Archives for April 2006

Google AdSense is the Greatest Thing Ever

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

I’ll be the first to admit, I was wrong to resist the power of Google. I never had any intention of including Google AdSense on The New Business Blog. I really didn’t.

I also didn’t know how much I would come to enjoy blogging and how my longing to be a writer, mixed with all of my interests, could all be taken care of by by simply starting many, many different blogs.

Unfortunately, I also didn’t know how expensive it would all turn out to be.

I figure, with my latest round of domain names and hosting plans, I’ve spent probably over $100 on items dealing with blogs. Thankfully, is still free, otherwise we could be talking about even more money.

Anyway, back to the point.

Google AdSense has given me a quick and easy way to try and earn some of that money back.

By simply placing a couple of AdSense banners around my various sites, I’m setting myself up to make enough money to hopefully cover the cost of hosting and maintaining my sites.

I don’t really have any grand illusions of being one of those people that make $10,000 per month from their sites (to be honest, I don’t know if those people really exist, but I’ll let you know if I become one, trust me). A couple of bucks never hurt though.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is if you’ve had any reluctance to add Google AdSense to your site or blog, get over it. It’s easy and as long as you get some traffic that pokes around and clicks on the ads, you’ll make a couple of bucks, too.

Not a bad deal for essentially doing nothing, huh?

Cheap Ways to Market Your Site, Part 6

Sometimes there’s only so much that you can do on your own to promote your site or your business.

When you’re starting a business or a site, most of the word of mouth (the easiest way to grow) is going to come directly from you, if only because you’re the only one that really knows about the business or site to begin with.

Once other people find out about the site though, you need to get them to do your work and pass on the site to everyone else.

Tell people to tell others

What I mean by that is remind people to spread the word about your site.

For example, if you collect email addresses on your website (which you should be doing anyway) every day, week or month (depending on your content) send out an “exclusive” email to the people who’ve submitted their email addresses to you. This could be a tip of the day, thought of the week or an article you can only read by email.

At the end of the email, write another statement that simply says, “Did you like this tip/thought/article? I bet you know three people that would benefit from it as well. Please pass this email on to them!” and have your site’s URL directly under the paragraph.

Even if only 10% of the people who received your original email follow through and forward your email, you’re going to increase the number of visits to your site or business by a couple of people each day, which will lead to more customers and ultimately more money for you.

Cheap Ways to Market Your Site, Part 5

Why should people visit your site as opposed to another one?

Probably because you do something better than anyone else or, at the very least, you put a fresh perspective on a relatively generic topic.

Be bold. Promote your uniqueness.

If you’re site is the same as everyone else’s, what’s the incentive for people to come to yours? There isn’t any.

But, if you make your site different, if you put a new perspective on a topic or you are bold with your ideas, people are going to take notice and continue to come back for more.

Don’t try to write the way you think people want you to. You’ll just end up coming across as insincere and phony.

Granted, this is going to vary regarding what sort of site you have. If you have a blog, you can get away with being a little more controversial than if you were running a book store. Not to say that you couldn’t find ways to be creative and “out there” while running a book store, but I don’t think you’d have the same amount of freedom as someone who was trying to promote their blog.

Write in your own voice and bring your own bold perspective and I think you’ll be surprised at how much this will help you promote your site.

Cheap Ways to Market Your Site, Part 4

You can file this tip under the obvious department, but to be honest, I don’t know how many people are actually doing it.

Cross promote your site!

What I mean by this is when you see another site or blog that you like, send an email to the person that runs the site and let them know you like their work and you’d like to link to their webpage.

You should also let them know that they should check out your site and if they like what they see, they should feel free to go ahead and include a backlink to your site on their webpage.

Here’s where my advice will differ from most people’s; don’t just try to promote your site on similar sites, but branch out to other sites that are seemingly unrelated.

I’ll explain. If you were to ask me what my interests are, I would tell you in no particular order sports, business, music and movies. I would imagine that I’m not the only person in the world with multiple interests.

Should you concentrate your cross promotion with similar sites? Yeah, that would probably be a good idea. But at the same time, don’t limit yourself. If you read a movie blog that you really like, but you have a business blog, go ahead and try to cross promote anyway.

As long as you have good content, it doesn’t matter how somebody finds your site!

Cheap Ways to Market Your Site, Part 3

For a lot of people, this is going to be the hardest way to market their business or site, I know it was for me. But, you have to overcome your fears because this is probably the best way to market your site.

Run your mouth!

By nature, I’m a very shy and reserved person, so even after I started The New Business Blog and In My Memories I was reluctant to talk about them. I always felt that if I brought my sites up I would be imposing and would end up jamming it down the throat of the person I was talking to.

Then I realized, this is the stuff I should be talking about because it’s what I’m passionate about.

Not only will you feel good talking about your business or site, but that passion is going to rub off on the person you’re talking to and it’s going to make them that much more interested in what it is you’re doing.

If you don’t toot your own horn, nobody’s going to do it for you!

Search Engine Optimization Update

This morning I checked my search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo! and MSN and was pleasantly surprised.

My rankings really haven’t changed much in Google and Yahoo!, my business blog still isn’t coming up in the major keyword searches. The New Business Blog is still coming up mostly only if you add “Brian Carr” to the keyword (ex. “business blog brian carr”).

But, when I went to MSN, I typed in “new business blog” and The New Business Blog came up number three in the search!

Then, I tried “starting a business blog” and The New Business Blog came up on the bottom of the first page.

Now that may not seem like a lot, but I think that means that the things I have done regarding search engine optimization have started to pay off!

Cheap Ways to Market Your Site, Part 2

You and I both know that when you start a business, a website or even a blog, you aren’t going to have much of a life for the foreseeable future. You probably won’t even have time to do much laundry.

That’s okay, because you really only need two or three shirts.

Get a shirt (or two) that has your company name and URL on the front and back and wear it everywhere you go!

Okay, well maybe not everywhere, but anywhere it would be considered appropriate (the mall, grocery shopping, the movies, etc.), wear that shirt!

Think of all the people you interact with on any given day, or even the number of people you just walk by. It’s probably hundreds of people per day. Even if only 2% of the people that see your shirt visit your site, that’s an extra 4 or 5 unique hits each day. That adds up.

You have to wear clothes as it is, so you may as well make them useful in advertising your business or your site.

To get a couple of simple shirts made should cost you less than $15 or $20, or you could probably even do it yourself for even less money.

Better yet, get a couple more made and pass them out to your friends and ask them to wear a shirt out every once in a while.

You should be proud of the work that you’re putting into starting your business or website, so why not show it off?

Cheap Ways to Market Your Site, Part 1

I figured it was time to add some more substance to my blogs; less about me and more about you.

On that note, I’ve put together a 6 part blog on cheap (and creative) ways to market your website or blog. Here goes the first one:

Add your URL to the signature of every one of your email accounts!

How many emails do you send each day? 10? 20? 100? By adding your website’s URL to the signature of each of your emails, that gives you that many more opportunities to remind people to check out your site.

Granted, it may not generate the most amount of UNIQUE traffic, but it will remind everyone you email to visit the site. However, in a round about way, it may generate unique traffic through word of mouth or even by your friends forwarding on your email to their friends.

Best of all, it’s free and it takes about 5 seconds to do.

To give you a real example, when I started The New Business Blog, I wasn’t getting as much traffic as I had hoped. I was averaging about 25 hits per day, which by most standards is pretty low. So, in order to help get the word out, I added to the signature line of each of my email accounts.

Slowly but surely, I began to notice that each day I was getting a couple of more hits to the site.

While adding the signature line to my outgoing emails wasn’t the only thing that helped to increase traffic, I know that it accounted for at least a couple more hits.

Now, go take 5 seconds out of your busy life and add your website to the signature line of all of your email accounts.

You Win Some, You Lose Some

If I was a Mets fan, I’d be thrilled. 7 to 1 is a pretty good win.

Too bad I’m a Nationals fan.

I take that back, it’s not too bad that I’m a Nats fan, it’s actually a great thing. It’s nice to finally have a hometown baseball team.

All things considered I don’t have much to complain about; it was a nice day for a baseball game (sunny and warm) and I got to go to the game with my dad.

Oh well, I guess there’s always next year’s home opener.

Let’s Go Nats!

Tomorrow I’m going to take a break from everything. No waking up early and going to work, no coming home and working on In My Memories and probably not even posting to my business blog.

Tomorrow I’m taking the day off from everything to go to the Nationals’ home opener!

I went to the Nats’ first home game last year and it was absolutely awesome. I had never been at any of the big Redskins’ games at RFK, but I can imagine they were much like the Nats’ home opener. I’m going to miss that stadium when the team moves to their new stadium.

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow the weather will be nice and the Nats will get a win.