Sunday, July 31, 2011


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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Simple Marketing Mistakes That Cost You Money

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Simple Marketing Mistakes That Cost You Money
By Jessah T Lopez

Many companies, either big or small industries, lose substantial amounts of money because they do not employ the right and effective marketing strategies. Because when it comes to promotions, doing everything does not always result to great investment returns. However, a small number of concrete and well-thought out marketing strategies is better than trying to do everything all at once. Here are the common mistakes that countless companies do which cost them valuable money.

Not Giving People What They Want

You notice that in almost every trade-show, people leave with tons of promotional products. But how many of those pens, lanyard, calculators, and t-shirts will be used and not thrown out or kept in storage? More often than not, people will disregard most of the free items that they get as no one really needs twenty pens or pencils. To make sure that people really remember your company, focus on giving them what they truly need. To be more specific, get to know your customers. If they are mostly male who own or drive cars, then for sure they will appreciate roadside kits. One clever trick is to actually send out some promotional goodies to your customers right before a major trade-show so that when the event is there, they will find where your booth is as you already have captured their interest.

Skimping Out

Skimp out on quality and you will find that people will lose interest in your. It is similar with websites and promotional merchandise, the less attractive, fun or creative they are the more that you will find that people's attention will go to some other company instead. So develop your company's website and if you can, make it interactive yet still easy to use so that customers will keep you in their mind longer. Just the same, do not just give out standard notepad, shopping bags and key rings. Customize your corporate give-aways so that your name and logo can be clearly seen by many people. Packaging is key as well so take time to design your marketing collateral's so that they all look professional and well-made.

Not Monitoring Progress or Following-Up

Now, many corporations think that after the first initial contact, the customers will already know about them. That is a misconception. Consumers are always bombarded by a hundred other adverts and commercials from your competitors. So after giving out your promotional items in a trade-show, get the people's contact information so you can do a follow-up after the event. Make an email or even direct mailing list for your customers so that you can keep in touch with them. Also, monitor the progress of your efforts and see where you got the most return and new business. By doing that, you can focus on the strategies that gave you success and on which ones did not really give you return of investment.

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How to Create a Great Ground Level Deck

How to Create a Great Ground Level Deck

Author: Richard Vande Sompel

Quite a number of people think that raised decks are the only truly dramatic outdoor living spaces. However, ground level decks offer their own design advantages including those that are just a step or two up from ground level.

These decks are simpler to build than their higher relatives, raised decks. Low level decks tend to blend easier with the size and shape of the house to which they are attached. They also have more direct contact with the surrounding yard and its landscape features. This means that it is a much simpler matter to make the gardens, walkways, open yard area and the deck part of one integrated design.

In a practical manner, low level decks also rarely require the existence of a railing system which can create a strong sense of enclosure. And since there is no railing, there is nothing to interfere with any views that might be enjoyed while sitting on the deck.

There are a number of design techniques that can be used in creating an ideal ground level deck:

1. A wide set of steps can become a transition to the yard. They offer more design possibilities than standard size stairs. They can serve as platforms for container plants and other decorative objects. In addition wide stairs can be used as extra seating for small or large gatherings.

2. Something as simple as a change in direction in the shape of the platform can break up the monotony of a rectangular deck. A 45 degree angle here and there can alter the appearance of a ground level deck and add a dramatic look to it.

3. Container plants and hanging baskets can be used to create a movable landscape much more easily for a lower deck than a higher one. Clusters of plants in 1 or 2 colors are extremely effective in accomplishing this.

4. The careful placement of a perimeter of washed river rock or some other natural material can create the illusion that the deck is floating in place. Low voltage lighting can be used to repeat this effect once the sun goes down.

5. Lush foliage that strategically borders the low level deck can also be utilized to create an airy, floating appearance to this outdoor space.

6. A low L-shaped or wraparound ground level deck can be constructed to conform to the shape of the house in a more aesthetically pleasing manner without overpowering the home.

7. A fence or privacy screen can be easily used to provide a refuge from the eyes of prying neighbors or act as a wind screen. A trellis or section of framed lattice can also work well with climbing vines and plants to accomplish the same purpose.

8. Simple built-in benches can provide extra seating without obstructing views of the surrounding area. Something as simple as rearranging the deck furniture can be the key to improving the view also.

9. An overhead structure such as an arbor or pergola tends to be less obtrusive while providing protection from the intense rays of the sun. Either one can also provide support for attractive climbing vines and colorful plants that will enhance the look of the deck.

10.The use of similar materials on the house and deck can help the deck blend in with the surrounding backyard and ultimately add a great deal of subtle beauty to the whole landscape design..

Careful use of a variety of design techniques can enhance the look of any ground level decks and improve the quality of life for their owners and their families and guests.

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Do You Have A Solid Business Marketing Plan in Place?

Do You Have A Solid Business Marketing Plan in Place?
By Tyler Grupe

Perhaps the straightest path to your success in any kind of business is through a well-crafted and designed marketing plan. If you wanted a secret weapon that will take you places, faster, then read this article and more about these little leveraging devices.

Writing for your target audience dictates no room for error, and that is especially true anytime you discuss your products/services. You will see a much better response when they understand how they will benefit from what you have to offer them. Knowing your own product/service is the first step towards building a marketing plan that matters. That was the great secret of some the greatest advertisers, they learned so much about what they were selling that they could describe the benefits in greater detail. Putting this down on paper will help you clearly see where you're headed marketing wise and what kind of steps you should be taking to ramp up efforts.

How often do you look back over the previous six to twelve months of business with the aim to discover where you could have done better? What about the monthly breakdown of profit and losses for your business? Do you even track this data?

Perhaps at least 90% of online businesses never even bother with this, we are estimating. Analyze the customer retention and your market share, is there something new/fresh that you can to boost your retention rate and get a bigger share of the market? Hopefully you are in the habit of thinking about your customers, and so that means keeping tabs on feedback, etc. Business and life are all about feedback and hopefully taking actions to improve as much as possible.

You should know the importance of timelines; show in your marketing plan when your activities incur any kind of costs and when clearly write the starting and as well as the ending point of each component. The point to doing this is your plan is meant to give you total clarity and the direction you are taking your business. Another factor that you need to work on is control - build in effective controls into your plan that will allow you to keep track of your performance. So this all comes down to recording your metrics in some accurate way. No matter how big or small your profits are expected to be, it is important to write them out in your marketing plan so everything will be clear and easy to find.When you are finished with your marketing plan, then you will wonder how you ever did anything properly before.

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How To Get Your Trade Show Exhibit Noticed

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By Chris A. Hamen


The goal of any business event is to get noticed, but that can be difficult. Use these tips to make sure your trade show installation is one that attendees flock to and you'll leave with a sense of accomplishment and more new business than you can handle.

Plan Early And Ask For A Premium Spot

There's a secret many event planners don't like to tell attendees, and that is that everything is up for negotiation. They may say that trade show exhibit placement is a on a first come, first served basis, but in many cases that's just not true. Savvy companies negotiate with event planners to make sure they get a premium place to put their trade show booth. You may think that it's important to be right in the middle of the action, but placing your display in the most travelled section may work against you. If people are constantly rushing past your trade show exhibit, they won't feel like they can see what's going on, much less stop and talk to your sales personnel. Instead, choose a location that's a bit off the beaten path (but not tucked way in the back) and you'll have more quality interactions with potential customers.

Use A Trade Show Installation That's Open And Inviting

Location isn't the only important factor. If your trade show installation is small, cramped and dim, visitors won't want to stop by to see what you offer. Instead, use a design that's open, inviting and well lit and gives attendees the chance to walk around the elements of your design. For instance, if you're using double-sided banner stands with your trade show booth, make sure visitors can actually walk around all sides to see everything properly.

Send Out Pre-Registration Forms To Local Attendees

Getting people to your booth can be easy, especially if you send out a pre-registration form. Customers can fill out the form with their contact information such as name, email, phone and company. This works even better if visitors can return the form to be entered to win a prize. Big prizes such as small tablet computers, cash or gift cards work well, but if your budget doesn't have room for expensive giveaways, offering a free product or service works well too.

Try To Get On The Presentation Schedule

Event presenters automatically have credibility, so if possible, ask the event organizers if you can give a small presentation to the entire audience. This is a great opportunity, so it's important to remember that you should not expect to sell your company, your products or your service. Instead, create a presentation that the general audience will find useful and keep the selling to a minimum. Your company's name and credentials will be included in the event literature and customers will seek out your trade show booth afterwards if you've presented a thoughtful lecture.

It's said the squeaky wheel gets the grease and these tips can help your company get noticed. Whether you're attending your first corporate event or your 20th, it's important to stand out from the crowd.

Chris Harmen is a writer for Xtreme Xhibits, a company that helps customers with San Antonio trade show installation. Skyline can create a trade show exhibit in San Antonio for every customer.

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Monday, July 25, 2011


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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

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20 Marvellous methods to get traffic to your blog!

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For those who don't know, traffic is essentially just visitors to your blog. Getting visitors to your blog is the first step to earning money from it! Here's 20 free ways from to promote your blog and increase its traffic!

1. Post Quality Content. The first and foremost step to getting visitors to your blog is by posting valuable content. Don't write for computers or search engines, write for humans. People should be able to get a sense of you from your posts and be able to relate. Another tip would be to write content which won't be outdated next week or next year, so people will still be searching for articles you've writtin in 2050.

2. Post Frequently. Posting quality content is great. Posting quality content once a year isn't. You have to post frequently. Simple as that. Don't spend all your time writing for your blog though, you need to manage time between making content and marketing content.

3. Submit to search engines This should have been the first thing you do, but if you haven't already; submit your blog URL to all major search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. If your blog ain't listed in one of them there search engines you may's well erase it from internet history.

4. Submit your articles. Another useful way to get people over to your blog is by posting your articles on websites such as Reddit or Digg. Be careful though, you don't want to submit every single thing you write, only those whimsical ones that stand out. Also, you should encourage others to submit your articles using share buttons, as mentioned below. If you do get your article on the front page of say Digg for example, be sure to follow it up with a few more good posts. You don't want a surge of viewers on your blog to find out you haven't updated in a few days.

5. Submit to directories. A blog directory is a database of submitted blogs separated into categories. A quick Google search shows just how many are out there but to get your blog onto one of the more reliable ones, you may have to pay a onetime fee or include a link to the directory on your own blog. One link in return for potential traffic sounds like a good deal to me. For beginners, I've found a list of 20 Directories you should submit your blog to, here.

6. Ad/link Sharing. Link sharing involves you advertising or linking another website on your blog, while they link to you on theirs. This method might not be the most effective way to attract new visitors, especially if the ones linking to yours have absolutely nothing in common with your own.

7. Social Networking. Everyone's a member of at least one social network these days, whether it be Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, it doesn't matter, you can use any of these to promote your blog. I've got almost 500 friends on Facebook which equals 500 potential visitors. Just Link them to your blog in a status or tweet it, but don't overdo it, you don't want to scare your friends off with hundreds of links a day.

8. Include share buttons. Some Blogging platforms include this feature but if you want to customize your share buttons, or if you don't have any at all, I'd recommend AddThis. AddThis allows you to include over 300 share buttons in your post or in your header/footer. I'd recommend including Digg, Del.ic.ous, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Facebook Like, Google +1 and whatever else takes your fancy. This allows readers to easily share your content which hopefully will improve your traffic.

9. Use SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines. The first thing you can do to improve your page is by using Google Adwords, Keyword Tool. This allows you to record how many times a particular word or phrase is Googled each month, and how other similar keywords compare. You can this use this method to include specific keywords in your text. I'd recommend editing your old posts though because remember, you're writing for humans not search engines, but this way it will get people to your website where they can read your newest material. Another method is to add Meta Tags to your page, which could hopefully improve your position in a search engine. I've found a detailed guide to inserting meta tags here

10. Buy your own domain. Everyone likes free web hosting from blogging platforms like Blogger for instance. Free blog, free templates, easy customizable, just as long as you have in your URL. To improve your chances of being found in search engines, consider buying your own domain. It's really easy to redirect your old blog to your new one and sites such as Blogger can still host it for you was well.

11. Include an RRS feed/follow with email. Simple enough, this lets your readers follow you easily. Perhaps have a free newsletter or somethin'?

12. Pray. It's been proven that praying gives a 10% chance of more visitors*. You can't argue with the statistics.

13. Include link in emails. Just simply add your blog address to the bottom of your email and any other contact details you feel necessary.

14. Use other forms of media. Heard of Youtube? Try submitting content in the form of a video, just remember to include a link back to your blog. Mention boobs in the title and you're sure to get a lot of views (and a lot of enemies). Unless your blog actually is about boobs, in which case feel free to link me.

15. Add a Feed counter. A Feed counter shows you and your viewers how many people have signed up to your feed. Don't put one up straight away, wait till you gain a few hundred and then display it. People are more inclined to subscribe to your feed if there are a lot of other people doing it to, because it lets them know your blog is worth reading and isn't basically shit.

16. Comment/follow other blogs. You should spend some of your time looking at other blogs, preferably related to your own, and comment or follow them. Make sure you write interesting comments and don't just spam their box with ‘oh em geeeezzzz hey evryone! why dont ya go on my bolg instead!!!1!!one! xxxx'. Do include a link if prompted though.

17. Use Forums. If you're a frequent member of a particular forum, why not add your site URL to your signature. Again, don't spam threads, just write as you normally would. This is an easy way to get people visiting your blog.

18. Word of mouth. Get talking, tell all your BFFs about your cracking new blog, tell your postman, your window cleaner, even your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman. Let the world know your blog is the next best thing since Nyan Cat. You could also include it on a business card.

19. I couldn't think of one for 19.

20. Be annoying. If you really want to improve on those viewing figures you could just go against everything I've said and be really annoying. Spam your URL everywhere; social networks, emails, forums, chatrooms, other blogs. Sure you'll make no friends, but at least three more people are reading your blog each week! *I may have made this up.

If you have any feedback, I'd love to here it, just leave me a comment over on my blog!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Business Networking Groups and Their Aims

Business Networking Groups and Their Aims

Author: Peter William

In the recent years, business networking has acquired a new meaning. In any kind of professional venture, communicating with the client or the partner is very important. In fact, business networking groups is a process through which you can build partnerships with the other establishments with the purpose of generating the maximum amount of revenue so as to bring a huge profit for the company. This helps to create a strong platform, where you can get a huge exposure in terms of business dealings. In addition to that, you build extensive connection with people from various fields.

In fact the NYC networking Events helps in exchanging different ideas and business concepts. These may later help in building strong partnerships with the clients. In order to make the business flourish, it is very important to arrange meetings and events where there will be professional dealings. But there are few of the steps that you need to follow for building strong relationships with your partner. Since a lot of effort and time goes into building a relationship so it is important to nurture it in a proper manner. Merely exchange of business card will not help in making a relationship work. You must contact the person after meeting him at the event. Even if the other person does not move forward, you take a step further and proceed.

What is wrong if you start a business partnership with a bit of personal touch added to it? You can initiate a relationship by just sharing a few common likes and dislikes. This may be done to initiate the conversation in the beginning. If you want to take it to the next step, contact with him and discuss your new business ideas and concepts. It may be that a personal conversation may lead it to a professional dealing. So it is very important to focus on a conversation that will make the client remember you for a long time. It is in this way that the business networking groups create opportunities for the enthusiastic businessmen.

Meeting and communicating with people from the NYC Networking Events will help you to determine the potential business clients. This will help you understand what is the actual thing that they want and what is their business all about. You must discuss with them what are the problems that you are facing and try to find out a solution for the business dealings. When you meet your client, ask him all the specifications about the business dealings. The more you show the interest in knowing the details of the business, the better it is for you. The clients will understand that you are really enthusiastic in doing business dealings.

In the era of internet marketing, it is very important to know your customer and his professional aspects. You can update your business profile through the medium of blogging. You can post all your recent updates on your professional website. This will help in the promotion of the business strategies and help in building effective business networks through the business networking groups.

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Peter Williams is a freelance author who has the vast knowledge in NYC Networking Events. For more details please visit us at: .

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Business Networking Groups Are Advantageous In Expanding Business

Author: Peter William

Business is always about "the survival of the fittest". If you cannot strategize your business properly than soon you will find your market has many more players, and you are unknowingly sharing your profit with others. If you take long enough to realize the market condition, then you might find your customers slowly turning to your competitors. In this present economic condition, when every element in the market is trying hard to survive, network building or making contacts has become very important to succeed. There is a very simple rule in business that is the more you sell the more you make profit, but if you cannot reach out to all your target customers than your competitor will, and slowly your market will be taken over by your competitors. In the whole process of reaching out to all your customers, networking plays a very important role. Networking in simple terms means building network, and has gained immense popularity in the recent times.

Business networking groups play a very important role in bringing different business organizations to one platform. Both the small and large business organizations get benefited by the business networking events. The large business organizations use their networking with the small business groups to reach out to the interior corners of the country, and the small business organizations use their contacts with the large business organizations to enter the bigger market. Sometimes the companies even collaborate to use ones name and the others image in capturing larger sections of the population. Business networking doesn't stop with just the business organizations involved in the network. The different branches of a particular business organization get introduced to the other business organizations in the network. These events don't only involve exchanging cards between the different business organizations but also is used more profitably in building relationships.

Relationship building in business scenario is quite difficult, but these business networking groups lend you an opportunity to bring people sharing similar business interests together, and help in building relationship which can be beneficial to both. The different business networking ideas that will help to build a profitable business relationship are beyond cards and conversation, determining potential clients, follow up and staying in touch etc. Among all these, follow up and staying in touch is the most crucial. Your follow up methods have to be well strategized so that it does become a concern of irritation to the concerned person. Again follow up is very important after the business networking group event, otherwise the person concerned might think that all the conversation and plans discussed in the event was fake. The concerned person might even develop hatred towards the opponent, which will affect the later business dealings. Sometimes it might so happen that one of the associates show a lot of interest and makes proper follow up after the event, but lack of commitment from your end might bitter the professional ties. The platform provided by these events can be very advantageous only if they are used to ones advantage.

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The satellite signal that carries the domestic edition of USA TODAY is sent in one-eighth of a second to two GE Americom satellites, the GE4 and GE2, parked in stationary orbit 22,300 miles above the earth over the United States. Instantaneously, the signal is beamed back earthward, and another eighth of a second later is received simultaneously at the printing sites.

Electronic Editing

When USA TODAY launched in 1982, a computerized word processing system designed by Atex, Inc., of Bedford, Mass. was the heart of the USA TODAY production system. The editorial staff wrote and edited stories on video display terminals (VDTs). The stories would then go to phototypesetters to be set in photographic form (positive type on a paper film), which in turn was then pasted up into the various USA TODAY pages. The ATEX system was phased out in summer 1999.

The CCI NewsDesk Editorial and Pagination System replaced the Atex editorial front-end system. This introduced daily editorial pagination at USA TODAY. All editorial staff now work from PCs with e-mail and Internet capability. CCI NewsDesk allows the design editors in each section of the paper to layout and see a completed page on screen. Last minute changes can be made with the touch of a button instead of the cut and paste method.

Deadlines for news copy and for completed pages have been calculated to the minute to provide an even flow for facsimile transmission, and to give editorial the latest possible copy close.