Archive for September, 2009

Ten Free Tools to Manage Your Internet Marketing

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Everyone needs a little help with implementing and tracking their internet marketing endeavors.

Here are 10 tools that will make it easier. I use these every day, so I can vouch for their effectiveness:

  1. Google Analytics — If you don’t track the results of your marketing, you might as well not be marketing at all. Google Analytics gives you a great overview of your site’s statistics plus some very nitty-gritty details that help you track internet marketing campaigns.

  2. XML Sitemap Generator — If you want good search engine rankings, Google likes it if you have an XML sitemap on your site. You don’t have to worry about what XML is, just use this generator and it will create the XML file for your site (up to 500 pages per site).

  3. BrowserShots — Are you aware that your site looks completely different on some browsers? Use this browser compatibility tool to see how your site looks in Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. For some real comparisons, check older versions with newer ones (like IE6 versus IE8). Why check older versions? Because 20 percent of people have IE6 loaded on their computer, even though it was created in 2001 and is not fully CSS compliant. Better safe than sorry.

  4. Google Keyword Tool — Want to know which keywords are popular and what people are searching for via Google’s search engine? This tool allows you to do some great market research.

  5. Alexa.com — Alexa allows you to see the traffic rank for your site and your competitor’s sites. When you enter the Alexa site, click on the Site Info link at the top.

  6. Compete.com – Compete also allows you to see ranking information about your site and your competition. Use Alexa and Compete together to get a fuller picture.

  7. SurveyMonkey — If you’ve been looking for an easy way to do market research, SurveyMonkey is the tool for you. It allows you to do online surveys, and I also use it for course evaluations and brainstorming in my mastermind groups.

  8. Search Engine Spider Simulator — Want to know how the search engines really see your site? Are they picking up all your keywords? Use a search engine spider simulator and see for yourself if your site is search engine friendly or not.

  9. WordPress — You can host your blog for free on WordPress.com or use their free software on your own domain via WordPress.org (note the different domain names…WordPress has two of them).

  10. SpamCheck — There’s nothing worse than sending an email that gets caught in filters and never reaches the recipients. This tool will show you which parts of your email text will trigger a filter.

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Category: Internet & Social Media Marketing

Stephen Covey on Reaching Your Goals

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSVCI5n-Cp0

 

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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Sometimes I’m Such a Fool

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Lesson Learned: Don’t be pig-headed and do something yourself when someone else can do it better and faster.

I had a near-distaster on Saturday and spent the good part of 8 hours doing something I hated. Let me explain:

Earlier this Spring, we re-painted the living room. This led to a whole discussion on decorating, which I abhore. I really, really hate decorating. I don’t like choosing colors (I always seem to get the wrong ones!), I hate matching fabrics, I hate hanging drapery. So the living room stayed half-done until this past Saturday, when I pledged to finally hang the window treatments, seeing as I had the rods, drapes, etc. sitting in my office for the past 3 months.

I’m the kind of person who likes to get things done. This is a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I’ll plow through a project with all the finesse of a bull in a china shop. My father-in-law calls this “brute force and bloody ignorance.” Too true!

After struggling with measurements, a drill whose batteries wouldn’t recharge, two trips to the hardware store, and several “frustration breakdowns,” the drapes were up.  How long did it take?  EIGHT HOURS!

So stupid. So stupid. So stupid.

Here’s why: not only do I hate this kind of project, but I have a sister who LOVES this kind of project. We have a barter deal…I designed and maintain her website, she handles all my decorating needs.

But could I wait a month for her next visit? Nooooooo. I had to get the drapes up TODAY.

I’m reminded that this is a good lesson for all small business owners. Are there some business tasks that you really hate to do, or that you’re not good at (and don’t want to waste the time learning)? Stop killing yourself trying to do it all alone. The frustration and time wasted are not worth it.

Find someone who loves to do what you hate, and pay them to take the task off your plate. It will free up your time for other money-making and business-building projects you enjoy. Your business should bring you happiness as well as an income.

P.S. The drapes look great.

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business

My New Definition of Success – Alice from The Brady Bunch

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Success doesn’t mean the same thing to me today as it meant 10 years ago.

I don’t want a fancier house or a fancier car. I don’t want scads of jewelry. I don’t want to collect gold fountain pens. I’ve already been to 42 out of 50 states, been to Paris twice, and to England 37 times (my husband is British, so we visit often, both for business and for pleasure.)

So what would show me I’m successful? A housekeeper.

Not a cleaning lady (we have one already), but a real, old-fashioned housekeeper, like the Alice character from The Brady Bunch.

Someone who makes all the meals (with fresh, organic products, of course!), does the cleaning, the shopping, the errands. Someone who makes the vet appointments and takes the car for inspection. Someone who reminds me that people’s birthdays are coming up and makes a killer lemon meringue pie. Does all the laundry — including putting it away — and has a personal relationship with an ironing board.

NOW I have a new image to for my Vision Board!

🙂

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business