Domain Name Registry Scam

The bastards are on the loose again.  You know, the CREEPS  who send you a very official looking “invoice” regarding your domain name registration.   Obviously a LOT of people fill in the form because it looks so damned official.  I’m a “professional” and I have to admit, if I didn’t know better… I’d sign it as well.

It’s bad enough that you have to worry about security online… now you have to guard yourself off line as well.  It’s a form of snail mail domain name phishing.

In case you don’t know, here’s the scoop.   In the fine print it is written that by signing this form you’re authorizing the  transfer of your domain name to THEIR service.  Want to point your DNS to another hosting program.  TOO BAD!  You can’t.  Want to transfer your domain name… can’t do that either… you signed away those rights.

I’ve gotten two emails this week from clients asking about the letters they’ve received via snail mail regarding this scam.

“But I thought my domain name was registered through you?”

My reply, “It is and will be unless you fill out that form and send it in.  Then all bets are off.”

In case you can’t tell, one of my clients made that mistake a few years back.  I don’t think we ever got control of the domain name back.

It INFURIATES me when some slimy bastard tries to use FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) to make a buck.

Well, obviously the scam isn’t working so well anymore, so the slimy bastards have hired a call center to telemarket their service.

I got just such a call this morning.  “Hello.  I’m from Domain Name Registration Services and you will be getting a notice in the mail about changes to your domain name account.”

“Why will I be getting that?” I asked.

“Uh, because there are changes in your domain name registration account,” she replied.

“Why?” I asked again because I can be a horse’s ass sometimes.

She started stumbling so badly it was literally incoherent jibberish.  I began thinking of the dear, sweet woman who wrote to me earlier this week and thought about how different this phone call would be if she were in my place.   That visualization set me off and with that,  I let loose on that poor telemarketer.

You know you’ve reached a new low when a telemarketer hangs up on you.


  • Don’t click on links in emails regarding your domain name .  Go to  the web site where you registered your domain name and renew it.
  • If you didn’t register your domain name via snail mail, don’t respond to snail mail messages regarding your domain name.
  • Your domain name registrar will NOT be phoning you about your domain name… even if you haven’t paid the bill.

By the way, these rules apply to your CREDIT CARD, YOUR BANK and YOUR PAYPAL accounts as well!!!

It’s only classified as paranoia if they ARE NOT out to get you.

Is a Blog the Best Marketing Tool for Your Business?

There is an adage in advertising that says, “I know that half my advertising dollars are wasted – I just don’t know which half!” Several authors claim credit for this quote, but no matter what the origin, I can assure you the saying is wishful thinking.

Not only is it possible that more half of your advertising dollars are wasted, on the flip side, it’s also possible that your marketing efforts are working very hard – against your business!

One every popular “advertising” avenue being touted is using blogs to promote your business. With all the hype surrounding blogs, you may be wondering if a blog could help your business.

The answer is easier than you might imagine. But in order to answer this question, you must first recognize that there are two different types of sales your business can be making.

Neil Rackham is the founder of The Huthwaite Corporation, which launched a 12-year, $1 million research study into effective sales performance. Rackham is not your typical “sales guy” but rather he’s a psychologist who studies the sales process. The study results are available in the book, Spin Selling, where Rackham differentiates sales into two categories… the Minor Sale and the Major Sale.

While Rackham applies this theory to sales people who make sales calls, I have taken this theory and applied it to advertising and marketing, because these activities are “selling” activities.

If your business is making Minor Sales, then a blog probably won’t be a really effective marketing tool for your business. However; if you’re making a Major Sale, then a blog can be a GREAT marketing tool for your business.

Are you making a Major Sale?

The elements that make up the Major Sale extend beyond the financial investment required. Asking a customer to spend a lot of money is one way you know you’re making a Major Sale… however, it’s not the only factor in play. To determine how much of a Major Sale you’re making, ask yourself the following questions:

QUESTION 1: How much risk is there in purchasing your product or service for your customers?

In other words, how much trust do they need to have to become your client or customer? How “high” is the risk if your customers make a wrong choice? Most businesses doing business on the internet need to establish a level of trust, but some require more trust to be built than others.

For example, if you’re selling office supplies, the consequences fof your customer of making a mistake and purchasing the wrong kind of copy paper is very, very low. If your customer orders the wrong kind of paper and then finds out that he/she made a mistake… the consequences aren’t very high. If the customer has children, then he or she merely brings home the reams of paper and the kids will take care of it in short order.

On the other hand, the choice of a financial planner is a VERY high risk decision for most consumers.

Several years ago, a financial planning firm in my home town made BIG news when it was discovered that the “investments” offered by the “financial planners” were not investments at all but actually a complex Ponzi scheme. As a result, several thousand of the firm’s clients in the area lost their retirement savings.

If you need to establish TRUST with your potential clients… then a blog is a GREAT marketing tool for your business.

If you’re selling baseball gloves to Little Leaguers… well, then trust isn’t quite as important as it may be if you’re a CPA or a financial planner. On the other hand, if you’re selling copy paper, trust may be downright irrelevant!

QUESTION 2: How much TIME will customers invest in researching their purchasing options?

The higher the “risk” is for your client or customer in purchasing your products or services, the more time he or shee will spend researching providers and searching for alternatives.

It’s important to note that devoting a lot of TIME to making a decision about buying changes the buying process significantly. Just because someone is spending time researching a purchase, it doesn’t mean that the decision will be made based ENTIRELY upon which provider has the lowest price.

If your customers are spending a lot of time researching options, then a blog is a great marketing tool because, via regular posts, you can illustrate time and time again why they should make an investment and build a relationship with you. You can use those blog posts to clearly illustrate WHY the lowest PRICE provider may not be the BEST provider.

If your potential clients spend a lot of time researching their options… then a blog is a GREAT marketing tool for your business.

Blogs are MAGNIFICENT COMMUNICATION TOOLS!! If you’ve got a good “handle” on the information you want to communicate to potential customers and your customers are SEEKING more information to make an informed choice.

QUESTION 3: How much TIME will your customers be spending with you after the sale?

Yet another factor that moves a sale from Minor Sale status to Major Sale status is the RELATIONSHIP that you’ll have with your customers or clients once the sale is completed.

The more interaction you expect to have with customers or clients, the more information those clients or customers need BEFORE they make the final decision. If you expect to have a lot of interaction with clients or customers AFTER the sale, then even if customers aren’t making a major financial investment, they still treat the transaction as a major sale. After all, breaking up with a service provider is hard to do!

So while the investment in choosing a baby sitter for a Saturday Night out on the town may not require taking out a loan, it still falls into the Major Sale category.

If your potential clients will develop a relationship with you after the sale… then a blog is a GREAT marketing tool for your business.

If your business is involved with making Major Sales, then establishing communication with customers BEFORE they make a purchasing decision is essential. When communication is key, a blog is a GREAT way to communicate with customers and clients.

This article was published at BizNik
Biznik - Business Networking

An Important Lesson from Amazon on How NOT to Treat Your Customers.

GRR!!!!! I hate it when people get so FOCUSED upon the bottom line that they lose sight of the long term consequences of their actions!!!!

Angela Hoy is the publisher of the Writer’s Weekly which she uses to promote her POD publishing business, On Friday, Angela launched a firestorm when she reported that Amazon is putting the squeeze on POD publishers.

So here’s the deal… Amazon executives are doing their best “Tony Soprano” impression by threatening to remove the “buy” buttons from POD (print on demand) titles listed on the site that ARE NOT printed by Amazon’s own Book Surge POD. “Do this and nobody gets hurt,” is the implication. The problem is, someone is going to get hurt and my guess is it will be Amazon.

Amazon was the first hog to the internet book selling trough. In the early days, when you signed up as an Amazon affiliate, you could choose to be paid in “books” instead of dollars. I know that is how I still choose to be paid for my Amazon affiliate commissions. The thing is, authors are readers by nature. Angela confesses to spending over $1500 last year on Amazon.  That may be a bit above “average” but maybe not.  I just realized the figure I gave my CPA was only for the books I bought, not the ones I “bought” using my affiliate earnings!

So, authors are big book buyers… and Amazon was a pioneer in the whole internet affiliate marketing model. By removing the “buy” button for POD works on the site, Amazon is not only going to lose their author /customers.  These authors may not be buying copies of their own book from the retail giant, but I’m sure they are buying other author’s works through the site.  However, in addition to peeving off their biggest spending customers…. Amazon is  also going to lose a portion of their affiliate sales network as well.  My guess would be that those affiliates are probably part of the productive 20% of the old 80/20 rule which applies to affiliates and their sales in SPADES.

My mother used to refer to such actions as “cutting off your nose to spite your face”.

There’s a HUGE firestorm brewing over Angela’s revelation. So far over 60 blogs have weighed in to comment and I’m sure that Monday morning… more will join the cause. The very NATURE of Web 2.0 is for this type of story to go “viral”. (I hope Booklocker’s web hosting company is ready for this onslaught!)

POD authors who link to Amazon to sell their books will be changing those links and they probably won’t wait until the buy button is removed. Once they go to the time and effort to “switch” the links promoting their book from Amazon to Barnes and Noble… THEY WILL NOT take the time to switch them back to Amazon if Amazon backs down from this stand.

Now, Slashdot has picked up the story… suddenly this fight will extend BEYOND authors and into regular book readers who will be outraged at the “Big Bully” tactics being employed by Amazon. Nobody likes a bully… and until now, Amazon didn’t look like a bully.

Amazon loses all around. They lose the sales… they lose the links… they lose the relationship with thousands of authors… A.K.A. their customers!!!!

It’s obvious that the long term consequences of this action have yet to dawn on the executives at Amazon. Perhaps they thought no one would speak up. Looks like Amazon needs a lesson in Web 2.0.  You know the old saying… “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”?  I think this may be just such a case.

Here is a list of other bloggers (from Angela’s article page) taking up the fight. If you want to add your post to the “cause”… the post a comment to this post. If you’ve got your own blog, copy this list and post it on your blog as well. The more links to these posts… the more “traction” this cause will get.

I hate “marketing”: The fashion model syndrome and your marketing message

I’m searching for information which isn’t appearing in my “main” email in box. That means I’ve given my hotmail email account as the contact point and now, I’m searching through HUNDREDS of “marketing” emails in search of the information I need.

I confess…. I subscribe to email newsletters using email accounts I RARELY check… I’m not the only one. Your email subscribers do this too.


So today, I’m perusing the subject lines of emails, trying to find the “golden” one for which I seek. In the meantime, I see such subject lines as:

  • Now you CAN skyrocket your site to the top of the major …
  • Unlimited Hits To Your Website in Just 15 mins From …
  • Instant Cash in your Paypal Account
  • Earn 7 Figures in 2008 with Quantum Leap Principle…

Suddenly, I start to get angry.  I’ll call it the “fashion model” syndrome and it’s affecting legitimate marketing and advertising.

There isn’t any doubt that the incredible rise of anorexia and bulimia amongst teen girls is being fueled by the virtual skeletons with skin who are featured everywhere you look. At one point, the “fashion” was to make the  models look like drug addicts.  Fortunately, that extreme created a slight backlash and Dove launched their “real beauty” campaign.

Over the past half century, by surrounding normal growing girls with images featuring unrealistic “freaks of nature” we’ve desensitized our selves to what is normal.   Little girls have become desensitized to what normal, healthy female bodies look like and as a result, they aspire to the extreme.

The same desensitization is happening to your audience with your marketing messages.

In talking with a client a few weeks back, we were discussing how to promote her new product. We found ourselves in a horrible quandary. In order to effectively “compete” with the trash that is constantly bombarding us… we found ourselves toying with making ridiculous and outrageous claims in order to “grab” attention. We did it in the name of “brainstorming” and eventually moved on to actually creating messages that solved her client’s “problems” but the temptation was there.  It’s truly the softer, easier way to create an outlandish claim to move product or services.

Over promising and under delivering is not the path to marketing nirvana.

Making outrageous claims may have improved your email campaign open rates at one time, but now those outrageous offers are being tossed around so liberally are going to come back to haunt not only you.  The foundation of a successful business is repeat customers and building a customer base that refers your products and services to others… right?
Am I  being a prude?  Are outrageous claims and setting up unrealistic expectations just a part of “modern” marketing?   Is this just the “way” of marketing 2.0?

GoDaddy Domain Names and Hosting May Put Your Business in Danger

I’ve had more than one client politely listen to my warnings about using GoDaddy as a domain name registrar/host and then go right on using their services. I do understand their reluctance to accept my warnings at face value. After all, I do offer in the course of my business what I believe is a “better” alternative.

I wrote way back in April 2007 on my free Blogger account about the GoDaddy Tar Baby. (You can actually see that at that time, I recommended the service for my clients. UGH! More crow for me to eat…. see my post “Quasi Scientific Blogging Observations).

Back to the Tar Baby that is Godaddy…. for those who think that the stories are of the “urban legend” category, Mashable offers this recent report GoDaddy Pulls the Plug on RateMyCop.

Daily Blog Post concurs and offers commentary on the “quality” of the hosting services at Godaddy as well.
Trouble has been brewing at GoDaddy for a while. Here’s an article I wrote a while back about GoDaddy’s troubles for my clients (it’s a PDF…. so you might want to save this rather than try to open it in your browser.)

Shortly after I wrote and posted that article, Godaddy began donning the cap of “internet police”… the horror stories are chronicled at the site In response, I created a GoDaddy Transfer package for my clients.  Quite a few took me up on the offer.

I will admit, I still use Godaddy’s domain name registration services for picking up domain names I have yet to put into “action”. See the following for why I won’t actively develop a site under any domain name I have that is registered with Godaddy.

Hey, I’m just like everybody else. My preferred ICANN registrar charges a LOT more than Godaddy does…. and I don’t want to pay more than I “have” to for my excessive list of domain names. But I’ve been getting a LOT of “update your information or else” emails from them and it makes me nervous… because I DID pay for those domain names because I DO want access to them!! Paying less than $10 per domain name loses it’s attractiveness when you realize that they can be taken from you on a whim.

I hate it when you find out the price being charged is just a fraction of what you’ll pay!

Brian Gardner’s one smart cookie….

I met Brian just before the Colts went to the Superbowl.  Brian’s not only a talented Word Press blog theme developer, he’s also a Colts fan who happens to live in the heart of Chicago Bear (the Colt’s Super Bowl XLI opponent) country.    Are all great minds Colts fans, or is it just an amazing coincidence?

Anyhow, Brian has since quit his day job and struck out on his own and he’s hit the ground running!!!  Last week, he launched an affiliate program where he pays commissions on sales of his premium Word Press themes.  Yesterday, Brian has announced his own version of March Madness…. offering fabulous prizes to his top affiliates in the month of March.

The promotion works on two levels:

a) It’s a great way to promote affiliate sign ups.

Sales is a numbers game.  In affiliate programs, 20% of your affiliate will generate 80% of your sales.  The more affiliates you have, the more sales they will generate.  It’s just that simple.

b) It’s link bait.

Not only must you sign up as an affiliate to join the contest, but you must also link back as well!

GREAT JOB Brian on crafting a compelling contest to promote your new affiliate program.

Are Google Adwords the answer?

online advertisingVarious questions seem to pop up in groups within my practice. This past week, the topic that is poking its head above ground like a crocus in early March is the topic of Google Adwords.

To the casual observer, the Google Adwords program appears to be the key Effortless Marketing Magic.

  • Not enough web site traffic? Google Adwords is the easy answer.
  • Not enough sales?  Again, Google Adwords is the easy answer.
  • Need a tighter target?  Google Adwords is the easy answer.

I have clients who are inquiring about Google Adwords before their web site development has begun.  Clients who have yet to provide documentation on their anticipated product and service offerings are already signed up for Google Adwords!

Like any other marketing tool, Google Adwords is the GREATEST THING since sliced bread when it’s used correctly.  When used improperly though, it is a recurring nightmare which will run up your credit card balances faster than a lovesick teen racks up overages on your cell phone bill.

For example, I had one client who signed up with a self proclaimed “Google Adwords  Gurus”.    Long story short, my client ended up with a HUGE Google Adwords bill and not a single product sale or even newsletter sign up as a result.    Unfortunately, her experience is NOT unique.

In order to run a successful Google Adwords campaign, you have to have a clear target audience in mind.  You must already have mastered everything from writing compelling and selling content to meticulous order fulfillment.  You have to have a GOOD idea of what keywords your current visitors are using when they arrive at your site.   Only then are you ready to launch your Google Adwords campaign.

Even then, you have to THINK about where you want those ads displayed!  Long ago, when you signed up for Google Adwords, you were signing up to have your ads displayed worldwide.  Now, you can target your ads to a specific geographic location.  Some one should have told Arizona Furniture’s Adwords manager about that feature.

Backstory: Last weekend, I lost it.  My 14 year old cat compulsively chews on the pads of his front left paw.   (I blame myself as I had him declawed 13 years ago, shortly after he adopted us and made short work of my drapes!)  About once a month, he causes the pad to bleed and leaves a bloody footprints everywhere he steps.  (We’ve tried bandaging the paw, but it just makes matters worse.)  My tile floors clean easily, but my 2 year old beige microfiber furniture is stained beyond repair.  (So much for that scotch guard crap!)

Last Saturday, after I tried to spot clean the latest deposits… I had reached my breaking point.   I headed to my computer to begin shopping for leather furniture.  (Interesting note:  The cat is the reason we didn’t purchase leather furniture in the first place!  We feared he’d tear up the furniture with his hind claws.)

Back to Google Adwords and the Arizona Leather Furniture Company.  I head to Google and type in the search terms “wholesale leather furniture”.  Because I haven’t ignored Adwords ads for this search, I am presented with three sponsored links.  The ad’s content reads: “Quality Leather Furniture: Custom Made Leather Furniture To Fit Your Home & Lifestyle”

I arrive at the index page of the site, where I am assured that they ship nationwide.  Good, because when I click on store locations, I see their stores are clustered in the Southern California/Arizona area.  Since I’m in southern Florida, the headline encourages me to continue onward.  Then I click to see their offerings.  Well, the furniture is lovely but there’s no description of the product dimensions… no product description…. no price!  Suddenly, it dawns on me.  This site was designed to allow the Southern California resident to “pre-shop” the store from the comfort of their home.

Such a site is a GREAT idea, especially in highly populated areas where traffic congestion makes “pre-shopping” a necessity instead of a luxury.  However, displaying that ad to me, as I pre-shop in Southern Florida is a waste and an unnecessary waste at that!  How many shoppers residing in Maine, Missouri, Kansas and Virginia have clicked that ad?  What a waste and an unnecessary one at that!

Google Adwords is a GREAT way to issue “virtual invitations” to discover your business.  If your business is limited by the constraints of geography, you can limit who sees your invitation thanks to Google’s ability to target geographically where your ads are displayed.   In other words, the Arizona Leather Furniture Company could have specified that their ad only be displayed to people logging in from IP addresses in the SoCal and Tempe areas.  The only value I can see in not limiting the geographical locations for the ads’ display is so that some marketing firm can report big numbers to their client… with an equally big Google Adwords bill on the side!  (That’s what happens when you pay your agency a % of spend instead of on a % of results.)

Without a marketing plan in place… without a well defined, tightly targeted audience… well… Google Adwords then becomes just another way to drain cash from your accounts.

Need help with getting inside your target customer’s head?  Pick up a copy of my book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results for a step by step process you can follow to figure out the who, what where and most importantly WHY customers buy.

Business Reality: Email Newsletter Delivery and Economies of Scale

Recently, I’ve had a couple of clients express a desire to purchase/create their own email newsletter delivery software to run on their own hosting account. I’ve also had more than one client pass through my practice having pursued that path previously, with disastrous results.

In college, I picked up a second major in economics because I discovered that I had taken most of the courses required for a major without trying. I just really loved both micro and macro economics and what I learned in those courses have served me well, even two decades later.

In my course of study, one of the concepts covered was that of economies of scale. According to Investopedia:

Economies of Scale: The increase in efficiency of production as the number of goods being produced increases. Typically, a company that achieves economies of scale lowers the average cost per unit through increased production since fixed costs are shared over an increased number of goods.

It’s this economic principle that comes to mind when solo entrepreneurs decide to launch their own newsletter delivery/email broadcast service.

Quite simply, Marketer’s Choice (a.k.a. 1 Shopping Cart/Professional Cart Solutions/Kickstart Cart, etc.) is able to leverage economies of scale in their favor. For only $29 per month, you can subscribe to their service AND let them handle all the headaches that come with managing your own email newsletter list.

OR you can pay several hundred or even thousands of dollars (one client reported a quote of $3000) to have a custom application built for you.

The problem, as one client of mine discovered, is that the initial creation/launch of the software is just the tip of the iceberg.  Today’s effective email newsletter software is tomorrow’s invitation to hackers to find the security holes in your system.

Some of the biggest names in the internet marketing use either a version of 1Shopping Cart or Aweber to deliver their email newsletters.  Hopefully, some day, newsletter email will be a thing of the past thanks to RSS feeds.  Until then,  most web site owners would be better served to use the above mentioned services than try to develop their own.

Marketing with proper form….

Last December, I joined a local gym. I had made a commitment back in June to add weight training to my exercise regiment… something that wasn’t happening on a regular basis, thus the gym membership.

Slim and trimDecember is a great time in the gym. Everyone who is working out at that time is “hard core” and committed. You don’t have to wait for machines in the off hours and the staff gets to know your name rather quickly.  Then, the calendar switches and suddenly… it’s a whole new ball game… for about 3 weeks!

I spent the first week of the year on the opposite coast… but when I returned, I saw a gym filled to overflowing with ‘New Year’s Resolution” people. As a result, I didn’t need to bring my new MP3 playerto the gym… there was PLENTY of entertainment to be had by watching the over zealous newbies throw themselves into achieving their fitness goals.

I watched on gentleman literally flop around on various machines which are lined up in front of the treadmills.  As I watched his arms flail loosely, I found myself wondering if he had taken advantage of the two introductory sessions with a personal trainer that every member receives.  Surely he hadn’t, or he wouldn’t be flopping around so.  I then briefly thought of my acupuncture client and made a mental note to discuss ways my client can reach the gentleman I’m watching who will certainly be sporting SOME sort of soft tissue damage in the near future.

I then began to think of all the people I’ve heard utter the words, “I’ve tried advertising for my business, but it just doesn’t work!”  I realize that this gentleman will soon be uttering his own version of that phrase, except his will go, “I’ve tried exercising but all I got was a shoulder/elbow/knee injury.”

Make no mistake, advertising and marketing WORK when done with proper form.  When you understand the underlying principles, then it’s actually easy to pull together a marketing campaign.

If you need proof, look no further than the pharmaceutical industry.   Thirty years ago, it was UNHEARD OF for a drug company to advertise directly to patients… now, drug manufacturers spend BILLIONS running ads to educate the consumer about the “solutions” offered by a particular medication.

Advertising works best when you tightly target your message and keep the end consumer in mind.  Drug companies do a WONDERFUL job of this.  Anyone who has watched more than 15 minutes of football can tell you how Cialis differs from Viagra.

Advertising at its worst is accomplished dancers who twirl and spin with the hopes of enticing you to purchase the tires made by the company whose logo appears at the end.   They would have been better off giving away $10 bills to everyone who waked into their dealer’s stores nationwide!

If your marketing isn’t working… take a step back and begin with identifying your target customer.  If your answer to that question is “everyone”… then I encourage you to pick up a copy of my book, Beyond the Niche.   In it, you’ll not only learn why you should tightly target your customer but ways to identify and target those customers.

Do you need more than a virtual brochure?

If you’re like most business owners, your current web site is acting like a virtual brochure.  A virtual brochure is like a paper brochure … only instead of paying for printing, you pay for hosting!

opportunityMost business owners would think you were crazy if you told them to take all of their brochures and lock them into a back room, with the instructions to the staff that the brochures were ONLY to be distributed to people who came in and asked for a brochure.    That kind of arrangement kind of DEFEATS the purpose of a brochure! However, that is exactly the style of web site MANY business owners maintain and then wonder why their business web site isn’t doing more to create more business for their business!

Unfortunately, the most common “offenders” of having a “set it and forget it” style of “virtual brochure web site” are the very types of individuals for whom a virtual brochure is virtually worthless: those independent  service professionals who are engaged in making a Major Sale!

Here’s an excerpt of an email to just such a business owner:

If you’re looking for a “set it and forget it” web solution… then don’t bother with the Acumen Web Services solution.

Right now, your current web site is acting like a virtual brochure.  Everyone who goes there is someone YOU have sent there.  You’ve done the leg work.  You’ve passed out your business cards…. you’ve made the networking connections…. and your web site is acting like a virtual brochure in that it provides your contact information, an overview of what you do and the assurance that you are a “real” business  to the few visitors that you have directed there.

traffic In a sense, it’s a billboard erected alongside an isolated dead end road, and at the end of that road is your business.  Almost all of the traffic on that road are cars you have personally sent down the road.    Your web site is just a way to assure those travelers that they are indeed on the right road…. that your business does lie ahead.  If that’s all you want your web site to do, then your web site is doing all it needs to do.

However, if you want your web site to do “more”…. you’ll need to create a different kind of web site.  If you want your web site to act as an CLIENT ATTRACTION MAGNET…. as a way to attract interested passers by… as a way to begin building enough of a relationship with people that they will reach out and contact you… then you’re going to need to plan on investing some time building a blog.  You’ll also need to invest time in creating a newsletter.   (RSS feeds are nice, but 96% of web visitors don’t know how to use it so I strongly recommend clients make their blog content do double duty as a fodder for their traditional email newsletter!)

To build the kind of “trust”  it takes to get people to take a chance and contact you… you need to develop a LOT of content.  You’ll need to create a whole body of work so interested parties can tell by reading your entries whether you’re the type of professional they want to put to work for them.  You can do that with your HTML web site, but it will take a lot more time and a lot more effort than it does with a blog.

Also, a blog will allow you to create other kinds of content such as audio and video clips which you can post to your blog.   Those are even BETTER ways of connecting with potential clients!

Your Acumen Web Services blog will be search engine friendly… that means you’ll have to fight like hell to deal with all the spam you’ll get if you make the mistake of listing your email address “out in the open” on your blog.  What that also means is that when you create a blog post with the right “keywords”…. those being words someone uses when they’re looking for the services you offer… that they will be more likely to see your site returned in those results.   However, most importantly, your Acumen Web Services  blog will allow you to make a “connection” with potential clients.

Last May I converted my HTML web site to a blog to promote my book, Beyond the Niche.  I was AMAZED to start getting phone calls from people who had read my blog posts and wondered if perhaps, I could help them.  Prior to my blog, new client contacts began with, “I’ve been talking with your client [name here] and he/she says you’re the best!”  After my blog launch, I started getting, ” I was reading where you said….”  Since converting my HTML web site to a blog, I have personally become my own best referral source!

Now, is maintaining a blog more WORK than maintaining my “set it and forget it web site”?  YOU BET!   However, I’ve never had a greater return on the investment of my time.

Are you frustrated that your web site isn’t doing more to create new business for your business?   If you’re making a Major Sale… then you really need to invest your time and energy into creating ways to connect with your target customers.  Your goal should be to demonstrate that you are worthy of that trust… and there’s no better way to do that than through your blog.