One of the Most Awesome Personal Websites for Personal Branding and Career Management

November 2nd, 2012

I recently shared a Craig Delano’s career website with you.  The message on that post is that it was a great site, and you could do one like it!

Today I’m going to share one that’s a bit out of many people’s reach, unless they hire someone to help them.

But this is one of the most awesome personal websites I’ve seen: Craig Hobson’s website.  Let’s break it down (I’m not going to talk about everything, just a few highlights).  I should note that Craig is a professional with web design (and strategy and development).

(click on any of the images to go to Craig Hobson’s website)

First Impressions

Craig has his name loud and clear, (1) a terrific picture (presented with a paperclip, to give the illusion that I have a printout and I’ve paperclipped his picture on it) that shows him as friendly, approachable, cool, etc.

(2) I love the choice of colors and font… and wouldn’t you expect that from someone who is an expert in… colors and font?

(3) I love that he’s telling me that he has 9 years of experience in this field, and he’s going to show me, visually, what he has done.


I love how he puts his past work history in a timeline format.  This is really brilliant, and easy for me, as a hiring manager, to analyze.  Will this stand out from the resumes I get?  Definitely.


Craig has testimonials throughout this page… not just this section (which is fairly high on the page), but throughout the page.  Excellent placement.  I know you have them…. look at your LinkedIn Recommendations… are you using them as effectively as Craig is?

How proficient are you, really?

I remember a resume I got a number of years ago… they guy listed about 20 programming languages that he was proficient in. He was a a junior in college.  Maybe he was that amazing, but I would have preferred to see something like this… a chart that shows me the level of proficiency (see the levels along the left, under the arrow).  To take it a step further, Craig grouped his skills by web development, graphic design, SEO & marketing, and video.  Very nice presentation!

Personal Attributes & Strategy

I love this… the website is screaming AWESOME!  But this section shows a non-designer, non-technical side of Craig.  When I look at this I think “this guy is very strategic, also.  Not just a designer waiting for me to give him instruction, he’s going to bring a lot of strategic thinking to the projects!” In other words, this section expands the breadth of Craig’s skills.

The Portfolio

Some of his FAVORITE projects?  I love that he has some favorites.  He lists a lot… this shows you what kinds of things he has worked on… which is critical.  No one is going to hire a designer sight-unseen.  You want to know if Craig is any good?  Aside from THIS website, check out the projects he has worked on!  Even if YOUR work isn’t that visual, can you somehow make it visual, to show off a “portfolio?”

Contact Info: EASY

Craig makes it easy to contact him.  You can connect on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook (icons at the very top of the page), or you can use the form at the bottom… and heck, if  that’s too slow, you can call him.  Make it easy for people to contact you!

This is really exceptional.  I know some of you are thinking “where do I start??”  Maybe you can use his contact form to reach out to him, and get a bid (I don’t know if he would take on this type of project for others).

If nothing else, I wanted you to take some ideas from him and see if you can incorporate them into your own online presence!

Thank you Craig, for an amazing example!

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Gary Vaynerchuk – CRUSH IT

October 13th, 2009

crush_it_bookI retired the Personal Branding Award series a few months ago and said I was going to start a new series…. well, this is it.  I want to interview people who are doing something DIFFERENT.

There is an irony I live with every day.  Some people think I am hear to help you land your next gig… to find your dream job.

You see, I personally don’t think a dream job exists… not in the way it did a few decades ago.  Even if you find the dream job you might not have it after 6 months or 6 years.

You are always in transition, always a job seeker, and thus, always CEO of Me, Inc.

Part of that, as I’ve mentioned before, is to figure out personal income security.

That’s what this series is about – thinking outside the box of “I’m getting my dream job soon!” to “I think there are other ways to crack this (income security) nut!”

Welcome the first person in the series – Gary Vaynerchuk (aka, GaryVee).

Gary is beyond a rockstar, although he’ll deny it.  His energy makes me think all I’m suited for is a government job… but he claims it  is not the craziness or energy that makes you WIN.  No, not win, that makes you CRUSH IT! Crush it is the name of his new book, which should start shipping today.

I interviewed Gary for about 45 minutes, you can listen on the BlogTalkRadio channel.  Lots of gems to apply to your own career here.

Gary Vaynerchuk - Crush It author on our careers

And check out his book Crush It – it’s less than $15 at Amazon.  I’ve got mine in the mail and I’m anxious to get into it!



Personal Branding Example: David Kearsley

September 8th, 2009

I retired the You Get It Personal Branding Awards a few months ago but said I’d highlight awesome examples that would have one.  Here’s one – David Kearsley’s website.  You can read David’s guest post at JobMob where he breaks down the anatomy of his website… it’s an interesting post.

Here are my thoughts on David’s online strategy and use of

  1. He did it right with the domain – he owns his name!! Do you!  You must!   I even ate my own dog food and bought – I really think this is critical.  Good job.
  2. Typically I don’t like dark background with light font, but this one does it for me.  I don’t know why… David is a senior level executive, and this site just looks classy, professional, competent, polished… just like him.
  3. The logo and header are really cool – at the top his name is branded, and the tagline is Igniting > Vision | Solutions | Results … I know he’s series about CxO stuff.
  4. Based on his picture (gray hair), I’m guessing that David is someone who could be facing age discrimination (I write about that a lot on this blog).  But he looks very with-it and current as he has ways to connect with him including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. Right off the bat you get the impression that he’s current with these things, which probably means he’s quite current with anything he should be.
  5. The About page is standard, and it’s fine.  But I’m in love with the Expertise page… read the first paragraph and the first line of the second paragraph – this guy is awesome, competent and has terrific experience!  I really like how he broke this out from his About page.
  6. I think I get what he’s doing with the “Of Interest” section – something like the You Get It perhaps?  If so, I like it.  I’m excited to see his BLOG get up and running…

I asked David Kearsley if he was happy he was getting famous (there was a lot of buzz when the post went up on JobMob) and his reply was:

Famous – no, but I want to be “memorable and remembered”

I’ve remembered it since I saw it – so that objective is being met.

Great job David!



Personal Branding Winner: Joe Cockrell -> Joe PR Guy

April 23rd, 2009

I retired the Personal Branding Winner of the Month, but will award the You Get Award whenever I find someone who has a freaking awesome site/blog, etc.

Joe Cockrell’s website is one of THE BEST that I’ve seen in a long time.  Joe’s message is clear… how much clearer can it get?  He’s a PR guy.  He’s THE PR guy!

You know what was jump-off-the-screen awesome?  The design… Joe’s picture right there… you get to know the PERSON, not the website.  You start to make a personal connection.

My first impression (you have to see the entire website, not just this small part of it) includes:

I’m nice.

I’m competent.

You need to have me work for you.

I LOVE it.  Why doesn’t every professional have something like this?

Go see what Joe the PR Guy has done.  If I wanted a site like this I’d go get a bid from elance and probably pay less than $200 for it (only because I could tell the designer: “I want this, with these specific changes” (and then list the changes…)).



Make-A-Wish of Utah GETS Blogging and Personal Branding Award Announcement

April 3rd, 2009

First, the announcement: I have one more Personal Branding Award to give out, and then I’m going to retire it.  I’ve been doing it for about two years, and I think there’s enough information in what I’ve written that you should get terrific ideas on writing your own blog for your personal brand.  It’s a great resource.

I’m sure I’ll come across some other blogs that are awesome, and I’ll showcase them, but I won’t necessarily do it on a monthly basis (I’ll just do it when I feel like it).  Cool?

You can see past winners of the JibberJobber You Get It Personal Branding award here.  Next week I’ll announce the last winner – it is someone who’s blog I’ve seen over the last year, and think it is one of THE BEST blogs on the internet…

Announcement 2 is that I already know what I’m replacing this award with… I’ve been thinking about it for the last 6 months and am really jazzed to switch gears to this other thing (you’ll see what it is soon).

Today I want to share the blog that Christine Sharer started for the Make A Wish Foundation of Utah.  Christine says she’s new to all this social stuff, including blogging, but one look at her blog and I know SHE GETS IT.  There are only a few posts, but they are so compelling… these are heart-tugging posts.

Make-A-Wish is an organization that needs donatations.  On her blog she is not asking for donations… rather, she is telling you stories about what happened to the recipients of your donations. Each of her posts start off with “Where are they now?” and then the name of the person.

These stories are awesome, and I think just telling these stories is going to do more for her organization than putting “donate here” badges on the blog.

Kudos Christine, may this be an example of excellent blogging for non-profits and for-profits alike!

And if you want to read some super-inspirational stories, go check out the Utah Make-A-Wish Foundation blog!

Want to meet my JibberJobber Partners?  These are career coaches, job search coaches and resume writers and personal branding experts who have committed to teaming with JibberJobber, and see the potential in including JibberJobber as a part of their overall offering.  My team has started to put together a page that introduces them to you … pictures and descriptions… come check it out!  It’s just starting, so there are more to add, but here’s the start of introducing all of the Partners to you.



Personal Branding Winner of the Month (January) – Rex Gradeless

February 5th, 2009

This might be one of the best-branded professionals I’ve found – and finding him was almost an accident.

Rex Gradeless “followed” me on Twitter a few days ago, and I checked out his Twitter profile.  He’s a 3rd year law student, looking for a litigation position… and has (get this) 10,687 followers (as of right now).

Most people on Twitter don’t have over 1k followers.  It takes a lot of work to get over 5k followers.  It is rare that I see someone with 10k+ followers… and this dude is a third year law student?!?!?!

My first thought was “when he tweets that he’s ready, and he’s available, and what city he wants to go to, I’m sure his network will help him in ways that I only dreamed of.”

But let’s go beyond Twitter – there’s more.

I should mention, the purpose of these personal branding awards is to help YOU know that YOU can do this to.  Rex is not a professional blogger, or twitterer, or social media junkie, he’s a professional almost-attorney.  He just uses available (free) tools to put his brand in front of an audience… just like you can should!

Rex owns the Social Media Law Student blog/site.  I’m no lawyer, and I don’t know all the resources they have, but I’m guessing this is the most comprehensive collection of current thoughts regarding the intersection of social media and law around.  From a third year law student.  I thought all third years were cramming for that big test they have to take?

Apparently not – Rex found time to brand himself in the legal community as an expert in his field with social media.

Think that will do good for him?  I bet it already has.

As I read the About page I kept thinking “this guy is going to do in this space what Michael Arrington did with TechCrunch.”   I’m amazed how Michael took a simple idea and created an empire out of it – this was an idea that hundreds or even thousands of real journalists could have run with, but Michael did it.  Just like Rex seems to be doing it.  Think about multiple streams of revenue… the opportunities here are rich.

the “law student contributors” page shows me that Rex is smart enough to recruit thought leaders into the mix, so this is manageable for him.  Understand that this all still falls under Rex’s brand, BUT/AND Josh Camson and Sharon Lovell, just because they are associated, will be recipients of any good and strong branding that happens.  They get strong branding by association with this site!  Smart for all three involved.

I am absolutely blown away by what Rex has done here.  He’s created a massive following, he’s created THE thought-leadership role in this space, he has strong content (thanks to his contributors, I’m sure), and I know this will serve him well for the rest of his career.

Don’t get overwhelmed by what he has done, as I’m sure it’s taken time and concerted effort to put together.  Go see what he has done that you might be able to emulate… the goal here is to learn from these winners, and Rex is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

I’m awed.  Check out all of his online stuff here:

Congratulations Rex! You join a special group of professionals and have earned a coveted link from my monthly winner’s blogroll area (on the left), six months of premium JibberJobber (you can transfer/award this to someone else :) ), and a cyber-high five! And, a new addition to the prize list is the two hour (!!) recording of Blog Marketing 201 – 501 (part of the CEO Training for Me, Inc. – listed at $49.95 (but much more valuable than that!).

You can see the other winners of this award, which has been going on for over two years, at the Monthly Winner category.



Personal Branding Winner of the Month – Warren Sukernek

December 30th, 2008

I missed November!  Doh!  That’s okay, here’s a great example of someone taking personal branding online to a higher level.  I’ve known of Warren for a while, and think he’s a great way to end 2009’s Personal Branding winners.  Here’s why…

Warren Sukernek is in the position you want to be in when you get canned.

Warren has a strong network, understands relationships, and has been living giver’s gain for a long time.  And people know it.  They “know” him, and they trust him.

Warren has been digging a well long before he was thirsty… perhaps not realizing that he would need to tap into it during a job search.  His online presence is enough to make me feel overwhelmed, but I think the key is he didn’t do it all overnight, and everything he has done (or at last parts of it) can be lessons for YOU to do the same.

Warren has a blog. Actually he has a number of blogs… so I should say he has a blog strategy.  Look, I beat this dead horse over and over, but let me share one idea – if companies are moving away from “brochureware,” which is a static website, and moving to a conversational place to build community and listen and interact, why can’t you?  He is developing conversation around Twitter, setting himself apart as an authority on Twitter.  Authority = thought leader – subject matter expert.

Warren is on Twitter. Of course.  You can see his Twitter account here.  Note he has over 2,000 followers and has tweeted over 5,000 times.  When he writes “RT” he is sharing information with his followers… he is providing some kind of value (and if they don’t think so, they can stop following him).  This is the audience he turned to when he got laid-off, and they have been responsive!  Click here to see some screenshots of how people reacted to his news on Twitter.

Warren participates in discussions. Check out his participation in the Society for Word of Mouth Ning social network: Warren has a history of participating in conversations over 30 times there.  Think people there know who he is, or of him?  Absolutely.  His PEERS know who he is, and they have formed opinions of him based on the brand he has built there.  And when he let them know he was available, they responded!

Warren has a nice picture. Seems trivial, does it?  With all the places you can post your “avatar” or picture online, I seriously encourage you to get a nice headshot.  Warren’s is nice and looks professional.  It makes him seem approachable.  It is not offensive, and it is one of the little things that makes his strategy seem more “on purpose.”

I predict Warren either (a) won’t be out of work for long, or (b) will start his own consulting gig (which I think is a pretty viable option considering the hiring economy right now).

Congratulations Warren! You join a special group of professionals and have earned a coveted link from my monthly winner’s blogroll area (on the left), six months of premium JibberJobber (you can transfer/award this to someone else :) ), and a cyber-high five! And, a new addition to the prize list is the two hour (!!) recording of Blog Marketing 201 – 501 (part of the CEO Training for Me, Inc. – listed at $49.95 (but much more valuable than that!).



Personal Branding Winner of the Month – Mark Beckford of Disruptive Leadership

October 31st, 2008

I came across Mark Beckford a few months ago, as he is a client of one of my partners, Deb Dib.  Mark immediately struck me as very nice, very ambitious, very successful, and very unemployed.  I watched as he started his blog, Disruptive Leadership, and remember his first post wasn’t even the awkward “I’m here, blogging, now what do I say” post.  He jumped right into it, with an analytical, opinionated view on current events that he had professional passion about.

Very nice start, I just wondered if he would be able to keep up the momentum.

Well, he has kept up the momentum, and he stays true to his name Disruptive Leadership.  Very impressive.  Just about everything he has on his blog is impressive… I love the name, colors, look-and-feel, etc.  He is fearless in what he blogs about, has a great style, knows when to write a lot and when to write a little… he has an excellent blog.

And that’s all I’m going to say about why his blog rocks. If you want more substance into what makes a great professional personal branding blog, you can sift through the last 2 years of award winners.  For now, let’s shift gears a little and move from technique to RESULTS.  Because RESULTS is what this is all about.  Mark gets the customary 6 months of JibberJobber premium (transferrable), the highly sought-after link to his blog in my blogroll, a cyber-high-five, and a Blog Marketing 201 – 501 webinar… not too shabby for Mr. Disruptive.

Now let’s get down to RESULTS.  I’m going to let Mark share, in his own words, the results he got.  This is kind of long, but it’s a great read.  This is exactly the type of story I look for to quantify the value of having a strong personal branding strategy.  Mark, take it away!

After 11 years with Intel and a 3-year assignment in Shanghai starting up a new business group and turning around a few businesses, I found myself unsatisfied.  Being in China with Intel was a great experience, but a combination of things, including a dearth of entrepreneurial opportunities, led me to take a year off.   So I pulled the plug on Intel and China and returned to my home in California to spend time with my family (not much opportunity to do that as an expat or Intel executive), dabble in some hobbies (drawing, blogging, and cycling), and do some self-exploration.

I have read more books on various topics in the last 9 months than I have in 20 years.  Some of the standouts tended toward common themes:

  • Networking: Never Eat Alone; The Go-Giver; How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Social Networking: Groundswell
  • Career Development: I’m on LinkedIn, Now What? Career Distinction; Ask the Headhunter; Now Discover your Strengths; Uniting the Virtual Workplace
  • Global Perspectives: The World is Flat; Post-American World; One Billion Customers (how to do business in China)
  • Social Capitalism: The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Creating a World without Poverty

As I started thinking about getting back into the job hunt, I realized that for the first time I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do.  I  have always been very goal oriented, knowing what I wanted to do or be in 5 years, yet here I was, unsure of what I should do next. Join a startup?  Go back to a big company?  Do consulting?  Go international again? And what type of function (biz dev, general management, etc.)?  It was an uncomfortable place to be.

I joined a six-week teleseminar in March on career management for execs which I found on Blue Steps, led by Louise KursmarkDeb Dib presented at the first session and gave an update on personal branding—my first intro to it.  Louise recommended Jason Alba’s book on LinkedIn, and suggested I use VisualCV because my career had strong visual elements.

I agreed with Deb’s approach ideas about branding, but I was daunted at the thought of doing it by myself. I knew that at work I was at my most creative when I was bouncing ideas off people.  In 2006, I had hired a resume writer, Gloria Gordon, to update my resume for the first time in 10 years (never updated it after business school… just got promoted within Intel and never really needed it.)   Gloria did a great job both on the resume and the cover letter—from scratch—for about $600.  They got me interviews and a job offer, but it wasn’t about branding.

I looked at several brand experts and went with Deb Dib (the most expensive, but I believe that you get what you pay for). In April, I then began the branding process which started with self discovery and included doing things that were very uncomfortable but rewarding. For example, I didn’t like sending Reach’s 360 out to my friends/colleagues.

Bottom line: it helped me realize I had an entrepreneurial passion for growing for-profit tech businesses in emerging markets, creating a wildly successful business while doing good by helping people in need.  The interesting thing is that once I discovered this, I found that there is a huge movement out there to bring business principles to do social good, mixing the dynamics of creating sustainability and growth through capitalistic principles while promoting a social mission.  It is called a “double bottom line” business (i.e. using both profitable and social measurements for success).

So originally, the idea was to take a year of—the first half of the year to hang out with my family, and the second half to do the job search.  I originally figured it would take a few months to find a job.  I had already gotten offers before I left Intel, and headhunters were calling me here and there.  But by June, the phone was no longer ringing, and I realized that this was going to take awhile.  Then things got ugly as the economy ground to a halt and all the companies went on hiring freezes (great for JibberJobber).   The home equity loan I had planned to tap into in case my nest egg for the year got dented decreased due to the decrease in the value of our house.  My wife and I started letting go of all the “help” (gardner, housecleaner, pool man).  I watched my 401K get whacked 20 percent in one week.  Anyway, the financial crisis train was on its way and it was the worst time in 20 years to be looking for a job, especially an executive level job.

The one light for me in all of this was that I now knew exactly what I wanted to be now … CEO of a startup selling computing devices to underserved populations in emerging markets.  The intermediate step given my finances was to work for a startup (preferably) doing this, or a big tech company like Adobe, Google, Facebook that was already doing it (more likely scenario).

But as you know, looking for a job completely SUCKS.  It is demoralizing and boring to boot.

I had become fascinated with web 2.0 and online social networking.   I joined a bazillion social networking sites, but found zero value in 90 percent of them.  The exceptions have been LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.   I finally decided to do a blog, with Deb’s urging, and it has been the most enjoyable thing I’ve done this year.  It has allowed me to express myself and create something that people are actually interested in.   It took a long time to come up with the name, Disruptive Leadership, that fit my “brand”.  I fell into it as I started googling names like Disruptive Marketing, etc.   So 22 posts later, it’s growing and I’m meeting new and interesting people.   It has gotten me noticed by well-established sites in my space such as where I’ve been brought on as one of a handful of staff writers.  One measure of how it has impacted my online brand is that if you google my name in quotes “Mark Beckford” my blog is the second result after my LinkedIn page.

I have been invited to moderate two panels on the role of computers for development.  One was at a conference two weeks ago called “Social Capital Markets 2008” which brought together investors, nonprofits, and social entrepreneurs for which I wrote an article titled Pathological Collaboration about how necessity is forcing two previous “enemies” together: capitalists and nonprofits.  The second panel will be at the Net Impact conference (a global network of leaders trying to change the world through business) in Philadelphia next month on the role low cost computing in development in emerging markets.

I am now working on creating a professional network to complement my blog that will bring together like-minded professionals and executives in the technology business who are growing their businesses in emerging markets and looking to use their products to promote development.   Something like Technology for Development or something sexier.  Nothing out there combines technology, for-profit business principles and emerging markets.  I’m taking a slow approach on this as I think social networks are a tougher nut to crack than blogging.  For example, how do you create an active and vibrant community?  What’s the value proposition?  The technology is easy (

And finally, I just received a job offer with a startup called NComputing that sells low-cost computers to schools and other sectors in emerging markets.  I believe they offer a true “disruptive innovation” to the PC world and I am tremendously excited to make their vision a success.

So, in summary, I would say my “success” in creating my brand, online and otherwise, was due to my:

  • Risk-taking – willing to quit my job which was draining me even though I was working in one of the most dynamic countries in the world.
  • Introspection – willing to peel back the onion to see what makes me tick.
  • Willingness to seek help – hiring an executive CEO coach to help me do that introspection (and taking the risk that the BIG investment would be pay later).
  • Passion for networking – reaching out to people in my area of interest which has lead to great things.
  • Being bold, brash and edgy – abandoning the first name I suggested to Deb Dib for my blog (“Digital Opportunity”) and accepting her criticism of it (“boooorrrrrinnnng!!!”)  which led me to come up with “Disruptive Leadership” and pushed me to be edgy in my writings that convey more powerful things that create interest.
  • Giving more to your network then you receive – Volunteering for a ton of things and looking for ways to give back to my network vs. only take, which isn’t easy when you are looking for  a job, but I’ve seen how this pays off.

The result is I am better grounded in who I am, have built a solid online presence, have found the perfect job, and hopefully become a thought leader in this space.

Excellent! Inspiring! Great job Mark!  And congrats on being the Oct 2008 Winner of the Month!



September 2008 Winner of the Month: Mario Lopez from Mexico!

October 1st, 2008
JibberJobber One Thing started today, and I just sent the first One Thing message.  You can sign up to get one email each workday, with “one thing” you can do to move your career management forward.

I met Mario Lopez, CPA, over a year ago on the My Virtual Power Forum.  A financial professional looking for international work, Mario is a sharp, eloquent, giving, thoughtful professional.  He started a blog and asked me for my critique a number of times, and I finally got around to checking it out.

If you want me to review and analyze your blog, it’ll cost about $500 (I say that because I get lots of requests, and don’t necessarily have the time, even though I love to do it).

In short, Mario’s blog is great, it serves it’s purpose, and it has matured over time.  There is still much work to do, which Mario recognizes, but this blog shows Mario’s professional breadth and depth in a way his resume couldn’t.  Remeber, the personal branding award, You Get It, is all about recognizing professionals who use technology to help others understand their personal brand.

Let me dig right in to my analysis of his blog.  I’ve already sent this to Mario, and he has responded, but many of the points here might be helpful to you as you move your blogging strategy forward.  This is the email I sent to Mario:

Mario, que crees?  I finally got around to critiquing your blog (  I’m really impressed with how far it’s come.  Please know that I’m being honest, and might not be right, this is just a review off the top of my head while I hang out at an airport.  I’ll blog about this if you let me… let me know if you are cool with that.

– I like that this is in English.  Show’s your English proficiency.  I wonder, though, who your job search audience is, and if you should have this (or another one) in Spanish?  I think it’s great in English, but consider your audience (which I don’t know).

– I like your use of YouTube videos in your posts.  Relevant information to each post, on-brand, informational, etc.  Hearing from one blogger all the time (like me) is probably boring… you help diversify the information you put in, while staying on brand, with the videos.  Plus, it makes you look technologically cool, as not all bloggers have figured out how to put video in.

– this is a cultural thing, so take it with a grain of salt.  In the header you say “This blog intends to create discussions with…”  I would say “This blog creates discussions with”  You already know I think you are wordy (although I must say, your posts are more concise than what I was expecting to see), but it might help to get a native English speaker to do you a favor and spend an hour or two and proofread your blog, and help minimize cultural and language nuances in your messaging.  When I write, one of goals is to “tighten” my wording, which means cut out as much as I can and still keep the message.  Cut, then cut some more, and then cut again.

– I have to say it: I hate blogger.  Your blog needs to be hosted with a wordpress install on a server.  Until then, change the layout to make it look less like blogger (… the gray background – gag).

– I LOVE the image with all the dollars on the top right.  It is really, really, really big… taking up more real estate than I would want to give up, but it leaves NO question about your brand, expertise, and message.

– You have way too many widgets, links, images, and noise on the right side of your blog.  Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.  I would totally clean that up, and put those things in a Page, or multiple pages.  Get it off of the main blog page, as it really detracts from your messages, and your messaging.  Getting rid of all the widgets *might* make me like your blogroll, which is really great to reach out to other financial bloggers, but still very, very long.  Consider breaking it into categories, like I do on my JibberJobber blog.

Post with more frequency.  3, 4 and 5 posts per month is NOT enough to build a community, readership, or get a lot of SEO benefits.  You have great content, a great voice, and really show your passion and expertise.  But It’s not frequent enough to engage me.

– does blogger allow you to put a “subscribe by email” widget on your blog?  This should be on the top right, and not having it is what I consider one of the sins of a blogger.

– I’m not good with colors and layout, but the red header and the blue sidebar don’t seem to go well together.  change one or the other, but make them match better, not clash. (Mario has since changed this)

– get rid of the snapshots widget.  It drives me nuts.

link out to more blog posts, and blogs.  You need to market this blog more (you get 0 comments), and that’s a good start.

– Your email signature includes a link to the blog, but also links to other stuff… I got lost for a second, and I knew what I was looking for.

I also got some feedback from Twitter friends:


Mario, you are on the right track, I’m excited to see your blogging strategy move forward!

Congratulations! You join a special group of professionals and have earned a coveted link from my monthly winner’s blogroll area (on the left), six months of premium JibberJobber (you can transfer/award this to someone else :) ), and a cyber-high five! And, a new addition to the prize list is the two hour (!!) recording of Blog Marketing 201 – 501 (part of the CEO Training for Me, Inc. – listed at $49.95 (but much more valuable than that!).

Feel free to post the You Get It award on your site!

Click here to see past winners.



August 2008 Jump-Off-The-Page Winner Of The Month – Jared from Marketing Diner

August 29th, 2008

Last week I was in Nashville doing presentations at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management. I was seriously impressed with the building (one building dedicated to the MBA program – sweet!), campus (the trees and flowers and plants are AMAZING), career center staff (very, very competent and on first-name basis with many students; also, very involved with the student process… much more involved than I’ve seen in many other places), students (sharp, great questions, and determined) and faculty (who came to one of my workshops – extra credit for them!). 

I met Jared Degnan, owner of Marketing Diner, and twitterer at  Jared comes across as a pretty nice guy, and is well known by many of his Owen peers.  If I was going up against Jared for a marketing position, I’d be nervous.  Why?  Because his blog and tweets talking about marketing, and social marketing, would really set him apart from his competition.  Check out the tagline for Marketing Diner (below the logo):


I think it’s easy to get consumed with school, work, social life, etc. when you are in school… that’s what happened to me.  But Jared is developing his own job security by establishing a foundation to his personal brand RIGHT NOW.  His blog is smart, but beyond that, he’s helping future employers, clients, employees, and others in the marketing space know who he is – his professional breadth and depth.  He is giving you a window into his professional capacity, and could easily be seen as a thought leader in the marketing space.

Jared wins this month’s You Get It Personal Branding award, and becomes one of the very few winners that I’ve actually met in person!

Jared Degnan, congratulations! You join a special group of professionals and have earned a coveted link from my monthly winner’s blogroll area (on the left), six months of premium JibberJobber (you can transfer/award this to someone else :) ), and a cyber-high five! And, a new addition to the prize list is the two hour (!!) minute recording of Blog Marketing 201 – 501 (part of the CEO Training for Me, Inc. – listed at $49.95 (but much more valuable than that!).

Feel free to post the You Get It award on your site!

Here are the past winners:

This post is brought to you by Deb Dib, the CEO coach. Deb Dib helps CEOs (and rising stars heading for the C-suite) land faster, earn more, have fun, and change the world! C-level career services include executive branding, resume creation, executive coaching, and comprehensive on-line identity techniques focused on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other forms of social media. Deb Dib is a JibberJobber Career Expert Partner.



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