The question of whether an underperforming blog should be abandoned is an issue that I am personally wrestling with at the moment. Most advice on how to become a successful blogger suggests that persistence is required in order to succeed. However, there comes a time when "persistence" becomes "wheel spinning".
When it comes to email spam, much like pornography, I know it when I see it. Most of these annoying spam emails are the result of my email address being sold for commercial purposes. However, all email marketing is tainted by the activities of the bottom feeders sending out spam emails. Thus, the effectiveness of emails to a house list of subscribers that have opted in to receive emails tends to be overlooked as a marketing tactic. Email marketing to house lists and rented lists are such different tactics that it is regrettable that they are lumped together under the same name.
In the past week, I have received a half dozen e-mails offering SEO services for a website I manage, CourseMarking.com. Given that the site already ranks first for the key terms it is optimized for "course marking", it makes me wonder what benefit they propose to provide. However, these spammy e-mails can set unrealistic expectations for what a small business can expect from out sourcing SEO services. They all seem to promise phenomenal results for minimal cost
An owner of a small business and I recently discussed whether she should start a blog for her business. Like virtually all small businesses owners, she is resource constrained and wondered if the time investment would really pay off based on the benefits that would be realized. While the answer to that question is not necessarily "yes" for all businesses, it is for most. Here are some of the benefits of a business blog:
If your business model is in part dependent upon obtaining traffic from Google's Adwords pay per click program, the escalation in cost of clicks has been painful. As an example, in the real estate field, the cost of a paid click has increased from about $0.35 in 2003 to over a $1.00 today. The escalation in bid prices has been relentless. However, in today's low inflation environment bid escalation can not continue indefinitely. The cost of buying traffic has become so expensive that in many cases it can only be justified via dubious lifetime customer value calculations. Well, buried within Google's blow out earnings report (net income of $2.73 billion in Q3), is a note that the average cost per click declined by 5%.
My record as a prognosticator was fairly good until Twitter came along. I totally missed the boat on that one. Thus, it may be appropriate to take my prediction that Google Plus will not gain traction with the mainstream crowd with a grain of salt. However, the rationale for my opinion that Google Plus will not go mainstream is based on a judgment that Facebook has gained too much critical mass for Google to overcome (at least in the next few years).
Consider this situation - you just received an invitation to be a presenter at a prestigious conference. Before you automatically post information promoting this appearance, consider a recent headline from the UK, "New Survey: Burglars Use Social Media to Plan Crimes". Thus, there is a bit of risk associated with publishing information about upcoming travel plans. My rule of thumb is that given the benefits of promoting upcoming business related opportunities, I continue to post them if it will enhance my reputation and/or help to promote attendance at the presentation. However, I draw the line at posting information online about upcoming vacations.
My Facebook "friends" are a hodge-podge of friends, family, former co-workers, bicycling buddies, and professional contacts. Given the diverse nature of my list of friends, in the past I've followed the advice that no more than 25% of posts should be professionally oriented. However, it has become so easy to create lists on Facebook that I think this guideline can be thrown out the window.
My assumption as I began working on this post was that Google took advantage of their ownership of Blogspot to track activity on Blogger sites and use this data collection opportunity to enhance their search engine rankings. However, my research into this issue has led to more questions than answers. I can not find evidence proving that Blogger activity factors into Google rankings any differently that that of other blogs.
Early this year during the height of the Groupon craze, I attempted to find a good domain name for a "deal" related website. I probably reviewed over 200 potential variations of domain names that included either the term "deal" or "coupon". It was stunning that some of the combinations I considered to be really obscure had been purchased. I finally stumbled across "Deal Magik" after hours of fruitless searching for an available domain name. However, the domain name hoarding that led to it being so hard to find a suitable name may be on its way toward becoming an antiquated strategy.