Those Dirty Basterds!

Short one today, as I just got home from a 3 day, 2 night road trip, a brief but quite fun family oriented, pre-Christmas Christmas trip, and I don’t have the energy to write anything longer…

But I had to mention an interview I heard while driving, an interview with the author of a new book called, “Black Ops Advertising: Native Ads, Content Marketing and the Covert World of the Digital Sell.”

Mara Einstein, the book’s author, equated one of my MOST favorite things in the world — content marketing — with one of my LEAST favorite things in the world: covert military operations carried out by persons unknown and unknowable, the war crimes commonly referred to as “Black Ops.”

I suppose SOME content marketing is deceptive and dangerous, but I didn’t think it fair for her to insinuate that ALL content marketing is — and I’m pretty sure that’s what she did!

She described it as content generated by advertisers, and therefore basically advertising, that doesn’t have an obvious “sales message.”

The purpose of such “black ops advertising,” according to Ms. Epstein, is to generate general good will toward a company or product, without specifically asking the reader or listener to go buy it right away.

And this is bad ( I assume) because at some point in the future, if and when you might be ready to buy such a product, you’ll remember the good will you felt, generated by the valuable information you consumed, and thus you may be predisposed to feel warmly toward said product or company, resulting in your making an actual purchase of the product in question at GASP! a later date!

Oh, the horror!

How dare anyone create and pay for the placement of content that “advertises” a product or service without expressly telling you where to find it, or how to buy it, or how much it costs, or anything else a buyer should be told!

How horrible for advertisers to generate good will toward their product by providing useful information that their potential customers might want!

Those SNEAKY Basterds!!!

Needless to say, I kind of disagree.

I think content marketing is a GOOD thing, and I recommend you get right on it!

The kind of content marketing I recommend is done openly (obviously), and not clandestinely, because you want to make sure your readers know you’re doing the talking.

You want to provide value in your content, but you also want to make sure your readers know it was YOU who provided that value, so they can form the appropriately positive opinion of you as a credible source of information about that product/industry/market/etc.

I don’t see anything wrong with that. That’s just smart marketing.

Look for more about content marketing and other smart marketing stuff in the upcoming edition of The Internet Examiner. Subscribe before it goes to press at

Talk soon,


Kick it like you MEAN it!

True story. I got recruited to help my wife coach our 9 year old daughter’s soccer team. 

Which is funny, considering I played exactly ONE game of soccer in my entire life. When I was about 12. 

It wasn’t my thing.

Actually, soccer wasn’t much of a thing anywhere in the US when I was a kid. But that’s beside the point. 

The point is, I don’t know much about soccer. 

But I figured out pretty quick that 8 and 9 year old girls have ONE HUGE challenge when it comes to kicking a soccer ball. 

Namely, they’re afraid to really kick it. They “kick at” the ball. 

Not all of them, mind you. There’s always a couple of real athletes on the team that make it look easy. 

But most of them, man o man, it’s painful to watch. 

If they don’t miss it entirely (SSSSSSSWWWWINNNNNG and a miss!) they tap it meekly and it goes maybe 10 feet. 

That’s NOT a soccer kick. 

No way in hell are you gonna pass the ball to your teammates and get it down the field and into the goal, tapping it 10 feet at a time. 

More often than not, the other team’s gonna step right in front of such weak passes and turn the game around.

So my coaching mantra became, “Kick it like you MEAN IT!”

I wanted them to swing their leg with enough force to make the ball JUMP off their foot. It’s the only way to put the ball where you want it to go. 

So any time one of my girls whiffed or kicked a ball with all the force of a cat fart in a windstorm, I would yell, “Come ON! Kick it like you MEAN IT!”

What’s this got to do with online marketing?

Well, I see the vast majority of small businesses promoting themselves kinda like 9 year old girls play soccer.

They don’t know who they’re trying to reach. 

They often swing and miss. 

And if they do happen to “connect,” the result is so weak it does nothing to keep “the other guy” from stealing the prospect away. IOW, it doesn’t score. 

I don’t want you to market like that. I want you to “Market like you MEAN IT!”

And in my humble opinion, good marketing starts with a good USP. 

If you have a *weak* USP, your marketing will also be weak. 

If you have *NO* USP, you’re gonna swing and miss every time. 

So get yourself a good, strong, and UNIQUE Selling Proposition. 

If you’ve struggled to nail down a good USP, check out this blog post from Wordstream. It’s got some great examples *and* some good advice on writing your own:

Please note: I’m ONLY recommending this post, NOT the company’s services. In fact, that’s EXACTLY the kind company (with services starting at $79/ month) that The Internet Examiner is intended to help you avoid.

There’s gonna be more good stuff on USPs in the January edition, so kick it on over to and subscribe before it goes to press. 

Talk soon, 


Isn’t it Ironic?

Alanis Morissette famously sings a song named “Ironic,” which, ironically, contains no irony.

She sings:

An old man turned ninety-eight
 He won the lottery and died the next day
 It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
 It's a death row pardon two minutes too late

As any decent English major can tell you, if you die the day after you win the lottery, that’s just bad timing. It’s not ironic.

If there’s a fly in your wine, that’s just bad luck — and the need for a fresh glass.

A pardon coming down from the governor two minutes after they ice a guy? Extremely bad luck AND timing.

An example of irony would be saying, “Nice weather!” during a hurricane.

Or saying about Cruella De Vil, “She’s such a sweetheart!”

Clearly, the situations listed in Morissette’s song are simply coincidences, not irony.

She admitted it herself, when she “updated” her lyrics on a late night comedy show last year.

She and James Corden, on The Late Late Show last year, sang it this way:

It’s like Netflix, but you own DVDs,
 it’s a free ride, but your Uber’s down the street,
 it’s singing Ironic, but there are no ironies,
 and who would have thought, it figures.

( Quick aside: Watch it, it’s pretty funny! )

Know what’s NOT funny — But IS ironic?

How much “Internet marketing” information out there has nothing to do with marketing.

It’s ON the Internet. It talks about online technologies or tactics.

But a lot of it is just “hope and pray” marketing. Not the thing you want to do when your money’s at stake.

For straight talk about Internet marketing, particularly for local business, look into

Talk soon,

Cass Tyson

Very cool resource you need to know about!

So here I am, doing my due diligence researching an article for The Internet Examiner, and I stumble across this very cool resource.

If you own a local business, go here and check this out:

This page has six (6) tools that let you check the quality of your web presence.

Just click the link you’re interested in, put in your company name, website, or whatever it asks for, and see how you rate.

It’s totally free (of course there are paid options, but aren’t there always?!) so it won’t hurt a bit.

You’re welcome!


PS: I’ll be taking a lot more about this tool and others in an upcoming edition, so head on over to and sign up already, why don’t you?

If you use Firefox, this bug’s for you (serious bizniz, you need to read this!)

Tip of Day to ya!

If you use the Firefox browser, you need to update your browser. There’s a security hole in it, meaning bad people could use it to take control of your computer and do bad things.

I’m not going to go into it in detail, because others have done so already. If you want to read about it, go here:

Or just ignore all that, and update your current version of Firefox here:

That’s all for today!


The Internet Examiner