Sun, 05 Jan 2014 23:49:42 +0000 en hourly 1 Web Design Resources & Tools Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:10 +0000 admin Most web designers have powerful software or coding skills to build pretty much everything they need for a website to look and function beautifully. These tools create a “patchwork” of skills and knowledge that’s much like getting a programmer — but without the cost!  

DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION:  Giving Your Website a Name

WEB HOSTING :  Giving Your Website a Home

WYSIWYG EDITING SOFTWARE :  Design websites without knowing how to code

FTP SOLUTION:  How you get your website from your computer to the web!

TEST YOUR WEBSITE:  How does it look in other browsers?

SPEED UP YOUR WEBSITE:  Make it load lightning fast!


  • 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.
  • Image Optimizer
    Even large images can load super fast when they’ve been optimized with this handy tool!
  • Automatically redirect to another web page
    Use this online tool to generate the META refresh tags you need to automatically redirect your visitors to another web page.
  • Javascript Popup Window Creator – Instantly create your own Popup Windows
    Use this popup window generator to generate the code for your popup windows.  NOTE:  Most browsers, as of 2012, block pop-ups.  But this can still be a handy tool.
  • Create your Google Sitemap Online – XML Sitemaps Generator
    This website is to let you create a sitemap to help Google better index all the pages of your website.  Enter your full website URL and some optional parameters in the form. Press ‘Start’ button and wait for this tool to create your site map!

AUTO INSTALLER:  Make installation of complex web technology as easy as 1-2-3




Originally posted 2012-01-13 03:17:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

]]> 0 Local Search: When Your Business Needs Targeted Visitors Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:10 +0000 admin Local search, such as Google Places, helps people find you easier if you own a geo-targeted business like a computer repair shop, restaurant, gift store, car repair, etc. 

Local Search Infographics and Stats

Local Search Basics

Local Search Directories

Social Media and Local Search

Who to Follow/Blogs and more on Local Search

Articles on Local Search
The article below is actually a list of a bunch of articles.  All of them are great!

Free Ebooks on Local Search


Originally posted 2012-01-19 03:47:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Knowing Your Audience: Why Market Research Matters Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:09 +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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Ducks in a Row: How Marketing Wins Sales Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:09 +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 02:50:08 +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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Twitter Tutorial: Using Twitter to Find Customers & Build a Network Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:07 +0000 admin Twitter can be a powerful tool to connect with potential and current customers. It’s often misunderstood because few people truly understand how to use it and gain a following. These are some articles, tools and resources that will make Twitter a power tool for building your business network! 

Why Businesses Should Be Using Twitter

Getting Started on Twitter

Branding Your Presence on Twitter:  Avatars and Custom Backgrounds

Building Your Followers

Tools to Build Followers

  • Step One:  Sign up for an account on JustUnfollow.  (It’s cheap — $8 a YEAR!)
  • Step Two:  Link it to your Twitter account
  • Step Three:  Click on “home” on JustUnfollow.  Click on “Unfollow” and unfollow anyone who isn’t following you.   (Do this only 1-2 times a WEEK.  Anymore than this might get your account flagged by Twitter.)
  • Step Four:  Click on “home” on JustUnfollow.  Click on “find followers”.  Follow back anyone listed there that matches your industry or target audience.
  • Step Five: Use the tool ( to “copy follower”.  It’s as easy as adding the follower.  Personally, I give a brief overview before following people to make sure that they match my audience or someone in my industry.
  • Lather/Rinse/Repeat Daily: That’s it!  See how easy it is?  I do this every day.  Takes me less than 10 minutes per account and I can gain anywhere from 100 to 500 new followers a day!

Twitter Success:  Building Your Twitter Strategy

Twitter Chats: Building Your Following and Network

List of Twitter Chat Resources

Re-Tweets:  The Key to Spreading Your Message

#Hashtags:  How Power Users Sort through Twitter Noise

Automating and Scheduling Tweets

Tools for scheduling tweets and managing Twitter

Get Insights into Twitter, Your Followers and People They Follow


Originally posted 2012-02-13 03:38:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Real-Time Marketing News Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:07 +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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Competitive Intelligence: What You Need to Know to Be Competitive Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:05 +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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Harnessing the Social Media Revolution Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:05 +0000 Anthony Chiaravallo Social media has overturned everything we know about marketing and has ushered in a new media paradigm seemingly overnight. Many businesses have been born or even died because of Facebook, and it is now more important than ever to harness the power of social media to have an effective, relevant and successful overall marketing strategy – both personally and professionally.

With the current generation raised on Facebook as an integral part of life, it is crucial that we as individuals and businesses learn to utilize this new medium to its fullest potential. To do this, we must remember that social media is very different than traditional media in that it is a two-way street. Traditional marketing, like a TV commercial for instance, talks at your potential customers while social media engages them in a real-time discussion. And if your social marketing strategy is not executed properly, it can be very detrimental to your businesses. Social media has now made it essential for businesses to practice a greater degree of integrity and transparency because of the increased level of accountability brought about by sites like Facebook.

Social media for business will not drive leads like an effective website, but it will turn satisfied customers into loyal brand advocates who will in turn promote your business on your behalf. Word of mouth and referrals are still one of the most powerful marketing tools, and social media has amplified this effect exponentially. At the same time, it has also amplified any negative experiences your clients may have and post online to share with their social circle. This is why it is more important than ever to maintain a strong relationship with your customers by understanding their needs, communicating with them often, and providing solutions that offer real value. This is the foundation to success in business and life.

Social entrepreneur and Forbes contributor, Naveen Jain, has said that success is not measured by how much money we have in the bank, but rather how many people’s lives we have impacted through it. If we focus on relationship building and providing our partners with win-win solutions to problems, then sustainable success and financial security will follow. Social media allows us to develop these business relationships beyond what is possible offline and tremendously magnify their influence. Social media knows no boundaries – geographical or otherwise – and affords us the opportunity to communicate with our customers like never before. To stay relevant, your business social media pages should be updated often and share important facts, ideas and expert insights from your industry that offer unique value to your target audience.

On an individual level, we must also learn to use social media to promote our own personal brand. By engaging others through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, we can begin to create a following, and more importantly, a community/network online. To do this, commit to posting on social media several times a day in which you engage others or ask their opinions on something. We all are experts in something, so also look into starting a blog or contributing to one devoted to your industry or passions.

Reach out to thought leaders in your space and research/report on various best practices of your industry. Use your new connections to network and attend conferences that interest you and are relevant to your business. Send emails to famous people and business leaders who inspire you and be sure to follow/like their pages too. Begin building your life around an industry or movement that you’re passionate about.

Our ability to use this new form of media to become social entrepreneurs is also crucial to address the myriad of problems facing our world today. We must learn to listen to our own passions and make use of the new media to create a sphere of influence and enact meaningful change in the world. Social media is creating a new globally connected subjective reality, and for the first time in history, a space for us to collectively envision a new way forward. Harness the power of social media today to use your gifts to their fullest potential!

Originally posted 2012-01-16 21:01:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Anthony Chiaravallo is an Internet Marketing Consultant for Single Throw and specializes in website design/optimization, social media marketing and growing his clients businesses online. He has been a Marketing Consultant for Fortune 500 companies, contributes for several business blogs, and is also a motivational speaker on topics such as social entrepreneurship, new media marketing and business/sales strategy. His work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Washington Post. Follow Anthony on Twitter or email him at
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5 Tips on How to Drive Employee Engagement Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:50:03 +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