Web Tools: Blogging as a Marketing Strategy

Andrew Lock

Probably the most popular blog dealing with permission marketing and personal branding today is ProBlogger.  It was created in about 2002 by Darren Rowse.  It’s since gone on to add several other additional guest bloggers and together it’s provided several hundred, possibly 1,000 or more, blog posts dealing with permission marketing and personal branding.

ProBlogger; web tools, small business computing; marketing tools; marketing for small business
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Topics include how to develop interesting and useful content for your readers, how to develop your own personal brand, and how to monetize your blog or your podcast. Because ProBlogger has done that consistently and well over the years, it’s become very popular Right now it has about 70,000 subscribers. 

One feature that distinguishes it from a lot of other pro bloggers is the marketing and new media, job board that connects people looking for jobs and companies looking for people. The work may be part-time basis, contract or full-time basis. If you’re looking for web design or copy writing work — or maybe you’d like to become an actual, paid blogger, then you might want to go check out the ProBlogger job board.  And also if you’re a company looking to hire a designer, copy writer or blogger, then you can also post on the job board.

If you want to market yourself online or develop your own personal brand, then be sure to go look at ProBlogger.

BargainTrader; web tools, small business computing; free marketing; marketing for small business
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Bargain Trader: Online Classified Ads

We’re venturing into online classified ads to a site called BargainTrader.  You know, when I go to a classified ad site, I try to find out two things: Does it have a lot of stuff for sale in my geographic area?  And is the site run by a publishing company, or is it free like CraigsList? 

BargainTrader is owned by the Trader Publishing Company. They own a bunch of specialty classified print magazines and websites like AutoTrader, TruckTrader. BargainTrader.com is an online offshoot of some of those free magazine classifieds, so that makes me feel more confident about them.  They have a background in collecting and disseminating advertising.

 My second criterion for checking out a classified website is whether it has stuff for sale in my region.  BargainTrader lets you search for classifieds by area code. In my case they only had 11 — that leads me to believe that they don’t have a huge presence in my neck of the woods.  But who knows, maybe they do in yours.  It’s certainly worth checking out. 

The next thing you want a classified web site to be is free, right?  I mean, CraigsList is free.  Why would you pay to place an ad someplace else? BargainTrader offers a range of advertising levels options, and you can get started for free. Here’s the pricing breakdown:

 An online only ad that runs for two weeks is free.  A standard online only ad that includes three photos and runs for four weeks costs $10.  An enhanced ad (runs for eight weeks, includes three photos, plus an email link and they highlight your ad) costs $15. 

How Stuff Works; web tools, small business computing; free marketing; small business technology
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How Stuff Works: Practical and Fun

There are some sites that everybody ought to go see, and How Stuff Works is one of them.  This site has something for everybody.

This site is literally all about how everything works. The home page showcases their top 10, most popular topics, and  there are quizzes here that you can take.  But the fun really begins when you start to look around.

The main menu features 15 categories, Under Adventure, for example they list dude ranches, wolf hunting, catch-and-release fishing, to name a few.  Under electronics, there are way too many of them for us to list them all.  How does HDMI work? (That’s the new connectors for televisions.)  How does a stun gun work? 

Over in communications you can learn how desktop sharing works or how 4G networks will change business. Or you can head over to Entertainment for a bit of fun: how hypnosis works, how boomerangs work, five golf grip tips.

This is a great place to find out how some piece of equipment you don’t understand works or to see how some service or company works.  How Stuff Works — you’ll have some fun and expand your horizons just a little bit.

You’ll find lots more marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business Essential series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses “get more done and have more fun.”

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