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February 1, 2007

Help Us Spend Our Scholarship Money!

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Okay, loyal blog readers, we need your help.

Last month, Bruce Clay’s SEOToolSet training course was named one of the five winners of the Cre8asiteforms Education Scholarship and was generously awarded $400 to put towards furthering search marketing education. Because we’ve always supported opportunities for search engine optimization education, we’ve decided to match the money awarded to us in order to create an even greater opportunity for one deserving group or individual.

Internally, we’ve been throwing around ideas, trying to come up with a worthwhile and exciting use for the scholarship money. We think we’ve thought up some great stuff (only some of which is mentioned below), but now we’re asking you for suggestions as well.

How do you think we should spend our scholarship money?

We’re asking you to put your thinking caps on and dream up the most fun, exciting and rewarding ways you can think of to promote search marketing education. If you had been awarded funds to give back to search, how would you use it?

Is there someone you think would benefit from education in search engine optimization and search marketing? One individual who, if taught, could put the knowledge to good use and possibly even use it to help educate others?

It’s important to us that we not waste this opportunity. We realize this industry is filled with self-starters, small businesses, people who work from home and site owners who would see a night and day difference in profit if they knew how to optimize their site. We want to make sure we award this money to someone who will truly benefit from it and someone who really needs it.

We thought about offering the money to a charity organization with the hope that if they learned trusted methods of search engine optimization that it would help them to further their own cause. At the same time, we quickly realized that any charity that we could immediately think of probably didn’t need the money for search engine optimization since they would be already fairly well known.

From there we thought about creating an essay contest where readers could tell us in 1000 words or less why they need to take our SEOToolSet training course. We’d even offer to fly them out to California and upgrade them to the Advanced class at no cost.

Or maybe we should select one random name from those already slated to attend our class and give the money to them? Did I mention if you happen to take the SEOToolSet class scheduled for March 19-22 you’ll be sitting next to your favorite SEO blogger? No, NOT Rebecca, me!

Or what if we went really crazy and auctioned off one our five golden tickets to Danny’s Search Marketing Expo in Seattle? We’ll give you a free pass and then give you the $400 for spending money. That could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone to learn the ins and outs of the industry from an elite crowd.

I very seriously suggested using the money to fly David Pasternack to Southern California and give him a free pass to our full training course. If taught, I think David could be an asset to this community. I’d love to invite him to experience real best practice SEO training, meet with our analysts, and encourage him to finish his latest SEO series by commenting on what he took away from his experience. And if he finishes our course even more certain that SEO is PPC’s ugly red-headed stepchild, that’s fine with us. At least he would have learned the right way to do it and seen the effort that goes into a real search engine optimization campaign.. What do you think? Am I crazy?

Those are some of our ideas, now we want to hear yours. How would you like to see this money used?

If there’s a person or group you think deserves it, please tell us. If you don’t want to publicly name-drop, send me an email. If you’re the one in need of search marketing education, tell us why. If you have a fun way you think we can spend this money, we’d really love to hear it.

We want to see this money use wisely and we’re asking for your suggestions to help us do that.





3 responses to “Help Us Spend Our Scholarship Money!”

  1. Tim Nash writes:

    What about putting it behind an online version of your existing course, allow those from other countries and other areas could attend?

  2. SEO Portland writes:

    I personally like your Seattle Expo idea, but that’s because I’m only 4 hours driving time from that. :)
    My suggestion: Use the money to register, build and market a site geared towards responsible and effective SEO ethics, so web developers and businesses have a basic guideline to work from. I think the ROI on that would surpass the initial investment 10 fold.

  3. Rebecca Kelley writes:

    Maybe I should attend the training course so that the lucky winner can sit sandwiched between me and Lisa :)



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