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We have officially retired voicemail on our corporate phone lines. Its simply more trouble than it’s worth. Being in the management of companies business we get an overload of spam calls hourly, sometimes its coming in so fast we just stop answering the phone for a few hours. Hence where we’re at today. It’s time to cut the cord.

Instead of having a dedicated staff member to sort through the chaff route the call to the appropriate department; that is if the caller left enough information to identify their issue clearly. Customers are now being directed to leave their support request on the website where they encountered an issue, using automated support software for many years has cut our response times down to a fraction of what something coming in by phone might take in resources to address and resolve. It’s time to realize the full value in that type of support system.

Do you still use voicemail? How much does it take away from your day to manage? What solutions have you implemented that worked for you or your company?

Not specifically for SEO I have found WorkFlowy to be a wonderful way to journal and plan out taks, business plans, personal goals etc. For someone like myself I grew up with paper, jotting everything down in long lists, scribbles and doodles. I have tried day planners online and always end up reverting back to paper. There’s something to be said about ‘writing down’ something. WorkFlowy is the closest to a paper online I have found, and if you just have to have paper you can print it out if you need to.

The second item is a ‘like‘ exchange. Yes link and like exchanges have been around for years but this one works consistently when I need to boost a pages likes, launch a new Facebook page and need likes to create a custom page name (you have to have 25 likes to create one). What’s best about this one is that you can get likes and follows for Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, StumbleUpon and more. Give it a try here it’s absolutely free: Like Exchange

Managing directory submissions is part of getting your website listed. You can either do it by hand or pay out the nose and other orifices to use Yext or any one of it’s spawn directories and beacons.

I don’t have a problem with the idea of a one-stop submission process like Yext offers, but the nearly never-ending and in our opinion deceptive or at minimum misleading e-mails that come after running a ‘free scan of your listings’ lead many small businesses into spending hundreds every year, with some even being cajoled into spending hundreds a month believing that being listed in every one of the directories Yext flashes in-front of them will somehow magically help their business.

If you’ve ever wondered about where the yellow page people went, well now you know!

The worst are the directories who display incorrect information about your business like Yasabe, but don’t provide a mechanism to update your listing without being forced into paying a fee of some kind. This kind of business model is bordering on predatory. Most directories, like YP.com at least provide a basic listing, where a business owner can update incorrect information at no-charge.

Paying for a directory tailored to your line of business isn’t always-unwise but paying more than $100 a month to manage your listings is too much for most small businesses. If you are in the restaurant or repair service a directory like Yelp or AngiesList can make sense, being listed in every directory out there doesn’t.

If you are using a reputable SEO agency you should be getting directory and beacon management as part of their overall maintenance service or package.

How much do you shell out every month for directories, what results can you quantify with a ROI? I’m not talking the fake reports you get about how many ‘calls or leads’ they sent last month. Frankly that is a whole other topic for another day.

The idea of working for just $5 a day may seem odd but I often work a full-day, sometimes even a few days for just $5 a day. The difference, is it is a residual income which earns me $5 a day, every day long after the initial effort to reach that $5.

Having a strategy that aligns your available time to spend on web development, website marketing and all the duties associated with managing a portfolio of web properties is imperative to ascertain whether or not you are reaching your goals.

Does every hour or every day of work result in that marked $5 a day? No, in-fact it can be about 20-40 hours of work to reach that amount but it is well worth it if you apply yourself constructively.

More on how to find ways to add to your bottom line with your existing portfolio will be talked about in a future article.

But back to why I work for $5 a day. Residual income allows you to continue receiving the benefit of your efforts for many years. This freedom allows you to focus on work when needed but allows you the freedom to step away from work to attend to family or personal matters when needed.

Working full-time to reach this goal may not be for everyone. Most have to maintain a day job and devote extra time to building their residual income empire but it can be done. Patience, hard work and a roadmap will help.

I was clearing out old emails and I noticed that for some reason or another many of the newsletters I have signed up for over the years, like the Libby newsletter just stopped coming.

True, I do get enough e-mail that I didn’t know they had stopped. But that’s part of the point; An email newsletter is required to keep your customers thinking about you. Without it, they may not even know you stopped sending them information much less remember you first when they need a service or product that you provide.

Keeping your newsletter fresh is a tough job to do, but so important to your bottom line.

Try to build 90% of your content in a 1-2 week brainstorming session for the coming calendar year so you can focus on your day to day operations the rest of the months. By planning your content in advance, you can feed it to your customers at regular intervals with ease. The remaining 10% of your content should be current news or events as they occur.

There are plenty of email delivery service provides like ConstantContact that provide a slew of email templates but if you can swing it invest in a self-hosted solution you will often save big bucks annually over a hosted option.

Our newsletters are usually series based so we try to write our articles without being seasonally or date specific so that no matter where a subscriber joins in that the newsletter it does not appear old or applies to an opposite season like an article about summer in the middle of winter.

There are a number of paid platforms that will help you manage your social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Many allowing you to schedule when posts are sent or tweeted, which can be a great time-saver in itself.

Imagine being able to schedule a month of promotions, posts or tweets in an hour or so instead of taking time out of every day, which then leads to skipping posting or tweeting when consistency is imperative.

Problem is most, if not a majority are overpriced.

That’s why it was refreshing to find a well-rounded and affordable program with Woobox. Easily add Facebook tabs to your website, other pages, your social media accounts, you can even customize the tabs image. All this is free. Add powerful add-ons like being able to offer coupons, sweepstakes, instant wins giveaways, photo contests, video contests, polls, group deals, and rewards. Control interactions requiring users to share with friends, or tweet about the deal before being able to access an offer, or turn off any gateway and let everyone see it. At $29 for the entry-level paid platform, I dare you to find a more robust package for that low.

TweetDeck is a must to manage your Twitter accounts (free)! That’s all I have to say about that one.

And this one, a paid-content gateway (visitor pays with a Tweet or Facebook Post) that simply works! So many of these gateways don’t work with this browser, or that browser, or that range of IP addresses. it’s maddening to watch your traffic and subscribers leave because of a bad gateway. No problems with Pay With a Tweet

Video editing is almost a must in today’s e-marketing, almost every website owner is or should be using YouTube to promote their business or product. How do you get professional quality without bringing in another team-member or hiring an outsourced editor?

We recommend the NEW PowerDirector 12 Ultimate and PowerDirector 12 Ultra versions, which include powerful video editing tools! Additionally, the PowerDirector 12 Ultimate Suite for advanced users who want to enrich their media productions using AudioDirector and ColorDirector to create fantastic audio elements and vibrant colors for videos; PowerDirector 12 Deluxe is also available for users looking for essential features with budget concerns.

New PowerDirector 12-The Fastest Video Editing Software for Enthusiasts

PowerDirector 12 contains over 100 professional editing tools and more than 400 built-in effects! New features include new MultiCam Editing support and Theme Designer for creating 3D animated videos.

Checkout the new products here. Free limited software trial available or jump right in and purchase while they have the introductory specials.

For publishers who hard-code links, including Google Affiliate Network links (GAN) the recent closure of GAN meant that publishers had to re-code all those links. Bummer!

Skimlinks to the rescue, all without effort can replace those links with monetized links instantly. Click here to learn more or to sign up (Affiliate Link).

For those who missed our first article (plug) you may find that post Do You Use Skimlinks here.

This handy guide from Elance may help you on your path to create the biggest and best start-up ever.

What are you waiting for, Go now!

If only “pay for performance” meant just that. It doesn’t… not by a long shot. Much of what’s called pay for performance is more accurately described as “pay for some of the performance we believe we can directly track from the delivery of an impression through to an immediate purchase.”

The difference is enormous, and it’s creating systemic, long-term problems for marketers and advertisers alike. We must, as an industry, put pay for performance in context while we still have time to preserve the value it can offer online marketers.

Pay-for-performance advertising is a tool to accomplish a job. Marketers have myriad business and marketing objectives they can leverage the Internet to accomplish. For some, pay-for-performance advertising is the right tool. Affiliate programs, paid search, online retail, straight direct marketing, barter deals, and monetization of remnant inventory are all objectives that can be well served by pay for performance. Yet pay-for-performance implementation extends far beyond these objectives into campaigns with goals best accomplished with other tools.