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Friday, March 31, 2006

 

King Arthur: Quests for bloggers



King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are familiar stories to almost everyone. From Sir Lancelot and Lady Guineviere, to Sir Galahad and the Quest for the Holy Grail, the stories of brave and selfless Knights and fair Ladies, Merlin the Magician, and daring deeds, the stories of Camelot are timeless. The tales even have lessons for bloggers, and for helping others succeed.

The Knights of King Arthur's Round Table worked as equals. Seated around the table, no knight was superior to another. They all worked together for the common good, and for benefit of others dwelling in and around Camelot. When a Knight saw an injustice done, it was his solemn vow to right the wrong. It was also the Knight's duty to help others when a request was made for assistance. As bloggers, we can learn much from these Knights of old.

Blogging helps to build connections with others, including other bloggers. When a blogger needs our help, it should be our pledge to assist the person, even if only in a modest manner. Bloggers often need advice, or aid with a business or personal problem. By sharing the connecting power of blogs, any blogger has an entire network of potential helpers upon which to draw. At some other moment, the previously assisting blogger might need the favour returned as well. As with the Knights of the Round Table, it is a mutual help society.



I attempt to provide assistance to at least one person every day. That is my personal pledge. While I don't always succeed in achieving that simple goal, occasionally, I exceeed it several times over. While my small contribution to helping others achieve success is quite small in the grand scheme of things, the blogosphere itself is very large. By the sheer power of numbers, one good deed per week from each and every blogger, can literally change the world.

Bloggers helping bloggers might not be the stuff of Arthurian legends, and the deeds of Lancelot, Galahad, and Guineviere may surpass what we do in story and song, but we can make a difference. Changing the world starts with one person at a time. That one person may as well be a blogger. That blogger may as well be you.



Take to heart the lessons of King Arthur and Camelot to assist those in need. Make the committment to help at least one person every week. With your help the spirit of Camelot can live onward. The dragons we slay might not breathe fire, but they are very real problems facing other bloggers, and equally as problematic. Like a dragon of old, difficulties facing today's bloggers must be driven from their kingdoms as well. The need for the quest never dies.

It's written in the old stories that King Arthur is the Once and Future King. An idea like Camelot and the selfless nature of the Round Table is with us always. It was an ideal that lived once, remains alive with us now, and will always be so in the future. Like King Arthur, helping others while asking nothing in return, is an ideal that will never die.

Become a proud and sharing Knight or Lady of the Blogging Round Table and build the glory of the Blogosphere Camelot. Share generously of yourself, and of your wisdom, and help others succeed.

Think of it as your own personal quest.

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Blog posting: Throwaway posts build relationships



Often a blogger has other things to worry about in life besides blogging. Writing the latest in an endless series of wise and wonderful blog posts isn't always at the top of the day's agenda. I know, that is a blasphemous statement, especially for a self confessed blog evangelist. Bear with me for a moment.

During times of illness, or of fatigue from work, play, or just simply from living, the blog posting ritual loses some of its appeal. Note that I used the term ritual. In fact, for many bloggers, the writing of a post and the clicking of the publish button takes on an almost mystical value. The writing of a post is the revelation of a bit of the writer's soul, and as such, the act of blogging has real spiritual significance. Writing the post becomes an act of ritual sharing of oneself with others.

At times when the blogger is not feeling like doing any heavy posting, the problem can be solved with a lighter touch. I like to refer to the post, written in times of near exhaustion, as the throwaway post. Of course, that title is highly inaccurate, and has little to do with the post quality itself. Many of these supposedly delete button ready postings are some of the best writing many bloggers will ever commit to their pages.

When you're slightly tired, the mind seems to trigger deeper emotional states, and more philosophical posts magically make an appearance. You may have noticed that phenomenon several times, but may have simply ignored it at the time. Often filled with feelings and thoughts written directly from the deepest parts of the subconscious mind, the resulting emotionally packed posts strike a chord in the reader. The blogger might not always agree with that assessment, however.



Very often, the blogger will feel the just written post is not their best work, and consider the post a mere space filler. Taking the point of view that any post is better than no post, the writer forgets the posting and returns to other thoughts. The readers may have other ideas.

Have you ever noticed how some of the posts where you put the most effort, got the least response? On the other hand, some of the allegedly throwaway type writings might have received many comments, compliments, and generated a number of e-mail responses. The reason is the writing that speaks from the heart, as opposed to the composition from the head. Blogs tend to engage their readers on an emotional level, along with the more frequently discussed intellectual level. The emotional connection is the basis for the blog's relationship building capabilities. It's not the blog. It's the blogger.

Next time you are tired and consider skipping your regular posting routine, consider the throwaway post. You might think it rambling, and lightweight in content, and therefore not a great piece of writing. Your readers might just have other ideas about its quality.



Writing from the heart once in awhile is not a bad thing for bloggers; even for business or professional bloggers. You may be starting that all important relationship building with your potential clients and customers. When they see you as a real person, and not a suit in a mahogany walled office, you are much more likely to make a personal connection with your readership.

In that sense, the throwaway post is more like a lifeline than than a discard. It's like a direct line, from heart to heart, rather than an appeal to the logical side of life. People build relationships with people whom they like, and who they feel understand them as individuals. They are more likely to conduct business with someone who they know and trust as well.

Consider writing a few throwaway posts today. Your readership will appreciate them more than you could ever imagine.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

 

Carnival of the Vanities at Below the Beltway



The 184th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities appears at the well known political blog known as Below The Beltway.

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, and culture.






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

My post is titled "Global business opportunities: Service and professional" where I discuss how as part of the global internet revolution, your independent business can be part of the worldwide business network as well. As an entrepreneur, your business market is not only your home city, or country. It's the entire planet. As such, your potential market is virtually unlimited. All you have to do is get involved.



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 new e-mail address:

cotvmail -at- gmail -dot- com

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 appears at the well known heartland political blog known as Iowa Voice.

In the meantime, head on over to the Below The Beltway hosting of Carnival of the Vanities and enjoy the posts on offer.

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

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Sales techniques: Create sense of urgency



Sales representatives are always told, and often in not so subtle terms, to create a sense of urgency in their prospects. After all, you want the potential customer or client to purchase your products and services now rather than at some undetermined time in the future. The problem is with creating that need, on the part of the prospect, to make the purchasing decision right away.

The disappointed sales person is usually faced with the classic responses, "I have to think it over", or "I'll get back to you on it." Should the sales rep agree to the delay, the opportunity for creating that sense of urgency is lost. After all, the prospect believes that purchasing today, next month, or next year are all the same thing based on the sales discussion. The problem often starts with a failure on the part of the seller to listen for the real needs and problems of the potential buyer.

To develop a sense of urgency on the part of the prospect, the sales rep should do less talking and more listening. A canned, rapid fire statement of all the great things your product and services can do for the potential customer, is of little use if their specific requirements are not being met. Let the prospect tell you their problems, and your sales team will soon discover where your goods or services can help.



Have your sales team think as problem solvers, and not salespeople. The many prospective buyers have many different and wide ranging problems facing their businesses or personal lives. Every person and business is unique, but with careful listening, your sales staff can often craft the right solution, for the individual prospect's difficulties. By listening carefully to the buyer's unique circumstances, that sense of urgency will follow.

When the buyer states the problem, which could range from direct cash losses from lower revenues to higher than necessary expenses cutting their cash flow, your sales rep should listen for the important points. Have the sales rep repeat back the problem in a paraphrased form. By repeating the exact problems back, in the sales person's own wording, tells the buyer that your person is listening to their problems. Since listening is not always practiced in sales, the prospect will start to form a relationship with you or your rep.

Once the problem has been restated, the buyer will usually continue with even more details. More careful listening, and questions for clarification, will help the prospect understand the importance of acting now. They can see the money they could save or earn in real dollar terms, with a sales rep they feel understands their unique business. After all, the sales rep listened to and was able to fully comprehend the problem.



After the problem is fully understood, then the solution can be offered. At this point, following the full discussion of the entire range of issues and problems, the sales representative has earned the right to offer the appropriate, individually suited solution. Because the listening process uncovered the real problems, the sense of urgency to find an effective solution is created.

Instead of thinking it over, or getting back to your sales representative, the prospect will become a valued customer.

Listen first, repeat the important points back in your own words, and help the prospect tailor a solution for their problems. With your sales team turned into problem solvers, your sales revenue will rise and your customers will be happy to work with your company over the long term.

The sense of urgency is now yours. Create that team of problem solvers within your business right away.

Don't think it over. Do it today.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at Decker Marketing



This week sees a marketing approach to the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a visit to Sam Decker's (pictured below left) high quality business and marketing blog known as Decker Marketing.

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 Decker Marketing, there are many discussions of business, marketing, and leadership.

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.



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

My post is titled "Visitor traffic logs: Put them to work for you" where I discuss how visitor logs provide useful information on the activities of your visitors that can helpful in adding fresh content to your site and in improving conversion rates from tire kicker to customer status.

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.

Note as well that Carnival of the Capitalists. has a new URL at http://thecotc.com/. Be sure to update your links and bookmarks.



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 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 be at Rob May's and Jay Solo's carnival partner business news blog known as Jotzel.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the Decker Marketing 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 some ideas to get some software in your hardware. (groan)

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Football to business: People are everything



The great NFL football coach Bum Phillips allegedly said of legendary Miami Dolphins Head Coach Don Shula (pictured left) that, "He could take his'n and beat your'n; or take your'n and beat his'n." In his colourful way, Bum Philips was expressing the power of Don Shula's ability to develop a plan suited to his personnel, and put it into action in a successful way. The same lessons that work on a football field can be applied readily to your business. It all starts with the people.

What we are talking about is the importance of developing a plan, for getting the most out of the people involved, and implementing it to a successful conclusion. In football, the conclusion is winning a Super Bowl Championship. In business, success can be measured as strong cash flow, profitable operations for the company ownership, steady and sustainable growth, happy and motivated employees, returning customers who are also acting as brand evangelists, and a general public that maintains a positive view of your organization as a whole. All of these results, when taken together, mean the equivalent of a championship for your company.

Great football coaches understand, almost instictively, that a team consists of people of varying talents and specialties. They also know that everyone has their job to do, and if any blocks are missed or footballs fumbled or intercepted, that they entire system breaks down. Every player has a role, and successful coaches help their players to understand their importance. As a motivational concept, the idea that every person is important is a powerful morale builder. In any business, treating all employees with respect, and expressing appreciation of their work, will pay tremendous dividends.



Football coaches like Bum Phillips (pictured left) understand that almost every player can be replaced by another of similar skills. Turnover of player personnel is also part of the game. They also know that acquiring new players has a cost. That expense could be in terms of lost players in trade, an expensive contract for a free agent player, or a decline in team spirit as important squad leaders move on to other teams. At the same time, new players must be trained in the team's system and playbook. If rookies are introduced into the lineup, the training period can take longer, and be punctuated occasionally by playing mistakes.

For every business, staff turnover is a part of life as well. Staff retention is important to any business. Of course, you want your best people to stay with your company, and not defect to your major competitors. Often forgotten in employee turnover discussions are the average performers who make up the bulk of the company's personnel.

Don't let staff members, with the potential to improve greatly, move to possibly greener pastures. Instead, it's a sound investment for the company to provide them with further training and professional development. As with football, the costs of finding, recruiting, training, and getting new staff additions up to speed are enormous. It is better and cheaper to help existing staff members become even greater contributors to the company bottom line. You will almost always find some new stars on yur team, who were overlooked in the past.

Don Shula understood motivation when he said, "Success is never final, and failure never fatal."

We can always do better, and it's alright to make mistakes. That's how we learn to be great, strengthen out team, and win championships.

What works for the great football coaches, will work for your staff and your business.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

 

Blogging builds self esteem



Blogging builds self esteem.

Self confidence and a more positive outlook on life is a seldom discussed aspect of blogging. Because bloggers are often thought by many people, to be reclusive and typing anonymous posts into the blogosphere, without any human interaction. While that stereotype may be true of some bloggers, many more blog writers have gained self confidence from their blog postings.

Because establishing and maintaining a blog is a postive action in and of itself, becoming a blogger is taking a huge step toward building self esteem. For many introverted people, who lacked self confidence in the past, writing a blog has helped to establish their presence in the world. When bloggers meet each other, instead of remaining silent as they might have in the past, they now have common ground for discussion and friendship.

Personal bloggers have found writing their posts to be powerful therapy. Putting their thoughts and ideas to keyboard, and then presenting them to the world is a courageous act. For many people, the personal blog might be their first entry into the internet community. That first step can be very frightening for many people. Once that initial hurdle is cleared, however, the blogger can continue posting with confidence.

Business and professional bloggers gain confidence as well. For many business people, the idea of writing anything can be a daunting task, and the idea of posting to a blog can be doubly worrisome. One those initial fears of rejection, by current and potential clients and customers is overcome, the business blogger discovers that her ideas are welcomed warmly and with enjoyment. The first step to building an ongoing business relationship has been taken in a positive way.



When a business blogger enters an offline networking event, a new sense of self confidence is brought along from the blog. The business person knows the ideas expressed in the blog posts are usually very well received. As a result of that previous positive experience, the effect carries over to other aspects of business life. The blogger already has experience with networking from comments, sharing e-mails with other bloggers, and from knowing the blog is read by others who value its postings.

The blogger will be much more inclined to reach out to others than ever before, and make the initial introduction. After all, a blog is all about starting conversations and building relationships. Reaching out to others is the purpose of blogging. Making that important first impression, of a confident and professional or business person, is very important in landing new customers and clients. Thanks to the blog, the business person can develop that confidence in abundance.



By starting a blog, the new blogger has taken the first step on a very important journey. Not only is the blogger well received on the internet, but the blogger finds herself more confident in the offline world as well. With the new found self esteem, the person's career, business, studies, professional practice, and interpersonal relationships take on a more positive tone.

Along with increased self esteem comes better self assertiveness. Having become accustomed to being read and heard on a daily basis as a blogger, the person is then able to transfer that sense of self worth and confidence to every aspect of life.

Thanks to a blog, self esteem and self confidence are greatly enhanced for many bloggers. As a result, their lives take on a more positive aspect as well. The self confident person is better treated by society, and is more successful as a result.

Start a blog today. Your self esteem and self confidence will grow as well.

Talk about a positive reason to start a blog!

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

 

Do you believe in magic?



Do you believe in magic?

No, I'm not talking about the magician's sleight of hand tricks, ancient castles, or even some magical potion as portrayed in the movies. Instead, we want to discuss the power of real magic. You won't find this type of magic in an old wand or some ancient cauldron. Instead, it's easily recognized as the mail box, your telephone, or your computer e-mail system.

Reach out to others and discover the true meaning of magic.

The magic isn't in the technology used for the communications, it's the message that is being delivered. For example, when you send an e-mail to a friend, or send them a card or letter, you brighten their day. Your seemingly simple act of friendship possessed a power beyond some fairy tale sorcery. You changed someone's life.

If you are needing help with a difficult problem, and you call or e-mail someone requesting assistance, you are putting magic to work. By not making contact with anyone, nothing happens. By sending out a message, entire worlds can change. Your request for help will probably be answered with kindness, as most people want to be helpful to others. In this increasingly complex world, the most basic human interaction becomes even more important.

That's real magic at work.



As bloggers, we already understand the power of the written word for sharing our thoughts and ideas with others. For many people, the simple act of writing blog posts is a world changing act. Even a personal diary blog, describing the events of the day, has the power to help the writer understand the day to day events of life. Sharing and discussing experiences helps the blogger to feel that others can identify with their lives. Instead of feeling alone and isolated, the blogger can find a powerful and empathetic support group, only an e-mail or a call away.

For business and professional bloggers, their individual worlds can change beyond recognition. Business blogs help build relationships with potential and current customers and clients. While the blog requires work, and the relationships must be nurtured, many lives can be changed for the better. As bloggers get to know one another, friendships and business ideas are shared, helping one another to achieve greater success. Many bloggers form partnerships and companies. Now that's changing a world for the better.



Reaching out to others, and sharing thoughts, experiences, and ideas is true magic. It doesn't require special esoteric training, or years poring over ancient texts. All it requires is basic human interaction.

The real magic in the world is created by helping one another. Yes, interpersonal magic can change the world in many wonderful and often unexpected ways.

Do you believe in real magic?

It's the magic of sharing with others.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

 

Thank you to everyone



Thank you to everyone.

I want to take this opportunity, at a random day of the year, nothing special in terms of holidays or anything, to say thanks.

Thank you to all of my many, and growing number of readers. To me you are much more than visitors and readers, you are my blogging friends. I write to help all of you succeed in your businesses, careers, your blogging activities, and in your lives. I don't think that I have taken too many opportunities to express my appreciation as such. Instead, I simply offer endless streams of information and advice for everyone.

I started my blog to help others to succeed. My goal was to share what I have learned, often at great personal cost, with others. My hope was that anyone who needed assistance in any way, would ask. I am always happy to provide what advice and help that I am able. During my employment life, I was given no help at all, and I learned everything through study, hard work, and often painful trial and error. I didn't want that to happen to others, so I started a blog to do something about it.



I hope I have succeeded in reaching my goal, some small way.

Thank you to the other bloggers who have helped me since I started my blog. Many are linked on this blog, and many more are read in RSS feeds. Every blog that I have ever read, of all types and topics, has helped me become a better blogger. I pass along what I have learned to you, in the hope that your success will be ever greater.

Thank you to everyone who linked to my blog, either in the past, or right now. Your trust in my blog and its posts, and your sharing them with your readers, is appreciated beyond measure.



Thanks to everyone who I met through blogging. It's almost beyond belief the many friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable people are bloggers. More importantly, they are willing to share their personal and business lives with others. Like me, they are willing to help others achieve their personal, business, and career goals. Without other bloggers, and their friendships, blogging would not be as richly rewarding an experience.

I believe deeply in helping others, and thank you to everyone who has requested my advice and assistance. It's wonderful to be asked, and it's even more wonderful to see someone achieve greatness. Thank you for your success.

Thanks for visiting my blog, either live or via RSS feed.

I appreciate all of my blogging friends.

Thank you to everyone.



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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

 

Carnival of the Vanities at Blogger Idol



The 183rd edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities appears at Daniel Harrison's (pictured below left) media, celebrity news, and business blog known as Blogger Idol.





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, and culture.






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

My post is titled "Business growth: Empower your staff" where I discuss how entrepreneurs are an independent lot. That's why they took the risk of going into business for themselves. Along with that fiercely independent nature is a reluctance to ask advice from others. That reluctance is often especially true of seeking new business ideas from members of the company staff. This can be a very dangerous policy for business owners, especially when the company is poised for growth and expansion.




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 new e-mail address:

cotvmail -at- gmail -dot- com

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 appears at the well known political blog known as Below The Beltway.

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

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

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World Water Day: March 22



Water is an absolute essential to life. Water is something most of us take for granted. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world has access to safe, clean drinking water. The good news is you can help to make safe water available for many people, all over the world.









Tomorrow, March 22, 2006 is World Water Day , as designated by the United Nations. With your generous donation and support, you can help save the lives of millions of people. Join with bloggers in WaterPartners International, from every continent on Earth, to help World Water Day deliver safe drinking water for a lifetime.

From WaterPartners International:

WaterPartners International is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping fight unsafe and inadequate water supplies. World Water Day is quickly approaching and will be celebrated on March 22, 2006! The Global water crisis is the leading cause of death and disease in the world, taking the lives of more than 14,000 people each day, 11,000 of whom are children under age 5.

Did you know that the average distance that women in Africa and Asia walk to collect water is 6 kilometers? In addition to the health problems, more than 200 million hours are spent every day by women and girls walking to collect water from distant, often polluted sources—time that could be better spent on more productive endeavors such as work and school.

Most people are not aware of this crisis. With your help, WaterPartners hopes to bring more attention to the world’s leading cause of sickness and death in women and children. We know that the only way we will come closer to providing a solution to this problem is by making more people aware of it. Our experience tells us that once people are aware of the magnitude of this problem, they want to help solve it.

I am asking that you please consider featuring information about World Water Day and a link to the WaterPartners site at: http://www.water.org.




Bloggers can make a difference to the lives of millions of people by helping to provide safe, clean drinking water.

Spread the word.

Let's all do our part to build a better world, with plenty of safe water, for everyone.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at Casey Software



This week sees a technological approach to the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a visit to Keith Casey's technology, entrepreneurship, and business development blog known as Casey Software.

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 Caset Software there are many discussions of business, marketing, and technology.

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.



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

My post is titled "Online sales: Interior website pages sell" where I discuss how many website owners don't spend much time thinking about where their visitors enter their site. They usually want to see their traffic arrive through the website’s home page. That is not the best policy to maximize sales.

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.

Note as well that Carnival of the Capitalists. has a new URL at http://thecotc.com/. Be sure to update your links and bookmarks.



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 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 be at Sam Decker's high quality business and marketing blog known as Decker Marketing.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the Casey Software 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 some ideas to get some software in your hardware. (groan)

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

 

Global business opportunities: Service and professional



Globalization, outsourcing, and offshoring are very much in the news these days. There are arguments for and against the moving of jobs out of their current companies, and of contracting the work to domestic or offshore organizations. The philosophy of outsourcing in the service industry is not what we are concerned with today. What we want to examine is how to make outsourcing work for you and your undependent business.

It's a fact of modern world business, both large and small, that service and professional jobs once held within the company are being sub-contracted elsewhere. Some of the outsourcing of work is sent to offshore firms, while much of the required services to business management is sourced within the country of origin. In today's global marketplace, every combination of contracting is possible, as a result of the internet.

At the click of a mouse, professional and service work can be completed in one part of the world, and be delivered to another part of the globe in an instant. As a part of the global internet revolution, your independent business can be part of the worldwide business network as well. As an entrepreneur, your business market is not only your home city, or country. It's the entire planet. As such, your potential market is virtually unlimited. All you have to do is get involved.



As a global service provider, your website and your business blog can provide the appearance of being a very large company. Instead of the potential clients seeing you at the keyboard in your pajamas, they can be given the impression of a much larger organization with many employees. Thanks to outsourcing, partnerships, and sub-contracting of your own, your business can bid for some very large contracts.

As major corporations shed their domestic workforces, they still find the need for professional services ranging from accounting and legal services, to website and internet related professionals, to virtual assistants. Because of the high internal costs of professional staff people, contracting out looks very attractive to the corporate bottom line.

The jobs may no longer be in house, but the work must still be done in any case. As a result of the downsizing and outsourcing phenomenon, there has never been a greater opportunity for the independent business person to claim those service contracts. That means your company. Your lower overhead and smaller costs work to the advantage of your business.

Not only do you have the potential to contract for work within your own country, but to seek contracts on a world scale. Through local partnerships, often nurtured and developed as a result of blogging, two or more blogging entrepreneurs can successfully handle some very large contracts. By partnering with other internet based businesses, in several different professional specialties, a very strong virtual company can be created in a very short time. Your business can be part of one or more such global arrangements.



Instead of letting the thoughts of globalization and outsourcing cause your hair to turn prematurely grey, your business can become the recipient of the outsourced work. Often, businesses discover the sub-contractor through reading their business blogs. Your business blog can develop a relationship with personnel from large corporations who may require your company's professional services, either now or in the immediate future.

Going global, or keeping service and professional jobs local, are just two more reasons to start and maintain a business blog.

Your internet based business could be worldwide in a nanosecond.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

 

Visitor traffic logs: Put them to work for you



If you are like most webmasters or bloggers, you are constantly searching for fresh ideas to add content to your website. You are already well aware that adding more pages to your site will enhance your search engine rankings. You realize that you require more keyword phrases to find their way into searches. The question arises as to where to find ideas that appeal to your visitor traffic. The answer may lie in your own visitor traffic logs.

Hidden in the pages of those ubiquitous, but often overlooked features of every website, are some gems waiting to be mined. Keywords used to find your website are one of the most ignored, yet very valuable prizes found in your visitor logs. By using those keywords, in a manner consistent with the main theme of your website, you can gain additional search engine referrals.

Visitor logs also provide useful information on the activities of your visitors that can helpful in adding fresh content to your site and in improving conversion rates from tire kicker to customer status.

Visitor traffic logs: Rich keyword mines

When a internet search engine user enters keyword phrases into the search box, you want them to find your website high on the search results. It logically follows that the more keyword rich content is found on your site, the more searchers will find you. Occasionally, they find your site through very unusual searches.

Your visitor traffic logs will normally contain a list of the keywords and keyword phrases that led an internet searcher to your website. Some of those phrases ranked highly enough on a search engine result to cause the user to click on the link to your site. As you check through your visitor logs, you will see several patterns in them.

First of all, you will see the regular keyword searches that you expect to find. They will be your main important keyword phrases. As expected, your visitors found you through them. If a phrase is heavily targeted, and finds many users discovering your site by searching them, you will know that to be an important keyword phrase for internet searchers. Be certain to use those key phrases early and often as you build new content pages, or freshen up the content on existing ones.

Secondly, there are your secondary keyword phrases and combinations. Not being your main focus, these keyword phrases are often overlooked in favor of the more heavily targeted search terms. As secondary terms, they may even be sources of better quality internet traffic, as they are the result of more specialized and deeper searches. As you analyse these terms, be sure to include them prominently in newly added content pages. The pages where they brought traffic to your site can be revamped as well, giving the keywords more strategic placement and usage.

The third set of keywords, found in your visitor logs, are the very unusual and occasionally downright hilarious. Before you spend your entire day laughing at them, study them carefully. Look for recurring words and phrases within the unorthodox searches, keeping in mind that the search engines equate those terms with your very site. Should any of the search terms prove useful, and on topic in any way for your website, their inclusion in added content pages might bring some unexpected bonus visitor traffic.

Keep in mind that many of these unique discoveries may be exactly that. They may be one time events, and never repeated. They may have little long term value for your site. Before dismissing them all, however, make certain that your are not tossing away some real internet gold.



Length of stay and making it pay

Visitor traffic logs normally maintain a record of the length of stay for each visitor. Keep in mind that you are tracking unique visitors, so as to have accurate visitor counts. As you search through your records, you will discover that many visitors arrive, stay only a few moments and leave. What they found at your site was not to their liking and did not solve their problem.

If you have a large number of short time stay visitors, check the pages at which they entered your site. If the pages in question are not content rich, there is no need for visitors to remain on your site. Their needs were not met. If some entry pages are showing fast exits from your website, it’s time to revamp those pages with some new content.

It is also a good idea to have links to other pages on your site prominently displayed as alternatives for the visitors. If you can solve their needs on other pages, your traffic may remain longer on your site. Longer stays mean higher proportions of conversions to customers, whether at the present time or in the future. The raw number of visitors is not as important as the conversion rate of visitors to paying customers.

New visitors for old

Every website needs a steady influx of new visitor traffic, whether from search engines or from links on other sites. To enable visitor traffic growth, new visitors are constantly required. At the same time, a webmaster must retain already existing visitors and customers. The previously acquired traffic forms a base for new arrivals to build upon, increasing the traffic levels overall.

In your visitor logs, there will be records of new visitors and of returning traffic. Be certain to determine the percentage of your traffic that is new, against the percentage of previously existing visitors. A large drop in new visitors could indicate that your keywords are not ranking very highly in the search engines. Your links perhaps are not being clicked, or your other website promotional activities are not as effective as they were in the past. It is necessary to take some action to remedy the situation.

In the case of your visitor logs, you possess the data to make the needed changes. If you are not ranking well in the search engines, it would be time to do some website optimization. The best place to begin is by adding more keyword rich content. More pages of content will also help your site toward potentially becoming an authority site in your area. Combining that activity with an active linking program to increase your Google PageRank and incoming links can help as well.

If the number of returning visitors begins to fall in proportion to the new traffic, it is time to create some new content as well. If the regular visitors find no updating of information at your site, there will be no real incentive for their return. They may turn to a competitor’s website instead. That should provide enough reason to create some new and informative content. As a bonus, the fresh content will help in the search engines, gaining more new visitor traffic.

Once a visitor arrives at your website for the first time, it is important to keep them there and to have them return over and over again. As a visitor becomes more familiar with you, your site information, and your products, that individual is much more likely to become a paying customer or client.




Traffic flows within your site

Another helpful feature of your visitor logs, are the records of the pages accessed by surfers. If any one page is receiving very heavy usage, it makes sense to examine that page carefully to see why it works so well. With close study, that page’s success can be duplicated, on other pages throughout your website.

Be certain to have each web page optimized for its main keyword theme only, to maximize its power in the search engines. It doesn’t matter which page is your visitor’s entry page. What really matters is whether they move freely around your site, with possible action taken toward becoming customers, either now or in the future.

Tracking your visitors, as they navigate around your site, can also help determine if your site architecture is visitor friendly. If your site is difficult to move around, requiring many clicks to get anywhere, the visitor’s next click will be out of your site. Make certain your on page menus are easy to read, understand, and follow. Be sure they take the visitor somewhere helpful as well.

Visitor traffic logs: Conclusion

Your website visitor traffic logs are a veritable goldmine of information, for helping to attract and keep visitors to your site.

The search terms users enter into the search box, that wind up finding your site, can provide you with ideas to add new pages of fresh content. The search terms and phrases include your main targeted keywords, your secondary and less fully developed keywords, and those phrases that you never thought were important. All of the searches provide ideas for adding new pages of additional information.

By tracing the proportion of new visitors to returning traffic, you can determine if your site is successful at adding new readers, and in retaining your regular customers. Should there be a dramatic change in the percentages, you can investigate the reasons. If positive, you can emphasise those factors more. If negative, you can make changes to prevent major traffic dips.

The visitor logs can also help in keeping your site easy to navigate and visitor friendly. Knowing which pages are popular, and which ones receive little surfer activity, can assist you in revamping your site to be more useful for visitors.

Your visitor traffic logs are there to use for your benefit.

Mine them for gold today.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

 

What colour is your sky?



The teacher was discussing the various colours with her class. Included in the lesson were images of crayons, the rainbow, and various multi-faceted landscapes. She then asked her pupils the eternal question, "What colour is the sky?" Hands shot up all over the classroom. All of the students were eager to answer the question, and with the obvious predictable response.

One student in the back, staring out of the window, did not put up her hand. Naturally, she was called upon to answer the question, as it was suspected that she wasn't paying attention to the teacher's words.

"What colour is the sky?"

The student thought about her answer for a few moments, amidst a sea of giggles and very audible whispers. She continued to look out of the window, and to formulate a statement. After a few seconds, the response arrived.



"The sky is every colour. It is many shades of blue, but it's grey when there is a storm on the way. It can be red and orange and yellow when the sun rises and sets. It even turned green, just before the tornado destroyed our neighbour's house. At night, the sky is black, with polka dot stars. The sky can be every colour we want it to be, and every colour it needs to be."

The teacher looked shocked, at the rather unconventional answer, to what was thought to be the simplest of questions. The pupil was correct, of course. The sky is many different colours, and indeed can be any shade we can imagine. Unlike the canned and obvious idea of one blue colour fits all, the real world is much more complicated. It's also many levels more interesting.

When you are faced with a question that appears to have an obvious, and very conventional answer, that should be a signal to look much deeper. The issues involved may be many layered, and more complex than seen at first blush. Truly creative ideas arise when the obvious is seen from a different perspective. Things are rarely as simple as they seem at first glance.



Think like the pupil, who found every colour imaginable, when truly seeing the sky. The more ways you can think of when viewing a problem, means infinitely more solutions can be discovered and applied. The obvious answer of "blue" might work sometimes. You might see the vivid reds, yellows, and oranges of the sunset open before your very eyes. The seemingly obvious blue sky solution definitely won't work, amidst the multitude of grey tones, when it rains.

Always seek the less obvious answer when seeking to solve a problem.

What colour is your sky?

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

 

Blogger problems: Addressing technical difficulties



Either Blogger is having some technical problems, or the difficulty is at my end. I can't get any posts to publish. More importantly, I can't even get my comment spam to disappear. Yes, Houston, we have a problem.

I'm using this as a test posting to see if I continue to get an error message when I hit the Publish Button. Sometimes there are days like this, or so I am told anyway. Well, you use the free service... Of course, all blog and web hosts have problems from time to time. The important thing is that the difficulties be addressed, and done promptly.

At least Blogger recognizes the issues with publishing blog posts and is rectifying the situation. Responding to technical problems is important for any business. With the millions of blogs, and counting more daily on the internet, it's inevitable that some glitches and gremlins will make a few unscheduled appearances. They can happen to anyone's company at any time.

All of this brings me to the concept of unforseen business problems and maintaining ones composure. Getting upset at the computer, the staff, or oneself does nothing to solve the problem. The best approach is to keep calm and seek a logical solution to the issue at hand.



With technical issues, the best choice is usually to avoid hitting or throwing things at the machine. While possibly a release of anger and frustration for a brief shining moment, the end result is often a larger problem than before. We won't even go into the breakage factor.

As far as staff difficulties go, I am a believer in the talk about the problem openly and honestly. We all know that personalities often clash. When two worlds collide, the fallout is not pretty, and tends to land on innocent bystanders. My policy has always been to get the disputing parties together and help them to discuss the problems as they see them. I would only let the people talk about the problem, and personal attacks were out of bounds. In retrospect, the issue was usually rather small, and the two employees ended up as good friends once they settled their differences. Of course, your mileage may vary.



As for the bigger problems of business, there should always be a Plan B to put into action. The operation can be kept running almost smoothly as a result, only taking an alternative route to success. Of course, there is always the option of doing nothing, but that choice almost invariably leads to failure. If in doubt, do something. If nothing else, it keeps everyone busy and working on the problem and potential solutions.

Well, that was enough rambling for one day.



See all of you tomorrow. Blogger may be working by then, and this post might actually appear live.

You are reading it via telepathy at the moment!

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

 

Carnival of the Vanities at Forward Biased



The 182nd edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities appears at the political, science, and technology blog known as Forward Biased.

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, and culture.






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

My post is titled "Business ethics: Don't compromise your principles" where I discuss how operating your business in an honest and ethical manner pays off for everyone. The business benefits from loyal customers and valuable word of mouth advertising. The customers and clients benefit from conducting business with a company whose people they know and trust to do the right thing.




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 new e-mail address:

cotvmail -at- gmail -dot- com

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 appears at Daniel Harrison's media, celebrity news, and business blog known as Blogger Idol.

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

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

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