1. Featured Articles

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    1. Creating Amazingly Explosive Blog Growth

      Creating Amazingly Explosive Blog Growth
      From Steve Strauss, The Strauss Group, Inc.: What’s that you say, your blog is nice and all, but you want to kick up its popularity a notch (or two, or ten)? Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you how. As I have been writing online for USA TODAY since the Internet Stone Age, circa 1997, this topic is something I have studied for years.   First lesson: Content is NOT king.   So yes, what I am not going to tell you are things you already know and have heard a dozen times before, like:   Write what you know Follow your passion Use keywords Please.   The truth is that if you want explosive growth for your blog, there is more to it than that – a lot more. Simply put, there are two parts to creating a successful blog: the front end and the back end. The front end has ...
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      Mentions: Steve Strauss
    2. How Online Private Sales Work and How Businesses Can Get Involved

      How Online Private Sales Work and How Businesses Can Get Involved
      From Stephanie Marcus, Mashable: While the online retail concept has been around for almost two decades, the desperation of the recession left luxury brands saddled with unsold merchandise. Thus, private sale sites offing goods at cut-rate prices began popping up.   It's not a new concept -- think of members-only big box stores like Sam's Club and Costco that have been around for decades. A large membership base, exceptional buying power, low overhead costs and buying in bulk have enabled these companies to offer their members deeply discounted prices.   Now, that same concept has been adopted online -- members join or are invited to websites that offer private sales with great prices on everything from designer clothes, to furniture, to kitchen supplies, restaurants, and flight, hotel and vacation packages. Most memberships are free, but some sites, like Ideeli, offer paid VIP membership that affords members early access to sales. In the ...
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    3. Are You Making PDF Work For You? 10 Powerful Ways Growing Biz Can Use PDFs

      Nuance Software makes PDF creation and management software that competes with Adobe. Most of you, like me, use PDFs to read documents online. However, there's a lot more you can do with your PDF creation program. Here's 10 Ideas, from Nuance, that you can consider using the POWER OF PDF for your business. Save time recreating documents. Don’t waste time recreating Microsoft documents when you already have paper or PDF documents. Instead instantly convert these documents into fully formatted, editable word processing documents, spreadsheets and presentations - even if you have complex layouts and graphics. The time savings can be big. For instance, studies show that, on average, it takes 15 minutes to retype each page of a document. Find information faster with text searchable PDFs. Ever need to read through a stack of paper documents to find or check an important piece of information? Scan the paper ...
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    4. 5 Ways to Let Prospects Sample Your Brilliance

      5 Ways to Let Prospects Sample Your Brilliance
      5 Ways to Let Prospects Sample Your BrillianceThis content from: Duct Tape Marketing 5 Ways to Let Prospects Sample Your BrillianceThis content from: Duct Tape Marketing One of my favorite things to do is visit my local Whole Foods on a Saturday morning. On top of getting a kick out of the mix of people watching there’s also a pretty good chance I’m going to be able to [...]
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    5. How social media fits into your plan

      How social media fits into your plan
      Do you have a strategic plan or a marketing plan? If you do, that's the place to start with social media. It doesn't matter whether you are planning for a small business, a tourism group, or an economic development organization. You start in the same place. 1. Get out your plan and look over all the goals. Which ones lend themselves to social media? Can you see goals where social media would help? 2. Now, write the action steps that put social media to work on those goals. For example, if your goal is to become an authority on your niche, your daily action might be to find and tweet five relevant links, or to answer two related questions on LinkedIn. 3. Next, put those action steps on a index card, like a checklist. 4. Finally, set a scheduled time for your social media activity. Maybe the first ...
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    6. How To Keep Your Star Employees

      Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today: Why money's not the best motivator. Today's Fortune offers tips for retaining your star performers, even when the budget for bonuses is tight. According to a Corporate Executive Board survey of 20,000 "high-potential employees," when people feel "connected to corporate strategy," they're more motivated than when they receive a bonus. This means on top of giving qualified staffers a chance to steer the company in the right direction, companies should also look to employee-referral programs. According to one University of Michigan professor, "When people behave as if they're committed, they become more committed." For more on what employees really want, check out our story here. Florida eateries suing each other over water "Brooklynization." Back in July, we told you about Larry King ...
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      Mentions: new york times
    7. 5 Ways to Fix Your Restaurant's Website

      5 Ways to Fix Your Restaurant's Website
      From Ed Levine, Serious Eats: At Serious Eats, the food website and community I founded almost four years ago, we tend to look at a lot of restaurant websites on any given day. And, restaurateurs, we love you, but your websites could use some work. Many are slow-loading, loud and difficult to navigate and link to. I asked the brain trust at Serious Eats world headquarters for tips on improving the experience.    Here are five simple ways to make your restaurant's website more customer-friendly.   1. Stop Using Flash Sure, Flash-based pages can look slick and set a mood, which is why we think many restaurants use this multimedia platform on their pages, but it is slow-loading, doesn't work well on mobile devices, and often makes it difficult for users to grab specific URLs‚ say the exact link to your menu section or your address and directions page. Flash ...
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    8. Boost Your Holiday Sales Through Better E-Business

      Boost Your Holiday Sales Through Better E-Business
      From Jim Blasingame: Delivered by FedEx.   The holiday season is important for many sectors, but none more than retail. And for small business retailers, a successful holiday campaign is especially vital.   Other than the advent of new products and the new ways customers pay for them, there hasn’t been much disruption in the holiday retail business for the past few generations. Oh, there was that catalog thing that caught on a little more than a hundred years ago, thanks to entrepreneurs like Sears and Roebuck. Mail order disrupted Main Street retailers until they realized they didn’t have to choose “either/or,” between the postal and the traditional, but rather could succeed with “both/and.”   But then along came the mother of all disrupters: the Internet. Specifically, the main shifter of the Main Street retail paradigm is e-commerce. According to the credit card industry, online sales are growing by ...
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    9. How to Reward Yourself for Free

      How to Reward Yourself for Free
      From Marcy Shinder, American Express OPEN: There are quite a few entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to who have built their companies from the ground up and have similar stories: self-financing, managing everything and often putting every dollar back into the business.  Rachel Thebault, owner and head confectioner of Tribeca Treats in New York City is no exception.  But she found a way to reward herself without taking away from the bottom line.   Rachel has grown her bakery and confectionary gradually, starting in 2003 as a side business to her job as an investment banker.  As her customer base grew, she quit her job, attended culinary school, and eventually opened a custom catering business that she ran out of shared space.  By 2007, she opened her first storefront and enjoyed tremendous, immediate growth.   “We were covered in the New York Times the day we opened, and were suddenly getting all of ...
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      Mentions: new york times
    10. Forget Outsourcing, Try Rural Sourcing

      Forget Outsourcing, Try Rural Sourcing
      From Anne Field, Business Insider: A year ago, when Michael Clark co-founded Safety Web, he knew he needed to farm out some important duties to an outsourcing company.   He started his Denver-based business to help parents monitor anything written online involving their children, both comments regarding their offspring and authored by them.   To keep costs down, he wanted to use an off-site team to help customers with technical questions and screening web content, as well as to handle inbound sales. But for Clark, shipping the jobs to India didn’t make sense. First, he knew he’d need to make periodic visits to the outsourcing provider, in order to monitor training. And, thanks to the sensitive nature of the calls, he feared that language and cultural differences would cause miscommunication problems. His solution? Clark ended up choosing an alternative: rural outsourcing. To that end, he signed on with an Iowa-based ...
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    11. Why Increasing Followers is Not a Twitter Strategy

      Why Increasing Followers is Not a Twitter Strategy
      From MEGAN BERRY, Duct Tape Marketing: Everyone loves metrics, and when they're available it can be very tempting to live or die with by them without first asking yourself, "Are these the right metrics?" If your social media consultant or manager points first to your Twitter follower count when you ask how things are going, you have a problem. Since follower count is front and center on Twitter, it's become the de facto way to tell how important an account it is. It's time to move on.    Here are three main reasons:    1. They're not all listening.  You've bought into this follower idea because you like the idea that 10,000 (or what-have-you) people are reading your tweets. Let me disabuse you of this notion. Many people follow thousands if not tens of thousands of people... they're not really paying attention to most of ...
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    12. How the Mind Determines Athletic Success

      How the Mind Determines Athletic Success
      From Morty Lefkoe: In order to make this blog post personally valuable to you, I'd like to start by asking you a couple of questions.  First, whatever sport you play, how often do you play up to your potential, in other words, if you rate your best performance a 10, how often do you play at a 10?   The next question I'd like you to answer is: If you can play at a 10 sometimes, why can't you do it more frequently?  You obviously have the physical skills and ability or you wouldn't have been able to do it that one time.   I’d like to suggest that the reason your game isn't consistent and you don't play up to your potential most of the time is strictly mental—specifically, your beliefs, attitudes and feelings—all of which are within your power to change ...
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    13. The Name Game Works Wonders

      Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today: Kit Kat, Coca-Cola, Jelly Belly. Sure, they all taste great. But there's something else at play that makes these brands so attractive: repetition. A study published recently in the Journal of Marketing found that brands with repetitively structured names favorably affect how consumers perceive and choose items and decide where to buy them. The study, reported by Business News Daily, provides the first evidence of this discovery even though savvy marketers have been using the tactic for years. One experiment even pitted identical samples of ice cream against one another--one with a repetitive-sounding name and the other without. As it turned out, study participants more frequently chose the ice cream containing repetition. Still, marketers beware: the researchers also found names that stray too far from natural ...
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      Mentions: new york times
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