July 22, 2011

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week

They’re calling for a heat index of 120 today. Yuck! Sounds like the perfect weather for staying indoors with the AC and catching up on some biz reads. Here are my suggestions:


This content is copyrighted. See my content sharing policy here.

June 10, 2011

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week

Happy Friday! Below are my recommended reads from around the web for the week:


This content is copyrighted. See my content sharing policy here.

June 3, 2011

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week


Sorry June’s started off a little quiet. I am back from vacation and have more posts lined up for next week. In the meantime, check out some of these useful reads below:


This content is copyrighted. See my content sharing policy here.

May 27, 2011

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week


Sorry this week was light on posts. I am on vacation in Berlin right now. In the meantime, here are some links. Also don’t forget to sign up for my 6/8 group coaching session. Space is almost filled, and this is a great, budget-friendly way to try out coaching and pick my brain on any topic you’ve seen me write about. We’ll talk by phone for a full hour! I’ll not only answer your questions, you’ll get to hear me answer questions other entrepreneurs put forth, so everyone will benefit.


This content is copyrighted. See my content sharing policy here.

May 6, 2011

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week


Lots of great reads this week about Facebook, SEO, and growing your business…


This content is copyrighted. See my content sharing policy here.

March 25, 2011

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week


Remember my Cloudflood experiment? It’s been about a week and a half and over 100 people have shared my download. Neat, huh? If you missed my post about Cloudflood, check it out.

Also, today is the LAST DAY to get my 10% off discount on co-op advertising for spring!  Our members have given the co-op rave reviews! Here are a few things people have said:

“I’ve had a lot of traffic, new people signing up for my email list and quite a few sales from the holiday promo, so thanks! Co-op advertising has been successful for me.”
Amber Coppings, Xmittens

“I’ve been very pleased with my participation in the I Shop Indie program so far. It’s been one of the biggest sources of traffic for my shop since I started and it’s led to some definite sales.
Mallory Whitfield, Miss Malaprop

“Thank you so much as I Shop Indie has gotten me press coverage with this journalist. Thank you so much. Much appreciated for everything!”
Charmaine Leung, Go Jewelry

If you want to see the kind of awesome results our members have been talking about, get signed up now while I’m still offering this discount.

Now on to some link love…


This content is copyrighted. See my content sharing policy here.

February 25, 2011

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week

Filed under: Link Love — Tags: , , , , , , — Meredith @ 11:23 am


Every day I check out the 100s of subscriptions in my RSS feed about marketing, PR, advertising, branding, social media, and a host of other topics of interest to small businesses that sell online. Most of what gets posted isn’t earth shattering but I reserve Fridays for the best reads of the week. So here you have it, the most valuable things I read in the business blogosphere this week:


This content is copyrighted. See my content sharing policy here.

February 4, 2011

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week


Every day I check out the 100s of subscriptions in my RSS feed about marketing, PR, advertising, branding, social media, and a host of other topics of interest to small businesses that sell online. Most of what gets posted isn’t earth shattering but I reserve Fridays for the best reads of the week. So here you have it, the most valuable things I read in the business blogosphere this week:


This content is copyrighted. See my content sharing policy here.

January 24, 2011

Is Your Online Shop Actually Ready for Marketing?

Filed under: Ecommerce — Tags: , — Meredith @ 8:40 am

Did your last PR campaign fall flat? Are the ads you’re running today failing to snag you customers? Did the contest you just ran get almost no entries? When these disappointments come our way, it’s easy to blame mean reporters or fickle customers or the blog we just paid to advertise on. Oftentimes, the problem is a little closer to home. If your website’s not ready for prime time, all the marketing in the world won’t help. Below is a handy checklist of things you MUST do before you launch into any marketing efforts including advertising, contests, pitching the media, etc.

Product Photos:

Website Design:

  • Is your web design professional and attractive? (Attractive websites engender trust and that encourages sales. Amateurish websites make customers worry you may not ship the products, or the products make be as amateurish as the web design. You don’t want customers thinking either of these things.)
  • Does it use consistent fonts and branding?
  • Does it have a consistent navigation bar that easily allows the customer to visit different product categories?
  • Is your copy clear and readable and easy to follow? Are blocks of text broken out into headlines and bullets where appropriate? Can I skim any page of your site and within a few seconds understand what the page is trying to tell me?
  • Is it easy for me to find information I need, such as return policies and shipping information?
  • Are products merchandised in a variety of ways? (i.e. can I shop by product type, gift giving occasion, product color, price, etc.)

Information Presentation

  • Is company contact information easy to find? Can a customer easily call or email if there is a problem.
  • Is there a detailed sizing chart on your product pages? The more details the better. How long is it, how wide is it, how deep is it. If you’re selling clothing give us the size of the garment and the size wearer it’s best suited for. For example, this sizing chart tells you how long and wide the garment is, what bust size the garment fits best AND what clothing size the garment fits best. It describes how to find the right fit and how the garment should fit.
  • Are shipping policies easy to find? Customers want to know where you ship (US, Canada, International, etc.), how you ship (Priority Mail, Fedex, etc.) and how much it costs. They also want to know how long it takes you to ship the item. Does order processing happen the same business day or do you require some lead time?
  • What is your return policy? Is it easy to find? Are returns easy? How long do I have to make a return? Do you refund shipping? How do you deal with exchanges? How do you deal with defective products or shipping damage?
  • Who owns this company? What are the company’s values? Is there an about page?
  • What is your privacy policy? How is customer information secured?
  • What payments do you accept?

Branding:

  • Do you have a professional distinctive logo?
  • Do you have a domain name that customers can remember?
  • Have you created a unique brand/products that give customers reason to buy YOUR clothing/accessories/bags/etc. instead of the competition’s?

Press Readiness:

  • Do you have a press page?
  • Can we see what other media outlets have written about the company?
  • Are there high resolution photos there that I can download?
  • Do you have a press kit I can download?
  • Are your product photos press-friendly? (This means free of watermarks and right click is not disabled. Worried about image theft? Fine, but is it worth losing out on those media placements?)

Checkout/Purchasing:

  • Does checking out take too many steps?
  • Is checkout difficult or slow? Can I even find the checkout button?
  • Do you ask for unnecessary information?
  • If I leave a necessary field blank during checkout, are the error messages easy to see and understand?
  • Do I have to create an account?
  • Could your mother figure out how to successfully place an order on your website without any guidance from you?
  • Do I have to leave your site to make a payment?
  • Are there a variety of payment options? (i.e. credit card, Paypal, Google Checkout, etc.)

Secondary Conversions:

  • Can I easily find your Facebook page? Do you have a “like” button on every page
  • of your site?
  • Can I easily find you on Twitter?
  • Can I easily find your other social media accounts such as Youtube, Flickr, your blog, etc.?
  • Can I easily sign up for your newsletter?
  • Have you given me a reason to become a Facebook fan, join your newsletter, etc.

Remember that the end goal when you market is to convert customers. You either want them to buy stuff or you want them on your mailing list, Facebook, etc. If your online store is not 100% ready for visitors, you are wasting your time money and energy by trying to attract visitors you can’t accommodate. It’s exciting to see your site traffic go up, but it serves no benefit if your site isn’t optimized to convert visitors. While you might be able to slide on a few items in the checklist above, generally this list is what you need to consider before you do anything else.


This content is copyrighted. See my content sharing policy here.

January 6, 2011

4 Ways to Prepare for Valentine’s Day Sales

Even if you’re single and hating it, there could still be an upside for you when it comes to Valentine’s Day: CASH! Every year people spend big bucks on gifts for their sweeties. Some people even buy Valentine’s day treats for their parents, children or platonic friends. To make the most of your V-Day sales, you have to start preparing now. Here are a few things for your to do list:

1. Red Hot Ad Campaigns
It makes sense to spend a little more on advertising when you know people are in a shopping mood. If you’ve been thinking about running an ad on your favorite blog or giving Adwords a try, now is a good time to give that a go.

If you’re on a tight budget, I Shop Indie’s Valentine’s Day ad co-op is a great way to reap the benefits of over $600 worth of advertising for only $65.00. (Unilke most other ads, the co-op comes with email marketing and social media marketing!)

When you’re designing ads, think about promoting your products as Valentine’s Day items. Feature products that come in red or evoke a flirty or romantic mood. You might even want to have your ads link to a special landing page featuring Valentine’s Day themes items.

2. It’s All About Merchandising
Make tweaks to your website so that Valentine’s Day products are easy to find. Think about featuring V-Day themed items on your home page. Create gift guides with suggested products for guys, girls and even singles and kids.

3. Start Promoting
If you sell online, you’ll want to promote products early so customers have time to place orders and receive products by mail before February 14. Come up with a schedule to promote your Valentine’s Day products and offers via your newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.

You may be able to boost sales by offering a special deal like a coupon code or a promotional price on a V-Day related product. Even an event like a contest is a great way to drum up traffic and interest and hopefully convert a few sales.

4. Get Some Press
Pitching your products for inclusion in gift guides and magazine articles is a great way to attract new customers and boost V-Day sales. Although it is too late to pitch monthly print press, there’s still time to contact weekly and daily print outlets. You also have time to pitch your products to online outlets like blogs.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

This content is copyrighted. See my content sharing policy here.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »