What is the Cloud? (And how do I store my stuff there?)

What is the cloud?What is the cloud and what is cloud storage? If you’ve ever had a computer die on you or lost an external hard drive, you may have wondered if there’s a better way to backup and store your data, photos, and files.

My dad, Dr. Robert Brooks, was asking me about the cloud and cloud storage over Thanksgiving (anyone else the default IT guy in their family?) as a way of backing up some photos and being able to access them over multiple devices. I’m not sure if it was his idea or mine that this would make for a good 207 segment (my brother’s father-in-law is an excellent mixologist) but I shared it with the good people over at WCSH 6 (the NBC affiliate here in Maine) and they gave it a big thumbs up. 


9 Tips to Get Your First Podcast Guests

9 Ways to Attract Your First Podcast Guests

Are you looking to attract podcast guests to your brand new show, but not sure how to nab those first few interviews? In this post I’ll share some tactics to attract great guests to your show even if you haven’t published your first episode.

Interview-style podcasts are popular these days for a number of reasons:
  • The give and take of an interview makes for interesting listening. Of course, this is dependent on the interviewer and interviewee, but it can be more dynamic than just listening to one person read from a script.
  • It takes a lot of the pressure off you. If you’re asking open-ended questions, your guests will be doing most of the speaking.
  • You can learn a lot. Experts may charge hundreds of dollars an hour for consulting, but they’re sharing all their best content with you for free!
  • You can extend your reach. Most interviewees will share your podcast with their audience as it helps build their own authority.
However, getting guests when you’re just starting out can be a difficult hurdle, based on an email I recently received from a client:
I need some advice. For someone who is new in the podcast world, how do you market yourself for new interviews…before you have an audience or a big email list to offer in exchange?
Podcasting in Portland
Dear Podcasting,
Here are a few tactics that have worked for me to get some big name guests on The Agents of Change podcast. (more…)

How to Create Google Analytics Goals

How to Set Up Google Analytics GoalsWhy should you set up goals in Google Analytics? Goals give us better information and feedback on how our website is performing and how our best quality visitors are finding our site.

Previously we’ve talked about how to set up Google Analytics and how to create Google Analytics filters. Today, we’re going to focus on goals. If you’re interested in generating more leads online, than you’ll want to setup goals in Google Analytics…here’s how.

Halloween Tips and Tricks from the 207 Tech Guru

Rich Brooks talking Halloween on 207Are you responsible for the Halloween party this year?  Do you have the playlist set? Ideas for spooky decorations? How about some creepy snacks for the trick or treaters? 

Those were the questions I set out to answer recently on the evening news program 207, which airs on the NBC affiliates here in Maine….


How to Setup Filters in Google Analytics

Google Analytics FiltersGoogle Analytics collects a lot of data on the visitors on your website. Sometimes you might want to look at just some of that data to get a better understanding of how people are using your site. To do so, you’ll want to set up Google Analytics filters. In this post (and video!) we’ll look at using Google Analytic filters to remove your own company’s traffic from your reports.

A lot of us spend a lot of time on our own website. We could be looking for relevant articles to share with our customers, or just reviewing the content on our site. Unfortunately our own web activity can wreak havoc on our data that we are depending on to determine how people got to our site and what they did once they were there. The good news is Google Analytics filters provide a way for us to remove all of our own website activity so we can keep our reports clean.


The Best Mindfulness and Meditation Apps

Best Mindfulness and Meditation Apps

What are the best meditation apps? Which apps will help you become more aware, more mindful, and 10% happier?

Those were the questions I set out to answer recently on the evening news program 207, which airs on the NBC affiliates here in Maine….

In today’s busy world we’re constantly being distracted by our many devices, so its ironic that the solution to this problem may come in the form of our smartphones!

Yet, if a mobile app can help us balance our bank account, get us a mortgage, or measure how many calories we burned running around the track, why can’t it help us find inner peace?

There are many different mobile apps that overlap with each other and can possibly overwhelm the average smartphone user. I tried many different meditation apps to save you some time. (You’re welcome!) Here what I found:


Headspace is a guided meditation app, perfect for beginners. This app dubs itself as the “gym for your mind” with your own personal trainer to help fine tune your brain.

Headspace on the go allows you to download these sessions and listen to them offline. Headspace also offers a free 10-day trial and monthly fees from $8 to $13. This app is designed for you to lead a happier, healthier, and more enjoyable life. You will sleep better, eat better, worry less, and smile more. Headspace is available in both the App and Google Play stores.



MindBody takes a different approach. This app helps users find nearby practitioners and providers for massages, meditation, acupuncture, nutrition, and many more specialized providers. MindBody integrates your schedule that a user keeps on their phone and lets you know if you have time for a quick yoga session.

Think of it as Yelp for mind/body providers, it even allows users to get discounts and deals similar to Groupon. This is a completely free app, so if you are starting to get serious about creating serenity in your life and need some help, MindBody may be the solution.



buddhify was my favorite overall app. It has a beautiful interface that is very colorful and uplifting. This app asks what you are doing, whether it’s going to sleep, on break at work, or waiting around. From there, buddhify will give you the most appropriate meditation to pursue at that time.

Most apps that I explored were about mindfulness…buddhify is more about meditation and the relaxation of the mind. This is a paid app with no free trial, but it’s only $5 in the Apple Store and $4 in the Google Play Store, so skip your cup of coffee tomorrow morning and purchase buddhify if you are looking for peace of mind.

Have you ever used a meditation app? Which one do you like and recommend? Let me know in the comments below so I can check it out!

Rich Brooks


How to Set Up Google Analytics – A Step-By-Step Guide


Are you wondering how to set up Google Analytics? Would you like step-by-step instructions on how to best optimize your Google Analytics installation? Read on….

Google Analytics is a FREE powerful tool that shows you how people found your website and what they did when they got there. It lets you see what is working with your website and digital marketing… and what’s not.

Google Analytics can only give you this information once it has been installed on your site so if you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your site, let’s do that right now!

  1. Set up a Google Analytics Account. If you have a gmail or YouTube account, you might already have a Google account but we recommend you set up one specifically for your business. Something like yourbusiness@gmail.com will work just fine.
  2. Log in to Google Analytics. Once you create your google account, you want to go to www.google.com/analytics. From there you can Sign Up and set up a new Google Analytics account.
  3. Give your account a name, we recommend your business name.
  4. Name the website you will be tracking. This will be very important if you have different websites for your business.
  5. Put in the URL for your website.
  6. Choose a category like healthcare, beauty, and fitness etc.
  7. Pick your Timezone.

  8. Then you need to choose what data are you willing to share with Google. We feel the more information they have, they more it helps them develop new features for reporting.
  9. Agree to their terms of service.

  10. Go to the page where you get your website tracking code. This will need to go on every page of your website. For this reason we recommend putting it in the header of your website.
  11. You will need to add this tracking code to your website. If you are not comfortable doing this, you can take the snippet of code and send it to your developer to have them add it.

Once that is installed, Google is going to start recording all of the activity on your website. It can take a few hours or up to a day to start seeing data in your new account.

There are lots of ways to optimize your Google Analytics installation, we will talk about those in another video.

This is part of our How To Set Up Google Analytics Correctly series. If you missed any of our other videos check them out now:

If you need more help with setting up your website’s Google Analytics, leave us a comment below and we will try to help!

Happy Tracking!

[Case Study] How Real Entrepreneurs Crush Digital Marketing

Maine Canine Behaviorist Judy Moore

Are you still on the fence about whether digital marketing will grow your business? Do feel that you’re just trading hours for dollars, so your income is limited? Do you feel trapped by where you live and work in terms of entrepreneurial growth?

Sometimes all you need to shift your perspective is the story of someone just like you, who made some changes and saw huge results. Judy Moore is that person.

In my Agents of Change Podcast, I interview digital marketing experts each week on topics like SEO, social media, email list building and more. Lately, I’ve been adding a new segment called “From the Trenches” where I interview not experts, but the people who are doing the work in their own business or the company they work for.

Judy was a recent interview, and how her business has changed in just over a year will hopefully inspire you to take some of the same calculated risks to grow your own business past the limits of location or how many hours you can work in a day. 


How to Manage and Monitor Your Kids’ Screen Time

Managing and Monitoring Your Kids' Screen Time

Managing your kids’ screen time: the modern parenting dilemma. Do your kids spend too much time on their phone or tablet? Are you worried about them sharing inappropriate texts or pictures? Concerned about cyberbullying or online predators?

These are concerns a lot of parents share. I know that I was worried about my kids binge watching Netflix or texting their friends late into the night. I considered downloading an app that would help me manage and monitor their screen time, but I ended up coming up with a different approach.

If you’d like to get your kids to spend less time on their screens and make good choices about their iPhone, iPad, and Android time, you may want to watch this segment I recently recorded for 207, the evening news program on Maine’s NBC affiliates.  (more…)

The Best Free or Cheap Stock Photography Sites for Your Blog

Best Free or Cheap Stock Photography SitesIf you’re looking for ways to get your blog read, your emails opened, and your social posts shared, then you need an eye-catching image to reel readers in and get them engaged. However, if you’re publishing to your blog a few times a month, or sending out emails weekly, or filling Facebook with daily posts (not to mention Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.,) those photos can get expensive.
While I’m a strong believer that you shouldn’t cut costs when it comes to your website photos—especially those homepage photos that will be seen by thousands or even hundreds of thousands of visitors over the years—when it comes to blogging and social media sometimes “good enough” is, well, good enough.
That being said, there are some great options for legal stock photography that you can use for your content marketing. I decided to put a few popular sources to the test, as I was looking for an image for this post.