An Eleven-Month Vacation… From Blogging

If you have followed this blog, you may know that I’ve let it slide for about a year. Coming back to it now, I’d like to share a few things I found interesting.

1. Traffic still comes to the site

Now, this site has never driven lots of traffic. 100 page views would make a big day. But even after not adding new content in nine months, or my own content in eleven months, certain posts still get a decent amount of regular traffic. If blogging is part of your business strategy, it’s good to remember that effective posts might bring you traffic for years to come. Inbound marketing is still for real, isn’t it?

2. Google no longer tells you where your traffic comes from

Google now withholds key information in analytics as well as their Adwords tools. They don’t tell you what sites or what keywords bring you traffic. A lot of people aren’t happy about it, but… what are you going to do?  Google has become a near monopoly and they’re flexing their muscle. Over the past year, we’ve also learned about how the NSA the uses Google and perhaps how Google participates with the NSA. Does all this make you like Google less? I wonder how much Google has hurt its brand over the past year, and how much it really matters.

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Luck Is A Four-Letter Word: Guest Post By Brian Meeks

Henry Wood: Time and Again, by Brian MeeksNOTE: I’m excited and proud to present my first guest blogger ever — and a future best-selling author to boot!  Brian Meeks is the author of Henry Wood Detective Agency (which you can get FREE from Amazon if you hurry) and the new Henry Wood: Time and Again. You can also read several of his novels on his engaging blog. His post is here because I got hooked on his blog, and then his novels, and I need you to read his stuff so we can discuss! 

by Brian Meeks

There is a type of person that is allowed to roam freely and, I believe, even pro-create. A person so vile, so hideous in every regard, that they should almost be considered another species. They live for only one purpose…to crush souls. I hate them.

Who are these people?

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Is Your Content Radio Worthy?

Business Talks, Spokane Washington's live business radio program, is on the air

Photo credit: Andy Cook

A few months ago, I was invited to join a new business radio program as the producer.

In this case, “producer” meant lining up guests, and practically anything else I want or have time to do—only three of us were involved initially.

The idea from the outset was to spread positive stories from the local business community (the Spokane, Washington area). Like a lot of you, I’ve learned that a company’s ability to tell its story is vital, so accepting the invitation to produce the program —Business Talks—was irresistible.

It’s turned out to be so much fun, I wanted to tell you about it. Continue reading

A Marketing Lesson From Farmer Fred


Isn’t it great to meet new people, and find yourself unexpectedly inspired?

Fred Flemming of Shepherd's Grain

Fred Fleming of Shepherd’s Grain

My friend Tom McArthur is co-host of Business Talks, a radio program I “produce” here in Spokane. (Scare quotes intentional; more on Business Talks in a future post.)

A few days ago, Tom invited me to join him for coffee with his friend Fred Fleming. Farmer Fred, as Tom calls him, is one of a nearly disappearing breed: the family farmer. Nearly, because they’ll never disappear if Fred has anything to do with it. Continue reading

How Clear Is Your Brand’s Voice?

This man had a distinctive voice. Does your brand? That voice. I heard it, softly, from a table 10 feet away.

It was 1990. We were in a quiet, trendy Hollywood restaurant whose name I never knew and I doubt still exists.

I was with an agency producer, working on a TV job for a large telecom client.

It was the unmistakable voice of an old friend. I wanted to jump up, hug him and tell him my whole family and all our friends missed him.

But I didn’t because he was speaking softly, it sounded private, and I didn’t want to interrupt.

Besides, we had never met, and I didn’t want to scare the hell out of him. Continue reading

Marketing Your Startup Business: A Quick Guide

Building a new business can be scary. Here are some marketing tips.

Marketing doesn’t have to be as scary as other parts of building a new business

One of my favorite marketing blog posts was written in April 2009 by HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah. He called it Startup Marketing: Tactical Tips From The Trenches. 

“If I were starting a company today,” Dharmesh wrote, “here’s what I would do in the first ten days.”

In that same spirit, here’s a rough outline of steps I’d recommend for businesses just getting started. I hope someone who’s starting a business finds it useful. Credit where credit is due, some of these suggestions are pretty similar to what Dharmesh wrote nearly four years ago.

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Social Media Automation: Yea, or Nay?

Social media automation

Don’t be an evil robot

Geoff Reiner is one of the really outstanding folks I’ve met through blogging and Twitter. A few days ago, he posted “Does Social Media Automation Increase Engagement?

For the moment, I’m not so concerned about that particular question. Social media automation is a tool. Like any other tool, it can be used for good or abused.

My question is, are you using it for good, or evil? Continue reading

Are You A Social Media Expert?

Are you a social media expertThe only Facebook company page I ever set up looks the same now as when I left the company three years ago. They’re down to 26 likes. Most are my relatives, who were nice enough to like the page at my request, just to see what happened.

I’m not really a Facebook guy. I have about 100 friends. My Facebook name (please don’t report this TOS violation) is Cousin Barrett. That’s because most of the 100 are cousins, aunts, uncles, other distant relations, people with whom I went to school and whose wedding I was in.

On the other hand, I was using social before it was called social.

I used AOL chat rooms in the early 90s for international soccer discussions and computer advice from Kim Komando. Continue reading

From Sales, A Marketing Lesson

Sunrise on the Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, C...

Santa Barbara. A great place to figure out how little you really know about life. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite marketing thought leaders doesn’t have a background in advertising, or PR or social media.

 Jill Konrath is a salesperson deluxe. You may know her as an author, blogger, strategist or as a featured guest on HubSpot’s blogs and webinars. I love her strategic approach to sales.

In this post, she writes about how she learned to ask questions. For her it was a social tool, as in how-to-date-boys social. (Cute post!) 

As marketers, we must constantly ask questions. Curiosity about your customer and your community drives you to understand who they are, how they think and feel, how you can bring them value and how you might develop meaningful relationships.

Jill reminded me of an incident that made me see sales in a new light. Continue reading

Are You Smart Enough For Marketing?

Marketing intelligenceMaybe you’re overly proud of your towering intellect.

Maybe you’re a little insecure about it.

Don’t be either, if you want to succeed in marketing.

My completely unscientific analysis, after 30 years on the job, shows that people who act like the smartest one in the room usually aren’t quite as bright as they think.  Continue reading