How Smart is a Smart Home? Reprinted from Life Happens 365

Smart Homes are all the rage these days, but are the all they are cracked up to be? Can you actually do all the things the commercials say without things going haywire or worse?? Are they easily hacked? Can you protect your Smart House like a regular home? Our client Diane Tait from  A & B Insurance wrote this great article posted on her blog called Life Happens 365. We loved this article so much that we decided to reprint it in its entirety here on our blog and share it with all of our regular readers. So enjoy this article and then share it with your friends. Make sure you heed her warnings as well. At the end of the article we will supply some additional links to help with cyber security as well. So without any further Adu, read "How Smart is a Smart Home?".

By Diane Tait

Image courtesy Public Domain Pictures
You may have noticed that technology is invading everything these days. Late model automobiles aren’t so much cars anymore as they are computers with four tires and a steering wheel.  Smartphones are 10% telephone and 90 % computer.  The computer that took man to the Moon had about as much computing power as that in your car’s digital key fob. The bottom line is  almost everything these days is Internet enabled.  That includes many of the devices in your home. 

Apple Vs Android Phones - a 180 Day Comparison of which is easiest to use.

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of Flickr

I have been hearing the argument about who has the best smartphone since Apple released its first iPhone in 2007. Smartphone users are very passionate about their phones. They argue about which is the fastest, the most secure, the thinnest, which has the best picture and features. You name it, smartphone users argue about it. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, I will relay my 3 month experience of using and carrying both an Android and an Apple smartphone at the same time to evaluate what I think is the best of these systems. So read on and see some of my surprising findings as I tell you about my experiences carrying and using both an Android and Apple smartphone simultaneously for the last four months.

Bulletproofing Your Digital Domain (Reprinted from Small Business Group)

We often write about hack attacks, hackers, cyber criminals and cyber security. This episode is from one of our clients (Small Business Groups) who published this article on how to protect your digital assets and cyber security. We think you will enjoy it because it's factual and get straight to the point with regards to the risk that all business have when using digital assets like websites, video channels and social media pages. Small Business Groups blog offer a good selection of great articles covering Business management and account tips. If your looking for good advice on how to improve your business, their blog is a good place to start. You can also contact them for a FREE Consultation there as well. So enjoy their article and make sure you share it with your friends, I know I will.

By Ben Kinsey

Image courtesy wikimedia
In my previous blog, I detailed all the ways in which online reviews and ratings can make or break a business.  This week I’d like to delve into the other dangers that lurk just below the surface of your digital domain. Specifically, I’d like you to take a hard look at the part of your business that resides in Cyberspace.  You know, your website, landing pages, blog, in-house server and social sites. The problem with many business owners is that they don’t have a handle on just how vulnerable their digital assets are.  While most business owners would never think of heading home after the day is done without first locking their office, many leave their digital domain woefully ill-equipped to deal with hackers, industrial espionage or disgruntled employees.  As I pointed out in my last blog, if you don’t police and secure your digital assets, it’s quite possible that some fine day you may arrive at the office to find your business in serious financial straits.  

Our top 12 reasons why mobile computing rules the world

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of PxHere

Would it be great if you could find a marketplace that is huge, easily accessed, is global and has a infinite variety of customers to choose from? There is such a fantastic place, it's called the internet and the bulk of the customers are mobile! That is one of the main reasons mobile computing king? But to fully understand the answer to this question, we need to take a look back in time to where it all began, followed by a peak of where mobile is going. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore how the mobile revolution has affected our personal and business lives.  We will provide our top 12 reasons why mobile computing rules our digital world and predict where we are going next on this great adventure. Read on and share this article with your friends as we show the top 12 reasons why mobile computing rules the world.

Are Windows 10 Updates Causing More Problems than they Fix?

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons

Last week I spent 2 hours waiting for my Windows 10 computer to complete an update after I got into my office. I don't know about you, but I hate waiting on my computer to start up, much less waiting two hours for an update to complete. For me, time is the most precious commodity in the universe, and wasting time on unnecessary updates just makes me mad. Now don't get me wrong, I want to install all bug fixes and security updates, but not at the expense of my most valuable and productive morning time. Many might tell you to schedule your updates for later, but the fact is that if you're your computer is not running Windows 10 Pro, you don't always have a choice of whether the update is downloaded and installed. To make matters worse, some updates break your system forcing you to wait through the rollback process. God forbid that  a critical failure takes place and you have to reinstall your entire system (OS and apps)! In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will address the current problems that Windows 10 updates are causing for its user base. We will include links to many articles that discuss the  problems occurring along with in-depth workarounds to help fix Windows 10 update issues. So read on and get some relief from the constant drudgery (some would say hell) of Windows 10 updates.

10 Principles of Internet Marketing Success - Why they Matter in Content Marketing

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of

Have you ever wondered why some companies marketing is phenomenally successful for long stretches of time while others seem to burst onto the marketing scene and then quickly fade away? Many marketing companies rely on tricks and manipulative techniques while hoping a big flash splash will do the trick. Another school of thought emphasizes research-based marketing with a principled approach where ads focus on value, testimonials, wholesomeness, honesty, and persistence. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will compare and contrast the two schools of marketing and provide 10 principles we believe produce long term positive results.

What are Best Practices? If you ask any professional marketer, they will tell you that sticking to best practices (i.e. Marketing principles) is important. Yet many rely on the latest tricks and shortcuts used to gain  position in Organic Search or exaggerated claims in their ads, saying they are just embellishing the perceived value of their product or services. Many advertisers will imply unrealistic, exaggerated or outright lies about the features and benefits of their products. This is particularly true with children's products like toys, and food. The diet industry is replete with exaggerated product claims. On the other hand, marketers who stress the importance of principled marketing generally follow a more scientific method using tried and true practices.  This doesn't mean that unethical marketers don't have their own bag of tricks, because they do. They just don't care what the long-term implications of their current ad campaign are.  Their only focus is to produce immediate sales and profits. The real problem for any company that tries to take shortcuts is that sooner or later, tricks and unethical techniques lead to expectations not being met and a bad reputation as an end result. In other words, taking shortcuts will eventually poison the reputation of the product or service being advertised.
Courtesy of Pixabay

Now I am not implying that most marketers are unethical. In fact, I believe the opposite. However, sales reps need to make sales quotas and agencies need to make traffic happen or risk losing clients. This often leads to individuals and agencies taking short cuts and exaggerated claims. In a three of our previous articles called;  "Marketing 101 – What you need to Know before Buying Advertising", " 10 Things Your Online Marketing Manager Doesn’t Want You to Know" and "Avoid Being Cheated by Online Advertising Companies", we discussed how to avoid being cheated by various tricks, traps, and other unethical behaviors by unscrupulous marketers.  On the other side of the coin, we have several dozen articles that discuss how to use principles and a scientific approach to ethical marketing. 

Each article we write and publish provides a different perspective on principled marketing. Some of them focus on methods, elements and techniques. Other explain our process for various types of marketing modalities including social media, blogging, video, and search marketing (aka SEO). The following list of articles is a small sample of the dozens of articles on our blog that focus primarily on marketing and internet advertising. Each brings a different perspective, problem and solution to light so our readers acquire a broad understanding of how to maximize the marketing efforts.

Internet Marketing Tips and Best Practices Articles
Not long ago we had a prospect come to us because his primary competitor was showing up above their organic listing when you typed in his company name. Our analysis showed  the competitor was engaging in black hat tricks by producing false 5-star reviews (500 of them) which were the primary reason they were ranked higher than our prospect. We developed a plan that would take about six months that was guaranteed to get our client to the top of Organic Search. After three months, we were making progress because the client now had an additional listing on page one, but was still listed below the one competitor who was engaging in black hat tricks. At this point, our client decided that they wanted us to engage in black hat tricks to get them to jump to the top right away. We told them that while this could get him to the top, eventually his website would get de-listed. The client said that they needed to get to the top immediately, at which point we disengaged their agreement and wished them good luck since we refuse to engage in black hat tactics.  Soon, both of these businesses fell off page one.

             Here 10 Best Principles worth  implementing
  1. Providing True Value - A product or service can be hyped into stardom for a little while, but this will wear off quickly. Long-term success is based on providing real benefits. Its based on real reciprocity where payment is exchanged for a real or perceived benefit. Benefits can not only include tangible items but also intrinsic value as well. To have true value, a product or service must produce a positive result or reason for a customer to be thankful they bought your product or service. Sometimes the only thing missing to push your product or service into the true value arena is a compelling offer.
  2. Focus - Success is greatly increased if you target the right audience. Having focused landing pages, ads, blogs, videos and social posts don't distract prospects and can provide easy stepping stones that lead them in the positive direction toward a purchase. Providing ads, web pages and highly diverse or eclectic web properties generally have lower success rates. 
    Courtesy of Pixabay
  3. Leverage - Engaging  in marketing should include the creation of advertising elements that can be used multiple times. Better still, savvy marketers leverage elements that can be deployed in multiple venues simultaneously. For example, a blog post is used as the script for a live internet radio show that is also video-cast on any of the social networks at the same time.  These marketing assets can then be recycled by posting them to on your web properties and the social nets. This content can also be repurposed  for the creation of ezine articles, ebooklets and even printed books.
  4. Consistency - Building credibility and an audience requires that you consistently provide high quality, useful, relevant and timely content.   Inconsistency on the other hand will kill credibility and lose an audience even if you provide high quality, useful, relevant and timely content.
  5. Persistence - There is an old saying that goes something like; "Quitters never win and winners never quit". It is rare to get your marketing formula right the first time you try it. What's required is the staying power that includes constant monitoring of results and using the results to tweak the process. Being patient and measuring the results allows you to improve. Being impetuous and constantly changing direction provides inadequate data which leads to failure.
  6. Relevance - Anytime a message is not targeted it risks being perceived as inappropriate or worse a lie. If your marketing message is relevant, it compels the person who perceives your message as relevant to explore it further. A non relevant message is dismissed immediately.  This is why TV stations who run ads are suffering because viewers today can skip commercial altogether.
  7. Timeliness - The importance of advertising at the right time of year, day of the week and hour of the day can not be underestimated. Running Christmas ads too early or out of season is a waste of money and can even turn off prospects who perceive the ads as inappropriate. Likewise if you run ads outside of office hours, callers who respond will get frustrated and call your competitor who is available. Even running your ad on the wrong day of the week or time of day can greatly diminish its effectiveness and reach. 
  8. Renewal - Advertising comes with a specific lifespan. Your ads pulling power will diminish over time until one day it no longer works. It is important to take into account that ad fatigue effects all types of advertising and that you must be willing create different advertisements to keep your audience interested. This includes changing ads, updating web pages, providing weekly blogs, videos and daily social posts.
  9. Setting goals - Running a marketing campaign without planning and research is a formula for failure. By include planning and research, you can better focus your message, better target your audience and produce more compelling offers and ads than if you try and do this by flying by the seat of your pants.
  10. Being Accountable - It is irresponsible for a business to think that marketing does not have to be accountable. Some businesses run ads because they have a budget to spend but they don't include the cost of research, testing, measuring and producing an analysis of the results. In essence, they are always throwing away a portion of their marketing budget every time they advertise. Being accountable is the other side of the goal-setting coin. Goals that are not followed up with analysis are just wishes.
Courtesy of Pixabay
Any business that wants to get the maximum return on their marketing investment needs to take into account all ten of the principles above. Most other articles cover the other seven big marketing principles; (i.e. Product Price, Promotion, Place, Packaging, Positioning and People). I agree that all of these are very important. However, they are all incorporated in our top ten principles listed above. Failure to address these principles is common in business today. It is one of the reasons so much advertising fails to produce profitable results. If a business wants to succeed, it must take the time to plan, research, codify, focus and implement their marketing plans. They must then test and measure their creation to verify that its, #1 working,  or #2, needs tweaking and or #3 needs to be abandoned altogether.  This process is the most effective way to guarantee results. It is also one of the primary reasons Working the Web to Win can guarantee results. If your company isn't getting the results it desires and you would like a second opinion on what you can to to make things better, give us a call and we will provide you with a free no-obligation web analysis of your current marketing position and also list several solutions to fix any deficiencies we find. I hope after reading this your business decides to incorporate the list of principles. If you do, you will thank us for it. 

That's my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

Get your FREE Copy below!
This article provides ten ways to enhance your internet marketing by adhering to our top 10 marketing principles. Lastly, it links more than a dozen related articles to help the read better understand this subject. Also included is a link to the BlogTalkRadio show that  goes with this and other related subject.

If you feel your business hasn’t found the profits it expected on the Internet, we can help with guaranteed services that produce positive results, or you don’t pay. We also make sure that your websites are secure. If you would like to see your websites rank higher, you can contact us at by dialing 904-410-2091. We are very good at cost-effectively creating tangible online results for our clients. We also provide 27 different digital products to help businesses get their message out. If you’re ready to take your web results to the next level, simply fill out the form in the sidebar of this blog, and we will provide you with a free marketing analysis which will show you how to get better results. Our claim to fame is that we are one of a few companies that actually provide real guarantees at a fair price.

If you found this article useful, please share it with friends, family, and co-workers. I recommend checking out the links on the blog, along with checking out other related articles on our Show Notes Page.  Also, don’t forget to listen to the BlogTalkRadio show on this subject. If you have a related useful comment or opinion about this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog. Also, don’t forget to share us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well.

Get a FREE eBook - Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century & also get our FREE newsletter here. Your privacy is important to us. Your data will never be sold or shared. youcan unsubscribe, see privacy policy at the end of this blog.

Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success” and the co-author along with his business partner Carl Weiss of their hit book also called “Working the Web to Win.”

Can you Prosper With Paid Web Advertising Alone? You can if you do it Right

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy  of  Picpedia

There is no doubt that Google is the biggest advertising player on the World Wide Web today. You can advertise on Google Ads (formally AdWords), Google's Banner Network, and YouTube just to name a few of its advertising properties. But is Google  advertising all you need? Is ad placement the best way to generate bonafide leads and are those calls you get saying your Google listing needs to be updated real or just some ad agency fishing for business. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore the ins and outs of advertising with Google, show you what mistakes to watch out for and provide you with several ways to maximize your return on your marketing investment.

How to Use the Web to Enhance your Business or Professional Reputation

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of Flickr

A businesses reputation is more important today than ever before. the same is true for products or an individual. If your reputation is weak or little is known about you, your business or product, people assume you are not as good as a business with a well-known name  or as someone who who has garnered a couple of dozen 4 or 5-star Google reviews or Facebook ratings. So, what do you do if you are doing a great job but you few if any five star ratings? Just how can you go about building your good reputation without trying to use black hat internet trickery (which can hurt your reputation). In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will discuss more than a dozen ways to improve your reputation so you can compete with anyone on the web.

The Do's and Don'ts of Digital Marketing

By Carl Weiss

Image courtesy wikimedia
Unlike all you Millennials out there, I still remember a world that did not revolve around the smartphone and the Internet.  Way back in the dark days before the turn of the century, publishing hadn’t changed all that much in the past 150 years since the Gutenberg Bible was first published.  Back in the 20th Century, publishing relied on the printed word.  That meant cutting down trees, hiring printers and staging book tours to promote your latest novel or self-help book.  In short, it required a lot of effort to achieve a minimal result.  Unless your book was picked up by a major publishing house, the odds of getting it into bookstores (which were all brick and mortar) was slim to none.  Even worse, the expense of printing and promoting any book back then was staggering. 

Reprinted From Life Happens 365 - Are Autonomous Trucks the End of the Road for Truckers?

We have written about drones and autonomous vehicles on several occasions. When we came across this article from one of our clients, we knew we had to reprint it. We felt it tied right in with our previous published articles and that our reader would really enjoy this subject matter since it will affect us all sooner than we think. We urge you to read Diane Tait's article - "Autonomous Trucks the End of the Road for Truckers?

By Diane Tait

Image courtesy wikimedia
Autonomous vehicles are all the rage these days.  You can’t turn on the TV or fire up an online newsfeed without hearing or reading about an auto manufacturer that is putting billions into developing self-driving car technology.  Even Tesla is now spending big bucks to develop automated big rigs.  With this in mind, the commercial trucking industry is in for a rethink on a massive scale in the not too distant future.  The question is, how will this new technology affect the livelihoods of the 3.5 million professional truck drivers in this country.

Re-published in its entirety - "Is There a Digital Data Disaster in Your Future?"

Image courtesy of Pixabay
It is rare that we allow other authors to ghost blog on our  site, but sometimes we have clients that produce great articles worth sharing. Yes we can share them on our social nets, but that only a short lived exposure for them. So we have decided to republish a few article that we have found to be worth showcasing to help our clients out. The article we select are relevant to our following and the articles are of high quality, are timely, relevant and also provide sufficient infotainment that we feel our readers will get the full benefit from our republishing our clients work on our blog. So with Catherine Powell's permission and our delite, we present in its entirety;

Here's a Dozen Reasons Why The Term SEO (AKA Search Engine Optimization) Is Obsolete

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
By Hector Cisneros

I often hear the term SEO in conversations. This happens when consulting with clients or just talking with friends or associates. Yet, few of the people I speak with have a handle on what SEO means to the average business owner. Sure, if you ask them what SEO means most will retort "Search Engine Optimization". However, if you take the question just one step further, you find that the person you're talking to gets stymied, and often resorts to a reply of "I don't know what's entailed". By the same token, I ask prospects what kind of marketing they are engaged in and they will say I have a guy who is doing SEO work for them. Again, when I ask specifically what their "SEO person" is doing, I get the reply, "I don't know"! The truth is - SEO is not just one thing. Twenty years ago SEO did mean on page Search Engine optimization, but today SEO involves hundreds of ranking factors and dozens of both on and off page elements that need to be optimized to maximize your results. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will cover a dozen factors that show the term SEO is vague at best at that we should be using a new term like Search Marketing or Content Marketing. So pull out your checklist and get ready to cross your T's and dot your i's as we pull back the curtain on the term SEO.

The Current Evolution of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) in the World

Courtesy of
By Hector Cisneros

AI - Artificial Intelligence, the world is a buzz with the term. Tons of commercials tout that it's will be the savior of mankind. Many of the latest movies are featuring it, and of course the main players are all saying that their AI is the best for your needs. But what is true and what is hype? How much can your Google Assistant, Amazon's Echo, Apple's SIRI, Microsoft's Cortana and IBM Watson really do? In some cases a lot less that they say and in some cases more than you know.  It's like any tool, it can be useful when operated properly, it can be a spy, a weapon or even an expensive toy, but regardless of any potential dangers, the world is clamoring for this Star Trek Tech in huge numbers. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore the state of the top AI contenders. What they can and can't do, as well as providing resources so you can decide whether you're ready for an artificially intelligent world. So get ready to prompt your favorite AI devices for more information as we delve into the Current Evolution of our AI world.

Google Caps off the Latest Social Media Seismic Shift

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of Flickr

Do you feel the ground beneath your social media feet quaking? That freight train sound you hear in the media background is the tornadic winds of change sweeping in from Google, Facebook, Instagram,Twitter and LinkedIn. The social media giants are rearranging the organic playing board so that it no longer looks like anything a business owner would recognize. In this episode of  Working the Web to Win, we will explore the recent major marketing and policy changes that have taken place among the social media giants and explain how these changes are affecting businesses, their marketing budgets, the traffic generated from their efforts and the return on investment they are receiving. We will also provide some new strategies which we feel will make a difference. So pull out your calculators and get ready to digest the changes that are afoot, as we delve into the current Social Media Seismic Shift that is taking place.

It's that Time Again - Time for the Annual Digital Renewal

Time to Clean up, Revise, Secure and Backup Your Digital Devices

Courtesy of
By Hector Cisneros

For those of you who know me ,you'll recall that I was involved in I.T. and also a network systems engineer. All told I spent 30 years making sure that the computer systems under my care were running at peak performance. Today, computers are far more complicated and the amount of system maintenance is many times more than was needed just 10 years ago. The fact is, most failures that digital systems have (i.e. computers, smartphones, tablets and the like) are caused by failure to maintain software updates of varying kinds. In fact, any time the operating system receives an update, it brings forth a time-consuming cascade of additional updates, that if ignored will lead to varying degrees of failures and vulnerabilities.  In this episode of Working the Web to Win, I will explore the importance of what I call the Annual Digital Renewal Process. That is - engaging in the necessary system maintenance to maintain effective digital devices. I will look at the necessary steps involved and provide the reader with a step by step checklist to make sure you keep your digital devices in tip top running condition. So break out your notepad and get ready to jot down these tips as I cover the right way to "Clean up, Revise, Secure and Backup your digital devices.

Can you live without Microsoft by using Chrome and still be productive?

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of Flickr

As a writer who researches and writes about marketing, digital security, tech trends and all things internet, I am always concerned about losing my ability to use my computers to access the internet and then write about the subjects I'm interested in. I have been doing this long enough to remember internet outages due to DOS attacks, power outages due to hurricanes, and a more recent issue - that of constant updates which often break the operational ability of my systems. This last problem has led me on a search for alternatives to my dependency on Microsoft products as my primary tools for writing,  doing internet research and managing my computer. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, I will explore my experience of living without Microsoft products for a couple of weeks to see if I can still get all my work done in a fast and efficient way. So get ready to take down some notes as I discuss the pros and cons of living without Microsoft and switching to Chrome for three weeks.

10 Things Your Online Marketing Manager Doesn’t Want You to Know

Courtesy of Flickr
By Carl Weiss

Is it possible that your online marketing manager isn’t being completely honest with you when they are presenting your monthly progress reports? It’s not only possible, it’s probable! In fact, many of the results can be skewed for a multitude of reasons. On top of that, most online marketing companies put the cart before the horse, selling you a product or service before they even inquire to your specific needs. In this week’s episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore issues of how online marketing companies portrayed products and results so that our readers won’t get deceived by unethical tactics.  So, get ready for another eye-opening journey as we explore "The 10 Things Your Online Marketing Manager Doesn’t Want You to Know."