Sunday, August 15, 2010

Promotion Results - It's All in the Numbers with Entrecard

Many small businesses just don't have the money for extensive promotion. Promotion results are all in the numbers and you can get a lot for your time with online promotions and is why you need to be online.

Because of my marketing background, I love to experiment with opportunities online for promotion and branding - just curiosity to see what works. There are a couple of blog posts with such experiments on my marketing blog for artsist and crafters, IndieCEO.

I have been utilizing Entrecard for promotional opportunities for over a year now and have found that I like the experience.

Entrecard is a way to advertise your blog to gain readers and boost traffic by adding an Entrecard box to your own blog. This MarketYourWorld blog does not yet have enough posts to apply (but will!) - your blog will need 30 quality posts to be approved.

As an example, you can see IndieCEO's Entrecard box in the right column. That is where people will "drop" their cards or have their requested/approved advertising show. It is funny....I liken this to the old victorian "calling card" that one would stick in the door when a visit found no one home. We are basically handing out business cards, but with the added feature of gaining traffic to our blog!

Entrecard has its own internal economy system. No cash payments are needed so you can get started only with a little or as much time as you want to invest. The more time, the more benefit to you.

You earn credits by dropping your card on other blogs and can purchase advertising with those credits by selecting the Entrecard participant blogs where you want your ad to show. I was able to earn enough credits when I first signed up to actually advertise on others' blogs right then and there.

There is a system to receive advertising on your blog's Entrecard box, whereby others "purchase" advertising space.. You can approve each one or choose to have an automatic approval. I prefer to approve each one because the content and look of ads on my blogs are very important to my brand.

After a year, here are the Pros and Cons of Entrecard that I have found:

  • Free advertising that costs no money - just time and thought.
  • Fun and networking - there are a variety of categories for anyone to surf through - I have found very interesting blogs and begun to see favorites and tend to comment there and receive comments back
  • A way to gain blog readers
  • A way to boost blog traffic
  • A way to gain followers to your blog
  • A way to have your blog promos seen, like your service/product link, twitter link, Facebook, or Linkedin - anything you are sharing on your blog
  • When unable to keep up with posting on my blogs, Entrecard loyal friends click and keep traffic going
  • Most traffic is just that - traffic - and not specifically readers
  • Many will "hit and run" by going to your blog, dropping a card to get credits, and zoom out of the blog
  • It takes time - whether little or a lot is up to you
  • You must participate consistently to gain benefit
So what are your expecations and goal for Entrecard on your blog? For me it is traffic. I don't mind the ones who "hit and run" because it boosts traffic numbers. I also have ProjectWonderful ads on my blogs and the Entrecard traffic boosts the bids on the ad boxes.

In future posts, I will discuss some strategies that I found useful with Entrecard. If you want to try it, click here for Entrecard!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Small Business Marketing - Online Presence is Essential!

Small businesses have significant challenges in 2010 and 2011 as the political atmosphere changes, new policies and legislation are put into place, and the economy waffles.

More and more, small businesses seek cost-effective ways to "get the message out there." With the advent of online social media, blogs, and instant messaging, businesses need to be in the game. Period. It is free, prolific, and if we play our cards right - effective.

One of the first things I suggest to clients is to dive into social media. Many don't get it. Even if they cannot commit to a "Social Media Coordinator," a presence online is expected for businesses. Consumers and clients want to find you quickly, easily, and at their convenience. We will look on Twitter and Facebook for you. If not you, then we will find someone else. If your business is not represented online, it can be viewed as “old school” and that perception can reflect upon your services or products.

At a minimum, it is suggested that a small business should explore these online options:
Develop a plan for each of these. What are your objectives? What do you expect to get out of the time and effort? A plan for the basics can include:
  • Your branding (titles, user names, etc...)
  • Your design look (matching your logo, marketing materials, web site?)
  • Your voice (friendly chat? industry knowledge? promotional? all?)
  • Your message (coordinates with all your marketing messages in brochures, ads, website, etc...)
In addition, a company e-policy is important so your staff knows the company information and activities that you approve. Is it just you? You still need this plan. A company e-policy can include:
  • Blog guidelines
  • Video policies
  • Social networking guidelines
  • Email and messaging policies
  • Confidentiality requirements
There are many valuable social networks and online methods to promote. The important take-way is to start something, even if it is small.

Marketing these days takes a village, a network, cheerleaders, opportunities, friendships. ingenuity, creativity, consistency, and focus. Use your time wisely. Guard your dollars. Be successful!

Be sure to read my IndieCEO marketing blog about online marketing for the artist/crafter community.
For fun reading, see GalleriaLinda's jewelry blog...

17 Ways to Get Readers to Your Blog - Eyeballs are Everything!!

It can be discouraging to put your heart and soul into starting a blog with shiny new content, only to find that it has been viewed by three people and two of them are you! There are many avenues to generating traffic to your blog. Here are a few for you to start.

  1. Use Twitter to announce your blog post. You can schedule a few tweets about it, spacing them out over a couple of days. is a great utility to do that.
  2. Post your blog entries on your Facebook page - both personal page and business page. You can schedule automatic postings to both Twitter and Facebook with Twitterfeed.
  3. Find blog or online business directories for your industry and join. Most have basic listings that are free.
  4. Join social and professional networking sites relative to your industry. They will always provide opportunities for you to post your blog.
  5. Join blog rings - do a search on Google and see how they work.
  6. Put your blog URL in your email signature to everyone.
  7. Start a business/store e-newsletter and always add your blog.
  8. Join forums specific to your industry to network with others and always put your blog URL in your signature and profiles.
  9. Every place that you join has a profile – photo sites, social networking, professional networking, directories, etc. Don't forget your blog URL.
  10. Give-away something small of value on your blog and use those who leave comments as your drawing base - promote this give-away on your forums, boards, and e-newsletter.
  11. If you purchase online advertising, be sure to add your blog URL.
  12. Volunteer for industry calls for a variety of things, such as designing a page for a calendar, give-aways, or co-promotions. Always include your blog URL.
  13. Your blog URL should always be on your business cards.
  14. Do you have business brochures? Add your blog URL.
  15. Promote your blog on your own web site.
  16. Ask other web site owners that you know to post your blog on their web site and you do the same for theirs.
  17. If you qualify, take advantage of blog owners who put out calls for features. Often blog owners will ask for interested parties in forums and on boards.
This is not an exhaustive list but is a list of things you can do NOW. Remember, a journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. Make this your first step to your online future!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

9 Strategies for Writing Smashing Classified Ads

Want to hit a bulls-eye with your classified ads? Or, have you even looked into classified ads for your products or services?

There are many opportunities for free or very inexpensive classified ads, both online and offline.

Offline, you will find many “shopper” type publications that are free to the public and many offer free or very inexpensive classifieds.

If you look into stronger publications where your product belongs, ¼ page and ½ page ads are way too expensive. Check out their classified ad section. Many publications have them and they are much less expensive.

Then, you will find several of the many free classified ads online, such as and at your service.

All of these media applications require that you write a smashing ad. Many of us just clam up when given a pencil and paper. To take the mystery out of "writing," you can benefit from these tips for writing your first ads!

The only thing to remember specifically with online ad writing is to be sure to use as many of your key words as you can in the ad. We want that little webby crawler to catch them all!

9 Strategies for Writing Smashing Classified Ads

  1. RESEARCH: find ads for products and services similar to yours. Make lists of key words for these products or services and key words for feelings and senses. Note what you don’t like. Note what peaks your interest - this is probably the most important task of the whole process
  2. FIRST LINE HOOK: get attention, start strong about your service or product – be bold -consider this a blaring headline

  3. FIRST 10 WORDS: present the TOP benefits - one or two only and use only the strongest selling points

  4. ADD WARM FUZZIES: describe with potential emotions and senses (how will the customer feel using your product, what will they see, smell, hear, etc…)
  5. BE GENERIC IN WRITING STYLE: don't use industry buzz words or abbreviations; write for everyday people
  6. WRITE SIMPLY: write so a 3rd-grader will understand
  7. JUST THE FACTS: add the details to the description and be absolutely accurate and complete in your descriptions – add price
  8. CONTACT METHODS: name, telephone number, e-mail address, and web site
  9. CALL TO ACTION: nudge the reader to contact you NOW!

Want another tip? The more you write, the better you will feel about what you have written.

Don't give up because your first couple of ads are not written as well as you would like. With free online classifieds, you have a sandbox to play in relative to ad writing! Best of luck!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Blog Interviews: A Great Way to be Seen

One of my tips for getting blog readers to your blog is to pursue being featured in the blogs of others.

This could be a collaborative effort, such as "I feature you and you feature me," or it could be a response by you to the many calls for blog content in your forums or boards, or it could be that a blogger notices you and writes about you. Any way is a good way. Just do it.

Recently, Dancing Monkey Jewelry owner, Martha, was looking for artists for her "Artist of the Week" feature. Not one to let moss grow under her feet when it comes to free promotion for my handcrafted jewelry business (GalleriaLinda), I accepted and Martha and I had a great time working on this interview.

Now you can see how it works!

Read my interview on Martha's blog, Dancing Monkey Chronicles, and read about other artists that she reviews.

Martha (aka Dancing Monkey Jewelry) writes fabulous "Artist of the Week" interviews about the great handcrafted items that artists make. Martha has a special eye for sleek designs that delight and is a jewelry artist in her own right.

Then, Edward and Lilly's blog picks up on Dancing Monkey's articles and mentions my business name too. And so on...and so on.... What will tomorrow bring from this article? We will see!

See the recipircal links I provide back to these blogs too? I linked my interview to my web site, Facebook,,, WebJam, and will soon put it on LinkedIn, and Flickr.

This is really a great way to get your services or products seen.

Leave a comment on this blog if this tactic has worked for you! Tell us how you got your blog interview or feature.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Blogging: Quick and Easy!

BT1042 I don't know what to write......*help!*

Is this YOU? Help is here! With all content development, writing style is king.

We write differently for press releases, for company brochures, for product sheets, for client proposals, for bank requests, for grant submissions, for award nominations, for advertising, and for blogs. Then, comes in the industry writing styles. Content for industries, such as banking, entertainment, technical, crafting, and others are very different from each other. Same type of content, same type of subject, but a different writing style.

Here is an idea!! Dig out one of EVERY marketing asset you have. That includes printed materials, brochures, business cards, client proposals, biographies, company histories, web site content, even audio content if you have scripts for TV ads and radio. This is your goldmine that can fuel your blog posts for a long time!

Pick through them like you are looking for that lost needle in a haystack. Find tiny aspects that can be re-purposed and expanded with glorious and exciting information.

Check out these resources: Small Business Information Business Blog FAQ

The KEY is to keep it an interesting, but short, conversation that will engage your readers!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Blogging: Free Marketing for You


Do you hunt for free marketing treasure like I do? Looking for free marketing opportunities is well worth the time. I hate to say it (because you are thinking you cannot do this) but a professional blog is one of the easiest and most valuable assets you could have in your marketing treasure chest. With the right process and content, you can point clients, prospects, professional peers, and others to really find out what you are all about and what you do.

There are many free blog sites, such as Blogger and Wordpress for you to join - just do a Google search. say...I can't write, I don't write, I have no time to write. Then, I have to mess around with figuring out the blog templates and process.

Me too! I find that writing posts for my blogs are often pushed aside and I never "get to it." One of the road blocks is the process of having to go on the Internet to my blog site, sign in, and use the template. The template sometimes goes goofy on me and I have to redo my work, then once posted I have to edit again and again to get it tweaked. It gets frustrating!

Maybe this will help me and perhaps you!! I discovered Windows Live Writer. You can write your posts offline and use it like any other software on your own computer. No glitches and no slow Internet connections. The choice to publish immediately or to schedule your post is very useful.

This is my first post offline for this blog and to be published through Windows Live Writer! Tell me how it looks!

In the next few posts we will work through how you can use your existing content for your blog and how to market your blog online. Stay tuned!