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Getting Started: What Should You Blog About?

So, you’ve started a blog. Congratulations! You’re well on your way to extending your brand, showcasing your knowledge, and driving traffic to your site. But where do you start? How do you figure out what to write about? It goes without saying, of course, that your blog should be about your business or field. But that doesn’t mean your content needs to stay inside a narrow focus. Let’s...

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All About Blogging

Work blogging into a piece of your business pie. I know, I know. I’m using a blog to tell you about why you should have one. Yes, I’m blogging about blogging. Biased much? Admittedly, I am. I’m entirely sold on the concept of blogging as an extension of your business. Done right, a blog can help grow both your business and your professional life. Here’s what a blog is, what...

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Pinterest: More than Just Inspiration

Some of the results on the Pinterest page when searching for “Santa Barbara restaurants.” Move over, Lonely Planet. Move over, Fodor’s and Frommer’s. Move over, TripAdvisor and Yahoo! and Yelp. Make room for the newest travel-planning tool: Pinterest. “But I thought Pinterest was just a place for collecting recipes, style ideas, and inspirational quotes,” you...

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Lessons in Brand Personality: The LA Kings

In our office we talk a lot about developing a “voice.” Cultivating a brand personality is certainly one of the best things a company can do to attract a certain kind of customer — and keep him or her. And one of the best ways to grow that personality is through social media. But one thing companies always seem to forget is that growing a true following — building a strong...

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The Power of Online Reviews for Small Businesses

A Yellow Pages telephone phone book was delivered to my front porch recently, and as I brought it into the house I stared at it in bewilderment. A phone book? I asked myself. Who even uses these anymore? Every business I need to look up is on the internet. According to the latest research, I’m not alone. A Small Business Search Marketing Survey recently conducted by American Express OPEN revealed...

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Who Broke My Email!? An Explanation

Ever received a marketing email that looked… off? Sure you have. Gaps between images, hyperlinks rendered nearly invisible against a background color, strange spacing around the text. We’ve seen it all, and you probably have, too. Who’s to blame for these goofs? In a lot of instances, individual email clients can wreak major havoc on an email — certain elements tend to display...

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Are QR Codes Your Next “Quick Response” Marketing Strategy?

A QR code. You’ve seen them lately on posters, websites, and product packaging — those black and white squares that look like pixel versions of a Rorschach ink blot test. Are you supposed to try to read them? Find hidden patterns? Call an eye doctor because your vision’s finally going? The answer, of course, is none of the above. Those strange futuristic shapes are called QR codes...

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The Big Tease: Getting Us Hooked on Super Bowl Commercials Before the Game

Ready for the big commercials — I mean, game? I hate television commercials, and I’m willing to bet you do, too. They’re annoying, they’re unrealistic, and perhaps most infuriating of all, they always air much louder than the actual show you were engrossed in before the break. With my DVR, I can get around this. There’s nothing I love more than being able to fast-forward...

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When Is A Brand Big Enough To Go Small?

AMC has just released a new poster marketing the return of season five of their seminal show Mad Men – and it’s already got the design world lining up to take sides. If you’ve never before seen it, Mad Men is a dramatic series set in the 1960s at a fictional advertising agency in New York. It deals with shifting social norms, especially as experienced through the show’s main character, Don...

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Podcasts: Your Get-Started Guide

Podcasting. Sounds like something straight out of The Jetsons, right? You’d almost expect it to involve some sort of pod-like vehicle that launches you to any destination of your choice. Speaking of which — why haven’t they invented that yet? I’m also still waiting for that big machine that bathes, clothes, and grooms you in five seconds flat. I could save so much time in the morning! But back...

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When to Publish a Blog Post

Content is key to blogging, as is timing. So say you have that blog post ready to go — when should you publish it? The answer for you depends on your specific market, and what you’re looking for (more views? more engagement?). But there are some key facts from research done by Dan Zarrella (@danzarrella), searchengineland.com (@sengineland) and HubSpot. And now KissMetrics has assembled...

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New Year’s Resolutions, 2012

I’m torn when it comes to New Year’s resolutions — I like the idea of having goals, but I hate when people set themselves up to fail. Resolutions should be achievable, and I like action items to help move us toward that goal, whether it’s increasing business sales or losing some extra holiday pounds. There’s nothing like January 1st to make us all evaluate how we could...

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