Sun, 05 Jan 2014 23:49:42 +0000 en hourly 1 Knowing Your Audience: Why Market Research Matters Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:22 +0000 admin Successful (and profitable) marketing requires detailed knowledge of where your audience(s) hang out online. These tools can help you learn more about your audience, including where you can find them both online and in traditional media, what messages will resonate with them, and more! 

Zeroing in On Your Target Market

What is Market Research & Why It Matters to Your Business

The Basics of Market Research

How to Conduct Market Research

B2C: Business to Consumer Research

B2B: Business to Business Research

Market Research Tools

Other Websites for Market Research Tools

    A wealth of data including financial ratios, business statistics, and benchmarks, on a wide range of industries.
  • CorpTech Technology Company Information
    CorpTech publishes public and private business information on technology companies that make, develop and provide services related to everything from lasers to computers, and from biotech products to advanced materials.
  • Free Data from
    A cheaper version of– it’s free! Database includes economic, demographic, income and labor market information.
  • SEC Info
    “Securities Information from the SEC EDGAR® database for sophisticated business professionals. We simply publish SEC/CSA Filings, filed by companies, institutions and individuals…”
  • Small Business Indicators
    “Small Business Indicators reports bring together monthly and quarterly data from a wide variety of sources. Use the information-packed two page reports to learn more about what is driving the small business economy in the United States.” Each quarterly report covers trends affecting small business, economic indicators over the last five years and the last five quarters, and macroeconomic statistics.
  • State Profiles
    Presents statistics by state for companies considering entrance into the B-2-B market.
  • Social Science Data Services
    A variety of social science, government, and geographic data.
  • TheInfoPro (TIP)
    TheInfoPro (TIP) is an independent research network and leading supplier of market intelligence for the Information Technology (IT) industry. Created by alumni of Gartner, EMC, Giga and Bell Labs, TIP produces fundamental, objective, analyst–free research on: markets, vendors, issues, future adoption plans, and investor confidence.
  • U.S. Census Bureau
    Access the results of the 2000 Census, 2007 Economic Census and other household and economic indicators.
  • ZoomProspector
    “ZoomProspector speeds up and simplifies the process of site selection analysis so that companies can quickly identify the optimal location for their business start-up, expansion or relocation. Businesses define the community and property characteristics that are important to them.

Originally posted 2012-02-13 19:53:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Must-Have WordPress Plugins Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:21 +0000 admin is a great way to build websites. But to expand the functionality you need some killer plugins. The following list represents some of my favorite plugins. Please note that not all of the plugins are free. Some are premium plugins, but they are well worth the price! Have fun! 

WARNING:  Installing Plugins can crash your WordPress site.  Back it up BEFORE you install anything so you can get it online quickly!  Use these two tools to help you back it up!!!!




CMS CONTROL (Assign User Roles and more!)


PAGE BUILDING HELPERS (Customize Pages and Permalinks)

















Originally posted 2012-01-05 23:10:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Blogging for Business Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:21 +0000 admin  

Getting ranked in the search engines, being found online is all about content. In fact, content rules — it’s king. Creating a blog is one of the best methods you can use to get exposure, showcase your expertise and get people coming to you! 

To Blog or Not to Blog — Why Smart Companies Are Blogging

Tips for Writing Blog Articles that Get Noticed

Content Inspiration: What Topics to Write About

Tools to Help with Blog Topic Inspiration or Content Creation

Creating an Editorial Calendar

Blog Traffic:  Promoting Your Blog Online (and off!)

Being Found in the Search Engines:  SEO for Bloggers

RSS Feed:  How to Get Blog Subscribers

Feedback:  How to Get More Comments on Your Blog Content

What Do You Want Them To Do:  Creating Calls to Action

Blogger Outreach:  Connections That Drive Visitors to You

Becoming a Guest Blogger on Someone Else’s Blog

Finding Guest Bloggers for YOUR Blog

Rookie Mistakes that Can Kill Your Blog

Measuring the Success of Your Blog

Originally posted 2012-02-12 02:21:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Competitive Intelligence: What You Need to Know to Be Competitive Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:20 +0000 admin Want to know what your competition is doing online? Spy on them ethically to help you get a competitive advantage against them!  The following is a list of tools that can help you uncover opportunities which you can use to your advantage and gain market share. 

Competitive Intelligence Tools

  • Real Time Search – Social Mention
    What are your competitors writing about?  What are people saying about them?  What are people writing about you?
  • SEMRush
    What keywords are your competitors using to gain traffic?  Are they running PPC (pay-per-click) ad programs?  What keywords are they using in PPC?  What do their PPC ads look like?
  • Compete
    Get insight into competitor’s traffic, engagement and demographics.  Find the keywords that are driving traffic to the website OR that are popular in a specific industry.  What’s the benchmarking standard in your industry, and how do your competitors stack up?  What websites are driving traffic to your competitors, and more!
  • SpyFu
    Helps uncover the best keywords, and create a powerful PPC ad strategy that gets results.
  • Quantcast
    Find out audience demographics and improve marketing performance based on what your competitors are doing.  (It’s like spying for marketing!)
  • Open Site Explorer
    Compare your site against your competition and find out how you can improve your backlinks to increase your authority in your industry.
  • Social Media Monitoring and Analysis
    Provides analytics and insights about your competitors – where are the communities that they are active in, who are their community influencers, how are they handling customer service and more!

Competitive Intelligence 101:  The Basics


Originally posted 2012-02-12 03:35:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Real-Time Marketing News Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:20 +0000 admin


The following is an up-to-the-minute ticker directly from our Twitter feed.   Tweeting things of interest to small businesses & marketing folks. #smm #seo #marketing #b2b #smallbiz.

The connection to twitter has returned an error. Please try again later.

Originally posted 2011-10-07 16:20:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Design Like a Pro: Graphic Design Tools & Resources Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:19 +0000 admin Some of my favorite design and font tools!  

  • Aviary
    This is by far the best and most valuable to anyone who wants to create images, audio, etc. and look like a pro!
  • WhatTheFont!
    Have you seen a font on a website, publication, etc. and want to know what it is?  Just submit an image to the WhatTheFont database and it will find the closest match in their database.
  • Free Fonts
    Over 1000 fonts to choose from to give the average design an extraordinary pop!
  • Designers Toolbox
    Great sizing templates for pretty much any printable design from envelopes to annual reports.  Also a great “greeking” tool to fill in where text would appear in mock up designs.
  • Professional lorem ipsum Generator
    Creating a website or other marketing collateral but still don’t have the text finalized?  This handy tool creates “greeking” text to fill in where text will appear in your design!
  • eCoverCreator – One Click 3D Cover Graphics
    Easy to use.  Create stunning 3D images (DVD, CD, Workbooks, Ebooks, etc.) to use on websites.
  • Web Diner’s Hexcode Color Chart
    Trying to find the best colors for your website?  Wish you could tell your designer just what colors you want?  This is a great chat for RGB designs.
  • PMS (Print Matching System) Color Chart (PDF)
    If you are going to have your documents printed, help your designs have a specific color with this great “ink color” chart.
  • Color Wizard
    Having difficulty finding color combinations that work well together on the web (or even in print)?  This great tool quickly displays colors so you can see what works…and what doesn’t before starting a design!
  • Dynamic Drive: Gradient Image Maker
    Gradient images make great web backgrounds but can be hard to create.  This tool will create them easily for you.
  • Favicon Maker
    Want to create a favicon for your website from scratch.  Free tool allows you to create and generate one easily.
  • Icon Creator
    Convert any image (JPG, GIF,  or PNG.) into an icon or favicon.
  • Flash Banners
    Create fast and easy Flash banners with no programming skills.  100% free!

Originally posted 2012-01-13 02:59:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Monetizing Blogs : Making Money With Blog Advertising Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:19 +0000 admin Blogging not only can capture your writing talents (err, lack of them) but also can help you get the word out. Here are some great tools to maximize your blogging — whether on your blog, or someone else’s blog! 


BLOG TRAFFIC EXCHANGE:  I’m not a huge fan of traffic exchanges, but I am frequently asked about it.



Originally posted 2012-01-12 21:58:42. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Ducks in a Row: How Marketing Wins Sales Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:18 +0000 admin Marketing can only be effective if you have the skills to close the sale. These resources and articles can help you become better educated so you close more sales without high pressure techniques.  

Buyer Persona Profiles

Buyer Personality Types (And How to Handle Each of Them)

Value-Based Selling (B2B Sales)

Sales Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Writing Winning Proposals

Aligning Sales and Marketing

Industry Benchmarking/Best Practices Resources

Resources and Thought Leaders

Must-Have Sales Books


Originally posted 2012-02-13 02:01:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Driving Traffic to Your Website with SEO Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:16 +0000 admin Search engine optimization, or the process of making your web pages more visible (and higher ranked) is always evolving. These are some great resources and articles to reference to get you going. You’ll also want to look at some of the other tools we have referenced in other “stories”. 

BASICS ABOUT SEARCHING:  Understand how people search for information on the web



CURRENT SEO (or as close as I can get to current information!)




Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Difficulty Tools

Keyword Density Tools


AUTOMATED SUBMISSION:  This is really an antiquated technique and not horribly effective.  But I am still asked about this frequently.


Originally posted 2012-02-13 02:30:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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5 Tips on How to Drive Employee Engagement Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:15 +0000 Allison Jackson

Whether you realize it or not, your management style directly impacts your employees’ engagement and productivity at work. The #1 reason employees leave jobs is due to a poor relationship with their immediate supervisor. (The Gallup Organization) So what’s a manager to do? 

It can be helpful to think about managing employees in a way similar to how you would grow a garden. Gardens are a labor of love that must be tended to and supported in order for them to grow and produce. Employees aren’t much different. Here are five tips on how you can ensure your employees are productive and engaged: 

  1. Plant the seeds. Be approachable and get to know your employees. This doesn’t mean becoming best friends with your entire staff. But you should at least know if your team members are married, single, whether they have children and/or pets, and what some of their hobbies are outside of work.

  2. Reap what you sow, and put your best foot forward. A manager’s personal interaction and attitude weighs heavily on employee engagement. If you’re having a bad day, don’t let it show. Employees look to you as a leader and will tend to emulate your attitude – good or bad.

  3. Tend to the garden – take an interest. Perhaps you have some things in common with your staff. Whether it’s playing golf, reading murder mysteries or having a particular type of music in common, you should take the time to view your employees as people with lives outside of the workplace. Most employees do not live to work; they work as a means to an end.

  4. Pull weeds – admit when you’re wrong. No one is perfect; that includes you. Let your employees know that you’re human and you make mistakes. It will help put them at ease, and they’ll feel more comfortable coming to you with problems or issues.

  5. Help fertilize your garden. Understand goals, as well as their concerns. Work-related goals and career aspirations are what tend to keep employees motivated. It’s also helpful to understand the concerns and obstacles they may have in reaching their goals. As a leader, part of your job is helping them overcome obstructions and ensuring they meet their job requirements. 

One of the best ways to manage is to think back to your favorite bosses or leaders. What management styles did they have? Which of those characteristics can you incorporate into how you manage your team?   

At the end of the day, your employees look to you for their lead. Always remember, treat those as you would want to be treated…and things around you will surely bloom.

Originally posted 2012-01-19 02:36:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Allison Jackson is a communications professional and freelance writer who specializes in helping small businesses improve their bottom lines through clear, effective writing and communication in social media, marketing and public relations. Visit to learn more, follow Allison on Twitter (@allyjackson) or email her at]]> 0