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.

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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”