Keys to Success: Unique Marketing – Part 1

Published on Aug 31, 2007   //  Business Topics

Keys to Success

I come across unique marketing ideas on a day to day basis, as I find them I will share them here. More then not though I am barraged with marketing that does not work.

Slow Down Kids at Play SignAs school gets closer and closer the kids in our neighbourhood have been feverishly enjoying every last minutes of sunlight. Neighbours who do not have kids rarely slow down and whiz by giving every parent outside a heart attack. I was driving in another neighbourhood (slowly of course) when I saw a sign that said ‘Slow down – kids at play’ (see image). I notice the sign had the logo of a local insurance company. I paid a visit to them and picked up my own sign and have been using it outside since.

The reason I have shared this story is because since putting the sign out, every person in my neighbourhood has asked me where I got it. The word of mouth marketing of this sign is well worth the $7 it would cost to make it. If your local insurance company is not giving it away perhaps it would be a good way for you to market your business.

What do you think of this type of marketing?

If you own a business I challenge you today to find 1 unique way to market your business before the end of the year. If you take the challenge then post a comment about what you did and how it worked out.

In The Sphere: Arbitrage, WAHM, and Life Balance

Published on Aug 31, 2007   //  In the Sphere

Well, this is the last weekend before most students have to file their way back to school. What this means is that either the kids are going to rest up as much as they can over these next three days (hurray for Labour Day) or they’re going to try and cram as much activity in there as possible. And then there are the geeks who’ll spend several hours in front of their computers reading blogs. That’s where I step in with some quick links from the blogsphere.

Brian Heys needs to stay organized, but he wants to have things available to him even if he’s not at his home computer. That’s why he uses web-based contacts and calendar management. Plaxo keeps all your pertinent information in one place, and then you can synchronize it with your Yahoo! address book, Google Calendar, Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, or mobile phone.

Sharon Hurley Hall of Get Paid to Write Online is a work at home mom, and as such, she’s all too familiar with the WAHM writer balance. She reminds us that it’s perfectly acceptable to take some time out of your hectic work schedule to spend a few quality moments with your family and friends. The world will not come to a screeching halt.

Jason from Foximus took an extended break from blogging recently, leaving the site relatively untouched for the entirety of August. And now he’s suffering from the consequences, because not updating your blog will kill it fast. Whereas Foximus.com got 299,481 hits for July 2007, it only received 71,345 hits for August. That represents a difference of 228,136 page views!

King Nomar is always on the lookout for new ways to make money online. One of his latest adventures was an experiment in arbitrage. Basically, he started an AdWords campaign that pointed to a landing page, hoping that these visitors would click on the ads found within to net a profit. In the end, he scored a profit of $11.11. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions.

Cameron from Career Ramblings is following the same sentiment as Sharon above, emphasizing that you should enjoy your life and separate work from home. You’ve got to ask yourself, are you living to work or working to live?

Blog Redesign – Feedback Required

Published on Aug 30, 2007   //  Development

BlueFur Blog 2.0 

As our blog continues to grow and grow it was time for a blog makeover to bring us up to the next level. The original free theme we modified has outlived it use and it is time to move on.

Our theme is being done by Designer Nate Whitehill. The above (click on the image for the full sized preview) is what we have so far. I would like feedback from you the readers on what you think in the comments.

Marketing 101: Why Marketing is So Important

Published on Aug 30, 2007   //  Marketing Tips
Off

Earlier today, John Chow put up a post on his blog, exclaiming that if you build it, they won’t come. This was meant to emphasize a very simple, but very important point: No matter how fantastic your product happens to be, if no one knows about it or if it is not marketed properly, it will never be a success. His post talks specifically about building a successful blog, but the same can be said with just about any product or service.

While I don’t completely agree that “successful blogging is 10% blogging and 90% marketing”, I do agree that far too many people pay far too little attention to the marketing side of things. If you really think about it, ideas like the pet rock are pretty mediocre at best, but they did a fantastic job of convincing everyone that they wanted one. The same can be said about the marketing machine behind children’s toys like Tamagotchi, Furby, and Tickle Me Elmo.

The type and style of marketing will depend largely on the scope of your product/service, the nature of your audience, and the prevailing trends in the marketplace. There are no hard and fast rules as to how you should market your blog, invention, or service, but it is clear that you shouldn’t let advertising and promotion slip out the back of your mind. Yes, you want a quality product, but you also need to ensure that people know about (and want) it.

In Chow’s own words: “What separates John Chow dot Com from the no traffic blog isn’t so much the content. There are tons of small blogs that can write better content than me. However, the best content in the world won’t do you any good if you can’t get people to read it. Building it is not enough. You need to learn how to market it.”

PHP 5 Toggle Script Installed

Published on Aug 29, 2007   //  Development

PHP 4 to 5 Toggle Script

The PHP 5 Toggle script is now installed and running on all of our servers (even the reseller servers). This will be installed on new servers to make it easier for customers to make use of PHP 5.

A lot of time and effort went into making the script so we hope you enjoy it. We would also like to give a shout out to Matt again for suggesting it.

We will be making the script available to other cPanel hosts. We decided to make it $10 for the script for unlimited server usage. View the full details of the PHP 5 Toggle Script on our main site.

WordPress Wednesdays: Maintenance Mode

Published on Aug 29, 2007   //  WordPress

Sometimes you want to make a few tweaks to your blog without these changes actually going live for the public to see. This may involve everything from testing out a new theme to upgrading to the latest version of WordPress. Whatever your motivation, there are times when you want these adjustments to remain hidden to the rest of the Internet until you’re good and ready to show everyone.

The Maintenance Mode plug-in for WordPress allows you to do this. When activated, the plug-in will transform every page on your blog into a splash page, telling visitors that the site is down for maintenance and will be back in an about an hour. During this time, you can make whatever changes you need to make, previewing them in your WordPress admin area. When it’s time to go live again, you simply turn Maintenance Mode off and you’re back to normal, renewed with some fresh additions and adjustments.

On a side note, if you make use of the Automated Upgrade, it comes pre-packaged with a version of Maintenance Mode.

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