You know that there's been a dramatic change in how companies are doing business, a change that probably made you wake up in a cold sweat, wondering if your company will survive the transition. You might think that it's about building a Web site, but just as a few popsicle sticks can't build the Eiffel Tower, so a Web page or two won't help you rethink your business for the new online world.
In the 21st Century, successful business will be focused on findability, about creating an online and offline presence that helps your customers find you. Business and marketing used to be characterized by efforts to brand your company and get in front of your customers, but that's not what's propelling the hot new companies, the entrepreneurs who are already striking it rich in this new world.
Join me in Chicago for the System Seminar and learn even more about Internet marketing
I speak at a lot of difference conferences and am almost always pleased with both the quality of other speakers and the production of the events. Some are mostly fun, but other events are educational not just for the attendees, but for us faculty and speakers too, and the top of my list for most educational this year is undoubtedly The System Seminar, coming up in just a few weeks in Chicago, Illinois.
It's an Internet Marketing conference and I'll be candid: it's expensive. But the lineup of speakers is just amazing and being able to spend three days with everyone there will undoubtedly change people's lives, help them move onto new, better professional tracks, and significantly boost their income.
Registration just jumped up to $5000/seat (bring a pal and it'll be less expensive) as we're getting closer to the event, but you can get a distinct sense of how valuable the event is going to be by learning that there are less than 30 seats left, out of 300!
If you are interested, I strongly encourage you not to wait: sign up now!
Learn about business writing with a free ebook
I talk with a lot of readers and entrepreneurs about both the book and their business, and one thing that often surprises me is the quality of their communication with me. I don't want to sound too critical, but when you're communicating with a business colleague or consultant, don't you think that spelling and grammar are important? I do.
That's why I was pretty enthused when I got an email from writer Ilja van Roon, who has not only written a terrific 90-page ebook on business writing called Capture. Deliver. Excel., but has made it available for free off his Web site!
The book explains how to:
- apply the 7 principles of business writing
- develop and execute an effective writing strategy
- manage the writing process
Announcing the Growing Your Business with Google workshop!
I'm pleased to announce that my friend and colleague Steven Van Yoder and I are launching a three-month teleseminar called Growing Your Business with Google.
Steven is author of the terrific book Get Slightly Famous and a top-notch ethical PR person who really gets the online world, so I'm really pleased that we're going to be able to work together on this project.
I'd like to tell you a bit about what we're doing, and hopefully you'll be excited and sign up to join us. First off, as you can tell from our information page, the entire workshop is about information, not hype. We both abhor the breathless marketing hype of most Internet marketing out there and refuse to make any sort of guarantee that you'll become wealthy overnight with our techniques.
Real business, real success, comes from being strategic, from long-term thinking, from understanding how your industry works and where it's going and making sure you can get there first and better than any of your competitors.
Take a sec and read through our workshop information: Growing Your Business with Google
Now let me tell you about what we're going to do with this innovative course, why it's better than any other "marketing" course out there, why it's an amazing value for what you get, and then make you a pretty sweet offer to push you to sign up and join us...
How to Get Started with Google AdSense
A topic that I know is of interest to many Web site owners, both business bloggers and otherwise: how can you turn your site traffic into some sort of money stream, even a small one? It turns out that there are many different ways to make a few dollars, but one of the most popular is Google AdSense. The AdSense program offers every blogger a simple way to include contextually relevant advertisements on your very own blog pages.
Understanding exactly how AdSense works, what you do and don't need to worry about as a participant in the program, and how they calculate payouts is a subtlety that most people skip, unfortunately. Further, it's not easy to find a clear explanation of every step required to configure and track your own AdSense results from your site online either.
How quickly should companies respond to customer email?
I am in the process of reading your book Growing Your Business with Google and was wondering what is an acceptable amount of time for a response to a customer's email request. I know it varies widely within the e-business world but what is acceptable?
This is a splendid question because it really gets to one of the greatest challenges of doing business online: all the time you spend answering email messages. If you have a product or service that requires customer support, and you have a Web site that channels people to a form or help address, it can be even worse.
There's nothing more discouraging than going into work on a Monday morning just to see a few hundred new messages from customers and potential customers. Do you ignore them? Do you respond to every single one? And if you do respond, how do you ever get your job done?
LinkedIn + BusinessWeek poll = connection spam?
I'm usually quite a proponent of LinkedIn, as readers of my weblog are aware, but I find it quite fascinating that the desire to have the LinkedIn site ranked highly in an influential BusinessWeek Best Of the Web poll is showing a bit of the seamy underbelly of online networking.
Four times in the past week I've received email from one of my LinkedIn connections asking me to pop over to the BusinessWeek poll and vote for LinkedIn to help it rank well in the results. The intention is splendid and the slightly questionable tactic of trying to either (depending on your viewpoint) encourage voter turnout or stuff the virtual ballot boxes is no different from many of the other nominated sites posting "vote for us" articles too (even Om Malik, one of my touchstones for professionalism in the business blog space, couldn't resist when he added "Vote for GigaOM" to his weblog).
Tips for getting more traffic to your blog
Dave, I have an executive placement, coaching and consulting business in the Chicago market. In an effort to market and brand myself better I have launched a blog, but I'm unclear what I need to do to get more traffic and exposure to my blog. What do you suggest?
Let me spend some time answering your question because it's one of the top queries I get from other bloggers, particularly after listening to one of my BlogSmart! workshops...
First off, the core answer is actually pretty easy: the best way to generate traffic for your blog is to reframe the question. Instead of asking "how to I get more visitors to my site?" you need to be asking the question "how do I become part of the blogosphere discussion?"
Search Engine Friendly, or Easy Navigation?
Dave, I'm enjoying your new book Growing Your Business with Google. However, I have a question relating to your advice to post navigation links on the right rather than the left side: I understand that doing so could improve results placement, but this improvement might be less important than ease of use of the site.
Other authorities point out that left-side navigation links are more-or-less standard, and that users are more likely to stay with a site if site elements appear where expected. Could you comment?
The Table of Contents
You can read the beginning few paragraphs of every chapter here on this Web site, so please feel free to click through on any of these chapter titles to learn more about what's covered in that chapter!