Category Archives: Blogging

The new SEO — Reader Favorite Optimization

What are your favorite websites?

Chances are, they are all:

  • Lightning fast.
  • Written with a distinct voice.
  • Loaded with original (not stock) images.
  • Ad-free (or at least TASTEFULLY presented ads).
  • Silent, unless you ask for sounds.
  • Full of useful, original, rich content that’s on-point.
  • Something you’re compelled to recommend to friends and family.

If a website fails to meet ANY of these (necessary) conditions, how could it be one of your favorites?

And if it’s not one of your favorites, why would Google ever want to serve it to you at the top of a search query?

This, my friends, is the new Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Might as well name it “Reader Favorite Optimization.”

Or, RFO, for short.

How’s YOUR site optimized?

You’re not alone

My favorite parts about writing a daily blog:

  • I’m more likely to listen to my own best advice. For example, laugh instead of…
  • My friends and family (all readers are either) hold themselves to a higher standard, especially when they’re around me.
  • I accomplish something every day, even on days that I feel like I get nothing done.
  • I get to create that something that’s permanent. Contrast that with a tweet or Facebook post, both of which are temporary and basically unsearchable.
  • I turn what may ordinarily require psychotherapy into self-help for myself and others. See the positive spin cycle…
  • It makes me feel like I’m going to live forever.

Interested in these benefits, too?

You’re not alone.

Positive spin cycle

Right now in my dirty clothes pile:

  • Door stickers saying “Sorry, no dogs” and the parallels to the civil rights movement.
  • People in positions of relative power when you’re situationally powerless.
  • Websites that force you to watch video ads thereby valuing your time at CPM divided by 1,000.
  • This year’s unrelenting winter.
  • Bleach.
  • Bravo, the television network.

Once I get these things clean, I’ll wear ’em out in public.

Nobody likes a guy who wears dirty clothes.

Personnel Growth Strategy

As companies grow, they become more impersonal.

  • Emails are no longer from Cassie in accounting. Now they’re from
  • Focus is no longer on an individual’s strengths. Now, it’s on an individual’s tasks.
  • Many decisions aren’t made by you anymore. Now they’re made by a handbook or the board of directors.

The remedy for dealing with your company’s growth and it now being very impersonal?

Don’t take it personally.

And, keep doing your best at recognizing individuals. Because that’s what got you there in the first place.

[Good running into you, Brad Malis.]

Noise and Seth’s Blog

I love Seth Godin’s blog. If you don’t subscribe to it, you should. You’ll learn about business, life and other good things. Kinda like this blog (cough).

If you subscribe to Seth’s blog long enough, you’ll see the one mistake Seth makes every week. Every morning, you’ll get an email with the day’s blog post. And after a while, no matter how much you appreciate the content, you’ll begin to ignore the email. It happened to me, and it will happen to you. Its consistent delivery, every morning at 5AM becomes noise.

That noise:

  • Yields diminishing returns.
  • Dilutes the purpose.
  • Exhausts all parties involved.

Seth could benefit from a break. His readers could, too. One day per week would be enough.

Look in the mirror. Even if you aren’t writing a daily blog, you are doing a daily something. Facebook looking / posting. Clean eating. Working.

So how do you avoid producing, becoming, and delivering noise?

Keep doing what you’re doing. Write a thought-provoking blog. Eat clean. Do good work.

Just take a break.

Staring efficiency in the face

I like to write. It’s like painting my thoughts on a college-ruled canvas.

My writing has gotten me:

  • Scholarships.
  • Jobs.
  • College admission.
  • Internships.
  • Relationships.
  • Respect.
  • Trust
  • Joy.

I like writing the natural way: By hand.

Brain to left hand to pen to paper.

But, one day, I heard Robert Smigel, of all people, talk in a podcast about how he switched from handwriting to typing. He said:

Writing with a pen is romantic.  But, then, in the early 90’s, I made the switch to computer. It’s so much better, faster, more efficient.

So I gave it a try. I gave up my pen and notebook and just typed.

Similar to what happened to SNL in the late 90’s, the product started to suck.

Plus, writing wasn’t enjoyable anymore. One-handed art became two-handed torture.

So I’m back to writing by hand. Brain to left hand to pen to paper.

No, I can’t write as much. And I can’t write as efficiently.

But I’m writing as I’m meant to.

Writing as a lefty.

By definition

People learn to ignore.

  • Husbands to nagging.
  • Children to preaching.
  • Internet surfers to email subscription requests.

If your mother, an old book or a blog post told you so, it might have worked in the past. And it might work for a bit. But eventually, people learn to ignore.

And if you ignore that, you’re, by definition, insane.


Rap Genius and fear of getting caught

I used to fear the police. When I was underage, I had reason to. I didn’t follow the rules (drinking, curfew, etc.)

I can’t imagine, anymore, living in fear of getting caught. Knowingly doing the wrong thing, fearing getting caught, is no way to live.

The Rap Genius guys don’t have to fear getting caught anymore. They just got caught by Google. Now they’re screwed.

I can’t wait for the spammy clowns manipulating Vitamix Promotion Code search results to get caught. (Echem, Matt Cutts, did you get my linkspam report?)

If you’re living in fear of getting caught, you have two choices:

  1. Stop breaking the rules
  2. Be stopped breaking the rules

Both eliminate the fear of getting caught. Choice one gets it done a lot faster.


I asked you to introduce yourself to me and the rest of my readers. Even if you’re one of my good friends, I’d love if you left a note. (All I want for X-mas…)

Also yesterday, I said I was taking a break. But I’m struggling. I can’t step away.

So who benefits when you don’t take a break?

  • Not you. Perhaps there’s immediate, short-term satisfaction in never taking a break. But, long-term results will suffer. Brett Favre, for example.
  • Not your customers, clients, fans. Yes, they all want you all the time. But they also want you at your best. Motivated, energized, inspired.

Moral of the story? Take a break.

The 2014 Blog Plan and Who Are You?

First of all, my web designer and blogger friend, Heather Sanders, inspired this post. Props her inspiring 2014 blog plan post and, more notably, the beautifully designed new

The 2014 Uncle Leo’s Blog plan

In bullets, of course:

  • Daily posts. Had been doing this for a while, but it continues. Monday through Friday, 8am CST. A little something to illicit anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness or surprise.
  • Just words, still. I’ve dabbled in adding images to posts. It’s also tempting to showcase some of my own. Yet, I continue to believe images dilute my words. So, these posts will still be all words. But I will also try…
  • Sunday photo posts. Cause I have several that are share-worthy on space larger than provided by Instagram.
  • Lighten up on loved ones. I rip on buddies for still doing traveling consulting. I criticize the marketing strategy of my mother’s franchise. I deliver commentary on being uncluttered despite my gf having a penchant for stuff. So I will light up on them. Actually, I take that back. I’m going to rip on loved ones harder and more publicly than ever before. Much more interesting.
  • Time off. I think there’s something cool about a daily blog. But I also believe in the power of rest. Blogging, like eating right or creating the world, requires taking breaks. No breaks is for marathon runners — emaciated and tired. Breaks are for sprinters — strong and energized. My first break from this blog starts tomorrow and goes through the New Year. During that time, I’ll focus on playing tennis, getting tan and responding to your comments.
  • Get to know my readers. That’s always been the best part of writing, for me. On this blog, I know many of you from growing up. Some readers are from the blogosphere. Either way, I’d like to engage you all more in discussion. It’s more fun (and beneficial) than just speaking in front of the lecture hall.

So with that, who are you?

I can see stats of how many people visit. And can make a decent guess who reads my stuff. But how about we make it official?

  1. What’s your story?
  2. What’s our story?
  3. What do you want to see more of?

Perhaps you discover another blogger you’re interested in. Or maybe they find you. Even better, you’re not a blogger but can feel like one for five minutes.

CTA: Leave me a short (or long!) note in the comments below.

Happy Holidays and good things,