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11% Annualized growth? In the middle of a recession?

By on Aug 29, 2009

So what’s been happening during the dog days of August (and just when are cat days, anyway)? While I’ve been working on a bunch of projects and taking a little vacation time to attend my nephew’s wedding in DC, the world has moved on. Cash for clunkers, a health care debate that sometimes seems to be about everything BUT health care and the passing of an American icon. Wow, what a month! And against that backdrop, the American economy seems to have stopped shrinking. That’s a good sign, but how long will we have to wait for more solid news of recovery? Depressing? Not if you’ve had your online marketing ducks in a row. According to the Forrester Research folks, online sales grew over past year at a rate of 11%. Let me repeat that… online sales grew by 11% in the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. Looking for some positive news? There it...

Firefox Web browser logs billionth download

By on Aug 3, 2009

“The much-loved Firefox Web browser reached a milestone Friday morning — its billionth download. “Quite a feat for a browser that, unlike Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Apple’s Safari, is run by a nonprofit organization with fewer than 250 employees. “Firefox, the free browser built on open source software that debuted in 2004, consistently gets high marks for speed, efficiency, adaptability and user-friendliness, and has become hugely popular worldwide.” Source: Los Angeles Times via San Jose Mercury-News Download Firefox here

New WordPress videos posted

By on Jul 31, 2009

Two new WordPress videos have been posted to the videos page at OrangeCat.com. Is Your WordPress Installation Up-to-Date? (3:22) takes a few minutes to show you how to determine if your WordPress blog is running the latest version. If not it shows you what to do about it. Although WordPress has been fairly bullet-proof through it’s various versions, each new version introduces new features, fixes bugs and increases security over the previous version. The same can be said for plugins. Older versions of plugins could have security issues that have been addressed in later versions. In order to run the latest versions of a plugin, you may have to be running the latest version of WordPress as well. Having your WordPress website hacked could be more than just as inconvenience. If you have the Google Sitemaps plugin installed (and you should), it will report any changes made by a hacker...

Secure WordPress by deleting the admin user

By on Jul 29, 2009

DailyBlogTips.com recently published an article on why you should remove the default “admin” user from your WordPress installation. You are most likely using the “admin” user that was installed by default when WordPress was set up. DBT says “The problem with this is evident: if someone wanted to gain access to your blog, all he would need to do is to keep using the “admin” user name with a bunch of passwords combinations. This is called brute force attack, and with automated tools it works quite often.” Read more »

Maximizing your return on email marketing

By on Jul 27, 2009

You all know how powerful a well-conceived email marketing program can be. Forgot? I sometimes forget the details, too. According to the Direct Marketing Association, in 2008, email marketing returned and average $45.65 on each dollar spent. That’s an ROI (Return on Investment) of 4,565%! Can you think of any other marketing strategy for local businesses that offers that kind of return? That is why you hear Internet Marketers repeat themselves over and over and over again – “The money is in the list.” But here’s a little secret about that astonishing figure. It takes into account an average of ALL email marketing campaigns (except spamming, which has an historically abysmal rate of return). So it is a average of both good and bad campaigns. That means some folks are doing a lot better than the $45.65 average – and of course, some are doing worse. How...

Twitter a life saver for mom-and-pop businesses

By on Jul 26, 2009

This New York Times article talks about how small businesses, especially of the “mon-and-pop” variety are using Twitter as their primary marketing vehicle – often their ONLY marketing vehicle. And why not? Twitter is free and easy to use. And they are in the process of building new tools to allow businesses to better se what their “tweets” are doing for them. A more comprehensive marketing plan would be advantageous in the long run, but Twitter is a great way to get started when the budget is slim. Read more here...

The importance of Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

By on Jul 20, 2009

Owning a small business in most towns means you rely on customers from surrounding towns and areas for a significant portion of your business. Back in the “Yellow Pages” days that meant spending a small fortune promoting your business in those areas. When we use the term “keywords”, we are referring to single words or phrases that your potential customers may type into a search box when seeking your product or service. Now, a business can use online marketing to reach potential customers in an expanded market in a very cost-effective manner… IF you follow a simple strategy. You could build a web page that simply included the names of your target cities and a few keywords or phrases that you would like to rank highly for. And it just might work. I’ve used this technique and it got me into the top five for my keywords in a fairly competitive market....

Timothy Ferriss: Blogging Without Killing Yourself (Video)

By on Jul 13, 2009

Bestselling author Timothy Ferriss (The 4 Hour Workweek – #1 New York Times Best seller) delivers his presentation on effective blogging at WordCamp San Francisco 2009 Great information here for anyone starting a blog or wanting to improve their blogging skills.

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