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More Blogs Worth Checking Out

Fans of Marketing Sherpa or RainToday will be probably be familiar with these excellent marketing-related blogs, but just in case, here are four blogs recently added to the recommended blogs list on WebMarketCentral:

Email Marketing Best Practices: Chris Baggott is CMO and co-founder of hosted email marketing services provider ExactTarget, and an expert on email marketing. Chris shares his knowledge and thoughts on email-related topics such as database marketing, list building, and *spam*. It also appears that we have similar tastes in reading (though I spent my 4th of July weekend expanding my kids' treehouse).

Buzz Marketing for Technology: buzz marketing guru Paul Dunay shares his innovative ideas for technology marketing. In his own entertaining and informative style, Paul addresses topics like mobile ads, effective (and ineffective) tech ad campaigns, video ads, blogging, and viral marketing. He's also a prolific industry writer and speaker.

Small Business Blogging: Andy Wibbels, author of Blogwild!: A Guide for Small Business Blogging, generally writes helpful pieces on topics at least peripherally related to small-business blogging, such as Ezine marketing, instant messaging, blog tools and tips, and podcasting. So do lots of other people (though most not quite as well). But it's when he veers off-topic that his blog is most entertaining, and comment-inspiring, such as his posts about Kate Moss, Muslims, and lazy reporting, or the priceless "Are Indigo Children Really Jus A**holes?"

BootstrapMe: author Shawn Hessinger offers guidance, news and resources for entrepreneurs seeking to build businesses using their own equity and effort. He provides practical and highly readable observations and advice on topics such as drop-shipping, low-cost but high-impact marketing techniques, blogging, affiliate marketing, and free or low-cost business tools. Narrowly focused but broad minded, he even offers a series of posts on philosophy.

*****

Terms: Marketing Sherpa Readers Choice Award blogs, RainToday.com, blogging for business, email marketing best practices, Chris Baggott, Andy Wibbels, Paul Dunay, business blogging, Shawn Hessinger blog

The Internet Web site marketing portal: WebMarketCentral.com

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

Comments

Junelle said…
There are really a lot of blogs being created about marketing ... even the software sites have their own blog for news or support...

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Twitter Twaddle, Part 2: Best Practices, Tools and The Future of Twitter

This is the second of a two-part series. Part one covered what Twitter is and why it's cool; this post discusses Twitter etiquette, tools, and speculation about its future.

How to Twitter Properly

Like any other social setting, Twitter has its own etiquette. This can be confusing to new users. (And, as you can see by spending more than a few minutes on Twitter, it's apparently elusive to many long-time users as well.) Margaret Mason has written an outstanding primer on Twitter etiquette, offering advice such as watch your ratio ("If only a few people follow you, but you follow a thousand or more, many people will assume you’re a spammer. That’s because you probably are. Go away, spammer."); never Twitter if you're drunk or high; and most importantly, "remember that everyone can hear you."

The brilliant Mike Volpe of HubSpot takes a different approach to offering his advice in 5 Things On Twitter That Annoy the Crap Out of Me. His practices-to-avoid incl…

Twitter Twaddle, Part 1: What Twitter Is and Why It's Cool

Most Web 2.0 sites fall into one of a few increasingly well-defined categories, such as social bookmarking (Digg, del.icio.us, Searchles), social networking (LinkedIn, Facebook) or file sharing (YouTube, Flickr, podOmatic). Twitter, however, stands alone. (Okay, there's also Pownce, but Twitter is better.)

Self-described as simply a real-time short messaging service and often referred to a microblogging platform, to those new to it, Twitter resembles nothing so much as a giant cocktail party where everyone talks at once and hopes others listen. You can tell who's important by how many "followers" that person has, though that's no guarantee anyone is really paying attention. People (or rather, Tweeple in the Twitter lexicon) can come and go without really being noticed, just like at a real (very, very large) gathering.

Twitter can be difficult to explain to those unfamiliar with it. Jennifer Laycock writes that Twitter is like Post-It notes; lots of them and in mu…

Email Campaign, Newsletter and Banner Ad Click-Through Rates (CTR)

When planning online advertising and email promotion budgets, it's critical to calculate the likely ROI upfront whenever possible, as well as to establish campaign benchmarks. The first step is understanding the average and likely range of CTRs for various programs. The growth in online advertising, the proliferation of enewsletters, the emergence of new forms of information delivery such as RSS and the emergence of social media sites have all affected CTR, so planning based on current data is crucial.

It can be challenging to find current statistics, but based on several studies, these are typical CTR ranges for email newsletter ads, email campaigns (blasts or internally-produced enewsletters), and banner ads.

Email newsletter advertisements
Open rates range from 28-40%, with an average of about 33%—meaning that roughly one-third of the subscriber base is likely to see your ad. The Advertising Is Good For You blog tracks these statistics from DoubleClick.
The average CTR for indust…

SEO Link Spam - What Is It and Who's to Blame?

Over the years, unscrupulous black hat SEO scammers have used a variety of tricks—keyword stuffing, link farms, white text and others—to try to manipulate search results, and the algorithms used by Google, Yahoo and the other search engines have evolved to identify and squelch the effectiveness of such nefarious tactics.

A more vexing issue for the search engines is dealing with link spam, not only because it is difficult to detect and address algorithmically, but because there isn't even a clear definition. As a website owner, the term represents emails like this:


Dear webmaster,

As a part of ongoing campaign to increase the Link Popularity of My website I am looking for some good potential sites like yours. I review your site and find that, in SEO perspective your site is Perfect. Also, this would be a great resource for my visitors too.

I would request you to consider listing my site.

Title:- My Spammy Website
URL:- http://www.indiaspamforyou.com
Description:- miracle weight…

Google and the Parable of the Turkey

In The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes about the life of the turkey: for 100 days, the turkey is sheltered, fed and cared for by the farmer. The turkey grows to trust the farmer completely, even perhaps developing a fondness for the farmer (and of course the feed). Then, on the 101st day (with Thanksgiving quickly approaching), the relationship between the turkey and the farmer changes abruptly and permanently. The rationale behind the farmer's apparent benevolence become clear in a final flash before the turkey takes the necessary step preceding de-feathering, vacuum-packing, freezing and shipping off to the market.

Taleb's lesson for us from this: don't be a turkey. More succinctly, don't assume that the future will resemble the past, or, in the words of mutual fund prospectuses, "past performance is no guarantee of future results." Also, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Of course, that doesn't take into account the perspec…

WMC Interviews: Albert Maruggi

This week, I had the chance to sit down with Albert Maruggi, principal of St. Paul-based marketing agency Provident Partners (and huge baseball fan). His agency assists companies in a variety of industries in all areas of marketing, with particular expertise in PR, events management, integrated marketing and podcasting.

WebMarketCentral (WMC): What did you do before founding Provident Partners?

Albert Maruggi (AM): Worked in radio for a number of years. I was a television reporter and anchor. I also shot and edited video for news stations. I was a political reporter who made the jump to being a press secretary for a Member of Congress. From there I became Press Secretary for the Republican National Committee and then held public affairs management positions in the Bush '41 Administration.

WMC: How, when and why did Provident Partners get started?

AM: When I could not get my flight from LA to MN on September 11, 2001 I drove back home. I did a lot of thinking on that trip and I made tw…

How to Use SEO: Leverage SEO To Be Found Online and Boost Your Online Marketing

All businesses that want to attract customers online, no matter the business size or age, have few options other than Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 
There are roughly 1.8 billion websites online, and basic SEO allows Google to find and index or catalog your webpages. 
After that, Google serves you up to searchers in the organic section. The question remains: where they list your site, on page one or page 22 or further back? SEO controls your positioning.
Do you want to be found online or not?
If your business is online or you want your product or service to be found online, then Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must, and knowing how to use SEO to leverage the power of the internet is vital.
Arguably, an effective SEO strategy gets you on the organic results section of the search engine results pages (SERP). Organic traffic is highly valuable and requires high-quality SEO. But even businesses that use limited or basic SEO techniques will benefit. 
It doesn’t matter if your business …