6 Online Marketing Mistakes that Will Kill Your Business

by Melinda Brennan

image of chalk outline of crime victim

Usually on Copyblogger we talk about how to grow your business, get more customers, increase your conversion rate, build thousands of daily readers, and all the rest of it.

But you also need to know about the factors that will kill off your business. Sometimes it’s a question of attitude, like when you’re sick of it, when it’s only a hobby and you don’t want to take it too seriously, or when you’re equally scared of success and failure.

And then there are just downright mistakes, which, fortunately, can be corrected.

If you want your business to thrive, watch out for these warning signs. Get them straightened out and you’ll get your business on the road to robust good health.
#1: A sucky attitude

Your attitude about your own business will affect everyone else’s attitude about it. Every web visitor, every person you speak to, every twitter and FaceBook contact. They’ll know, without you telling them, exactly how you regard your business.

What are some of the warning signs that your attitude may suck?

* When you don’t post for weeks on end.
* When you haven’t put out a new product or service for the last six months.
* When you say your business would be great if it wasn’t for those $#%^& customers.
* When you whinge about how hard business is and how all those successful A-listers must have had friends in the right places.
* When you’re expecting to be an overnight success and you’re surprised that you aren’t both rich and famous after six months.


image of chalk outline of crime victim

Usually on Copyblogger we talk about how to grow your business, get more customers, increase your conversion rate, build thousands of daily readers, and all the rest of it.

But you also need to know about the factors that will kill off your business. Sometimes it’s a question of attitude, like when you’re sick of it, when it’s only a hobby and you don’t want to take it too seriously, or when you’re equally scared of success and failure.

And then there are just downright mistakes, which, fortunately, can be corrected.

If you want your business to thrive, watch out for these warning signs. Get them straightened out and you’ll get your business on the road to robust good health.

#1: A sucky attitude

Your attitude about your own business will affect everyone else’s attitude about it. Every web visitor, every person you speak to, every twitter and FaceBook contact. They’ll know, without you telling them, exactly how you regard your business.

What are some of the warning signs that your attitude may suck?

  • When you don’t post for weeks on end.
  • When you haven’t put out a new product or service for the last six months.
  • When you say your business would be great if it wasn’t for those $#%^& customers.
  • When you whinge about how hard business is and how all those successful A-listers must have had friends in the right places.
  • When you’re expecting to be an overnight success and you’re surprised that you aren’t both rich and famous after six months. Leer más “6 Online Marketing Mistakes that Will Kill Your Business”

Top Secret America: Visualizing the National Security Buildup in the U.S.

“Top Secret America” [washingtonpost.com] is an extensive investigative project of the Washington Post
that describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the September 11 attacks. More than
a dozen Washington Post journalists spent 2 years developing the database, which was put together by compiling
hundreds of thousands of public records of government organizations and private-sector companies.

top_secret_america.jpg
From these records, The Washington Post identified 45 government organizations (for example, the FBI) engaged in top-secret work and determined that those 45 organizations could be broken down into 1,271 sub-units (for example, the Terrorist Screening Center of the FBI). At the private-sector level, The Post identified 1,931 companies engaged in top-secret work for the government, ranging from the “nuclear operations” by AT&T to the “cyber operations” of Abraxas.


“Top Secret America” [washingtonpost.com] is an extensive investigative project of the Washington Postthat describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the September 11 attacks. More thana dozen Washington Post journalists spent 2 years developing the database, which was put together by compiling hundreds of thousands of public records of government organizations and private-sector companies.

top_secret_america.jpg
From these records, The Washington Post identified 45 government organizations (for example, the FBI) engaged in top-secret work and determined that those 45 organizations could be broken down into 1,271 sub-units (for example, the Terrorist Screening Center of the FBI). At the private-sector level, The Post identified 1,931 companies engaged in top-secret work for the government, ranging from the “nuclear operations” by AT&T to the “cyber operations” of Abraxas. Leer más “Top Secret America: Visualizing the National Security Buildup in the U.S.”

How to Conduct a Tweet Chat for Your Business or Brand

To promote our recent book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, my co-author, Joe Kraynak, and I participated in a ‘Tweet Chat’ (also called a Tweetchat) about Facebook. If you have never heard of Tweet Chats and have no idea of what they are, just think of them as online, real-time conversations broadcast via Twitter. They are typically held at a pre-arranged time, among a group of Twitter users, using a specific Twitter hashtag–such as #AskCIG–to identify the discussion and Twitter users are invited to ask questions via tweets using the designated hashtag.

While all this sounds simple enough, conducting an effective Tweet Chat can be a little awkward, especially for the ill prepared. Although this feature is referred to as a chat, it is much more cumbersome than chatting online with any of today’s popular instant messaging platforms. Personally, I would rather conduct such an interview on a Facebook Page in the comments area of a Status Update; there at least the discussion is all in one place and easy to follow, instantly archived, and associated with whatever brand’s page it appears on. On Twitter, there’s no branding, the discussion is not archived in any reasonably accessible manner, and the platform itself is entirely devoid of the type of analytics today’s businesses need to gauge the effectiveness of the effort.


To promote our recent book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, my co-author, Joe Kraynak, and I participated in a ‘Tweet Chat’ (also called a Tweetchat) about Facebook. If you have never heard of Tweet Chats and have no idea of what they are, just think of them as online, real-time conversations broadcast via Twitter. They are typically held at a pre-arranged time, among a group of Twitter users, using a specific Twitter hashtag–such as #AskCIG–to identify the discussion and Twitter users are invited to ask questions via tweets using the designated hashtag.

While all this sounds simple enough, conducting an effective Tweet Chat can be a little awkward, especially for the ill prepared. Although this feature is referred to as a chat, it is much more cumbersome than chatting online with any of today’s popular instant messaging platforms. Personally, I would rather conduct such an interview on a Facebook Page in the comments area of a Status Update; there at least the discussion is all in one place and easy to follow, instantly archived, and associated with whatever brand’s page it appears on. On Twitter, there’s no branding, the discussion is not archived in any reasonably accessible manner, and the platform itself is entirely devoid of the type of analytics today’s businesses need to gauge the effectiveness of the effort. Leer más “How to Conduct a Tweet Chat for Your Business or Brand”

Conscious Capitalism — Can Companies Care in the Downturn?

I read a fascinating article in the Dallas Morning News this week about why the corporate values of The Container Store and Whole Foods Market are similar. The founders of the two companies, Kip Tindell and John Mackey, apparently shared a house with a few other roomies while attending the University of Texas.

Both emerged from these formative years to start companies that went on to major success based in part on their groundbreaking philosophy that all stakeholders matter — employees, customers and the community as well as investors. That more profits come from caring than from naked greed.


I read a fascinating article in the Dallas Morning News this week about why the corporate values of The Container Store and Whole Foods Market are similar. The founders of the two companies, Kip Tindell and John Mackey, apparently shared a house with a few other roomies while attending the University of Texas.

Both emerged from these formative years to start companies that went on to major success based in part on their groundbreaking philosophy that all stakeholders matter — employees, customers and the community as well as investors. That more profits come from caring than from naked greed.
Leer más “Conscious Capitalism — Can Companies Care in the Downturn?”

Help! I Lost My Job!

Unemployment tips and resources for the recently laid off

Here are tips and resources to help if you have just been laid off or you suspect that you will soon be laid off. Check our other guides to job hunting, earning extra income, and ways to cope if you hate your job. Also check out the sidebar for links to job boards and other job hunting resources.


Unemployment tips and resources for the recently laid off

Here are tips and resources to help if you have just been laid off or you suspect that you will soon be laid off. Check our other guides to job hunting, earning extra income, and ways to cope if you hate your job. Also check out the sidebar for links to job boards and other job hunting resources. Leer más “Help! I Lost My Job!”

How to Budget and Track Expenses for Your Next Vacation

I recently discovered a neat — and free — online tool that will help you estimate, budget, and track your expenses for your next vacation. It’s aptly named Budget Your Trip.

Travel is one of those luxuries that, even on a budget, can be costly. It’s difficult to estimate what you’ll spend before you get there, tricky to monitor your expenditures mid-stream, and excruciating to curb your spending if you realize the budget is going off the rails. “I’m on vacation”, you justify, as you order that extra beer with dinner, figuring it will all come out in the wash (or at least you’ll be too drunk by the end of the night to care).

Instead of leaving your next vacation up to chance (and coming back broke and bitter about it), you can add some science to the exercise with the help of Budget Your Trip.


A symbol depicting a palm tree.
Image via Wikipedia

I recently discovered a neat — and free — online tool that will help you estimate, budget, and track your expenses for your next vacation. It’s aptly named Budget Your Trip.

Travel is one of those luxuries that, even on a budget, can be costly. It’s difficult to estimate what you’ll spend before you get there, tricky to monitor your expenditures mid-stream, and excruciating to curb your spending if you realize the budget is going off the rails. “I’m on vacation”, you justify, as you order that extra beer with dinner, figuring it will all come out in the wash (or at least you’ll be too drunk by the end of the night to care).

Instead of leaving your next vacation up to chance (and coming back broke and bitter about it), you can add some science to the exercise with the help of Budget Your Trip. Leer más “How to Budget and Track Expenses for Your Next Vacation”

The Hard Truth about Fat-Cat CEO’s

Sometimes Recessionwire carries a certain bias, one that supports the out-of-worker and opposes the big, bad CEO. As a fair and balanced news source, we find it necessary to provide the reader a glimpse of both sides of the coin. What really goes on in the life of some of the world’s most powerful people? To find out, we get the perspective of the CEO of DASSCC (Dynamic Analysts and Synergetic Systems Consultants Corporation), Peter B. Gibbonsworth, in a segment we like to call: Myth…And Busted.
Myth I: All CEOs are chubby male WASPs.

…And Busted: This old rumor! I certainly understand where it comes from, but I do believe I serve as a fine counterexample. Yes I am a male. Yes I do pack on a few extra Krispy Kremes (shout out to CEO James Morgan!). And yes I am white and I happen to attend a Protestant church. But, as anyone can tell you, the Gibbonsworths are a quarter Dutch. I kid you not. Mom’s mom. The Janssens. Also I’m pretty sure the CEO of Nabisco, or Cisco, or some corporation is a woman. I think, might want to check that out though. Busted!
Myth II: We live unnecessarily opulent, luxurious lives…


businessman tie 200Sometimes Recessionwire carries a certain bias, one that supports the out-of-worker and opposes the big, bad CEO. As a fair and balanced news source, we find it necessary to provide the reader a glimpse of both sides of the coin. What really goes on in the life of some of the world’s most powerful people?  To find out, we get the perspective of the CEO of DASSCC (Dynamic Analysts and Synergetic Systems Consultants Corporation), Peter B. Gibbonsworth, in a segment we like to call: Myth…And Busted.

Myth I: All CEOs are chubby male WASPs.

And Busted: This old rumor! I certainly understand where it comes from, but I do believe I serve as a fine counterexample. Yes I am a male. Yes I do pack on a few extra Krispy Kremes (shout out to CEO James Morgan!). And yes I am white and I happen to attend a Protestant church. But, as anyone can tell you, the Gibbonsworths are a quarter Dutch. I kid you not. Mom’s mom. The Janssens. Also I’m pretty sure the CEO of Nabisco, or Cisco, or some corporation is a woman. I think, might want to check that out though. Busted!

Myth II: We live unnecessarily opulent, luxurious lives… Leer más “The Hard Truth about Fat-Cat CEO’s”

Six Ways to Avoid Blowing Your Job Interview

By Jay Hofmeister

handshake interview 150For nearly five months, I’ve been trying to fill a few positions at our human capital firm, and along the way I’ve learned quite a lot about the many ways job candidates can blow their job prospects—obvious and not so obvious. In this still-challenging economy, it is not what the company can do for you, but what value you bring to the company. You should focus addressing any issues that could keep your candidacy from moving forward, and try NOT to shoot yourself in the foot with one of these moves.
Being Arrogant

Hiring managers want people who are confident—but most also want team players who work well in groups. There is a very fine line when it comes expressing confidence in an interview and what hiring managers see as being arrogant or cocky. Candidates blow their chances when they continually refer to projects they were involved in with the word I. One candidate recently crossed himself off the list by saying he couldn’t stand working with people from West Virginia—obviously, he thought West Virginians were not as smart as he is.
Trying to reinvent the job…


handshake interview 150For nearly five months, I’ve been trying to fill a few positions at our human capital firm, and along the way I’ve learned quite a lot about the many ways job candidates can blow their job prospects—obvious and not so obvious. In this still-challenging economy, it is not what the company can do for you, but what value you bring to the company. You should focus addressing any issues that could keep your candidacy from moving forward, and try NOT to shoot yourself in the foot with one of these moves.

Being Arrogant

Hiring managers want people who are confident—but most also want team players who work well in groups. There is a very fine line when it comes expressing confidence in an interview and what hiring managers see as being arrogant or cocky. Candidates blow their chances when they continually refer to projects they were involved in with the word I. One candidate recently crossed himself off the list by saying he couldn’t stand working with people from West Virginia—obviously, he thought West Virginians were not as smart as he is.

Trying to reinvent the job… Leer más “Six Ways to Avoid Blowing Your Job Interview”

How to Bootstrap Your New Business Wisely

Starting a business is tough—and that goes double when you’re starting a business in an economic environment this challenging. If you’re bootstrapping (and chances are good that you’re using your own money to fund the company) it’s important to use your resources as efficiently as possible, You want to protect your capital but also invest where it counts most. I’ve been helping businesses for years, and here is what successful bootstrappers know:
Control fixed expenses

At some point—usually when you need to bring other people aboard to accommodate growth—you’ll probably need an office. Until then, work from home and use e-mail and cell phones to communicate, so you can minimize fixed expenses like office space and furniture.
Use contractors as much as possible

Avoid hiring people even when you need additional help. By using contractors you can save significant capital when compared to hiring employees (BusinessWeek.com, October/November, 2007). Your per-hour costs may be higher for projects, but you don’t have to deal with payroll taxes, benefits or workers’ comp, and you have a lot more spending flexibility because when there is no work, you don’t have to pay. Just beware of IRS rules differentiating employees vs. contractors – the government is cracking down on companies that treat contractors like employees.


stick figures working 150Starting a business is tough—and that goes double when you’re starting a business in an economic environment this challenging. If you’re bootstrapping (and chances are good that you’re using your own money to fund the company) it’s important to use your resources as efficiently as possible, You want to protect your capital but also invest where it counts most. I’ve been helping businesses for years, and here is what successful bootstrappers know:

Control fixed expenses

At some point—usually when you need to bring other people aboard to accommodate growth—you’ll probably need an office. Until then, work from home and use e-mail and cell phones to communicate, so you can minimize fixed expenses like office space and furniture.

Use contractors as much as possible

Avoid hiring people even when you need additional help. By using contractors you can save significant capital when compared to hiring employees (BusinessWeek.com, October/November, 2007). Your per-hour costs may be higher for projects, but you don’t have to deal with payroll taxes, benefits or workers’ comp, and you have a lot more spending flexibility because when there is no work, you don’t have to pay. Just beware of IRS rules differentiating employees vs. contractors – the government is cracking down on companies that treat contractors like employees. Leer más “How to Bootstrap Your New Business Wisely”

What Every Photographer Needs to Know about Social Media

by Guest Contributor

An introduction to social media for photographers by Australian Freelance Photographer Gemma Carr (@GemTweetAlot).
How critical is social media/marketing to your photography business?

Photographers are busy people. So too are our clients. More so than ever before we have an abundance of information available to us at the click of a mouse. It’s always evolving; full of opportunity and at times, a little overwhelming.

social media photographers

As you can see, the modern day photographer is a busy one indeed. Running a successful photography business has always been about much more than just taking great photos.

As shown in the diagram above, the skills we need as a photographer in 2010 are much more diverse. The list could go on, but, I think you will see the most notable change in skills is the web?based tools such as website/Blogs/Facebook/Twitter.

And with all the new ways to promote your business the range of options is both exciting and challenging. Wouldn’t you agree?


An introduction to social media for photographers by Australian Freelance Photographer Gemma Carr (@GemTweetAlot).

How critical is social media/marketing to your photography business?

Photographers are busy people. So too are our clients. More so than ever before we have an abundance of information available to us at the click of a mouse. It’s always evolving; full of opportunity and at times, a little overwhelming.

social media photographers

As you can see, the modern day photographer is a busy one indeed. Running a successful photography business has always been about much more than just taking great photos.

As shown in the diagram above, the skills we need as a photographer in 2010 are much more diverse. The list could go on, but, I think you will see the most notable change in skills is the web?based tools such as website/Blogs/Facebook/Twitter.

And with all the new ways to promote your business the range of options is both exciting and challenging. Wouldn’t you agree? Leer más “What Every Photographer Needs to Know about Social Media”

SEO is a Tactic, Not a Strategy


by ian

SEO is no more a strategy than printing business cards.

It’s a tactic that forms a large and essential part of your internet marketing strategy.

I had a phone call today that went like this:

Page 2 Leer más “SEO is a Tactic, Not a Strategy”

¿Por qué se hace fan de una marca un usuario de Facebook?

Cada día son más las marcas que aterrizan en Facebook en busca de seguidores, pero ¿qué es realmente lo que mueve a una persona a hacerse fan de una compañía en la famosa red social? Según un estudio de Google, es la esperanza de recibir posibles descuentos y ofertas especiales lo que anima fundamentalmente al usuario a apoyar a una marca en Facebook, informa el blog WebProNews.

Un 25% de los consultados por Google aduce posibles ventajas financieras como principal motivo a la hora de seguir a una marca en Facebook. El 18% señala, en cambio, que su principal motivación es hacer visible su apoyo a la marca. Para el 10% de los encuestados es la diversión y el entretenimiento lo que les mueve fundamentalmente a seguir a una marca en Facebook. Y para el 8% es la posibilidad de acceder a las últimas noticias relacionadas con la marca lo que les lleva a mostrar su apoyo a una determinada marca en la red social de Mark Zuckerberg.


Cada día son más las marcas que aterrizan en Facebook en busca de seguidores, pero ¿qué es realmente lo que mueve a una persona a hacerse fan de una compañía en la famosa red social? Según un estudio de Google, es la esperanza de recibir posibles descuentos y ofertas especiales lo que anima fundamentalmente al usuario a apoyar a una marca en Facebook, informa el blog WebProNews.

Un 25% de los consultados por Google aduce posibles ventajas financieras como principal motivo a la hora de seguir a una marca en Facebook. El 18% señala, en cambio, que su principal motivación es hacer visible su apoyo a la marca. Para el 10% de los encuestados es la diversión y el entretenimiento lo que les mueve fundamentalmente a seguir a una marca en Facebook. Y para el 8% es la posibilidad de acceder a las últimas noticias relacionadas con la marca lo que les lleva a mostrar su apoyo a una determinada marca en la red social de Mark Zuckerberg. Leer más “¿Por qué se hace fan de una marca un usuario de Facebook?”

Forrester: Consumers Will Not Only Buy, They’ll Help Create

If the general trend toward crowdsourcing is any clue, then we are all well aware of the value of the Internet masses. Having access to a loyal fan base can be like a fount of free ideas and labor. From translating Wikipedia and Facebook to beta testing Google Chrome, crowdsourcing is used all across the Web for a number of purposes and analyst firm Forrester is suggesting one more – co-creation.

According to a report released this week, U.S. consumers a willing “co-creators”, a fact that many companies have yet to take advantage of. [Más…]

The report surveyed consumer product strategy professionals and consumers and found that “nearly half of all companies are not using social media to interact directly with their customers in order to influence product creation, design or strategy.” Beyond that, the report found that a majority of consumers were more than willing to lend a helping hand in creating the products they would eventually purchase.


If the general trend toward crowdsourcing is any clue, then we are all well aware of the value of the Internet masses. Having access to a loyal fan base can be like a fount of free ideas and labor. From translating Wikipedia and Facebook to beta testing Google Chrome, crowdsourcing is used all across the Web for a number of purposes and analyst firm Forrester is suggesting one more – co-creation.

According to a report released this week, U.S. consumers a willing “co-creators”, a fact that many companies have yet to take advantage of. Leer más “Forrester: Consumers Will Not Only Buy, They’ll Help Create”

Big Brand AR Marketing Roundup: Nike, Ray-Ban & More

As the popularity of augmented reality (AR) marketing grows, it is becoming difficult to keep up with all of the important brands that are looking to test out the technology. This is great news for AR fans. As I’ve mentioned several times before, big brand acceptance of AR as a viable digital marketing platform is a huge precursor to mainstream popularity. In the recent weeks, several big brands have jumped on the AR bandwagon, and some have even gone back for seconds. Here’s a run down of some recent activity.


arbrands_aug10.jpgAs the popularity of augmented reality (AR) marketing grows, it is becoming difficult to keep up with all of the important brands that are looking to test out the technology. This is great news for AR fans. As I’ve mentioned several times before, big brand acceptance of AR as a viable digital marketing platform is a huge precursor to mainstream popularity. In the recent weeks, several big brands have jumped on the AR bandwagon, and some have even gone back for seconds. Here’s a run down of some recent activity. Leer más “Big Brand AR Marketing Roundup: Nike, Ray-Ban & More”

Thought Leadership Rewired: How Consulting Firms are Using Social Media to Market Their Ideas

A Research Report by The Bloom Group, BlissPR and the Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF)

Social media is at the center of marketing discussions in a growing number of consulting firms, both large and small. Taking the lead from clients who have been blogging, forming LinkedIn and Facebook groups, Tweeting, and launching online communities, many consulting firms are following suit. They are feverishly exploring the latest wave of online techniques for attracting clients, prospects and key market influencers such as journalists, investors, and market analysts. A solid and growing number of consulting firms has gone far beyond the exploration stage and taken the plunge. [Más…]

Their interest in social media appears to be matched only by their fears. On the surface, social media seems to be a far less expensive, less onerous and much faster way to attract clients than publishing articles in management journals, writing white papers, producing books, running seminars and activities that increasingly fall under the moniker of “thought leadership marketing.” But social media, of course, can have a downside: Readers can and do talk back to what you post – to you and their peers. Negative reviews of an article, study or presentation can go public in minutes and around the world.

So with such risks, should consulting firms make social media a key piece of the thought leadership marketing mix? And, if so, what do firms need to do so that social media marketing can be effective?


Association of Management Consulting Firms
Image via Wikipedia

A Research Report by The Bloom Group, BlissPR and the Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF)

Social media is at the center of marketing discussions in a growing number of consulting firms, both large and small. Taking the lead from clients who have been blogging, forming LinkedIn and Facebook groups, Tweeting, and launching online communities, many consulting firms are following suit. They are feverishly exploring the latest wave of online techniques for attracting clients, prospects and key market influencers such as journalists, investors, and market analysts. A solid and growing number of consulting firms has gone far beyond the exploration stage and taken the plunge. Leer más “Thought Leadership Rewired: How Consulting Firms are Using Social Media to Market Their Ideas”