What Lessons the DNC Taught Denver Businesses

Denver businesses were counting on a boost. Except for downtown, there wasn't one.
Denver businesses were counting on a boost. Except for downtown, there wasn't one.

Convention’s tourism bump slight

For a few tourist attractions inside Denver, the convention actually hurt business….Not knowing what to expect, some restaurants stocked up on food, extended hours or added staff, only to be disappointed….
The Denver Post – 1, 2

DNC spending bonanza stays downtown

The DNC spending spree apparently didn’t ripple far beyond downtown retailers and restaurants.

Businesses in Cherry Creek and the Denver Tech Center reported that they didn’t get any boost from the estimated 50,000 delegates, media and onlookers in town this week. In fact, they saw a marked drop in business.
Rocky Mountain News – 1

Hundreds of store owners across Denver are shaking/banging/rubbing their heads either trying to figure out what went wrong or knowing exactly what they would do next time.

As unfortunate as it may be, businesses cannot rely on local traffic alone, even when 50,000 fresh consumers enter the fray. I wonder: what could businesses have done to improve their numbers during the DNC? Continue reading “What Lessons the DNC Taught Denver Businesses”

Encouraging clients to write often…or using a blogging service?

Black keyboard letters
I’ve been working with the WordPress platform for a little while now, and I’ve been a regular blogger since January (though I had been promoting blogging for years earlier, and had my first blog in 2000 [yes, I’m a bit insecure about my blogging creds]).  I’ve created many sites with blogging capabilities, some of them based on Blogger.com integration, and others WordPress.

I’ve explained the benefits of blogging many times to my clients, made nagging phone calls reminding them to blog — all to little avail.  I even wrote an article about the importance of blogging to help explain myself. But still, the blogs remain silent.

What I tell my clients about the benefits of blogging

If my clients already know what a blog is, then I can dive into why it’s so important (other than people KNOW that it’s important).  I tell them the following:

Blogging is a great way to reach people who may not be searching for what you want them to be searching for. Let’s say you have a service for “healing touch,” but it’s not “therapeutic touch.”  With a normal website, you would not be able to rank well for the other key phrase. If you write an article on the differences between therapeutic touch and healing touch, you then will be able to rank for both phrases, even if your business only focuses on one service.

The more you write about what you know, the larger your online sphere of influence grows. By writing consistenly about topics important to you, you’re able to rank better in Google and other search engines, build a community of people who follow what you write, and become an authority on your topic.

There’s no other marketing medium like blogging where all you need to invest is your time, and you’ll get direct benefits. Fliers, radio, tv, newspaper, business chambers — they all take money.  Blogging is free to set up, and free to use.  You will get out of it what you put into it.

That’s the jist of what I tell people about blogging.  They generally get very excited, get a blog, and post a few times. One month later, cobwebs form on their admin login form.

Maybe try a professional blogging service?

One thing I’ve considered is writing the articles myself.  I’m no copywriting expert (I’m a Denver web designer), but I do know my clients’ business well.  If they don’t have the time or commitment to write their own articles, they should find someone to do it for them. There are many professional blog writing services out there, maybe I should start recommending them?

Does anyone have any experience using a professional blog writing service?

Warning: SEO companies charge too much and take too long

A man called yesterday wanting to have his Denver IT Services website optimized.  He had called multiple search engine optimization specialists in Denver, and each one had given him the same proposal: spend thousands of dollars per month, and take a long time.

Check out what the SEO companies said

He had been told the following by multiple companies:

In order to get your website ranked well, it will take 6 months to a year, and will cost $1,000.00 per month.

– Random Denver SEO companies

That means he will have paid $6,000 to $12,000 to have his site ranked well in search engines. I was taken aback; spending that much money each month on SEO is ridiculous for many reasons, but here are a few: Continue reading “Warning: SEO companies charge too much and take too long”

How to increase online exposure through social bookmarking

Are you having the exposure blues?

Do you write articles that few people read? It may be because they aren’t finding your article! Writing on your blog is not enough when you’re starting out. It’s important to spread the word.

Doing a little legwork after you write an article makes a large difference in the traffic you will get.

When you write a blog post, what happens?

Depending on the blogging platform you use (WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Movable Type to name a few), when you write a post, a few things happen:

Upon posting:

  • Your sitemap will get updated
  • Search engines and other websites will be notified of the update
  • Your RSS feed will be updated
  • Gremlins dance a jig around a cauldron of boiling yam juice and frog eyes

These processes will notify the search engines, but in order to increase your website’s exposure, there are a some websites you should submit your article to. After writing an article, take 5 more minutes and submit your site to bookmarking websites.

Continue reading “How to increase online exposure through social bookmarking”

Is Blogging Really Worth the Time?

One reason to blog is traffic! [Image of traffic light]

Today, a business associate asked me “I know about blogging, and it seems like a waste of time. Why is blogging worth the time?” I was able to reply with some very convincing arguments — and in a way, I reminded myself about the value of blogging.

  1. Blogging establishes you as an expert in your field
  2. Search engine traffic dramatically increases
  3. Blogging is basically free marketing for your business: the only cost is your time.
  4. Blogging forces you to write about your life and your business

Continue reading “Is Blogging Really Worth the Time?”

Tumblr is a great website if you find blogging intimidating

Tumblr is a way-cool pseudo-blogging application

I was reading an article on A List Apart the other day and found a link to a website called Tumblr. It makes blogging really easy by making it less intimidating.

You choose what type of content you’d like to post, and then you do it!It’s one of the most simple signup forms around, and encourages you to post right away. I just wanted to test it out, but now I’m hooked (check out the KWD Tumblr Page).

If you’re too nervous to blog, Tumble!

Is your product a platform?

Panasonic Vortex

When looking at a product or service, ask this: will it grow, change, and update with the times, or will it become something that needs to be replaced as it becomes obsolete? In these electronic times, the future is exandability – not just for iPods and other gadgets, but for every electronic product.

My wife got me a Panasonic Vortex Hydra Clean electric razor that is a wonderful product. It shaves close, it cleans itself, you can have the head pivot or not pivot…it’s a well done product. No matter how good it is, it will never be any better. Instead of making a razor that will always be a razor, they could make it a razor platform, similar to how the iPod has become an entire industry of accessories and addons.

Make your product a platform

One of my gripes for the Vortex is that its cleaning cycle is quite loud. I often forget to plug it in during the day to clean, so I end up having to wait another day; it’s too loud to clean at night. I want there to be a timing mechanism so I can schedule the cleaning times and dates. This feature does not yet exist.

If Panasonic added a dock to their product (and any of their other products) and allowed add-ons, an entire industry could formulate around the product. Expandibility is inspiring because it allows users to dream for a better product. The innovations that would arise would add value and customization to the user experience. This, in turn, adds value to the product and the company.

How does expandibility affect your industry or your company? Are you missing opportunities by defining your product too narrowly?

How to publicize your business events online

Business people in front of a building

I wrote a newsletter article previously called "How to Schedule an Event Online," but recently I’ve had a few clients ask me how to get their events noticed. I’ve republished the article below:

Here’s the situation: consider that you have a business event coming up, and you want to organize everything online. You have a list of people you want to let know about it, and you want to set up a system for tracking responses. In addition, you want to publicize the event the best you can. Here’s how to do it all:

Continue reading “How to publicize your business events online”