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defensive posture
head of steam
several different ways
defensive zone
good chance
60 minutes
The Internet Marketing Shift Analogy
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The Internet Marketing Shift Analogy

Make Each Shift Count

As in Hockey, you often hear coaches shouting to play the game shift by shift. Give them a full 60 minutes, but play each shift of the game as if it was their last. Each shift only lasts about 30-45 seconds because the players are skating as hard as they can and it's tiring. This is critical in any business or in life for that matter. I like to make reference to hockey because I love the sport and for me, I truly enjoy witnessing how a play develops and in turn, is executed.

A breakout is a play based on a team utilizing its player's in such a way that they successfully move the puck out of their own defensive zone by passing the puck and stick handling their way through the opposition to gain neutral ice. This play can be broken down into several aspects, but to keep things simple for now just making sure the first outlet pass is a perfect tape-to-tape pass usually gets the play going. It is critical the players know and perform their responsibilities accordingly.

Next, it's time to negotiate the neutral zone (the section of the ice rink in the middle of the ice). This is done with one, maybe two passes, with a little finesse, depending on the defensive posture. This portion of the game is practiced over and over again as an integral part of the game.

Although many fans are more excited about the play in front of the net, if teams don't grind it out in the neutral zone, there's a pretty good chance they won't be seeing too many scoring opportunities. The play in the neutral zone is designed to gain momentum and speed so that the team gains the blue line with a head of steam.

The part of a game when a successful defensive zone breakout and neutral zone collaboration has seen fit enough to begin the final assault of assimilating an all-out offensive attack on net comes to fruition. This offensive pursuit can be done several different ways, but in the end, the team that does this better than the other team wins. All the planning, practice and execution pays off when the red goal light flashes and the crowd goes wild.

It's so difficult to know whether or not you are doing something right in the beginning. However, there is something to be said for rolling up your sleeves and doing your best. Just make sure you document your plan and be prepared to make adjustments as they will come. It's of my opinion, that in the beginning, just take action to start.

As I mentioned above, a coach is very important to help prepare you for the game, so to speak. The coach outlines a game plan and gives you a list of responsibilities that you need to compete successfully. You never know the end result prior to starting out; however if you have a game plan, take action and execute your game plan to the best of your ability, you only increase your chances for a successful outcome.

As with any game, mistakes will be made. It's how you handle those mistakes, make the proper adjustments and moving forward that counts. I've found that internet marketing is very much like hockey and I have approached my business very much in the same manner I would approach playing hockey only instead of a break out, neutral zone and offensive zone attack, I simplified it to a beginning, middle and end.

In the beginning, making sure I have a game plan first and foremost is important. For me, my breakout consists of writing good content in the form of a blog. I make sure that I utilize the keywords effectively so that the web crawlers doing the work for the search engines assess my content in the way I intend to have my article (blog post) ranked.

I've recently identified an issue with regard to my keyword promotion and made a change. I'll wait to see the results, but I point this out to let you know to continue modifying your game/business.

Next, in the middle of my work, I prepare for an all out attack in the offensive zone by making sure I carry this momentum through the neutral zone by making sure that I fulfill my obligations and use the tools I have by uploading my content into the various distribution channels (e.g., social networks, etc.) effectively.

This is very important because I want my content to be seen. In order for people to see it, I have to make sure that I adhere to the submission guidelines with regard to the spam filters so my content will be approved by the various artilce, video and social bookmarking sites. Not that I have this issue, but some marketers stand the chance of getting banned from certain sites due to non-compliance and I work hard to avoid that by writing fresh, original content without too much affiliate marketing. (I have to have some though, right?)

Finally, in the end, once I've built up the necessary speed to gain the offensive blue line, I need to work on getting my article/content/blog submitted properly. So, I submit my article to all the sites I've built a relationship with through community involvement and original content. I make sure to comment on other people's blogs and articles to share information with one another and also, hopefully create additional back links for my efforts.

As long as I adhere to the rules of the game, my submissions will be approved and my message will be seen by it's intended audience. I maintain a consistent approach to my game/business and hopefully, even though I know they will come, minimize my mistakes by creating and implementing a game plan and sticking to it ( pun intended).

Hockey, life and business have so much in common for me. If I can continue learning from my mistakes and continue to see and understand the changes, shift by shift, I will be successful and you can too. Whether I raise my hands in celebration of scoring a goal on the ice or helping an entrepreneur start their own business, know that I've worked hard to raise my arms and I am proud of my accomplishments. It's all about heart, desire and most of all, having fun.

Enjoy the game!

Street Talk

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