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Blog Business World

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

 

Free teleseminar: Conversations with experts - Yvonne DiVita







Conversations with Experts: How to Build Your Business On and Off-line

Hosted by Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff of Build a Better Blog System.

Smart Marketing to Women Online

Wednesday, June 1, 2005, 8:30 p.m. ET - FREE

Guest Expert: Yvonne DiVita of Smart Marketing to Women Online, featured in the Build a Better Blog System

Yvonne DiVita will show you the power women have online—via their willingness to shop online and why they are so willing to do so. Women go online not only to buy shoes and dresses, but also to purchase technology and do business research and check out their finances.

In addition, women are more likely than men to look for business solutions online, and, today, more women research car-buying online before visiting their dealership to buy a car.

We hear the word “relationship” bantered about when people talk about marketing to women, but few marketers are able to show online merchants how to build a relationship with their female shoppers.

Finally, Yvonne will tell you about some fantastic, ground-breaking business women: Martha Matilda Harper, Myra Hart, and Kitty Van Bortel.

Yvonne DiVita is the president and founder of Windsor Media Enterprises, LLC, which includes WME Books, an author services company to help writers produce, print and sell their work; Smart Marketing to Women Online, which helps online merchants reach the largest, most wealthy demographic in the world – women; and the Business Blogging Boot Camp, where Yvonne and her team teach small business owners why they should be blogging, and then teaches them how to blog.

Yvonne also writes and edits the highly popular and informative Lip-Sticking and A-ha! blogs.

Registration for the Conversation with Yvonne DiVita:

http://www.ConversationsWithExperts.com

Conversations with Experts is sponsored by Build a Better Blog System.


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Carnival of the Capitalists at Slacker Manager

This week sees a slacker approach for the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a visit to Bren Connelly's business and management blog known as Carnival of the Capitalists.

As a special added bonus, the Carnival of the Capitalists is being guest hosted on Slacker Manager by Rosa Say of Talking Story.

The reason is not that Bren is slacking off.

Oh no.

In fact, Bren and his wife Amy are away to Asia, where they are adopting a child from South Korea.

All my best to the growing Connelly family on the adoption of their second son.

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, market trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and technology.

As you would expect from Slacker Manager there are many discussions of business, markets, and economics.

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.

My entry post this week is entitled "E-commerce shopping carts: Stop abandonment" where I discuss ways that online businesses can make their shopping carts more effective, resulting in more completed sales transactions.

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

You can always use the handy entry form at Gongol.com where all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Talk about making it easy to be included!

Another brand new form for sending entries to all of the internet carnvivals is provided by The Conservative Cat. This is a great one stop entry drop, for all your blog post entries, for every blog carnival.

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 make a visit to the stock market information blog known as GalaTime - Where Time is Money.

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

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, or the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read doesn't do it, then Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer you a chance to get some slacker managing done. (groan)

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Monday, May 30, 2005

 

Business blog webring created

Webrings were once a staple part of finding new and exciting websites.

The ubiquitous webrings were a simple way to attract more visitors to websites offering similarly themed content. Webring members often linked to one another as well to share traffic.

Of course, that was back in the early days of the internet. Over time, web surfers (does anyone ever say that one anymore?) felt they were too sophisticated for the lowly webring, and even the internet directory.

Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search are all the rage, replacing stalwarts like the formerly popular AltaVista.

We became too mature for the webring.

We were all so much older then. We're younger than that now.

It appears that bloggers and blogs have rediscovered the webring.

Along with the obvious traffic benefits, the webrings provide linking partnerships with similarly themed websites. As a result, hey provide some helpful, low tech SEO for Google search engine rankings.

My friend Pamela Heywood of Online Business Journal has just created what might be the first Business Blog Webring.

Pamela says this about joining the ring:

We accept all commercial blogs about business; blogs about using blogs in business and as a marketing tool, or individual business blogs aimed at communicating with customers.

We do NOT accept personal diary type blogs - there are plenty of blog related webrings catering to those already.

Oh, and it goes without saying (I hope), that to be accepted, your blog(s) must be real and have genuine content. I won't approve any automated, fake, spam *linkfest* blogs.


You can add your business blog at the sign-up page.

Pamela runs a few other specialized webrings as well. Your blog might fit into one of them as well.

Are webrings making a comeback?

You can always join one and find out for yourself.

The extra traffic and potential links won't hurt a bit.

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

 

Google PageRank outage on Google toolbar

The Google PageRank indicator isn't displaying anything resembling green, on the ubiquitous Google toolbar.

Instead of that little green guage, all that appears is a grey nothingness.

Of course, any problems with the Google PageRank display on the Google toolbar has members of the SEO community in a flutter.

My opinion on the matter is to not worry.

Think pleasant thoughts and ignore the green or the grey.

For those of you who aren't sure what Google PageRank is all about, check out my Google PageRank FAQs post.

First of all, the Google PageRank numerical display is very out of date at the best of times. The green shown by Google is likely several months old at best. The actual PageRank is kept internally by Google themselves and used in their search rankings calculations.

Not that PageRank really matters any more anyway, as its importance in the Google algorithm (the computer calculation of where a page places in the search results), is no longer very important.

Concerns with the PageRank of a page is soooooooooo 2002...or earlier.

I just wanted to write a sooooooooooo...

And there was my chance.

Another one to cross off the list.

Anyway...

The PageRank display has been badly abused by website owners using their levels of green goo to sell links to other website owners. Whether the link sales made any difference in the search rankings is debatable. The longer green line made some people happy anyway.

I think that Google is probably updating the PageRank display, and most web pages and blog pages will be relatively unaffected. Google could be trying to weed out the link sales people and using a PageRank update to do it.

I doubt that Google is eliminating PageRank altogether, but really, who knows. Google rarely talks about what they plan to do in the present or the future. The removal of PageRank is just speculation from some members of the SEO community.

On the other hand, the lack of green PageRank display could simply be a Google glitch. The search engine giant might be number one, but breakdowns do happen, even to them.

Just ask Jack the beanstalk grower. Giants can have some real problems too.

What do I suggest that you do while your green is grey?

I'm glad you asked.

Keep adding more and more fresh content to your blog or website.

Keep the new posts and pages theme relevant to your overall site or blog theme. The more keyword rich and fresh content you can provide, the more the search engines love it.

At the same time, other website owners and bloggers will link to it as well. The powerful inbound one way links provided will give your blog a major boost in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Of course, the search engines are only a small part of the story anyway.

And maybe not even that important to you and your blog or website at all.

What should really matter to you is providing useful and interesting content and information for your visitors.

Write great blog posts, and add fresh content that answers the needs of your readers. Your blog or website will receive greater benefit than any amount of Google PageRank could ever give you.

Think of your readers first and the search engines a distant second.

After all, by adding fresh interesting content, your blog or website will attract natural incoming links. As a result, high search engine rankings will occur naturally.

Instead of fretting over the loss of green, your readers will be happy with your information.

Happy visitors will have your blog or website in the pink.

If you are selling products from your blog or website, then you will be seeing the much more valuable green, than that of the Google toolbar.

Think of your visitors and their needs first.

Don't worry about Google PageRank.

Everyone will be happier in the long run.

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Title tags: Simple SEO

Title tags: SEO through name calling.

Okay, that was a bad pun.

However...

One of the fastest and often forgotten techniques, to move a blog or web page higher in the search rankings, is to change the page’s title tags.

Title tags are the words that appear at the very top of your web browser, and they tell the search engine what the page is all about.

Often ignored in race to add more incoming links, and to create other more glamorous on page copy, the title tag is a powerful tool and should be utilized to its fullest advantage. It doesn’t have to be that way.

The title tag helps the search engines decide the topic and theme of the web page being crawled for indexing. When a search for keywords is conducted, the title tag is given heavy consideration by all search engine algorithms.

Google considers the title tag to be extremely important for keyword searches, and gives strong emphasis on the title tags. TheYahoo and MSN Search algorithms place even more importance on the title tags than Google.

Unfortunately for many website owners, the title tag is often neglected, or worse is used to simply highlight the business name. By failing to properly implement the page’s title tag power, that prime real estate at the top of the browser window is left undeveloped.

Don’t let the title tags become vacant lots on your website, turn them into important projects that will pay huge dividends for your site.

When considering title tag changes and improvements, it’s important to remember that every page is unique, and requires a different title tag. We have all visited websites where the title at the top of the browser was the same for every page on the site.

Usually on those web pages, the business name was featured prominently, and was providing little or no help in the search engines. If that problem is really describing your website title tags, help is on the way.

Why title tags are important

The purpose of the title tags is to describe for the search engines the content of page being indexed. If the title tag doesn’t accurately describe the page content, then that page will be downgraded by the search engine algorithm. In other word, that page gets a lower search engine placement than it might otherwise deserve.

When a searcher types the keywords and phrases into her search engine interface, the search engine algorithm uses over one hundred variables to determine the most relevant returned pages.

It’s up to the website owner to help the search engine in that sorting process. The easiest place to start, and one that also provides the most bang for the buck, is the title tag for each page.

Along with keyword rich theme relevant on page copy, and abundant incoming links featuring keyword laden link anchor text, the well worded title tag is a powerful leg up on the competition. The title tag is also one of the most neglected optimization tools available to the webmaster.

In Yahoo and MSN Search, it’s possible to gain page one rankings for low to moderate competitive searches with improved title tags alone. The coveted top place on that first page in Yahoo or MSN Search has been a regular result of improved title tags as well.

In Google, similar if somewhat less dramatic results have also been achieved with improved title tags. Clearly, the title tag is a powerful optimization tool.

Changing the title tags

The title tags for a website are found in the header portion of the website code. The coding in html is usually written as simply:

< t i t l e > Page Title < / t i t l e >

Remove the spaces, of course, as they are only placed in the example because they won't work in Blogger if written without spaces.

As with all text, the wording between the > < arrows can be changed with ease. Simply enter the template for every page in the website, and replace the existing page title text with the most important targeted keywords for that page. For large sites, the task is often daunting, however. There are simply too many pages.

One option is to change the pages in groups, by theme, targeting one set of targeted keywords at a time. After a few sessions, the job will be completed.

The problem often lies in some mistaken ideas held by the website owner. The urge to prominently display the company name, as CompanyName.com is often more powerful than the idea that better wording could achieve higher search engine rankings. Don’t laugh. It’s a more common phenomenon than many people believe.

Since most internet surfers don’t check the line at the top of their browser, the company name as page title often goes unnoticed. That failure on the part of many human visitors to glance at every page title they meet is not shared by the search engine spiders.

Search engine robot spiders read each and every page title tag, for better or for worse. If the company name, rather than the page’s most important keywords are displayed, the search results for that page are indeed worse.

If your SEO client or your pointy haired boss, insists that the company name appear on the page titles despite your eloquently worded reasons to do otherwise, use this alternate configuration:

< t i t l e > Keyword1 Keyword2 - CompanyName.com < / t i t l e >

The resulting title tag then emphasises the keywords being targeted, and places the company name on the page. Note that the configuration pushes the company name farther back on the title, placing the more important keywords at the front.

Search engine spiders will rank the title wording in this order: from the first title word to the last word placed in the title. For that reason, the use of words like “the” “an” or “a” are best avoided, as they would become the first words in the title tags.

While search engine algorithms are written to ignore those words, it’s best to simply avoid them entirely. It’s a case of when not entirely certain of the consequences, avoid even the small possibility of problems completely.

In moderately difficult to competitive keyword situations, using only the keywords directly, might be enough to raise the page’s ranking a few places. In other words, skip the “an”, “a” and “the” from the title tags. There is no reason to take any chances on losing rankings when it can be avoided. Use only the targeted keywords when writing the title tags.

More title tag considerations

When writing a title tag, be sure to only use a keyword a maximum of two times. Any more use of a keyword in the title tag might be considered keyword stuffing, especially in the sensitive Google search algorithm.

While MSN Search and Yahoo might tolerate, and perhaps even reward heavier use of keywords, Google will downgrade the page. This is especially true in highly competitive keyword situations. In low to moderately competitive keyword searches, the need to stuff keywords into the title tag is not necessary anyway.

Keep the keywords limited to one or two per title tag, and better results will be returned. In fact, in highly competitive keyword situations, the best way to compete is to target only one keyword or phase per page.

Any attempts to double up and use the same page to target more than one keyword or phrase is likely to fail. Keyword stuffing the title tag will do little or no good, and potentially harm to the page’s search ranking.

A controversial consideration for title tags is the length of the tag. Many search engine optimization experts recommend longer tags. Others suggest a shorter and more targeted tag is better. The best concept is to consider the competition level of the targeted keywords.

In low to medium competitions, it’s possible to use the same page to rank for more than one search phrase. The title tag is then able to reflect that lower competition status. In that case, a longer title tag is no problem and can include more than one keyword phrase.

In highly competitive keyword situations, a more targeted approach is essential. The title tag should only reflect the most important targeted keywords for that page. Any other title tags and additional keywords could dilute the effect.

Consider the title tag to be a targeting mechanism zoomed in on a single keyword or phrase. Scattered approaches might be effective in less competitive searches, but even there, a single minded effort will gain superior search rankings.

As for the length of the overall title tag, if more than one phrase is being used, make certain that the tag doesn’t get cut off by using too many characters for the browser. While there is not really a magic number of characters for a title tag, let common sense and the concept of keyword targeting be your guide.

If that approach is taken, then the title tag will be compact, and no extra wasted words will be used. Less is more in the world of title tags, especially in highly competitive searches.

Conclusion

Every web page needs theme and topic specific title tags. The tags tell the search engines about the page content, thus helping the search.

By placing the most important keyword phrase for that specific page in the title tags, the page will get a certain boost in the search engines. Yahoo and MSN Search are especially influenced by keyword rich title tags. Google considers the title tags to be extremely important as well.

It’s not uncommon for Yahoo and MSN Search to rank a page at the top of page one, in low competition searches, based on the title tags alone.

Be certain that the title tags reflect the content of the targeted page. Title tags are page specific, and therefore the common practice of using the company name should be avoided.

The company name can be placed after the keywords, if the need to have the company name on the page remains. Simply keep the most important keywords at the front.

The number of words in the title tag should be kept to the minimum number necessary to help the search.

In competitive keyword situations, use only the most targeted phrase for that page. In low competition searches, more than one phrase can be safely used to get the page into several search results.

Look after your title tags, and they will keep your page an open book, on top of all of the major search engines.


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Friday, May 27, 2005

 

Carnival of the Vanities entry guidelines

Carnival of the Vanities is almost here at Blog Business World.

I'll be hosting the longest running blog Carnival here on Wednesday, June 1.

Of course, I'm hoping to receive tons of entries from my regular readers, and from bloggers everywhere.

To take part, here's all you have to provide in the e-mail:

Your Name

Your Blog Title

Your Blog URL

Your entered Post Title

Your Post Permalink

Your Post Trackback (if applicable)

A brief line or two telling me what the post is all about.

And that's it.

There are several convenient ways to submit your entry:

Simply e-mail it to the following address:

blogbusinessworld@yahoo.com

Or use the handy entry form at:

The Conservative Cat

I am looking forward to a record number of entries, so keep those cards and letters coming!

See you at the Carnival of the Vanities.

Meanwhile this week's Carnival of the Vanities is up at Alarming News for your reading enjoyment.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

 

Marketing Sherpa Readers Choice Blog Awards

The prestigious Marketing Sherpa Peoples Choice Blog Award nominees have just been announced.

Along with many other of the very best of business and marketing blogs, Blog Business World was nominated in the "Blogs on Search Marketing" category.

It is a real honour to be nominated for this prestigious award.

The competition in that category is very strong, as all of the nominated blogs are very good.

Feel free to vote for Blog Business World and for the many other fine business and marketing blogs in the various other categories.

You will see many of your favourite business blogs among the nominations.

Oh, and be sure to tell your friends and colleagues to vote for Blog Business World.

Voting ends on Wednesday, June 8.

Thanks for your generous support.

Vote here.

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Kevin's Blog reviews Blog Business World

Thanks to business blogger Kevin Eikenberry of The Kevin Eikenberry Group and Kevin's Blog for his wonderful review of Blog Business World.

Kevin's review was part of Rosa Say's Talking Story May Lei celebration at her delightful Talking Story blog.

As part of this series, I had the privilege of reviewing Beth Robinson's great blog about wisdom and leadership called Execukos.

You know what's nice?

It's always great to receive a surprise favourable review for your blog.

It's doubly special to get a strong review from another business consultant who understands business management as well as Kevin Eikenberry. It's recognition from your peers.

And it's good.

If you haven't yet visited Kevin's Blog, I would strongly recommend that you do so.

Kevin provides some very good posts on topics ranging from business management to leadership. His thoughts are always well worth your time.

Thanks again to Kevin Eikenberry for his postive review and Rosa Say for this tremendous sharing idea.

Reviewing other blogs as a surprise is a powerful and positive meme, and as so often is the case, Rosa Say developed the concept.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

 

Carnival of the Vanities at Alarming News

The 140th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities, is up at Karol's political and personal blog called Alarming News.

Carnival of the Vanities is the original collection of blog postings, assembling some of the best and wide ranging bloggers on the internet.

This week's Carnival of the Vanities entries include politics, literature, science, medicine, technology, business, culture, comedy, and sports.

I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Vanities as well.

My entry post is entitled "Blog post ideas: Follow up previous ideas" where I discuss how your previous posts provide a gold mine of potential blog posts. Simply continuing a previous post concept, giving an update on a previously talked about event, or turning older posts into a series, can give you unlimited posts for the future.

To participate in the Carnival of the Vanities, or any of the other blog carnivals, one of the easiest techniques is to use the all inclusive carnival entry form at The Conservative Cat.

Another participation option is to simply e-mail your entry to the host of the week.

To be included in my hosting of the Carnival next week, my e-mail is:

blogbusinessworld@yahoo.com

I have the honour of hosting Carnival of the Vanities right here at Blog Business World next week, on Wednesday, June 1.

That's next week.

That's less than seven days away!

As I suggest elsewhere, hosting and contributing to the various internet blog carnivals is a great promotional idea for your blog.

Next week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities will be right here at Blog Business World.

I am hoping for lots and lots of great entries.

Let's put your best posts and your blog on display!

In the meantime, head on over to the Alarming News hosting of Carnival of the Vanities and enjoy the posts on offer.

You will almost certainly be introduced to some great new blogs.

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Execukos: Wisdom in a blog

Execukos is a powerfully written blog about wisdom.

Execukos is also about sharing that wisdom with others.

It's a blog that is also written simply and on a personal scale. Beth combines complex ideas and concepts into language comprehensible to all of her readers. I consider that a certain sign of her high level of wisdom as a writer and teacher.

Ideas well expressed are more powerful, and much more likely to be adopted, and shared with others.

It's a blog about teaching business leaders, organizations, and entire communities the value of incorporating wisdom into the leadership and management styles.

To Beth Robinson, author of Execukos, wisdom is defined this way:

Wisdom lives in the domain of relationships, in a mental capacity to see and understand the world through relational thinking rather than analysis.


New resident of Hawaii, Beth Robinson cares deeply about wisdom. Her mission in life is to share that wisdom with leaders everywhere.

Beth says:

Wisdom is so crucial that we cannot leave its development to chance. It is a myth that wisdom only arrives with age and experience and a certain amount of luck. It can and should be sought and nurtured, in all our institutions. I'm fascinated with both "wisdom traditions" and with secular practices that develop wisdom--and this weblog is one place I explore the applications of these ideas and practices.




Her blog shows that goal is being achieved.

Very well.

As I read through Beth's well written and thoughtful posts, I was struck by her depth of learning and her desire to share her journey with others. She sees and understands all things as an intertwined whole.

There are no singularities and nothing can happen in isolation. Everything and everyone are part of a whole. Everything we do affects everything and everyone else.

Beth finds the decline in wisdom a concern.

Wisdom is being replaced by smartness. Short term and one dimensional goals are replacing longer term thinking. Success in narrow quarterly profit terms is simply not enough for any modern organization. In fact, that lack of contemplation and insight into the whole can lead to disaster.

Being smart doesn't equate to being wise.

Here is where Beth Robinson of Execukos begins her journey with the leaders of the organization.

Finding quick answers is easy.

Choosing wisdom requires a greater, but definitely more rewarding, depth of contemplation. Fortunately, the pursuit of wisdom is of greater value to the person and to the organization.

Spending some time with Beth Robinson's Execukos can help us all become better and stronger leaders.

And of course, send us on the path to greater wisdom.

Thanks to Rosa Say of Talking Story for suggesting that I review Execukos as part of the Talking Stroy May Lei celebration of blogs and bloggers.

As always, the wise Rosa Say showed me the way to the wise Beth Robinson and Execukos.

Simply reading Beth Robinson's blog gem, called Execukos, helped me to think about choosing wisdom as the way of thinking for business management.

I hope wisdom can become a permanent way of life for all of us.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

 

Seth Godin's All Marketers Are Liars: A review

Well known author, marketing expert, and blogger Seth Godin has written another landmark book on marketing.

The book bears the shocking and provocative title of All Marketers Are Liars.

And as expected, the book is brilliant!

All Marketers Are Liars is destined to be a landmark book in the field of product and service marketing psychology.

I had the distinct honour and privilege of reading and reviewing an advance copy of this must read business book.

My review of All Marketers Are Liars can be found at the great book blog 1-800-CEO-READ.

Along with the book, as you would expect from Seth Godin, there is a blog and product promotional tie-in as well.

The Business Blog Book Tour features Seth Godin and All Marketers Are Liars this week.

Bes sure to stop by each of the BBBT hosting blogs:

Business Blog Tour #9


Author: Seth Godin


Title: All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World


May 23rd - Brand Autopsy

May 24th - Hello World

May 25th - Church of the Customer

May 26th - metacool

May 27th - What's Your Brand Mantra



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Free teleseminar: Conversations with experts - B.L. Ochman







Conversations with Experts: How to Build Your Business On and Off-line

Hosted by Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff of the Build a Better Blog System.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005, 8:30 p.m. ET - FREE

Guest Expert: B.L. Ochman of What's Next Online featured in the Build a Better Blog System.

Is blogging a fad that will pass or a sea change in corporate communications?

The conversation with BL Ochman will cover a range of topics from what your company could do with a blog, why blogging is not for everyone, how to write for your blog, to building an audience and why blogs are good buys for advertisers. BL will also reveal 10 companies that missed good blog opportunities.

Blogger, corporate blog coach, Internet marketing strategist, and journalist B.L. Ochman heads the creative team of whatsnextonline.com.

She helps companies including Ford, IBM and iFulfill.com to develop and execute marketing programs to increase their website traffic and sales; writes compelling, search engine optimized content; is a corporate blog coach; and covers Internet marketing and trends for a variety of online and traditional publications.

She writes the popular What's Next Online, publishes What’s Next Online and is the author of What Could Your Company Do With a Blog?.

Registration for this conversation with B.L. Ochman:
http://www.ConversationsWithExperts.com

Conversations with Experts is sponsored by Build a Better Blog System.

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Monday, May 23, 2005

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at Ideologic L.L.C.

This week sees a marketing approach for the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a visit to Harish's business and management blog known as Ideologic L.L.C..

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, market trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and technology.

As you would expect from Ideologic L.L.C there are many discussions of business, markets, and economics.

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.

My entry post this week is entitled "Blogs: Theme relevant content and links" where I discuss how a blog can help your business in the search rankings, especially if the posts are kept on topic and links are maintained with theme relevant blogs and websites as well. Google is concerned with relevance. For example, a business blog about travel should be linked to travel related pages, and the blog posts should discuss travel related topics.

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

You can always use the handy entry form at Gongol.com where all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Talk about making it easy to be included!

Another brand new form for sending entries to all of the internet carnvivals is provided by The Conservative Cat. This is a great one stop entry drop, for all your blog post entries, for every blog carnival.

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 make a visit to Bren Connelly's highly regarded business blog known as Slacker Manager.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the Ideologic L.L.C hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

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

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Google Sandbox escape: Real world example

The Google Sandbox is not a nice place to play.

The Google Sandbox is an alleged filter placed on new websites.

The result is a site does not receive good rankings for its most important keywords and keyword phrases. Even with good content, abundant incoming links and strong Google PageRank, a site is still adversely affected by the Sandbox effect. The Sandbox acts as a de facto probation for sites, possibly to discourage spam sites from rising quickly, getting banned, and repeating the process.

I have a real world Google Sandbox story to share with you today.

I had an SEO client buried very deeply in the Google Sandbox. The site had always had powerful, and even dominant rankings, in Yahoo and MSN Search.

Those two search engines were not the problem.

Google was!

Google rankings were always non-existent to terrible. That would count as a good rankings week too.

Instead of worrying about the Google problem, my client and I simply went ahead and added inbound links and much more fresh site content. We added many new pages to the site, as well as links from many free internet directories.

We also got the website included in the Open Directory Project, better known as DMOZ.

While the value of the new content and the attracted links didn't provide much bang for the buck in Google, we continued.

Finally, last week, I thought the rankings had vanished forever.

Instead, that froghtening shuffle signaled the end of the Google Sandbox filter for the client's website.

Time was the solution.

As I always recommend to those website owners, who are experiencing the Sandbox or new site dampening filter, keep building the site. Forget the Sandbox, and disregard the search engine rankings.

If you follow that course of action, when the Sandbox filter is lifted, the site will have powerful Google search engine placement.

That is why my client is dancing on her desk in celebration.

Her site escaped the Google Sandbox.

All it took was time and patience.

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

 

Whole business marketing: Reinvention of the process

It’s a common sight in many businesses.

The weekly marketing meeting is attended only by those people directly involved in the narrowest definition of marketing. Usually the Marketing Manager will say a few words, the Sales Managers will add a few more, and a few goals will be set.

Little if any consideration is given to the front line people carrying out these wonderful plans.

The inside and outside sales staff are given some orders, and perhaps a pep talk, and little else beyond a brochure. The front desk reception people are given very little except a phone script. The office and clerical staff are usually given nothing at all.

When the sales numbers arrive for the time frame in question, the totals on the page often look very bad in the cold harshness of black and white. The marketing division personnel only know that top management will not be happy with the results. Hasty meetings with sales are called. Little is resolved. The original failed plans receive very cosmetic changes. Rinse and repeat.

If this sounds like your company, then perhaps an entire change in marketing perspective is required. Those shifts in marketing thought should involve everyone in the company.

All personnel and staff, from all areas of the business, must be a part of the new holistic theory of marketing. The customers of the company must also become part of the overall marketing process.

The definition of who is responsible for marketing the business must be expanded to include everyone within and outside of the company. That requires a major change in company thinking and attitudes toward marketing.

Getting everyone on board

The first step to reinventing marketing, to include everyone connected to the business, in the overall marketing of the company. While that might appear to be radical thinking for traditional marketers, it’s really more in the line of common sense.

Multiply the overall number of people thinking in terms of marketing, and selling the products and services, and those regular revenue reports will look much more pleasant.

The first step is to develop a company wide policy that everyone within the company is involved in marketing. The senior management has to make product and services marketing a total team effort, and become involved themselves. By setting a strong example, and displaying a full commitment to the effort, other employees will join in as well.

The marketing department will be called upon to involve everyone in the organization. The doors must be opened wide, and ideas should flow both ways.

Management staff must recognize that some of the very best ideas will arrive from the hands on personnel on the front lines. Their face to face meetings with customers and clients provide valuable product and market research. This front line intelligence should be put to use, and not ignored.

The customer service staff should be well trained in all aspects of the company’s products and services. Instead of outsourcing customer service, take a closer look at keeping the department in house. While short term savings might appear favourable, the potential sales left on the table far outweigh the few dollars saved on wages.

Customer service representatives must be empowered to solve customer problems. All too often, the role of the staff is to get rid of the customers, and to ignore any complaints. That shortsighted approach is precisely the wrong path to take.

The customer service rep who addresses a customer’s concerns, and resolves the issue beyond the dissatisfied customer’s satisfaction, will have won a customer for life. The lifetime value of the saved customers and their purchases, more than pays for the customer service department.

Along with solving problems, customer service can offer upselling to better and higher priced products. They can provide cross selling opportunities to the customer, in the form of a one stop shopping experience. They can assist a customer make a purchase better suited to their needs, than the original selection.

All of these things maintain the customer base for life. The cost of keeping an existing customer is only a fraction of acquiring new ones. Those savings add up, and the customer list grows ever longer.

The receptionist is often the first contact a customer has with the company. Don’t use the front desk as a place to put the newest employee. Provide that person with full company knowledge so the appropriate assistance can be offered to the potential customers and clients. Proper training for telephone staff is essential, and should be taken very seriously.

Keep your premises clean and inviting, and involve all maintenance and custodial staff in the process. Pleasant surroundings boost sales and customer satisfaction.

Get the customers into the act

Your customers are some of the most powerful marketing people you company has at its disposal. Unfortunately, their support is either neglected or even outright discouraged.

We all know about good old word of mouth advertising. As a handy marketing technique, it’s extremely powerful at increasing sales and brand loyalty. Satisfied customers are your company’s best product and service evangelists. Treat them well, and reward them for their efforts.

Ask your customers for referrals. Provide your sales staff with specific questions to ask for recommendations of friends, family, and business associates. If your now fully trained staff does its job well, sales should increase dramatically.

People tend to believe people they know and trust. If your company has made them happy, they will tell others to support your business. Once again, proper customer service pays off in real dollars for the company bottom line.

Customers represent a gigantic hidden source of product and service ideas. In fact, if they suggest a product or service be added your business product line, the customers are far more likely to buy it. They already have a degree of ownership of the product. Help them to help you succeed.

Conclusion

Marketing is not just the responsibility of the marketing department. It involves everyone connected with your business, whether staff or customers.

Get everyone involved, and watch your sales skyrocket.

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Friday, May 20, 2005

 

Podcasts: How professional should they sound?

Podcasts are a growing internet phenomenon.

I have discussed podcasts before along with some of their possibilities and potential uses.

As you know, podcasts are a means of publishing audio sound files to the internet and making them available for download to a device, like Apple's iPod or an digital audio MP3 player, for later listening.

Any digital music recorder, or a computer with the appropriate software can download and play podcasts.

Podcasts can be accessed by subscribing to the podcast RSS feed.

In effect, the podcast download allows for time shifting for the convenience of the listener. Podcasts also work well for the sender, who is very often a blogger, just like you.

Podcasts are another means to use techology to spread ideas and information.

In a previous post, I described podcasts as being similar to creating an independent radio station.

The question then arises about how professional an image the podcast broadcast quality should convey.

Tyme White of Blog Tyme believes that podcasts should not be too professional sounding at all.

Tyme says of podcasts:

...some podcasts are starting to sound like radio. Very polished. The podcaster is reading copy. They don’t sound like their enjoying what they’re doing.

Those types of podcasts are losing their appeal to me. If I wanted to listen to polished sounded “news” then I would listen to the news or the radio.

I miss the spontaneous banter...


I can understand Tyme's concerns.

Podcasts are much like their close cousin, the blog.

Blogs are not always the most professionally written websites on the internet, and neither should they all be that way. In fact, I support a very wide variety of blogging and writing styles.

Sameness is boring, and also much less effective at reaching the desired audience.

Your blog needs to stand out, not blend into the woodwork. Make your blog burst forth with colour and excitement.

A good blog is not a wallflower.

The same holds true for podcasts. Overall industry variety and and individual differentiation of product is essential.

With podcasts, there is definitely room for several different types and styles of audio production.

Some podcasts will be very rough, completely lacking in porfessional production values, similar to a home movie. As such, the directness and unfiltered honesty of these podcasts will always find a solid and welcoming audience.

Such grassroots sounding recordings might not appeal to everyone, and might lack much of a commercial market.

Many podcasts will become very professional in tone, and perhaps evolve into an alternative form of internet radio broadcast over time. In fact, some of the best podcasts can be used by existing internet radio stations as strong content.

Professionalism is also necessary for podcasters intending to market their content commercially to the public.

Other podcasts will be somewhere in between. More time will be taken in the professional editing and sound quality, but the freshness and spontaneity will be retained.

This hybrid might provide the best of both worlds, and is appears to be the type of podcast that is preferred by Tyme White.

That said, very professional sounding podcasts might be the only ones to achieve widespread mainstream listening audiences.

As with everything, knowing your product and market is essential.

Different markets require a different type of podcast.

Before you venture into large scale podcasting for widespread distribution, do your market research.

Take the time to learn the needs and desires of the listening audience and potential buyers and downloaders of your podcast content. Keep in mind that not all podcast styles and products are the choice of everyone.

Know your audience and your market.

Once you have determined your podcast niche, then you are ready to get those audio recordings developed.

In the meantime, keep talking and listening.

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Bloggers as event speakers

Bloggers are great event speakers.

Why you ask?

Well, I'm glad that you did.

Bloggers have a powerful inner knowledge of the workings of blogs. That is only logical. What we bloggers often tend to forget is not everyone knows as much about blogs and blogging as we do.

Not even close.

What we take for granted, as standard blogging procedure, other business and professional people are blissfully unaware. Because they have not encountered blogs, with the possible exception of the high profile political blogs or perhaps a personal online diary, they don't know much about blogs.

Or as they usually call it.

"This blogging thing".

As bloggers, we can help out the rest of society. In particular, we can make our knowledge available as speakers to business and professional groups and organizations. Along with business blog presentations, we can also talk about the blog benefit for non-profit organizations, as well as professional and journalism groups.

We simply have to make ourselves available as speakers.

Many bloggers are already talking blogging.

Whether at the huge blogging conferences or to small business and professional organizations of only a few attendees, bloggers are getting the word out about blogs.

Once the veil of mystery often connected to blogging is lifted, the speaker will usually have created a few blogging converts.

Bloggers talking to other people about the power of blogging is really viral marketing at its best.

TWho better to talk about blogging to other business and professional people than you.

As a practicing and experienced blogger, your knowledge is in greater demand than you might think.

Becoming well known as a public speaker on blogging, or any other area of expertise, enhances your reputation as an expert in your industry. In fact, few endorsements are as powerful for your business as being listed as a speaker at an industry event.

You gain business and professional reputation, as well as the potential for many new customers and clients.

Don't worry about being nervous about speaking before an audience.

The listeners are so interested in the topic and the information you offer, that they won't even notice your sweaty palms or wobbly knees. Your information is simply too important for nervousness. Since you know your topic very well, talking about blogging or your industry should even be second nature for you.

If speaking to a large room full of people still has you concerned, you could present your information to small groups in a seminar format. Sitting around a table, with fewer that ten participants, is a very good way to present information. With such a small group, question and answer sessions flow very freely and ideas are readily exchanged.

Any large or small format, for your presentation, is fine if you are able to spread the word to others.

The group wants to learn about blogging, or what ever topic you are presenting, and they benefit by improving their business bottom line.

The information you presentat will give your audience a tremendous business and professional boost.

Talk about another great win-win situation for everyone!

Make yourself freely available to speak on blogs and blogging, or any other of your special areas of knowledge, to any and all interested groups.

I am available as a speaker on blogs and blogging.

Interested groups can simply e-mail me, and let me know when and where they want me to talk and answer questions on blogs.

You should make yourself available as a blog evangelist too.

It's to everyone's benefit after all.

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Blogiversary at Diva Marketing

Blogiversaries are always fun.

After all, each blog only has one per year.

Bloggers write posts with the hope of providing interesting and informative content to their readers.

One such hard working blogger is my good friend Toby Bloomberg of Diva Marketing.

Toby's highly regarded business blog is enjoying its blogiversary.

Be sure to drop on over and say hi, and wish Toby all the best.

She deserves our support.

Congratulations Toby!

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

 

Affiliate programs: Promote your links

Affiliate links.

Many bloggers have a few of them.

Some bloggers have many affiliate programs available through their blogs.

That's a good thing.

Making money from your blog is something that I support completely. After all, a blog is a form of small independent business. It's only reasonable that it provide an income.

After all, you spend hours each week researching and writing blog posts. It's only fair that you be paid for your work on behalf of your readers.

Don't be shy about reminding your readers to click through your blog's affiliate links. When your readers make a purchase, it's reasonable that you receive a reward for sending the buyer to the commercial site.

Sales people earn commission income.

So should bloggers.

I was just reading a new work based blog called My Fascinating Life.

The blogger, writing under the pen name "Overshop", was apologetic to her readers about asking them to use her blog affiilate links when making an online purchase.

I suggested in her comments section that she should remind her readers of her affiliate links on a regular basis. After all, she is providing a great work blog. It only makes sense that her readers help her out by using her affiliate links.

She needs to earn an income too.

At the same time, the businesses offering the affililate programs are very happy to pay the affiliate commissions. After all, as a blogger, you sent them some brand new customers.

If affiliate programs weren't convenient and profitable for all concerned, no online business world offer them.

By increasing your blog's level of affiliate activity, you've helped the parent business to succeed as well.

Everyone wins.

The blogger benefits from the added income.

The readers are supporting your great blog, and they have a convenient one stop shopping mall on your links section.

The business offering the affiliate program receives some brand new buyers of its products and services.

Talk about a multiple win-win-win situation.

Don't be shy about reminding your readers to use your blog affiliate links.

They help everyone to succeed and achieve their goals.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

 

Carnival of the Vanities at Commonwealth Conservative

The 139th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities, is up at John Behan's Virginia political blog called Commonwealth Conservative.

Carnival of the Vanities is the original collection of blog postings, assembling some of the best and wide ranging bloggers on the internet.

This week's Carnival of the Vanities entries include politics, literature, science, medicine, technology, business, culture, comedy, and sports.

I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Vanities as well.

My entry post is entitled "Blogging: When it's not a good idea" where I discuss the potential downside of business blogs. I point out that blogs are not a magic bullet and are definitely not for everyone. On the other hand, if your business is committed to building a relationship with your customers and clients, then a business blog is indded for you.

To participate in the Carnival of the Vanities, or any of the other blog carnivals, one of the easiest techniques is to use the all inclusive carnival entry form at The Conservative Cat.

Another participation option is to simply e-mail your entry to the host of the week.

That's the technique that I use.

I have the honour of hosting Carnival of the Vanities right here at Blog Business World on Wednesday, June 1, 2005.

That's only two weeks away!

As I suggest elsewhere, hosting and contributing to the various internet blog carnivals is a great promotional idea for your blog.

Next week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities will be at Karol's political blog called Alarming News.

In the meantime, head on over to John Behan's Virginia political blog called Commonwealth Conservative hosting of Carnival of the Vanities and enjoy the posts on offer.

You will almost certainly be introduced to some great new blogs.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

 

E-commerce shopping carts: Stop abandonment

Internet retailers work hard to get prospective buyers to visit their e-commerce website.

Hard earned dollars are spent on marketing, promotions, search engine optimization, and advertising to bring the targeted customers to the website.

Site design is improved to provide ease of navigation and to display the offered products to their best advantage. Often forgotten in the shuffle is the lowly shopping cart.

A badly designed and difficult to use shopping cart will undermine all of those other efforts to increase visitor traffic and improve sales.

All too often, e-commerce website owners shrug their shoulders and either dismiss the problem as being trivial in the total amount of sales lost, or believe that little can be done to solve the abandonment problem.

The cost to an online business, in lost sales resulting from leaving the shopping cart in mid-transaction, is not trivial. Industry estimates vary, but many e-commerce insiders believe that approximately 75% of all shopping cart transactions are not carried through to completion.

In other words, only one out of four customers, who want to purchase a website’s products and services, ever complete the purchase process. Even a minor improvement in the conversion rate to 50% abandonment, represents a doubling of total sales completions. The problem is definitely not a trivial one.

The other concern is that little can be done to change or improve the shopping cart buying experience to increase the sales completion percentage. That fear is without foundation. The good news is that many low cost and highly effective improvements can be made to an e-commerce site, to enhance the level of sales completion.

While the techniques might not represent huge changes individually, but when taken together, they can double or even triple an online business’s total sales volume. Each improvement represents a slight incremental increase in sales transaction completion.

As each technique saves another sale from abandonment, the effect on the business bottom line becomes very noticeable.

Perhaps it’s time to take the lowly shopping cart a bit more seriously after all.

Improving ease of shopping cart use

Many e-commerce site shopping carts are not very easy to use. Completing a buying transaction is often slow, complicated, and often an entirely illogical process. Only the most determined customers stay with the process to the very end. Unfortunately, the determined ones are in the minority.

Those potential buyers who got lost, or simply gave up, represent revenue that just clicked away to someone else’s site.

Making some easy and low cost improvements in the buying experience in general, and the shopping cart in particular, will pay off handsomely with increased business income.

One of the most obvious shopping cart improvements is to let the customers know, every step of the way, how far along they are in the buying process. Include a progress indicator to prominently display how far along the customer has advanced in the checkout process.

Each step of the way to completion should be clearly numbered. For example, if a customer understands they have reached step three in a five step process, she will be less likely to click away from the purchase.

The problem of time concerns and of process length uncertainty are solved, as the buyer knows that only two more steps are required. If a customer knows where they are at all times, the probability of completion improves.

It’s important for the user to know when and where to click and advance to the next step in the process. Be sure to include a “Next Step” button, or a “Continue With Checkout” button on each page, and where they can easily be seen.

Be very careful to widely separate the “Remove From Cart” button from the “Continue” button to prevent clicking the wrong one, causing a full or partial emptying of the cart. Such problems of use will almost certainly cause immediate cart abandonment from frustration.

Easily adding to, changing, or removing articles from the shopping cart should be made as easy as possible. For articles available in different colors, sizes, or with any other options, the ability to make changes is especially important.

Be sure to include a link back to the product being purchased. Many customers are uncertain if the often complicated product number is the correct one. Linking the catalogue number back to the product page reassures the buyer that the entered product code matched the desired purchase. Simply knowing that the right item was entered into the order form will reassure the customer.

Adding a thumbnail image of the product to the shopping basket will also improve the rate of completion. While in the middle of the buying process, the potential purchaser has another opportunity to see the product and visualize ownership. The availability of product photos is a powerful completion tool for all shopping carts.

Making the products easy, risk free, and secure to buy

All too often, products are not easy to buy. While at first glance, the process would be a simple one, but there are many types of customers, often with widely different needs and requirements. Helping the user to make the right choices often involves listening to their personal preferences.

Provide more than one payment option. Not every customer has credit cards, and many people are very reluctant to provide their credit card information over the internet. Provide a toll free telephone number or a fax number where the information can be sent without being entered online. The choices of using voice or fax for payment information should be made readily available and easy to find on every checkout page.

New visitors and first time buyers require special care and ease of purchase. Don’t create difficult registration and log-in requirements. Those procedures will only serve to drive customers away. Offline brick and mortar businesses don’t usually require lengthy registrations or log-ins for their customers, and neither should an online business.

Difficult systems create an impression that the customer is not to be trusted. Indeed, the customer is more likely to mistrust the internet business itself.

If your checkout accepts discount and coupon codes, make sure that a clearly marked box is available, or a specially noted line on the order form is easy to use. User errors should be easily corrected without loss of data, and the box must be well highlighted to avoid being overlooked by users.

Don’t forget to cross sell and offer more available options and choices to purchasers. Such offers are not usually viewed as intrusive, but are often seen as offering convenience. Think of the shoe store offering shoe polish or extra shoelaces to purchasers.

Offering additional options works well, as many purchasers neglect to add them all into their order form. A handy reminder, built right into the shopping cart order form, will help to assure a satisfied customer.

Building trust in new and repeat customers

As an online business, lacking the face to face advantages offered to bricks and mortar companies, it’s essential for the e-commerce business to develop trust in the retailer and customer relationship.

Always make certain that company contact information is readily available, by phone, fax, e-mail, and the postal service. Strong customer service and quick response to questions and concerns will help to ensure the current and future sales. Contact information should be clearly marked on every checkout page.

A good idea is to not hide unpleasantries. Be upfront about any additional shipping and handling charges very early in the buying experience. Customers want to know the total purchase price in advance, and not an unpleasant surprise near the end of the process. Few things contribute to high abandonment rates as failure to inform the customer of additional charges.

Provide a reasonable time for the customer to expect delivery, and beat that date by as much time as possible. The customer will appreciate the unexpected early delivery. The methods of shipment should be clearly marked, along with the charges, right on the order form. Offer more than one means of shipment, as many people have distinct preferences.

If billing and shipping addresses are the same, provide a check box to save the customer providing the same information twice. The gesture will be appreciated. If any information is missing, provide a useful and easy to follow return page that asks for a specific piece of information. Don’t make the buyer fill out an entire form all over again.

If one of your products is temporarily out of stock, be certain to inform the potential purchaser of that fact. If possible, provide a date when the product will return to the sales inventory. As with shipping, providing expected times enhances sales.

Along with the usual credit card payments, offer customers the choice of PayPal, checks, or money orders. Debit card payments are also becoming popular for online purchases. Don’t limit your customers. Help them to buy from you.

Offer a guarantee. If a customer is not satisfied, offer to accept a return of the merchandise and provide a full refund. Offering a “lowest price guarantee” is another option. While a few people will attempt to cheat your system, the vastly increased number of sales, directly resulting from the guarantee, will more than offset that small loss.

Offer an exit survey to customers who still choose to abandon your shopping cart. The feedback and reasons for the abandonment provided, by the dissatisfied customers, will help to improve the system.

Test the system for usability. Bring in several people to test the checkout procedure. Have them go through a product buy for you, and keep careful notes of their steps. Their actions and choices might be entirely different from what was envisioned in the design. Test and retest changes until the shopping cart checkout system is operating smoothly; and then test some more.

Conclusion

Shopping cart abandonment is a widespread problem, faced by many e-commerce companies.

By closely examining your checkout procedures, and making changes where needed, you can vastly improve your sales completion percentage.

Don’t let shopping cart abandonment happen to you, and your internet business.

Stop shopping cart abandonment today.

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Monday, May 16, 2005

 

Free teleseminar: Conversations With Experts - Anita Campbell







Conversations with Experts: How to Build Your Business On and Off line

Hosted by Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff of the Build a Better Blog System.

On Wednesday, May 18, we feature Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends.

Anita will be discussing "The On Again, Off Again Entrepreneur."

Anita is considered an influential "A-List Blogger" and is widely respected for her coverage and commentary on challenges and issues facing small businesses today.

In today’s world each of us is likely to go through periods of being self-employed, and being employed by someone else. No longer is it a question of either/ or. We have to prepare for both kinds of work status, because we never know when our status will change.

Some of today’s free and low cost online tools can help us be in a constant state of readiness for either kind of work situation. I will help you present your best face for your own business – and at the same time make connections with prospective employers and signal your readiness for that next job opportunity. I’ll also show you how to avoid common pitfalls of blogging that might turn off prospective employers.

Don’t get caught unprepared. Ready yourself for that next unexpected opportunity, whether it is growing your own business or getting a job offer.


Anita Campbell is a Visionary TrendSpotter, Futurist, and Editor of Small Business Trends E'Zine. She has launched and led 3 startups and held various executive positions in Bell & Howell and the banking industry.

A respected speaker and emerging trends resource, Ms. Campbell's expertise has been noted in Entrepreneur Magazine, CIO Magazine, PC Guru, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Akron Beacon Journal, Philadelphia Enquirer, Democrat and Chronicle, and Seth Godin's "Bull Market Report 2004 - 500 Companies That Can Help You Make Things Happen" – and many other publications.


Anita's popular website, Small Business Trends, is regularly noted as a rich informational resource from business organizations such as the Internet Public Library, SBC Communications, Chartered Accountants of British Columbia, the State of Maryland, and often quoted or noted in newspaper, magazine articles and radio interviews including Entrepreneur Radio. Ms. Campbell holds a B.A. from Duquesne University and a J.D. from the University of Akron Law School.

You can register for the Conversation with Anita Campbell at:

http://www.customizednewsletters.com/CE/cesched.htm

Conversations with Experts: How to Build Your Business On and Offline is sponsored by Build a Better Blog System.

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Carnival of the Capitalists at AnyLetter

This week sees an educational approach for the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a visit to Andrew Hughes' economics and education blog called AnyLetter.

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, market trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and technology.

As you would expect from AnyLetter there are many discussions of business, markets, and economics.

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.

My entry post this week is entitled "Keyword density: SEO considerations" where I discuss the amount and density of keywords you can use in your blog posts, and still achieve high search engine rankings. I also discuss how to target your keywords to help your visitors find your blog easier in searches for information on your topic of interest.

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

You can always use the handy entry form at Gongol.com where all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Talk about making it easy to be included!

Another brand new form for sending entries to all of the internet carnvivals is provided by The Conservative Cat. This is a great one stop entry drop, for all your blog post entries, for every blog carnival.

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 make a visit to the business blog known as Ideologic L.L.C..

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

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

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

 

Blogging at Canadian Association of Journalists Conference

The Canadian Association of Journalists held its CAJ Conference 2005 this weekend in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The three day CAJ Annual Conference began on Friday, May 13 at the historic Fort Garry Hotel.

I was honoured to be part of a panel discussion on blogging.

The session was titled "Blogging - How the computer has reshaped news coverage".

The panelists included Saleem Kahn of Metro News in Toronto; well known award winning blogger Hosein Durakshan of Editor: Myself, and me from Blog Business World.

Saleem Kahn and Hosein Durakshan are both very knowledgeable about blogs and blogging. Saleem has extensive experience with blogs and the media. Hosein has considerable experience with international blogging, and blogs in languages other than English.

I was impressed with both individuals and their depth of knowledge and committment to blogging. I was even more impressed with their willingness to share that experience and excitement about blogs with others.

My position on the panel ranged from answering basic and technical questions about blogging, to providing insights into how business blogs have helped raise company, entrepreneur, and executive profiles in the media.

As we are all aware, business blogs are often read by journalists seeking information on a company. Business blogs are also perused by reporters looking for sources of expert opinion on a subject.

As a result of our panel discussion on blogging, many Canadian journalists who were unaware of the growing blog influence, learned how blogs can improve and expand the relations between business and the media. Several journalists expressed some real excitement about blogs and even mentioned starting a blog themselves.

Many of the journalists will definitely be paying closer attention to the many RSS feeds provided by bloggers.

As with all conferences, the best part was meeting new and interesting people. I made some great new contacts within the Canadian news media.

I also talked with two people about having me present blogging seminars for students in Continuing Education, and in college business and journalism programs.

Now that sounds exciting!

I am always very happy to discuss the power of blogs and blogging with any group.

I'll always make myself available to talk about how business blogs can benefit a company, whether large or small; blogging, public relations, and the media; blogs as a tool for SEO; business blogs and marketing; and any other blogging or SEO related topic.

If anyone wants me as a speaker on any of those topics, simply send me an e-mail at:

blogbusinessworld@yahoo.com

I'll get right back to you, and we can set something up for your group.

Let's talk blogging!

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