Most people know me online as the "Power Linking" guy. Few know
that I used to be a Wilderness education expert and wildlife
In my non-profit years (all 12 of them in various environmental
protection organizations) I raised money, lobbied Senators and
Congressmen in the halls of Washington D.C., and educated people
about open spaces and protecting wildlife.
But my most rewarding job ever was working in the wildlands of
New Mexico, Arizona, and northern Mexico. I took prospective
donors on raft trips to show them what they would be protecting
if they donated to our group.
I took Sierra Club members into the Blue Range Mountains of
Arizona to hear wolves howl and teach them to track bears.
Which brings me to why I got up at 5 a.m. this morning after
laying down to sleep for only 20 minutes all night. I couldn't
get it out of my head how much tracking bears parallels what we
as internet marketers do to generate traffic for our sites.
You see, bears in the wild have an incredible communication
system. Much like those big cork boards that are placed all over
college campuses for students to pass information on to each
other, bears have high-traffic areas in the wild where they
leave messages for each other too.
When you get on the trail of a bear, if you follow it long
enough, you will come to something most people will walk right
by unless they know what to look for. Wherever major wildlife
corridors and paths cross in the wild, the trained eye can pick
out signsthat the wildlife can see, smell, and sense a mile away.
In these "crossroads" you can find incredible signs. Like links
we leave around the internet to let people know of our presence,
bears leave their scent and marks in these wildlife
"high-traffic" areas to either let other bears know to stay away
from their turf, or to let bears of the opposite sex know "Hey,
I'm here, drop by sometime."
I can take you out in the woods in bear country and within a
short period of time show you a bear "sign post" which is really
just a tree, usually the biggest one in the area, where they
scratch their backs and leave their hairs and scent.
They will also claw as high as they can, stretching up on their
hind legs to leave marks to show how big they are. Again, either
"Don't mess around in my territory or you'll be dealing with me"
or "I'm the biggest most beautiful bear in the woods, wouldn't
you like to meet me?"
I have linking on the brain, as many people know, from writing
an awful lot about website marketing particularly in the linking
department, and I have come to the conclusion that I led myself
into this niche of internet marketing because it is so much like
tracking bears. (As much as sitting on your butt in air
conditioning typing a computer can be.)
As marketers we are constantly leaving signs (links, ads) all
over the net in as high-traffic areas as possible. And many
times we are simply claiming turf and leaving our "scent."
I claim my piece of internet turf when it comes to linking, and
you can bet that when I am leaving signs of my presence, I am
going to stretch as high as possible to leave the most
impressive and biggest sign on each "tree" as I possibly can.
Either to let my competitors know "Hey, you are going to have
trouble with me if you challenge my turf" or to let customers
know "Hey, I have the best product and the most skill at getting
you what you need, come see me sometime."
There are many other parallels that can be drawn from my
tracking days to my work on the net today. It is just very
interesting to know that such a "wild" past career could even
come close to affecting my path on the internet, let alone shape
exactly how I got to be the biggest bear in my niche of the
You may also like to know that as an internet marketer you are
doing the oldest, most basic instinctual work possible by
leaving signs and attracting attention to yourself and your
I used to be fond of saying "Linking is as old as the web
itself" to give people an idea of the oldest form of internet
marketing in existence. But then, humans, bears, deer, mountain
lions, bobcats, and wolves to name a few have been "linking" to
each other for eons!
Kind of makes my statement, which was meant to draw attention to
how very "old" linking is as a form of leaving signs for others
to follow, seem trite. But then, 10+ years is also eons in
internet terms, so I guess it still fits.
Anyway, the next time you "hike your leg" readying yourself to
leave sign of your presence somewhere on the net, think of that
bear...out there in the big outside, scratching his back and
sharpening his claws on the biggest tree in the woods.
Be that bear in your online marketing efforts. Stretch yourself
to be the tallest, strongest bear in your niche to attract what
you need (traffic) and repel that which threatens you (other
people encroaching on your turf). There's no better offline
example of competition, marketing, or determination than a big
'ol bear protecting his turf and attracting the "ladies."
About the author:
Jack Humphrey, one of the "luckiest" guys on the internet, is an
Online Marketing Consultant and originator of several successful
online ventures. You can find more articles by Jack at
http://webmastertraffictools.com . See also
http://power-linking-profits.com and http://equipmint.com