Category Archives: small business

How to Create Your Own Infographics

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As you’ve probably guessed from this blog, I love Infographics. But I’m no graphic designer. And never will be.

So when I found out about easel.ly, a new website that enables graphic dunderheads like myself to create Infographics… Okay, I was all over it. It’s still in Beta, and the options are fairly limited. But I have high hopes for the site. I created the below in about ten minutes.

Is it a work of staggering genius?

No.

But I created it in ten minutes! For free!

necromancer title=
easel.ly

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Web Marketing Tips for Small Business

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A nice, neat visualization of ways to market your website. In my experience, SEO and blogging are best for driving traffic, while e-mail marketing kicks @$$ at generating leads. I enjoy social media and have definitely benefited from it, but if I had to pick three out of the four things to do, I’d drop the social media. Fortunately, I’m not in that position and can do all of the above!

Marketing Tips for Small Business

SEO Is Changing… For the Better

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As a writer, I’m really happy to see these changes in SEO. I’d much rather focus on strong writing and intriguing content than trying to jam key words that don’t fit into a blog. And I am thrilled that search engines are no longer using blog comment links to build rankings – hopefully the spammers will get word of this soon and leave my blogs alone!

So how are you changing your SEO strategy, if at all? What works for you? What doesn’t?

The New Face of SEO: How SEO Has Changed in a Panda & Penguin Era
Browse more data visualization.

 

Your Automated Link Building Sucks

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Recently, my modest little blog has been hit by a wave of spammers leaving bogus comments. They do this in an attempt to build links back to their clients’ websites,  “improving” the website’s SEO.

I know the game.

And the only joy I get out of it is the knowledge it doesn’t work. Thanks to Google’s new algorithms, that sort of dishonest link building doesn’t have much impact on SEO anymore. It just wastes my time.

So to all those businesses that are paying people to sneak links onto other people’s blogs, you’re wasting your money. And pissing me off. Which strikes me as a sort of lose-lose proposition. Not that my being annoyed is going to affect a spammer’s life in any way, but why annoy people you don’t even know? It’s just bad karma.

So where is SEO going? For 2013, it looks like content is king and social networking is rising in importance.

SEO Predictions for 2013

Want Your E-mail Opened? It’s All In the Subject Line

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As much as I write about social media and web marketing, e-mail marketing is still king when it comes to lead generation. That’s not to say that blogging and social media are a waste of time – quite the contrary. But e-mail marketing, which sometimes seems low-tech and boring, is too powerful to be ignored.

So when I came across this infographic about how to write a subject line, I had to pass it on.

 

How To Create The Perfect Subject Line
by Litmus.Browse more data visualization.

Web Surfers Have the Attention Span of a Goldfish? Is This an Insult to Goldfish?

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Today PR Squared posted a good blog on how our online attention span is now equivalent to that of a goldfish’s – 9 seconds. Actually, I’m surprised goldfish have an attention span that long. But more to the point, this short attention span means if we’re to get our marketing message out, we have to be quick about it.

As a writer, this wounds me, especially since shorter doesn’t necessarily translate into less work. It’s hard to be pithy in 140 characters or less! On the other hand, this gives new impetus to my New Year’s resolution to learn how to take pictures well.

How are you going to tighten up your marketing messages? Or do you believe we really even need to? Some copywriters argue that the key is to catch and hold people’s attention with strong writing, rather than keep it short. What do you think?

 

Visual Gold! The New Revolution of Content Marketing

Some Thoughts on Social Media and Small Business

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One of the biggest push-backs I get from small business owners when it comes to social media is time.  They don’t have any.  And this is a real issue, because to do social media well – i.e. engage in conversations, track what customers are talking about, develop content, etc., does take time.  Sure, you can hire someone else to do it, but can a third party really engage with clients as well as someone who works at your company?

Still, social media can drive traffic to your website and drive sales leads.  It can add value.  So I’m starting to think that for small businesses, a light footprint can still be effective, as long as it’s strategic.

For example, imagine a small firm with a staff of seven salespeople.  They’ve all got smart phones, about half have Twitter accounts.  The business could open Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, follow clients, and post about content.  The salespeople, in turn, can follow the company account and their clients, retweet company posts, and engage with their clients.  I.e., the salespeople handle the engagement end, the company manager/owner/whoever handles the content creation side.

What else is strategic?

  • Defining your social media goals.  Are you going to develop relationships?  Drive leads?  How many?
  • Figuring out where your clients are online and focusing on those social platforms, rather than trying to be everywhere.  How do you know where your customers are?  Check their e-mail signatures, their websites, their business cards.  Or just ask them.
  • Following clients.  It’s the first step in engagement and social market research.
  • Measuring results.
  • I’m sure I’ve missed something – what else belongs here?