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E3: Stoney deGeyter, Author of ‘The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!’

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After a brief respite for the Holidays, we’re back with another episode of Site Unseen. Today on our show, Stoney deGeyter joins us to talk about his book, ‘The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!’ Stoney is a longtime digital marketer, speaker and writer. He’s also the principal of his own agency, Pole Position Marketing, in Canton, Ohio.

Episode Transcript

David Hitt: 00:18 Hello, and welcome to Site Unseen. Site Unseen is the digital marketing podcast which covers issues common to the integrated digital marketing agency of today. On our podcast, we look at trending topics which lie at the intersection of digital design, development and marketing. My guest today is Stoney deGeyter. Stoney is the principal of Pole Position Marketing, and his firm offers a wide range of digital marketing services to clients of various sizes and orientations.

David Hitt: 00:45 And he’s got a book out, which I just finished reading, and which we’ll spend quite a few minutes discussing today. Before we move onto the show, though, I’d like to give a shout out to our sponsor, UXPin. UXPin is the full stack UX design program which allows digital professionals to design, document, test, and build out user experiences. Visit them at uxpin.com, and be sure to check out the podcast page on our website for a coupon entitling you to a 14-day free trial membership to UXPin.

David Hitt: 01:15 So, that leads us to our show, and our guest today. And our guest is Stoney deGeyter. Stoney, welcome to Site Unseen.

Stoney deGeyter: 01:24 Thanks, I appreciate you having me.

David Hitt: 01:26 Well, we appreciate your being here. I sort of wanted to start things off by allowing our audience the opportunity to get to know you a bit. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started doing this web thing?

Stoney deGeyter: 01:44 Yeah. Well, I’ve been doing this since 1998, which is, coincidentally, the same year Google started. And I was hoping we would have similar growth trajectories, but no, they’re going just a little bit better than me. But I started before Google was really even a thing, and I don’t even know if I was doing digital marketing back then, versus I was building websites for clients. And I realized pretty quick that I was not a designer. I wasn’t a coder. And so I was struggling in that realm.

Stoney deGeyter: 02:26 But I kind of knew my way around what things needed, I just couldn’t necessarily envision them. And my dad, who, after I built his website, he said, “Hey, listen, I want you to market me to the search engines. Here’s a program, WebPosition Gold, have at it, get people to my site.”

Stoney deGeyter: 02:44 And so I took that, I ran with it, and the rest just kind of went from there. I moved out of the design, we kind of just built this company on digital marketing, or search engine optimization, and then kind of expanded back into web development and web design as a necessity for good optimization and marketing practices.

David Hitt: 03:10 That’s actually going to be a theme of our podcast today, that idea of intersections, because that’s pretty much what this podcast seeks to explore, specifically. Because it’s pretty much, as my experience owning a small studio myself, what I was perceive to sort of be the principal dilemma of the modern smaller marketing agency.

David Hitt: 03:33 Which is, you have this situation where … Our disciplines involve a network of sub-disciplines, and I think one of the biggest problems and one of the biggest issues facing small to medium sized brands today is the lack of integration, or the discreteness with which each one of those disciplines takes place in their own little world.

David Hitt: 03:56 And what I really liked about your book, and your approach to marketing in general, is that you recognize that we’re all part of the same universe of disciplines. And I hope that we have the chance to sort of talk about that a little bit in greater detail later on in the podcast.

Stoney deGeyter: 04:13 Yeah, well, that’s the interesting thing. Because when we started, it was search engine optimization; it was its own thing. And now, search engine optimization alone is pretty much dead. It requires all of these other areas of digital marketing in order for that element to be successful.

David Hitt: 04:31 Right. But it’s still a word that’s bandied about by our clients and potential clients all the time, which is interesting.

Stoney deGeyter: 04:37 Yeah. It is.

David Hitt: 04:40 So, 1998. What did your scope of services typically look like in 1998? When people came to you in 1998 and said, “I want to do well on the search engines,” what was your response, and what were your services?

Stoney deGeyter: 04:59 Oh my gosh, I hate to even talk about this. It really was, “Okay, give me $100 for every doorway page we build for your site, and every page will be optimized for a certain set of key words.” And we created pages, stuffed them with key words, and we go, “There you go.” And they were poor usability, it was crappy content, it was pages that were outside of the user experience, and it’s really embarrassing now to think about that, but it didn’t take me too long to realize this approach doesn’t work.

Stoney deGeyter: 05:39 Even while everybody else was doing doorway pages and they were getting success, I kind of looked at the long term, since this isn’t sustainable, and we need to do something that’s more integrated and more focused on improving the business, not just driving traffic to a page that won’t do any good.

David Hitt: 06:00 Right, right. Okay. We might come back to sort of the various epochs that have sort of influenced our respective industries because I think there were sort of some milestone moments over the last 17 years, and maybe we could a little bit more about those later, but let’s get to your book. I want to say that I read your book.

Stoney deGeyter: 06:30 Did you actually read it cover to cover?

David Hitt: 06:32 I did, Stoney. The reason why I specifically sort of put off doing this with you is because I actually really wanted to read it. I’m just starting this podcast myself, and I have a certain level of ambition that I’m seeking to bring to my interviews, and I really … I wanted to digest it all. But that aside, yeah, go ahead.

Stoney deGeyter: 06:58 You know I ask that because it’s not really the type of book that’s meant to read cover to cover because it’s just a series of checklists, but, at the same time, I would’ve done the same thing. I buy a book like this, I go, “Okay, I’m going to sit down and read it, and so at least I know what’s in it.”

David Hitt: 07:15 I think I wanted to read it because it was written by a peer in my industry, and I’m always wondering … because you noted the speed with which our industry changes, and I think that most of us that do website development or digital marketing, we’re necessarily introverts, most of the time. And I think most of us are, by large measure, self taught.

David Hitt: 07:40 And the disadvantage of being a self taught professional is that you’re not getting feedback from your peers, so I read a lot in order to sort of just … As I read your book, I was like, “Oh, yeah. I’ve always thought this myself,” about many of the issues that you write about, and I’ve always sort of wondered if anybody else out there has noted this observation.

David Hitt: 08:04 And so, I think that’s what motivated me to actually read the book cover to cover, but I wanted to talk about things that I liked that our viewers might be interested in.

Stoney deGeyter: 08:15 Yeah, let’s not talk about the things you don’t like.

David Hitt: 08:20 I didn’t really interpret the book that way at all. There was nothing that rose to the top of my head that I did not like about your book. I think what I did like, principally, I understand that, because I use references all the time, I understand that, in order for a reference book to be successful for me, there has to be varying depths of information, and all depths, all levels of content have to be accessible very quickly.

David Hitt: 08:50 And I think the format of your book lends itself very well to quickly getting in and out with precisely the information you need. So as a reference, I give you kudos for the format of the book, the checklist format, and the sort of dividing things into chapters which are specific to subtopics within digital marketing. Really worked for me.

Stoney deGeyter: 09:14 Yeah, well, good. It’s good to hear that. That was the intent, was to have something that people could easily jump in and go, “I know I need to know something. Where do I find it? Oh, here it is. I found the chapter, scan the list, these are the things I need to know.”

Stoney deGeyter: 09:30 So it was particularly designed to be easy to go back to without having to highlight a bunch of things and put post-it notes and bookmarks throughout. You can just pretty much look at the table of contents, get to where you need to go, and find what you want.

David Hitt: 09:47 Okay, so, I did highlight things and use post-it notes. Is that bad?

Stoney deGeyter: 09:51 Only if you’re using your iPad to read it.

David Hitt: 09:55 No, I actually, I was reading the actual, physical book. I think I did get the Kindle version. So, who did you write the book for, and why did you write it?

Stoney deGeyter: 10:09 I can’t say I wrote it for anybody in particular other than just people who need to know how to do this stuff, you know?

David Hitt: 10:15 You didn’t develop a persona for your ideal reader?

Stoney deGeyter: 10:20 No, I didn’t. Honestly, I wrote it for myself. I had been collecting so much information, and I’m a very process-oriented person. And so I build checklists, I create ways of … processes for doing things, and I’d been collecting all this, reading different books, different materials, and I’m like, “I need to organize all of this so I can use it.”

Stoney deGeyter: 10:44 And that’s what I did. The first version of this book wasn’t even a book. I published it, or I released it, in 2017 as the free downloadable PDF in a series of blog posts. And it was just, “Hey, here’s all this information I need if I want to do X, Y, or Z, and everything in between.” I just wanted to organize myself.

Stoney deGeyter: 11:08 Now, the idea of moving from that original seven, maybe, twelve page PDF into a 250 page book, it really came down to, as I was going back and going on revisiting this seven years later, and I’m updating it, and I’m like, “Yeah, let me add a little bit more explanation, let me add an introduction.” And I got to a point at a couple chapters in, I was like, “You know, this really just needs to be a book rather than a PDF.”

Stoney deGeyter: 11:38 And so then I just kind of really focused in on, how do I provide the most value to anybody who picks this up and make sure that they understand it; they know what each chapter is there for; they know what each action point is there for? And it just turned into this 200 page monstrosity. But-

David Hitt: 11:59 It’s not a monstrosity. It’s actually pretty manageable.

Stoney deGeyter: 12:01 It is, it is. And it’s just a good reference. Honestly, I even keep a copy on my desk, because I find myself referring back to it, going, “I know I need to know something. Oh, here it is,” because I can’t remember everything.

David Hitt: 12:16 Right.

Stoney deGeyter: 12:16 So it’s just a good thing to have.

David Hitt: 12:19 So, getting back to the book, you cover a wide range of topics. You cover the sort of entire constellation of components that adds up to brands having a good digital marketing footprint, for lack of a better expression. And you do everything from talk about sort of domain acquisition, to page layout, to eCommerce strategies, and you sort of loosely referred to SEO as being dead or a thing of the past, as a discipline unto itself.

David Hitt: 13:02 This is sort of the reality that we all have come to grips with, I think, in the last four to five years. Digital marketing means a lot. It simultaneously encompasses multiple aspects of how we develop brands on the web, and yet, still retains, still encompasses multiple actual professional disciplines in and of themselves. So, how do you describe yourself? How do you describe your firm?

Stoney deGeyter: 13:36 I describe us as a digital marketing firm, but the term I really love is, we do web presence optimization.

David Hitt: 13:45 Right.

Stoney deGeyter: 13:46 Because it’s not about a website, it’s not about the search engines, it’s about everything online. The entire web presence, social presence, the onsite engagement, getting traction from the search engines, but getting traction from other avenues as well. It just all comes down to, we’re optimizing everything. The entire web presence. And I really love that term, and it’s not really catching on as I would hope, imagine that.

Stoney deGeyter: 14:14 But for me, it’s a good way to describe what we do that really resonates with me. And I think it can resonate with other people when they see, oh yeah, this is about the big picture. It’s not about the search engines, or this, that, and the other, or just social media, it’s everything.

David Hitt: 14:31 Right, sure. One of the things I wanted to talk to you about is, well, tell us about your business. Tell us about Pole Position Marketing a little bit, and what you guys do specifically.

Stoney deGeyter: 14:43 We do web presence optimization.

David Hitt: 14:45 Yeah, right. I said specifically.

Stoney deGeyter: 14:49 Yeah, obviously, our core is in the on-page, organic optimization. That’s kind of where we were birthed out of. Everything else that we do, social media, marketing, content, strategy, link building, conversion optimization, web design and development, all of that is based around that core concept of, we’re building something to market it. We’re improving the business to help it grow.

Stoney deGeyter: 15:21 So, we don’t approach it from an end goal of, “Hey, we’re just going to build this social media presence for you,” or, “We’re just going to build a website for you.” We take a step back and go, “What’s the endgame here? The endgame is to grow the business, to amplify the website, so what do we need to do in order to do all of those things, and not stay siloed into one particular area, but really just look at that and go, ‘We got to hit this whole thing?'”

Stoney deGeyter: 15:52 And even if the business, it says, “I only want a web design,” we still approach it going, “Okay, but you’re eventually going to want to market that website, so here’s what we want to do so your site’s ready to be marketed after it’s designed.”

David Hitt: 16:08 Right. And typically, under what conditions is your firm hired? Or are there typical conditions? Or are there optimal conditions under which you like to be hired?

Stoney deGeyter: 16:21 Yeah, optimal conditions are being able to look at the business and say, “Yeah, we can help you.” Somebody who really takes the digital marketing seriously, and is willing to put forth not just the budget, but the time internally that it’s going to take. Because I tell people, for every five hours of work that our team does, you’re going to get at least an hour worth of homework. Things that we need you to do because we can’t.

Stoney deGeyter: 16:52 We’re going to do keyword research, but we need you to say, “Yes, these look good,” or, “Hey, no, this isn’t particularly applicable.” With social media marketing, we can’t do the engagement on a level that the client can, because they know their business. They can answer questions that we don’t know how to answer.

David Hitt: 17:11 So let me stop you there. So what processes do you typically have in place, or what protocols do you have in place at the beginning of an engagement with a client, that you sort of articulate their obligations as well as yours?

Stoney deGeyter: 17:24 Well, that’s part of the proposal process. We sit down with them, and we’re going over things, but we just, we let them know we can’t do this alone. It requires their buy-in, it requires their input, and almost universally, everybody says, “Yes, yes, I get it, I get it, I get it.” And then real life takes over.

David Hitt: 17:44 In that first meeting, at least.

Stoney deGeyter: 17:45 Yeah. And once real life takes over, there’s nothing you can do about it. We’ve got clients that, they’re seasonal, so they disappear all winter. And so we’ve had to work with them and go, “Okay, listen, if you’re going to disappear because that’s your busy season, we’ve got to figure out how to streamline this approval process.” And they said, “Okay, here’s what we’ll do is, if you don’t hear back from us on an approval, you have it, and then just tell us the result, and it’s up to us to go back in and say, ‘Okay, well, maybe something’s wrong here,’ or whatever.”

Stoney deGeyter: 18:20 So we work out these processes, figure out what’s best for each and every client, but ultimately, we really do want to keep them involved in that process because it’s necessary for them to be as involved in what we’re doing as we are.

David Hitt: 18:38 Right. So, we’ve talked about optimal engagement, let’s talk about more typical engagement. I listen to what you folks do, and I have been in the industry myself for a number of years. It must happen constantly that people seek to engage your services later than they should have.

David Hitt: 19:02 I would imagine, if your principal reputation is as a web presence optimization firm, let’s use your expression, then I’m guessing, oftentimes, you’re inheriting pre-existing web assets that are not optimal, from your opinion and point of view, in terms of web presence, on a pretty frequent basis. Is that correct?

Stoney deGeyter: 19:26 Well, yeah. That’s the nature of the business. Somebody doesn’t hire a plumber unless there’s a problem. There’s a leaky sink. So that’s where we inherit sites that are in disrepair and need things fixed. The problem with that often is when a client comes to us right after they got a site designed, and we look at it, and say, “Okay, you got to change these 10 things, and it’s going to cost this much money,” and they’re like, “Well, I just paid 10, 20, $30,000 for a website. I don’t want to go back and change it.”

Stoney deGeyter: 20:02 I’m like, “Yeah. At that point, you’re spending a whole bunch of extra money, versus investing maybe 25% of that up front, you would’ve gotten a website that didn’t have any of those issues.”

David Hitt: 20:14 Right. So, bearing what you just said in mind, what advice, if you could speak to an imaginary web development partner, what role do you think, if you’re not involved in the initial design and development of a site, what role does the developer have in terms of sort of basic technical SEO and on-page SEO? What, typically, do you think is a reasonable expectation for a client to have of that first engagement with a development firm?

Stoney deGeyter: 20:50 Because development firms, their job is to develop a website that the client likes, that is their job. It is an entirely different discipline to go, “I’m going to develop a search engine-friendly website.” Now, the development firms that have that in their background and say, “This is what we do,” that is fantastic, and they have a leg up. Consider that a value add service.

Stoney deGeyter: 21:16 And even to them, though, I would say get the SEO involved sooner, because you want to do key word research beforehand. You want to do personas, customer personas, ahead of time, and then you want to use that information to figure out how the site flows, the navigation, the pages necessary, and then to create the content, and once you have all of that, then you can actually start designing your website.

Stoney deGeyter: 21:42 But if you don’t have any of that, you’re just kind of making stuff up, and then you’re going to have some issues later. Even if the site is, quote unquote, “search engine-friendly,” you’re still going to have problems getting the message across, and getting that conversion flow going, because you haven’t paid attention to some of these things that should’ve been done ahead of time.

David Hitt: 22:05 Right. So, ideally, you want to be involved from the outset, I presume.

Stoney deGeyter: 22:11 Absolutely. And we do partner with some other development firms locally, and they’ll come to us and say, “Hey, you know what? We want to get these first couple of stages done,” because they don’t do them. They come to us to do it, then we pass it back to them, and they do the design and development. So it is critical to have those two things, the research, and the content, and the navigation, and architecture, and all that laid out ahead of time.

David Hitt: 22:41 Right. One of the things you talk a lot about in your book is eCommerce, and I would say that anybody … I’ve dealt with a number of family-owned eCommerce businesses. We all know there are a bunch of them out there, and your section on eCommerce, I think, would be an invaluable research to those sort of smaller online entrepreneurs.

David Hitt: 23:05 You go into great detail, you have separate chapters on product pages, shopping carts, mini carts, the checkout process, forms, et cetera. You certainly pay a lot of attention to the design and minutiae associated with the checkout process, and it’s clear, you make it clear why you do that, because basically, two thirds of all online transactions end up being abandoned prior to completion.

David Hitt: 23:33 I was wondering, I have been stymied so many times personally and professionally by online checkout experiences. You must have a few good stories, just about eCommerce sites that you guys have had to fix, or consult on. Can you tell me some of the screwiest problems you’ve encountered in eCommerce specifically?

Stoney deGeyter: 23:56 At some point, they all start to run together. And it’s funny, I see it more from my wife, now, where she’s just shopping around and researching, and she’ll say, “These people need to hire you.” She says it all the time. She’s like, “These people need to hire you.” And it’s like, I get that.

Stoney deGeyter: 24:19 Because you’re just on a site, there’s all these levels of frustration, and of course, being on the development side or working with other developers, you know that it is near impossible to catch everything through that process, and you can only … you try to do your best, and at some point in time, you’ve got to go, “We’re done with this, we put it out,” but then, obviously, you want to keep tweaking and keep improving.

Stoney deGeyter: 24:48 But it is near impossible to find every potential flaw, and we’re dealing with that on sites that we worked on two years ago. All of a sudden, somebody does something that nobody had ever done before, and it didn’t work. And the client says, “Hey, I got a problem here,” and we’re like, “Okay, we’ll look into it.”

Stoney deGeyter: 25:09 It’s one of those freak things that you can’t help, that there’s something wrong, but obviously, what you want to do is find those most obvious, biggest pain points, get them fixed so people aren’t screaming at their computer screen, and cursing your mother, before leaving the site. You want to get those things fixed, and then always be improving for the smaller things as well.

David Hitt: 25:33 Are there any repeated things that you keep seeing, though? Are there any dumb mistakes that people just seem to make again and again?

Stoney deGeyter: 25:41 No, I think everybody makes new dumb mistakes.

David Hitt: 25:43 A different dumb mistake. Everybody calls a dumb mistake their own.

Stoney deGeyter: 25:46 Yeah, yeah. They really do. It’s amazing the number of dumb mistakes that people can make, and I’m throwing myself in there. Just small things. Like we were looking at our website the other day, and we’re like, “Huh. These pages don’t have a call to action.” And I’m sorry, that’s 101 in my book, call to action on every page, and we didn’t have it.

David Hitt: 26:08 I think that’s what your book sort of brings to mind, though, when reading it, is that there are a million digital marketing 101s out. The points of action that we all need to bear in mind constantly. None of us have as complex a protocol to document every potential thing we need to think about in terms of user experience and design to get it all, and again, that’s another reason why I read your book cover to cover.

David Hitt: 26:38 It’s because I forget. You know what I mean? We can only carry around so much information in our brains at any given moment, and that repository of finite things that we carry around with us changes every six months as the industry changes and our experience changes.

Stoney deGeyter: 26:52 Yeah. And one of the things about the book that … you mentioned how fast the industry changes. One of the things I stayed away from in the book is anything describing how to do something. Because that is what literally changes overnight. You do a blog post on, “Here’s how you do this on Facebook,” and tomorrow, it’s entirely different.

Stoney deGeyter: 27:17 So I avoided that completely and wanted to really focus on the what to do, and while that does change too, it doesn’t change as frequently. In fact, we just did an updated version of the book. First version was 2014, updated version this year. We didn’t have to remove too much, and we did end up adding chapters that we just didn’t hit on the firs time around or whatever, but it was amazing to me that we didn’t see too much of the stuff going, “Oh, yeah, yeah, don’t do that anymore.” There was some of it, but by and large, the “what to do” holds pretty true.

David Hitt: 27:57 Sure. Well, right. I think our industry has evolved to the point where we’re finally, we’re realizing the intentions that Google has always had, or search engines have always had, with regards to web presence, which is relevance, excuse me. We’re getting to the point where the things that we’re emphasizing as professionals are precisely the things that make the consumer’s experience easier.

David Hitt: 28:31 We are preaching a gospel of relevance, that’s sort of what content marketing is all about. It’s about crafting relevant messages for potential client personas, and on the execution side, we’re preaching the idea that one needs to make a website that’s easy to use, understand, and interact with. And that’s ultimately … I think the eCommerce thing is so interesting to me because it is certainly one of the most challenging user experience interactions that we as professionals create. So I was really heartened to see how much time you gave to it.

Stoney deGeyter: 29:12 Yeah. Well, one of the things I like to say is, in our industry, we tend to look at Google, getting first place rankings, as the goal. We want to get that exposure, we want to get those rankings. But really, Google is just the trophy for doing a job well done in all of the digital marketing. So if we’re focused on the visitor and giving them the best experience possible, we win. And the trophy is getting those top rankings, to say, “Hey, look, congratulations. You’re doing it right.”

David Hitt: 29:46 Right. Yes. In a way, it’s sort of … it’s an incidental result of doing your job well. It is cited as being the original goal of a client, but at the end of the day, it happens because you’ve done everything else in terms of crafting a web experience and a web presence for a client that works. Right?

David Hitt: 30:14 One last thing. I’m always curious to talk to other folks that work in the industry about the process of new client courtship, we’ll call it. I find it very interesting … we’re in the business, principally, of offering expertise, offering knowledge. We basically provide our clients with knowledge that we possess that they lack or don’t have the resources to sort of develop, I guess.

David Hitt: 30:48 Frequently, in the course of pitching new work, or trying to get new work, there’s always this sort of tension between clients wanting some of our knowledge at the outset, prior to an actual signed agreement, and our feeling as though some of that knowledge is necessarily proprietary. When new clients approach you … I’m sure this must happen to you folks, as well. They want you to sort of put together a proposal that, in the preparation of such a proposal, would involve your doing a fair amount of work.

Stoney deGeyter: 31:29 Right.

David Hitt: 31:31 How do you deal with that phenomenon at Pole Position?

Stoney deGeyter: 31:36 Yeah, it’s tough, because doing that proposal requires you to take a look at the problems of the website, understand enough of those problems to go, “This is what you need to do to fix them.” At the same time, there is an element of … there’s so much to do with digital marketing that, really, there’s no end. There’s always going to be something more to do.

Stoney deGeyter: 32:03 So you give me a $50,000 a month budget, believe me, I will be able to invest the time to fill that. So, we have to kind of balance, going, “Okay, client, I know you want to get success, and here’s your goals,” but we have to go, “What’s your budget?” And nobody likes to answer that question, because then they think we’re just going to go, “Okay, great. Wow, that’s exactly what it costs. Hey, look at that.”

David Hitt: 32:32 You are preaching to the choir.

Stoney deGeyter: 32:33 But at the same time, you’re kind of going, “Okay, with that budget, this is what we can do, and we’re going to start with the highest priority items first.”

David Hitt: 32:43 Right.

Stoney deGeyter: 32:43 And it’s a very difficult line to follow. You want to be able to say, “Okay, based on your goals, based on what you want to achieve, this is what we say you need,” but if we give them everything that they need, they’re going to look at that and go, “I can’t afford that.” Well, yeah, we know. That’s why we asked to give some idea of where you are budget wise, so we can scale that back, and we’ll get to those things five years from now, or some of those other things five years from now. Let’s get started now with what you’ve got.

David Hitt: 33:15 Right. Yeah, I’ve long been an advocate of sort of broaching the budget question sooner rather than later. It’s an ideal sort of approach. However, I still find that … you sort of indicated this in your response, too, they still, most of our clients or perspective clients, still will not answer the, “What is your budget?” question immediately, and you have to play this, “Well, for $50,000 a month, we can do this,” and then look at the sort of jaws agape at the other side of the table, and the sort of startled reaction. You sort of have to play this game of, “Well, if it’s not this, then maybe it’s this.”

Stoney deGeyter: 34:00 Yeah, well, and a good analogy of that is when you’re shopping for a house, if you don’t give the realtor a budget, they don’t know where to take you at all. You can say, “I want all of these things in a house,” but if your budget isn’t realistic to have all of those things, then you’re going to be going to these houses going, “Hey, it’s got everything you wanted.” “Yeah, but I can’t afford that.” Well, that’s why we’ve got to talk about budget, and then we’ll start taking to the houses that fit that budget range and see what we can do with that.

David Hitt: 34:35 Exactly. So, you mentioned that you are already on the first revision of your book, is that right?

Stoney deGeyter: 34:42 Version two.

David Hitt: 34:43 Version two. Okay. And what’s next? Got anything else in the hopper?

Stoney deGeyter: 34:49 I do. I’ve been working on something else, but I kind of got lazy and stopped working on it. I want to do another book, and I’m just not motivated to do it, so it’s there. It’s on my task list. But I’m also writing a novel, and I’m putting a lot of my free time into that.

Stoney deGeyter: 35:12 I don’t know if it’s going to be any good, who knows? It’s just something, an idea I had years ago, and I’m like, “You know what? I’m just going to do it.” And I’m literally almost at the end. I almost got the first draft completely done of that. It’s been over a year in the making.

David Hitt: 35:29 Well, that’s exciting.

Stoney deGeyter: 35:30 Doing that, and doing all my blogging, and everything else, I am starting to hate writing. So, I’m just like, “You know what? Another SEO book can wait.”

David Hitt: 35:41 Sure. I meant to ask you this at the beginning of our interview, and we’re almost finished, so this is probably an inopportune time to ask, but how do you, you just sort of referred to the phenomenon, how do you find time to write? Under what circumstances do you do it? Do you set time aside every day, or how does that work for you?

Stoney deGeyter: 36:01 I try to designate certain things for certain days. Doesn’t always work, but I have certain days that, this is my blog writing day, and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to write several blog posts today, get them scheduled, and then I don’t have to worry about it. And then I’ll have another day where I’m going to work on these types of writing, and different posts, things like that.

Stoney deGeyter: 36:28 So for me, it’s just about scheduling and then trying to work with that schedule and say, “You know what? I can ignore all of this other stuff today because today’s my writing day.”

David Hitt: 36:41 Sure. Well, I think we’re just about ready to wrap up. But is there anything else you’d like to sort of talk about, Stoney? Anything we didn’t talk about? Anything?

Stoney deGeyter: 36:53 I love talking about sci-fi. What you got?

David Hitt: 36:58 Yeah. Let’s see, sci-fi. The closest I get to sci-fi, really, is superhero movies, and I just finished watching The Defenders. I don’t know if you follow that Marvel show, but oh, I love The Awakening. Did you see The Awakening?

Stoney deGeyter: 37:12 The Awakening. I don’t know what that is. Is that a show?

David Hitt: 37:17 Oh, you know what? Yeah, we shouldn’t have gone off script. I meant Arrival, not The Awakening. Although, The Awakening was a Robin Williams movie from about 25 years ago. But yeah, how about Arrival?

Stoney deGeyter: 37:32 Yeah, I like that. I don’t know if it was fantastic or great, but I do like sci-fi, and the problem with sci-fi is it’s so hit and miss. That and horror. You rarely get a good movie out of those genres, but when they’re good, they’re good.

David Hitt: 37:49 Yeah, horror even more so. The problem with horror is, there’s this whole sort of … People love the sort of B-grade level of horror, so it’s really rare for sort of a horror movie to sort of pierce the veil of better than B-level, because people love B-grade horror movies.

Stoney deGeyter: 38:07 Right.

David Hitt: 38:08 Anyway, Stoney deGeyter has been my guest today, and Stoney is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period! and the principal of Pole Position Marketing. Where are you guys located, Stoney?

Stoney deGeyter: 38:22 Canton, Ohio.

David Hitt: 38:23 Canton, Ohio. What’s Canton famous for?

Stoney deGeyter: 38:26 Pro Football Hall of Fame.

David Hitt: 38:28 Pro Football Hall of Fame. Anything else? Soap, or rubber, anything like that?

Stoney deGeyter: 38:33 No, no. We’re close to Cleveland, where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is.

David Hitt: 38:37 Right, true. You can knock two rocks off with one stone. Okay, thanks for talking to us today, Stoney, and we look forward to reading more from you.

Stoney deGeyter: 38:49 All right, thanks David. Appreciate it.

David Hitt: 38:51 Yep. Bye.

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