About Me

My photo

I'm a digital marketer, programmer and entrepreneur based in Dexter, MI.  I've worked in the digital marketing and web development field for close to a decade.  Over the course of my career, I've become adept at areas of digital marketing such as programmatic advertising, SEO, email marketing, inbound marketing,  promoting businesses through social media.


I currently serve as Director of Marketing for Rankings.io, an SEO agency based in Southern Illinois.  We help attorneys, medical professionals, and small businesses rank their websites on the first page of Google.  Our core services include onsite and offsite SEO as well as website design and programming.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Turn Your Resume Into A Website

I have given tips to people searching for employment to make a website out of their resume.  I have a lot of web development and marketing experience but I realize that others may not so I developed a template that people can copy and paste to make their own resume into a website.  With some simple changes/additions of text and a few technical steps, your resume can be out on the world wide web for employers to see.  Another thing that makes this more effective, especially for those in web marketing, web design or other types of design and video work is that you can easily guide employers to your work.  For example if you have websites that you have designed for clients or photographs or videos that you have done, you can link to these from within the experience section of the resume. 


Making a website out of your resume can also make it easier for an employer to communicate with you.  You can provide links to email you or to reach out to you on social media.  You can also install buttons to make it super easy for viewers to print your resume.  You don’t have to be an HTML or CSS wizard to accomplish this.  A basic understanding of HTML, CSS and File Transfer Protocol programs is required.  You will also need access to a file server. 


FTP clients like Filezilla can be downloaded for free however a server is a bit harder to come by.  If you are enrolled at a University, most institutions provide a small amount of space on their servers for students to do web design work for their courses.  Access is typically free.  Many colleges have rules whereby students are not allowed to use the server to run a business online and their will most certainly be bandwidth restrictions.  Unless you are selling your resume or expect one hundred thousand employers to view it in a week, you should be alright.  If you don't attend an institution that allows for use of their servers, you can set up a hosting account and purchase a domain name for under 20 dollars.  GoDaddy provides 3 month hosting services for 4.95 per month up front and you can also register a domain name there for about 12 bucks for the year.  GoDaddy also provides great instructions for how to use an FTP client and get your hosting account setup so that people can visit your website.   


Building your resume using HTML and CSS is rather simple.  If you have coding knowledge, simply build it the way you would any other HTML page.  If you have little or no coding knowledge, feel free to use my template below. 

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<title>My Online Resume</title>
<link href="resume.css" rel="Stylesheet" type="text/css" />
</head>
<body>
<div id="wrapper">
<h1 align="center">Your Name</h1>
<h2 align="center">Your Phone Number | Your Email </h2>
<div id="title">
<p class="obj"><strong>Objective</strong></p></div>
<div id="objective"> <p align="left">I need a job, Duh!</p> </div>
<div id="title"><p class="obj"><strong>Experience</strong></p></div>


<div id="experience">
<table border="0">
<tr align="center">
<td style="width:300px; text-align:center;">Dates of employment</td>
<td style="width:300px; text-align:center;">Place that you worked</td>
<td style="width:300px; text-align:center;">City and State it was in</td>
</tr>
</table>

<p align="left"><strong>Your Title</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>This is an unordered list. You can use this space to describe things that you did in your previous job. You can add additional list elements by adding <li> tags.</li>
<li>These lines can also be used to add links to examples of past work experience whether it be videos, images, websites or social media accounts. Virtually anything that is related to the job that you are applying for can be linked to here.</li>
</ul>
</div>


<div id="experience2">
<table border="0">
<tr align="center">
<td style="width:300px; text-align:center;">Dates of employment</td>
<td style="width:300px; text-align:center;">Place that you worked</td>
<td style="width:300px; text-align:center;">City and State it was in</td>
</tr> </table>

<p align="left"><strong>Your Title</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>This is an unordered list. You can use this space to describe things that you did in your previous job. You can add additional list elements by adding <li> tags.</li>
<li>These line can also be used to add links to examples of past work experience whether it be videos, images, websites or social media accounts. Virtually anything that is related to the job that you are applying for can be linked to here.</li>
</ul>
</div>


<div id="experience4">
<table border="0">
<tr align="center">
<td style="width:300px; text-align:center;">Dates of employment</td>
<td style="width:300px; text-align:center;">Place that you worked</td>
<td style="width:300px; text-align:center;">City and State it was in</td>
</tr>
</table>


<p align="left"><strong>Your Title</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>This is an unordered list. You can use this space to describe things that you did in your previous job. You can add additional list elements by adding <li> tags.</li>
<li>These line can also be used to add links to examples of past work experience whether it be videos, images, websites or social media accounts. Virtually anything that is related to the job that you are applying for can be linked to here.</li>
</ul>
</div>


<div id="title">
<p class="obj"><strong>Education</strong></p>
</div> <div id="education">
<table border="0">
<tr align="left">
<td style="width:400px; text-align:center;"><strong>The prestigious college you attended</strong></td>
<td style="width:300px; text-align:center;">City and State of said college</td>
</tr> </table>
<p align="center">The title of the fancy degree you earned</p>
<ul>
<li>Here you can list any other fancy certificates, skills, clubs, organizations or other fantastic things you did.</li>
</ul>
<table border="0">
<tr align="center">
<td style="width:400px; text-align:center;"><strong>Maybe you have more than one degree</strong></td>
<td style="width:300px; text-align:center;">City and State</td>
</tr>
</table>
<p align="center">You are pretty smart if you have two degrees. Or you have no life.</p>
</div>
<div id="title">
<p class="obj"><strong>References</strong></p></div>
<div id="references"> <p align="left" style="padding-bottom:50px;"> Here is a great place to list links to people on linkedin that can act as references for you. Just like in a traditional hiring process, make sure these people are aware that they are acting as references.</p>
<br /> </div>
<div id="print"> <form> <input name="print" type="button" value="Send To Printer" onclick="javascript:window.print()" /> <input type="button" value="Email Me" onclick="parent.location='mailto:youremail@putyouremailhere.com?subject=I'd like to talk about your resume'" />
</form>
</div>
</div>
</body>
</html>

Here is the corresponding CSS that will style the above HTML

*note:  You can name the HTML file whatever you want but you must name the CSS file "resume.css" or else change the name of the CSS document in the HTML code to whatever you name the file. 

<--Resume CSS


body {background-color:#0080FF; }

#wrapper {width:900px;           
                  background-color:White;           
                  text-align:left;           
                  margin-right:auto;           
                  margin-left:auto;           
                  padding:0;}

#title {width:900px; height:20px;}

#title .obj {float:left;}

#wrapper {padding:0px 40px 0px 40px;}

#objective {width:600px;             
                   margin-right:auto;             
                   margin-left:auto;             
                   border-top-style:solid;             
                   border-top-width:2px;             
                   border-top-color:Black;}

#experience {width:600px;             
                      margin-right:auto;             
                      margin-left:auto;             
                      border-top-style:solid;             
                      border-top-width:2px;             
                      border-top-color:Black;}

#experience2 {width:600px;             
                        margin-right:auto;             
                        margin-left:auto;             
                        border-top-style:solid;             
                        border-top-width:2px;             
                        border-top-color:Black;}

#experience3 {width:600px;             
                        margin-right:auto;             
                        margin-left:auto;             
                        border-top-style:solid;             
                        border-top-width:2px;             
                        border-top-color:Black;}

#experience4 {width:600px;             
                        margin-right:auto;             
                        margin-left:auto;             
                        border-top-style:solid;             
                        border-top-width:2px;             
                        border-top-color:Black;}


#education {width:600px;             
                    margin-right:auto;             
                    margin-left:auto;             
                    border-top-style:solid;             
                    border-top-width:2px;             
                    border-top-color:Black;}

#references {width:600px;             
                      margin-right:auto;             
                      margin-left:auto;             
                      border-top-style:solid;             
                      border-top-width:2px;             
                      border-top-color:Black;}

#print {width: 600px;          
            height:100px;          
            margin-right:auto;          
            margin-left:auto;}

Resume CSS-->




Now that you have your resume as a website and loaded online, you have to make sure employers see it.  One of the best ways that I have found to get this done it to find out a hiring managers name and email.  Once you have these two pieces of information, you can send a short email introducing yourself and providing a link to the resume.  This strategy may be hit or miss.  Some people hate receiving unsolicited emails and even if they don’t, they may not be inclined to click on a link for fear of downloading a virus.  On the other hand, this is your shot to make a strong and lasting first impression.  Hiring managers at good companies sift through hundreds of resumes no matter what the position.  They may build a pool of good resumes that first come in when the position opens and then stop looking or merely glance over the rest quickly.  Turning your resume into a website enables them to perform less steps to look at your qualifications and definately makes you stand out.  All they have to do is click a link in an email and bam, there you are.

You can also share your resume website link on professional social networking sites like LinkedIn.  Some job opportunities require you to send a resume in via email.  These particular jobs are great opportunties to email a link to your resume.  If you are using this for the first time, I hope it helps to set you apart from your employment competition!


Do you have any great ideas on how to find a job using the web or social media?  Leave them in the comments section.   


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

5 Tips For Making The Best Of Your Company Facebook Timeline

If you are using Facebook for personal purposes, it probably doesn’t matter what your timeline looks like.  If you are a business who utilizes the platform for marketing, a highly customized timeline full of content will do wonders to engage users. 
Tip # 1 Add A Cover Photo

This may seem obvious but many smaller companies, causes and/or public figures neglect to do this.  If your visitors are not familiar with how the timeline could look, you are missing out on a chance to show them something interesting, display a large logo, or an offer.  If people are familiar with how things are supposed to work, they may fault you for not adding this simple element.  Check out this Facebook timeline cheat sheet that offers dimensions and much more, brought to you by the Hubspot Blog.



Tip # 2 Talk About Your History

A great way to engage users on your page is to showcase your company history.  It doesn’t matter if you have a century’s worth of history or only a few months.  Add milestones with images that talk about important events along the way.  Showcase major accomplishments and tranisitions.  People connect with companies on Facebook to learn more about them or because they identify with that particular organization.  Providing more information in the form of who your company is and what it is all about is something people love to see. 

Tip # 3 Image, Images, Images!

The most powerful content online are images and videos.  Good videos can be difficult to make quickly but some eye catching images are relatively easy to produce and post on your page.  Post images of your business and be sure to include descriptions on them as well.  People love to look at pictures and you can also use this opportunity to showcase products, people, events or places that are associated with your business.  You can also take it one step further and display funny or interesting images that relate to products or services in some way.  These are the types of images that “go viral” or get shared among many users and among many networks rapidly.

Tip # 4 Add Applications

Good content is what keeps people coming back to a Facebook page or causes them to share it with their friends.  Applications are a great way to make your page more functional.  Apps from NorthSocial for example, allow you to provide driving directions, showcase useful documentation, sign up for mailing lists and a number of other actions.  This particular suite of applications also allows you to fan gate your pages so that you can build your audience.  If you are looking for apps that you can try without spending any money, you can try the Wildfire iframe app or Facebook’s built in Video and Twitter applications. 
Tip # 5 Pin A Post
Facebook’s new timeline allows you to pin a post to the top of the timeline.  This looks just like any other post except that it will not be pushed down when new content is added to the timeline.  You can use this to promote a special offer, showcase a particular video or image, give appreciation to a customer or for whatever else you want.


Is there something I missed? Please leave a comment and let me know about your timeline customizations. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tips for Bud Gibson's IS Class

Here are the slides from the brief presentation I gave to Dr. Gibson's IS class this evening.  It was an honor to come back to EMU and offer some tips on how to re-create some of the success I have experinced since graduating last year.  I want to take this chance to elaborate on some elements of the presentation and add some additional thoughts that I forgot to mention during my presentation. 

Here are the elements I expressed in my presentation in case you missed it and some additional details.

  • Don't miss an opporunity to display what you know
    • Speak at networking events
    • Put your experiences in your profiles (i.e.LinkedIn, G+, your blog, your online resume)
    • Take on any work even if it is pro-bono (the NPO's you work with in class are a great starting point.  Offer services to them.)
    • Blog about your experiences or blog about web marketing problems that you have solved.
    • The most important part about blogging and sharing on social media is offering something of value.  Always make sure you are adding value.
  • Showcase your accomplishments and leverage your experience
    • When you place your experience from these courses on your resume or in your online profiles, don't talk about it like an assignment or "something you did for school".  Put it in as you would with any other real world experience, because it is.
    • Ask your NPO contacts for references.
    • Ask for recommendations on LinkedIn (if you have done a good job for your NPO's they should be happy to provide this).
  • Be consistent in your web presence
    • Be one thing everywhere.  If that is a web marketing professional, be that in all of your online profiles that you use for professional purposes.  If it is to be a Real Estate agent, then be that in ALL of your online profiles.  No matter what it is, be consistent. 
    • Its ok to have personal profiles that you don't use for professional purposes.  In fact, try not to mix them. 
    • Provide links in all of your professional profiles to all of your other professional profiles and blog.  No matter how an employer or client finds you, they should be able to see the rest of the information out there about you. 
    • Use the same information for all profiles i.e. emails, blog URL's, phone numbers and profile images, etc.
  • Follow influential industry players
    • No matter what industry you are planning to work in, there are people who are active in an online world that you can interact with.
    • If you plan to work in web marketing or social media, check out the profiles of people in my presentation.
    • Follow industry leaders, reshare their content, reach out to them and meet them in person if you are able to.  I'm a fan of meeting people in person before you connect online however if you can pull off an online networking approach then go for it.  Sometimes this takes a little more involvement than an in person approach. 
Below are the slides that I showed in class.   I had a great time speaking this evening and I wish you all the best of luck in your future ventures! 


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Loop A Youtube Video

I have recently seen videos around the web that loop over and over again and I thought that was a pretty cool feature. It is especially effective if you have a short punchy video that you want to autoplay when visitors arrive to your site and continue to play over an over without the user doing anything. At first I thought it would be incredibly easy to find the code to achieve this but I was mistaken. After scouring the web I finally found the answer I was looking for burried in comment threads on some obscure tech website.

So I thought I would spare others the aggravation and make it easy for them to find. A few simple pieces of code were added to the embedded video below to make it start when a visitor arrives on the page and continue to loop. You should note that if you have Google Adsense enabled on a video it is not wise to make this change. Google strictly monitors view counts and the code will either invalidate this data or prompt Google to stop displaying ads on the video all together. If you are tracking view counts for any other reason it is also unwise to make the change.



To start simply copy and paste the video embed code where you want it. Notice that after the www.youtube.com there is the word "embed". Replace this with the letter "v". Then add the following code to make the video loop -- &loop=1. If you want to make the video autoplay simply add &autoplay=1 either before or after the loop command. These lines of code must remain inside the quotations of the entire link URL. The code snippet should look like this.


There are other options out there for looping a Youtube video. For example if you go to your channel on Youtube and select the video you want to play, you can add the word "repeat" to the URL as it is displayed in the browser. Add the word directly after "youtube" in the URL. This takes you to a site where the video is automatically converted for you. The drawback here is that when you go to embed the video, the entire site is embedded in an iframe and you get unsightly scroll bars on the sides of the video, not to mention you are promoting someone else's site.

If you know any other creative ways to loop a video, let me know!