Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dumbest Excuses for Not Blogging

Reprinted from "The Publicity Hound's Tips of the Week," an ezine featuring tips, tricks and tools for generating free publicity. Subscribe at and receive by email the handy cheat sheet "89 Reasons to Send a Press Release."

If you aren't blogging yet, or you've stopped blogging, you can't use these three excuses:

--It takes too much time.

--I don't know what to say.

--Nobody comments at my blog.

Let's address them one by one.

Of course it takes time. But if I had to choose just one social media tool, I'd probably choose a blog. It positions you as an expert in your field far better than noisy sites like Twitter and Facebook can.

You don't know what to say?

Finding content is one of the biggest complaints I hear from Publicity Hounds. But once you know about shortcuts like creating Google Alerts and checking them each day for topics you can write about, you'll have more content than you'll ever need. That's what I do.

Nobody's commenting at your blog?

It could be because your content isn't compelling. Or perhaps you aren't feeding your blog into sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, where thousands more people can share your information with friends, followers and fans. Or maybe you aren't ending your posts with questions like "Am I wrong?" or "What's your take?" or "Share your best tip here and let's see how long a list we can create."

Results of my customer profile survey earlier this year show many Publicity Hounds are hungry for time-saving tips on how to blog. So I asked Patsi Krakoff of The Blog Squad to join me for a teleseminar at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, Jan. 13, called "Time-saving Tips for Smart Business Blogging."

Make 2010 the year you finally commit to a blog and build in efficiencies that will make the job go faster. Read more about what you'll learn and register.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Making Work At Home Work: Holiday Strategies

Making Work At Home Work: Holiday Strategies
by Mary Byers

As you may remember, I recently partnered up with Making Work at Home Work as a blogger.

As I look ahead to the approaching holiday season, I thought I’d share a few suggestions for you to consider for your business.

Give yourself a break. Most employees get time off for Christmas. Sometimes I give myself time off, too. But I'm not always intentional about it. This year, I'm going to actually mark off a couple of days that I'm gifting to myself. I'll turn on my auto reply and get myself out of the office. I know it will feel good and will be rejuvenating for me.

Make a list of office supply and equipment needs. I know it is difficult to spend money on work when you need to spend money on holiday gifts. But there are two great reasons to make work related purchases this month and next. One, there are great sales. Two, if you've had a successful year in 2009, you can reduce your taxable income by purchasing things you need (and want) for your business.

Consider developing a one-page plan for next year. I spend one morning each December writing a one-page business plan for myself. I simply identify four or five initiatives that would help my business. I capture them on paper, jot down my action plans, and post it on my wall. This helps keep me focused throughout the year.

• Set a financial goal (unless it will make you a slave to your business). I set financial goals for myself early in my business. But I abandoned them when they became the be-all and end-all for me even though I had two preschool aged children. Instead, I focused on taking the work that came my way. No more, no less. Now, however, I've started setting goals again. And I'm pleased to report that I had my best year ever in 2009! Don't be a slave to a goal. But consider setting one if it will motivate and encourage you or if you have something special you're saving for.

• Take time to be thankful. I am grateful I get to work from home. Sometimes I forget my gratitude when I'm overwhelmed or behind in my work. But I don't want to lose sight of what a privilege it is to run my own business. I plan to keep this in the forefront of my mind as I approach this holiday season.

Mary Byers is the author of Making Work at Home Work: Successfully Growing a Business and a Family Under One Roof. Sign up for her work at home blog at

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Paul Gillin's Message to Graduates

Social Media Expert, Paul Gillin, spoke to Dr. Nora Barnes’ social media marketing class at the University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth.

He had some VERY important things to tell them.

Here are some of my favorites:
- Much of what you’ve learned about marketing over the last four years will be irrelevant five years from now.

- You should discard much of what your teachers have been telling you about the media. Traditional media is collapsing and what emerges from the rubble will look very different than the institutions we now know.

- Traditional media was built upon a foundation of inefficiency. The clothing retailer who wanted to reach the .01% of the population who want to buy a wedding gown at any given time has had to pay for the 99.9% who don’t. That’s crazy, but it’s the only way we could get a message across in the past.

- In the old days, the marketer’s job was to media-train a few key executives. In the future, the marketer’s job will be to media-train the entire company.

Here's the full list.