Monthly Archives: August 2006

Blogging For Profits: Issue # 11: Using Current Events Related To Your Business For A Niche Blog That Drives Traffic To Your Primary Business

Several weeks ago airport security rules were changed. The government pronounces them enhanced security measures.

I am a frequent air traveler and quickly set up a blog www.fastairporttravel.com The primary purpose of this niche site is to provide information that would help fellow business air travelers and others navigate airport security. In addition to information on security lines, there are tips on checking luggage, renting cars and more.

There is anther purpose for most blogs I activate. Each of my business related blogs has a very defined goal. Each one also serves to increase awareness of my consulting practice. In many cases, information is provided that businesses and marketers can directly use to help improve revenue and profits. In the case of Fast Airport Travel, the information is indirect. In all cases there are links to my primary site www.stevepohlit.com and to my primary business blog www.stevereports.com

Every business and entrepreneur can benefit from first activating a primary web site and blog. Once in place, there are almost no limits to the topics that can be developed for your blog that tie into the goal of your business and blog. There will be times when you come across a theme that warrants its own blog.

Examples of Creating Niche Blogs For Business Growth

Restaurants
The topics related to food and drink along with a tie in to health, increased energy, weight management and issues like diabetes are easily developed. If wine and spirits are served, they represent an opportunity for specialty blogs or at least major categories on the restaurant’s primary blog.

Retail Store
Depending on your offer, there is most likely a wealth of information on most, if not all, of your product categories. I once owned a drug store chain. If I still operated that business, I would likely outsource the development of content related to items sold. This could easily be a full time position for a person. However, I have learned from the Internet Marketing experts frequently posting articles at Internet Marketing Newswatch, to test using writers from elance, rentacoder or one of the other independent contractor broker sites. Imagine the range of topics possible particularly since drug stores have pharmacies, food, magazines, eye care, dental, cosmetics, skin care and more.

Professional Services
Legal, accounting, medical, title, marketing, financial services and others each have no shortage of content which form the basis for a blog. In addition, there are niche markets for most professional firms to have separate blogs. Many professionals are hesitant to offer too much information since they believe their ability to charge fees will be impaired. In my course “How To Increase Profits by 30% or More In 90 Days or Less” offered at www.stevepohlit.com I give away the exact process I teach clients that are paying me. Most people are too busy to implement new ideas, even when all the information is available for free. Of course, in the professional services industry there is value associated with working with the professional chosen, as there is often more than one way to achieve a goal. Also, there are specialties that are not easily self taught or practiced.

Name Your Industry
This article could be book by expanding on the above examples and including more industries. While this issue of Blogging for Profits may be the foundation for a future book, today’s purpose is to give you ideas on how you can develop your information and communication strategy and implement that strategy with the help of niche blogs. Ultimately, your business revenue and profits should benefit.

A Closing Recommendation
My region’s weekly business journal recently printed an article highlighting the small percentage of businesses using blogs and the relatively small percentage of people on line reading blogs. Do not be deterred by statistics. Valuable content will help your business. You may not see an immediate impact. However, consistent attention to providing valuable information to your target audience will have a positive return on investment long term.

May Your Profits Grow and You Enjoy The Journey

Steve Pohlit, Business Consultant

P.S. You are invited to post your success stories and tips at www.successtips.us and remember, most content developed for blogs can be submitted to article directories.

(Learn the exact steps to developing your own blog by reading the back issues of Blogging for Profits. Subscribing at www.stevereports.com)

Huge Opportunities for Direct Response Marketers

The number of companies using classic lead generation and direct response marketing is very small, the opportunity for marketers to help others is huge. You don’t have to be one of the gure’s to make a difference. Here are some examples of what is working:

McDonalds

McDonalds promotes a $1.00 menu in many markets. Do they lose money on this promotion? For just the $1.00 menu, McDonalds probably covers all of their food costs. In the accounting world after considering other direct costs, McDonalds is probably not making any money on the dollar meal promotion. So why do they do it?

First the dollar promotion is very popular with students and even that group generally spend more than a dollar adding on additional items to their order. Students who like the deal, bring their friends and the average ticket often exceeds $3.00. In the fast food industry McDonalds is doing quite well.

The $1.00 meal is classic lead generation. Is it perfect direct response marketing? Hardly, since McDonalds still does not do much to build their data base of customers and use it for a direct to customer communication strategy.

Here are a couple of other examples:

Men’s Warehouse

They offer the “Perfect Fit Program”. This is classic direct response marketing. On line or in the store there are attractive offers to become part of this program. Members receive attractive offers by email on special buys and sales. Based on my experience with this retailer, they execute their lead generation and communication strategy very well.

Blue Hippo

Have you ever seen these brief informercials on TV? Blue Hippo wants you to send you a computer. They target people with limited resources by offering them a weekly payment plan. It appears they will send a computer to just about anyone. Their promotion is also classic direct response. The ad runs and viewers are asked to call an 800 number. Very easy to calculate return on investment. Run the ad, measure the calls received and measure the conversion of calls received to shipments booked. I have no idea of the economics of their business, but if it is like other pay by the week businesses the profit margins are huge.

The Number of Good Examples of Direct Response Marketing Are Increasing. Companies are beginning to wake up to the importance of measuring return on investment from marketing dollars. However, for every business having a marketing program that is structured to track return on investment, there are thousands that do not.

Even the companies that have in-house marketing experts often do not really know how to maximize the return on investment from their marketing dollars. Just this week I met with the CEO and marketing expert of a medium sized company that I am helping with a business plan and projections in connection with their interest in securing additional funding for an accelerated growth program. In examining what they have done in the past, I learned they purchased a targeted list of 5,000 leads. A mailing campaign with postcards was designed and implemented.

Sounds good so far. Upon closer examination, no testing was done on the marketing message. They could have used Google Adwords to test response rates and conversion of versions of their message. Even if they didn’t want to do that, they should have tested a sample of the 5,000 before have the postcard printed for a three step sequential mailing. The point is they are doing something, they are trying but they missed several key points that would have increased their return on investment.

Being on the list of most of the well known direct response marketers, it seems natural to identify gaps in my marketing expertise. Then I simply start paying closer attention to the marketplace and find huge opportunities for improvement. With every one of my consulting clients I work through with them enhanced processes and procedures to grow revenue and maximize gross margin and net profit. This approach is detailed in the free course “How To Increase Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less” which can be found at www.stevepohlit.com and “Blogging for Profits” which is another free series that can be found here at www.stevereports.com

May Your Profits Grow and You Have Fun With The Journey

Steve Pohlit, Business Consultant

Blogging for Profits: Issue No. 10 A Profit Building Opportunity From A Home Repair Appointment

Recently I had a door including the frame replaced at my home. When a frame is replaced, it is common for the wiring and connectors for the security system to be compromised. One call to Brinks and the appointment for the repair was set. Their call center was very helpful.

The Brinks representative who came to my home arrived at the front end of the appointment window. Normally with other services I find I am usually the last call for some reason. He was professional and friendly. The work was completed quickly, he checked my entire system while he was there and the service was completed in less than an hour. I rate this experience very high on the customer satisfaction scale. However, to date they have not asked my opinion.

Discover how this appointment at my home turned into a Blogging for Profits opportunity for Brinks. Subscribe today at the main page ofSteve Reports

Steve Pohlit, Business Consultant