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HostGator Auto-Billing Hosting Accounts? Tisk-Tisk

I used to work for a CPA network that had made a killing promoting a special teeth-whitening “free trial” consumer offer. The offer was profitable because of something called “auto billing,” also known as “auto-renew,” or the industry term “continuation model.” No matter what you call it, it boils down to taking advantage of a consumer’s lack of organization or awareness, and I don’t think it’s ethical.

While there are some major differences between the teeth whitening offer I describe below and Hostgator, I’m disappointed to say that Hostgator utilizes the same unethical auto-billing practice. Here’s how the teeth whitening offer worked and what it has in common with Hostgator’s billing practices:

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PLEASE Stop Saying That America Is The Greatest Country In The World

Every time I hear someone say “America is the greatest country in the world” I have five thoughts: Continue reading

Internet Fundraiser Marketing Tip: Use A Thermometer

Have you ever been tasked with raising funds for your favorite school group, sports team, charity event, etc? If so, you know that it can be downright difficult to get donations.

While there’s lots of great advice on fundraising out there – not to mention long lists of fundraising ideas, clever tools, and dumb fundraising gimmicks – most fundraising experts will agree that visible monetary goals are important to your fundraiser’s success. Why else do you think all the telethons have those big counters in the middle of their set?

What you see to the right is what I hope to be one of the best free fundraising tools on the Internet – a fundraising thermometer.

Here’s what makes this thermometer so special:

  • It’s automatically updated. You just create it once, save your settings, and then put the code on your website. As you raise more money, you just go back to the thermometer page and update your progress…no need to replace code.
  • You can customize the text and title
  • You can customize the background color, thermometer fill color, and text color to match your website
  • It’s free

I’m proud to say that we developed this tool for, and we hope it helps you, your school, or your favorite charity hit their fundraising goals. Here are some more ideas for you… Continue reading

Real Estate Marketing Question: Why Print Flyers Without A Price?

My wife Sara and I are in the market for a home. We’ve just begun the process of searching Denver to find the right neighborhood, etc., and I’m pleased to say it’s been a fun process for both of us. However, for all you real estate brokers, agents, REALTORS®, and real estate marketing people, I have one question:

What is the point of offering a property flyer that doesn’t include an asking price?

Real estate flyer box

Why print a real estate flyer without a price?

Let me paint the picture: Sara and I are driving through a neighborhood we like, and we see a home for sale with a flyer box. Four or five times now, we’ve come across a home flyer that doesn’t have any pricing info. Why? Continue reading

Internet Marketing Tips For Photographers – Interview with R. J. Kern

I had a chance to interview Denver Wedding Photographer R. J. Kern of about marketing his wedding photography business online. R. J. is a very well-networked photographer who has done a very good job of building relationships with other photographers (and getting numerous links as a result), as well as establishing himself as an expert in the industry in Denver.

If you’re a photographer, this post is a must-read. If you’re a small business owner, this post might stimulate some ideas. Check it out. Continue reading

Free Marketing Tip for NGOs – Only Use Email Communication For Online Donors

Every once in a while I donate a small amount of money to a few organizations whose mission I agree with. In order to avoid coming across as arrogant or somehow holier-than-thou, let me say right now that I’m not much of a donor. I give when it crosses my mind.

Guess what ALL of these organizations have in common: I gave all of them money online, yet they all send me physical mail and/or call me asking for more money. While I understand the need to raise more funds, I think it’s incredibly dumb to call or mail an online donor to do it. Here’s why: Continue reading

Yahoo Small Business Web Hosting – Worst WordPress Host Ever

In my day to day life, I’m pretty direct. However, when it comes to writing my company blog, I try to be diplomatic. After all, this post is going to live forever.

Still, I have no problem saying the following for all to hear: Yahoo small business web hosting is the worst WordPress hosting option I’ve ever worked with, not to mention the worst web hosting option I’ve worked on.

Why, do you ask, is Yahoo’s small business web hosting so terrible? Here’s a list: Continue reading

TV Can Change The World and Twitter Can’t

A few months ago I read an article in Foreign Policy magazine stating that, among other things, television would have a more profound impact on the world over the next 20 years than the Internet.

As an Internet marketing consultant who talks about the ‘power of the tubes’ every day, it seemed a little odd. However, the argument made perfect sense when I realized that: Continue reading

301 Redirect Header For an ASPX File

I spent some time searching for a code snippet today that would add a 301 redirect to an ASPX file. Since most of what I found was a little cryptic – and since the syntax was so different from one code sample to the next – I thought I would share the code snippet I found that worked. Continue reading

Huffington Post Leverages SEO, Sells For $315 Million

To me, the idea that search engine optimization (SEO) is a profitable and worthwhile endeavor is logical prima facie. Even if I were not an SEO consultant, I would like to think that the idea of “being found on Google” (or Bing) would be something that I understand and value.

However, a recent news story reminds me that the value of SEO isn’t nearly as obvious as I think. Last week, the NY Times reported that “The Huffington Post’s skill at using [SEO] to increase readership and revenue was one of the ways it made itself worth $315 million” (link).

The fact that this is news demonstrates that the value of SEO isn’t universally understood. Here’s how SEO helped the Huffington Post, and why SEO can help almost any business with a website.

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