Market Your Small Business Website

By Rhonda Campbell
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone on the Internet clicked over to your business website? You could be sitting on a pile of money.

But, that’s not how it works. Just because more than two billion people access the Internet doesn’t mean that your small business website will even receive 10,000 visitors a year.

Don’t give up. Your small business website can work.

Each visitor to your website can tell 10 or more of her friends about your service and products.

Create Relationships with Small Business Website Visitors

To reap this benefit, get to know your small business website visitors. Develop relationships with them. To do this:

  • Design engaging Twitter pages. Add custom pictures and videos to your Twitter pages. Add a link to your small business website at your Twitter profile. Tweet your opinions about hot topics. Also tweet about government regulations impacting your industry.
  • Build Facebook pages that highlight your products or services. Highlight sales and discounts. Post about community events that your company will participate in. Boost posts by adding pictures.
  • Create newsletters. Allow customers to subscribe for free. By adding opt-out links at the bottom of each newsletter, you can build subscriber trust.
  • Feature your small business website articles in digital magazines using tools like and
  • Develop and market audio recordings. and are tools that you could use to create audio recordings.
  • Add a blog to your small business website. To grow blog traffic, post new content at least once a week.

Software Makes it Easy for You to Stay in Touch with Customers

Constant Contact, LetterPop, iContact and Vertical Response are types of companies that take the hard work out of designing and publishing company newsletters. When working with these companies, choose from a variety of templates that these companies offer. Click and drag newsletter sections to complete issue designs. Build and grow subscriber lists in seconds.

You can also create electronic newsletters using software like Microsoft or Mac Word. The drawback is that, with these tools, you need to create a database to keep your subscriber lists current.

More Ways to Market Business Products and Services Online

More actions that you can take to market your small business website follow:

  • Schedule interviews on Internet radio talk shows. Blog Talk Radio, Blake Radio and National Public Radio work with dozens of talk radio show hosts. Request an interview with these hosts. Send a cover letter that includes the name of your small business. Also, include the products or services that you sell. Provide a brief statement that details how your business will benefit the radio show’s listeners. For example, will your products or services save listeners time or increase their savings?
  • Create and distribute electronic postcards.
  • Host video conferences or web seminars. Charge attendees a fee to tune in. Free video or seminar hosting tools you can use include Any Meeting, Yugma, Mega Meeting, Stealth Seminar and Go To Meeting. Provide valuable information during seminars. Don’t create a video conference or web seminar unless you offer at least 3 points of advice.
  • Develop and send prospects product catalogs.
  • Invite shoppers to attend product or service open houses. It’s similar to sponsoring your own trade show. Put your best and newest products and services on display.
  • Write and distribute press releases to targeted media outlets. As a tip, include your small business website URL, telephone number and email address in press releases. Examples of press release distribution services are PRWeb, PR Buzz, PR Log, Business Wire, Web Wire and e-Releases.

Small Business Website Marketing Roundup

Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Myspace can make it easier for you to connect with prospects. You can build professional pages at these social networks and send regular posts or tweets to followers. By taking advantage of radio interviews, press releases, electronic postcards, web seminars and newsletters, you can connect with current and prospective customers. You can also build consumer trust in your small business website and strengthen your bottom line.

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Job search pitfalls to watch for

By Belinda Johnson

Job search pitfalls could derail your best employment efforts. Don’t let this happen this year. Get more out of your hunt by adding the following job hunting actions to your career advancement plans, while subtracting these other behaviors.


Job search no-nos

Steer clear of the casual approach – As you start your job hunt, this cannot be overstated. Create a winning online profile. Although your holiday party picture (your smile bright and memorable) shows off your features, it may not create the right impression on employers and hiring managers. Instead of posting a casual picture with your online profile, add a professional picture. Throughout every step of your job search, present the same impression with your online profile as you would if you walked into a hiring manager’s office for an in-person interview.

Don’t share what you wouldn’t want posted on a billboard – Technology has made it possible for IT professionals and other hiring managers to not only search your online profile, but to also search online messages that you author. Although what you do with your time away from work is your personal business, messages, comments, videos and pictures  that you post and respond to could be used disqualify you for great opportunities that you find during your job search.

Stay away from work hour postings – Content isn’t the only thing that hiring managers pay attention to. Your job search could be stalled if you post online messages and other content during work hours. Think about it? If you post to social media accounts, etc. during work hours, it could send the message to hiring managers that you engage in personal pursuits on work time. This isn’t a plus if you’re currently employed and conducting a job search to find better employment.

Your attitude matters a lot

Cut down on the complaints – This one is especially important if you are currently employed and looking for a new job. It might be tempting, but, don’t complain to coworkers and/or supervisors about how much you dislike your current job. These same people could write a strong recommendation letter for you, a letter that could improve your chances of securing the role you want during your job search.

Fall out of touch with former colleagues – Remember former colleagues, including supervisors and managers that you worked with during your job search. Actions that you could take to stay in touch with former colleagues include sending former colleagues holiday postcards, birthday greetings, anniversary messages or “hello” telephone calls. Keep in touch because you sincerely want to sustain and enrich these relationships. Before closing each communication, let former colleagues know that you’re in the process of a job search. Be sure to let them know what type of role you’re seeking.

Of all the job search pitfalls that you should steer clear of, falling out of touch with former colleagues could be one of the more impactful. Each person who you know likely knows dozens of other people who could aid you in your job search. Stay positive during your job hunt, avoiding falling into the habit of complaining. And pay attention to the image that you create online and offline by creating professional posts, messages and liking content that keeps you in a professional and positive light.

Posted in Employment and Finding Jobs | Tagged | 1 Comment

Free writer inbound marketing courses

By Rhonda Campbell

inbound marketing training

Picture by Mosborne01

Free inbound marketing courses may gift you with at least three benefits. Take just one of the courses and you may learn a new way to optimize your website for those friendly search engine crawlers. Don’t go light with this benefit.

Search engine optimization equals website, blog and social media traffic, the oxygen of a digital enterprise.

Successful writers love traffic jams

Low to no traffic is like opening a store and hoping for sales even though not a single person ever walks through the front door. You have to attract loads of the right visitors. But, if you’ve been marketing online for just three months, you already know how important traffic is.

It’s up to you to turn those first time visitors into repeat visitors. One of the companies that provides free inbound marketing courses for writers also trains writers on how to keep visitors returning.

The other two benefits associated with the free inbound marketing courses are knowledge to build a stronger brand and — writers may not love this one — realization that, despite how often (or how long) that you have been marketing your books, novels or freelance writer portfolio, there’s still a lot that you don’t know.

Regardless of your marketing results and regardless of how many inbound marketing courses that you complete, never lose sight of the fact that you don’t know everything. This is a good thing. Openness to improvement can easily spell continual growth, what you want.

List of free writer inbound marketing courses

Hopefully, you didn’t skip ahead to hurry and see the list of free writer inbound marketing courses. Because a reminder that there’s always a lot to learn is not one that you want to miss. And the free courses are:

• HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification –
• Google Online Marketing Challenge –
• GCF Learn Free –
• Copy Blogger Content Marketing –
• HootSuite Podium –
• Quick Sprout –

Some freelance writers also teach free writer inbound marketing courses. Writers can also find free inbound marketing courses that are embedded in larger training programs. These courses aren’t always free. If they are, they may not offer a certification.

Earn an inbound marketing certification? Add it to your freelance writer resume and to your online writer portfolio. Also, incorporate lessons that you have changed in your website, blog and social media designs and posts.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

How to get more links

By Avery Baxter
Great content is the best way to get more links. Think data rich content like academic papers, high definition images, static free videos, powerful quotes, statistic rich infographics, slideshows and comedic write-ups.

Images Explode Links and Traffic

Written, audio, video and image (graphics and pictures) content apply. Social Media Today shares that written content with images grabs 94% more attention than content missing images, whether you are trying to get more links or simply want to share a picturesque story. HubSpot says that color goes a long way when it comes to images. In fact, color images increase a person’s interest in reading content by a whopping 80%.

Original pictures get the best traction. Getting your hands on original pictures is as easy as capturing images using your cell phone. If you have basic photography skills, you could capture the emotion, style and texture of trees, animals, sporting events, festivals and people. If your budget permits, you can also get pictures from companies like iStock Photo and ThinkStock Photos.

Other photo libraries require acknowledgement in a byline. Some of these places are Free Digital Photos and Flickr. Wikimedia Commons is another place where you can get free photos. However, I think Wikimedia Commons is limited in the range of high quality photos.

Tell a Story to Get More Links

To use the images at Wikimedia Commons, all you generally need is to acknowledge the name of the photographer, which you can do by simply adding the photographer’s name in the image caption box of the content management system that you use to publish content. Speaking of images, to get more links, add a story to images.

A little girl and her mother weren’t out to get more links when they posted a picture of the girl wearing glasses to social media. it was the story that attracted millions of viewers, readers and supporters. At the heart of the story was bullying. Huffington Post wrote a story about the girl and how her photo got more than four million shares. Last I heard, more than six million people have gotten behind the story.

It’s these types of stories that capture people’s hearts and interest, that help you to get more links. In this case, a personal, emotional appeal went a long way, continues to go a long way.

Data rich written content could also help you to get more links. Remember when you were in school? How many times did you add information from scientific, well researched and stat driven documents into your school papers? The more footnotes, firsthand interviews and statistics there were in the documents, the more reliable you may have believed that the documents were.

“If I add this content to my school paper, my school paper will be better,” you likely thought. Add relevant facts, stats images and firsthand interviews to your content and other people could think that adding your content to their websites, blogs and direct email will make their content better. Outcome – you get more links.

Posted in Growing Business | Tagged | 1 Comment

Get Hired Faster

By Ericka Simpson
Find out how you could get hired faster. The speed up starts with your resume. Your job search cover letter, online portfolio, networking habits, interviewing and follow-up skills are also crucial, among other factors mentioned below. Don’t just read this job search advice with an open mind. Stay open, flexible and courageous enough to implement needed changes.

Resumes that help you get hired faster

More than 10 years of human resources work has taught me many valuable facts about the job hiring process. Before the Internet explosion, a lot of recruiters didn’t read job search cover letters. Recruiters do pay a lot of attention to your resume.

Resume must haves include your name and contact information. Please don’t forget your telephone number and email address. If you’re on LinkedIn, include your LinkedIn URL (preferably a customized LinkedIn URL). Make sure that your LinkedIn page is used solely for business and networking purposes. Impression is everything when you’re trying to get hired faster.

Add your work history. Indicate start and end dates for jobs you’ve worked. Also, indicate the industry that the company operates in. Why? Prospective employers like it when you have deep experience in the industry they’re business is in.

Use bullets to highlight key accomplishments. Put values on accomplishments. For example, you could state that you created a database that reduced procedural redundancies by 35%, saving the organization 3% in lost revenues. Keep bulleted highlights short. You can expand on accomplishments during job interviews.

Insert good keywords into your resume. Choose keywords that align with job titles that match your skills. Other good keywords are terms found in requirements and description sections of jobs that you want to get hired faster for. This is important. Recruiters and employers use search tools to find resumes that match skills and experience that they’re looking for in employees.

If you’re open to working two or more different types of jobs to get hired faster, create a resume for each different job type that you want. So, you may need a human resources specialist, executive assistant and a customer service representative resume, as an example.

Other things you can do to get hired faster

To get hired faster, create a professional LinkedIn profile, if you don’t already have one. Reach out to recruiters and people you know at organizations where you want to work. Let them know when you apply for jobs and ask them if they know someone who you could connect with to get additional insights about the role.

Make this a two-way relationship. In other words, help others on LinkedIn, the same as you want contacts to help you. Other places to network to get hired faster include Twitter (Yes, Twitter; you might be surprised how many companies are on Twitter), job fairs, internships, volunteer events and professional association learning and networking events.

Create an online portfolio to showcase your talents. This is becoming somewhat of a “must have” for graphic designers, freelance writers, coders and other marketing and visual workers.

Practice job interviews with friends or relatives. Know someone who has human resources experience? Ask them to offer suggestions on how you could improve your job interviewing skills.

Follow-up via email and/or telephone a few days after you apply for a job. Consider creating a spreadsheet to track jobs that you apply for. Add recruiter and employer contact information to the spreadsheet to help with the follow-up process.

But, perhaps most important of all, track your progress. If you don’t land a job interview within three weeks of applying for jobs, review your job search cover letter and your resume. Change keywords if you have to. Network on different days of the week or at different networking events. Being open to change is a key if you want to get hired faster. So too is improving your confidence. Encourage yourself if you start talking yourself out of applying for higher pays jobs that you have the skills for. Push ahead if you get tempted to wait for recruiters and employers to respond to you first, instead of you following up.

Posted in Employment and Finding Jobs | Tagged | 1 Comment

Reasons to Postpone Marketing Strategies

By Ericka Simpson

It sounds like an oxymoron, putting off marketing to grow sales. However, there are times when it’s a good idea to postpone marketing strategies.

As a small business owner, it’s not a stretch to see you wearing multiple hats. You might lead product development, communications, customer service, shipping and handling and marketing at your organization. The way that you juggle minute as well as large tasks is truly admirable. But, how do you handle the product development stage after you’ve looked at the accounting and realize that, if sales don’t pick up within two weeks or less, you are going to be headed deeper into the red?

Pushing for sales doesn’t always work

Does your focus switch from developing the best new products to speeding up the development phase, so that you can start pushing marketing strategies? Unfortunately, it’s a common panic routine.


Creatives complain about how they are pressured by managers to hurry and finish a new album, book, painting or movie or television script. They know that their name is on the work. Rushing could make or break their personal brand. Pushy managers, including pushy finance and marketing managers, could hide should the product not be up to par and flop due to lack of quality.

Allow engineers and designers to focus on developing the best products. While they are working, hold off on giving tentative release dates to the media, especially if product development teams are a long way off from finishing new products. Develop products that surpass other offerings in your industry and market and that achievement alone can become a key part of your marketing strategies and tactics.

More reasons to postpone marketing strategies

Besides giving developers time to create your best products, other reasons to postpone marketing strategies include:

  • You’re still building teams
  • Processes and procedures are not finalized
  • Compliance officers are still reviewing policies
  • Loans and other financial resources are yet to be agreed upon and signed
  • Branding templates are still being worked on

If you postpone marketing strategies until your teams are built and processes and procedures are fully vetted, you could avoid problems down the road. For example, you could avoid under or over hiring. If you under hire, employees or contractors could feel pressured and start to lose work/life balance. Let that happen, and don’t be surprised if workers start exiting.

Of course, hiring too many team members will have a negative impact on the bottom line, forcing you to push for more sales. Both under and over hiring can have a negative impact on morale.

Perhaps even equally important is the lasting impression you could leave on consumers should you market too soon, sales take off and your teams cannot keep up with the demand. It’s called having to deal with too much success too soon. So, pace yourself smartly. Build out your teams. Finalize processes, procedures and legal aspects your new offerings before you open the door to the public.

Posted in Business Management | Tagged | 1 Comment

Your greatest guidance comes from within

inner guidance center

By Moyan Brenn

It’s true. Connections are key to your success. If you only seek guidance from your physical senses, you’re missing out on limitless benefits. Instead of relying on what your body sees, hears and perceives, start taping into your inner guidance. It’s your greatest connection.


Personal revelations, insight, accurate hunches and wisdom come from your inner guidance center. Believe it or not, your inner guidance counselor speaks to you all the time. You don’t hear it because of the ego’s endless chatter.

The ego often promises a resolution to something that you are afraid of (i.e. sickness, death, job loss, poverty). Follow ego guidance and you may end up in a worse condition than you were in before the ego tempted you to listen to its promises.

Tap into inner guidance

So, how do you receive inner guidance?

Practice stillness and mindfulness. Live in the present second. This means that you don’t dwell on past experiences and don’t waste time fearing future experiences, which may or may  not occur. Following are a few actions that you can take to practice stillness and mindfulness:

  • Start the first five minutes of your day giving thanks for events and experiences that you appreciate. For example, you could thank Source for birds singing outside your bedroom or kitchen window, a new suit that you bought and love how it looks on you, your family and a great song you heard on the radio.
  • Close your eyes and meditate on a positive message for two minutes at the top of each hour.
  • Focus on your breathing, inhaling and exhaling slowly for three minutes at the top of each hour.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Spend at least one uninterrupted hour walking, bike riding, swimming or engaging in another physical activity while outdoors.
  • Listen to soothing music or watch a light show an hour before you go to bed. Better yet, sit outside on the porch or front stoop for an hour before you go to bed.
  • Soak in a bubble bath at night.
  • Act on inner direction. Write the results of your actions in a journal.
  • Ask for inner direction when you start to feel anxious, depressed or any other form of fear.
  • Do three things that you love and appreciate every day.
  • Catch yourself engaging in negative talk. Stop acting yourself and speak out 10 things that you love about yourself.
  • Write down your dreams. Pay special attention to dreams that find you waking feeling happy, at peace and empowered.

Trust your inner guidance center. You’ll notice a distinct difference between messages received from your inner guidance counselor and the ego. The more you trust and seek inner guidance, the more you may be aware of its messages, which can help you in your personal, social, business and family relationships.

Posted in Staying Motivated and Inspired | Tagged | 1 Comment