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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Internet Gold Rush

Posted by James M. Helms on December 19, 2007

I recently watched a program on the California Gold Rush. It was a pretty long drawn out documentary but I couldn’t reach the remote and I didn’t seem to have any real good reasons to get up, so I watched the program. Back in 1849 (oh, the 49ers I get it), gold was thick and easily accessible, people could basically make their fortune in one day because of the untouched waterways that held the sought after metal. Over time word got around that there were riches to be made and people poured into California seeking their fortune. It didn’t take very long before most of the profitable locations were spoken for. Over time workers entering the gold fields banded together for both protection and increased efficiency.
I couldn’t help but immediately draw a likeness to the “internet rush” and a lot of the situations we seemed to be faced with. However, there are just as many differences as there are simularities. Have we reached a point with the internet where all of the profitable spots are taken? Is the internet saturated with big business and does that big business limit small business? I think that in many ways it seems to be so. Unlike the gold rush there is still “gold in them thar hills”. There are many internet startups today and they constantly challenge larger businesses to adapt their practices. There really is endless opportunity and a surplus of realestate available today, it just isn’t on the surface. We don’t have shovels, picks, pans, sluices, and rocker boxes today but we do have tools. What tools do you think are most effective today on the internet? What advantages do small businesses have over large businesses? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Posted in Blog, Business, Commentary, Opportunity | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Reader Feedback

Posted by James M. Helms on July 12, 2007

Without a doubt the best part of blogging is getting feedback from readers. I look forward to reading the comments, emails, and surveys that I receive on a frequent basis. Just yesterday I posted a couple different polls on my website and look forward to seeing how well they are received. If you are interested in doing the same check out polldaddy.com it is free and extremely easy to set up with minimal HTML knowledge.

Getting reader feedback is pretty challenging. What makes the task 10 times harder is that readers usually don’t want to be directed away from the site they are currently viewing. If you are able to overcome this obstacle the results of polls and surveys are extremely helpful in understanding the needs of your reader.

The only use of polling that can be incorporated into WordPress is a link to an outside site. This is because WordPress does not permit the use of JavaScript due to it being a potential security issue. I appreciate the concern they have about security and remain hopeful that this obstacle can be resolved soon.

Posted in Blog, Blogging, Business, Marketing, Opportunity, Oregon, Polling, Portland, Survey, Traffic | Leave a Comment »

Target Your Audience, Increase Your Readership

Posted by James M. Helms on July 8, 2007

Who are you targeting when you write your blog? Your blog should target a specific audience. If you don’t know your target then you may miss your mark.

Consider this my second installment about generating traffic and a continuation of my previous post. To again preface my post I must say that all of my results are preliminary and like many of you I am still learning the best ways to generate traffic. My observations should serve as verification of many things you may have noticed on your own.

Blogging in general attracts a wide variety of people. Regardless of where you fit into the blogesphere you benefit in some way (there are many ways people benefit). Each blogger has a message and a motive, what is your motive? If you are unable to understand your motive for blogging than chances are that you do not know who you are targeting either. An identified target audience is the first step in designing and implementing your marketing strategy.

Readers usually don’t read your blog for your benefit. I know that your spouses or family may check out your blog but you can’t expect everyone to love you in the same way. Your target has needs that need to be filled, how can you meet their needs? The unique skill sets that you have are what make you valuable to your audience. Giving your audience resources and specialized insights help them become more successful. If you are able to meet their needs then you build trust. If you are valuable to your audience and they trust you, readership rises and your motives will be rewarded.

Posted in Blog, Blogging, Business, Marketing, Targeting, Traffic | 1 Comment »

Drive Traffic to Your Blog/Website

Posted by James M. Helms on July 7, 2007

I haven’t been blogging very long but I started blogging with a few different purposes in mind. One of those purposes is to practice techniques related to Guerilla Marketing. Matter of fact, most things that I have been doing on the Internet have been experiments in process and strategy. I would like to share some preliminary findings about what techniques have worked best. If you have a blog or website this post may help to reinforce what you have already witnessed.

#1 Never underestimate the value of tagging your posts. A blog post without tags is like a hook without bait. Tags that I have inserted over a week ago are still occasionally being clicked. The tag was either of interest or met a perceived need of the reader. Tags alone are not enough to increase the readership of your site, they just bring in random visitors and traffic from the tags will decline over time.

#2 Posting on other blogs drives traffic to your site. If you post on blogs that pertain to a topic that you write about you may gain return readership. Otherwise you are wasting both their time and your own.

#3 Creating controversy or disagreeing with a post drives traffic to your site, just not the right kind of traffic. It isn’t worth it if you want to grow loyal readership.

#4 Posting comments on websites and blogs with tons of previous comments makes it really hard to differentiate yourself from the crowd. I have seen greater success in targeting sites that have less traffic.

#5 The time of day, even the day that you post really makes an impact on your traffic. Peak readership times, times like early evening, can be more effective than early morning. This of course will have no bearing on return traffic, only increasing traffic. It would probably be best to stay consistant, though this is just an opinion and I do not have any data to back it up.

#6 Detailed titles of your posts are very important, they should draw in your audience. Today I wanted to draw in bloggers and others wanting to drive traffic to their own site. It’s detailed in the title. As a result I would expect to receive over 75% of my traffic from this target demographic alone.

Like I mentioned these are preliminary results and I am constantly learning like a lot of you. If you are interested in hearing more let me know. If you have other insights in addition please let me know. There are many other things to cover here are some related points that I have posted as well:

Target Your Audience Increase Your Readership
What Are Your Readers Searching For?
Reader Feedback

Posted in Business, Marketing, Traffic | 7 Comments »