Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Tag: websites (page 1 of 3)

Opportunities Abound During Tough Economic Times

Contrarian view? Absolutely not. The best time to strike is when your competitors are off guard. While they gather in their conference rooms to complain about the economy, use this golden opportunity to reach out to your existing customers and find new prospects.

Far too many business owners absolutely take the wrong approach. They hunker down, cut marketing budgets and pull back. The end result is "unattended customers" and less competition for you. Businesses that cut marketing budgets also demotivate their best salespeople, which start spending more time thinking about getting a new job than a new customer.

Economic downturns are an excellent time to strengthen your relationships with both your existing customers and your competitors' customers. Odds are, they are not as busy. Are they willing to spend a little more time with you? Very possible so get in touch with them and consider the following:

  • Collect testimonials: Asking for a testimonial is a contact with your customer that's not a sales call. Tell them you would like to promote the testimonial and link it to their website, which will promote them as well. Use the opportunity to show your customers you value their opinion, your business relationship, and their business (i.e., dynamic websites, blogs, Scribd, PR news, etc.);
  • Survey your customers: Create an opportunity to collect feedback and discuss services and/or products you offer that they may not be fully aware of or completely understand (i.e., email marketing, custom website landing pages, etc.);
  • Network: Introduce your customers to people in your network that they consider prospects and ask to meet their business colleagues and associates – an excellent source of referrals (i.e., LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook, etc.), and
  • Use your "consulting" skills: Help your customers and prospects save time and money by providing pertinent industry news and educational materials that will help them compete during these difficult times (i.e., email newsletters, white papers and custom publications all have high ROIs).

But don't be fooled. There is also new competition for you – competition from << Continued on digital AIM >>

[Please note we have updated our marketing news website. To receive future updates including our 2009 Marketing Plan series, add your info here | digital AIM – Email.]

Blogging Tips, AIM Custom Media Weekly Update

Those that invest years of their time gaining experience in a particular field review a vast amount of information. Translating the information into knowledge requires the skills of organization, prioritization, and collaboration. From those with both the experience and the skills, you can acquire wisdom.

Blogging Tips
After blogging for several years now, I find the greatest value, and wisdom, comes from bloggers that express their point of view based on their personal knowledge and experience; before they send readers off to another website via a link. When you post a link on your blog, tell your readers why you recommend the link and add your own unique content. The end result creates value for your readers as you foster a relationship with them.

Did you ever wonder where the term “weblog” came from? A guy named Jorn Barger coined the term in December 1997. And yes, he has many years of experience on the web. Barger is a philosophical guy and his advice can be somewhat esoteric but he does share his wisdom. Here are a few of his blogging tips that I like from a brief article published at Wired.com:

1. Re-post your favorite links from time to time for people who missed them the first time. Here are a few of my favorites: Continue reading

Blogging for Dollars and New Business

Not many know it but, content management systems (CMS) are replacing websites and savvy website developers are using certain blog functions as both management and marketing tools. And, as we discuss frequently with business owners, CMS-driven websites are hands down one of the most cost-effective online marketing tools. In fact, many small business owners are generating enough revenue from their blogs that their "blog" is now their "business" (these fortunate few no longer have real jobs). How did they do this? Several ways but first let's take a look at a few blogging facts.

Citation from the Wall Street Journal,
New Services Help Bloggers Bring in Ad Revenue
by Kelly Spors:

If you're not making money off your blog, 2008 might be the year.

As more people see potential in earning money off the Internet, there is a quickly expanding array of advertising services and tools for bloggers that go well beyond the standard pay-per-click [PPC] text ads or display ads.

Many of the most widely used programs are adding features to allow users to customize the appearance and placement of ads on their sites. Some also are introducing newer money-making mediums such as audio and video. . . [You can read the full WSJ article here.]

What the WSJ article doesn't tell you is "all of the story." For example, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.com explains how difficult it was to build his business; and a little luck didn't hurt as he discusses here. I personally discovered Darren's blog well over a year ago. He does an excellent job but he admits his success is an anomaly. Let's face it, most business owners are not interested in becoming professional bloggers. However, this doesn't mean they can't use blog technology to market online, lower their annual website costs and improve their ROI. That's the real story but first let's get back to our discussion concerning how to generate blog revenue. Continue reading

Tutorial for Enhancing Local Search Results SEO

This article covers simple online marketing strategies you can use to improve your ranking for local search results (SEO). So, how do you let everyone know you're in town?

Local Search Marketing Strategies and SEO Tips

Before you start bidding on keywords and throw money at PPC (pay per click) marketing, consider using simple "organic SEO" online marketing strategies to improve your local SEO results. Whether your revenue comes from business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), increasing your local search ranking will benefit your business.

First and foremost, create an SEO friendly website. The first step you can take to improve your local – as well as your overall search engine results – is make sure your website is search engine friendly. Make it easy for search engines to identify your business location and your keywords by following this short-list of SEO tips for local search:

  • Prominently display your business name and address as text on both the top of the page and in the footer. In the header, it helps if you use an "H1" tag that includes your address. Avoid placing your address and keywords in image files given they can be hidden from the search engines. Also, it is difficult for your site visitors to capture your address and phone number for future reference when it is embedded in an image. Continue reading

Catalog Choice Stop the Mail

Catalog Choice is a new not-for-profit operation that lets you opt out of unsolicited mailings on a catalog-by-catalog basis. Visit the website and let them know which catalogs you do or don't want. The company will contact the advertisers sending out the catalogs for you.

This is a great method to improve target marketing for advertisers and a great way for you to save a few trees – not to mention landfill space. Visit Catalog Choice here.

Hat's off to Tech Crunch for spreading the word. 

Website Income – Free $25 from Auction Ads

If you are looking for income for your website, check out this offer from AuctionAds. They are offering $25 to new accounts and, in some cases, existing accounts. Here's their promo: 

AuctionAds Publishers,

We have a great way for you to promote AuctionAds and earn 5% affiliate referrals. Spread the word (use this link AuctionAds) that we are offering an instant $25.00 balance to all new publishers who sign up for AuctionAds! New publishers just need to sign up and they will receive a balance of $25.00 automatically.

Please note if you signed up with us previously and have never earned a payout we will bump your current balance to $25 too! Our minimum payout is also being raised to $50 but everyone who hasn’t earned a payout to date will be halfway there already! By publicizing this promotion on your blog using your affiliate link you can take advantage of receiving 5% of all revenue generated by new AA publishers you refer for a full six months. Thanks again and look for more AA news soon.

Can't beat the offer if you're interested in getting paid immediately just for signing up. We use AuctionAds to generate income for some of our client's blogs and websites. We also use Text Link Ads, which consistently generates more income than Google.

Top 10 Firefox Add-ons, Updated

We created a Top 10 Firefox Add-ons list based on the review of more than a dozen lists published by colleagues, friends, and website pros. Given the length of the content, we created a separate page for you. And, you will also find links to lists published by others for Firefox add-ons, plug-ins, and Firefox extensions. Here's the link to the full-page:

Choosing the best Firefox add-ons is becoming a personal preference given there are thousands available. Try a few of the add-ons and stick with the ones that enhance your surfing experience.

If you're not using Firefox as your web browser, you should. Most pro bloggers and website developers use it because of the enhanced features it offers. To download your free copy of Firefox go to this link.

[PLEASE NOTE: The info is published on a separate page because the content is too long for a blog post here. Please comment here if you would like to recommend an add-on of your own.]

2007 Marketing Wisdom Report Released

VIRGINIA, Jan. 9, 2007 – AIM Custom Media | PR News –  The 2007 Marketing Wisdom Report has been released by our friends at the MarketingSherpa. The marketing report features 110 real-life stories and tips from marketers.

Read the report to learn about improving your e-newsletters, marketing campaigns, online content, websites, and blogs. You can view and save the report by following this link: MarketingSherpa Marketing Wisdom Report – Free PDF File

Hundreds of MarketingSherpa readers contributed their stories and quotes for this fifth Annual Report. According to the MarketingSherpa, the editorial team had to winnow the stories down to the "best" submissions. There are numerous ideas and examples for your 2007 marketing campaigns.

Social Meter – Is Your Site Popular? Enter Your URL and Find Out

So you know your site is popular, but you would like some proof. Social meter scans the major social websites to analyze a webpage’s social popularity. Currently they scan Bloglines, Del.icio.us, Digg, Google, Rojo, Shadows,Technorati and Yahoo My Web: social meter

[tags] social meter, popular sites, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Crazy Egg Launched – Powerful New Blog Tool Tracks Visitors

Ever wonder what your website visitors are doing on your site? Where they click and how frequently? Now you can find out thanks to the release of Crazyegg.com Crazyegg is a new free tool that lets you analyse where visitors on your website click. The site features several tracking tools including a "Heat Map" overlay for your site. You bet this is a powerful tool that can be used to improve the layout and navigation on any website. They released a "free" service; however, a more robust tool can be purchased for a nominal fee. The site is well laided out (I'm sure they tested it) and the programming is top notch. I already created an account to track my AMG Mercedes-Benz Blog. Crazy Egg – Website Crazy Egg – Blog My guess is this service is here to stay and it will do well quickly. [tags] Crazyegg.com, visitor tracking, blog tools, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Script for Printer Friendly Website Pages

Need a "printer friendly" script so your blog or website visitors can print out pages from your site? Here are a few places to find the info you are seeking:

Hat tip to Mike Baker for providing the info: Mike's Web Solutions: A Simple Script for Printing Website Pages

Are Corporate Blogs A Waste of Time for Upper Management?

Telling your boss he or she needs a blog could get you fired. A generic blog with generic comments by your CEO and/or your upper management team does not produce significant returns for the time invested. More to the point, it is likely a waste of their time. We all know it, but thousands of blogs like this exist. Why?

Corporate management has been told they need to blog to connect with customers, prospects, vendors and associates. This is good advice for CEOs and managers that are excellent bloggers with plenty of time on their hands. Slim chance you work for one of these people.

So how should corporations more effectively use a blog?

PR Blogging Machine
Add your blog as a link on your corporate website, but you don’t necessarily need to call it a blog. There is no need nor many compelling reasons to have a stand alone blog. Your blog should look and feel just like any other page on your website, except the content is now going to be fresh, relevant and informative to your target market. Use the “News” link on your website and turn that stale, outdated content into a well-oiled, PR blogging machine.

Limit the posting rights to your marketing/PR department. Publish at least 2-3 posts per week; not an overbearing workload. Write press releases and relevant industry news that includes quotes and comments from the CEO and upper management. This will minimize their time involved while maximizing their exposure both internally and externally – everybody wins.

Pros: it is easy for your IT Department to set up and little (if any) developer time is required to keep the “News” page updated. Search engines will love the fresh content and your website SEO results will improve. Also, your website visitors can comment, you can promote the site in your newsletters and marketing materials, and your customers have a compelling reason to bookmark your website.

Get Your Human Resources Department Involved
With little effort, your human resources department can post job openings on the “News” page after you convert it to a blog format. A separate HR page, or multiple pages for each job opening, can easily be included and updated by your HR Department. Consider creating an RSS feed so potential candidates can check your job openings from their desktop without the need to re-visit your website for updates.

Marketing Department Announcements
Again, with little effort you can also include an “Events” section on your “News” page once it is converted to a blog. Exhibiting at a trade show next month? Is your management team involved in any seminars, webinars, webcasts, or other marketing events? Using a blog to promote your corporate events is effective and the content improves your SEO results.

There are many ways to view blogs. When you realize blogs are software tools as much as anything else, their uses are practically endless.

PS: If you need help setting up blogging software to accomplish the recommendations above or if you have questions, contact eoecho.com. We can give you a hand.
[tags] Corporate blogs, blogging, PR, News Links, SEO results, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

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