NeuronWriter vs SurferSEO: Is Surfer worth the extra money?

SurferSEO has been the standard in SEO when it comes to optimizing articles for SEO. I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars with them in the last year alone.

NeuronWriter on the other hand has been popular in SEO groups lately. It has gotten a lot of favoritism from the bootstrapped/solopreneur folks. I recently bought like 10 lifetime licenses when they had the sale with AppSumo.

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I Tested The Best Sites To Buy Instagram Likes For A Brand

Growing an e-commerce brand can be tricky. Paid ads are a common channel, but they don’t convert without some level of social proof. That social proof starts with an active organic profile. Today I wanted to share reviews of a handful of popular services, because many of these services are selling fake engagement, which isn’t helpful.

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The degradation of basic tax knowledge in Western society

Would you like to round up to the next dollar? Would you like to give us money so we can make a charitable donation to pay down our corporate tax liability without using our own money?
A popular misleading meme circling the web with over 19,000 likes

I came across this post recently, and like any other post on social media, it broke out in the comments as an argument. Some correctly pointed out that these pass-through donations do not qualify as the company’s own charitable contributions for tax purposes, thus not providing direct tax benefits. Those folks were met with arguments from others who don’t understand tax law as well, but think they do.

Lyle Lingenfelter (@seve0992) stating he believes companies can eliminate their tax burden via donations
Joe Frederick (@bigjoe_24) and Ryan Matsumoto (@ryan_mats) in disagreement

According to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), specifically sections 170(c) and 162(a), while corporations are permitted to claim deductions for charitable contributions, this privilege extends only to donations made directly by the corporation from its own assets. In the context of pass-through donations, where the company merely acts as a conduit for transferring customer donations to charities, these transactions do not qualify as direct contributions from the company’s assets.

The IRC and accompanying Treasury Regulations (e.g., Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-1(h)(1)) establish that for a donation to be deductible, it must be an outright gift without the donor (in this case, the company) receiving substantial benefits in return. This regulatory framework underlines that the tax benefits for a business making a charitable contribution are contingent upon the contribution being both voluntary and made without expectation of direct financial return, as interpreted in case law such as United States v. American Bar Endowment, 477 U.S. 105 (1986).

Here’s an example transaction:

Line ItemAmount ($)Tax Treatment for Business
Purchase of Clothing (Excl. Tax)47.50Taxed as income (subject to normal business income tax rules)
Sales Tax3.80Collected on behalf of the government, not income
Subtotal (Clothing + Tax)51.30Overall subtotal partially taxable (only the clothing and tax portion)
Charitable Donation (Rounded Up)0.70Not taxed as income (passed through to charity, not deductible as a business expense)
Total Charged to Customer52.00Overall transaction partially taxable (only the subtotal portion)
  • The Purchase of Clothing and Sales Tax are regular business transactions, taxed accordingly.
  • The Charitable Donation represents the amount to round up the total to the nearest whole dollar. This amount is not considered business income and is not a deductible business expense.
  • The Total Charged to Customer includes the donation, but only the subtotal (clothing price plus sales tax) is taxable for the business.

In summary, the tax system, as codified in the IRC and interpreted by relevant case law, does not support the idea that companies can reap significant tax advantages from pass-through charitable donations. It is concerning that individuals think there are loopholes, without understanding what they are talking about.

I prefer to not round up and instead make lump sum donations so it’s easier to track come tax season.

Black Friday Fail: How Hulu is burning advertising money and they don’t even realize it

I see landing page errors all the time, but you usually don’t see it scaled. You might see it on a brand that spend $5,000/month, but not on a brand that spends that much a day.

I came across an excellent offer today from Hulu on Facebook today. You can get Hulu for $0.99 a month. As an ad buyer, I love a good offer, so I tapped to check it out to see what the catch was.

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brightonSEO conference’s underwhelming speaker list

If you know me, you know I hate fake gurus. If you have the audacity to stand on the stage in front of a paying audience and suggest you are an expert, I hope you are. That’s why I don’t do it. I’ve been in SEO for 14 years at the time of writing, and I still have so much to learn.

brightonSEO is currently holding a conference in San Diego. They describe themselves as “the ultimate event for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in talks from the leaders in both Search, Content and Influencer Marketing” and boast over 50 speakers at the event. I was surprised to recognize few names in the SEO space. No Brian Dean, Neil Patel, or Cyrus Shepard. The only name I recognized was Danny Sullivan. I think of myself as a nobody in the SEO space, but I was shocked to see how many speakers had an even smaller audience than myself.

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How To Rank Your Small Business On Google

This blog is mainly dedicated to more advanced techniques, however here is an introductory rundown for those new to the space.

So you’re a small business, and you have a website, but you want to rank higher on Google. This process is called search engine optimization, or SEO. Since 2009, I’ve been studying the hundreds of factors that affect the rankings. I’m now going to summarize a few points that I have for small businesses who are just starting to get interested in SEO.

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I Tried 7 SurferSEO Alternatives And Here’s The Best

How things change. Surfer was once known as the affordable alternative to superior enterprise-level solution ClearScope. However, Surfer has been getting expensive. It still makes sense for deep-pocket clients who want maximum efficiency. I continue to recommend it as an excellent tool. However, for my own projects and for small businesses, it’s not a cost-effective recommendation so I wanted to dive into some alternatives.

Oh, and no one pays me to write these, so unlike every other article on this topic, I’m not biased. If I think a tool is garbage, I’m going to say it. As I checked out some of the others who wrote blog posts on the topic, I was shocked at some of the trash they were recommending. So let’s dive in.

Tool NameStarting Monthly CostArticles Per Month$ Per ArticleOverall Score

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Top Browser With Built In VPN For Enhanced Privacy

In the digital age where privacy is paramount, browsers with built-in VPNs have emerged as a beacon of hope for secure and private internet browsing. These browsers offer a straightforward solution for those daunted by the complexities of VPN technology, integrating it directly into the browser itself. This integration means users can avoid the hassle of setting up a separate VPN or adding extensions.

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The Essential Guide to Slug SEO: Why It Matters and How to Optimize

In the vast labyrinth of SEO strategies, slug optimization often slips through the cracks, left unnoticed and unattended. Yet, much like the humble yet industrious garden slug, a well-optimized URL slug can serve as a crucial factor in boosting your website’s search engine rankings. Let’s unravel the mystery of slug SEO and explore how to optimize it effectively for maximum organic reach.

What is a Slug?

In the context of a URL, a slug is the part that comes after the domain name, separated by slashes, often representing the specific page or post. For example, in the URL, ‘slug-seo’ is the slug.

The Importance of Slug SEO

User Experience

A well-crafted slug provides a clear, easy-to-read URL that helps users understand the content they can expect from the page. This readability is a key component in enhancing user experience and enticing clicks.

Search Engine Rankings

Search engines like Google also pay attention to URL slugs when indexing pages. A well-optimized slug can help search engine bots to accurately index your content, thereby improving your SEO ranking.

Tips for Effective Slug SEO

Keep it Short and Simple

The ideal slug should be easy to read and remember. Try to limit it to 3-5 words that encapsulate the essence of your page content.

Use Hyphens to Separate Words

Using hyphens instead of underscores or spaces is beneficial for SEO because search engines read hyphens as space, making it easier for them to understand the slug.

Include Keywords

Incorporate relevant keywords into your slug without keyword stuffing. This will help improve its SEO value.

Avoid Stop Words

Words like “and,” “or,” “but,” and “the” don’t add any SEO value and can clutter your slug. It’s best to leave them out.

Be Descriptive

Your slug should give both users and search engines a good idea of what the page content is about. Avoid using generic terms like “page1” or “article.”

Tools for Slug Optimization

There are several tools available online that can help you create and optimize URL slugs. Popular options include Yoast SEO and Webpilot’s Slug Optimizer, which offer suggestions and even automate slug creation based on your page content.


While it might not be the flashiest part of your SEO strategy, slug optimization is an essential cog in the wheel of a well-optimized website. By adhering to best practices and using tools to aid you, optimizing your slugs can offer an easy yet effective boost to your website’s search engine rankings.

By giving slugs the attention they deserve, you ensure that they serve as strong supporting characters in the story of your website’s SEO journey. And remember, just like a garden can’t thrive without the little creatures that maintain it, neither can your SEO strategy without optimized slugs.

How to charge $3,000 per guest post

I enjoy getting cold emails. It gives me insight as to how others are making a buck. Today I heard from a “magazine” who charges $3,000. They claim their email newsletter has 95,000 subscribers.

Their traffic is below 1,000 visits a month and their DR is 49, which isn’t all that bad, for $50-250.

Hi Josh,

I am Rachel Nelson with Construction Tech Review Magazine and I am glad to share with you that [company] is shortlisted to feature among the “Top 10 Construction Tech Startups 2023” in our upcoming annual edition on Construction Tech Startups.

[company]’s construction tech solutions will be showcased with a full-page client-centric profile illustrating how your exceptional solutions enhance the construction industry’s efficiency, productivity, and sustainability. You can utilize the reprints of the profile in your selling efforts, which will persuade your prospects to associate with you and convert them into clients. The vast majority of our previous clients have shared that profile reprints have enhanced their prospect-to-client conversion rate.

Along with converting more prospects, [company] will receive lots of business inquiries as this edition will reach out to our 95,000 subscribers comprising Project Managers, Construction Engineers, Contractors and supervisors, Construction Contracts Administrators, and many other senior executives.

Josh, in this edition, we will also have invited thought leadership articles from VCs, Corporate Investors, and Incubators working for the Construction Tech Startup ecosystem.

[company] will receive unlimited print and digital rights of the profile for 3000 USD, which also includes a Certificate of Honor and Recognition Logo. [company]’s profile will be hyperlinked to our website so prospects can directly reach you.

Josh, I would like to connect with you to discuss this recognition and why top companies prefer our reprints.


And here’s the follow up after I didn’t reply.

Hi Josh,

I am following up on my earlier email about [company]’s feature among the ‘“ Top 10 Construction Tech Startups’. I want to explain how you can make the most out of this recognition by opting for the reprint rights, which gives you extended coverage in this edition.

Our existing clients have benefited from this exposure in the magazine. Most importantly, they have used the profile along with recognition to assist them in their PR and selling efforts, which enhances their exposure in the Industry and also gave them a jump in their prospect conversion rate.

Please inform me of your availability to discuss how you can make the most out of this unique recognition. I look forward to your response.