ScribbleLive buys SEO platform Linkdex

The acquisition adds organic search optimization to ScribbleLive’s growing content marketing arsenal of algorithms and other tools.

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Fan2Sea Comic Con Cruise Adds Laura Martin, Amanda Conner to Formerly All-Male Guest List – The Outhouse


The Outhouse
Fan2Sea Comic Con Cruise Adds Laura Martin, Amanda Conner to Formerly All-Male Guest List
The Outhouse
Jude Terror is the Webmaster Supreme of The Outhouse and a sarcastic ace reporter dedicated to delivering irreverent comics and entertainment news to The Outhouse's dozens of loyal readers. Driven by a quest for vengeance, Jude Terror taught himself to

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Which Industries Attract The Most Venture Capital


You will find more statistics at Statista

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US National Parks Google doodle surfaces list of parks from Crater Lake to Acadia

Doodler Sophia Diao says she hopes the doodle she designed inspires everyone to enjoy the outdoors.

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Productivity Advice from the Best Brands in the World

Getting work done on time is critical to success. Old tactics like pressurizing your employees or increasing work hours just don’t cut it anymore. Employees are not any more productive, nor do they perform any better under pressure. Motivated and empowered employees, however, will work hard and be more responsible. The question remains, how do you cultivate such employees? How do you make sure your employees are productive? Here are six lessons from the biggest brands in the world on how to improve productivity within the organization:

Just Do It – Nike!

Nike’s got it right. Unfortunately, most of us can’t seem to figure out what the ‘It’ in ‘Just Do It’ is. And so, step one is to evaluate exactly what you want to do and how you can do it. Prioritizing comes later.

The next step is countering the thoughts in your head. The biggest problem to ‘Just Do-ing It’ is usually you. How many times have you thought, “I want to do volunteer work” and there’s that little voice that says, “But you’re way too busy. Weekends are out of the question because that’s when you unwind… You can do it when you have more time.”

The counterattack to these is actually getting up and doing the thing you want to do, hence, Just Do It!

Delegate Responsibilities – Steve Jobs, Apple

The late and great Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., had a method of making sure responsibilities were delegated and then carried out. Jobs would make sure that no one was doing any extra work, so that each resource could focus on only what was assigned to them.

According to Wired, “An effective Apple meeting will include an ‘action list,’ and next to each action item is a ‘DRI’ — a directly responsible individual who must ensure the task is accomplished.”

The myth of multi-tasking has us all believing that getting a large quantity of work done is the required output, all the while compromising on quality. In order to get the best quality output, it is important to concentrate on one thing at a time and dole out the rest amongst other employees.

Follow the 1-3-5 Rule – The Coca Cola Company

When making your daily to-do list, assume that only the following things can be achieved:

• One big thing;

• Three medium things;

• Five small things.

This prompts you to prioritize and work toward actual goals, rather than haphazardly getting through the day, half completing various projects and reports.

It also allows you to plan for the next day – jot down the big thing to take care of and try leaving a few spaces blank, in case you get work thrown at you at the last minute. This method also allows you to measure your performance and productivity over the ensuing weeks and months.

Constant Learning Leads to Continuous Improvement – The Toyota Way

Toyota is renowned for its two basic pillars – respect for people and continuous improvement. Apply these to your daily work schedule and you’ve got a winner. Constant learning at the workplace allows for motivated employees. When employees feel valued and appreciated they will, in turn, be more productive and loyal.

Make time for focused learning. Send members of your team to seminars and workshops, then have them present the learnings to the rest of the employees. Have an article reviewing session and discuss the latest research from your field of work.

Remember, having more informed employees in your organization will work to your benefit. The possibilities are endless.

Maintain Consistency in Quality – McDonald’s

McDonald’s is, undoubtedly, the king of consistency in quality. No matter what the location – a McDonald’s branch or franchisee will have its Golden Arches, Ronald McDonald sitting out front and a Big Mac will always taste like a Big Mac.

The takeaway? Set a standard of output required from your employees and maintain it. The worst thing is to give the client a project that has been worked on just for the sake of completion. Would you want to eat a Big Mac with limp lettuce, no dressing and uncooked meat? Nope. You’ll send it back. Not only will your clients be unhappy and demand re-dos, the team’s track record will also be ruined.

Achieving consistency in quality allows you to identify the areas of weakness, which can be easily worked upon and eliminated. It sets benchmarks and standard for productivity that must be met in order to move forward.

Develop Great Leaders – Disney

Attention to detail is the religion at Disney. Instead of keeping the customer at the center of attention, Disney focuses on building better leaders – who will churn out better employees – who, in turn, will treat the customer better.

In an interview with Fast Company, Lee Cockerell, former executive vice-president at Disney says, “When you think about it, the customer doesn’t come first—great leaders come first,” Cockerell says. “You can’t have a great company without great leadership. They create the right environment and the kind of culture where people are able to do more than they think they can.”

Face it, you can’t micromanage everyone – that’s what hierarchies are for. To make sure that every single resource is productive, you need good leaders. Call them managers if you must, but these people are the ones who will set a tone for your company and build it to greatness.


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5 Secrets to Creating a Business That Has Longevity

This weekend Daniel and I were invited to the Abbotsford Airshow as a guest of Chef Michael Dicks of Culinary Touch Catering. He was the official caterer of the 8 Chalets there and served more than 5,000 guests during the three-day event. That’s pretty astonishing.

This isn’t Michael’s first “rodeo” at the show and after many years of doing this, he and his team have everything down to a science where it all ran very systematically and smoothly.

And this is the reason why he gets asked back to cater the Airshow Chalets year after year.

His clients know his consummate professionalism, attention to detail and high-quality culinary skills will not let them down.

Do your clients feel the same way about you and your business?

Do you continually bring in referrals based on your stellar reputation? Do you get continual repeat customers because they know exactly what they’ll get if they hire or purchase from you?

I’m proud to definitely say “yes” to those questions. Since our humble beginnings in the early 2000s, we have grown to a multi-six figure income business with 10 team members.

Between 90 and 95 percent of our business comes from referrals. That means we have built a reputation for delivering what our clients want and they are happy to tell others about us.

As a business owner, focusing on creating a sustainable business that thrives due to a stellar reputation is an ideal scenario to aspire to.

With this in mind, I put together a list of five top qualities that focus on the customer service you need to infuse into your every-day business practice that will give your business the longevity you want. It has worked for us since 2000 and it can work for you too.

1. Become a Master Networker… For Your Clients

Aside from networking to find your next client, be a master networker on behalf of your clients.

If they are struggling with a certain problem, help find someone to solve it for them. The best way to be on the lookout for these opportunities is through social media. Always watch out for when you can help refer someone to your clients that you know will help them with their needs.

This will make a valuable impression on them and they won’t forget your generosity.

2. Provide Exceptional Customer Service

I can’t stress this enough. Do you know how many times I get e-mails and phone calls from business owners complaining their Web developer or marketer disappeared on them? Way more often than you can imagine.

Make your clients a priority. They are your lifeline. Always return their e-mails and phone calls promptly and always provide the absolute best you can for them. No exception.

Don’t be one of those people who disappoint their clients, sending them to your competitor.

3. Truly Care About Your Clients 

I can safely say I can call the majority of our clients friends. From our very first phone call, I’m working on developing a long-lasting relationship with them.

I want to get to know the person, not just the business I’m dealing with.

In today’s marketing arena, it’s now person-to-person and no longer B2B or B2C. It’s P2P all the way with me and should be for you too.

When you come across an article, product, book or anything else that you think would really help a client, send it to them. No strings attached.

You’re showing you truly care and want the best for them. This really helps when nurturing a prospect too.

Always be thinking on behalf of your clients and how you can best serve them, even if they’re not paying for it directly. You’ll get tremendous indirect rewards as a result.

4. Pay Attention to Details

“The devil lies in the details” is a saying I heard back when I first studied Web development. A missing quotation mark meant the whole site was broken. You had to have every keystroke of code done perfectly for it to work (and still do).

This same attitude should go for your business and especially when dealing with clients. Don’t let the mistakes slip past you. Set up a system that will double check what the client receives so they are not the ones who having to do the quality control and sending back the errors for you to fix.

Your business may not need as much care and attention but, in mine, it sure does. Not that we’re perfect, mistakes are definitely made, but if the client knows you’re on top of it and mistakes are far and few between, you will be forgiven for the odd transgression.

5. Be Consistent

Just as my example with Chef Dicks, consistency is a key to longevity in business. His Abbotsford Airshow clients know they can count on him to deliver exceptional quality every time, year after year.

You need to be focusing on this kind of consistency too. Excuses are not acceptable when you show up late for an appointment, don’t deliver on time, or didn’t provide exactly what you promised.

Figure out a system so you’re not letting anyone down in your business, especially your clients. Disappointment leads to them not having any loyalty toward you and your business.

Once you are known as someone who can be relied on, your referral and recurring rates will skyrocket.

Following these five rules of thumb in my business is what I can truly attribute to our success today. If you start making these strategies a part of your normal business habits, I know that you will see similar results too.

Do you have any other tips you can share that would help entrepreneurs and business owners build a sustainable business? Write in the comments section below.


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As the founder, Susan Friesen brings a unique advantage to eVision Media clients by having earned a Bachelor in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Computer Information Systems through the Thompson River’s University. Her experience in the Web development industry since 1999 has gained her much insight and knowledge in how to effectively brand a business and then translate that to a user-friendly, search-engine friendly, custom designed website. She is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School multi-media program and also earned several certificates in technology through the University of Victoria and Athabasca University. She won the 2003-2004 Governor General’s Bronze Academic Award for achieving the highest academic standing in a diploma-level post secondary program. http://evisionmedia.ca

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Rob Liefeld Announces (Supposed) Return of Youngblood with New … – The Outhouse

Rob Liefeld Announces (Supposed) Return of Youngblood with New …
The Outhouse
Superstar artist Rob Liefeld opened up the YouTube show Nerdy Pop today by announcing the return of Youngblood, the X-Force ripoff Liefeld created back in …

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8 Ways to Unlock the Power of POS

Infographic provided by Counterpoint POS

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CLICKBAIT: Twelve Adorable Photos of Rob Liefeld Making Silly … – The Outhouse


The Outhouse
CLICKBAIT: Twelve Adorable Photos of Rob Liefeld Making Silly …
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Superstar artist Rob Liefeld appeared on the Nerdy Pop Youtube show today to announce the return of Youngblood with the creative team of Chad Bowers and …

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Become a Thought Leader for Online Success

In a sea of millions of popular and interesting blogs, how can you possibly make a name for yourself if you’re an online marketer trying to promote your blog.

Enter thought leadership.

I absolutely love this concept. Neil Patel explained it well on Entreprenuer: it’s a mindset and a practice that will help you rise above the sea of everyone else who is in your niche.

A thought leader is one who takes the time, effort and has the skills to become an authority in their field- an individual who drives fresh ideas, innovation and change. This is no easy task.

While there is no standard tested and proven recipe for success that you can instantly personalize and apply to reach this status, there are a few tips that you could make use of to get close to your ideal thought leadership status.

10 Steps to Take to Become an Inspiring Thought Leader

To establish yourself as a blogger with thought leadership, you must feed your readers’ ever-growing appetence for first-hand content. Aside from keeping your audience well-fed, you also have to nourish your relationships with fellow bloggers, influencers, media outlets and other important players in your field; on top of that, you have to make time to conduct extensive research, educate yourself and perfect your natural leadership skills.

If you live under the impression that there isn’t enough time in a day for all these tasks, keep reading the following mini guide to discover the 10 basic steps that you should take to become a better thought leader.

1. Create and Consolidate Your Personal Brand

A healthy, prominent personal brand is the core of any successful marketing strategy that one could ever design and employ to bond with different audiences and achieve business success in any industry. In this case, leadership is a natural consequence of your ability to build and consolidate your personal brand and become visible on a larger scale. If you want to boost your popularity and make a name for yourself in no time, start by rethinking and upgrading your social media profiles, including Twitter and LinkedIn, to highlight your most important career achievements and credentials. This simple step will leave the door open to new social networking opportunities that you shouldn’t miss out on.

2. Collaborate with Other Industry Experts and Rely on Mentors

If you’re shy and have terrible people skills, now would be a good time to eliminate this drawback. It’s no secret that the real thought leaders in any industry have an amazing ability to convey their messages to large audiences and establish deeper connections with other Web influencers with ease.

Once you manage to establish a good baseline reputation, follow in their footsteps and get in touch with business owners, fellow bloggers and respectable thought leaders in your sector who share your interests, goals and vision. In case you’re already crafting and distributing excellent 10x content socially to rise above the crowd, chances are that industry experts will come knocking at your door without you lifting a finger. Be sociable and work harder to cultivate relationships through different tactics, including guest posting, to grow your audience online and keep the most inspiring influencers and mentors by your side.

3. Perfect Your Networking Skills

Great networking skills will take you a long way not only when it comes to bonding with other industry experts and scratching each other’s backs, but also when socializing with the people who are most likely to amplify and spread your marketing messages. Tackle both online and offline channels to reach your targeted audience and make your message heard and also try to build a network around your brand. Stay active on as many social media platforms as possible, and attend networking events to discover new speaking opportunities that could give you the chance to reveal your amazing skills, expertise and unique vision.

4. Craft Interesting, Awe-Inspiring, Shareable Content

Aside from being the central piece of any successful marketing strategy that you could come up with while promoting your business online and offline, content should also be seen as an excellent manner of self-expression. My blog post on how to market to millennials  reveals that in order to reach its target and actually deliver the results that you have in mind, the content that you produce on a regular basis has to be informative, tailor-made, and authentic. Button-up, run-of-the-mill old-school marketing strategies don’t work on this audience; so you will have to spend more time researching topics of interest, gathering and refining your ideas and eventually, creating original, pertinent content that your readers could truly connect with. Leave all masks and predefined patterns behind, show your audience who you really are reveal your authenticity through your quality content. Trust professionals if you’re not sure how to craft winning copy.

5. Make Sure You Get Published as Often as Possible

Once you take pride in excellent content, why not strive to distribute your high-impact ideas across various platforms, to expand your reach, boost your popularity and achieve your marketing goals? In this situation, it would be a smart move to turn to the connections that you have already established with industry experts and influencers and start publishing quality guest posts on several other industry-specific blogs. As soon as you complete this step and gain confidence in your skills to leverage your professional relationships, set and pursue bigger goals and seek publication on bigger, more authoritative and popular sources that could support your long-term ascension.

6. Think (and Act!) Outside the Box

Before working on your relationships with others, you may want to improve the relationship that you have with yourself. Take the time you need to filter your ideas and your objectives. Conduct a personal SWOT (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) analysis to know yourself better and avoid failure by setting new achievable goals and becoming aware of your own limitations.

As a Forbes article points out, this small step is the key to treating yourself as a highly competitive product in need of branding. Stay active in your sector, keep pace with new trends and don’t doubt the fact that extensive research and commitment will allow you to feel the pulse of the industry and make accurate predictions and bolder claims. Make the most of your expert insight to stay one step ahead of your competitors and establish yourself as a savvy thought leader.

7. Transcend Boundaries by Expressing Bolder Ideas

You cannot be innovative and inspiring if you’re not able and willing to move mountains and succeed where others have failed. Through a healthy, cohesive content strategy allowing you to express your uniqueness while informing, entertaining and educating your audience, you could jump over obstacles and drive innovation and change in your industry. The key is to explore the benefits of the authority that you have already managed to establish, and work even harder to express bold ideas that could make a difference in your niche.

8. Build a Community of Fans and Followers Who Actually “Get” You

One of the most interesting things about being a thought influencer is that you will get different reactions from the people who are exposed to your message. Some will sleep with your photo under their pillow, while others will do just about anything to get front row tickets to your permanent annihilation.

During this stage of your journey, you will have to acknowledge the fact that you can’t (and shouldn’t try to) please everyone. Instead, you should save some of the time and energy that you may be tempted to invest trying to convert haters into your biggest fans and redirect it toward building a solid community of individuals who get your message and are likely to support your causes and your progress.  Benefit from their unconditional love and encouragement and rely on social media to keep them informed, entertained and involved around the clock.

9. Explore a Wider Palette of Tools Allowing You to Become a More Influential Leader

As you may already imagine, technology continues to surprise us with various handy tools designed to provide the best solutions to our daily problems. These days, there’s at least one good app for just about anything, including your struggle to become an inspiring, acclaimed thought leader.

Ideally, you should use tools that are designed specifically for the online platforms that you use to reach your audience and convey your message. For instance, if you’re active on Twitter, you may want to use a Twitter analyzer such as Twitalyzer to track and measure your influence; or if you want to gain full control over your search engine visibility, you may want to rely on Brand Yourself, a fantastic tool for online reputation management, to identify (and work on) the results that people get when they Google you, your team and your business.

10. Once You Find Your Recipe for Success, Stick to It

Most importantly, keep in mind that consistency is key in any field of activity. Once you manage to establish your authority, and inform, inspire and motivate a larger segment of public, keep up the good work and always leave room for improvements.

Remember that the most powerful leaders constantly reinvent themselves. They analyze, connect, fail, correct their past mistakes, anticipate and evolve. At the end of the day, an ideal combination of in-depth research, non-stop networking, hard work and motivation could help you establish yourself as a thought leader and become the best version of yourself.


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Julia McCoy is a bestselling author of So You Think You Can Write, podcaster and an expert content marketer. She’s also the founder and CEO of Express Writers, a leading online content creation agency, with more than 60 content writers and strategists. Julia leads her team to serve hundreds of worldwide businesses with the highest-quality content for their online presence. Follow Julia’s blog.

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