds of ads for a few years you get good at it, but the only real way to see which ad produces the best return on investment is to AB test the ads.

I suggest you always create at least four ads for any campaign and then launch your test and run it for at least 15 days. If you have the budget, run it for 30 days. This shouldn't be a losing proposition if the ads don’t perform well. (Remember: it's pay per click so if they're not clicking you're not paying). A bigger problem is you get lots of clicks but very little conversion. We'll address conversion later in this article.

Different Platforms May Require Different Messages 

So far we've been mainly talking about Google search. However, there are many other pay per click venues out there for you to choose from. There’s Yahoo and Bing search, there are mobile versions of all the major search engines, and there are social networks where you can run pay per click as well. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter also have pay per click models.  Each venue has different rules and audiences. So, if you create an ad that works well in one venue that doesn’t guarantee it will work well with others. Again the only way to tell is to do your AB testing in each advertising platform. Ideally, if you have the right budget, you would test all venues simultaneously to not only see which ads work best, but also find out which platforms perform best and which provide the best return on investment.

Always Set "S.M.A.R.T." Goals Based on Your Real Budget

S.M.A.R.T. Goals allow you to be objective in your search for effective pay per click ads and platforms. S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based. Creating any other kind of goal will be less meaningful and will cost you more than you should be spending.

A realistic budget is based on two factors. First, what can you afford, and secondly, what does it take to be found and clicked on. If you’re in a very competitive and mature market, you may have a tough row to hoe. It's always tougher and costs more to compete in these types of arenas. It’s quite possible to have a budget that you can afford, but it won't get the job done. It’s also possible that the same money spent on a different platform can make that same budget work for you.

Set a Realistic Goal Based on Your Budget

Once you have a realistic budget, you need to set realistic goals. Your ultimate outcome also has to be a S.M.A.R.T. Goal. Your goal needs to include the number of leads you need to generate, phone calls received, and/or sales created. These goals need to have time limits tied to them, such as garnering five leads a week or closing 12 sales a month, etc. Also, you have to be prepared to do the testing up front in order for your goals to be realistic. Otherwise, you could spend a year or more and still not understand your market. By then, you would have either wasted a substantial amount of money, or if you did the testing, would have discovered how and where to land your next prospect.

Set a Realistic Time Frame for Your Test

Your time frame for your ROI should be tied to your business plan. That means it should be tied to your sales forecasts along with your annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly sales goals. If you've been in business for a while, you should have a handle on what are realistic weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual sales projections. If not, you'll  have to make your best guess and then measure against it. Either way, you'll be measuring against the time frame in your projections. If the difference is drastic, then you need to either adjust to reality or figure out what you're doing wrong. AB testing is a great way to understand what is realistic and what is just a W.A.G., (a wild guess).

Conversion is the Next Step

Now that we've discussed the importance of AB testing, we need to discuss what you're testing for. In other words, what are clients looking for when they visit your Landing Page? In this part of our testing, we're looking to improve the conversion rate. Any Landing Page worth its salt has to have five elements that people are looking for. These elements add to your company's credibility and also help keep the visitor's mind focused on what their original search was for in the first place. The more information and or subjects listed on a Landing Page, the greater the chance the visitor will be distracted, feel like this isn't what they were looking for, or get frustrated by not easily finding what they were looking for.

If a person is searching for "Florida oranges" and your Landing Page lists "apple, bananas and oranges," they now have to make additional decisions instead of knowing that their search is over. Every primary product(s) (your "cash cows," so to speak) each need their own focused Landing Page. Likewise, each main product or service you sell needs its own focused marketing messages on its own focused Landing Page. If you want the page to be effective with a higher conversion rate (i.e., turning clicks into leads, phone calls or cash), then this is the only way to go. Even e-commerce pages should be focused. Yes, they can show add-ons and up sales, but the pages themselves need to be primarily about one product or service.

Five elements every Landing Page needs to build credibility:
  • Bold Headings based on keywords - above the fold
  • Focused message based on keywords - key bullet points above the fold
  • Easy to understand and competitive offer - above the fold
  • Testimonials – video or hand-written – above the fold
  • Easy-to-find contact information, including address and map - above the fold

Organic Position Also Matters

The main reason having organic position matters is because if your business is showing up in both pay per click and organic listings, your chances of being clicked on goes up increases as much as 98%. All things being equal, most prospects will select an organic listing over a paid advertisement, seven out of ten times. If you're showing up in the organic listing above the fold, most people will select you as one of their primary choices.

In this article, I've provided an in-depth explanation of what pay per click advertising is and how it can help you make money. I've provided the key factors needed for your success. I covered the importance of paid listing position, budgetary considerations, AB testing, differences between pay per click platforms, and much more.

If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If you feel you have something to add or just want to leave a comment, do so below. It's been my pleasure sharing with you our view of the current state of search engine marketing. I look forward to reading your comments. Thanks again for reading and sharing. 

If you like this article, you can find more by typing “pay per click” or "advertising" in the search box at the top left of this blog.
That's my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below and we'll email it to you. Your information is always kept private and is never sold.

Hector Cisneros is a partner, COO and Social Media Director for, based in Jacksonville, FL. You can connect with him on TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn, and YouTube. He is also the co-host of Blog Talk Radio’s “Working the Web to Win,” where he and Carl Weiss make working the web to win simple for every business. Hector is a syndicated writer for EzineOnline and is an active blogger (including ghost writing). He's a published author of two books, "60 Seconds to Success"(on sale at Amazon and BHYPERLINK ""&HYPERLINK ""N) and "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century."

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Unplug and Get Away From It All

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Photo Credit:
Today’s blog is all about getting away! If you are looking to really get away from it all this summer, allow us Paris' sewer and an ice hotel in Sweden, just to name a few.
to offer you some destinations that you won't find at your local travel agency.  The Internet can connect you to exotic locales that are truly out of this world.  In this article we will explore a number of unusual vacation concepts including space tourism, the top five underwater hotels, an igloo village, a guided tour of

Spring has sprung here in Florida -- although you wouldn't know it if you live in the Northeast as its still cold up there.  Soon another school year will be ending and families will be looking forward to summer vacation.  Most people have already begun their hunt for things to do and places to go.  While some will opt for more traditional destinations such as theme parks, national parks, beaches and campgrounds, others are interested in finding more out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten-trail destinations.  Traditionally, travel magazines and Sunday supplements were renowned for publishing articles that can gave you a peek at exotic locales. Nowadays, however, when it comes to getting away from it all, nothing can put you in touch with unusual vacation destinations quite like the Web.

Where Did Getting Away From it All Begin?

Pitcairn Island – Yes, this is the South Pacific island/nation first populated by the mutinous crew of the HMS Bounty. Today Pitcairn Island is inhabited by the 56 descendants of that ill-fated voyage.  It also has the distinction of being the least populous nation in the world.

Pitcairn Island was originally put on the map on July 3, 1767 by the crew of the British sloop, HMS Swallow, and was named after Midshipman Robert Pitcairn, the 15-year-old crew member who first to sighted it. Fast forward 23years, and the isolated island was chosen to be the last refuge of the six men and eleven women who purposely marooned themselves there after they'd set fire to the HMS Bounty.  While an act of desperation, the ploy worked, since it wasn’t until September 14, 1814, that a British flag ship landed a party on the island. 

Today, tourists can venture to Pitcairn for stays of up to 11 days aboard the Claymore II, which also serves as the island's supply vessel.  Private yachts are also invited to anchor in Bounty Bay. Not exactly a tourist mecca, the island only averages visits by 25 yachts per year.  Of course, this is precisely what makes it such a terrific destination for some.  If you do arrive by yacht, a $35 landing fee per person is charged, plus a "taxi service” of  $50 is charged for the trip in and out. 

Once there, the island offers 14 choices of accommodation, including private two or three bedroom chalets or staying in the home of local islanders.  Rates range from $70-$120 per person/per day.  Additional services such as telephone, Internet access, and guided walking or bike tours can be arranged.  Fortunately for American tourists, the currency on the island is the US dollar. For more info, visit

Wet & Wild is Really Cool

While an excursion to a tropical island is just the ticket for some, others are looking for something a little more wet and wild.  If you are a bit more adventurous and are not afraid of the water, why not check out the option of checking into an underwater hotel.

Check out Jules Undersea Lodge, Key Largo Florida – Located 30 feet below the Emerald Lagoon, Jules' Undersea Lodge, named after "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" author Jules Verne, was originally designed to be an underwater research facility.  Since 1986, when it was converted into a sub-sea lodge, accommodations for up to six paying guests at a time has been available.  While patrons do not need scuba gear to move around inside the lodge, it is a requirement for checking in and out.

Hi honey, I’m home!

Jules' Undersea Luxury For Two
Our JUL for TWO package is $800 and includes our world famous Papa John's pizza delivery dinner. Breakfast includes coffee or tea, orange juice, and your choice of cereal. There's plenty of water, soda, and snacks as well. Dive gear is included in your package.
Check in: 2:00 PM; Check out: 8:30 AM
Group Economy Packages
Group of 3-4: $350 per person
Group of 5-6: $300 per person

For more information:

Just What is Sewer Tourism?

If staying underwater doesn’t float your boat, there are a number of other subterranean destinations that can be had including ... touring Paris' sewers!  Paris, also known as the City of Lights, has a dark underbelly to that you can tour. What I'm talking about is a tour of Paris’ sewers.  (I'm not making this up!) If you think that visiting such places as the Louvre, the Eifel Tower and Notre Dame is so outré, for less than 5 Euros per person, you too, can experience the underbelly of Paris in all its nefarious history through the centuries.  The tour spends an hour winding through the tunnels beneath the French capital as well as taking you to the heart of the system, part of which has been converted into a museum. (You won’t find this thrill ride at Disney World.)  For more info:

Think Ice Sculptures are Beautiful? Look into these Cool Vacation Destination?

If you are looking for the ultimate in “cool”, allow me to recommend an ice hotel.  Located in such locales as Norway, Finland, Sweden, Romania and Quebec, these places are actually built from ice.  With global warming now a hot topic, this is one vacation destination that could literally have a limited shelf life.  For more information, go to

Icehotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden

The Icehotel in the Jukkasjarvi village in Sweden is THE ice hotel, being the first one in the world, opened in 1990 by Yngve Bergqvist. The hotel is opened to public every year, from December to April and more than 1,000 tons of ice and snow are used for the construction that, in the end, features rooms for around 100 guests, a bar and a church among others. And at 64,000 square feet (6,000 square meters), it is widely recognized as the largest ice hotel in the world.

Now for a Trip That’s Out of This World!

White Knight 2 - showing us the
'eye' (Photo credit:
Space Tourism  is a term that was coined to describe those lucky few who have had the financial means to pony up between $20-$40 million to spend a few fun-filled months aboard the International Space Station.  While these seats are hard to come by, the allure of outer space  has also spawned something of a cottage industry that promises to take people to the its inky edge.  This includes a venture by Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin empire, who has offered  those with $250,000 to spend a sear aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two.  However, while deposits are being taken, at the time of publication there still has yet to be a launch date announced. 

 For those who don’t want to wait, apprentice astronauts can currently experience what it’s like to be weightless while aboard G-Force One for around 5,000.  Although this thrill ride won’t take you to the edge of outer space, it provides you what it’s like to experience zero gravity aboard a specially modified Boeing 727. While it ain’t exactly Buck Rogers, it can save all you wanna-be spacefarers more than a few bucks.

How About a Virtual Vacation?

You say you can’t afford a vacation. You don’t want to unplug and you don’t want to spend hours in airports, then a virtual vacation might just be the thing for you. A virtual vacation can consist of spending time visiting online sites that provide virtual tours to indulging yourself with virtual reality glasses where seeing these destination sites seem as if you were really there. Facebook just spent a pile of money to purchase Oculus to make sure you can go on virtual trips. If you have a big screen TV you can usually hook up your laptop on tablet and spend the weekend visiting your virtual vacations, ordering in and disconnection (mostly) from the outside world.

Now more than ever before, for those who are looking to get away from it all, the best place to start checking out exotic locales, both near and far, is the World Wide Web. This article took you on its own virtual tour of fascinating destinations. May your real travels be blessed and adventurous!

In this article I covered numerous exotic vacation destination you can find via internet The World Wide Web has had a profound impact on the travel industry. Researching destinations are as easy as click, pick, pay, pack and go!
If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If you feel you have something to add to this article, leave a comment below. 

Thanks again for visiting, until next time.

If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below and we'll email it to you. Your information is always kept private and is never sold.

Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Web radio show of the same name as well as well as YouTube's Working The Web TV Show series. He is also the co-author of a new book, "Working The Web To Win," based on the hit Web radio show and blog.

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Going Mobile

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The Internet has been going mobile for the past few years.  In fact, there are now more people accessing the Web on their Smartphones than there are on all the world's computers ... combined.  Yet few businesses are exploiting the clear advantages that going mobile can bring by 
Is the PC Dead? 2 Decades of PC Obituaries
Is the PC Dead? 2 Decades of PC Obituaries (Photo credit: IntelFreePress)
adapting their online marketing model. In this week's article, we'll talk about what it takes to start raking in the chips and upgrade your Web presence with smart mobile marketing.


There are 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide.  This is surprising, considering the current world population is just a little over 7.1 billion (men, women and children).  More surprising: mobile usage has jumped more than 1 billion during the past three years alone. Of that, more than one billion subscribers are now Smartphone equipped

What this means to business owners and managers is that if they have yet to embrace mobile marketing, they could be missing the boat.  The problem for many is the fact that it took them nearly 20 years to learn how to effectively add the Internet to their marketing mix.  Now many are reluctant to jump on the mobile bandwagon since they believe it will require the expenditure of yet more time, energy and money.
HTML5 oval logo, see W3C HTML5 logo) Français ...
HTML5 oval logo, see W3C HTML5 logo) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today, mobile marketing encompasses text messaging, direct email marketing, mobile Websites, blogs, video portals, mobile apps, mobile social, article marketing and QR code marketing. All of these can produce Web presence traffic, increased click though, contact form leads, and phone sales. Let's look at these individually.

HTML 5 to the Rescue

While it's true Smartphone users can -- and do -- surf the Web, most Websites created before 2012 rely on code that forces most people to squeeze many Websites down to size in order to read them.  This is not only inconvenient.  It usually means most people will choose to surf elsewhere almost immediately.  HTML 5 creates a site that can detect and reconfigure itself to make it easier for tablet and Smartphone users to view without having to manipulate the site to make it fit their particular platform.  Better still, HTML 5 works with most browsers.  Plus, it makes embedding video as easy as embedding images was with HTML 4.

Don’t Know HTML, How About Mobile Blogger!

Don't have the money to pay for a Website? Build a blog site with Blogger and kill two birds with one stone. Google owns Blogger, so you know it'll get indexed in the search engines. More importantly, Blogger automatically creates a mobile version of your blog site. Blogger isn't just for blogs. You can build a full-fledged Web presence that includes everything that is currently listed on other Website (your Home, About, Product, Sale and Service pages, and more). Plus, it can hold your blog articles, a major component in any serious online marketing effort. Best of all, 
"JAMES WHATLEY, Mobile phone blogger"
"JAMES WHATLEY, Mobile phone blogger" (Photo credit: whatleydude)
Blogger's hosting is FREE. If you feed your blog weekly and push out your article to your social nets and get others to do the same, you'll generate traffic, build a following, and sell more products. These blog articles can also be easily tied into Yahoo/Bing streaming mobile ads as well.

Of course, it can still be a chore for Smartphone readers to view a site if it has a lot of text. I need a 12-inch tablet to make reading practical. That’s why I still recommend every business owner and manager spend a few bucks to create a .mobi site that uses videos to showcase their business in a size anyone can VIEW. There is at least one other advantage to creating a .mobi site: many prime URLs are still up for grabs that can help your business generate more traffic.

Make an App for That

Some businesses have embraced mobile marketing in a big way by having mobile apps created that not only allow them to get a jump on the mobile craze, but also allow them to do some pretty sophisticated things online.  Whereas in the past, many businesses relied upon radio and TV ads to generate a buzz about their products and services, today it's all too easy for someone to change stations or filter their TV viewing to eliminate all those annoying four-minute commercial breaks. (Darn TiVo.)

Photo Credit:
This is where mobile apps are changing the way in which businesses engage their customers.  Offering everything from interactive coupons and contests, to games and built-in customer appreciation programs, many businesses are capitalizing on the public’s infatuation with smartphones and smart devices by developing apps designed to interact with customers and prospects. 

·    Unlike standard email, a text message is more likely to be read right away. 
·     Using push technology, an app can deliver relevant information to individual prospects.
·     Apps can also take advantage of GPS technology to geo-target customers.
Of course, the downside is that it can be fairly pricey to develop a sophisticated app from scratch.  This makes many apps unapproachable for smaller businesses.  Also, taking an app to market can take months.  Even upon entering the marketplace, you're forced to compete with millions of other apps.

“It's no accident or surprise that more than 2 million cumulative apps are in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. While creating an app has been a great gateway into mobile, and still is a valuable tool to deliver content, reach is limited by the number of people who download and use the app.”

Before you plunk down a wad of cash to develop an app for your business, you need to consider several factors:
·         What's the app going to do for your business to give you an edge over the competition?
·         How big is your anticipated audience?
·         How long of a shelf life will your app have?
·         How are you planning to distribute your app?
·         Is there a third-party app available that can do a similar job?

With two million apps on the shelf, it's highly probable someone has already come to market with an app that can do the same or similar job.  Why pay retail when you can access many of the same benefits for pennies on the dollar through a developer?

Mobile Scratch-Off Anyone?

Working the Web scratch off on Facebook
Don't want to plunk down the money needed to get your own app? How about using mobile social to engage mobile users with scratch off games, mobile coupons and customer loyalty programs. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn all have mobile versions of their products. We currently use a great Facebook program that lets a business provide scratch off, coupon and loyalty programs, all from one plugin.  Winners can share their good fortune and friends can share coupon links. Business can keep loyal clients coming back with customized rewards that they control with margins that make sense to them.  These programs are perfect for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, cleaners, bowling alleys, nightclubs -- any business that relies on repeat customers and has predictable slow days.

Texting Can Still be Effective and Mobile

Text message marketing was effective before we had Smartphones. It's quasi-old school considering today's mobile technology. Still, a good text messaging campaign can reach the maximum number of cell phone users, (both regular phone and Smartphone users). The key to effective text messaging is building an opt-in database of customers looking for deals, coupons, loyalty programs and the like. These programs are also cost effective, especially if you use your existing customer base as a good starting point.

QR Code - a Virtual Enhancement to Old School Marketing

Speaking of old-school marketing, mobile can enhance virtually every form of print marketing you currently employ.  Have a business card or brochure?  Add a QR code.  Spending money on a newspaper or magazine ad?  Add a QR code.  QR codes, short for Quick Response codes, allow you to send any prospect with a Smartphone to a targeted Website or video.  When you consider a QR code takes up less than one square inch of space, not adding one to every print ad is tantamount to throwing money away. 
If you're still reluctant to add mobile marketing to your current marketing mix, remember this: Your competition isn't. Once you consider all of the benefits that mobile has to offer, and the downside of your competition beating you to the punch, you'll soon wonder how you ever lived without it.

In this article I covered the rapid advancement of mobile internet marketing that has occurred over the last few years. This article covers the wide array of mobile marketing methods and mediums you can use, including dedicated HTML 5 Websites, mobile video Websites, mobile blogs, mobile apps, texting programs, mobile social programs and QR codes.

If you like this article, you can find more by typing “mobile” in the search box at the top left of this blog.

If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, family
and co-workers. If you feel you have something to add to this article, leave a comment below. 

Thanks again for visiting, until next time.

If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below and we'll email it to you. Your information is always kept private and is never sold.

Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, an award-winning digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Web radio show of the same name as well as well as YouTube's Working The Web TV Show series. He is also the co-author of a new book, "Working The Web To Win," based on the hit Web radio show and blog.

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