Member of the Month - June 2013

The new kid on the block (he certainly has not been around for that long) made it to the top without a sweat and took everyone by surprise. It is rare that someone impresses the staff so much that he gets to be in our list of candidates for Member of the Month award, and even more of a shock when he gets our beautiful, shiny badge in such a short period of time.

Smanaher certainly did it.

For those who doesn’t know it yet, the Member of the Month is the way the forum staff recognizes outstanding members of the community that show a positive attitude and are helpful to other members either by answering questions or asking them.

I’m certain that you already guessed that Smanaher is our MOTM for June 2013.

First of all, congratulations! Good job, well done! You made it! You just arrived to our SPF and from the very beginning you managed to be in the forum staff radar (in a positive light, of course). Do you feel any pressure now that you know that we’re watching you?

Like NEO from the Matrix, I thought I was being watched but didn’t realize how far that extended. No, I don’t feel any more pressure than before. It’s nice to know that what I have been sharing and how I have participated in this community does matter.

Some questions need to be asked, regardless who you are and where you live… how did you find SitePoint and what made you stay? Anything that you would change?

I found out about SitePoint a few years ago when I first got into online marketing and I stay because of the quality of those in the community.

I often find online communities miss the opportunity of connecting with their members offline… So, if I were to change anything, I would love to see SitePoint do local meetups or connections with their members to connect offline. I just think that would be very cool and interesting

It seems that you had a variety of jobs until you founded … but most of them were not really related to internet… How did you end up doing what you do?

I ended up doing what I am doing somewhat by luck, good timing and lots of hard work. Four years, June 2009, my wife was pursuing her master’s in education while at the same time working full time so my evenings were filled with lots of Netflix and video games. At that point I decided, that I can either get really good at Halo or I can start a business online (something I was vaguely familiar with).

I started to learn about online marketing through an acquaintance online who instructed me on some of the basics. I then began to build websites, monetized with Adsense and realized that content was a major part of the equation … Thus began my journey and where The Content Authority can be.

Although it is obvious that you have a soft spot for content related forums, you also visit other areas… any favorite forum and why?

The first forum/ community I ever got involved with was The Keyword Academy, where Courtney Tuttle and Mark Butler were teaching the current working practices of making money online. Those practices worked at the time and like all things, I have had to adapt to the changes as search engines also changed.

While still participating and learning about online marketing I joined Warrior Forums, WickedFire, BlackHatWorld and a slew of other “internet marketing” sites … Now, I have to be honest, the point in my involvement in these forums was VERY self-serving. I was on these forums for the express purpose of “selling” content service … It somewhat was working, but my approach was all wrong… My thinking has evolved now and a year ago I decided to change my approach on how I interact on forums, blogs and other online communities.

Instead of asking, expecting and pushing my services, I now give, give and give… The idea is that I give before I get. I want to help before I expect anything in return… This approach aligns much better with who I am and what I believe is a better way to market myself and my business … And, I can say, the results are definitely much greater than ever before.

How many forums do you visit? (Ok, I recognize the fact that THERE ARE other forums in the world …)

Currently I am involved in 6 different forums on a daily basis, along with several LinkedIn groups.

I’ve seen in your web profile that you’ve been a financial advisor… Imagine that you were still working as such… what counsel would you give to someone that has a annual income of -$1,337.00 (what happened with the cents, anyway :-p?)

Yes, I have had several different and interesting jobs, which have all helped me in life. Life tends to throw you curve balls when you least expect them but when that happens, you accept it and move on, growing, learning and taking with you the best things of what you experienced.

Here is my financial pick of the day … Long on oil.

When people ask you what you do for a living and you answer “I run an online business”, do they ever answer back with something like “I meant a proper job, one that pays the bills”?

Yeah, I had many people look at me like I had 6 heads when I first started out but as I learned and produced results in the form of $, they started to ask me more about the details to understand how they can create their own online businesses.

In addition, I’ve tried to boil down what I do online so people can relate as much as possible, so I might say, “I help people to market themselves or their businesses online”. That is less confusing than trying to explain Google search rankings, monetization or self-publishing through eBooks

Does your family really understand you? Does the world understand the meaning of love? Does the Universe have a plan the we can’t see? Does life have a meaning? Is “The following” better than “Elementary” or should we stick to “Criminal Minds” or concentrate on something different, like “Sex and the City”?

My family gets me. Haha, I think. I love Criminal Minds, Hell’s kitchen, Revolution, and can’t wait to watch The Dome.

In your profile you say that you want to build an empire online. Will you try to rule the galaxy afterwards? Or do you have any other plans once you’ve reached your goal?

Ruler of the world, emperor, etc… Doesn’t everyone grow up wanting to be these? Having the same birthdate as Machiavelli does lends itself to desiring positions of authority and wanting to change society, but I will leave that to smarter people. :slight_smile:

What do you like best: Facebook or Google+?


Any favorite books, games, movies, music, sports?

I am super boring so I read books like “The Consulting Bible” by Alan Weiss (great for those starting their business/ consulting firm), “The Lords of Strategy”, and “Steve Jobs”.

I love Settlers of Catan, Age of Empires and of course, Risk!!! Ever try a double board game of Risk?!?! Wow, talk about fun!

Most of the movies I like are inspired from when I used to collect comic books as a kid and I was a Marvel junky, so I like many of the Marvel franchises like Ironman, Fantastic Four, and X-Men.

I also love movies like Inception, Matrix and Gladiator. Finally, M Night Shyamalan produces some great work … Looking forward to see After Earth.

Music – I tend to like “epic soundtracks” from various artists … Love Hans Zimmer (of course), techno (not sure why) and Celtic.

Let’s take a moment of reflection … This is the moment where, just for this one time, I will let you shamelessly spam the forum … Which site would you suggest, and why?

I would love to take this opportunity to share some insight about my company, The Content Authority. I believe it is heading in a cool direction with regard to transforming the way content ideation, creation, and measurement are done, by creating tools and services that make a difference for copywriters and marketers. When it is ready, I think it will be pretty awesome!

Is there any idea, thought, joke or phrase that you want to share with the world?

Popularized by Dead Poet Society, originally from Quintus Horatius Flaccus, ‘Carpe Diem’ - seize the day.

Anything that you want to add? Which is the question that you expected but I didn’t ask?

I really feel fortunate that I was selected to be the member of the month. Thanks!

Thanks to you :slight_smile:

Congratulations @smanaher ; it was truly well deserved.

Congratulations, Shawn. You’ve been making a wonderful contribution to the forums, so an award well deserved. Keep it up! :slight_smile:

Music – I tend to like “epic soundtracks” from various artists… love Hans Zimmer (of course)…

Ah ha! Another one! :stuck_out_tongue:

I started listening to movie soundtracks after hearing music from The Rock, by Hans Zimmer of course. :wink:

Some other favorites that come to mind include Requiem for a Dream, [URL=“”]Pirates of the Caribbean, [URL=“”]City of Ember, and [URL=“”]Dragonheart. On the lighter side, [URL=“”]October Sky, [URL=“”]Gattaca, [URL=“”]Pleasantville, and [URL=“”]Peter Pan are also all great. And even though Shyamalan’s movies have a bad rep these days, at least [URL=“”]some of the music is still great. :slight_smile:



Congratulations smanaher with a well deserved award.
And a great interview from the both of you!

By the way, I missed one question: where does the nick ‘smanaher’ come from?

Well done Shawn, a well deserved award!

You can never be too good at Halo :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the Kudos thus far!!!

smanaher is short for Shawn Manaher (my real name).

Congratulations… Good work pays itself… All d best and Keep up the Good Work !!

Great work.Congratulation to you :slight_smile:


Congratulations… Good work pays itself… All d best and Keep up the Good Work !!

Thanks Jenythomas, Lanapsdtosite, and ProgramIndir for taking time to congratulate me!!!


Yes, Content is King! Well done Smanaher.

I’ve done a bit of SEO myself and every time you have good content the pages just float to the top.