I got invited to a Vistage “peer advisory group” meeting which I’m attending right now. I’ve never heard of the association before, but a quick Google search makes it look like they are established, so I’ll give them that. I’m naturally skeptical about any “CEO association” so it’s kind of amazing I committed to a [...]
In 1999 I started an online marketing firm in Utah named MWI. We now have offices in Salt Lake City, Utah and Hong Kong. It’s been a wild ride.
A few years ago I had a bad experience with a gym membership. That is, the membership was fine, but canceling it was a nightmare. It was obvious that the contract was set up in such a way as to get an extra $30 out of each customer when they quit, although it actually got worse than [...]
I’m not sure I’ve ever brought up my religious beliefs on this blog, but there’s a first time for everything…. It’s an interesting thing to be a religious entrepreneur, as I am. Were I an atheist, then it would be easy to look at my business and say “I built this” and that would be [...]
No selling, no MLM, no affiliate programs, no real estate, none of that stuff. Well, I guess I shouldn’t say that, I don’t know what you’re going to do to be making $100K/year within two years, maybe you’ll do any or all of that stuff, but you don’t have to. I was just having an [...]
MWI, my SEO firm, has been through a few iterations. I started it in December 1999 after quitting my job as a web designer at MyComputer.com, which then turned into Omniture and was then acquired by Adobe. My company was called DonLoper.com at the time, for lack of a better name and because I owned [...]
There’s not much use trying to hide it any longer. If you really must know what big secret thing I’ve been working on, the cat’s out of the bag. Go check it out at DeclareMedia.com. There are already 720 live directories, and probably 10,000 more coming online in the next six months. Yes, I am [...]
We’re launching a network of directory websites targeting niche industries. The first is going to be one for drug rehab clinics in California. But when you spend a lot of time working on a website, you tend to lose an accurate picture of what the website looks like and how it works for a normal [...]
I just sent out a proposal for a deal that could change MWI’s trajectory. It’s not “ridiculous” big, and it’s nothing we can’t handle (trust me, I’ve turned down plenty of “ridiculous” big deals in the past two years because I knew we would just be getting ourselves into trouble and possibly a lawsuit if [...]
Why am I starting over? Why would I want to risk give up working short hours from the comfort of home, having time to spend with my wife and daughter, do triathlons, write on this blog, and do many of the other things I enjoy? In answering that question I have to be careful. I [...]
It’s been a while since I added a new category to this blog, but it’s time, because I’m entering a new phase in my life. I’ve already done the startup thing. In fact, I’ve done it more than once. But I now realize some of my “startup” attempts were really “startovers” and not “startups”. A [...]
The alternate title for this post could be “Today I lost a good friend…” So, if your fax number were accidentally disconnected, how long would it take for you to notice? In my case, five freakin’ months. I guess that shows you how much I depend on fax technology. Here’s how it all happened… MWI [...]
I was trying to think of a title for this post and my mind kept thinking of Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” course that he provides to help people control their finances and live debt free, and that’s what this post is really about–peace of mind for the entrepreneur when it comes to financial matters. [...]
Ladies and gentlemen, check it out – MyFreeWebsiteDesign.com. Why is MWI giving away free websites? It’s an experiment, based on the hypothesis that if we give away a few websites, we’ll get more in return than what we give up. And if it fails, it’s not like we’re out much. Of course there’s a catch [...]
I need a completely virtual solution to an office phone system. Even though my current system is a vast improvement over what I had before, it’s still too much. Too much hardware, too much money every month. What I’m looking for is an online solution that allows me to manage multiple phone numbers (i.e. MWI’s [...]
We recently ported MWI’s official blog from weloveblue.com to mwi.com/blog and switched from MovableType to WordPress (as we’re doing with all our blogs). The blog feed address is the same, so if you’re subscribed to the old blog you don’t have to change anything to maintain your RSS subscription to the new blog. One new [...]
One of our search engine optimization clients is an eating disorder treatment center located near Logan, Utah. They’ve been with us for years, and one of the reasons we work extra hard to keep them happy is that they pay us so darn fast. Case in point, we invoiced them yesterday, and we received the [...]
It’s funny how you get an idea of how something could be done better, only to find out you’re completely wrong. A few years ago I started working on the idea for The SEO Consultants. The idea was fairly simple–a lot of small businesses can’t afford search engine optimization services at a price tag of [...]
My web design firm has been using the project management tool Basecamp for a few years now, and I’m not sure a better tool could be created, at least not for our needs. We primarily use it for centralizing communications, as a file repository, and for storing contact information. It has many other features such [...]
Alright folks, laundromatic.com is just about ready to launch. It just needs a little testing by some people who haven’t been looking at it for several hours each week, which means I’m disqualified. As an incentive, I’ll award two prizes: 1. Best list of bugs – Whoever finds the most bugs in the system (either [...]
One of our clients, Parvus Corporation, is looking to hire a technical writer for $50-60K. “The job description would include working with both Engineering and Marketing to write product user manuals, customer case studies, application notes, datasheets, and maybe some Web content.” If interested, shoot an email to Mike (info below):
As MWI does more and more search engine optimization work I’m starting to see distinct advantages to SEO over web dev.
Many of you have expressed interest as to how the move to a virtual office has gone. Now that I have completed the move and have been able to experience it for a full week or two here are my thoughts: Pros 1. The bathroom is closer. 2. If anything I’m getting more work done. [...]
I bet that title has been used for some other article already, but I promise I came up with it myself. It’s official, MWI is going virtual. After seven years of having an office we have decided to leave it. Though we love it, there are a number of reasons why having an office doesn’t [...]
** UPDATE ** – The space has been leased. Windows open, windows close. Sorry folks. No, MWI is not going out of business. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me announce that I am moving the MWI to a virtual office setup. I’ve put it off for a long time, but [...]
We’ve got a few things over here at MWI that we don’t use anymore, most of which is in great shape but doesn’t do anything around here but clutter up the office. If you’re interested in any of it let me know. Office desks Miscellaneous filing cabinets Matching short black filing cabinets on rollers Folding [...]
You know, it’s interesting enough when your site gets ripped off, but when the very people ripping it off make extra efforts to bring it to your attention then you have to wonder if the ripoff artists are a few cigars short of a Cuban dictator. Below, you see the graphic for Ion Micro’s website, [...]
For those who have asked whether DonLoper.com is the MWI blog or why I don’t just turn it into the official MWI blog, my response has been that I post about a lot of things on DonLoper.com, and much of it has virtually nothing to do with MWI other than a lot of my experiences [...]
Dear Mr. Steimle, I come from a creative marketing/media background and recently went back to school to get my MBA degree. The final project involves creating and implementing a business plan for an integrated creative marketing agency such as MWI. I was hoping, if you have time (if not I understand) to give me some [...]
I’ve been inspired once again by SEOmoz’s open attitude and I too feel like sharing. Rand does it because “it fits with our philosophy and with our goals – to be as open as possible about everything that we do” but that’s not necessarily my reasoning. I figure it will be interesting to do, I’d [...]
Free presentation open to all attendees On January 18th MWI founder Joshua Steimle will give 20-minute presentation entitled “10 Search Engine Optimization Tips Anyone Can Implement” at the Corporate Alliance Hub in Provo, Utah (see http://carma.corporatealliance.net/contact.aspx for address). A question and answer session will follow the presentation. There is no need to RSVP and all [...]
I like to think that most of those who have met me think I’m a decent enough guy. I try to smile, I’m generally not very sarcastic, and I refrain from spitting, swearing, and burning flags. But I’m sure there are a few people out there who think I’m an absolute crook. I’ve come to [...]
My firm has been propositioned more times than I can count to “partner” with a client. That is, share in the risk, and share in the reward. At first, I was more than happy to engage in these partnerships, but over time I have become less and less enthusiastic and more and more selective. Why? [...]
I began working in this industry at the end of 1999, and this is one of the slightly more interesting requests for proposal I have received during the past seven years. I don’t mean to post this to make fun of the guy, who I believe is serious (although I’m not 100% sure), but I [...]
Over the years I’ve had mostly positive experiences with clients, but I’ve had a few that were ugly, and a select few that were disasterous. I can’t claim that I or my firm were completely innocent in every case, and in some times we helped client be “bad,” but in most of the serious cases [...]
Lately I’ve been reading what the folks over at the premiere search engine optmization firm SEOMoz have to say on their blog, and I’ve also been looking around their website a bit. One of the things I’ve been impressed with is that they openly display their pricing, which is not the norm for SEO or [...]
We are not necessarily hiring, but we at MWI are exploring the possibility of hiring someone to do sales / business development here, selling high-end web design, search engine optimization, SEO consulting and trainingsearch engine marketing services. I believe the right person could make $250-500K+ per year. If you’re interested, read on.
If I had known how much work would be involved it may never have launched, but MWI’s new website design is now live. Why the new website? Read on for the full story.
I just got the latest issue of Connect Magazine today. Inside is an article called How to Pick a Web Design Firm which hasn’t been posted to Connect’s website yet, but once it is I’ll link it here. The article is written by Brandon Anderson from i4, which is one of MWI’s competitors. Of the [...]
FYI, this position has been filled as of 09 Nov 2006, but apparently there will be more positions open soon so feel free to keep sending resumes to Omniture so they can bulid a portfolio of candidates. A friend of mine at Omniture is looking for an entry level search engine marketing consultant type person. [...]
I’ve got another question for the masses and would appreciate your candid responses. We’ve got fairly nice office space here at MWI. It’s about 3,500 square feet, newly built out, nice conference room, four offices, receptionist area, open space, big sign on the building where it’s highly visible, etc. But for a long time I’ve [...]
Yet the fourth time that MWI’s website has been ripped off. Thanks to Daniel Mall who caught it and Brian Sweeting who alerted me to Daniel’s post. For the other ripoffs check out ripoff #1, ripoff #2, and ripoff #3. This time the culprit is a British company called Freebird.
Lately I’ve been doing some hard thinking about profitability. In the web development/branding/marketing/advertising/design business it can be difficult to figure out how much money you make on a job without instituting controls that make projects less profitable, the company a less fun place to work at, and your agency a less agreeable agency to do [...]
At my former firm I had a business partner who, whenever something wasn’t going right with the business, would say “This business model stinks!” This always put me on edge because he would say it with true frustration in his voice, loudly, and in front of our employees. But in the seven years I’ve been [...]
While anyone who is reading this blog is well aware that I myself am alive and well, some people might be wondering exactly what MWI is up to. After all, the MWI website is a bit stale, we haven’t posted new press releases since last year, and if you used to see me at networking [...]
I tried outsourcing to some Bulgarians once and it was a nightmare. The last straw was when, during a critical phase of a project, the team informed me they would be out of touch for the next three days due to a party they would be attending. Since then I’ve never tried outsourcing to other [...]
MWI is moving up in the world. We’ll be moving into new office space within the same building, except this time it’s on the second floor. The new space will give us more total square footage, a true break room (finally), a friendlier floor plan, and a larger conference room, amongst other things.
If manage a design firm, ad agency, or web development firm and you haven’t read The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen you should. The process described in the book by which small companies are able to not only compete against much larger companies but also put them out of business can also be applied [...]
MWI is looking for an interactive creative director to work in Salt Lake City, Utah. Email resume/qualifications to email@example.com.
MWI, a leading web development and search engine marketing company, specializing in organic search engine optimization and management of pay-per-click advertising campaigns is currently seeking to hire sales representatives to develop search engine optimization / marketing opportunities in major metro areas around the US, including the East and West coasts, Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake City, [...]
My web development / marketing firm MWI is currently seeking an individual to fill a full-time project manager / account management position. This isn’t an urgent need so much as an important need, so I’m going to take my time to find the right candidate. But for the sake of narrowing down the field I’m [...]
For the third time MWI’s website has been blatantly ripped off/copied, this time just months after the last time. This time the culprit is some European or Icelandic company called Quick MB. If anybody knows what language that is let me know. At least this time the perpetrator had the dignity to be from some [...]
This happened once before, but that time it was some company that had nothing to do with providing competing services. This time, it’s another web development firm. Check out http://www.swansonholland.com/ In case they see this post and repent of their wicked ways, here are some screen shots so we can preserve the shame. The MWI [...]
Just read Just Say No to Discount SEO by Lee Odden. Lee gives some simple and effective advice on how to respond to clients who want you to discount your search engine optimization services, but the principles apply to any services, not just SEO. This is somewhat related to a post I wrote last year [...]
Whenever we win or lose a job, we almost always ask what we did right and what we could have done better. Sometimes we get answers we’re used to, and sometimes we’re surprised. We were recently surprised to find out that a client chose us, at least in part, because they liked our proposal. That [...]
I just read ShoeMoney.com’s post entitled My tips for buying domains that are taken. Over the years I’ve been asked many times where the name of my agency MWI comes from. You can get the short story on that from MWI’s February 2005 newsletter. As a follow up I’m also often asked where I got [...]
I just interview nine students from Neumont University last week, and I just read this BusinessWeek article last night. I was chagrined to find out the first “stupid question” on the list is one I asked all nine of the students and which I frequently ask interviewees.
“I’m disappointed in you” were words my dad could use in a calm and direct way that was more powerful than any physical punishment or tongue-lashing I can imagine. In fact, I’m pretty sure my dad only had to use these words on me once, because the first time was enough. Well, there was the [...]
Full-time Freelancing: 10 Things Learned in 180 Days by Cameron Moll. Cameron came to my office and we talked just days before he took the leap of faith he talks about in this post. Frankly, I’d love to have the guy working for me and I told him that when he came by, but I [...]
I recently read The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway and quite enjoyed it. In case you haven’t read it, it’s about an old man in Cuba during the 50s or so whose wife has died, he apparently has no children, and he has a small boat in which he fishes. He’s had [...]
You know, I think I’m a pretty reasonable guy. I don’t yell, I try to be reasonable, I’m seldomly paranoid, etc. But one thing I’ve noticed after five years of running an agency is that there seems to be a direct relationship between how much a client is willing to pay and how easy they [...]
“More than you can afford” is what I should start telling people when they ask. But I’m nicer than that. Since 1999 I’ve been asked about how much a website costs more than a few times. The first response is usually “it depends” because it does depend on what the client wants. Do they want [...]
Full text available at: http://www.mwi.com/about/newsletter/newsletter_february05.html Normally this newsletter contains helpful information related to advertising, marketing, design, or web development. However, just this once, I’m going to depart from the usual content and answer once and for all the question we get asked more than any other, although I doubt it will stop the question from [...]
MWI provides Parvus with new database-driven Web site Salt Lake City, UT – 07 March 2005 – MWI, a brand management and Web development firm, today announced it has launched a new Web site for Parvus Corporation, the US arm of the Eurotech Group.
Hey, MWI got its website ripped off today! But they didn’t do a very good job. Now you might say “But these websites look almost nothing like each other!” True, they only bear minimal resemblance to each other now, and perhaps the sin is forgivable for that, but the design is a ripoff nonetheless. If [...]
Joshua Steimle Elected into 2005 Class of vSpring Capital’s 100 Top Entrepreneurs Salt Lake City, UT – 01 February 2005 – Joshua J. Steimle, chief executive officer and founder of MWI, Inc., a Draper-based Web development and brand management firm, was named one of Utah’s top 100 entrepreneurs by vSpring Capital, a Utah-based venture capital [...]
www.mwi.com. Check it out y’all. Not a redesign, but a fairly comprehensive update of our site. New featured work section, new navigation, white papers, newsletters, yeah.
This is from a letter I wrote to the faculty of the Visual Arts Department at Brigham Young University. ___________________________ Hello BYU faculty, I’m the owner of a firm in Draper that provides graphic and web design services. I get a lot of resumes, emails, and phone calls from recent BYU graduates and students of [...]
David Ogilvy said “Managing an advertising agency isn’t all beer and skittles. After fourteen years of it, I have come to the conclusion that the top man has one principle responsibility: to provide an atmosphere in which creative mavericks can do useful work.” He also said “Hire people who are better than you are, then [...]
Full text available at http://www.mwi.com/about/newsletter/newsletter_january05.html Are you the kind of person who fixes your own car, or do you pay someone to fix it? I never learned how to fix anything on a car growing up, even though my father spent most Saturdays behind our 1969 VW Camper-Van and tried to teach me something about [...]
New site powered by MWI’s content management system Salt Lake City, UT – 03 January 2005 – Strong and Hanni Law Firm, a Salt Lake City law firm since 1888, has launched a newly redesigned corporate Web site as part of the firm’s rebranding process. The new site, designed and developed by MWI, a Draper-based [...]
MWI to provide search engine marketing, graphic design and Web development services for Salt Lake City personal injury law firm Salt Lake City, UT – 14 December 2004 – MWI, a brand management and Web development firm, today announced it has been contracted to provide marketing and Web development services to Siegfried and Jensen, a [...]
Full text available at http://www.mwi.com/about/newsletter/newsletter_november04.html Do you hate it when creative-types with messy hair and thick-rimmed glasses talk about “branding” in a way that leaves you wondering if they’re talking about your company’s logo, your advertising, your business cards, or something more ethereal? For all those who have ever felt confused about the word “branding,” [...]
Full text available at http://www.mwi.com/about/newsletter/newsletter_october04.html ALL ABOUT FLASH Some people hear the word “Flash” used in the context of a website and the first thoughts through their minds are “What about people who don’t have Flash?” “I hate those Flash intros–just let me see the website!” and “Isn’t Flash expensive?” I thought it would be [...]
Full text available at http://www.mwi.com/about/newsletter/newsletter_september04.html CONTENT MANAGEMENT You may have heard about “content management” but don’t know exactly what people mean when they use the words. There are indeed many different meanings, and we’re going to help you understand it all, right here. But first of all, lets lay down some ground rules. When we [...]
Full text available at http://www.mwi.com/about/newsletter/newsletter_august04.html WHAT WE DO MWI is primarily known for creating great websites and web-based applications, but we’re expanding the range of what we offer through hiring, partnerships, and maybe some acquisitions to include a comprehensive suite of marketing and advertising services. Here’s a fairly comprehensive list of the services we provide.
Full text available at http://www.mwi.com/about/newsletter/newsletter_july04.html THE ECONOMY. In August of 2000 I started my first web development firm, Mindwire Interactive. Although you might think that was about the worst time possible to start an interactive agency, we had a pretty good track record for the 2 1/2 years I ran the firm until we sold [...]
November 13, 2003 Salt Lake City, Utah – Wasatch Venture Fund, a venture capital firm headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, announced today the launch of their new Web site at www.wasatchvc.com. The new Web site features a secure section for limited partners of the fund to receive quarterly reports and other information, and provides [...]
October 22, 2003 Salt Lake City – MWI announced today that it has developed a new brand identity and online presence for Sorenson Capital, a new private equity firm with offices in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Palo Alto, California. The new brand and online presence help Sorenson refine and extend its business to make [...]