Really, What are Keywords? Are They All The Same?

What are Keywords Anyway?

 

Like this video? Want to learn SEO basics for free?
Click here to access my video course.

 

 

Video Transcription for “What are Keywords anyway?”

Now, we’re going to talk about keywords and we’re going to start with the question is, ‘what are keywords’?

What are keywords?

What are Keywords?
What are Keywords?

Keywords are just basically the phrase that you type into a search bar; if it’s Google or if it’s Amazon, whatever site you go to, YouTube, the words that you type in that search bar to find content that you want to have, that is the keyword or keyword phrase. So, we’ll shorten it to ‘keywords’ but it also means ‘keyword phrase’, it could mean ‘forwards’, I mean we’ll still call that a keyword in the digital marketing world. It doesn’t matter what website you go to, so if you go to YouTube and you search up for funny cat videos, that is your keyword phrase or your keyword; if you go to Amazon and you search up Nike shoes, that is your keyword phrase. It doesn’t matter the website, if there is a search bar, whatever words you type in there to find information, those are your keywords. It’s giving an indicator of what it is that you are looking for, the user intent behind it.

So, are all keywords exactly the same? No, not really. There are different types of keywords and the first type of keyword we’re going to talk about is called ‘the fathead’ and you’ll also see this online is ‘fat head’ or ‘short tail’, I often call them short tail but fat head is another way to use it and it’s probably the better way to describe it.

What are keywords and what is a fat head keyword?

Fat Head Keyword Examples
Fat Head Keyword Examples

Well, a fat head keyword is a category keyword, the broad category keyword. In this example, we have Animation and Animation movies. Now, depending on who you talk to, the second one that’s animation movies, it’s debatable on whether or not the category is animation or animation movies and some people might say that this is actually a fathead keyword. But I just kind of want to tell you that fathead keywords, depending on the company you work for or what the language you want to use, it’s basically the broad category, right, there is only the big category is ‘animation movies’. For this example, we’re going to use, I would argue that this is actually probably the fathead.

That leads us to the next level, which is the Chunky Middle.

Deep dive into “What are keywords”. Specifically, what are chunky middle keywords? What are the differences between a chunky middle and a fat head keyword?

Chunky Middle Keyword Examples
Chunky Middle Keyword Examples

Chunky middle keywords, they start to add descriptors to it. So, if you hear someone or read someone say ‘chunky middle’ or ‘medium length’, ‘medium tail’, they’re talking about keywords that have descriptors to it, they start to alter the user’s intent and what it is they’re actually looking for. So, for example, we have Animation movies were one of our fatheads or short tail keywords and we modify it into a chunky middle by putting in 2016. So, 2016 Animation movies, now we’re starting to filter down what is it that we’re actually looking for.

When we’re looking for 2016 movies, 2017 and 2015 we don’t want, we only want 2016. The other one that we have below is Animation. We’re modifying this one into a chunky middle by saying ‘the best animation software’, we’re really modifying this one and adding descriptors because now, we’re not just looking for animation, we’re not looking for animation movies, we’re not looking for animated drawings, we are looking for software and not only that, you can argue that that might be a fathead but we’re not looking just for any software, we’re looking for the best software; not the newest, not the worst, not the cheapest but the best. So, the chunky middle adds descriptors to our original keyword.

The next one is the Long Tail Keyword.

Diving further into “What are keywords?” What are long tail keywords?

Long Tail Keyword Examples
Long-tail Keyword Examples

Long tail keywords add even more descriptors to it. So, in green on this first one, our fat head, we have Animation movies, our category, and then we modified it by putting 2016, so 2016 Animation Movies and we modify that even more by saying ‘2016 Animation Movies that made $50million at the box office’.

Now, that is a very particular phrase, we can even say 2016 Animation movies that are made in April or released in April. You can see that we’re adding more and more descriptors to what it is that we’re actually looking for. Bottom one – Best Animation Software – is our chunky middle keyword and we’re making that into a long tail keyword by ‘best animation software that run on Mac’.

Now, the search volume behind these, which we’re going to show you, is that these long tail keywords get less people searching for them but that’s OK because it allows us, as a small company, to be able to go after these keywords that maybe a large corporation might not spend the time to do.

The power of long tail keywords

Now a deep deep deep dive into “What are Keywords?”. Focusing on what keywords should you optimize for?

The Lower of long tail keywords
Importance of Long-Tail Keywords

To show kind of example of the power of long tail keywords, I created a Sheet and what I did is I went ahead and I went into this tool that we’re going to talk about later called Keyword Sheeter and I typed in the word ‘animation’ and I popped out all these keywords.

You’ll see I have search volume behind them, so I have the keyword and then the search volume. And so, I created this spreadsheet of keywords and I put in the keyword and then the length of the keyword, so that’s how many words are in it, so this is one, one two, one two three, so you can see that those correspond and then I have the volume for each of these keywords. And I went ahead and I just did it-for- and this is going to be a perfect representation, but I did it for 60 keywords and then I generated some graphs. So, you can kind of start to see some interesting things that are happening.

For the word, the category had the fathead – Animation – you’ll see that there’s a really high volume. We only have one word in here that has the length of one, which is Animation and there’s almost a million people that are searching for it, right? But then, you look and you’ll see all of these other ones, look at these twos, there’s a ‘two’ right here that’s 40,000, there are some ‘twos’ below, let’s see, almost half a million, throw down another 10,000.

So, there’s some twos in here and you’ll notice that, all of a sudden, that these twos they have less volume, even this really high two down below, Animation Movies, which we used in our examples as a fathead, even that one has a really high volume of half a million but that half a million is half of those keyboard with the length of one. And so, any time you do a keyword research and there’s only one keyword, like the length of one, a really really big fathead, that volume is going to be huge. And 99.9999% of the time, once you add a second word to it, it’s going to be cut drastically nearly in half. But you’ll see that through here, we have the length and we have the volume and just by me going through 60 different keywords and adding up the totals, you’ll see, all of a sudden, all of these twos, these keyword lengths twos, their volume – all of these 40s, 100s, 500,000, whatever it is – all of these volumes add up to be more than this keyword with the length of one, this fathead.

These chunky middles, there’s more volume, more people are searching for these each month and that’s what I mean by volume – is the number of people searching for it -there’s more searches on these ones. And you’ll see the threes and the fours and the fives, they’re really not showing up on the graph but the problem is that I only spent 15 minutes to do this and if I went in here, I can modify basically all of these chunky middles to put out hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of long tail keywords.

Just to show you, so I’m going to come in here and I’m going to modify this to Animation software and look at all of these long tail keywords that I’m starting to collect. Some of them are medium, you know, they’re chunky middle but man, if I just let this run, I’m going to have tons of Long Tail keywords.

If I went through and I had all the time in the world to go through all of these and to add all of these 10s up and these 50s up and these 30s up, over and over and over again, what we’d actually find is we’d find that this three, this four and this five, their search volume is going to be a lot higher than the ones and even the twos, there’s just so many of those keywords. And this is also, just kind of a quick proof. So, again, I typed in the length and I created a different graph, so this is the number of keywords that have one. So, there’s only one keyword on this list out of the 50 that has the length of one and all of a sudden, it shoots up to 19 where I have two and then 19 where I have three, and if I kept going, this is going to be even higher and then we already have 14 at four.

Another graph to kind of show this, which is a better one, so I’m going to show you this from Moz.com, they’re are absolutely an amazing company, make great search engine optimization tools, have a wonderful conference for digital marketing called ‘Moz.com’ that I’ve been to. And you’ll see on this article, there’s kind of an example. Again, they have the fathead, the chunky middle, it’s kind of a slope, right, these are the number of monthly searches. Now, this kind of shows weird because here we have the number of keywords, look at, there’s 70% percent of all searches that happen are long tail keyword. And if I take this right here, this whole infinite chunk, and I kind of tilted it to the number of keywords that are searching for it, again, you can already start to see it right here, there’s more volume behind all of these; if I collected all of the chunky middles and I added all of their volume together, it’s going to be way more than the monthly searches for this fathead, if that makes sense.

So, all of these 40s, all of these 90’s, all of these everything’s that I add together, it’s going to pop up. So, I imagine if I did this for infinity, it would be like one down here, probably two up here and then three and then four is going to be way off the screen and it’d take tons and tons of data entry time for me to do that but it would show up that way. And same with the keyword length, like this three is going to be way up higher if I kept going and this four is going to be way up higher if I kept going. But just because of the amount of time, you can’t see it but I just wanted to show you this drastic jump between these two and really, the drastic jump between these two as well – the length – like it’s already starting to after 60 for the length of two, the volume to reach it.

Which is amazing news for us because that means there is so much content that can be written and there’s so many different niches in our content that we can find and we just have to find them. And really what’s great too is once we do keyword research and we start to come up with keywords that we want to optimize for based upon our content mission statement, that now all of a sudden, when we add all those volumes up and we create a really good page that cross-pollinates and has maybe three or four or five different keyword phrases involved into it and it satisfies people’s needs, all of a sudden, this one page that we have that is a long tail keyword or a chunky middle, man, we can optimize and get lots of traffic that way.

So, that’s the tail, that is all about short tail keywords or fathead keywords, chunky middle keywords and long tail keywords.

Now with that being said, when you’re doing a keyword research, really try to focus on those chunky middles – those two to three keyword phrases – and push yourself beyond that to even the fours. Don’t be afraid in the fives, don’t be afraid of this volume where it says that there’s only 170 or 110 or this 20 right here, that’s OK.

And again, I want to show you why some people might just stop off, I know this a long video, why some people might say, let’s go back here, that the Animation Movies are a fathead. So, here, you’re going to see Animation movies, this is almost a million views, right, people looking for it and then all of a sudden, if I bump up and I find Animation Movies 2018, there’s none because we’re not in 2018 yet or we just barely are. But here we go, 2017; so, it went from a half a million from the category head, add another word to it and there’s a third or a fourth of the volume. That’s why some might argue that this is a category head. But that just depends on the language that your organization uses.

That’s keywords and keyword volume and the importance of long tail keywords and chunky middle keywords. Now, go out there and start doing some keyword research in the next videos.

Get a Crap Ton of Free Keywords with Keywords Shitter

Using Keywords Shitter

Video Transcript for Keywords Shitter Tutorial

Ladies and gentlemen, now I’m going to show you one of my favorite keyword research tools that you can use for free Keywords Shitter. There are tons of other tools out there that we’ll be going over later but this is one of the best ones for free that I can think of. And if you have other ones and suggestions, let me know.

Using Keywords Shitter & Keywords Everywhere

Get the Most Out of Keywords Shitter with Keywords Everywhere!

So, you’re going to want to log in to your Google Chrome, the one where you have Keywords Everywhere enabled. If you don’t have Keywords Everywhere enabled like you can see on my top screen, you need to go back to one of the other videos that helps you enable this, because without Keywords Everywhere enabled, this site is, although powerful, it’s not as powerful as it could be.

So, in here, you’re going to see a couple boxes, you’re going to have a positive filter and a negative filter, we’ll talk about that in a second. But in here, this is where you’re going to put a keyword suggestion, so this is kind of your category, a short tail keyword, one to two words. And in this case, I’m going to just keep it vague and I’m going to say Animation.

As I type that out, you’ll notice below that Animation pops up with the search volume, cost per click and then this is also the competitiveness and so, that’s why it’s highlighted in green. And it’s starred because I’ve actually starred this before. So, now what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna go ahead and click ‘Start job’. And so, ‘start job’ or if you’ve done this for the first time and you click on the website, it might say ‘shit keywords’ – and that’s literally what it does – pardon my French – but it goes in and it just starts to pump out all sorts of different keyword combinations that you might be looking up on Google, suggested keywords.

Stop Keywords Shitter

Then go ahead and stop it. You can let this thing run as long as you want but I’m going to stop it right now; it’s going to have all of these keywords, I mean in a matter of seconds, it generates over six hundred 600 keyword combinations. So, this time is the time where you can go through and you can start starring different keywords that you might want to try to create an article for or optimize for.

When using Keywords Shitter, you’re looking for high volume, low cost per click and low competitiveness.

Now, again, at this moment, you don’t need to necessarily filter so much down based upon the volume, I mean really you should be kind of not frugal with the ones that you’re starring. But you should be, as you are reading these keywords and thinking about them, ‘can I write content that is in line with my content mission statement?’ and if you haven’t started that content mission statement which was in another video, I really suggest that you do so because you’re trying to come up with content that’s great for user and the benefit is that it also is related to these keywords. So, everything, again, should be content-driven.

Be aware of vague topics

If, for example, I’m trying to do tips and tricks on animation movies, this one might be pretty vague. I feel like that this is probably a keyword that people are looking for to watch animated movies, not necessarily make animation movies but this animation throwdown, perhaps it has to do something with people, it’s a throw down that people do to create animation and that’s kind of for younger animators or junior level animators that I want to optimize for. I’m not too sure.

But at this point, I’m trying to come up with tips and tricks for animation, so I’m going to go in here and say, OK well, maybe this animation creator might be one, animation free software – so, maybe tips of animation free software that I want to do – again, this programming, animation programs, this is probably not a good one, the bid is kind of high, great volume but I’m also thinking that I’m probably going to be competing against animation programs out there and I don’t necessarily want to do that.

I don’t really care about Animation Studios, perhaps Animation Jobs, maybe even Animation Mentor – that’s a school – and I know that they provide tips and tricks, so maybe I want to write a review about them or research them a bit more. Animation Online, maybe I want to do something with online animation.

Use your Content Mission Statement

You can kind of see that I’m going through here and I’m choosing animation topics that have to do with my content mission statement.

So, for example, Animation Games, like that’s too vague maybe perhaps at this point and also, again, high competition, right, but you’re going through here and you’re saying what kind of keywords can I use to make content for and just go ahead and star all these, star the ones that you like. Now, once you’ve kind of found a couple of them, you can even go back in here and let’s say I really like animation software, I can go back in, delete this and type in ‘Animation software’, then I can start the job again and I can see what this program shits out now. And I go ahead and stop it after a while, I’ll probably want to keep it running for a longer period of time.

The more research you do, the better, you can’t overdo it at this point.

And I just go in here and I do the same process. So, Animation Software Free, Animation Software for Mac, Animation Software Online, Animation Software for Beginners, Animation Software for Chromebook, like these could all be good things, like Animation Software for Beginners Free, that’s a really good one, especially if I’m doing tips and tricks. So, you can see my thoughts behind it. So, go ahead and just continually go through that.

Now, the positive filter and the negative filter. A negative filter is, let’s say that you want to filter out the word ‘free’ and now, you’ll notice that my ‘free’, anything that had ‘free’ behind it removed. So, if you look at below the screen, it’s kind of hard to see, but I have this Animation Software Free, so I can type in ‘free’ and then all of a sudden, that goes away. So, that’s if there’s any negative keywords, so if you’re not wanting to go after the words ‘cheap’ or any sort of keyword that is kind of against your industry, this will help you filter out. Also, positive keywords, so let’s type in Mac, so there we go. It’s acts like the negative filters as well; it filters out everything else except for Mac, so it has to have the keyword Mac in it.

Keywords Shitter a Free SEO Tool

Keywords Everywhere Recap

I hope that you find this tool helpful. If you have any comments or questions, please let me know.

Again, go ahead and just star as many as you can at this moment. Don’t be frugal.

Object Oriented Programming Explained Simply

Having a hard time understanding the concepts behind Object Oriented Programming? You are not the only one. Reading documentation feels like you are learning a foreign language. Programmers love using big words to confuse people. Then we use even bigger words to explain the big words; because screw it, you can’t tell geeks what to do aaaaaannnnd job security. A whole bunch of nerds coming up with nerdier definitions. Might as well just learn Klingon… ugh nerds. We are the worst.

Researching Object-Oriented Programming you probably have come across dry definitions for the words objects, properties, and methods/functions. I am guessing you are still confused and that is why you are here. My goal is to explain these concepts, visually, in a simple method. So simple, I even included a video, you are welcome.

Some nerds are going to complain, bla bla bla other ways. The point of this article isn’t to be language specific, OR even remotely complicated. I am limiting the coding examples, using simplified language, and simplified syntax. The point is to define objects, properties, and methods in a visual way. Simple language, simple definitions, and simpler examples.

Now let’s start.

In Object Oriented Programming, objects are like cars.

Yup, cars. Look at the image below. The image to the left and right are both cars yes? Can we agree on that fact? Yes? YAY.

How do we know they are both cars? Well for one, they both have four wheels. They have windows. They have doors. They both look like they drive. They both look like cars and do tasks that a car would do. They are both cars. What is their object? A car. They might look different, but they are still both cars.

Again, objects are like cars.

Think of an object in programming like an object in “real life”. Something you can touch, like a car.

Look at the cars. Get out a piece of paper or open a document. Jot down the differences between the two cars? What makes each car unique. Is it the brand, the color, the type, the make?

Which properties did you use to describe the cars? (keyword properties).

Properties describe the car.

What are the properties of the car on the left? Is it blueish? Is it a Fiat? Yup, those are properties of the car. You can see I listed a few of the properties in a boiled down javascript syntax.

Now time to break down the example:

car.make = "Fiat";

Another way to look at it is: Object.property = “descriptor”;

Or in English, The car make is a Fiat.

What are the properties of the car on the right? It is white. It is a sports car. Yup, those are a few of its properties.

Describing this object in javascript.

car.color = "white";

In plain English, the car color is white.

One more exercise, to seal the deal on properties. Look at the javascript code below. Open a new browser tab, and search for an image of this car. What would you type in Google?

var car = {
 make: "Ford",
 model: "Explorer",
 year: 2010,
 color: "red",
}

Would you Google: “2010 red Ford explorer”? Perhaps you find images like this?

Try to search for an image of this car.

var car = {
 type: "sports",
 year: 2016,
 color: "yellow",
}

What would you type in Google? Yellow sports? Probably not, you would get some strange results like this:

You would put in “2016 yellow sports car”.

The first example’s properties provide a more refined result. You need to remember this when describing your objects. I only describe the car as well as I specified its properties.

Now that we have described the cars. What do both of these cars do? Stepping into a car you probably first start it.  Starting is one thing the car does, at least we hope it starts. Pause and think about “what do cars do?”

A car starts. It can turn right, turn left, go backward, forward, etc… these are tasks a car does.

Methods are what the car does.

For example, written in javascript:

car.drive();
car.brake();
car.stop();

Breaking this down.

Object.method();
WhatItIs.WhatItDoes();

Think of methods as commands. You are commanding the object to do something. CAR I COMMAND YOU TO DRIVE!

car.drive();

In English, DRIVE THE CAR!

If you know javascript, you will see that the .drive(); looks a lot like the syntax you use to fire a function. For example:

// Defining the function
function helloWorld() {
 console.log(“hello world”);
}

// Firing the function
helloWorld();

Look at line 7. Notice the syntax. helloWorld(); looks a lot like car.drive(); doesn’t it? The only item missing is the car. You can think of “methods” as functions for that object. Or what that object does. What do I mean by that?

food.drive(); doesn’t make sense. What food does is different than a car.

That is it:
Objects are cars.
Properties describe the cars.
Methods are what the cars do.

I hope you found this article about object-oriented programing helpful, now keep coding.

What is Growth Hacking?

So you want to be a growth hacker huh? Or are at least interested in finding out more about growth hacking. You might have heard of all the crazy internet buzzwords and keywords that describe growth hacking.

I am going to be frank. There is a lot of crap out there about “growth hacking”. Most of it is shady used care salesie. The amount of bad information about the topic is really annoying. Because of the amount of straight up lies and false information, I’ve written this detailed article about what is and isn’t growth hacking.

In this article, you will learn where the original definition of the term. What growth hacking means and more importantly what it doesn’t. Think of this text as a growth hacker growth hacking 101 class manual. Again, this growth hacking article is really long, so I broke it up into sections. Below is a table of contents to help you jump around this growth hacking 101 post.

Growth Hacking 101 Overview / Table of Contents

The Essence of Growth Hacking is G.T.L

What is G.T.L? An acronym I created standing for “guess,” “test,” “learn.”  In business, growth hackers are part scientist, part marketer, part designer; they are alchemists. They use “pseudo-science” to conduct mad experiments, which focus on growth.

Veteran growth hackers are disciplined creating a repeatable process that they use over and over and over again. Using their version of guess, test, learn.

G. Guess

First, you create a hypothesis. A giant guess. For example, “I guess if I remove the navigation on my landing page I will get more conversions.”

T. Test

After guessing, growth hackers implement their experiment through various techniques, customer reviews, A/B testing, etc.. Focusing on measurable data so they can chart results.

L. Learn

The stage in the growth hacking process is where individuals learn from their data. Reflecting on was the experiment. Asking questions like “Was this a success? What can we do better? What is another experiment I can do?” Questions, questions, questions.

What is a Growth Hacker?

Who are growth hackers? What is growth hacking?

Growth hacking is a term coined by Sean Ellis. Here is the original, not altered or polluted definition:

A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth.

Growth Hackers are renaissance individuals of the digital era. They are part developer, marketer, designer, innovators, or anything else. They are a jack of all trades. They are the get it done sort of person. Thinking outside the box by combining seemingly unrelated skills to experiment with something new. They focus on measurable growth. If it isn’t quantifiable, it didn’t happen. They guess, test, and learn. Then do it over and over again. To put it simple growth hackers are unicorns that always focus on growth in business or personal life.

Growth hackers are unicorns? Jack of all Trades… eww

I know some people are probably already zoning out. If I say growth hackers are “jacks of all trades,” they whisper, “but masters of none.” Today it seems that there is a desire in technology to be a master of ONE thing. You are either a Javascript Developer or Python Developer. You are either an Onsite SEO Marketer or an Offsite SEO Marketer. You are a social media marketer… You get the point.

But, where did our desire to label people start? Was it the toys we played with as children? Our upbringing and moral compass? Our school systems? Personally, I believe all of these items contribute, but I theorize our current school systems heightened the divide. (I promise this all relates).

In America from kindergarten to sixth-grade students go to a school where they interact with different subjects within one classroom and with one group. Teachers blend lessons of the “arts” and STEM into one experience. Around 7th grade, we change everything. We move from a classroom where students play with subject two segregating into different subjects of math, English, History, foreign language, etc. Why did we do still do this? For efficiency.

Classrooms today are modeled upon a 150 old system. A system devised during the Industrial Revolution. Our students in high school move from classroom to classroom after the bell rings. Like factory workers moving from station to station. The basis of the term “Factory Model of Education.”

But our divide of subjects or jobs doesn’t stop in high school. You see this even more in higher education. Our universities have Schools of Arts and Schools of Science.  Graduates of each program either earn a degree and B.S. a Bachelors of Science or B.A. Bachelors of Art. This divide in academia still exists today. Scholars debate which is more important: art or science. But why the split? Edward O. Wilson who wrote in his book “Consilience” which tries to explain the importance of art and science:

Science needs the intuitive and metaphorical power of the arts, and the arts need the fresh blood of science

We see this divide continue past academia and into biology.

By now you are probably thinking okay, bla bla bla, how does this relate to Growth Hacking. I will tell you, but first, there is one more related tangent.

There is no left vs. right brain. We can strive to grow.

There is an old theory that people are either born left or right brain. The left brain describes people who aren’t intuitively creative because they use the left part of their brain for the majority of their cognitive tasks. The right brain represents analytical and the belief is these individuals use a majority of their brain power from the right side of their brain. There is a divide amongst us from a biological level of left brain versus right brain. But, where did this idea come from? Is it backed by scientific fact?

In the 1870s two scientists, Broca and Wernicke started poking around the left hemisphere of the human brain. They discovered areas in the brain which control speech. This is said to spark the public’s imagination and  supposedly inspired the creation of works of art like “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The theory of right-left brain became even more popularized in the early 1980s by Nobel Prize winner Roger W. Sperry. While studying epilepsy Sperry discovered if he made an incision on an individual’s corpus callosum (the structure that connects the left and right side of the human brain) some patients experienced strange symptoms. Some couldn’t access parts of memory perceived in their left side of their brains and visa versa. Sperry attested this to the “fact” that certain individuals utilize one side more than the other. Left brain vs. right brain. This “fact” is still fiction.

Recent research has disproved the left vs right brain theory. The University of Utah, while researching Alzheimer’s inadvertently disproved the popular myth. After studying 1000 brands under MRI machines, while focusing on 7000 different areas, they uncovered that, while although certain regions of the left and right hemispheres control various aspects, humans don’t favor one side of their brain over another. We utilize both hemispheres equality. Don’t believe me, I understand, I am not a neuroscientist but read the results for yourself here. I am not saying that there aren’t specific regions of the brain that we utilize for specific functions. But your brain activity isn’t limited to one side.

Believing people are “naturally” analytical. Or making excuses for yourself, “I am just bad at (math, art, drawing, etc.),” is having a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is the direct opposite mental framework growth hackers must have to grow.

Growth Hackers have Growth Mindset

Whether they know it or not, growth hackers have a growth mindset. A growth mindset is a belief that failure is a springboard to growth. Failure isn’t bad; challenges aren’t bad. There is growth through trials and tribulations.

True growth hackers don’t take the easy route. They’re the ones that wander the road that’s less traveled by which makes all the difference. It isn’t all peaches and cream. Growth hackers fail, a lot. To overcome failure growth hackers adopt a growth mindset mentality.

What is growth mindset ?

Growth mindset is when an individual believes in incremental or small growth. That failure doesn’t define the personal success. They think that their core that their success is due to hard work and determination. That they can do anything, they set their mind too. Do people with a fixed mindset believe everyone can be the next Einstein? No, but they do think they can always get better, even if it is ever so slightly.

Growth mindset is all the buzz in education. Growth mindset is a term coined by Carol Dweck, a psychologist from Stanford University. Dweck sought to discover if there are critical differences between students who are successful at learning and those who aren’t. She attributes more successes to those having growth mindset over fixed mindset.

What is fixed mindset?

Fixed mindset cripples growth by the fear of failure. Fixed-mindset individuals make excuses like, “I am just not good at math.” Letting failures, or fear of failure, define their efforts. To be a growth hacker, you have to embrace failure. You can’t say, well I am just not good at Math. With this mindset, you are limiting your ability to grow. Relying on “biological” reasons to not push yourself. Making excuses, “I can’t do X because I am right brained.” A complete and utter cop-out.

Why should I care about “Growth Mindset”?

If you are a parent, employer, or just breath, it is essential to know the existence of growth mindset. Think about your life, do you make excuses for something. Personally, I have thought in the past, “I am just terrible at writing.” Well look at me know, I am writing a semi-legible article about Growth Hacking.

But really, consider this study/article. Carol Dweck and her team surveyed elementary school children. The researchers had young students take an IQ test. Half of the subjects they gave praise on results, example “Wow, you are brilliant.” The other half of the subjects they provided praise for their effort, example “wow, you worked very hard.” Same tests but different praise. After giving the students praise the orchestrators provided the students with a harder challenge. The results were astounding.

Students that received praise for effort attempted the harder challenge. Students praised on “smarts,” or performance were less likely to try the more intensive task.

Next time you are going to give praise to an employee or student, think about what type of mindset you are setting.

Most importantly what are you telling yourself?

Again, why does this matter? Because, Growth Hackers fail a lot. This mindset, focusing on growth, and failure as fuel allows for Growth Hackers to continue.

For the billionth time Growth Hackers fail… a lot.

Failure must become a growth hacker’s best friend. Growth hackers can’t be afraid to fail. Think every business person was successful on their first try? Nope. Growth Hackers fail, fail, fail, fail and then fail again. Because although growth is the true north, growth isn’t linear.

Progress isn’t linear.

Progress doesn’t always shoot up. Just look at a Google Analytics account, or the stock market, there are dips and valleys.

Growth hackers repeatedly fail. There isn’t an overnight success. It is hard work, no shortcuts.  A quote that resonates with growth hacking:

Build, Destroy, Rebuild. I have mastered the art of bouncing back, now to master the art of not having to” – Dau Voire

The essence of growth hacking is trial and error. A constant battle of reworking, retesting, always growing. This is growth hacking. The continual push for growth. Individuals who have growth mindset.

Growth Hacking is a Lifestyle

Growth hacking is a lifestyle. If we go back to the original quote that coined the term. The non-twisted, non-labeled, non-get-rich-quick-scam version. A powerful message of personal growth ensues. Sean Ellis initially described growth hacking:

A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth. ~ Sean Ellis

This quote should fuel a lifelong journey of improving, always growing, and always experiment. Because growth hackers know at their core, if they are not always changing, testing, adapting, the world will change around them. They will be dated, obsolete.

Growth hacking isn’t easy, fast, or overnight

There are tons of terrible blog posts about, how to get rich fast using growth hacking. How to gain a million billion followers using these few tips. This is all nonsense and bullshit. I am just going to say it, it is 100% bullshit.

Growth hacking isn’t easy; you fall on your face over and over and over again.

Growth hacking isn’t fast; people spend countless hours of failed ventures to become an overnight success. You continuously work on different frameworks, channels, and timing.

Any article or company that claims the opposite is full of complete shit.

I’m sold how do I start growth hacking?

Lucky for you, I created a framework on where I suggest starting. If you subscribe, I will give you a video on how to use this framework.

But if you don’t want my other free content, cool. I will still tell you anyway. You might not know this, but I gave away the answers already at the beginning. It is G.T.L, guess test learn.

First, you guess

Growth hacking is alchemy, a pseudoscience. First, you must generate a theory. I have lots of videos on how to do that as well. This theory can be for your personal life, business, digital marketing, social media marketing, pay per click, search engine optimization, etc.. etc.. anything you can have a measurable outcome and timeframe.

To create a good guess, I recommend writing down a theory in this format:

IF I do x THEN y will happen.

Example:

IF I post 30 comments Instagram each day for a month THEN I will get more followers and engagement.

Now I have theory I can test.

Next, you Test

With my theory created it is now time to test. How do you test? Come up with a system first. Think about all of the materials and assets that you need to have before you start the test. How are you going to collect the data? How often? When will you report? Again it is about a measurable outcome. If you don’t take measurements, you can’t see the results.

Questions to ask yourself before testing:

  1. What do I need to conduct this test?
  2. Do I have everything I need to implement this test? If not, what do I need?
  3. How and what data will I record?
  4. How often will I record it?

Perhaps you will write down every day in a journal. Or you have a fancy spreadsheet or software? I am not sure, but the point is to have a sound method first.

Once you have all questions answered, start testing right away!

Conduct your experiment! Why are you waiting? Test and get ready to learn.

Then, you Learn

Once the data has been collected, it is time to learn. After testing is where the growth really happens. Regardless of if you got more sales, Instagram followers, or learned a new language. With your data, you can see, did my experiment work or not? If it did, congratulations! If not,  congratulations! Either way, you are growing.

Sit down for some reflection. Ask yourself:

  1. Was this test a success?
  2. What did I learn from this test, and how can I use it going further?
  3. How can I improve this test, or what do you want to test next?

Now repeat!

Once you get in the habit of G.T.L, you will see that experiments start to lead into each other. You get excited asking questions, what if I did this or this! OR THIS!

Sometimes you will improve 10% other times, fall back 5%. But like a 401k investment, over time, the small gains create tremendous momentum. Then the world needs to watch out.

A Growth Hacking Framework

Now if you don’t want to go through all that work, I have created a growth hacking framework. Download your FREE growth hacking framework here! If you understand how to use the framework, great! Get going!

If the sheet looks complicated don’t worry. If you subscribe to my growth hacking resources newsletter, I will send you a usage video on how to use the framework. In the video, I will help you set-up your first experiment.

The framework will help set-up real growth hacking strategies. Where you focus on your own experiments for growth. Again don’t trust “growth hacking strategies” that promise overnight success. Those “growth hacking strategies focus” on vanity, not real growth.

A Real Growth Hacking Strategy: Sales Funnel Experiments

In the video, I will show you how to focus your efforts based on your sales funnel. You will discover which section in your funnel is the weakest. Identify the most significant pain point for your client. Then design an experiment to fix them and start growing in the right direction. If that isn’t enough, you will get all sorts of other recommended growth hacking resources.

Recommended Resources for Growth Hacking

Hopefully, you are interested in all things growth hacking by now! If you sign up for my newsletter, I will send you tons of information.

What sort of growth hacking resources will you get?

  1. Favorite Growth Hacking Books
  2. Favorite Growth Hacking Sites
  3. How to Growth Hack video on how to utilize my growth hacking framework
  4. Example Experiments



Now get growing.

Best Animation Sites

So you are looking for the best animation sites well look no more. This is a directory of animation related topics and sites for you to check out.  Honestly, your search term is pretty vague, so I am going to provide a few different scenarios and help point you in the right direction. I have hand currated a list to try to solve your query for the best animation sites.

Why am I doing this? I am a nerd and love animation things. I actually animate and am a web developer, so this search has items that go hand in hand. Let’s start with the scenarios.

Where you looking for the best animation news websites? Or the best animation industry websites?

Here is a quick list of websites about what is going on in the animation industry. All three update about latest productions, technology, and events going on in the animation industry.

Where you looking for best websites that have animation?

I am guessing you might be looking for websites that have some cool animation effects. Perhaps some parallax or things popping in and out as you scroll down the page. In this case, I have included some tutorial links and inspiration.

With these examples, I expect you know the basics of HTML, CSS, and Vanilla Javascript.

Where you looking for best sites for learning animation?

Perhaps you are looking for ways to learn how to animate. If that is the case you have definitely stumbled upon the right lists. First I would suggest to check out these books, I know it isn’t a site, but still. Also, I created a post “best resources for learning animation”. You can read it, or if not, this is a fast breakdown of the websites on that list.

Where you looking for best animation sites for inspiration?

Here are some of my favorite animation sites for inspiration. They have wonderful forms and communities. Check them out.

Best Free Animation Software

Best free animation software for download

So you are interested in studio animation but can’t afford the software? Yeah me too. Luckily we are in “the era of the nerd”. Fellow geeks have created studio quality free animation software we can download and use for our projects. Because dang, industry standard animation software suites are damn expensive. So I have hand curated a list of software solutions that I believe are currently the best free animation software. I mean really, how do they expect to train more professionals if we can’t afford the software? Buying spaghetti, a.k.a. “fancy top ramen” is a stretch for some college students let alone a five hundred dollar piece of software. I mean really, who can afford these animation programs? Rich people?
[Read more…]

Getting your Website Blacklisted is Simple Just Don’t Protect Your Customers & Online Brand.

Wondering how you got your website blacklisted? Or, is your website ranking low on google? To do this is pretty simple, just neglect your customers, online brand, and marketing efforts. If you are in this spot the fix is simple, do it better.

People will try to sell you fancy marketing advice but it really boils down to the fact that you are not satisfying your customers. Perhaps worse, Google & customers have lost all trust in you.

Imagine going to your favorite local restaurant. You order some delicious yummy tacos for a low price of $8.99.

A month later, you notice you are light 70 bucks. You discover that a worker wrote down your card number and charged an extra $70.00. You would be furious. You might not go back to that restaurant. Your favorite restaurant’s brand instantly ruined in your eyes.

Online Branding & reputation are important; probably more so for your site due to the amount of competition online. Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Inc., once stated: “Brands are the solution, not the problem… brands are how you sort out the cesspool.” If the CEO of Google believes branding is important, you should too.

A good online brand is consistent. A good brand has integrity. A good brand protects its clients. A good brand goes above and beyond to make sure they keep their customer’s safe. A good online brand has trust.

Today our lives are digital, a simple script placed strategically on a site can lead to credit card information, social security, and home addresses stolen from your clients. Because of this, Google and other internet companies understand the importance of security.

Remember, Google is trying to keep people using Google. Searchers are more likely to click on their ads, and search results, knowing if they are safe. If the searcher’s information is stolen, they are more likely to try Bing next time. This is why Google has increasingly put emphasis on security in their search engine algorithm. So much so that if your site gets hacked, it is likely to get Blacklisted by Google! Why? Your brand broke trust just like your favorite restaurant!

Along with webite blacklisting, Google looks at many factors of a site to determine keyword ranking, some of which are security related, for example, whether or not your site has an SSL certificate to secure customer information. Security invokes trust. Trust generates sales. Don’t believe me, then why are there so many “security badges” on checkout pages.

Along with stealing information, hackers also try to take down sites using DDOS attacks. These attacks can take down your site for hours at a time. This is bad for reputation. Would your local restaurant have a good reputation if it was randomly closed throughout the week? Probably not. Just like local visitors, Google doesn’t like closed businesses either, nor do your visitors.

Online there is much more at stake; not only can a few bucks be stolen but your whole identity as well. The real scary fact is the job for hackers is becoming increasingly easier. Out of date sites and spaghetti code plugins are easy targets for bad guys.

Luckily you can prevent the bad guys from destroying your brand. Utilizing security solutions like Sucuri to monitor code, patch holes, and keep information secure not only protects your brand but your customers as well. Which if done consistently, with integrity, will generate immense rewards.

What 73 Technologists Wish They Had Learned in High School

The Backstory

I work for Bitwise Industries and Geekwise Academy, a technology education company in Fresno, California. For the past two years, we have partnered with Patino School of Entrepreneurship by providing custom courses and curriculum. The “E. School” is a completely free public “pathway” school through Fresno Unified School District. Patino is a different type of school, one I haven’t seen before.

High Schoolers begin to learn technology development skills (Javascript, PHP, SEO, SEM) and form business plans with other students. All of the classes are taught with a business and entrepreneurship lens. For example, in History, while learning about WWII, students might ask the question, “Yes he was evil but what leadership traits did Hitler utilize to come into power? How can we learn?” In Math, students are asked to find the ROI for a company. All classes are in preparation for their senior year.

Essentially the program breaks down like so:

  • Year One: Learn Entrepreneurship Traits
  • Year Two: Start Business Plans, MVP, and Pitch to Investors (real life SharkTank)
  • Year Three: Bootstrap it till you make it or die trying

Senior year is an incubator for their company. We ain’t talking about no fake companies either, like the high school projects we remember. They launch real freaking companies and make real freaking money, well at least that is the goal. Oh yeah, and they get to keep the profits. Imagine making money to pay for their college tuition while in high school. Freaking crazy.

This year, I have been co-leading the advanced online marketing and web development classes where Juniors begin to execute their plans. At the school the staff pushes experimentation, being okay with failure, ideation, pivoting, and pitching constantly.  But I wanted to know are we missing something? What are some lessons that other technologies and entrepreneurs wish they would have learned in high school? So that give me an idea, fire-up the old twitter machine and ask new followers a few questions.

What did I ask?

Through DM on Twitter, I sent hundreds of technologists and developers this message:

“Random question, I work with 70+ high school entrepreneurs. Do you have any life lessons / business advice / things you wish you would have learned in high school? I am always trying to get better and pass on inspiration.”

What happened next was remarkable.

My DM campaign got roughly a 16.67 engagement rate and participants delivered crazy insights. Most importantly it gave way to a lot of wonderful discussions. During our talks, I started to notice a few trends. Responses could be clumped into six different categories:

  • Younger: The wish that they would have started learning at a younger age
  • Network: The wish they would have learned to come better networkers or have built a better network
  • Movement: The wish they would have learned how to persevere and to continue moving forward
  • Finances: The wish they would have learned the importance of personal finances
  • Fear/Failure: Learn to overcome the fear of failure. Embracing failure as a learning opportunity.
  • Other: Other meaningful responses

So what were the results?

  • 10.6% of the respondents wish high school taught them more about personal finances.
  • 12.76% wish they had better networks or started creating one sooner in life.
  • 12.76% would have liked to learn how to stay motivated and continue pushing through hard times.
  • 17% admit that they wish they would have started sooner in life be it programming, or business development.
  • 23.4% wish they would have been able to fail more, to overcome the fear of failure, and to learn that “failure” isn’t bad.
  • 23.4% of the responses don’t fall into a direct category.

Out of the 73 respondents:

  • 53% were identified as “Developers”
  • 25% were identified as “Technologists”
  • 19% were identified as “Front-end Developers”
  • 1% were identified as “Back-end Developers”
  • 1% were identified as “Other”

Some of the notable DMS.

Like this not so scientific study? Please share this infographic 🙂

 

How to Use Filezilla to Launch a HTML Website

Okay, so now you have written a basic HTML/CSS site, and you want to launch. But, there is only one problem, you have no freaking clue how. Well luckily for you here is a tutorial titled “How to use Filezilla” that shows you how to launch a basic HTML / CSS site onto the interwebs.

There are two ways you can upload your site: FTP and SSH. FTP, or more specifically sFTP, is easier to explain so let’s start there.

Before we begin there are a few basic things you need:

  1. A website domain name
  2. A website host provider
  3. Your host provider login

Your hosting provider will be where you get these items:

  1. FTP host
  2. FTP username
  3. FTP password

All sites need a domain name and host provider. Beginners sometimes think that when you buy your domain name for $9.99 a year at a company like GoDaddy that you are done. Well…. not quite.  You need a hosting package too.

What is hosting? Hosting provides access to a computer (server) that is working 24 hours a day 365 days a year. You “host,” place, your files on this computer (server). The server allows the public to view your files through your domain name.

How does that work? Well, your domain name points to an IP address. IP addresses are like street locations for the internet. For example, milessebesta.com’s IP address is 192.123.456.789 is nearly the same thing as saying Bitwise Industries is located at 700 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721.

It gets more and more complicated with DNS and NameServers. Blah blah blah. But I will give you the basic version. When starting out, buy the hosting package first. Why should you purchase the hosting package first? Well, 90% of hosting packages online provide a domain name for free if you host with their company. Only small local businesses don’t usually offer this package deal. Technically you can purchase your domain from a company like Godaddy.com and host at 1and1.com, but don’t do this. As a beginner, it is just more complications and headaches. If you purchase the hosting package and get a domain name with it for free, they will setup the DNS and NameServers correctly for you.

Now hosting, which hosting packages should you use?

First thing, unless you have a developer writing a fancy ASP.net application GET LINUX HOSTING. Hosting companies usually offer two types of basic hosting, Windows or Linux.

You want to choose Linux. Odds are you will eventually migrate to a CMS (Content Management System). Most, CMS systems run off PHP and MYSQL. Yes, you can run PHP and MYSQL on a Windows machine. However, most Linux servers run Apache. And blah blah blah technical stuff… boring… sleep. Linux, technically Apache, allows mod_rewrite. Mod_rewrite allows for pretty URLs on WordPress, which is good. You are lost, just trust me. Get Linux, it is cheaper and allows you to run more.

Note* if you are hosting a simple HTML site, or basic WordPress site, generally you can get away with the cheapest option. You can always upgrade 😉

Here are some of my suggested host providers:

1and1.com (I use this provider)
Hostgator.com
Rackspace.com (Really expensive but insanely wonderful support)
Godaddy.com

I bought hosting, now what?

Having been a web developer for 7+ years, I can tell you the most typical mistake client’s make. When you ask for their FTP information or SSH, they nearly always send the username and password to their host account.

Your login for your host provider is not the same information as your FTP information. The login allows you to get into a place where you create the FTP username and password!

So this is where it get’s tricky. I don’t know what host provider you decided to purchase. There are like a billion out there. But what you need to do is login and figure out how to create an FTP username and password. Most will do this automatically for you. Check the signup email they send fir this info first.

I would suggest Googling “Setting up FTP accounts at [enter host name here]”.

Most decent host providers have support documents that will walk you through this process.

In the end, you need to find, or create, three items:

  1. FTP host (which is a URL or IP address)
  2. FTP username
  3. FTP password

Once you have these items, we can connect to your site.

Finally the real question “How to use Filezilla to launch your website”.

You have your FTP information now we need to connect. To connect we need to download an FTP client. There are lots of different ones out there, some cost money, and some are free. I prefer the free ones. Specifically, I prefer FileZilla, it is open source and stable. The only downside is that it seems like there is always a freaking update.

So to upload your site, there are four steps: Install, Connect, Upload, Check

How to use Filezilla, Step 1: Install FileZilla

How do you install FileZilla?

  1. Go to https://filezilla-project.org/
  2. Click on the button “Download FileZilla Client”
  3. Download and Install
  4. Open up FileZilla

How to use Filezilla, Step 2: Connect via FTP

Now that you have Filezilla open you should see a screen like the one below.

There are two ways to connect: “quick connect” or using the site manager.

Connecting through “Quick Connect”

On the top bar, you should see “Host:,” “Username:,” and “Password.” Place in your FTP information. Don’t worry about port. Add in your Host, Username and Password previously provided by your hosting company. Click the big “Quickconnect” button.

If you are lucky, you will see a bunch of magic happen in the box directly below “Quickconnect” and files appear on the right-hand side where it says “Remote Site.”

Connecting through “Site manager”

The button on the top left allows you to store hundreds of FTP accounts. If you are managing multiple websites, you would want to configure the FTP information using “Site Manager.” Why? “Quick connect” only saves the login credentials for the last 10 FTP accounts you have connected via FileZilla.

Common errors and their meaning

If you see this:

Filezilla Login Error

Then you have the wrong password 🙁

If it is stuck on “Connecting to” then you see this:

Filezilla Connection Error

Your internet is either bad. OR the website is behind a firewall, and the connection is being blocked (this won’t happen with a standard host package). Generally, firewalls issues like this occur with a more advanced host provider.

For a majority of the errors you just need to make sure you entered the information correctly. I would recommend typing in the credentials. NOT copy and paste? Why? Well sometimes when you copy, you accidently grab an empty space before or after an item. FileZilla sees this space and thinks it is a part of the password, username, or host entry. This will cause your site to error.

How to Use FileZilla, Step 3: Upload Your Files

We are almost done! Now we just need to upload your site’s files.

If everything connects, you should see something like the image below. Notice that files loaded under the “remote server” side. You should see “folder” icons. You want to find one that says public_html, or www, or something that sounds website-ish. Double-click on the file to open it.

how to use filezilla

Now find your web files on your desktop. Drag and Drop the files into the website-ish sounding folder. Once this happens, you should see a “Que” pop-up in the bottom of the screen.

Once everything is loaded there should be nothing left in the “Que”.

Final Step Test!

The final step is simple, just load your website page. If it works yay, if not, sorry?

 

Website vs Web Application. Let’s Settle It!

Website vs Web Application

Websites, mobile applications, web applications, native applications, so many different buzzwords. What do they all mean? It can all be so confusing. Do I need a website or a web application? Which leads to the question, what is a website and what is a web application? I wrote this article website vs web application to hopefully shed some light on these questions.

Website vs Web Application: The Website

Webster defines “website” as the following:

A group of World Wide Web pages usually containing hyperlinks to each other and made available online by an individual, company, educational institution, government, or organization

Okay, that is kinda bland. A website is basically any site accessible on the internet. The most common website types are brochure, e-commerce, social media, blog, etc… These are all sub-categories of a “website”. Yeah, I said it, basically all sites on the Internet are websites… start yelling. Here are the most common: brochure, e-commerce, news, and social.

A brochure website: Imagine a paper brochure in digital form. Brochure websites are often very small. They serve as marketing material for the company. A fancy digital pamphlet. Some of these sites are run off a web application called content management systems (CMS). All content management systems are web applications.

An E-commerce Website: An online shopping cart system. These sites are small to large and size. E-commerce stores are run off a CMS web application.

A News Website: These are sites where the primary function is to provide articles and recent information to the client. These sites are built on a CMS system, like a vast majority of the brochure sites.

Social Media / Social Website: Online communities and forums. These sites range in size and are run off web-based applications.

Website vs Web Application: The Applications

Today a vast majority of websites technically run on web applications. You might be interacting with a web application and not even know it. WordPress is technically a web application. Magento, Joomla, Drupal, the same. SugarCRM, webmail, those are web applications.

Web applications allow for users to interact with the content (even if it is just the admin who can edit content). These are the opposite of what we call a “static website”. A static website is not an application. A static website requires server-side access to edit the content and code, these are the old school HTML & CSS only websites where you can’t edit anything without FTP or SSH.

However, it gets a bit more complicated and people will complain that I said WordPress is a web application.

Website vs Web Application: The Complication

Developers might yell that basic sites which run on WordPress are websites. Yeah, a keyword that they forget to pay attention to is “on” which implies a platform. WordPress is built on a content management system. Systems sound more like an application to me. Despite all of this, they have a valid point: context.

When talking about websites and applications it is all about the context. In this sense, when talking to a developer, we must think about the end user’s perspective. Is the majority of users interacting with the site in a way that modifies the information? If yes, it is an application. If no, it is a website.

With context in mind, here are the definitions boiled down to user intent:

The primary function of a website is to be informational. With this definition, any news, blog, or brochure site is a “website”. However, I would rebuttal that all applications provide information, that is their primary function as well.

The primary function of a web application is for the users to perform specific, interactive action. With this definition e-commerce stores, social media sites, CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

That is best I can explain the website vs web application debate. Us developers like to make things really really complicated; job security you know?

If you disagree with me about my definitions then comment below! Let’s discuss!