October 06, 2005
Blogging The Ultimate Marketing System
One of my Ultimate Marketing System teleclass clients approached me the other day and asked if he could blog about his experience of being a client.
My blog self immediately said, "Sure, what a great use of a blog." But then my vulnerable marketing self said, "What if?"
The convergence of those two selves concluded that what my client, Ken Yarmosh of Technosight, was offering was a very rich and rewarding gift, no matter what he writes. Marketing, effective marketing, needs to be open and honest. It's not all about having every answer. It's often about having a willingness to listen and improve.
I hope this little blogging experiment helps to spread the word about what Duct Tape Marketing really has to offer the small business marketer but, more than that, I hope it helps me get better at what I do.
Ken is doing some great things with emerging marketing technologies at Technosight. Stop by and learn.
September 30, 2005
Free Blogging Teleclass
Next Tuesday, October 4th, 11 am Pacific (Noon M, 1pm C, 2pm E) I will be interviewed on a free teleseminar hosted by Steven Van Yoder, author of Get Slightly Famous, on the - The Basics of Business Blogging (and why every business should have a blog)
Here are some of the things we will discuss on the call:
- An easy-to-grasp explanation of blogs and blogging
- The benefits of blogs over e-mail newsletters
- How to cost-effectively start and maintain your own blog
- How to brand your blog with great writing, audio, and video
- How to use your blog as a new income generator
Blogging has become an integral part of my marketing and is responsible for generating significant revenue, leads, PR, awards and even a book deal! Maybe it's time to learn how to harness this powerful tool.
September 16, 2005
Small Business Guru Interviews Me On Blogging
Melody Campbell, The Small Business Guru, recently caught up with me and interviewed me for over an hour on the subject of blogs and blogging for small business.
By the way her blog is another shining example of a BlogLightning blog (means she purchased BlogLightning and built her blog in a flash.)
September 13, 2005
Ezines, Email, Blogs or RSS
Using the word "mainstream" when it comes to blogs is now, so last year.
But, based on the frequent questions I receive from readers, effectively employing a blog as a marketing tool is still a bit of a mystery to most.
Many of my readers ask some variation of this question: "Should I be using a blog, an ezine, email or RSS?" And my answer: YES
Here's my take.
By itself, a blog is probably not enough (unless you are Tom Peters or the like.)
Small businesses should take the power of a blog and combine it with an email distribution list and a weekly or monthly ezine newsletter.
When you employ all three you get the biggest bang for your marketing effort.
A couple reasons why you still need to email delivery.
- RSS is not yet the content delivery method of choice for the average person
- Email content is pushed out to readers as a reminder that you are there - RSS doesn't allow this same control
- Capturing email addresses allows you to market your readers over and over again
In many cases, someone will visit your blog or web site and like what they see but get pulled away by some other distraction, never to return to your blog again. If you capture that same person's email and permission to send further communication, you turn that visit into a lead.
Feeling stressed about publishing a blog and a newsletter?
If you are posting to your blog like you should (3-5/wk minimum) then you should have plenty of content to repurpose into a newsletter. Pull out your best posts and expand on them or do a round-up of your blog posts. You will find that your readers will gravitate towards their reading method of choice - RSS or email.
I love blogs, I love RSS delivery. But, don't short your marketing efforts. Make your message available in as many forms as possible - that's how you create marketing momentum.
July 31, 2005
What Will A Blog Do For My Business?
I get this question several times a week these days so I thought I would address it here.
The answer to this question is part advice, part marketing 101 soapbox speech.
So, what will a blog do for your business?
In most cases, little to nothing.
Now, before you fire off an email to ask if I've gone crazy, read on.
Most business folks will approach blogging like they approach every other form of marketing. Put up a blog, make a few entries and wonder why it didn't work.
Blogs are not THE marketing tool, they are simply another marketing tool, but a very powerful one if used correctly.
Using a blog correctly for most small businesses means these things at a minimum
- Post almost daily - keep at it for months
- Answer the questions your clients ask you in your posts
- Promote the heck out of your blog online and offline
- Build a network of users and connectors around your blog
- Read and participate in other blogs almost daily
- Integrate your blog into your web site, ezine and marketing materials
- Update the non-post elements of your blog frequently
If you've read this far then maybe you have come to the conclusion that a blog can be a powerful part of your marketing mix and know that I unflinchingly recommend a blog for every business but, like all marketing strategies, unless you commit to using it long term to build momentum, it will be just another distraction.
July 27, 2005
Forbes Magazine: Best of the Web 2005
Forbes Magazine just published the annual Best of the Web issue and this year's focus feature is "Blogs That Matter"
The magazine lists an editor's choice of 6-8 blogs in about 15 categories and highlights some of the best blogs going.
I am proud to say that my blog Duct Tape Marketing was chosen at the Forbes Favorite for Small Business along with these other fine blogs.
- All Business Blog Center (I also contribute to this network)
- Church of the Customer
- Fresh Inc
- Small Business Trends
- Entrepreneurial Mind
- Small Business Brief
July 11, 2005
Blog Lightning Is Alive
Since you are reading a blog, I'm guessing there is a pretty good chance you understand the power of blogs as a business tool. Heck, maybe you've even decided that you simply must have a blog for your business but. . .it all seems a little technical.
Introducing. . .
Blog Lightning - How To Create and Promote Your Small Business Blog In A Flash.
After visiting with hundreds of small business owners about the subject of blogs, I determined that what was needed was a step-by-step guide that demonstrated the precise steps needed to create and successfully promote a blog as a business tool.
And for the technically challenged - I added 14 video screencast tutorials that allow you to watch over my shoulder as I execute each step. Nothing could be easier.
Take a look at Blog Lightning. I've posted some example content and even a sample screencast for you to view.
July 09, 2005
Another free ping option
I've mentioned pinging on this blog in the past and urged you to do it whenever you create a new post.
June 29, 2005
What About A Marketing Vacation?
Summer is great time to load up in the car and check out a marketing workshop, seminar or strategic planning retreat.
Recharge those batteries, learn a new skill or (this is a biggie) make some important networking connections with like minded business types.
If marketing is your thing and you've finally decided that you need to learn all things bloggy, then the Blog Business Summit held August 17-19 in San Francisco might just be the ticket.
Planned sessions include a pre-conference, Blogging 101, with the following two days packed with tracks aimed at PR professionals and Small Business Blogging
June 14, 2005
2nd Annual MarketingSherpa Readers Choice Awards
The folks over at MarketingSherpa have announced the winners of the 2005 Readers Choice Awards for best blogs in 10 different categories.
You can view the winners at the Sherpa Site
For comparison is may be fun to take a look at last year's winners too
If you are not familiar with this resources you should check it out.
Here are three useful MarketingSherpa stories about marketing with Blogs:
#1. Case Study: How to Build Your eretail Business with a Blog (6-8% of Readers Convert to Buyers)
#2. Case Study: 7 Practical Tactics to Turn Your Blog Into a Sales Machine