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Blog Business World

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

 

Carnival of the Vanities 219 at Silflay Hraka



The 219th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities continues at Kehaar's Silflay Hraka.

The carnival, and indeed the entire blog carnival idea, was born four years ago at Bigwig's Silflay Hraka blog. It is now back home to Silflay Hraka, as Bigwig's brother Kehaar has assumed the reins with great results.

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, religion, humour, and seasonal topics.

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

My post is titled "Andy Warhol: Fifteen minutes of fame" where I discuss how American artist, social commentator, and icon Andy Warhol, perhaps best known for his stylistic paintings of Marilyn Monroe and Campbell Soup cans, was a paleo-blogger. Before there were blogs and the blogosphere, Andy Warhol understood the power of the media to build an image. When he coined the famous fifteen minutes label, Warhol could well have been discussing the power of blogs. After all, a blog can turn a reviously unknown individual or company into a global force. The only difference is the relative term of what constitutes fifteen minutes.






A great participation option is to simply e-mail your entry to the new e-mail address:

kehaar at silflay hraka dot com

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

When you send an entry to Carnival of the Vanities, or any of the many internet blog Carnivals, don't forget to link to the hosted edition. It's not only common courtesy, but helps to increase visitor traffic for all entrants. It also shows your appreciation of the hard work done by the host in preparing the post. Everyone shares in the benefits of the expanded Carnival readership.

Show the Carnival some linky love.

Next week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities appears once again at Kehaar's Silflay Hraka.

In the meantime, head on over to the Silflay Hraka 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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Susan Getgood: Viral Marketing - Blog Business Success Radio

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Blogger and marketing expert Susan Getgood, of Marketing Roadmaps, describes how viral marketing can help your business or event achieve overnight success, as my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success.

The show airs live on Thursday, November 30, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time.

Susan Getgood discusses how to develop a viral marketing campaign to take your business to the next level. You will learn:

* What viral marketing is all about and how to put its power to use

* How to create ideas for a successful viral marketing campaign

* How to build the buzz and shift the campaign into high gear

* How to integrate viral marketing into your overall marketing plan



Susan Getgood (photo left) was among the pioneers in introducing children and parents to the Internet as an expert in online safety and General Manager of Cyber Patrol, one of the world's first Internet filters. Her 20+ years in the computer software industry included leading a global marketing team as Senior Vice President of Marketing for SurfControl, with offices in the U.S., England, Australia and seven other countries.

A results-oriented strategic marketer, Susan knows how to build brands using technology, policy and good old fashioned high-quality products. In 2004, she founded GetGood Strategic Marketing Inc. to help bring blogs into the mix as an indispensable marketing tool. Today, her firm helps public and private companies and organizations build brands and drive revenue with integrated marketing and communications strategies. Her own blog is Marketing Roadmaps, which is part of the Corante Network.

Listen Live by clicking the media player.




If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Let's talk with Susan Getgood about viral marketing and taking your marketing to the next level, on Blog Business Success Radio.

blog radio

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at Blueprint For Financial Prosperity



This week sees a personal finance approach to the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists arrives at the personal financial advice blog known as Blueprint For Financial Prosperity.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists highlights some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today, as well as some of the best and most popular entries ever to the Carnival.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, market trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national economy and personal finance.

As you would expect from Blueprint For Financial Prosperity, there are many discussions of economics, marketing, business, and personal financial advice.

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 well as some long time contributors.



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

It is titled "Entrepreneur peer support: Ending isolation" where I discuss how over the years, many entrepreneurs have told me about one problem they found very difficult to solve. The concern was how, where, and with whom to discuss issues relating to operating a business. Their feeling was one of isolation and being alone in the world. They were unable to find other business owners who could relate and identify with their short and long term challenges.

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!



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 the technology blog known as Geek Practitioners Blog.

In the meantime, click your mouse over to the Blueprint For Financial Prosperity 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 visit Carnival of the Capitalists and be sure to get your personal financial house in order. (groan)

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Monday, November 27, 2006

 

Conversations with experts: Tris Hussey - Free teleseminar







Conversations with Experts: How to Build Your Business On and Offline

Is anybody listening out there? Measuring your blog's audience

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 8:30 p.m. ET (no charge, registration required)

Guest Expert: Tris Hussey, A View From The Isle

You've started your blog. You're writing great posts, but who is reading them? Is anyone out there? Blog metrics is still in its infancy, but there are some tools, tips and tricks that you can use today to get a handle on your current audience and learn how to grow it. You'll come away with easy and effective methods to start measuring blog audience today!



Tris Hussey (photo left) is a well known blogger, writer, and speaker on blogs and technology. His blog very popular blog is known as A View From The Isle. Tris has another technology blog titled The Homely Scientist currently nominated, and requiring your votes, for a Canadian Blog Award in the Best SciFi/Tech Category.

Register now for this conversation with Tris Hussey:

http://www.ConversationsWithExperts.com

If you missed any Conversations With Experts, you can become a monthly member of a private blog. As a member, you gain access to the entire Conversation With Experts audio series of guest experts, past and present. You can also pre-register to purchase a copy of the show, should you be unable to listen.

Conversations with Experts is sponsored by Build a Better Blog System and by the All In One Ezine Publishing System from The Blog Squad.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

 

Marketing by wishful thinking: Seeking the right person myth



Marketing requires much more than just wishful thinking. While that statement might sound like the obvious, upon reflection, it's a more ubiquitous concept than we might think. Not only is wishful thinking marketing prevalent, it's also dangerous to the profitability, and even the viability of a company. Wishing for sales might work in fairy tales, but in the real world, marketing is required.

I'm sure you've all been told "If the right person comes along, they will give you a good price for that widget." On the face of it, the statement is true in the literal sense. Let's think about the matter a bit more realistically. How is that mythical right person going to know anything about the availability of your fine line of widgets, or youur highly skilled services? The fact is they won't; unless you tell them.



It's amazing how many business people believe that because they have built a better proverbial mousetrap, that the world will beat a path to their door. They never stop to think that it's rather difficult to beat that path if there is no idea the mousetrap is on the other end. It's almost as if they believe that magical sales waves will fly through air and draw customers and clients to their business. They consider their product and service to be so unique and life changing that people will somehow be drawn to it in some sort of trance. This same illogical phenomenon occurs online with website owners, and with offline with bricks and mortar companies.

If you want the right person to come along, as the saying goes, you simply have to get the word out to the target audience. This is the point where many otherwise astute business people often freeze. Afraid that marketing is identical with paid advertising, they fall back on budget constraints. While paid advertising and pay per click ads on the search engines are helpful players on the marketing team, they are not the only way to play.



Marketing can be done at little or no cost, with the resulting sales being only a starting point. Guerilla marketing, networking, business blogging and commenting, article submissions, forum posts, and volunteer work with non-profit organizations are only a few ways that buzz can be created about your product and service. If the quality is as presented, then satisfied customers will tell others as well. The client conversation and evangelism activities create the much sought after positive word of mouth.

Word of mouth is great, but keep in mind that it's only valuable if there is something about which to talk. The word of mouth and viral marketing campaigns have to be kick started with some positive action. Once underway, however, they can add powerful boosts to your marketing efforts.

The right person can come along, but they have to be given a reason to come along first. That is why marketing is so fundamental to a new or existing company's success. That is definitely not wishful thinking.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

 

Aggressive results from risk management



Conventional wisdom says you must take aggressive actions to receive maximum returns on your investment. That strategy is largely true, as more risk should gain greater profits. Of course, the concept is based on accepting that large losses can also result from aggressive activities. While a sound theory for many people, high levels of risk are not for every entrepreneur.

Not all independent business people are able to tolerate high risk, and many entrepreneurs attempt to minimize loss possibilities as much as possible. The reasons might range from having mortgaged everything to finance the business to not wanting to lose reputation among friends, family, and business associates. Instead of attempting to achieve higher returns from alternative techniques, the risk averse business owner often chooses to take no action at all.

There has to be another way for the business to succeed. Fortunately, there are many low cost and highly effective business ideas that can achieve strong financial benefits without betting everything on the move. Blogs are one such risk management technique.



Business blogs place the business on the internet in a personal and highly visible way. By discussing the company, the industry news, product reviews, and related issues, the blogging business person adds potential customers and clients at minimal cost. The risk is almost nil and the rewards are unlimited. In fact, there is really no ceiling at all to the benefits a blog can provide.

Becoming established as an industry expert, a readily available media source, highly ranked in the search engines, and seen as a genuine honest human being, can garner greater rewards than spending untold dollars. The blogger's prestige from becoming well known in their field has unlimited empowerment. The knowledge that the independent business person can level the playing field, with almost no risk, leads to even greater successes.

The powerful and profitable results of blogging are ideal for the risk averse business person. Instead of pushing in all of their chips, a blog allows for the use of those limited resources elsewhere.

Managing risk, and reaping huge rewards, are part of what makes business blogs great.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

 

Andy Warhol: Fifteen minutes of fame



"In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." I'm bored with that line. I never use it anymore. My new line is, "In fifteen minutes everybody will be famous."

Andy Warhol's Exposures (1979) commenting on the nightclub "Studio 54", and his world famous quote.

American artist, social commentator, and icon Andy Warhol (photo top left), perhaps best known for his stylistic paintings of Marilyn Monroe (see below) and Campbell Soup cans (see below), was a paleo-blogger. Before there were blogs and the blogosphere, Andy Warhol understood the power of the media to build an image. When he coined the famous fifteen minutes label, Warhol could well have been discussing the power of blogs. After all, a blog can turn a reviously unknown individual or company into a global force. The only difference is the relative term of what constitutes fifteen minutes.

In the quotation at the beginning of this blog post, Andy Warhol provides an alternative to his original point about fifteen minutes of fame. In the context of the time, television, movies, newspapers, magazines, and radio constituted the vast majority of the available media. In a sense, the fifteen minutes of recognition required the support of others. Becoming a celebrity, for the most part, was really in the hands of someone else. Blogging has changed that dynamic to empower the writer to controlling one's own destiny.



The second part of the Warhol quote is very important, and could easily have been spoken in terms of blogging.

"In fifteen minutes everybody will be famous."

A blog can create that fame within a short time horizon. Instead of concern with getting that fabled fifteen minutes in the spotlight, the table has been turned right around. A blogger controls the situation, and can become a well known person in a very brief period. All bloggers might not seek fame, and perhaps only a small percentage blog for glory, but the result remains the same. The blog can increase a person's or a company's profile to unexpected heights in a relatively short time. It might be longer than a literal fifteen minutes, but is much light years faster than reliance on the traditional forms of media.



In a very real sense, if everyone gets fifteen minutes of fame, that standard becomes the statistical average. A blog moves a person or a company above that median with ease. The reality of getting your name out there with less difficulty, and with much more staying power, is part of the power of blogging.

Instead of seeking the fleeting spotlight, that is already moving to its next target, the blog builds a longer term relationship with customers and clients. Blogs develop a reputation quickly, and maintain that name recognition over a long period of time.

Blogs move the writer well beyond that iconic fifteen minutes, and into the realm of the long term, and the classic.

Andy Warhol would have loved the power of blogs. He might even have turned the blog into an icon.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

 

Carnival of the Vanities 218 at Silflay Hraka



The 218th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities continues at Kehaar's Silflay Hraka.

The carnival, and indeed the entire blog carnival idea, was born four years ago at Bigwig's Silflay Hraka blog. It is now back home to Silflay Hraka, as Bigwig's brother Kehaar has assumed the reins with great results.

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, religion, humour, and seasonal topics.

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

My post is titled "False encoragement: Avoid empty statements" where I discuss how business people often need encouragement in their startup business phase. Getting that fledgling company ready to fly on its journey to success is a challenging and often lonely journey. Along the way, the new entrepreneur will run straight into brick walls, and pass through pleasant flower laden meadows. Most of the time, the voyage is one of steady achievement and passing goals, as new targets are set and reached. That sense of accomplishment should be supported by others in your life.







A great participation option is to simply e-mail your entry to the new e-mail address:

kehaar at silflay hraka dot com

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

When you send an entry to Carnival of the Vanities, or any of the many internet blog Carnivals, don't forget to link to the hosted edition. It's not only common courtesy, but helps to increase visitor traffic for all entrants. It also shows your appreciation of the hard work done by the host in preparing the post. Everyone shares in the benefits of the expanded Carnival readership.

Show the Carnival some linky love.

Next week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities appears once again at Kehaar's Silflay Hraka.

In the meantime, head on over to the Silflay Hraka 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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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

 

Heather Burke: Marketing with contests - Blog Business Success Radio

blog radio



Promotions and marketing consultant Heather Burke, of Raven Entertainment Promotions, describes how contests can be a powerful promotional tool for your business, as my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success.

The show airs live on Thursday, November 23, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time.

Heather Burke discusses how contests can widen add visitor traffic to your site and strenthen your business relationship with customers. You will learn:

* How to create a contest for your website or offline business

* How to get sponsors to donate prizes

* How to spread the word and receive huge numbers of entries

* How to get word of mouth, MySpace, and street team buzz working for you

* How to use contests for special events promotions



Heather Burke (photo left) has extensive experience in promotions for online and offline events ranging from rock bands to professional wrestling. Heather has long been a believer in the value of starting a buzz with street teams and community based promotional techniques.

Her online company called Raven Entertainment Promotions provides promotional services for a wide range of entertainers. Her clients include independent rock bands, singers, authors, independent film producers, and professional wrestlers. Combining internet experience with old fashioned offline promotions and media relations, Heather has helped further the careers of many successful members of the entertainment field.

Heather Burke lives with her son just outside of Disney World in Florida.

Heather's website: Raven Entertainment Promotions

Heather's blog: REP Hot

Listen Live by clicking the media player.




If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Let's talk with Heather Burke about using contests and other great promotional buzz ideas to help market your special event, on Blog Business Success.

blog radio

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Carnival of the Capitalists at Gongol.com



This week sees a Milton Friedman tribute approach to the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists arrives at carnival entry form provider Brian Gongol's appropriately self titled Gongol.com.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists highlights some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today, as well as some of the best and most popular entries ever to the Carnival.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, market trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and tributes to the late libertarian thinker whose profound insights into economics are essential reading for everyone who takes the study of the economy seriously.



As you would expect from Gongol.com, there are many discussions of economics, marketing, business, 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; as well as some long time contributors.



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

It is titled "Business blogs: Economic growth opportunity" where I discuss how Only 13% of owners and managers read blogs relating to their business and fewer than one in ten maintain blogs for their business (7%). The encouraging news is that among those business people who do maintain blogs, just over half say they post to their blog on a daily basis (51%). The research for these business blogging trends was contained in a survey of business owners and managers conducted by OPEN from American Express Semi-annual Small Business Monitor, a semi-annual survey of business owners.

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!



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 the personal financial advice blog known as Blueprint For Financial Prosperity.

In the meantime, click your mouse over to the Gongol.com 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 visit Carnival of the Capitalists and be sure to read the tributes to the late libertarian economist Milton Friedman.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

 

False encouragement: Avoid empty statements



Business people often need encouragement in their startup business phase. Getting that fledgling company ready to fly on its journey to success is a challenging and often lonely journey. Along the way, the new entrepreneur will run straight into brick walls, and pass through pleasant flower laden meadows. Most of the time, the voyage is one of steady achievement and passing goals, as new targets are set and reached. That sense of accomplishment should be supported by others in your life.

Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Several successful business people have told me that their friends and families had thought from the start the company would fail. Instead of support, there was only criticism of the entrepreneurial venture. Arriving from an employment point of view, the critics were unable to comprehend the driving force of owning one's own business. Even worse than the fault finding, they said, were false and insincere statements.

I asked what they meant by the insincerity aspect of the remarks. They responded that the people who spoke to them were often patronizing and didn't really mean anything they said.

Some of the less than supportive statements included:

* That little company must be a great hobby.

* Keep on plugging and you might succeed.

* Is that little business just there until you get a job?

* This internet business thing is only a fad, but you knew that, right?

* Oh, so it's like your blog is about your friends and stuff?



That is just a sampling of what some business people told me. Their tone of voice even turned slightly downward when they mentioned these statements. One man even said he would have preferred the comment had been that he would fail like many others before him. At least it would have honest, was his opinion.

Business startups require work and patience. They are often started as labours of love but soon turn to much more than that quaint phrase. The business becomes a viable company, but many close friends and family members don't notice the transformation. Instead, they often remain behind the growth curve of the venture, and miss what is really taking place. An established company can be born, and still be thought of as "a great little hobby".

When you talk to other business people, be sure to offer real encouragement. Show that you understand the risks, challenges, and countless rewards of entrepreneurship. Usually, it's the little things that matter most, and for independent business people, they count for a lot. By sharing ideas with other entrepreneurs, you can even find yourself a new business partner. Perhaps you could develop an entrepreneur peer support group.

Providing others with genuine encouragement and support helps everyone.

It might even find you some new business friends.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

 

Entrepreneur peer support: Ending isolation



Over the years, many entrepreneurs have told me about one problem they found very difficult to solve. The concern was how, where, and with whom to discuss issues relating to operating a business. Their feeling was one of isolation and being alone in the world. They were unable to find other business owners who could relate and identify with their short and long term challenges.

Enter the entrepreneur peer support concept.

Independent business owners need the opportunity to discuss their business problems with others who share the same concerns. At the same time, the entrepreneur must be free to go into some detail without a competitor using the information to their advantage. In the past, most business owners were left to their own devices and to bottle up their worries inside. They were unable to talk over daily and long range business difficulties with understanding peers who faced most of the same issues. The internet in general, and blogs in particular, have created that much needed virtual support group.



Business bloggers have a built in support group whether they realize it or not. Other blogging business people are reaching out through their writings; actively seeking peer support and guidance. As other business owners read the postings, the realization appears that other people share the most of the same business challenges. At the same time, the bloggers aren't business competitors, but more likely, potential business partners or resources. The seeds of a business support network are planted.

As the business bloggers become more familiar with one another through comment, e-mail, Skype, telephone, and live in person discussions, the support network is born. Already, several groups of business bloggers are meeting via Skype conference on a regular basis. The chat isn't always about business related issues either. Often, it's simply enough to know that others out their can understand and relate to what an entrepreneur confronts on a daily basis. The sharing together is what really matters.



If you are a business owner who feels alone and isolated. If you believe that there is no one who understands your daily trials and rewards, it's comforting to know that other entrepreneurs feel the same way. Find a group of business bloggers with whom you have developed a trusting relationship and form a business peer discussion group. Talk about those pressing issues that your employees and family don't seem to grasp. Share the joys and pleasure of owning your own business with other owners who enjoy that same sense of achievement and independence.

Set up a regular meeting time, and chat together as a group on Skype, or some other conference call medium. If you find another trusted entrepreneur in the same city, you can meet in person over coffee or lunch. Two person discussions are also valuable stress relievers, as well as idea generators. You may find yourself providing as much or more peer advice to others as is returned to you. Business people helping business people is a reward in itself.

Start an entrepreneur peer support group today.

Sharing ideas and talking about problems helps everyone succeed and lead happier lives.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

 

Business blogs: Entrepreneurial growth opportunity



Only 13% of owners and managers read blogs relating to their business and fewer than one in ten maintain blogs for their business (7%). The encouraging news is that among those business people who do maintain blogs, just over half say they post to their blog on a daily basis (51%). The research for these business blogging trends was contained in a survey of business owners and managers conducted by OPEN from American Express Semi-annual Small Business Monitor, a semi-annual survey of business owners.

While the survey results appear somewhat pessimistic about the awareness of blogs within the independent business community, there is room for optimism. While only about one business person in eight reads blogs at the present time, there is definitely room for growth in that area. The fact that once a business blog is started, half of their owners post every day. Those business owners and managers who blog keep on blogging.



Business blog proponents have said for a long time that both small and medium independent business, along with large Fortune 1000 corporations, can benefit tremdously from adding a blog component to their communications and marketing programs. I would go a step farther and say that blog consultants have a really powerful opportunity to provide blogging advice and know how to those business people, regardless of client company size. It's a growth industry, and we are here on the ground floor of a huge business blog consulting opportunity, that is unlimited in size.

As blog awareness becomes more widespread in the business community, the business of helping business people become bloggers is literally global in scale. The OPEN from American Express Semi-annual Small Business Monitor survey confirms that business people are aware of the need for technology. A slight majority of small business owners (51%) believe that “technology has transformed the way business is conducted” over the last 20 years:

So it is not surprising that four in ten small businesses will purchase new technology over the next six months, including computers and PCs (33%) and computer/system software or licenses (25%).

Nearly half (47%) will invest in mid-priced equipment, such as laptops, desktops or printers. One in four (25%) will consider major infrastructure investments, such as software, services or telephone systems. Modestly priced items such as PDAs or smart phones will be considered by fewer (12%).




Along with that understanding of the critical importance of technology to a business, is an understanding that building relationships is important. That alliance of blogging technology and a desire to develop long term customer and clients through trust and familiarity is well known to business bloggers. As the survey results indicate, entrepreneurs are actively seeking the blog alternative even if it's not expressed in those terms:

Although entrepreneurs face challenges to growth they still love what they do and can't imagine making a living any other way (38% vs. 44% last spring). One in four describe running their business as an uphill battle (25%). One in five find their business financially rewarding (22%), and one in ten experience 24/7 stress as a result of managing their business (10%). However, two-thirds (69%) would recommend a friend or family member go into business for themselves. The top reasons for their success, according to the survey are “I'm able to create good relationships and a sense of community through my business” (31%), and “I've struck a balance between my career and my family” (28%). The most desired aspect of running a small business is that owners/managers enjoy living and working by their own rules (38%).




That "desire to create good relationships and a sense of community" quoted above are precisely the values generated through business blogs. In fact, it would appear that the majority of business owners would welcome and embrace the blogging option if it were presented to them in terms of customer relationship enhancement and community building.

The future is bright for entrepreneurs to embrace blogging as a powerful alliance of technology and relationship building. The desire of many business owners to add the combination, of blog technology and resulting communities developed, to their immediate business plans bodes well for their business business future success. The understanding of the power of blogging bodes well for the professional blog consulting community too.

Another win-win situation for everyone involved is born. As usual, blogging is at the very heart of the solution.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

 

Building self confidence with blogs



An often overlooked, but very important aspect of blogging is the way it builds the blogger's self confidence. Even though a blogger might not think about it, the very committment of one's thoughts and ideas to a blog post, is a life changing event. More than simply writing a few random scribblings, the blog is a major step in entering the global community.

While the thought of being "out there" on the internet in general, and the blogosphere in particular, might be a bit scary, it's also empowering. A person who might hesitate to meet people in the offline world, or not sure of themselves in social settings, can develop strong interpersonal relationships through the blog. The posts serve as personal calling cards, and a personal introduction to the world. When bloggers meet in real life, the event is simply a meeting of old friends. That awkward silence is eliminated by the blog as a natural icebreaker.

Blogs build self confidence in the business world as well. Prior to taking the blogging plunge, a business person might hold back slightly on trying new ventures; or even making minor steps in the direction of self promotion. After taking that huge first step on the journey to success and personal fulfilment a blog provides, it becomes much easier to take aditional giant steps and quantum leaps in that direction. Putting one foot before the other for the first time is always the most difficult. A blog eases the travel from here to there beyond measure.



My good friend Toby Bloomberg (photo top left) of the industry leading Diva Marketing Blog is no exception. Toby points out on her interview with blog ambassador Paul Chaney (photo left), at All Business that personal growth was a key aspect of blogging:




Paul Chaney: How have you grown personally by blogging?

Toby Bloomberg: More willing to take risks. More comfortable with putting myself 'out there.'
More able to loosen the 'control' and let others have their input without judgment.
Better listener.
Great friendship always help you growth too!

Read more of this informative Lessons Learned From Blogging interview with Toby Bloomberg.


While Toby Bloomberg was already a well known and successful business person, with a strong background in marketing, blogging has helped her improve her self confidence as well. Blogging helped Toby to consider taking more risks in her business, and those challenges have paid off well for her.

As Toby puts it, not being worried about being "out there", is part and parcel with blogging on a daily basis. A blogger is always "out there" in a very real sense. Everything else a blogger does is merely an additional public appearance. After all, the creation of the blog in the first place was that all important and crucial first step on the journey to success. It's all a much easier and more enjoyable voyage after that initial move was made.

Blogs build self confidence by empowering the blogger to meet new business challenges and succeed. On a more personal level, blogging serves as an informal introduction leading to personal relationships and lifelong friendships.

Start a blog and give your own self confidence a boost.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

 

Carnival of the Vanities 217 at Silflay Hraka



The 217th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities continues at Kehaar's Silflay Hraka.

The carnival, and indeed the entire blog carnival idea, was born four years ago at Bigwig's Silflay Hraka blog. It is now back home to Silflay Hraka, as Bigwig's brother Kehaar has assumed the reins with great results.

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, religion, humour, and seasonal topics.

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

My post is titled "Dress codes: Avoiding clothing errors" where I quote Mark Twain and discuss how Bloggers are legendary for writing their posts while wearing their pajamas. That sartorial splendour is fine while the blog writer is wrapped in the comfort and privacy of the home computer. Difficulties arise when the blogger attends a meeting, or gives a client or public presentation. After all, many bloggers are now entering the world of blog and business consulting.






A great participation option is to simply e-mail your entry to the new e-mail address:

kehaar at silflay hraka dot com

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

When you send an entry to Carnival of the Vanities, or any of the many internet blog Carnivals, don't forget to link to the hosted edition. It's not only common courtesy, but helps to increase visitor traffic for all entrants. It also shows your appreciation of the hard work done by the host in preparing the post. Everyone shares in the benefits of the expanded Carnival readership.

Show the Carnival some linky love.

Next week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities appears once again at Kehaar's Silflay Hraka.

In the meantime, head on over to the Silflay Hraka 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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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

 

Trevor Gay: Exploding Customer and Staff Myths - Blog Business Success Radio

blog radio



Simplicity is the Key

Business blogger, speaker, and consultant Trevor Gay, author of the paradigm shattering Simplicity is the Key, clears up the many customer myths and employee myths that pass as conventional wisdom, as my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success.

The show airs live on Thursday, November 16, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time.






Trevor Gay will address the most frequently believed myths and and discuss the reality surrounding staff and customers. You will learn:

Customers:

* What your customers really want from your business

* What your customers don't want from a company

Employees:

* How staff really react to changes within your organization

* How to build trust by providing what your staff really wants and needs



Trevor Gay (photo left) has an unashamed obsession about making things simpler in management, business and leadership – and therefore in our everyday lives at work.

Following a 35 year career in senior management in the UK National Health Service (NHS) – the third largest employer in the world after the Chinese Army and Indian Railways - Trevor left the ‘security blanket’ of the NHS in 2005 to become a freelance consultant, speaker and writer on management, team development and leadership.

Trevor believes complexity is merely the sum of simple parts and he argues that everything in management and leadership is simple. He argues it is we human beings that make things complex. He strongly advocates giving more power to the people at the front line in business and calls on managers to justify their existence.

His first book called Simplicity is the Key was published in 2005. Trevor writes prolifically and has had three more books published in the last four months.

* Three Amigos with One Message
* The Nine Fruits of Leadership
* I Wanna Tell You a Story

While working in the NHS Trevor often spoke at conferences about his thoughts on management and leadership. Although Trevor has the academic management qualifications, he prefers to talk subjectively, using metaphors, anecdotes and stories to illustrate his beliefs.

Since leaving the NHS Trevor has been in great demand to talk and spread the word about simplicity.

You can read more about what Trevor does by going to his, needless to say, simple Website and Blog at these links:

Trevor's website: Simplicity is the Key

Trevor's blog: Simplicity

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Let's talk about exploding some long standing customer and employee myths, and focus on what people really want with guest Trevor Gay, on Blog Business Success.

blog radio

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