23 02 10

Are you still a brick and mortar business owner who doesn’t have any kind of online presence? Then this post is for you. In case you are an experienced internet marketer then please don’t read further as this post is mainly for the business owners who are still new to the online world.

What follows next are the few basic tips which will help you in building online presence for your small business.

Get a website and blog –Okay. This is the basic one so I won’t spend more time on this point. The only tip which I will like to share is to hire a professional web designer who can design an elegant and beautiful website for your business. Since the visual appearance of your website may influence the decision of your potential customers, it is very important to have a decent and easy-to-use website.

Join social media websites – Social media websites enjoyed a tremendous growth in 2009 and will continue to grow in 2010. According to a study about the impact of social media websites on consumer behavior, more than 50 percent of online consumer takes their decision on the basis of information they get from these social media websites. Create a profile on all social media websites and communities where your target audience spends their time and try to develop your relations with them. More is the number of social media websites you join; the easier it will be for your consumers to find you.

Get listed in popular business directories – Get yourself listed in local business directories like Google local business results, Yahoo local business listings. Also search for the other local business organizations websites or directories which are related to your niche and get your self listed in them.

Distribute few Press releases – Once you’ve launched the website and get yourself listed in free business directories. Write some press releases about the launch of your new website and submit them to free press releases sites. If you have any contacts in local newspapers agency then use them and see if they can help you in getting some exposure.

Add some useful content on your website – Write six-seven unique and useful articles about your industry and publish them on your own website. Send those article links to the bloggers who write about your niche, your friends, current clients, family and request them to promote them. Also you can submit those articles to few of the popular social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, Mixx where it can attract some traffic.

Set Google Alerts – Go to google.com/alerts and set alerts for your company name and keywords related to your niche. Google will send you an email notification every time someone mentions your company name or the keywords you have set in your Google alerts account. Monitor all the conversations related to you and participate wherever required.

These are the six easy tips which according to me every business owner should follow for building a basic online presence for their small business. Do you have some additional tips then feel free to share them in the comments.

Rajkumar Jonalla is working for Fortepromo promotional products which create high quality promotional flash drives for IT companies that help them to promote their brand in the market.


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30 06 09

Are you planning to start your own business from scratch then you should think about buying an existing business instead of starting your own business But one would ask that why he/she should prefer buying somebody else business than starting their own. In this article I am going to decide few advantages which you can get from buying a business.

The biggest advantage you would get is you don’t need to start from scratch. The most difficult part in a business is to take it off the ground and that work would be already done for you. All the basic work like creating initial plans, models and other legal work would be already done for you and you can easily skip this first step and focus on other important phases of business.

The other advantage of buying an existing well maintained business is that you would get an existing customer base which would generate immediate cash flow which won’t be possible if you buy a business from scratch. You could easily earn profits from the first month itself. It would also avoid an undetermined period which every new business face to find new customers.

You can save lot of money which you had to spend for advertising in new business and establishing it as a brand. On the other hand people would already know about the existing business and it would highly reduce your advertising budgets.

Normally when you buy a business you inherit all the assets of business with it which was established by previous owner and saves your lot of time. In addition you would get fully trained and talented workforce with the business who knows completely about the industry. So you don’t have to spend any money in hiring employees and giving them proper training.

The last but the most important advantage of buying a well founded business is that it has a lot of scope of expansion. You can directly focus on its expansion and use your innovation to add new customers to it and take it to new heights.

Andrew R. Cagnetta, CEO of Transworld Business brokers provides services worldwide and specializes in buying and selling of businesses.


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17 06 09

From the Google Webmaster Central blog:

Inbound links are links from pages on external sites linking back to your site. Inbound links can bring new users to your site, and when the links are merit-based and freely-volunteered as an editorial choice, they’re also one of the positive signals to Google about your site’s importance.

Inbound links are very important for building your site’s credibility, but how do you get them?  Before you go joining some spam-centric link exchange scheme, let me share with you a great way to get high quality inbound links. 

Write for them.

Bloggers are always (always) on the lookout for high quality content.  For a busy solopreneur or small business owner, finding new and fresh content to maintain a blog can be a real challenge.  If you can provide relevant and timely content for their blogs, they’ll gladly provide a link back to your website or blog.

Where do you find the opportunities to write for other bloggers?  There are several content exchange sites.  I personally like Blogger Linkup.  It’s straightforward, user-friendly, and easy to remember (an email is sent to you each morning with the latest opportunities).

When you write for other blogs, keep a few things in mind.

  • Only write for blogs that are relevant to your target audience. For example, if you target men in their 50s, then it’s probably not a good idea to post on a work-at-home mom site.
  • Try to write about something that is relevant to your target audience. Again, if you’re not aiming to reach your ideal client or customer, then your time would be better spent doing something else.
  • Find a way to provide helpful and meaningful content. If you can provide something that really helps the blogger (by really helping his/her readers), then you may get an invitation to post to that person’s site again.
  • Don’t save your best stuff for your own site. Use that content to capture the attention of new readers.  If you don’t make an impression (and how better to do that than with high quality content?), then they won’t make the effort to visit your site.
  • Remember that it’s not just about the traffic; it’s also about the links. Although it might be tempting to try to only write for established sites with large amounts of readers and traffic, don’t ignore the little guys (who might be big guys very soon – WebWorkerDaily, for instance, started just three years ago and is a very prominent blog today).  You’ll benefit from “growing up with them,” and you’ll get the inbound links.

Write for outside blogs on a regular basis.  With each new post, you get a new inbound link that’s both relevant and focused.  Keep at it and watch your page-rank steadily increase.  Good luck with your writing!

RESOURCE BOX:  Amber Riviere is a web designer with BrownBugProject.com.  You can follow her work through her blog and through her newsletter, Inside Brown’s Brain.


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12 06 09

Marketing a business at all is a difficult feat, let alone in times like these.  In my own business, I’ve had to get creative, work much harder, and learn to rely on my strengths rather than my marketing budget.

In times past, I might have focused more on actually having a marketing budget.  Today, that’s a secondary concern.  What I mean is, in the past, I would have focused more on whether or not I was allocating enough of my revenue toward a marketing budget and then if I was effectively using that budget to market my business.

What’s more important now, though, is using what I do have in my possession to keep my name in front of people – and as many people as possible.  In times like these, I’m cutting every financial corner I can, including where my marketing budget is concerned, so I’m using other assets to support my lead generation efforts.

For me, writing has always been my “bread and butter” lead source, and fortunately, it’s free!

My clients have always found me through articles and posts I’ve made online, so my focus is writing and posting as much as possible on a daily basis.  Here’s my plan in a nutshell.

Monday:

Write two guest articles.  (Monday is light on lead generation for me, since that’s my day to catch up from weekend emails from clients, as well as to have my twice-monthly call with my accountability partner.)

Tuesday:

Write articles for newsletter, post to Twitter, and post entries to three of my blogs.

Note: I publish two email newsletters per month.

Wednesday:

Write guest articles, post incoming guest articles to my blog, post entries to at least two out of my three blogs, post to Twitter, request incoming/outgoing guest posts at BloggerLinkup, and mail to my “local business farm.”

Note: My local business farm is a group of 240 local businesses.  I send a card, once per week, to 20 of the businesses.  By the end of the year, each business will have received 4 cards from me.  I include coupons and discounts in each card that expire at the end of the month sent.

Thursday:

Post entries to three of my blogs, post to Twitter, and handle any to-dos related to my monthly “Solopreneur Camp & Connect.”

Note: My “Solopreneur Camp & Connect” is a monthly tele-seminar and networking event that focuses on issues related to solopreneurs and small business owners.

Friday:

Handle any to-dos related to my quarterly “Give Back Project.”  (Friday is another day that’s light on lead generation for me, since I usually wrap up client projects for the weekend and then usually try to take off somewhere between 12-3PM.  What’s the point of being a small business owner, if you’re not going to enjoy the extra flexibility and freedom?)

Note: The “Give Back Project” is my “websites for success” program where I build websites for aspiring business owners with little or no income.

My plan is heavy (very heavy) on writing.  It’s not easy, for sure, but it’s free, and it works.  The key is to be consistent. If you post often enough and make sure to stay in front of your ideal clients or customers, they will find you.

Author Bio:  Amber Riviere is a web designer with BrownBugProject.com.  You can follow her work through her blog and through her newsletter, Inside Brown’s Brain.


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11 06 09

As a writer, you need to acquire a readership, whether you write articles, advertising, fiction, and/or nonfiction. You’ve probably heard that you need a website to help promote your writing and start building that readership.

It’s true. The Web is a fabulous means to build a writing biz. You can connect with like minded individuals, you can present opinions, you can experiment with your writing (beyond what our predecessors could ever imagine), you can interact with your readers… you can have fun.

The thing nobody tells you about this process is that once you’ve got the website up, you have to generate traffic to start this incredible web adventure.

That can be an interesting task.

In fact, lately this “web traffic” situation seems to be on more minds than mine. I get e-mails (nearly) daily promising me that (for a hefty price) some company or another will get one of my sites “to the top of the major search engines.”

Yeah. Right.

There are effective ways to get your website listed in the major search engines. There are also some not effective ways as well.

This article outlines one ineffective way to get web traffic.

I’ve coached a few writers, so-called professional communicators, this past month who were discouraged because although their websites were rising through the Google ranks and were receiving a good amount of organic traffic, they weren’t making any book sales.

I had a hunch I knew what was going on.

When a well-written book doesn’t sell, it’s usually for a number of reasons, the most probable being that there isn’t a large enough market for the topic, the price point is too high (or too low), or the web page doesn’t properly sell the title.

One look at the site confirmed my suspicions. In all the instances brought to my attention, the problem was with the website. Every single writer was more concerned about web site optimization rather than properly describing and selling their book.

It’s one thing to make your website favorable to search engines, in fact Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of building a website, but it’s quite another to engage in clumsy tactics to make your site climb up the ranks.

Disclaimer: I’m not, nor do I pretend to be an SEO expert. The following is pure opinion based on my web adventures.

What each of these people did was, as they built their website text, they inserted copious numbers of “keywords” to the point that they were literally “keyword packing.”

Keyword Packing occurs when you take a particular keyword and pack that keyword into a keyword sentence as many times as possible so that when the search engines spider your site they’ll see your keyword and assume that keyword accurately represents your “keyword” website and will appear when someone inserts that keyword into the engine. (Note: this sentence is packed with a keyword.

Betcha you’ll never guess which one it is.) 🙂

As you can see, keyword packing makes for some very awkward writing. Combine keyword packing with keyword placement on menus, subheads, and titles and you’ve got one, big keyword, mess.

Here’s the problem. When you receive good search engine rankings, you will receive traffic. Problem is when you do receive that traffic, you’ll quickly discover it evaporates once your visitors experience your awkward writing style.

It takes a writer with the skill of a master to elegantly weave keywords into a website while maintaining flow and sales effectiveness.

Very difficult.

So, suppose you’re not an SEO expert (like me). What can you do to get website traffic without sacrificing content?

There are multiple ways to generate some website traffic including writing articles, article distribution sites, creating videos, visiting forums, blogs, zines, Google Adwords, and much more. I’ll discuss these more in upcoming issues of Writing Etc.

You’ve got options, many of them not costing one red cent, to generate web traffic. Approach SEO carefully, never sacrificing content for keywords.

Remember, a site receiving a few relevant, smart, interesting, and engaged visitors is far more powerful than a bunch of people who visit and leave thinking you’ve got an awkward, repetitive, unnatural writing style.

My two (very opinionated and probably antiquated) cents.

Got a comment? Head on over to my blog. 🙂

Beth Ann Erickson is the “Queen Bee” of Filbert Publishing. She’s also the author of numerous titles including “101 No Cost and Low Cost Secrets To Turbo Charge Your Freelance Income.” Pick up your copy today at http://filbertpublishing.com/101.html She’s also a busy copywriter, speaker, and publisher of Writing Etc., the free e-mag for writers.


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