(Transcript continued from the Episode 115 show notes and audio podcast)

Late Night Listener Feedback

The first piece of feedback today is another from Stephen Cross, who you remember gave us some feedback for the last show. He also mentioned to me regarding my SEO rules about alt tag information, I had mentioned that you should put keywords in your alt tag that are descriptive and helpful not only for SEO but to help with accessibility, because if ever a visually impaired comes to your website and is trying to make heads or tails out of it they’ll have accessibility gear that when they mouse over an image whatever interface they’re using will read to them in some cases the alt tag to help them understand what the image is if they’re unable to see it.

Stephen pointed out me to that if you’re coding with these screen readers in mind you really want to be careful to take that into consideration and not just tag the heck out of everything. In other words, don’t spam tag your images. It’s my practice from an SEO standpoint to actually put alt tags on every image. Stephen points out that some images are really just there for sort of a visual impact, they don’t add anything to the content, and in some cases the content around the image actually describes the image, so from an accessibility standpoint you don’t really need the tag.

If that’s important to you, I definitely recommend that you weigh that. Stephen offers a resource for that over at WebAim and there’s another resource I found over at W3C that will help you.

You can make your own decisions about how to treat your page for accessibility. Now that I understand this a little better, I think my choice will be to be a little bit more cautious about not being too spammy or taking these people that are using the alt tags into account. I still want the SEO value, but I think you can do that in a way that is helpful to everybody, and I encourage you to try to do that. I think like with most SEO things, it’s clear that you want to do is just not be spammy and that holds up here as well.

This Week in Internet Marketing

Last week in internet marketing news I talked to you about this new outbound link penalty and we talked about the fact that is really targeted at blog networks where people are paying for outbound links and that if you’re doing anything funky like that where you have a lot of outbound links you might want to consider this.

My buddy Gary Leland – we have to have this guy on the show, he’s an incredibly successful entrepreneur both online and offline – some of you may know him as one of the founders of Podcast Movement, which is the biggest and I guess only large international podcasting conference that there is. Gary wrote me and said, “I listened to your show this morning where you talked about Google and the outbound link penalty. I have this page on one of my sites that basically points to all of my other sites.” In my case I have this too, if you go to MarkMason.com you’ll find links to some of my other sites.

Gary has a lot of sites, he’s a very successful online guy, and his question is, “Is this going to be seen by Google as spammy?” I think that’s a really good question because a lot of us have (or have had over the years) these pages where we have essentially a links pages where we’re linking out to a bunch of resources. Maybe it’s resources or a place where we’ve done link exchanges in the past, or in Gary’s case a place where we’re linking to our other relevant properties.

My answer to Gary is if it’s just one page, you’re not going to see a problem with that. Maybe if that page is a page that is not particularly relevant to your readers and not helpful, you might want to “no index” it. In Gary’s case this is a relevant page, these are ways that people can find out more about Gary and the things that he’s up to, so I definitely would not “no index” that page, I would not “nofollow” the links, I would leave it exactly the way it is.

The only time that I would be interested in changing that would be if I got a manual spam notification over this page, which is something I consider in Gary’s case to be incredibly unlikely. Then of course you would want to take some action and let Google know that you fixed whatever was bothering them.

That just points out one of the reasons that it’s important to have your site hooked up in Google Webmaster Tools, now called Google Search Console. You definitely want to have your site hooked up to that so that Google can communicate with you about different things that it sees that are right and wrong with your site, and that if your rankings are suffering for some reason that you’ll know it.

Gary, to you I say, page of links probably no problem at all. I’d leave that just the way it is, no issue. Thanks for the feedback.

Setting Goals for 2017

Today for the main segment I want to talk to you about 2017. We talked about this a little bit. The last time we talked about 2017, really what we were talking about was the fact that 2016 was not yet over and there were still a lot of things that you could accomplish. I think that is especially true coming into the end of the year.

One of the things that I like about the end of the year is that a lot of people are starting to coast, and I think this includes your competition, and you may be able to gain some ground. Depending on the niche that you’re in and what it’s like in your industry, you may be able to gain some ground on the competition in the holiday season.

I want to caution you; don’t do that at the expense of your family, don’t do that at the expense of recharging your batteries, and don’t do it at the expense of planning properly for 2017. But, there is still some time left in this year. It’s still just the middle of November and you still have a good four or five weeks that you can knock out some things and get some important things accomplished.

However, it’s equally important, or maybe even more important now at this point, to start to turning your attention to building a plan for 2017. Every year that I do this I work with a product that Michael Hyatt always releases this time of year called Best Year Ever.

This is a really powerful way to plan your year and follow through and get some things done. He always releases some kind of amazing resources as part of the launch process for this product. I’m not here today to sell you the product, but I do want to tell you about this ebook that he released that you can get access to over at LateNightIM.com/byebook.

What Michael did was he went out and talked to some really famous people and asked them a simple question of what are their strategies for accomplishing more next year than they did this year, having their best year ever. This is kind of a who’s who of successful people in some sense; Tony Robbins, Dave Ramsey, it’s just an amazing list, and he came up with the eight things that these people do.

I don’t want to spoil this for you, so I’ll let you look at the ebook. But, there were a couple of them that I thought we should discuss on the show that I think were important to understanding my philosophy about what you should do.

The first one that I thought was particularly important was something that we discussed in the last episode, to take the time to express some gratitude about all of the things that you’ve been able to accomplish this year, all of the things that you’ve been able to do in your business or that you will be able to do in the future, and take time to be thankful for that. I liked that one especially because this episode is releasing on Thanksgiving Day in the United States.

This is something that I see in corporate America as well. Sometimes we’re so busy worrying about the broken stuff and the stuff we have to do yet and all of the stuff we haven’t done that we planned to do and we’re so far behind, at least we feel like we’re so far behind because we’re comparing ourselves to other people or to the unrealistic schedule that we set or whatever, that we just don’t take the time to celebrate the success that we’ve had.

I think this is a perfect day, Thanksgiving Day, for you to be doing that. It’s one of the things that is called by Erik Fisher, a friend of mine, and Ray Edwards says the same thing in this ebook, another friend of mine. These two guys are both saying they take the time to experience this gratitude, to be grateful for all of the things that are happening around them, for the things and people in their life, and (if this floats your boat) the gifts that God has given. However your belief system works wherever those things are coming from, to be grateful for that. In my case it’s for the gifts that God has given me.

I think people need to take time to do that and we just get so busy and it’s so hard and we’re so worried, upset or happy about Donald Trump, or upset or happy about Hillary Clinton and whether she should go to jail or be pardoned, and we have all this stuff going on. I really think today especially, Thanksgiving Day, or the time leading up to the first of the year is a super fantastic time to take that time to be thankful.

Ray extends this idea as he starts to plan for next year. This is really what I want you to start imagining. What do you want to be thankful for next year? I love that. Ray expresses this in the ebook. You’re thankful for some stuff this year and that’s great, but what do you want to be saying next year when you’re in this very same position?

I think that’s a really powerful idea, because it’s really easy to imagine the two of us (me and you) having this conversation a year from now. I get on the mic and I say, “It’s Thanksgiving again, and again I’m telling you to be thankful because I think that’s really important,” and you’re sitting there with me in your ear thinking, “Yeah, I remember this last year and all year long I’ve been imagining this day.” And that has propelled you along all year long, that thing that you were going to be thankful for at the end of November 2017. That’s a super powerful idea.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve taken some classes in this area. We know from kind of a New Age neuroscience perspective – I’m going to put it that way because I don’t want to give it more scientific credit than it deserves – that for some reason when you start imagining the outcome that you want that your brain will start to find those solutions and help you get there. Even when you don’t know how to do the thing it is that you’re imagining and that you want to do, your brain will help you, particularly the subconscious part of your brain.

We’ve talked about before that in some sense this is where great ideas come from when you’re brushing your teeth, they leap out of somewhere, let’s say your subconscious mind, or when you’re in the shower you get these amazing ideas. Those come from whatever your brain is working on in the background. The way you can tell it what to work on is by envisioning these amazing things that you want to happen in the next year.

Now, there’s a lot of stuff we need to do to make that happen. Envisioning it is not enough, but that is the first step. I want to challenge you to really take the time to envision the outcome that you want to be talking about when you hear me again in 365 days giving you this exact same idea and asking you, “Do you remember a year ago in 2016 when we were talking about this?” I want you to be able to say, “Yes, and all year I’ve been envisioning this thing and it’s here.”

That’s really what you want. That will form the basis of something else that people talk about, which we will get into in some subsequent episodes, regarding setting compelling goals and then breaking those goals down into achievable chunks.

That’s really what we’re going to do, we’re going to envision an outcome, we’re going to break that outcome down into chunks, and then we’re going to execute those chunks. That’s how we take something that seems a little bit overwhelming and get to it day by day, but the first step is to imagine. You’re kind of engineering the future, and I’ve heard this referred to as “imagineering,” figuring out what it is that you want things to look like.

I encourage you to do that, so your homework is to take that idea and spend some real time, not with TV on, not with a podcast on, I give you permission to pause my podcast, and really spend some time – 15 minutes, 20 minutes, an hour – just imagining what it would look like.

Don’t constrain yourself with “that’s not possible” or “that’s too hard” or “I don’t know how to do that.” Don’t put those constraints on yourself.

Go ahead and think about what it is that you would like 2017 to look like at the end and write some of those things down. I like to use Evernote, but you might write them down somewhere else. Just make sure that you’re going to be able to find them and refer back to them, because you’re going to need that kind of vision in order to build a plan for 2017.

My recommendation, a good way to get in the right frame of mind, is to go get this ebook over at LateNightIM.com/byebook. Of course it will ask you for your email address and you’ll get subsequent stuff that he is going to send you, all of which is really valuable or I wouldn’t send you there. I highly recommend that you go through Michael’s stuff, the stuff prior to the launches is really good, outstanding content.

Internet Marketing Fortune Cookie

For the last segment today I wanted to get in an Internet Marketing Fortune Cookie. I always think these are appropriate in these times where we’re trying to work on our mindset. My experience has been a lot of the struggle with entrepreneurship and marketing, internet marketing, online business, however it is that you describe what you’re trying to do, has to do with the mindsets that we have. As you know, as I’ve proven time and time again, you can learn everything you need to know about how to be successful in business, online business, internet marketing through the power of fortune cookies.

Today I bring you a fortune cookie that came with my Kung Pao chicken. Here in Dallas we have this kind of amazing thing, we have this area of town just north of Dallas and Richardson with a very high concentration of oriental restaurants and people, oriental banks, oriental grocery stores, the whole nine yards. It’s a super cool place to go eat. This is from a little hole in the wall place that I like over there that has awesome Kung Pao chicken, very spicy.

The fortune cookie says:

“The limit to your abilities is where you place it.”

This is an idea that when we’re trying to decide what it is that we’re going to accomplish or whether or not we can do something a lot of times we run into these things that are often referred to as limiting beliefs. These limiting beliefs are things that we believe to be true, sometimes we don’t even realize it, that keep us from accomplishing some of the things that we might otherwise accomplish.

For example, in the previous exercise that I asked you to do where I want you to envision what it is that you’re going to accomplish in 2017, one of the things that you may run into is that little voice in your head may say, “I’m not even going to write that down, that’s too incredible. There’s no way I could do that.” We’ve talked about imposter syndrome before on the show, “There’s no way I have something to say that somebody else would want to hear.”

These limiting beliefs are holding you back.

I’ve seen people that don’t feel like they should be making money because they have limiting beliefs around money. That’s actually a really common problem for entrepreneurs is they have trouble valuing their work because they feel funny or dirty about making money.

There are all kinds of limiting beliefs out there. That’s why the fortune cookie says, “The limit to your abilities is where you place it,” because you’re in control of those limiting beliefs. I want you to set those limiting beliefs aside for this exercise and make sure that you don’t let them creep in when you’re envisioning your outcome for 2017.

I also want you to keep this fortune cookie in mind as you go throughout the year. When you hear yourself saying, “I can’t do that,” or, “I can’t afford that,” or, “I’m not good enough to do that,” or, “No one will want that,” I want you to make sure that’s not a limiting belief that is creeping in and upsetting your vision of where it is that you can go next.

Wrapping Things Up…

That concludes our very special Thanksgiving Day episode. I am very thankful for you being a listener of this show. I mean that.

We have a lot more listeners here lately. That might have something to do with the fact that we’re consistently releasing shows. I told Cliff Ravenscraft the other day, The Podcast Answer Man, there’s this amazing phenomenon, when you release shows your number of downloads goes up, it’s really crazy. He laughed, like he always does. He’s very polite, he laughs at my bad jokes. I know you guys are laughing, too, and I appreciate that so thank you very much.

I am very thankful for you. I have a lot of things to be thankful for. It is really gratifying to me when I hear back from people who are listening to the show and it helps them. That’s a big deal for me. In fact, I would say that’s probably the biggest deal for me when it comes to Late Night Internet Marketing is that feedback. If you have feedback for me, I’d love to hear from you at LateNightIM.com/115. That will be the show notes for this episode and you can leave a comment right there at the bottom, I would love to hear from you.

As always, if you need anything from me just shoot me an email to [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you with what’s going on and how I can help.

Until next time, arrivederci.

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