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Blog Business World

Blogs in business, marketing, public relations, and SEO search engine optimization for successful entrepreneurs

Friday, December 31, 2004

 

Business Blog Awards announced

Business Blog Awards 2005.

While there are probably more than enough blog awards events taking place around the internet, business blogs have not been invited to the party.

In fact, the absence of any mention of business blogs in the awards ceremonies has been a mystery to many.

It certainly has been a puzzle to me.

If anything, it shows how business blogs have burst onto the scene in 2004, catching even the members of the blogging community by surprise.

I have complained and lamented the lack of business blog award recognition in the past.

Well, in not too surprising fashion, uber-creative blogger Jeremy Wright of Ensight, and his business partner Darren Barefoot of DarrenBarefoot.com have arrived to the rescue.

They have just announced The 2005 Business Blogging Awards brought to you by Inside Blogging.

They even have created their own website, dedicated to the cause.

Can you say red carpet for business bloggers?

Jeremy and Darren are seeking nominations for numerous business blogging categories.

I even offered a couple of category suggestions, just to get in on the festivities.

Hey, after all of my ranting and raving about lack of business blog recognition by other blog awards shows, it's the least I could do for the cause.

Now all you have to do is nominate the best business blogs out there, and let the votes fall where they may.

The awards need sponsors to donate prizes for the winning business blogs.

Recognition for the sponsors will be in the form of links back the sponsors' websites, as well as prominent advertisements on the awards site.

Now, it's time to get those nominations in place for The 2005 Business Blog Awards.

Here’s how the awards will work:

We’re accepting nominations until January 24. Anyone can nominate any blogger in any category
Additionally, feel free to suggest new categories if there’s one you’d like to see
To nominate a blogger, simply place a comment in the nominations thread. Feel free to nominate as many blogs as you’d like (including your own) for as many categories as you’d like
A panel of judges will whittle the nominee list for each category down to a minimum of three and a maximum of six nominees
Voting will open at 12:00pm PST on January 26. You’ll be able to vote once per day per category
Voting will continue until 12:00pm PST on Feburary 9
Winners will be announced on February 10. Winners will be contacted by email



Nominations can be made right at the awards website or via e-mail to:

awards@insideblogging.com

Blogs can be nominated until January 24, 2005.

Get those nominations sent for your favourite business blogs today.

Business blogs deserve the recognition.









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Raise your sales with a great landing page

Website landing pages are often one of the most neglected sales points for many website owners. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Landing pages are a powerful tool to increase a online business’s sales conversions. Turning even a few extra visitors into paying customers or clients, can mean a substantial increase in the company bottom line. Instead of wasting the click throughs to your website, put them to work for you, and increase your business revenue.

As everyone is aware, the landing page is the entry point on a website where a visitor reaches from an inbound link. That link could be from an e-mail newsletter offer, a paid or free advertisement, a pay per click or sponsored listing, a blog link, or even from another page within the website itself.

Of course, any specialized to an offer landing page is superior to having the potential customer enter through the site home page. All too often, however, that conversion opportunity is wasted by weak marketing copy and unfocused content, on the landing page itself.

The importance of landing pages

E-mail marketers have long known the value of creating a specialized landing page to receive the click throughs from a newsletter promotion. As part of the process, a unique new web page is created that repeats the offer to the prospect, and carries through to the final sale closing. The page’s only purpose is to sell the product or service highlighted in the e-mail newsletter.

Most e-mail newsletter editors understand, after countless attempts, that the site home page is not the best place to send prospective customers. The page is simply too general, and is not focussed directly on conversions to paying customers. The home page is more of an introduction to the business in general. The landing page is a targeted sales page. That’s the difference.

The uses for a targeted landing page are not limited to e-mail marketers. Specialized sales pages should be utilized by every serious internet marketer. The ways to use the landing page are virtually unlimited. In fact, almost any incoming link can be aimed toward a page, especially designed to convert any visitors who click to it.

Even more emphasis should be placed on the landing pages for pay per click programs or from paid advertisements. Obviously, because every paid ad or click through costs real money, the onus is on the website owner to ensure as high a conversion rate as possible.

It’s strange to see many pay per clicks land helplessly on a site’s home page. Instead, the link should be to a targeted sales page, specifically selling the product or service being offered. The conversion rate of a sales page should far exceed that of almost any homepage.

Helping the landing page make conversions

The purpose of the landing page is to sell a targeted product or service. Nothing else. For that reason, the page should be focussed strictly for sales. It should not be treated as a general visitor introduction page.

The language and content of the page, especially if reached from a newsletter offer or pay per click, should have only the goal of conversion in mind. Stick to the product or service being offered. Don’t bring in peripheral topics. Save them for their own targeted pages. Keep your eye on the sales prize.

Write the sales copy to lead the prospect directly toward becoming a paying customer. Throughout the page, provide hot links to the shopping cart or order form, as some people will reach their buying point earlier than others.

Take advantage of that buying tendency, and make it easy to buy, at the point when the prospect is ready. When a new product benefit is introduced in the copy, it should be accompanied by a buying link.

Be upfront about the benefits of purchase, while being entirely honest about the price, and about the shipping and handling charges. Avoid surprises at the shopping cart stage, as they could scuttle the sale.

Assure the prospect that their purchase is fully guaranteed. Don’t be afraid to provide a complete money back guarantee. Very few people will request it, and the reassurance of standing behind the product will create vastly more sales than will request a refund. The numbers favor a strong money back guarantee.

Conclusion

Stop throwing away precious advertising and pay per click dollars, and losing potential sales from your e-mail newsletter by sending the customer to the site homepage.

Create a well written, marketing oriented landing page for receiving the click throughs.

Your business bottom line will thank you.

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Thursday, December 30, 2004

 

Blogging for celebrity

Blogging to gain celebrity is a misconception that many non-blogging people share.

The idea that is circulating, and usually among those who have little or no concept of blogging, is people blog to become famous.

While that possibility could be true in mny cases, it's not likely the main motivating force for most bloggers.

Bloggers write to express themselves, often to extremely limited audiences. By the way, if you are one of those unfortunates, we should talk.

Anyway.

I was out and about and spreading the word about business blogs. I know, it's an obsession. I deal with it. Mostly.

A few people remarked that bloggers only write to become famous celbrities.

I suggested that a business blog is more of a business relationship builder, between business person and the customer. They responded that it was only about being famous and being seen as important.

While many bloggers do become regarded as authorities in their industry, that phenomenon predates blogging. In fact, promotion and marketing of a business has literally taken place forever. No business survives very long without getting the word out on the street about their products and services.

In that sense, I continued, the business blog is a marketing, public relations, and promtional tool.

The blog is the means to market products and services; not the end in and of itself.

They remained unconvinced, and seemed to prefer the exclusively seeking of fame interpretation.

I can see their point, sort of.

If a business wants to become well known, it has to strive for a bit of "fame", and the owners and management have to gain some degree of "celebrity". Of course, that doesn't equate precisely to the cult of celebrity spread across television, newspapers, and magazines.

Some bloggers are now becoming well known people in the larger community. In that sense, they are on the way to having the proverbial household name of some business leaders and journalists.

Does that mean that they started to blog to achieve that fame?

In some cases, perhaps yes.

On others, the answer would be a no.

Blogs and bloggers are so diversified, in their countless motivations and goals, that it's literally impossible to pigeonhole the reasons for starting a blog.

With over five million blogs on the internet, similarity of thought and ideas went out of the window long ago.

I'm sure that a search for bloggers who seek only fame, would turn up many examples.

A similar search for bloggers who go out of their way to avoid publicity for their blogs, beyond a select circle of readers, would also find large numbers.

In the end, the reasons for blogging are many.

As are the overall number of bloggers.

The blog is a tool, and it can be used for many things.

If fame and celebrity is your goal, then by all means, blog your way into the public eye.

And when you become famous, remember with kindness, all of us mere mortals.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

 

Visitor referrer logs: Keeping in touch

Visitor referrer logs are valuable records to examine, from time to time.

In my case, and probably yours too, the visitor logs get more than one peek a day.

Admit it.

It's not just an exercise in ego or vanity to read your visitor log records.

In fact, it might be the nicest thing you can do for the interests of your regular and new readership.

In the referrer records, there are probably indications of the keywords and phrases that discovered your blog. Everyone who uses a search engine types in a search phrase in the hope of finding some relevant information on the subject.

If the phrase found your blog, then one of the major search engines including Google, Yahoo, or MSN Search, thought your blog posts were important information. After all, your blog did appear in their search results.

By having that information at your fingertips, you know what information that your visitors seek.

If the search is for some area of interest to you and your blog, and that was the topic of one of your blog posts, then it makes sense to write even more posts on the topic.

After all, that's what your visitors want.

I know that it's fun to write new posts, on fresh areas of interest. We all do that, and we blog that way every day.

Sometimes, it makes sense to step back, and examine what your readers want to find at your blog.

To use a product marketing analogy, you are listening to the needs and desires of your current and future customer base. In this case, you existing blog customers are your regular readers, while new visitor traffic represents new clientele.

As we all are aware, I hope, a business that refuses to meet the needs of its customers doesn't stay in operation for long. Blogs can suffer the same fate, if the blog writer's post topics are of interest to almost no one.

The customer, or in this case, the blog reader knows best.

Keep reading those visitor referrer logs, and continue searching for the interests of your readers.

Your increased blog traffic will be there to prove the idea a sound one.

Oh. That information is contained in your blog visitor logs too.


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Monday, December 27, 2004

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at Business Opportunities Webslog

This week sees an opportunistic turn for the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a stop at a blog where new business ideas are the always the order of the day.

This week's posts feature a business and entreprenurial flavour as we vist Dane Carlson's business and startup and venture capital and all things entrepreneurially inclined Business Opportunities Weblog.

When Dane Carlson isn't dreaming up new and profitable concepts for business startups, he is writing about the success of other entrepreneurs.

This week's edition ofCarnival of the Capitalists highlights some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, education, legal issues, spam, insider trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, politics, and tedchnology.

As you would expect from Carnival of the Capitalists there are many discussions of business, entrepreneurship, and business ideas.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere.

We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced many of us to some brand new ones.

As I am always privileged to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

While not really part of any entrepreneurial theme, my entry post this week is entitled "Blog awards need to get the business" where I suggest that all of the various blog awards events need to get with the program, and add a Best Business Blog category to their nominations and winners list.

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists will take a managerial turn as the show moves to Lisa Haneberg's interesting and insightful Management Craft blog.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the Business Opportunities Weblog hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer you a chance to get your business in gear. (groan)

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Holiday havoc and seasonal fun

Have the holidays wreaked havoc on your blog's posting activities?

Yeah, I know the feeling too.

You want to write the best blog posting ever, especially after your festive dining with those...well...let's say...interesting relatives of yours.

Yes, they are all grist for the blogging mill.

After all, what are strange and...interesting...relatives for, if not to pillary in your blog posts.

You can add their stories to your blog posts, but do it in fun. We aren't out to attach anyone unmercifully.

Okay, in some cases we are.

Be that as it may, your blog is an ideal outlet for letting everyone know that your family is as messed up as anyone elses.

Okay, even more so.

If you want to vent, now is the time to do it.

Thanksgiving rolls around again fairly quickly, and the same relatives will be back again.

That said.

Have fun with your blog over the holiday season.

Write about your gifts and the great things that happened, and the wonderful memories that the season brought your way.

And don't eat too many leftovers.

After all, you want to save some room for New Year's celebrations too.

Happy blogging.

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Saturday, December 25, 2004

 

Seasons Greetings

In this the holiday season, it's with joy that I wish all of my many readers and friends a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

I appreciate every one of your visits to my blogs, and I hope that I have provided some helpful bits of advice and encouragement along the way.

I have made many new and dear friends as a direct result of writing and maintaining a blog.

In many ways, those new friends are the greatest gift ever provided from something so humble as a business blog.

To you and your loved ones, all the best of the holiday season, and may all of your wishes and dreams come true.

Wayne Hurlbert

Blog Business World

Wayne's Derby World

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Blog posting in the holiday season

Holiday season blogging is generally a slower time of the year.

Many of your regular readers are either away, or preoccupied with family.

Some of them might ven be trying to get away from that family preoccupation.

In any case, your visitor totals will be lower, so don't worry about that at all. It's similar to a weekend in that regard.

You might also be short of suitable blog posting topics for the holidays.

Don't worry about it.

No one is expecting any major indepth analysis posts on any major topics of the day.

I hope.

Instead, take the day, or even a few days off from blogging, and share them with family and friends.

If you still feel the need to post, or is an addiction as in my case, you can always wish your readers and their families, all of your best for the holiday season.

That makes a great post.

And an appreciated one as well, for surfers like me who have no idea what day it is anyway.

Seasons greetings.

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Friday, December 24, 2004

 

Computer update day

I hope I've seen the end of my computer difficulties.

I have been plagues with computer programs, as my old Windows 98 system had been deteriorating. It had rested in this computer since October 1999.

It was time for a change.

It was trade in day.

I spent the day adding a brand new Windows XP program, and it is working great.

I happen to like Microsoft products, and their ease of usage.

While I fully understand that Windows based systems are not for everyone, they work very well for me.

And that's what counts.

If a Mac, or PC, or Micrsoft, or Linux, or any other choices of hardware or software works for you, then stay with it.

For good measure, I am hooking on a new keyboard this week too.

I am hoping that my computational ( you like that word?) problems are now behind me.

Since I earn my living from the internet, in the form of search engine optimization and freelance writing, I need to be online.

And working.

I hope that is the case for the future.

Touch keyboard!


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Thursday, December 23, 2004

 

Google is in a state of flux

Have you noticed a drop in your visitor traffic from the dominant search engine Google?

While many of you don't keep track of every little burp and hiccup that Google emits, many bloggers are concerned.

I am not worried, myself.

I have also told my search engine optimization clients to not be concerned about the current Google Christmas flux.

In case you didn't know, every year just in time for the holiday gift buying season, Google's search results for many major keyword searches, takes a wild swin in all directions.

I didn't notice it personally, and my clients' search results were stable as well.

The policy I recommend of constantly adding strong keyword rich theme relevant content is the best long term policy. Search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search, are concerned with delivery of good content. Blogs and traditional websites that keep adding fresh relevant content will usually weather any storms.

There will be exceptions, but overall in the mid to longer term, good content will prevail.

Not only do search engines reward good content, they value incoming links from theme related blogs and sites very highly.

Good content attracts those all important (especially to link obsessed Google) very well, and very often.

My most important keywords saw little movement from their normally strong positions.

I like it that way.

You should too, and as bloggers, any slight drops you experience will soon be restored.

Don't tear out your hair over a few Google hiccups.

Think content and links, and over the long term, your site will always do very well indeed.

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Blog awards need to get the business

Blog awards shows or sites or whatever they are have a major flaw.

I mean a huge, drive an eighteen wheeler through it sideways in a skid flaw.

They never have a category for business blogs.

Ever.

They always hae about thirty-seven political blog categories.

You know the ones.

Best conservative, best liberal, best libertarian, best fascist, best communist, best socialist, best internationalist, best anti-internationalist, best pro-United Nations, best anti-United Nations, best politician's blog, best politician's speech writer's blog, best political intern's blog, best out of office forever politician's blog, funniest liberal, funniest conservative, and dozens more best -isms blogs in the same vein.

Even "Best Overall Blog", "Best Group Blog", and "Best Humour Blogs" are packed with political blogs.

Don't get me wrong.

I like political blogs and have no problems with them getting their due, along with sports blogs, legal blog, and technology blogs.

I regularly read tons of blogs from all of those categories. I link to many of them.

You would think, however, in a competition with two hundred and fifty odd, or thereabouts categories, they could at least open up one space for business blogs.

The fact that business, marketing, public relations, human resources, employment, finance, advertising, branding, accounting and other business related blogs are one of the fastest growing segments of the blogosphere, that the judges would have noticed them by now.

Guess not.

I just was pointed to the 2004 Canadian Blog Awards (via Best Humourous Blog nominee Bacon and Ehs) and noticed that business blogs were not included.

You don't think so?

Well, here are the choices:

Categories:

1) Best Blog
2) Best Liberal Blog
3) Best Conservative Blog
4) Best Group Blog
5) Most Humourous Blog
6) Best Non-Political Blog
7) Best New Blog (started in 2004)
8) Best Blog Design

See what I mean?

No business blog category.

So what else is new?

In fact, political blogs are tacitly acknowledged, as so dominant in all categories anyway, by the need to include a "Best Non-Political Blog" category.

I suppose otherwise, there might have been a clean sweep for those writing about politics.

It's time that the blog awards programs considered the many tremendous and fast rising business blogs out there in blog land.

The many talented business bloggers deserve at least one little category too.

Starting in 2005, all blog awards shows should definitely include a "Best Business Blog" category.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

 

Daily link roundup as a traffic builder

Bloggers are prolific linkers.

In fact, many of the best known and most influential blogs are often built on daily links to various articles and blog posts.

The power of a daily link roundup is the attraction of readers, who can find some interesting links all in one place.

Think of them as a "one stop link shop".

Hmmm...there is a blog title there for someone. Free for the taking!

You don't have to be a major A list blogger (you know the ones, they are the bloggers everyone in the blogging community and outside of it know), to have daily link roundup.

It's important, in my opinion anyway, for new bloggers to not get too dependent upon daily link collections. Mini "carnivals" are more for established bloggers with at least six months of solid posting or more.

That is not to say the link collection de jour doesn't have value for all bloggers, established and new.

It does.

What your link offering of the day does require is more that just a link.

The links can be presented as part of a discussion surrounding the topic, where the link is simply the starting line. The rest of the post fleshes out the concept, complete with your personal opinion on the matter.

In other words, a link to a post on marketing or public relations would be part of a larger post on the linked article.

Another option is to write an independent post, that has nothing to do with the presented links, or surrounds them with a theme post.

For example, a series of links about cats would be accompanied by an independent post about your thoughts on the feline as pet and companion.

A blog that achieves the goal of daily and unusual links, coupled with a related post is Kim's Bacon and Ehs blog. While Kim's topic selection might not always be ideal for family viewing or work safe by any means, the concept is what is important.

The idea is to find some very intriguing links, and surround them with the theme of the day.

As a result, Kim's Bacon and Ehs blog attracts many incoming links and traffic from other blogs. The more readers the better.

Along with the added readership are many more comments by readers than are seen on most blogs. The links and a related question of the day draw comments like a magnet. In that way, Kim has created a mini-community on her Canadian based blog.

For a glimpse at the Bacon and Ehs recipe for attracting new visitors, and keeping them coming back for second helpings, click on over to Bacon and Ehs.

You might find an idea or ten for your own blog.

Note that not all links are work or family safe; unlike the G rating of my business blog.






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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

 

Free business magazines are here for you

Everyone wants something for free.

Well, here it is.

I entered into an associate arrangement with an organization called TradePub. They distribute free business and trade magazines, on behalf of the magazine publishers.

You can see the rotating magazines on the ad on the right hand side of your screen. Note that the magazines displayed are only a tiny portion of the total offering of trade publications available.

Many new and free magazines are offered all the time, so keep clicking the link and checking out the offerings.

The good thing about this arrangement is the magazines are free to you, with no strings attached.

All you have to do is be involved in the industry that the magazine targets. If there were strings attached, I would not be making this recommendation, or getting involved with the offer.

It is a great offer, and free to you. I wouldn't be part of it otherwise.

I get many of the offered free magazines myself, as a matter of fact.

How's that for an endorsement!

It's very important to be up to date, in what's happening within your industry, and field of endeavour. The latest trade magazines provide that timely insight. They help you to become an insider in your industry.

There are free magazines available for business executives and entrepreneurs. Many magazines cover technology and operating businesses in a wide range of areas. New titles are being added all of the time.

You can receive as many free magazines as you want.

Full disclosure: I get a small commission from every free magazine subscription ordered. It provides me with some income, and also works as an experiment on the effectiveness of blogs as advertising and marketing vehicles. That is important for all of us, and for the future of blogs.

All of the trade publications are available to my United States based readers. There are specific categories of magazines that are available to residents of Canada, Mexico, and world wide.

Everyone can find a trade publication that suits them, as the list of industries is very exhaustive. General business, management, and computer magazines work for almost everyone too.

The list of available magazines is almost unlimited. There is almost certainly one in your field of business.

Check it out, and see if I'm wrong about that!

I can be almost positively certain, there is a free magazine in the group, that is right for you, your industry, and your business interests.

To subscribe, simply click on the display advertisement on the right side of your screen. Be sure to use the link from Blog Business World, as it's the only way I get paid.

Hey, I have to earn a bit of a living too!

Keeping current with happenings in your industry will help you and your business to grow and prosper.

Click on my link (that's the big revolving picture of magazine covers just to the right of this post), to TradePub, and subscribe to your free business and trade publications today.

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Carnival of the Capitalists goes to XTremeBlog

This week sees a technical turn for the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a stop at a blog where the technology world becomes not just a place for geeks anymore.

This week's posts feature an extremely computer, technology and internet flavour as we vist Marshall's multi contributor technolgy blog appropriately enough called XTremeBlog.

When Marshall et all are not celebrating the marvels of techology, they take time for a bit of humour in their blogs. The fact that some of the funny stuff is probably tech related is neither here nor there, of course.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists highlights some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, education, legal issues, spam, insider trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, politics, and tedchnology.

As you would expect from Carnival of the Capitalists there are many discussions of technology, gadgets, and all things geek related.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere.

We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced many of us to some brand new ones.

As I am always privileged to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

While not really part of any actual birthday theme, my entry post this week is entitled "Entrepreneurship and small business" where I discuss how bloggers should embrace small business ownership as a career choice. I believe bloggers are ideally suited to operating their own businesses.

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists gets down to business as the move is made to Dane Carlson's always hepful Business Opportunities Weblog.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the XTremeBlog hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer you a chance to get technical. (groan)

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Monday, December 20, 2004

 

Blog Herald Christmas blog award judges named

The Blog Herald Christmas Blogging Awards have some judges to select the winning entries.

The two well known bloggers chosen to decide the winners of Christmas spirit and a few cash prizes are my good friends Trudy Shuett of WOLves, and John Mudd of Inside Real Estate Journal.

Both Trudy and John are busy bloggers, with both of them writing for numerous blogs, and receiving many awards of their own. Who better than award winners to choose even more!

Those two great choices will work with Blog Herald owner Duncan Riley to select the best of the best of the Yuletde blogging entries.

You might have missed my post suggesting your entry into this festive event.

There is still time to slip a last minute entry down the chimney.

The award categories are:

Best overall Christmas Blog

Best Christmas decoration of a Blog

Best posting about Christmas on a Blog

Best new blog embracing Christmas

Get those entries in today.

Christmas won't wait for you!



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Sunday, December 19, 2004

 

Writers and blogging

Blogs sell books for writers.

We see bloggers reviewing books all the time.

In fact, bloggers are one of the truly sought after review groups on the internet. There are many good reasons for that to happen.

Bloggers are seen by writers as being a fairly impartial group, as a general rule. A blogger tends to wear his or her main biases on the proverbial sleeve. Regular readers know their favourite blogger's stance on most issues.

Many bloggers are reliable reviewers because they bring a good steady target readership along with them. Have a business blogger read and discuss the merits of a business book, and chances are, many of the blog readers will purchase the book themselves.

Writers need to understand that blogs sell books.

A lot of copies of books, as a matter of fact.

I have written before about Aaron Gleeman et al and their selling of their Hardball Times Baseball Annual, and its rise to the top of its publisher's all time best seller list.

The book currently sits at #4 all time. When I wrote the post about the book, it sat in the #10 all time position. Blog marketing efforts have since raised its sales totals even higher.

The reason for those tremendous sales numbers were bloggers. The book was writtenby bloggers, reviewed by bloggers, and marketed by bloggers. In blogs.

Vikk Simmons of the fast rising writer's blog, Down The Writer's Path joined with other forward thinking authors and strongly recommends blogs to other writers.

In this way, Vikk is employing the blog marketing concepts suggested regularly by other writer bloggers like Trudy Schuett of WOLves, for example.

Vikk has hit the blog marketing tool nail on the head as she understands that writers need to do more than simply write.

She says of writers:

More and more today's writer assumes the role of a shape-shifter. He or she must move comfortably between the creative, the artist-writer, the editor, the pitch man, the salesman, the agent/representative, the promotor and events planner, the graphic artist and designer, and on and on and on until the the business man or woman emerges, one who not only writes but who is also comfortable marketing, selling, speaking and promoting his or her's artistic creation.


It's not just about writing anymore.

Over on my roller derby blog, I constantly tell the startup roller derby league owners to forget the old and I hope by now discredited idea, that if they open the doors, people will simply appear by magic.

Authors seem to share that non-marketing delusion as well.

Good books don't sell themselves. No one can or will ever by the book if they don't know anything about it.

A blog is a tremendous medium to let readers know your book is out there and available for sale. You can give the readers a sample chapter and excerpts, right on the blog itself.

You can offer the book for sale right on the spot.

Other bloggers will review the book on their blogs too, multiplying the power of blogs as book sellers extraordinaire.

Get into blogging and sell some books!


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Saturday, December 18, 2004

 

Blogging as a business: Preaching to the choir

Blogging as a business, in and of itself, is something near and dear to my heart.

I admit to being a completely unabashed supporter, nay evangelist, of blogging.

Posting about developing business blogs, and starting your own business with the blog as its basis, is almost second nature to me now.

It is for many of you as well.

We all know and understand the power of blogs. We know that adding a blog component to a business website, is the express train to success, in your entrepreneurial venture.

I encourage everyone that I can find, to listen to my empassioned entreaties, to start their own business.

As the wise David St. Lawrence has stated so eloquently on his wonderful Ripples blog, we can't expect to remain in our current careers for long.

Like many people who have studied the various pension structures, both publicly and privately funded, David is convinced that waiting for a pension and a gold watch is not the most prudent course of action.

Pension payout possibilities in the future appear a bit like a trip to some bet your rent and food money casino. You may find a winning hand; or conversely a bad roll of the dice might turn up snake eyes.

Do you really want to take that risk with your life? Or with the life of your family?

Instead of waiting for others to take care of your life, and your family's future, I consider self employment to be a safer course of action.

Doubters will point out that many business startups fail. That is true, but you do have ideas and the possibility of many different potential business opportunities on your side.

When the alternative is possible unemployment and limited pension payouts, I would prefer to take my chances on starting a business.

At least with taking the entrepreneurship path, the chance of success is in your own hands. That is a powerful motive, if there ever was one!

Of course, by considering a blog as the fast track to making your new business venture a success, I am preaching to the already converted. The cliche is preaching to the choir.

I don't mind being a cliche if it helps other people achieve success in their personal and business lives.

There are business opportunities in spreading the word of blogs, with the zeal of a missionary, to business and professional people everywhere.

Did I just hand you a business idea there?

I hope so!

After the dust settles, and your new business success complete with its resident business blog takes off, what is in it for me, you ask.

Well, if it's monetary, I expect to earn a living from blogging and helping others with blogging. I also expect to earn a living from search engine optimization and helping businesses increase their visibility on the internet search engines.

That said, I don't expect to receive any financial return from 99.99% of my readership.

What makes me want to help others then?

I simply like to help.

I want other people to become successful, and to reach their full potential, as both business people and as human beings.

Let's just say, I like to think of those who I have helped along the way as my friends.

What could be more wonderful and rewarding than that?











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Friday, December 17, 2004

 

Entrepreneurship and small businesses

Entrepreneurship should be embraced by bloggers.

Starting a small or micro-business should be at or near the top of the list of career goals for many bloggers.

Perhaps, I should say small business ownership and the entrepreneurial ethic is part and parcel for almost every blogger writing in the blogosphere today.

Maybe, that's going a bit too far overboard, but I know you get my point.

The harsh reality of life for many people is that career opportunities, for one reason or another have been reduced. In many cases, due to the skyrocketing cost of education and its accompanying crippling debt load, post-secondary education is a mere pipe dream.

At the same time, many traditional high paying blue collar manufacturing jobs have disappeared with the new realities of globalization and competition.

For those people facing a difficult economic future, things don't look too promising. Regardless of the political party in power, the forces of economic change march on. In fact, looking to government of any stripe to solve any problems with the economy are likely to be ineffective at best, and downright harmful at worst.

We must, by necessity, look to ourselves to take care of the economy.

One solution, that is open to all members of the blogging community, is starting your own small business.

The business could be service oriented, where you market your skills and expertise to various other businesses or individuals. Services range from readily identifiable personal services like lawn and home care to business services including virtual assistant and business constultant.

The services offered can be everywhere in between.

You could also offer products for sale over the internet. The items offered could be your own arts, crafts, and books. On the other hand, you could be a reseller for products developed by other people. The internet marketplace makes both product marketing options a profitable reality.

In fact there is no limit on the possibilities, and many require very minimal startup cash. Your knowledge, a website, a blog, and some low cost tools of the trade, and you are in business. Many necessary business items can be acquired cheaply in the secondhand market or through barter.

Note that I said blog.

As bloggers, you already possess expertise in perhaps the single most powerful business building tool that exists today.

The business blog.

As bloggers, you know the reasons for establishing a business blog.

You already understand about how the fresh keyword rich content and abundant incoming links ranks your blog high in the search engines.

You fully understand how the business blog personalizes your business, by placing a real and interesting person behind the keyboard.

By being accessible and open, your potential clients and customers already know you, and they trust you. They are naturals for doing business with you, as people prefer to buy products and services from people who they know and trust.

As a blogger, you are disciplined to post regularly on your blog, whether it's a personal blog, or one geared more towards business, politics, sports, law, or some other issue.

You simply apply that already developed work ethic to your own business.

No one said that starting a business would be easy. I sure don't.

What I do say is that with the hard work and dedication that you as a blogger, put into writing your blog posts, you can definitely succeed in business.

I believe in the power of small business and entrepreneurship to change people's lives for the better.

That change is not only financial, but also evident in the person themselves.

You can proudly attend functions and tell people about your business. Many will want to conduct business with you, if you provide an interesting personality along with a professional approach.

People will see you as a resource to solve their business problems or take care of some of their personal needs.

In any case, the sky is the limit for entrepreneurship.

Start writing down some small business startup ideas today.

Tomorrow, you will be on your way to owning your own business.

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Thursday, December 16, 2004

 

Blog posts as acts of necessity

Blog postings are often written more out of a sense of need than of conviction.

Okay, instead of speaking in riddles like some cut rate mystic wannabe, tell us what you mean, Wayne.

Well, if you insist.

I do like to be coaxed once in awhile. Okay, a lot of the while.

Play nice and share your toys!

Many bloggers are faced with those days when they have absolutely nothing about with to post.

You know the days. We all have them, I think.

You check your favourite blogs on the blogroll. You don't especially feel like linking to and commenting on any of them with any sort of conviction.

Nothing interesting happened tha day in your business or personal life, so amusing or educational anecdotes don't fill the bill.

You feel you're left with only two basic options, of which neither one is really appealing.

You can post nothing, or as some would say, the path of least resistance. I would say the path to avoiding unnecessary carpal tunnel, but I am rarely consulted on medical issues, and with very good reason too I might add.

The altertive choice is to write some questionable quality post off the top of your head. Well...out of your fingertips anyway, for the more literal folks in our midst.

In fact, there is a third way. Well, you did suspect some discount store homilies passing as sagacity didn't you?

You can turn that lack of topic, or limited number of ideas, into a post all by themselves.

You can discuss the difficulties, faced by countless bloggers, as that blank computer screen stares back into their eyes.

The idea that one needs to write for the readership, is contrasted with the desire and even the preference to write for oneself.

Instead of succumbing to the temptation to write, just to have a post up there on the screen for pinging purposes, write something for yourself.

And only for yourself.

If someone who regularly drops by your blog reads it, well, fine.

Should no one surf on over, then that is alright too.

Take a day and write something you want to say just for you.

It's your blog.

Write your own thoughts and feelings, even if they are only just a series of stream of consciousness ramblings.

It might even be good for the soul.


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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

 

Blogger Idol entry: First dates

Blogger Idol is an ongoing non-competitive meme that I like to share.

Each week, bloggers are invited to write a post on the week's surprise topic.

This week's topic is "First Dates".

blogger_idol-1.gif

Starting a blog, for the very first time, is very much like a first date.

In many ways, a new blog is even similar to a blind date, as you are never quite certain how your blog will appear.

While every person has true beauty, there is always a slight, okay large amount, of trepidation that your blog won't be the love of your life.

Or even a passable acquaintance.

You simply can't help but feel nervous. Will it go well? Will you spill some virtual pasta all over yourself?

Will you say something so utterly stupid and ridiculous that the date ends almost intantly there after.

I met my first blog in March of 2003. I had been reading sports blogs, written by other people for awhile, and decided I wanted to date one too.

After all, a blog is a like a long term relationship with your readership. Some work out well, while others...well....not so perfectly.

I decided to ask out a roller derby blog, and for the location of my first blogging date, I chose Blogger.

While Blogger is in many ways, and especially in those pre-udated and improved days, the blogging equivalent of a fast food joint, I took the plunge.

I screwed up my courage and leaped into the great blogosphere unknown.

Forgetting the sweaty palms, and the shaky knees, it was time to take action.

I asked out a roller derby blog.

I had no idea what sort of response I would receive. I even expected a few virtual face slaps, despite my most honourable of intentions.

After all, you can never be entirely certain how the most innocent of remarks will be received.

I set up the blog with the prettiest of templates. Like many guys, I asked some ladies for advice. My friends Pam Burke and Heather Burke, were more than happy to make those all important design suggestions.

It felt like selecting just the right shirt to wear.

I set up the blog. That was simple enough.

I wrote a post, somewhat tentatively, uncertain as to whether I was talking to empty cyberspace. Perhaps, like a first date, the other party might even nod a few times before dropping off in boredom.

My first blog received some good early responses.

There was clearly enough interest for a second date, and even a third.

Since then, I have become a very faithful and loving blogger.

My readership has stayed with me, and even grown much larger over time. We now have a very rewarding long term relationship.

My first date...I mean blog...went very well.

Oh...does that make this business blog a virtual mistress?

Well, that's an issue for another day, I think.

blogger_idol-1.gif


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A blogger's search engine optimization day: SEO what!

Business blogs require some care and feeding.

In that sense business blogs are like children, or pets without the shedding.

Please, no bad e-mails or nasty comments. I was making a weak analogy. A blog isn't really like a child or a pet.

But business blogs don't shed, so I was close.

Spending the day reading a number of postings on the various search engine optimization forums will do that to a person.

Along with reading the thoughts of other SEO people in one of my industries, I read marketing discussions, and information on public relations.

I also read numerous blogs.

I don't just read business related blogs either. I like to read some personal blogs as well.

For that matter, I always enjoy randomly clicking unknown blogs on people's blog rolls, and see where I wind up.

It sometimes feels like stepping from stone to stone at the edge of a stream, then into the middle of the creek, and on then to the next stone, and safely reaching the other shore.

Occasionally, as my journey strays far from the original blog, I find some really wonderfully written and informative blogs.

I also find some blogs that have not been updated since early 2003.

We hear of abandoned blogs, but like ghost towns in the Old West, they are out there. Lurking. Waiting. Watching.

Hey, maybe I have a plot for some B horror movie.

The Ghost Blog Attacks

Well, maybe not.

In any case, reading around the internet is fun, whether on message boards or on a blog to blog hop scotch adventure.

I like to surf (does anyone say that anymore) around the blogosphere, and read other bloggers, both familiar and new.

It's a pleasant way to spend a day.

I didn't get all of the search engine optimization opinion I was looking for, but a couple of very intriguing new blogs made the day a success.

Go blog hopping today.






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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

 

Business blogs: Boring writing perhaps?

Business blogs vary in their writing quality.

We all are aware of that shortcoming in our business blogs. The very idea that a business blog should be interesting and (gasp!) even personal has come under some discussion lately.

Aleah, best known among business bloggers, for her Incite By Design marketing blog, has expressed a few concerns over at her well written Jane Crow Journal personal blog, about the possibility that business blogs are boring.

Aleah says:

But there just isn't the sense of camaraderie and exchange that blogging is really supposed to entail. I'm writing like mad, but it feels like I am screaming in an empty room. I'm feeling really pathetic. I don't want a soliloquy - I want a community.


Hey Aleah, I hear you loudly and clearly, or should that be the more colloguial loud and clear?

Anyway.

We business bloggers are often more accustomed to writing marketing and sales literature, advertising pieces, and search engine copy. Many of us are less likely to be writing in the more personal and intimate style found on the more intensely personal journals.

Some business blogs, like David St. Lawrence's Ripples, Vikk Simmons' Down The Writers Path, Steve Rubel's Micro Persuasion, Yvonne DiVita's Lip-Sticking, and Rosa Say's Talking Story for example, along with many others too numerous to mention, are all very well written.

Not all business bloggers can make that same claim, however.

At the same time, not all business blogs attract heavy levels of commentary. Writers like Aleah do feel they are talking to a blank computer screen. Their sense their words are being heard, maybe, but without feedback, they never know for sure.

The personal bloggers rarely have the problem of a lack of feedback. In fact, personal bloggers commenters often run into the dozens of comments.

There is a lesson there not only for business bloggers, but for many technical, political, legal and sports bloggers too. While many blog writers in those fields recieve heavy levels of feedback from their readers, others find their comments often devoid of any responses.

We business and related bloggers could take a page from the personal journal writer's handbook.

Write from the heart. Write with feeling and passion. Your words will connect with your readers in new and exciting ways.

Community is then created between the blogger and the readership.

That is part of the reason for a business blog in the first place. You want to create a relationship with your clients and customers. You want to put a human face on the company.

The way to do that is to read some personal blogs, journals, and diaries.

Learn the important lessons from those writers about connecting with your readers.

It will pay off in countless ways, both tangible financially, and as the forming of friendships.

Get personal today.

Oh, and leave some comments at Incite By Design, and at your other favourite business blogs.

Your words will be greatly appreciated by the blogger.

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Monday, December 13, 2004

 

Birthday Carnival of the Capitalists at SamaBlog

This week sees a birthday party for the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists, makes a stop, for the second time, at a blog where the eclectic meets the worlds of business and technology.

This week's posts feature a birthday celebration as we visit the second hosting of Rob Sama's always interesting and almost impossible to classify SamaBlog.

When Rob Sama is not celebrating birthdays, with some rather enticing capitalists, he is posting about some rather unexpected and unusual topics, and some politics too.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists highlights some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, education, legal issues, regulation, taxation, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and politics.

As you would expect from Carnival of the Capitalists there are many discussions of small business, marketing, and entrepreneurship and its value to society.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere.

We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced many of us to some brand new ones.

As I am always privileged to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

While not really part of any actual birthday theme, my entry post this week is entitled "Blogging as an industry" where I discuss how professional blogging is poised to burst forth on the business scene in 2005, as an industry all of its own.

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists goes to extremes as it shifts gears over to Marshall's multi contributor technology blog called XTremeBlog.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the SamaBlog hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer you a chance to get some birthday business. (groan)

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Controversial posts as the road to stardom

Blog posts can be very controversial.

You can write about many devisive issues, where even the mere mention of the topic fills the blogger's heart with rage.

Or at least some degree of passion.

You can read controversial posts on a daily basis, and all day long, if you visit the more popular political blogs.

Political blogs representing every possible position on the partisan scale are some of the most quoted and linked blogs in the blogosphere.

Political bloggers discuss topics near and dear to their hearts, and by extension, with their wide and usually very loyal readership. We knew that already, of course.

What really enhances the sweep and scope of most political blog writers is their passion. Whether writing posts in support, or diametrically opposed in every conceivable way, to various politicians and their political parties, what is displayed is genuine conviction.

That is what is important.

Conviction and passion in writing your blog.

Business blogs, legal blogs, technical blogs, writers blogs, sports blogs, and personal blogs often display those important characteristics as well. By doing so, the blogs become must reads.

The blogger who cares deeply about his or her subject matter, will also show passion for the topics, in their writing. The feelings flow out of the computer monitor, and affect the reader in countless ways.

Whether you agree with the blog writer's point of view or not, there is usually no mistaking their caring about the subject. It shows.

As you write your blog posts, get some passion.

Share your feelings and emotions on your subject matter.

Wearing your blogging heart on your sleeve isn't a bad thing.

Your growing reading audience will thank you for it.

Yes, your blog could indeed find itself with much more visitor traffic, and countless new incoming links from other bloggers.

Get into some passion today.

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Sunday, December 12, 2004

 

Blog traffic lower on the weekends?

Blog traffic is usually lower on the weekends.

Business blogs in particular, see a huge drop in visitor numbers on weekends, as many regular blog readers access the blogs at work.

The problem for many business bloggers is to maintain traffic flows on Saturday and Sunday, so as to not lose momentum in building visitor levels.

Business bloggers want and require a continous increase in readership.

Public relations bloggers need to disseminate the company information and build rapport with the public. If no one reads the message, no matter how personalized, the word remains hidden.

Marketing blogs attempt to build brands, and to create buzz and word of mouth about new products and services. In a similar manner to public relations bloggers, marketing bloggers want to enhance their business's reputution among existing and potential customers and clients.

Technology bloggers, legal bloggers, writing bloggers, and political bloggers face similar weekend traffic challenges.

Some form of traffic builder, or at least some form of weekend visitor retention concept, needs to be implemented.

The visitor traffic can be maintained in many creative and innovative ways.

A contest may require an answer on a Saturday or Sunday quiz or similar device. To win the contest, the reader might have to make a weekend visit. Perhaps the prize could only be claimed on a Saturday or a Sunday.

The weekend blog perusal could be done either live, or via an RSS reader. The point is to maintain, and even add on additional regular readers for your blog.

Another possibility is to run a special weekend only article series. In order to get the regular installment in a timely fashion, a Saturday or Sunday vist would be necessary.

Those bloggers who sell products on their blogs could offer weekend only specials.

Surprise Saturday or Sunday sales, offering additional free bonuses, or substantially reduced weekend prices, could also work for some bloggers.

Of course, these are only a very few, and certainly very limited number of obvious ideas.

The methods and techniques for preventing that usual weekend sag in visitor numbers are limited only by your imagination.

Think of how your blog could add more visitors on Saturday and Sunday.

Those readers could become some of your most loyal blog visitor traffic.

Everybody's working for the weekend, says the song.

Your blog can be working for you on the the weekend too.





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Saturday, December 11, 2004

 

Blogging as an industry

Blogging in general, and business blogging in particular, is poised to become a multi-million dollar industry.

2003 and 2004 saw massive growth in the numbers of blogs in existence. Blogs are now commonly found discussed in both the mainstream media and among many members of the general public.

Blogs are now sitting on the brink of an enormous breakthrough as a business tool.

Whether for marketing, public relations, or for creating and developing product buzz, blogs are about to enter the business mainstream with an explosion.

Already, smart members of the SEO community have discovered the power of a blog for search engine optimization.

The combination of fresh, keyword laden and theme relevant content coupled with the abundance of incoming links displayed by most blogs are an SEO winner. The major search engines love blogs and rank them well.

I recommend business blogs to all of my search engine clients. Combined with the ranking jumps that I develop for their websites on the search engines, the business blog is the final piece of the puzzle.

Professional bloggers and blog consultants are springing up everywhere. Some of the best bloggers on the internet are already lining up forward thinking businesses as blogging clients.

There will be many more such ventures appearing in the coming months and years.

In fact, business blogging consultants will be as ubiquitous as any other consultants. There will be an explosion in the numbers of bloggers who consult, develop, write, and administer blogs for other businesses.

Not only will the bloggers be drawn from business, legal, technical, and political blogs, but from the ranks of personal bloggers as well. Because of the personal journal style blogger's ability to speak person to person, they will flourish as professional bloggers as well.

Companies seeking to put a more human face on their image, will find bloggers from all subject areas to be precisely what the doctor ordered.

Be fully prepared for an enormous growth in professional blogging industry.

That train is roaring right down the fast track.

And its whistle is blowing very loudly.

Just look and listen.



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Friday, December 10, 2004

 

The computer that came in from the cold

My wayward computer is back in action.

I hope I have solved its myraid of difficulties, not the least of which is the fact that I have less RAM and an undersized hard drive on the old PC.

My Windows 98 needs replacement. There is little doubt about that issue.

I am thinking I will have to load Windows XP as an upgrade from Windows 98.

Thanks to my good friend and website designer Pam Burke, who posted on my behalf, that my daily postings might be missing in action.

Many times, Pam's computer advice and assistance has helped me out of a few difficulties. It's amazing how easily a neutral third party can solve a problem, that is staring someone who is a trifle more involved, square in the face.

On another note.

Pam's daughter Heather Burke is a blogger too.

Heather Burke writes a blog on independent professional wrestling called Pro Wrestling Impact.

By using all of the innovative and proven techniques for marketing her blog that we discuss here, she has a rapidly growing readership.

Heather is another example of a person writing about her area of business expertise.

As a professional wrestling blogger, Heather is now considered an authority on independent wrestlers, and the industry.

She is also widely viewed as a powerful resource, for publicity and for industry information, by the male and female wrestlers themselves.

In effect, Heather's Pro Wrestling Impact is another innovative variation of the business blog.




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A Message From Wayne

Wayne asked me to let you all know he is having computer problems and will be back posting as soon as possible.

Pam

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Computer problems and antiques

Computer problems are never pleasant.

I have been having quite a few of them.

Well, actually, I had a ton of them.

I was adding a site to an alleged directory (from a reputable list) and since the list was created, the site was loaded with spyware. It was the hijack the browser style, and I worked at it for hours.

And hours.

I finally got a browser window to open, which is somewhat helpful to the cause of finding oneself on the internet.

After several hours of bitter struggle, and some drastic changes in the settings of my old Windows 98 operating system, I got back in the game.

I really do need to upgrade my operating system to Windows XP, but perhaps more importantly, I have a serious necessity to get more memory, RAM, system gigs and gaggles, and everything else.

At least I'm a patient guy, and didn't put a hammer through the monitor or pound the tower into a pulp of plastic for the landfill.

In any case, you don't miss the internet, until you can't log on.

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Thursday, December 09, 2004

 

Blogging services auctions: Not on eBay

Blogging services auctions lasted about one entire month as an industry.

Renting out your talents as a blogger is no longer permitted on the internet auction giant eBay.

Jeremy Wright of Ensight, along with Darren Barefoot of DarrenBarefoot.com, successfully contracted blogging services via eBay auction. They were the first and the last to be allowed to do so.

Jeremy Wright received a letter informing him that eBay was not permitting the sale of services on their site. Their auctions are restricted to the sale of tangible, physical items.

It could be argued, I suppose, that the finished blog posts are as tangible as you can get, in the virtual internet world.

In any case, the die has been cast.

Blogger services contracts are now an industry, whether salable on eBay or not.

Private negotiations are still a viable option as they are for any other service business.

I privately contract for search engine optimization services and for free lance writing, for example.

Professional bloggers will do the same thing.

eBay will miss out on a ton of sales commissions in the end, but that is their choice too.


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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

 

RSS feeds as the new viral marketing

RSS feeds may be the new killer app for sales and marketing.

If you ask Kari Sullivan over at Greedy Girl, she won't even consider using an e-mail newsletter any more.

She has gone over all the way to RSS.

Kari says about the advantages of RSS over e-mail newsletters:

Seriously. Up until a month ago, I was very lame about holding on to my opt in lists. But, I started to realize that email really is dead. I have tried everything to get whitelisted. And eventually, my stuff ends up in the junk / spam folder. Yup, even if it’s double opt in. Yes, even when I’ve made contacts with people at major companies like Yahoo!

So I did something radical and a bit scary. I stopped soliciting new subscribers via email. I switched everything over to RSS. If you don’t have an RSS reader, then you won’t get marketed to by me.

And what happened? Tons more viral success and a good bit more money.


She even enumerates some convincing reasons for believing RSS is the wave of the future. She likely could have created even more with a bit of time.

For those of you who are still not convinced that RSS is the killer app for viral marketing, check out Greedy Girl's ideas on the subject of RSS feeds.

You will be sold on RSS feeds afterwards.





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Blogger gifts of Christmas spirit

Christmas and blogging are not usually thought of in the same sentence.

Well, maybe they are sort of related once a year, anyway.

With Christmas and other holiday greetings arriving at this time of year, countless bloggers will be using Christmas as a blog about topic.

It's already part of Darren Rowse of Living Room and ProBlogger's revival of his Blogger Idol series.

This blog post is an entry into that cornucopia of interesting, and highly eclectic group of blogs.

Good thing it's not a competition, or I would be sunk, considering the high quality of many of the participating bloggers!

For a more complete discussion about the Blogger Idol series, Darren Rowse has a complete explanation at Pro Blogger.

The topic is "All I Want For Christmas".

I'm guessing Darren was hoping for more than the proverbial two front teeth.

Blogger Idol entries are highlighted on the participating blogs with this funky logo:

blogger_idol-1.gif

It's also Blog Business World's first ever appearance as well, despite my having discussed the initial Blogger Idol series many moons ago.

Of course, needing a topic brought about visions of dancing sugar plums and frolicking snow people, powered by something suspiciously like virtual reality technology hidden in top hats.

Well, maybe not.

I like to think that bloggers want Christmas gifts too.

For those wanting more visitor traffic, let's drop a few new links from heavily visited blogs in their stockings.

Thinking of the bloggers who sell items from their blogs, may their affiliate cheques runneth over.

We'll trim and decorate the tree for those bloggers seeking a new design for the New Year. After all, what's a calendar change without a switch of the old blog's clothes!

Any bloggers who sell professional services from their blogs should have all sorts of new and high paying clients slide down their virtual chimneys. That includes bloggers who offer freelance writing, search engine optimization, publishing, advice and consulting of all varieties, and those who just need a few bucks from doing odd jobs.

May those bloggers seeking full time gainful employment find the career of their dreams, complete with corner office, a handy parking space, and surprisingly full pay envelope.

Writers who blog should only receive rave reviews of their latest publication, and sales far beyond their wildest imagination.

Of course, for the sports bloggers out there, your favourite team will win the league title. Right?

Bloggers at a loss for topic ideas shall be granted unlimited posting thoughts, to the point of having a post buildup prior to blogging them all. The post buildup is not to be confused with any waxy buildup on floors or furniture.

Those bloggers who write of personal issues, illnesses and other heartbreaks and sorrows of life, may they find peace, tranquility, and the courage to continue their battles with life's challenges.

For all bloggers everywhere, all the joy and happiness of the holiday season, with friends and family.

Oh, and a gift to yourself.

Skip a day of blogging, and stay in bed where it's warm and cozy.

blogger_idol-1.gif



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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

 

Another eBay blogging services auction ends

Just a few days after the first eBay public auction of blogging services, a second blogger has rented his blogging talents to the highest bidder.

Darren Barefoot of DarrenBarefoot.com has successfully completed his eBay blogger for rent services sale.

The final bid reached was $2250.00 USD, following a final day of comparatively heaving bidding activity. With the top bid barely reaching $700.00 USD for much of the bidding time period, the outlook was left somewhat in doubt.

The final winning bid was placed by ekiosk who now has Darren Barefoot's blogging time to use to the company's benefit.

Previously, well known blogger Jeremy Wright of Ensight had sold his blogging services on eBay for $3350.00 USD. Jeremy's sale marked the first such auction of blog writing skills on the online auction giant eBay.

Perhaps there might be a trend, toward the public auction of blogging talents on eBay, on a regular basis.

Many other professional bloggers, however, will prefer to offer their services through private negotiation. Many business owners and managers often prefer private treaty sales as well.

The great thing about the eBay auctions, and various business to person arrangements, is the growth of a new business opportunity professional blogging.

Bloggers for hire are already becoming an industry offshoot of the blogging trend in general.

In fact, I would suspect that if a business owner or manager contacted a few of their favourite bloggers, they could hire at least one of them to write a company business blog.

The future looks bright for professional business blogging as new forms of freelance writing and work for hire.

We'll definitely be hearing more about this new small business concept, of hired professional blogging, both now and in the future.

Professional blogging, and blogger for hire, are potentially profitable ways for bloggers to make cash as bloggers.

Whether through the auction process, or by speaking directly with the businesses requiring the blog posts written, the future for this new industry looks very bright indeed.


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Monday, December 06, 2004

 

The Entrepreneurial Mind takes over Carnival of the Capitalists

This week sees an entrepreneurial turn for the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists, makes a stop, for the second time, at blog where business and entrepreneurship reign supreme.

This week's posts feature a theme focussing on the benefits of free enterprise and starting your own business, as we visit Jeff Cornwall and his first rate business and entrepreneurship blog, known as The Entrepreneurial Mind.

When Jeff Cornwall at The Entrepreneial Mind is not writing about business, and discussing the benefits of entrepreneurship and business ownership, he's teaching about those very subjects at Belmont University in Nashville Tennessee.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists highlights some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, education, legal issues, regulation, taxation, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and politics.

As you would expect from Carnival of the Capitalists there are many discussions of small business, marketing, and entrepreneurship and its value to society.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere.

We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced many of us to some brand new ones.

As I am always privileged to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

In keeping with the entrepreneurship theme, my entry post this week is entitled Blogs as small businesses" where I discuss how a blog is very much like a small business. Considering the amount of time and effort that we put into our blogs, they can feel like a small business too.

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists moves over to Rob Sama's must read business, economics, and technology blog called SamaBlog.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to The Entrepreneurial Mind hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer you a chance to get the business. (groan)

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Sunday, December 05, 2004

 

No need to submit to search engines

Is there a need to submit your blog to the major search engines?

That question is constantly being asked on the various internet forums, whether blog related or not.

The most important search engines include Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, AOL Search, WiseNut, and Teoma. Other search engines like AltaVista and Inktomi are now the property of the major search engines.

There is a misconception all over the internet, and certainly not restricted to the blogging community by any any means.

People keep thinking that a blog or a traditional website, has to be somehow submitted to the search engines, if you want to be included in their search listings.

That is not true.

To be indexed and included in the search listings of any search engine, all that's required is a link from any other blog or website, that is already in their listings.

For example, if your blog has a link from any of the various free blog directories, your blog will be listed. To get into the blog directories, you must submit your blog. Note that directories and search engines are definitely not the same thing.

While some people might not consider the various internet directories to hold much practical value, inclusion will get your blog indexed in the major search engines.

As an added bonus, the blog directories transfer some Google PageRank, and they help to boost your blog in the search rankings for your most important keywords. In the case of Google, for example, the more links pointing to your blog or website, the better.

For those unfamiliar with Google PageRank, it is not the same as the Google search results. PageRank is numerical calculation of the relative importance of a web page or blog page on the internet.

Now,back to the indexing thing.

When your blog or website receives a link from a directory, blog, or traditional website, the search engines send computer robots out to visit your site. The robots are known as spiders, who crawl your site, and index it.

Once a blog or website has been crawled by a robot spider, it's indexed in the search engine's listings.

That's all there is to it.

There is no need to do any search engine submissions. Ever.

All you need is a link to your blog.

Any link will do.

Forget the spam e-mails you receive, telling you about submitting to the search engines.

Ignore the stories about needing to submit your blog or website to Google, Yahoo, or MSN Search.

You can happily sit back and smile to yourself.

You now know better.




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Saturday, December 04, 2004

 

Christmas blogging contest open

In the spirit of fun, and for the holiday season, The Blog Herald has begun a contest with Christmas in mind.

Of course, The Blog Herald Christmas Blogging Awards has a blogging theme.

Well, what did you expect?

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire?

Well, that might be a winning post too. Who knows!

The award categories are:

Best overall Christmas Blog

Best Christmas decoration of a Blog

Best posting about Christmas on a Blog

Best new blog embracing Christmas

Prizes are being awarded for each Christmas blogging category.

Duncan Riley of The Blog Herald describes the contest this way:

The awards aim to spread cheer in the Blogosphere by encouraging blogs to join in the spirit of Christmas


The Blog Herald is still seeking some sponsors for prizes:

If you’d like to sponsor the awards with a free gift or money to the winners please let me know. Nominations open now and close 23 December 2004 with the winner announced Christmas Eve.


Note that Search Engine Herald has already generously come forward as a prize sponsor.

You can nominate yourself or another deserving blogger:

Nominations can be lodged via the comments on each category. Whilst an real email address is not required, there will be a delay in listing your nomination as manual moderation is required. Including your real email address assures quick nomination.


Anyone who has the spirit of Christmas, and wishes to become a sponsor or an entrant in The Blog Herald Christmas Blogging Awards, should contact The Blog Herald today.

After all, Christmas is just around the corner.





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