Archive for October, 2007

Is Word-of-Mouth Too Passive to Be Effective?

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If you’ve been anywhere around the Internet in the past five years or so, you would have heard about the internet equivalent to word-of-mouth advertising: viral marketing.

Lots of people love the idea of word-of-mouth and viral marketing because it doesn’t require a lot of work. Just ask people to talk about you, right?

Wrong.

Word-of-mouth marketing and viral marketing take work. You have to give them something to talk about. In fact, you have to give them something SO SPECTACULAR that they can’t help talking about it.

People are busy. They’re distracted and stressed. They rarely have small talk with others where they say, “Golly, I got this great free ebook the other day! Here’s the website. Go get a copy for yourself.” (When was the last time YOU were chatting with your best friend and told her about an ebook you just downloaded?)

If you want to use word-of-mouth and viral marketing in your marketing campaign, then plan for it in a big way. Do something really cool. Do something that stands out in the crowd. Better yet, do something that draws a crowd, like this magician levitating in front of a building.

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Category: Marketing
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How Often Should You Update Your Blog?

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I use a blog reader to look at the blogs I’ve subscribed to. The blog reader not only shows me the most recent blog entries for each blog but also shows me how long it’s been since the blog has been updated. I was amazed to notice that some big-name internet marketing folks hadn’t updated their blog in a month or more!

It seems to me that when you start a blog, you’re creating a silent agreement with your readers: you’ll post regular entries. If you let your blog fizzle out, you lose all momentum and soon your readers will stop paying attention to what you’ve written.

So how often should you update your blog with new posts? There are no hard and fast rules here. After all, it IS your blog; you get to decide. Some blogging gurus will say that you must blog daily — or even twice a day. I say that it depends on your audience. Do they have time to be reading multiple entries from you each day? Do you have enough to say to them that you can sustain that kind of output?

The number of posts per day or week isn’t what’s important. What is important is that your posts are regular. For instance, I try to post at least 3-4 times a month, and in some months I’ll post closer to 10-15 times if there are good posts to write. The quality of the post, and the fact that you post regularly, are more important factors than some arbitrary number of posts per week. If you’re going to fill your blog with fluff in order to hit your daily posting requirement, don’t bother. That’s worse than not posting at all.

But please (please, please, please) — if you’re going to have a blog, commit to posting regularly and don’t make us wonder, “Whatever happened to Joe? Isn’t he writing anymore?”

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Category: Internet & Social Media Marketing
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The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

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What would happen if your revenues decreased by 44% in one year and looked like they would continue to fall in the next 12 months?

Or increased by 30% rapidly and because of an unpredictable series of events?

The recent downturn in the mortgage market reminds us how quickly things can go sour. Countrywide, a mortgage lender, reported this week that the number of mortgage applications have decreased 44%. While the real estate slump and sub-prime mortgage mess might have been predictable, businesses were too busy raking in the money to create a contingency plan.

Read the full article.

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Category: Business Strategy & Planning
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New "Biz Info Library" Available

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In a collaborative effort from several groups, including The James J. Hill Reference Library, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Edward Lowe Foundation, a new and free resource is now available to entrepreneurs:

Biz Info Library

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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