Category: Business

Write Your Small Business History as it Happens

Write your small business history as it happens

You make history every day.

The world at large probably won’t notice every move your small business makes, but what you and your employees do has an impact. Somewhere down the road, you’ll celebrate a significant milestone – 10 years or 20 years of serving customers, for example.

You might decide to publish a book or a video or a multimedia presentation about what you and your team have accomplished. Maybe you’ll show some slides at a special dinner or just reminisce at a company picnic about what it was like back in the day. 

Will you have the information you need?

You will if you start planning now for that special day and recording your company’s history while it’s fresh. This doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. You probably already have much of your recent history saved in digital form.

Here are some things to consider as you document your company’s unique story:

  1. Get employees’ input. They’re helping you make history and many will be happy to help document it, particularly on special occasions like retirements and anniversaries. Ask them to reminisce on video or audio recording or by writing up a few memories.
  2. Save PDF files of ads, brochures and other marketing materials. Make sure they’re created in a way that is searchable.
  3. Tags. Tags are free. Learn how to use them and tag your documents, photos and videos so you can find bits of information easily years from now.
  4. Business information that you consider important enough to put in a newsletter or news release is significant enough to keep for future reference. Save those searchable files and others – all tagged, of course – and back them up with your other business files. (Consider setting up a free or low-cost wiki to organize your information.)
  5. Using Facebook or MySpace page in your marketing efforts? It’s a good idea to write and polish that information in your word-processing program before you post it for the world to see. Tag and save those documents as your social media marketing archives, noting when and where you published the information.
  6. Your own website, blog, podcasts and other communications should be great sources of information. Be sure to include links to media coverage about your business as well as to your own archived news releases.
  7. Subscribe to relevant RSS feeds and use one of the many tools available to monitor social media for what’s being said about your business. You may want to keep some of that information, too.

Even if you ultimately decide not to put your history in a printed book format, you’ll have a valuable record of what happened and when it happened, and how you and your employees served your customers and community.

5 Key Internet Marketing Terms Defined

If you’re looking to begin a career, hobby or part-time job in online marketing, you have to get your facts straight from the beginning. If your goal is to make money by working from home and building websites than these internet marketing terms will also come in handy as you make your journey. Here are some key words and phrases that a beginner internet marketer must know.

Affiliate marketing –

In affiliate marketing there are two separate parties involved. You have the advertiser and then you have the person showing the advertisement or otherwise spreading the word. The person showing the ads or recruiting people to get to a different website don’t actually sell or offer anything, rather they get commissions or fees for getting customers for the advertiser. When you become an affiliate, you can display ads on your website, write blog posts about products or engage in countless activities geared towards generating sales for somebody else, which you then receive a portion of.

Search Engine Optimization –

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of fine tuning a website, article or other online presence towards being found and rated highly on the search engines. Google uses a complex algorithm for ranking web pages based on their Page Rank system, keywords, page titles, links into the site and more. When you participate in SEO activities therefore, you’re literally optimizing your content by trying to supply what a search engine like Google is looking for, in the form of appropriately placed keywords, keyword density, quality content and so on.

Search Engine Marketing –

It’s easy to get search engine marketing (SEM) confused with search engine optimization (SEO), which is described above. The main difference is that everything you do with search engine optimization you are doing organically, meaning that you aren’t paying for anything. Search engine marketing also incorporates paid elements of marketing a website, product or other online content online. This can include advertising in search results on Google, paying for directory listings on Yahoo or paying for other marketing services.

Pay Per Click (PPC) –

When you advertise on a search engine such as Google, you are participating in a pay per click, or PPC, program. Just as it sounds, you are paying an amount based directly on how many people actually click on your ads. So if nobody clicks on your advertisement, it was free! Of course, then nobody actually went to your website and you didn’t get any traffic either. When you rank highly in Google using SEO techniques, you’re said to be fostering organic search engine results. PPC or sponsored listings on the top or side of a Google page are not counted in organic results, but rather as paid results.

Niche store/niche website –

An online niche store or niche website is a very narrowly focused website that offers information about a specific subject. The more narrow the focus of a niche website is, the more likely it actually falls into the “niche” range and is generating highly interested traffic. A website about tools would not be a niche website, but a website about cordless power drills would be considered a niche website. A less focused website may gather more visitors but have most of them be uninterested to buy a product, click a link or sign up for something.

Successful Online Marketing: My 2009 New Year’s Resolution

My New Year’s resolution for 2009, is to finally achieve some success in my online marketing campaigns. I’ve been learning the tricks of the trade for about 6 months now, and I’m ready for success in 2009.

Let me explain:

About a year ago, I decided that I wanted to be a webmaster as soon as I could possibly become one. You see, I’ve been a student with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for a year and a half now, studying Interactive Media Design. Along the way, after learning a little HTML, I decided that I liked the idea of building, updating, and designing websites in general. Then, after I felt confident that I new a little more than your average Joe, I decided I was ready to start targeting my work to make sales. I was tired of working for other people, and I decided my New Year’s resolution for 2009 would be to achieve online success. I have 5 different key areas I need to work on to get there.

Discipline-I feel that discipline is may be what I am slightly lacking to achieve my goals. Without discipline, one can hardly accomplish general goals, not to talk of a life changing one like mine. It’s pretty simple. I must do what I plan on doing every day, no matter how tiring or bothersome it might seem. After all, it’s worth it, since it will lead to success. No more playtime until all the work for the day is accomplished. In 2009, meeting my resolution will take carefully cultivating more discipline in me.

Organize-Even the most simple of chores and goals are hard to accomplish without a good deal of organization. I’ve discovered that, with a little organization, some of the seemingly hardest tasks in life can be accomplished very quickly. Without organization, one can run about in circles forever and never get anything done!

Follow Through-I have had a problem following through with ideas that might pop into my head. I know it’s a good idea, and it can work. It’s just that, if you’re not serious or determined, some ideas lead to nothing unless one is willing to work hard on them. Follow through is the key because it sets things in motion. In 2009, my resolution for success will be greatly spurred on by more follow-throughs on my part.

Health-I can’t tell you how many times I have felt so much better just from exercise and a healthy meal. It clears the mind, and provides back up energy you never knew you had. Sometimes it’s easy to remember to have a salad with those baby back ribs! No more in 2009! Exercise schedules and good eating habits are very important to keeping a clear head and achieving success in whatever field.

Adequate Rest- Last, but not least, is rest. I’m talking about real rejuvenating rest, here. So many times, I have jumped out of bed and started with my busy day, when I knew I could lay out a little longer. I’m not saying I’ll lie around in bed all day; I’ll just make sure I get good quality sleep. I have a lot of work to do to keep my 2009 New Year’s Resolution to achieve online success. I think that writing and submitting this article is a step in the right direction.