Archives for May 2006

Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway

The latest audio book I got from the library is Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. While I’ll be the first person to quickly dismiss so called “self help” books, I thought the overarching concept of this book was pretty good.

Essentially, people who are able to overcome their fears, whether it’s by simply ignoring them or by training themselves to think positively, are more likely to be successful in their endeavors.

The biggest point that I’ll take away from listening to this so many people prepare for the worst, and live in fear that the worst is going to happen. The problem is, 90% of the time, the worst doesn’t happen! Well, I guess that’s not really a problem, but you catch my drift.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a book to help give you some intertia to get off your butt and get things done, I’d recommend this one highly.

Your Marketing Sucks

Lately, in an effort to try and kill two birds with one stone, I have been listening to books on CD while driving to and from work. Your Marketing Sucks by Mark Stevens is the latest book I’ve listened to and it’s an absolute gem.

Stevens, who runs MSCO, Inc., provides a very straight forward and brunt synopsis of how most people attempt to market their business and, in the process, how most people screw up their marketing.

It’s not cheap to market your business or product, and Stevens gives plenty of ideas of how you can get the most bang for the buck.

The most important thing I took away from Your Marketing Sucks is how important it is to put together an all encompassing marketing plan. It’s not just enough to advertise via TV or radio commercials (as a side note, you also learn that marketing and advertising ARE NOT the same), but that you have to create an effective plan that uses all applicable forms of marketing for your company.

For example, you may write several press releases in the hopes of getting free marketing in a local newspaper. Once you have secured a story in the local paper, you go ahead and buy advertising space in the business section. This way, the press release will add validity to the advertisement; anybody can pay to advertise, but this business has an ad AND the paper wrote a story about them.

Essentially, it’s all about figure out what works together and will help you effective get your name and product out in front of the people most likely to become your customers.

After reading (or in my case, listening to) this book, the ultimate goal for your marketing plan is to get more than $1 in business for each $1 you spend in marketing. Sounds simple, but a lot of people forget the purpose of marketing is simply to help you make more money.

All in all, this is a great resource for someone who is trying to put together a marketing plan for their business or for someone who’s a marketing pro and just wants a different point of view.

The Art of War

For years I had heard about what a great read The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, was for anyone interested in running a business. For the longest time I resisted reading it, but this past week I finally picked up a copy at the library.

Needless to say, it was worth the read and lived up to the hype.

Essentially, The Art of War was written by Sun Tzu, a great Chinese military general from around 500 BC. When the book was written, obviously it was meant as study material for people in the military, not people in business. However, over time people began to realize that much of what Tzu was applying towards war was also applicable towards business.

For example, Tzu stresses the importance of proper planning. According to Tzu, if you knew yourself, knew your enemy and knew the lay of the land where you were fighting, you would know the outcome of every single battle even before you fought it.

Much is the same in business. If you properly plan your business, know it inside and out, know the competition inside and out and know your market, you should have a pretty good idea how well you’re going to do.

All things considered, this was a relatively quick read and should be a MUST READ for anyone who plans on running their own business.

Cheap Ways to Market Your Site, Part 17

Today’s tip is probably is probably more useful and relevant for someone who has a site that a product or products, but can also be implemented by someone who simply wants to create traffic.

Create and distribute coupons.

If you took a poll of 100 people and asked them if they would buy a product from a site they were fairly certain would save them money or from a site where they weren’t sure if they would save money, I’d be willing to bet at least 99 would choose the first site.

Let’s be honest here, EVERYBODY likes to save money, so finding a simple way to help potential customers save money is probably the easiest way to increase traffic. One of the easiest ways to help customers save money is through some type of coupon system.

Whether you mail or email the coupons out to potential customers is up to you (I would chose email because it’s free) but by simply getting a coupon in front of a potential customer, you are greatly increasing the chances they will visit your site.

So, what do you do if you don’t sell a product or service? You can just put a simple twist on the coupon idea and get the same results.

For example, a coupon may say something like, “buy one item, get the second half off.” For someone who doesn’t sell a product, you can create a mock coupon that says something like, “FREE gas saving tips at Daily Fuel Economy Tip.”

Everyone loves free items, and at the very least it will get someone to check out your site.

Awesome Blog Marketing

First off, just wanted to apologize for not posting yesterday. Something came up and I wasn’t able to make it home until late. Needless to say, it was a less than great afternoon.

Anyway, that being said, I do have a couple of cool resources for you if you want to try and promote your blog.

In case you weren’t aware, I recently started Daily Fuel Economy Tip and it’s now up to about 1,200 unique hits each day. I directly correlate the spike in the number of hits to my daily submission to the following two sites:


Both of these sites are places where people can submit and read blog articles.

I haven’t submitted The New Business Blog to either of these sites yet, but seeing the success that Daily Fuel Economy Tip has seen from those two sites, I think I’m going to start. You probably should, too.

Cheap Ways to Market Your Site – Part 16

The good thing about today’s tip is you can spend as much money as you want. The bad thing about today’s tip is you may ultimately have to spend a lot of money for it to be effective.

Try a Pay-Per-Click marketing campaign.

Essentially in a Pay-Per-Click marketing campaign, you create an account with a search engine (probably Google or Yahoo!) and you bid on specific keywords for your site. When someone types in one of these keywords, your site will be at the top of the search results, usually highlighted in the “sponsored links” category.

The nice thing about Pay-Per-Click marketing is it really narrows in on your target market; you’re not advertising to the whole world, just the people that want to search your particular keyword(s).

Unfortunately though, you do have to pay the amount you bid each time somebody clicks on your link.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say I want to bid on “business blog” with Google’s PPC program. I create an account and I see how much the highest bid on “business blog” currently is. Let’s say the bid is $.25 per click. I would go in and out bid that amount ($.30) to ensure The New Business Blog was the first site listed.

Now, whenever anyone searches the term “business blog” The New Business Blog would be the first site to be listed. Now, whenever anyone clicks on my link, my account with Google is debited by $.30.

When you create your account and bid on your keyword(s), you set a spending limit so that once you’ve reached the amount of clicks to bring your account balance to $0, you will no longer be ranked first.

There is a lot of work that goes into researching which keywords to bid on, how much to bid, what keyword description you should use, etc. So, if you’re serious about starting a PPC campaign, I would recommend doing a lot of homework.