Monday, August 6, 2012

101 ways to promote your website and 19 ways to survive: Small-business strategies for a tough economy

101 ways to promote your website
By Susan Sweeney

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II

This is a simple, forthright, well-planned, easy-to-follow guide/resource that included not just planning your web site, but designing it to be search engine friendly, ways to keep visitors coming back, permission marketing, spreading the word with viral marketing, how to reveal great content, explanations about landing pages, developing a pay-to-play strategy, email and signature files, autoresponders, consumer-generated media, establishing private mailing lists, developing dynamite links, winning awards, online advertising, maximizing media relations, increasing traffic through online publications, marketing through blogs, social media, facebook, linkedin, twitter, YouTube, video-sharing sites, Flickr, mobile marketing, interactive mapping, the power of partnering, and web traffic analysis.

Why did I go through all the subjects covered in the book?  Because it shows the comprehensiveness of the book.  This is a truly remarkable book for all that it contains.  Also, Sweeney writes in a very comfortable, understandable style.  The sections are short and conversational, there are numerous bullet-pointed lists, figures to illustrate topics that are covered, and a minimum amount of technical language and computerese.

For those just starting out, Sweeney’s book offers not just a great introduction, but a resource to refer to over and over again as one continues the process of building and maintenance. 

As an author of five popular books with a website to support each of them, I must admit that my son and I have used many of the suggestions Sweeney offers.  They are effective and useful.  I highly recommend her book for both its clarity and comprehensiveness.

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19 ways to survive: Small-business strategies for a tough economy
By Lynn Spry and Philip Spry

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II

I found this 163-page book quite similar to 101 Ways to Promote Your Web Site by Susan Sweeney for a number of reasons.  First, it is simple and to the point.  Second, it is well-written and well-organized.  Third, there are short sections, numerous bullet-pointed lists, and a great deal of practical advice.

I regret that there are no footnotes, notes, bibliography, or index.  There are 20 chapters (averaging 8 pages per chapter) in a 8 1/4" x 10 3/4" format.  Chapters cover how to make your business a success, complying with all government rules and regulations, taxes, eliminate the financial obstacles, understand the financial health of your organization, understand your industry to become a leader in your field, ask for support and assistance, take stock of your supplies, focus on your target market, keep your customers and clients happy, motivate you employees, manage your problem employees, document your critical processes to ensure consistent, quality customer service, train your employees to increase sales and improve profitability, turning your store into a showplace, adapt to changing market conditions, compete effectively with big businesses, take advantage of barter opportunities, protecting your business from theft and fraud, enuring that the functions critical to your business are stable, backed up, and insured, and the final chapter (#20), “Now That You Know the ‘Ways,’ Continue to Search for New Opportunities.” 

I list the subjects, once again, to help readers know the comprehensiveness of this book.

I enjoyed spry and Spry’s additional sections they scattered throughout the book: “Lifesaver” gave direct advice about things readers should purchase (like a day planner), pay attention to, or do.  Sections titled “Warning” keeps readers abreast of things to be cautious about, and sections called “Moneymaker” offers specific ways to bring in new clients and customers or, if they have visited and not purchased anything, ways that will bring them back.  “Moneymaker” also offers ways to create new revenue streams.

It should be clear that this is not rocket science.  Anyone who is setting up a new business probably knows most of the information in this book (or should), but it is, first, a great starting point with suggestions and reminders, second, an elementary resource book that may offer a few new ideas and can be referred to again and again, and, third, a checklist to make certain that all readers’ bases are covered.

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